Don't know how I missed that, fixed
k1000 owners club - Page 81
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Before you read this, let me just say that the differences I noted were not earth-shattering. They were subtle, but spread over a number of areas so that the holistic sound was quite distinct between the two headphones.
The K1000 failed to render spatial cues that the HD800 could. IMO, the latter's soundstage is more recording-dependent. It can scale from relatively small to absolutely huge (quite a bit larger than the K1000). The Senns also produce a more enveloping and layered stage, filled with more microdetail. What makes the K1000s special is the complete physical separation and distancing of drivers as well as the natural crossfeed from channel mixing. This gives them a special open, speaker-like quality. However, as a transducer reproducing the space of the recording, the K1000 is significantly behind the HD800. Put another way, the K1K's presentation is almost like a wall of sound in comparison.
There are a bunch of things really which I don't have the time to delve into. Microdetail, soundstage layering, nuance, microdynamics, frequency extension...just some of the areas where there's a noticeable difference between the 800 and K1K.
The HE6, LCD2, and in some ways the T1 and SRH1840 surpass the K1000 in several areas I mentioned. But, to me, it was most apparent when comparing to the HD800.
Mike on headfonia went overboard with his criticism of the K1000 no doubt, but if you water down some of his arguments, I personally think there's some truth to them. Although, I didn't have nearly as much problems with the tone as he did, especially since I got mine recabled.
Of note, mine were the bass-heavy pair. I've never heard the bass-light version. Speaking of which, I felt mine had amazing bass punch that trumped all my other cans. Their sound was also very direct, energetic and fast with world-class macrodynamics. Again, in these specific areas, they were among the best IMO.
Have you heard the Stax 007? In regards to the technical qualities you mentioned (aside from the soundstage "recording dependent" characteristic), the 007 has the HD800 easily beat (and the HE-90 does as well for that matter). I wanted to point that out since it might be a good fit for what you value. It's definitely worth giving a listen. I also brought that up to hammer my point once more that the old stuff doesn't "sound outdated". I'm not sure what outdated sounds like anyway or what that even means . In fact, in many areas the new headphones have been a bit disappointing given the massive hype and marketing. I really was hoping for more at this point. I think the 007 has most of the new stuff beat if technical ability is what's most important to you. (didn't get to hear the 009 yet)
I do agree with some of your observations and disagree with others. But I don't really want to hash out all the micro differences since something simple like amp matching for either the HD800 or K-1000 could tip the scale either way. And remember the K-1000 has a large advantage by being able to scale with any speaker amp out there. If you have the $, you can make the K-1000s reflect the sound of a very high end system. I don't remember the model, but the best I've heard was the K-1000 being driven by a $15K tube amp that foo_me brought to a meet. And yes, it was dramatically better in all technical areas than the one I compared the HD800s with. Most headphones, including the HD800 are limited to a MUCH smaller market of headphone amps available.
I'd say for me the K-1000s just seemed to dig deeper and had a more natural presentation. The HD800 has an artificial layering to its sound that's hard to describe. It's subtle but unavoidable. Others have articulated this way better than I can. Its more the timbre and clinical nature of the sound itself that I have issues with as apposed to any technical shortcomings. The highs of the K-1000 are more crisp IMO without that small degree of splashiness or sharpness that I hear on the HD800. They both compare well with regards to the mid-range. The bass was clinical sounding on the HD800 in comparison to the K-1000 and lacked impact which took the life out of the music for me. The HD800 did have more extension however. It just was a non engaging experience, and that rates high for me. I would say the one area that I felt the HD800 did noticeably better was the spacial ques, etc. that you mentioned.
Both headphones are very neutral and detailed, and I believe on the same level along with a bunch of other headphones. Both are very well designed and have very few shortcomings. I think it really comes down to what's important to each individual taste rather than a horse race or technical battle. They both compete on the same level, but their presentation, timbre and individual qualities are what become the deciding factor between the two.
As far as the LCD-2. Its a fun, detailed, competent headphone, but is not close to being an all-a-rounder, and frankly, wasn't all that interesting to me. I think I would choose the HD800 over them. The LCD-3 was an improvement although some others disagree. I do think if you listen to mainly rock, they might be the ticket. I just don't see them being an ideal fit with classical which I listen to often.
- 5,727 Posts. Joined 1/2006
- Location: Rotterdam city, The Netherlands
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Maybe it was Zanden 7000 300B integrated? It was the best I ever tried so far, dont think there are better out there, maybe just different.
I don't remember the model, but the best I've heard was the K-1000 being driven by a $15K tube amp that foo_me brought to a meet. And yes, it was dramatically better in all technical areas than the one I compared the HD800s with. Most headphones, including the HD800 are limited to a MUCH smaller market of headphone amps available.
Edited by Blackmore - 7/27/12 at 1:20pm
I was able to get a First Watt F5 clone for a decent price. I'm hoping it will give me even more detail and extension than my larger class B amp does. I'm also thinking of adding a tube pre-amp to the system, I see Bottlehead is currently working on a new 300B preamp which sounds interesting but I'd be open to suggestions for other tube pre amps people have enjoyed with their K1K.
- 1,616 Posts. Joined 6/2009
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Yes sorry madbull ... i saw your post when i went to post my announcement. Not that i have been following this thread before as i wasn't an owner of a pair of K1000's until now. I thought to myself this person isn't going to be happy. These cans were posted on another Australian audio site. Just right place at the right time i guess. Don't see too many come up for sale i must admit. I trust you are trolling the FS thread?
What type of amps they being driven with? You have TWO K1000's? Bad enough i have several pairs of headphones ... yet alone more than one pair of the same type!!! Admittedly i do have 2x pairs of 701's (a balanced set and a single ended set)
Anytime Niall .....