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Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 161

post #2401 of 2415

Hello All,

 

I plan to purchase the HDVA 600 amp to drive my new HD800 cans.  I also plan to drive my low-impedance Audeze X/XC cans with this amp.  I have heard (especially from alrainbow :-)) that the Senn amp drives the Audeze cans very well.  Looking forward to my (mid-December) experience.

 

Now for an interconnect question.  Consider the setup:  MacBook Pro --> Schiit Gungnir DAC --> HDVA 600 --> HP.  If I connect the DAC to the amp with XLR cables, can I drive unbalanced HP's coming out of the amp??  Instead, if I connect the DAC to the amp with RCA cables, am I giving up sound quality?  Finally, if I use balanced XLR from the DAC to the amp to the HP, is that the best sound possible?  Net - what can I connect unbalanced vs. balanced or are there limitations to the connections?  That may be a goofy question, but hey you know I'm a goofy guy.

 

Cheers -

RCBinTN

 

:L3000:

post #2402 of 2415
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCBinTN View Post
 

Hello All,

 

I plan to purchase the HDVA 600 amp to drive my new HD800 cans.  I also plan to drive my low-impedance Audeze X/XC cans with this amp.  I have heard (especially from alrainbow :-)) that the Senn amp drives the Audeze cans very well.  Looking forward to my (mid-December) experience.

 

Now for an interconnect question.  Consider the setup:  MacBook Pro --> Schiit Gungnir DAC --> HDVA 600 --> HP.  If I connect the DAC to the amp with XLR cables, can I drive unbalanced HP's coming out of the amp??  Instead, if I connect the DAC to the amp with RCA cables, am I giving up sound quality?  Finally, if I use balanced XLR from the DAC to the amp to the HP, is that the best sound possible?  Net - what can I connect unbalanced vs. balanced or are there limitations to the connections?  That may be a goofy question, but hey you know I'm a goofy guy.

 

Cheers -

RCBinTN

 

:L3000:


head-fi-er zagzaf made me a (color-coordinated) balanced cable for my Sennhesier HDVD800 - to - HD800 connection, AND he made an XLR-to-Single Ended pigtail.  That way I can keep the balanced cable hooked up to the HD800 headphones but plug the pigtail into the single ended amp output, then plugthe balanced cable either into a balanced output or into the XLR-to-SES pigtail hooked into an SE output.

 

See here:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/650510/the-new-hd800-impressions-thread/14895#post_11019579

post #2403 of 2415
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCBinTN View Post
 

Hello All,

 

I plan to purchase the HDVA 600 amp to drive my new HD800 cans.  I also plan to drive my low-impedance Audeze X/XC cans with this amp.  I have heard (especially from alrainbow :-)) that the Senn amp drives the Audeze cans very well.  Looking forward to my (mid-December) experience.

 

Now for an interconnect question.  Consider the setup:  MacBook Pro --> Schiit Gungnir DAC --> HDVA 600 --> HP.  If I connect the DAC to the amp with XLR cables, can I drive unbalanced HP's coming out of the amp??  Instead, if I connect the DAC to the amp with RCA cables, am I giving up sound quality?  Finally, if I use balanced XLR from the DAC to the amp to the HP, is that the best sound possible?  Net - what can I connect unbalanced vs. balanced or are there limitations to the connections?  That may be a goofy question, but hey you know I'm a goofy guy.

 

Cheers -

RCBinTN

 

:L3000:

 You can drive your hp with both outputs (balanced and unbalanced) even at the same time, no matter what is your source. I don't think the lcd x is the ideal hp for such amp, maybe the lcd 3 would fit  better due the higher impedance. The amp has been designed as balanced, so I figure it should be used in such way to have the best results: anyway, if I'm not wrong, in this thread there should be a description of the sound differences between the outputs using the same headphone, myself I can't give you any opinion as I never used it unbalanced (too lazy to switch the cables I'm afraid). 

post #2404 of 2415


Thanks for the interconnect information, Thomas.

How does the amp sound to you balanced?

