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Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 118

post #1756 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

If you hurry up and place enough orders, they won't go bankrupt. You getting a Stax SR-009?


Not sure I can get the SR-009 since my budget is only 6000, the system cost is much more than that.

Maybe a second hand 007 or 007MKII with a the STAX amps.

 

I do want the Amp Three or blue Hawaii compare to stock STAX amp though.

 

Then, I think getting a DAC2 + GS-X with LCD3 or the new AKG makes more sense economically~~~

 

Well, it is all on planning page still~~~~

post #1757 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHell View Post
 


Not sure I can get the SR-009 since my budget is only 6000, the system cost is much more than that.

Maybe a second hand 007 or 007MKII with a the STAX amps.

 

I do want the Amp Three or blue Hawaii compare to stock STAX amp though.

 

Then, I think getting a DAC2 + GS-X with LCD3 or the new AKG makes more sense economically~~~

 

Well, it is all on planning page still~~~~

Curious, do you need and use either the firewire and or high bitrate features of the DAC2?

post #1758 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

Curious, do you need and use either the firewire and or high bitrate features of the DAC2?


I have not got the DAC2 yet. But mostly, I need the outputs. I do have an RPX-35 and HDVD800. I am also getting a SACD player from OPPO, the BDP-95. So, I need those. For what i can understand, most of digital signal can be handled by a good set of asynchronous USB 2.0 controller. Not sure how much improvement will come to the fire wire for digital signal. It all depends on how well they implement the controller. As for digital signal itself, they are pretty robust to noise.

 

As for high bit-rate, I only have 24bit 192k musics and some DSDs from my SACDs (which I believe only 2 of them from the Blueray Audios have 32bit format). The higher sampling rates gives you a  wider sampling frequency. Normally you will see 44.1K which in real life samples from 0-22K which is the limit of human hearing range. Anything beyond that will be "ultrasonic"  range and people cannot hear them. However, the reason many people still willing to go higher is because they want those information to be present to show  the higher order harmonics of a sound that normally revivals the emotional information of the sounds. (You also need them to tell the difference of a violin and a piano that is playing the same note). Also, most of the high end headphones has a FR of 4-40K, so there is that.

 

The more bits you have to a given sampling frequency gives you more levels for the analog signal hence provides a wider and more accurate dynamic range.  So,  a normal 24/192 music will have a total transfer rate of 5000+Kbps which requires a pretty strong chip + digital interface to handle. I think the 32 bit is a marketing thing from Benchmark, but it is still better to have a faster chip compare to a slower one for sure. As for how much improvement it makes to the sound, I have no idea.


Edited by AlanHell - 1/2/14 at 12:27pm
post #1759 of 2308

Thought I would add my experience with an HDVD 600. I have not read through the entire thread so it is possible somebody has already posted a similar experience/comparison.

 

It is not a positive one.

 

I first heard the HDVD in April 2013 when we had the Head-fi get together in London. Sennheiser was one of the sponsors and they introduced the HDVD amps. Axel Grell, the chief designer of the HDVD, flow in from Germany which was nice. Sennheiser also had a real Orpheus with them and that was something!

 

I brought my Graham Slee Solo Ultralinear (with external PSU) and compared it with the HDVD on my own HD 800. The first impressions were not bad, but frankly the Sennheiser did not seem to outperform the Graham Slee at half the price. I used Sennheiser's music and and source (forget which one). 

 

Not much later in May I went to Munich High End Show (by far the best show in Europe, been going there for years) and once again was acquainted with the Sennheiser amps. I also tried others such as Bakoon, SPL,  Auralic Taurus et al (only the Bakoon for the first time). Show conditions with other people's music are not always ideal. But again I was not fully impressed by Sennheiser. And I really wanted to like the Sennheiser - it is great looking and theoretically made for measure for my headphones. 

 

After listening to the Sennheiser and the Auralic again on separate occasions I decided I could not commit to buying the Sennheiser without auditioning against the c. 20% more expensive Auralic Taurus.

 

I was lucky enough that a dealer in London around the corner from my flat which carries Sennheiser was kind enough to willingly arrange for a Taurus vs Sennheiser head to head in their premises. The source was an expensive Nagra CD - so that was never going to be the weakest link.

