留聲機夢想#17: Abyss AB-1266 Phi 耳機 Herb Reichert

原文为英文,链接:https://www.stereophile.com/content/gramophone-dreams-17-abyss-ab-1266-phi-headphones

留聲機夢想#17: Abyss AB-1266 Phi 耳機

Gramophone Dreams #17: Abyss AB-1266 Phi headphones

Herb Reichert  |  Jul 18, 2017

Recently, a friend played me a masterpiece: Ike & Tina Turner’s River Deep—Mountain High, arranged by Jack Nitzsche and produced by Phil Spector (LP, A&M SP 4178). It sounded terrible: murky, distant, with badly booming bass. Even before the first track was over, we both laughed and called it a night.
最近,有個朋友放了張代表作給我聽:
Ike & Tina Turner’s River Deep—Mountain High,由Jack Nitzsche 編曲,Phil Spector  (LP, A&M SP 4178)製造。這張專輯聽起來糟透了!轟隆隆的低頻讓這張專輯聽起來聲音黯淡遙遠。我們當晚連第一首歌都沒聽完,大笑後就決定不聽了。

Nevertheless, I went home obsessed with Tina’s inspired singing and Spector’s infamous Wall of Sound production.

I have forever lusted for Tina Turner . . . but now, my nerdy old reviewer self wanted to use this dense, soulful recording to bring back my teen testosterone, and also (don’t laugh) to use it as a tool to judge how well an audio component can dig through Spector’s sonic hash and peer into one of the wildest, most amped-up, reverb-infused pop recordings ever made.
儘管如此,我回到家後還是念念不忘
Tina那充滿啟發的嗓音跟Spector惡名昭彰的聲音之牆製作。我永遠對Tina Turner有強烈的性衝動但是現在,我這個書呆老派評論家有種惡趣味,想用這張充滿濃厚情懷的錄音來讓我找回男性睪丸酮以及(不准笑)用它來評斷一個音響器材能否能厲害的從Spector獨樹一格的凜亂鬆散的錄音中挖掘出其中的音場, 有力量的,有充滿泛音的部分。

That same night, before I fell asleep, I bought an M-/M- first-pressing LP on eBay, and an original 7″ 45rpm single of the title song—just for comparisons.

同一個晚上,當我睏了的時候,為了日後的比較,我在eBay上買了張M-/M- 首版黑膠,還有7″ 45rpm的同一曲目單。

When I was a little girl
I had a rag doll . . .
Now I love you just the way I loved that rag doll  (歌詞)

Room lights are dimmed; I’m wearing Abyss AB-1266 Phi headphones with an 8′ cord, pacing back and forth, bending at the waist, fist pumping . . . and singing!
房間燈光微暗,我戴著
Abyss AB-1266 Phi, 配著8”線,前後拉筋,做著扭腰運動,揮揮拳頭並且….歌唱著!

And it gets dee-per, let me say
And I get high-er, in every way . . .(歌詞)

Buying black discs like this, and listening to them with products like the new Abyss AB-1266 Phi headphones, is like getting paid to take LSD, drink Hennessy VSOP, and grind with Tina. The hard part is telling you about it.
買了一張像這樣的黑膠,而且用
Abyss AB-1266 Phi這樣的耳機聽,就像是嗑了迷幻藥,喝了軒尼詩的VSOP還與Tina 貼身磨蹭著。困難的是要讓你知道這是什麼感覺。

Therefore, in this “Gramophone Dreams,” unlike most others, I’m not going to get all audio-critical, pink’n’purple prosy, or even quasi-scientific. I’m simply going to play some killer records and describe the actual musical pleasures I experienced while auditioning what many say are audio’s best headphones: JPS Labs’ Abyss AB-1266 ($4495, now discontinued), and their replacements: the new, maybe even better AB-1266 Phi (also $4495).
在這個
留聲機夢想, 跟其他的評論不一樣,我將不會是以音頻商品批判或是乏味甚至像那些技術性資料的方式來進行。我將會是簡單地拿些器材殺手錄音,用那些最棒的耳機來描述我實際經歷聽到的音樂帶來的喜悅。最棒的耳機:JPS Labs, Abyss AB-1266(US$ 4,495 現在已停產),聲音更好的新機種為AB-1266 Phi (同樣為US$4,495)