 

Best -

RCB

post #2405 of 2415
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeirTj View Post

Hi, my Ayre QB9 is likely of the first generation that I bought cheaply second-hand. Still it sounds so much better than the internal DAC in the HDVD800 according to imy ears. Have not tried the single ended connection yet but will report back when having tried that. I know that the Ayre sounds pretty good SE connected to my regular pre-and power amps so then the remaining largest variable is probable the Senn input circuitry.

OK, now I finally got to compare the balanced (XLR) input versus the single ended (RCA) input of the HDVD800 using Audience AU24e on both types of cables. I must admit that there is no significant difference in sound quality that I could percieve. So go ahead with whichever of the analogue input of your HDVD600 / HDVD800, be happy ;D

After more trials with the DAC part of the HDVD800 I got to the conclusion that it is the USB input that is the underdog. The alternatively SPDIF input is not that bad, but very sensitive to the quality of the SPDIF signal. Feeding the Senn with SPDIF from my Weiss DAC (which can translate Firewire to any form for SPDIF) yelds good results.
Feeding the Senn with SPDIF from a Kingrex UC384 USB-to-SPDIF converter sounds just as dull as the Senn's own USB input.

As before stated; the same USB outputs from the two laptops I have sound fabulous when connected to the Ayre QB9 input so it seems that the USB outputs of the laptops is fairly OK. Using an Auralic Aries as USB source is another better story but that's another topic... wink.gif
post #2406 of 2415
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCBinTN View Post
 


Thanks for the interconnect information, Thomas.

How does the amp sound to you balanced?

 

Best -

RCB

Well the only comparison I could do is with my portable amp (hifi m8), but it would be unfair, they don't even share the same dac. I kinda like the hdva 600: to me, it's pretty versatile, offers plenty of power and it's transparent. In my specific case, is the only "high end amp" I've found that works with every voltage (I move often for work), looks pretty good and it's also kinda small. I think you don't have to buy the hd800 to fully appreciate it, it drives pretty well also the hd650. 


Edited by thomascrown - 11/19/14 at 5:36am
post #2407 of 2415
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeirTj View Post


OK, now I finally got to compare the balanced (XLR) input versus the single ended (RCA) input of the HDVD800 using Audience AU24e on both types of cables. I must admit that there is no significant difference in sound quality that I could percieve. So go ahead with whichever of the analogue input of your HDVD600 / HDVD800, be happy ;D

After more trials with the DAC part of the HDVD800 I got to the conclusion that it is the USB input that is the underdog. The alternatively SPDIF input is not that bad, but very sensitive to the quality of the SPDIF signal. Feeding the Senn with SPDIF from my Weiss DAC (which can translate Firewire to any form for SPDIF) yelds good results.
Feeding the Senn with SPDIF from a Kingrex UC384 USB-to-SPDIF converter sounds just as dull as the Senn's own USB input.

As before stated; the same USB outputs from the two laptops I have sound fabulous when connected to the Ayre QB9 input so it seems that the USB outputs of the laptops is fairly OK. Using an Auralic Aries as USB source is another better story but that's another topic... wink.gif


This is very useful, thanks!

post #2408 of 2415
Various inputs for days sometimes do sound different. The why is complex. Some dacs use different chips for different inputs this makes for sound changes. But all inputs should sound good. Jitter and its causes create noise and this plays hell with the sound. Although some will say it's didgital and immune from analog noise ,Mathis is very untrue.
Cables matter for a few reasons but non of witch fix jitter causes. Some help to lower it by shielding . Let's say we have a coax cable used for spidif. It must be 75 ohm if not it creates noise or jitter. Same for usb and aes cables. All must meet specs. . I own the hdvd800. The dac is clean and clear if given good input froma clean source. It greatly is improved. So what's a good source it's not your desktop or laptop left untreated. A caps with linear psu is a very good start . Or a ap1/pp or off ramp. These devices clean the data and make big improvements in the sound. .
Al
post #2409 of 2415

I have a problem (is it considered a problem?) - I use HDVD with JRiver in ASIO mode, but it's still not exclusive mode - I can hear the sounds from other applications! I haven't tried other players yet, but I think it's not JRiver problem...

post #2410 of 2415
It sounds like you have a very noisy cpu. Run task manager and desabled all programs not being used
Also remove all I needed programs
Desabled antivirus or remove it.
Then check if still noisy buy a better Power supply.
Also disconnect any perifeal devices as in printers and external hard drives.
Report back after you try it.
Al
post #2411 of 2415
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

It sounds like you have a very noisy cpu. Run task manager and desabled all programs not being used
Also remove all I needed programs
Desabled antivirus or remove it.
Then check if still noisy buy a better Power supply.
Also disconnect any perifeal devices as in printers and external hard drives.
Report back after you try it.
Al

 

Other applications and noisy CPU?  Bad advice.

