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Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 84

post #1246 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinker View Post




when you say musical, does that mean it has roll of both on high and lows? musicality means how close it sounds to real life it contains all the attributes like high, mid, low, stage, timber, speed
If you like ultimate control a top build b22 is the master of it the HDVD-800 is between b22 and Malvalve where the Malvalve and Rudistor presents real life closest.I like add here that we are talking
of very small nuances wich you hear only when you have all amps in row to compare.If you listen only with HDVD-800 you will definitely be satisfied

Well,   before I got my HDVD800, I was trying to get something like 030 or darkstar. The thing is, I use to like smooth dark sound, but after my mind has been burned in with DAC1+RPX-35 combo, I am actually start to like a bit bright sound which adds some layer to the mid and high-mid range. It makes music with larger stage sound more detailed and realistic to me. (Although they made most of my pop songs sounds like crap, but that is due to the bad recording, so I am ok with it~)

 

When you say HDVD800 is between B22 and Malvave, I guess what you mean is the sound signature form cold -> warm, dry -> liquid, analytical -> musical?

post #1247 of 2308
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 :)

 

As others have said, don't do anything until you've let the new stuff run in (playing music) for 200 hours or so as it can really help smooth things out and open up the treble.  Having said that I found a number of other sources of noise in my PC based system.  One was electrical noise from the PC itself, which has stopped me using the USB input on my M51.  You can try resolving that by switching to the optical output on the mobo* and just use a cheap Toslink cable for testing purposes.  If that helps then you may want to consider a USB converter like the HiFace EVO instead, which has a particularly wide soundstage and sounds really good outputting AES/EBU.  My CD player, an ancient Micromega, has none of those electrical noises and sounds super-sweet - so it wouldn't surprise me that a more modern player would too.  Can you borrow a CD player from the store to compare against at home?

 

I also use WASAPI with Foobar as it prevents system processes from randomly causing clicks in the music, so I'd suggest sticking with that whilst testing.

 

The other source of noise may be your mains supply.  It would be worth asking the shop what mains filters they've installed, but this time the best way to determine if it's an issue is to try listening to your system at 2am - 3am.  Use the optical cable and WASAPI to remove any other sources of noise.  If the noise goes away at 2am - 3am but comes back in the evenings then perhaps look at using a balanced transformer or something similar?

 

Edit: assuming your mobo has an optical output of course...


Edited by Stormfriend - 7/12/13 at 1:44pm
post #1248 of 2308

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheManko View Post

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.

I don't remember the setting. I think it wasn't using the hdvd dac (see my next text).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wisemanja View Post

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?

 

The guy from the store said "It was just analog connected with interlink cables (cinch)". I don't know much about this stuff, but that sounds like it isn't using the internal dac of the hdvd800.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wisemanja View Post

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

 

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?

 

Thanks. gonna try tomorow.

And thanks alot for the other stuff aswell :).

 

--------------
 

It's like there are small improvements eventhough the amp + HD800 are already burnt in (bought demo and asked them to let it run (hundreds of hours), but that was analog). So probably the dac makes some differences too (burning in). Can people give examples of what to expect in improvements burn in wise (specificly the DAC of hdvd 800)? Thanks

 

I do love the sound. Whats missing most though is the seperation of tones and instruments. What I heard in the store was literally unbelievable. I didn't know that kind of seperation was possible. 

The sound is more relaxing and smooth compared too what I heard in the store. Probably from burning in (and the worse seperation, soundstage etc.).

post #1249 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlancoTheBull View Post

It's like there are small improvements eventhough the amp + HD800 are already burnt in (bought demo and asked them to let it run (hundreds of hours), but that was analog). So probably the dac makes some differences too (burning in). Can people give examples of what to expect in improvements burn in wise (specificly the DAC of hdvd 800)? Thanks

 

I do love the sound. Whats missing most though is the seperation of tones and instruments. What I heard in the store was literally unbelievable. I didn't know that kind of seperation was possible. 

The sound is more relaxing and smooth compared too what I heard in the store. Probably from burning in (and the worse seperation, soundstage etc.).

 

Bear in mind that a lot of the benefits of "burn in" is coming from the electrolytic capacitors forming up from having a charge on them. This will occur regardless of whether there is a signal being passed through the amp or not. That means that the DAC section will have actually "broken in" to some degree just from having power on it.

 

One last suggestion. Ask your local dealer if you can bring the HDVD800 and your phones back and hook it up again to see if there is a significant improvement again. Then try it with the digital output of the CD player feeding the HDVD800 DAC (probably TOSlink). If there is minor differences between those two configurations, then you may be getting a lot of jitter in your source configuration at home. When present, jitter artifacts usually will include a loss of focus and soundstage. If there is a significant reduction in sound quality with the HDVD800 DAC inserted, there might be something wrong with the DAC itself. This could be checked by using a different HDVD800 from their inventory. 

 

This was a demo unit so who knows that something even happened to the digital input connections before you got it. Not trying to worry you at all, just trying to figure out why there seems to have been such a large behavior difference that you are experiencing.