I remember very well my first encounter with Abyss headphones. My ol’ friend and headphone guru, Steve Guttenberg (C-NET, Sound & Vision, Stereophile), handed me this weird squared-off headset and said, “Try these.” I’d just finished being gobsmacked by a pair of AKG K-812s, and right away, everything about the AB-1266es seemed too strange and too good to be true—especially how they just hung loosely on my head, not tightly cupping my ears, but sort of floating right next to them. I thought, These things don’t sound like any type of audio gear I’ve experienced. They sound like life.
我記得非常清楚我與
Abyss第一次的邂逅。我的老朋友-headphone guru, Steve Guttenberg (C-NET, Sound & Vision, Stereophile),帶來了這個怪異的寬寬ㄇ 字型的耳機並告訴我試試這個,我剛才聽完AKG K-812s,而且聽得目瞪口呆,但是馬上的我再聽AB-1266們好像特別奇怪,好的不像真的!尤其他們只是鬆鬆的掛在我頭上,並沒有緊緊的包覆著我的耳朵,但是我想這種類浮動式的配戴正好適合他們。他們聽起來都不像我之前聽過的任何一種音頻器材。
他們聽起來就像人生。

I handed the AB-1266es back to Steve. “I love these things. They sound so totally not hi-fi. How much are they?”He told me the price, and my consciousness froze as I rode the Audio Time Machine back to the 1970s. I saw a Stereophile review of Dick Sequerra’s Model 1 FM tuner, which cost $5000—in 1973! Then I remembered the original Wilson Audio Modular Monitor (WAMM), which cost $35,000/pair in 1983. I remembered the legendary Sony MDR-R10 headphones: $2500 in 1989. And who could forget Audio Note (Japan)’s 25W Ongaku amplifier, which cost $90,000 in 1993? Like those notorious legacy products, the Abyss AB-1266 headphones exist in categories of price and performance all their own.

我將AB-1266們遞還給Steve. 並說我愛他們,他們聽起來完全不hi-fi. 多少錢呢?

他告訴我價錢後,我的意識立刻凍結了,就像我乘坐著音頻時光機回到了1970年代。我看見StereophileDick Sequerra Model 1 FM tuner, 1973年要價$5,000美金!然後我記得 Wilson Audio Modular Monitor (WAMM)1983年也要美金$35,000/對!我還想起了鼎鼎大名的Sony MDR-R10耳機,在1989年要價$2,500美金。另外誰會忘記日本Audio Note 25W Ongaku(音樂)擴大機,在1993年要價$90,000美金。Abyss AB—1266耳機在價格及性能表現上就是跟這些眾所皆知的傳奇產品同一級別。

Equally impressive is the fact that audio engineer Joe Skubinski, owner and founder and president of JPS Labs, started out as a humble cable manufacturer who, after wandering about an early CanJam (www.canjamglobal.com), “decided to take JPS Labs in a completely different direction—toward a goal of producing the best headphones ever made.”

同樣令人印象深刻的是見到這耳機的工程師Joe Skubinski, 他是JPS Labs 的老闆,創辦人及總裁,他開始是經營線材工廠,但是晃了早期的CanJam(www.canjamglobal.com, 美國知名耳機展)後決定帶領JPS Labs走向完全不同的方向,目標直奔最初前所未有最好的耳機。

In late 2013, after five years of research and development, JPS Labs began full production of their now-classic AB-1266: a planar-magnetic design that “broke all the headphone design rules” and, almost instantly, was regarded as the best of the best. Steve Guttenberg told me, “Joe hit a home run in his first at-bat.”

2013年底,經過了長達5年的研究與開發,JPS Labs終於量產了他們的經典耳機-AB-1266:採用平面振膜,並且打破了所有設計耳機的規則。幾乎立即的成為最好中的第一名。Steve Guttenberg告訴我“Joe首次打擊就擊出了全壘打!

