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post #16 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
I have discussed this in the HD800 appreciation thread as well as others. I spent most of CanJam trying out approximately 40 amps with these phones...
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
I spent between 10 - 60 minutes with each amp...
That's lots of work!
post #17 of 654
I just wanted to say that the P-1 is returning in the fall (September according to the distributor's price list), as the P-1 mkII. It's going to be at a higher price point but I understand it will have some different features and be in a silver chassis.
post #18 of 654
Several people seems to love the ALO Amphora / HD800 combo, and hence I suspect the RWA Isabella would be a nice match as well (since they use the same amplifier board). Talking about tube amplifier...

Anyone had the pleasure to audition that combo?
post #19 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
I spent between 10 - 60 minutes with each amp. I made sure (on most amps) I had enough time to listen to tracks I am familiar with.

We all have different ears so we will all have different preferences. Those are the ones that sounded the best to me and had the most detailed and realistic presentation of the music. All other amps I listened to seemed to lack enough bass control and sparkly treble for my taste.

I am going to buy a Sonett without a doubt (but am waiting for Donald to custom order me a black case since I'm not crazy about the blue one. Blue is his favorite color which is why the amp looks the way it does.) But first I have already pre-ordered an Audio-gd Phoenix and I am hoping that it sounds superb with the HD800. I want two excellent amps, one SS and one Tube. If the Phoenix falls short of my expectations or doesn't equal or surpass the quality of the Sonett with the HD800, up for sale it goes. I have to order the Phoenix first because I want to order it before the price goes up $330.
I will be interested in the DNA Sonett amp if it is as good as you say with the 800's. Good call on going with the black, not sure if I could handle that blue everyday. Anybody else try the DNA Sonett amp with the 800's?
post #20 of 654
I am using a HeadRoom Ultra Desktop and it sounds fantastic.
post #21 of 654
I would be careful with comparative reviews with a barely burned-in headphone. There could be (coloring) amps which make up for the corresponding sonic flaws, whereas other (more neutral) amps are transparent to them. Also, meet conditions are barely suited for an adequate comparison. Just take the different sources into consideration. I certainly wouldn't underestimate their impact; in my book it is on a similar level as that of amps.

In short: Any comparative reviews in this phase are premature and absolutely unreliable. Fun to read, but definitely 99% insignificant.
.
post #22 of 654
Did you try either WA5 with the HD800? I would definitely put it above the WA6 SE (and even the WA22 unless you really need to be balanced).

Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
I have discussed this in the HD800 appreciation thread as well as others. I spent most of CanJam trying out approximately 40 amps with these phones. The HD800 balanced are in a different league than single ended. There were very few I felt excelled with this headphone and they are as follows in the order of preference:

1) Donald North Audio Sonett (single ended or balanced version) Tube Amp: $1200 (or $1000 for all CanJam attendees). I only heard the single ended version of this amp and I felt the single ended version was on par with the balanced versions of other amps below, so you can only imagine how good the balanced Sonett must sound. Incredible bass control and smooth extended treble. Very large left to right soundstage. (Hooked up to Naim CD5x or CD5i, not sure which one)

2) Ray Samuels Audio B-52 Tube amp, balanced. Slightly warm presentation. $5500

3) Ray Samuels Audio Apache solid state, balanced. Slightly warm presentation. $2995

4) Woo Audio WA22, tube amp, balanced (but I think I only listened to single ended). $1800. Very nice soundstage left to right and front to back. Excels in the midrange.

5) Woo Audio WA 6 SE tube amp, single ended. Excels in the midrange. $1050

6/7 Tied) Rudistor RPX-300 solid state, balanced (but I only listened single ended. This amp has a very smooth and laid back presentation, very different from the other amps. $2500

6/7 Tied) ALO Audio Amphora, solid state, single ended. Very neutral presentation, no particular area stood out more than any other. $995


I know a lot of people are mentioning the Eddie Current line up. I did not get to hear the Balancing Act, but I did hear the Zana Deux and HD-2 and I did not care for either with the HD800.

All sources were different and yes, that will factor into it, but all were high end sources. I've listened to the same amp with various high-end sources and the differences are not as great as the variations in amps with the HD800. I would say it's split somewhere between a 20%-35% source / 80%-65% amp factor, so long as your source is in the $1,300+ range.
post #23 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
I am going to buy a Sonett without a doubt (but am waiting for Donald to custom order me a black case since I'm not crazy about the blue one. Blue is his favorite color which is why the amp looks the way it does.)
Besides blue being my favorite color, I wanted the amp to look distinctive, fun, and feel engaging to use; hence the blue color. Hi-fi should be fun.
post #24 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by shellylh View Post
Did you try either WA5 with the HD800? I would definitely put it above the WA6 SE (and even the WA22 unless you really need to be balanced).
I didn't listen to the WA5. It might be as good as the other models with the HD800, I don't know. I started out by listening to the WA6 SE and when I asked if he had better, Jack told me to listen to the WA22, not the WA5. So take that for whatever it's worth.
post #25 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald North View Post
Besides blue being my favorite color, I wanted the amp to look distinctive, fun, and feel engaging to use; hence the blue color. Hi-fi should be fun.
I should have my balanced HD800 cable in about 2 weeks so we should plan on you coming over around then. I know you and Mike love the K701/702 so you should probably bring over both single ended and balanced versions of the amp. I recently got a very high quality Locus custom cable for my K702 which is a big improvement for them, so I think you'll love hearing those. I'm sure they will sound great with your amp. If you can, bring over the DT880/600 as well please. I'd like to spend some more time with those.