 

You need to check your configuration to make sure the output is configured correctly.  Assuming this is a Windows PC, go to Control Panel/Sounds and make sure the right output devices are selected.  Then check the configuration of Jriver.  You may also have to look at the Sound/Video/Game controller settings in Device Manager.  Also, consider switching over to WASAPI based output.

 

Disabling Antivirus is a bad idea and will not solve your problem.  Same for eliminating other programs unless you are sure of the impact.

 

Noisy CPUs, power supplies, and peripherals can be problematic, but none of them are the root cause of other applications bleeding into your music.

post #2412 of 2415
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post
 

 

Other applications and noisy CPU?  Bad advice.

 

You need to check your configuration to make sure the output is configured correctly.  Assuming this is a Windows PC, go to Control Panel/Sounds and make sure the right output devices are selected.  Then check the configuration of Jriver.  You may also have to look at the Sound/Video/Game controller settings in Device Manager.  Also, consider switching over to WASAPI based output.

 

Disabling Antivirus is a bad idea and will not solve your problem.  Same for eliminating other programs unless you are sure of the impact.

 

Noisy CPUs, power supplies, and peripherals can be problematic, but none of them are the root cause of other applications bleeding into your music.


HDVD-ASIO is output for JRiver 20. All "enhancements" in Windows are off, exclusive access is on for HDVD. Very strange.

 

If I use onboard sound as default in Windows - no problem, because all the sounds except JRiver goes through it, but the fact that I can normally use exclusive mode with HDVD output by default looks like some software (driver?) based problem.

post #2413 of 2415

Just received my HDVD 800 yesterday and I've got a question for other HDVD 800 owners.

 

Does the S/PDIF RCA jack on the back panel seem very loose on yours?  It seems that this jack is not attached to the back panel, only being secured to the PC board without additional support.  When trying to insert a tight RCA cable, the jack retreats a bit into the cabinet.  I'm not sure whether this is a problem with my particular unit or if this is something that was overlooked in the design of the product.  My fear is that repeated connecting and disconnecting of the S/PDIF input will cause a failure at the solder joints on the PC board, since that is the only support that seems holding the coax and optical inputs in place.

 

Any others here have thoughts on this?

post #2414 of 2415
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilCox View Post
 

Just received my HDVD 800 yesterday and I've got a question for other HDVD 800 owners.

 

Does the S/PDIF RCA jack on the back panel seem very loose on yours?  It seems that this jack is not attached to the back panel, only being secured to the PC board without additional support.  When trying to insert a tight RCA cable, the jack retreats a bit into the cabinet.  I'm not sure whether this is a problem with my particular unit or if this is something that was overlooked in the design of the product.  My fear is that repeated connecting and disconnecting of the S/PDIF input will cause a failure at the solder joints on the PC board, since that is the only support that seems holding the coax and optical inputs in place.

 

Any others here have thoughts on this?

I just tried the S/PDIF jack on my unit - nothing suspicious, everything seems to be OK.

post #2415 of 2415
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilCox View Post

Just received my HDVD 800 yesterday and I've got a question for other HDVD 800 owners.

Does the S/PDIF RCA jack on the back panel seem very loose on yours?  It seems that this jack is not attached to the back panel, only being secured to the PC board without additional support.  When trying to insert a tight RCA cable, the jack retreats a bit into the cabinet.  I'm not sure whether this is a problem with my particular unit or if this is something that was overlooked in the design of the product.  My fear is that repeated connecting and disconnecting of the S/PDIF input will cause a failure at the solder joints on the PC board, since that is the only support that seems holding the coax and optical inputs in place.

Any others here have thoughts on this?

I just checked mine. It also has a little "give".
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