Build Quality & Connection
Each Diana TC headphone is hand-made in New York, USA and crafted from aircraft grade aluminum for a top-level strength. Something we’ve gotten used to by now at the high-end level. Abyss only uses top-quality materials for the Dina TC.
Build-quality-wise the Diana TC is everything you would expect from such a high-end headphone. There are no flaws to be found and everything looks and feels superb. The pads also look and feel nice. They have beautiful stitching all around, and the pads are perfectly symmetrical.
I quite like the magnetic system for the pads, and I feel this proves how serious Abyss is with the build-quality. As you can see in the pictures, each Diana TC (driver) is laser engraved with the signature model and serial number.
Looking at Diana TC’s materials used and the level of workmanship, we can only give top marks for what build quality is concerned.
The stock cable that comes with the Diana TC is a very flexible rubber sleeve finished 24AWG copper alloy one. After the Y-Split, it splits into two thinner 2-wires per channel, using a transparent sleeve. We opted for the 4-Pin XLR balanced connection for our sample. Do note that the Diana TC cable is finished with special connectors, and these only fit the Diana TC in one specific way. This means that it won’t be possible to use any 2.5mm finished cable with the Diana TC, but you will have to make sure the 2.5mm connectors are very small in diameter. JPS Labs also is a cable company, so the stock cable is of the same high level as the headphone.
Price & Accessories
The Diana TC comes in a standard white box with a nice inner box. On the inside you will find a USA made dual zipper canvas case with leather accents and accessory pockets. The case is from Copper River Bag Co and it, like the Diana TC, oozes with quality. A high end pouch for a high end headphone. I couldn’t find the exact pouch on their site, so it’s probably built for JPS labs and the Diana headphone.
Next to that you “only” get a quick start manual, an Abyss key chain and one cable. The termination options are: 3.5mm, 2.5mm, quarter-inch jack, 4.4mm, and XLR 4-pin on the jack side. Standard length is 1.5m but you can increase that up to 3m (0.5m increases). There is an additional $50 USD fee by increment.
All-in-all I for the $4,495 USD or €5.595 Euro selling price expected a more generous set of accessories, but you might see that differently.
Sound – Intro
JPS Labs / Abyss headphones describe the Diana TC’s sound to have deep bass, real vocals and smoothly clear highs with near perfect piano and guitar. According to the Abyss team, the TC sound surrounds your head and tickles the ears with a wave of sound.
Let’s find out what it’s really like!
Sound – General
This and the next part on sound were done with the AudioValve Solaris tube amp in balanced mode (in+out and on the low gain setting. The Violectric V850 was the DAC used, fed by my Labtop with ROON (Tidal) and the Ifi ZEN Stream.
Let’s be clear on it from the beginning: the Diana TC is an impressive sounding high-end headphone. For such a small full sized headphone, it delivers a huge sound from the 63mm planar magnetic drivers. To be honest, the Diana TC is an easy headphone to review. As long as you have some well-performing amps available, the TC will impress.
The Diana TC has a more neutral tuning. It’s that typical reference high-end tuning, but with a smoothness in the delivery, making it a very musical headphone as well. The TC is a highly transparent headphone and that makes the choice of amplification very important. It’s one of the reasons why we’re focusing on this so much in the next chapter of the review.
The TC delivers an expansive sound stage, and this both in width as well as depth. It is one of the most spacious sounding headphones, and it does so without ever sounding unnatural. The Diana TC has that lovely out of your head, open sound we all like so much. It’s one of the most open sounding headphones in our collection, almost approaching the Susvara. It’s not at the same level in with but Abyss has managed to tune an incredible sense of airiness and spaciousness in the mids, which makes it give us the wide impression.
The Abyss Diana TC is a balanced headphone with an overall lighter bodily presence, yet it never feels lacking and body (depending on the amp used) and bass are there when needed. The TC is a natural sounding headphone, but it always sounds clear and clean (as a high-end unit should). In combination with a high-end amplifier, I find the TC to have excellent layering, depth, and positioning. Next to that it really impresses when it comes to resolution, detail retrieval, precision, and dynamics.
The Diana TC is slightly brighter sounding in the upper mids and it has vocals which are positioned somewhat more to the front. The overall presentation however is soft and natural.
Sound – Classics
The TC is the kind of headphone that is somewhat lighter in body overall, but it never feels overly light or lacking in weight and presence,
Bass is tight, fast and refined. IT comes delivered with a nice punch and enjoyable impact. It has enough weight presence to keep things exciting and the layering, clarity and precision are at a high level. Bass goes down low and there is a nice bit of sub rumble audible but it’s not the biggest. With the TC it is quality over quantity for what bass impact and presence are concerned, but all a natural way. I have never found the TC to light or lacking bass presence, though your ears will take some time to get used to the TC when coming from a bass heavier high-end headphone such as the Empyrean, just to name one. All-in-all it’s a nice, lighter, yet natural and balanced bass presentation.
The mids perfectly connects to the bass and keep everything in balance. The mids in weight are lighter like the bass is, but they’re never lacking. The Diana TC never sounds thin, unless you under amp it. The midd depth, width and spaciousness are impressive. The mid timbre is unique and addictive, especially with that high level of precision, excellent detail retrieval and slightly soft presentation. It’s especially the spaciousness and airiness in the mids that give the TC their incredible sense of openness. The natural and slightly more forward vocals here impress, and they keep the liveliness at a high level.
The TC’s treble section is energetic and lively but it to my ears never sounds harsh or aggressive. Treble extends well and is presented in an airy and spacious way. While the Treble section has a nice energetic vibe, I feel it sounds both natural and addictive at the same time. The treble tuning simple works in combination with the spacious mids, tight bass and natural vocals.
The article continues on the third page. Click here or use the jumps below.