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post #61 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.
Well, I do have to say that for the record, I'm not a huge fan of "burn-in". Still, the first day, I liked them, but thought they weren't that good. I played pink noise through them for a few days(listening in between) and they progressively got better in regards to bass. I don't know if it was "burn-in" or if I simply got use to them.
post #62 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by atothex View Post
The HD800s may be one of the pickiest, hardest-to-amp beasts of all time.
I just don't know if that's true. You are not alone in feeling this way, I just don't know if it's true. I'm temporarily using the Beresford TC-7520 and it sounds amazing. The only aspect that can improve is the bass(more extension, impact and weight to the sound), outside of that it is great. The only reason I think the bass can be improved is because I just had the L3000(as well as owning the HP3000 and D5000). lol

I think the Beresford's internal amp is a good bang for the buck, but I don't think it can compete with much more expensive home amps and still the HD800 shine.

I'm starting to wonder if burn-in is a large factor as I can't see how a decent amp can't power these to at least "most" of their potential.
post #63 of 654
I have no problems with the amount of bass with the HD800. I think it has *plenty* of it, not too much, not too little. It doesn't have as much bass as the L3000 or Denons but it is an open headphone, it is not going to have as much bass impact as a closed can. Of course, I am using a pretty powerful amp so that may help.

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.
post #64 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.
on my B52, the 800 has plenty of bass and with good impact. and when balanced, both of these areas improved.

re the sound stage, this is something i also complained about. the sound stage was large but at times diffuse, as though the sound was too spread out and lacking focus. one item that has been uniform when moving from single ended to balanced for my headphones is that the sound stage increased, become larger. well, on the 800 it was the opposite. the sound stage became smaller, but this is good b/c the presentation tightened up and finally came into proper focus. that has been my experience so far.
post #65 of 654
greggf,
Head on over to my thread on the HD800 with the Phonitor. It is one of the best SS matches with the HD800 but it is very sensitive to power cords (and of course, sources). It's amazing how with one power cord configuration in my system the HD800 sounds smooth and relaxed, almost too neutral, and with another cord configuration the HD800 sound very sibilant! Yes, to the point it really hurts the ears! The HD800 can literally transform into almost anything you want them to be, but it will take a lot of trial and error pairing different amps, sources and power cords to make that happen. With regards to your bass issue, it must be your amp. I get amazingly deep, punchy and clear bass with the Phonitor. (Thanks for loaning it to me Achristilaw, it's all your fault.)

I'm glad Boomana and others are hearing what I heard back at CanJam, which is how picky these cans are.

Edwood, I see what you're saying about the soundstage on the HD800 and I agree to a point, but it too is highly dependant on the amp you're using and will vary significantly from piece to piece. That is one thing I really liked about the Phonitor: that is lets you customize the speaker angles to give you the soundstage of your choice. Most important though is how the headphones are situated on your head. If the drivers are not perfectly in alignment with your ears the soundstage will suffer. Close your eyes and listen to a highly detailed, live performance. Move one earcup around until you hear the center image come into crystal clear focus.

I need to get the DNA Sonnet for these cans. Vocals on them are magical with a good tube amp. They are more detailed and have a more realistic speaker-like presentation with SS though. Must have both, I'm afraid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greggf View Post
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 #66 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
Vocals on them are magical with a good tube amp. They are more detailed and have a more realistic speaker-like presentation with SS though.
That's a generalization with which I don't agree at all.
post #67 of 654
That was my experience with the HD800 at CanJam. By and large I preferred the way they sounded with the tube amps I listened to, but with the SS amps I listened to they sounded exactly like what you quoted me on above. You obviously had a different experience with different amps.
post #68 of 654
Any impressions with the Zana Deux yet?

-Tim
post #69 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
...I use my HD800 with my Luxman P-1 and it has done nothing but impress me...
I spoiled myself early on. From the moment I opened the box, almost everything I played on my G08/P-1/HD800 combo was what I am looking for, in a headphone.
The beauty of the Luxman, is that I can have the 800's and my R-10's plugged in at the same time, and it takes just a little volume matching to get quick comparos with little or no memory loss. Powerful suckah!

