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Sennheiser HD800 Appreciation Thread - Page 412  

post #6166 of 6593

Another question:

 

Who made the plugs? 

 

I did actually phone them last year but am unable to remember of find the details.  I had half a notion that the info was in a thread here in HeadFi but am not able to find it. I apparently failed to make a note of that data in a place I would be able to find it a year later!

 

Edit: It's OK I found that info :)


Edited by Ian S - 1/7/13 at 9:19am
post #6167 of 6593

1000

 

1000

post #6168 of 6593

Thanks, bigsmile_face.gif

 

Perhaps these people know what they're talking about, "With this modification, 8 solder points and four mechanical contacts are eliminated!"  I know this from my own testing over the years, even one extra solder joint in the signal path has been easily audible and best deleted, hence why I want to direct wire.  A recent couple of tests with amplifiers and loudspeakers demonstrated the improvement of soldering the speakers wires direct to the amplifier PCB and speaker crossovers, missing out all the brass terminal posts.  That brass was found to confer upon the sound harsh, nasty, shrill, grainy, too bright, splashy, blurring, muddled, masking detail and subtle nuance.  I also did it with deleting the RCA chassis jacks and plugs with similar results but also the bass was so much more clear and informative.

 

http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&ei=g4_pUM2HFdSM0wWE0IHQAw&hl=en&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dcasques-headphones.com%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26hs%3DBGY%26tbo%3Dd%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-GB:official&rurl=translate.google.co.uk&sl=fr&twu=1&u=http://www.casques-headphones.com/cablage-direct-sennheiser-hd-800-hard-wire/93-cablage-direct-sennheiser-hd-800.html&usg=ALkJrhiprgcqAsGwtI_18okgZjJzIeqn_g

 

My concern with their HD800 arrangement is what looks like a lack of really strong strain restraint.

 

I use sold silver wire with mine and whilst it can be very awkward to use and live with, it's worth it for the sound quality.  It breaks easily when bent and pulled, so I need to affix it to something solid before the voice coil tags.

 

I'm thinking at the moment about longer Torx bolts and nuts holding down another bracket with the wires under or in.  I've just determined that these are smaller than M3 threads but don't know what yet.

post #6169 of 6593

What does this mod do apart from decreasing the resale value? 

 

Are you going to use a Mundorf silver/gold wire and solder? Are you going to measure the resistance and match it afterwards? What is it that you're trying to do exactly? 

post #6170 of 6593

...

Quote:

  I know this from my own testing over the years, even one extra solder joint in the signal path has been easily audible and best deleted, hence why I want to direct wire.  

post #6171 of 6593

Thanks :)

 

And:

What does this mod do apart from decreasing the resale value?

Are you going to use a Mundorf silver/gold wire and solder? Are you going to measure the resistance and match it afterwards?

• It's easily reversible, about 10 minutes per side or so.

 

• Might increase the value if there is known to be an improvement.

 

• Mundorf, no.  I'm using my own silver wire.  From about 1994 I used to make and sell PTFE sheathed 99.99% hard drawn solid core silver wire for interconnect and speaker leads. This year I've been trying some varnished 99.99% silver wire for myself and a couple of friends, acquired more or less direct from the foundry.  I'd like to try some of that single crystal stuff but I'm not inclined to pay Hi-Fi sellers asking prices.  Both Siltech (by their other name) and Mundorf use gold doped silver and it's softer sounding apparently, I've not tried it.  However, just with my own stuff I made at 9 different configurations for one listening test about 10 years ago and they all sounded different.  Greater thickness of PTFE has a not nice effect, possibly why the varnished is better.  I and friends have tried stuff from eBay sellers and all sounded different, worse than mine by all opinions.  But the new varnished stuff has been felt to be better in all cases.  It costs me about £7.00 per metre, so £28 or so per stereo meter, which is a bit shocking really as it was £1.70 per meter three or four years ago, but the price of the base metal has gone up that much.  I'm not currently selling cables commercially, it's more of hobby at the moment.

 

• Matching the resistance of the 4 equal lengths of silver wire (two twisted pairs) has no effect all.  But there is a big difference in sound between 0.5m and 3m though, with 3 being dull, constrained, rather lifeless and generally disappointing.  This goes for interconnect and loudspeakers, I've not tired it for headphones yet.

 

• I am, and have been for nearly 20 years, using TRT Wonder Solder as I found it flows and sets well and re-soldering DAC boards with it sounded better than the ordinary tin lead stuff.  I may try the Cardas again as I had a sample and under the microscope, that I had to use to wire the HD800 plugs, it looked to have set very evenly.  There's probably little to chose between these alloys, maybe they're both tin, lead, silver, copper.  The lead free Wonder Solder is new to me and harder to use, especially to unsolder, but I read someone had re-soldered all their Hi-Fi systems joints with it and was impressed at the improvement so I thought it was worth a go.


