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Best HD800 Amp - Page 4  

post #46 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
Well, that's just an opinion, too. My experience is the opposite. The headphone may not drastically change its characteristic, but enough to (completely!) change my mind about it and its synergy with a specific system. Also, the characteristics of a source component can be just as important when it comes to synergy, that's where you just don't seem as sensitive as myself or others. Therefore my caveat.
.
I am very sensitive to source components, and cables, and power cords, and power supplies, etc. On the Denon and AKG they seemed to make a huge difference. I just didn't get the impression from the HD800 that they made as much a difference as other headphones. That's all I was saying. And those impression may change come the day when I have a plethera of sources to try in my own home and after lots of listening time, but it did hold true for what I heard at CanJam.

Let me give you a perfect example: The Amphora was one of my favorite amps with the HD800 (and Ken will be sending me one so I can do a review on it). It had an iPod in it and the resulting sound was better than other amps I heard hooked up to multi-thousand dollar sources. Certainly the iPod is not a great source, but with this amp it sounded fantastic.
post #47 of 654
jpelg,

I spoke to Ken about the Isabella. Unfortunately he didn't have one there for us to try. I'm not sure if he prefers the DAC in it to his own, since he says he uses a different DAC (which one eludes me now). But he did say the headphone amp in it is absolutely superb and one of the best headphone amps he's ever heard.
post #48 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by bandit1 View Post
Hi

Does anyone have any impressions of the HD 800 with the Woo WA2.

Would one say that the WA2 is:

1) inadequate to show off the true qualities of the HD 800;
2) adequate to drive the HD 800, but could be substantially bettered;
3) a good match that will require a significant upgrade to substantially improve on the sound quality of the HD 800 ?

Any considered responses will be appreciated.

Regards
I have a maxed-out WA2 on order that should be here within the next couple of weeks. I'm hoping that #3 is the correct answer.
post #49 of 654
I wouldn't worry too much. I didn't hear the WA2 but if it's anything like the Woos I did hear then you will be in for a treat.
post #50 of 654
did anyone bring an LD VI to Canjam and did anyone get a chance to listen to an HD800 with it?
post #51 of 654

ALO Amphora SE

I just received my ALO Amphora SE yesterday...ser.#01 of 10...and it is a beauty to behold!
Pictures and more feedback to follow after break-in and further listening.
I do not have the HD 800's...but it is on the wish list. In the mean time, my WELL BROKEN IN (>1000hrs.) 702's sound very promising with only 2 hrs. on the amp. It is wired with cotton jacketed silver, and I know that silver takes a little while to smooth out...and started doing just that after the first 2hrs.
Stay tuned.
post #52 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch39 View Post
did anyone bring an LD VI to Canjam and did anyone get a chance to listen to an HD800 with it?
I saw no Little Dots there at all.

I have confused impressions of the HD800s from CanJam, and since I sent my pair back to HeadRoom (clanging issue) and won't be receiving another until tomorrow, I don't have any home experience yet.

The HD800s seemed to go from not so hot to absolutely wonderful in different rigs, but it was almost as if you couldn't predict which amp/source combo would do it. I questioned whether it was a case of pre-production models vs. production and/or fresh out of the box models vs. burned-in ones; listener's burn-out; sensitivity to source, etc. All I know is that I remained surprised. They did not sound so hot out of two of my all-time favorite amps, that are usually stunning with Senns and also with a variety of headphones (SinglePower SDS-XLR and TTVJ 307A). I truly enjoyed them out of every HeadRoom amp I tried, with the edge going to balanced, and was pleasantly surprised with how they sounded with a crappy ipod and the new and soon-to-be-released ttvj pete millet portable (what's up with that?). I thought the Woo SE6 did a fantastic job with them, and I enjoyed them with the 5 hooked up to a laptop and duet, though only spent a minute listening to that combo. I left knowing that I really liked the HD800s, but personally felt like a newbie again, confused with where to start with building a system for them.

I agree with what others have said in that the conditions were less than desirable for anything other than "fast takes" on anything. Sources were quite varied, and I do question both my listener's fatigue (long, fun two days) and the possible variations in models. Also, blubliss has said that after a tube change and a break-in period with the 800s, they now sounded great together, so there's that. More will be revealed.

I think it's going to be an interesting journey as people get to know these headphones. My initial impression is that they are very revealing of the rest of the audio chain, which I believe accounts, in part, for the differences I experienced. I'll have my new pair tomorrow, and though I have a couple sources to try them with, I have only a SinglePower Extreme Platinum and a pico to amp them. I'm hoping for a decent match.
post #53 of 654
boomana is right - the HD800 are great - but touchy and erratic SOBs, and I don't know why.

I'm using them here with a CIA VHP-2/VAC-1 and with a friend's Akido tube amp, and while the potential is clearly there - the detail is awesome - they just don't sound like something I want to listen to every day. I'm sure that they can be made that way - given good recordings, as well - but I can't justify the expense, hassle, time, etc., of running through a million amps and sources to get them that way.

