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Abyss Diana V2 Review (headphone)

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I would really like to not have to rely on measurements given my the manufacturer themselves, as many manufacturer claims can be.....optimistic...
Which is exactly why people will have a hard time trusting Abyss’ / JPS’ claims and measurements while they sell snake oil on the side. They’re a business. They have to make money, and they know audiophiles are a mentally deranged and gullible bunch.
 

FrantzM

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to sum it up ... This headphones is not worth $3000. It seems to be easily bested by the HiFiMan HE400i which last I checked can be purchased for $150 ...
 
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to sum it up ... This headphones is not worth $3000. It seems to be easily bested by the HiFiMan HE400i which last I checked can be purchased for $150 ...
Indeed, but imagine you upgraded the he-400i several levels each of which is nice upgrade (sundara, ananda, arya, he-1k), subjective reviews would tell you the Diana v2 is at the level of a he-1k?

I love my he-400i (one of the few hps I kept) and have only demo'd the Diana phi and ab-1266 phi tc, but if memory serves me well there was a gigantic gulf in terms of sound quality between the hifiman and abyss totls. The shop owner said many people prefer the ab-1266 to his orpheus.

Linus didn't cry when he heard the orpheus. Josh valor recently reviewed the abyss to be more detailed than the orpheus which must be in part due to low distortion?

So I'm eager to wait for ab-1266 measurements and they can be listened to with no seal so measurements shouldn't be a problem.
 

TulseLuper

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People might not understand that Amir is not your typical amateur/enthusiast, and he knows significantly more about the workings of audio than almost anybody else here (not to mention his extensive listening training). And after the ridiculous cash and time he's spent on this, it's unreasonable to think he does anything other than his darnedest to ensure the data he publishes are sound. This work is done for the love of audio. By all means, read reviews critically and offer questions/concerns - there are bound to be reasonable criticisms. But after doing so and receiving solid answers from @amirm, maybe move on instead of insisting that in his many hours working with this unit, he never managed to find the particular placement that you would have liked to see measured. This headphone isn't all it's cracked up to be - I doubt that could be true of any headphone costing $3000. It's not a tragedy.
 
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You are the only one bringing up the cable thing.
I agree, the expensive cables are a joke, and that is something worth delving into a bit, but its completely besides the point.

No one benefits from conversation being derailed, many headphone manufacturers sell overpriced cables to varying degrees, but it doesn't mean we automatically have to assume their headphones are complete and utter rubbish. They are two different products, judge the two different products separately.

I enjoy Hifiman's headphones, but their cables are laughably bad and insanely priced on their higher end offerings. One product being bad or snakeoily does not correlate to their other stuff being the same.
This is an important point when it comes to Abyss. Joe Skubinski, is more of an old-school subjectivist audiophile who has been selling overpriced cables through his company JPS Labs for a while. His son Eric is the engineer who designed the headphones. He has a degree in electrical engineering and takes the more scientific approach preferred on this forum. He is more than familiar with the technical problems that come with designing headphones and how their sound correlates with measurements. I have no doubt that he knows of the Harman target and engineered their TOTL headphones to follow it as closely as possible.

I maintain that the AB-1266 TC is the best pair of headphones money can buy. They are just about as good as it gets when it comes to resolution and neutrality.
 
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amirm

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I think in this case it might be worthwhile to shed some light on how your performed this measurement to get such vastly different results?
Why are you asking me about his measurements? Is it because you think his are closer to the truth? If so, why? What is the truth about that headphone? I asked earlier about how he measured the headphone and I have yet to see an explanation of that. So not sure why you are trusting his data without any such back up.

For now, his graph is very smoothed. Compare his to mine:


You can certainly make things visually look a lot better by smoothing, averaging or both. I have spent considerable amount of time developing these graphs to balance ease of readability but not at the expense of detail we need.

