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Dan Clark Audio Aeon 2 Closed, Aeon 2 Noire and Stealth

Pandemonium

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What am I misunderstanding here? I don't get this listing.
 

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Pandemonium

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Not that I think that adherence to the curve is the only measure of quality. I just don't think this list is correct in the first place.
 

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Pandemonium

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??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

The XCs have a score of 89 but the Stealths have a score of 86?
 

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staticV3

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@Pandemonium That's the pre-2021 LCD-XC in your graph, which scored 78.
The 2021 revision scored 89 on oratory's 45BC, Crinacle has yet to measure it.

Also, don't sweat two preference points.
 

Pandemonium

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@Pandemonium That's the pre-2021 LCD-XC in your graph, which scored 78.
The 2021 revision scored 89 on oratory's 45BC, Crinacle has yet to measure it.

Also, don't sweat two preference points.
I didn't realize that the Carbon Fiber XC had a radically different tuning than the Wood XC.
However, this list still doesn't make any sense.

Perhaps he is ranking according to the 2013 Harman curve instead of the 2018 Harman curve? I'm not sure why he would do that.
 

Pandemonium

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I'm concerned because the OP made it seem like Amir's measurements conflicted with Crinacle's and Oratory's and they do not.
 

staticV3

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@Pandemonium you mean Crinacle's Headphone Ranking list?
That's not ranked by any target.
The headphones on his list are ranked by what Crinacle thinks is objectively the best sounding.
Or do you mean this list?
 

Pandemonium

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@Pandemonium you mean Crinacle's Headphone Ranking list?
That's not ranked by any target.
The headphones on his list are ranked by what Crinacle thinks is objectively the best sounding.
Or do you mean this list?
Yes. I am referring to the latter list.

Also, the OP said "Assuming I've interpreted this list correctly, Amir highly rates the Stealth largely to their adherence to the Harman curve but according to this list they don't conform as tightly to the curve as many others. The Aeon 2 closed and Noire both do far better as do the Beyer DT 990's. The Grado Hemps are just a smidgeon behind, the Sundaras and most of the Hifi man headphones are way ahead."

Which is incorrect?
 

staticV3

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Which is incorrect?
Use the AutoEQ ranking as a rough guideline or list of headphones that target Harman.
Actually look at the frequency response graphs to decide whether headphone A or headphone B adheres more closely to a given target.
 

Pandemonium

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Use the AutoEQ ranking as a rough guideline or list of headphones that target Harman.
Actually look at the frequency response graphs to decide whether headphone A or headphone B adheres more closely to a given target.
I think we may have had a misunderstanding between us. I'm not confused, the DCA Stealths are the closest measuring headphones to the 2018 Harman Target.

The OP was confused why this list by jaakkopasanen lists other headphones as actually being closer to the target than the Stealths.
 

Pandemonium

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But I'm taking up far too much space on this thread so I'll stop here and say that this list by jaakkopasanen is not ranking headphones according to the 2018 Harman curve like how OP thought it was.
 

isaudio

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Hi,

So I've read the reviews of the DCA Stealth, Aeon RT, Focals and numerous other headphones.

I cannot see the Aeon RT in the UK so my choices really boil down to Aeon 2 Closed, Aeon 2 Noire, Stealth, Focal Elegia, Celestee, Radiance or Stellia for closed backs. I cannot hear any of them in advance bar possibly the lower end Focals.

My music tastes are fairly wide with the exception of Rap and the more extreme forms of metal (A beautiful intro followed by someone with rabies screaming in pain doesn't do it for me ;-> ).

Now here's an observation. I have looked at Jaakkop Pasanens list of headphones:

https://github.com/jaakkopasanen/AutoEq/blob/master/results/RANKING.md

Assuming I've interpreted this list correctly, Amir highly rates the Stealth largely to their adherence to the Harman curve but according to this list they don't conform as tightly to the curve as many others. The Aeon 2 closed and Noire both do far better as do the Beyer DT 990's. The Grado Hemps are just a smidgeon behind, the Sundaras and most of the Hifi man headphones are way ahead. The Focals all score badly bar the Utopias (but I heard the Elegias and they sounded pretty good to me on a quick listen in a noisy shop).

Crinnacle too rates the DCA's much lower than the others and in fact rates the Focals much higher and if you want a purely subjective approach to things Tyll really liked the Focal Clears and the Stellias.

So, what am I and indeed any other potential purchaser to think and make a decision based on? Objectivity (consistent experimental design and method) should provide a relatively consistent, relative positioning of these headphones. That has not occurred! In fact we have ended up with multiple viewpoints based on objective measures which are largely contradictory, which provides little more value than the subjectivists approach beyond the idea that we measured. Do we now need a source which measures the measurers?

I can't try before I buy. I live miles from the headphone specialists so listening is out (beyond the lower end headphones). Common sense suggests that I should not spring for a big budget headphone (£3K plus) like the DCA Stealth as only one objectivist reviewer has waxed lyrical about it (Amir) and returns in the UK are not easy for headphones apart from Amazon who doesn't stock the DCA's in the UK. The DCA Aeon Noire Aeon 2 Closed have not been reviewed by Amir so I have only the Pasanen and Crinacle lists to go on for an opinion on them and these contradict each other as to the Aeon 2/Noire and the Focals. In fact practically the only headphone any reviewers can agree on is the Hifiman Sundara which is open back (I'd prefer closed).

