DidHe say any about when will this amp be available?
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Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 26
Gear mentioned in this thread:
I was lucky enough to get a chance to test the HDVD800 in a store for around two hours with my HD800's.
Boy, I've got to say it was an amazing experience. I can barely put into words what I experienced, I was simply at "awe".
English is not my native language, so pardon me if I cannot explain all technical terms properly. I will do my best to give an idea how it felt to listen to this device.
I'll try to sum up some sort of review though.
Personally I got into the headphone world around 3 years ago, purchasing my first Sennheiser's (HD380's) a year later I just had to improve and I got the HD800's with the Lehmann Rhinelander amp. Currently I'm using the black cube linear as my amp. I don't have much more experience in using different amps so keep this in mind while reading my thoughts (I do listen to music many hours a day though, and have tested all kinds of headphones so I'd say I have a pretty good listening ear).
I spend my two hours listening to Infected Mushroom, going through various tracks from older psy-trance to the latest EDM they have to offer.
They had setup a Marantz SA-KI Pearllite CD player that I used as my source, it was hooked up to the HDVD800 with RCA.
This is how I spend most of my time listening. I also got to test the inbuild dac of the HDVD800 through a PC with a optical out.
Listening through the CD's the experience was like hearing the HD800's for the first time ever, they sounded like completely new headphones. Overall the amp strenghtened all the great things that you can love about the HD800's, the sound seperation was something that caught my attention right away. I could focus on even the tiniest sounds that would've been normally covered by louder sounds. The feeling was like listening to two songs at once, so that you could've blocked the other song in your head and only focus on what you wanted. The soundstage was also incredible, it felt like there were hundreds of more directions and distances where I could've heard the sounds coming from compared to my previous listening experiences with any other setups. It certainly adds a whole new depht of field.
Clarity of the sounds was also vastly improved compared to the BCL, everything sounded crystal clear, and there was absolutely no distortion to the sounds. With the BCL I never really had extra humming, or any other problems like that between the sounds, however the sounds were not as defined as with the HDVD800, it's really difficult for me to even think that the sound clarity could be drastically improved with any other amp, although I'm sure I will propably be proven wrong many times in the future.
Untop of the sound seperation and soundstage improvements, one of my favorite improvements compared to the BCL was the way the HDVD800 produced single sounds (beats, humms, etc.), especially for the mids and the bass, the sounds could be heard from "start to finish", I'll try to make an example of what I mean since I can't put the words for it. let's say for example that the BCL would create a sound that would last for 0,1 seconds, with the HDVD800 the same sound could be picked up by my ear earlier and it lasted longer, so what the HDVD800 produced was a sound that could be heard for 0,15 seconds for example. It really made a huge difference on how I could examine the sounds of Infected Mushroom, before I thought the sound had just sounded like that and it's supposed to sound like that. Now I understood that the sound was different and my gear had just not been able to reproduce this sound.
This effect could be felt really well in all of the tracks on the Army Of Mushrooms album, which to my understanding has been mastered with the HD800's, you can really tell this since the earlier albums, albait technically amazing did not produce me these effects so often. You can really tell that Infected has changed their setup to use the HD800's and they've propably had alot of funtime adding all kind of sounds that an average music listener could never hear. Even with my BCL setup, some of the sounds simply did not exist. It saddens me to think how millions of people never get to hear their music properly.
Now onto the "sort-of" negative things, the HDVD800 did not produce a much different sound overall compared to the BCL, to me it seems like an evolution of the Lehmann amps, the bass, mids and highs sound very similiar. Everything just seems to be perfected, and pretty much all errors that I've had to complain about my own setup do not exist with the HDVD800.
The amp doesn't really change the "harsh" trebles that people complain about the HD800's, it doesn't make them worse, but it doesn't make them any more softer to your ears. The treble still adds to listening fatigue for me at least. Mids and especially the bass are alot smoother though.
When I got to test the optical input and the build in DAC of the HDVD800's, I've got to say I was really dissapointed. The PC source was top of the line, and all the files I listened to (more infected + prodigy) were in FLAC format. However it sounded alot worse then through the RCA with the CD player. The soundstage was still there, and the sound seperation was great, however all of the clarity of the sounds and the improved bass/mid smoothness was completely lost.
I also tested the following headphones:
Ultrasone edition 10, Beyerdynamic T1, T5, Denon AH-D7100, Sennheiser HD650, HD700, Sennheiser Amperior, Sennheiser Momentum, and a few other headphoens that I can't remember.