I asked Skubinski how that was possible.
我問
Skubinski他是怎麼做到的。

“I just tried to design the most linear driver unit possible,” he said. “The rest was easy.”
他回答
我只是盡可能地嘗試設計出最線性的單體剩下的就簡單了

I doubt any part of designing a first-quality headphone entirely from scratch is easy, but even a quick look and a short listen will demonstrate that the Abyss AB-1266 headphones are very different from all others.
我懷疑這樣從零到設計出最高級的整機耳機,哪一個部分會是簡單的,即使只是快速看過跟聆聽
Abyss AB-1266都會發現他與其他耳機的與眾不同。

Description
The Abyss AB-1266 Phi headphones are available with three different combinations of accessories. The most basic package, the Lite ($4495), includes minimal accessories, JPS Labs’ standard four-pin XLR headphone cable with ¼” adapter. The Phi Deluxe ($5495) includes a heavy leather man bag, an Abyss-branded headphone stand, and a set of JPS Labs’ dual-balanced cables. The Phi Complete ($7495) is the same as the Deluxe, except that its headphone cable is a 2.4m length of JPS’s Superconductor HP.
規格簡述
Abyss AB-1266 Phi耳機有三種不同的配件接法。簡裝版Lite(USD$4,495)內容是最少的配件,有JPS Labs標準版的4XLR耳機線並帶有6.35轉接頭。豪華版Deluxe(USD$5,495)內容有很厚實的真皮肩背包, 一個有Abyss logo的耳機架, 還有一組JPS Labs 雙平衡耳機線。完整版Complete(USD$7,495)包含豪華版的所有內容物再加上JPS的超導體Superconductor 2.4米的耳機升級線。

The AB-1266 Phi headphones arrived in a luxurious wooden box. When I opened it, I was impressed by how precisely manufactured their heavy black-anodized aluminum frame looked without the sculpted, magnetically attached, rotatable lambskin earpads. The Abyss’s industrial-looking, square-cornered frame and suspended leather headband pad reminded me of the famously short-lived AKG K1000s—which I used to call “headspeakers” because they, like the Abysses, suspended their drivers near the listener’s ears, without enclosing and creating a seal around them.
AB-1266 Phi送到我這時,是裝在一個很精美豪華的木箱裡。當我打開他時,那看不出接合線的厚實深黑色耳機鋁製外框以及磁吸式的可替換羊皮耳墊實在太令人難忘了。 Abyss很工業的外觀設計及ㄇ字型的外框,以及真皮內頭戴都讓我想起一隻有名但短命的AKG K1000s-我以前稱他為頭戴喇叭。因為他們都是設計將單體貼近聆聽著的耳朵而不是想以包覆著耳朵的方式製造出密閉性。

I studied the Abyss website for specifics of what’s new and improved about the Phi edition of the AB-1266, and finally gave up. It all seemed intentionally vague. I wrote Skubinski and told him his headphones looked industrial-strength outlaw, but his website was dodgy. “So Joe—what exactly is different about your new replacement model?”
我研究了
Abyss 官網上的規格,想找出新版的Phi改進了舊版AB-1266的哪些規格,但是最後我還是放棄了。官網上的資訊都太模擬兩可了。我寫信給Skubinske告訴他他的耳機看起來是很不同的工業風,但是網頁並不好懂。我問他” Joe,  你新的機種到底跟舊款哪裡不一樣

“Yes, the website is vague . . . ,” he admitted, “but the new AB-1266 Phi represents a significant refinement in planar speaker-driver technology. For the original Abyss we created a single-magnet planar with a specific magnetic field pattern, and now, the new version dramatically increases [magnetic]-field line contrast, allowing for greater accuracy in relation to the driven trace pattern. We’ve reduced micro-phase distortions on the planar surface to crazy-low levels. Acoustics are fine-tuned without the need for absorption.”
Joe立刻承認說對,網頁確實很模糊”, “新版AB-1266 Phi採用了更優化過的平面振膜單體技術。舊版的Abyss 使用了我們研發的使用特殊設計的單磁鐵平面振膜,現在的新版更增加了獨特磁條可更準確的讓振膜動作。所以有效讓失真非常非常的低。而且不需要任何的吸音材就可以呈現非常好的聲音。

I hope you understand all that better than I do.
我希望你能聽得比我懂。

“In layman’s terms, this is the perfect speaker in a perfect room that audiophiles seek. Musical information no longer is blurred, harmony can easily be heard as individual singers within the group, instrument separation is crazy good, bass drums have the rolling of their skins—’bass within bass,’ as we call it—snozzberries taste like snozzberries. You get the idea.” Joe knows I love snozzberries.

