The JPS Labs: Abyss AB-1266 Impressions Thread
Feb 19, 2021 at 7:25 PM Post #14,101 of 19,189

littlej0e

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I also have synesthesia. I assumed most audiophiles had synethesia, but in another thread people were saying they didn't have it. For me, a really detailed dac (like a Chord DAVE) and a tube amp (like a WA33) produces extremely clear, unfiltered imaging, spacial positioning, and colors. I feel you need a clinical dac (not necessarily Chord, maybe dCS or MSB), and a tube amp (not necessarily a WA33, there are lots of options) to get a more 3D effect. The TC, Susvara, and SR1a produces the clearest images for me. I had the LCD4z, HD800, Utopias and they didn't produce the same level of clarity.

Is there a reason why you want a SS amp vs tube amp?

Oh, thank god! You are absolutely the guy I need to speak with!!!!!! Good to know I'm not alone! This has been nuts to deal with for SO long...

Nope, no real reason I want a SS other than it gives me better "impact," "feels," and imagery on the iCAN versus the tube and tube+ modes w/WE 396A tubes. I have literally no other experience to compare it to, just the iCAN. As for amps, if you guys (and you in particular) get better "symptoms" from tubes and an uber-clinical DAC I'm totally down. I will 100% take your advice here as I'm pretty much flying blind. I want the absolute best 3D imagery, spatial positioning, "impactfullness," and clarity I can possibly get. So if you had to pick the ultimate synesthesia setup what would it be? Also, the million dollar question for me is; does the highest of the high-end stuff produce better "symptoms" for people like us compared to "just" high-end? If so, I have my credit card standing by and I will sell my old kit here on Head-fi straight away. Much like you, I tried a couple of other headphones like the HD-820s, but I ended up selling them because the Ether Cs blew them almost completely out of the water from a symptoms and imactfullness perspective. I honestly have no clue why. I just ignorantly assumed it was due to some soft of black magic voodoo with planar versus dynamic drivers. Also, if you could chose only one out of the TC, Susvara, and SR1a which would it be? Which produces the most feels and imagery for you?
 
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Feb 19, 2021 at 7:31 PM Post #14,102 of 19,189

littlej0e

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@littlej0e

I find the TC Phi on the Milo Ref a really wonderful combo. I have the wa33 too and the TC Phi sounds amazing out of that tube amp as well, but there is a nice snappiness and immediacy of sound when the TC is paired with the Milo which I seem to enjoy a lot. I am even considering going for the headtrip ii or trying out their new tube amp when it gets released.

I've not tried the formula/powerman combo so don't know how that compares to the Milo.

Really appreciate the feedback! That's another vote for the WA33! I'll also have a look at the Milo and the Headtrip II. These decisions are so hard with so little experience and so much (highly objective) information available.
 
Feb 19, 2021 at 7:40 PM Post #14,103 of 19,189

JLoud

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I have the WA33 with the TC and is has superb imaging and a 3D sound stage. With good tubes it is also very fast and impactful. If money is not a concern the WA33ee JPS edition would be the bees 🐝 knees with your TC.
 
Feb 19, 2021 at 8:17 PM Post #14,104 of 19,189

jlbrach

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@littlej0e

I find the TC Phi on the Milo Ref a really wonderful combo. I have the wa33 too and the TC Phi sounds amazing out of that tube amp as well, but there is a nice snappiness and immediacy of sound when the TC is paired with the Milo which I seem to enjoy a lot. I am even considering going for the headtrip ii or trying out their new tube amp when it gets released.

I've not tried the formula/powerman combo so don't know how that compares to the Milo.
I owned the milo briefly...the formula s/powerman is far better IMHO but you must go with the powerman to get the true performance
 
Feb 19, 2021 at 8:59 PM Post #14,105 of 19,189

Ciggavelli

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Oh, thank god! You are absolutely the guy I need to speak with!!!!!! Good to know I'm not alone! This has been nuts to deal with for SO long...

