RMAF 2014: Staring into the Abyss

I got to meet Joe Skubinski of JPS Labs and Abyss Headphones at RMAF this year, which was fun after spending so much time this year with his flagship headphones, the Abyss AB-1266. I was — and am — very impressed with this freshman offering from the cable vet, and the spread he put on here was pretty much unbelievable.

There were top-shelf amps from Woo Audio, including the WA-234 mono blocks ($15,900/pair). Cavalli Audio’s Liquid Gold occupied a corner with a LampizatOr DAC. A Mytek Manhattan fed a HeadTrip from Wells Audio. And that was just the beginning! But everywhere was a pair of the big, black, biker cans from Abyss.

I reviewed the Abyss headphones recently, so I won’t recap that here except to say that I was terrifically impressed. Well, I’ll offer this, too: the main difference, at least to my mind, between the Abyss and most other headphones is in the bass. It’s exceptional. Yes, they may look at tad unusual, but the sound is also unusual. If you’re a hi-fi guy looking for a taste of your full-range system in something not likely to wake the kids, this is your headphone.