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Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 122

post #1816 of 2865
People like these that thought lossless would sound better. Read the subjective impressions and then refer to the blind objective results. It's interesting .
http://archimago.blogspot.ca/2013/02/high-bitrate-mp3-internet-blind-test_3422.html?m=1
post #1817 of 2865
I get it , I really do. I enjoy buying new equipment too. I really want a benchmark dac1 because I know that it measures beautifully and it exceeds any of the criteria I keep banging on about. It will be a superior dac to anything I own but the sad truth is that is will sound the same. Of course if I payed all that money for it I would convince myself and others that it sounded superior . Of course I can hear the difference between 0.002 thd+noise and 0.0009 thd+noise!!!!
post #1818 of 2865
Quote:
Originally Posted by driggs View Post
 


Have you compared the HDVD with the Burson Conductor at all by any chance with the HD800's?

Yes, as a matter of fact and the conclusion is interesting. I still maintain that HDVA600 (and HDVD800) are good amplifiers. It is perhaps the DAC in the HDVD800 that is slightly lacking, even though it is not critical, behind the amplifier section. The Burson amplifier is not as transparent or as assertive in it's presentation and that is what bothers me with Burson somewhat and just the Conductor model. I lacks some brutality and attitude which to be politically correct, means it lacks some dynamic attack. The Sennheiser is better in that respect. However, I will say that the Burson built-in DAC is slightly more resolving and dynamic even though not by much. With HD800, the HDVD800 would be a better choice. 

 

Even if there are better choices out there, something better would also be more expensive.

post #1819 of 2865
I thought burson used the same Burr Brown dac that's in the sennheiser? Now I know implementation is important but assuming both these highly regarded manufacturers didn't **** that up then it's safe to say the dacs will be the same in both?
post #1820 of 2865
Sorry just realised they use a sabre dac now . I know they used to use Burr Brown.
post #1821 of 2865
Quote:
Originally Posted by James-uk View Post

I get it , I really do. I enjoy buying new equipment too. I really want a benchmark dac1 because I know that it measures beautifully and it exceeds any of the criteria I keep banging on about. It will be a superior dac to anything I own but the sad truth is that is will sound the same. Of course if I payed all that money for it I would convince myself and others that it sounded superior . Of course I can hear the difference between 0.002 thd+noise and 0.0009 thd+noise!!!!

James, let me ask you this - do you think a specification can indicate whether you are listening to an actual piano or a sample-based instrument (a synthesizer)? 

 

In connection with that, do you think natural characteristics of, say a violin, can be represented with a number? Do you think natural tone, tonality or timbre of an instrument or a voice can be measured in a way to dscriminate what sounds exactly like the real instrument or voice and what doesn't? 

 

Do you think I would use a 4000 Euro A/D-D/A for mastering if  something that cost less sounded as good? Specifications are good indicators but that is everything they are - indicators. 

 

I would love you to be right because then everyone would have a fantastic machine at an affordable price. Unfortunately, and like in all engineering fields, it doesn't work like that.

 

I will, however, agree that thanks to BS marketing it is now a consensus that everyone can make excellent quality electronics. OEM industry has allowed for fast acquisition of technology but knowledge, as always, is harder to obtain and it doesn't come with instructions. This is the place where difference between engineering and out-sourcing lies. I will also say that many, many manufacturers lie when quoting specifications. Industrial norms are often avoided and manufacturers "freelance" and measure their electronics according to their own standards which have nothing to do with anything and make comparisons to equipment from other manufacturers impossible. Even worse than that, an honest manufacturer might appear to have an inferior product compared to these freelancers, when in reality, it might not be the case at all. Of course, it is no structural engineering so no one gets killed if a building falls down but it is a lie nonetheless. A large majority of Chinese manufacturers do this and also some US and EU -based manufacturers but China definitely takes precedence in this travesty. I don't even consider anything that has to do with manufacturing in mainland China or Hong Kong. There are plenty good good quality and honest manufacturing in the western world.

 

Sorry for the long post!

 

Cheers!

Antun

post #1822 of 2865
I think the main thing we all need to remember is we are not listening to real instruments on any equipment. We are listening to the recorded version of them instruments which is a compromise to start with. The only thing we need to worry about as consumers is transparency, and that is easily achieved now. Digital recording means we can capture sound transparently also . The sound engineer/producer then have to master/mix the sounds captured to sound best on speakers . Speakers or headphones are only capable of producing an illusion of the performance. Our ears and brain need to be convinced by this illusion .no amp or dac can make this illusion any better once it's past the transparency criteria . It sounds the same as it did as the engineer played it back through his equipment that he captured it on. It's as simple as that.
post #1823 of 2865
Basically I know I'm hearing exactly what was mastered in the studio. This is something we can all hear for an affordable price. We live in that world. I'm happy about this. So should you smily_headphones1.gif
post #1824 of 2865
Quote:
Originally Posted by James-uk View Post

I think the main thing we all need to remember is we are not listening to real instruments on any equipment. We are listening to the recorded version of them instruments which is a compromise to start with. The only thing we need to worry about as consumers is transparency, and that is easily achieved now. Digital recording means we can capture sound transparently also . The sound engineer/producer then have to master/mix the sounds captured to sound best on speakers . Speakers or headphones are only capable of producing an illusion of the performance. Our ears and brain need to be convinced by this illusion .no amp or dac can make this illusion any better once it's past the transparency criteria . It sounds the same as it did as the engineer played it back through his equipment that he captured it on. It's as simple as that.

