Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › HD800 and T1 musings...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

HD800 and T1 musings... - Page 58

post #856 of 954
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

Scaling and "the HD800s are the pickiest and most difficult to get right" are not the same thing by a long shoot.  The fact is, the HD800 will sound good out of many amps.  That's just a fact why?  Because it's all subjective.  

 

There is not a shred of objective data to prove otherwise - PERIOD..  Another fact is there's no objective data that states the HD800 scales so high, just subjective impressions or "myths"  

 

Again,  many of head fir'es feel they have the right amp for the HD800s.  So who's to say they don't?  Don't sound like this head phone is hard to get right to me.  Looks like it's right to more people with different amps than not.

 

The 160D was not to my liking at all with the HD800s.   LCfiner said he loved that combo.  This is called preference - that's all it is.  We also have some that love the objective stack with the HD800 and some feel it's not good at all.  Again = preference.  Has nothing to do with the  "the HD800s are the pickiest and most difficult to get right"  "MYTH"

 

My experiences say that the HD800s can sound really good from an assortment of gear...but to get their best out of them, it takes quite a bit of effort. I can easily detect differences between amps/dac with them. More so than any dynamic headphone I've own. Not a myth...just first hand experiences. 

 

Many differences/improvements between gear (amps and dacs) are more readily noticeable with my HD800s than my other dynamic headphones. In fact, whenever I try to understand new gear, the HD800s are my "go to" dynamic headphones for evaluation for that reason.


Edited by MacedonianHero - 1/18/14 at 2:43pm
post #857 of 954
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
 

 

My experiences say that the HD800s can sound really good from an assortment of gear...but to get their best out of them, it takes quite a bit of effort. I can easily detect differences between amps/dac with them. More so than any dynamic headphone I've own. Not a myth...just first hand experiences. 

 

Many differences/improvements between gear (amps and dacs) are more readily noticeable with my HD800s than my other dynamic headphones. In fact, whenever I try to understand new gear, the HD800s are my "go to" dynamic headphones for evaluation for that reason.


And many of us respect your opinion and believe you. However, I wonder what the results would be like in a blind testing. Many of us use exaggeration when describing the differences in amplification and headphones. It can be difficult to determine where fact ends and bias based opinions begin.

post #858 of 954
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GardenVariety View Post
 


And many of us respect your opinion and believe you. However, I wonder what the results would be like in a blind testing. Many of us use exaggeration when describing the differences in amplification and headphones. It can be difficult to determine where fact ends and bias based opinions begin.

Very good point. For the record, I've done blind testing too and all its done is to solidify my stance on the HD800's transparency. 

 

In the end, you'll have to hear it for yourself. 

post #859 of 954

There's no way to actually measure sound quality other than perception so there will always be discrepancies/exaggerations of the actual real world differences. Typically the margins in high end audio are quite insignificant to most people. It's all relative so a small difference when you've gone past the point of diminishing returns can be perceived as quite significant. 

post #860 of 954
Quote:
Originally Posted by leng jai View Post
 

There's no way to actually measure sound quality other than perception so there will always be discrepancies/exaggerations of the actual real world differences. Typically the margins in high end audio are quite insignificant to most people. It's all relative so a small difference when you've gone past the point of diminishing returns can be perceived as quite significant. 

 

 

oooh!! glad to see you're still around!!

 

haven't seen your posts in a while. :D

post #861 of 954
Quote:
Originally Posted by GardenVariety View Post
 


 I wonder what the results would be like in a blind testing. Many of us use exaggeration when describing the differences in amplification and headphones. It can be difficult to determine where fact ends and bias based opinions begin.

 

That's pretty much how I see it, as well. I don't go as far as to say there are no audible differences among amps (referring mostly to SS here), but any differences that may exist are just too insignificant for me to be concerned with. That's based more on my experience with home audio/speakers than it is with head-fi stuff, but to me the principles still hold true. 

post #862 of 954
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDuke990 View Post
 

 

Exaxtly. I'm totally satisfied with my HD800 und O2+ODAC combo. Nothing to blame. I tried a lot of other neutral amps and the differences were not audible. So why burn 1000€ for a "so called" better amp without getting any benefit ?

 

You know, I disappeared off these forums for a long while, and there was a story behind it. I didn't want to step on the toes of people who had been kind to me. I had countless notes full of so much writing I had prepped for all these reviews of all these different products I had planned, all these loans and all the rest.

 

The reality of it all...

 

One of my planned threads was a gigantic O2 vs V200 (and a few other expensive amps) comparison thread. The results of so many comparisons kind of shocked me.

