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REVIEW: Sennheiser HD 800 - Page 37

post #541 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post




Sometimes, yes.  I can't listen to Metal with the stock cable, and some very sibilant recordings (Diana Krall, Eva Cassidy Live, Kathleen Edwards) will sound more sibilant with the stock cable than the Warren Audio double helix or Locus-Design Hyperion Cable.  But, with the right amp and music, the HD800 is very good with the stock cable.

 

Agreed. With the right source and amp, the stock cable is not sibilant at all (to me anyways). It's just not a forgiving cable so bad recordings sound bad, whereas a copper replacement will make pretty much anything sound good because of its smoother, warmer and more open sound.
 

post #542 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post



Agreed. With the right source and amp, the stock cable is not sibilant at all (to me anyways). It's just not a forgiving cable so bad recordings sound bad, whereas a copper replacement will make pretty much anything sound good because of its smoother, warmer and more open sound.
 


Would headphone cables fall under the same category as the interconnect argument, regarding the build quality?

post #543 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepsi View Post




Would headphone cables fall under the same category as the interconnect argument, regarding the build quality?


That's an interesting question.  I believe headphone cables have a lot more current and power passing through them than the interconnects, which carry mostly voltage into a high impedance input, so the cables may act very differently depending on the use.  I am guessing.

post #544 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepsi View Post




Would headphone cables fall under the same category as the interconnect argument, regarding the build quality?


I've dabbled with a few ICs and headphone cables and always found larger changes from swapping headphone cables than from ICs, but this may be dependent on the gear used so I can't answer your question with certainty.

post #545 of 629

For me, I've decided ultimately that Skylab's conclusions are partly the fault of the cable, which could, from one point of view, make the HD-800s arguably bad or worse value for people after a "musical" headphone. If one owns a pair with the large 6.3k peak (not all people's HD-800s measured with such a strong peak) which makes the sibilance on tracks more noticeable, then one solution is a copper cable.  Since I like Stax, which set the benchmark for treble quality and have amps that lacks any harshness (without having to roll off the treble to achieve that), copper made the HD-800s sound too rolled-off in the treble for me.  I ended up going with the APS V3 copper/silver hybrid that gives that touch of bass boost many people feel the HD-800s are missing (unless you're using them as studio monitors) while maintaining or possibly improving the quality of the treble.  I've switched back to the stock cable a couple of times and removed it within minutes of doing so, as the HD-800s to me just sound awful with it in comparison.

post #546 of 629

Well, after 50 hours of playing out of the box, the sibilance I noticed from my early listen has calmed down a lot.  Either my brain or headphones have burned in, take your pick.  :)  But it's definitely not adding any sibilance to any recording that doesn't have it already, like how it was doing earlier.  One thing I've noticed is how my CD's and hiface/KS through my DA100 sound so much better than USB... I absolutely cannot listen to HD800 through USB because of how thin, scratchy and hollow it sounds.  With good sources/transports however, it's great.  This definitely only deserves the best you can feed it, I've found out that much.

 

Listened to the Coldplay "a rush of blood to the head" and absolutely loved it... everything was great except for the one of the last two tracks (forgot their names... they're not their hit songs) which obviously was recorded to have voices upfront and sharp where I did experience some sibilance.  The best I've heard so far are classicals as well as the orchestral pieces from the Lion King soundtrack though... they're simply mind blowing to listen to with HD800.

post #547 of 629

K_19, with the DA100 I tried from Blutarsky, the USB DAC sounded much smoother and fuller with up-sampling turned on.  With it off it sounded thinner and scratchier to me via USB.

post #548 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

K_19, with the DA100 I tried from Blutarsky, the USB DAC sounded much smoother and fuller with up-sampling turned on.  With it off it sounded thinner and scratchier to me via USB.



The problem (well, not really problem, just different) with the DA100 is that the upsampling features brings vocals forward and smoothens things BUT in trading off subbass and 3D soundstage (everything is brought together at 2D plane).  This is great with certain headphones but I feel that it's not the best for the HD800 for most things.  I do end up using it for rock albums though.

