I just received my HD800's and am running balanced out of a LD DAC_I via USB and LD MKVII+ amp. I was pretty amazed by the accuracy and the huge soundstage, but I certainly didn't wear a big smile the first time I fired them up. There's just too little bass making the treble too bright. The bass is very precise, but the sheer lack of it is extremely unsatisfactory. Not fun to listen to.
Now I added Electri-Q equalizer to foobar DSP. Put a gradual 5dB difference between bass and treble. Now they're fun to listen to!
I have the Foobar preamp set at -2.0dB and volume control also set at -2.0dB. Buffer is set at 350ms and ReplayGain with clipping detection is on. At a comfortable listening volume with the knob at 12 o'clock and the amp on high gain, I hear absolutely no distortion.
Say what you want about EQ's (not to mention freeware-based ones), but they made me extremely happy with my HD800's without overextending my budget and spending thousands more on better amps and dacs.
If you want to copy this, the two points are 1.5dB CulteQ LowShelf and -3.5dB CulteQ HighShelf both at 632.5Hz (midway log between 20Hz and 20kHz).
Now if only they were constructed from brushed aluminum or titanium instead of painted plastic...
Edited by haveblue - 10/23/10 at 3:16pm