I guess I'll let all you guys do that for me for the next year or so.

My first impressions:

1) more detail than I've ever had from any headphone, and by a lot; which can lead -

2) many recordings to not sound as musical as other headphones make them.

3) Brightness. Sorry, these "neutral" cans sound a tad on the painful side, again, especially with poorer recordings.

After two hours on these, my ears are ringing. After two hours on the Stax, I'm ready for love.

4) Bass issues/lack of bass impact. Again, sorry. The bass is there if it's in the recording, but it's intellectual bass, not emotional bass.

Lots of people are going to begin rationalizing this - and they already are - and I'm sure that killer amps will help, but the HD800 is one of the most bass-shy, impotent cans out there.

5) Discontinuity/not musical. The HD800 reminds me, at least at this stage and with non-heroic amps, a bit of the K701, which always sounded to me like the music was running off down the road, legs akimbo, hair on fire, nothing glued together into an organic, musical whole. Gawd, the 800 is much, much better than the 701 at this, but still, it made me remember the 701.

Overall, I get the impression of a tremendous headphone, but a skittish racehorse that needs patient trainers with endless supplies of cash, and, perhaps, a bit of whipping.

I think that it is key to pay attention to what boomana says about the variations that she has observed, even with limited exposure. The 800 varies from not just disc to disc, but from cut to cut and moment to moment, even musical passage to musical passage.

Why is this? What is going on?
post #54 of 654
I guess leading (or rather bleeding) edge has its price. And it ain't cheap!!!!

I think I'd let the dust settle until more people give out impressions of which combos work best
post #55 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by greggf View Post

4) Bass issues/lack of bass impact. Again, sorry. The bass is there if it's in the recording, but it's intellectual bass, not emotional bass.

Lots of people are going to begin rationalizing this - and they already are - and I'm sure that killer amps will help, but the HD800 is one of the most bass-shy, impotent cans out there.
Have not heard the set up you're using but coming from an early serial numbered R10 and later Serial numbered K1000, the HD800's are anything but bass shy.

But again, I'm amping my K1000's with a Grace m902, which is already on the neutral side, but it's well centered imaging is why I still keep it, and it's swiss army knife input outputs and controls as well. Also helps that it has plenty of power.

But dreams of doubling slew rate with balanced operation keeps swimming in my head.

Believe it or not, the HD800's are beginning to sound a bit more musical than even the R10's at times. And while the soundstage is absolutely huge with the HD800's, the shape of the soundstage and imaging are probably their greatest weakness for me. But that's only because I'm comparing them to the two absolute best headphones of soundstage and imaging. The HD800's have pretty much crushed every other dynamic can, even most electrostats.

Although will be doing a head to head comparo to a HeadAmp BHSE amped Omega 1 soon.

-Ed
post #56 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood View Post
Have not heard the set up you're using but coming from an early serial numbered R10 and later Serial numbered K1000, the HD800's are anything but bass shy.

-Ed
I think the only way you can question the bass is if you are comparing them to a bass heavy phone like the D5000, L3000, etc. etc. I think in their own right and compared to similar cans, the bass is nothing short of excellent.

I've yet to hear a neutral, detail oriented headphone that has more bass.
post #57 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by greggf View Post
4) Bass issues/lack of bass impact. Again, sorry. The bass is there if it's in the recording, but it's intellectual bass, not emotional bass.
I deff agree with this point. But thats probably because
1. the store's demo was hooked to a crappy amp
2. I love denons

none the less, I'm going to order HD800 pretty soon along with sonett
post #58 of 654
If others have no problem with the bass of the HD800, I have to yield and admit it's the amps I'm using. It'll be interesting to see how others feel as time goes on.

And yes, what is it with the soundstaging? It's big but kind of "swimming"-like, like it ebbs and flows in odd shapes. I don't know how to put it.
post #59 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).
The WA5 was one of my favorite amps with the HD800 at CJ. I'm pretty sure I tried the WA6 SE as well and it was no slouch but not the WA5. Made me a bit sad I sold mine to mikeymad. At least I could visit it at CJ. I use my HD800 with my Luxman P-1 and it has done nothing but impress me. I thought the HR BUDA and Ultra Desktop were excellent as well.
post #60 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by greggf View Post
If others have no problem with the bass of the HD800, I have to yield and admit it's the amps I'm using. It'll be interesting to see how others feel as time goes on.

And yes, what is it with the soundstaging? It's big but kind of "swimming"-like, like it ebbs and flows in odd shapes. I don't know how to put it.
I'm with everyone else on the bass. The quantity may even be more than neutral, and it probably hits as hard as anything. I'll have to compare it directly to L3000/PS1 sometime.

The HD800s may be one of the pickiest, hardest-to-amp beasts of all time. The impedance curve looks like nothing else I've ever seen on Headroom's site. Do you have any friends near you with a Dynamight or something?
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