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Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 83

post #1231 of 2868
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinker View Post

with HD-800  balanced cable the best amp is Malvalve head amp three, Rudistor RP030 on the same level but prefer slightly Malvalve it has very natural and neutral performance .HDVD-800 headphone section comes third because it doesn't sound as relaxed as the big amps.Tried yesterday a top build B22 amp which outperformed easily HDVD-800 headphone section.B22 is a stunning amp but maybe too dry and neutral  for HD-800.Rudistor RP030 gets the same amount of listening time as Malvalve and with HDVD-800 i listen occasionally.Dont get it wrong the HDVD-800 plays 95% on the level of the big amps.The DAC section of HDVD-800 is very very good especially the USB connection.

 

I like my RP-010B MKII which I have read is slightly different from the 030 which is somewhat drier.

post #1232 of 2868

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Edited by thinker - 1/19/14 at 12:53am
post #1233 of 2868
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlancoTheBull View Post

I'm not listening to the same music. In the store they had a good Jazz CD. At home I'm listeing to all my own music (already listened to hundreds of songs). mostly flac (foobar), 1/3 of all music I'm listening is 24/96.

 

What usb cable do you use? Have you tried different kinds of usb cables?

 

BTW I always thought that CD player goes around the DAC (because it isn't a digital signal, wright?), but I don't know to much about these kind of things :).

If you're not using the same music then that makes it hard to compare the experiences at store and at home, because there's a huge difference in how each album is mixed, even in the same genre of music sometimes. I'd say you probably need a few more days of listening to get used to how the HD 800 & HDVD 800 sound with a wide variety of music and such. I'm sure you'll find some albums that sound a bit flat and boring, and others that sound way better than you've ever heard them before.

 

When it comes to cables I've tried a usb cable I got with a monitor and I've tried a Supra usb cable. I've got a bunch of Supra cables for my speakers and such, mostly because I like how they look. They're on the low end of the pricing scale as far as hifi cabling goes as the usb cable cost me like $20. I haven't been able to tell a difference in sound using them over generic cables, but then I wasn't trying to solve a problem when I got them.

 

CD is a digital storage medium, so it always has to be converted into analogue by a DAC in the CD player. I've seen that CD players in the past 3-4 years or so have started adding USB & optical ports so you can use them as a DAC with your computer as well.

post #1234 of 2868
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinker View Post

edit. tried also the Audezes phones with those amps, the Malvalve was winner very powerfull performance and pure musicality and drive, second comes very very close Rudistor RP030 very musical

with Audezes, the HDVD-800 amp gets little bit stressed overall with Audezes compared to the big amps, the b22 was not as good as Malvalve and Rudistor the b22 showed to perform little bit like HDVD-800 ,the b22 was almost sterile i thought the b22 don't like Audezes.


when you say musical, does that mean it has roll of both on high and lows? Cause that normally is the issue with tube amp compare to ss amps. I actually like the speed and sharpness of the HD800, so if these amps tends to roll it off or makes it slower, I'd rather stay with SS amps.

 

Can you be more detailed about these comparisons? Like on a more technical POV, high, mid, low, stage, timber, speed?

 

Thanks

post #1235 of 2868
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlancoTheBull View Post

Yesterday I received Senn HDVD 800 and HD 800 (not balanced 'yet' :)). Not at all what I heard in the store (now its digital, in the store it was CD player).

Less of everything (soundstage, headstage, detail, openness/airyness, clearness).

It sounds almost identical to my HD598 with Fiio E17, wich shouln't be the case :). I think only a 10% improvement, so somewhere there's a big bottleneck.

 

I'm listening with a external HDD usb cable (direct from usb out of mobo, music from different hdd's (no difference)), what are peoples experiences with better usb cables? I know that experiece/thoughts are very varied.

What are benefits that you can clearly hear with better usb cable? Wich cable do people recommend? Or wich cables are used? I know about audioquest and some others, but never heard any.

