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Sennheiser HD800 Appreciation Thread - Page 394  

post #5896 of 6600

Listening to the stock-cabled HD 800 for the first time after being at a conference for a few days and it's revealing some lossless Donald Fagen recordings fed through my Lavry DA10 with commendable, spot-on aplomb. What a win for Sennheiser! smily_headphones1.gif


Edited by Windsor - 11/14/12 at 6:37pm
post #5897 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

Contact Brian at BTG Audio. His prices are very reasonable.

post #5898 of 6600
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!

I have heard the same thing about silver vs. copper and will probably try a silver cable some day, just not yet because as you said at this point I'll see much more change/improvement with a new amp.
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

 

I got my HD800 stock cable re-terminated with a 4-pin XLR back in 2009 when it came out.  I had the 12" section with the plug converted into an adapter by adding a 4-pin XLR jack to the cut-end.  It was nice for a few months, but a new single ended upgraded cable was better.  I didn't want to cut the single ended Locus-Design Hyperion cable, so I bought a new balanced cable.

 

I am currently using a Moon Audio Black Dragon and I'm very pleased.  I bet you can get one made with balanced connector for under $350 if you don't need a very long one.

The Black Dragon is one of the cables I am considering because of the cost and how most say it mellows/warms/takes the edge off (what ever you want to call it) the HD 800s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post


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.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Y2HBK View Post

Contact Brian at BTG Audio. His prices are very reasonable.

I will definitely contact Chris and Brian and see what they have to offer. Affordable cables that sound decent/good almost sounds too good to be true (no pun intended).

 

Thanks for all the advice/suggestions, seems I have some more digging to do :)

 

Thanks,

 

redmaw

post #5899 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!

Back when I owned the HD650, I had compared it extensively with the HD800 off the E9. The HD800 is a much more resolving headphone and sounds much larger; it's definitely a step over the HD650.

 

Another thing, I don't know if it's because the E9 is dark, or it just can't resolve that much detail; but the HD800's actually matched that amp better than the HD650 to my ears. They're both equally as hard to drive with this amp, but you can still get decent sound. If you like what you hear right now with the 650's, I think you'll be greatly impressed with the HD800's.

 

But I do recommend you upgrade amp/dac sooner than later.

post #5900 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by dleblanc343 View Post

Back when I owned the HD650, I had compared it extensively with the HD800 off the E9. The HD800 is a much more resolving headphone and sounds much larger; it's definitely a step over the HD650.

 

Another thing, I don't know if it's because the E9 is dark, or it just can't resolve that much detail; but the HD800's actually matched that amp better than the HD650 to my ears. They're both equally as hard to drive with this amp, but you can still get decent sound. If you like what you hear right now with the 650's, I think you'll be greatly impressed with the HD800's.

 

But I do recommend you upgrade amp/dac sooner than later.

 

well according to experience i have seen that an amp creates more of a difference than the dac... so i am gonna do the amp first.... i am set to upgrade to hi-fi like hd800 or the audeze lcd2(maybe he-6).... i am thinking of getting the schiit lyr+bifrost which i think would give me great power+performance for most things.... after those upgrades i will check the sound difference with the he400 and the hd650.... maybe i would be satisfied right there... if not then i would be upgrading to hd800 and lcd2(plan to buy both) but it looks like it would take me a whole year to get that far... but only 3 months for the amp-dac upgrade(i hate to wait:P)... is the lyr+bifrost a mid grade upgrade or a high grade upgrade?? i won't ask if would get the best out of the hd800 and lcd2 but would it be good enough?? or mjolnir would be more suited as my avatar suggests:D?? i am sure no one in my whole country would be spending so much on headphone gear:D


Edited by h4mm3r 0f th0r - 11/15/12 at 2:33am
post #5901 of 6600

I'm thinking about purchasing the HD 800s and pairing them with a Violectric V200 amp. Many of my recordings are older ones, mainly operas from the 50s, 60s and 70s by artists like Callas, Bjorling, Pavarotti, etc. Do you think this combo can bring out the beauty of these recordings without always reminding me that I'm listening to an inferior recording? Source would be a Densen B-410 cd player.


Best,
Joel

 

post #5902 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by avrosse View Post

I'm thinking about purchasing the HD 800s and pairing them with a Violectric V200 amp. Many of my recordings are older ones, mainly operas from the 50s, 60s and 70s by artists like Callas, Bjorling, Pavarotti, etc. Do you think this combo can bring out the beauty of these recordings without always reminding me that I'm listening to an inferior recording? Source would be a Densen B-410 cd player.


