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QUAD ERA-1 Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by FastAndClean, Apr 24, 2018.
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  1. FullBright1
    I will respect your opinion, but you need to not tell readers here the Quad's have a "forward mid.
    See, even what you have just stated is more proof you are in error.
    You are comparing the Quads "midrange" with Beyer T1s that have no midrange, and Audeze that are low mid thick.
    This means your context for evaluation regarding the Quads, is based on using 2 headphones with "midrange issues".... and that is why when you hear good mids, you dont get it.
    Not trying to be rude, but, its pretty obvious why you think the Q's have "forward" mids., as the headphones you use and are comparing them to, have mids that are not accurate, RF.
    Now, i know you will have something else to say, and so, say it with all your strength, but, as i told you, and is the case, the Quads are not forward in their midrange, and the headphones you are use to hearing are midrange error products.
    So, it has been interesting reading you prove why you are wrong, but, i think we should stop now, as i want to go and wash and wax my Toyota and get myself prepared to watch Brady beat the Rams.
    And the fact is, the Rams are my favorite team, but they should not be playing in the SB, and all of us who saw them play the NOS, understand why. So, maybe the Rams will win, which would add insult to injury, but i feel that Brady is going to beat the Rams, about 42-17.....tho, if im wrong, ...thats life..... next.>..

    Have the last word RF......... enjoy yourself.:)
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
    PaganDL likes this.
  2. RatFarm
    T1s have no midrange? I’m done listening to you. Lol.
  3. negura
    It actually is the headphones. If you don't hear it, perhaps the gear is not resolving enough, amp or DAC, or perhaps the issue lies somewhere else. I love the Quads, but they are not perfect, nor should it be expected they are. I like to mention both the strengths and weaknesses when talking about gear.
    There is a certain bass range where they slightly exaggerate whether this is a headphones distortion or FR product I am not yet sure without measuring them.

    That said this doesn't really matter, they are amazing headphones. The transparency they are capable of is amazing.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  4. bagwell359
    Yes, new windows to see, I listen to all the old favorites before I can decide if its ethereal, average, or wretched.

    Bought my first above average rig in '74, made ethereal a few times since then.
  5. FullBright1
    Moët & Chandon "Cheers", to Ethereal.....:)

    "Ethreal" is MAGIC.

    The search for more sonic magic, continues.......
  6. bagwell359
    Moet & Chandon Nectar Imperial, Macallen 18, Damilano Barolo, Trent River IPA's.....
  7. igorAT

    Hope this is the right thread: it all started with the purchase of QUAD ERA few months ago – thus here, although I wish to comment on my whole setup.

    The question that triggered this post was: “would lavricables ultimate balanced cables make a noticeable difference compared to the Quad ERA 1 stock cable on my ibasso DX150?”


    I notice some difference between the standard cable delivered with the QUAD compared to the lavricables „Ultimate Silver Quad ERA-1 upgrade cable” – but very subtle, less than I expected it to be.

    I know I am making a “apple / pear” comparison here since I unfortunately still have no direct comparison with another balanced cable, so cannot know how much of this change is due to the change to the balanced port of the ibasso and how much to the cable itself – “everything is wrong”, I know – but there might be someone out there interested in even such comparison.

    I do not regret the purchase, though I am not sure if I would have done it if I only had a chance for a quick test at a “hifi shop”.

    Long version:

    Context, since first review:

    - I am >50, electrical engineer, notoriously curious; heard enough “impossible” things in the past to keep me experimenting even though no effect “could / should” be possible to hear

    - I know I am comparing apples with pears, this is a strictly non-scientific test: no double blind test, no real test at all

    - I believe to hear differences when changing components, even if there should have been none based on “science and measurements” – I sometimes hear difference when tube rolling, changing NF and speaker cables and even when using sorbothane pads under a (tube) CD player

    I listen to all sorts of music and personally prefer R&R, jazz and classical music, but am often “exposed” to “charts” by my teenage kids (both amateur musicians - cello, piano).

    Thanks to them, I also started using headphones more and more.

    And just as I was about to buy something good, some of the “usual suspects” in the 1000 EUR league, I got intrigued by the “newcomer” QUAD and got a pair of ERA 1s.

    Which were supposedly easy to drive even with a smartphone due to their low impedance. Some background here: I first wanted to test myself – “will I be using headphones for quality listening to / enjoying music at all?” before investing into some “proper” equipment complementary to my speaker setup.

    No, phones will not do.

    So I got the ibasso dx150.

    Huge improvement - in every regard.

    Ok, I expected that.

    But still was disappointed with the sound – “is this state of the art today, what everyone is so excited about?!?”.

    Updated firmware and installed Lurker update - in particular the USB Audio App brought big improvement. Again: in every regard.

    In the meantime, even newer firmware came out, I updated of course and purchased a neutron music player.

    Now we are talking… things started to make sense… The ERAs started to shine. They are really enjoyable and involving. Fun. They do seem to be made for giants – I have a normal head (at minimum) and am using them at the smallest setting. But I do like their sound. Prefer the leather earpads. I expected the soundstage to be more “in front of me” but that is the only con I can think of. I love the vocals and instruments. Nothing gets confused or fuzzy.

    But unfortunately, once I start fiddling around it is hard for me to stop… and reading about other people’s experience made me think there might be a bit more potential in the system I got I could tap by using symmetrical connection / cables.