對初燒階段,發燒友追求的是一對完美的喇叭放在一個完美的房間裡。音樂信息不在模糊,可以輕易的在樂團裡的各個合聲,樂器分離度好到瘋狂,感受到低音鼓的鼓皮震動,低頻裡有低頻,像我們說的聽什麼像什麼。

“With flat phase and impedance, the directly driven AB-1266 Phi simply sounds like you are standing on the surface of the microphone.”

因為AB-1266 Phi阻抗曲線平坦,所以聽起來就像是你站在麥克風的表面

This I understood perfectly—and agree with completely. Joe continued:

以上這段,我可以完全了解並且完全同意。”Joe繼續說:

“Compared to the original AB-1266, sensitivity is increased a few dB (to 88dB/mW), [and] impedance came down 4 ohms, to 42. Harmonic distortions are lower in key regions. Overall, they’re a bit easier to drive; you’ll find yourself playing them at lower volumes.”

跟原本的AB-1266比較,靈敏度增加了幾dB(88dB/mW),阻抗降低了4歐姆,來到42歐姆。失真也相對再低。所以整體來說較為容易驅動。你會發現你的音量可以調的比較低。

Footnote 1: Abyss Headphones, A Division of JPS Labs LLC, 16 Lancaster Parkway, Lancaster, NY 14086. Tel: (716) 288-9112. Web: www.abyss-headphones.com.

NEXT: Page 2 »

GRAMOPHONE DREAMS

Gramophone Dreams #17: Abyss AB-1266 Phi headphones Page 2

I told Joe he was a super-nice guy and a super-talented engineer, but a below-average explainer.

All I know for sure is that the new Abyss AB-1266 looks the same as the old, costs the same, weighs the same (620gm), and sounds only slightly different. I had both models here to compare.

我告訴Joe他是個超級好的人,而且有超級好的天份的工程師但解釋能力卻低於一般人。

Listening
The new and old Abyss headphones were voiced using a Woo Audio WA5 integrated/headphone amplifier, with 300B tubes, like the one I reviewed in the January 2017 issue. Therefore, to get the full measure of authorized Abyss pleasure, I used the Woo WA5 for most of my evaluations. I also used Schiit Audio’s Yggdrasil and Mytek HiFi’s Brooklyn DACs, as well as Linear Tube Audio’s microZOTL2.0 and Pass Labs’ HPA-1 headphone amplifiers.

聽感
我驅動新版跟舊版
AB-1266, 是用Woo Audio WA5 綜合耳機擴大機,WA5300B真空管,我也在2017 1月號也評論過這個擴大機。為了能好好評量Abyss帶來的喜悅,我常用Woo WA5來評測大多器材,另外也使用以下器材: Schiit Audio’s Yggdrasil Mytek HiFi’s Brooklyn DACLinear Tube Audio’s microZOTL2.0  Pass Labs’ HPA-1 耳機擴大機。

With the Woo: I’m an artist, so I tend to favor artful modernist-expressionist, and mercurial compositions like fellow painter Arnold Schoenberg’s Suite, Op.29, performed by the Boston Symphony Chamber Players (LP, Deutsche Grammophon 2531 277). The Suite is a lighthearted and slyly intelligent atonal work in which bass clarinets dance the foxtrot while cellos speak in voice-like tones. In this composition, Schoenberg relies heavily on the contrapuntal actions of three types of instruments: strings, clarinets, and piano. This beautiful recording is deeply satisfying, both for its rich instrumental tones and its wide, deep, transparent soundstage. I’ve played this engaging recording countless times, on innumerable stereo rigs, and never has it sounded as natural, open, and realas it did through the original Abyss AB-1266es. While listening, I scribbled the phrase perfectly natural several times. I never felt more kindred or connected to Schoenberg than I did while enjoying the Suite’s four variations and coda on “&#196nnchen von Tharau,” a folk-like song by Friedrich Silcher, and a final Gigue that made me forget I was wearing headphones.

