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QUAD ERA-1 Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by FastAndClean, Apr 24, 2018.
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  1. negura
    Stage is very similar when using the same pads. Alara are a bit darker at the moment, with less higher treble and more bass quantity/bloom, but again they are quite new, not enough run time shall that matter. The Alara sound a bit softer and the Quads more focused on transient attacks.They certainly look similar with regards to many parts including the driver assembly and what is visible of the driver itself. They do not sound the same, at least the 2 samples I have. The Quads are also a bit less efficient in reality (have to increase the volume to get the same sound level).
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
  2. igorAT
    thanks - both for comments on cable and general comment on ERA-1 quality compared to Abyss Phi. I am really happy with the QUADs - i know it is not right, but can not like also this "underdog" profile
    But also "no thanks" - now i "need" a good stationary gear even more, believe they will step up with a decent DAC/Amp combo ... :wink:
  3. nicholars
    Can you increase the Alara soundstage size with different pads? Also without making them much brighter? Looks to me like the Alara could be a very interesting Planar.
  4. nicholars
    Or actually from looking at the reviews, most of them seem to prefer the Hifiman Sundara to the Brainwavz. Headphone reviews are very confusing, Only way to know with this stuff is to try it!
    igorAT likes this.
  5. Vampa
    Following your thoughts on the Quads with interest, guys. Anyone has tried them with the Hugo2?
  6. gonzalo1004es
    I have the Quads and have had the Sundaras, I think the Quads are clearly better, I hear the Quads as a more natural sound, and with less grain, in my opinion it feels like a clear step in quality
    trellus likes this.
  7. FullBright1
    Well, "Quad" has been around for about 300 yrs, so, no worries about the company going the way of Oppo.
    And no, the ERA-1s are not sibilant, and they have very fine bass response, and the soundstage is very good.
    Instrument separation is impressive.
    But, they are not "Audeze sound", they are not dark & thick with rolled off trebles.
    They sound nothing like the Audeze 2C's.
    PaganDL likes this.
  8. FullBright1
    Yes, they are at least a "step up" in sound, as compared to the Sundara's.
    The question is.......is the value of their sound at least equal to their cost to own them?
    The Sundara's have a hi-fi sound, similar to something like the AT MSR7s.
    The Quads produce an audiophile sound.
    Will everyone love their sound?.......No.
    Will everyone love the ( $3000-USD ) Focal Stellia's ?
    If you buy them and dont love them, then return them, or sell them at a fair discount to someone here, who probably will love them........:)
    PaganDL likes this.
  9. FullBright1
    Actually, the Quad "house sound" is the "ESL", their famous electrostatic speaker from the '60s.
    It had a few incarnations along the way.
    The ERA-1 Headphones are designed to offer the sound of this speaker system, refined.
    And here is how their "house sound", is defined by the "industry".

    """""The Quad sound is renowned for sonic transparency and very low distortion. Its midrange performance is usually described in superlative terms, common to other electrostatic designs.
    Its sound is tonally neutral, exceptionally spacious, and transient response very fast.
    The experience of listening to the Quad is often described as non-fatiguing or listenable. There is no discontinuity from bass to midrange to treble—it's all so natural...... Transient response is excellent. There are no boxy colorations because there are no boxes.""""

    So, the Quad "house sound", is not midrange forward, its "neutral" & "natural".
    And the ERA-1s are quite neutral, (Quad house sound) and offer a very generous midrange that is both analytical and rich.
    Its really a very very fine audiophile headphone sound.
    I have them on my head as im writing this FYI to you.....:)
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
    PaganDL likes this.
  10. tenderwave
    looks nice
  11. nicholars
    I wonder if there are other differences with these compared to the Brainwavz, because from what I have read, they do look like the same headphones, just with different grilles etc. The Brainwavz could even be better than the ERA-1, because the frequency response looks preferable (to me, not to everyone). But then it could be that the ERA-1 sound significantly better for whatever reason, some upgraded internals or whatever that you cannot see externally. But also the Brainwavz are massively cheaper than the ERA-1, almost half the price...

    Would be extremely interested to hear a good comparison of the 2, from anyone who has heard both! I am pretty interested in trying the Brainwavz, obviously a less known brand for high quality, but also if they are literally the same headphones, with the Brainwavz being darker / more bass, it looks like the Brainwavz could be a good deal... or maybe they sound significantly worse compared to the Quads I have no idea.... From what I have read though, they both look like the same headphones from the same OEM, whether they actually sound the same quality I don't know, maybe one is a custom design with better components or something no idea.
  12. nicholars
    The Brainwavz have a combination of a) very good reviews saying they are very good b) some mixed reviews saying that they preferred the Sundara. My experience of hifiman is very limited (HE400), but I found the treble on the HE400 too sibilant / bright, and also have been put off the other Hifiman's due to reviews saying the treble is still brighter / sibilant.
  13. Hi-Fi-Apricity
    My opinions on the ERA-1 I owned shortly goes as is:

    All impressions are done using the perforated sheepskin that are in my opinion sonically superior and more comfortable.

    The bass did lack some ultimate extension compared to stuff like the LCD series or even sundara but it did exhibit what I would call a somewhat tasteful lover midbass hump. This gave it a bit more impact and meat on the bones. Despite this hump it didn't seem to thud or really dig as deep as some of the best planars but it doesn't need to at this price point Imho..

    The midrange was actually pretty decent and mildly thick for a planar till you get to about 1.5khz where it begins to rolloff into a upper mid and lower midrange cavern. This was a major tonal issue making everything sound more distant than it should and lacking bite.

    This leads into the treble where after the recession around 8 to 11k has a bit of a bright edge and because of the dip given everything a slightly sharp and metallic timbre that Imho is the downfall of an otherwise decent headphone.

    I'd write more on stage and other properties but I'm currently on mobile and can't be bothered to write them at this time.
    Light - Man likes this.
  14. iFi audio
    You've described a major part of this hobby :ksc75smile:
    iFi audio Stay updated on iFi audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/iFiAudio/ https://twitter.com/ifiaudio https://www.instagram.com/ifiaudio/ https://ifi-audio.com/ info@ifi-audio.com
  15. FullBright1
    Is it a hobby ???
    Its an obsession for me.
    For me it started as an enthusiasm, evolved into a passion, and matured into an obsession.
    Really good headphone sound, has the ability to take you inside the music.
    They allow your mind to interface with and within the sound.
    Really good headphones, allow your sense of hearing, a chance to breath in the sonic colors of the music they are representing.
    Music is..... specific colors of sound.... and you are able to hear and analyze these colors the most fluently using headphones.
    PaganDL likes this.
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