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HM-801 with unknow amplifier module - Poor SQ

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello everybody!

 

I found no discussion about this subject and I decided to start a new topic.

 

This week my long awaited HM-801 has arrived to me and curious about the amplifier module he was using, I found this one:

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v514/plosch/Som/IMG_0631.jpg

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v514/plosch/Som/IMG_0632.jpg

 

Interestingly, this unit comes with a second amplifier module inside his box, similar to the first one, inside a plastic bag. And I've never seen this amp before. Does anyone know anything about it?

 

Now the problem: I'm not pleased about the SQ of the unit. This lose to my old HM-601. What I'm finding is a very bright and detailed sound, but with a soundstage limited to the sides of my head, a very bad musical image, little or no separation between the instruments and poor aeration, the exact opposite of all the qualities of HM-601, which is the accurate musical image construction (very 3D), with plenty of aeration and soundstage

 

Does the poor sound quality is because of these unknown amplifier modules?

 

Cheers,

 

Peter

post #2 of 10

For what I know, the newer HM801 comes with two amp modules now, one higher gain (for big cans) and one lower gain (for IEM/earbud) 'power amp' modules. The second one in your picture (with the 4 words sticker on the back) is the lower gain version. These are the standard amp module since early this year. I haven't heard the new amp module yet, but in any case HM801 is always brighter and more detail than HM601/2 because the difference in DAC, though I never find my HM602 has bigger soundstage than HM801.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello ClieOS! Nice to see you in my topic!

I am deeply disappointed with the HM-801. The expectations were so high...

The GAME amplifier module changes too much the sound signature of this unit? I swear I try hard to like the HM-801, but I'll return it to Head-Direct.

What bothers me is that I am madly in love with the HM-601 and I believe that the HM-801 was an upgrade of the latter, which would be fantastic. The problem is that they are completely different beasts and that they share absolutely nothing in terms of sound signature.

Life goes on...

 

Cheers,

 

Peter

post #4 of 10

I don't think that is the GAME module. It is still the power amp module, just lower in gain. Try to ask Head-Direct for an exchange to the old amp module (OPA2107 based, or ask if anyone wish to exchange their old amp module with you), which I believe is the same amp section found on HM601/2.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Dear ClieOS,

 

I think you misunderstood me: The question was whether there is much difference between the GAME and the standard amplifier module, in terms of sound signature?

 

Cheers,

 

Peter
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

I don't think that is the GAME module. It is still the power amp module, just lower in gain. Try to ask Head-Direct for an exchange to the old amp module (OPA2107 based, or ask if anyone wish to exchange their old amp module with you), which I believe is the same amp section found on HM601/2.

post #6 of 10

Can't help you much there, since all I have is the older amp module. However, I don't think I even read a negative review on the GAME module except for not having enough gain for large cans.

post #7 of 10
Cardozo, sorry to hear you're disappointed with the HM-801. It's strange that you think that it has a limited soundstage and poor instrument separation compared to the 601, in my experience the soundstage and sense of air between instruments and images is one of the HM-801's strengths.

I can't open your pictures of your amps right now, but I'm wondering if one of these is the upgraded amp module that Fang was demonstrating at the New York meet in November. He was trying to make an amp that would have the right gain for both full-size headphones and IEMs, but it looks like he decided to offer 2 different versions.

Do both versions of the amp module sound equally poor to you? Have you tried using the HM-801's line-out to an external amp?
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello DJ!

The other amplifier module, with less gain, it worked much better for me. The sound is more cohesive and natural and the tonality, more close to expected. The sound become less bright and the bass a little more pronounced. The soundstage gained a certain extension to front and back, leaving only be off to the right and left.

But all this still is not enough for me. The device simply does not have a sound signature that pleases me. It plays fine and just that.

When I bought the HM-801, which I expect is that had the same sound signature of the HM-601, which is perfect for using the Ety ER4, which is my favorite headphones. And if the HM-801 would play as the HM-601, but even better, all $800.00 would be worth it.

The HM-801 is bright and has less bass. Even my Shure SE530 suffers from this clarity. My Ety, poor man, can not be used in the unit because the sound is thin, with no body and completely graceless.

Thank you both, ClieOS and DJ, for their aid. The topic was not created for a "witch hunt" to HM-801. Quite the contrary. I'm a fan of Head-Direct and the work of Fang Bian. I already bought several products from them and was always very well attended, besides the products are differentiated and premium quality.

Finally, as soon as possible, the HM-801 will be returned to Head-Direct and I will go back to using my HM-601. Moreover, the combination Ety ER4 + iBasso P3 Heron+ + HifiMAN HM-601 can take the Ety at a level never possible imaginated, playing as a true high-end fullsize headphones.

 

With the HM-601 and Ety ER4, I think I'm very close to my final setup.

 

Thanks a lot,

 

Peter


Edited by cardozo - 3/1/11 at 2:40pm
post #9 of 10

Very different looking boards from what I have on my HM801.DSCN0961.JPG

post #10 of 10

 

Got this from Customer Service last nite. I could not read chinese blink.gif the first word/symbol is the only difference on the stickers.

 

 

power card.jpg

 

 


Edited by SmallBucket - 3/5/11 at 9:31am
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