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Apex Pinnacle vs Leben CS300XS: The Awful Truth - Page 3

post #31 of 112

Excellent write-up InnerSpace, thanks for the read. I sold off my early-issue HD800 recently (serial no. 02520), but I know I will go after another pair someday. Would you mind sharing the serial numbers of your two pairs? Or something approximate or in a PM, as the "flatter 6k peak" that you mentioned really caught my eye and I want to make sure my second pair is more like your "#2 HD800s" in that respect.

post #32 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

Excellent write-up InnerSpace, thanks for the read. I sold off my early-issue HD800 recently (serial no. 02520), but I know I will go after another pair someday. Would you mind sharing the serial numbers of your two pairs? Or something approximate or in a PM, as the "flatter 6k peak" that you mentioned really caught my eye and I want to make sure my second pair is more like your "#2 HD800s" in that respect.


Thanks for the kind words.  First, let me say I learned during my time in the music, TV and film business that specialist equipment is weird ... manufacturers spend about 30% of their time and effort designing it, and the other 70% trying to make sure it stays the same in production from month to month and year to year.  Consistency is critical - sometimes you move to another edit suite down the hall, and sometimes you move from a New York control room to LA, and you need to be able to trust that the gear isn't stabbing you in the back.  And manufacturers don't always succeed.

 

And Sennheiser isn't really a specialist manufacturer - it's a mass producer with a small in-house boutique operation for their flagships.  So I expected sample variation with the HD800 - and found it.  Not a whole lot, not night and day, not hugely dramatic - but certainly in tune with what we talk about here generally, and certainly much, much greater than cables, for instance.

 

Plus, overlaid on all that, is a rumor (not that Senn would ever admit it) that the HD800 is being revisited for more bass response.

 

So ... I now have 3 HD800s (yeah, I'm nuts) ... #6946 is my Leben pair, with the spike, but it's a little higher in frequency, closer to 7k than 6 (judged by ear: I don't have access to pro measuring gear anymore, and Radio Shack meters, etc, aren't good enough.)

 

#7883 is my Pinnacle pair, with a much lower, flatter 6k peak.

 

I think both of those are just random variations - it's a question of using Amazon or similar, trial and return.  I must have tried 20 pairs so far.

 

And the latest -  #9908 - definitely has stronger bass.  The treble peak is still there at about 6k, but modest, and it's much less apparent because of the bassier balance.  If the rumor is true about intentional changes, it looks like anything after about 9500 is "new."

post #33 of 112

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by InnerSpace View Post

Plus, overlaid on all that, is a rumor (not that Senn would ever admit it) that the HD800 is being revisited for more bass response.

So ... I now have 3 HD800s (yeah, I'm nuts) ... #6946 is my Leben pair, with the spike, but it's a little higher in frequency, closer to 7k than 6 (judged by ear: I don't have access to pro measuring gear anymore, and Radio Shack meters, etc, aren't good enough.)

#7883 is my Pinnacle pair, with a much lower, flatter 6k peak.

I think both of those are just random variations - it's a question of using Amazon or similar, trial and return.  I must have tried 20 pairs so far.

And the latest -  #9908 - definitely has stronger bass.  The treble peak is still there at about 6k, but modest, and it's much less apparent because of the bassier balance.  If the rumor is true about intentional changes, it looks like anything after about 9500 is "new."


wow, (possibly) great stuff. i can hear those rumor mills cranking up. smily_headphones1.gif  and the used market for 800s just changed....

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by InnerSpace View Post

So ... I now have 3 HD800s (yeah, I'm nuts)

welcome to head-fi, sorry about your, er, sanity (or marriage, or  job,  or ...)  wink.gif

post #34 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveDerek View Post




wow, (possibly) great stuff. i can hear those rumor mills cranking up. smily_headphones1.gif  and the used market for 800s just changed....


Yes ... possibly!  There was a thread on here with postings of the curves that Senn supplies to registered owners, and even though they weren't very detailed they showed variations.  It's to be expected given the nature of the operation.  Whether or not there's a conscious decision to bump the bass is unconfirmed.  I'm only passing on whispers I heard.

post #35 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveDerek View Post

 

welcome to head-fi, sorry about your, er, sanity (or marriage, or  job,  or ...)  wink.gif

 

Yeah, really.  LOL.  My wife is bemused - but she has her equivalents.  I have a great job and happily I can indulge myself, but still, it took ages to break through an internal inhibition that I guess comes from years ago when I was struggling.  It was a big psychological barrier.  But I worked on it and broke through!
 

post #36 of 112

Oh, how much you made me want to hear what you were experiencing.. biggrin.gif

 

Could you divulge your source - pcond - and other sound altering variables that are in your system?

 

Thanks,

Sam

post #37 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam-Fi View Post

 

Could you divulge your source - pcond - and other sound altering variables that are in your system?

 

 


All CD, no computers.  Sources are Meridian G08.2 for the Leben; I recently moved the Esoteric DV-50 to the Pinnacle; and Bryston BCD-1 in the rotating third spot (which until recently was HE-6 out of a Bryston B60 and is now the new HD800s out of a Luxman P1-u.)  I run balanced lines where possible (no cogent reason, just old habit) and use Audioquest King Cobra cables (again, no cogent reason except they're well made, and from a durability point of view I like welded terminations better than soldered or crimped.)  Power cables are all as short as possible, either 12", 18" or 24", from Newark.com - the 24" were the costliest, at $3.47 - except for a couple of 36" Nordosts which I already had from youthful foolishness.  All are plugged into a PS Audio Juice Bar II (no audio reason, but it's well made.)

post #38 of 112

Thanks for the HD800 info InnerSpace. I have a feeling you may be right, because some people heard the same difference between the earliest serials (<1000) and the 3000-5000 range.

 

This is good news IMO. The 800s really needed a kick in the lower registers to compete with the new planars in terms of quantity.

post #39 of 112

My HD 800 was 5000-something, and I always wondered why people are complaining about the bass on forums. I found the bass powerful, and in better control than on the LCD-2. Not sure how much the balanced operation helped though... The Phoenix pumps some serious power in balanced mode.

post #40 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrln View Post

My HD 800 was 5000-something, and I always wondered why people are complaining about the bass on forums. I found the bass powerful, and in better control than on the LCD-2. Not sure how much the balanced operation helped though... The Phoenix pumps some serious power in balanced mode.



I agree that the HD800s (mine were silver-recabled and in the 3500 range) had better controlled bass than both the LCD-2 and HE-6. The LCD-2 I only heard at meets though so I can't say with absolute certainty, but it sure seemed like it at the time.

post #41 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrln View Post

My HD 800 was 5000-something, and I always wondered why people are complaining about the bass on forums. I found the bass powerful, and in better control than on the LCD-2. Not sure how much the balanced operation helped though... The Phoenix pumps some serious power in balanced mode.



Agree with this also. My #5000+ hd800 certainly had reasonable bass compared with what I heard from a few models with earlier #s right from it's introduction till I made my purchase....The hd800s do exhibit great bass control when properly driven (eg with the Lebens), but do not quite the same impact as the lcd-2. My lcd-2 was on the stock cable, while the hd800s were hooked up with dhc clones, so once I get the same cables for my lcd2s I'll have to compare the bass again. Currently on the old lcd2 stock cable, the bass can be bloated and muddy at times. 

 

Hence most times it's tough to have one pair of headphones to handle all music genres...

post #42 of 112

Terrific review.

post #43 of 112

Very romantic, entertaining review.

Thank You.

post #44 of 112

Good review, nice to read!!

post #45 of 112

too bad its ten thousand dollars.

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