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That's a good move, Matt's solid and his product's ain't crazy expensive.
I'm trying to understand the power requirement for the Quad. Their website mentions 100mw for the rated input power.
My Fiio E5 is rated 150 mw at 16 ohm, does it mean it meets the requirement? If not, what do you think would be the recommended power?
I'm debating between the various possible options (desktop versus portable amp basically).
Nothing to add.
So the two stereo 3.5mm connectors are tip and ring positive, with sleeve being the return (not a common ground), right? Does anyone know if the diameter of the Eidolic will work? I don't have the Quad cables to measure anything.
Just picked these up for roughly 400 euro from hifi-freaks.dk, seemed like a great price. My initial impression is kinda mixed. Good: Amazing detail and clarity! I hear nuances and textures that I never noticed before. Incredibly revealing regarding for example reverbs and room ambiences. The not so good: For my ears and a great portion of the music I reference they feel overcooked around 6-8k, resulting in sibilance and fizziness. At the same time they feel scooped further down in the mids, 1K? 3K? Resulting in for example snaredrums sounding a bit weak and quiet.
Contrary to what I would have guessed, right now I prefer the velour pads. Somehow I find that they make the cans better at what they are really good at. Sound seems somewhat more refined and intimate. Leather pads sound a bit more hi-fi but also make the ERA's sound more like my other headphones.
I will use the phones mainly for music making, mixing and reference listening. Even though the sonic signature of the ERA's is far from perfect for me, I strongly feel that I cannot live without a pair of cans of this calibre Would I be better off with for example the Brainwavz Alara? Are those still available? Says "sold out" on their website. Are there any other options that won't cost me a kidney? Focal Clears are out of my range price atm.
Currently i power the ERA's with an old Penguin CMOY amp. Looking to buy a JDS Atom or Schiit Magni 3, don't know if better amplification would alter the frequency responce substantially?
Massdrop Hifiman he4xx is the best for the price at the moment - not only in my opinion.
The Alara's are regularly out of stock then will come back into stock -- I mentioned this on another thread (perhaps the one here on Head-Fi for impressions, can't recall for certain) and Brainwavz themselves piped in that they have limited stock but they are still in production just at limited quantities at a time. Sure enough, after I saw them out of stock, they came back into stock, but then shortly thereafter went out of stock again -- so they seem to not be able to have supply meet demand just quite yet.
True, many folks like that.
Pair the Era with a serious amp and listen again.
You won't regred this step.
Even the switch from V30 to the Audio-GD R28 is noticeable hugh.
Sounds more balanced at the R28 with better slam and smoothed highs.
At the beginning I also liked the velour pads more and found the sound signature a bit u-shaped for my tastes with the leather pads. I won't be too affirmative about it as it may be placebo effect but i think the whole balance improved after 2 or 3 weeks of use and i find the Quad very balanced now with the leather pads, as well as much sharper than with the velours. I have some good benchmark headphone at home (Stax Lambda Nova) and the Quad is not that far tonally-wise. Also if you tune down the upper mids by a few decibels it starts sounding like a Stax O2. That's far from shouty in my book. I agree with you that the clarity is quite amazing for the price. Maybe leave it playing music for a few days, it might improve. This review mentioned a similar experience: https://soundnews.net/headphones/full-size/quad-era-1-review-quadruple-fun/
For reference listening my concern would be more about the timbre itself and i would extend this concern to most planar headphones (I noticed that it's something that keeps coming back in discussions about planar headphones -often with the Sennheiser HD6** being thrown as reference in the middle of the discussion). But like you i also need to hear the Quad out of something like the JDS Atom. Out of curiosity what would be your benchmark headphone for critical listening? If you have one of course.
If price doesn't factor in, Susvaras. If it does, HD 600 or DT880.
I have used to have a pair of Sennheiser HD650's, but I sold them several years ago. I actually liked the HD600's better apart from the lack of bottom end, but I chose the 650's for the bass. Ultimately I found them too veiled though. My go-to phones for checking mixes are Audio Technica ATH-M50. They are far from flat, but I find that they have some kind of honest revealing quality.
The headphones I've really been living with over the last 12 months are my commuting companions B&W P7W. They just have that "tons of fun, more of everything type" of sound. Flattering enough to make most music sound good, but still detailed enough to let me hear what the recordings sound like. They sound big and punchy and really give me that emotional connection that made me fall in love with music again. But reference? Nah...
I've been burning in the Quads for a couple of nights and I can already hear big changes in the sound! Approximately 25h play time so far. Also changed the cable between my RME babyface and the CMOY amp. Most of the ear piercing high-mids are gone, and the bass sounds bigger and fuller.
Loved the P7W as well. What you described there is simply the hearing brain acclimating to a new sound signature. Even the time of day you listen to matters. Frequently I'll listen to music in the morning and it sounds much thinner to me, but listening with the same headphone at the same volume in the evening it will sound fuller to me. Our hearing brain is not constant, it varies in acuity and sensitivity.
I liked the P7 as well, it's a fun headphone, a bit like the Momentum. The Quad should be quite a bit more revealing in the top end but still has an engaging sound which is really a great compromise between fidelity and fun. I heard very few headphones that reach this kind of compromise.
Studio headphones do wonder sometimes. I loved my CD900ST for that, it had an honest approach to the sound that I found totally addictive. The revealing aspect you mention is something decisive, a transparent headphone should act like a chameleon depending on the music it plays, and i don't really hear that with the Quad. But maybe this aspect improves with a better amping. Let us know how things improve on your side