Nope, no real reason I want a SS other than it gives me better "impact," "feels," and imagery on the iCAN versus the tube and tube+ modes w/WE 396A tubes. I have literally no other experience to compare it to, just the iCAN. As for amps, if you guys (and you in particular) get better "symptoms" from tubes and an uber-clinical DAC I'm totally down. I will 100% take your advice here as I'm pretty much flying blind. I want the absolute best 3D imagery, spatial positioning, "impactfullness," and clarity I can possibly get. So if you had to pick the ultimate synesthesia setup what would it be? Also, the million dollar question for me is; does the highest of the high-end stuff produce better "symptoms" for people like us compared to "just" high-end? If so, I have my credit card standing by and I will sell my old kit here on Head-fi straight away. Much like you, I tried a couple of other headphones like the HD-820s, but I ended up selling them because the Ether Cs blew them almost completely out of the water from a symptoms and imactfullness perspective. I honestly have no clue why. I just ignorantly assumed it was due to some soft of black magic voodoo with planar versus dynamic drivers. Also, if you could chose only one out of the TC, Susvara, and SR1a which would it be? Which produces the most feels and imagery for you?
If I had to choose only 1, it would be the TCs. Coming from the Ether Cs, you're in for a big treat. It's unbelievably better than the Ether Cs. It's 3D, has the most impactfullness of any headphone like ever. I don't want to just say look at my sig for what to buy, but I've built my chain specifically around 3D imagery, impactfullness, clarity. I listen to mostly metal and hip hop, but some indie as well. Unlimited budget, I'd get the following:
  • Woo Audio WA33 Elite Edition with JPS wiring and all upgraded tubes (pick what you like best) or Wells Audio Headtrip II level II (a good solid stage amp)
  • AByss 1266 Ph TCs with the Superconducter cable
  • Innuos Statement server/streamer
  • Chord DAVE and M-Scaler with the upgraded power supplies by Sean Jacobs, dCS Rossini with clock, or a full dCS Vivaldi stack (keep in mind that this is like $100K for your dac, but if you have the money....)
  • The best interconnect you can buy (you can test interconnects out for a small fee at TheCableCo).
  • WAVE bnc or SotM BNC cables
  • Best Power conditioner you can buy (Isotek, Audioquest, Synergistic Energy, etc.)
  • Best Power Cables you can buy. If you like the "Abyss" sound, get all JPS Aluminata cables.
Once you get used to that setup, pick up the Susvaras for a nice contrast with the TCs. Some people even use speaker amps. I think the WA33 is powerful enough though. It gives good bass and impact.

If you don't mind not listening to electronica or hip-hop try out the SR1a with the HSA-1b amp (using the WA33 as a pre-amp). It has the best clarity, speed, soundstage, and treble I've ever heard, but the bass is lacking for hip-hop or EDM, etc. I wouldn't recommend only getting the SR1as. The SR1as should be seen as a complimentary pair of headphone for specific albums genres.

I think you would be very happy with the above setup. A lot of us have TCs, Susvaras, Woo Audio and Wells Audio amps. Everybody has different cables. You probably need to just compare a bunch of high-end cables and see what you like best. It's pretty much just tailored to your tastes. Some cables are warm, some increase clarity. You just have to try a lot.
 
Feb 19, 2021 at 9:40 PM Post #14,106 of 19,189

branislav

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I have a question for Abyss owners...Do they stay on just fine when listening to music laying in bed? Some headphones seem to slide right off like Grado's so before I spend too much time looking into these, I need to know they would pass this test...thank you
 
Feb 19, 2021 at 9:57 PM Post #14,107 of 19,189

InstantSilence

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I have a question for Abyss owners...Do they stay on just fine when listening to music laying in bed? Some headphones seem to slide right off like Grado's so before I spend too much time looking into these, I need to know they would pass this test...thank you
No. No bed allowed. These aren't hang out, chill headphones.
Because of their fit.
You'd need something more traditional for bed.
 
Feb 19, 2021 at 9:59 PM Post #14,108 of 19,189

paradoxper

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Really appreciate the feedback! That's another vote for the WA33! I'll also have a look at the Milo and the Headtrip II. These decisions are so hard with so little experience and so much (highly objective) information available.
You should really consult with a dealer considering you have money, ambition, and particular conditions.
 
Feb 19, 2021 at 10:21 PM Post #14,110 of 19,189

InstantSilence

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No kidding? That sucks.
It doesn't clamp on your head like traditional fit cans do. It hovers very close, just touches the head... This means the top pad supports most weight.
There is no*looking down, only slightly * no leaning back... Only slightly... They call it design
I call it drawback

Most gripes about this headphone is the fit. Never the sound.
The fit is half the reason I'm exploring other options.

Anyways to add to that, is thst you can further *tune* the cans sound via placement of your ears inside the cup, changing sound quote drastically, some positions offer a more aggressive forward sound (the general tone of these cans) to some offering a more relaxed treble with better bass ect. Idk, you'll have to *adjust* them at the beginning... I couldn't keep my hands off of them for a while, but once you find your sweet spot.... All you gotta do is pick them up and go!
No more dlcking with them after a while...


With that said... Best bass ever!
 
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Feb 19, 2021 at 10:55 PM Post #14,111 of 19,189

tkam

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what custom cables is everyone using with their 1266 Tc's? pics please as well if possible :D

I'm using a Norne Silvergarde S4, far better ergonomics than the stock cable. It's much more flexible and I like how it looks.