Best,
Joel

 


Maybe not the best idea in the world.

 

I would look for a more forgiving headphone - the HD600 is pretty damn good for that kind of music and it's a lot more forgiving than the HD800. Not to mention about 1/3 the price.

 

A HD600 and a midrange tube amp would give you bucket loads of "beauty" for about the same price as a HD800.


Edited by TwoEars - 11/16/12 at 6:17am
post #5903 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by avrosse View Post

I'm thinking about purchasing the HD 800s and pairing them with a Violectric V200 amp. Many of my recordings are older ones, mainly operas from the 50s, 60s and 70s by artists like Callas, Bjorling, Pavarotti, etc. Do you think this combo can bring out the beauty of these recordings without always reminding me that I'm listening to an inferior recording? Source would be a Densen B-410 cd player.


Best,
Joel

 

I haven't heard the V200, but I have seen it written that it is a warmer than neutral sounding amp, which with the HD 800 may smoothen and soften the details of the recording. A even smoother sound can also be achieved by a smoother-sounding headphone such as the HD 600.


Talking about recordings sounding inferior / of low quality with the HD 800 is mind fodder. I have a very transparent source that I use with the HD 800, and I could say this combo sounds too revealing and it will be if I think that way. To me it adds character to old recordings. I'm enjoying hearing some Frank Sinatra right now and it sounds delightful. The whole experience transcends just the recording. The HD 800 is a truly awesome headphone that sounds as marvellous as you allow it to be. 

I can't count how much I just enjoy music these days without criticizing equipment. Here's some of what I recently wrote along those lines, if you're interested: http://www.head-fi.org/t/626835/listening-to-headphones-and-hearing-the-music#post_8709949

 

smily_headphones1.gif


Edited by Windsor - 11/16/12 at 6:35am
post #5904 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by h4mm3r 0f th0r View Post

 

well according to experience i have seen that an amp creates more of a difference than the dac... so i am gonna do the amp first.... i am set to upgrade to hi-fi like hd800 or the audeze lcd2(maybe he-6).... i am thinking of getting the schiit lyr+bifrost which i think would give me great power+performance for most things.... after those upgrades i will check the sound difference with the he400 and the hd650.... maybe i would be satisfied right there... if not then i would be upgrading to hd800 and lcd2(plan to buy both) but it looks like it would take me a whole year to get that far... but only 3 months for the amp-dac upgrade(i hate to wait:P)... is the lyr+bifrost a mid grade upgrade or a high grade upgrade?? i won't ask if would get the best out of the hd800 and lcd2 but would it be good enough?? or mjolnir would be more suited as my avatar suggests:D?? i am sure no one in my whole country would be spending so much on headphone gear:D

 

The Lyr + Bifrost is an excellent pairing with HD650 and with LCD-2.  Contrary to what some folks say, I also think it sounds excellent with HD800, however IMO it does also still limit HD800's potential.  It's a good sounding pair, no question, but HD800 can still do much better (Mjolnir for example.)

 

HE-6...that's a whole different route. They require substantial power and while a Lyr can  drive them, they only drive them to the level of HE-500 or so.  Mjolnir is among the handful of amps that can properly drive them, and most HE-6 users are using speaker amplifiers instead since they can be had more cheaply for more appropriate power levels.  IMO, if going with Lyr specifically, HD800 and LCD-2 are excellent options still, but HE-6 is probably not a wise purchase with that combination.  It'll work, it'll sound good, but ultimately it won't make them much more special than HE-500 at half the price.

 

LCD-2 synergy with Lyr is famous.  And I feel it has amazing synergy with HD650 as well.  I do feel it sounds fantastic with HD800, but if topping out with Lyr, I think there's a lot less merit in getting HD800.  Mjolnir + HD800 is phenominal though.

 

On the other hand for HE-400 and HD650, Lyr could easily be end-game.

 

Since your question indicated you know that Lyr isn't "the best" for HD800 and LCD-2, but you wanted to know if it would be "good enough", I'd say, absolutely, yes, it sounds fantastic.  It's just that there's things that sound even better.

post #5905 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

The Lyr + Bifrost is an excellent pairing with HD650 and with LCD-2.  Contrary to what some folks say, I also think it sounds excellent with HD800, however IMO it does also still limit HD800's potential.  It's a good sounding pair, no question, but HD800 can still do much better (Mjolnir for example.)

