Time to go Planar!

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Fretless
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Time to go Planar!

Unread post by Fretless »

Wherever you look for information about headphones these days, there is an enormous buzz about planar designs. These are fitted with flat, magnetostatic drivers like those found in Magnepan loudspeakers - of which I had a set once and was very impressed by the open, detailed character of the reproduction. Similarly, there are also electrostatic designs that need more power to drive them and I owned a set of Audio-Technica ATH-7 in the dim and distant past; they ran off the speaker outputs of an amplifier and had their own little transformer box.

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I remember them as being incredibly detailed and dynamic, needless to say I wore them out to complete distruction. So the planar concept isn't new to me, but I have been in a voyage through the world of headphones since I began as a budding audiophile and many have spent time on my ears: Sennheiser, AKG, Koss, B&W, AudioQuest, HarmonicDyne, Meze, Grado, Sony, Philips, German Maestro / MB Quart and I've probably missed a few - I think the current stand is about 10-12 pairs in various parts of the house.

With my habit of having small-scale digital installations littered throughout the old farmhouse, I tend to need different cans for different places. The lounge requires a set of closed-back for use when the better half is indulging in her TV - reality shows & soaps, the business office need open-backs so I can listen out for the telephone or if I'm needed. bedroom - music to relax. and so on. Me being me, I also crave the best sound I can find and headphones remain the cheapest way to get that high-level audio experience.

So. this year has seen me discovering that Facebook is a fun place to be for the hifi-nut and there are groups dedicated to the most obscure aspects of the hobby - including headphones. And on those, the planars from the likes of Audeze, Monoprice and Hifiman receive an awful lot of attention - my nose started twitching and I began to look more closely at what was available.

Damn Amazon! it's a terrible place and can make the impossible attainable. Some sort of algorithm decided to temporarily price the Hifiman Sundara at under €300 (normally €349 everywhere) and my resistance was futile. Ordered and delivered.

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The Sundara is one of the cheaper models in the Hifiman range but you wouldn't know that from the build and sound. They look really cool with large round pads that have a mesh-like grille. Comfort is superb and they are not heavy - inviting for long listening-sessions. Advice was not to use the supplied cable and I got an affordable ChiFi OCC silver-plate lead from Amazon at the same time. Plugged the whole lot into the MF XCanV3 in the office and away we go.

Sound at first was intriguing; full, spacious, dynamic, amazing detail but with a slightly brash top end. This would go with burn-in I had read - and it did. To become lush and expressive with no edgy nasties. I haven't compared these to other cans (yet) as I am enjoying them for what they are but, in my experience, you would have to shell out a lot more dosh to improve on these.

Now my thirst for that 'planar sound' had been aroused and I started looking for a closed-back set for the sitting-room. And yes, Amazon (them again) had reduced the price of the Monolith 1060C from €270 to €190. Sod it, you only turn 60 once! They're coming next week.

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Stay tuned ....

:music-listening:
These users thanked the author Fretless for the post (total 2):
Latteman (Sat Oct 22, 2022 6:56 am) • George Hincapie (Mon Oct 24, 2022 1:01 am)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Signature Jr. + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiAllo DigiOne SIG + Arcam CD62T + Metrum Musette
NVA: P50sa - A40s - Cube2 - SSP - LS6
CansHifiman Sundara + Sabaj A10h
Downstairs:
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Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Signature MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 (phono) - PSU - A40 - BMU+ Arcam One
Headphone rig:
Digi
Tinkerboard + Oehlbach Masterclock + DacMagic Plus
CansMonoprice Monolith M1060C / M1070 + Sabaj PHA3

antonio66
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Re: Time to go Planar !

Unread post by antonio66 »

You'll be opening a shop soon Fretless. Why not just go the whole hog and treat yourself to some Stax.
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Fretless (Sat Oct 22, 2022 6:41 am) • George Hincapie (Mon Oct 24, 2022 1:02 am)

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Re: Time to go Planar !

Unread post by savvypaul »

I had a pair of Audeze LCD2 for a couple of years, and I now have hifiman Arya. I think both are planar. They sound very different, though.
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Fretless (Sat Oct 22, 2022 10:47 am)
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Re: Time to go Planar !

Unread post by antonio66 »

I also had a pair of LCD 2's, they lasted approx 2 days until a pair of Sennheiser HD700 arrived through the post. I also preferred my PSB M4U2's, I thought the Audeze sounded 'shut in'.

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Re: Time to go Planar !

Unread post by George Hincapie »

savvypaul wrote: Sat Oct 22, 2022 10:07 am I had a pair of Audeze LCD2 for a couple of years, and I now have hifiman Arya. I think both are planar. They sound very different, though.
LCDX are most like Sundara presentation. I went Arya instead of switching brands.

