Upstream gears reminder :
– Yggdrasil + BHSE
– HiFimediy + SRM-1/mk2 Pro (yeah, love doing the audio splits)
Let’s quote my other post :
Maybe a slight bump in the bass which masks sub-bass, maybe a lack of high mids for presence / voices (remember : stax zealot, 1-2 khz in da place ), a pinch of sibilance on some tracks, something euphonic terribly pleasing but maybe not 100% accurate…stop : tonally speaking, I’ve to say they are the best stat I’ve ever heard. They just sound right. Try some acoustic / live / classical / jazz, you’ll immediately know.
Detail level is also impressive. I mean right, one more time. HE60 and even more HD800 are kinda detail whores, 009 sounds faster and conveys other kind of details that are most of the time recordings flaws, but the clones brings you separation and details that sound real.
Soundstage is very wide, symphonic, they’re Senn’s for sure, with a more L/R presentation than the small HE60 sphere and large HD800 sphere. I’ve the feeling pads’ material and depth (they have HE90’s original pads) + tonal balance are the key there.
So, do they have flaws ? Yes, but one is also a real strength, and the other one may be adressed :
– they do not scale that much with amping. Disappointing maybe when you hear what a BHSE can do with 009 or HE60, but good news eventually if @n3rdling decides to make a commercial batch
– they lack impact and are not the fastest stats out there. Not a problem for most of stat lovers who listen to jazz / classical (you want impact ? Get some HE6 dude !), but I suspect there’s room for improvement with stiffer enclosures (3D printing right now) and maybe reinforced stators à la 009
Oh, and maybe angled drivers to please @frenchbat and get a more volumic soundstage
I’ve not a lot to add to these impressions :
– details are really incredible. I’ve written HE60 and HD800 are details whore, but to be more specific, they project details in your face, especially HD800, whereas clones have the best detail retrieval, the most natural one. They’re the best for details, DWI
– they are the more “liquid-like” stat I’ve ever heard, as they have absolutely no frequency oddities…maybe a bit around 8-9 khz with BHSE, and that’s all
– I’ll disagree with my fellow zealots’ comments about bass, as I feel it’s lighter than 009. More ambiance, more space, but definitely lower in volume, texture and “bite”, in spite of a really slight bump which masks a bit the sub-bass. I’ve tested with killer tracks from @Ony, sub-bass addict whose modded-HE6 rig is Thor’s hammer in this area
– they are really little amp-dependent…to the extent they work pretty well from Normal Bias output !
– there is a bit of dependence though, as I may prefer them from my SRM-1/mk2. They do not benefit from BHSE’s ironfist, they even may be a bit glaring with it. Not to the extent they sound bad, hell no. But more balanced from regular Stax amp, definitely, as they don’t need added technicality and dynamics doesn’t scale up
– I’m not very sensitive to soundstage, but @frenchbat did point out the L/R presentation exposed above, and I’ve to say he’s right, there’s sometimes a very R/L presentation, think 8-track mix from the 60’s. It doesn’t bother me, but I’ve to say the best balance for me could be something between 009 and HE60. OTH I love the cathedral-like presentation of HD800, colour me changing
So, what’s next ?
– they made me sell my SR-007mk1. I mean, they already were in danger in my collection, but I did want some more time with them, especially paired with BHSE. But if you want relaxed / a bit laid back stat sound which sounds more right than 009, there is absolutely no way 007 could compete with them…it’s an humiliation, I’ve no other words for that
– they made me buy HD800 (SDR, cheapest price ever seen) ! Ok, they’re quite different : massive spheric “out of this space” soundstage, great e-dyn kick…and obviously faked tone (but which phones can compete with clone’s righteousness ? Mmmh ? ). Anyway, I’ve always thought about HD800, and the clones made me want a solid Sennheiser voicing in my collection
– @n3rdling you already knew it, but I’m definitely in line if you go commercial