Now, I can certainly use a different fixture and or put artificial pressure on the headphone to get whatever you want in bass. As I have repeatedly explained, I am not going to do that to create prettier pictures. If I cannot correlate the measurements with EQ verification and what I am hearing, it is not valid in my book. If all you need is a measurement that makes a headphone/manufacturer look good, you need to look elsewhere.

This is on top of you asking me to compare and comment on measurement of another model than what I have tested. The Phi is not the same as Diana V2. Heck, even if he had Diana V2, his sample may be different than mine. As I keep saying, I am not here to justify other people's measurements. Go and challenge him as you are doing me and let's see where you end up.
 
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amirm

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If I were spending this much, I would want to know how the headphone will perform, on my head, as intended.
The measurements you showed do not have this attribute of verification. Mine do. I know for a fact that there is little sub-bass reproduction on this headphone. And my measurements showed the same. And once I EQ'ed them, the sub-bass came to life. This is the closed loop system I am using. Yes, it doesn't include your ears specifically. But neither do the other measurements you posted.

You continue to keep thinking two measurements done by two people must match or what we are doing here must be wrong. I keep explaining that this point of view is completely wrong but you keep persisting. To the extent you put more trust in far less documented tests, with no verification as I have performed above, then there is nothing else I can tell you to change your mind. Just ignore what we are doing here and follow their work. Don't keep repeating the same argument over and over again.
 
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Amir's measurement is not using a full head simulation rig. It has an artificial pinna, but the fixture itself is otherwise flat https://www.audiosciencereview.com/.../asr-getting-into-measuring-headphones.18086/

Which means that most headphones that do not have flat pads (which as you can see the diana do not), are going to show problems.
Doesn't Crinacle use basically the same rig as Amir? I don't think he has an artificial head, yet you chose to site his measurements.
 

solderdude

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The attached graph shoes measurements taken by DMS of the Diana V2.
As you can see, the difference when sealed (RED) vs unsealed (Yellow) is quite apparent. (Note: The red is not a 'forced' seal, it is just with the headphone resting naturally on the fixture)

DMS Said: "if you force the seal you can force it to be totally flat in the bass more than this, but ofc that doesnt heppen in real life".

So its a question of two extremes, yes, a forced seal can give excessive bass but is unrealistic. And you shouldn't measure it that way. Meanwhile a broken seal from a flatplate will go the other way, and will result in almost no bass, as well as significant resonance around 80hz. And so they also shouldn't be tested in that manner.

View attachment 105724

Below is the THD measurement for the diana V2
View attachment 105725

And then below is the THD measurement with the seal intentionally broken.

View attachment 105726

This shows a clear difference. I am not at all saying anything in regards to who's measurements are more trustworthy than someone else's. The way I see it the more measurements are available the better. No measurement is going to show an "absolute truth" and the more information is available the better.

But this is not a question of manufacturer integrity with their measurements, or performance of a measurement rig, this is about a clear issue with the specific method of testing these headphones, and a failure to mention this in the review.
It would be unfair not to point this out to those looking at these headphones or competitors to it. If I were spending this much, I would want to know how the headphone will perform, on my head, as intended.

If you believe these measurements are not trustworthy, then they can be easily disproven either by measuring again with a correct seal, or by measuring some other planar headphone with the seal broken and showing that it doesn't have the same effect.
Going by the level of the higher harmonics in the plots shown above it looks like the distortion is measured at a low SPL most likely around 85dB SPL.
These measurements sure aren't taken at 94, 104 and 114dB.
For everything above 500Hz the 85dB distortion plot is valid but for lower frequencies you need to be higher in level.
Besides, as the driver is full range and distortion of low frequencies comes into play (stating the waveform is not linear around higher excursions) this also means that the other signals riding along on the massive LF waveforms also get distorted. This is not visible in sweeps though.
Linearity plots can give some clues.

The reason the distortion in the lows increases with poorer seal is partly because the output at lower frequencies is lower and as this is a percentage it appears to increase but the distortion products are still low in amplitude. Just relatively higher (the percentage plot).
 
