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REVIEW: Sennheiser HD 800 - Page 35

post #511 of 629
The cymbal hits on Know What I Know are splashy on the recording for sure, and sound that way on my HD800s and HF-2s that I'm playing with here. But, I'm not hearing any painful sibilance on either pair. I have to say though, before they were run in, I reckon it would have been a different story. My HD800s did have a rather nasty top end out of the box, which has (thank goodness!) calmed down significantly over a few weeks of heavy use. Probably teaching you to suck eggs here, but I presume your pair have a good few hundred hours on them...?

No doubt, even after run in, I find the HD800s fairly unattractive on really poor recordings. For those, I tend to reach for less revealing/accurate cans (Grado & Alessandro in my case). But...do try out a really good recording of some kind through yours. From my experience with them, they are capable of great things with a great source. Everyone on this forum has some Diana Krall stuff lying around...don't they..?
post #512 of 629
This means the HD800 would be the ideal headphones for recording and mixing.
If every producer in the world would use them no bright and sibilant recordings would ever exist.

If these Sennheisers were exclusively made for home use though I would consider them to be crap, there simply is no need to make headphones that ruthlessy revealing as you describe

As a side note, I own a pair of Audio Technica M40 studio headphones and while I like them for just listening to music they possibly are utterly crap for recording and mixing, because they are way too forgiving, they make the best of tinny and shrill sounding recording, without ever becoming nasty.

Ideally there would be an industry standard frequency respons in headphones for recording and mixing, so much extended in the high frequencys that bright and sibilant recordings become something of the past.
post #513 of 629
Diamonds and homeless sound fine on my system. No problem with "you can call me al" and "I know what I know" either. I replaced the stock cable with Fidelity Audio's cable (search my previous post) and it has made the HD800 much more forgiving of bad recordings. My D/A is also pretty magical with any recording I throw at it. The amp also does never lend to the harsh side of things, so overall my system is probably pretty forgiving.

Having said that, I believe you have indeed realized you're chasing the wrong headphones / audio system. If most of your recordings are of the level of Graceland, then you'll surely be much more happy with a low fidelity system. Or maybe you need to apply heavy equalization to make these CDs more digestible.

my 2 cents,
arnaud.


Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
diamonds and homeless sound good. on call me al and know what i know the sibilance is horrible on the hd800. it is not nearly as bad on the dt880. the dt880 also has larger soundstage on the entire cd. i guess maybe what it boils down to is the dt880 makes the best of the worst cd's. whereas the hd800 makes bad sound terrible. that would certainly suggest the hd800 is technically superior. it is just not for me since all my recordings are pretty lousy for the most part. i listen to pop/electronic/synth jazz/easy rock. these tend to be the worst recordings. the hd800 being so critical must simply make the worst of these. garbage in,garbage out. however, the dt880 seems to me to have a real knack at really polishing up these recordings. i am not going to change my listening habits so the hd800 as brilliant as it is is simply not for me. honestly though i have not heard the hd800 on a stellar recording. i might totally change my mind about it then. it wouldn't really matter though because any good recordings probably do not suit my taste in music.

i remember everyone thought the hd6xx was tops when they came out. i never liked those either. maybe also i am just not for the sennheiser sound. i do hear the dreaded veil on the hd800. i know a few other people have mentioned this as well. overall i guess i am the oddball on this one. many more people love them than dislike them.

music_man
post #514 of 629
Are you kidding? veil on the HD800? I hear no veil whatsoever.

Also, what is your amp/source?

Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
...i do hear the dreaded veil on the hd800. i know a few other people have mentioned this as well. ...
music_man
post #515 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by shellylh View Post
Are you kidding? veil on the HD800? I hear no veil whatsoever.

Also, what is your amp/source?
Yeah I don't either. Based on all of his impressions being the stark polar opposite of what I hear from the HD800, I'm convinced that we either hear in a dramatically different fashion or he received a defective pair. Congested and veiled are two terms that could never be used when describing the HD800 IMO.
post #516 of 629
the problem is my recordings are rotten. thats probably the bottom line.
i am using a g08,lavry gold,modded gcha. this system is ruthlessly revealing. paired with the hd800 it is simply terrible on poor recordings. most of my recordings are worse than graceland! try listening to prince self titled. bad. hey, thats what i listen to. i guess they are just the wrong headphones. or i need a more forgiving source. i have the hp4 but i do not like tubes. i like the speed of ss. also terrible on peter gaberiel "so". sledgehammer is just aweful imo. luckily lesser quality headphones make better use of these kind of recordings. the weird thing about the beyers is they have extended treble yet tame sibilance somehow. to me at least. i know other people say they are sibilant. my hd800 had 500 hours when i got them at my request. now they have over 700.

music_man
post #517 of 629
I have been following this and I have to say that many of my recordings are live Grateful Dead Audience taped shows. Even with them the HD800s, sound great, like you are actually there. The only exception to reality was at a recent Phish concert I saw up front that had shaking, vibrating bass and when i listened to a soundboard copy of the show later on the 800s that extreme bass wasn't there. I credit that to the mixing 30 rows back at the soundboard though.
post #518 of 629
now i really wonder if mine are defective. they are the only pair i have heard. i listened to flim and the bb's which is some of the best recording ever and has imaging like mad. nothing. everything stuck together in my head and it sounds like there are 5 layers of fabric between me and the driver. only goes to maybe 10khz. it could also very well be the angled drivers. like i said ultrasones off center driver sounds horrible to me. like them or not the editions are in the top headphones. they should not sound "terrible". well at least i still like the l3000 and r10. i don't like the 010 though. i do still prefer dynamics. stats have better imaging and more air around the instruments but they don't have any punch to me. so at least it is not like i got one bum headphone and lost out. i have a few other nice ones

music_man
post #519 of 629
Still, I am waiting for HD7xx
post #520 of 629
Thread Starter 
Flim and the BB's "Tricycle" should sound fantastic on everything.
post #521 of 629
I was underwhelmed by the HD800s when I auditioned them at a local hi-fi store. They also had a pair of early manufacture K701s which I tested them against. I tested them connected up to the top of the line Lehmann amp (the Cube)

