🔶 Abyss Diana Series

Personally idk if they are selling stuff like that while keeping their headphones appropriately priced, because if they out the extra cash they get from that into the headphones I have no complaints about that lol. Like hell I would buy an expensive stand or cable but I do think their headphones are worth it

Just wanted to put this out here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVAy1SJzOE0&t=40s

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To clarify what I said here now looking at it in that post, still would say that the hedd is more resolving than the og diana, but at a similar tier of resolution or slightly not as resolving as the v2, and the phi is more detailed than the hedd imo (since I got more experience with the hedd since I last said that)

Also looking at this thread now is this for the phi or the v2? This is kinda confusing lol

Maybe we need mon to drive over some headphones to let us know whether the durability is up to par or not on the headphone. We couldn’t possible own a headphone that can’t withstand a jeep driving over it now can we?

I’ll leave that to a reviewer who can get review samples lol

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So I just got my Diana Phi’s in and they’re a slightly older model with grey pads. I get them at an extreme discount for being new in box (new and slightly old stock)? Regardless Boutique Audio in Las Vegas, NV is an AMAZING shop and if I find myself in Vegas I’ll be there.

That aside, I don’t know what the break will be but it sounds like break in has finished. I’ll remain hold off. But overall, can I say I like the sound of an ultra clear and neutral/natural headphone… yes! The Phi’s have a clear non-over powering bass. Only down side with the Diana’s versus the 1266 is that to get the most out of the bass, you need to hold the ear cups slightly away from your head to hear the rich and wonderful bass. But… when on your head you don’t look like Frankenstein either.

FR, without going into the detail is the headphone performs everywhere you could expect it. I love my LCD X but these headphones out class that headphone in every way. I’m blown away with the quality of the of the sounds and of the headphone itself. If you ever wanted to hear clarity the LCD X masked behind it’s house sound (which is VERY little) than these are the headphones for you.

Chain: Bifrost 2 -> Headamp GS-X Mini -> Diana Phi.
I was initially worried the BF2 wasn’t going to resolve enough, and while it may not I find the touch of warmth a welcomed experience with Phi to keep them from being fatiguing and always and enjoyable. The slight bright notes of the GS-X Mini that is close to the RNHP is there and works REALLY well with these headphones. Since I had some limitations on cables, my Blon B20 balanced cable is all I have been using and OMFG do these headphones love being driven balanced.

Quick note, everything that bothered me (but enjoyed with the B20) on the THX amp with EDM literally made me want to vomit. I’ve never said this before literally about audio equipment and I’m not exaggerating, the feeling was quite uncomfortable and I don’t want to repeat it again with EDM, the THX was palatable for classical FYI. What does this mean? This headphone is VERY amp sensitive. I hope to write up a @Hazi59 style review when I have the time or feeling the ability to embody a write up to nearing the quality of his write up here: A Comparison between the Rupert Neve RNHP & Lake People G111

In a nutshell, unless you really really love bass beyond absolute quality and balance, Diana Phi’s are awesome. The V2’s for grand cheaper maybe the better option for many people and after hearing an Abyss headphone for the first time… this is it for me, I don’t think I can be happier. Now nobody ruin this with a Susvara or anything… because I’m happy and I know it as I clap my hands.

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I can’t find the video at the moment, but Steve Guttenberg has a wonderful short write up from last year. I can agree with much of what he has to say and I’m even happier with my purchase as he compares the Phi to the LCD MX4 which I was eyeballing hard as an LCD X owner.

I’m only a few hours into these, I picked up the Diana V2 after being unable to handle the weight of the LCD-X and wanting a beast planar that can also out resolve my focal clears. What I actually want is a 300g LCD-X. I don’t think these are that, but they may fill that role for me anyway. However, they are quite interesting and not like anything I’ve heard before.

They require more power than anything Ive every used! :laughing: and these are supposed to be “portable”, HAH! They have my gs-x mini on high gain. enough said. The v280 has to hit 12/1oclock (I’m not past 10 on anything else).

Sound wise they are resolving, more so than the clears. They deliver intensity, but not quite at the level of the LCD-X, but I think that intensity was a function of the sheer weight and size of the X. psycho acoustics maybe? :man_shrugging:

These are warm, the bass elevation is friendly,the elevation in bass seems smooth and less “in your face” as the clears (which I disagree with Zeos, clears are not bass monsters, just warm). These can sound like bass monsters in certain scenarios because of their extension, they run deep.

Initial impressions could be summed up as: unoffensive, capable, with an engaging sound signature. I don’t think that’s an easy task to pull off. I’m excited to see what these do over time for me.

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Impressions with DMS pads.

These things are consistent now! no more issues with weird fit and placement changing the sound.
I was concerned having a better fit (more seal) might diminish the bass response. I was concerned for no reason. these thump!

Now that I have spent some time with the Diana V2, and now that I have heard the DMS pads briefly, I understand why DMS wanted the specific changes made. Immediately the headphone feels “normal”. There is enough contact with my head around the ear that I dont immediately think “what the shit is happening here”. So comfort is greatly improved. Not that stock pads were painful, just awkward. These are not awkward.

