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Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 91

post #1351 of 2159
Quote:
Originally Posted by James-uk View Post

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!
if only that was true,the difference between some dacs is night and day.
post #1352 of 2159
I'm sure it is but In 2013 it's harder to find a bad dac than a good one. any well designed dac will be transparent and any improvement on that is pointless and inaudible. It's like having an amp with 0.00000000001 THD and saying it sounds better that an amp with 0.00001 THD . I'm a believer that dac technology was settle a long time ago and as long as a company doesn't deliberately make it sound bad somehow then the should all sound the same now. Same could be said for solid state amps I suppose and now it comes down to amp / headphone matching rather than a ''transparent " amp that suits a wide range of headphones but is a master of none. Ive got an O2 and it's a great little amp but it isn't perfect for the HD800 that's why I brought the HDVD800. I trusted that sennheiser would build an amp that makes no compromises to work well with all phones but would be the master of the HD800 and I feel they have achieved this .
post #1353 of 2159

jeff

. the review will be changed to say 1/4 output instead of RCA. I also enclosed some more specifications for anyone interested.

 

 

Highlights:

  • built-in Burr-Brown digital-to-analog converter
  • all digital inputs support up to 24-bit resolution at 192kHz sampling rate for playback of high-res music files
  • symmetrical (balanced) circuitry throughout reduces noise and distortion for maximum sound quality
  • premium ALPS quadruple potentiometer volume control for precise channel balance
  • rear-panel 5-stage gain switch for optimized use of low impedance headphones
  • sophisticated metal housing protects against signal interference and vibration
  • controls machined from solid metal for long-term reliability
  • three digital audio inputs: one AES/EBU (XLR), one optical (Toslink), and one RCA coaxial
  • USB (Type B) input for connecting a computer
  • 1 pair symmetrical (balanced XLR) line-level inputs
  • 1 pair asymmetrical (unbalanced RCA) inputs
  • two 4-pin XLR symmetrical (balanced) headphone outputs for compatible headphones
  • two full-sized (1/4") headphone outputs
  • 1 pair symmetrical (balanced XLR) preamp outputs for connection to a compatible audio component
  • plays up to four pairs of headphone simultaneously
  • dedicated Sennheiser USB Windows driver required for playback on a PC (included on supplied CD)
  • no driver required for Mac OSX 10.5 or later
  • detachable AC power cord
  • THD: less than 0.001%
  • frequency response: 0.3Hz to 100,000 Hz
  • 8-7/8"W x 1-3/4"H x 12-1/16"D
  • weight: 4.85 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years

Edited by Frank I - 7/26/13 at 6:33am
post #1354 of 2159
Quote:
Originally Posted by James-uk View Post

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!

Pareidolia! We hear/see what we want!
post #1355 of 2159

Again, thanks for the extra input Frank. I have seen some items in the list in many places so for reference (right or wrong), I'm attaching some snippets from the actual HDVD800 User Manual that came with my unit and added my comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post

jeff

. the review will be changed to say 1/4 output instead of RCA. 

Ok, that makes sense, I see now what you were trying to say.

 

Highlights:

:

:

  • all digital inputs support up to 24-bit resolution at 192kHz sampling rate for playback of high-res music files

 

 

Note the optical input caveat which is exactly what I see on my unit (data loss and click every few seconds when running at 96KHz and higher). This statement of limitation does not exist anywhere else or in any of the advertising on this product that I have seen. This was a disappointment to me as I was planning on using the optical link at higher rates when I bought the HDVD800 but it is not possible because of the data loss that happens at 96KHz and above.

:

:

  • rear-panel 5-stage gain switch for optimized use of low impedance headphones

 

 

 

 

This "gain" control appears to have no relationship at all to headphone impedance. In fact, even though it is labeled as a "gain" control, in some places in the manual text it is referred to as an input "attenuator" to control RCA input levels that are too high and can cause distortion by overdriving the amp section of the HDVD800.

 

:

:

  • 1 pair symmetrical (balanced XLR) preamp outputs for connection to a compatible audio component

This is the ONLY reference to using the balanced output jacks on the HDVD800 in its manual. Although I have not yet tried them out, I do not believe that their output level is controlled by the Volume knob and therefor are not "preamp outputs". I believe that they are fixed line level outputs. They seem to be nothing more than the DAC's analog output feeding the amplifier section, so I do NOT believe that an analog signal placed on the balanced XLR Inputs or RCA inputs to the amp will ever show up on them.