Also, you should send a PM to jude so he can add "Member of the trade" under your screen name. I'd also suggest you get a sponsored thread so more people can find out about your amp.
post #26 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
I would be careful with comparative reviews with a barely burned-in headphone. There could be (coloring) amps which make up for the corresponding sonic flaws, whereas other (more neutral) amps are transparent to them. Also, meet conditions are barely suited for an adequate comparison. Just take the different sources into consideration. I certainly wouldn't underestimate their impact; in my book it is on a similar level as that of amps.

In short: Any comparative reviews in this phase are premature and absolutely unreliable. Fun to read, but definitely 99% insignificant.
.
Excellent summation and I concur 100%. Any potential buyers should be careful on giving too much weight to exhaustive comparisions taken place on such diverse rigs under not so ideal conditions. The source differences is a huge part in differing impressions and should not be underestimated.
post #27 of 654
I also agree with the above. I've heard some high end sources that blow others out of the water. And some rigs could also have better or worse interconnects and better or worse power cables, etc. I'm sure the HD800 was an absolute treat to listen to though. I wish I could have been there!
post #28 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
I would be careful with comparative reviews with a barely burned-in headphone. There could be (coloring) amps which make up for the corresponding sonic flaws, whereas other (more neutral) amps are transparent to them. Also, meet conditions are barely suited for an adequate comparison. Just take the different sources into consideration. I certainly wouldn't underestimate their impact; in my book it is on a similar level as that of amps.

In short: Any comparative reviews in this phase are premature and absolutely unreliable. Fun to read, but definitely 99% insignificant.
.
X 2

Running around at Canjam armed with a pair of grossly undercooked HD800’s trying to find the best amp is downright silly.
Although I find IPodPJ impressions fun to read and have enjoyed them, they mean diddle squat. Sorry IPodPJ I just can’t see how you accurately accessed all these impressions under the circumstances. I should imagine that a percentage of amps that under impressed will gain a righteous place among the most neutral amps for the HD800, but at the moment it’s anyones guess.
post #29 of 654
did anyone try a pair of HD800's with LD's MkVI?
post #30 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwmclean View Post
X 2

Running around at Canjam armed with a pair of grossly undercooked HD800’s trying to find the best amp is downright silly.
Although I find IPodPJ impressions fun to read and have enjoyed them, they mean diddle squat. Sorry IPodPJ I just can’t see how you accurately accessed all these impressions under the circumstances. I should imagine that a percentage of amps that under impressed will gain a righteous place among the most neutral amps for the HD800, but at the moment it’s anyones guess.
That's okay if you don't find the information useful. I know which amps sounded good with them to my ears and those are the amps I will consider purchasing. What I think would be downright silly is that if you purchased an amp for them based on zero impressions or without hearing the amp for yourself. I'd be pretty disappointed if I purchased an expensive amp only to find out later that they sounded better with something else that cost the same or less.

It doesn't take me long to know whether I like the sound an amp or source offers. I can save the more detailed impressions for later when it is in my home, but at least I know from a 10-60 minute session whether it is something I find worthy of spending my money on. I did my testing with tracks I am very familiar with, not just random music playing on someone's equipment. If short listening sessions aren't a good first method of gauging a piece of gear, what the heck is the point of the vendors or members exhibiting their gear at CanJam?

And with regard to the headphones not being fully burned in, I just don't buy it and neither do many vendors in the industry that I have spoken to about this. Headphones don't go from mediocre to greatness with burn-in. Yes, they can exhibit some change when the drivers loosen up but they don't turn into a completely different headphone. If you don't like the headphone before burn-in, you won't like it after burn-in. Anyone that says otherwise is suffering from the effects of placebo by way of mass opinion. The AKG K701/K702, hailed to be one of the most drastically altered headphones with burn-in, had very little difference from my listening at 0 hours, 100 hours, 200 hours, and 350 hours. What usually happens is that a great deal of people get their new headphones during the day and try them fresh out of the box during the daytime, when power output from the power plants is at the maximum and their home or work power is suffering from lots of line noise from all the equipment turned on in their neighborhood, apartment building, office building, etc. After the headphone has been burning in for the magical 300 hours, most people pick up their headphones in the late evening when the line noise is at a minimum and many people in their neighborhood or apartment buildings are asleep. If you think this isn't true, try it for yourself the next time you get a new headphone.
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