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RS raptor vs b-52 for hd800 - Page 3

post #31 of 61
chefguru, have you heard the O2 mk1 with the BHSE?
post #32 of 61
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

chefguru, have you heard the O2 mk1 with the BHSE?


I've heard one with the original BH but not the BHSE. I have also heard the o2 on the GES, KGSS, and srm-717. The hd800 on the pinnacle has such a large soundstage it's really impossible for anything else to compete. It also has incredible clarity and fullness - the best word to describe it I think is "organic". The o2 the BH is very transparent, fast and has this unquie liquid like sound... but overall it just can't compete with the presentation of the hd800/pinnacle.

I had heard that the BHSE has significantly more power due to the new design dealing with the heat issues... but even so I can't imagine that it would change the sonic signature enough to make the difference. 

 

The problem with the hd800 is that it shows all of the flaws in a system- more so then even the omega II. The upside is that when the hd800 is paired with flawless equiptment, it outshines everything.

 

I would rank the best systems something like this:

 

(if we aren't repeating headphones)

 

1.Sennheiser hd800+ Apex pinnacle

2. Sennheiser he90 + Sennheiser hev90

3. Stax Omega II mk1 + Kevin Gilmore BH

4. Sony mdr-r10 balanced (bass heavy) + RS apache (maybe higher on pinnacle or other amp)

5. John Grado Ps-1 + ear hp-4

5(tie). Joe Grado Hp-2 + ear hp-4

 

(if we are repeating headphones)

 

1. Sennheiser hd800 + Apex Pinnacle

2. Sennheiser he90 + Sennheiser hev90

3. Stax Omega II mk1 + Kevin Gilmore BH

4. Sony mdr-r10 balanced (bass heavy) + RS apache

5. Stax Omega II mk1 + KGSS

6. Sennheiser hd800 + leben Cs300xs

 

I would imagine the top contenders I haven't heard that might beat the hd800/pinnacle:

he90 on the headamp hev90

omega II mk1 + BHSE

r10 bass heavy on higher level amps

sr-009 on anything legit

post #33 of 61

May be you should get Apex Pinnacle since you already liked it.  I know I would, it would probably stop me from wondering about other amplifiers as well.  

post #34 of 61

Chef, if you're looking for a whole new system, I would at least wait to hear the Stax SR-009

HeadAmp Audio Electronics - home of the Pico and Gilmore amps.  Now with Audeze, Fostex, HiFiMAN, Sennheiser, and STAX.
Find us at www.HeadAmp.com

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post #35 of 61
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio-Omega View Post

May be you should get Apex Pinnacle since you already liked it.  I know I would, it would probably stop me from wondering about other amplifiers as well.
 

 


I am considering it more so then ever, but the ten thousand dollars is holding me back.

 

There probably is a certain point where you look at numbers and say, well what the hell, it's only a few more thousand... but the reality is I could buy a brand new SR-009 and a bhse for the price of the pinnacle. Originally I thought that the RS B52 would be a close match, and the five thousand dollar cheaper price tag was extremely alluring... then I read somewhere that the raptor was nearly as good as the b52, and seeing how you can snag one of those for under a grand... well I guess I just was dreaming.I'm finding no such exit! I'm going to try a wa22 or wa2 for a little while, and see where I feel that places in the scheme of things. It will also allow me to save a little extra money if I do eventually end-game myself with the apex.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin w. View Post

Chef, if you're looking for a whole new system, I would at least wait to hear the Stax SR-009

 

 Thanks for the reply Justin. I agree the sr-009 will likely rank above all else... but I already own a hd800 and do need to amp it properly. I don't want to turn into a collector or hoarder of audio equipment - at heart i''d like to think of myself as more of a plug-n-play kind of person... not someone who listens to the gear (vs the music). BUT the future goal would be to have the top dynamic and the top stat system (sitting on the same table, like two little voices on either shoulder egging me to use them for a recording hahaha!)

Something along the lines of a  hd800/pinnacle and the Stax sr-009 with your BHSE with the alps rk50.

 


Edited by Chefguru - 3/31/11 at 11:21am
post #36 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguru View Post



 

 

 

Something along the lines of a  hd800/pinnacle and the Stax sr-009 with your BHSE with the alps rk50.

 

 

hard to argue with that setup.
 

