The Watercooler-- Impressions, philosophical discussion and general banter. Index on first page. All welcome.
Aug 9, 2022 at 6:45 AM Post #31,696 of 41,036

Whazzzup

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HD800 bass is outstanding - speed, quality and texture. But no source I know of will get it to dig deep into the sub like a closed headphone or nuclear-powered planar.

Bass weight/quantity is not what the HD800 is about. It's a soundstage/imaging/separation/timbre/resolution king for classical, jazz and acoustic music, and still among the very best available today when it comes to those genres.
True I’d never call these bass canons and I am talking hd800S
 
Aug 9, 2022 at 6:46 AM Post #31,697 of 41,036

Nostoi

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what is your source, I mean how is it possible hd800S bass isn’t all it should be? I have th900 as a bass cannon and see how it robs the mids to achieve its slam and at the expense added sibilance. For that I can see another sub 2g hp get replaced by 1266 but sheesh.
I don't have the HD800s anymore, but I remain a fan. I used to run them from Woo Audio WA8, and they were very satisfying on every level.

My only claim - which I don't think is controversial - is that if you're looking for a meaty/weighty bass, you won't find it in HD800s. That said, the WA8 pairing did offer an elevation in the mid-bass which hit the mark.

The only open back that I've had which has slam of a closed-back in bass is the Final Audio D8000 Pro (and non-Pro, too).
 
Aug 9, 2022 at 6:46 AM Post #31,698 of 41,036

HiFiHawaii808

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I had a sneaky suspicion MDR-Z1R might be the answer, seems logical. Is it comfortable for long sessions - like a couple of hours?

It just goes to show you how different we all hear things. The Sony MDR-Z1R doesn't make my top 10 full sized best headphones list. To my ear, it is unlistenable and compressed. The list of attributes you say you want is basically everything. No headphone excels in everything. Same is true with IEMs. Every headphone is better at some things than others. You need to pick what you want to optimize to and then go with that. If you want great bass, you pick 1266TC, Utopia, Clear, or ZMF Verite Closed. If you want sound stage, you pick HD800S or Atrium. If you want mids, you pick Susvara or Utopia or any ZMF headphone. For @gLer to say the MDR-Z1R excels at everything is just him romanticizing what he likes and owns. It is simply not true or everyone would be buying only the MDR-Z1R and there are as many people who really dislike it than like it. If you have the same taste in music as he does, then that might work for you. Otherwise, you need to be a bit more judicious in your choices and audition a wide variety of headphones before imprinting on something. And headphones are much more source picky than IEMs.
 
Aug 9, 2022 at 6:50 AM Post #31,699 of 41,036

RTodd

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Jewel has been an itch I had to scratch since it first arrived on the scene, especially with early impressions of it surpassing Traillii for some... absolute FOMO of the highest degree! Now that I have it, I completely understand the high praise it receives. Here comes the 'however' - I do not think one is better than the other as such, both offer a unique take on top tier audio and absolutely complementary in my collection, I honestly couldn't be happier with how my library is now served between them. I'm not even sure I could rank one above the other tbh, especially now with Martini on Traillii.
That is how I felt over a year ago when I got the last of the first batch of Mason FS Andrew had. After I spent a few days with Mason, actually a week, and than switched back to Traillii, I thought Mason is better for me. Than a few hours in and Traillii started to come in front again. Switching back after a few days and Mason just did not quite do it at the same level, few hours in and Mason again seemed the one. Well brain burn clearly at work here and the nuances setting one from the other are subtle to me.

I did have Jewell in my ears for 4 straight hours, and I appreciated it though it did not create in my listening the level of quiet smile the Traillii does.

Now after a year with both Mason and Traillii and plenty of time, I hear Traillii to be in the front it is perhaps just the time in, how many times I have listened to a thousand or more of my absolutely favorite albums. Like the one I am listening to now Eliane Elias Plays Jobim from 1989. I must admit though the XE6 is winning this battle right now and the one set that sounds the most complimentary to the Traillii for my taste.
 
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Aug 9, 2022 at 6:51 AM Post #31,700 of 41,036

HiFiHawaii808

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I don't have the HD800s anymore, but I remain a fan. I used to run them from Woo Audio WA8, and they were very satisfying on every level.

My only claim - which I don't think is controversial - is that if you're looking for a meaty/weighty bass, you won't find it in HD800s. That said, the WA8 pairing did offer an elevation in the mid-bass which hit the mark.

The only open back that I've had which has slam of a closed-back in bass is the Final Audio D8000 Pro (and non-Pro, too).

