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Sennheiser HD800 Appreciation Thread - Page 399  

post #5971 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

Top 3 SS amps that are musical with HD800?

 

Not claiming to have tried all SS amps out there, I can only speak for ones I've owned, and guess about the ones I've read about.

 

Dynahi, GS-X, GS-1 (crucial to have a good source for these), Beta22, M^3, CKKIII

 

Of the ones I haven't owned that I feel are worth a try: Apex Arete/Volcano (I do own the very similar Peak/Volcano), HiFiMAN EF-6, Schiit Mjolnir and Burson Soloist

post #5972 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

 

Not claiming to have tried all SS amps out there, I can only speak for ones I've owned, and guess about the ones I've read about.

 

Dynahi, GS-X, GS-1 (crucial to have a good source for these), Beta22, M^3, CKKIII

 

Of the ones I haven't owned that I feel are worth a try: Apex Arete/Volcano (I do own the very similar Peak/Volcano), HiFiMAN EF-6, Schiit Mjolnir and Burson Soloist


The Violectric V200 is often named as one of the best HD800 SS amps as well.

post #5973 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoEars View Post


The Violectric V200 is often named as one of the best HD800 SS amps as well.

 

Personally I don't hold the same opinion, but to each his own.

 

(I can only base my impressions off the V100 I owned).

post #5974 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

 

Not claiming to have tried all SS amps out there, I can only speak for ones I've owned, and guess about the ones I've read about.

 

Dynahi, GS-X, GS-1 (crucial to have a good source for these), Beta22, M^3, CKKIII

 

Of the ones I haven't owned that I feel are worth a try: Apex Arete/Volcano (I do own the very similar Peak/Volcano), HiFiMAN EF-6, Schiit Mjolnir and Burson Soloist

 

 

For sure.

 

The M^3 more so IMO..

post #5975 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

 

Not claiming to have tried all SS amps out there, I can only speak for ones I've owned, and guess about the ones I've read about.

 

Dynahi, GS-X, GS-1 (crucial to have a good source for these), Beta22, M^3, CKKIII

 

Of the ones I haven't owned that I feel are worth a try: Apex Arete/Volcano (I do own the very similar Peak/Volcano), HiFiMAN EF-6, Schiit Mjolnir and Burson Soloist

Thanks, Shahrose.

 

I would have actually presumed the Dynahi, GS-X and GS-1 wouldn't be good fits because of the HD800

being so anayltical and those amps being very transparent. Reason I'm apprehensive about pairing Mojo with one.

 

I guess I gotta try it out to find out for myself.

post #5976 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

Thanks, Shahrose.

 

I would have actually presumed the Dynahi, GS-X and GS-1 wouldn't be good fits because of the HD800

being so anayltical and those amps being very transparent. Reason I'm apprehensive about pairing Mojo with one.

 

I guess I gotta try it out to find out for myself.

 

 

The  CK²III is pretty neutral alsobiggrin.gif.   I'm just saying...

post #5977 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

The  CK²III is pretty neutral alsobiggrin.gif.   I'm just saying...

Oh yea, I know from anecdotes. It's just that I've had experience in listening to the aforementioned.

post #5978 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

Top 3 SS amps that are musical with HD800?

 

Assuming good source / recording my three favorite are the Dynahi, GS-1, and Headamp GLite. My ears are clearly not as refined as some here, because unless I am really paying attention, and can't tell the different between these three.  Hoping that the experience reported here, that the difference between the GS-X and the GS-1 is significantly more than between the GS-1 and the GLite, will be my experience as well.

 

I have had a limited time  listening to a Beta22 and an Apex Arete/Volcano.  I thought both were good, but not quite as transparent as the Gilmore designs mentioned above. Quite frankly, I found them just a bit better than the headphone jack on my Lavry DA-11 DAC.  I was unimpressed by the Burson H160. It had more gain than the headphone amp in my DA-11, but at equal volume, I liked the sound from the DA-11 better.

 

I know there are people who talk about how the beta22 or a good tube amp will be more musical and more forgiving than say the GS-1 or GS-X. After spending a bit of time listening to a couple of good tube amps for the HD80 my conclusion is that if I am listening to a bad recording, no amp will tame the HD800.  Crap will sound like crap.  Either I need to grit it out until I get to the next recording, or switch to much less detailed headphones or speakers.

