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Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 98

post #1456 of 2070

I dont see the balanced cable on the official website. Would you be so kind and link me? Thanks!


Edited by stasaki90 - 8/31/13 at 6:11am
post #1457 of 2070
Where can u buy it in the US?
post #1458 of 2070

Just letting you guys know, I have a spare HDVD 800 for sale.. feel free to check out my thread and shoot me a pm!

post #1459 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethatsound View Post

after listening 2 the balance Cable 4 about 4 days,there's no doubt in my mind,that ur getting a very big jump in sound quality.this is headphone heaven,the final piece of the puzzle.if u own the hdvd 800 and the hd800s,I can say,buying the CH 800S balance cable is a must,be prepared 2 be amazed.

As I pointed out earlier, buying an HDVD800 and using it single ended is really a waste in a couple of ways:

 

1) Nearly half of all those expensive audiophile grade components in the box are not being used. If they had built the HDVD800 as a single-ended device only with all those redundant componenets missing, It probably would have only cost half the price basshead.gif (well that analogy is a little silly in some ways but I'm using it just the same to make a point)

 

2) When Sennheiser designed the HDVD800, it was specifically tuned for the HD800, and for low noise and distortion they chose a fully balanced configuration outputting signal at a power level that can be considered "adaquate" plus some extra for headroom. When you plug into the single ended output, you throw away 75% of that power (i.e., your maximum output voltage level is cut in half)!

 

There are other related issues that I cannot confirm as I do not know specifics of how they engineered the circuitry of the HDVD800. For example, when you plug into the unbalanced jack, the return signal is PROBABLY re-routed to run through the power supply commons and the chassis itself (normally they are isolated from the actual signal in a balanced configuration. This would allow some of  the output signal to get into the power supply in a way that can then affect the quality of the sound being generated. Normally in a balanced configuration the two voltage rails of the supply are running opposite each other, so the net impact of adding a signal to the amp is zero since any signal on the rails cancel each other. If you were building a typical single ended amp, the power supply would only need one section (instead of two), but would likely also have extra circuitry (e.g., larger components) built in to better handle this signal coupling issue. This extra "durability" in the power supply would not have been built in to the HDVD800 since it was intended to run in balanced mode where it wasn't necessary.

 

So when you run an HDVD800 in single ended mode you get:

a) an under powered amp

b) a non-optimised power supply relative to signal filtering

c) a whole box of very expensive components, a large portion of which are not being used

 

In short: lower quality sound and higher cost. The HDVD800 was DESIGNED to run full balanced. Anything else is compromise.

 

- Jeff


Edited by wisemanja - 8/31/13 at 10:58am
post #1460 of 2070
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethatsound View Post

after listening 2 the balance Cable 4 about 4 days,there's no doubt in my mind,that ur getting a very big jump in sound quality.this is headphone heaven,the final piece of the puzzle.if u own the hdvd 800 and the hd800s,I can say,buying the CH 800S balance cable is a must,be prepared 2 be amazed.

I agree 100% I'd say roughly 30-40% increase in performance. Sennheiser are quoting long lead times (no pun intended) on the next batch.
Edited by PhilW - 8/31/13 at 2:03pm
post #1461 of 2070

well at least they will still be shorter than some cable makers for 800 balanced cables, I am currently in week 26 for my new balanced 800 cable.
 

post #1462 of 2070
Anyone know if the senn balanced cable for the HD650 has been released yet?
post #1463 of 2070
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by James-uk View Post

Anyone know if the senn balanced cable for the HD650 has been released yet?

Not yet, still awaiting for HD700 too.
post #1464 of 2070

Hi guys - 

For those of you that have heard - and if it has already been mentioned in this thread, my apologies for not finding it - how do you think the bass of the HD 800 is affected by the HDVD 800 and the balanced cable?

 

Thank you.

post #1465 of 2070
Thread Starter 

 

Let the side by side demo's commence heheh!!!

 

:D

post #1466 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilW View Post




Let the side by side demo's commence heheh!!!

biggrin.gif


Ooh - you know how to tease wink.gif

Get the kettle on...

smily_headphones1.gif
post #1467 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windsor View Post

Hi guys - 

For those of you that have heard - and if it has already been mentioned in this thread, my apologies for not finding it - how do you think the bass of the HD 800 is affected by the HDVD 800 and the balanced cable?

 

Thank you.

The hdvd800 gave the best bass I ever heard on my hd800s. I only heard it in balanced mode.Very solid strong bass bass bass

post #1468 of 2070
After seeing a post from Phil at Custom Cable earlier today I felt excited at the prospect of hearing the HD 800 and the HDVD 800 with the official Sennheiser balanced cable again, and living nearby enough, I decided to travel to Custom Cable and have a listen. I had heard the above combo at the London head-fi meet a few months ago and it was clear to me that the HDVD 800 was a beautiful-sounding complement to the HD 800. When I heard the combo at London head-fi meet the surroundings were a bit noisy and not ideal for close listening, and I welcomed this opportunity of hearing the combo in a quieter environment. 
 
The HDVD 800 and the HD 800 headphone cables
The subject of cables has been a topic of much debate on head-fi and other forums and I attest to having definitely heard a difference whenever I have changed and compared headphone cables. But have never heard such clearly cable-induced sonic differences as when switching between the official stock and balanced HD 800 cables.
 
When I got to the Custom Cable listening room, the first thing I tried was the HDVD 800 with the stock HD 800 cable. I immediately found there to be very satisfying bass impact, much more than I have experienced with the HD 800 when using it with the variety of DACs and amps I have previously tried. There and then my criticism of the HD 800 having weak bass was nullified. The HDVD 800 does an excellent job of enhancing the HD 800's bass performance and many head-fiers will likely find the HDVD 800 worth the price of admission just for that. To my ears today, the enhanced bass never smudged other areas of the HD 800's frequency output, unlike other amps I have tried - the HDVD 800 provided power and facilitated clarity in all areas of the frequency spectrum.
 
Switching to the balanced cable with the coax-fed HDVD 800 it was immediately apparent that at the same volume level, there was more power and sonic impact than with the stock cable. The balanced cable seemed to contribute some warmth to the HD 800's sound, though the sound was still very clear. With the balanced cable the treble still sounded slightly hot and brighter than is natural to my ears, so I switched back to the stock cable again.
 
The stock cable I tried provided less emphasis on the treble and a warmer sound but that was probably in part due to the balanced cable being brand new and straight out the box today. As I continued to listen and compare both cables, it became evident that the balanced cable provided a much clearer window into recordings and got out the way of the music much more than the stock cable, which by the end of my listening session started to sound more congested than the openness and purity of the sound when listening with the balanced cable.
 
Compared to the stock HD 800 cable, the balanced cable noticeably increases the soundstage of the HD 800. The width and height of the soundstage is clearly expanded and the central focus of the stereo image is much fuller and more impactful. To my ears, switching from the stock cable to the balanced cable was like that magic moment of finding the sweet spot of speaker positioning and being situated more in the centre of the stereo image.
 
My dominant impression at the time of writing this is that with the HDVD 800 and balanced cable, the HD 800 retains it's sheer technical brilliance and features a pleasing warmth that doesn't obscure the HD 800's transparency. Overall, the HDVD 800 and balanced cable enhances the sound of the HD 800 in a very positive way indeed.
 
Listening with a range of recordings from R&B, hip-hop, and pop/rock to classical and jazz, the HDVD 800 and the HD 800 with the balanced cable combo sounded like a winning combination and one I found immensely enjoyable, despite the quality of the recording, which I have never found experienced with the HD 800.
 
As an example, as I listened to Donald Fagen's Nightfly album, a meticulously engineered album that I have found too bright and thin-sounding and often not very fun to listen to with the HD 800, the HDVD800 provided the weightiest and warmest sound that I have so far heard when listening this album with the HD 800. I could still hear that the recording was quite bright, but the overall experience was very enjoyable.
 
During my hour or so listening with the HDVD 800, and the HD 800 in balanced mode, my attempts to scrutinise the sonics appeared, but I found myself laughing them off in favour of relishing how beautifully impressive the music sounded as it directly touched my soul, as if being gracefully delivered to my ears on a red carpet and with perfection. 
 
This is probably the best sounding head-fi rig I have ever heard. Sure, the Orpheus may top it, but if that was so, I'm not sure the the performance increase of the Orpheus would be preferable relative to how much it would cost someone to buy one (if they could find one) and how easy it is to maintain and/or fix the HDVD 800 or HD 800 should that be required. 
 
On the subject of other rigs, I had the chance to see the Stax SR-009 for the first time but was unable to try it since the power supply was out on loan. I'm sure the 009 sounds great with the right DAC and amp, but for something that would cost twice the price of the HD 800/HDVD 800, I'm not sure that the extra money would be worth it. Similarly, I heard a story of a customer who wanted to buy the 009 but decided to opt for the Sennheiser HD 800 and HDVD with the balanced cable when he heard it.
 
Summary
The HDVD 800 with the HD 800 and the official Sennheiser balanced cable is a rig I can sit back and listen with, and I love that there's no tweaking nor modifications required for the music to sing beautifully. The synergy of the HDVD 800 and balanced cable sounds perfect and the combo presents the music with purity and allows the listener to hear exactly what's on the recording in a very enjoyable way.
 
Is the HD 800 and the HDVD 800 with the balanced cable headphone Nirvana? 
 
I know so. 

 

 


Edited by Windsor - 9/2/13 at 2:00pm
post #1469 of 2070

"Switching to the balanced cable with the coax-fed HDVD 800 it was immediately apparent that at the same volume level, there was more power and sonic impact than with the stock cable."

 

How do you know the volume was the same?

post #1470 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

"Switching to the balanced cable with the coax-fed HDVD 800 it was immediately apparent that at the same volume level, there was more power and sonic impact than with the stock cable."

 

How do you know the volume was the same?

 

With the same source I used the stock cable and then switched to the balanced cable without changing the volume control of the HDVD 800.

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