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The JPS Labs: Abyss AB-1266 Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by scolaiw, Jun 5, 2013.
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  1. astrostar59
    Hi all
    Anyone getting what they call full performance out of the 1266 Abyss from a tube headphone amp. I am looking for a nice tube amp to drive the Abyss and also the LCD4s in our demo system. The Woo WA5 LE is a candidate, as is the Auris Headonia. Or is the consensus here a top SS amp plays better on the Abyss? I want to retain the soundstage and speed but gain some realism as well if possible. We currently have the V281, and the big Aries Cerat Genus speaker amp. The Genus sets the bar so high, and sounds fabulous. It is also 15K so a smaller option would appeal to many customers.

    I ref the review below, but not found much else on how the Abyss pairs with the WA5 LE.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
  2. mulder01
    If you are selling Abyss now, wouldn't the Formula S be the logical choice? - well received on here, in the high end, but not out-of-reach expensive, optional power supply upgrade for the people that want to spend a bit more, has the manufacturer's backing and if you are buying whole systems from the one place, you might be able to get package prices?
    Just a thought. Haven't heard it myself... :shrug:
    Personally I liked the v281 as much as anything else, but for some reason, it's almost like a lot of people seem to look at as though it's not expensive enough to pair with the Abyss? ...or something...
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
  3. JLoud
    I have the Abyss tc as well as the LCD-4. Currently using the WA5 le and a HeadAmp GSX mk2. I really like the WA5 with the Abyss. Soundstage is huge but still has good focus. Bass is also stellar. The HeadAmp is a touch faster and bass hits a little cleaner and perhaps a little deeper. But the midrange is sweeter on the WA5. I prefer the LCD-4 on the WA5 over the HeadAmp. It just matches so well with the traits of the LCD-4. The Woo drives both with authority and plenty of headroom. I believe the WA5 used to be what the Abyss was tuned with. Many of the videos from Abyss feature the Woo.
  4. Olumm
    Has anyone here had any experience with the ALO Studio Six and the 1266?
  5. astrostar59
    Calling all Abyss owners using speakers amps

    I am interested in this at the moment. Has anyone got experience or have a speaker amp powering their Abyss? Either SS or tube. It seems the more power the better for this amazing headphone.

    Having said that, my V281 is super with it. So wondering what else there is to gain going down this route. Speaking to a few guys on here, it does seem there is more performance available to be had. Hardly very practical or compact using a speaker amp, but if SQ is paramount, that is of no issue for me.
  6. Zhanming057
    Airtight ATM300, Viva Solista, Nagra Classic INT, Bryston 4B3 are a few amps that come to mind.
  7. simorag
    I had a most enjoyable private listening session at headphoneauditions.nl, and I second the Air Tight ATM-300 is a great pairing: lots of air, speed and bass control, together with a most refined and open treble.

    That said, the Thrax Enyo (a product which I never heard of) provided a more satisfying experience to my ears. While being perhaps technically inferior to the ATM-300R, I was seducted by its denser midrange, sheer grunt and wide soundstage.


    By the way, the Enyo was doing pretty well with the RAAL SR1a, regardless of a rated power (50W on 8Ohm) well below RAAL Requisite >100W recommendation.

    I am putting together some notes of my audition, which I will share in a later post here.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
    Mikey99, GU1DO, llamaluv and 2 others like this.
  8. astrostar59
    Interesting. Keep it coming simorag.

    I am still looking for a 'desktop' amp that can get real close to my Aries Cerat Genus. Nothing I have heard yet is quite there. The closest so far is the Auris Headonia. At Munich high end I heard that amp on the Susvara's and LCD4s and it was really beautiful. I had some of my own tracks as well, so it gave me a good idea of it's performance v my Genus. I would estimate it is 90% of my big amps performance, and really, until I have heard the Genus is an end game amp IMO.

    I think one of the reasons the Headonia is so good on Planars is the taps off the output transformer. I seems to have plenty of drive, which you need for the Susvara and Abyss, and even the LCD4 upscales a lot with drive. It isn't just loudness, it is current and control of the dynamics. If I had the budget for the Headonia that would be my ideal dedicated HP amp, no question. The 2A3 is also a 'magic' tube, it has a superbly natural timbre to it. And there are plenty of affordable new manufacture 2A3s to choose from. The driver tube is a small ECC82 and is plentiful and around 50 USD for Mullard NOS. They should be good for 10,000 hours.

    Going back to tube speaker amps, it is a nice idea. The thing to watch though is noise, you really need absolute silence at the output, something a lot of tube amps just don't have. And being class A SE, they are effectively full volume all the time, so if you leave your HPs plugged in all day, anything happens with your mains supply or a tube, it is goodbye to your HPs. Something to be aware of....
    simorag likes this.
  9. Olumm
    Hey Everyone! I just wanted to let you all know that I contacted the guys over at Periapt Cables to see if they could make a custom cable for the 1266, and they happily sent one over to me for a trial. I am currently listening to it vs. the stock cable that comes with the 1266. I have to say that I am not a huge believer in what changes with cables, but I cannot stand the stock Abyss cable, and I refuse to spend $2k on a cable.

    I will give this cable a couple of days worth of head time and report back to the thread on what, if anything, that I am hearing from a difference perspective.

    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
    GU1DO and Litlgi74 like this.
  10. cj3209
    There are other alternatives such those offered by moon-audio. BTW, how much are those cables?
  11. Hoegaardener70
    Buy Norne and be happy :)
  12. jlbrach
    the stock is actually outstanding..a bit cumbersome but outstanding
  13. Olumm
    Under $100
    Litlgi74 likes this.
  14. cj3209
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
  15. Hoegaardener70
    Einvaldi is an outstanding cable, in my opinion. However, the stock cable is fine as well, it is mostly about ergonomics. And for me they do matter a lot. I always play around with cables while listening ...
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