    I remembered reading a comment from user jkorn about the improvements due to new “lavricable” cables.

    Contact was friendly, obviously enthusiasts running the business – I do not believe Lavricables is an international corporation … cables arrived well packed, just few days after ordering and made a good first impression.

    I let them “burn in” for about a day and a half before plugging in the original cables and listening to few songs to set a reference and then changed to Lavricables.

    At the beginning I was disappointed, I expected a huge leap – and did not get it. I had to listen to music repeatedly and switch back and forth to hear (feel?) the difference.

    Even now, after two weeks of use I cannot describe the difference properly – with the Lavricables / symmetrical output, it sounds (appears to be?) just a bit “deeper”, “slightly less strained – with more reserve, easier presented”. Every now and then, I change back to original cables (prefer the black colour and the haptics of the original cable) but after a while change back to Lavricable – can unfortunately not say or describe why, for me it sounds somehow a bit “righter”, more enjoyable for longer listening sessions. Every now and then I smile touched by the flow of the music.

    But honestly: I can imagine I would fail a proper blind test.

    The biggest problem with the current setup is that it is ill suited for “background listening” – I planned to use them when working on the computer, but it constantly makes me want to play music “just a bit” louder and “just a bit more” and just “hear that once again” and ….

    I wanted my first review to be OK, studied the helpful Forum guidelines for describing the sound in reviews, but unfortunately still cannot be more professional or helpful…. I cannot speak about “uplifting of a veil”, it was never there, or “wider soundstage” or “treble improved” or … it is the “integrity” of the presentation that makes listening a more enjoyable experience for me.

    My daughter (early 20-s, plays piano since 4) also made the cable test (“OK, but only 5 minutes, just one try” – but then spend over an hour listening): “phew, difficult…. toughest one you ever asked”; complete setup: “wow, WOW…. I loved the sound of the piano in …, hope to have one like that one day”. If she could have only one cable, she would also take the lavricable / balanced port.

    Another Problem: I believe ERAs can deliver much more and am looking for some stationary DAC/Amp.

    Thanks for all your comments in the forum and for reading,
  8. gonzalo1004es
    Hi Igor!

    I also have ERA-1 headphones with a Lavricable silver cable. You're right that it's not an evident difference (I don't think any cable can do that), but I do hear the Lavricable as less congested, airier and less grained than the stock one. Considering how subtle cable changes are, I would say the Lavricable is worth it:). I think the ERA's are one of the most balanced headphones in all regards, really difficult to find a problem on them, and a bargain considering how pricing is right now. I also own Abyss Phi, and even though they're better in all regards, the Quad just sound like the Abyss' little brother:), I could easily price them in the 1000€-3000€ range, at least that's my opinion:)
    lavricables likes this.
  9. negura
    Funny. I've also started using Lavricables since last week. I had another aftermarket cable before ethat I bought some time ago from eBay (SPOCC copper) and the Lavricables one opens up the stage more, there's no grain at all and sounds a bit more detailed. Maybe the SPOCC one is a bit more articulated sounding. I cannot compare with the stock cable as my Benchmark AHB2s are balanced only.

    And yes I agree, the Quads are in the same school of sound with Abyss and my modded HE-6s. Very few headphones that sound like this, and perform at the level they do. I also bought the Brainwavz Alara but so far they are not as well performing as the Quads (softer sounding, bloomier bass, not as resolving or focused). The drivers look identical to me on visual inspection. I used the leather pads with both headphones, but it's early days for the Alara still should that matter.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
    lavricables likes this.
  10. nicholars
    How do you think the ERA-1 compare to the LCD 2C?

    I am interested in the Quads, but the lack of reviews has stopped me trying them, they are also the same price as the LCD 2C, which has a lot more reviews etc. Normally when something does not have very much feedback online, it makes me think that they are just not very good, or they would get more hype. But possibly the Quads are worth a try?

    Also they should be more comfortable / lighter than the Audeze which is very good, how do they sound compared to the LCD 2c in bass, mids, treble, soundstage, sibilance? Thanks.
  11. negura
    I sold the LCD2C some time after buying the Quads and I had a cherry picked pair. I really liked the 2Cs but they do not compete imo. I would look much higher up in the LCD range for a more fair comparison performance wise, at least with regards to dynamics and resolution. But I will stop right here without naming a model. People who prefer a softer/smoother sound, might rate LCD range more though.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
  12. donlin
    I have owned to original LCD2 and LCD3 and in my opinion, the Quad is much more enjoyable than either of those. I think the Quad hasn't been available long enough to generate a lot of reviews
  13. nicholars
    Well are the Quads a lot brighter / more sibilant than the 2C?

    I did find the upper midrange is too recessed on the 2C, but then that is better than too much treble or upper midrange. I also do not like bright treble or sibilance, so would I not like the Quads? Can you compare them to any other headphones in brightness? What about Fostex X00 or Sennheiser 660s?
  14. negura
    I don't find them sibilant. Like many in the LCD range they also have some dips in the higher midrange/lower treble. Perhaps smaller. Due to their more dynamic/energetic nature the Quads are more engaging, which some people describe as more "fun".

    In terms of overall balance/signature the Quads are slightly warm sounding imo. They come across as less bright than my modded HE-6s (which are very close to neutral imo), but more so than the LCD-2C (not particularly warm, but quite laidback).
    nicholars likes this.
  15. donlin
    Good description.
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