What makes these headphones so much fun is the individuality that each one has, as every part is sourced individually according to the tastes of the builder. They are truly works of Art, painted with metal, wood and wires.
These are my first built by Fleasbaby, and I'm really impressed the overall look! The brown leather headband, and cable visually compliment the Maple Sleeves. Additionally, he's assembled these flawlessly. There are no creaky hinges, no flimsiness gimbals, and almost no plastic.
The overall sound on these was fantastic, very neutral with a midrange sweetness and very little decay. They sound a little like a Beyerdyanmic DT 880 fused with a Grado RS2E, controlled bass, very clear imaging and amazing tone. The overall timbre is dry but natural, it's presentation is brighter than neutral and it has a very neutral overall sound signature.
In truth, I found them to be very transparent so much so that I used them to review JDS Labs The Element.
With many of my solid states, the timbre proved to be too dry. The irony being, that a drier sound was my aim with those units! But having had them so long with my own gear I forget just how dry they are.
Though when I paired it with my Garage 1217 Project Ember II running a new production Electro Harmonix 6SN7EH the timbre was perfect! The Ember II brought the mids forward a little an added just enough body and extra decay into the mid range to keep all of the texture, but smooth out some of the roughness.
What resulted was sheer perfection in the mid-range. An aggressive edge, paired with quick decay and a smooth shift in sustain. I found that in many tracks this Magnum V7/Ember II combo had a better presentation than my Hifiman HE 4 out of my NFB 10ES2! Where as the HE 4 has a dead center neutral presentation, the Hybrid Maple Sleeved /Black Limba Cupped Magnum V7 had a slight forwardness to the mids. As such, it brought focus onto many of the little details in the midrange. Such as the trumpet and sax performance within tracks such as Miles Davis So What and David Chesky's Transcendental tripping. While my HE 4 also presented these same details, it didn't compliment them as well as this Magnum V7 did when pair'd with my Project Ember II.
Amidst my love affair with the mids, I did find extension on both ends of the spectrum to be excellent. There was some sub bass roll off that was only audible with Electronica, other wise the Hybrid Maple Sleeved /Black Limba Cupped Magnum V7 had a taut low end, with generous texture and power. It wasn't boomy, nor flabby, didn't ever linger too long or bleed into the mids. While it didn't quite compare to the power and weight of my HE 4, it matched it perfectly in natural timbre, decay and transients. I found them to be airy on the top end, with a nice splash. Though, with just a solid state amp, the top end and upper mids can get very harsh almost scratchy. Out of my Project Ember II, the highs kept a lot of energy and sparkle with good decay. Best of all there was no loss of micro detail when switching from a solid state amp to a hybrid tube.
In truth, I was a little smitten with these! They were astonishingly beautiful to listen to with my Project Ember II, they will remain by far one of my favorites.