My 1266TC and Utopias slam hard and with great quality and resolution. The weakness of the 1266TC is its mids. The weakness of the Utopia is its sound stage size. So, my best pairing for the 1266TC is with my tube amp. The Utopia is best with Ferrum Orr with Danacable Lazuli reference with really deepens the bass and improves resolution and therefore the perception of stage size. Both blow away all of my IEMs by a large margin including Traillii and Jewel.
 
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Aug 9, 2022 at 6:53 AM Post #31,701 of 41,036

immortalsoul

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Denon ah-d9200? B-stock are 750, waiting for a pair myself. Not heard them yet but bass seems to be a big tick in the box for them. M9 might also well be a better pairing then N8ii for upper mids / lower treble.

Focal although easy to drive probably aren't in the running due to lack of bass emphasis, plus the beryllium drivers are very noticeable.

Not sure how easy to drive ZMF are, another favourite.
Can you please provide a link where can we buy the Denon ah-d9200 for 750. Thank you!
 
Aug 9, 2022 at 6:55 AM Post #31,702 of 41,036

Nostoi

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My 1266TC and Utopias slam hard and with great quality and resolution. The weakness of the 1266TC is its mids. The weakness of the Utopia is its treble. So, my best pairing for the 1266TC is with my tube amp. The Utopia is best wiht Ferrum Orr with Danacable Lazuli reference with really deepens the bass and improves resolution. Both blow away all of my IEMs by a large margin including Traillii and Jewel.
I've yet to hear the 1266TC - they remain a gap in my experience - I did have a chance to compare Utopia and D8000 Pro recently and thought the latter offered a more impactful and textured bass response (I also had clipping on the Utopia driver, so if you're genre of choice is EDM/ambient with lots of elevated sub-bass, something to be aware of). That said, Utopia win points on comfort, they're easy to drive, and nicely balanced.
 
Aug 9, 2022 at 6:57 AM Post #31,703 of 41,036

kevin638880

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Cooler survey: What is your 12? Full size, IEMs and buds welcome...but you get only 12 total collectively.
1. Phonix
2. XE6
3. EXT
4. Erlkonig
5. Dita Perpetua
6. Odin
7. U12t
8. IE900
9. Trio
10. Kublai Khan
11. Elysium



& Focal Utopia
 
Aug 9, 2022 at 7:10 AM Post #31,704 of 41,036

gLer

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It just goes to show you how different we all hear things. The Sony MDR-Z1R doesn't make my top 10 full sized best headphones list. To my ear, it is unlistenable and compressed. The list of attributes you say you want is basically everything. No headphone excels in everything. Same is true with IEMs. Every headphone is better at some things than others. You need to pick what you want to optimize to and then go with that. If you want great bass, you pick 1266TC, Utopia, Clear, or ZMF Verite Closed. If you want sound stage, you pick HD800S or Atrium. If you want mids, you pick Susvara or Utopia or any ZMF headphone. For @gLer to say the MDR-Z1R excels at everything is just him romanticizing what he likes and owns. It is simply not true or everyone would be buying only the MDR-Z1R and there are as many people who really dislike it than like it. If you have the same taste in music as he does, then that might work for you. Otherwise, you need to be a bit more judicious in your choices and audition a wide variety of headphones before imprinting on something. And headphones are much more source picky than IEMs.
Without getting into a mudsling, I don't recall saying the Z1R excels at everything. :thinking: But it gets closest to @Scuba Devils' list than any other headphone I've personally used or owned, and it doesn't require multiple thousands in source hardware to drive properly. It's also one of the more comfortable headphones, which immediately rules out the big, heavy planars.

I wouldn't pick Utopia for sub-bass even if I had unlimited budget (almost any decent IEM betters it for sub-bass), and don't get me started on Utopia's stage size. It's also got treble that will send you screaming with the wrong source. ZMFs are a good bet for sure, but again require beefy hardware to drive properly. So if you want a headphone with deep, powerful sub-bass, transparent/lush mids, treble that won't spike your eardrum, a generous stage with excellent technicalities, and all-day wearing comfort, plus the bonus of easy pairings, all for a reasonable price, I can't say I've personally heard anything that comes close. Possibly the Empyrean Elite, but I haven't spent enough time with it to be sure, and it's not a cheap option.

All the above is even more on point given what I know of Scubi's musical tastes. Electronic/ambient on the Z1R is mesmerising.
 
Aug 9, 2022 at 7:22 AM Post #31,705 of 41,036

mico1964

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Cooler survey: What is your 12? Full size, IEMs and buds welcome...but you get only 12 total collectively.

