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Oppo PM-3 : The Portable Planar - Impressions

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  1. megabigeye
    I don't have any other recommendations, unfortunately. The Q+Q are my only experience with tubes.
    The Dark Voice is an OTL, so probably won't work so well with planar headphones. The PM-3 have a flat impedance curve, so impedance mismatch shouldn't be a problem (I don't think; don't quote me on that), but OTL deliver more power into higher impedances.
    Are you talking about the Cavalli Tube Hybrid (CTH)? The power stage of that is solid state, if I'll not mistaken, so it may work. Again, I have no actual experience, just going with what I've gleaned from the internet.

    Oh yeah, and if you like bass, the bass on the Bottlehead setup with the PM-3 is just... Oh, mama!

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  2. Charlie Norwood
    absolute tube amp noob over here so I can't really say. But yeah the Cavalli CTH has just been intriguing as a desktop amp in general.

    I've heard the benefits/differences of tubes with loudspeakers, and I also love the way vinyl sounds, especially with hip-hop which is what I primarily listen to, so I could imagine keeping my chain as analog as possible would probably sound great to me.

    But all this is moot to me until me and the wife move to a bigger place and I finally get to have my gaming/audio mancave or What ever people want to call it these days (my turntable isn't even set up right now lol). Until then, my iFi joints are still going strong.
  3. iFi audio
    ...which is good :ksc75smile:

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    Charlie Norwood likes this.
  4. Koei
    Did you just tape straight over the stock headband? I presume its hard to redo if you mess up?
  5. Bambule
    As of now I think this will be my fix too. Looks quite good.
    So any recommendations on the process of applying is very welcome
  6. wilsonlaidlaw
    Sadly my much loved Oppo PM-3 headphones, iPod Touch and Oppo HA2-SE DAC/Amp were stolen during a burglary on Monday night at my French house. When the insurance comes through, I will be looking to buy replacements for both (I have a spare iPod touch). I really don't feel it makes sense to buy these obsolete Oppo products now, as I suspect future service will be very patchy or maybe non-existent. I have looked at the Chord Mojo but having to use dual cables with a dongle in the middle seems a pain compared with the direct short cable connection of the HA2-SE. The same seems to apply to the xDSD. Suggestions please therefore for alternative closed back round the ear headphones (noise isolating not active noise reduction) and a direct connecting to iPod Touch or iPhone lightning socket DAC/Amp. My budget will be around £1000/€1150/ $1300 but to get the right products, I will be flexible on this.

    I am a fan of very precise sound and my listening is mainly late 19th and 20th century classical music plus some jazz and spoken word (audiobooks). My main system is Benchmark Media DAC-3L+ Boothroyd-Stuart Meridian G02 dual mono balanced preamp + Krell Evolution 2250 (2x 250W) Class A Power Amp with ATC SCM 40-2 speakers and ATC C4 Sub, to give folks an idea of the sort of sound quality I like.

    Help folks!

  7. Bambule
    Aeon closed
    Ether Flow closed
  8. wilsonlaidlaw
    Many thanks for those very helpful suggestions. The HD820 is probably outside the budget, as I have to buy a DAC/Amp as well. They also look to be open back with mesh on the outside but that may just be a design feature. The Ether Flow C Closed back is also sadly a bit outside of my budget and in addition they look very large. I have quite a small head and I suspect they might dwarf me. The Aeon Flow looks much nearer my budget and there is a discounted new pair on offer in the UK. My only slight reservation is the distinctly odd headband and some reviewers mentioned that they hated it, while liking the rest of the headphones. My other thoughts on headphones would be the Audeze Titanium Closed or the Audeze LCD-2 Closed. The Titanium (the newer version with the Lightning DAC cable) gets somewhat mixed reviews but the LCD-2 reviews are all good to very good. Again there is a new discounted pair on sale in the UK. The advantage of the Titanium is that the Lightning cable has a built in DAC/Amp but how good can a cable DAC be?

  9. good sound
    The Campfire
    The Campfire Audio Cascade may be a good choice as well. They are fantastic for Rock and modern music. I don't listen to classical. I actually liked the closed version of the Aeon Flow a little better but they are huge.
  10. Bambule
    The hd 820 is definitely closed, with gorilla glass on the outside. But yes, expensive
    The headband of the Mr speakers headphones is in my opinion the best you can get, nitinol, almost unbreakable and perfect clamp force for almost every head
    As of audeze, I sadly have no experience with them
  11. HirschiAUT
    @wilsonlaidlaw i dont know how you feel about Bluetooth Headphones, but if you search for a pair of HP for on the go I could recommend the Audeze Mobius.

    I was always one that was willing to handle the extra inconvenience of a mobile setup with cables to have superior sound quality, but for me that changed with the Mobius.

    The main reason for this is the LDAC codec they use.
    You need a source that can transmit with LDAC, but there are devices for ~100€, like the shanling M0 that i also own.

    The second big thing, for me, about the Mobius is the 3D emulation.
    When set up properly with your head measurements and the "room size" setting adjusted to your liking it really does a impressive and realistic simulation of a stereo speaker setup.

    And as a bonus you can use them as virtual 7.1 Headphones via USB with a Laptop/PC for movies or surround music recordings :)

    I have owned a rather capable mobile setup before with the PM3 fed by a Luxury&Precision L3 DAP, but i never looked back.
    The M0 + Mobius are, for me, a clear upgrade in both sound quality and convenience.

    As always, ymmv and so on :)
  12. wilsonlaidlaw
    Been doing a fair bit of research reviews etc. Quite a lot of reviewers comment that planar magnetic headphones can often have less than wonderful sound, when driven by marginally compatible DAP's and are really quite fussy on the DAP you use, with thin bass and shrill treble possible negative consequences. This of course, was the benefit of the PM-3 phones with the HA2-SE DAP, which was designed for them and matched to them. There does not seem to be another maker with a phones/matching DAP set which is iPhone/iPod Lightning compatible, without using dongles or Bluetooth, other than Audeze EL-8 Titanium, which gets pretty mixed reviews. Apple's Bluetooth audio implementation is less than wonderful. I tried it in my Panamera and have gone back to a cable digital connection to the Porsche Communications Module (PCM). I wonder therefore, if I might be safer moving away from Planar Magnetic and getting a pair of Beyerdynamic T5P phones and their matching Impacto universal DAP. My brother has used Beyerdynamic DT1990 Pro phones in his plane for a while now and is delighted with them, although his listening is more classical vocal/opera than my classical instrumental music + jazz. A dealer very near my UK house, has an ex-audio show but perfect pair of the Beyerdynamic T5P phones at a reasonable discount from RRP and they also stock the Impacto universal amplifier. That pair would come in just below my £1000 budget.

  13. kendosperling
  14. wilsonlaidlaw
    I thought of that but the absence of Oppo Digital service/spares puts me off somewhat plus finding the HA2-SE DAP is far more difficult in Europe. If I could find a new HA2-SE, I would probably buy that along with new PM3 Phones, which are still available from a number of suppliers. The service is an additional reason to go for Beyerdynamic, where headphones are their main product, unlike Oppo, where mobile phones rule the roost. On a visit to India earlier this year, I was amazed how many Oppo phone shops/outlets there were. In every town of any size. There is a Beyerdynamic service and sales centre (the folk who have the T5P phones for sale), around six miles from my UK house.

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  15. kendosperling
    hmmmm...found new HA2-SE on amazon.de
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