 

Oh, and try to take some copies of your own music in for comparisons as well.

post #1250 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by wisemanja View Post

 

Bear in mind that a lot of the benefits of "burn in" is coming from the electrolytic capacitors forming up from having a charge on them.

 

They damn well better have already been formed by the capacitor manufacturer, unless you're using caps that have been sitting in storage for years. And even then, I don't see how a little extra leakage current is going to have any effect on the operation of the circuit.

 

se

post #1251 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey99 View Post

I am looking forward to trying a balanced cable as well. Does anyone have news on when the Sennheiser balanced cable will be available?

Check this out:

 

http://www.custom-cable.co.uk/sennheiser-hd800-xlr-connecting-cable.html

 

 

Sennheiser HD800 XLR Balanced Connecting Cable - CH 800S

CODE: 505636

£250.00 (Incl. VAT)

PRE ORDER NOW! AVAILABLE SOON

 

post #1252 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post

 

They damn well better have already been formed by the capacitor manufacturer, unless you're using caps that have been sitting in storage for years. And even then, I don't see how a little extra leakage current is going to have any effect on the operation of the circuit.

 

se

 

Be that as it may, what I was really trying to point out is that for what ever reason subtle changes in sound sometime occur as a new amp is used continually, some of those changes can also occur just by leaving the unit powered up for a duration of time. At least that has been my experience.

 

Since the amplifier section of BlancoTheBull's HDVD800 has been turned on with signal going through it for a long while now and it sounds good, I suspect that now running a signal through the DAC section of the HDVD800 for an extra extended period of time will not result in a change from what he hears at present when using the DAC/amp together.

post #1253 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by zackzack View Post

Check this out:

 

http://www.custom-cable.co.uk/sennheiser-hd800-xlr-connecting-cable.html

 

 

Sennheiser HD800 XLR Balanced Connecting Cable - CH 800S

CODE: 505636

£250.00 (Incl. VAT)

PRE ORDER NOW! AVAILABLE SOON

 

Still 36 agw SPC? No thanks!

 

-Daniel

post #1254 of 2308

You are aware just how little current passes though that wire?  Are you afraid the large bass molecules won't make it through without being squashed? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post

 

They damn well better have already been formed by the capacitor manufacturer, unless you're using caps that have been sitting in storage for years. And even then, I don't see how a little extra leakage current is going to have any effect on the operation of the circuit.

 

se

 

Shhhh, stop this factual BS.  Everybody knows that caps need at least 100 hours or 1,080,000,000 charge cycles (add 20% for USA) until they work properly. 

post #1255 of 2308

No, I'm afraid it won't make it through at all. rolleyes.gif And the SPC will still sound a bit shrilly I'd wager.

 

-Daniel


Edited by BournePerfect - 7/13/13 at 1:47pm
post #1256 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

Don't waste your money on a USB cable, brass weights, power cords, and audiophile fuses. What you are now hearing with your HD800 is pretty much all there is to hear.

 

No! Listen my $300 audiophile fuse really changed my amp, for the better! I'm not sure what happened, but it's like I'm listening to a totally different amplifier. It's all there! The midrange is much more lush, treble just airy and beautiful, and I KNOW FOR A FACT my bass now reaches down to 10Hz. I know, because my ears told me so! wink.gif

post #1257 of 2308

I demoed the HDVD800 a few weeks ago. I should mention the place as they are fantastic, really friendly people - Ortons AudioVisual (Just north of london in hertford (UK)).

 

 

They gave me the demo room for as long as I wanted. I bought my equipment and listened to this unit, the hd800, he500 for 4 hours straight!

The hdvd's dac didn't work - or at least I couldn't get it to work on my computer which didn't recognize it. I had a feeling it was a problem with the unit, with drivers/firmware that It needed or something, as USB dac's normally work seamlessly on my PC.

 

Anyway, I listened to it's amp and compared the HDVD800 Amp section to my graham slee UL diamond. Equipment used was all burned in and in terms of dac's I used musical fidelity vdacII and audilab's mdac (v impressive piece of equipment). Cables/Power conditioners were all branded so don't worry about this either. Here's my brief impressions (which I should have posted before!): 

 

HD800

Sounded better from the graham slee. Detailing was better slightly and there was less of a metallic feel in the upper registers. I compared these two a lot in this test and they both actually sound very similar to each other. The bass in terms of impact, quantity and definition was something that I couldn't tell apart even when exclusively listening for it. Comparing the soundstage's between the amps with the hd800 was difficult as I am not used to this kind of soundstage. I've been almost exclusively using closed headphones and now that I live in a very quite place have the room to introduce a few open ones to the mix. 

The graham slee put the midrange just a touch more forward and combined with a more smoother projection, it made it sound better than the hdvd's amp.

 

d7000 (lawton pads)

Better from the hdvd800. Yep. Actually this is quite noticeable. Let me just say that I initially bought the graham slee pretty much for the d7000. I have never felt them both pairing well, but I've kept it as it's been definitely good with my other headphones (especially the T1). The burson soloist SL is sitting right next to it on my desk, and I'll soon see how they compare. 