I will be adding to the collection soon. Another set of headphones to join the collection. Very expensive, but not Susvara expensive. Lots of updates to my thread next week when I return to the UK. Sorry to keep you waiting.
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antonio66 (Mon Oct 24, 2022 5:27 am) • Fretless (Mon Oct 24, 2022 8:35 am)
Main System
Metrum Acoustics Ambre • Metrum Acoustics Adagio • Metrum Acoustics Forte • NVA Cube 1

Headphone System
Denafrips Iris • Denafrips Ares II • Linear Tube Audio MZ3 • Sundara • Arya Stealth

Cables
NVA TIS • NVA TSCS • Blue Jeans • Periapt

Power
Farad • Tomanek

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Roon • Tidal • Qobuz • AudioLab 6000CDT

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George Hincapie
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Re: Time to go Planar !

Unread post by George Hincapie »

I love my Sundara Fretless. So comfortable. Excellent SQ. They scale with equipment too. Bargain of the century at that price.
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Fretless (Mon Oct 24, 2022 8:35 am)
Main System
Metrum Acoustics Ambre • Metrum Acoustics Adagio • Metrum Acoustics Forte • NVA Cube 1

Headphone System
Denafrips Iris • Denafrips Ares II • Linear Tube Audio MZ3 • Sundara • Arya Stealth

Cables
NVA TIS • NVA TSCS • Blue Jeans • Periapt

Power
Farad • Tomanek

Sources
Roon • Tidal • Qobuz • AudioLab 6000CDT

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Fretless
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Re: Time to go Planar !

Unread post by Fretless »

Just as an aside, this is the cable I got from Amazon. Calls itself: "6N OCC Copper Silver Plated Upgrade Audio Cable 3.5mm Jack and 6.3mm Adapter Compatible with Hifiman Sundara". Really smart with the wood-finished plugs and feels like a good-quality product. Sound Quality is excellent.

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Expecting the Monolith M1060C later today. :dance:
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George Hincapie (Mon Oct 24, 2022 3:58 pm)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Signature Jr. + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiAllo DigiOne SIG + Arcam CD62T + Metrum Musette
NVA: P50sa - A40s - Cube2 - SSP - LS6
CansHifiman Sundara + Sabaj A10h
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Signature MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 (phono) - PSU - A40 - BMU+ Arcam One
Headphone rig:
Digi
Tinkerboard + Oehlbach Masterclock + DacMagic Plus
CansMonoprice Monolith M1060C / M1070 + Sabaj PHA3

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Fretless
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Re: Time to go Planar !

Unread post by Fretless »

George Hincapie wrote: Mon Oct 24, 2022 12:20 am I went Arya instead of switching brands.
The Arya look good but are out of my reach. :pray:

Interested to see what your next upgrade is. :epopc:
These users thanked the author Fretless for the post:
George Hincapie (Mon Oct 24, 2022 3:58 pm)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Signature Jr. + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiAllo DigiOne SIG + Arcam CD62T + Metrum Musette
NVA: P50sa - A40s - Cube2 - SSP - LS6
CansHifiman Sundara + Sabaj A10h
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Signature MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 (phono) - PSU - A40 - BMU+ Arcam One
Headphone rig:
Digi
Tinkerboard + Oehlbach Masterclock + DacMagic Plus
CansMonoprice Monolith M1060C / M1070 + Sabaj PHA3

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savvypaul
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Re: Time to go Planar !

Unread post by savvypaul »

George Hincapie wrote: Mon Oct 24, 2022 12:23 am I love my Sundara Fretless. So comfortable. Excellent SQ. They scale with equipment too. Bargain of the century at that price.
I also have some Sundaras, here. They are definitely very good for the money.
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Fretless (Mon Oct 24, 2022 10:04 am) • George Hincapie (Mon Oct 24, 2022 3:57 pm)
I am in the hi-fi trade
Status: Manufacturer
Company Name: NVA Hi-Fi
https://nvahifi.co.uk/

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Re: Time to go Planar !

Unread post by savvypaul »

antonio66 wrote: Sat Oct 22, 2022 4:09 pm I also had a pair of LCD 2's, they lasted approx 2 days until a pair of Sennheiser HD700 arrived through the post. I also preferred my PSB M4U2's, I thought the Audeze sounded 'shut in'.
I had the 'Fazor' version of the LCD-2, which (I'm told) is a little more open than the original.
I am in the hi-fi trade
Status: Manufacturer
Company Name: NVA Hi-Fi
https://nvahifi.co.uk/

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