 

Extended time with my music allowed me to quickly come to the conclusion that I wanted to avoid. The Auralic simply smoked the Sennheiser. Not only that, but clearly (to my ears of course), the Sennheiser was simply not good enough. It is not just that the tone, soundstage et al of Auralic was better. The Sennheiser actually seemed a tad incompetent. Shocking for someone like me who has been buying Sennheiser products (albeit headphones) for so many years. One of the albums that I recall listening was Pink Floyd's well known Dark Side of the Moon. The Sennheiser actually struggles with separation and detail when the chorus of tracks such as Us and Them or Brain Damage kicks in.

 

I bought the Auralic. Are there better amps for the HD 800 that the Taurus? Probably. But it is not the HDVD 600. Is the HDVD 600 a good amp? I don't think so at the price. 

 

The HDVD 800 has the brand and the looks. But not the performance.

 

For those who bought the HDVD 600 (I did not test the DAC in the HDVD 800 since I only use quality DACs for listening) I think you are NOT listening to anything close to HD 800's potential. Not by a long shot. For those thinking about buying one, I would recommend listening to other amps. I recommend the Taurus, other recommend valves.

post #1760 of 2308

For the record, the Auralic Taurus is more powerful than the Sennheiser HDVD 600. I did not level match them scientifically. But I raised the volume on the Sennheiser to HDVD 600 sufficiently to be pleased that it was not just a question of difference in volume. In fact, raising the volume just highlighted just how less capable the Sennheiser HDVD 600 was with regards to the Auralic Taurus.

post #1761 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHell View Post
 


I have not got the DAC2 yet. But mostly, I need the outputs. I do have an RPX-35 and HDVD800. I am also getting a SACD player from OPPO, the BDP-95. So, I need those. For what i can understand, most of digital signal can be handled by a good set of asynchronous USB 2.0 controller. Not sure how much improvement will come to the fire wire for digital signal. It all depends on how well they implement the controller. As for digital signal itself, they are pretty robust to noise.

 

As for high bit-rate, I only have 24bit 192k musics and some DSDs from my SACDs (which I believe only 2 of them from the Blueray Audios have 32bit format). The higher sampling rates gives you a  wider sampling frequency. Normally you will see 44.1K which in real life samples from 0-22K which is the limit of human hearing range. Anything beyond that will be "ultrasonic"  range and people cannot hear them. However, the reason many people still willing to go higher is because they want those information to be present to show  the higher order harmonics of a sound that normally revivals the emotional information of the sounds. (You also need them to tell the difference of a violin and a piano that is playing the same note). Also, most of the high end headphones has a FR of 4-40K, so there is that.

 

The more bits you have to a given sampling frequency gives you more levels for the analog signal hence provides a wider and more accurate dynamic range.  So,  a normal 24/192 music will have a total transfer rate of 5000+Kbps which requires a pretty strong chip + digital interface to handle. I think the 32 bit is a marketing thing from Benchmark, but it is still better to have a faster chip compare to a slower one for sure. As for how much improvement it makes to the sound, I have no idea.

As far as bit resolution or bit rate there is a point where human beings fall behind the test equipment and beyond that point, someone just makes money. 24 bits is over 16 million points of resolution/quantization.

Higher order harmonics that are beyond human hearing will not be detectable by humans. Going to much beyond nyquist has no real benefits. After all, we are not bats as the marketing departments would have us believe.

post #1762 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Pedro View Post
 

For the record, the Auralic Taurus is more powerful than the Sennheiser HDVD 600. I did not level match them scientifically. But I raised the volume on the Sennheiser to HDVD 600 sufficiently to be pleased that it was not just a question of difference in volume. In fact, raising the volume just highlighted just how less capable the Sennheiser HDVD 600 was with regards to the Auralic Taurus.

I find it a bit odd that Sennheiser doesn't publish much in the way of specs, none for power, for either of the HDVD products.

post #1763 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

I find it a bit odd that Sennheiser doesn't publish much in the way of specs, none for power, for either of the HDVD products.

