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Sennheiser HD800 Appreciation Thread - Page 393  

post #5881 of 6600

Originally Posted by haquocdung View Post

I have question to HD800 owners, could you hear a differences between good quality mp3 320kps & other lossless format? If yes, how big is the differences?

 

Thank you.

 

Yes, I can tell the difference between 16bit/44khz source material (FLAC and Apple Loseless) -vs- LAME MP3 encoded at 320kps VBS and AAC at 256kps. I could hear the difference with my HD800 being driven by a Lavry DA11, but it didn't take a high end rig.  I can tell the difference with my iPhone into Etymotic HF3, or the original SqueezeBox into NHT SuperOne speakers.  I couldn't always identify what the difference was, but the lossy almost always sounded "wrong". leaving be feeling somewhat uncomfortable.

 

It's incredibly simple to do this sort of test for yourself and I would encourage you to give it a try and then let what you hear guide what you do. I wish I didn't hear the difference.  My loseless collection doesn't fully fit on my laptop, and certainly doesn't fit on my iPhone so I end up having to actively manage what I sync and it's not uncommon for me to discover I don't have something on my device that I want to listen to. My daughter doesn't really notice a difference, so she is using AAC.  Our entire collection easily fits on her laptop, and just fits into her iPod.  So she never experiences the "I want to listen to ___, shoot, it's now on this device" and she is happy using Spotify rather than purchasing CDs for most things.

 

--Mark


Edited by verber - 11/14/12 at 8:09am
post #5882 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

I just noticed you said 320kbps MP3.  It's hard to tell actually, but if ever I did notice a difference, it was more an ambiance type difference where one thing sounds more natural than another.  

 

One time, I did quite well on a BT where I had to tell apart 16/44 and 24/192, but that was not with an HD800, and I wouldn't trust an HD800 to do as well.  And to be fair, the other person I was testing with did quite poorly.

 

I don't think it's worth agonizing over, but I stick with lossless because with certain tracks, I do notice it comes off a little more natural on better equipment.

 

With 320 vs lossless, in most cases I can't tell a difference.  In some cases I can, on particular tracks.  This likely comes down to the encoder/decoder more than the nature of the lossless, however MP3 irks me as a whole since it removes entire frequency bands from the playback.  Always the same frequency bands.  the higher bitrate the fewer bands it remvoves, but the idea of just dropping the EQ to nil on specific bands and basing the whole thing on the assumption that the listener's ear won't perceive those lost frequences just strikes me as the opposite of hi-fi despite that in most cases it really does work.  AAC and Vorbis don't work that way and are almost automatically superior to MP3 in my mind for that reason.  Trouble is I hate the utilities to handle those codecs.  Nero AAC is awful.

 

16/44.1 vs 24/192 (or 96) is a whole different mess because if you're comparing two releases of the recording, you may be comparing different masters, so of course there will be differences.  The only way to really test it is to take your own 24/192 copy, and downsample it, dither it, etc to 16/44.1 and test.  But then are you testing the format difference or your mixer/software/process?  Which is why 24/192 (or 96) tends to be "better" in most cases to begin with.  You start with the studio master and leave it alone without a chance to introduce more problems biggrin.gif

 

Conversely some hardware just handles the format better.  I noticed improvements (stark ones) when adding the SRC to upsample everything to 24/96.  Why?  Part of it is it's before the DEQ and the EQ math is helped along feeding it 96 (sloped adjustments get to slope across more samples, and has a larger word length for rounding,  leaving less artifacts, etc.)  The other part is because I get to use the slow low pass filter on my DAC rather than the normal brick-wall one.

 

So talking about audio resolution gets to be a mess because it comes down to not just evaluating the sound of two formats, but rather evaluating multiple masters, multiple resamples at the studio, the encoder/decoder  if it has issues, and the way your own hardware handles processing different sample rates.  In most cases you really are comparing two different masters that will actually sound different regardless of what the sample rate is. 

 

(FWIW, I know you know all that, sphinx, so this was more for others reading wink_face.gif)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

There's no myth about this.  This has been stated many, many time over and over.  It's just people refuse to hear it.  I first experienced it when we visited the audio store.  Quality amps with less power sounded way better.

 

There's only a myth because of the HE-6 haters out there and because most mid tier headphone amps can't drive it.  So the first thing people like to say is they need goo gobs of power. 

