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Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 72

post #1066 of 2070

There is some information I just received in an email. The DAC is the Burr Brown PCM1792. The design is based on Op amps. The DAC does up sample and can handle headphones from 16-600 ohms. I am waiting on more information.  I believe they will release a product specification sheet in the next few weeks with what everyone is asking for.

post #1067 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post

I dont need you to forward me specs for my review of other products that have nothing to do with the product I am reviewing. I also cant see why it offends you since you have no financial investment in this product. The people who have put their money up are having  less of an issue  than you and other people like you who have either never heard it or cannot or would not buy it anyway. The people who own this product are overall very satisfied with how  the product performs except the issue that Sennheiser is addressing and will have a solution for.  You posting other company specifications has nothing to do with this issue that  being discussed.

 

It seem like you have an agenda here. What it is makes very little or no sense since you have not purchased or even heard the product.   I also seem to remember you starting another issue regarding tubes amps in general and regarding other flagship products you never heard or owned.  In any event the problem is being addressed by Sennheiser.   What ever your motive is you certainly have no reason to be offended since you do not own this product.

 

By the way the review I am doing is not on a Violectric amp. I also see you do not own the products you are sending specs for


+1 Frank. Why is that folk that haven't bought it or even listened to it are getting all 'Mr Angry' about this. The fact is that it plays / sounds incredibly good and even if it remains the same, I don't have an issue with it and won't be returning it. I have very few albums in 24/192 and in fact can't tell the difference between a Bob Marley 24/192 album that I bought from HD Tracks (which plays with no problems) and a CD Rip in 16/44 FLAC that I have.

 

So is a big issue? Not really, no. It looks great, plays well and I'm still happy with mine.

post #1068 of 2070

Even with all the specs in the world it can be hard to make any final decision on which is better than the other, because unless all the equipment is measured under the same circumstances it's hard to know if you can actually compare numbers from one manufacturer to another. You also have to have the knowledge to interpret the data to know what numbers are most important and the effect the have on performance.

 

PC hardware was brought up as an example, and even there it's impossible to compare specs between companies. Intel and AMD for example use different scales for their specs like TDP, Nvidia and AMD also cannot be compared on a spec sheet. All equipment demand independent testing by third parties for us to know what they're "really" like, ie you have to try yourself or trust reviewers. Specs are interesting and can create expectations on what any piece of gear is supposed to be like, but more often than not they don't live up to reality.

post #1069 of 2070

Well, in my humble opinion this is good news so far! (at least for me as I don't feel so loco anymore)blink.gif

 

So the varying levels of hiss are artifacts from the original masters of the tracks. That's why some tracks reveal this and some do not. The hiss is actually coming from the data in the tracks themselves.

 

Industry standards (based on the mathematical concepts used for digital conversion) say that all data above the Nyquist frequency of a recording MUST be removed. That means for a 24/192 kHz track all signals above 96 kHz must be removed from the track. Apparently, the tracks giving the problem have not adhered to this mandate. Now even though you normally can't hear signals that high in frequency, if they are run through the normal DA conversion process, they WILL produce artifacts that are down in the audible range (a process known as Aliasing).

 

So why is there an issue with the HDVD800 when other DACs don't seem to have the problem?

 

I suppose that if all of the recording industry was following the rules, we wouldn't have seen this issue. However, since the industry doesn't always follow rules it seems that DAC manufacturers may put in anti-aliasing filters prior to their DACs to avoid this problem. I'm sure that there are some design constraints that might be tricky to deal with (extra components or firmware, etc.). For example, the filter would have to be dependent on the incoming signal. A different sample rate would require a different filter and each filter might limit some of the product's bandwidth.

 

The comment from Sennheiser seemed to hint at the idea that NOT having such filter there gives a maximum bandwidth, and was not put in for this reason. With my limited understanding on it, this doesn't seem to be an unreasonable design decision at all. It's like buying a Ferrari and then putting diesel fuel into the tank and wondering why it doesn't run right. Is it Ferrari's responsibility to put sensors in the tank to determine that the wrong fuel is there and then somehow process it into the correct type of fuel so that it runs right?

 

And so why does the problem show up with Audirvana and BitPerfect, but not when running the track through generic iTunes? Well the former two software applications are trying to be bit perfect and so the recordings with the bad alias data in them is simply passed onto the DAC untouched (as was intended). iTunes on the other hand, does processing on the data allowing for everything from volume control and equalization. It may also be doing the anti-aliasing as well, who knows?