搭配Woo Aduio:
我是個藝術家,偏愛現代主義跟多變多樣的搭配,像是由
the Boston Symphony Chamber Players (LP, Deutsche Grammophon 2531 277)演繹的Arnold Schoenberg painter Arnold Schoenberg’s Suite, Op.29這類的音樂。這張碟輕快分明,當大提琴仿佛人聲低吟時,單簧管也隨之跳躍著狐步舞曲。Schoenberg大量使用以下三種樂器才能呈現出這樣的曲目:弦樂器,單簧管,鋼琴。這首美麗錄音裡豐富的樂器音調,寬廣且深遠,透明感十足的音場,非常的令人滿意。我用過非常多的音響器材播過無數次這張迷人的錄音。沒有一套系統可以像舊版Abyss AB-1266一樣,演繹出如此自然,開闊並且真實的聲音。在聆聽時,我在筆記上寫下了多次真是自然。當我聽到這首曲子Friedrich Silcher 4變奏曲跟尾曲“&#196nnchen von Tharau,” 我首次感受到跟Schoenberg這樣有共鳴跟連結,我甚至忘了我頭上戴個耳機。

The original Abyss AB-1266es made Schoenberg’s wistful Suite into a full-spectrum chromatic delight that appealed to both my mind and spirit. The Boston Players were so well proportioned and properly toned that I found it difficult to listen for sound quality. But I swear, the sound was exquisite: no peaky aberrations or frosty bites, no haze or grain, no forced detailing—just smooth, easy-flowing musical forms. The original Abysses distinguished themselves from the herd of perfectionist headphones by being what I’ve already suggested they are: the opposite of hi-fi.

舊版的Abyss AB-1266 Schoenberg’s 組曲成為一個全方位的色彩,吸引了我的心靈和精神。波士頓樂團演繹的非常協調和諧,以致我很不容易去聽聲音品質,但是我發誓,聲音極度美好:沒有絲毫無力蒼白的音符,或是任何雜音或顆粒感,也沒有壓迫感的細節,有的只是滑順,容易跟隨的音樂性。舊版Abyss自己誠如我已經說過的,他們是hi-fi的相反面,這在追求完美主義的耳機群體中更凸顯了他們自己。

With the Woo WA5 amplifier, part of that oppositeness resulted in a reproduction of transients and musical energy that just rolled by, almost softly, very organically, never drawing any attention to itself. This highly musical motional effect kept me from being distracted by unnecessary instrumental details and textural reliefs, as I often am with more blatantly high-resolution audio devices. With the original Abyss AB-1266es, my mind was always on the music, consistently and contentedly directed forward. I couldn’t imagine how JPS Labs could improve on their supreme quality.

搭配Woo WA5放大器時,他讓這種對立的一部分導致了瞬間和音樂能量的再現,這些瞬態和音樂能量非常輕微自然的湧現。這高音樂性的表現使我不再被不必要的樂器細節和紋理浮雕所分散,當我常使用高解析的音頻設備。使用舊版Abyss AB-1266時,我的大腦就只有在專心致念地一頭栽在音樂裡。我無法想像JPS Labs如何還能改善已經這麼優秀的單體。

My attempts to find easily recognizable differences between the old and new Abyss AB-1266es brought me to a Christmas Eve fiesta in Oaxaca de Juarez, capital city of the Mexican state of Oaxaca, where I stood before the Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, surrounded by throngs of revelers. Wearing the old Abyss AB-1266es, I felt like a happy tourist as I played “Christmas in Oaxaca,” from David Lewiston’s field recording Mexico: Fiestas of Chiapas and Oaxaca (LP, Nonesuch Explorer H-72070). I collect these Nonesuch Explorer recordings because I’m a student of world music and because of the simple way they were recorded. On this fantastically spatial recording, Lewiston placed his stereo microphone tree in the zócalo (main plaza), and the brass and percussion ensembles performed almost randomly around it. It sounds fantastically real: bottle rockets arc noisily and repeatedly overhead. People clap, blow whistles, shout in the distance. Children squeal happily as adults sing in groups. Bands march by with that ol’ Doppler pitch-change effect. This spectacular recording makes me feel as if I’m actually there—and especially so with quality headphones.

