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Qualia 010 = OMG!


Elephas
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I'm listening to the Qualia 010 for the first time (thanks darkless!). I'm amazed by its details and resolution. I thought that dynamics were generally inferior to electrostatics in this category. The recabled L3000, recabled W5000, recabled PS-1 and SA5000 are very good, but I didn't think they were competitive vs. the HE90, HE60, SR-Omega, SR-007 and 4070. The R10 is the only one that can compete, but even so I don't think it matches the electrostats' speed and microdetails. I'm hopeful better amplification will help the R10 and other dynamics.

The Qualia 010 sounds like an electrostatic. I'm only driving it with the AT-HA5000 for now. It is already one of my top favorite headphones, definitely in the Top 5 unlike the L3000! (a little joke).

I can understand the descriptions of its "cavernous" sound I've read about. It has a very distinctive headstage and soundstage that's very expansive. I'm also amazed by its soundstage and like it very much! Like the SA5000 and electrostatics, the Qualia sounds very good with electronica music.

More to come, as well as some photos, of course. >:D

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I was lucky and fit is very good. The earpads seal around my ears nicely.

I haven't listened to Umbrella - Remix, thanks for reminding me!

Ooooooh, I think I just had an eargasm.... ;D:o:-[ during the beginning of Depeche Mode - World In My Eyes (Cicada Remix).

These eargasms were becoming too few and far between since I started listening to the HE90, HE60, SR-Omega and SR-007.

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Elephas,

Glad you are having a great time and nice to see that the Qualia fits you well. You might need to order a dynamight for them. Icarium seems to think highly of his rudistor with the Qualia. I agree with you completely that the Qualia sounds amazing and very fine electrostats like especially in details and speed. One of the best quality of the Qualia is the imaging. Probably best imaging out of any headphone I've tried and that was with my stock SDS not the upgraded SDS.

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the Qualia sounds very good with electronica music.

Well, all I can say is don't rush out and buy a pair until you really get to the bottom of its sound. It's true Qualia sounds great with electronica, but acoustic music kind of sounds not very natural and life-like IMO...

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Dude, you sound like Nik. :P>:D

That really hurt, I'm still a baby, you know! Mammaaaaa! Do something! :'(

Wait, I'm not claiming the Qualia is "the best" ... yet. >:D

Also, I believe Nik cycled through many headphones and other gear and rarely made direct comparisons or owned several units at the same time. I recall reading about his latest "best" headphone with frightening regularity over the past three years; it seemed that every few months there would be another "best."

Maybe my amps and sources are not as good as Nik's, but I don't think he ever had access to as many headphones as I do now.

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will the SA5000 be like a mini qualia? i mean in terms of sound?

The SA5000 has very good details and is also fast. I use it exclusively with electronica music, it is too cold and uninvolving otherwise.

The Qualia is much superior overall, especially in soundstage, imaging and layering.

I can now understand why Icarium sold his HE90+ES-1 and went with a Qualia rig. What I can't understand is why the seller sold me this Qualia. >:D

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I'm glad to hear that my Qualia 010 found a good home with a family that appreciates it for what it can do.

I'll tell you why I sold it. I was one of the unfortunate people who couldn't give it the love it deserves, as it plain didn't fit my head shape. I tried pressing it towards my head, tilting it backwards to the point where I had to hold the pads to my head since it no longer was supported by the headband, no deal. It also sounded too bright for my taste and the tonality wasn't my cup of tee.

I will stick to my L3000 for the time being, since it has everything that I'm looking for in a headphone: Great tonality, full, deep and textured bass, great PRaT, intimate soundstage, no sound leakage, slightly isolating, decent highs...

On an unrelated note Mikhail wrote to me yesterday to let me know that he has finished the last tube adapters and completed the testing of my Supreme XLR amp. Direct quote: "This is finally done." ;D

Since I now have some funds freed with the Qualia sale, I just might be able to get an APureSound v3 balanced cable for my L3000 to bring out the best of them.

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The Qualia can't be adjusted much at all. I guess I'm lucky it didn't fit you well.

The L3000 with APureSound balanced V3 cable sounds very good. It has a larger soundstage and more air than a stock L3000. This is using an adapter and single-ended amps, I haven't tried a balanced amp yet.

Ooooh, another one! Multiple continuous eargasms during the last 20 minutes! This time it's Alison Krauss - Baby, Now That I've Found You. Take that, Meanie Mastergill.

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The Qualia is still one of my favorite headphones. Probably the only one I prefer over the K1000. The only problem I had was fit. I had a medium but need a small. When I had a pair I was using the Zana Deux and it seemded like the perfect match. There were a few others that heard the combo and liked it as well. I wonder how they would sound out of Jp's HD2, with the output transformers.

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The Qualia is still one of my favorite headphones. Probably the only one I prefer over the K1000. The only problem I had was fit. I had a medium but need a small. When I had a pair I was using the Zana Deux and it seemded like the perfect match. There were a few others that heard the combo and liked it as well. I wonder how they would sound out of Jp's HD2, with the output transformers.

We could find out if Dan would loan me one of his seventeen pairs he has accumulated >:D

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I heard the Qualia at a meet this past July and really enjoyed the sound. It's one of the few headphones I'd feel merit cash expenditure as an upgrade from where I'm at now...of course, I could possibly end up disliking the Qualia with an extended listening session.

I know someone's already asked about the SA5000 in this thread, but is it near enough the general presentation of the Qualia in tonality and other measures that I could own one for a while decide whether or not to pursue the Qualia?

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The fit definitely makes a massive difference. When I heard it I made sure to manhandle the poor thing into exactly the fit it needed to be in, and the echoey/cavernous effect was mostly gone, as well as the extra brightness. It was very tonally balanced and not bright at all, very smooth and even sounding, extremely detailed, and fast for a dynamic. But, there was something decidedly wrong with tone and tembre of instruments that are predominantly in the midrange. So, it was excellent with electronic music where its tonal and tembral irregularities don't matter, but for things that need a more realistic tone and tembre, I think there are better choices. Still, it's one of the best dynamics I've heard, period. It does have an electrostatic quality to its sound, but with much more impact and crisper imaging.

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I agree the Qualia isn't warm, but I wouldn't want a lot of added warmth, maybe just a tiny bit.

I think it's similar to the W5000 in the way it seems to sacrifice some body and warmth for precision imaging, well-defined layering, sense of air and soundstage. Both the Qualia and W5000, driven by the AT-HA5000, have pinpoint imaging, excellent details and a large soundstage. The Qualia's soundstage is huge, larger than the W5000's, and I also think its imaging, separation and details are better. Given how much I like the W5000+HA5000 and value details, imaging and soundstage, you can see why I like the Qualia so much.

Fit is basically perfect on my head. I can press on the driver housings at various points and there isn't any movement. The earpads fit perfectly flush around my ears.

I can see someone with a narrower, wider or longer head shape having trouble with the fit.

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Congrats Elephas! Excellent photo's. Thanks for sharing.

Out of all the top headphones I've yet to hear(HE90, HE60, L3000, OII, Qualia) the Qualia's rank #1 on my list, probably because of my love for all things electronica and how I read that they excel there in almost every review. Hopefully sooner than later I'll be able to see if I fall in to the love em' or leave em' camp.

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