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HD 800 sibilance has to go! - Page 2

post #16 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdogzthmn View Post

You can try tubes.


See my first post
post #17 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post


See my first post


He is right, tube amp will have the most impact on the HD-800 treble.

post #18 of 73

I would seriously look at your upstream gear. The HD800s are very transparent of what you're feeding them/how you're driving them. Amp/dac/source all need to be built around these top flight headphones.

 

Honestly, even if I use my GS-1 (w/DACT attenuator), about as neutral a headphone amp there is, I don't have a problem with sibilance. If its on the recording, then the HD800s will let it through, but never focus on it to my ears. It is better with my WA22 though (and the right tube compliment).

post #19 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

I would seriously look at your upstream gear. The HD800s are very transparent of what you're feeding them/how you're driving them. Amp/dac/source all need to be built around these top flight headphones.

 

Honestly, even if I use my GS-1 (w/DACT attenuator), about as neutral a headphone amp there is, I don't have a problem with sibilance. If its on the recording, then the HD800s will let it through, but never focus on it to my ears. It is better with my WA22 though (and the right tube compliment).


My amp is so far the best I have heard for the HD 800s, I've heard Burson, Lehmann, Naim headline and a few others. No one of these touches the M1HPA (maybe the Lehmann but it's a bit to neutral for the HD 800s IMO)

In the Swedish market, these above are all that are available to demo if I'm not mistaken. I will NOT buy a very expensive amp based on headfi opinions as these dont always mate well with what I think. For example:

1. People say the Burson HA160 + HD 800 sounds great. To me that combo is awful. Very harsh.
2. People say the Stax Lambda PRO isn't very good, but to me it's one of the world's best headphones (on par with Omega 2)

That said, I do think a tube amp will mate well, but I don't want to loose any clarity or speed.

I will get a highend DAC though, a very smooth one. smily_headphones1.gif
post #20 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post


My amp is so far the best I have heard for the HD 800s, I've heard Burson, Lehmann, Naim headline and a few others. No one of these touches the M1HPA (maybe the Lehmann but it's a bit to neutral for the HD 800s IMO)
In the Swedish market, these above are all that are available to demo if I'm not mistaken. I will NOT buy a very expensive amp based on headfi opinions as these dont always mate well with what I think. For example:
1. People say the Burson HA160 + HD 800 sounds great. To me that combo is awful. Very harsh.
2. People say the Stax Lambda PRO isn't very good, but to me it's one of the world's best headphones (on par with Omega 2)
That said, I do think a tube amp will mate well, but I don't want to loose any clarity or speed.
I will get a highend DAC though, a very smooth one. smily_headphones1.gif


For what it's worth, none of the amps you listed as alternatives (especially the Burson) would be good choices for the HD800s IMO. But looking at the dac/source is also key IMO.

 

 


Edited by MacedonianHero - 3/31/12 at 11:52am
post #21 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post


For what it's worth, none of the amps you listed as alternatives (especially the Burson) would be good choices for the HD800s IMO. But looking at the dac/source is also key IMO.

 

 


Cool, someone who agrees biggrin.gif Is there a no-compromise amp you've heard that takes the HD 800 to the skies but rests under the $3000 mark?

Schiit's new stuff looks nice, maybe worth checking out.
post #22 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post


Cool, someone who agrees biggrin.gif Is there a no-compromise amp you've heard that takes the HD 800 to the skies but rests under the $3000 mark?
Schiit's new stuff looks nice, maybe worth checking out.


Not necessarily...the Woo Audio WA2 was one hell of an amp for the HD800s. I also mentioned that the HeadAmp GS-1 was also a phenomenal choice too (also around $1K).  The new Schiit balanced amp does look intriguing.

 

post #23 of 73

I have a Lehmann BCL currently and while it is very clear and detailed sounding, it does not have the synergy I am looking for.  My goal is buy the Bottlehead Smack which I was able to demo at head-fi meet, and found it to work well at bringing down the trebel without loosing clarity.  

post #24 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdogzthmn View Post

I have a Lehmann BCL currently and while it is very clear and detailed sounding, it does not have the synergy I am looking for.  My goal is buy the Bottlehead Smack which I was able to demo at head-fi meet, and found it to work well at bringing down the trebel without loosing clarity.  


