For the LCD headphones the Essence III amp sounds better. It sounds more linear, while the HDVD 800 creates peaks in the sound which obscure the deep bass. It makes the LCD headphones not sound like I expect them to based on their frequency response, while the Essence III does make them sound as they should.
One negative with the Essence III amp is that is sounds slightly less wide than the HDVD 800.
I love the sound of the Essence III dac in combination with the HDVD 800 amp and the HD 800.
two amps is too much for me because not rich today...hope next time...want to talk more but its to much for my brain to translate..... in a german review it sounds sometimes same like yours but with akg 812... i have translate the text from this with google :
in the bass surpassed the essence III with the top handset akg 812 even the sennheiser as a comparative anchor relied HDVD 600 in punch and volume. who rock and pop preferably should appeal to this ability also find the soundstage was able to convince . in transparency and high frequency resolution asus but not came up to the Hanoverian whole blood. the German offered more tone and seemed much more open , more transparent than the challenger in the fine drawing things not quite approached who it warm and round like and hearty bass is , however, can live quite well with this vote. who the asus transformer gets used as there already offered more ..........
i think i hear with hdvd amp and buy the next sennheiser headphone when it comes ..nomax say end of this year :-)
or you give me essence III when not want..so you free for other new toys