Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Malabargold, Aug 2, 2016.
Thanks, so...Susvara has less impact/slam that HEK v1?
Less in sense of quantity, yes. In sense of impact? Not necessarily. This is interesting and based on how our perception works, I believe. Susvara is tonally very even to my ears. Its bass isn't boosted anywhere but agile to me. And it's stiffer than bass in HEKV1 and it still goes very low.
HEKV1 bass is rounder, boomier and more present, but Susvara is faster, more contour and punchier. So even though HEKV1 lows are greater in quantity, to my ears Susvara is more felt there and its impact is in fact greater.
I'm also certain that my current rig has a lot to say in this regard. It elevates certain features, which is beneficial for Susvara in general.
Cool, I think our terminologies are slightly different. I suspect your "punch" is my "slam"...so, Susvara is more punchy as you say...which is good.
Well, 'slam' to me is somewhat connected to scale, the sensation of lows being present, felt. In this regard there are headphones audibly stronger than Susvara. 'Punch' for me is that bass feisty attitude Susvara is capable of once decently driven. To make this happen, in my book three things have to be in check: low nicely extended, lack of laziness and certain amount of tension, or stiffness if you will.
But what's important is that, to my ears, Susvara gives me enough scale to feel comfortable with i.e. grand orchestral music or instruments like i.e. cello. Not earth shattering experience, but enough crack to feel good : - )
If you like more nuanced bass and a similar sound to an HE6 then Code-X right choice.
The HEK has the bigger Soundstage and the HEKV2 is the more neutral sound.
The Code-X may have a bit more treble etching to make it more lively, but it is a bit more intimate presentation and Soundstage size is similar to aUtopia which is a bit larger than an Ether.
Resolution I would say simlar on HEKV1 but bit better on the HEKV2
I think the Susvara has more 3D dimension in its resolution,
With an invisible tonality which makes is effortlessly more realistic than others, even Utopia.
Too bad it so inefficient so not easy to power.
Just ordered a V2, now a weeks wait, should be easy enough...
That period is kinda cool, ain't it ?
I will soon be posting my mod on HEKV2 here.
I was fortunate to be able to compare my HEKV2 to the Susvara, and it gave me both frustration and motivation to mod the V2 to try to reach the Susvara.
It was a challenge, and no I wasn't able to reach Susvara levels,
but I did increase V2 bass resolution and overall dimensionality .
I posted more detailed impressions of the two here.
The Code-X are indeed the best planars to me as well - and I've heard extensively or owned almost all except the Susvara, which I understand have a very different presentation. The HEK V2 are an improvement over the V1 but still have the problem of "soft" bass to me, and the tonality is much better on the Code-X, in fact one of the the best I've heard. Also, the treble quality on the code-x should be used as an example by all planar manufacturers. There is some magic to it.
Different headphones do some things better than the Code-x in different aspects, but there is no complete package like the Code-x.
lol, I managed to get an open box pair on Thursday, Now the fun of researching amps.
The Bottlehead Mainline pairs nicely I've found if you don't mind breaking out the soldering iron. Detail is resolved well while maintaining the slightly warm presentation of the v2. Paired with the Bottlehead S.E.X. it can be a little too warm, especially if comparing to something like the Focal Elear which is quite dynamic and detailed.
excited for your mod release
how close do you think the HE V2 is to the Susvara like is it significant like going from the HD800 to the HEK v2 or just a bit of improvement
Out of my memory I'd say that HD800 is not on the level of recent Hifiman headphones, far from it. It sounds too thin and detail oriented to be there. Though I have to say that I never heard HD800 modded. I'm not sure how much of performance can be squeezed out of
And I've found this on HF:
"Recent reviews of Susvara can be found here http://www.soundstagexperience.com/index.php/equipment-menu/808-hifiman-susvara-headphones and here http://hifiknights.com/reviews/headphones/hifiman-susvara/ "
Both are good reads, I know the second reviewer quite well.
those reviews are long winded.
here is a condense rundown:
the bottom line is a progression of the hifiman line..
HEK was too distant, and had a signature of a large expansive relaxed sound...
HEKV2 was way more neutral and better tonality, and finally exceeding (to me) an hd800 in many areas.
Susvara has better clarity in its depth, better imaging and transparency,
and invisible tonality making instruments sound the most real.
it also has a bit more solid bass, but seems hungry for power to bring out the slam.
ya those articles didn't seem like they had the HEKV2 in hand and were rather comparing the HEK which i thought traded blows with the HD800 while the HEKV2 is clearly superior imho
ps: thanks for the summary
Here is another HEKv1 vs HEKv2 comparison, a year late, but I'm posting it for posterity and those exploring these cans. Comments only for HEK v1 & v2 (no HEXv2).
There's a mixed bag of reviews out there on the differences between these two cans. On other sites, which I shall not link to, most of the fanboys rave about HEKv2 being much, much better. Some more thoughtful reviewers have said there are noticeable differences, but they are minor and not worth the upgrade price. There only a few direct comparisons here on SBAF, with most favoring the HEKv2:
From @pedalhead , see here.
