Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Sources: 27" iMac with 5K Retina display, 4GHz quad-core engine with 4.4GHz turbo boost, 3TB Fusion Drive, 16GB SDRAM, OSX Yosemite, PureMusic 3.01, Tidal & Qobuz lossless streaming, COS Engineering D1, D2 [on review] & H1, AURALiC Vega, Aqua Hifi Formula, Fore Audio DAISy 1, Apple iPod Classic 160GB (AIFF), Astell& Kern AK100 modified by Red Wine Audio, Questyle QP1R, Soundaware Esther Pro, Soundaware D100 Pro SD card reader
Headphone amps: COS Engineering H1, Bakoon AMP-12, Vinnie Rossi LIO, Questyle CMA-800R (x2), Eversound Essence, Feliks Audio Euforia [on review]
Headphones: Final Sonorous X, VI & III with balanced ALO Audio harness; HifiMan Susvara [on loan], HE-1000 & HE-6; Sennheiser HD800; Audeze LCD-XC and LCD-2v1; Meze Neo Classic
Power delivery:
Vibex Granada/Alhambra or Furutech RTp-6
Review component retail: €3'499

After many months of a silent crescendo, it was my Japanese contact Jojo Hiramatsu to break it.
"Dear Srajan san. it's been a long time without contact since High End Munich. We prepared a review sample of our first planar headphone D8000 to be sent to you by DHL today." I'd known it had been cooking but hadn't heard the whistle go off. Seven months earlier, Final of Japan had invited numerous press members for an 8:30 breakfast meet in a Munich hotel to unveil their forthcoming planar. As I wrote in our report, "it was a humbling presentation by reminding one and all how proper engineering relies on intense research; goes back to first principles; and wrestles with real problems to the point of capitulation. Final went back to the breed's earliest examples in the 1950s to identify strengths and weaknesses; compared those to later iterations; then asked themselves what they could contribute to the art with modern materials and manufacturing techniques. The presenter explained the interconnectedness of magnetic field strength, excursion, proximity between membrane and magnetics, efficiency, dynamics and the influence of the diaphragm's resonant frequency on the bandwidth. Their final solution —pun intended—derives from a condenser microphone technique called thin air film resistance. In the below chart, we see how it cancels out the high 200Hz spike without otherwise affecting the frequency response."

The production version was expected to render as follows...
... and assemble like so:

With her December WeTransfer files, Jojo sent out high-resolution stock photos including this of actual production parts.

To read up on Final's R&D journey which led to today's D8000, take time out for their PDF. It covers details which reiterate that theirs is an original take on an old forgotten technology which only in recent years saw a big renaissance or popular uprising with models from Fostex, HifiMan and Audeze followed by Oppo, MrSpeaker and others.

The chart shows team Final's assessment of the respective strengths and weaknesses of the three main headphone types. This mapped out areas for which their R&D sought to improve the behaviour and performance of their own planarmagnetics.

With the Munich presentation having mentioned plan(ar)s to eventually expand their range across multiple price points equivalent to the existing Sonorous models, I asked Jojo where that placed the D8000. My assumption was a Sonorous VIII positioning which she confirmed. "The planarmagnetic driver series will still see a future flagship and trickle-down entry-level models for the mass market. At the moment we simply have no exact roll-out." In short, Mr. First-out-the-door would be boss for a while even if demotion to second-in-command already loomed on the horizon.