Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › HD800 Owners only: Need some answers on AMP's that do and don't work
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

HD800 Owners only: Need some answers on AMP's that do and don't work - Page 3

post #31 of 43
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?

 

I recently had: Salk HT3 speakers powered by BAT VK-60 monoblocks.  A very nice speaker system.  I am now primarily listening with HD800s through a Woo Audio WA5 and I am thrilled.  I don't know if I can say the headphone system exceeds the speaker system in every respect, but I don't feel as if I am missing anything other than the physical impact of the bass.  Every time I crank up this headphone rig, I am amazed. I am totally satisfied and enjoying listening more than I have in a few years.
 

post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by fmzip View Post

 

 

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

I use lossless files on my PC or I run CD's.

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

PC with an Optical out to my DAC or my NAD C542 to my DAC

2) What is you DAC?

Cullen Stage IV modded PS Audio DLIII

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

RSA Raptor with 1958 Mullard Long Plate 12AU7, and 1960's Raytheon Branded Tungsol 5687's, had it for almost 2.5 years

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

Do not like it at all with my Headroom Ultra Desktop

 

 

 

 

 


Been using the above setup for exactly a year, and I have no interest in going to anything else.  I think the warm tubes and hard driving impact from the Raptor are just what the 800 needs.  Once I found this setup, my urge to upgrade has completely gone away.  Before this, I was buying something new to try at least every other month.  Good luck in finding your happy place.
 

post #33 of 43

I feel I can answer this set of questions, but only this one, as it is of general nature and not specifically about HD800. I'm still on HD650.

 

Yes, it is indeed much harder to find the ideal sound through headphones than through speakers. I think the major reason it that most records were mixed using studio monitors, not headphones.

 

Headphones, even the best ones, have very uneven and model-dependent frequency response compared to high-end speakers, due to natural physical limitations, for instance headphone-to-head-cavity resonances. Full-size headphones are also mono-transducer designs (save for some exotics that didn't take off in marketplace), which doesn't help at all with intermodulation distortion. And to top it off, reproducing surround sound is very challenging with headphones, and surround sound adds lots of naturalness to speaker-based systems IMHO.

 

I believe one can approach the sound of a high-end two-speaker system using sound processing in the digital domain. First and foremost, this includes equalization, which counteracts the most egregious resonance peaks and valleys. This also includes crossovers, room simulators, exciters, and potentially other sound effects that modify the headphones transfer function to make it more like the one of a pair of typical studio monitors, for which the recordings were originally optimized.

 

I realize that this school of thought is not the most popular on this forum :-) Yet what to do? I measured the frequency response differences between some very highly respected headphones, supposedly rather accurate, on my head, and on some 1/3 octave bands in my hearing range the differences reached 9db! If left unequalized, there is just no way in hell either of them was going to sound accurate on all kinds of music. Compare that to the ridiculous flatness of my speaker system, which goes +-0.5 db across my whole hearing range (well, used to go, until I added a 4 db subwoofer bump at 72 Hz, as I'm a bass-head apparently :-)

 

As an added benefit, my spending on this hobby declined once I proved to myself that I can equalize HD650 and DT770 to sound virtually identical for my ears (HD650 still sounds somewhat better, due to lower distortions). By extension, I believe I could equalize HD650 to sound very much like HD800 if I wanted (once again, HD800 is likely to sound somewhat better, due to more advanced mechanical construction). More importantly, you can make virtually any higher-end headphones to sound like anything you personally like! I now invest more in software and fast multi-core computers than in headphones.
 

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 #34 of 43

Based on my limited experience, the Meirer Corda Opera is an excellent match with the HD800. 

 

The Beta 22 3-board is very, very good with the HD800.  (Even better with the Beyer T1.)

post #35 of 43

 

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

CDs or Flac lossless/apple lossless

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

Macbook Pro with Amarra software or Oppo 980 as a transport

2) What is you DAC?

RAM modded PSaudio digital link  extra mods done including an Ultraclock

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

Zana Duex Amp a year and a half.

Violectric v200 - one month

Musical Fidelity xcan w xpsu V3

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

List is too long but i liked the balanced B22, didn't like the headroom offerings I heard at canjam 09 but didn't try them all.  DNA amp is okay.

