The JPS Labs: Abyss AB-1266 Impressions Thread
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Jon L

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Can your 300B amp power the Abyss ok? How's it sound?
My Elekit 300B amp sounds fantastic with Abyss, especially after I rolled in some Jupiter Copper Foil coupling caps. It uses some non-traditional approach for 300B SET such as cathode feedback. It is more detailed with tighter and more dynamic bass than most other SS amps I've tried.
Then again, I have to manually connect/disconnect the Abyss leads and speaker cables every time I want to switch from headphones to speakers, so I need another option.
 
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tunes

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So, here is my feedback to the Abyss ab-1266 TC. When I got it, I was deeply into the hobby of comparing headphones, and I owned at that moment the Utopia, Empy, Z1R and HD800S. I had heard the TC at CanJam and knew by then that I wanted to compare it to my setup, and somehow had assumed that my one-minute fascination with the TC would pass and that I would sell it after a couple of weeks with hopefully not too much loss.

Fast forward six months, and i still own the TC and have sold all the other headphones above. In the end, the TC is the most fun headphone while still being analytical. There is a raw power to it for metal, and it is dynamic and insightful for classic; in short, there is nothing else out there which can match it as a “one for all” endgame headphone. I do occasionally miss certain traits of the other phones - the unmatched crazy resolution of the utopia for classical music and the Empy’s comfort- but the overall level of immersiveness, soundstage and quality (and quantity!) of bass really make it something special.

In addition to the open TC, I have a closed Stellia (which gives me some characteristics of the Utopia which I miss), and this headphone search is over. Nice, because I can now focus on my music :).
Curious as to which amp and DAC you used for your comparisons. Does the TC beat out the HD800S in all dimensions of the sound space? I thought maybe you would keep the bargain HD800s for that occasional pit of head experience.
 
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tunes

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I had the AHB2 speaker amp, not the HPA4 headphone amp. Unfortunately I sold it before getting the TC, but I have a feeling that the TC would sound great with it (the AHB2), and that it might synergize even better than with the Susvara, for instance.

Reason being is that I felt the AHB2 had a kind of "dynamic ceiling" in general (and not just with the Susvara). But because the TC is so naturally strong when it comes to dynamics, this might not be as much of an issue, thus letting the strengths of the AHB2 to come out with less of its limitations dragging it down (ie, sounding a lil "polite").

This is just speculation, though. Also, I can't say if driving the TC or other planars off the headphone amp version versus the AHB2 speaker amp would result in the same listening experience. Subtle differences in the resulting sonic signature between the two could easily tip the scales in one direction or another. People tend to assume (ie, speculate) that they'd sound essentially the same, but I'd have to hear them side-by-side to be properly convinced.

On the question of resulting tonality (and also, relatedly, of "tonal density") of the TC with one of the two Benchmark amps, that to me is an even more complicated question to reason about without hearing them in person. Aaand now I'm curious again...
It’s interesting that the AHB2 and HPA4 are so close in price. Some say the HPA4 has more than enough headroom and dynamic push to drive either the TC or Susvara. Others seem to think the Susvara needs more power. I hope both will be at the Benchmark booth at tha NYC CanJam this weekend. On another note, if you had to pick one over the other (Susvara vs TC) as an all time favorite for Jazz, female vocals and some Rock/Pop, which one could you part with? I know it’s a tough question.

Thanks and have fun this weekend. Hopefully one of these days we can meet.
 
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Curious as to which amp and DAC you used for your comparisons. Does the TC beat out the HD800S in all dimensions of the sound space? I thought maybe you would keep the bargain HD800s for that occasional pit of head experience.
I used my Hugo2 paired with an ifi Pro iCan for all my comparisons. The ifi amp in tube mode is a perfect partner for the HD800S since the bass circuit evens out the biggest weakness of the HD800S.
In short: it was (like with all phones) very hard to let go the HD800S because of the wonderful soundstage and also comfort in comparison to the abyss. But in the end, i decided that the HD800S lacks the visceral I impact of the abyss. This special oomph became a very integral part of the listening experience that I decided I could let go of the HD800S. But yes, for a classical music listener only, the sennheiser is a worthy contender for a friction of the price of current headphones, but only with xbass.
 