Sound: With the stock pads these could produce sound that ranged from amazing to “somethings not quite right here”. Now with these pads they are consistently amazing. Fuller sounding, solid low end performance, great resolution. Really outstanding here. Initial impressions of the headphone were that they were essentially a planar focal clear with better bass resolution. But now with the DMS pads, they have elevated to something more. The response seems more uniform. Sub bass is deep, mid bass is thumpy without blowing away the rest of the mids, treble has great presence.

Stage: is smol. Im not really one who perceives HUGE stage on anything strapped to my head. Ive been spoiled by great speakers and use near field monitors regularly so I guess it’s hard to trick my ears into thinking there’s vast space when there isnt. By comparison, My Focal clears are as small as these, and my Aeon2 closed are significantly wider, but only feel a bit outside my head. Its a hard trick to pull off. I dont get verticality and these honestly are not good for gaming if anyone is wondering (few will wonder, but they’re out there).

Separation: This is where the Diana shines IMO, the clarity is great, and it’s party trick is not so much in resolution but how it resolves. There seem to be edges around instruments that are maybe not as easy to pick out on my other headphones. I think of it less as “resolution” like 1080p to 4k, but in going from a TV that supports HDR10 to one that supports HDR10+ and has tons of local dimming zones. They can both produce the same picture more or less, but one is much more capable of handling complex scenes with various light sources in each shot.

I stand by my previous assertion that these are not comparable to the LCD-X in intensity. They are however much closer with the DMS pads. I think it may be somewhere in the upper mids that is smoother here so it presents with better manners than the X. Where the X is rude, these are polite. It makes for less fatiguing listening which is nice because their comfort allows me to almost forget I have them on.

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I just scored a great deal on an open box set of Diana Phi’s. That frees up some funds for a dac/ amp setup sooner than expected. Does anyone have any good suggestions for a good pairing at around $1000 (US) total for both Dac and amp? I don’t really have anything local that would allow me to try different electronics so I’m going to have to go based on the opinions of others (who are probably more knowledgeable and experienced than me anyway).

** if this is not the right place for this type of comment, please let me know and I will happily move it.

Hmmmm, for total imo you might want to bump your budget a bit. Generally to get good results out of the phi, I would say the gsx mini with a bifrost 2 would be worthwhile, but that might be too expensive here, it’s a pretty picky headphone. You have any issues with buying used? And what sound signature are you after here with the phi’s?

I can bump the budget but I’ll probably have to go one piece at a time which is fine. I definitely understand I won’t be getting the most out of them until my entire chain is up to par. In terms of signature, they will be my daily driver so I would probably just avoid a setup that’s super bright. These will be far and away my most expensive audio purchase to date so I’m a bit out of my depth in terms of equipment knowledge. No problems buying used.

Hmmmmm. So generally I might say if you wanted something that was a bit warmer smoother, the violectric v280 is a very good pick here, typically used you would find them in the 1k range for the most part if they pop up. A good dac with that would be the soekris dac1541 if you can find one used which would also be around the 1k mark for a good price

The gsx mini is a bit on the brighter side but it does pair very well (used sometimes around 1.4k range without the upgraded volume pot), and with a bifrost 2 imo it’s pretty easily something you can daily, although later on going a bit higher on the dac side of things would be worthwhile

If you have to go lower, for something with lots of punch and power, and also a bit smoother and colored the monolith liquid platinum is pretty nice imo, although it might not be detail forward enough for some (it is paired well with the ares ii dac), and in that same range for something neutral and capable the lake people g111 is pretty solid. But both of these I would recommend going higher on as the phi is pretty picky imo

On the used market, I do see this violectric v200 for 850 which would be a solid pick for the price, and that with either a soekris or an ares ii dac would be very nice

I also see an auralic taurus mk II for 1200 which isn’t the best price, 900-1k would be more fair there, but that would be a warmer smoother amp for the dianas that would be pretty sweet

And finally I see a bakoon HPA-01 for 850 for something very linear sounding but still with sweetness, a good pick imo. This would go well with an ares ii dac

Just skimmed the used market, but if you wait and watch you can find some really good deals

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Thank you for the very thorough response. Much appreciated. Would it be worthwhile to consider the rme adi-2 with a later amp section upgrade to something like the gsx mini?

That would be a decent choice, but imo that might get a bit bright and clean for some as a daily. IMO if you wanted an all in one that would drive the diana very well perhaps check out the holo cyan, as imo that’s got a more capable dac and also a warmer more meaty sounding headphone amp that would be less potentially fatiguing than the adi 2 fs. Also imo the cyan would pair better with the gsx mini later on than the adi 2 would

That sounds promising. I might go that route since that will give my dac and amp a much needed upgrade all at once.

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I’m looking at a spring 2 dac in the future with my GS X mini I love using with my Diana Phi. So… hopefully that helps as you’re looking over issues.

I also keep eyeing the Cyan instead of the spring 2 as well.

What is the bass quantity compatible to? Sundara?