 

HE-6...that's a whole different route. They require substantial power and while a Lyr can  drive them, they only drive them to the level of HE-500 or so.  Mjolnir is among the handful of amps that can properly drive them, and most HE-6 users are using speaker amplifiers instead since they can be had more cheaply for more appropriate power levels.  IMO, if going with Lyr specifically, HD800 and LCD-2 are excellent options still, but HE-6 is probably not a wise purchase with that combination.  It'll work, it'll sound good, but ultimately it won't make them much more special than HE-500 at half the price.

 

LCD-2 synergy with Lyr is famous.  And I feel it has amazing synergy with HD650 as well.  I do feel it sounds fantastic with HD800, but if topping out with Lyr, I think there's a lot less merit in getting HD800.  Mjolnir + HD800 is phenominal though.

 

On the other hand for HE-400 and HD650, Lyr could easily be end-game.

 

Since your question indicated you know that Lyr isn't "the best" for HD800 and LCD-2, but you wanted to know if it would be "good enough", I'd say, absolutely, yes, it sounds fantastic.  It's just that there's things that sound even better.

 

i guess i can still go for a mjolnir.... but that can delay the dac... but i don't think it would be a problem until i have enough money for a high end headphone... i might be able to get a good dac before that....

post #5906 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by h4mm3r 0f th0r View Post

 

i guess i can still go for a mjolnir.... but that can delay the dac... but i don't think it would be a problem until i have enough money for a high end headphone... i might be able to get a good dac before that....

 

It's a tough choice.  Lyr + Bifrost is an excellent combination.  And DAC is very important.  On the other hand if you're going to spend the money and go through the agrivation of importing, and especially if you intend to go the HD800 route....I wouldn't overlook getting the Mjolnir now and the rest later.  The amp, especially for HD800, is a harder item to acquire than a competent DAC.  Not that DAC isn't very important, but there are more commonly available "decent quality" DACs than "amps that happen to have synergy with headphone X".

 

It just depends what you want out of it.  You would definitely not dislike the Lyr with any of these headphones (except HE-6) either.  It's a very capable amp.  MJ is just more capable.

post #5907 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windsor View Post

Talking about recordings sounding inferior / of low quality with the HD 800 is mind fodder. I have a very transparent source that I use with the HD 800, and I could say this combo sounds too revealing and it will be if I think that way. To me it adds character to old recordings. I'm enjoying hearing some Frank Sinatra right now and it sounds delightful. The whole experience transcends just the recording. The HD 800 is a truly awesome headphone that sounds as marvellous as you allow it to be. 

smily_headphones1.gif

 

I think you're confusing low quality recordings with old recordings. I agree Frank Sinatra, including his very old Capitol recordings sound fantastic on HD800.  But the thing is Frank's recordings were indeed excellent recordings.  That man had the best available at the time.  While that might not compare to the best Chesky has available today, it was still through and through excellent...with some very nice tubes in those mics.  It wasn't until the 70's remasters that he had it "remastered for the modern ear" that the recordings started getting more smeared.  But even those, by contrast to truly bad recordings was still some really good masters.

 

The bad recordings come in mostly with modern pop, indie publishers (indie, not audiophile niche), some "unknown" rock/metal/whatever recordings, and some vintage jazz from artists who weren't quite famous yet but their old recordings were made public after they were famous, etc. (The recording on some of Thelonious Monks's earlier work is horrid.  But it's early work from Monk...so it's worth a listen.  Just not on HD800 evil_smiley.gif

post #5908 of 6600

Three words to describe the HD800: Precision, Neutrality, Soundstage.

 

Beauty can be there too - but only if it is on the recording.

 

For some this is too much honesty, others love it.


Edited by TwoEars - 11/16/12 at 12:20pm
post #5909 of 6600
I have a good assortment of headphones and enjoy them all, but every time I come back to the HD800 I really appreciate them!

Just chiming in because they're on my head at the moment, listening to some Nitin Sawhney.
beerchug.gif
post #5910 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

I have a good assortment of headphones and enjoy them all, but every time I come back to the HD800 I really appreciate them!
Just chiming in because they're on my head at the moment, listening to some Nitin Sawhney.
beerchug.gif


I'm surprised you picked the HD800s for that music and not the LCD2 - care to ellaborate? smile.gif

 

But I don't blame you - with a little bass boost I find the HD800 superb for electronica. The quality of the bass and the texture they're able to produce is mind boggling - and don't get me started on the soundstage.

 

You just need a very good DAC to bring out the best from them.

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