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post #16 of 43
Thread Starter 

Great input thus far people!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

B52 + EMM cdp + HD800 = Awesome.

Even better: upgraded tubes for B52, Complement cables for Senns, Stealth ICs, Hydra 8 for power... (do this and upgrading is over).


^^^^^^^ This kind of conviction is awesome.

post #17 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by fmzip View Post

 

I take from your post for instance that if you are satisfied for now, something is still slightly off or missing?


No, it just means I'm satisfied for now. What I'm currently hearing is the best I've ever heard from any set up I've ever had. Once you start this hobby though, you'll always wonder if you can do better or change something to improve what you have. At some point you'll want to scratch that itch and think about upgrading.
 

post #18 of 43
Thread Starter 

For you people that started out with a very good sounding speaker based sound system first prior to headphones, do you find it harder to find the ideal sound through headphones?

 

Do you feel it is harder to dial in the sound that you are looking for in headphone based setup since the sound is more intimate to your ears? Or does your headphone based experience exceed any speaker based system you have ever heard?

 

post #19 of 43
fmzip, I first got deeply into audio after building a pair of ribbons. Headphones cannot give you what they do. The ribbons are dipoles, so they radiate a 180 degree out-of-phase signal from behind. If you set them up right, you get a freakishly realistic soundstage. Not "you are there," but more "they are here." With headphones, there's no way to get the same sensation. The K-1000 has the best soundstage, hands down, but the room reflections from dipoles are very convincing.

Headphones are just a different experience. You get a more intimate (though not necessarily more detailed - planars can give you the same microdetail) and can listen without bothering others.

I don't look for "sameness" in audio gear. Why bother trying to make everything sound the same? You wouldn't want to hang out with a bunch of clones, would you? I appreciate the different characters the same way I enjoy lots of people who are different. I have friends who are opposites, but they're all great.

Ultimately, I like speakers a little more. You get the soundstage, real bass and it's a more involving experience. But I keep headphones because I enjoy them, too.
post #20 of 43


I`ve always used speakers on my set up, some of them good, others very good, well kept under 1k,

Lately I jumped on headphones, buying a pair of HD650, influenced of course by HeadFi,

I was going to add an Headamp too, but decided to burn in with my speaker amplifiers, and CD player , even my pc soundcard have some kind of built in headphone amplifier,

 

Overall, I like the sound, very good detail, good soundstage, comfortable to wear,  but

still  prefer speakers and by much,  I don`t have soundproof rooms, but maybe I should try with a real headphone amplifier,

one of the biggest problem with phones is that you have to sit down and listen to that album, no move at all (as it should be serious listennig), I`m not used to this

IME if yo`ve used speakers for a long time,  than converting is not that easy,

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fmzip View Post

For you people that started out with a very good sounding speaker based sound system first prior to headphones, do you find it harder to find the ideal sound through headphones?

 

Do you feel it is harder to dial in the sound that you are looking for in headphone based setup since the sound is more intimate to your ears? Or does your headphone based experience exceed any speaker based system you have ever heard?

 

post #21 of 43
Thread Starter 

I'm just after real good sound.....

 

I don't expect headphone's to be the same experience as my B&W 703's but the sound experience needs to be just as good. That's how I feel when I watch an awesome concert DVD through my theater setup or just some real good two channel audio.

 

I am hoping when I reach that sound experience with headphones, you will need to pry them from my ears.

 

Did I convey that clearly?

 

post #22 of 43
It's hard to say which headphone works for you until you really spend some time with them. Meets are great, but quick impressions aren't always the best ones. The HD-800 is very involving, but not everyone enjoys it. I'm not sure what will do it for you.
post #23 of 43

1) What is your source material, lossless digital files, CD's and or vinyl?

Lossless files ripped from CDS

 

2) What is your source, a CD player, a PC etc.?

My sources are:

A. ipod -> Wadia i170

B. PC

 

3) What is you DAC?

Benchmark DAC1 USB

 

4) What is your AMP and how long have you had it?

GS-1 and I've had it for about 1.5 years.

 

5) What AMP or AMPS have you tried with the HD800's that you did not like?

I am very happy with the AMP I own so I am not fiddling and diddling.

 

Impressions: With my rig I'd never complain of sibilance or lack of bass...the presentation is simply impressive and, imho, the closest I could get to a transparent headphone.  I've never perceived there to be a "veil" using my rig.  I've listened to the hd650 and have heard "the veil" and the hd800 simply does not have it.  I've never heard a headphone that has such an immense soundstage, is so good at imaging or separating the layers of the music as this, though my stax is on par but other differences exist in the rendering of textures.  I will say that the hd800 is dependent on the master recording...if it is imperfect or of lower quality, the hd800 will display this lack of quality front and center. 