為了試圖找出新舊版Abyss AB-1266的差異,我來到了在瓦哈卡首都瓦哈卡德華雷斯舉辦聖誕節前夕節目,在那,我身邊圍繞著爆多的狂歡者。用舊版的Abyss AB-1266“Christmas in Oaxaca”David Lewiston錄音,Fiestas of Chiapas and Oaxaca (LP, Nonesuch Explorer H-72070),我覺得自己像是個快樂的旅人。之所以收集這些Nonesuch Explorer的錄音是因為在世界音樂上我還是個學生,另外就是因為他們都是用簡單方式被錄音下來的。在這個極佳的空間錄音裡,Lewiston放了他的錄音麥可風柱在主廣場,銅管跟打擊樂團隨機演奏著。聽起來十分真實,瓶罐的吵雜聲像是在頭頂上不斷重複。人們鼓掌,吹口哨,在遠處喊叫。孩子們高興地尖叫起來也跟著大人一起唱歌。樂隊採用這種多普勒音高變化進行遊行。 這個壯觀的錄音讓我覺得我真的在那裡,尤其是用這樣優質的耳機聆聽時。

The new Abyss AB-1266 Phis exposed those real-life carnival sounds and chaotic spatial coordinates exactly as well as the discontinued model, but instead of noticing a subliminal amount of transient gentleness (as I had with the original), I heard a bit more cinematic display and precise camera focus. The Phis sounded two brushstrokes less colorful and one tequila less relaxed than their predecessors, but were unquestionably more focused and panoramic. They made the Christmas moon shine a little brighter over Nuestra Señora de la Asunción.

新款Abyss AB-1266 Phi在重現狂歡節的聲響跟定位跟舊版的一樣真實,但如果不僅僅注意聲音的瞬態(我在舊版也感受到),我在新款的耳機上感受到更多像電影般的畫面跟準確的場景對焦。這兩款聽起來像是不同濃淡不同筆觸的畫筆,也向不同濃度的龍舌蘭酒,但是新版毫無疑問的更加對焦跟畫面完整。他讓在Nuestra Señora de la Asunción.的聖誕節月色稍稍明亮了。

Attention Luddites
High-quality headphones can always do something that even the best two-channel loudspeakers never can: put you in the middle of the musical action. With stereo speakers, the music appears separate from you and in front of you—lower in energy, smaller in size. With speakers, we sit in our soft chairs and observe the fuzzy or sharp illusions they cast with an unavoidable degree of detachment—a detachment that, I imagine, most audiophiles find comforting. But! Therein lies the intrinsic fakeness of stereo sound from loudspeakers. With speakers, the entire illusion of the musical performance is ghostly, and distinctly over there. The listener, separated from the illusion, must mentally reach out and adjust to apprehend it.

不同焦點
一隻高品質的耳機總是可以呈現出最好的二聲道喇叭鎖不能呈現出來的部分:把你丟在音樂的中間。用立體聲二聲道喇叭聆聽音樂時,你聽到的音樂是好像是在你前面,由你為中心分開,較低的能量感,較小的尺寸。聽喇叭時,我們會坐在我們的沙發上,難免會因為距離聽到模糊或是錯以為尖銳。我認為大多數的發燒友會因為這樣的距離感到舒服。但是!這就是喇叭立體聲固有的錯覺。聽喇叭時,音樂呈現出一種迷濛,並且感受明顯。聽眾需從幻覺中分離出來,必須精神上加以想像,才能理解它。

Not so with headphones, where the illusion is attached—in and around your head and body. Headphone listening creates a unique you-are-actually-there illusion of audio reality because headphones and microphones are the same form of full-range electromechanical transducer. When you listen with headphones, the recording microphones and your ears become precisely coincidental; the recording mikes are no longer little phantom things that we search for between the speakers—they are our ears! With headphones, we are the mikes. (Remember what Joe Skubinski said about “standing on the surface of the microphone.”)

Because of headphones’ perceived ear-microphone coincidence, the illusion of realistically sized performers is more accurately preserved. Energy is reproduced more believably. When loudspeakers reduce the size of an opera stage to something that fits between the speakers—that is a gross distortion.

不像聽耳機,那些畫面就實際在那,存在或環繞著你的頭跟身體。聆聽耳機營造出一種你就在現場的錯覺,因為耳機跟麥可風都是全音域的機電轉換器。當你聽耳機時,錄音麥克風跟你的耳朵很巧的會很一致;錄音麥克風不再是我們在喇叭間搜索的小幻影他們就是我們的耳朵! 聽耳機時,我們就是收音麥可風。(還記得Joe Skubinski說的站在收音麥克風表面嗎?)
由於聽耳機時耳朵跟麥克風的一致,會有種更加準確地保留了實際尺寸的表演者的錯覺。重現出來的能量感更讓人信服。當用喇叭聽歌劇時感覺到的聲場感覺失真頗多。

The space of the recording venue is now the space I perceive that I am in. I’m not staring at some ghostlike, doll-sized hologram superimposed over my equipment rack.

