Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 115

post #1711 of 2270

Hello -

 

Can someone help me with getting a little insight into whether I should go with HDVD800 or Woo WA7 to drive a LCD-2 headphone? I will use my laptop as the source and if the difference is not much I am not looking to spend extra money.

 

Thank you.

post #1712 of 2270
Get the woo wa7. I have it . It's good get the tube upgrade . It's just as good as the hdvd800 and half the price. I will,the amp is bet then the woo . But with the LCD, s it's fine and looks better too. I have the black on black and looking to sell it. As I have too many amps. I am not saying this to sell my woo either .
post #1713 of 2270

The HDVD 800 and WA7 are quite different. One is a tube amp, the other solid state. One is also twice as expensive as the other. If you only use the LCD-2, then there's probably plenty of better alternatives than the HDVD 800. The HDVD 800 is best suited for the HD 800. It sounds just fine with the LCD-2 as well, but I still wouldn't get the HDVD 800 if you didn't have the HD 800.

post #1714 of 2270
Anyone here compared the Schitt Mjolinor with the hdvd 600 or 800 with the hd800?
post #1715 of 2270
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahkho View Post

Hello -

Can someone help me with getting a little insight into whether I should go with HDVD800 or Woo WA7 to drive a LCD-2 headphone? I will use my laptop as the source and if the difference is not much I am not looking to spend extra money.

Thank you.

I can not judge the combination HDVD800 / LCD-2, but the HDVD800 and LCD-X sing wonderfully together... even while the LCD-X is not yet fully run in (I am at about 40hrs now)...
Edited by musikaladin - 12/24/13 at 5:30am
post #1716 of 2270

The HDVD800 and WA7 are completely different and there are no similarities between the two. They are not comparable so the choice should be made according to your own preferences. The Sennheiser is the better amplifier, no doubts about that. If you are limited by budget and prefer to spend less, then your choice is clear, unless you are willing to have a look at other amplifiers as well.

 

People get carried away and say all kinds of things but unfortunately, more expensive things usually are better. Not always necessarily, certainly when DIY works are in question, but it is usually the case. One has to be careful. I never really got a reply from Woo Audio with respect to several of their amplifiers and how they were able to achieve sufficiently low impedance without compromising on distortion numbers. I never got it and so some things are pretty clear to me.  

 

I can't really say I'm a fan of Audez'e headphones but I understand why people like them.

 

There is thing to be noted of these headphones however. Among other specifications, Audez'e mentions the diaphragm excursion is 2 mm maximum and for a driver of this size, it is huge. This is also the reason why their headphones produce so much low end. Apart from the diaphragm diameter, the excursion allows for much more air to be moved. That is alsothe reason why Audez'e headphones have a somewhat "slower" and luscious presentation. It is also the rason why tgey should be more suited to current-capable amplifiers and as a general rule, tube amplifiers don't  fit in this category.

 

But as usual, they will sell you whatever you want because the customer is always right, even when he is completely wrong.

post #1717 of 2270
I think more money = better only up to a point. And that "point" is very low WRT headphone amps. I say this because headphones are, relatively speaking, ridiculously easy loads to drive and headphone amplifiers are ridiculously simple devices needing very few parts.

Audiophiles tend to think of headphone amps as mystical magical devices that take the hand of your headphones and lead them in a complex and sophisticated rythmic dance. Bull#%&@. Its an electrical device that takes an incoming signal and makes it bigger. Sure you can talk about feedback circuits and output impedance - and they will affect how the headphones respond to the amp, but thats all "circuit 101, stuff for an amplifier builder. The person designing the amp simply has to decide what the parameters will be and make it happen.

Its the consumer who has to read between the lines, separate fact from fiction, and decide which amp to buy. That consumer can choose to spend whatever amount they want, just like they choose based on looks, build quality, power ratings, intended impedance load (headphones), etc.

I have no problem with someone spending $2000 on a headphone amp. I just hope they are doing it with their eyes open to the reality of what they are getting for their money.

PS: I still have not had a chance to see or listen to the HDVD800, but for the record, I do think it is a well engineered, high quality piece. Now the WA7... Thats a different story...
Edited by palmfish - 12/29/13 at 10:11am
post #1718 of 2270

Thank you very much for the input you are providing. As I am not deep into technicality of the electronics I can only read the spec page and try to match and compare the numbers and inputs I am gathering in the forum.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by palmfish View Post
...
PS: I still have not had a chance to see or listen to the HDVD800, but for the record, I do think it is a well engineered, high quality piece. Now the WA7... Thats a different story...