 

post #37 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post



 

hard to argue with that setup.
 

 


I feel like a preacher for sr-009, and probably am starting to sound like a broken record. But when reading through page 1 of this thread, I just thought somebody should mention about it. Glad to read through and also share the belief that a bhse / sr009 would make a nice addition to your rig, if not get you converted for good ;-).

At the price of the dynamic amps you're looking into, I would seriously think twice about it. Even driven from a 727, the sr009 shines to say the least. In particular, you seem to be concerned about soundstage, this will deliver. If not as wide as hd800, it will surely be more realistic with much more precise layering and placement.

In any case, there's indeed nothing wrong with investing in both rigs but you then must have seriously deep pockets uh!
post #38 of 61
Chefguru, your comment about "audio hoarding" struck a nerve here. I got to wondering the same thing a couple years back and decided to cut back. The HD-800 fills most of my headphone listening, though I also want to get the most out of my O2 Mk. 1. The BHSE is very, very good, but I'm thinking about an all tube/transformer electrostat amp along the lines of what Frank Cooter builds. I prefer the simpler approach.

Anyhow, I've enjoyed listening a lot more since I said 'screw it' and plug the HD-800 into the Zana Deux most of the time. Is there better out there? Oh, probably. But I don't know how much more I'd enjoy it. I'd rather put in some quality time with my black and silver discs.
post #39 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post


Even driven from a 727, the sr009 shines to say the least. In particular, you seem to be concerned about soundstage, this will deliver. If not as wide as hd800, it will surely be more realistic with much more precise layering and placement.

 

 

Have you heard the HD800 out of either the B52 or Pinnacle? How do they compare to the SR-009/BHSE?

post #40 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMoney View Post



 

Have you heard the HD800 out of either the B52 or Pinnacle? How do they compare to the SR-009/BHSE?


no one here can answer this yet.

 

HeadAmp Audio Electronics - home of the Pico and Gilmore amps.  Now with Audeze, Fostex, HiFiMAN, Sennheiser, and STAX.
Find us at www.HeadAmp.com

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post #41 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMoney View Post



 

Have you heard the HD800 out of either the B52 or Pinnacle? How do they compare to the SR-009/BHSE?

 

Nope, best amp I heard the HD800 with is Luxman P1-u. I have some doubts however that the fuzziness in instrument placement and treble etch can be completely fixed by amplification since it's more of a by-product of the transducer design and enclosure...

post #42 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

I have some doubts however that the fuzziness in instrument placement and treble etch can be completely fixed by amplification since it's more of a by-product of the transducer design and enclosure...

 

I'm sure you know way more about headphones than I do, arnaud, and you are probably right about the inability of top-of-the-line amplification to cure the HD800s faults, but I just wanted to see if you could clarify one point.
 
I can't help but thinking that if someone were to only hear the Omega IIs through a Woo GES or the various Stax amps and then said that top-of-the-line amplification is not able to cure the faults of the Omegas, we'd all probably agree that they need to hold off judgment as they haven't heard the Omegas driven to their full potential by amps like the BHSE/BH/WES.

 

I have no doubt that the Luxman P1-U is an awesome amp, but, based on price/components/construction/etc. might not the B52 or Pinnacle be in a different (and possibly better) class that the luxman?

 

I haven't heard the HD800 on any of the three amps (luxman, b52 or pinnacle) so I'm totally guessing here, but could it be possible that the HD800 might see a similar improvement in moving from an amp like the Luxman to a top-of-the-line amp like the Pinnacle as the Omegas do in moving from the GES to a top-of-the-line amp like a BHSE? Chefguru posts seem to indicate that the HD800 amped through the pinnacle sounds better than any other setup he has heard. I'm sure you are way more knowledgeable than I am on the subject, so I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

 

If you can elaborate on how a more expensive amp than the luxman wont be able to cure the faults of the HD800, you might save those of us considering amping the HD800 with a $10,000 Pinnacle or $5,200 B52 a bit of change!

post #43 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMoney View Post

 

I'm sure you know way more about headphones than I do, arnaud, and you are probably right about the inability of top-of-the-line amplification to cure the HD800s faults, but I just wanted to see if you could clarify one point.
 
