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Buying my first magnetoplanar headphones

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#1
Hello everyone,

I decided I'd like to buy my first pair of magnetoplanar headphones. I own HD 58X to this moment. I run Topping D10+Aune X7S.
I listened to Dekoni Blue at my friend's place and I loved the sound. I'm looking into Hifiman Sundara the most. I watched quite a lot of reviews about them.
I'd be grateful for any opinion, tip and help from more experienced people in this hobby. How do Sundara compare to, say, HE 400i (or HE 4XX)? What about Monoprice 1060. Or save money for Audeze LCDs? They are double the price of Sundara.
I enjoy mostly female vocals, classic rock, old metal, folk, jazz/blues, instrumental, indie genres.

Any suggestions please?
Thanks in advance
 

solderdude

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#2
Sundara vs HE400i and HE400S



Never heard measured the Monoprice.

various Audeze overlayed



The LCD series have less 'clarity/presence' than the hifimans due to the deeper 'dip' around 2-4kHz.
They differ in comfort and weight.
To me LCD2 and above have better bass quality.
Both brands respond well to EQ.
Both brands are known to have reliability issues and with both brands one can be lucky that is functions fine.
Have heard grainy and smooth LCD-2 (from same amp music source)
 
OP
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Thread Starter #3
Thank you for your reply solderdude. LCDs are out of my price availability I think. $500 is kinda ceiling price for me atm.
I found Verum 1 headphone, custom homemade by a guy from Ukraine. Very interesting. Saw a review from Zeos on them (analyzes build quality etc). Anyone from here had experience with them?
 

JJB70

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#4
Try second hand Oppo PM-2 or PM-3, superb build quality, very usable (ie. not especially heavy and easy to drive). As an overall package I still rate them as some of the best headphones made, it was a great loss to audio when Oppo closed their AV unit.
 

solderdude

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#5
Thank you for your reply solderdude. LCDs are out of my price availability I think. $500 is kinda ceiling price for me atm.
I found Verum 1 headphone, custom homemade by a guy from Ukraine. Very interesting. Saw a review from Zeos on them (analyzes build quality etc). Anyone from here had experience with them?
They sound good but the impedance is very low and there are some typical start-up problems.
A very low impedance means contact surface resistances of connectors and cables are likely to become audible problems.
Personally I am waiting for the quality to improve and till then am not that interested.
There will be plenty problem free Verums around though.
 

Cahudson42

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#6
At the current price of $169, the HE400i seems a good choice:
HIFIMAN HE-400I Over Ear Full-Size Planar Magnetic Headphones Adjustable Headphone with Comfortable Earpads Open-Back Design Easy Cable Swapping https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MULH672/

I paid $179 several months ago. Very happy. No quality issues so far. I like how they sound on Roseanne Cash vocals..
 

Tircuit

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#7
HifiMan 400i (open) and Monoprice m565c (closed) are great sounding planars.

I recommend putting any new headphone through tests right away so you can exchange if there are any issues. For planar especially, check for channel imbalance and buzzing bass.
 

Frank Dernie

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#8
Thank you for your reply solderdude. LCDs are out of my price availability I think. $500 is kinda ceiling price for me atm.
I found Verum 1 headphone, custom homemade by a guy from Ukraine. Very interesting. Saw a review from Zeos on them (analyzes build quality etc). Anyone from here had experience with them?
I have Verum 1 and like them a lot. I originally compared them on music I knew with several other headphones and asked to not know the price of any. They had the best instrumental timbre of them all but I asked afterwards and they were one of the least expensive. I ordered some immediately. They took months to come.
I would bet consistency with a hand made product to be variable.
 
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Thread Starter #9
Maybe I'll wait some more time for Verum 1 too. I heard something about new design coming out too?
How would the HE 4XX be different from HD 58X? I've bought 58X 3 weeks ago and I'm in love with them. Actually my first pair of "better" headphones. I always thought it's a worthless luxury for me to spend so much on listening to music. But I've always listened on say $50 headphones and enjoyed it. The moment I heard the HD 58X with amp and dac, I got goosebumps and shivers down the spine and the female voice was...I was near tears lol. And then I knew I want more. I want music to hit me, to flow through me :D So from this came general idea that planars could give me more of it.

