Every since being made aware of the Abyss headphones at the Whittlebury HiFi show last year I have been following their progress with interest, many people have described these as the best headphone available today so needless to say that I couldn’t resist a statement like that so am really pleased to announce that we now have the Abyss AB-1266 Headphones on Permanent demo.
Abyss Headphones are a division of JPS labs, an American company best known for their highend range of audio products mainly focusing on interconnects and cables, afew years back though the founder of JPS, Joe Skubinski, decided that he would create a sub division of JPS with the sole aim of developing, not one of the best headphones on the planet, but the very best headphone available today, certainly no small claim. Like Audeze and HiFiMan they decided to go down the Planar Magnetic route but developed proprietary very thin, very low mass diaphragm with custom made high power neodymium magnets resulting in a headphone with no coloration that is extremely revealing and lifelike in its presentation with unbelievably good bass response, along with the clever fitting of the ear cups to get the best seal and the highend stock cable and accessories that come as standard then the Abyss AB-1266 Headphones really do promise to be something quite special indeed.
I only got them yesterday and started to run them in straight away but couldn’t resist to spend a couple of hours listening last night, firstly, they are far more comfortable than they look and although their styling is a little different shall we say, the good thing is that once you have got them on you can’t see yourself so it doesn’t matter, seriously though the only thing that does matter is how do they sound? and this is where they really do shine, the funny thing is they don’t do anything spectacular as the overall balance is superb it is only when you compare against another headphone do you realise how special the Abyss Headphones really are.
Last night I only had time to compare against the Audeze LCD-3’s, one of our biggest selling headphones and one of the best around, first I must point out that the Abyss cost £4524, so significantly more than the LCD-3’s, but they really are a clear step up, the Abyss offer an extremely tight and punchy bass, with a stunning mid range and a very refined treble, when you compare directly to the LCD-3’s it really does sound like a veil has been lifted and you are presented with a far cleaner and insightful sound, I guess that is what an extra £3000 buys you. The trouble is once you’ve heard them you can’t listen to anything else again so be warned.
The big comparison will be the Abyss AB-1266 headphones v the amazing Stax SR-009’s, also considered by many to be the best on the planet, I want to run in the Abyss more before sitting down to try that one so at the moment I’m running them in with some Rammstein blasting through them which with the Abyss’s industrial looks only seem right somehow.
I’m also going to try a few different amps to see what will get the best out of them, at the moment the Bryston BHA-1 has done a brilliant job with its balanced stereo outputs but I have heard that the HiFiMan EF-6 also does a great job and I’m really keen to try the Trilogy 933 amp as although it only has a single ended output it really is my favoured amp at the moment.
Anyway please feel free to come into have a listen, and as ever here are a few pictures -