 

In fact, if you simply take the manual at face value, it implies that they only exist to get analog signal from the USB digital input. One thing that seems sure to me at this time is that the HDVD800 cannot be used as a preamp. That word is just not used anywhere in the manual (and I don't believe that I've seen it in there advertising on the unit either

:

:

 

 

Although the review indicated the max output of the HDVD800 being 2.5watts at 50ohms, I included the about from the manual since it shows the "other end" of the scale smile.gif

 


Edited by wisemanja - 7/26/13 at 9:30am
post #1356 of 2159

2.5W into 50Ohms

post #1357 of 2159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post

2.5W into 50Ohms

Oops, missed that so corrected. I had recently been looking at another amp that runs 4.5 watts class A and it was stuck in my headsmile.gif

Thanks!


Edited by wisemanja - 7/26/13 at 9:33am
post #1358 of 2159
Quote:
Originally Posted by James-uk View Post

The DAC sections sounds identical to any other good DAC.

No it doesn't. Although I guess it depends on what exactly you mean when you say "good". Personally I've compared to a Violectric V800 and Xonar Essence ST. The V800 is better than the HDVD 800 dac by a wide margin, while the Xonar Essence ST actually sounds very similar to the HDVD 800 dac. At first the Essence ST sounded almost identical to the HDVD 800 dac, but after listening for a while I noticed that the Essence ST consistenly produced sparkly artifacts in the treble which the HDVD 800 dac didn't have, so the HDVD 800 dac was sort of like a refined version of the Essence ST. When comparing the V800 and HDVD 800 dac the difference was big enough that you'd have to be deaf not to hear it. Not sure which part of their respective spec sheets is producing the difference, but when you actually listen and compare the two it's not a subtle difference at all.

post #1359 of 2159
I can hear the same setup sound completely different on 2 separate days . Maybe the difference I don't hear is doesn't exist?
post #1360 of 2159
So what did you hear that made the V800 stand out? I've sold mine but from memory I can't tell the difference. I thought the odac and v800 sounded identical so maybe I am deaf after all.
post #1361 of 2159
Quote:
Originally Posted by James-uk View Post

I can hear the same setup sound completely different on 2 separate days . Maybe the difference I don't hear is doesn't exist?

Maybe yes, maybe no. It is true that we may "hear" some subtle differences from time to time that are only psychoacoustic. However, consider the following:

 

Many amplifiers can change as they are initially used (sometimes called "burn in") and it can sometimes take several days for the sound to open up and get a little more spacious and to stabilize. My personal experience was that somewhere in the 100 - 150 hour area, my HDVD800 started sounding more open. However, I never liked the term "burn-in" that everyone uses because for whatever reasons this change in sound is occurring, the process doesn't really seem to be permanent as the term "burn-in" might imply. Turning the unit off for a period of time typically results in some reversal of the initial stabilizing effect, sending the unit backward towards the sound it had when it was new. Since we tend to be using our equipment on and off frequently, the changes from day to day may be very small and not noticed. Also, the reversal seems to happen more slowly than the initial improvements.

 

However, the more highly resolving a system is and how much it's electronics are susceptible to these changes can determine how likely you might hear a change. For example, frequently, one of the things that might improve as an amplifier is "burned-in" is that some grainy recordings might smooth out a bit. If you happened to leave the system off for a while and then later coming in, turn it on, and immediately put a poorly engineered recording on, it could sound a lot worst that you remembered it being the last time you listened.

 

This is the reason that many audiophiles with very high resolution, high power class A amplifiers (which tend to run very hot all the time) just leave their equipment turned on all the time so that it's always stable and ready to listen to at its peak performance.

 

It's also been shown that even a normal amount of wax buildup in a person's ears can have a significant effect on the perceived sound from their systems.

 

So in any event, there are legitimate reasons that things might sound different from day to day.

 

- Jeff


Edited by wisemanja - 7/26/13 at 6:30pm
post #1362 of 2159
You are very welcome . Your a good honest man telling us how it is.

The HE 6 is in NYC , me and my family go to N.C. . Although I have the mytek and the hdvd800 here .
I also took here the hd800 , the he60 and the lcd3 . And various IEM,S.
Hy HE 6 are home .

Also with the USB I am able to play all files at 24/192 including DSD both downloaded and extracted from my sacd collection. All flaw less so far . This week I will do many tests and confirm to you ok .

And again thanks frank.

AL.D
post #1363 of 2159

your very welcome Al.

post #1364 of 2159

Hey Frank,

 

Thanks for the nice review! I've been reading this stupid thread for so long, it's nice to finally get to a real review instead of quibbles about bit rates, cables and corporate ethics. rolleyes.gif

 

BTW - On page one of the review, "Review Equipment" is wrapped into Design's paragraph tag. I assume it should be an H3? (not trolling, just proofing wink.gif)

post #1365 of 2159

 

-


Edited by thinker - 1/19/14 at 12:26am
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