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jlbrach

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It’s interesting that the AHB2 and HPA4 are so close in price. Some say the HPA4 has more than enough headroom and dynamic push to drive either the TC or Susvara. Others seem to think the Susvara needs more power. I hope both will be at the Benchmark booth at tha NYC CanJam this weekend. On another note, if you had to pick one over the other (Susvara vs TC) as an all time favorite for Jazz, female vocals and some Rock/Pop, which one could you part with? I know it’s a tough question.

Thanks and have fun this weekend. Hopefully one of these days we can meet.
I find that whichever one I listen to last is the one I consider best which is another way of saying the susvara and TC are both so good that it is impossible to pick.....I do find the susvara easier to wear and more comfortable so there is that of course but the TC is just such an incredible and different experience....for the most part I find jazz best with the susvara and classic rock best with the TC but in reality both are simply wonderful with every type of music....I adjust my chord dave volume into my formula s/powerman and when I use the susvara the dave is at -3 and when I use the TC it is at -7
 
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Welps. Looks like WA33 Elite with Upgraded Tubes on way to me...

Tubes:
Takatsuki 274B
4 x KR 2A3HP's
4 x Gold Harmonix 6C45's

Basically everything same as JPS edition upgraded tubes except the rectifier. Anyone trial the differences between the KR rectifier versus the Takatsuki?

Pretty excited to say the least.
I can’t speak for the difference in the rectifier tubes, but as far as 300B tubes, the KR audio sounds much better than the Takatsuki.
 
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attmci

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I only purchased the UE 596 adapter & EH 6C45Pi's from Woo. I purchased the EML 2A3 (solid plates) due to their 5yr limited warranty, and I already had a few 596's from owning the WA6 for +/-5yrs.
I was looking for a 596 adapter and found you sold it long time ago. I highly doubt W O O had purchased all the 596s several years ago, and drives the price to crazy level. Do you think the 596 is a $350 rectifier tube???
 
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joseph69

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I was looking for a 596 adapter and found you sold it long time ago. I highly doubt W O O had purchased all the 596s several years ago, and drives the price to crazy level. Do you think the 596 is a $350 rectifier tube???
I sold my 596 adapter from Glenn and purchased the Woo adapter.
I've also had my 596 rectifier tubes ($150.00 each) since buying my WA6 +/-5yrs ago, and I'm still using my very first 596 out of the few that I have in my WA33 now. Why are you questioning "Do you think the 596 is a $350.00 rectifier tube???"
The question is, do you? Not quite sure I understand where you're going with your reply?

I highly doubt W O O had purchased all the 596s several years ago, and drives the price to crazy level.
?
 
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Arniesb

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I had the AHB2 speaker amp, not the HPA4 headphone amp. Unfortunately I sold it before getting the TC, but I have a feeling that the TC would sound great with it (the AHB2), and that it might synergize even better than with the Susvara, for instance.

Reason being is that I felt the AHB2 had a kind of "dynamic ceiling" in general (and not just with the Susvara). But because the TC is so naturally strong when it comes to dynamics, this might not be as much of an issue, thus letting the strengths of the AHB2 to come out with less of its limitations dragging it down (ie, sounding a lil "polite").

This is just speculation, though. Also, I can't say if driving the TC or other planars off the headphone amp version versus the AHB2 speaker amp would result in the same listening experience. Subtle differences in the resulting sonic signature between the two could easily tip the scales in one direction or another. People tend to assume (ie, speculate) that they'd sound essentially the same, but I'd have to hear them side-by-side to be properly convinced.

On the question of resulting tonality (and also, relatedly, of "tonal density") of the TC with one of the two Benchmark amps, that to me is an even more complicated question to reason about without hearing them in person. Aaand now I'm curious again...
Yet to hear speaker amp or headphone amp with switched power supply that sound great.
 
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tunes

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Yet to hear speaker amp or headphone amp with switched power supply that sound great.
So you are saying that both the Benchmark amps have switched power supplies and therefore are not as good as other amps that do not use a switched power supply?
 
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Arniesb

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So you are saying that both the Benchmark amps have switched power supplies and therefore are not as good as other amps that do not use a switched power supply?
There is a reason that vast mojority amps be it power amps or head amps use linear amps.
Switched supply is just all marketing bs.
Switched supplies require much less space and much less expense thus increasing profit.
 
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llamaluv

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Yet to hear speaker amp or headphone amp with switched power supply that sound great.
That's fine but what about the AHB2 or HPA4 in specific? Just curious...
 
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joseph69

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@attmci
Where else can you can buy a UE 596 betides Woo???
Maybe on where and there, but good luck buying from another vendor.
 
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