I also found the BCL + HD 800 combo very detailed and clear but they simply sounded sterile together. Lacked warmth, lacked life and lacked emotion IMO.

MacedonianHero: WA2 has always looked sweet to me. smily_headphones1.gif

I know many people like the HD 800 with Leben, but as I understand it it colors the HD 800 to something it isn't meant to me, in exchange for musicality and smoothness. Thats NOT the kind of amp I'm looking for. First of all, I want the amp to suit more than one headphone, but at the same time drive them to their full potential. (Full potential meaning lets the headphone do its things optimally). I think the HD 800 needs a tad extra warmth and treble smoothness though, in order for the ears to be happy for extended listening smily_headphones1.gif

Please use this thread when discussing possible sibilance problems with the HD 800 and how to solve them!
post #25 of 73

If you want to hang on a few weeks, I will be trying out an  Enigma-audio Apex cable to warm up my 800s more, as that is the sound I like. 

I actually had a peakiness in vocals in the highs of my (just-recently updated-by-Audeze) LCD3s, and this cable really did the trick, targeting sibilance while leaving the resolution intact, so I going to see if it works the same magic on the Sennheisers.

I have been using a Moon Audio Black Dragon HD800 cable, which is really nice and does reduce the sibilance nicely, but I want to try the Enigma, too. The Black Dragon really worked on making the 2009 Beatles box set sound nice.

So the 800s do respond well to cable changes, and since many companies let you try them and return them, I would experiment before going thru the hassle of exchanging amps.

 

However, I find that Lan647 has some interesting comments, and I want to give him a thumbs up on his comments on the Stax Lambda, which I had for several years and really enjoyed; they Lambdas were a very you-are-there headphone

without any fatigue, and overall a very enjoyable refined sound. I sold them because they were just too uncomfortable for me, pressing on my big ears too much. But sonics-wise, they were really under appreciated from my reading.

So I would give Lan647 lots of credence for advice (my instinct tells me); he seems to really know what he's talking about.

 

When my HD800s have a non-digital-glare recording, like an SACD one, they are, well, perfect, glorious. Amazing transparent bass, beautiful and natural texture on vocals and instruments too. 

They can be painful or sibilant on a bunch of discs though, so they kind of walk the line here, and I know what you mean.

Just for encouragement, the HD800s are truly perfect, all I could want, on the Stones SACDs (Hot Rocks, others), and my Carole King SACDs (Tapestry, Music), and my Boston SACD.

But they are too hot to handle on, if you can believe it, Lionel Richie's Can't Slow Down CD ( a redbook CD).

 

 


Edited by rgs9200m - 3/31/12 at 5:45pm
post #26 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

If you want to hang on a few weeks, I will be trying out an  Enigma-audio Apex cable to warm up my 800s more, as that is the sound I like. 

I actually had a peakiness in vocals in the highs of my (just-recently updated-by-Audeze) LCD3s, and this cable really did the trick, targeting sibilance while leaving the resolution intact, so I going to see if it works the same magic on the Sennheisers.

I have been using a Moon Audio Black Dragon HD800 cable, which is really nice and does reduce the sibilance nicely, but I want to try the Enigma, too. The Black Dragon really worked on making the 2009 Beatles box set sound nice.

So the 800s do respond well to cable changes, and since many companies let you try them and return them, I would experiment before going thru the hassle of exchanging amps.

 

However, I find that Lan647 has some interesting comments, and I want to give him a thumbs up on his comments on the Stax Lambda, which I had for several years and really enjoyed; they Lambdas were a very you-are-there headphone

without any fatigue, and overall a very enjoyable refined sound. I sold them because they were just too uncomfortable for me, pressing on my big ears too much. But sonics-wise, they were really under appreciated from my reading.

So I would give Lan647 lots of credence for advice (my instinct tells me); he seems to really know what he's talking about.

 

When my HD800s have a non-digital-glare recording, like an SACD one, they are, well, perfect, glorious. Amazing transparent bass, beautiful and natural texture on vocals and instruments too. 

