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Sennheiser HD800 and Cardas cable, a good match?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Just wondering. Considering ordering a pair from Music Direct along with some other things and thought I would get some input first.

Second, how do they attach to the headphones? Do they plug right in?

And third, how are the HD800's mating with the Zana Deux?
post #2 of 30
Do not want to impose my opinion, but nevertheless just think :
The worlds top audio engineers at Sennheiser spent years in painstaking development of HD 800 and at the end they decided to screw the cable i.e. attaching a mediocre cable to the best phones in the world and with that signing their own suicide ... Not nearly likely, or ?.


The stock cable is as good as can possible be.

I would spend the money on a better amp . But it is me, you will probably buy new cables ?
post #3 of 30
Audio Doctor, I had the pleasure to hear the Sennheiser HD-800 with the "Cardas" cable and with at least four different amps and "they" and the Cardas cable sounded GREAT! I do believe that some cables make a difference, at least to my ears........ Check out the post for the Dayton,Meet this past sat (3/27/10) you'll see and read some very good thoughts on "Your Question".....I'm a HD-650 owner and I'd upgrade to the HD800's and would indeed by an upgrade cable, not necessarily Cardas..... Oh! your 3rd question about the Zana Deux amp, WHAT A MATCH! please read the Dayton meet replies. You'll SEE!!!
post #4 of 30
The stock HD800 cable is very well constructed and sounds excellent. My experiences with the stock cable of the HD650's was very different, that cable really let the phone down, the HD800 stock cable is a big step forward.

I re-terminated the stock cable for balanced use, and listened for 4 months or so before upgrading to a Vortex cable built by qusp. The differences are subtle, overall it's smoother and little more relaxed, bass maginally has a bit more weight. These differences were found by critical listening, switching back an forth, so please keep that in mind.

The only criticism against the stock cable is at 28AWG it's a little thin, perhaps all an upgraded cable will yield is more capacitance.
post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwmclean View Post
The stock HD800 cable is very well constructed and sounds excellent. My experiences with the stock cable of the HD650's was very different, that cable really let the phone down, the HD800 stock cable is a big step forward.
I would second that. The HD800's stock cable is already very good, I'm not sure the Cardas would yield any improvement. For the HD600 the Cardas is a good choice, but the HD800? Qusp's Vortex is about as far as you can realistically take a headphone cable, and if that only yields minor improvements over the stock cable, then the stock is already as good as it needs to be.

If you're recabling them anyway for balanced operation, that's a different story.
post #6 of 30
The best I have heard the stock HD800 was out of a Luxman P1.
post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterlogic View Post
Do not want to impose my opinion, but nevertheless just think :
The worlds top audio engineers at Sennheiser spent years in painstaking development of HD 800 and at the end they decided to screw the cable i.e. attaching a mediocre cable to the best phones in the world and with that signing their own suicide ... Not nearly likely, or ?.
The stock cable is as good as can possible be.

I would spend the money on a better amp . But it is me, you will probably buy new cables ?
Strongly disagree. You would think Sennheiser would follow this logic, but they did not. It's very well built and non-microphonic, but in terms of sound, they dropped the ball. I can't listen to the stock cable anymore with a neutral solid-state setup, it's too fatiguing. An aftermarket copper cable improved the sound considerably more for the HD800 than it did for the HD6x0. If you want to read more, search in the cables section.

I haven't heard the Cardas, but I recommend the OP try for himself instead of listening to people who don't have any meaningful experience with aftermarket cables with the HD800.
post #8 of 30
I have the Cardas cable both single ended and balanced for the 800's. It is a very smooth sounding cable with good extension of both treble and bass. Soundstage is also better with the Cardas cable. Of course balanced is better than single-ended but that is not a discussion for this thread. Price wise it is hard to beat this cable and it is much better in terms of sound quality than the stock cable. Give it a try and see what you think. Order the cable from a company like Headroom so that if you don't like it you can return it within 30 days.
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
Strongly disagree. You would think Sennheiser would follow this logic, but they did not. It's very well built and non-microphonic, but in terms of sound, they dropped the ball. I can't listen to the stock cable anymore with a neutral solid-state setup, it's too fatiguing. An aftermarket copper cable improved the sound considerably more for the HD800 than it did for the HD6x0. If you want to read more, search in the cables section.

I haven't heard the Cardas, but I recommend the OP try for himself instead of listening to people who don't have any meaningful experience with aftermarket cables with the HD800.
"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith, I am nothing."

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
post #10 of 30
The HD-800 sounds wonderful out of the Zana Deux and with the stock cable. I owned a Cardas cable and found zero difference in sound. I couldn't measure a difference between it and the stock cable, either.

Don't order an aftermarket cable. Just get the headphones first and give them a listen.

In the meantime, spend some time reading about whether a cable can make any diference at all.

First, no one has ever measured a noticeable difference between cables.

Second, no one has ever noticed a difference between cables in an unsighted test.

Third, aftermarket cables are ridiculously profitable for manufacturers. Some of them even send "shill" salesmen to message boards to get more sales.

You should listen to the stock cable before deciding to replace it. And you should, at the very least, attend a meet to hear different cables before buying anything just on someone's say-so. Otherwise, a shill might talk you into spending a few hundred dollars that you could have saved or spent on something else. Don't throw away money, especially considering the economy.
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
The HD-800 sounds wonderful out of the Zana Deux ....
After hearing my 800's out of the Zana Deux yesterday at our Dayton meet, I completely agree with that statement!!!
post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioDoctor View Post
And third, how are the HD800's mating with the Zana Deux?
Sick. Unnaturally freakish. Decadent.
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
Strongly disagree. You would think Sennheiser would follow this logic, but they did not. It's very well built and non-microphonic, but in terms of sound, they dropped the ball. I can't listen to the stock cable anymore with a neutral solid-state setup, it's too fatiguing. An aftermarket copper cable improved the sound considerably more for the HD800 than it did for the HD6x0.
So the aftermarket cable made it less fatiguing? Since hardly anyone else finds the HD800 fatiguing in any setup, maybe your aftermarket cable is defective? Just a thought. But I doubt even that is possible. Cables will make a subtle difference in sound but that's it, a subtle difference.
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
So the aftermarket cable made it less fatiguing? Since hardly anyone else finds the HD800 fatiguing in any setup, maybe your aftermarket cable is defective? Just a thought. But I doubt even that is possible. Cables will make a subtle difference in sound but that's it, a subtle difference.
I don't know how anyone could have missed the numerous posts about fatigue with the HD800 (ie lower treble glare).
I'm not following your logic either, are you saying a cable that makes the HD800 less fatiguing is defective?

Anyways, the differences are subtle, but let me put it this way. I'm fairly confident I'd be able to tell the two cables apart in a blind test, and that's not something I'd say for many things.
I'll also point out that the HD800 with the stock cable sound good with tube amps or warm/dark SS setups because they cover the flaws of the cable well. In my setup though, a good copper cable has produced enough of an improvement for me to keep it.
post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post
Sick. Unnaturally freakish. Decadent.
Nice.
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