 

I just happen to have mine at the moment on 200wpc speaker amps on accident.  Soon to be on a lower powered, high quality amp. 

 

The need for relatively good amounts of power isn't a myth, but the myth is that people think it's only about power and quality doesn't matter (look back a through this thread for example and you'll see more than one direct statement that "unlike HE-6 that needs tons of power but quality doesn't matter much, HD800 needs high quality."  That's the myth part.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

I think the reason for this is because most are using a speaker amp with an exorbitant amount of power. Look at the J2, it puts out way less power than most of the speaker amps used (The T-amps

are one of the few that come to mind that offer less power), but the J2 is high quality.

 

Similarly to the HD800, it's more about the quality of the amp than just the raw power..

 

And as the prep man just said "Quality amps with less power sounded way better"

 

So although I like to tease prep, it's clear to me prep doesn't think it's all about 

ridiculous power requirements.

 

It also comes down to the fact that most mass market speaker amps are simply made as high power amps because big numbers move products, and a lot of speaker enthusiasts do drive demanding speakers.  The "low power speaker amps" tend to be the boutique class-A and tube amps which are comparatively more scarce and expensive.  So it just so happens that speaker amps do better with HE-6 than most headphone amps, and most speaker amps happen to be high power, so most people use high powered speaker amps.

 

Find a power amp running less than 100wpc for under $1500 that doesn't weigh 45lbs and not fit on the table biggrin.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

More power is almost always better provided quality can be maintained. But the claims that more power automagically cures the HE-6s weaknesses, i.e. the treble etch, is utter ********. Only quality or amps of a certain character cured that.

 

Funny thing is I've yet to hear this infamous "etch."  Magickman steered me in the right direction with Marantz I think biggrin.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

That's true..

 

9W monoblocks FTW! evil_smiley.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dallan View Post

 

 
I read the same impedance, and not necessarily easier to drive actually.
 
HD800
Technical Data
Cable length 9.8 ft. (3 m)
Contact pressure 3.4 N (± 0.3 N) approx.
Ear coupling Around-the-ear
Frequency response (headphones) 6 – 51,000 Hz (- 10 dB), 14 - 44,100 Hz (- 3 dB)
Jack plug ¼” (6.3 mm) stereo jack
Nominal impedance 300 Ω
   

 

 

HD650

 

 

 

Technical Data
Cable length 9.8 ft. (3 m)
Contact pressure Approx. 2.5 N
Ear coupling Around-the-ear
Frequency response (headphones) 10.....39,500 Hz
Jack plug 6.3/3.5 mm stereo
Nominal impedance 300 Ω

 

Strange...I was thinking of the HD650 as 350ohm.   And on paper only 1db difference at 1vrms.  Though the linearity of that impedance probably comes into play...these aren't planars.  Also the 1dB of sensitivity means...what....not quite 30% difference since it's logs...18% power difference more or less?

post #5883 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

16/44.1 vs 24/192 (or 96) is a whole different mess because if you're comparing two releases of the recording, you may be comparing different masters, so of course there will be differences.  The only way to really test it is to take your own 24/192 copy, and downsample it, dither it, etc to 16/44.1 and test.  

 

We did actually down-convert the 24/192 for that test.  =]

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

But then are you testing the format difference or your mixer/software/process?  

 

Valid point.

post #5884 of 6600

i currently use my hd650 which is powered by a fiio e9(high gain) through the speaker output of essence st... i wanted to ask that if i upgraded to the hd800 then would i notice a clear cut difference... ofcourse i will shift to higher end amp/dac combo later down the road when i can save enough money.... or would it be too bad with my setup and i should upgrade the dac/amp combo first before going to higher end headphones as i, sometimes, get the impression, from posts on the forums, that my audio setup is sub-par for even the hd650s(or is it?)... as i live in pakistan, it is exceedingly hard to import stuff and, amazingly, high end sennheisers like hd800/hd700 are available here but no matching quality amps or dacs(any amps or dacs for that matter)... had to import everything other than the hd650s which are available here...


Edited by h4mm3r 0f th0r - 11/14/12 at 9:18am
post #5885 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

 

We did actually down-convert the 24/192 for that test.  =]

 

 

 

Valid point.

