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Sennheiser HD800 Appreciation Thread - Page 415  

post #6211 of 6600

Ian, this is a highly interesting project and I'm thinking likely a good idea (will eliminate the extra terminations). I assume you made the cable restraints yourself?

 

When I saw the pics, I looked back to get a handle on what you're up to.

 

Keep us posted, am keen to know the outcome and good luck!


Edited by Dr.J - 1/9/13 at 4:48pm
post #6212 of 6600

Thanks :)

 

Yes, made them from 'chocolate block'.

 

Well, I've spent the last 1 ¾ hours listening in a variety of ways around. I don't have a mono button, but, with the cross feed switched off, listening to only left or right channel from the source (Winamp) and listening from left ear then right ear, the left (hard wired) seemed better.  So swapping the headphone channels after the amp to rule out anything with the electonics, and listening again, left ear piece still sounded better.

 

I began to wonder if my left ear works a bit better so decided to just use the left ear only and swapped the head phones around and channel around each time, ie, left ear piece playing left channel into left ear, followed by turning the headphones and swapping the channel at Winamp and still playing into left ear. It's not ideal as the headphones sound different when on backwards.  But hard wired still sounded a bit better but I expected it would due to socketed being on backwards.

 

So I swapped around to using only the right ear and repeated the whole gamut of channel and balance swapping and headphone turning.  But this time the backwards sounded about as good, of not some ways a tad better.  So that clinched it for me I think.  Does seem to be an improvement.

 

Can't really be 100% sure as there does seem to be a slight difference between my left and right ears.  Last time that happened there was extra wax in one of them!  And it's a laborious, protracted and awkward way to do listening tests.

 

The difference seemed to be that the socketed channel was a bit more 'constrained' and 'contained'.

 

What we've heard before from more solder joints in the signal path is a slightly more dull and coarse sound, a bit less engaging with nuances a bit less discernible.  That seems a bit like what happening here with the hard wiring.  These ODU / Sennheiser plugs and sockets may or may not be transparent.  The pin that broke off and stuck in the socket, precipitating my hard wiring test, appears to be copper rather than brass and they are thin, a bit like Eichmann plugs are, the copper variant of which we've all be finding to be a great deal better that most everything else we were using.  So much so that I keep buying them and lending them to friends and they give me the cash back instead and I still don't have a set of my own!  I think it's highly likely now that when people hear that balanced leads are better they are really hearing the XLR's are better than the very bad sounding and very cheap and ubiquitous plastic with metal strip PCB mount RCA jacks.

 

Anyway, so can't be fully sure.  Other people must have tried it from that French company at least.  Perhaps I need to start a new thread and copy this over so people can add their experiences to that.

 

I could add that I and the recording studio man just spent some time and effort carefully testing the sound of micro miniature relays in the signal path.  They are the silver plated ones used in some of the best pre-amps.  People state they can't tell any difference and claim them to be transparent.  Sadly, they are not; they roll off the top and add significant glare.  He felt they were the best switch he'd tested so far and that includes the, £100 or so, Shallco with it's solid silver contacts, but still, not transparent and I could hear that when I repeated the test with the HD800's system.  So it would not be all that surprising to me if the plugs and sockets on the HD800's did have an effect.


Edited by Ian S - 1/9/13 at 6:01pm
post #6213 of 6600

Seems the LCD-2, HE-500 and T1 threads were banished from Summit-Fi to this sub-forum. Curious as to why the dedicated HD800 thread continues to slum it here.

 

popcorn.gif

post #6214 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by olor1n View Post

Seems the LCD-2, HE-500 and T1 threads were banished from Summit-Fi to this sub-forum. Curious as to why the dedicated HD800 thread continues to slum it here.

 

popcorn.gif


Maybe because HE-6, LCD-3 and HD800 are the top tier headphones from each manufacturer... Although that's valid for T1 too.. But maybe it's getting dumped due to the MRSP of aprox 800 USD?

 

/V

post #6215 of 6600

they should be summit fi, unless summit fi is only electrostats and those rare discontinued and ridiculously overpriced headphones.


Edited by Dubstep Girl - 1/10/13 at 4:02am
post #6216 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Giskard View Post

I would not go so far as to say this would make a significant difference or even a noticeable difference in most cases though. I would do it after everything else has been dealt with. Often that means custom everything, including the amplifier and source.