 

I'm a logical personal, and I consider myself frugal and fairly technologically and financially savvy. I also have very good hearing and eye sight (Thank God). There was no way I was going to let placebo or hype get in the way of my impressions, nor would I let financial or product interests get in the way either, and that's why for my reviews I did outright blind tests, where other people would swap things around whilst I was blind folded and I'd A/B thousands of times, in-fact, I'd do blind tests on others too. Over the course of these reviews, because the results were so perplexing and oft controversial, I had to listen to hundreds of hours of music just to re--confirm my opinions.

 

 

The entire audiophile industry is a sworded one. Perhaps the most reckless and unjustifiably excessive of any technology based hobby out there.

 

Maybe one day I will care to write out some of my comparisons and reviews, but in the mean time I'll just say this.

If you want a strictly neutral amp, with no colour, that will power any of your high end headphones (bar electrostatic cans such as the Stax, as I have not tested with them and cannot confirm that), the cheap little O2 will be more than sufficient, and you will not get any better quality in a perfect flat, un-coloured amplification, moving to any other amp. The frequency response is straight flat, and the noise floor impossibly low, the power plenty. T1's, HD800's, LCD-2's, which I all tested on them, and compared with other amps, not an iota of difference in terms of power delivery or overall quality.

 

I will however add….

 

But there is a difference

 

Different amps, DAC's etc, DO sound different. Sometimes insignificantly different, sometimes noticeably so. For example, the V200 probably sounds around 10% different to the O2 if I had to put a percentage on it. However, that difference is NOT an objective difference in better sonic quality, only a subjective difference in sonic preference.

 

What I mean by that is, the O2 offers a perfect, pure flat response, with no issues in power delivery what-so-ever. The V200 only sounds different not because it's better quality in any way (though you may prefer the way it sounds), but because it colours the sound ever so slightly. It adds some added sub bass and peaks the low-mid range, and that's why it sounds so good with the T1's (and HD800's) etc. The T1's benefit a good degree from these minor colourisations, because these are areas of it's frequency range that it is lacking. It's the same reason many tube amps sound good with these headphones too. They essentially add colour to the sub bass and tame the higher frequencies, and some people like that, but you have to realise the amp is essentially changing the way your headphone was designed to sound, if it were powered ideally, and completely un-coloured.

 

Everything comes at a cost

 

However…..by adding extra colour to the sub bass and lower mid range, you automatically affect other areas of the sound signature. And no amp, irrespective of the price, will change that. Because it is a flat frequency and signal. It's not like an actual headphone that can change sonic delivery even in it's physical design, size and form (size of the drivers, ergonomics etc), the amp only has a set signal and frequency to work with. Changing one part of it WILL affect your perception of the others.

 

In this instance, with the V200 adding sub bass (etc), it very slightly clouds the highs and sound stage. Sound stage in this respect being a change in the sonic dynamic dictated by the bumped up bass, clouding the rest of the signature, which gives the false perception of a smaller sound stage. because of this, as much as the V200 makes certain elements of the T1's sound better, the O2 is actually still cleaner and more detailed sounding, and more importantly, un-coloured.

 

Did I prefer the sonic delivery of the T1's paired with the V200? Yes. But there was no way I was going to pay hundreds of pounds on an amp for just a smidgen of added colourisation in a few areas of the sonic range. The basic premise of an amp is to be absolutely colourless, and simply power your headphones whilst remaining so. And the O2 does exactly that, flawlessly in-fact.

 

The higher end amps I tested were not powering the headphones any better. Nor were they any cleaner sounding (as mentioned, the noise floor on the O2 is inaudibly low). All a few of them were doing is offering a slight colour to the sonic signature. Think of it almost like adding a forced, ultra clean EQ to your cans. If that's worth the extra to you because of the specific colourisation or changes offered, then more power to you. But if you just want a completely un-coloured, perfectly sufficient, flat amplification, the O2 amp is going to hang with the best of them, irrespective of what others on here tell you.

 

 

*Awaits a slew of posters telling him he's wrong*


Edited by Naim.F.C - 1/18/14 at 9:34pm
post #863 of 954
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naim.F.C View Post
 

 

*Awaits a slew of posters telling him he's wrong*

 

LOL.  Wouldn't matter if you were wrong or right, you'd still get a slew of posters here telling you that:)

post #864 of 954

No one should be telling anyone they are wrong unless we are talking about fact based statements. Let's face it. We are all the audio equivalent of junkies. Just at different stages of the addiction. You may feel the need to go cold turkey once in awhile. But... You will always come back. 

post #865 of 954

Great read, Naim. I'm not an objectivist and I don't have any desire to turn a hobby I love into a science experiment...but that mirrors very closely to what my ears have experienced over the years, as well - again, mainly with home audio. 

post #866 of 954
Quote:
Originally Posted by Focker View Post
 

 

That's pretty much how I see it, as well. I don't go as far as to say there are no audible differences among amps (referring mostly to SS here), but any differences that may exist are just too insignificant for me to be concerned with. That's based more on my experience with home audio/speakers than it is with head-fi stuff, but to me the principles still hold true. 