IMG_0818.jpeg
 
Feb 19, 2021 at 11:32 PM Post #14,112 of 19,189

jlbrach

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I have a question for Abyss owners...Do they stay on just fine when listening to music laying in bed? Some headphones seem to slide right off like Grado's so before I spend too much time looking into these, I need to know they would pass this test...thank you
I listen to my abyss tc sitting on my bed with my back propped up and have no problem listening for long periods of time...the abyss is not a headphone to move around with and if you arent in a stable situation they would be a chore to use...they take some work but they are well worth the effort imho
 
Feb 19, 2021 at 11:33 PM Post #14,113 of 19,189

DJJEZ

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I'm using a Norne Silvergarde S4, far better ergonomics than the stock cable. It's much more flexible and I like how it looks.

IMG_0818.jpeg

Thats stunning. Thanks for the pic
 
Feb 19, 2021 at 11:49 PM Post #14,114 of 19,189

Litlgi74

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No kidding? That sucks.
I only use mine while lying in bed... A firm (I use a Casper) pillow will keep them from sinking and reducing the bass. The pillow also takes all the weight... But forget about falling asleep to your music... You might hurt yourself if you roll over... Lol
 
Feb 20, 2021 at 12:10 AM Post #14,115 of 19,189

littlej0e

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If I had to choose only 1, it would be the TCs. Coming from the Ether Cs, you're in for a big treat. It's unbelievably better than the Ether Cs. It's 3D, has the most impactfullness of any headphone like ever. I don't want to just say look at my sig for what to buy, but I've built my chain specifically around 3D imagery, impactfullness, clarity. I listen to mostly metal and hip hop, but some indie as well. Unlimited budget, I'd get the following:
  • Woo Audio WA33 Elite Edition with JPS wiring and all upgraded tubes (pick what you like best) or Wells Audio Headtrip II level II (a good solid stage amp)
  • AByss 1266 Ph TCs with the Superconducter cable
  • Innuos Statement server/streamer
  • Chord DAVE and M-Scaler with the upgraded power supplies by Sean Jacobs, dCS Rossini with clock, or a full dCS Vivaldi stack (keep in mind that this is like $100K for your dac, but if you have the money....)
  • The best interconnect you can buy (you can test interconnects out for a small fee at TheCableCo).
  • WAVE bnc or SotM BNC cables
  • Best Power conditioner you can buy (Isotek, Audioquest, Synergistic Energy, etc.)
  • Best Power Cables you can buy. If you like the "Abyss" sound, get all JPS Aluminata cables.
Once you get used to that setup, pick up the Susvaras for a nice contrast with the TCs. Some people even use speaker amps. I think the WA33 is powerful enough though. It gives good bass and impact.

If you don't mind not listening to electronica or hip-hop try out the SR1a with the HSA-1b amp (using the WA33 as a pre-amp). It has the best clarity, speed, soundstage, and treble I've ever heard, but the bass is lacking for hip-hop or EDM, etc. I wouldn't recommend only getting the SR1as. The SR1as should be seen as a complimentary pair of headphone for specific albums genres.

I think you would be very happy with the above setup. A lot of us have TCs, Susvaras, Woo Audio and Wells Audio amps. Everybody has different cables. You probably need to just compare a bunch of high-end cables and see what you like best. It's pretty much just tailored to your tastes. Some cables are warm, some increase clarity. You just have to try a lot.

Thanks for taking the time to put all of this together! This is the EXACT end result I'm looking for and you are one of the few people that truly understand what I'm after. I'm going to build this setup to a T! I guess I'll start looking for used parts, pieces, and deals wherever I can find them. This is surely going to wreck the hell out of my wallet, but It'll clearly be worth it in the end. Buy once, cry once. I can't tell you how excited I am to experience all of this...

This is likely the upgrade path I'm going to take:
  • Abyss 1266 Phi TC w/superconductor (already purchased the "deluxe" version w/SC cable. Should be here in about a 4-6 weeks). Thanks for the validation btw. I can't wait to hear these compared to the Ether Cs.
  • Woo Audio WA33. Not sure if I'll go with the elite version or the custom version on Abyss's website that is built specifically for the 1266 TC. I must be missing something as the elite version is like 10k more. Better internals obviously, but does that actually result in better sound and symptoms? If so, screw it -elite version it is. Again...buy once, cry once...
  • Chord Dave - I'll likely go used as the availability in the second hard market appears to be "OK."
  • M-scaler - I can't wait to see what this little thing can do! Quite intriguing!
  • Upgraded power supplies by Sean Jacobs (or I'll include them with the Dave and M-scaler straight away if I can find a good deal)
  • Wave BNC cables
  • Power conditioner
  • Power cables
  • Interconnect cables (I will absolutely test the interconnects at TheCableCo).
  • Server streamer. I may or may not get one of these. Not sure yet.
Lastly, thank you SO MUCH for sharing all of this and letting me capitalize off of your trial and error, successes, mistakes, countless hours of fiddling and experimentation, etc. etc., etc. I really can't thank you enough.
 
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