 

That's a much better test then! biggrin.gif   Did you apply appropriate dithering and noise shaping in your downsampling process? And what tools were used?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by h4mm3r 0f th0r View Post

i currently use my hd650 which is powered by a fiio e9(high gain) through the speaker output of essence st... i wanted to ask that if i upgraded to the hd800 then would i notice a clear cut difference... ofcourse i will shift to higher end amp/dac combo later down the road when i can save enough money.... or would it be too bad with my setup and i should upgrade the dac/amp combo first before going to higher end headphones as i, sometimes, get the impression, from posts on the forums, that my audio setup is sub-par for even the hd650s(or is it?)... as i live in pakistan, it is exceedingly hard to import stuff and, amazingly, high end sennheisers like hd800/hd700 are available here but no matching quality amps or dacs(any amps or dacs for that matter)... had to import everything other than the hd650s which are available here...

 

You would of course notice a "difference" since the HD800 and HD650 are not voiced very similarly at all.  More stark than any quality difference is simply the signature difference. 

 

However, HD800 is famous for being remarkably picky and revealing of the rest of the chain.  E9 is "more than minimally adequate" for HD650, however the HD650 can do much better than that, so if you're going to be upgrading to something like HD800, it may pay to get more out of your HD650 first.  Beyond that, HD800 has something of a notoriety for harshness on gear it doesn't like, and some people who have upgraded to HD800 find they actually found it less enjoyable than HD650 and switched back.  I love the HD650, it's still among my all-time favorites, and what it does it does very well, though from a technical standpoint, if EQ'd to taste (a.k.a. get rid of the horrid treble shelf) it is definitely more capable.  But the result of HD650's tendency to make even harsh sources/recordings sound pleasant is a strength if you're not pairing it with the best of gear.  HD650 can do better than E9, but it can certainly sound good on E9.  While I no longer have E9 to test, I highly suspect HD800 may not sound quite as pleasant on it.   It sounds like you're using a PC as a source though, and with appropriate EQ, it's still possible you may like it more...  That's a tough call since while E9 isn't really up to HD800 caliber, it's not an entirely terrible amp, either...  If you get a chance to audition the HD800 with your E9 somewhere, that may be more helpful in deciding what route to go!

post #5886 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

That's a much better test then! biggrin.gif   Did you apply appropriate dithering and noise shaping in your downsampling process? And what tools were used?

 

We didn't.  It was informal (i.e. we possibly screwed it up?)  =]

 

A friend &  I decided to test on a whim.  A track was selected, we used Max to down convert, cut 20 second samples and took a bunch of tries each at guessing which was which...my overall was something like 75% accuracy.  

 

The Zodiac > KGSSHV > SR009 we had helped.  I'm 100% sure I wouldn't have been able to tell on an 800.

post #5887 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

That's a much better test then! biggrin.gif   Did you apply appropriate dithering and noise shaping in your downsampling process? And what tools were used?

 

 

You would of course notice a "difference" since the HD800 and HD650 are not voiced very similarly at all.  More stark than any quality difference is simply the signature difference. 

 

However, HD800 is famous for being remarkably picky and revealing of the rest of the chain.  E9 is "more than minimally adequate" for HD650, however the HD650 can do much better than that, so if you're going to be upgrading to something like HD800, it may pay to get more out of your HD650 first.  Beyond that, HD800 has something of a notoriety for harshness on gear it doesn't like, and some people who have upgraded to HD800 find they actually found it less enjoyable than HD650 and switched back.  I love the HD650, it's still among my all-time favorites, and what it does it does very well, though from a technical standpoint, if EQ'd to taste (a.k.a. get rid of the horrid treble shelf) it is definitely more capable.  But the result of HD650's tendency to make even harsh sources/recordings sound pleasant is a strength if you're not pairing it with the best of gear.  HD650 can do better than E9, but it can certainly sound good on E9.  While I no longer have E9 to test, I highly suspect HD800 may not sound quite as pleasant on it.   It sounds like you're using a PC as a source though, and with appropriate EQ, it's still possible you may like it more...  That's a tough call since while E9 isn't really up to HD800 caliber, it's not an entirely terrible amp, either...  If you get a chance to audition the HD800 with your E9 somewhere, that may be more helpful in deciding what route to go!

