Focal Clear Measurements and Impressions

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by purr1n, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    So what's the soundtrack coming from your headphone while you're in the throes?
     
  2. brencho

    brencho Friend

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  3. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    Want to start this topic elsewhere? Not to clutter up this one, but would be an interesting thread.
     
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  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'm a retard. Small box includes two additional 3m cables. One terminated balanced, another terminated stereo SE.
     
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  5. I_want_all_the_tacos

    I_want_all_the_tacos Friend

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    Could you comment on how you feel the Clear compares to Auteur? I know you were also a fan of Auteur. I actually felt the Auteur was the closer "upgrade" from HD600/650 (though more HD600) as it matched that more natural, smooth, and musical sound of the Sennheisers. I also really liked Clear, but I thought it felt more focused on dynamics, punchyness, and was more aggressive in attack, and a bit more dry compared to Auteur.
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The Auteur is a romantization of neutrish sound. Resolution is good and so are transients, but macrodynamics seem a bit behind Atticus and Eikon even. There is also the touch of reverb and cup effects, which people may or may not like. Personally, I rather like this as it was done tastefully - heck this one of the aspects that made the Sony R10 magical.

    The reason I consider the Clear a truer upgrade to the HD650 is because of it's more open nature and steps to minimize cup coloration. The Clear does what the HD650 wishes it can do, but cannot: extended low bass, clarity, fast transients, etc.

    This Auteur is just something entirely different. It's an reinterpretation of the HD650 with a few things on top of it. The Auteur is for the right brain, the Clear for the left brain.

    I do prefer the Clear from a good transformer coupled tube amp, and the Auteur from a magical solid state or hybrid amp. Indeed the Clear can be a bit dry and the Auteur be a bit too rich.
     
  7. captkirk

    captkirk Khan's BFF

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    So, given what you said recently of the Utopia, and looking at Tyll's recent measurements, would it follow that the Clear would also pair well with the ZDS?

    Utopia Impedance
    [​IMG]

    Clear Impedance
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I am concerned about the ZDS's Zout being too high for Clear. While the approximate 20 ohm Zout works fantastically well for HD600/HD800 (what the ZDS was voiced to), and by extension, the Utopia, this may be a bit too much for the already slightly bassy ans more reactive Clear.

    There is the low Zout switch, but I personally think the low Zout position sucks, with more closed in stage and decreased liveliness and immediacy. Others have no problem with the low Zout position though - we all hear differently.

    With a leaner and/or brighter source, high Zout might work though. HD650 with Franken-TC-750 solid state phonostage and VPI Classic with 2M Black was one of my favorite setups.
     
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  9. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    How does it fare with the low Z output of ZDT Jr? I did like the ZDTj/HD6XX combo but in terms of tonality I thought the ZDTj is better suited with HD800. If the Clear is the true successor to HD650 (a la Super HD650, or HD850) and shares its slightly warm tone with smooth treble, I have a feeling it would pair better with not-so-warm sounding amps that worked well with HD650 (e.g. Val2, Jot, Mjolnir 2, Studio).
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I don't have the ZDTj so it's hard to say. Honestly I didn't have a problem with ZDTj and HD650 (KISS modded) on the high Z output. Reminder that KISS modded has more linear bass, not as bloated as regular HD650. Clear was really good from the Af, my custom 45, and even modest Magni 3. ZDTj might straddle the line. My bet is if that people don't like the ZDTj, then don't bother. Otherwise I think it will work. The Clear is fast enough already and doesn't need a super grippy powerful amp.
     
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  11. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    I'm taking a guess that the Black Widow would work well with the Clear, based on what's been said above.
     
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  12. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    correct!
    I had Clear for approx 4 days, DAC = new Yggdrasil. Amps = BW2 and EC Af. Other cans = Utopia.
    the Clear vs. Utopia deltas have been documented well here by others.

    Yet was pleasantly surprised with BW2 and Clear being a high quality match, even if Clear didn't scale up much when connected to Af. meaning: improvements in spatiality or treble airiness didn't jump out when switching from BW2 to Af as much as hoped.

    Clear+ BW2 is like the young brother in high school of the older brother who is the QB of the football team, Utopia+Af.
    Clear+BW2 is still cool, not quite dating Cheerleaders but is talented and gets a full ride scholarship to some PAC12 school.
     
  13. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    @jexby Did you happen to try Utopia with Clear’s pads? I’m wondering if the pad would warm up Utopia any or shift it in Clear’s direction.
     
  14. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    apologies, no pad swapping occurred.
     
  15. 9suns

    9suns [insert unearned title here]

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    Seeing how popular Utopia is (and, looking at this thread, Clear will be even more popular), probably Dekoni will make aftermarket pads for them, like they did for the HD800/HD6XX, I think it's just a matter of time :)

    EDIT: Utopia pads cost 249usd...a set of pads that warm up a bit the sound and cost a fraction of the price is a good idea.
     
  16. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Take it with a grain of salt. His opinions, not mine necessarily.
     
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  17. Cellist88

    Cellist88 Afraid someone will shit on his opinions

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    training those ears starting at a young age :)
     
  18. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    William Reviews needs a dedicated thread for SBAF Members Only viewing.
    His Midi-chlorians are higher than Randos trying to use the Force to persuade established Wattos on audio topics.
     
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  19. Rthomas

    Rthomas Friend

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    https://diyaudioheaven.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/tonal-balance-elear-clear-utopia1.png?w=1228

    Orange=Utopia
    Green=Clear
    Purple=Elear

    Guys, the main reason the Elear has fallen from grace is the hole in the upper mids right?

    I´m a bit confused as from Solderdude´s measurements this hole still exists but seems to be a couple of db ´´less deep´´.

    Apologies as I´m not technically well versed enough to express it in a better way. Is this slightly smaller dip the one of the reasons the Clear redeems itself?
     
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  20. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    Very nice! Don't forget to like and subscribe ;)

    Tyll's measurements show the Utopia and Clear being much closer in FR. The Clear and Elear's upper midrange has a bit more of a difference as well Maybe around 4-5dB around 5khz? And much more at 6khz.

    https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/FocalElearsn1BEBG004809.pdf
    https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/FocalClearsnA1BRQE000007.pdf

    Comparing Marv's Elear and Clear measurements show around 5dB at 5khz as well.

    Focal Clear
    [​IMG]

    Focal Elear
    [​IMG]
     
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