Hmm true. Had not noticed that. It is not all about power, but the Auralic in balanced mode (which is how I run it) pumps an impressive 2000mW into the 300 ohm HD 800. The Sennheiser was nowhere near as powerful.

post #1764 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Pedro View Post
 

Hmm true. Had not noticed that. It is not all about power, but the Auralic in balanced mode (which is how I run it) pumps an impressive 2000mW into the 300 ohm HD 800. The Sennheiser was nowhere near as powerful.

I'd be careful as Sennheiser states that the HD800 has a "Max. nominal long-term input power of 500 mW." I'd suspect that our ears would cry first.

post #1765 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post

I'd be careful as Sennheiser states that the HD800 has a "Max. nominal long-term input power of 500 mW." I'd suspect that our ears would cry first.

Sennheiser also bakes bullschitt cookies! I've run my HD-800 from a 100w speaker amp for going-on two years and the sound has been phenomenal. NO noise, NO blown ears or headphone, NOTHING but pure pleasure. Why this works? Frankly, I don't know and don't care. Listening to this combo as I type.

Two-grand for a headphone amp? Sure! When I start snorting cocoa puffs while hooked to an IV bag of rhino tranquilizer.
Edited by Mambosenior - 1/2/14 at 5:53pm
post #1766 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambosenior View Post


Sennheiser also bakes bullschitt cookies! I've run my HD-800 from a 100w speaker amp for going-on two years and the sound has been phenomenal. NO noise, NO blown ears or headphone, NOTHING but pure pleasure. Why this works? Frankly, I don't know and don't care. Listening to this combo as I type.

Two-grand for a headphone amp? Sure! When I start snorting cocoa puffs while hooked to an IV bag of rhino tranquilizer.

If you're hanging those cans off the speaker taps and not the headphone jack, turning it up all the way will be bad for your cocoa puffs.:D I tried their amps and thought that there was nothing special about them other than their inflated price and nice looking enclosure. They should stick to making cans.

post #1767 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

If you're hanging those cans off the speaker taps and not the headphone jack, turning it up all the way will be bad for your cocoa puffs.:D I tried their amps and thought that there was nothing special about them other than their inflated price and nice looking enclosure. They should stick to making cans.


But I will pay more for a premium look, cooler design, and impedance matching. It is actually very cold compare to my other class A amp so I guess it might be a class D.

 

For a 2000 dollar balance DAC+ amp, it is actually not that expensive. It is actually the cheapest combo I can find on market that sounds good. I prefer integrated DAC so the signal path can be shorter and cleaner. 

 

Not to say that it sound the best, I am happy about the amp's resolution. DAC, not so much.

However, due to the low quality of DAC, it does put less stress on the high frequency and more emphasize to the low end. Which makes the HD800 perform quiet well on low quality pop musics itunes provide.

 

P.S.

I think sennheiser has the technology backbone of making good amps. The HE90 combo still have very important roll in the history of headfi. I admit when I first heard of the HDVD800, I am a bit disappointed about the DAC. But, if you look at the amp alone, I think nothing in the 1600 dollar price range can make the HD800 sounds as good.

post #1768 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHell View Post
 


But I will pay more for a premium look, cooler design, and impedance matching. It is actually very cold compare to my other class A amp so I guess it might be a class D.

You wouldn't take that thought about "I will pay more for a premium look" so far as to buy Beats, would you? :D

 

For a 2000 dollar balance DAC+ amp, it is actually not that expensive. It is actually the cheapest combo I can find on market that sounds good. I prefer integrated DAC so the signal path can be shorter and cleaner. 

I seriously doubt that a few inches of interconnect would cause any issues. I still don't think it's worth the price, however, if you like it that's what counts for you.

 

Not to say that it sound the best, I am happy about the amp's resolution. DAC, not so much.

However, due to the low quality of DAC, it does put less stress on the high frequency and more emphasize to the low end. Which makes the HD800 perform quiet well on low quality pop musics itunes provide

But then you compromise what can be gotten from quality recording. I personally am not put off by the HD800's treble, the HD700's excessive treble does bother me.

 

P.S.