 

So I could see Sennheiser ultimately saying that when you use their top end "ferrari", you just need to use "hi grade gasoline" following industry standards or it won't run right. This decision might be based on:

1) Their insistance to only use industry standard recordings

2) They want to maintain a pure, uncluttered signal path with minimal processing and maximum bandwidth (the audiophile approach)

3) They don't want to add a major filter section with all of its extra work, potential risks, and increased cost just to handle a situation where a bad, non-industry standard recording is being played.

 

If this really is the issue (and all of it), then I personally wouldn't mind the product staying as is since a minimal handling and processing of signal is something I prefer. However, if there is an extensive range of hi-rez tracks out there with this issue, and Sennheiser could add some anti-aliasing WITHOUT affecting the perceived quality of the output signal, that would be sweet!

 

- Jeff

post #1070 of 2070

That would be my guess as well, that other dacs tend to filter out the high frequency data just in case the recording wasn't mastered properly, while the HDVD 800 dac doesn't as it was designed with the assumption that everyone follows the standards.

post #1071 of 2070

I do wish that Sennheiser had answered Frank's 1st email and not waited until the 5th one! Could of saved on a lot of concern.

post #1072 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by wisemanja View Post

I do wish that Sennheiser had answered Frank's 1st email and not waited until the 5th one! Could of saved on a lot of concern.

LOL They are in the game now. I hope they can  work it our quickly for anyone that uses the higher resolution files.  

post #1073 of 2070
30 years ago, Bob Carver proved that he could make his $500 amp sound indistiguishable from a $12,000 Conrad-Johnson amp.

Call me crazy, angry, irrelevant, or whatever else you want, but if Im going to spend $2000 on an audio product, I want some reassurance that Im getting $2000 worth of quality, engineering, and fidelity..

I started following this thread (from page 1) because I am genuinely interested in buying an amp and DAC to use with my HD 800's. The HDVD800 should be the best choice on the market. Unfortunately, "It sounds good to me" and "Sennheiser will fix it" arent compelling enough reasons for me to part with my money.

Clearly, Im in the minority here, but I have the luxury of time and am willing to wait and see how this plays out. biggrin.gif
post #1074 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheManko View Post

That would be my guess as well, that other dacs tend to filter out the high frequency data just in case the recording wasn't mastered properly, while the HDVD 800 dac doesn't as it was designed with the assumption that everyone follows the standards.

Yes,

 

And if you reread the original quote from Axell, it really appears that they intentionally did not put in the anti-aliasing filter because they wanted to maintain full bandwidth which is in keeping with the philosophy that they have advocated as far as sound quality goes. In fact if you look at the end of that quote where they are "looking for a solution", they still don't want to give up the bandwidth issue. They seem to want to come up with a solution that only effects the bandwidth when a non-conforming track is played. I.e., you want to play a bad track, then it's ok to drop the bandwidth some. Not sure what the practical result will be from a detectable sonic signature change but it could be very tiny difference if any.

 

Yea, I have no intent of sending my HDVD800 back because it's doing what it is supposed to be. The hissing issues appear to be a red herring.

 

- Jeff

post #1075 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

30 years ago, Bob Carver proved that he could make his $500 amp sound indistiguishable from a $12,000 Conrad-Johnson amp.

Call me crazy, angry, irrelevant, or whatever else you want, but if Im going to spend $2000 on an audio product, I want some reassurance that Im getting $2000 worth of quality, engineering, and fidelity..

I started following this thread (from page 1) because I am genuinely interested in buying an amp and DAC to use with my HD 800's. The HDVD800 should be the best choice on the market. Unfortunately, "It sounds good to me" and "Sennheiser will fix it" arent compelling enough reasons for me to part with my money.

Clearly, Im in the minority here, but I have the luxury of time and am willing to wait and see how this plays out. biggrin.gif

 

You're not alone.  Also some of many reasons why I've lost most all interest in this amp.  This thread is 72 pages long and does not come to many hard conclusions other than that it sounds good, people are happy.  I also fail to see how anything you've brought up could be considered irrelevant considering the main point you are driving home is that prospective buyers are WTFing over some of Senn's moves with the release of these amps.

post #1076 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

30 years ago, Bob Carver proved that he could make his $500 amp sound indistiguishable from a $12,000 Conrad-Johnson amp.

