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QUAD ERA-1 Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by FastAndClean, Apr 24, 2018.
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  1. nicholars
    What do you mean by "ID" ?
  2. nicholars
    Was there a "part 2" of the innerfidelity review? It only has "part 1" on the site and has been like that for about 6 months. How can it win product of the year if there was no review?!

    "Quad ERA-1 review Part 1
    Sep 17, 2018"

    "I’ll be posting the full review on the ERA-1 and also my thoughts on the Aeon Flow in the coming weeks as I hear and experience how they perform both with dedicated home-listening rigs and with a portable player.
    Read more at https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/quad-era-1-review-part-1#vI1yEIrhfLDiGdXU.99"
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  3. FullBright1
    I can't answer why this "editor in Chief", designated these Headphones as Product of the Year, and then, later, i think he posted some other product.......
    But i can show you this, so that you know i am always telling you the truth....
    Z InnerFidelity Quad _.png
  4. FullBright1
    Honestly, its not about the source, its all about the design.
    For example, Apple products are made in : Mongolia, China, Korea and Taiwan.
    Yet, im typing this to you on an amazingly easy to use 2011 MacBook Pro 17", (made in Asia), and on the floor next to my recliner is a brand new HP Omen "Gaming" Laptop, maxxed out, and its horrible.
    Why is it horrible?...Because in the last 8 yers since i bought my last Windows OS machine, this company has not YET redesigned their interface to allow for true user-friendliness.
    In fact, "2 finger" scrolling is awful, and using the arrow on the little tiny BAR on the right side of the screen to drag the page up or down, is a fool's errand, that Gates & Co. STILL have not resolved in 20 yrs.
    The Mac is dead silent when i play Youtube Videos, and the Omen, with all its I7 6-Core power, has to run the fans, just to play a 1080p video on Youtube.
    YUK< !
    So, i discovered that I STILL HAtE using windows., as its like trying to inject yourself with a syringe full of frustration.
    Win10 is a truly awful OS......= Win OS will be just as bad next year, as it was in Win 8.

    So, its not about the supplier, or necessarily about the parts, its all about the implementation of them.
    This means, that the designer(s) of these two headphones, is not the same person, so, the math used to create these products, will not allow them to sound the same, even if they are exactly the same "parts".
    Think of it like this, E1DA.......Take 2 painters, and give them the same paints, a canvas, and the same amount of time to paint your portrait.
    Will the 2 portraits, look alike?... = Quad vs Brainwavz.
    So, here is what i'll do..
    I'll buy the Brainwavz, and then i can compare them to the Quad's, and review their differences.
    Happy to oblige....., as i can always use another set of headphones.
    For me, i personally dont like "bass head headphones" or too much bass, (as i comprehend this)....so, if the Brainwavz are truly all about the bass, then i will hate them, and i will tell you all about it..
    Hopefully Z-Reviews, and about 50% of the other reviewers, who really liked the BW's, and not just for the bass response, were right about them....
    Z-Reveiws said their soundstage is "designed out front", and said they are "exceptional studio monitors", so..... we'll see.
    I expedited the shipping, so, i should have them by next weekend, and if they are designed for Bass-a-Holic's, i'll be the first one back here to tell you.
    And if they sound "better" then the Quad ERA-1s, then i will tell you this also, without hesitation.
    Stay tuned.....:)
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  5. nicholars
    I definitely do not agree about apple vs win 10, but I am definitely interested to hear what you have to say about the BW vs Quads!
  6. dpump
    I have been listening to the Brainwavz Alara exclusively for 10 days. I have not heard the Quad ERA-1. I have many headphones and headphone amps but I have been using the Alara balanced on a Schiit Mjolnir amp, Audio-gd roc amp, and a Questyle CMA400i dac/amp. These amps are, as far as I know, truly fully balanced and higher powered. Contrary to what many manufacturers tell you, you will never realize the full sound potential of a planar headphone unless you have adequate power to drive them. Manufacturers want to sell product, so they have little to no interest in telling a potential customer that their phone or portable amp won't adequately drive their phones. All planars in my experience need power to control the driver. Audeze used to recommend a minimum of 1 watt until they started making what they call more efficient planars, but more power on a planar is better.

