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Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 87

post #1291 of 2309
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 agree with you. But I don't think people are suggesting a different dac/amp combo, but more a dac that isn't expensive that could be used for the HDVD800.

 

I'm probably going to buy a new set (so send my current demo model back). And when I find a good deal buy a better dac.

I'm sending it back before anyone asks because the HD800 was very chipped/sctratched if I return the HD800 on its own I will have to pay an extra 200 for the new HD800, wich will bring the total price 124E under the new price for a HD/HDVD800 set. I rather have a complete new set for that little extra money.

 

I indeed have heard the potential of the HDVD 800 (amp) with HD800, and I was blown away. It wasn't burned in yet. So if I imagine the best of what I'm hearing now (at home with HDVD800 dac) with the best I heard in the store (dac of a cd player, so presuming a better dac in the future), with a balanced cable (wich I unfortunatly never heard). Well that's probably as close to perfection as it gets. Atleast for me (and for the price).

 

With all weaknesses it (HDVD/HD) has at the moment I'm still enjoying every song, wich I never expected after everything I heard about the HD800. I can't wait for balanced + good dac.

post #1292 of 2309
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlancoTheBull View Post

I agree with you. But I don't think people are suggesting a different dac/amp combo, but more a dac that isn't expensive that could be used for the HDVD800.

I'm probably going to buy a new set (so send my current demo model back). And when I find a good deal buy a better dac.
I'm sending it back before anyone asks because the HD800 was very chipped/sctratched if I return the HD800 on its own I will have to pay an extra 200 for the new HD800, wich will bring the total price 124E under the new price for a HD/HDVD800 set. I rather have a complete new set for that little extra money.

I indeed have heard the potential of the HDVD 800 (amp) with HD800, and I was blown away. It wasn't burned in yet. So if I imagine the best of what I'm hearing now (at home with HDVD800 dac) with the best I heard in the store (dac of a cd player, so presuming a better dac in the future), with a balanced cable (wich I unfortunatly never heard). Well that's probably as close to perfection as it gets. Atleast for me (and for the price).

With all weaknesses it (HDVD/HD) has at the moment I'm still enjoying every song, wich I never expected after everything I heard about the HD800. I can't wait for balanced + good dac.
how about going 4 a hdva600 instead of hdvd800 its £300 cheaper than the hdvd800,its the same amp without the dac in it,leaving u more money 2 get a dac,maybe a audiolab m-dac £600,or a rega dac £500,or a chord chordette qutehd £900,these r the sort of dacs that could give u the sound your looking 4,worth thinking about, I hope this helps u out a bit more.
Edited by lovethatsound - 7/21/13 at 3:30am
post #1293 of 2309

Thanks alot for the suggestions.

 

I'm still thinking whats best.

For me its 200E difference. But the shops that have it are more expensive, so if the difference in the end is only 50E or less, I rather have the HDVD800, because that will buy me time to figure out the best dac for its price, while I can listen/burn in the amp + HD800.

But you're right with a difference of 300 pounds it's the best option.

post #1294 of 2309
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Edited by palmfish - 7/21/13 at 9:03pm
post #1295 of 2309
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 for a fine and informative review. Google Translate did remarkably well with it, by the way. Good pictures too!
post #1296 of 2309
Quote:
Originally Posted by wisemanja View Post

 

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

Google translate got it wrong, I did say that it doesn't have a gain switch.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlancoTheBull View Post

 

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.

The DAC part is not bad at all, it is actually pretty good, it is just not on par with it's headamp section. As a combo it works really well with HD800.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post

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?

Yes, Conductor having 0 Ohm impedance works great with every headphone, but HDVD800 it is like a chameleon, works great with some and pretty bad with others.

On HD800 alone I preferred HDVD800 (in balanced connection) to the Conductor.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by teb1013 View Post


Thanks for a fine and informative review. Google Translate did remarkably well with it, by the way. Good pictures too!

Thanks a lot, yeah pictures turned really good.

 

Sorry everyone for my late replies, went on a trip to Carpathian mountains this weekend, didn't have internet there at ~2100 m above the sea :-)

post #1297 of 2309
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarKu View Post

Google translate got it wrong, I did say that it doesn't have a gain switch.

The DAC part is not bad at all, it is actually pretty good, it is just not on par with it's headamp section. As a combo it works really well with HD800.

Yes, Conductor having 0 Ohm impedance works great with every headphone, but HDVD800 it is like a chameleon, works great with some and pretty bad with others.
On HD800 alone I preferred HDVD800 (in balanced connection) to the Conductor.

Thanks a lot, yeah pictures turned really good.

Sorry everyone for my late replies, went on a trip to Carpathian mountains this weekend, didn't have internet there at ~2100 m above the sea :-)
the DAC is better than the headphone section and pretty bad is not true on Audezes 4 pin connection it's quite good
post #1298 of 2309
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinker View Post


the DAC is better than the headphone section and pretty bad is not true on Audezes 4 pin connection it's quite good


Well, that was my opinion on my gear and on my ears, everyone hears differently :-)

 

Conductor blows HDVD800 single ended driving Audezes comparing to HDVD800 balanced driving Audezes IMO.

post #1299 of 2309
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinker View Post


the DAC is better than the headphone section 

 

I listened to HD/HDVD800 with a different dac. I thought it sounded alot better than with the build in dac.

 

- Alot more seperation.

- More detail.

- More depth.

- Quiker and more powerfull sounds (specially bassy sounds).