I think sennheiser has the technology backbone of making good amps. The HE90 combo still have very important roll in the history of headfi. I admit when I first heard of the HDVD800, I am a bit disappointed about the DAC. But, if you look at the amp alone, I think nothing in the 1600 dollar price range can make the HD800 sounds as good.

I think that there are plenty of amps in the price category or for less $$$ that are just fine with the HD800, they're great cans.

post #1769 of 2308

Hi Pedro and Head fi,

this is my first post after a few months I'm following this forum, and I wanted to share my experience as it was really similar to Pedor's one, actually I'm sure we went to the same shop in London, to try the hdvd 800.

Long story short, I was surprised how bad was the sound of the hdvd 800 compared to the taurus (tried with hd800, hd700 and dt770), so much that I couldn't believe how good was my beyer a1 and even my old asgard 2 compared to this expensive piece of equipment. Still, the difference was so huge that I thought that maybe there was something wrong with the shop set up. I bought the hdva 600 and I connected it to my dac: well it wasn't anything like what I listened at the shop, at the point that I sold my beyer immediately after, and I'm now a pretty happy hdva 600 owner. To be honest I'm not "completely" happy though, my unit has some unbalance on the very low volumes (left side louder) and I think that a top of the line should be just technically perfect, still it's a good product.

 

T.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speedy Pedro View Post
 

Thought I would add my experience with an HDVD 600. I have not read through the entire thread so it is possible somebody has already posted a similar experience/comparison.

 

It is not a positive one.

 

I first heard the HDVD in April 2013 when we had the Head-fi get together in London. Sennheiser was one of the sponsors and they introduced the HDVD amps. Axel Grell, the chief designer of the HDVD, flow in from Germany which was nice. Sennheiser also had a real Orpheus with them and that was something!

 

I brought my Graham Slee Solo Ultralinear (with external PSU) and compared it with the HDVD on my own HD 800. The first impressions were not bad, but frankly the Sennheiser did not seem to outperform the Graham Slee at half the price. I used Sennheiser's music and and source (forget which one). 

 

Not much later in May I went to Munich High End Show (by far the best show in Europe, been going there for years) and once again was acquainted with the Sennheiser amps. I also tried others such as Bakoon, SPL,  Auralic Taurus et al (only the Bakoon for the first time). Show conditions with other people's music are not always ideal. But again I was not fully impressed by Sennheiser. And I really wanted to like the Sennheiser - it is great looking and theoretically made for measure for my headphones. 

 

After listening to the Sennheiser and the Auralic again on separate occasions I decided I could not commit to buying the Sennheiser without auditioning against the c. 20% more expensive Auralic Taurus.

 

I was lucky enough that a dealer in London around the corner from my flat which carries Sennheiser was kind enough to willingly arrange for a Taurus vs Sennheiser head to head in their premises. The source was an expensive Nagra CD - so that was never going to be the weakest link.

 

Extended time with my music allowed me to quickly come to the conclusion that I wanted to avoid. The Auralic simply smoked the Sennheiser. Not only that, but clearly (to my ears of course), the Sennheiser was simply not good enough. It is not just that the tone, soundstage et al of Auralic was better. The Sennheiser actually seemed a tad incompetent. Shocking for someone like me who has been buying Sennheiser products (albeit headphones) for so many years. One of the albums that I recall listening was Pink Floyd's well known Dark Side of the Moon. The Sennheiser actually struggles with separation and detail when the chorus of tracks such as Us and Them or Brain Damage kicks in.

 

I bought the Auralic. Are there better amps for the HD 800 that the Taurus? Probably. But it is not the HDVD 600. Is the HDVD 600 a good amp? I don't think so at the price. 

 

The HDVD 800 has the brand and the looks. But not the performance.

 

For those who bought the HDVD 600 (I did not test the DAC in the HDVD 800 since I only use quality DACs for listening) I think you are NOT listening to anything close to HD 800's potential. Not by a long shot. For those thinking about buying one, I would recommend listening to other amps. I recommend the Taurus, other recommend valves.

post #1770 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
You wouldn't take that thought about "I will pay more for a premium look" so far as to buy Beats, would you? :D

 

Beats? Pfff, I bought TH600 for the look.

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