The hdvd gave the d7k more impactful bass and made the whole sound faster and slightly thicker as opposed to the graham slee. The soundstage was bigger as well and most interestingly, more defined too. With the slee the d7k sounds more like an open headphone than with the hdvd800, which gives the headstage a set room to fill. Sounded really good with the d7k

 

he500 + Mad Dog 

They didn't sound much different to be honest. I wouldn't select one amplifier over the other in this instance. To be more honest, I was a bit too distracted by my surprise at how much I preferred the mad dogs to the he500. To my ears the he500's simply aren't that good. Incoherent sound with quite a bit of glare in the midrange. Highs aren't anything to enjoy and the bass is bested by the mad dogs hands down. Maybe it needs a different type of amplifier, don't know, don't care.

 

Anyway it was a really good session I had where overall I was impressed by the amp of the hdvd800. I've never heard my d7k sound so good (audiolab mdac with the senn amp)!! 


Edited by CantScareMe - 7/13/13 at 3:02pm
post #1258 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by CantScareMe View Post

The hdvd's dac didn't work - or at least I couldn't get it to work on my computer which didn't recognize it. I had a feeling it was a problem with the unit, with drivers/firmware that It needed or something, as USB dac's normally work seamlessly on my PC.

 

I had to install the drivers for it to work in Windows, so unlike some other dacs it doesn't work at all over USB without the drivers.

post #1259 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by CantScareMe View Post

I demoed the HDVD800 a few weeks ago. I should mention the place as they are fantastic, really friendly people - Ortons AudioVisual (Just north of london in hertford (UK)).

 

 

They gave me the demo room for as long as I wanted. I bought my equipment and listened to this unit, the hd800, he500 for 4 hours straight!

The hdvd's dac didn't work - or at least I couldn't get it to work on my computer which didn't recognize it. I had a feeling it was a problem with the unit, with drivers/firmware that It needed or something, as USB dac's normally work seamlessly on my PC.

 

Anyway, I listened to it's amp and compared the HDVD800 Amp section to my graham slee UL diamond. Equipment used was all burned in and in terms of dac's I used musical fidelity vdacII and audilab's mdac (v impressive piece of equipment). Cables/Power conditioners were all branded so don't worry about this either. Here's my brief impressions (which I should have posted before!): 

 

HD800

Sounded better from the graham slee. Detailing was better slightly and there was less of a metallic feel in the upper registers. I compared these two a lot in this test and they both actually sound very similar to each other. The bass in terms of impact, quantity and definition was something that I couldn't tell apart even when exclusively listening for it. Comparing the soundstage's between the amps with the hd800 was difficult as I am not used to this kind of soundstage. I've been almost exclusively using closed headphones and now that I live in a very quite place have the room to introduce a few open ones to the mix. 

The graham slee put the midrange just a touch more forward and combined with a more smoother projection, it made it sound better than the hdvd's amp.

 

d7000 (lawton pads)

Better from the hdvd800. Yep. Actually this is quite noticeable. Let me just say that I initially bought the graham slee pretty much for the d7000. I have never felt them both pairing well, but I've kept it as it's been definitely good with my other headphones (especially the T1). The burson soloist SL is sitting right next to it on my desk, and I'll soon see how they compare. 

The hdvd gave the d7k more impactful bass and made the whole sound faster and slightly thicker as opposed to the graham slee. The soundstage was bigger as well and most interestingly, more defined too. With the slee the d7k sounds more like an open headphone than with the hdvd800, which gives the headstage a set room to fill. Sounded really good with the d7k

 

he500 + Mad Dog 

They didn't sound much different to be honest. I wouldn't select one amplifier over the other in this instance. To be more honest, I was a bit too distracted by my surprise at how much I preferred the mad dogs to the he500. To my ears the he500's simply aren't that good. Incoherent sound with quite a bit of glare in the midrange. Highs aren't anything to enjoy and the bass is bested by the mad dogs hands down. Maybe it needs a different type of amplifier, don't know, don't care.

 

Anyway it was a really good session I had where overall I was impressed by the amp of the hdvd800. I've never heard my d7k sound so good (audiolab mdac with the senn amp)!! 

 

Nice review, thanks!

 

Volume matching (or lack thereof) could explain a lot of what you heard. And considering the impedance difference between the HD800 and D7000, I am especially thinking this is a factor.

post #1260 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

 

Nice review, thanks!

 

Volume matching (or lack thereof) could explain a lot of what you heard. And considering the impedance difference between the HD800 and D7000, I am especially thinking this is a factor.

 

 

Thanks for reading it!

 

I tried my best when it came to volume matching as I know from a long way back that this is the most important thing to ensure when testing different amps. First i used the hd800 for an hour, then the d7k for 45 mins (not both interchangeably). When testing two amplifiers using a headphone, the first 4/5 times I switch between amps I don't compare their sound - I only try to match volume. Using a few tracks I'll find where they sound just beneath what I consider to be loud and leave it there.

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