SASH Deux & Tres; impressive planars from Ukraine
Jun 30, 2019 at 2:44 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 263

Roderick

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Few months back I came across some fine looking headphones in one of those facebook headphone groups. That same headphone started showing up more an more often in my feed. I checked the official facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Studio-Audio-Sound-Handmade-300941327300195/

Studio Audio Sound Handmade. Not the most catchy name and written in Ukranian. So I contacted Sasha Lyah, the maker of the headphones and asked whats the deal. Turns out it's a commercial built on order DIY planar headphones that cost $350. With google translate I had managed to read few reviews. Most often Sasha's headphones are compared to Audeze lcd-2. Quite favorably too...infact someone said they prefer Sash Deux to LCD-MX4. I'm a nut for underground headphones so I took a change and ordered a set.

Sasha told me it would take three weeks for him to build an unit. It was a cool experience. I had an option to choose between different woods (went with oak), level of varnish I want on the headphones (went with shiny) and cable termination of my choosing. He send me pictures through the process so I could see what is going on. This was one of a kind customer service :)

I'm well familliar with the "headphone honeymoon" phenomenon so I won't comment much about the sound quality just yet. I've had these for a couple of days now but I must say these are very impressive sounding headphones.

I measured the frequency response. I thought they sound a lot like my LCD-3 and measurements show the same.
LCD-3 vs Sash Deux V2.jpg


Note: I had some seal issues with LCD-3. So Audeze's have a better bass extension than the graphs indicate.
Sash Deux are quite dark in the upper midrange but like LCD-3 they don't seem to suffer from lack of detail or dynamics. Headphones like Brainwavz Alara and mr.speaker Aeon flow open have similar darkish tone but compared to LCD-3 and Sash Deux they come off as boring, fluffy and undynamic.

I'll write a review when I get more experience with these cans. I just thought these deserve to get out in the open now because it might take a month or two for me to do a proper review.

Ah..one more thing. Sash Deux V2 is both open and closed headphone. How cool is that? :)
IMG_20190627_130229.jpg

52838893_352671625460498_2421749947306082304_o.jpg
 
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Jul 3, 2019 at 3:47 PM Post #4 of 263

Roderick

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Looks cool. How does Measurement/impression change when open vs closed? Also what are you using to measure?

I only listened to V2 briefly before going to open back so I'd rather not say much. It did sound good though, very good. However my measurements turned up quite weird so plan on doing new measurumenst next weekend.

But if my measurements were not far off the upper midrange becomes elevated (as more in line with lower mids). So it could be closed backs are very good as I find that recessed upper midrange bit of a problem.

Recessed upper mids are a real turn off for me. However I can tolerate that with LCD-3 because great resolution somewhat fills the "blanks" if that makes sense. It does that with V2 also. In that regard I think for example Brainwavz Alara and mr.speaker Aeon Flow open are lesser headphones. Those two just come out plain boring compared to V2 and LCD-3.
 
Oct 31, 2019 at 2:21 AM Post #5 of 263

ponyhead

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I'm a gambling man, so I volunteered to be the 2nd guinea pig. Thanks @Roderick for being the 1st and bringing Sasha's headphones to the forum's attention, which is how I learned about them.

Today I received the Tres, which is probably very similar to Roderick's Deux v2, but according to Sasha, it has a few more magnets which are supposed to make the Tres sound a little better. A cosmetic difference, shared by the Deux v3, is full oak grilles. The Tres costs $400 + shipping. Initial impressions as follows.

I'm comfy in just about any pair, but these are comfier than most, which I especially noticed when AB'ing. I'm not positive if the seal is perfect, but I'm used to clampier cans and this is my first experience with angled pads. Manually pressing a little on the cups for more snugness didn't seem to affect the sound, which is a good sign (though I've only listened in open-back configuration thus far).

Caveman sound review incoming. My source is the hifiman hm-603 DAP. Note that this is my first time hearing a planar.