Edited by Ian S - 1/7/13 at 10:33am
post #6172 of 6593
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian S View Post

Thanks :)

 

And:

• It's easily reversible, about 10 minutes per side or so.

 

• Might increase the value if there is known to be an improvement.

 

• Mundorf, no.  I'm using my own silver wire.  From about 1994 I used to make and sell PTFE sheathed 99.99% hard drawn solid core silver wire for interconnect and speaker leads. This year I've been trying some varnished 99.99% silver wire for myself and a couple of friends, acquired more or less direct from the foundry.  I'd like to try some of that single crystal stuff but I'm not inclined to pay Hi-Fi sellers asking prices.  Both Siltech (by their other name) and Mundorf use gold doped silver and it's softer sounding apparently, I've not tried it.  However, just with my own stuff I made at 9 different configurations for one listening test about 10 years ago and they all sounded different.  I and friends have tried stuff from eBay sellers and all sounded different, worse than mine by all opinions.  But the new varnished stuff has been felt to be better in all cases.  It costs me about £7.00 per metre, so £28 or so per stereo meter, which is a bit shocking really as it was £1.70 per meter three or four years ago, but the price of the base metal has gone up that much.  I'm not currently selling cables commercially, it's more of hobby at the moment.

 

• Matching the resistance of the 4 equal lengths of silver wire (two twisted pairs) has no effect all.  But there is a big difference in sound between 0.5m and 3m though, with 3 being dull, constrained, rather lifeless and generally disappointing.  This goes for interconnect and loudspeakers, I've not tired it for headphones yet.

 

• I am, and have been for nearly 20 years, using TRT Wonder Solder as I found it flows and sets well and re-soldering DAC boards with it sounded better than the ordinary tin lead stuff.  I may try the Cardas again as I had a sample and under the microscope, that I had to use to wire the HD800 plugs, it looked to have set very evenly.  There's probably little to chose between these alloys, maybe they're both tin, lead, silver, copper.  The lead free Wonder Solder is new to me and harder to use, especially to unsolder, but I read someone had re-soldered all their Hi-Fi systems joints with it and was impressed at the improvement so I thought it was worth a go.


Hi mate!

 

You should contact the Head-Fi's staff so you get a MOT-status with all that it implies...

 

/V

post #6173 of 6593

It doesn't imply anything.  It says I used to manufacture and sell silver speakers wires and I don't now. regular_smile%20.gif
 

I read the pre-registration blurb and I've been reading stuff on here for a couple of years.  I saw that it's a commercial site rather than a purely community forum and very keen to look after and protect the interests of it's advertisers.

 

It would be very nice if it had a much better search engine though.

 

Anyway, I seem to have got what I came for, found out there's very few people doing direct wiring and I have to make up my own means of affixing wire directly to these headphones rather than be able to purchase some ready made fixings.


Edited by Ian S - 1/7/13 at 10:46am
post #6174 of 6593

Ian - don't the changes to the housing alter the sound?  As compared to the sealed sennheiser plug on the cups, your photos show gaps where the cable enters.  Even though these are open headphones, changing ports would presumably impact things.

 

Secondly, given your know how with cables, is there any chance that you could (or have already) rig(ged) up a test rig to show measured differences in the cables you've made as compared to stock.  I've been asking this question on head-fi for years now.  Given the availability of freeware like diffmaker, I don't understand why no one has made a diy'd reverse sennheiser adaptor that can be jacked into the input on a sound card.  Running computer -> amp -> cable 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. -> diy adaptor -> computer should show differences in FR if these cables really do sound "brighter" or "warmer". 

post #6175 of 6593

New proud owner of HD800(SN:195xx) checking in :)

Just got it in mail today. It is unfortunate that my WA6SE is not here yet and It won't be here for another week or so... :(

As of now it's either connected directly to my IPad or AV40 headphone out...

It already sounds amazing without proper amp, I can't wait till my amp gets here, Hurry Jack Hurry :D

Also I don't know if it's because mine has a recent SN, it has lot more bass than the one I heard last time at B&H.

Here's crappy picture of my lonely HD800.

post #6176 of 6593

Sorry if I've gone on a bit too much :)

 

1)

I think they probably won't change the sound as the hinge chamber and wiring chamber are sealed and not part of the acoustic area.  Maybe there's some reverberation in them?  They used some silicon sealer to seal around the sides of the block where the solder tags are.  I can only presume that pokes through from the speaker area and has the voice coil wires in it.

 

Those photos are from a French website who offer the mod as a service to their customers.

 

I was planning to block the hole by having a tube made that fits into the hole and has the wires going through it's middle.

 

Or that may be too difficult.  Just now I fitted the inner metal part from a screw down joiner (chock block) into the chamber and passed the wires through it.  Looks promising.  Will rattle so needs some padding.  I have some foam strip to try fitting in there somehow.  I might try shaping that so it wraps around the wires and protrudes through the hole.

