Submitted by petethebeat14 t3_1147tzb in headphones

Hey all,

Today I got the Diana TC’s and have a few things to say. I’m new to headphones and previously had a pair of Sennheiser Momentum’s. Those things sounded amazing. Super detailed, incredible bass. Not a great soundstage (or wideness), but I was impressed.

The Diana TC’s are just such a different experience. They’re quieter, seem to be far more delicate to being pumped a bit and like many of you have said, nearly any impactful bass. The sound is just so much more distant. I produce and mix my own music with varying headphones as well and I don’t know… these weirdly seem like a downgrade? Am I crazy?! Or not doing it right (choice of amp etc.)?!

I’m using a Meridian Prime as the headphone amp. Is this not powerful enough?

I’d love to hear anyone else’s thoughts. I really want to love these but due to the price point, it’s insane that I actually objectively think my Sennheiser Momentum’s sound better.



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Tubie34 t1_j8w291r wrote

Honestly based on the fact that they sell a $1200 dollar USB cord on their website, and their frequency response is all over the charts, I wouldn't ever trust them.


CammyFi t1_j93pjj1 wrote

Apparently, they don't believe in objectives. Have you seen their distortion? You'd have trouble with EQ, too.


blargh4 t1_j8v4e5h wrote

Is there a reason you picked it out? Seems like jumping in on the deep end - not really great idea if you don’t know what kind of sound signatures you like/dislike.

If you’re very used to a certain headphone, it might take time to acclimate to different tunings. Listen to it for a few days and get used to its sound before reaching too many conclusions.


petethebeat14 OP t1_j8vbyzu wrote

Totally. Are any of my concerns valid with these?

I was between these and the Sennheiser HD800s.


THETHRILLIAM t1_j8vfkdr wrote

Get the hd800s. You are definitely feeling the difference between dynamic bass and planar bass. Also, you are experiencing going from a slight v shaped headphone to a neutral headphone. You won't get gobs of bass, you won't get exciting treble. What you get is honest detail. If this bothers you consider eqing the abyss to your taste. For me personally, after getting a flagship planar (lcd 4z) I settled with the hd800 for comfort and for the dynamic punch that you don't quite get with planars.


[deleted] t1_j8wqjib wrote



StarWarder t1_j8zwfgf wrote

I’ve never owned an Abyss but I do think the 1266 is worth owning for someone who can afford a second flagship headphone. (The first should be an honest flagship like an LCD, HiFiman or Focal). Despite the fact that the 1266 measures poorly in virtually every way, it really is a headphone that defies measurements. For some reason, it’s still one of the most detailed headphones I’ve heard. Maybe it’s the transients or something. And of course they are one of the only headphones ever made to specifically take advantage of an air channel to give you massive dynamic bass that is unmatched. If you throw on tracks that already sound huge like Futurerave, it sounds like you’re at Tomorrowland. It’s the ultimate EDM headphone.

The Diana I just never understood. The price is shocking for what sounds like to me a closed back headphone with middling everything. I’d pay 300$ for it. Even then I might still opt for a used r70x.


plumpudding2 t1_j8vy1yg wrote

Seems they're not for you, if you're still within the return window I'd return them!


pkelly500 t1_j8yd9sj wrote

First, Abyss makes overrated, overpriced products. It would be one thing if one site or reviewer questioned their wonky measurements and distortion, but too many do to ignore it.

Second, you're taking a MASSIVE leap from a pair of $300 Momentums to a $3,000 pair of headphones. Way too big, to be frank.

Start smaller. It's cheaper, and it's a better way to discover what you really want.

There is no instant gratification, Goldilocks headphone unless you truly know what you want and have done the research to indicate the headphone matches that preference. You didn't, and that's OK, but you never would have bought the Diana TC if you did. Plus, the Diana TC are VERY hard to drive, so I bet your amp lacks the power to elicit peak fidelity and enough volume.

It sounds like you want more of a V-shaped, aggressive sound signature with more bass. I recommend these cans in the $500-$1,200 price range:

Meze 109 Pro (Rich bass, bright treble. Very comfortable and well built.)

Focal Clear (Original, not MG)

Focal Elex (Punchy, aggressive, detailed)

Audeze LCD-2C (Warm, rich bass, aggressive midrange that puts vocals front and center, rolled-off, less-detailed treble. Needs EQ to sound its best.)

Audeze LCD-X (My daily driver. Better, more balanced tuning than the LCD-2C, but still nice bass. Excellent detail throughout. Needs EQ to sound its best.)

Sorry if my words above come off harsh. But you did the headphone equivalent of jumping from a passenger car to a Formula One car with no in-between steps. That method is more likely to end in disappointment.

Feel free to ask ANY questions, dude. Good luck with your audiophile journey.


petethebeat14 OP t1_j8ygkod wrote

Amazing response, thank you!

My issue is I come into headphones as a pop song producer and just a general enjoyer of music with clear dynamics.

It’s just so odd to me how flat these headphones sound. So much of music IS dynamics so I don’t understand what I’m missing here in the listening experience.

Is it clarity? My Momentums may have heavier bass but I really have to say, the detail is fantastic too.

To me, the Diana’s main issue is the flatness, lack of dynamic and general quietness (I’m not sure how else to describe it).

Is the real issue just not having a strong enough driver/amp? It seems INSANE to me that now I have to spend thousands more to get these to sound decent?

Jeez, what have I gotten myself into!! Haha


pkelly500 t1_j8yq3rv wrote

You do not need to spend thousands in ANY area of headphones -- cans and source gear -- to get anything to sound decent.

My JDS Labs Atom+ DAC/amp stack was $220 new and has 1 watt of clean, uncolored power at 32 ohms, almost four times the 250mw your amp provides.

Understand this fact about audiophile gear: The connection between cost and quality is not proportional AT ALL. There is a SERIOUS amount of diminishing returns once you surpass the $1,000 level for cans and gear.

Sure, a $4,000 headphone will sound better than a $400 headphone. But 10 times better? No f*cking way.


spartaman64 t1_j8ympc5 wrote

yeah i think its very possible your amp isnt enough. they have issues and do need EQ but i dont think they should sound like what you are describing? im not sure what sennheiser momentum you had but if its the momentum 3 then it does have a high bass hump. it could be possible that you are used to that and need some time to adjust.


pkelly500 t1_j8ypizz wrote

Exactly. Anyone who says the Momentum 3 have a "slight bass lift" must masturbate at the altar of Beats nightly. The M3's have punchy, elevated, bloated bass -- without a doubt.

The OP is used to "excited," consumer-oriented sound signatures you get with wireless over-ear cans from Sony, Bose, Beats, Sennheiser and others. It's V-shaped, with booming, bloated bass, scooped-out mids and hot, crispy, sibilant treble.

That elevated bass creates the sensation of punchy dynamics, while the hot treble creates the sensation of "clarity" or "air." Neither is accurate, but it's a parlor trick of tuning that manufacturers of consumer-oriented headphones use, and the marketplace apparently loves it.

I sound critical of this sound signature. Yeah, it's not my preferred profile. I'm more of a "neutral with some Cajun spice lightly sprinkled on" kind of listener. But there's nothing wrong with a V-shaped signature if that's what you like.

Of the headphones I listed, I think the Audeze LCD-2C, the Focal Elex and the Meze 109 Pro are closest to the "dynamic, musical" signature you seek rather than pure neutrality or a microscope into all the tones of the song.

Those three headphones still all sound much better than a Sennheiser M3 because the mids actually are present and not muddied by the bass or deep-fried by the treble. But their sonic DNA shares strands with consumer-oriented headphones, while cans like the Diana TC and 800S do not.


Javi201330 t1_j8vi438 wrote

Hey hi yeah your amp just isn’t providing them with adequate juice. These aren’t incredibly hard to drive, but they definitely need more power than the Prime can give (at least going by the 250mW at 42Ohm number I found).

I 100% recommend you try them off a more powerful source (“more powerful” doesn’t necessarily mean more expensive btw. Lots of great options under $1000 or even at the $600ish mark) before selling them for the hd800. They’re incredibly detailed and great for mixing and mastering. And if you want more bass, you’d be surprised at the difference those bass ported pads will make (is it worth $250? Idfk that’s pretty wild lmao).


Avatar-san t1_j8wjh51 wrote

Abyss headphones don't measure well, so if your definition of HiFi is accurate sound reproduction then avoid the company without looking back.

At it's price point the idea of needing to do ANYTHING to like it is absurd.


redditstinkt666 t1_j8xrtyv wrote

Out of all the headphones you chose the abyss? Strange choice.


petethebeat14 OP t1_j8yfzgq wrote

I was leaning towards Sennheiser HD800s.


GregTheTwurkey t1_j8zj1zb wrote

Yes, I would recommend that myself. It’s the best price to performance, as it comes rest close to TOTL without the hefty price tag, plus that soundstage. However, if you’re a fan of bass and dynamics, they’re not so great for that. But everything else is chef’s kiss


Ashford_82 t1_j8x9m6i wrote

That’s quite a jump!


Ancient-Common-9913 t1_j8xah4b wrote

Sorry to not be a great constructive contribution to your question, but these headphones are very difficult to drive for one, and using a completely different driver tech which favors transparency and detail but falls short for dynamics and proper harmonics/ notes overtones. Very dry sounding.

The headphones are also subjectively not great and you may downgrade to an Arya V3 or MM500 and experience superior sound results


pkelly500 t1_j8ye8w9 wrote

Don't get an MM-500 for just music enjoyment. They're designed for mixing and mastering, with no colorization of the sound. It's designed to be flat, a magnifying glass only of what was recorded.

You say you record and mix music, so the MM-500 could be good for that purpose. but I think you would be better off buying a good $300 mixing headphone for your composition work and then a quality $1,500 headphone for musical enjoyment. Goldilocks doesn't really exist in audiophile headphones.

While that sounds pure and honest on the surface, most of us want some sort of sugar or spice added to our frequency curves. Pure can be beautiful; it also can be boring or expose recording warts you don't want to hear.


petethebeat14 OP t1_j8yh47n wrote

I don’t understand the benefit to any headphones that don’t have a good balance of dynamics. Like, so much of music is that.

Perhaps ambient, classical, jazz could benefit? I didn’t realize there was this much nuance to this hobby!


cum-oishi t1_j8yvh2c wrote

It's preferences


likeabrother t1_j8yvltw wrote

I’ve seen a few reviews on YouTube that say the amp/dac paring is important for the Diana’s.


hurtyewh t1_j8zh6hw wrote

Jumping to something like that from Momentums is a ridiculous leap and I'd not be surprised if your ears need a lot of time to appreciate the differences. Like if you've had microwave meals your entire life and then you go to a three Michelin star restaurant. You'd have no idea what it's about. Could also be that they're not your type as well as they seem to be very neutral without bass elevation. It's common with planars that you need to EQ the bass.


rumpsky t1_j8zidks wrote

I would try them out with some other amps with higher power output and see if the distant sound issue persists. 250 mw into 42 ohms sounds a bit low.

As others have said, when going from your main set of cans to a new set, your brain takes some time to adjust.

Meze 109 Pro sounds like more of a right fit for you for affordable, easy to drive listening pleasure. In the higher end, but still less expensive than Diana TC, the ZMF caldera with its big beautiful bass, lovely tuning and technicalities. Same with DCA Expanse, though hard to drive.


bbuky01 t1_j8zjbpw wrote

When you say they are quieter then you do not have a amp that will run them fully. Just some specs I saw for the Meridian Prime said 250mW @ 42 ohms so no not enough for the Diana TC’s.
My HiBy R6 Pro just gets them going on the low end of power and it puts out 750 mW at 32 ohms .


phalanx2357 t1_j9015pd wrote

Diana TC is one of the best headphones in the world. It definitely belongs among the top of the line (TOTL) headphones. It has TOTL clarity and speed, one of the best resolution of any headphone, amazing highs, and powerful, impactful, broad, yet tight bass.

You need a reasonable amp to drive these tho. Since you are describing them as quiet and not having much bass, it's certain you are not giving them enough power. These actually have one of the most powerful bass among TOTL headphones, definitely more than LCD5, Susvara, or Focal Utopia, for example. Even compared to one of the best, most punchy dynamics, the Focal Clear, the Diana TC's bass is vastly superior, sounding more like a top-quality sub.

For driving the Diana TC: On the more analytical end, I would recommend the Topping A90 or A90 discrete. If you prefer warmer, I would recommend the Burson Soloist 3x. Of course you can go up to Ferrum Oor or other more expensive amps if that's what you want as well. The Diana TC has amazing clarity and highs that beautifully reproduce the sounds of string instruments or sibilance in female vocals. Some people may find these annoying - the Burson, being warmer, definitely damps those down a bit, and adds to even a stronger bass. However be warned, since the Diana TC has very strong bass to begin with, adding even greater percussive pressure could be a negative - it's really all a matter of personal taste.


cmhead t1_j9evdrp wrote

Abyss is the definition of “snake oil”.


GooseEntire1705 t1_j8w2nmg wrote

The LCD 5 is probably the best headphones to mix in because of their neutrality and detail. Also your headphone amp/dac is very important for these high end headphones and it looks like this is holding back the Diana TC.


legabs t1_j8vn4l1 wrote

Hi just try them on a different amp on a hifi store before selling them.

My first "higher end" headphones were the DCA Aeon, I blind purchased them...and I really hate them. I have 10 bucks IEMs that I prefer over them.


Zero_Aspect t1_j8uvzq2 wrote

Did you audition them somewhere first? Did you let them burn in? Never heard them (and never plan to) but from what I remember, Josh Valour said it was fairly amp picky in that it emphasizes the amp's sound qualities.


[deleted] t1_j8vcbd9 wrote

They don't need burn in, since burn in is a myth.

They are not "amp picky" that's just nonsense made up by audiophiles.

An amp has no "sound qualities" unless its broken.


petethebeat14 OP t1_j8ve3o3 wrote

What are your thoughts about these and the concerns I brought up? Truly trying to just get some advice/insight here. Brutal honesty is fine by me.


[deleted] t1_j8vitma wrote

There was a unit measured at ASR and distortion is horrible.

Also, not a fan of the company, as they sell a lot of snake oil.

But if you lik the Diana, more power to you.


blorg t1_j8whjsn wrote

ASR measured very high distortion on the Diana Phi and Abyss is a terrible snake oil company but I would not Amir's headphone measurements as gospel, he seems to routinely mess up the headphone measurements and won't take correction. According to Amir the Hifiman Ananda is also trash, a much more controversial opinion as more people have and love the Ananda and it doesn't sound like the distorted mess he measures it as.

Many subjective reviewers including good ones like Resolve have liked the Diana Phi (the predecessor), he has them in the top tier on his ranking list.

So I doubt they are quite as radically broken as Amir thinks they are.

That doesn't necessarily mean everyone likes them and thinks they are worth $4,500.

One issue though is the Phi vs TC. Wave Theory thinks they are overpriced and not worth it, he seems to think the TC is quite radically different to the Phi though (and worse). I get the impression from his review though he is basically saying they're not a $4,500 headphone, he doesn't think they are terrible, he even says they are "$2,000-$2,500 overpriced". So maybe even worth $2,000. Like, he's giving them a terrible review, but he's comparing to the Hifiman HE1000, which is a very good $2k (formerly $3k) headphone.

Ultimately, if YOU don't like them and CAN return them, I'd do it now. If you're spending that sort of money on a headphone, you want to love it. So get out now if you can.

If you can't return them, look at EQ. They look like they absolutely need EQ, they do have tonal issues. I have kilobuck and multi-kilobuck stuff that needs EQ, some stuff does. It's not a dealbreaker.


oballzo t1_j8vqb5h wrote

Amps totally have different sound qualities even when measuring well. The changes are just very subtle, but definitely perceptible. More noticeable than 320kbps mp3 vs 16/44.1k. If you can consistently pick out lossy vs lossless, you can definitely hear changes in amps. BTW, that's like 1% of the population. Maybe if you can't reliably hear the difference, you fall into the majority of listeners.

That being said I've never heard a headphone only sound good on certain amps. If I like the headphone, I will like it on any amp. If I don't like a headphone, I probably won't like it on any amp. It's not a big deal, but a way to achieve a sound closer to what you'd like (changes in dynamics and soundstage which can't just be EQ'd in)

If you didn't like the Dianna, a different amp won't make you like it. You might like it more, but I'm sure there is something else out there that will actually wow you regardless of what amp it's being run on.


thebirdman9999 t1_j92edyl wrote

All amps sounds the same unless its broken.. is that what you said? how ignorant can you be? ... thats just stupid. the worst is that, this * idea * really seems to be praised, its really sad. i will always give the benefit of the doubt for cables and burn-in but your last sentence is just plain stupidity or ignorance.. i dont know mate.

im sorry, i dont really want to say bad things but i hate seeing that ... the more people that say shit like that, the more people that will believe it ..


[deleted] t1_j92f8ea wrote


You have never set in an electrical engineering class have you?


petethebeat14 OP t1_j8v0vt7 wrote

I didn’t audition, no. Could you explain burn in? I played them a bunch tonight so hopefully that helps.

Interesting about amps. Do I really have to shell out thousands on an amp for these to sound better? I knew they’d be an investment but having to do all these additional upgrades seem to defeat the purpose of spending all the money on these!


Zero_Aspect t1_j8vowu5 wrote

People are saying burn in doesn't exist, but in my experience it definitely does, whether it be the drivers themselves or my brain from getting used to the sound for a while. Give it some proper listening time and then re-evaluate.

As for amps, I don't subscribe to buying amps for the sound (as you can see, I'm happy with just a Schiit Magni). I think you're probably fine with the amp you have as long as you're able to listen to it distortion-free at the volume that you like. Is there a reason you went for the Diana without auditioning them first? I, personally, can't trust any Abyss products when they're peddling $2k cables and $2k aluminum racks.


Bad_at_names_701 t1_j8vtroc wrote

You could get a Topping A50S for them, if you have a 4,4mm cable (although a 6,3mm cable should be fine as well). What are you using to power them right now? Abyss make particularly inefficient headphones, so you‘ll want some strong amplification to get the most out of them