 

--Mark


Edited by verber - 11/29/12 at 7:47pm
post #5979 of 6600

Please take a try on EarMax Silver Edition Tube Amp. Not bad, roll off the edge of treble.

 

normal_smile%20.gif

post #5980 of 6600

I ran the HD800s on an Earmax Pro for a while and the results were pretty decent (but not exceptional) with the right tubes, until the psu failed.  The one thing it showed me beyond a doubt however was that my mains supply is fubar, with even an all mullard line up swinging from dull and boring to bright and aggressive through the course of the day.  It was so bad I bought myself an AC regenerator to get some consistency.  I've reached the point now that I don't think the HD800s are bright at all, I think they just flag up all the inadequacies in the chain - and delight in doing it.

 

Whilst waiting for a replacement psu I've gone back to driving the phones from my balanced speaker amps, and now I've taken those off the regenerator and replaced what I think are a dodgy set of cables the levels of bass, dynamics, speed and detail are something else.  Sadly the noise floor is audible as the volume is so low, they're 20 years old and rusty, hum periodically from DC on the line, run as hot as radiators and cost a fortune in electricity, so they've got me thinking about the Mjolnir as a suitable replacement.  The speaker amps are a very different kind of sound to the Earmax, without the intimate emotion, but they're no brighter than I remember the Earmax being, except in the early evening when the harshness makes a recurrence.  They're just too big for the regenerator to handle.

post #5981 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by verber View Post

...... After spending a bit of time listening to a couple of good tube amps for the HD80 my conclusion is that if I am listening to a bad recording, no amp will tame the HD800.  Crap will sound like crap.  Either I need to grit it out until I get to the next recording, or switch to much less detailed headphones or speakers.

 

--Mark

I agree to an extent. HD800 are absolutely unforgiving to poor sources and recordings, and also let you know when you have a good source. I used to listen to them off iTunes (Wav and Apple Lossess) and it was good, but when I introduced Amarra into my system, the Senns responded like crazy, even though the change on the face of it was not that huge. It was the same files, just a different software. This, I think illustrates how sensitive these headphones are and what a awesome insight they give into the music (i.e. how its recorded and reproduced by your system). I should add, that the difference was not as apparent on my DT1350, for instance. And while I understand that we are talking about a different class headphones here, I think it adds to the argument for the sensitivity of HD800. 

 

However, I also think you can get very tubey amps that will round off all edges and kind of muffle the sharp focus of the phone, adding body to thin recordings, and obscuring detail, etc. While such amps will obscure detail - which in part is the whole point of HD800 - some people would probably call the HD800 tamed by the amp.


Edited by Cante Ista - 11/30/12 at 9:18am
post #5982 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cante Ista View Post

However, I also think you can get very tubey amps that will round off all edges and kind of muffle the sharp focus of the phone, adding body to thin recordings, and obscuring detail, etc. While such amps will obscure detail - which in part is the whole point of HD800 - some people would probably call the HD800 tamed by the amp.

 

Yes, I think you have a choice on an amp (SS or Tube) which lets the HD800 demonstrate what it's capable of, or you can have an amp which hides the flaws in the source materials which makes the HD800 so opaque that you might as well be using HD600/650.

 

--Mark

post #5983 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by verber View Post

 

Yes, I think you have a choice on an amp (SS or Tube) which lets the HD800 demonstrate what it's capable of, or you can have an amp which hides the flaws in the source materials which makes the HD800 so opaque that you might as well be using HD600/650.

 

--Mark

ditto!

post #5984 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by verber View Post

 

I know there are people who talk about how the beta22 or a good tube amp will be more musical and more forgiving than say the GS-1 or GS-X. After spending a bit of time listening to a couple of good tube amps for the HD80 my conclusion is that if I am listening to a bad recording, no amp will tame the HD800.  Crap will sound like crap.  Either I need to grit it out until I get to the next recording, or switch to much less detailed headphones or speakers.