    When I first started using the Alara I found the bass to be slightly elevated and a little indistinct. The highs were a little down in level and the midrange was a little depressed. After 5-10 hours the bass tightened up, the midrange came up to sound properly balanced to me, and the highs also came up to sound balanced and extended. Now I am 69 years old and obviously have some hearing loss in the highs, but I am extremely pleased with the Alara now and I perceive the sound as being pretty much to me, perfectly balanced from top to bottom. The bass is in no way boomy or overdone, midrange is very detailed with great separation between instruments and voices, and the highs are clean and clear.

    I think that most people who are saying the Alara has too much bass don't have the proper amp for them and are also listening to modern 'music' that is totally created in the studio and has an exaggerated bass to start with. They would probably say the Quad has exaggerated bass if they heard them. I also think that a large number of people who comment on equipment on the internet have never actually heard the things they talk about and are going on what they have read other people saying. It would be great if only the people who had actually used a product in their home commented on their impressions, but those of us who have been around for a while know this isn't going to happen. And there are more and more people on Head-Fi and the internet in general who have very limited experience with our hobby but have no problem voicing their opinions without realizing their opinions aren't valid. I know this sounds harsh but it is the reality we are dealing with now.

    On a more positive note, I purchased the Alara during the Brainwavz Lunar sale when the price was $399 and then another 10% off using the Head-Fi discount Brainwavz offers Head-Fi readers. So $360 plus $18.50 expedited shipping and I had them in 2 days from Hong Kong. I wasn't that familiar with Brainwavz before but it seems to me they are a serious and professional company that has things together. I was going to order the Quad ERA-1 but the best price I could find was $699 plus shipping, so I decided to try the Alara first. I also own Audeze LCD3 and Fostex TH500RP planar phones. Both have some changes to pads and cables so aren't stock but are improved to me. I prefer the Alara to both of them. I would love to have the Quad to compare with the Alara and hopefully I will be able to do so at some point.

    Remember, these are my opinions and my experiences. You may not agree. I joined Head-Fi in 2001 when this hobby first started and have been in from pretty much the beginning. I started in audio in 1973 and have seen and experienced things most people don't even know existed. I have some expertise in electronics and design which is something younger people today will probably never be able to experience with the way things work now. We are truly blessed now in this hobby with the quality of gear we have access to now and the quality of sound available for a reasonable price. But the level of true knowledge about the workings of the things we are able to purchase now is lower and lower due to circumstances beyond the control of most people. The internet has replaced hands on experience so people are easily swayed by what they read and what manufacturers tell them. In many cases, people don't have the knowledge and experience to know if what they are being told is valid or not.

    I will keep up with this thread to see what FullBright1 thinks about the Alara. I think he has the experience to make a sound judgment. I have read one person who said the ERA1 had less highs than the Alara and one that said the ERA1 had more highs than the Alara, so I want to see what Fullbright1 finds.
    PacoBdn, trellus and Light - Man like this.
  7. E1DA
    dpump, I felt the same thing about the bass of era1 when first time listened up, however, quad eng replaced pads for me and bass got better control. I have to say that era1 had pretty good resolution in mid and highs with my own PowerDAC toy(400mWx2@32ohm DAC without analog amplification), and a lot of SPL(to me it was crazy loud) vs my he400i but I feel he400i sound more open kinda effortless. Probably the reason was about bass, maybe midbass rather.. BTW, era1 is much smaller sized ve he400i.

    nicholars, ID = Industrial Design. IMHO, Alara a bit ugly-plastic looking thing.

    FullBright1, I'll not miss your review.
  8. nicholars
    Do you prefer the HE400i to the Alara? Hm yes overall I very much agree with dpump about people just parroting what other people have said and giving advice on headphones they have not heard, would be great if people would just not say anything about headphones they have not heard, but there we go.