And also I'm so glad I found this forum. It opened new world for me. I spent days and days reading through reviews of DACs and amps and something just never added up...I'm a science guy myself, I believe in numbers in my profession. So I'm glad I could get Topping D10 and managed to buy 2nd hand, nearly not touched, Aune X7S for $130. I think the money should be spent exclusively on headphones as long as your signal is clean and clear. I think I'll buy JDS Atom for that low ouput impedance (since x7s has 10 ohms).
 
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Cahudson42

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#11
since x7s has 10 ohms).
As long as the x7s has sufficient power to drive them, an advantage of planar magnetics, including the HE400i, is that their frequency response is usually not modified by the amp having a less than ideal low output impedance.

You can put your money first to the headphones when planar magnetic, and decide later on the Atom. I also have a D10, and would suggest there is no reason at all to consider changing it out at this point.
Edit:
Just took a look at the x7s ASR review:
https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...aune-x7s-and-arcam-rhead-headphone-amps.4270/

Personally, I again see little reason to change it out for an Atom or whatever at this point. Put your money into a planar magnetic transducer where the 10ohms should not hurt. If not the $169 HE400i, perhaps the $349 Sundara (too rich for me though:))
 
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Thread Starter #12
As long as the x7s has sufficient power to drive them, an advantage of planar magnetics, including the HE400i, is that their frequency response is usually not modified by the amp having a less than ideal low output impedance.

You can put your money first to the headphones when planar magnetic, and decide later on the Atom. I also have a D10, and would suggest there is no reason at all to consider changing it out at this point.
Yes, i know that about planas. Also yes, I'm not planning to change D10, maybe never (maybe if I needed different inputs at some point).
The thing that disturbs me about HE 4XX is the price. That's just so suspicious. There has to be a drawback for so low price.
Also getting them could be a nice starting spot...so I could always compare more expensive ones to them and decide if it's worth the money for my ears or not.
 

Cahudson42

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#13
The thing that disturbs me about HE 4XX is the price. That's just so suspicious. There has to be a drawback for so low price.
Perhaps another member who has both the HE4XX and the HE400i can compare both for you. I only have the HE400i. I think it is well built, and sounds great with my Liquid Spark. I considered a Sundara, but after seeing that the HE400i is apparently an older now discontinued model initially selling at much higher prices, went for it.

I also had some concern on the fragility of the Sundara diaphram. Even though the HE400i diaphram is more massive, I liked the power handling margin. @solderdude 's ((above) review and comparison also was instrumental in my picking the 'obsolete' HE400i. More value for money. Still decent performance.
 
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Thread Starter #14
Perhaps another member who has both the HE4XX and the HE400i can compare both for you. I only have the HE400i. I think it is well built, and sounds great with my Liquid Spark. I considered a Sundara, but after seeing that the HE400i is apparently an older now discontinued model initially selling at much higher prices, went for it.

I also had some concern on the fragility of the Sundara diaphram. Even though the HE400i diaphram is more massive, I liked the power handling margin. @solderdude 's ((above) review and comparison also was instrumental in my picking the 'obsolete' HE400i. More value for money. Still decent performance.
So, do you think I should go for the HE400i instead of HE4XX? If I can get them at the same price?
 

Cahudson42

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solderdude

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#17
The HE4XX is most likely the same as the HE400i, perhaps slightly altered.
Never measured a HE4XX so am not 100% confident they are the same.
 

MRC01

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#19
Thank you for your reply solderdude. LCDs are out of my price availability I think. $500 is kinda ceiling price for me atm.
...
When I was in your shoes looking for an upgrade to my venerable 580s, I tried a few and ended up keeping the LCD-2 Fazor. Still love 'em 4 years later. Hard to beat the 58x for $500. It's a great headphone. The 400i or S isn't an upgrade, IMO.

That said, the new Audeze LCD-1 has excellent measurements and is worth considering.
 
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Thread Starter #20
When I was in your shoes looking for an upgrade to my venerable 580s, I tried a few and ended up keeping the LCD-2 Fazor. Still love 'em 4 years later. Hard to beat the 58x for $500. It's a great headphone. The 400i or S isn't an upgrade, IMO.

That said, the new Audeze LCD-1 has excellent measurements and is worth considering.
That's what I'm beginning to think too. I'll check out LCD-1 more. They should be out 11/2019. Since it's December...Yet I'm a bit afraid of those 'mobile, 'on the go' features'. I despise that. I strongly feel bullshit coming from them. Can't help it.
 
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