First I just listened to some familiar songs and to my relief, I liked what I heard. I also checked for sibilance in two songs I know are sibilant with some other cans, and the Tres passed. Not only aren't they sibilant, in general I can crank the volume without them bothering me. I'm confident I'll be able to have a long listening session without ear fatigue. I can't tell you much about the tuning except that there are no glaring peaks or valleys to me. There may be some emphasis somewhere in the mids, but nothing out of line. The Tres may not be for mixing/mastering, but to my ears it's reasonably balanced.

Next I did some A/B testing, starting with my hd6xx. Both cans were driven by my Heed Canamp. That A/B didn't last many songs before I declared Tres the winner. So then I battled it against my favorite pair, the Onkyo a800, and that was a closer and longer contest. The amp sat on the sidelines for that one because the a800 is too easy to drive for the Canamp to suit it. My DAP in high-gain mode drives the Tres to sufficient volume, but there remains the possibility that the Tres sounds better amped. When my Archel2 arrives I'll be able to use that with both the Tres and the a800 for a fairer A/B. Anyhow, at the moment I slightly prefer the a800, but their flavors of sound are different and the Tres is fun, so even if the a800 remains on top, my Tres will still get its share of listening time.

In summary, my $400 was well spent. The LCD-1 and Verum have a strong competitor in the Sash Tres.

In a few days I'll get to compare to the NAD Viso hp50. That's probably when I'll try out the Tres' closed cups for an apples-to-apples.
 
Oct 31, 2019 at 9:47 AM Post #6 of 263

bagwell359

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Very interesting.
 
Oct 31, 2019 at 3:38 PM Post #7 of 263

ponyhead

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Today I just gained some interesting perspective. Recently I fell in love with the Focal Clears at a store. Today I went back to A/B them against my a800's just to make sure I wanted them. To my surprise, it was a tie! (But if there was a winner, it was the a800 by a hair.) At the store I spent a good hour alone in a nice quiet closed-in room. I alternated between which headphones got to play the samples first. Mostly rock (Radiohead, Soundgarden, Queens of the Stone Age, Stone Temple Pilots, Smashing Pumpkins, Tame Impala), but some piano and hip-hop too.

So that's what the Tres was up against last night. The a800, and by extension the $1500 Clear, probably bested the Tres but certainly didn't blow them out. Apparently the a800 punches well above its price, which lends support to Roderick's claim that the Sash headphones do.
 
Oct 31, 2019 at 5:41 PM Post #8 of 263

Roderick

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I also have a800 and I concur it is a very good headphone. There is a reddit thread called "onkyo a800: hd650 with subbass" for me a800 is more like Shure SRH1840 with subbass. a800 is thoroughly flat throughout the midrange with some lifted highs, very much like SRH1840. While it makes for a very clear and airy sound it does sound a bit thin to my ears. I prefer slight roll off in the upper midrange, it gives the sound more body.

I've also had Focal Clears on loan for couple of weeks and it is just a magnificent headphone. Would have bought those if only the soundstage was bigger. At $1500 im not willing to make compromises on such things. Other than the soundstage it is propably the best headphone I have listened to with my own system.

Thank you @ponyhead for your impressions on Sash Tres. It's nice to know I'm not the only on here enjoying Sash headphones. I've ordered Tres last week and I'll post impressions when I receive them. I was supposed to do a more in debth review about V2 but it propably makes sense to focus on Tres more as it is priced allmost the same and supposedly fixes some of the problems V2 had.
 
Nov 1, 2019 at 2:23 AM Post #9 of 263

ponyhead

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There is a reddit thread called "onkyo a800: hd650 with subbass" for me a800 is more like Shure SRH1840 with subbass. a800 is thoroughly flat throughout the midrange with some lifted highs, very much like SRH1840.
FTR they said hd600, which makes more sense, as does 1840.

While it makes for a very clear and airy sound it does sound a bit thin to my ears.
Clear and airy for sure. Not too thin for me, but the Tres by comparison is thicker, which is the way in which I meant the sound is "fun". I've seen people describe some planars as rich and creamy, which I think to an extent describes the Tres. I look forward to your impressions in a couple weeks.