Oriolus Traillii JP
Aroma Audio Jewel
Fir Audio Xenon 6
Vision Ears Phönix
Empire Ears Odin
Empire Ears Legend EVO
Vision Ears EXT
64 Audio U12t
Sony IER-Z1R
InEar ProPhile 8 small
Sennheiser IE 900
UM MEST Indigo
 
Aug 9, 2022 at 7:22 AM Post #31,706 of 41,036

RTodd

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Without getting into a mudsling, I don't recall saying the Z1R excels at everything. :thinking: But it gets closest to @Scuba Devils' list than any other headphone I've personally used or owned, and it doesn't require multiple thousands in source hardware to drive properly. It's also one of the more comfortable headphones, which immediately rules out the big, heavy planars.

I wouldn't pick Utopia for sub-bass even if I had unlimited budget (almost any decent IEM betters it for sub-bass), and don't get me started on Utopia's stage size. It's also got treble that will send you screaming with the wrong source. ZMFs are a good bet for sure, but again require beefy hardware to drive properly. So if you want a headphone with deep, powerful sub-bass, transparent/lush mids, treble that won't spike your eardrum, a generous stage with excellent technicalities, and all-day wearing comfort, plus the bonus of easy pairings, all for a reasonable price, I can't say I've personally heard anything that comes close. Possibly the Empyrean Elite, but I haven't spent enough time with it to be sure, and it's not a cheap option.

All the above is even more on point given what I know of Scubi's musical tastes. Electronic/ambient on the Z1R is mesmerising.
I am a rather simple guy, headphones mean being tied to a chair for me, so rarely get used.

Give me a Focal Clear and I am very satisfied. Similar to the thoughts you have with the Sony. Very comfortable can be driven by a phone, music sounds amazing. To walk around the world with even a comfortable can like this on I do not do. Maybe I have a camera with me, maybe I am working with paint or plaster, cans are not unobtrusive enough to my space.
 
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Aug 9, 2022 at 7:26 AM Post #31,707 of 41,036

kevin638880

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The IEMs shown yesterday are not strictly my BIG 12, but I'd be happy to answer your questions about the FS and VE series. The main reason is that the cables, the Pegasus and Horus Octa, and the Brise Audio Yatono Ultimate have very different performances. I enjoy the different experiences they give me when paired with other cables.:laughing:
Damn, I'd love to hear the Pegasus....only have the Phoenix V2.
 
Aug 9, 2022 at 7:31 AM Post #31,708 of 41,036

gLer

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I am a rather simple guy, headphones mean being tied to a chair for me, so rarely get used.

Give me a Focal Clear and I am very satisfied. Similar to the thoughts you have with the Sony. Very comfortable can be driven by a phone, music sounds amazing, to walk around the world with even a comfortable can like this on I do not do. Maybe I have a camera with me, maybe I am working with paint or plaster, cans are not unobtrusive enough to my space.
I haven't heard the Clear, but I had the Elex (or Elear with Elex pads, as it's otherwise known), and enjoyed it very much. Easy to drive, not fatiguing like Utopia, great sound with enough warmth and technicalities for most genres. It loses to the Z1R in build quality and comfort, but is more portable in terms of size. I can't imagine walking outside with a Z1R on my head, but then I can't imagine walking outside with full-size headphones of any ilk. The main reason I didn't get the Clear at the time was actually the grey fabric pads and headband. I saw what those things look like after extended use without some sort of cover, and it's nasty! 🤢😅
 
Aug 9, 2022 at 7:31 AM Post #31,709 of 41,036

KickAssChewGum

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Cooler survey: What is your 12? Full size, IEMs and buds welcome...but you get only 12 total collectively.
At the moment...

1) Oriolus Trailli
2) Fir XE6
3) VE EXT
4) EE Legend EVO
5) EE Odin
6) IMR Dark Matter
7) 64 Audio U12t
8) Fir KR5
9) Thieaudio Monarch MKII
10) Softears Cerberus
11) Oriolus Szalayi
12) Softears RSV
 
Aug 9, 2022 at 7:36 AM Post #31,710 of 41,036

RTodd

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I haven't heard the Clear, but I had the Elex (or Elear with Elex pads, as it's otherwise known), and enjoyed it very much. Easy to drive, not fatiguing like Utopia, great sound with enough warmth and technicalities for most genres. It loses to the Z1R in build quality and comfort, but is more portable in terms of size. I can't imagine walking outside with a Z1R on my head, but then I can't imagine walking outside with full-size headphones of any ilk. The main reason I didn't get the Clear at the time was actually the grey fabric pads and headband. I saw what those things look like after extended use without some sort of cover, and it's nasty! 🤢😅
My Clear still looks the same as when I bought it 5 years ago. Than again not much use.
Next to my reading chair, and I have been traveling and working in the studio a lot.

900CD140-32BC-49B9-A13C-165A7C2A8049.jpeg
 
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