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Sennheiser HD800 Appreciation Thread - Page 439  

post #6571 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by philo50 View Post

I also use the Black Dragon and much prefer it to the stock cable.....

 

Would you recommend the Black Dragon HD800 cable over the Silver Dragon HD800 cable?

post #6572 of 6600

seriously get copper cable! it has so much better tone.. 

 

I like copper cable so much i'll be the first one in the world recabling my STAX SR-009 to copper cable. I can't take the original silverplated copper cable.. ouch

post #6573 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by fejnomit View Post

 

James at Stefan Audio Art will help you:

 

stefanaudioart@yahoo.com

 

He can explain the various levels of modification.

 

 

just how much a difference are we talking about?  i see there was a little talk from the hd800 cable thread and nobody ever talk again.

post #6574 of 6600

It's hard to quantify differences in objective terms.  All ears are different, etc.  To me there is no going back to anything stock.  That's me.  After a long journey.  I would say go to meets.  Try things out.  Borrow things.  Steal things... Learn to listen critically, that's the point.  Once you train yourself to really listen, then subtle changes won't be subtle anymore and bad cable geometries with smearing, compressing "audiophile" connectors (even some that pass for good here) will no longer be tolerable...

post #6575 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

Listening to Buena Vista Social Club's self titled masterpiece.. ODAC --> LP G109-S --> HD800... and it sounds gorgeous.  Imaging, tonal accuracy, instrument separation, inner detail.. everything effortlessly amalgamates into a beautiful musical experience.

i know you are hearing great sound as your system is; but i hope that one day you'll hear this masterwork in high resolution, in particular a needledrop of the Classic Records 45 RPM vinyl pressing. it will be akin to moving up to the HD800 from a porta-pro; it will be 10 times as amazing as the difference between the stock td11 tube and those you've found that you like much more.


Edited by analog'd - 2/6/13 at 5:44pm
post #6576 of 6600

Let me say upfront that I in the past have invested enormous amounts of money on cables. I agree cables do make a difference, I also agree that it is difficult to quantify the differences in objective terms. Let me try to put  the investment in cables into perspective. Most important thing to remind here is the law of diminishing returns versus your system sounds as good as the weakest link.

 

Let me give an example. A system that consists of a 500 dollar cd player and 500 dollar amplifier driving the Sennheiser HD800 with stock cables. I have 1000 dollar to spend, where would I spend it on? I would spend it on either the cd player or the amplifier, because I think the improvement of going from a 500 to a 1500 dollar cd player or amplifier is greater than the improvement I would get if I spend all my money on a headphone cable.

 

Now what if my system consists of a 10.000 dollar cd player and 10.000 dollar amplifier driving the Sennheiser HD800 with stock cable, and you have the same 1000 dollar to spend. Than I would spend the money on the headphone cable because I think that will give me most improvement. But in this system no matter where you spend the money on, the differences (improvements) are always more subtle than 1000 dollar spend in the first system.  But I agree these subtle differences can make the final click to make your system magical, and as such although subtle can be profound.

 

Personally, I think I was stupid paying huge amounts of money on cables, but I am glad I did….Cables last a lifetime. That is why I agree with Fejnomid that you have to spend money on the most transparent and ‘neutral’ cables you can find. I would warn against spending money on cables as a tone control of your current system, because when you change things in your system you have to change the cables as well. And again, if your system is for instance too bright, you get more improvements from spending your money on a ‘warm’ cd player or amplifier than on a ‘warm’ cable. And if you use a tube amplifier, in my opinion changing tubes are a better and (sometimes) cheaper tone control of your system than cables.

Hope this helps.


Edited by playitloud - 2/7/13 at 3:17am
post #6577 of 6600
That is my sentiment as well. At a lower tier as long as you have a functional cable, you shouldn't need anything above stock. As your system begins to climb perhaps a cheaper aftermarket cable is in order, and as you get to the price bracket you are comfortable with being near-max then break out the tweaks and go to town since you know you will be with that gear for a long time.
post #6578 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by fejnomit View Post

 

James at Stefan Audio Art will help you:

 

stefanaudioart@yahoo.com

 

He can explain the various levels of modification.

 

 

Whew...  James is pretty high $$.  I asked if he measures his headphones after he does the Ultra Mod.  He said the changes can't be measured.blink.gif  So I assume you got the Ultra Mod done.  If so what positive or negative differences did you notice (subjectively of course)?

post #6579 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by playitloud View Post

Let me say upfront that I in the past have invested enormous amounts of money on cables. I agree cables do make a difference, I also agree that it is difficult to quantify the differences in objective terms. Let me try to put  the investment in cables into perspective. Most important thing to remind here is the law of diminishing returns versus your system sounds as good as the weakest link.

 

Let me give an example. A system that consists of a 500 dollar cd player and 500 dollar amplifier driving the Sennheiser HD800 with stock cables. I have 1000 dollar to spend, where would I spend it on? I would spend it on either the cd player or the amplifier, because I think the improvement of going from a 500 to a 1500 dollar cd player or amplifier is greater than the improvement I would get if I spend all my money on a headphone cable.

 

Now what if my system consists of a 10.000 dollar cd player and 10.000 dollar amplifier driving the Sennheiser HD800 with stock cable, and you have the same 1000 dollar to spend. Than I would spend the money on the headphone cable because I think that will give me most improvement. But in this system no matter where you spend the money on, the differences (improvements) are always more subtle than 1000 dollar spend in the first system.  But I agree these subtle differences can make the final click to make your system magical, and as such although subtle can be profound.

