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QUAD ERA-1 Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by FastAndClean, Apr 24, 2018.
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  1. Poganin
    I wonder if this would be a good complementary headphone to the AFO. I'm looking for something to buy next year and currently have LCD-X, Ananda, and Focal Clear in my sights. But if this is basically a planar Clear, I might put it on the list.
  2. stellk3rn
    Well looks like I am the first owner here.

    Just some quick impressions. I have a fairly high end Naim system but been using 'phones a bit more recently. After 30yrs buying HiFi I just never really got into them before!. Used most often via my Astell + Kern Kann but also in my main system from an Arcam rHead with NDS as source. I was moving up from a pair of Grado 325e

    I demo'd the Quads vs Audeze LCD-X (way too heavy, too polite), Grado GS2000i (very disappointing, warm and unengaging, slightly coloured?) and the Sennhesier 800S. All played direct from my Kann as well as via the dealers Quad PA-1 Headphone amp.

    Now the Sennheisers are very fine and probably technically the best pair by a yard. I suspect lots on here have heard them. I found them incredibly detailed but in the end I chose the Quad.


    Firstly I was happy with the Quad comfort and quality, just as good as the Senn. The thicker of the two pads is slightly better for imaging so if you get to hear them try both the types they provide. Voices are great, and the general sound is fast and clean. Bass detail great, not overwhelming. The real decider was that I found them just more enjoyable, more engaging. The Sennheisers seemed more technical, a bit cold and analytical in comparison. More detail is not always better. Back to back using just the Kann I also felt that the Quad worked just as well, where the Sennheiser needed the amp to shine. Finally the Quads are half the price. in the end I'd have spent that money if the Sennheisers were my favourite-but I actually preferred the Era-1. having used them for 3 days and 'loosened them up' they are now even better.

    Hope that others get to hear them too

    Jodet, trellus, Beagle and 6 others like this.
  3. vkvedam
    Very nice impressions, I shall have a listen soon. Need to find a stockist/dealer who is nearby.
  4. Beagle
    My set arrived on Tuesday. I just love them! The bass through midrange evenness and musicality is absolutely seductive.
    Maxx134, Jodet, trellus and 1 other person like this.
  5. stellk3rn
    Glad you are liking them too

    I decided that having saved a chunk of money from my initial budget I would swap the supplied cable for a Chord Shawcan upgrade. Definite difference; things that bit sweeter and more definition and detail. Biggest difference is the soundstage that opens up quite significantly. I'm sure the 'phones are also loosening up with more use but I'd say this upgrade might be worth consideration. In the UK that still makes them really good value and under £1k.

    trellus likes this.
  6. Beagle
    I don't doubt it. The ERA-1 has the sort of evenness and "neutrality" where cable differences can be easily heard. Along with a little dip in the upper treble to ward off any possibility of harshness and accentuation of sibilants.
  7. zolkis
    I shortly listened to the ERA-1 driven by the Quad tube headphone amp and I was very positively impressed. I need some dedicated time with it and direct comparisons, but I'd say that as far as first impressions go, it's Stax-level good with nice dynamics, which - for the price - is amazing achievement.
    Jodet, trellus, Beagle and 1 other person like this.
  8. tuby sound
    How was the bass?
  9. zolkis
    Again, need a proper comparative context, but it was much better bass than I expected, this was one of the qualities that surprised me, together with the effortless sound. Need to note I much preferred the leather pads from this respect. It's not perfect, perhaps there is some characteristic planar sound signature in the mids and treble (compared to e-stats from memory with music material I know), but it's only an impression at the moment. The music was totally enjoyable through that system. The ERA-1 is instantly added to my list of "very good sound for fair money", more so than Audeze. It needs proper amplification, but that was expected for a planar.
  10. moriez
    Which desktop amps are owners pairing the ERA-1 with and is there an inclination to favour solid state over tubes or vice versa for any reason?
    Jodet likes this.
  11. Beagle
    The ERA-1 is very hard to stop listening to. A lot of expensive flagship phones I've had (or have) have been very easy to stop listening to, due to bad fit and/or severely flawed/colored sound.
  12. kid vic
    Full length review in the works?
  13. Beagle
    I might do a full length review but it might only be a paragraph. Sometimes it's hard to write a big piece when it can be summed up with a few words. I did a lengthy Diana review but it seemed to take a lot of effort explaining why it was neutral and what neutral is, to me. And it's basically an opinion.

    Love it..
    kid vic likes this.
  14. Zulkr9
    These look smexy, anyone know where to get on in the US and how much they might cost :v
  15. davide256
    I'd be curious on comparison with the current LCD2 phasor model... I haven't heard better for mid-range authenticity without spending double the money. Don't know if the Quad speaker expertise can translate into like headphone
    sound but they are one of the few speakers that sucks me into sitting down and listening
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