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Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 154

post #2296 of 2308
But in doing so you are using the DAC and amp inside the ak240. It's no longer a transport
It's not really even a pre amp out.
Regarding balance and SE I am not convinced by far one us better than the other.
It's all about topology so either is fine.
But your point of better dacs is true and easy to hear the moment they are compared

But as a desk top setup and just being for headphones I could not justify buying an Hugo or micro DSD over it.
It is the better amp. Buy a far margin. Also neither one benefits tottaly when connected to the amp of the hdvd800.
It takes the top end off a little on the Hugo making it better in some ways and worse in others.
And the micro DSD becomes dark. I am not sore why but it's much better with any other dacs I have.
post #2297 of 2308

Hi Al, I'm still considering which DAC to get to match with the HDVD800. I suppose the HDVD800 amp section is quite neutral and should match well with most DACs (not sure what happen with hugo and iDSD). Which other DACs have you tried and found the best result? If the hugo cannot benefits totally maybe I should look for other alternatives. Thanks!

Edited by coralsquare - 9/4/14 at 5:44am
post #2298 of 2308
You have to consider what you want.
An example is the ifi DSD micro. It plays most any headphone
Well is an amp and DAC separate
And it's only 500 usd. Now if you want a
Hi end amp buy the hdvd600 or as I did the hdvd 800 and listen for yourself.
Through optical it sounds fine. Just a little thin but very clean
And detail rich. And this was through optical. And you have the AK240.

Regarding what other dacs that were better were much more money.
The Hugo is over priced for sure based on what it does
It sounds very good but it should have some of the features that the ifi has.
Such as being able to use it as an amp alone
And more power than it does.
The ifi at it's price point smokies it in features
And the overall sound is very use in PCM and the ifi is far better at DSD.
So it's confusing. But as you have the ak240 and I have used it with my hdvd 800 and the Hugo it's a fine transport
To use. Great user interface and just a cool
Hope this helps you
post #2299 of 2308
Yes, one reason that I am prone to hdvd800 is because it runs balanced mode.
Ak pef11 is way too expensive... And I am not sure how it runs, since ak240 actually does not have a true line out.
post #2300 of 2308
When I did the test for you it was sweet and fine. My only remark was thin. But it's very hard to fine the detail it gives
And not be thin at this price range.
Only when I did A/B did it show some other small details. And thin can be easily EQ to around full
post #2301 of 2308
Agree that hdvd800 is a better amp by a far margin than hugo or ifi dad.
And for hd800, amp is a very important section. I will take hdvd800 I think.
Thanks Al for the suggestion and help.
I think thin is quite a nature of hd800, and cable change and go balanced mode can both somehow change its signature a bit.
Edited by stevendjm - 9/4/14 at 7:56am
post #2302 of 2308
Food for thoughts. Every combo DAC amp is optimized for that combo being inside.
So it is voiced together
Now the moment we use the amp by itself this changes the sound of both the DAC and amp. So some of this is system synergy. Take the Hugo and micro both sound better on there own
This is not an accident it's why the combo is better some times.
But the amp alone has sounded great with any other DAC but those two. About 6 other dacs.
So it's more about the combo being the issue not the hdvd800 amp.
Al other dacs had no amp just a line out.
Get my point. The Hugo and ifi are both a complete items and really should be left this way
post #2303 of 2308
But I think if you got hugo and hdvd800, you can connect both by RCA and bypass the volume control section of hugo.
In such setup, I do think it should sound better than hdvd800 or hugo combo alone.
This will be a great dac + a great amp. Isn't it ?
post #2304 of 2308
That's my point you would think so. But it's not in my opinion.
The hugo is better as a Hugo not combined with the hdvd800
post #2305 of 2308

"Über Umwege gelingt es mir, dem Entwicklungsleiter Axel Grell am Telefon einige Fragen zu stellen. So erfahre ich, dass dem nach dem HDVD 800 konstruierten HDVA 600 – nach dem Motto: Besser gehts immer! - eine andere, noch besser klingende asymmetrische Eingangsstufe spendiert wurde. Die Klangunterschiede zwischen den beiden Verstärkern sollten sich also nur über die asymmetrischen Eingänge bemerkbar machen."

According to Axel Grell (Sennheiser) the HDVD-600 has better build in asymmetric input than HDVD-800 ,on symmetrical inputs the amps should  sound the same.If you run HDVD-800 with external DAC and use rca inputs you don't get good sound .:D 

Edited by thinker - 9/9/14 at 11:20pm
post #2306 of 2308
Is this why it sounds bad with micro dsd and hugo. But if so it sounds fine with any other DAC connected weather SE or BAL. lastly is symmetrical to bal. And asymmetrical to SE ??
post #2307 of 2308
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

Is this why it sounds bad with micro dsd and hugo.YES But if so it sounds fine with any other DAC connected weather SE or BAL. lastly is symmetrical to bal.YES And asymmetrical to SE YES??

Don't use unbalanced external Dac with HDVD-800 it sounds bad according to Axel this is also my findings.I had HDVD-800 sold it ,bought again balanced Dac and HDVD-600 and it sounds wonderful.

post #2308 of 2308

I would just like to say that I think HDVA600 is the perfect amp for HD800. I am running hi-res files (mostly 24/192 live rock recordings at the moment) > Benchmark DAC2 HGC > XLR out > HDVA600 > Cardas Clear 4-pin balanced > HD800. I have had the rig for about 2-3 weeks with only intermittent use (no systematic burn in carried out yet) and already the sound is simply phenomenal - I am really very excited in that the sound will only get even better with time. Amazing features - the bass and drums are absolutely incredible (I A/B'd against LCD-3 pre-fazor and preferred HD800), soundstage depth/width (of course), dynamics, transients - just wow. If you already own HD800 and are on the fence about HDVA600/HDVD800 - don't hesitate. 

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