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REVIEW: Sennheiser HD 800 - Page 41

post #601 of 629

I agree with the review pretty strongly, and I think I need to get used to the sound. I have listened to them for only two days so far, so I'm still noticing the subtle differences, well... that and my amp probably is the weak point (Furman PL-8C powering everything, AMB Gamma 2 dac usb to rca to little dot mkiii tube amp with  cbs-hytron JHY-6AK5  1952 nos tubes and stock power tubes, double helix copper cable to hd800s)   These aren't as bright as the akg k702, or mdr-sa5000s I have, but they definitely have this peak, which I find to be slightly fatiguing.  I find them slightly more pleasant than my akgs, but I am not quite sure it was worth it.  I think I am going to have to analyze them.

 

The re-cable is copper, but my friend, well he, uhm.... well... cut the jack of the sennheiser stock cables and used them in "balanced mode" on a indeed single tube hybrid amp... which he was correct in saying was a p.o.s. (but it is cheep).  Long story short I don't really have recollection of how they sounded.  He also did that to this custom cable (Double Helix cable), but I forced him to solder on a new jack, this cable is pretty short though.

 

Thanks for the great review


Edited by bwhsh8r - 12/2/10 at 8:25pm
post #602 of 629

I heard similar details. The only things that made me astonished were the midrange and soundstage.

post #603 of 629

anyone know of a way to tame the mid-treble peak (sibilance?) shrillness?  I hear it mainly in orchestral strings, but it creeps up less noticeably eslewhere.  If I didn't need the HD800s for orchestral music this wouldn't be an issue.  I can't seem to get rid of it after trying a few aftermarket cables.  I have an EAR HP4 which is stock tubed.   RCAs and some other NOS tube rolling hasn't helped.  I haven't tried mullards in it yet, nor GEs.  but i doubt tubes would cure it.  I also tried a slightly warmer set of balanced interconnects than my previous Crystal Standards. 

  A respectable dealer/manufacturer is suggesting expensive power cables to remove sibilance.   He could be right, but I am tired of throwing so much money at the HD800s in hope of removing the treble shrillness.

  I've considered & tried some other flagships.  Seems none of them have a sufficient soundstage for orchestral, after hearing the HD800s.  actually, my Black Dragon cabled PS1000s sound big enough, but I still only love them for everything but classical. 

post #604 of 629

eq?

post #605 of 629
Thread Starter 
I find that the treble peak does not bother me much via the Woo Audio WA22 with the right tubes, FWIW.
post #606 of 629

Some tubes will help to roll off the treble, as well warm/dark SS amp like the Violectric V-100 will do a great job with the treble peak of the HD-800.

post #607 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

I find that the treble peak does not bother me much via the Woo Audio WA22 with the right tubes, FWIW.

Agreed 100%....I'd also recommend a good quality OCC Copper aftermarket cable too.
post #608 of 629

Yep, good copper cable and the right tubes does it for me.

post #609 of 629

Larry, which HD800 cable do you use?   I've tried a few cables, but nothing helped.  The cables I'm trying now give a rich full bodied sound and better bass, but sibilance as strong as ever.

 As mentioned I have the HP4, and am open to relevent tube suggestions too.  I am wondering if the HP4 could be a bad match, but I don't think I can invest in another amp now.  Trying to find out if it is "OTL".   Wonder if anyone actually got rid of the sibilance with Jazz's mod?   I am reluctant to get glue residue inside these in case i sell them.

 

post #610 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyearle View Post

Larry, which HD800 cable do you use?   I've tried a few cables, but nothing helped.  The cables I'm trying now give a rich full bodied sound and better bass, but sibilance as strong as ever.

 As mentioned I have the HP4, and am open to relevent tube suggestions too.  I am wondering if the HP4 could be a bad match, but I don't think I can invest in another amp now.  Trying to find out if it is "OTL".   Wonder if anyone actually got rid of the sibilance with Jazz's mod?   I am reluctant to get glue residue inside these in case i sell them.

 


No cable will mask sibilance that's present in your upstream gear. I owned 4 cables with the HD800s the first time around and still heard some harshness. I sold that entire setup only to find later that my transport was the source of the top-end peakiness. I've come back to the HD800s now, using a silver and copper cable, neither of which give me any hint of harshness. Actually, the stock cable sounds great too.

 

post #611 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyearle View Post

Larry, which HD800 cable do you use?   I've tried a few cables, but nothing helped.  The cables I'm trying now give a rich full bodied sound and better bass, but sibilance as strong as ever.

 As mentioned I have the HP4, and am open to relevent tube suggestions too.  I am wondering if the HP4 could be a bad match, but I don't think I can invest in another amp now.  Trying to find out if it is "OTL".   Wonder if anyone actually got rid of the sibilance with Jazz's mod?   I am reluctant to get glue residue inside these in case i sell them.