Apart from the HD650's, HD700's and the Beyer T5's I've never listened to the other headphones on that list.
The T5's I've had a chance to test at home for many hours in the past, and to be brutally honest, they just didn't sound that great with the HDVD800, the BCL was a better amp in my opinion with the T5's. Overall Sennheiser headphones seemed to get the most out of the HDVD800 amp, so my guess is that the HDVD800 amp is propably not a good purchase unless you're getting it for sennheiser headphones. The Denon AH-D7100 was an exception though, never had a chance to listen to it before in my life, but it sounded brilliant. With the HDVD800 it sounded like what I would imagine the HD800's to sound like if they were a closed set of cans. The sennheiser amp might be a good combo with the Denon's so if there is a Denon owner out there who would get a chance to test the amp compared to their own amp experiences, I would be very satisfied to know how you like it.
Conclusions; the HDVD800 really brings out the Sennheiser headphone charesteristics, and makes what you love about the headphones even better, clarity and smoothness of sound are increased, the sound seperation and soundstage are vastly improved. However it doesn't seem to be such a good combo with other headphone brands.
The DAC on the HDVD800 doesn't seem to be that great, I will certainly not be using the digital input ports in the future.
I'd say the HDVD800 is not worth the extra money compared to the HDVA600, I wasn't too impressed with the DAC properties.
Here in Finland, the HDVD800 retails for 1850 euros, which IMO is way too high, especially when comparing to the HDVA600.
The HDVA600 retails for 1400 euros, which is only 500 euros more then what the BCL cost me.
I'd certainly say that the HDVA600 amp is worth the 500 euros extra over the BCL.
Going from the BCL to the HDVD800 was an amazing experience, it was like listening to completely new headphones, the experience for me was similiar to when I was still listening to 5 dollar earbuds and got a chance to test the HD800's for the first time.
I will certainly be getting the HDVA600 amp, and 1400 euros is more then a reasonable price for me, for the upgrades it allows.
I hope my "review" could've been of some use to you guys, if you have any questions please ask :)
Edited by FinnishSpartan - 1/31/13 at 1:21pm
Thanks for the positive feedback!
Yeah, it's bit of a bummer that there are not that many reviews out there, and it's really difficult to find any place that even has them available for testing, we really need more reviews so please post yours too when you get it
Edited by FinnishSpartan - 1/31/13 at 7:23pm
Only after 600 hours of burn in will a DACs flux capacitors finally reach their maximum performance to enable the timbre necessary in stringed instruments to become fully immersive.
i cannot say i disagree, but i do have some skepticism in this. but i can say i have had equipment when new and then aged so to speak did sound very different .
also some equipment left on always did sound very different as well. so as much as I'm thinking its insane i have to say i am thinking you guys are right.
I would avoid any DAC that uses flux capacitors as those are far too dangerous due to their ability to wrap space-time
The DAC section of HDVD800 needs alot of burn in at least 300-600 hours and the amp opens vastly up and please use the 4 pin connector it's a huge difference to 1/4 plug .The same i had with Audio Research DAC 8 you have to burn in it at least 600 hours
"Like all Audio Research products, the DAC 8 requires a hefty burn-in period before sounding at its best – ARC reckon on at least 600 hours."
I doubt any owner of the HDVD800 has had time to burn in their DAC for 300-600 hours (that would mean 12 to 25 days nonstop). Leaving the amp on for 600 hours straight to burn-in wouldn't do it any good either. Even if you listened 8 hours a day, it would mean that you would still have to listen to the amp for atleast 37 days to even reach the 300 hour mark.
Psychological burn in is another matter though. However I do believe that the 4 pin XLR would make a great difference, once I get my own setup I will certainly be using that connection.
Why not? Can the amp tell if you are listening to it? Leaving electronics fully warmed up at a stable temperature is usually good for it.
Let's not overestimate the influence of burn-in. While electronic equipment usually performs better after a proper warm-up. the differences should not be too great, unless we are talking about tube equipment since it's operation is heavily dependent on temperature. I am pretty sure most of the components in the HDVA600's circuit board are SMD. While I've no doubt the amplifier will sound more refined after a few hundred hours, I have great doubts it will be a significant difference. Acoustics is a fascinating thing and it's impact on how something is perceived cannot be ignored. It is not the first time I've heard people saying this but they are not so sure when you present them with a device that is identical in every way but has been used for only several hours.
Just to clarify before we move on to magic wonders of cables:)
- Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier
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