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The Ultimate Sennheiser HD800 Cable From Lawton Audio-- The Adrenaline! Plus Senn HD800... - Page 3  

post #31 of 40
This impression on the Adrenaline from the Danish meet impression thread. A more in depth review will be forthcomming from darkless who has done the burnin and is the owner of the HD800 it is used with. And the stock cable used to compare with in the below comment was reterminated for balanced. A great thank you to Mark for letting us borrow it, not many would otherwise have been able to try it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
Lawton Audio had graciously sent a balanced Adrenalin for HD800 to the meet, burned-in by one of the participants before the meeting. And upgrade cables for HD800 is of great interest to me just now. When first listening to the HD800 /GS-X I didn't think much about the cable but noticed that it sounded better than what is usual with my Headroom Balanced Max. We swapped to the stock cable and it was clear to me that Adrenaline improved over the stock cable. With the stock cable the usual treble character of HD800 with stock cable returned. It is subtle but there is some unnaturalness, it is not harsh, not even especially bright but something I can't find a good description for. Smoothness and dynamics also improved with Adrenaline. I had no great exception on Adrenaline and a previous cable comparison showed less difference. Of course, it was a short listening to Adrenaline but I felt convinced that it improves on the stock cable in in important way. Finally, I don't like the looks of the cable and definitively not the price. But tempting it is.
post #32 of 40
Thread Starter 
Hello Head-Fiers,
As the initial reviewers are wrapping up their impressions, it is getting close to time for second round of testers/reviewers for the Adrenaline. Requirements for ideal candidates are posted earlier in this thread. Please contact me via e-mail by clicking on my name. PMs tend to get lost and deleted. Make sure to specify whether you are interested in the balanced pair with XLRs, or the regular single-ended with 1/4" jack.

I was contacted by a number of people when we first announced the cable was open for reviews. I'm sorry to say that I lost the list of people who expressed an interest during a recent move, and all the old PMs have long since been deleted to open up space in my in-box.

Feel free to contact me again if you still have an interest. Thanks!

Also, if you are an attendee or organizer of an up-coming local Head-Fi meet and would like to bring the Adrenaline, please contact me.
post #33 of 40
Adrenaline Impressions

I've had the pleasure of burning in the Adrenaline cable used for the Danish head-fi meet as well as briefly reviewing the cable afterwards in my own home. I will now share what I learned.

First of all, the cable is quite thicker than the regular stock cable, but it is still very flexible and solid feeling and not microphonic at all, unlike cables with Techflex sleeving which are much stiffer to handle.

The XLR connectors are of good quality and connects securely with the female/female adapter with Neutrik connectors that I'm using to connect my headphones directly to my balanced source. The connectors at the other end of the cable look virtually identical to the stock connectors with the exception that they're missing the tailpiece. This part was without a doubt omitted because it would prevent use of the thicker wire within the cable.

This does mean that you need to be very careful that you don't accidentally pull in the rubber-coated strain relief when disconnecting the cable from the headphone, otherwise you risk pulling out the centerpiece of the connector along with cable, leaving the outer metal shell of the connector sitting in the headphone. Please note that this doesn't harm the cable or headphone at all, because the centerpiece is firmly attached to the headphone cable itself and will easily slide back into the outer shell when reinserted. It's just something to watch out for.

So how does the cable sound? Well, this is the hardest part of the review, because we didn't do any direct A/B tests using the two balanced HD800 headphones present at the meet. Therefore I did the comparison at home comparing the balanced Adrenaline cable to my balanced stock cable with black Neutrik NC3MXX connectors with silver-plated pins.

I used a PC with RME DIGI96/8 PAD soundcard connected via AES/EBU XLR out to my Weiss DAC1-MK2 with female/female adapters on the balanced analog outputs in order to directly connect the HD800 to the Weiss DAC. Before the head-fi meet the cable was burned in for 149 hours using the IsoTek CD @ 90 dB measured with a RadioShack SPL Meter directly next to the left driver.