 

i am read a review of e9 where it is used with higher end headphones on low gain settings... it was found to have adequate power levels but not that good quality wise... although according to the review, hd650 went quite well with the e9... i also think that i should improve on my amp/dac combo first, which more emphasis on higher quality amp first....

post #5888 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by h4mm3r 0f th0r View Post

i currently use my hd650 which is powered by a fiio e9(high gain) through the speaker output of essence st... i wanted to ask that if i upgraded to the hd800 then would i notice a clear cut difference... ofcourse i will shift to higher end amp/dac combo later down the road when i can save enough money.... or would it be too bad with my setup and i should upgrade the dac/amp combo first before going to higher end headphones as i, sometimes, get the impression, from posts on the forums, that my audio setup is sub-par for even the hd650s(or is it?)... as i live in pakistan, it is exceedingly hard to import stuff and, amazingly, high end sennheisers like hd800/hd700 are available here but no matching quality amps or dacs(any amps or dacs for that matter)... had to import everything other than the hd650s which are available here...

 

Yes.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by budx3385 View Post

I compared copper and silver cables of comparable construction from DHC, and the silver was much more transparent IMO. It needed >400 hrs to lose that sheen, but after that it became balanced, very natural in tone and timbre on several headphones (I use DHC mini-XLR adaptors so that I can swap cables easily.).

 

For me, the greatest difference came from finding the right amp / tube setup. I had always felt my HD800 was either too bright or too dark, and somehow artificial - reproduced music, not live music. When I put the Sophia Princess 2A3s in my DNA Stratus, my HD800 became an amazing headphone -- I had never heard it perform so beautifully! A gorgeous, wide and deep, seamless soundworld at a comfortable perspective, perfectly natural tonality, and so liquid smooth and detailed, I felt it had suddenly surpassed the HE-6 and SR-009, both of which have been here a significant length of time. And now I use my HD800 almost all of the time.

 

So, count me as another HD800-fanboy!

 

^ Spot on. 80% of the time I have silver on mine. Though there are times when a copper cable comes in handy.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by haquocdung View Post

I have question to HD800 owners, could you hear a differences between good quality mp3 320kps & other lossless format? If yes, how big is the differences?

 

Thank you.

 

Depends on the recording quality (I don't mean bitrate). I've heard crappy recordings sound indistinguishable in FLAC vs MP3, but good quality ones easily discernable in various bitrates. It goes without saying that ancillary equipment and sensory acuity + training play a big role.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarknightDK View Post

 

This is interesting. I'm in the market to upgrade the stock cables for the HD800 and am contemplating getting silver or copper cables. As I would like the most resolving, detailed and transparent cable for the HD800, silver seems to be the obvious choice. However, I'm afraid that a silver cable would enhance the sibilance of the HD800, making it sound overly bright.Would this be the case or are my fears unfounded? Welcome anyone to chime in based on your experience and what would be the ideal cable upgrade for the HD800?

 

Depends on the rest of your chain. If the signal's sibilant, it will sound sibilant. With copper, you'll get a more forgiving sound that masks flaws, but the headphones will still remain HD800s (ie. fairly revealing).

Silver = worse than copper with subpar gear and better than copper on good gear.

post #5889 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by h4mm3r 0f th0r View Post

i currently use my hd650 which is powered by a fiio e9(high gain) through the speaker output of essence st... i wanted to ask that if i upgraded to the hd800 then would i notice a clear cut difference... ofcourse i will shift to higher end amp/dac combo later down the road when i can save enough money.... or would it be too bad with my setup and i should upgrade the dac/amp combo first before going to higher end headphones as i, sometimes, get the impression, from posts on the forums, that my audio setup is sub-par for even the hd650s(or is it?)... as i live in pakistan, it is exceedingly hard to import stuff and, amazingly, high end sennheisers like hd800/hd700 are available here but no matching quality amps or dacs(any amps or dacs for that matter)... had to import everything other than the hd650s which are available here...

 

The HD800 sounds completely different from the HD650, so yes you will hear a difference.  How would the HD800 be with the e9?  I can't tell you since I don't have one. As others have stated, the HD800 is brutally revealing and has a hot treble. It seems they magnify . throw a spotlight on anything that is off. With the beautifully masters tracks I have been able to really enjoy the HD800 fed directly by a Dragonfly DAC/amp or through the Fostex HP-1P. The majority of my tracks are enjoyable through the Dragonfly or the HP-1P (I would rather be using the HD800 than any other dynamic headphone), but don't really shine until the HD800 is fed in a better stack (right now this would be the Dragonfly into a Headamp Gilmore Lite or a Lavry DA11).  There are some tracks which are still painful to listen to. I am hoping that a Headamp GS-X through balanced cables will smooth this out... I hopefully will know if this is the case in a month or two.