錄音場所的空間跟我所感知到的空間一致。我不是盯著我的音響機架上疊加的一些幽靈般的娃娃大小的全景圖。

I suggest that you not underestimate the power of this experience of being inside the music to positively enhance your emotional and intellectual connections to a musical performance. It really works.

我建議你不要低估這種就覺得站在音樂中的力量,這增強了你情緒或智力上連結到音樂的能力。真的有用!

199/5000

Don’t believe me? Well then . . . just purchase some David Lewiston field recordings (Nonesuch Explorer) or some David Chesky binaural recordings (HDtracks), and play them alternately through headphones and speakers. If you use the new Abyss AB-1266 Phi headphones, you’ll likely be surprised at how you-are-there live a recording can sound.

不相信我??好吧!那就請你買張David Lewiston field的錄音(Nonesuch Explorer)或是一些David Chesky的錄音(HDtracks)然後用耳機跟喇叭分別播放聆聽看看。如果你用新版Abyss AB-1266Phie來聽的話,你會驚訝你所感受到的你就在那的聽感。

There is, however, one unfortunate side-effect of this synchronicity of ear and microphone, and sometimes the extreme verity of the Abyss AD-1266 Phi headphones made it distractingly obvious. With headphones, our listening pleasure is extra-dependent on microphone placement. This is especially true with recordings of solo instruments such as piano, flute, or guitar. Obviously, it’s exciting to feel as if I’m in the room with the musician, but it can feel weird to have my face inside a piano, or 12″ from Pepe Romero’s guitar strings. As I wrote this, the JPS headphones made Romero’s performance of Joaquín Rodrigo’s Fandango (LP, Philips 9500 915) sound enjoyably natural (guitar timbre was perfect) and dynamically lifelike—but I was annoyed and disoriented to find my head that close to the strings. For me, close-miked instruments such as Romero’s guitar are easier to enjoy via the over-thereness of loudspeakers.

然而,耳機和麥克風的這種同步性有一個不幸的副作用,有時Abyss AB-1266 Phi的極真實性使其非常明顯。用耳機聽時,我們的聆聽樂趣額外的依賴於麥克風位置。尤其是像是鋼琴,長笛或是吉他等樂器的獨奏。很明顯的,這就會讓我感覺我像跟演奏者處在同一個房間裡,但是會有種奇怪的感覺,像是我的臉就在鋼琴裡或離Pepe Romero’s 吉他弦12吋遠。如同我寫的,JPS 耳機們讓我十分享受Romero演奏oaquín Rodrigo’s Fandango (LP, Philips 9500 915)的自然(吉他的音色非常完美)以及他的生動的動態,但是我很不愛且感到混亂因為我發現我的頭太靠近弦。對我來說,用喇叭來聽像Romero吉他這類用近距離麥克風錄音的樂器,較容易讓我享受其中。

So what about Tina?
I spent a whole morning listening, with every headphone in the bunker, to that LP of Ike & Tina Turner’s River Deep—Mountain High. I played it on the Palmer 2.5 turntable with Audio Origami tonearm and EMT TSD 75 cartridge, feeding an Auditorium 23 step-up transformer, connected to a Parasound Halo JC 3+ phono stage feeding my reference Pass Labs HPA-1headphone amplifier.

Tina聽起來如何呢?

我花了一整個上午,用了每一隻我有的耳機來聽Tina的黑膠– Ike & Tina Turner’s River Deep—Mountain High. 我的器材事Palmer 2.5的轉盤,Audio Origami唱臂,EMT TSD 75唱頭,Auditorium 23變壓器,再接到Parasound Halo JC3唱放,最後再用Pass Labs HPA-1耳放 來推耳機。

Without LSD or cognac, it was hard work—but Tina’s sweaty hotness and deep soulfulness came through every set of ‘phones. So did the rough character of her voice. What differentiated all of these excellent headphones was their widely varying ability to accurately delineate the bass—and sort out all that Wall of Sound hoopla happening behind Tina. I felt that the Audeze LCD-Xes displayed Tina’s voice in the most exciting and expressive way, but they lacked the Abysses’ or the HiFiMan HE-1000 V2s’ resolution and deep space. I thought the HiFiMan HE-1000 V2s were the most precisely detailed, but that detail seemed to add one more layer of haze to Spector’s already fuzzy Wall.