 

I've owned my hd800 for over a year now and I own many phones but this one never goes into storage.  I alternate between this, my Stax, and my Grados.  I do sometimes like a different presentation and that's what the other headphones in my collection are for.  The HD800 gives me the artist without the flavorings and a faithful rendering of the source.  I truly love my rig.

 

Having said all that...would I ever want another headphone?  Well, yes I would, no 2 headphones do everything the same and that's why I'm on head-fi.  I would never want to drive the same car for the rest of my life....change is sometimes necessary in life.  Can't see myself ever wanting to sell of the HD800s though.


Edited by Drumonron - 8/23/10 at 7:37pm
post #24 of 43
Thread Starter 

Had my Woo Audio 22 for a few weeks now with the HD-800's running in balanced mode........

 

I am very pleased with this setup. Just added a Wyred 4 Sound DAC-1 into the mix, really removes the last bit of veil.

 

Just wished it wasn't so loud! I'm registering 85db at the 9 o'clock position!

post #25 of 43

Anyone tried it on the Little Dot MKV I+ as balanced yet?

post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by fmzip View Post

Had my Woo Audio 22 for a few weeks now with the HD-800's running in balanced mode........

 

I am very pleased with this setup. Just added a Wyred 4 Sound DAC-1 into the mix, really removes the last bit of veil.

 

Just wished it wasn't so loud! I'm registering 85db at the 9 o'clock position!

 

What tubes you are using?  I should receive my WA22 either tomorrow or Wednesday.
 

post #27 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc9394 View Post



 

What tubes you are using?  I should receive my WA22 either tomorrow or Wednesday.
 


Chatham Electronics 2399, Tung Sol mouse ear 6SN7, and the Emmisions Lab tube.

 

These tubes came with the amp when I purchased it. It was suggested that these tubes were the best of the bunch so I haven't tried any others (although I have others).

 

I can say, the sound is really awesome for sure!


Edited by fmzip - 9/6/10 at 7:05pm
post #28 of 43

1) What is your source material, lossless digital files, CD's and or vinyl?

Digital. Format depends on where I got it. CD rips are flac, downloads are acceptable to me all the way to 160kbps mp3 if not available better.

 

2) What is your source, a CD player, a PC etc.?

PC spdif, Oppo BD-83

 

2) What is you DAC?

Gamma2, Buffalo2, Opus balanced.

 

3) What is your AMP and how long have you had it?

I am a diy nerd. I live in three different places, commuting between them on a monthly work rotation and keep a headphone rig at each place.

I have set up:

EHHA balanced - 1 year

B22 balanced - 3 years

Dynamite (currently down for recasing) -1.5 years

Temporarily standing in for the Dynamite is a dynalo and a M^3 - 5 years and 2.5 year respectively 

I have a Bijou, SOHA 2, Millet minimax, CTH, PPAv2 that don't see much use lately.

 

Of my 3 "go to" amps, there is very little difference between them and I'd be happy with any of them.

If pushed, I rate them (driving the HD800) : EHHA=Dynamite > B22. The B22 has a touch of edge to it

that doesn't benefit the HD800. The EHHA has a touch of "color" that's pleasing on the HD800. The Dynamite

is transparent, it disappears. The actual differences are so slight that the amps have to be together for a

real time A/B to hear any difference though. I couldn't walk into a room and listen cold to any of them and identify

which which was playing by signature. Also, the fact that I slightly prefer the EHHA and Dynamite over the B22 driving

the HD800 isn't an endorsement of any one of them overall. IMO the B22 is the best all around amp I've heard. 

I don't own or have intentions of buying, but I was impressed with both the Zana Duex and the WA5 driving HD800s.

 

4) What AMP or AMPS have you tried with the HD800's that you did not like?

I like the HD800 pretty much whatever is driving it.

I have never been particularly impressed with any cheaper OTL tube amp I've heard it on. That includes WA6, DV337, Bijou, LD IV.

I haven't been impressed with any solid state amp with an op amp gain stage driving the HD800. The M^3 does best for

op-amp gain, but the dynalo bests it with the HD800 to my ears (again not an overall endorsement of one over the other). 

 

Probably not the most useful opinions as I'm very DIY oriented.

post #29 of 43

I felt the same way, but not anymore. Depending on the right headphone amp, it may sound better than speakers.

 

post #30 of 43

I'll throw in my 2 cents...

 

The Concerto is a very good match with the HD800s...a very balanced and neutral presentation. But I slightly prefer my Mapletree MAD Ear+HD tube amp (with 5751 NOS Sylvania Grey Plate Triple Mica tube). The sound stage is wider on the MAD amp and the treble is better controlled to my ears. Both run about the same ($700US) and are great.

 

As well, the GLite (tried a buddy's about 10 days ago) with the HD800s, was a great pairing. Very balanced and neutral. I would have loved to have tried them with the DPS as well.


Edited by MacedonianHero - 9/8/10 at 6:46pm
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