Moondrop Para - very not bad!

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Hrodulf, Nov 6, 2023.

  1. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    [​IMG]

    Moondrop has largely made their fame by creating IEMs that hit certain target responses pretty reliably - be it Harman or Crinacle's. Of course, it's up to you whether you subscribe to that target.

    Enter the Moondrop Para. Not their first foray into full-size cans, but I'd say that it's their best.

    Para vs HD6XX.jpg

    Both are supposed to be measured on the same rig, so the curves should be comparable.

    I could detect the 1.8k dip making stuff sound a bit distant and the 3.5k peak adds extra spice to strings/vox/etc. It did seem like the driver is very low THD as it wouldn't break a sweat even under high SPL and copious LF energy. I could detect something strange going in the highs like a resonance but I found it pretty benign. For a 300$ planar the highs were freakishly clean.

    Staging is precise but not very wide. I liked the overall resolution, however I don't have access to an HD650 on one of your wet plankton tube machines.

    Speaking of amping. It's a 101dB/V driver, so running that thing should be a walk in the park, right? RIGHT? It's an 8 ohm load, so it transforms into a spicy 80dB/mW load at those 8 ohms. To my knowledge almost no headphone amp is rated into an 8 ohm load. My Jot2 did alright, your beefy solid state will probably also survive. Chip amps? Probably not so much. Tubes? They'll love it on the TX 8 ohm tap!
     
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    Last edited: Nov 6, 2023
  2. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    This could be a nightmare for chip amps. Feel like I should do a YouTube video with the Loki/Heretic combo, cranking up the bass and volume, and leaving the top of the Heretic, so you guys can see the chips explode. Pop! Smoke and pieces of plastic flying everywhere.

    How's the ergo?

    Upper mids and highs look too much. Hey, it's Harmon. Need CSDs to get an idea on treble weirdness since that response graph is smoothed. Do you detect any peaks?
     
  3. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    I can wear it for a whole day. The caveat is that it's a double-sided sandwich planar, so your neck will have to bear that 530 g as best it can. My volcano neck has been conditioned by Audeze, a DH bike helmet, and occasional headbanging so your mileage may vary. At first, I couldn't do an LCD-2 for longer than an hour but I was but a wee lad then.

    At 120dB peaks, you're looking at 1A current. It's 110dB/W in speaker terms. The SINAD gang will prolly cook their amps not to mention that most opamps perform like ass into 8 ohms.

    The real kicker is that Moondrop plans to offer a balanced cable for it.
     
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  4. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Was going to buy one, but generally not available in the USA right now. I assume Moondrop are testing the waters, getting the YouTube and Reddit shills onboard, to see what they can really charge. Good for HFM to have some competition though, it's about time. 8-ohm load is not good. It's stoopid shit like this that made Schiit put current sense protection into their small amps.
     
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  5. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    The Gjallarhorn would be the perfect amp for it. I can't rightly tell how well it scales with better gear. At the very least it's resolving enough to show differences between two different SMSL DACs...
     
  6. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    If these become popular at all, it should be an interesting test for all of the cheap chi-fi amps that people are scooping up. When the thing dies will they blame the headphones or the amp?
     
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  7. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    They will blame the amp manufacturer because it's the amp that dies. In North America, I'm pretty sure Loki bass knob abuse killed many Herseys because of the 15-ohm HFMs.

    Here are some old IEMagni heat measurements: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...iemagni-measurements.10984/page-2#post-347931

    This is after the IEMagni has been running into a 30-ohm load a 37Hz signal crawling 16dBu to near clipping at 20.5dBu (8.2Vrms) for ten minutes. This is about 2.2W and an insanely high level. Again, this is 37Hz, not 1kHz. This is ABUSE and does not reflect normal use with music. The OPA1612 is rated to operate up to 125C.
    [​IMG]
    That was mere 30-ohm load above. 8-ohms will be drinking electrons from a firehose. That's Celsius.
     
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  8. Beefy

    Beefy Friend

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    PHWOAR, I bet my M3 could still manage this.

    $300, you say?
     
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  9. JK47

    JK47 Friend

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    @Hrodulf have heard their Venus model? $300 vs $600 does seem more enticing to try.
     
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  10. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    I remember reading this article on headphones.com a while back and looking at the FR relative to Harman curve made it a bit of a nonstarter for me, not to mention it's a planar (yes it does fully outclass dynamic drivers in certain respects but... preference): https://headphones.com/blogs/review...ook-at-headphone-s-most-promising-new-entrant

    EDIT:

    Found comparative measurements from a reviewer. Presuming they have consistent methodology, I take back what I said: the Venus looks pretty nice from a voicing standpoint: https://sai.squig.link/?share=Venus,Para
     
  11. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    Looks like it’s time to break out the Tyrs
     
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  12. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    I think we should get the FiiO FT-5 in as a loaner. New planar on the block.

    EDIT: Because it's easy to wrap-up all Chi-Fi headphones in one thread.
     
  13. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    I can’t vouch for the Venus as I missed it and a buddy of mine got the FT-5.

    With that said, it seems like the Venus was a test drive for Moondrop and Para is the same tech only trickled down.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2023
  14. JK47

    JK47 Friend

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    Looks like changing the Para pads to the Venus pads produces a very Venus like sound. Hmmm, Venus comes with extra cable that's 4.4mm balanced, also that Fiio FT-5 looks interesting. I'm kind of interested in this value priced Chi-Fi planar game...

    @Lyander That link to the FR measurements is not bad for comparing different headphones, as well as mods within the same model.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2023
  15. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    Wouldn't be the first time pads made for a massive change in sound. Kinda curious whether the drivers themselves have been any optimised or cost-cut in the move to the Para, but yeah I'm not risking money on something I don't think I'll enjoy— not yet heard an affordable planar that I really liked, and I cannot afford an upstream to do an LCD-3 justice... or an LCD-3 for that matter, haha.

    If you do grab an FT do share impressions! Would love to hear how they compare against your custom Fostex T50RPs.
     
  16. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Following @Hrodulf : the efficiency of the Venus is still pretty low; impedance is given as 18 Ohms and sensitivity as 100 dB/V, which translates to ~83 dB/mW. Still, 18 Ohms will give amps less trouble than the 8 Ohms of the Para.
     
  17. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    Unless you use the included balanced cable...
     
  18. lagadu

    lagadu Almost "Made"

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    That can't be db/V, they'd be triggering protection in most headphone amps. It has to be a typo and be db/mw.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2023
  19. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Or maybe the 8 Ohms is a misprint - 8 is the figure given by both Moondrop and Shenzen, but Linsoul gives 18 and it seems suspicious that the Venus with its similar drivers is 18...

    Edit Miss-information! See @Hrodulf 's measurement over the page.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2023
  20. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    Are there any other planars with 8 ohms? I know the ribbon transducers are super low like that but planar?
     

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