So, I succumbed … mostly due to all the fun “you guys” were having with your “live” back and forth on listening impressions (etc.) with these things, and the re-appearance of these on the “Massdrop Made” (immediate availability) program.
And they showed up last night …
My first impressions are: “Holy head-clamp!”
I’ve got several HD650 (spanning from launch until last year), an HD6XX, the HD660S - all of which have similar looking headbands … but I’ve never felt head-clamp like this on a HD5XX or 6XX series headphone. No doubt some judicious headband-bending will help out there.
Beyond that … this is literal first-impressions … maybe an hour of listening while I am giving the new Focal Elegia some play-time.
So far (see above disclaimer) … sonically … these are really nice. Tonality seems to be right down the middle of the HD600 and HD650. Micro-dynamics are lacking a bit (something I find is the case with the HD700 and the HD660S - at least compared to the HD650). There’s some treble grain, which is ameliorated somewhat by flipping to the Cavalli Liquid Spark vs. the Magni 3. Sweet spot might be the Vali 2 here.
Will have to try them with the AudioQuest Dragonfly Black, Red and iFi Nano iDSD Black Label (NiBL).
Right now, just using the Massdrop x Grace SDAC, Monolith Cavalli Liquid Spark and the HD58X … well, it’s hard to fathom that this is a $337 setup:
(Excuse the quick-action-shot).
More to follow, I’m sure …