It's a fair point if there are a load of connectors and solder joints in the signal part then effects of changing one or two joints will be masked to some extent.  My own system is custom made or re-constructed and largely hard wired and that's what I've done for some friends very revealing systems.

 

Last year I went through the DAC area and realised I can delete about 9 joints in the signal path by deleting the remaining joining copper track and directly connecting components to components.  That should have an effect.  Or I may try out the ODAC as that has nearly no analogue stage, just two resistors which I can swap for Vishay Bulk Foils and solder my headphone amp leads directly to those.

 

I just noticed the 1300 post thread here on HeadFi about that so will see if I have time to wade through it in case there're any gems of info in there.

 

Regarding transformers, have you tried Lundahl Amorphous cores?

post #6217 of 6600

 The HD800 should be in the high end forum and this question has been asked without getting a no response from the moderator . There does seem odd a major premium high end headphone lingers in the regular forum instead of the high end forum where it belongs.


Edited by Frank I - 1/10/13 at 5:24am
post #6218 of 6600

We should eliminate the high end forum. What is "high end" anyway, other than expensive and overpriced? It also creates an effect of snobbery, like the "great stuff" is here and the other crap is in the regular forums.

post #6219 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post

 It also creates an effect of snobbery, like the "great stuff" is here and the other crap is in the regular forums.

Yep, but that's how the high end market manage to work.  You want to hear the "greatest stuff", especially if they imply that what you own is crap.

Then you buy the "greatest stuff" , only to realize that your previous headphone wasn't so "crappy". But then there's law of "diminishing return" BS, but Sennheiser sold so many hd800 that I'm sure they could decrease price if they wanted .

post #6220 of 6600

Ian, sounds (pun perhaps intended) like you're on the right track. I assume the wire you're using in the mod is not yet broken in and even the solder joints require some time; I'm sure the sound will improve further as you use them.

 

I think you have a good idea, here!

post #6221 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post

We should eliminate the high end forum. What is "high end" anyway, other than expensive and overpriced? It also creates an effect of snobbery, like the "great stuff" is here and the other crap is in the regular forums.

X2

post #6222 of 6600

Well I ordered my HD800, arriving Saturday!

post #6223 of 6600

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr.J

I assume the wire you're using in the mod is not yet broken in....

 

 

 

Thanks normal_smile%20.gif

 

The wire has about 18 years use!  Although I think for about 10 years it was not used much.  Latterly it connected my CD player, or PC, to my mono blocks.  Fitted it to head phones about 2 years ago and has been used more or less daily since then.
 

In this HD800 mod there's just the two new Wonder Solder joints.

 

The headphone amp and PSU have had about 11 and 9 months powered up 24/7.  There seemed to be a change for the better with the sound in about September but I don't know why. Imaging and focus of everything improved.


Edited by Ian S - 1/10/13 at 8:31am
post #6224 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

What's the new Amp and DAC?



Gungnir and a La Figaro 339 :)

 

My initial impressions of HD800 vs LCD-2 definitely leads to a preference for the latter... there's an undeniable visceral impact to the music that I never thought was missing in the HD650 :)

post #6225 of 6600

Hi Ian - thanks so much for your detailed posts in response to my questions about your comparative cable testing.  It sounds like you and your friend have gone to great lengths to study these effects by ear.  Am I correctly understanding that you think he may still have some or all of this data available, in the form of the recordings you made?  If so, and if there is a way to compare, chart and graph it, you might be in a pretty unique position in terms of shedding some light on the great cable debate.  If it is possible, and if you ever have a chance to publish this in some form, I know a lot of us cable agnostics would love to see it.  (Maybe I just spent too much time reading Hume as an undergrad (thus the handle), but absent measurements, I just see post-purchase justification phenomena and/or confirmation bias as better explanations for perceived changes, as compared to audible improvements based on headphone cables.  Factors you pointed out, like earwax, one ear possibly being better than the other, atmospheric pressure, low level background noise etc. only further complicate matters.)  

 

Also, thank you for clarifying that there is no issue in so far as ports are concerned with respect to direct wiring.  I hadn't realized that the connectors were sealed off.  I do wonder about possible vibrations though from the new hardware you installed.  Sennheiser used several patented plastics in the housing of these headphones to eliminate resonances and vibrations.  Introducing metal fixtures into the equation in order to secure the silver wires seems as though it might have its own problems.  Thoughts?

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