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Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 86

post #1276 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarKu View Post

Hey guys,

I just reviewed HDVD800 (but you would need google translate, at least check the photos I took).

Long story short, I really like it paired with a balanced HD800. It needs a lot of burn-in to sound right, but when burn-in period passes HD800 just sings with it. I didnt use 24bit material for this review, so I didnt notice any issues with this unit. HDVD800 sounds great to me, unfortunately not as good with Audezes or other low impedance headphones, so its not quite an universal combo DAC/Amp.

 

Hi DarKu,

 

Thanks for your nice review!

 

Do you know which chip or transistor is under the heatsink?

 

Best

 

Pal

post #1277 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by palchiu View Post

 

Hi DarKu,

 

Thanks for your nice review!

 

Do you know which chip or transistor is under the heatsink?

 

Best

 

Pal


Hi Pal,

Unfortunately I cannot check it now, returned the unit back to the local distributor

post #1278 of 2070

Hey look at that, a real review!  Many thanks DarKu and beautiful photos.

post #1279 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarKu View Post

Hey guys,

I just reviewed HDVD800 (but you would need google translate, at least check the photos I took).

Long story short, I really like it paired with a balanced HD800. It needs a lot of burn-in to sound right, but when burn-in period passes HD800 just sings with it. I didnt use 24bit material for this review, so I didnt notice any issues with this unit. HDVD800 sounds great to me, unfortunately not as good with Audezes or other low impedance headphones, so its not quite an universal combo DAC/Amp.

 

Real nice and informative review.

 

One minor correction to your write up though. You made mention to the effect that "Unfortunately the amplifier has a gain switch for headphones of different impedances and sensitivities". Although it would seem intuitive that that switch was for the purposes you describe, it is only the INPUT gain control for the RCA inputs so that level matching between them and the other inputs can be achieved.

 

- Jeff

post #1280 of 2070

Any new news on the firmware update coming from sennheiser?

post #1281 of 2070

Hey Jeff,

 

Thanks alot. To answer your questions.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wisemanja View Post

 

Ok, one more time. Since the headphone amp analog component is the same unit as used in the store. What were the differences?

 

1) Headphones? Or did you buy the ones that were also demo'ed in the store? As I recall, you had HD800s. Those phones are going to be very revealing and open even before they are "broken in", so unless you have a damaged set of HD800 or cables (and especially if you actually brought home the demos), I just can't see it being the headphones.

 

2) You had analog cables on your source side at the store. Cables are typically measured in how much or how little they degrade the signal. Adding cables in this case just couldn't make the signal that much better than the tiny connections between the DAC and Amp sections of the HDVD800.

 

3) You were not using the DAC in the HDVD800 (which, of course means that you were not using any of the digital input circuitry on the HDVD800 either) It seems very odd. The HDVD800 appears to have a very good DAC in it. I suppose that there is always a possibility that the DAC itself or it's digital interface that you are using has something wrong with it. But when it sounds so "good" as it is (maybe not terrific but it is functioning), that would be an odd failure mode. Just doesn't seem as likely.

 

4) You are not using the same digital recordings as at the store. This also doesn't seem to explain the difference because you should still be able to hear some "air" on other decent recordings that you have access to that would be similar to the recordings at the shop.

 

Which leads me to the last 2 things I can think of:

 

5) The "transport" mechanism that you are using for your source is completely different than in the shop. The CD player has the advantage of having its master clock inside the same box with both the DAC and the CD transport itself which can assist a bit in jitter control. I think I remember you saying that at home you are using a computer as your digital source. If your home source is producing a lot of jitter it could potentially produce a reduction of focus. Also if you are set up to operate your USB in Adaptive transfer mode instead to Asynchronous mode, you jitter could be a bit worse than just using TOSlink or another S/PDIF interface. Are you using an audio program designed to bypass some of the generic OS audio handling processes on the PC? I know that on my iMac, this DOES make a difference for me.

 

6) This last item is rather subjective. Sometimes, you can have a sound A that seems nicer than sound B even though sound B is more accurate. I learned this many years ago with intermodulation distortion. On some amps, the distortion would add a very low level and subtle extra sound or hash that would occur synchronously with the real sound coming from the recording. I've also seen this in some cases where jitter related artifacts are present. They would add extra "body" to the sound that could make it more "rich" and "Musical" to listen to. But that "richness" was from artifacts not in the source recording. It wasn't until I noticed that when I got that "richness" and extra body in the music, the sound stage would tend to collapse due to the true sounds of ambience in the recording being overrun with a fake kind of "ambience" created as a result of jitter or intermodulation distortion. I know that this isn't quite what you were describing, but it might be something to think about.