Call me crazy, angry, irrelevant, or whatever else you want, but if Im going to spend $2000 on an audio product, I want some reassurance that Im getting $2000 worth of quality, engineering, and fidelity..

I started following this thread (from page 1) because I am genuinely interested in buying an amp and DAC to use with my HD 800's. The HDVD800 should be the best choice on the market. Unfortunately, "It sounds good to me" and "Sennheiser will fix it" arent compelling enough reasons for me to part with my money.

Clearly, Im in the minority here, but I have the luxury of time and am willing to wait and see how this plays out. biggrin.gif

 

Heh, Wasn't that the Carver amplifier that would occasionally spontaneously catch on fire? smile.gif (Sorry, just had to bring that up)

 

HeadRoom Corporation has a 30 day return policy on items purchased through them (that I where I got my phones and the HDVD800). You might want to look them up and check out the details. If you didn't like the product you had, as long as it is in all the original packaging and extras (you know - "like new"), you just have to pay the shipping both ways (probably around $40 UPS). If you keep it, shipping is free.

 

I've dealt with the folks there several times and I've been really pleased with the attention they've provided me.

 

If you are willing to pay for the "demo" it might be a way to actually get to hear the product sooner than later. 

 

Just remember though, it does take about 100-150 hours of break in before it opens up. I've experienced this same thing as Frank has identified as well, so plan on leaving it play continuously for several days.

 

- Jeff

post #1077 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by wisemanja View Post

Heh, Wasn't that the Carver amplifier that would occasionally spontaneously catch on fire? smile.gif  (Sorry, just had to bring that up)

HeadRoom Corporation has a 30 day return policy on items purchased through them (that I where I got my phones and the HDVD800). You might want to look them up and check out the details. If you didn't like the product you had, as long as it is in all the original packaging and extras (you know - "like new"), you just have to pay the shipping both ways (probably around $40 UPS). If you keep it, shipping is free.

I've dealt with the folks there several times and I've been really pleased with the attention they've provided me.

If you are willing to pay for the "demo" it might be a way to actually get to hear the product sooner than later. 

Just remember though, it does take about 100-150 hours of break in before it opens up. I've experienced this same thing as Frank has identified as well, so plan on leaving it play continuously for several days.

- Jeff

I bought my Carver amp in 1985 and it hasnt caught on fire yet biggrin.gif
post #1078 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Sneis View Post

 

This thread is 72 pages long and does not come to many hard conclusions other than that it sounds good, people are happy.

That's because the amp is still new and many people haven't gotten their hands on it yet. You say it's 72 pages, but probably half of that is just anticipation of it coming out as the thread was started back in 2012, well before it came out. Coming up with hard conclusions is hard if you're trying to remain reasonable, or "objective" if you will, as you have to balance what you say to not under/oversell it.

 

What is clear to me and seemingly everyone else who has it is that it's without a doubt better than the Violectric V200 (I sold mine, and the SPL Auditor which is also worse than the HDVD 800 amp). In comparison to higher grade amps like the Bryston BHA-1 it seems the HDVD 800/ HDVA 600 isn't better, although I haven't done this comparison myself so I can't state this as a fact. It's just another possible datapoint to consider.

 

Is the HDVD 800 better than other amp/dac combos costing the same? In the case of the Violectric V200+V800 combo which I owned myself I'd say so, since the V200 brings down the performance so much. The V800 is definitely the better of the two in that combo. The HDVD 800 is different as the amp is better than the dac, but as an overall combo I preferred the HDVD 800 over the V200+V800, and not by a small amount.

 

If you're after more definitive comparisons and conclusions you'll just have to wait for other people with more experience to get ahold of the HDVD 800 and come to conclusions. This is the case of any new hifi product. It takes a while before enough people have it and you get enough datapoints to come to conclusions, which you will have to come up with yourself based on whose opinion you trust.

post #1079 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by wisemanja View Post

 

Heh, Wasn't that the Carver amplifier that would occasionally spontaneously catch on fire? smile.gif (Sorry, just had to bring that up)

 

I think you may be thinking of Bob's old Phase Linear amps.

 

Reminds me though of a great quote by Nelson Pass regarding equipment demonstrations at shows. "If it doesn't work, hope it catches on fire." biggrin.gif

 

se

post #1080 of 2070
One other thing occurred to me today, is it worth contacting HDTracks and ask them to answer concerns on their 24/192 tracks?
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