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They might be Kings: Focal Utopia, Sony MDR-Z1R, HiFiMan Susvara, HE1000 V2, MrSpeakers Ether Flow & Meze Empyrean

Discussion in 'Currawong' started by currawong, Mar 6, 2017.
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  1. moemoney
    I have the HEK v2 connected to the Woo Audio WA 22 ver. 2 and it’s my humble opinion HEK v2 Will benefit more with a powerful amp.
    Gibson59 likes this.
  2. joseph69
    Have you had the opportunity to hear any of these headphones/amps?
  3. DelsFan

    At one of the local headphone meets I heard most of the Audezes, but not the LCD-4, Also the Focal Elear, and the Ether Flows.
    I'm headed down to a meet in Atlanta in early May, where the Stax SR-009 (and the VOCE) plus Blue Hawaii SE will be available for listening. I'll be surprised if some version of the HE1000s are not there also, along with some decent (or great, like Head-Amp) non-electrostatic amplifiers. BUT, yes, I am flying in the dark a little (lot) until then.

    While wary of making a purchase based only on reviews, all the MZ3 reviews I've read indicate its performance is stunning. One example:

    In my review of the LTA MZ2S amp, I said, “It sounded so good and so different from my Pass Labs XA30.8 or the Wavac EC300B; the two amps I have lived with for so many years. Here is a quick list is the five ways that the LTA MZ2S was different and better:
    1. It is much quieter, which I found hard to believe.
    2. It’s much more detailed in a natural and musical way.
    3. It provides an exceptional see-through quality into the layers of the music.
    4. The scale is very accurate regarding each instrument.
    5. The soundstage is very coherent, solid and huge.”
    Well the LTA ZOTL MK3 is even quieter, more detailed and is the most natural-sounding amp I have ever heard. It has the same see-through quality into the layers of the music, but the scale of the instruments is even more natural, and it has an even better tone.

    Is there a better amp than the MZ3? Probably. If you purchased this amp and never heard its competitors, would you remain thrilled over the long haul? Probably.
    Natural sound and a design that allows tubes to last (up to) 10,000 hours. What's not to like? If one doesn't go the electrostatic route...
  4. Currawong Contributor
    I've been wanting to do something better than my usual style for a while now, so my video review has taken longer than planned. While I was making it I shot this:

    Lucky87, 21qz, Pokemonn and 1 other person like this.
  5. kumar402
    Wow some serious high end stuff there.
    Is it Cayin N8 and Empy with Norne copper cable?
    Hit the nail on the head.
    Today! Junior! How long can I possibly wait on this review? I'm just kidding btw.
  8. tuby sound
    I was about to post something lengthy stating that I too find outrageous that you can spend $3000 on headphones - then I saw this post and it really is the market that drives prices up.

    I come from the car audio field and now am into home audio.
    I'm in the camp that no headphones should cost this much - not if you compare the cost of raw materials for building a headphone VS raw materials needed to build a PAIR of floorstanders
    I'm not talking about the reward you get with headphone's sound quality VS home audio - only comparing raw materials
    R&D cost should be about the same for prototypes and all

    I just don't understand lol

    I can spend $3000 for a headphone no problem but I won't allow me to - I've fixed my limit to $800 (maybe $1000 at most)

    Glad I found this forum years ago, did not post much but been doing some research and now concluded that I don't need to spend this much in order to enjoy music.
    Please continue to review TOTL headphones, it is entertaining to read :)

  9. Currawong Contributor
    It's not the raw materials that are the issue though. It's the research required to get them to sound right and fit well. Floor-standers only have to... stand on the floor.

    Anyhow, I finally got it done. Tried something of a different format with this one.

    RCBinTN, Pharmaboy and Ragnar-BY like this.
  10. moemoney
    As the old saying goes to each his own but if you can find a headphone that sounds as good as my HEK V2 for under $800.00 please post it.
    Gibson59 likes this.
  11. PointyFox


    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
  12. Rowethren
    Is that a Charizard?
  13. kid vic
    The Hifiman Arya in 8 months to a year...
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  14. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Ha ha, so funny. I love HiFi Man, but I totally feel what you are saying. They seem to know how to parasitize their own lineup.
  15. tuby sound
    Hi Currawong,
    Actually, headphones and floorstanders do have a few things in common:
    Tuning: freq response and distortion
    Minimizing reflections: for headphones it requires felt/foam inside the cup, can also be used between the ear and the driver, also the size or shape of the cup - for open headphones it can be with a combination of felt and grill shape and pattern
    For floorstanders, you have to try the floorstander in rooms of different size and shape in order to know how the speaker interacts and deals with reflections in the room - you can work with the room or against it...
    Type of driver: planar, horn, dynamic, ribbon, electrostatic, flat planel, heil air motion, etc...
    Sound form: How the sound arrives to the ear and if it has a lot of reflected sound or not - for floorstanders you also have to account for body torso // size and shape of the ear matters of course

    What floorstanders have to deal with:
    Type of speaker: open-baffle, horn, single driver, standmount, etc...
    Number of speakers: 1,2,3 tweeters? 1,2,3 midranges? 1,2,3 midbasses? No midbass? integrated subwoofer?
    Crossovers: I know some headphones are hybrid but I do not think that the crossover section is as complicated as some floorstanders
    Passive or active: Most floorstanders are passive, there's a couple that are fully active
    Integrated amp: Some are semi-active and require an amp or two for the upper register - most of the time, integrated amp are connected to the midbass/subwoofer portion

    What headphones have to deal with:
    Comfort: self-explanatory
    Weight: same here

    I'm probably missing some stuffs but as you can see, research required to get them to sound right is probably more complicated than you thought it would be for floorstanders
    As I stated previously, they have a lot more in common than most think...


    PS: sorry if I'm not making much sense, native language here is french :D
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