 

So if you can't get your hands on that CD player to check it's output both from its analog and digital outputs, I'd do some reading and revisit how your computer system is set up to output the digital tracks that you have stored on it.

 

Again hope this gives you some ideas.

 

- Jeff

 

First difference was the recording. I have asked for the album but there hasn't been a reaction yet. At home I have listened to hundreds of recordings of good quality and good recordings.

Second difference is that the dac of the cd player was used (Music Hall, CD35.2, cost 800 Euro's), not the dac of the HDVD800. 

The set (HD800 and HDVD800) however is exactly the same except for the fact that it is burned in now and it wasn't in the shop (in the shop it was used for 3 hours). I thought it sounded to clinical/mechanical and artificial so I asked if they could let it burn in. I expect that from burning in the sound would get more detail, depth, seperation etc., not less, right?

I think I heard the potential of the HD800 and I was impressed (taht's why I bought it). But I was also dissepointed because of the clinical/artificial sound. But I thought that would go away after burn in, wich it did (unless the artificial sound came from the dac).

 

5) Yes I'm using a computer. I dont't think I have trouble with jitter. Since very clear recordings have no noise or anything that you're not supposed to hear.

I'm using WASAPI in Foobar. 

 

 

There is a clear improvement (in depth, detail and openness) when turning the volume up (logically), but it's too loud to listen to for longer than 10 minutes. The difference it makes doesn't come close to what I heard in the store.

 

Btw everybody that had the opportunity to listen to the set, said they didn't think it was worth the money at all. Most of them said that there is way to little feeling of space/depth. This is also something I was expecting to be alot better. 

 

I don't know if balanced could make the difference or that there is indeed something wrong with the set. Personally I think the difference I hear is because of the different dac. The difference in price between HDVD800 and HDVD600 is about 200E/$. So if that means the value of the dac is 200E/$, the DAC I listened to in the shop was 800E, that makes for a 600E more expensive dac.

 

I am sending the set back to the store. I've asked if listening with balanced cables is possible (no respons yet). 

 

Thanks alot Jeff. 

post #1282 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarKu View Post

Hey guys,

I just reviewed HDVD800 (but you would need google translate, at least check the photos I took).

Long story short, I really like it paired with a balanced HD800. It needs a lot of burn-in to sound right, but when burn-in period passes HD800 just sings with it. I didnt use 24bit material for this review, so I didnt notice any issues with this unit. HDVD800 sounds great to me, unfortunately not as good with Audezes or other low impedance headphones, so its not quite an universal combo DAC/Amp.

 

Thanks Darku for the review,

 

What you say about the dac, I completely agree. To bad I can't listen with balanced cables, perhaps that would make the difference.

I'm going to send it back to the store. And I think it has 100% to do with the dac (it's the bottleneck).

I think it could have been great (almost perfect) with a better dac.

post #1283 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarKu View Post

Hey guys,

I just reviewed HDVD800 (but you would need google translate, at least check the photos I took).

Long story short, I really like it paired with a balanced HD800. It needs a lot of burn-in to sound right, but when burn-in period passes HD800 just sings with it. I didnt use 24bit material for this review, so I didnt notice any issues with this unit. HDVD800 sounds great to me, unfortunately not as good with Audezes or other low impedance headphones, so its not quite an universal combo DAC/Amp.


Wow, what an excellent review! beerchug.gif

So you liked DAC on Conductor better, still not clear about amp section, if I read it right you are saying that Conductor amp sounds the same with all headphones and HDV800 only has synergy with HD800. But for HD800 alone, did you prefer the sound out of Senns or Burson?

post #1284 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlancoTheBull View Post

I expect that from burning in the sound would get more detail, depth, seperation etc., not less, right?

:

:

:

5) Yes I'm using a computer. I dont't think I have trouble with jitter. Since very clear recordings have no noise or anything that you're not supposed to hear.

I'm using WASAPI in Foobar. 

:

:

:

Btw everybody that had the opportunity to listen to the set, said they didn't think it was worth the money at all. Most of them said that there is way to little feeling of space/depth. This is also something I was expecting to be alot better. 

 

I don't know if balanced could make the difference or that there is indeed something wrong with the set. Personally I think the difference I hear is because of the different dac. The difference in price between HDVD800 and HDVD600 is about 200E/$. So if that means the value of the dac is 200E/$, the DAC I listened to in the shop was 800E, that makes for a 600E more expensive dac.

 

 

Yes, When the unit is allowed to run for many hours, There will be an improvement in openess. Not massive but noticable.

 

If you are using WASAPI, you might want to make sure that you are using the "event driven" mode and not the "push" mode. I'm pretty sure that the event driven mode will take advantage of the USB asynchronous mode if it is supported by your USB interface and driver (still trying to get some confirmation on this, but it seems to make sense from everything I've read).

