🔶 Abyss AB-1266

This is the official thread for the Abyss AB-1266

This thread is for discussion and reviews.

  • Type: Over Ear
  • Amp needed: YES
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Z Reviews

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Nice we’ve got a 1266 thread. Looking at getting these to complement the Diana V2 and I’ve been wondering how well it does that. I’m also interested in how the sound stage on it compares to something like an HD800 or Arya because I’ve heard some conflicting things about how it stacks up so I assume it’s just differences in the setups people are using. Any 1266 owners here that can let me know how it compares?

It is pretty different from the dv2, but would be a good complement depending on what you like and what you might change about the dv2. Although it is a solid step above the dv2 so it more might be an upgrade for most rather than something to go alongside. I have both and tend to use the dv2 for more casual or on the go listening at this point, but if I want to do any serious listening I’d rather go for the 1266 most of the time if I had to pick between the two

I guess it depends on what you are looking for and as mentioned what setups you are using. Assuming good source chains for all aforementioned headphones, I do think it has a wider stage than both the arya and the 800s, but the arya does have a more grand and vertical feeling stage where the abyss doesn’t have as exaggerated verticality (800s also has exaggerated width as well to mention that) and can pull it off more organically and less forced. I do think it’s a solid step up from both though when it comes to overall staging performance like accuracy, blackness, and just overall spatial performance, one of those headphones that really tends to focus on a really large spatial presentation without sacrificing accuracy

They are fairly demanding on source gear so you want to make sure you are up to par with that, what are you currently running right now, and what generally are your sonic preferences regarding that?

Right now I’m running the Holo May KTE>GSX Mini in to the V2. Preference wise I’d say I generally lean warm. I’m pretty happy with the overall signature of the chain but I do find myself just looking for a larger presentation sometimes. If the 1266 has a bit more thump to it that’s also something I think I’d enjoy.

That sounds like it would make a lot of sense to move to the 1266 then, although I worry that you might want to move up amp wise (dac wise you are more than fine). I would suggest an xi formula + powerman given your preferences but it’s not the best match with the may because you can only run single ended on that combo and that limits the performance of the may. I still think it would sound pretty good but you wouldn’t be fully maximizing your dac. You could slightly get around that with a balanced to single ended transformer like an ampsandsound black box or other alternatives, while it does preserve more quality it will add some sonic coloration and still isn’t exactly keeping as much quality as full balanced with the may

Perhaps a luxman p750u is a worthwhile upgrade for something that could take better advantage of your dac and also would lean more into the warm and rich side of things without sacrificing too much technical ability. The xi tends to lean more neutral a bit of extra warmth and smoothness, pretty accurate, where the luxman pushes more warm, smooth, rich, and wide). If you could find an og cavalli liquid gold that’s a real nice match but those are very hard to come by. I’d also give a nod to the pathos inpol ear if you can get one with a good price, it’s reasonably neutral and clean with a slight bit of extra warmth and width, but I would slightly prefer the previously mentioned

I would say you could move up to the gsx mk2, but I personally worry that you might find it a bit too neutral slightly bright and lacking some warmth and body moreso than the mini. Also the gsx amps tend to be a bit more on the smaller side of things spatially with more a depth focus rather than width. And the other amps I like with the 1266 end up being pretty higher up there lol.

Yeah I did half think that the GSX Mini would be the weak link in the chain if I moved up to the 1266 just wasn’t exactly sure what I’d go for after reaching that point. Of everything I’ve seen Abyss themselves recommend the WA33 seemed to stand out to me as I could go balanced with that but not with the Formula S. Great recommendations though, I’m not nearly as aware as I should be of all the amps that are out there and they’re a decent bit cheaper than the WA33. Anyway upgrading the mini will be a ways off for me so I’ll have lots of time to think about it. Thanks again for the recommendations.

That’s a great choice for space and everything, didn’t mention out of price and also because I do think it’s a pretty dry and clean leaning amp with not much warmth, but I think it would still satisfy. But it really is a super nice pairing with the right tubes and dac imo. The wa5 gen 2 is also worth a look from them as while it’s not as technically able as the wa33, it is much warmer and sweeter and a bit more forgiving than the wa33 which can get raw at times

No problem. I do think you could get away with the mini for the 1266, but get more out of it later for sure, so I think if you can get a demo you would have a good enough setup to get a reasonable experience with it


Shout out to my fellow 1266 Phi TC owners. I just got my pair and I really like how the pair with the GS-X Mini as the amp, but as far as DACs go I don’t like it with my Schiit Yggy or my Holo May KTE. I do like it with the Gustard R26, but I still want to try other options to make sure I’m not leaving anything on the table. Any suggestions for DACs preferably under $5k but I can stretch to $7k if it’s worth it. I’m def down to buy used as well. Thanks guys/gals for any help.