 

Are there other improvements I can make? I already tried some stuff with foobar (like PPHS (tried 196000, now 96000) and kernel component (now 24 bit)), I thought it was a slight improvement.

But I really think there is a big bottleneck somewhere (because I already heard this set and it sounded unbelievable (soundstage etc) compared to what I'm hearing now).

 

A store is offering me a cable 'Heavens Gate USB cable, Ultra Supreme, 1 metre. Pure Silver' from 999 for 325, anyone any experience with this cable?

 

Thanks alot for all thoughts/help/sharing experiences etc.

 

Btw I hear alot of noise with some songs, almost always when it's a song where I have to turn the volume up quite a bit (from 1/4 to 1/2 of total volume). And I don't have 24/196, so it's 24/96 or lower "quality". Perhaps usb or some upsampling setting to 24/196 perhaps? I'm sorry for my English and the fact that I don't know anything about audio. But I try :)

 

I wouldn't worry about the USB cable yet. I know from experience that there are many times a quality cable (even digital) can make a big difference. HOWEVER, in the case of the HDVD800 I believe that usb Cable differences will not not be audible as long as you are running your source over the USB in asynchronous mode. Async mode can totally eliminate all jitter that is cable or source related. I have an Audioquest Coffee USB cable ($500) that I did a quick comparison with a generic USB cable (free) that I had sitting around here from one of my hard drives. Although I didn't spend a lot of time comparing as I normally might, in the time I did spend, I could hear no differences between them (as should be expected in async mode).

 

On the other hand, I don't have any idea of whether or not the HDDs or mobo that you are using are capable of async mode. If they can only operate in adaptive mode, then a better grade cable might help. But there are some other issues that may apply...

 

In the store, you say the HDVD800 was hooked up to a CD player. I'm assuming that they had connected the TOSlink of the CD player output to the TOSlink input of the HDVD800 so that it was going through the DAC in the HDVD800. Correct? I mean, they weren't sending the analog outputs of the CD player to just the amp section of the HDVD800, were they?

 

Also, are you listening to the same recordings at home that was being used on CDs in the store?

 

One last item, Again, I'm not familiar with your source hardware and software, but on my iMac, if I use the generic CoreAudio software of the system from iTunes, the sound is not as good as when I use a package such as BitPerfect. As soon as I engage the built in equalizer, the soundstage just collapses on me even further.

 

And as far as the "noise" that you are getting on some songs, if what you are hearing is a hiss type noise, it could be the issue that was discussed in this thread a couple of weeks ago (i.e., ultrasonic noise in the recording that aliases down into the audio region during conversion). If so, Sennheiser is working on a fix to correct it. Most folks who have run into this issue with 24/192 or 24/176.4 file that had been upsampled or purchased from places like HDtracks.com. I believe that this problem can also exist on 24/96 files as well depending on where they came from.

 

Anyway, hope that gives you some ideas.

 

- Jeff

post #1236 of 2868
This is quickly becoming my favorite thread. Hilarious stuff! biggrin.gif
post #1237 of 2868

Thanks alot TheManko (always helpfull :) ),

 

I think the album (cd) was pritty much perfect. But that on it's one shouldn't make such big difference in soundstage, right? I think I have good enough music. I do notice differences in favor of HD/HDVD800 (like 20% + compared to HD598 + Fiio). But what I heard in the store was amazing and I suddenly knew what people were talking about, when they spoke about the soundstage of the HD800.

But now at home especialy soundstage is lacking and noise is added.

 

Thanks, learned something :).
Perhaps indeed the dac from the CD player was so incredibly good, that that is the thing I'm not hearing anymore. But if that is the case, than the dac of the HDVD isn't really good (compared). If CD DAC is 100% SQ etc, than HDVD DAC is 40% or less. The CD player was very big, now taht I think about it :). Perhaps it was one of the best. That store sells very expensive stuff. They let me listen to a new kind of home cinema system (16.2 I believe), in total it cost more than 100.000Euro.