I've also had Focal Clears on loan for couple of weeks and it is just a magnificent headphone. Would have bought those if only the soundstage was bigger..
I too found the soundstage to be ordinary, though for me that wasn't a problem because I don't yet know what I'm missing when it comes to soundstage. Soon I'll try to audition the hd800s and maybe also get my hands on an Austrian k701/2 (which I owned before but it's a distant memory).

Have you heard the era-1? Two people described it as a planar Clear. I think someone also said that about the Ananda.
 
Nov 1, 2019 at 6:18 AM Post #10 of 263

Roderick

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I have not heard era-1. I'm not sure how similar it is compared to brainwavz alara. They're definately related on some level. If era-1 is anything like alara it's nothing like clears imo. Focal's are very dynamic sounding headphones but Alara was bit of a bore to listen.

Ananda on the other hand is very good. I ended up selling it because I found the bass lacking impact. Also compared to hd800 and clear anandas were not resolving enough. I guess I'm quite picky.

Soundstage on hd800 is exceptional but for many people it's not that important. Some prefer more intimate presentation.
 
Nov 1, 2019 at 6:59 AM Post #11 of 263

bagwell359

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I have not heard era-1. I'm not sure how similar it is compared to brainwavz alara. They're definately related on some level. If era-1 is anything like alara it's nothing like clears imo. Focal's are very dynamic sounding headphones but Alara was bit of a bore to listen.

Haven't heard the ERA-1 yet, but based on reviews it must have a better treble than the Alara. The reviews of the ERA-1 say the angled pads are better than the flat pads. I'm busy tearing apart some angled pads (resizing and adding the Alara mounting plates) to see if I can close the gap.

Ananda on the other hand is very good. I ended up selling it because I found the bass lacking impact. Also compared to hd800 and clear anandas were not resolving enough. I guess I'm quite picky.

I agree the HD800 and Clear > Ananda. The Anandas are bright, but the resolution comes from that more than the core sound of the can.

Soundstage on hd800 is exceptional but for many people it's not that important. Some prefer more intimate presentation.

The HE-500 and HEX v2 have lots of soundstage, the HD-600, MD 4XX, Alara don't have enough. The 800 and 800S are master class soundstagers, too bad their greatness in some areas magnifies what they don't do.
 
Nov 1, 2019 at 7:01 PM Post #12 of 263

Krassi

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Hi!
I just ordered a pair of tres after hearing about them. i was about to get me lcd-1 but i dondt regret to get me one of those instead.
What i clearly see is that they sound much much more for their price..
The weight is just the only downside but on my sofa that shouldn matter :wink:

It was nice discussing all the options and easy communication with no problems.
I right now have Hifiman Sundaras and i guess this will be a good addition!
 
Nov 4, 2019 at 6:31 AM Post #13 of 263

Krassi

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wow sash is really awesome!
He can make them with mmcx connectors on the headphone!
I have electro acousti cables with mmcx from china that work on all my IEMs and Sundaras with adapters and its amazing that i can use them without adapters on the Sash tres and on my powerdac V2..

thats what i call custom! i am really happy i contacted sash
 
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Nov 9, 2019 at 11:51 AM Post #14 of 263

ponyhead

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Sasha sent me his Tres measurements. Starting with the open-back FR:




I think that explains the lush and warm sound I heard. So now I know another FR shape I enjoy, and it's a nice complement to my other HP's.

Now for the closed-back FR:

Sash Closed.jpg



Quite a difference. I still haven't tried the closed cups and won't get a chance to for at least a week. The package comes with circular dampers and some kind of wool. Sasha says the closed cups are good with 4 of the circles along with the wool (I believe).

Since the cups are wooden, one can drill a couple small holes as ventilation for a bass boost :)

But perhaps drilling is unnecessary with EQ. I will be curious to try EQ on these, but don't yet have that set up. I'm in no hurry, though, given how these sound without it.
 
Nov 9, 2019 at 12:13 PM Post #15 of 263

Krassi

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Cool! Thanks a lot for your post!

i will have all three options:
-this super awesome open S grill.
-semi open with ZMF Eikon style 5 vents
-and closed..

Since i will run it with E1DA Powerdac V2 i can EQ a lot if i want later.
my Headphones are built right now so i hope i have them this year if the Ukraine Post will not **** it up :wink:
 
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