From @Maxx134 , see first here, then here, here, and finally here.
A comparison to Susvara, but still useful from @Forza AudioWorks : see here.
Despite what seems to be a consensus in favor of v2, privately several senior SBAF folks have told me they preferred HEKv1 over v2. Given this apparent discrepancy, I had to investigate for myself. These are my thoughts.
Caveats: @Maxx134 has pointed out that there was considerable variation in manufacturing. He speculated that the V2 driver would go into RMA production V1s, so there could be considerable can-to-can variation. See details here. I cannot tell which driver I have since his photos are now dead. In my experience, my HEKv1 seems to have become more lively (less soft) over the months that I've owned it; but whether it would measure differently or whether that's just my brain, I cannot say.
Chain / preferences
I'm using PS Audio DirectStream w/ Redcloud into EC ZDS with 1953 Fivre tube. My music taste are primarily jazz and classical, with occasional bits of electronica. Preference is for soft, detailed sound, hence my predilection for HEK. My impressions of Sundara, and LCD2C, for comparison.
Impressions - Physical : V2 is lighter, and ultimately more comfortable for long-term wear. But there's a caveat: the longer adjustable headband means the clamping force is less on the v2 than on the v1. This means more of the weight of the v2 is supported by the strap rather than by friction of the earpads. The result was, in my case, more pressure on the top of my head, which felt uncomfortable to me. I have a narrow head, however, so this might be a bigger problem for me than for most. Also, the new v2 earpads are cooler, but they also feel more plasticy / vinyl like. Finally, the wood veneer on the v2 is very shiny and looked like plastic decals, whereas the veneer on the v1 looks more authentic.
Impressions - Sound
My V1s started with having the TP mod; then I removed the TP and did some direct comparisons.
Overall, I feel that the V2 is a faster headphone with a taught bass and better overall timbre and tonality, but it is also tipped up in the high treble (6-10K), and the result is that tones which give a sense of detail and presence are emphasized. I feel the V2 actually lacks detail in the mid range compared to the V1, which is real loss. The V1 has a richer, more romantic sound, which means overtones in the bass region and a softening of the treble. Those rich bass tones also give it more "punch." Given the speed, and more even tonality, the V2 seems an impressive upgrade at first, but the treble wore me out in the long run. There were tracks where the V2's treble emphasis made me turn off the music. By contrast, the V1 is tuned for long-term listening and is perfectly enjoyable despite is accuracy flaws. In the end, the V1 is my preference, but the V2 definitely shows the ways in which V1 was weak. A modded V2 might be the way forward, but too expensive to dick around with so I won't be trying it. I may try @Maxx134 's v1.5 mods.
Spoiler: Detailed listening notes
Marc Johnson & Elian Elias, Shenandoah(upright bass solo)
V1+TP is darker, richer, rounder tone. More emotive.
V2 sounds more plucky. Bass also seems faster, doesn't seem to decay as long. There's a quality of more accuracy but less joy in this case.
José Carreras, Tosca, "E Lucevan" (tenor aria)
V1+TP Imaging is better, again richer, mids sound lovely and textured and detailed, but vocal is distant, as if sitting in row 20.
V2 sounds clean but thin. Oboe timbre is improved: sounds more like a wind instrument and realistic. Sometimes very slightly shouty in the treble. There's a quality of pseudo accuracy from being tipped up.
V1+TP Sounds bassy, vocals muffled, yet such lovely texture in the mids
V2 Percussion is too crisp, painfully sharp. Becomes unlistenable in the heavy passages. Had to stop.
David Bowie, "Space Odyssey"
V1+TP sounds fine, but same lack of 10K means a soft/distant presentation
V2 Too much 10K now, needs EQing down to be listenable
Andrew Segovia, various
V1 Acoustic guitar resonates a lot, sounds underdamped. Removing TP, the sound improves, with more high-frequency overtones giving percussive quality to the pizzicato. Still not as fast as V2.
V2 sounds excellent. The extra at the top helps bring the guitar to life. The V2's best performance yet.
Deadmau5, "Animal Rights"
V1 Sharp without TP mod, feels slow in the bass however. Good punch. Center imaging with flashes left and right.
V2 Sounds thinner, can hear lots of detail and airy sounds that I have never heard with V1. Bass is much tighter, less enveloping and punchy. Turns this into more of a detail song, very nice effect, but sounds also like the "loudness" compensation is on. Square-wave synthesizer sounds sound more ... square.
Impressive work, kudos.
Looking for a good replacement cable for HEK v2. I have nothing against the sound etc.. It may be a high quality cable but it looks and feels like shit. I have been trying to ignore it for almost a year and it's time for change.
I kind of wonder if the V2 is simply a more consistent tuning of the HEK V1 with a longer headband. Your comparison between the V1 and V2 sound liked it could be between two different early samples of the V1. Yes, I preferred the "looser" sounding V1 samples because the highs were more relaxed.
I am very curious how my V1 measures up to the population. I haven’t ventured into measuring rigs and don’t feel motivated to do so given the challenge of benchmarking them.
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