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Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 90

post #1336 of 2915
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post

The specs were put on this site when Axel sent them to me..

That's great - for the 6 of us who read this thread on June 27th.


I stated it was the best solid state amp I have heard so far and that  means I thought it was better than the V200.

Again, great info for the folks who follow this thread (and remember that you used to own a V200).


This was a honest review with no regard to sennheiser having any input except to check my facts and nothing was edited.    The only Spec that Axell Grell sent me were published here in this thread and everyone seen exactly all the information I was sent. Guess you missed that post. I didn't say it before, but I think the fact that Sennheiser vetted your review before it was published reeks of impropriety. As for mssing your post, actually, I was one of the 6 or so people that saw it. Thank you! Unfortunately, all of your loyal followers who, for whatever reason, missed your head-fi post on June 27th still don't know how many opamps are used, what the input and output impedance figures are, what DAC chip(s) are used, what the power ratings are into 16, 32, 150, 300, and 600 ohms, and if the USB is asynchronous. Also, I'm just wondering why you only published the 50 ohm power figure in your "review" when this amp is supposedly optimized for the HD800 (a 300 ohm (nominal) impedance headphone)? But that's just picking nits so you don't need to answer that.


 I stated in the review it was op -amp based. i have no idea what capacitors were used because sennheiser did not share any of that information. Whatever was given to me is posted. The op-amp design is in the review as well as the maximum power output. Those are also on this site. I have no idea what circuit it was because they never shared that information or anything else about negative feedback in their design.   I wrote the review based on what I heard because in the end thats what its all about anyway. It sounds good except for the dac issues which were mentioned in the review.  It also usually take me at least 60-90 days before I get the reviews written. 

Exactly my point. Over 3 months and contained in two pages, basically all you said was, "it sounds good." Sunshine and rainbows are fine to a point, but where's the beef? Frequency response? DAC performance (ringing, filtering, etc.)? Phase response? Channel balance? Gain? Jitter? S/N ratio?


You yourself said, "if your (SIC) spending 2K on a product it would be nice to know...I believe the majority would like to know what the specification of the product are and that IMO is not pointless"


I'm sorry Frank, I didn't mean to make you defensive. I'm just expressing my frustration at trying to find out about this amp. You said several times that you were writing an "official review" and that you were waiting for specs from Sennheiser. And now that your review is finally published, we still don't know Jack about this amp and DAC.

Edited by palmfish - 7/25/13 at 3:48pm
post #1337 of 2915
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

I dont know how many op amps were used as they were never disclosed. I wrote the review based on what information I was given and if I had more I would put it in the review. Not all manufacturers disclose the information. Your point is taken and it the last time I will discuss the review with you as all you ever like to do is start flame wars like you did on all the other threads. If you don't like my reviews, well then do not read them. 


As for your stupid comment regarding sennheiser looking at the review reeks of Impropriety. Every review in every professional magazine is sent to the manufacturer before it is published for two reasons, one for a fact check and two for their opportunity to post a comment which in this case they did at the end of the review.


If you do not like my reviews the choice is yours,just do not read them anymore. Maybe you may want to try to do some reviews yourself instead of starting flame wars on every thread you participate in. My last comments regarding anything with you now or in the future.

Edited by Frank I - 7/25/13 at 3:56pm
post #1338 of 2915
I don't write reviews because I am not qualified to write reviews. I am not an engineer and I lack the education and training to test electronic equipment, nor do I possess the test equipment required to conduct a proper test.
post #1339 of 2915
Nice review Frank, as always it's about the sound at the end of the day and you gave a good overview of that.
post #1340 of 2915
Originally Posted by GSARider View Post

Nice review Frank, as always it's about the sound at the end of the day and you gave a good overview of that.

Thanks GSA.

post #1341 of 2915
Finally a review that doesn't need translating! Thanks Frank it was an enjoyable read and you described the HDVD800 perfectly. I'm a measurements guy so I admit I would like some data from sennheiser or an independent source to confirm what I'm hearing(I don't trust my ears because I have a fickle human brain) but you nailed it in your subjective impressions , I'm hearing the same things .It's the 5th amp I've owned for the HD800s and the only one that has fully satisfied me and keeps on pulling me into the music over and over. It doesn't play 24/192 files!!!!!!! So what. I've converted mine to 24/96 and they play hiss free and nobody could tell the difference .problem solved.
post #1342 of 2915
Cheers to you frank . Great review and honestly reviewed without prejudice .

I own the amp as you do and I agree with what you wrote . I look forward to other reviews by you. And thanks for takeing the time to do it.

Al D
post #1343 of 2915

Thanks James and glad you liked the review. Hopefully Sennheiser puts out a detailed product sheet but there is no denying it plays music well and for me that what it is all about anyway. The amp just gets out of the way,

post #1344 of 2915
Frank I see you own the HE6 , how did they sound . I own them too but I have not had time to try them with the HDVD800 amp .

Al D
post #1345 of 2915

They were not optimal with the HDVD800 but they played but not what I would use with them. The HE6 needs power to be driven properly. it worked on small jazz combo and very non dynamic music but it wont work for classical Al. Let me known what you think when you try them,

Edited by Frank I - 7/25/13 at 7:15pm
post #1346 of 2915
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

Cheers to you frank . Great review and honestly reviewed without prejudice .