 

--Mark

post #5890 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by verber View Post

 

The HD800 sounds completely different from the HD650, so yes you will hear a difference.  How would the HD800 be with the e9?  I can't tell you since I don't have one. As others have stated, the HD800 is brutally revealing and has a hot treble. It seems they magnify . throw a spotlight on anything that is off. With the beautifully masters tracks I have been able to really enjoy the HD800 fed directly by a Dragonfly DAC/amp or through the Fostex HP-1P. The majority of my tracks are enjoyable through the Dragonfly or the HP-1P (I would rather be using the HD800 than any other dynamic headphone), but don't really shine until the HD800 is fed in a better stack (right now this would be the Dragonfly into a Headamp Gilmore Lite or a Lavry DA11).  There are some tracks which are still painful to listen to. I am hoping that a Headamp GS-X through balanced cables will smooth this out... I hopefully will know if this is the case in a month or two.

 

--Mark

 

You know the GS-X is even more revealing than the Glite right?

post #5891 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

 

We didn't.  It was informal (i.e. we possibly screwed it up?)  =]

 

A friend &  I decided to test on a whim.  A track was selected, we used Max to down convert, cut 20 second samples and took a bunch of tries each at guessing which was which...my overall was something like 75% accuracy.  

 

The Zodiac > KGSSHV > SR009 we had helped.  I'm 100% sure I wouldn't have been able to tell on an 800.


biggrin.gif  Don't be so sure....unless Max has some form of dithering and noise shaping by default when it downsamples you could probably hear the difference between the formats on HD429s tongue_smile.gif   Otherwise shortening the world length from 24 bit to 16 bit would have simply truncated and left some pretty nasty quantization artifacts from the downsampling  and would have been a moderately invalid test redface.gif

 

Don't worry, that's the same mistake 70% of the studios make which is why the 24/96 version of almost any recording tends to sound better evil_smiley.gif

 

It's still irksome that 24/96 is sold as "it's higher res and therefore better" instead of the more usual culprit: "It's higher res and therefore didn't give us a chance to ruin it." devil_face.gif


Edited by IEMCrazy - 11/14/12 at 1:15pm
post #5892 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post


biggrin.gif  Don't be so sure....unless Max has some form of dithering and noise shaping by default when it downsamples you could probably hear the difference between the formats on HD429s tongue_smile.gif   Otherwise shortening the world length from 24 bit to 16 bit would have simply truncated and left some pretty nasty quantization artifacts from the downsampling  and would have been a moderately invalid test redface.gif

 

Don't worry, that's the same mistake 70% of the studios make which is why the 24/96 version of almost any recording tends to sound better evil_smiley.gif

 

It's still irksome that 24/96 is sold as "it's higher res and therefore better" instead of the more usual culprit: "It's higher res and therefore didn't give us a chance to ruin it." devil_face.gif

 

Lol, I'll have to ask my friend to make sure.  Did a quick search on Max but didn't see anything compelling to indicate it compensates with dithering / noise shaping.  =/

post #5893 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by redmaw View Post

I am thinking about getting a balanced amp, however I'm not sure if I should just re-terminate the stock cable or try and buy a "cheap" balanced cable. While I have not had the opportunity to audition any cables, I have read they only make subtle changes so I view them as pretty much the last part of a setup to buy. I have not reached that point so do not really want to spend hundreds of dollars on a cable, yet I do not want a downgrade from stock either and would also prefer not to butcher the stock cable. Looking around head-fi I did not see any cables under 350 USD so I'm not sure if you can get a decent cable (equal to or superior than stock) for less than 200 USD (lower is better :P). Any advice/suggestions are welcome, and if you feel a certain cable is worth the price (or difference from another another cable) please say so.

Thanks,

redmaw
Send a pm to Chris_himself. His group does quality work for low prices. My 4pin XLR minimalist cable even with special order XLR plugs was about $90. I had two other cables made including a pair of XLR interconnects and all three cables were something like $230.
post #5894 of 6600

 Brian @ BTG Audio is also another good option.

post #5895 of 6600

I didn't think to highly of the Dynalo/HD800 combo I owned my self. Never thought I'd say it-but tubes seem to be the way to go with the Senn. I do think that the C-2.2 I used to own would have paired pretty well though with it's extremely smooth, but very detailed character.

 

-Daniel

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