Of the three i own, of course the Zana Duex is great but can be very stark.  I was surprised how good the v200 sounded, i bought it for a different headphone and tried the 800s on it in passing.  It is warm and drives them well, not a Zana Duex or B22 but it costs under $900.  If i was starting over again it would probably be a stepping stone to the Luxman P-1 which i love with the 800s by the way.  The cool thing about the v200 is it drives a wide range of phones with power for a range of impedances.

 

post #36 of 43
Thread Starter 

Since I first started this thread, I now have an awesome combination that I truly believe meets my very high expectations! I don't think I will be upgrading for many years to come!

 

Source: Cullen Modified Sonos streaming nothing but FLAC files 

Amp: Woo Audio 22 Tubes Chatham Electronics 2399, Tung Sol mouse ear 6SN7's & Emissions Labs

DAC: Wyred 4 Sound DAC-1

Cables: Apuresound HD-800's Balanced Cable, Oyaide DR-510 digital cable

 

Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Stan Getz, Norah Jones, Dave Matthews Band, Train, the list goes on.....EVERYTHING seems to wow me smily_headphones1.gif

post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by fmzip View Post

Since I first started this thread, I now have an awesome combination that I truly believe meets my very high expectations! I don't think I will be upgrading for many years to come!

 

Source: Cullen Modified Sonos streaming nothing but FLAC files 

Amp: Woo Audio 22 Tubes Chatham Electronics 2399, Tung Sol mouse ear 6SN7's & Emissions Labs

DAC: Wyred 4 Sound DAC-1

Cables: Apuresound HD-800's Balanced Cable, Oyaide DR-510 digital cable

 

Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Stan Getz, Norah Jones, Dave Matthews Band, Train, the list goes on.....EVERYTHING seems to wow me smily_headphones1.gif


Looks like your all set. Nice setup!

post #38 of 43

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

CD

 

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

Esoteric X03-SE with G03-X

 

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

Rudistor RPX-100, RSA B52 with ECC802s and Raython 5687WB

 

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

Like:

1) YuLong D100(~USD 300), not really great but have a very good C/P

2) Rudistor RPX-300, natural sound compair to colorful RPX-100. Source: CA 840C

3) Blue-Circle FLO, tailor made battery-power HP amp with the CD source:Nagra CDP. Just too good~

4) Rudistor RP-010B MK2, Source: Sony CDP-R10 + Modified FM boradcast DAC

5) Ear909, Source: SA7-S1, DAC: Violectric V800

Why all are SS amp, no tube amp......

 

Fair:

1) RSA B52

2) Rudistor RPX-100

3) Phonitor

4) Audio GD Phoenix

 

Dislike:

1) Littledot MK8

2) RKV

3) Sony PCM-D50 direct drive

post #39 of 43
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).



Yes it is awesome.  IMO balanced B52 sounds better than B22. Although for almost 3X the cost, it better be!  If you are staying within SE, the advantage is not so clear, however.

 

post #40 of 43

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

>> lossless digital files

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

>> PC --> Toslink / USB HiFace S/PDIF

2) What is you DAC?

>> StageDAC / PS Audio DLIII (in 2 days)

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

>> Concerto / DNA Sonett (in 2 days)

post #41 of 43
Thread Starter 

.​


Edited by fmzip - 12/2/13 at 7:00am
post #42 of 43
Thread Starter 

Thought I'd kick this thread to see what's everyone is enjoying now.

 

I just sold my WA22 since I don't use the setup much. I'd like to find something a bit more cost effective so I purchased a Schitt Mjolnir/Gungnir to see how they pair with my HD800's. 

post #43 of 43
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?

IME, there's so much variety in the HP world that it's frankly a matter of taking the time.
Quote:
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?

A quality speaker-based system presents music to the listener as a member of the audience, not as a mixing board operator. Soundstaging, as one example, exists on an entirely different level. Think CinemaScope. The sound, itself, becomes a whole-body experience - again, assuming a given level of competence. Can't do that with cans. I'm talking about a serious, full-range system.
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) › HD800 Owners only: Need some answers on AMP's that do and don't work