I don't agree with you on any particular point. 

 

Oh well, doesn't matter. Enjoy the music!

 

Cheers mate!

Antun


Edited by R Giskard - 1/16/14 at 10:27am
post #1825 of 2865

So in your opinion, as owners of the hdva600/800, how much marketing we have paid and how much quality instead?

post #1826 of 2865
Quote:
Originally Posted by thomascrown View Post
 

So in your opinion, as owners of the hdva600/800, how much marketing we have paid and how much quality instead?

I think you are getting quality for your money. Perhaps not the best but certainly well above what I would consider average and in the average category I'd put many things people think  highly of. So yeah, Sennheiser offers an attractive package.

post #1827 of 2865
This isn't the 1980s . Transparent equipment is affordable. The audio companies know this but if we knew it we would all just but an O2/odac and be done right? . It's up to you what you want to believe, science or the audio companies marketing? i could by lots if amps/dacs that sound the same for various prices. I brought the hdvd800 because it looks nice next to my mac and with my hd800s. It's transparent but this is 2014 so I take that for granted.
post #1828 of 2865
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHell View Post


well,I think the DAC is good for the money. For what it performs, $400 dollar is a bargain price. 
However compare to the level of the amp, it is just not there.
Any decent sub $1000 DAC can blow the on board DAC away with details and dynamics.
For people that  is going for the level of this amp, the DAC they are expecting is much more than just "good for the price".  With $1600 spend on the amp, it makes no sense  to power it with some "OK" DAC. That will be a big waste of money. People rather go with a DAC + AMP combo that matches in performance and cost much less.
However, that is not how we roll on headfi isn't it? :P
I own a few dac's - down from the m2tech evo dac up to the mark levison 390s - and they all sound different ( of cause James-Uk would not belief that). So yes, you can get more detail, more dynamic, more bass or what ever for let's say sub $ 1000. But more and more and more isn't allways a good choice for the HD 800. So when i combine the HDVD with a better, for example higher resolving dac, after a while its to stressy and i step back to the build in dac. So in the end for me the limitations of the build in dac are a kind of antidote for the "exaggerations" of the headphone.
post #1829 of 2865
Quote:
Originally Posted by James-uk View Post

This isn't the 1980s . Transparent equipment is affordable. The audio companies know this but if we knew it we would all just but an O2/odac and be done right? . It's up to you what you want to believe, science or the audio companies marketing? i could by lots if amps/dacs that sound the same for various prices. I brought the hdvd800 because it looks nice next to my mac and with my hd800s. It's transparent but this is 2014 so I take that for granted.


I've bought a couple of days ago an odac, after reading the reviews and the designer blog, expecting at least to not hear any difference between that and the hrt I already own. Now, what I did was, odac connected to the amp rca input, and hrt to the xlr input. Switching between the two while playing, I was surprised how similar they were, but what I heard wasn't the same. Now let me specify that, to me, there is absolutely no difference between xlr and rca, when the signal is coming from the same dac, so it's not the cable affecting the music quality. What I heard was a more spacious and wide sound from the hrt with more defined bass, while the odac was very similar but I couldn't hear the same separation and the bass were less pronounced (English isn't my first language so please forgive my poor word choice). Now, that said, I think the odac it's really good for the price, but between the two I preferred the hrt.


Edited by thomascrown - 1/16/14 at 11:31am
post #1830 of 2865
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blink66 View Post


I own a few dac's - down from the m2tech evo dac up to the mark levison 390s - and they all sound different ( of cause James-Uk would not belief that). So yes, you can get more detail, more dynamic, more bass or what ever for let's say sub $ 1000. But more and more and more isn't allways a good choice for the HD 800. So when i combine the HDVD with a better, for example higher resolving dac, after a while its to stressy and i step back to the build in dac. So in the end for me the limitations of the build in dac are a kind of antidote for the "exaggerations" of the headphone.


It is true that the measurement of how good a DAC is will eventually become a personal preference. There is no "better" or "worse" sound in terms of the sound signature.

 

For me, I actually do not want my gear to carry any extra "character". I do not want my DAC or amp to produce any "warmness" or "coldness" by itself. I want them to be as faithful to the original recording as possible. Meaning they should be "FLAT" in terms of frequency response.

 

Hence, I think the lack of detail and dynamic is a result of inferior performance on the DAC side. Due to the lack of resolution, the HDVD800 presents compressed sound stage, added weight to the bass and the slightly roll off on the treble. The compressed sound stage and rolled off treble are some evidences for lower resolution. Personally I do not think Sennheiser want it to be sounded less detailed at all . It might made pop and rock sound much better, but it also made some very realistic good recordings sound fake.

 

I guess I am just the kind of guy that rather spend time to hunt for good recordings other than "matched" equipments.  For me, if the equipments is what they truly claimed, high fidelity. Then, they should all sound similar with the same recording. I bet the sonic differences between two $10K+ equipment will be much much less than what you can find for under $200.

 

It is just some personal views. It is like SS amp lovers V.S. tube lovers. We are all just music lovers~


Edited by AlanHell - 1/16/14 at 1:07pm
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