 

There have been at least 3 people who have posted here over the last several weeks who seem to feel that although the amplifier section is very good, the built in DAC isn't quite as good in sonic quality as the amp is. Some have suggested it might be better to get a separate DAC and a HDVA600 instead. The plain truth of it might be that you may well be hearing nothing more than the differences between the DAC in the CD player and the built-in DAC of the HDVD800.

 

By the way. You've been comparing using the same output configuration so far (i.e., single ended headphone connections) Which helps comparing apples to apples. Going to balanced on the HDVD800 is an improvement but if the DACs are the real issue, the improvement in balanced mode may still not get it back for you.

post #1285 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by wisemanja View Post

If you are using WASAPI, you might want to make sure that you are using the "event driven" mode and not the "push" mode. I'm pretty sure that the event driven mode will take advantage of the USB asynchronous mode if it is supported by your USB interface and driver (still trying to get some confirmation on this, but it seems to make sense from everything I've read).

 

There have been at least 3 people who have posted here over the last several weeks who seem to feel that although the amplifier section is very good, the built in DAC isn't quite as good in sonic quality as the amp is. Some have suggested it might be better to get a separate DAC and a HDVA600 instead. The plain truth of it might be that you may well be hearing nothing more than the differences between the DAC in the CD player and the built-in DAC of the HDVD800.

 

By the way. You've been comparing using the same output configuration so far (i.e., single ended headphone connections) Which helps comparing apples to apples. Going to balanced on the HDVD800 is an improvement but if the DACs are the real issue, the improvement in balanced mode may still not get it back for you.

 Thanks Jeff,

 

I'm using Event driven and tried Push aswell.

I don't know if my USB interface is supporting or how to figure that out (I looked in bios but couldn't find anything), it is a new computer (Ivy bridge), so I think this shouldn't be a problem.

I also tried more than one usb port (no difference).

 

I think it's the difference in dac, indeed. Because many people said that that shouldn't make a big difference I kept looking for other explanations.

 

Yeah you're right. But buying a seperate dac will probably be alot more expensive.

Does anyone has suggestions for a relative cheap dac that will do the job (better than the dac of the HDVD800)?

And does it have to be balanced? If so, do you also need a balanced cable from dac to HDVD? Because that will also ad to the price.

But I think it's probably worth it if it makes the difference I'm looking for (if it's not to expensive). Now it's not worth the money for me, so it's going back to the store.

I feel a bit srevved, but at the same time I did hear the potential of the HDVD (amp) and HD800, and that was really impressive.

 

Thanks everybody for all the help.

post #1286 of 2070

Ideally the entire chain of dac, amp and headphone should be balanced. There's a ton of alternatives when it comes to dacs so I hardly know where to begin, especially if you're trying to save money. Maybe the Xonar Essence One Plus Edition or Muses Edition? I'm sure someone else will have better ideas.

post #1287 of 2070
I just bought a Muses Edition and I love it. Fully balanced, dual Burr Brown 1795's, and very good headamp. It's very, very good.

It's not as handsome as the HDVD800, but for $700 I can forgive that.
Edited by palmfish - 7/20/13 at 10:33am
post #1288 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

I just bought a Muses Edition and I love it. Fully balanced, dual Burr Brown 1795's, and very good headamp. It's very, very good.

It's not as handsome as the HDVD800, but for $700 I can forgive that.
why not spend ur money on a better dac 4 the hdvd800 instead of getting a new amp.i think some of u guys r missing out on what ur hdvd800 and hd800s can sound like when u use a better dac.the dac u get with the hdvd800 is good 4 the money,but when u use a better dac like a naim or a chord u will really hear just what ur amp and headphones can do,the sound I'm getting from my equipment is amazing.
post #1289 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethatsound View Post

why not spend ur money on a better dac 4 the hdvd800 instead of getting a new amp.i think some of u guys r missing out on what ur hdvd800 and hd800s can sound like when u use a better dac.the dac u get with the hdvd800 is good 4 the money,but when u use a better dac like a naim or a chord u will really hear just what ur amp and headphones can do,the sound I'm getting from my equipment is amazing.
I like what the hdvd800 dac sounds. I got it because I like the sennheiser in house tunning.

With my daC one, the amp shows more resolution, but the hdvd800 pumps more juice into pop and rock musics
Edited by AlanHell - 7/20/13 at 5:13pm
post #1290 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethatsound View Post


why not spend ur money on a better dac 4 the hdvd800 instead of getting a new amp.

 

Because the Essence One is a "better DAC."

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