 

--Mark

That reminds me of what I posted right here in this thread a few days ago (Post #5919):

"In my several years now of experience with the HD800s, I think the critical factor is recording quality. If a CD is bright, raspy, grainy, or piercing, I hear it loud and clear and usually switch to other phones

(Audezes or Fostexes or Hifimans). But if the recording is is well done, the HD800s can be king of the hill, with an eerily real texture and 3D imaging, as if you can see the components of the music."


Edited by rgs9200m - 11/30/12 at 9:52pm
post #5985 of 6600
Quote:

Originally Posted by verber View Post

Assuming good source / recording my three favorite are the Dynahi, GS-1, and Headamp GLite. My ears are clearly not as refined as some here, because unless I am really paying attention, and can't tell the different between these three.  Hoping that the experience reported here, that the difference between the GS-X and the GS-1 is significantly more than between the GS-1 and the GLite, will be my experience as well.

 

I have had a limited time  listening to a Beta22 and an Apex Arete/Volcano.  I thought both were good, but not quite as transparent as the Gilmore designs mentioned above. Quite frankly, I found them just a bit better than the headphone jack on my Lavry DA-11 DAC.  I was unimpressed by the Burson H160. It had more gain than the headphone amp in my DA-11, but at equal volume, I liked the sound from the DA-11 better.

 

I know there are people who talk about how the beta22 or a good tube amp will be more musical and more forgiving than say the GS-1 or GS-X. After spending a bit of time listening to a couple of good tube amps for the HD80 my conclusion is that if I am listening to a bad recording, no amp will tame the HD800.  Crap will sound like crap.  Either I need to grit it out until I get to the next recording, or switch to much less detailed headphones or speakers.

 

--Mark

I wanted to have control over my system and try to keep things <fairly> reasonable.  I'm feeling good right now after a lot of effort and work by others too (other HD800 owners and modders and amp tuners and experimenters).

 

With the Inner Fidelity foam mod and no dust covers, it is a more balanced phone for me.  I am keeping my revealing source DAC1 because so far (and for the used price I paid), it offers plenty of detail (many think "too much" or too much treble) but I have no veil and the added benefit of two clean headphone outs for comparing 2 sets of phones or quickly A/Bing what difference an amp makes to the DAC sound.

 

Super 7: After spending some time with different tube combos in the output (6 x 6SN7) and the driver slot (1 x 6SN7), I've been able to use either a 7N7 with adapter in the driver position or Rogers tubes in the output position to soften the top of "bad recordings" and increase bass or in the case of the 7N7...also increase the stage.

 

In fact, I went a bit <too> far in making the HD800 bassy and lost some resolution too- so now I am bringing it back to find the right balance and have some combos I already like a lot.  Next, I'll try some capacitors that Anaxilus has been experimenting with.  With the price of the Super 7 (I did get pre-order), I feel fine about the $ spent on tubes and now some pricier capacitors.

 

At the last mini-meet, I purposely left a bassier/less-resolving set in to show the HD800 range.  

 

With the B22 I am borrowing right now from particleman14, I like the way it handles the sub-bass (touch bigger, but still tight) and it seems to have the extension up top but a touch less mid...just slightly further back in the presentation.  EDIT: I do see how @verber could say the B22 isn't much different than the DA11 headphone outs.  I hear some differences from DAC1 headphone outs but they are subtle...  Also, I liked the DA11 low bass better than the DAC1 during the very short I compared them, as well as the PiC controls.  Prefer the Super 7 and flexibility to the B22 with HD800 and my source.

 

If you have a Peak/Volcano, try a 7N7 with an adapter in it.  Cheap and makes the stage bigger + softens the bright/edgy recordings.  I really like the Peak and it's easy to tell what the tube is doing, especially if you have a headphone out on your DAC for faster A/B to a reference.

 

 

700

 

Oh, I tried the new PS Audio NWD and it is a touch "warmer" or more "musical".  But, I've already done things to make my HD800 sweeter so I didn't need this DAC change.  (Some will like it in brighter chains, I imagine.)

 

EDIT:  Oh, you'll notice the Gilmore Lite in the picture under the iPure Dock (for easy iDevice digital-out).  I liked the Gilmore Lite to take a <very slight> edge off of the DAC1 before I got my main amp.  Nice little desktop unit, not a lot of change to sound (to me).  


Edited by CEE TEE - 12/1/12 at 1:05pm
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