 

Would you please elaborate on WA7 difference?

post #1719 of 2270
Well, this isn't really the forum to discuss the WA7, but suffice it to say that I thought it was unremarkable. It sounded like every other decent quality amp I have used. My negative opinion of it stems from its design which is geared towards fashion and the tubes which are simply a gimmick. If it was $500 I might be more generous with my opinion.

You can do worse for an amp/DAC combo, but for $1000 you can do better.
post #1720 of 2270
I've heard both and can comment.
Get a separate Dac even a dragonfly for starters.
Then I would get the hdva600 instead of the hdvd800 because the dac isn't that good. But the amp has no short comings w/ the hd800s.
The Wa7 is a great amp but I wouldn't recommend it for the 800s because it doesn't fill out that well ala bass, power etc.
If you want a tube amp I would suggest getting the Wa2 because it fills out the 800 in all areas and is a night and day difference compared to the Wa7 for $191 more.
post #1721 of 2270

I would rather take the Burson audio HA-160 with a D/A converter. I can't say I'm a fan of their amplifiers either but that would be a better choice than the Woo audio. The hassle is, I live in Europe so the prices here are different I don't know how comparable they are to the prices in the United States. For example, the HDVD800 is around 2000 Euro here and that would amound to around 2600 US dollars and I still think the Sennheiser is a better value than the Woo audio. 

 

Getting a separate D/A converter and an amplifier would amount to more than you'd be willing to spend I think and the choices are vast and not easy at all considering you are dealing with a lot more variables in your equation - one has to properly match the system.

 

Still, for your Audez'e the Musical fidelity M1 HPA (now in it's second iteration - the M1 HPAP) and their own M1 DAC would work very well. The amplifier is clean-sounding, detailed and engaging. The matching DAC is the best for the money. Again, I am talking about the prices here and Musical fidelity might cost more across the ocean. The prices here are 600 Euro for the amplifier and 400 Euro for the DAC which is an excellent value considering the performance. You would certainly get a lot more than you get with the Woo audio and the Musical fidelity DAC would be far superior to almost every other converter built into an amplifier. The factory also provides upgrades if you would later want to improve the performance further.

 

I will say that the Musical fidelity combination would outperform the Sennheiser amplifier when Audez'e are in question. No balanced connection but that should not be a deal-breaker for you at all considering single-ended connection can be just as good, without unnecessary increase in cost. You should give it a thought.

 

Cheers!

Antun


Edited by R Giskard - 12/30/13 at 8:58am
post #1722 of 2270
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

I think more money = better only up to a point. And that "point" is very low WRT headphone amps. I say this because headphones are, relatively speaking, ridiculously easy loads to drive and headphone amplifiers are ridiculously simple devices needing very few parts.

Audiophiles tend to think of headphone amps as mystical magical devices that take the hand of your headphones and lead them in a complex and sophisticated rythmic dance. Bull#%&@. Its an electrical device that takes an incoming signal and makes it bigger. Sure you can talk about feedback circuits and output impedance - and they will affect how the headphones respond to the amp, but thats all "circuit 101, stuff for an amplifier builder. The person designing the amp simply has to decide what the parameters will be and make it happen.

Its the consumer who has to read between the lines, separate fact from fiction, and decide which amp to buy. That consumer can choose to spend whatever amount they want, just like they choose based on looks, build quality, power ratings, intended impedance load (headphones), etc.

I have no problem with someone spending $2000 on a headphone amp. I just hope they are doing it with their eyes open to the reality of what they are getting for their money.

PS: I still have not had a chance to see or listen to the HDVD800, but for the record, I do think it is a well engineered, high quality piece. Now the WA7... Thats a different story...

 

 

Not necessarily true. If you want high quality headphone amplification, then the demands to get it are virtually the same as the demands for high quality phono preamplification. That means utterly low noise floor and distortion numbers and even more important is the power bandwidth linearity to ensure a flat response at any given level which is paramount if you want an amplifier that is really transparent and versatile with all kinds of loads. There are a lot more types and kinds of headphones than there are types of speakers.

 

A few components will drive something, that's true. But a few components won't make for a happy listening once you plug in your Sennheiser or AKG headphones into the amplifier. 

 

As much as I would like you to be right on the diminishing returns effect, the truth is, it depends. It depends on your ears and experience, your willingness and it depends on your headphones. The same thing applies to speakers as well. You can spend 3000 Euro on a pair of speakers and 4000 Euro on a amplifier. Then someone comes along and suggests you try a high-sensitivity pair of speakers like the Tannoy or Klipsch. They cost a little bit more but don't require a lot of power and so in the end you save a few grand by buying a smaller amplifier. It just depends.