I'm gonna ask them in the morning about CD DAC :)

post #1238 of 2868

Wisemania you are a saint,

Thanks alot. That (and other people too) saved me alot of money :).

Isn't it async by default? Do you mean not through balanced or something? (How do I make sure/know that it's async?)

 

About mobo I have ASUS P8Z77-V pro (it's quite new). As for hdd I have now idea (I think it's more up to mobo support, but I could be wrong). I have listened from two different hdd's, but I can try SSD's aswell.

I can also check my bios in the morning.

 

Thanks about the third part. I have no idea, but I will ask tomorrow. That will probably clear things up a bit. I do remeber it was a very wide cable, about 1 inch/2,5 cm (but I didn't pay much attention to that).

 

Different recording(s at home). But the difference even with the best songs is way to big (in negative sence). Almost similar to set that cost 300E.

 

I have Windows, I don't use EQ, I started to use WASAPI (to see if it improved, not very much).

 

Noise does sound like that indeed. But I don't have files above 24/96, and I thought the problem only occured above 24/96, thats why I put it down.

Also I only have 2 weeks to return, so I want to get the most out of the set within this period.

 

Thanks alot, very helpfull.

People must think I'm a retard, but I'm learning :).

post #1239 of 2868

There CAN be big differences in the quality of sound between different recordings. For example, Chesky goes to great pains setting up their recordings and it really does show when you listen to them, regardless of the quality of system that you are using. Just going to the Chesky version of a recording is sometimes enough to get an "Oh wow" moment biggrin.gif

 

For example, Chesky will many times only use a single stereo pair of mics. Most commercial mixing setups use dozens of mics and mix them all together to form a single homogeneous mass. So much of the ambience showing up at each of the mics is redundantly applied multiple times at different levels, tones, and delays, that its pretty hard to get any kind of soundstage out of it at all. Recording techniques can make a big difference to the sound and high end audio stores typically demo with pretty decent recordings because they make the parts that you are going to buy sound so much bettertongue.gif

 

It would be useful to know how the CD player was connect to the HDVD800. If you were setting up to demo the HDVD800, you'd think that they would only use the CD player as a transport and feed its digital output directly to the DAC in the HDVD800. Otherwise you would only be hearing half of the unit. If they were configured to demo multiple headphone amps, they might only be using the analog since many other amps don't have DACs built in.

 

Also, if I were doing this, I'd probably be tempted to go online and find one or two of the tracks that I was listening to at the store, and purchase just them to compare at home. It would only cost $1-$2 for each track, right?

post #1240 of 2868
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlancoTheBull View Post

Wisemania you are a saint,

Thanks alot. That (and other people too) saved me alot of money :).

Isn't it async by default? Do you mean not through balanced or something? (How do I make sure/know that it's async?)

 

About mobo I have ASUS P8Z77-V pro (it's quite new). As for hdd I have now idea (I think it's more up to mobo support, but I could be wrong). I have listened from two different hdd's, but I can try SSD's aswell.

I can also check my bios in the morning.

 

Thanks about the third part. I have no idea, but I will ask tomorrow. That will probably clear things up a bit. I do remeber it was a very wide cable, about 1 inch/2,5 cm (but I didn't pay much attention to that).

 

Different recording(s at home). But the difference even with the best songs is way to big (in negative sence). Almost similar to set that cost 300E.

 

I have Windows, I don't use EQ, I started to use WASAPI (to see if it improved, not very much).

 

Noise does sound like that indeed. But I don't have files above 24/96, and I thought the problem only occured above 24/96, thats why I put it down.

Also I only have 2 weeks to return, so I want to get the most out of the set within this period.

 

Thanks alot, very helpfull.

People must think I'm a retard, but I'm learning :).

The Async or Adaptive modes are methods of transferring your audio data ove a USB interface. The Balanced/Unbalanced is an amplifier configuration for handling analog signals

 

I'm not familiar at all with how the protocol for the USB Audio Class 2 async mode works, but in many other similar protocols I've worked with, it behaves similarly. The source can interrogate the DAC to see what it can do. The source knows what Itself can do. So if the HDVD800 sees the source sending in one mode or the other, it just sets itself for that mode. If the source is an older item and can only do the old synchronous method, then the HDVD800 will just fall in line and do the clock recovery and jitter management stuff.

 

I'm not a PC guy but from what I understand, in WASAPI there is a configuration that I believe is related to this. something like "Push" and "Event driven" settings. One is adaptive mode and the other Asynchronous mode (although I don't know which is which) when used on the USB interface.

 

Any DACs that are newly designed and have USB interfaces and have been released in the last 2 years or so probably have Async capabilities. If your source stuff is new, t'll probably have the capability, but you might have to actually configure it (like in WASAPI) to enable the modes that you want.

 

- Jeff


Edited by wisemanja - 7/11/13 at 7:20pm
post #1241 of 2868

To use async mode, don't you just need to install the driver? The other components like the motherboard don't matter, since it's related to the operating system. Do you remember which input setting they were using on the HDVD 800 in the store? If it was "Unbal" or "Bal" it was using the CD player dac, if it was any of the other ones then the HDVD 800 dac was being used and the difference you're hearing is from the music itself.

post #1242 of 2868

Basically, asyncronous USB means the (receiving) DAC clock is controlling the data transfer instead of the (sending) computer's clock. Async is theoretically better because the DAC clock has only one task vs. the computer clock which is "busy" doing lots of things. In reality, with modern computers, processors are so fast and powerful that asyncronous USB for audio is a fix for a problem that doesn't exist.

 

And again, there are several reasons why your system might sound worse at home than it did at the store...

 

http://www.nousaine.com/pdfs/Can%20You%20Trust%20Your%20Ears.pdf


Edited by palmfish - 7/11/13 at 9:16pm
post #1243 of 2868
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Edited by thinker - 1/19/14 at 12:29am
post #1244 of 2868
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Edited by thinker - 1/19/14 at 12:30am
post #1245 of 2868
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheManko View Post

To use async mode, don't you just need to install the driver? The other components like the motherboard don't matter, since it's related to the operating system. Do you remember which input setting they were using on the HDVD 800 in the store? If it was "Unbal" or "Bal" it was using the CD player dac, if it was any of the other ones then the HDVD 800 dac was being used and the difference you're hearing is from the music itself.

From Hydrogenaudio's wiki on WASAPI:

 

"two different output modes are available - push and event-driven; certain soundcards - especially USB devices - are known to cooperate better with the event-driven mode while certain other soundcards do not support the event-driven mode at all"

 

This is what I've heard in the past. Older sound cards may not even support the event driven mode of WASAPI (which leads me to believe that they cannot do async USB) Obviously, the driver for the sound card you are using will either support the mode or not depending on the sound card itself.

 

As near as I can figure it, the event driven mode seems to be supportive of the Async mode when using a USB driver that supports it. But I've not been able to solidly confirm this for sure yet. Anybody actually know if this is the case?

 

It seems to be that if the USB driver supports USB Audio Class 2 Asynchronous mode (e.g., the driver provided by Sennheiser), and the sound card and its driver can deal with it, The asynchronous "pulling" of data by the HDVD800 is simply passed through the USB driver to WASAPI which (when configured as "event driven") then allows the audio data to be pulled directly from the application buffers.

 

So, my question is, is it possible for the USB drivers in a PC to talk to the HDVD800 using USB audio class 2 async mode, but still have WASAPI configured in "Push" mode for sending application audio data to the sound card? I think that the answer is no, but I can't find anyone to confirm this for me.

 

I've expanded what I think is going on in the WASAPI software in a posting I made in a the Foobar wasapi 3.0(push) changes the headphones sound thread

http://www.head-fi.org/t/626673/foobar-wasapi-3-0-push-changes-the-headphones-sound/15#post_9609227


Edited by wisemanja - 7/12/13 at 1:22am
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