Yes, I agree. I've been into home audio for quite a while and there's just as much confusion in that arena. I've settled upon mid grade amplifiers because I've found 90% of the quality comes from the speaker. Parasound is a good brand that's well built and reasonably priced. 

post #867 of 954
Quote:
Originally Posted by GardenVariety View Post
 

Yes, I agree. I've been into home audio for quite a while and there's just as much confusion in that arena. I've settled upon mid grade amplifiers because I've found 90% of the quality comes from the speaker. Parasound is a good brand that's well built and reasonably priced. 

 

One of my favorite amps was a Parasound HCA-855...very good memories of that little 5-channel beast. 

 

I have a friend who is REALLY into home audio and has the means to pretty much do whatever he wants. I purchased some DeVore Fidelity Super 8s from him back almost ten years ago...a very neutral, transparent, highly regarded speaker. I heard them in his listening room on a butler 2250 (around $2k), a NuForce amp, and a pair of Oasis monoblocks (tens of thousands). I was shocked when I felt the Butler and NuForce sounded just as good as the big monster monoblocks. 

 

With head-fi I settled on an amp (Meier Jazz) that I felt was mostly neutral, and the only upgrade I made was to the Meier Classic, mainly because I wanted to make sure I had enough juice for orthodynamics since I knew I wanted to venture into that territory. I love this amp and just have no desire to get anything else, mainly because I'm just not convinced that I would really gain much, if anything. This is just what works for me, though...I love that others take a different approach, cause it's fun to compare notes and experiences with others. 

post #868 of 954
Quote:
Originally Posted by Focker View Post
 

 

One of my favorite amps was a Parasound HCA-855...very good memories of that little 5-channel beast. 

 

I have a friend who is REALLY into home audio and has the means to pretty much do whatever he wants. I purchased some DeVore Fidelity Super 8s from him back almost ten years ago...a very neutral, transparent, highly regarded speaker. I heard them in his listening room on a butler 2250 (around $2k), a NuForce amp, and a pair of Oasis monoblocks (tens of thousands). I was shocked when I felt the Butler and NuForce sounded just as good as the big monster monoblocks. 

 

With head-fi I settled on an amp (Meier Jazz) that I felt was mostly neutral, and the only upgrade I made was to the Meier Classic, mainly because I wanted to make sure I had enough juice for orthodynamics since I knew I wanted to venture into that territory. I love this amp and just have no desire to get anything else, mainly because I'm just not convinced that I would really gain much, if anything. This is just what works for me, though...I love that others take a different approach, cause it's fun to compare notes and experiences with others. 

Very nice. Yes, I agree that the Meier is a very nice amp. I remember reading some comments from a well regarded head-fier that basically stated how similar the Meier and Burson sounded. I have to admit that I still have a longing to hear the big Soloist on my T1's. Burson says there would be no discernable difference but yet...  

post #869 of 954
Quote:
Originally Posted by GardenVariety View Post
 

Very nice. Yes, I agree that the Meier is a very nice amp. I remember reading some comments from a well regarded head-fier that basically stated how similar the Meier and Burson sounded. I have to admit that I still have a longing to hear the big Soloist on my T1's. Burson says there would be no discernable difference but yet...  

 

I love the way the Bursons look...every time I see a pic I stare at it for a minute lol. And yeah, the Meier has turned out great...I've gotten to know Jan a bit over the last couple years and I just believe in his approach. I really got lucky when I pulled the trigger...his gear is just a really good match for what I'm looking for. 

 

I'd love to hear the HD800s on my rig one day. When I listened to them it wasn't my set up, but I really enjoyed them. I know Jan loves them, as well, so I'm guessing I would be very happy with the pairing. 

 

I see you have the Smyth Realiser...I'm fascinated by that thing. I bet it does things with the T1s that are pretty impressive, eh? 

post #870 of 954

@Naim: Thank you. You are absolute right 

Amps and DACs sound different. That's true but I compared only "neutral" amps and got the same results as you got -> no differences.

For example I was not able to hear a difference between O2, Bryston and BCL because all of them are very neutral but I compared my audio-gd Fun (bright), Aune mini (dark) and my O2 (neutral) as well and there were audible differences for sure.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: High-end Audio Forum
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › HD800 and T1 musings...