 

I will tell you this much, our reference tube amplifier consists of more than a few parts - several dozen capacitors of various types and breeds, plenty resistors in the filter stages, two big power transformers and only three tubes. It works with zero load and it works with 2 kOhm load without clipping. Everything has it's purpose and everything has it's client.

 

One time I had a few pairs of old AKG K240 DF and Monitor headphones and I will tell  headphones were almost on the level of Sennheiser HD650 when they were properly driven. On the other hand, something like the Denon AH-D7000 never really saw any improvement with a headphone amplifier. They do not require one since they were designed to work well out of a receiver or anything the end user might have on hand.

 

I think the Sennheiser amplifier might become something of a rarity in the future. I don't know how many they sold but despite my preferences for something else, it is a fine amplifier nonetheless.

 

Cheers!

Antun

post #1723 of 2270
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Giskard View Post


Not necessarily true. If you want high quality headphone amplification, then the demands to get it are virtually the same as the demands for high quality phono preamplification. That means utterly low noise floor and distortion numbers and even more important is the power bandwidth linearity to ensure a flat response at any given level which is paramount if you want an amplifier that is really transparent and versatile with all kinds of loads. There are a lot more types and kinds of headphones than there are types of speakers.

I agree with this, but my point remains valid. You do not need to spend $2000 to get an amplifier with low noise and distortion, and sufficient power and dynamic headroom. A person might feel good about having fully discrete architecture, brushed aluminum case, and vibration dampening chasis, etc. but it isnt going to make a difference in "fidelity." As long as there is sufficient power to drive the headphones without running out of headroom and the output impedance is compatible with the load, its going to perform well.

One can use the forums here to get feedback on which amps perform well with certain headphones. Doing this, one can easily learn about affordable amps that are well designed and capable of powering a specific headphone.
post #1724 of 2270
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post


I agree with this, but my point remains valid. You do not need to spend $2000 to get an amplifier with low noise and distortion, and sufficient power and dynamic headroom. A person might feel good about having fully discrete architecture, brushed aluminum case, and vibration dampening chasis, etc. but it isnt going to make a difference in "fidelity." As long as there is sufficient power to drive the headphones without running out of headroom and the output impedance is compatible with the load, its going to perform well.

One can use the forums here to get feedback on which amps perform well with certain headphones. Doing this, one can easily learn about affordable amps that are well designed and capable of powering a specific headphone.

 

Hi!

 

Your comment is valid sure, but not universally applicable. In some situations good enough is not good enough. I will agree though that manufacturers have blurred the "high-end" arena to convince the masses that less is more. Less can never be more. More IS more. If I have to use 100 tonnes of steel to make a bridge, then I need 100 tonnes. Electrical engineering - resistance, capacitance and other measures were derived from point mechanics and laws do apply. No black magic or voodoo or indian dance necessary. 

 

But yes, one does not need to spend much to get excellent results. But it will depend on requirements, whether yours or of your equipment. 

 

The first mistake people make is spending all they have on headphones and when they later find they need three times more to complete the system, they get frustrated. For example, the HD800 is still my reference headphone and granted, they are demanding in terms of matching equipment. But if you bought them and find them too analytic or too dry and are now trying to find something to lush them up a little bit, then you made your first mistake by buying them and have now made an even bigger one by trying to convert them in something they are not.

post #1725 of 2270
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Giskard View Post

Hi!

Your comment is valid sure, but not universally applicable. In some situations good enough is not good enough. I will agree though that manufacturers have blurred the "high-end" arena to convince the masses that less is more. Less can never be more. More IS more. If I have to use 100 tonnes of steel to make a bridge, then I need 100 tonnes. Electrical engineering - resistance, capacitance and other measures were derived from point mechanics and laws do apply. No black magic or voodoo or indian dance necessary. 

But yes, one does not need to spend much to get excellent results. But it will depend on requirements, whether yours or of your equipment. 

The first mistake people make is spending all they have on headphones and when they later find they need three times more to complete the system, they get frustrated. For example, the HD800 is still my reference headphone and granted, they are demanding in terms of matching equipment. But if you bought them and find them too analytic or too dry and are now trying to find something to lush them up a little bit, then you made your first mistake by buying them and have now made an even bigger one by trying to convert them in something they are not.

Yes, exactly.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: High-end Audio Forum
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier