Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Looking to improve low end on HD800s. Upgrade DAC, amp, both?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Looking to improve low end on HD800s. Upgrade DAC, amp, both?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Foobar, PPHS resample to 96000 Hz > Computer's (win7) onboard SoundMax optical, resample to 24-bit, 192 KHz > Musiland MD10 (@ -33) > Musical Fidelity X-CAN v3 (@ ~-18-22) > HD800 w/ stock cable.

I listen to a lot of stuff, but mostly metal and electronic.

The fidelity is great, but it seems my HD650 w/ cardas cable had better low end. Like I did with my 650s, I'm bumping 55 and 77 Hz in foobar's EQ by 2 notches. I would say it doesn't sound "full" enough. I had about 3 years on my 650s, and about 6 months on the 800s.

BTW, resampling to 24-bit, 192 KHz via the windows control panel seems to give a fuller sound than just outputting the 16-bit 96000 Hz that foobar resamples to. IIRC, the 24-bit path of the DAC was touted when it came out.

My budget is $2000-$2500, but I wouldn't like to spend that much . Since the resale value seems pretty good, say 75%, I guess it's not too bad.
post #2 of 33
FWIR a Lavry DA11 will be good. I personally use a benchmark dac1 with my headphones and I am fairly certain that I will get a balanced DNA Sonata which would also fit within your budget.
post #3 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadfones View Post
Looking to improve low end on HD800s. Upgrade DAC, amp, both?
Another, cheap alternative: modifying the headphone. This has wonderfully worked out for me. In the beginning I noticed the beneficial effects from covering the steel mesh with sound-absorbing/-isolating materials serving for reducing the natural phase cancellation between front and rear sound waves. And I ended up with a variant which almost exclusively took care for reflection damping, thus the elimination of the treble glare I still perceived now and then, which also made for the perception of a lean bass. Just recently I added a small piece of carpet-taped velvet of about 0.25 cm² for covering the steel mesh again and a tiny extra dose of bass intensity.
.
post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
Another, cheap alternative: modifying the headphone. This has wonderfully worked out for me. In the beginning I noticed the beneficial effects from covering the steel mesh with sound-absorbing/-isolating materials serving for reducing the natural phase cancellation between front and rear sound waves. And I ended up with a variant which almost exclusively took care for reflection damping, thus the elimination of the treble glare I still perceived now and then, which also made for the perception of a lean bass. Just recently I added a small piece of carpet-taped velvet of about 0.25 cm² for covering the steel mesh again and a tiny extra dose of bass intensity.
.
I'm not making fun as i'm sure the mod will work for many, but I think the hd800 has the right amount of bass as is. But then again many like lots of bass.
post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntory_Times View Post
I'm not making fun as i'm sure the mod will work for many, but I think the hd800 has the right amount of bass as is. But then again many like lots of bass.
I think the bass is more than sufficient when it's played solo, like with a tone generator. The problem I'm having is with music; when it's played along with other frequencies.
post #6 of 33
OP, invest in a good transport (instead of using the onboard digital output). I got a quite a large improvement in bass from switching over to the ST's coax output coming from my motherboard. Not only in quality, but in weight and slam. Your DAC and amp are already decent. You need to address the weak links in your chain, the most prominent of which is the transport.

Secondly, lose the resampler. Set foobar back to 16-bit/44khz if you want the best bass output. I've tried both PPHS and SoX, and both make the sound thinner (but improve it in subtle ways in other areas).
post #7 of 33
have you considered buying a standalone equalizer?

An amp with bass boost?

Selling the headphones someone told you were the best, but dont satisfy you in favor of ones it sounds like you prefer?
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntory_Times View Post
I'm not making fun as i'm sure the mod will work for many, but I think the hd800 has the right amount of bass as is. But then again many like lots of bass.
The mod wasn't and isn't so much about bass, but reflection damping for increased transient accuracy and reduced sibilance. Actually the most important part of it doesn't affect the bass, but the treble. Don't let you confuse by the thread title! The bass increase was just a temporary side effect – which on the other hand may suit deadfone's demands as well.
.
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
The mod wasn't and isn't so much about bass, but reflection damping for increased transient accuracy and reduced sibilance. Actually the most important part of it doesn't affect the bass, but the treble. Don't let you confuse by the thread title! The bass increase was just a temporary side effect – which on the other hand may suit deadfone's demands as well.
.
If you aren't hearing blistering transients from the 800s, then it's your upstream gear's fault, not the headphones'. Your mod probably works by artificially dampening the cans, and if you were to try it now from a setup with good transient response, your modded 800s would seem overdamped I would wager.
post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikongod View Post
have you considered buying a standalone equalizer?

An amp with bass boost?

Selling the headphones someone told you were the best, but dont satisfy you in favor of ones it sounds like you prefer?
I'm not sure I understand your last sentence. I still have my 650s. I much prefer the 800s for the comfort and fidelity.
post #11 of 33
I have not heard your DAC, but the PS Audio Perfect Wave DAC offered a very noticeable improvement in bass over my previous source, an Eastsound E5 CD player. The Eastsound is highly regarded and not known for sounding lean. The Perfect Wave DAC comes up for sale on Audiogon used for around $2K and some e-tailers will sell you one new for around $2,250.

But the Perfect Wave DAC does not have asynch USB. If you are looking for that feature, you might try to buy a used Ayre QB-9 (or Wavelength DAC) or consider the new Wyred 4 Sound DAC2, which has asynch USB and was apparently designed to compete with the Perfect Wave DAC and the Ayre QB-9 at a lower price. W4S offers a 30-day trial period (with a 15% restocking fee, though), so it might be worth giving them a call at least to see if it has what you are looking for.
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntory_Times View Post
FWIR a Lavry DA11 will be good. I personally use a benchmark dac1 with my headphones and I am fairly certain that I will get a balanced DNA Sonata which would also fit within your budget.
I would not get the DNA Sonett if you are looking for a lot of bass. My solid state Blue Circle Hat Peed Thingee is more bass-heavy. Mid-range on up is the DNA's strong suit, IMO, not bass quantity.
post #13 of 33
For me, getting a good DAC really brought in the base, deep and fairly strong (for open headphones).
post #14 of 33
Pictures? Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
The mod wasn't and isn't so much about bass, but reflection damping for increased transient accuracy and reduced sibilance. Actually the most important part of it doesn't affect the bass, but the treble. Don't let you confuse by the thread title! The bass increase was just a temporary side effect – which on the other hand may suit deadfone's demands as well.
.
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by minimus View Post
I would not get the DNA Sonett if you are looking for a lot of bass. My solid state Blue Circle Hat Peed Thingee is more bass-heavy. Mid-range on up is the DNA's strong suit, IMO, not bass quantity.
Good for the OP to know, i'm not after lots of bass though. I probably should have mentioned that.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Looking to improve low end on HD800s. Upgrade DAC, amp, both?