ADM AVI 9RS Mini ReviewSETUP
ADM AVI 9RS on custom desktop stands
Surround and sub duty by Swan M50W 2.1
DAC / Preamp Setup 1 : Asus STX, Project Ember by Garage1217.com
DAC Setup 2 : AVI Built in DACOTHER SPEAKER SETUPS OWNED:
Aktimate Micro Asus STX Swan M50W Project Ember
Aktimate Mini+ Asus STX Swan M50W
Swan H5 Asus STX Swan M50WOTHER HEADPHONE SETUPS OWNED:
Sennheiser HD 650 Project Ember Asus STX
Sennheiser HD 598 iPad 3 iPhone 4sPLEASE NOTE
HD 650 has been properly amped by Project Ember which is an amp comparable to Schiit Lyr, Graham Slee, Lehmann BCL etc. I have also tried it with Beta22, so I know how HD 650 sounds.
I still believe that HD 650 are awesome headphones, just that AVI is a step up from them, while still a step below HD 800.IMPRESSIONS
Initially, I was disappointed not having heard any speakers for the last few days except my Sennheiser HD 650 setup. But now that the speakers are slightly burned in, I am used to it and tried my HD 650 setup again, I can easily say that ADM AVI 9RS trumps my HD 650 setup. I don’t even want to compare it to Aktimates because they seem unlistenable after hearing to AVIs for a few days.
Don’t get me wrong, from a value for money perspective, Aktimates are still the best there is, but if you can afford ADM AVI then there isn’t much of a contest really.
After listening for a while on my AVIs I went back to my HD 598s and they sounded muddy and distorted in comparison. And they used to seem like heaven compared to my Aktimates. They were a huge step up from my Aktimates and now they are nearly unlistenable.
HD 650 is still much better than HD 598 now, which I didn’t appreciate as much earlier. HD 650 is comparable to AVIs but AVIs are better in many respects and often by a significant margin, so you can perhaps call them LCD2 territory. As AVIs aren’t as resolving of details as HD 800. I have listened to both HD 800 and LCDs properly amped.
I still believe that HD 650 are awesome headphones, just that AVI is a step up from them, while still a step below HD 800.MIDS
HD 650 and AVI both are mid centric setups. AVI has clearer mids by some margin I guess. However, HD 650 has thicker vocals. I would give this one to AVI.LOWS
HD 650 has more bass, but AVI has tighter and sharper bass. Both are very good but again AVI is more audiophile like.HIGHS
Both are very good, but AVI seems at least as good if not better.TRANSIENTS
AVI is clearer and sharper here, HD 650 is more natural but sounds muddy in comparison.IMAGING
AVI is better than anything I have heard before for stereo, including HD 650.TRANSPARENCY
AVI is a step up. As transparent as it gets. Though I don’t find HD 650 veiled either with my amp, but AVI is just better.SOUND STAGE
AVI is wider, deeper and taller.CENTER STAGING
Not even a contest, AVI hands down.LOW VOLUME LISTENING
AVI is cleaner, clearer, more transparent though not sure whether it is more resolving or not, perhaps about equal, the two of them, not sure though.
HD 650 is excellent but AVI is just better but both are very listenable
I still believe that HD 650 are awesome headphones, just that AVI is a step up from them, while still a step below HD 800.
HD 650 is better than cinema grade sound I would say, but AVI takes it a bit further with being more refined.
I have only tried with my Preamp so far.
With the inbuilt DAC (and not my preamp): It sounds slightly cleaner, but slightly less lively. Though the two are very close. However, without inbuilt DAC/without preamp, it doesn’t sound as good as I described it above, then it sounds a step below the above description.
And AVIs are not analytical at all, they are musical, perhaps not as much as HD 650, not sure about it, but definitely very musical and resolving, very transparent as well.
In short, HD 650 and AVI ADM9RS are very close to each other in overall performance with AVI may be being a bit better overall, in several aspects that too. But both are very comparable.
HD 650 is definitely lusher, sweeter and more musical though. Though there are lots of place where AVIs are very close or better than them
I prefer to listen to AVI over HD 650 unlike with Aktimates where I never listened to them and spent time only with HD 650 CONCLUSION
Both fall in the same overall performance bracket and are very similar but slightly different as well