They can be painful or sibilant on a bunch of discs though, so they kind of walk the line here, and I know what you mean.

Just for encouragement, the HD800s are truly perfect, all I could want, on the Stones SACDs (Hot Rocks, others), and my Carole King SACDs (Tapestry, Music), and my Boston SACD.

But they are too hot to handle on, if you can believe it, Lionel Richie's Can't Slow Down CD ( a redbook CD).

 

 


Wow, thank you for nice comments =) Nice to see I'm not the only member of the Lambda PRO fanclub around here wink.gif

Sure I'll wait for your cable impressions smily_headphones1.gif I also got a tip recently about this:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sennheiser-HD800-8ft-Pure-OCC-Silver-cable-1-4-Viablue-/120871381856?pt=UK_AudioVisualElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_Headphones&hash=item1c247eeb60#ht_2203wt_922

Also said to reduce the HD 800 sibilance significantly, and not violently expensive either.

The HD 800s are indeed wonderful cans and I appreciate them for what they are (accurate, revealing) even though I would prefer the LCD-2, Lambda PRO or Omega 2 for extended listening as it is now. The HD 800 will stick with me for a long time (or at least until the next Senn flagship is released)
post #27 of 73

Thanks Lan for that. That's a cable I never heard of. Now I'm curious (what an addiction...). 

(I had my Lambdas with the T1W amp, just FYI. Great insight on vocals and instruments. I think Stax got more into soundstaging emphasis with the Omegas, as opposed to precision and natural tonality with the Lambdas and previous Staxes,

at least that's what the sonics led me to believe.)  To me the HD800s actually are closer to an electrostatic sound than the Audeze Planar magnetics, as the Senns have more detail and are more revealing of texture and upstream truth than the Audezes.

I could be fooled into thinking the HD800s were panels, not dynamics. The HD800s are nothing like the 650s.

Good luck to you.

post #28 of 73

Check out the Eddie Current amps.  

 

Also, just got done w/ a meet using a Mac and Amarra and that was rather thin and painful tbh.  Digital glare and harshness in spades.  You need something forgiving to hide that sort of source.  A Marantz CD transport via coax to the PS Audio PWD Mk.2 absolutely annihilated it.  Full, rich, balanced sound with detail in abundance.  Listening to Cello you can visualize rossin flying off the horse hairs from the bow.  With the Mac it was a flat, painful 2D recording all treble tipped.  Amp was the EC BA in both cases (Aristaeus and T2 for the Stats) switching back and forth with myself, bluebliss, n3rdling and purrin all listening from HD800, LCD3, HE90, 007, 009.


Edited by Anaxilus - 4/1/12 at 1:55am
post #29 of 73

 

 

 I sometimes do wonder if I'd just been better off breaking off a huge wad of cash on a quality CD player at times.

 

 Looking at my current spend - the Rega DAC cost me $900 and the SPDIF transport Audiophilleo converter set me back

 close to the same - $1800AUD spent - and now the event of a dedicated USB isolation supply (Pure Power) means that

 I will surely find myself getting that too. Total spend - over $2300 on source and that's not including my tinkering with

 various USB cables that did not come cheap.

 

 Don't get me wrong - computer audio is worth battling for, the sheer range and breadth of material from HDtracks and

 many other sources means that you'd be skint buying CD's by comparison for the same amount of material.

 

 Yet I'm not convinced by many setups - I've yet to hear any USB connected DAC that rivals a good CD player.

 

 It's not until you jump on a good SPDIF converter eg, Audiophilleo, M2Tech Evo, OffRamp etc coupled with

 a decent proggie like Amarra for Mac or J Play for Windows that you realise - it's a long way to the top if you

 want to rock n roll with a good CD unit. 

post #30 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwarmi View Post

 

 

 I sometimes do wonder if I'd just been better off breaking off a huge wad of cash on a quality CD player at times.

 



Gwarmi, you obviously frequent A2A regularly, so have a listen to the Rega Apollo R CDP and let me know what your impressions are.  I am debating whether a "better" CDP will make a reasonable difference in my system (V200-LCD2- T1)

 

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