- Better soundstage, atleast more clearly placed.

 

But that's what I heard and prefered.

post #1300 of 2309

-


Edited by thinker - 1/19/14 at 12:27am
post #1301 of 2309

As has been pointed out before, Sennheiser appears to have designed their HDVD800 to optimized the presentation of their flagship headphones the HD800. I thought it might be interesting to some folks as to how some of this was done. Note that the numbers in the following presentation are not intended to be super accurate, but it should be enough to get the idea across.

 

I went to Innerfidelity's site to get a copy of their HD800 Impedance curve. I then roughly estimated the values so that I could get it into Excel. The result was the following:

 

 

As you can see the impedance is not constant from 10Hz to 20KHz varying anywhere from 350 to 650 ohms. Normally, this should not matter if the output impedance of the amplifier driving them is very low (e.g.,  < 1 ohm) since the full value of a given voltage at any frequency will show up directly on the headphones. E.g. a 2 volt signal at 90 Hz will show up as 2 volts on the headphones and a 2 volt signal at 6000 Hz will also show up as 2 volts regardless of the fact that the impedance of the phones at one point is double that at the other. This can be seen in the following chart showing the amount of amplifier signal voltage showing up on the headphones when the amplifier's output impedance is around 0 ohms.

 

 

Although amplifier output impedance is a bit more complicated, for this discussion it can be viewed as a simple resistance in series with the headphone's impedance. As the amplifier's output impedance is increased through design, less of the signal generated in the amplifier gets to the headphones. The real issue here is that the amount of the signal's voltage that DOES get to the headphones is dependent on both the frequency of the signal as well as the frequency dependent impedance of the headphones and the output impedance of the amp.

 

The following chart was created based on an amplifier's output impedance of 47 ohms (like the HDVD800) feeding a HD800 headphone. The vertical axis is the percentage of the amplifier's internally generated signal voltage that actually makes it to the headphones.

 

 

 

Now in the upper Bass/lower midrange nearly 94% of the amp's signal voltage is still getting to the headphones. However, at the same time though, in the upper mid range/lower treble only 87% of the signal is making it to the headphones. Also note that this 7% difference is relative to the internal amplifier's signal. Since the real difference is based on signal levels at the headphones, the actual difference being heard on the headphones is closer to 9%. 

 

So by creating a headphone amp that has an output impedance of 47 ohms, Sennheiser has reduced the relative level of the upper midrange/lower treble signal to be much lower than it would normal be by itself for a set of HD800 on a different amp (such as a Burson, e.g.). And isn't it this range of frequencies on the HD800 that many folks considered "bright"? Sennheiser has basically "turned down the treble" without affecting phase.

 

The reason that this was rather interesting to me is that the T1 that I have also has a similarly shaped impedance curve (only twice as high at nominal 600 ohms). This higher output impedance on the HDVD800 also helps to tame the brightness issue of the T1 in the same way as the HD800 (although the impact probably isn't as significant since the T1 are twice as high an impedance as the HD800 are so the percentage differences are lower).

 

Just for interest, I also plotted what the relative signal levels would be if the amp had an output impedance of 300 ohms (i.e., similar to the headphone impedance). Chart follows:

 

 

As you can see, the higher the output impedance is, the more extreme the variations become. In this case the output impedance is about the same as the impedance of the headphones so only about 50% or so of the amp's signal is actually getting to the phones. But even worse, the variations of signal level now approach 26% across the headphones themselves totally warping the frequency response of the phones. This is the type of effect that can be had by putting low impedance headphones on the HDVD800. the last chart above shows an example of  a headphone being close to the same value of an amp's impedance, although in reality, low impedance headphones tend to have less variation in their impedance curves than the higher impedance phones typically do.

 

Obviously, if the impedance curve of your phones was fairly flat, their frequency response would not vary much with different amp impedances (other items like damping factor could though).

 

And one last item. These examples were based on the assumption that the output impedance of the HDVD800 of 47 ohms is consistent. I.e., if it is only nominal and varies with frequency, obviously things can get far more complicated.

 

Anyway, hope this tidbit is of interest to some.


Edited by wisemanja - 7/22/13 at 8:13pm
post #1302 of 2309
Great post, thanks...smily_headphones1.gif
post #1303 of 2309

That solve the puzzles about me liking the HDVD800 more than the DAC1 + BHA-1 combo when I first try it in the store~~~~~

 

Good information~~~

post #1304 of 2309
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarKu View Post

Google translate got it wrong, I did say that it doesn't have a gain switch.

Thanks for pointing that out. It did seem odd how Google translate worded it wink.gif

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by DarKu View Post

Yes, Conductor having 0 Ohm impedance works great with every headphone, but HDVD800 it is like a chameleon, works great with some and pretty bad with others.

On HD800 alone I preferred HDVD800 (in balanced connection) to the Conductor.

 

Could you describe what in particular it was about the Conductor/HD800 combo that made it less pleasing to you than the HDVD800/HD800 combo? Thanks!

 

- Jeff


Edited by wisemanja - 7/24/13 at 8:50am
post #1305 of 2309

Actually, when people say the dac section is pretty bad for HDVD800, I was wondering if any one has tried it on another amp?

 

I believe the HDVD800 only has balance xlr output, so has anyone tried it on an GSX MKII, Dark star, Head amp Three or B22?

 

 

Very curies to find out how is the DAC compare to other sub $1000 dollar DACs like DAC1 or DAC2 from W4S

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