Going from the stock cable to the Adrenaline, the first thing I noticed was that the sound became a little bit more focused and tight and slightly more dynamic in its presentation, in particular the bass. It wasn't a night and day difference but it was definitely noticeable in my quiet listening room. The second thing I noticed was that the character of the treble had changed. Whereas the stock cable treble has a tendency to sound somewhat harsh at times, the adrenaline sounded a little bit easier on the ears but just as detailed as the stock, giving the overall impression of a slightly more comfortable listening experience. Make no mistake, though. The headphone is still very unforgiving, it just loses a bit of the harshness that may subtract from the listening experience.

At this point I would probably be expected to say something about whether the cable is a worthwhile upgrade. For me the changes are definitely desirable and there were no detractors making me want to skip the upgrade. That being said, to me the improvements weren't large enough to warrant the price tag. I would personally be more likely to go with a cable in the $300-400 range. However, I'm quite sure that many people won't think twice about spending their bucks on this cable when they've already decided that the sound of the HD800 is what they're after. In this case it might make sense to try to attain those last few percent of sonic bliss in order to bring out the best of these magnificent headphones.

I would like to thank Mark from Lawton Audio for giving me and the rest of the Danish head-fi meet the opportunity to try out this cable. It was a good learning experience and much appreciated. Thanks!
post #34 of 40
Thread Starter 
Hi darkless, thanks for taking the time to write up your impressions.

Just one comment about this observation:

Quote:
This does mean that you need to be very careful that you don't accidentally pull in the rubber-coated strain relief when disconnecting the cable from the headphone, otherwise you risk pulling out the centerpiece of the connector along with cable, leaving the outer metal shell of the connector sitting in the headphone. Please note that this doesn't harm the cable or headphone at all, because the centerpiece is firmly attached to the headphone cable itself and will easily slide back into the outer shell when reinserted. It's just something to watch out for.
The cable should not be removed by pulling on the strain relief or on the wire itself; one need simply grab the large silver barrel of the connector and pull. It will disconnect easily and cleanly this way. That's good feedback, you never know how someone in the field will use the product, and I will include this specific instruction for use on the website. Still it is good to know that even if a customer should tug hard enough on the wire and pull out the guts inside the barrel that our cable is built strong enough to easily withstand this.
post #35 of 40
Hi Mark.

I agree that you should never intentionally try to remove the cable by pulling in the strain relief. However, the silver barrel connector is quite slippery so it could happen by accident as it did once for me (fingers sliding off the metal barrel, catching the rubber strain relief and then pulling out the cable in one quick motion). I did pull pretty hard.
post #36 of 40
nice review
post #37 of 40

hd 800 sockets

Quote:
Originally Posted by markl View Post
HD800 Connectors back in stock!
And ready to ship. Contact me here or through Home to place an order. Cheers.
hi Mark

are you selling matching sockets to these connectors as well?
I'd like to put them into my grados :-)

greg
post #38 of 40
Thread Starter 
Hi gregdee, sorry, no sockets.
post #39 of 40

where then?

hi Mark

any idea when i can get these sockets ?

txs

greg
post #40 of 40
Thread Starter 
SPECIAL: Like New Adrenaline Balanced Cable: 10 feet with Xhadow XLRs






Used once, as new condition, and only just barely broken in. We don't do sales on new items, so if you are waiting for a balanced Adrenaline at a discount-- this is it!

10 feet in length, with black nylon sheath and Xhadow XLRs.

Regular Price: $889.

Sale Price: $689 (plus shipping).
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Sponsored Threads and Group Buys › Member of the Trade Sponsored Threads Forum › Member of the Trade Sponsored Threads Forum ARCHIVE › The Ultimate Sennheiser HD800 Cable From Lawton Audio-- The Adrenaline! Plus Senn HD800 Connectors for DIY-ers!