沒有LSD或科尼葉克白蘭地,這可是個苦差事。但是,Tina濃烈熱情和深厚的靈魂從每一支耳機傳來。她的聲音也是。這些優秀耳機聽起來不同的是他們的低音的準確性跟在Tina後的反射音。我覺得Audeze LCD-X展現出Tina人聲最令人興奮且栩栩如生但缺少了Abyss或是Hifiman HE-1000 V2的解析跟深遠的空間感。我認為Hifiman HE-1000 V2是呈現出最多細節的,但是這些細節似乎為Spector已然模糊的部分再加上一層。

And I was surprised to hear how unreasonably close Sony’s MDR-Z1Rs ($2299) came to equaling the relaxed, resolved deep space of the Abyss AB-1266 Phis. Next to the Abysses, the Sonys are the most natural-sounding, most musically satisfying headphones I have experienced.

而且我很驚訝的聽到SonyMDR-Z1R2299美元)的竟然可以接近於相當Abyss AB-1266 Phi般的寬鬆及解深層空間感。

Two more comparisons
Many headphone connoisseurs consider the Stax SR-009 electrostatic headphones ($3825 + dedicated amplifier) to be the best-resolving of all candidates for best headphone. My numerous but brief auditions of this venerable classic suggest that the SR-009 does indeed generate the most beautiful and fascinating midrange, but it also sounds identifiably electrostat-like—and, hence, less natural than the Abyss AB-1266 Phis, which appear to have almost no sound of their own.

再來二個對比

許多耳機評論家認為Stax SR-009靜電耳機($3825 +專用擴大機)是在所有最佳耳機候選人裡最好的耳機。在我多次但粗略聽過這隻經典耳機時,確實感受到他迷人的中頻跟靜電味,但是沒有Abyss AB-1266Phi的特有的自然。

Besides producing more authentic-sounding bass and more naturally rendered upper octaves than the SR-009s, the Abysses delivered detail and soundstage images with an uncannily visual—nay, infinite—depth of field; the Stax SR-009s’ focus was distinctly more limited and camera-like.

除了呈現出比SR-009更真實的低音和更自然地渲染的高音外,Abyss呈現了細節和聲場圖像,具有無限的視覺效果,無限遠的景深; Stax SR-009s的焦點明顯受限,像台相機一樣。

I’ve spent a lot of time with another five-star headphone model: Focal’s Utopia ($3999). The Utopias make music with a sparkling neutrality that reminds me of dry Champagne. They also possess a unique, breathy athleticism that may exceed the dynamic capabilities both the Stax SR-009s and the Abyss Phis—but! The Abysses took absolute openness, lack of grain, and relaxed purity further than the Staxes or Focals could go.

我又花了很多時間跟另一隻五星級耳機做對比:Focal Utopia($3999). Utopia讓音樂聽起來不偏頗的閃閃發光讓我想起乾(dry)香檳。他們還擁有可能會超過Stax SR-009Abyss Phis的獨特且生動的動態,但是!!!Abyss的開闊感跟無粗糙顆粒感以及寬鬆自然是StaxFocal無法比擬的。

View from the bunker
JPS Labs’ Abyss AB-1266 Phi headphones appear to be the most solidly built, luxuriously packaged, and most true-to-life–sounding of all headphones. And if that statement is true, then the JPS ‘phones must also be the best value in perfectionist audio. And if any of these ravings are nottrue, I must sit on the naughty step until I learn to eat my okra and listen better.

總結

JPS Labs’ Abyss AB-1266 Phi耳機顯然是在所有耳機裡擁有最扎實的作工,豪華的包裝跟最真實現實的聲音的一副耳機。並且如果這些說明是真的,那JPS 的耳機在完美主義中一定是最好最有價值的耳機。如果這些評論不真實,我一定是還在淘氣階段,我還得繼續學會吃秋葵跟更會聽才行

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