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QUAD ERA-1 Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by FastAndClean, Apr 24, 2018.
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  1. iFi audio
    Yeah, new toys to play with are always exciting days. We've been there too many times. Enjoy!
    iFi audio Stay updated on iFi audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
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  2. FullBright1
    Obsession or Love.jpg
  3. gonzalo1004es
    How would you say the sound changes with the angled leather pads? I had the opportunity of trying them with the velour pads and loved them, but there was no chance of trying the other set of pads...
  4. negura
    Tighter bass, more focused transient attack, more dynamic, deeper stage. Leather pads change the sound signature more towards modded HE-6/Abyss, velours more towards something like HEX/HEK.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  5. gonzalo1004es
    Thanks! I’m sold then, that’s what I was missing...
  6. FullBright1
    The leather pads offer a better seal and less diffusion of sound, so, this allows for more of what you are getting with the soft pads.
    Clarity, bass, treble, resolution, it all improves slightly, and the comfort is better.
    These, and i think most headphones, work best with leather or pleather as you are getting a better seal and less diffusion of sound.
    Soft pads seem to relax the sound, lower the impact of the bass response, and often calm treble response.
    Beyer's and Audio Technica, need to include soft pads with their headphones, as both these manufacturers create tizzy treble response.
    AKG ....would have issues with even more "bright" sounding headphones if they put leather on their's, so, they are kinda in a difficult position, as their headphones tend to be too airy and bright and lacking bass, and if they put leather pads on them, the treble becomes strident which is going to offset any gains in the mids or bass.
    The Quads are nice headphones.
  7. iFi audio
    Pretty much this, aye.:L3000:
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  8. bagwell359
    Earlier you were looking to comps between the HE-500 and the ERA-1. At this point how would you compare them? Also are the 500's you are familiar with modded? Thanks.
  9. bagwell359
  10. FullBright1
    Hi Bagwell359.
    nice to hear from you.

    The HIFIMANN HE500 is my favorite from Fang's inventory so far.
    I find that most of his designes have serious flaws in the treble or the midrange, and in the case of the HE500, i think he got it mostly right.
    Its just a very good sounding headphone that does not irritate you in some way, as most of his headphones seem to do.
    The bass could be tighter, perhaps.

    Really good Planar or Dynamic headphones, all seem to have a similar sound.....there is a clarity and a truth to them, regarding how they present their sonic imagery.

    Regarding your questions..
    The Quads have more depth and richness, while the HE500s have more "airy" openness and upper mids.
    Its Elegance/Resolution vs Stark Reality/Straight Wire

    I dont mod any of my headphones, as this is an endless circle.
    I mod my Guitars and i mod my Nike's......:)
    I will change pads or wires.....so, if that is "modding" them, then yes, i'll go that far.... but, i think you mean something more advanced/destructive when you speak about "modding".
    Also, i argue that anything you put between the speaker and your ear is subtraction from the sound, that some call "modding".
    But the fact is, if you put something between your headphone and your ear, you are not modding, you are in fact, blocking or restricting.
    It like this.....if you have a set of speakers in your room, and you put earplugs in your ears, then you listen to your speakers and say......"yeah, the treble is better now, or the bass is worse".... = modding headphones with filters.
    I dont support this.. and in fact, i feel that if you have to try to remove EXCESSIVE bass or treble to be able to <enjoy> your headphone, then your headphones are just not very good to begin with.....i believe, or at least they are not what are going to satisfy you.
    Get something else.
    My opinion is....if it does not sound its BEST as delivered from the factory, without inner screens and all this hyper modding of the frame jazz, then get another model that does come from the factory with its best sound built right in.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  11. bagwell359
    A really potent SS amp can make the HE-500 bass fit nicely with the low mids, and tighten them. They'll never be bass head cans, but, more than good enough.

    Nice response as I expected. I haven't heard a fully modified HE-6, which is said to be the best HFM can. The most rapt reviews of the HE-6 are from the 'code-sex' mod crowd. The HE-500 is my favorite of those that I know. XLR and pad mods are certainly benign. I don't and wouldn't block any direct signal. The HE-500 fuzzor mods merely cut down reflections from the front stators (very amusical reflections IMO w/o the mod - akin to running any of the 12 dipole speakers I've owned in a room that's mostly glass), and dynamat and blue-tack to deaden the body of the can and does to improve bass damping. I'm new to modding cans, but an old hand at room remakes, building kits, rebuilding speakers, etc. - all to get back to the sound I grew up with in the late 60's - the BSO and my fathers ESL-57's.

    The Quad sounds very good, and the price is attractive. Probably pick them up at the end of the month.
  12. FullBright1


    The 500s are strictly connected to my SS amps.......:)
    And i hope you love the Quads.
    They have a unique sound.... as explained by their designer..
    They are designed to emulate certain Quad Speakers...... and so, that is not the "usual" method a headphone engineer uses to tune Headphone speakers.
    They work for my ears, and i hope they please yours also.
  13. bagwell359
    Thank you.

    Oops, forgot, I really like the way the 500 does recording space, stage noise (page turning, bow drops), and overtones. About as good as my old Verity Parsifals and ML CLS IIz's used to do it. Quads give the same sort of thing? Promise - last question.
  14. OPrwtos
    Ok guys..... So i went today to try out the Quad era1 and some other headphones. Let me list the headphones first: quad era1, hd800s, lcdx, lcd2c, focal elear, hd660s and my k701's to compare.

    Let me just say straight away...I didnt like the Quad era1. I didnt like their tonality, they just didnt sound natural to me. At the start i was comparing them to the focal elear and i prefered the elear. Then i listened to the lcdx and to my surprise, i liked them the most they just sounded the most natural to me, very nice tonality. I also tried the hd660s but i could not stand their fit so i didnt even think twice about those, they clamped way too hard. Going to the hd800s which where my favourites from last time and also to my k701 i realised that both the hd800s and k701 sounded thin after listening to the lcdx. Last time i listned to the hd800s first which was a mistake, since when i listened to the lcd2/3 afterwards they sounded dark. This time listening to the lcdx before the hd800 changed my perception.

    The final headphones i listened to was the lcd2c. I was hoping to like them as much as the lcdx. Their comfort was amazing, after wearing the lcd2c, it made the focal elear and quad feel so inadequate. The pads on the quad felt no where near as nice as the lcd2c and the focal elears were a bit stiff. The lcd2c pads cuddled your ears and the headband was really nice. Comfort on the lcdx wasnt as good, since the pads and headband was different. I much prefered the lcd2c in terms of comfort. Now the sound of the lcd2c was not as good as the lcdx, it seemed to be missing something and im pretty sure that something was mostly to do with the treble. I pulled up some frequency response graphs and equalized the lcd2c to fill in the missing treble and they sounded much more like the lcdx, very nice indeed. If i didnt eq the lcd2c i would not have been happy with them, but fortunately i dont mind eq and it sure did fix the lcd2c.

    I went in wanting to like the Quad, but at the end of the listening session, to my surprise I ended up liking the lcd2c (slightly equalized) the most, taking into consideration the sound and comfort and the fact that they eq well. These will be the headphones i will buy.
    Trunks159 likes this.
  15. negura
    Which pads for the Quads?
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