Admittedly my conclusion for tonality is so positive because it’s so much more ‘normal’ when compared to every other flagship planar. The one exception might be the D8K Pro. Also, I mainly get annoyed by 3-5khz recessions, not so much the 1.5-2khz dip that the Susvara has. I think this may also be where a specific gain factor shows up where an elevation would be bothersome for certain people but not so much for others.
Admittedly my conclusion for tonality is so positive because it’s so much more ‘normal’ when compared to every other flagship planar. The one exception might be the D8K Pro. Also, I mainly get annoyed by 3-5khz recessions, not so much the 1.5-2khz dip that the Susvara has.
Ah, I see. Yeah, at the time I used an HE-6 with the midrange/upper midrange EQ’d like how the Susvara looks currently like with the old Beyerdynamic pads I have for them. Maybe the difference between the stock Susvara and the HE-6 I had at the time was just so jarring to me at first that I found it to be very off. I did fail to mention that I did have a quick listen to the Susvara with the stock pads before shipping them out, and I didn’t dislike them as much as I did when I first listened to them.
1.5-2khz dip that the Susvara has. I think this may also be where a specific gain factor shows up where an elevation would be bothersome for certain people but not so much for others.
Yeah, I can see this being the case. Being forward or even “flat” in ~2 kHz region would probably deter most people. I do typically like a more laid-back response from ~ 1- 5 kHz relative to the Harman curve, but on the Susvara, it’s the notable dip centered around 1.7 kHz followed by a rise back up to 3 kHz that either I’m not used to or I just find to be really odd.
I’m curious as to how far you’re in the reviewing stage. I’ve been listening to a modded DT880 and it’s miserable after having the Susvara as my daily driver haha.
Also, I am sorta curious as what you think of the Susvara with the old Beyerdynamic pads. Doesn’t have to be included in the review, but I just wanted to know yours thoughts on it since I think it “improves” on some aspects of the Susvara besides just, from what I think, frequency response.
Yeah I’ll post my impressions of them in here (along with measurements). I’m in the editing stage of the video at the moment - and yeah I focused more on the stock Susvara, with mention of the modded pads. I’m aiming to have it all done by the end of the weekend and then shipped back out to you early next week. I can only imagine what it’d be like without them for a few weeks. I have the opposite problem, where I now need to own one at some point - at the worst possible time too. Although now that I think about it, maybe it’s the ideal time being stuck at home for long periods.
I try not to analyse when listening to the Susvarna because all it does is remind me that I don’t have the proper amp(s) for them. The fact that they sound better at the receiving end of a desktop>Micromega USB DAC>vinatage receiver (Pioneer SX-650) than they do when driven by the Naim DAC-V1 (in any configuration) is a pretty good pointer to that effect. Sure the receiver delivers plenty wattage (hail the ol’ swing) but the Susvarna doesn’t like power floods like, say, the HE6se does. Contrary to what I had initially assumed, this has nothing to do with efficiency and everything to do with the obvious: the Susvara is one heck of a finicky headphone. Because of that I’ve decided to wait until the price drops a little on the modest EF6 which is said to work good on that phone as long as volume requirements remain just as modest. I don’t listen to that phone often enough to justify the purchase of an amp that works good on only one headphone model.
Yeah, the alternative pads are mine. The ones in @Resolve’s video review are the stock pads but with perforations along the sides (the ones set on the desk). I was reminded of the “Jerg mod” for Hifiman’s stock pleather pads which brings up the ~ 2 kHz while bringing down the ~1 kHz peak in Hifiman headphones (or at least in the HE-6 that I tested with).
Measured on a MiniDSP EARS. HPN compensation. Matched at 200 Hz.
Actually in hindsight, it seems just the 1 kHz peak is brought down with the HE-6 (with a bit more treble energy). On the Susvara, the ~2kHz region is brought up as shown in my previous post. The bass does bump up a tiny bit but then rolls off - the roll-off in the bass happens because the front air volume (or the pressure created within the earcups when put on the side of the head) is no longer fully sealed as air can escape through the perforations. The bump in the bass, I think, is due to the diaphragms being not fully damped in the front side due to the air being able to escape through the perforations - this allows the diaphragms to “flop” around more.
I did also have some old Beyerdynamic(?) pads on them and those measure a bit differently than the modded stock pads in the video review:
Measured on a MiniDSP EARS. HPN compensation. Matched at 200 Hz. I typically like the ~2-5 region to be a bit laid back, so my preference goes to the old Beyerdynamic pads. That and also, the bass extension is kept up to level.
A note on the old Beyerdynamic pads: I’m not actually sure they’re Beyerdynamic pads. I got them a while back on a vintage headphone (maybe it was a vintage DT990) and they’re very different from modern Beyerdynamic pads (though I’m not saying, “Old, good; new bad”). For one, there’s no perforations underneath the pads and the other main thing being that the foam density is different - modern Beyerdynamic pads use a sort of quick-recovery foam; the old Beyerdynamic(?) pads I have on them seems to be a sort of memory foam though not quite as dense ones like on Dekoni or ZMF pads. In my limited experience, dense memory foam pads tend to bloat the bass and “close-in” the sound. Thicker pads tend to be more susceptible to reflections within the earpad and typically yield a peaky or sharp treble response. There are some pads that don’t always follow these results (that I found true at least to myself) such as the Audeze vegan pads, but it’s been a general thing that I’ve kept in mind before buying earpads.
Yeah this seems right. I think that’s also why there are efforts to do the perforated style or hybrid styles to get the best of both worlds for that. I was talk to Zach from ZMF at CanJam about this stuff and he mentioned that the Suede pads for his headphones also smooth out some of the treble peaks, so I can see that being the absence of reflective properties that would otherwise amplify certain resonances - probably not unlike ear-based gain factors.
This is awesome @Feilong4
Both options look super interesting, thanks for the thorough reply.
No problem, and thanks!
I think most people won’t mind the stock frequency response, and some may find it preferable as @Resolve did. There’s just a particular response that I’ve been chasing, and the Susvara with the old Beyerdynamic pads comes the closest to that without any EQ’ing - I just add a bit of boost in the sub-bass (~3 db).
The pads pull off and clip on like the pads on other Hifiman headphones. One thing to note though: the tabs that clip onto the earcups are very fragile. Much more so than the earpad adapters on Hifiman’s other headphones - actually, I’m not sure about the durability of earpad adapters on the HE-1000 and its siblings, and the newer Sundara. I’ve broken 4 tabs on 2 sets of Susvara earpad adapters just by putting them on and taking them off. Comparatively to when I had the HE-6, I’ve swapped way more pads on those and have broken 0 tabs.
Yeah, if you contact Hifiman’s support, they can send you out replacements. I did buy earpad adapters from Hifiman since my hadn’t broken at that time. A set of 2 costed me 30 USD + shipping IIRC.
Also, yes, 4 tabs per ring and I was able to attach the old rings onto the Susvara FWIW. The earpads just doesn’t look as nice so I opted to buy the Susvara rings. If you don’t care about how the earpads look on the Susvara, I would just use the older rings since the tabs on Susvara’s attachement rings break so easily.
@Resolve Thanks, I’ll check out the livestream! I still need to catch up with the other ones as well.
Sorry, I’m fairly new to headphones.com and have no idea how to multi-quote if that’s a possibility here.