I can't help but thinking that if someone were to only hear the Omega IIs through a Woo GES or the various Stax amps and then said that top-of-the-line amplification is not able to cure the faults of the Omegas, we'd all probably agree that they need to hold off judgment as they haven't heard the Omegas driven to their full potential by amps like the BHSE/BH/WES.

 

I have no doubt that the Luxman P1-U is an awesome amp, but, based on price/components/construction/etc. might not the B52 or Pinnacle be in a different (and possibly better) class that the luxman?

 

I haven't heard the HD800 on any of the three amps (luxman, b52 or pinnacle) so I'm totally guessing here, but could it be possible that the HD800 might see a similar improvement in moving from an amp like the Luxman to a top-of-the-line amp like the Pinnacle as the Omegas do in moving from the GES to a top-of-the-line amp like a BHSE? Chefguru posts seem to indicate that the HD800 amped through the pinnacle sounds better than any other setup he has heard. I'm sure you are way more knowledgeable than I am on the subject, so I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

 

If you can elaborate on how a more expensive amp than the luxman wont be able to cure the faults of the HD800, you might save those of us considering amping the HD800 with a $10,000 Pinnacle or $5,200 B52 a bit of change!


Well, first off, regardless of how much I might know about headphones, we can say my opinion is not more valuable than yours because I also haven't heard the HD800 out of said top shelf amps... Hence my choice of wording "I have a doubt" ... However, if you let me expand a bit on why I have such doubt:

 

1. The Omega II is famous for responding very differently based on amplification, in particular bass reproduction. The technology being radically different from electro-dynamic types, it's not quite rational to assume that because an Omega 2 changes drastically with more expensive amps, so will the HD 800...

 

2. While the Omega II needs high power reserve to be properly driven (especially noticeable with the bass control), the main faults of the HD800 do not stem from amplification (you don't control a peak in treble with more power).

 

3. Certainly soundstaging (width and depth) change drastically when using various electrodynamic amps (some tube amps for instance), but in my experience, imaging (intrument placement) has not been that different when comparing amps. Again here, I have not heard it, which does not mean it doesn't happen. Inherent justification of an expensive purchase can probably do a convincing job though ;).

 

4. The perceived tonality of the headphone (overall balance between low / mids / highs) and extension (low and high frequency limit) significantly change when using various amps, but you can't expect a higher priced amp to remove a (5dB~?) peak which lies at neither of the extremes. The peak in HD800 response that most complain about is probably somewhere between 6-8kHz (low and high), not 17kHz or 100Hz...

 

5. I am not implying the HD800 sounds bad. It is worldclass and actually was my reference headphone in the past. It's just that I can't help being suspicious of the merit of spending 10kHz on amplification to clear a fault in transducer design (noticed by many people using many kind of amps) when alternative headphones (with much more difference in sound than between two different amps) would be a (significantly) cheaper route.

 

 

post #44 of 61
Thread Starter 

The pinnacle in my experience doesn't correct the treble issue, and the headphone still overall has the same faults pointed out by other users. Arnaud, I have heard the p1-u so I do have some stance as to what you have probably heard (source of course different).

 

 The reason I rank the hd800/pinnacle so highly isn't because it has no faults - nothing is currently flawless and I doubt the sr-009 will be either. Maybe having perfectly balanced gear is your ultimate goal, but to me that already exists, it's called the hp-2 and I don't consider it the end. There is something beyond balance and tone in music - emotion. That is indeed the reason we listen in the first place, right? Certain systems are able to do it better then others - despite coloration - the he90/hev90 is a prime example. 

 

The reason I have ranked the hd800/pinnacle number one is because it takes those already strong qualities (soundstage, imaging, midrange) far beyond what any other rig can offer. Innerspace, who's system it is that I actually heard (who also owns the cs300xs and the p1-u) has given the description of the setup it's best tagline " it feels as if someone is beaming the music into my brain"

 

 

One must consider the rational though. The pinnacle/hd800 is a 11,700 dollar system, the omegaII/bhse is only 8,000 - not to mention the omega II and he90 have been out for years and years and years... they aren't at all from the same generation. If we were to compare a hd600 or hd580 to the omega II (which are in the same generation) would there really be any comparison?

Makes me wonder if the sr-009 will crush the hd800 in the same manner... I for one hope so.

post #45 of 61

Point taken Chefguru... I admire your patience to look for the most pleasing setup to your ears, hope you'll get a chance to sample the 009 at some point!

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