But this week I went away for work, and I took my iMod and my Amphora to Maine with me and I was very unimpressed by the synergy with the 800's. Thin and lackluster performance.
I got home today and plugged the Amphora into the Meridian and the 800's sound stellar, once again.

So, on a different line other than pickiness with amps, I say pickiness with sources. The output voltage of the lineout of the iMod is severely handicapped to most home CDP's, but it isn't as apparent on other headphones.
This is where the 300Ω load with a 600Ω peak can be a handicap (in my estimation). The 800 is a beefy headphone that needs certain downstream components before it can show it's full potential.

A price to pay before getting a good seat at the show, that a person has to decide whether or not they want to pay, just for the price of admission. No discounts here. No "standing room only".

........Orchestra, center aisle only, need apply.
post #70 of 654
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by immtbiker View Post
I spoiled myself early on. From the moment I opened the box, almost everything I played on my G08/P-1/HD800 combo was what I am looking for, in a headphone.
The beauty of the Luxman, is that I can have the 800's and my R-10's plugged in at the same time, and it takes just a little volume matching to get quick comparos with little or no memory loss. Powerful suckah!

But this week I went away for work, and I took my iMod and my Amphora to Maine with me and I was very unimpressed by the synergy with the 800's. Thin and lackluster performance.
I got home today and plugged the Amphora into the Meridian and the 800's sound stellar, once again.

So, on a different line other than pickiness with amps, I say pickiness with sources. The output voltage of the lineout of the iMod is severely handicapped to most home CDP's, but it isn't as apparent on other headphones.
This is where the 300Ω load with a 600Ω peak can be a handicap (in my estimation). The 800 is a beefy headphone that needs certain downstream components before it can show it's full potential.

A price to pay before getting a good seat at the show, that a person has to decide whether or not they want to pay, just for the price of admission. No discounts here. No "standing room only".

........Orchestra, center aisle only, need apply.
I've been going back and forth between solid state and tube over the last few days. I didn't like dealing with the tubes in the MPX3 or the ES-1 when I owned them, so right now I'm leaning more towards solid state, and the Luxman is near the top of the list, along with the Phonitor/Auditor and the B22. (We'll see what happens when the Phoenix reviews come in, I guess.)
post #71 of 654
I'm going to spend some time with my Raptor this weekend. It is the only dynamic tube amp that's in my stable.
post #72 of 654
I've only used my tt, a SB Duet and Pico DAC with the P-1/HD800. All of them got along just fine. I have an Emotiva cdp I'm trying out and it is also getting along with them nicely. Aaron, how are you doing? Long time no see. Jude loves the Raptor/HD800 combo.

I have a Beta 22 and it is a very nice amp for the HD800. I could easily live with either one with these cans.
post #73 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
I've only used my tt, a SB Duet and Pico DAC with the P-1/HD800. All of them got along just fine. I have an Emotiva cdp I'm trying out and it is also getting along with them nicely.
Hm, this is contrary to what alot of people are saying RE: source-matching the HD800's. I would have thought, for a headphone this detailed, that only a truly top-notch source would make them sing.

Are you actually happy with Pico DAC > P-1 > HD800?
post #74 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by twestby View Post
Any impressions with the Zana Deux yet?

-Tim
Sort of. I borrowed Ipodpj's pair and plugged them into mine for about five minutes, then switched over to the Moth for another five or so. I liked what I heardwith the Zana, but please keep in mind the amount of time I spent and that this was under meet conditions.

The good news is that I'll order a HD-800 on Monday. I plan to spend a few minutes evaluating it when it arrives. The Zana is a priority, and I'll post impressions.

As much of a tube head as I am, I have to admit that the HD-800 really impressd from HeadRoom's amps. I just got a Beta22 backplane - I'm going to have to put that together for the HD-800. I'm sure it'll work well with tubes, but it sounded damn good on solid state, so I'm going to put one together.
post #75 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by greggf View Post
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?
I have noticed this in ultra high end (large) systems. It becomes immediately obvious that there are noticeable differences between albums and even between tracks. Some recordings are just @$!@!#. I'm thinking this is a good thing - downside is that every other piece of equipment along the chain has to catch up.
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