 

I don't want to make it overly permanent as I would like to try different wires.

 

2)

I think it's very difficult to measure the changes within complex music signal.  A lot of what we hear might be difficult to capture and display in a graph.

 

Whilst it's no doubt useful in some ways, a sine wave at a frequency or a sweep frequency doesn't show all that much really.

 

I think there's energy storage in the sheath that is released and causes a smear that was can hear.

 

Ben Duncan ( http://www.benduncanresearch.com/ ) did some measurements of 5 metre speaker leads and was able to show a variance in time delay between a sine wave signal being sent and received.  He showed different delays for different cables.

 

Distortion makes a sound brighter or warmer.  It might still have the same sine wave but varying amounts of smear.  The lower the distortion, it seems to me, the quieter the bass and treble.

 

Having more strands blurs the sound.  Thicker sheathing.  Polarity of the wires has odd effects with the tonal balance of the mid changing compared to the top and bottom.

 

With a friend who owns a professional recording and mastering studio, we've done loop back tests of cables.  It's a pretty good way to hear even the smallest of changes because he's able to record the signal, as you suggest.  It does show the wave forms, though we've never looked at that for differences, maybe some software could compare the samples but we use our ears.

 

What we do is have a recording on the hard disc then play that through the test cable and record it again back to the hard disc.  Use the same XLR connectors, solder, different wires, polarities, thickness's of wire, number of strands, etc.

 

To compare, he can align the samples and original recording so they're all playing back at once, then toggle between them by clicking a software switch.  No remembering the sound whilst changing leads, etc, is required, large or subtle nuances are all instantly laid bare before one's ears.

 

He found that it takes 400 hours playing before a new varnished silver lead doesn't change any further.  He recorded a sample every 50 hours then compared them all.

 

We've been doing it for a few years and he's tested various makes both low cost and very expensive.  The winner at the moment is the 0.71mm diameter unsheathed varnished stuff.  The 0.5mm, whilst similar, had less bass and although that brighter balance often grabs the attention and one thinks initially it's better, it becomes fatiguing to listen to and a slightly warmer balance is always best to go with he says from a recording and mastering perspective.  We thought neutral might be about 0.6mm diameter which is not available in small quantities.

 

I'd say it's not exactly the same as the original but with that particular test configuration it's the nearest, which is testing about 0.5 metre balanced.

 

I expect there is an error from the recording stage not sounding identical to the output stage, but it is a new state of the art DSD DAC ADC that cost £12,000 so it's not going to be too terrible.  Monitoring has been through several loudspeakers but now it's mainly 'active' ATC SCM150's.

 

But....

 

Then it come to other peoples playback equipment.....

 

And I find sometimes there's too little bass with this wire and I don't like the balance at all, although I and they very much like the clarity and amount of information and the lack or blur.

post #6177 of 6593

Another factor, more with interconnects, is a bit of equipments ability to drive a capacitive load.

 

This can lead to changes in the 'sound' of a cable from one equipment to another so it may measure well on some graph or sound neutral on something but not be neutral on another.
 

One consistent I've noticed is that multi-stranded cables have a more blurred sound than solid core. 

 

Another is that shorter cables sound more 'alive'.  By shorter, I mean 1 metre compared to 5 metres.  I got down to 9 inch speakers cables and the bass slam was the best together with general transient response.

 

Longer speakers cables can greatly over emphasise the bass at a cost of detail and speed of cone control, that is to say, long cables can cause over shoot, the amp can't pull the cone back in time with the music.  It's a distortion but can be enjoyable.

 

I recently repeated this speaker lead experiment with Some Anthony Gallo Strada speakers.  They are small, just 4 inch bass mid drivers which have no cross over components.  The tweeter does have a series capacitor and a coils.  No bass really with these and probably not much back EMF for the amplifier to deal with, but the shorter the leads the clearer and better the sound.

 

I have wondered how to get the headphone amplifiers (and DAC(s) ) onto the headphones :)  Maybe the effect is different with 600 Ohm, or so, loudspeaker drive units.  But then I could get digital leads up to the headphones too and get rid of analogue leads and all the problems they have.

 

I think the leads industry would not be at all happy about that though!


Edited by Ian S - 1/7/13 at 1:49pm
post #6178 of 6593

So after long deliberation on HD800 vs LCD-2...

 

I've ordered both.

 

And a new amp/DAC.

 

I hate this site :)

post #6179 of 6593
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodie View Post

So after long deliberation on HD800 vs LCD-2...

 

I've ordered both.

 

And a new amp/DAC.

 

I hate this site :)


beerchug.gif

post #6180 of 6593
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodie View Post

So after long deliberation on HD800 vs LCD-2...

 

I've ordered both.

 

And a new amp/DAC.

 

I hate this site :)

 

 

What's the new Amp and DAC?

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