 

I'm pretty happy with my DA100 as source but I'm thinking I should upgrade my amp soon.  Got my eyes set on WA6SE at the moment... could do with more power for sure I think.   

post #549 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by K_19 View Post





The problem (well, not really problem, just different) with the DA100 is that the upsampling features brings vocals forward and smoothens things BUT in trading off subbass and 3D soundstage (everything is brought together at 2D plane).  This is great with certain headphones but I feel that it's not the best for the HD800 for most things.  I do end up using it for rock albums though.

 

I'm pretty happy with my DA100 as source but I'm thinking I should upgrade my amp soon.  Got my eyes set on WA6SE at the moment... could do with more power for sure I think. 


So we both agree that it makes it fuller and smoother.  I didn't spend enough time to notice the change in 3D imaging.  Instead of the WA6SE I would recommend the WA22, especially if 3D imaging is that important, although the WA22 does sound best with a balanced source (even with a Digital Link III which is almost like a DA100 signature clone when I compared them).

post #550 of 629

i would like a Digital Link III vs. nuforce hdp.. or a digital link  vs audo gd dac19 or all vs the stello.... there are too many good dacs, will the performance ever plateau

post #551 of 629

Great JOB Skylab

 

I subscribe all of you review

post #552 of 629

Thanks Skylab for another great review. Your articulation is, to say the least, among the best in the field.

 

I have tried the Sennheiser HD800 yesterday (finally). 

 

The CDP is some french made high end player that I don't recall the name... But the player is absolutely an excellent one, enough to feed the cans. Amp is Musical Fidelity V8. I did the comparison with my HD650.

 

The first CD I tried is Beethoven Symphony No. 5 orchestrated by Carlos Kleiber with Vienna philharmonic orchestra. That is a legendary performance and recording for me. And each time I want to test something, I shall begin with it. I've tried the first session "Allegro con brio", HD800 played it right. I should say that's an presentation I've never heard of from a headphone. It did even better on the last session "Allegro Presto". And when I put on my HD650 for "Allegro Presto", which gave me my first blow-off on my audio journey, I nearly vomited. The treble just blew off in comparison to HD800. The punch is ok, but laid back.

 

However, I tested them against Mstislav Rostropovitch for cello, Glenn Gould for piano and Nathan Milstein for violin. HD800 triumphed in all types of instruments, but this time much less. Its overall transparency is better than HD650, but apart from that, the difference, I mean from my later test excluding Beethoven Symphony No. 5, did not justify the nearly 4 times price of HD650. It's 1.x times better for me.

 

So I just left it and I'm eyeing on a pair of T1 now... I'm sure if HD800 is 600 euros or so, I'll take it with no thought.

 

Btw, looking forward to the next flagship product from AKG.


Edited by xiaobao0707 - 5/9/10 at 4:38pm
post #553 of 629
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the kind words, fellas.

post #554 of 629

I was intrigued by this statement: "If one owns a pair with the large 6.3k peak (not all people's HD-800s measured with such a strong peak) which makes the sibilance on tracks more noticeable".  Has it been shown that some HD800s are *not* bright?   Is it random, or have Senn "fixed" it? 

 

My experience is limited, but I heard 3 or 4 pairs with multiple cables and sources and amps at the San Francisco meet recently.  I wanted to like them.  For comparison I had my own HD650s and tested a couple of more recent vintage.  Brought my own music and cable.  

 

On the Beta22, the HD800 was clearly too bright (best diagnosed using voice), and on all other systems they were *unacceptably* bright.  Not too much *upper* treble, but too much lower treble such that the midrange sounded hollow and thin.  Voices sounded so much more accurate on HD650, but without the many spatial, extension, and detail refinements so obvious in the HD800... aside from that obvious brightness.  Voices were just unrealistic, crispy and in some cases chesty (is there a lower-midrange peak?), with some voices literally unlistenable.  They were bright in the sibilance range, but I would not claim that the sibilance effect was created by the Senns.... just forced and forward.  

 

All this "they are too good" talk reminds me of folks that don't want to recognize a flaw in their favorite component.  May not be true for you, but I'm just sayin'... ;^)  I wish I could find a pair that isn't bright... anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area wanna invite me to listen?  

post #555 of 629

I'm going with a copper cable, the cable tech doesn't even use silver solder due to it's effect on the high frequencies, I'm looking into a higher end HD650 cable done the same way...

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