 

Personally, I think I was stupid paying huge amounts of money on cables, but I am glad I did….Cables last a lifetime. That is why I agree with Fejnomid that you have to spend money on the most transparent and ‘neutral’ cables you can find. I would warn against spending money on cables as a tone control of your current system, because when you change things in your system you have to change the cables as well. And again, if your system is for instance too bright, you get more improvements from spending your money on a ‘warm’ cd player or amplifier than on a ‘warm’ cable. And if you use a tube amplifier, in my opinion changing tubes are a better and (sometimes) cheaper tone control of your system than cables.

Hope this helps.

 

Thanks playitloud, that's an informative post. Cables are something I think I initially overlooked, but now it's time I feel that I should invest more in them.

post #6580 of 6600

You are welcome. I forgot to mention one important thing. I personally believe that it is very important to know your system through and through. That means that you have spent a lot of time with it as it is, without changing all the time. Only if you know your system very well, you are able to 'analyze' and describe its signature. Based on your innate knowlegde about your systems' signature you can experiment with tubes and cables. Remember not to overdo it, and do not expect huge differences. But if you know your system well, you can hear subtle differences that allow you to finetune the sound coming from your system. Good luck..


Edited by playitloud - 2/7/13 at 7:51am
post #6581 of 6600

Dunno...

 

Few points to make here:

 

1) The  myth of $10,000 components being better than $500 components.  Boy is this not always the case.  I think the spread in your example is too broad.  Let's bring it down to earth.   If you had a $1000 source and $1000 amp and the HD800, for example, I would still suggest spending any extra $1000 on cabling.  Why wouldn't you bring the cables up to the same level as the components?  Otherwise you are not actually hearing the components - you are hearing the cables as they choke off the signal.

 

2) I agree with getting to know your system.  Relaxing into a system for a long time and not changing around too much - yes.  All the more reason, I would argue, to get the right cabling so you can actually know what you are knowing, so to speak.

 

3) The reason people think cables make only a subtle difference is because almost all cables are made essentially the same way:  thick conductors, Teflon dielectric, various types of shielding, "audiophile" connectors.  They may change the shape of the conductor or the weave, they may add some cotton here or some air there, they may use a lot of fancy terminology to convince you that their shielding is better than someone else's, etc. but they are all built on essentially the same principles.  And those principles are by and large wrong.  Every one of those choices chokes off the signal, smears it and compresses it, to the point that what comes out the other end sounds more or less the same no matter who made the cable.  Some better, for sure, some worse.  It is absolutely shocking to me that outside of a few cable makers very very very few people are experimenting with different underlying cable construction principles, the most radical of which reads something like this: eliminate ALL dielectric, use the thinnest conductors possible, source or build connectors that have no smearing/compression effects -- in other words TAKE AWAY everything the "audiophile" cables are built from.  Higher priced cabling does not mean better cabling, not by a long shot, just better marketing and rhetoric.  So I'm not even advocating spending $1000 on cabling.  In fact, you can modify your current cables to become MUCH more transparent - along the lines of what I've just described - simply with some wire strippers, some solder, some Deoxit and a small order from Parts Connexion.  Strip away any sheathing, tubing, shielding, and expose your wires.  Free them from each other - bundled wires are a bad idea.  Use connectors with the LEAST amount of thick, plated metal (I know, heresy!), preferable building your own out of wood or a tone metal like brass.  The difference will be staggering.  I did this with a run-of-the-mill Kimber USB cable and turned it into a giant killer for about 3 hours worth of labor and no cost.

 

Anyway, you get my point.  I could go on but I won't - there are POV differences here, that's all.  Hope this makes sense.  Back to topic...

post #6582 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

Whew...  James is pretty high $$.  I asked if he measures his headphones after he does the Ultra Mod.  He said the changes can't be measured.blink.gif  So I assume you got the Ultra Mod done.  If so what positive or negative differences did you notice (subjectively of course)?

How much, prep?

post #6583 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

How much, prep?

 

 

Over 1K.  With the Hardwire cable + Ultra Mod.

post #6584 of 6600
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

Over 1K.  With the Hardwire cable + Ultra Mod.

Uh, ok. 1k. rolleyes.gif

post #6585 of 6600

The fact that it can't be measured makes me laugh, the human ear is really a piece of **** compared to a lot of animals and especially when compared to equipment. I'm really skeptical about cables, now a proper OFC cable is needed, but not the 99,99999999999999999999% version with silver that and titanium this. Sure the electrons may move a bit faster and what not, but I wonder if it's actually measurable with equipment, I guess not. And I'm sure that the human ear just can't hear the difference. Humans need to stop overrating themselves, we're not as "great" and "smart" as we think we are, we are just raping earth by burning all those fossil fuels after all. Only a small percentage of people truly cares about the people around them, money and status comes first for most. It's all about the "I have a $5000 this and you don't have it!"-factor.

Even the stock HD800 cable is overkill imo. But when you (once per month? year?) unplug the cable you at least have the worthless gold plating that makes your e-peen grow, right?

 

I'm sure that it's a psychological thing trick, just like kids who feel better when you give them some fake medicine. The same trick works with adults when they're getting sea sick. If you truly believe in something, it will, no matter what, work for you and, in this case, you "can" hear the difference.

 

If there is no measurable difference, there is no difference to be heard, it's all in the head. But if audio if your hobby, and you have everything already and have money to spend, why not spend it on a cable than? This is fine by me, but it's just like putting a 2560x1440 resolution on a 12" macbook. Completely useless, requires more processing power and drains the battery faster because of it. Although in the case of audio there is not even a measurable difference.

 

End of "rant", time to go lurking.


Edited by MelvinV - 2/7/13 at 12:06pm
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