I own the amp as you do and I agree with what you wrote . I look forward to other reviews by you. And thanks for takeing the time to do it.

Al D

Thanks Al I appreciate the kind words.

post #1347 of 2915
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post

Review is Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier Review

Hi Frank! Thanks for letting us know about the review posting and especially for passing on information to the forum as you received it. I've been particularly unimpressed with Sennheiser's unwillingness to effectively communicate with their customers. I talk to Sennheiser dealers who are selling the HDVD800 and they still have no clue about the issues with the product that Sennhesier corporate (as well as this forum) do know about. So I've appreciated any and all who have been able to bring information to the group here.


From my limited listening experience and other reviews and dicsussions, I'm convinced that the amp in the HDVD800 is exactly as Sennheiser intended and as I have desired in a solid state amp. They certainly do know how to build amps when they "pull out all of the stops". And their "tuning" for the HD800 seems to have also benefited me using my T1 with it as well.


For me though, the jury is still out on the digital components of this product. The inability to cope with ultrasonic noise like nearly every other DAC on the market (yes, I know that "a fix is coming" even though Sennheiser dealers don't know about it), the inability to run high sample rate data on the optical link (in spite of the advertised capability), and the less than stellar resolving capabilities of the DAC have all been a bit disappointing considering the wonderful quality of the amplifier section itself.


Which brings me to a question about part of your review experience. You discussed some of the great sound stage and image focus qualities that you experienced using the HDVD800, but I got the impression that these experiences were mainly when you were not using the built in DAC but when you were driving the amplifier component directly from the balanced analog input from your Oppo BDP 105 (i.e., using the Oppo's DAC). Although it appears in your review that using the built-in DAC still provided a very enjoyable experience, would you say that:


    a) The image and focus of the soundstage in both cases were pretty well identical?

    b) The image and focus of the soundstage was slightly better when using the Analog from the Oppo BDP 105?

    c) The image and focus of the soundstage was a lot better when using the Analog from the Oppo BDP 105?

    d) The image and focus of the soundstage was slightly better when using the HDVD800 built-in DAC?

    e) The image and focus of the soundstage was a lot better when using the HDVD800 built-in DAC?


I'd really appreciate hearing your opinion on this specific issue as I don't have the current resources to do this comparison myself. Thanks!


- Jeff

post #1348 of 2915

Hi Jeff


I used the Oppo BDP 105 more than I used the HDVD800 dac because my main setup is all sacd,hdcd and cd based. I still prefer the disc to digital files so for me the sound stage and sound was better using the Oppo as my main source. I did enjoy the concerts and thought the sound stage was excellent while using the hdvd800 dac for the concert videos and files a swell. Bit playing a disc into the Oppo dac was better than using the files on the hdvd800 dac. I thought the dac was good up to the 24/96 files I listened too. I had the hissing issues in the 176.4 and 192 z files but those same files played excellent on the Oppo BDP105.


I did mention that the hdva600 amp only may be a bette alternative for people with dac's or people who like the 24 192 hz files. I still feel that the Oppo using the disc was better and for me I have lots of sacd disc and the hdvd800 cant do dsd.


Now using the oppo and hdvd800 for concerts videos or  playing files it was all really too close to tell major differences. Playing  wav or flac files and lossless on both DAC's sounded very similar in both sound storage so i would say A would be my best answer. Playing disc I preferred the Oppo  even when I compared the files to the disc the disc always won out. Hope that helps Jeff.


I agree with your points and the amp  sounds excellent and hopefully they get on the ball and address the dac issues soon. I also see that a few of their dealers are not selling the hdvd800 but are selling the hdva600. Interesting!! 

post #1349 of 2915

Thanks for the reply Frank!


When I first purchased this amp after a long absence from audio, I was actually surprised that I was not getting the pinpoint focusing on quality recordings that I expected. I now know that the amp section is quite capabile or reproducing that soundstage if it is given an accurate analog signal. Although the DAC seems really good, I am finding that it falls short of being able to reproduce some ambience oriented details that focus is derived from. But then I'm just analytical about those thingsredface.gif


There has been more than one other person I've heard that have had experiences where certain external DACs (or CD players) might produce a bit better translation of the digital source, So it is sounding to me like, yea, although the DAC is really good, it still doesn't seem to be in quite the same quality category as the amp section. I really wanted and "all-in-one" for portability, and so this is a bit of a trade-off for me.


Just my take on things anyway.


- Jeff


P.S. By the way, your review contained the statement that the HDVD800 was "equipped with both XLR and RCA outputs". Sennheiser must of missed that one too, since there are no RCA outputs on the HDVD800 at all (only RCA inputs to the amplifier exist on the unit).

post #1350 of 2915
The DAC sections sounds identical to any other good DAC . I am sure if I had a £4000 DAC my brain would convince me otherwise though to justify my decision. We evolved this way to enable us to make quick decisions but unfortunately it can work against us and our wallets!
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