Time to go Planar!

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Fretless
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Re: Time to go Planar !

Unread post by Fretless »

Life's a beach ... :music-listen:

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These users thanked the author Fretless for the post (total 3):
CycleCoach (Thu Nov 03, 2022 3:15 pm) • antonio66 (Fri Nov 04, 2022 7:03 am) • George Hincapie (Fri Nov 04, 2022 6:42 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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George Hincapie
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Re: Time to go Planar !

Unread post by George Hincapie »

How are they? The pads look super comfortable.
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 »

George Hincapie wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 6:44 pm How are they? The pads look super comfortable.
Awesome! :dance:

Still running them in. :music-listening:
These users thanked the author Fretless for the post:
George Hincapie (Fri Nov 04, 2022 9:52 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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George Hincapie
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Re: Time to go Planar !

Unread post by George Hincapie »

Fretless wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 7:57 pm
George Hincapie wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 6:44 pm How are they? The pads look super comfortable.
Awesome! :dance:

Still running them in. :music-listening:
How would you describe the presentation and sonic qualities? I've never had the opportunity to listen to them. They absolutely look the part though don't they? I love those grills :)
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 »

At this moment in time, the Monoprice M1070 are £212 at Amazon UK which is an absolute steal.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Monolith-Headp ... 179&sr=8-1

Everything about these cans is BIG. The drivers are huge, the pads thick and (very) comfy, and the sound ....?

Massive !

They just sound incredible (to me) but I've never heard Audeze headphones so any comparison will be with cans I know - and most directly the Hifiman Sundara.

Sundara's are a triumph of delicacy and finesse, air and space, placement and definition. Whereas the M1070 blasts in with a rich, dark fullness that envelops and transports you. Not that anything is bloated or overblown, it's just - big, smooth, solid and authoritative. Then you notice the crystalline clarity of that planar detail and the soundstage is vast, way more than the Sundara.

A 'must' test track for me on headphones is 'Down on the Farm' from Camel's 'Breathless'. Penned by Richard Sinclair this is an amusing romp through rural life with a constant stream of subtle sound effects in the background.
Well, I have NEVER heard this like it is presented with the M1070. Richard's vocals are often hard to follow but here every word is distinct. And each cow, duck, tractor, woof etc. comes clearly over.

Chalk and cheese, Sundara and M1070. Both have found a place in my daily listening - along with the closed-back M1060C that shares qualities with both the above.

M1070. Sound huge. Wide soundstage, phenomenal detail, comfy (if on the heavy side), build quality - don't complain at this price.

Love 'em.

:romance-cloud9:
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George Hincapie (Sat Nov 05, 2022 10:42 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:
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 »

Sunday morning and a weekend free from work (unusual). Sat enjoying some sounds on the 'upstairs' setup and thought I would do a mini shoot-out with several pairs of headphones that were assembled there.

Shot 1:
Using the headphone output from the Cambridge Alva Duo phono stage:

Winner: AQ NightHawk (original 'wood' version)
2. Monolith M1070
3. Philips Fidelio X2HR
4. HarmonicDyne Zeus
5. HifiMan Sundara
6. German Maestro GMP 450


Shot 2:
Using the headphone output from the Cambridge DacMagic Plus DAC:

Winner: Monolith M1070
2. AQ NightHawk (original 'wood' version)
3. Philips Fidelio X2HR
4. HifiMan Sundara
5. HarmonicDyne Zeus
6. German Maestro GMP 450

All via a Grado 5m headphone extension cable.


Interesting test, hearing the widely-varying characteristics of these cans and now I am downstairs in the office with the M1070's plugged into the MF XCanV3 and they sound totally different again. In both sessions, the top 3 got me foot-tapping and enjoying the music with wide-soundstage, good detail and punchy dynamics.

Surprises: Philips X2HR (cheapest at €70) - sound great under all conditions, a lively all-rounder with great space and dynamics, just lacking in some fine detail - although these were the only set that revealed surface noise from the LP. The original AQ NightHawks (most expensive, €750 when bought) shine as a smooth, vivid perfomer.
These 2 headphones sounded the best with the Alva Duo and I suspect that this is due to the output here being more suitable for low-impedance, easy-to-drive cans. Certainly other headphones suffered as a result of being severely underpowered.

Things changed quite a lot with the DacMagic as that is run from a large SBooster LPSU. The performance of the Sundara's was much improved. In no way could this be seen as a test of the different headphones, more a display of how they fare when NOT properly-driven.

The German Maestro GMP 450 is a high-impedance unit and simply came over as weak and anaemic - although it is great in other systems. The Zeus is also one that cries out for serious amplification to tame it's occasionally harsh top-end, but it was the only set that revealed motor hum from the Pro-Ject TT and Grado cartridge.

The conclusion is that this particular system really needs a dedicated headphone amp and the search is now on, this also means I could shift the Metrum Musette DAC into the rig. Now looking at a little Class-D baby on Amazon, Sabaj A10h.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SABAJ-A10h-Des ... 032&sr=8-3

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These users thanked the author Fretless for the post:
antonio66 (Mon Nov 07, 2022 6:37 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:
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 »

Had a long session with the closed Monolith M1060C yesterday evening, running from the Schiit Magni3 amp. These cans are still burning in and every time I use them they gain in clarity and space. They are heavy after a couple of hours but the glorious sound makes it hard to take them off.

Headphone amps are the new focus and I have 2 models from Sabaj on order (a division of the same company that makes the highly-regarded SMSL equipment).

Playtime! :happy-bouncyyellow:
These users thanked the author Fretless for the post:
George Hincapie (Tue Nov 08, 2022 10:34 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

User avatar
Fretless
Posts: 8488
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:15 pm
Location: Somewhere in Holland
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Re: Time to go Planar!

Unread post by Fretless »

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Sabaj PHA3. Under 40 euro's! Tubes! Music!

:dance: :dance: :dance:
These users thanked the author Fretless for the post:
George Hincapie (Tue Nov 08, 2022 10:34 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

User avatar
Fretless
Posts: 8488
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:15 pm
Location: Somewhere in Holland
Has thanked: 936 times
Been thanked: 1494 times
Netherlands

Re: Time to go Planar!

Unread post by Fretless »

If you are wanting something amusing and affordable for in your Christmas stocking then get over to Amazon (or wherever) and put the Sabaj PHA3 on your wishlist.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sabaj-PHA3-Hea ... 422&sr=8-2

The little red-lit tubes and the lively sound just put an immediate grin on my face. So I have taken the Schiit out of my lounge headphone setup and put the PHA3 in place - looking forward to a solid listen later on.

Damn, this thing is FUN!

:banana-tux:
These users thanked the author Fretless for the post:
George Hincapie (Tue Nov 08, 2022 10:36 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

User avatar
George Hincapie
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:46 pm
Has thanked: 87 times
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Re: Time to go Planar!

Unread post by George Hincapie »

Fretless wrote: Tue Nov 08, 2022 2:37 pm If you are wanting something amusing and affordable for in your Christmas stocking then get over to Amazon (or wherever) and put the Sabaj PHA3 on your wishlist.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sabaj-PHA3-Hea ... 422&sr=8-2

The little red-lit tubes and the lively sound just put an immediate grin on my face. So I have taken the Schiit out of my lounge headphone setup and put the PHA3 in place - looking forward to a solid listen later on.

Damn, this thing is FUN!

:banana-tux:
And I presume you can tube roll?
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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