This leads me to conclude that objectivist headphone reviews are really only subjectively objective and that buying a headphone sight unseen is a nightmare. You can ultimately only trust your ears.

I want to make clear that I am not getting at ASR (Amir) or indeed any other objectivist reviewer. The amp and DAC measures do seem to tally with others who take the objectivist approach. I have purchased two items of hardware based on Amirs reviews and was delighted by what I got, especially given the money spent. Lightning destroyed my SMSL M500 and I need to replace it. I'll use Amirs reviews and recs from this site to determine its replacement. Clearly though items which involve a hardware to physical interaction cause issues for objectivity.

I am totally stuck with the decision as to what to do and how much to spend on a headphone.
Crinacle recently shared his opinions on a strem a few days ago, saying that he thought that most of the Dan Clark headphones were generally lacking in dynamics, which resulted in a flavorless and pretty dull presentation, at least for his tastes. I suppose the Stealth and a lot of the Dan Clark offerings are not lacking in resolution, but they have pretty mediocre distinction between the high volumes and lower volumes in audio, resulting in a compressed sound. Amir pretty much likes that headphone a lot, and several other people do, so this lack of dynamics isn't really a bad thing, it's just that certain people simply don't like the lack of contrast. They like a bit more "life" in their music. So if you think you wouldn't like that, skip the Dan Clark headphones. But just in case, you could just order the Dan Clark headphones and see if you like them, because who knows? Maybe the lack of dynamics isn't going to bother you at all! Perhaps you will enjoy them. Although my comments will probably be useless, as this post is from 2 months ago.
 

Ilkless

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Crinacle recently shared his opinions on a strem a few days ago, saying that he thought that most of the Dan Clark headphones were generally lacking in dynamics, which resulted in a flavorless and pretty dull presentation, at least for his tastes. I suppose the Stealth and a lot of the Dan Clark offerings are not lacking in resolution, but they have pretty mediocre distinction between the high volumes and lower volumes in audio, resulting in a compressed sound. Amir pretty much likes that headphone a lot, and several other people do, so this lack of dynamics isn't really a bad thing, it's just that certain people simply don't like the lack of contrast. They like a bit more "life" in their music. So if you think you wouldn't like that, skip the Dan Clark headphones. But just in case, you could just order the Dan Clark headphones and see if you like them, because who knows? Maybe the lack of dynamics isn't going to bother you at all! Perhaps you will enjoy them. Although my comments will probably be useless, as this post is from 2 months ago.


Do you have more evidence than anecdotal experience of the worst kind: those that masquerade as empirical and objective-sounding claims.
 

isaudio

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Do you have more evidence than anecdotal experience of the worst kind: those that masquerade as empirical and objective-sounding claims.
Unfortunately, no, I have none. The only evidence I have on my assumption that Dan Clark headphones have not good dynamics is anecdotal, not objective evidence. Nobody posts dynamics measurements on headphones.
I probably should have made clear that these are subjective impressions, not real objective fact, so I apologize if my language was too flowery and too "opinion is fact"-ish.
Feel free to argue, but here is my opinion: if many people agree on the same thing, then that becomes objective. Not necessarily true, but objective.
 

majingotan

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Never have I seen countless "anecdotal opinions" of others ever become FACTS. Measurements of any Dan Clark headphones clearly show that its performance are some of the truest transducers to the source. If the source file dynamic range is too compressed, DCA headphones will NOT color it and if the recording is well mastered, DCA headphones will reward you with lots of slam and dynamics, particularly Dolby Atmos Blu-Ray movies and Classical Music.

Feel free to argue, but here is my opinion: if many people agree on the same thing, then that becomes objective. Not necessarily true, but objective.

Here's my short opinion of the headphones I've heard outside of DCA: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/rank-your-headphones.32769/#post-1250054
 

isaudio

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Never have I seen countless "anecdotal opinions" of others ever become FACTS. Measurements of any Dan Clark headphones clearly show that its performance are some of the truest transducers to the source. If the source file dynamic range is too compressed, DCA headphones will NOT color it and if the recording is well mastered, DCA headphones will reward you with lots of slam and dynamics, particularly Dolby Atmos Blu-Ray movies and Classical Music.



Here's my short opinion of the headphones I've heard outside of DCA: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/rank-your-headphones.32769/#post-1250054
These sources I use to prove my point that DCA headphones are on the softer side come from not just any person, but from reputable reviewers such as the Headphones.com team and Crinacle who have tried and tested hundreds of headphones in their lifetime. Ideally the best way to prove my point is to use a completely objective source, but here's the problem with that: Nobody posts dynamics measurements online.

If you think DCA headphones have great slam and impact, good for you. But I don't know whether to trust you or the other reputable reviewers who say it has less dynamics relative to other headphones like Focal or Sennheiser... After all that is the only point of reference I have.
 
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