Hand on heart, I didn't feel that the HD800s were very much different from the K701s. Yes, the 800s were more resolving, and had a tad larger headstage but we are not talking night and day differences. As a matter of fact, I thought that both headphones sounded remarkably similar, as if they were "cut from the same cloth".

Perhaps it was the Cambridge CD player, cables or the Lehmann amp itself but I could not see how the HD800 could be worth $1000 more than the K701. Double the price of the K701s (at $299 USD) perhaps but not $1.3K. Just my 2cents.
__________________
post #522 of 629
i agree that on good recordings the HD800 shine. on bad recordings, it is forecast rain.

on my HR Home, my 701 sounds quite similar to my 800, although the latter is still better across the board, but they are close. however, on my B52 the 800 takes another step forward. so i think the right amp is key to getting the most from the 800. i heard them balanced from the phoenix and based on that audition would not have purchased them. they sound better on my HR Home and even better still on my B52.
post #523 of 629
i listened to "new pants", but i just pulled out "tricycle". to me the hd800 sound(different) but comparable quality to say the vr600! on the other hand as you all know i now prefer the beyers to the gs1000 as well. however tricycle sounds much better than the hd800 on the gs1000. the gs1000 also sound somewhat better than the beyers on tricycle but not on electronic pop music. i think i got a lemon it is maybe possible that my break in i requested was played too loud. i don't know. what is the warranty on these?

on a side note it is amazing what the beyer does to graceland. everytime "boy in the bubble" comes on i nearly jump out of bed. it sounds like the alram clock or something turned on. the sound is feet out of the cups. it does the same on anything prince,madonna,tom petty,peter gabriel etc. on madonnas "into the groove" and "live to tell" the beyers are beyond anything i have ever heard from a headphone. i hope i get a pair of hd800's that exceed this performance like everyone tells me they do. although there are a few people that are simply underwhlmed by the hd800. still, i think mine are busted. maybe i'd think they are average perhaps, but not dreadful.

for the record,amps:ear hp4,cullen gcha,lehmann cube,grace m902,mc84c07,phoenix. intrestingly they sounded best on the dac1 and central station. the gcha is my favorite with the beyers. others get the hp4. maybe they need a more pure source. so do i have the wrong amps?

music_man
post #524 of 629
Have you contacted Sennheiser or whoever you bought them from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
i listened to "new pants", but i just pulled out "tricycle". to me the hd800 sound(different) but comparable quality to say the vr600! on the other hand as you all know i now prefer the beyers to the gs1000 as well. however tricycle sounds much better than the hd800 on the gs1000. the gs1000 also sound somewhat better than the beyers on tricycle but not on electronic pop music. i think i got a lemon it is maybe possible that my break in i requested was played too loud. i don't know. what is the warranty on these?

on a side note it is amazing what the beyer does to graceland. everytime "boy in the bubble" comes on i nearly jump out of bed. it sounds like the alram clock or something turned on. the sound is feet out of the cups. it does the same on anything prince,madonna,tom petty,peter gabriel etc. on madonnas "into the groove" and "live to tell" the beyers are beyond anything i have ever heard from a headphone. i hope i get a pair of hd800's that exceed this performance like everyone tells me they do. although there are a few people that are simply underwhlmed by the hd800. still, i think mine are busted. maybe i'd think they are average perhaps, but not dreadful.

for the record,amps:ear hp4,cullen gcha,lehmann cube,grace m902,mc84c07,phoenix. intrestingly they sounded best on the dac1 and central station. the gcha is my favorite with the beyers. others get the hp4. maybe they need a more pure source. so do i have the wrong amps?

music_man
post #525 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
the problem is my recordings are rotten. thats probably the bottom line.
i am using a g08,lavry gold,modded gcha. this system is ruthlessly revealing. paired with the hd800 it is simply terrible on poor recordings. most of my recordings are worse than graceland! try listening to prince self titled. bad. hey, thats what i listen to. i guess they are just the wrong headphones. or i need a more forgiving source. i have the hp4 but i do not like tubes. i like the speed of ss. also terrible on peter gaberiel "so". sledgehammer is just aweful imo. luckily lesser quality headphones make better use of these kind of recordings. the weird thing about the beyers is they have extended treble yet tame sibilance somehow. to me at least. i know other people say they are sibilant. my hd800 had 500 hours when i got them at my request. now they have over 700.

music_man
I am not having a go at you nor am I defending the HD800, but as a sound engineer you should know that poor media(i.e. bad recordings) are not going to sound good on revealing anxillary equipment (be they headphones/speakers, sources or amps). It looks like your equipment is of the sort that reveals flaws rather than masks them.

I'd go with equipment that is more forgiving of the sins of these poor recordings. Either you use top notch recordings or tailor your system to make poor recordings sound good to your ears.
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