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And this is my measurements of Stax SR-007 with B&K's HATS:


Here is multiple placements of the same:



Yours are excluding the the ear canal and which is a completely different animal and protocol. Or maybe you have a wider head than B&K HATS and I.

As I said in the review, I am not here to validate what you are doing, I am here to validate mine.

You guys really have the wrong war you are fighting. There is no way to rationalize measurements across people and measurement systems. Don't ask me to solve that puzzle. It can't be solved.

What can be solved is making useful progress in the face of such barriers. I have figured out how and that is what I am expressing in these reviews. If you think you have figured out how to produce more truthful measurements, then set up shop and prove that to people. I am not in that business with headphones (speakers and electronics, yes. Headphones no.)
Depending on your serial number your 007 may be intentionally vented. Only the really old ones aren't.
 

Degru

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darnedest to ensure the data he publishes are sound
He's stated multiple times that he's choosing measurements based on his subjective listening impressions, regardless of whether these listening impressions are accurate or not to how the headphone should perform for most people. And the validity of these impressions *should* be called into question, considering how he a) claims he cannot hear positional variance, and b) appears to have an unusually narrow head, if older Stax can hang on his head loosely without seal or bass extension. And that's saying nothing of his apparent habit of listening extremely loudly..
receiving solid answers
The answers were really not solid, and had no additional data to back them up. He could have provided pictures of the headphone on the measurement rig, or provided the measurements where he was able to achieve seal on the rig and described how exactly he was able to get them. That would have promoted useful discussion about why he got the results he did. But no, he went with "This correlates to what I heard so it must be correct" and dismissing any other people's measurements as irrelevant.
 
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He's stated multiple times that he's choosing measurements based on his subjective listening impressions, regardless of whether these listening impressions are accurate or not to how the headphone should perform for most people.
You really aren't getting what Amir said he did. I don't know how you could read what he wrote and then interpret it this way. Jesus.
 
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And you can go all the way, end game territory and get these amazing crystal Stones which you place on top of your loudspeakers to optimize their sound completely. each one has a different sound flavor. Obviously the most expensive one is the best. So don’t cheap out.

good luck.

here is the link:

http://www.biophotone-audio.com/Unsere-Produkte/mobile/
Mate I thought you were joking until I clicked the link, and now I am just stunned that these things exist.
 

TulseLuper

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If I cannot correlate the measurements with EQ verification and what I am hearing, it is not valid in my book.
Some readers are either not registering this, not understanding it, or don't like it.

From this post: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/.../asr-getting-into-measuring-headphones.18086/

Why bother to measure headphones as data is inaccurate. This is what led me last year to invest in speaker measurements than headphones. The research about speakers is far more conclusive and measurements a ton more standardized. But something changed when I got the GRA 45C evaluation system. I measured, saw the deficiencies, applied judicious EQ that resulted in incredible sonic improvement in these headphones. This demonstrated that the objective data is indeed highly instructive. And that just a bit of EQ transforms the performance of any headphone, making them not only more accurate but far more enjoyable.
This EQ verification is logical. Apologies for the mega-simple attempt at explaining it, just want to make sure I and other readers understand. Amir measures, then EQs a headphone to get it closer to the Harman curve, and we know that Amir prefers the Harman curve. However, after EQ, the headphones sound worse, and are not actually closer to the Harman curve. So he re-measures. When EQ and listening match up, it's a good indication you've found an accurate measurement. You will screw up the response if you EQ headphones based on the wrong measurements. This is part of the data interpretation process which is necessary in the thicket of headphone measurements. If only it was as simple as a spinorama.
 
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The deviations from neutral are not that bad honestly other than that 6K peak. I'm also confused why anyone would measure distortion at such high levels. There is no real world use case scenario for 114 dB. At 94 distortion is actually fairly low and wouldn't predict anything about sound quality. I would say that treble measurements are particularly hard to interpret, especially above 8K.
 
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