 


I mostly use the Locus-Design Hyperion cable lately.  I still like my Warren Audio double helix cable and X10 cable, but many people are having trouble with his customer service.  For me the X10 is just too heavy.  My ZDT amp is perfect with them, and my Amphora or WA6 with the right tubes are pretty good with the HD800.  DACmini and DACport are also good with them, but not quite as warm sounding as the other amps.  I still have a hard time enjoying them with my HDP, SAC KH1000 or EF5 amps where they sound a little aggressive but not sibilant with the Hyperion cable.

 

post #612 of 629

(Parts of the quote not related to my reply (below) have been removed.)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

REVIEW: Sennheiser HD 800

The HD800 has even a little hotter sounding mid-treble versus the DT880, which are *far* from rolled off in the treble - in fact they are sometimes criticized for having too much treble themselves. But the DT880 does not have quite the same problem that the HD800 has with treble (although the DT880 is a little hot in the treble for sure). Their treble flavor is different. This can be seen in the HR Frequency response graphs:



The DT880 actually has less of a treble peak, versus the level at 2 or 3kHz than the HD800 does, and the DT880’s peak is above 8kHz, versus the HD800’s being at 6. So not surprising that they sound different in the treble. Interesting that the HD800 frequency response, in the Headroom graph, certainly doers correlate very strongly with what I seem to be hearing. That is a very noticeable peak of almost 8db at 6 kHz versus 3kHz. I cannot see how anyone can argue that such a peak won't have SOME audible consequence. Of course headphones like the Grados have even peakier treble, but there is no argument that Grados have a hot treble.

It’s important to note that measure headphones is tricky, and while Headroom knows this and does a lot to minimize the issues, one cannot make judgments about a headphone’s sound based on looking just at frequency response charts. In this case, though, there does seem to be a correlation.

 

Thanks for the in-depth review. It seems that HeadRoom have re-run their tests however, as the current (July 20) data shows differences (below) with when you posted your review. Your listening impressions are still of course as valid as before, but the changes appear to indicate that the measurements that HeadRoom take may sometimes change over time as they improve/change how they run them. For the HD800, the curve is very similar (the same?) but it's different for the other two you compare with.

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=283&graphID[]=863&graphID[]=963

post #613 of 629
Thread Starter 

Not sure why the curves for the D7000 and DT880 are different, but the HD-800 as you said is not. 

 

As we have seen with the Beyer T1, though, there is often sample-to-sample variation.

post #614 of 629

Yeah - I put this down to their measurements method having changed over time, but I suppose it could be that they've got differences per batch of cans delivered also. I know about the T1 differences, so it wouldn't be a huge stretch to see the DT880 have the same problem. I would actually be interested to know how much of a difference the exact position they place the headphones on the dummy head makes and such things, but that's for a different thread and something I should ask them instead!

 

In the end - it's how we hear things rather than how we measure them that counts. Just wanted to throw this in there to have the last bit of change in there as well.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

Not sure why the curves for the D7000 and DT880 are different, but the HD-800 as you said is not. 

 

As we have seen with the Beyer T1, though, there is often sample-to-sample variation.



 

post #615 of 629

I had the same problem before too, but after I changed the tubes in my Little Dot MK4 SE I no longer find the treble very hot, it's just perfect.

I replaced the stock tubes to Mullard EF91 CV138 6AM6 (the ones that have blue on them) and now the overall sound is much more mellow while retaining good transparency, and I hear pretty much no sibilance whatsoever.

I can actually use HD800 for long listening sessions now!

 

A lot of people would probably think something like LD don't do the HD800s justice, but I actually think they do a pretty good job. Of course I haven't heard $1000+ amps, but as of now i'm very satisfied with my setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by billyearle View Post

anyone know of a way to tame the mid-treble peak (sibilance?) shrillness?  I hear it mainly in orchestral strings, but it creeps up less noticeably eslewhere.  If I didn't need the HD800s for orchestral music this wouldn't be an issue.  I can't seem to get rid of it after trying a few aftermarket cables.  I have an EAR HP4 which is stock tubed.   RCAs and some other NOS tube rolling hasn't helped.  I haven't tried mullards in it yet, nor GEs.  but i doubt tubes would cure it.  I also tried a slightly warmer set of balanced interconnects than my previous Crystal Standards. 

  A respectable dealer/manufacturer is suggesting expensive power cables to remove sibilance.   He could be right, but I am tired of throwing so much money at the HD800s in hope of removing the treble shrillness.

  I've considered & tried some other flagships.  Seems none of them have a sufficient soundstage for orchestral, after hearing the HD800s.  actually, my Black Dragon cabled PS1000s sound big enough, but I still only love them for everything but classical. 



 


Edited by kwang411 - 7/21/11 at 11:00am
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