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Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 92

post #1366 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinker View Post


How do you comapre these dacs through HDVD-800  headphone output or as a stand alone dac wich means XLR outputs from HDVD-800.You can't compare  dacs when you are listening both dacs from HDVD-800 headphone output.
dacs make a big difference 2 sound of your hifi,they r 1 the most important links in a hifi,the dac in the hdvd800 doesn't do that amp or the hd800s any justice at all.the hdvd800 has been built 2 a price point 4 the market, as a result of this its the dac that has suffered,it's just an ok dac,the thing 2 do is 2 go out and home demo a good dac, or a few good dacs,u will hear a BIG difference in the sound . yesterday I was comparing the hdvd800 dac and my NAIM dac again,the difference IS night and day,if u want 2 get the best from ur amp and hd800s u need a better dac.
post #1367 of 2308

Hello and greetings from New Zealand. I have been a long time lurker on this forum. My headphone rig is HD800, Hackinstosh/Pure Music server and much modified X-Can v2 (aka rock grotto forums).

 

I have been considering a new amp, it was down to the BHA-1 or the WA22, but Woo gear is hard to come by in this part of the world. Only a week ago, I began reading of the HDVD800 and now I have a demo BHA-1 and HDVD800 to listen to for the weekend.

 

The DAC that I am using is a modified Valab WM8741 Asnyc DAC that I have recapped.

 

So, both the Bryston and Sennheiser are a delight to listen to. I really want to say yes to the 800, but my foot keeps tapping with joy when I go back to the Bryston. The soundstage of the Bryston is better developed to my ears.

 

To me the 800 is 'faster' but is lacking in timbre and is not entirely convincing. It is new out of the box however. Intitial comparisons were with the DAC + Bryston and the 800 (using it's own DAC). So far the most appealing setup is my DAC into the 800. This appears to be giving me the best combination. The Bryston feels really engaging, just a little less tight in tempo. Cables (which may or may not make a difference) are Nordost Frey balanced.

 

I feel that a weekend is not going to be long enough to really get the feel of both of these. Part of me feels to buy the Bryston and save the money for the Bryston DAC as well - that could be a great desktop combo.

 

The 800 was appealing due its (assumed) synergy with the HD800 and the nature of all in one. The all in one of course could be a double edged sword as I feel that DACs are in a permament state of development, whereas amplification is more static.

post #1368 of 2308
I used to convince myself I could hear a difference between an apple download and cd then a mate blind tested me and I failed. I still buy CDs though . I think DACs work in a similar way . I'm just glad I'm completely happy with the HDVD800 combo I don't want to spend more money on pointless upgrades I want to enjoy the music. plus now I'm done with my dynamic rig I can maybe buy a baby stax rig in the future to see what stats sound like smily_headphones1.gif
post #1369 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinker View Post

You can't compare dacs when you are listening both dacs from HDVD-800 headphone output.

What do you mean? If you use the Bal and Unbal inputs the HDVD 800 internal dac is bypassed, so why would that still make it invalid when comparing dacs? When I compared the V800 and HDVD 800 I had the V800 connected with XLR to the Bal inputs and could switch between the two dacs in Windows in about ~5-8 seconds. When I compared the Essence ST it was connected to Unbal and to the Coax input of the HDVD 800 dac, so I could switch between the two dacs simply by rotating the input switch on the HDVD 800 without having to pause the music that was playing. Essentially instant switching. I listened to both the HDVD 800 and my B&W CM8 speakers which are connected to the HDVD 800 XLR outputs to my speaker amp and the difference was clearly audible over both speakers and headphones with a similar difference to the character to the sound between the dacs.


Edited by TheManko - 7/27/13 at 5:05am
post #1370 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by jchandler3 View Post

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)

thanks and glad you liked the review Thanks for pointing that out that was not like that yesterday but the editor made another change I requested so he must did that by mistake. I will get them to fix them. Unfortunately I don't publish them, only write them so I do not have control to  fix it either. 


Edited by Frank I - 7/27/13 at 5:40am
post #1371 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheManko View Post

:

:

I listened to both the HDVD 800 and my B&W CM8 speakers which are connected to the HDVD 800 XLR outputs to my speaker amp and the difference was clearly audible over both speakers and headphones with a similar difference to the character to the sound between the dacs.

 

My understanding all along has been that the HDVD800 XLR outputs are just the DAC output (i.e., the balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs can not be routed to it) and they are only line level (i.e., no volume control). It sounds like you have used these outputs. Can you please confirm or deny my assumptions about the function of those XLR output jacks? Thanks!

post #1372 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by wisemanja View Post

 

My understanding all along has been that the HDVD800 XLR outputs are just the DAC output (i.e., the balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs can not be routed to it) and they are only line level (i.e., no volume control). It sounds like you have used these outputs. Can you please confirm or deny my assumptions about the function of those XLR output jacks? Thanks!

They're line level out and they still work if you use Unbal and Bal.

post #1373 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheManko View Post

They're line level out and they still work if you use Unbal and Bal.

Cool! So they come off after the front panel switch (i.e., they see what the internal amplifier is currently being fed).

 

I wonder if the XLR analog inputs are buffered from the XLR outputs (the RCA signals would have to be since they are converted to balance upon entry to the HDVD800)

 

Hmmm......

post #1374 of 2308

So, I have been listening to both amps over the weekend.

 

If I had listened to either in isolation, I think that I would have been delighted in either case. However, in isolating the DAC from the amp in the HDVD800, I do feel that Sennheiser have not really put in a DAC that reflects the rather good amp stage. There must have been some economies in incorporating the two into a single chassis, in terms of PSU, connector and physical chassis.

 

I kept on being drawn back to my own DAC and BHA-1. This combination to me at least had more authority and conviction with the music. Definitely less clinical and perhaps less details, but I could really listen into the music, so much that I was listening until midnight last night.

 

I asked my strictly non audiophile barrister fiancee to have a listen. She chose Adele, as we do ballroom dancing to some of he tracks and she is generally a pleasure to listen to. I think that Meredith listens to music differently to me, with the Bryston she began to sing along and sway. With the Sennheiser she listened for a couple of minutes and stated a preference for the Bryston, the main thing that she said was that she really heard Adele and that is was spacious.

 

I think that is sums it up for me as well. The HDVD800 is fast and clinical, whereas the Bryston just drew me into the music. Perhaps I cannot easily leave my joy for valve headphone amps and the Bryston is closer to these? Just as well I cannot easily get my hands on a Woo Audio WA22 then!

 

I can see that I will be auditioning a Bryston DAC in the not too distant future to create a great desktop setup.

post #1375 of 2308
Just wanted to say that I still can't fault this amp and usually by now after the new toy syndrome has worn I might have some negatives but it's truly brilliant . I've not even gone balanced yet as I am awaiting the Senn balanced cables to be released. Does anybody know when they will be available?!
post #1376 of 2308

the CH800S is shipping soon in Audioaffair and open for preorder, should be available soon.

post #1377 of 2308

that cable has been up for preorder on custom-cables for the past 2 months now :(

post #1378 of 2308

Is there a 3rd party alternative to this? It is mighty expensive at £250, an outrage even

post #1379 of 2308

toxic cables / moon audio etc. Plenty of cable makers with the choice for a single xlr.

post #1380 of 2308

Since it is a good amp and balance should have more power, I find some new use of my HDVD800~~~

 

It sounds much much better than my 80 dollar speaker amp for sure~~~~~~~

 

 

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