    Overall yes the ERA1 does aesthetically look better, but then it is a lot more expensive if they sound similar, the Alara does not look horrible, the Alara FR actually looks preferable to me as I have problems with bright treble or any sibilance (tinnitus) and also like bass and lower midrange eg. thicker sound.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  9. E1DA
    I didn't see Alara yet, only in this thread, hence, I have no any opinion regarding its sound. I listened era1 once I visit IAG office last year for my business. And I won't replace my he400i(actually quite different headphones has the same model name "he400i") for era1 regardless of price tag.
  10. igorAT
    Hi dan3952,
    thanks for your comments.
    I / we did do our best to compensate for the the louder output of the balanced port (felt it was "exactly 7 ticks on the player") when listening - but i agree, what we did can not be "taken seriously", many here do it really good with all the measurements and fine tuning ... the first steps were more to warm up - also because i expected / hoped for a "WOW" experience - and got one more in line of what you and I tried to describe: "subtle at best". And i also believe the quads deserve better then the (excellent) ibasso - am currently looking at RME or Questyle DAC/Amp combos. However, currently i travel a lot, hope to have more time for listening and the next round of experiments soon... cheers, i.
  11. FullBright1
    Yes, i understand.
    All i can tell you about the Mac vs the Windows, is from my current experience.
    Im using an 8 yr old MacBook with a 2011 quadcore 2.4gHz, and a glossy screen.
    The Omen 17" is the latest, has a Intel Core i7-8750H, high end graphics card, a ton of ram, and a IPS screen with a fast refresh rate.
    So, how are they?
    Well, the Mac's screen is better, its about 2x as fast in use, the fans never come on unless im really pushing it, and the feel of the user experience is quick, polished, and fluent.
    The Window's 10 "gamer", with all the speed available, stutters, gets warm playing youtube videos, and what is worse, is the clutter/stutter of the Win10 user experience.
    I also just had a high end Asus, and it too has the same horrible Win10, typical Windows, issues.
    Nothing is fast, fluent, or polished.....It always feels kinda glitchy.
    Win10 is not a slick OS compared to any MacOS. Win10 has a "too many layers" to dig through type of approach, instead of "keep it simple, fun, and fast".
    Im glad you like Win10.
    I hate it.
    One more example. You open the Lid of a Mac, and it comes on immediately......Windows NEVER does this......It has to spin, spin, spin, load, load, load.
    Its just not a clever design.

    And i'll post some ideas bout the Alara's when they arrive.
    They are not in stock @Amazon, so, i guess they will be shipping them from Neptune. (Asia).
    Could be more then a week......but i hope not....:)
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
    PaganDL likes this.
  12. dpump
    I would order the Alara directly from Brainwavz even if Amazon was stocking it (Amazon wasn't the last time I looked). They ship from Hong Kong. One person reported his arrived in the USA in 4 days with the standard free Brainwavz shipping. Or you can pay $18.50 for FedEx expedited shipping. I and another person who paid expedited shipping received their Alara in 2 days! And don't forget to use the Head-Fi 10% off code on the Brainwavz order.
  13. FullBright1
    I did all that last night.
    Discount applied, and FDX expedited shipping, instituted.
    I hope they are a good product, and don't have that "not quite high quality" Monoprice type of aura.
    There is only one certain way to find out.......:)

    Subsequent to their delivery, i will speak about them on the appropriate Thread, and i will concentrate my analysis within 2 strict areas..

    1.) vs the Quad's, as i think a few members here need to have this input so that they can make a final determination.

    2.) vs the Audeze X's, as these also "go deep", and sound great.

    Z-Reviews stated that he is simply "blown away", and has used them, basically, for 4 weeks, and hasn't listened to anything else. (as of the date of his Youtube Review of the Alara's.).
    He has Stax, and basically every conceivable "hi-end" headphone at his disposal, yet he said he just wants to listen to the Alara's.
    I hope i feel the same way, after i give them some time to impress me.
    Ive learned that, if you have to LOVE a set of headphones to keep them, then you are going to keep very few.....So, i only hope that i can LIKE them, as in this case, .......all is well.
    It'll be fun......:)
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
    PaganDL likes this.
  14. nicholars
    Are you sure they are shipped from Hong Kong?

    If that is the case, then these would not be such a bargain in the UK.

    It says on the Brainwavz website, that they have European fulfilment centers etc. But if they are shipped from Hong Kong that would not make them such a good deal.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  15. negura
    Both my pair into UK and an EU friend's one got shipped out of Hong Kong.
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