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Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 39

post #571 of 2070

for 6x0s, the stock cable (650 one) is cheap and easily reterminated. In fact if you put a 4 pin plug / socket arrangement in 30cm from end you also have a normal jack adapter converter also!. Total cost going balanced would be under £20 with a balanced to normal adapter.

post #572 of 2070

I have now spent a few hours comparing the V800 and HDVD 800 dac, using the HDVD as the amp. The way I had them connected was, first off the V800 via a Musical Fidelity V-Link 192 going through AES to the V800, and then with XLR cables to the HDVD 800. The HDVD 800 was simply connected via USB to the computer. This meant that I could quickly switch between the two dacs as they appeared as their own sound devices in Windows. All the listening was done with the HD 800.

 

The difference between the dacs was obvious with every track. The character of the sound changed in a way that was not subtle, and after a while I was even able to predict in advance which dac would do better in certain tracks. The V800 had without a shadow of a doubt a wider soundstage. With the HDVD 800 the voices, instruments and samples existed as very precisely placed objects in front of you, while the V800 instead often made the sounds appear bigger and wider. The downside to the huge V800 sound was that some instruments that had pin point precision in their placement with the HDVD seemed to appear a bit vague in their placement with the V800. With most tracks the V800 sounded more organic, while the HDVD 800 seemed a bit limited in width. You never heard the kind of enormously wide sound that the V800 seemed to produce almost all the time from the HDVD 800. In some cases the V800 also seemed more detailed, as the wide sound made it easier to focus on some instruments which were playing in the middle of the soundstage. With the HDVD 800 dac the sounds were all crowded closer together, which made it tougher to pick out individual sounds when there was a ton of sounds going on at the same time. In a few cases though it was easier to zero in on each element of the sound with the HDVD dac as they didn't extend all over the place.

 

Overall I found the more organic sounding V800 with its big soundstage to make the majority of music sound better than the HDVD 800 dac. But I can also see how you could dispute that depending on what you listen to. There were tracks now and then where the precise instrument placement seemed to add more to the experience than the V800 did. The highly focused center image of the HDVD 800 dac was very nice with certain vocals and string instruments, especially in orchestral recordings with a few solo instruments in front which were always in perfect focus. There were also a couple cases where the HDVD dac had just a bit more bass impact which confused me a bit. For 85% of the music I tested the V800 was a more engaging listening experience, but because of the edge cases where the HDVD sounded better I don't feel like I can write off the HDVD 800 dac completely. It has a certain focused style the V800 never replicated, while the HDVD 800 as well was never able to produce some sounds the V800 did. If you're sitting on a V800 dac (or similarly classed dac) I would recommend the HDVA 600 over the HDVD 800, unless you're able to audition it and see if the HDVD 800 dac style is something you definitely want.


Edited by TheManko - 5/6/13 at 5:13pm
post #573 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheManko View Post

I have now spent a few hours comparing the V800 and HDVD 800 dac, using the HDVD as the amp. The way I had them connected was, first off the V800 via a Musical Fidelity V-Link 192 going through AES to the V800, and then with XLR cables to the HDVD 800. The HDVD 800 was simply connected via USB to the computer. This meant that I could quickly switch between the two dacs as they appeared as their own sound devices in Windows. All the listening was done with the HD 800.

 

The difference between the dacs was obvious with every track. The character of the sound changed in a way that was not subtle, and after a while I was even able to predict in advance which dac would do better in certain tracks. The V800 had without a shadow of a doubt a wider soundstage. With the HDVD 800 the voices, instruments and samples existed as very precisely placed objects in front of you, while the V800 instead often made the sounds appear bigger and wider. The downside to the huge V800 sound was that some instruments that had pin point precision in their placement with the HDVD seemed to appear a bit vague in their placement with the V800. With most tracks the V800 sounded more organic, while the HDVD 800 seemed a bit limited in width. You never heard the kind of enormously wide sound that the V800 seemed to produce almost all the time from the HDVD 800. In some cases the V800 also seemed more detailed, as the wide sound made it easier to focus on some instruments which were playing in the middle of the soundstage. With the HDVD 800 dac the sounds were all crowded closer together, which made it tougher to pick out individual sounds when there was a ton of sounds going on at the same time. In a few cases though it was easier to zero in on each element of the sound with the HDVD dac as they didn't extend all over the place.

 

Overall I found the more organic sounding V800 with its big soundstage to make the majority of music sound better than the HDVD 800 dac. But I can also see how you could dispute that depending on what you listen to. There were tracks now and then where the precise instrument placement seemed to add more to the experience than the V800 did. The highly focused center image of the HDVD 800 dac was very nice with certain vocals and string instruments, especially in orchestral recordings with a few solo instruments in front which were always in perfect focus. There were also a couple cases where the HDVD dac had just a bit more bass impact which confused me a bit. For 85% of the music I tested the V800 was a more engaging listening experience, but because of the edge cases where the HDVD sounded better I don't feel like I can write off the HDVD 800 dac completely. It has a certain focused style the V800 never replicated, while the HDVD 800 as well was never able to produce some sounds the V800 did. If you're sitting on a V800 dac (or similarly classed dac) I would recommend the HDVA 600 over the HDVD 800, unless you're able to audition it and see if the HDVD 800 dac style is something you definitely want.

+1 Good impressions; I can relate as well with when I compared dac to the HDVD800.

post #574 of 2070

thx for the comparison TheManko, now I really want to get rid of my v200 and grab the hdvd800/600 lol

post #575 of 2070

The HDVD 800 is now finally available on Headroom.com, among other places. It's been over a year since Sennheiser announced it on April 13, 2012.

post #576 of 2070

Did the same comparison I did yesterday between the V800 and HDVD 800 today, except with the LCD-2 instead of the HD 800 and the results were pretty much the same. A more precisely focused center image with the HDVD 800 dac, that somehow always seems to come outside your head in front of you, while the V800 instead sounds much wider, but at the cost of the focused center. Voices and instruments in the center of the sound image are bigger and wider, but sound like they're between your ears instead of in front of you. The plus of the wider soundstage is that everything just sounds effortlessly separated from each other in transparent layers, while the HDVD dac seems a bit closed in.

 

When it comes to tonal balance and such the V800 and HDVD 800 dac are almost identical. With the HDVD dac there seems to be just a bit of glare in the higher mids, which can appear during long sustained notes. It's a very slight issue, if you can even call it that. That's the only difference I was able to pick out on that front. They're both going for neutrality and seem to be nailing it. Neither is warmer or colder than the other.

 

I'm loving how the LCD-2 sounds with the HDVD 800 amp. Never heard them sound this good before, with either dac. A clear improvement over the V200 and Auditor. The specs on the HDVD 800 are vague to say the least, but however much power they're delivering to the LCD-2 it seem to be more than enough to my ears. I've ordered a balanced cable for the HD 800, and I might do it for the LCD-2 as well since they're sounding pretty excellent right now. 

post #577 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheManko View Post

Did the same comparison I did yesterday between the V800 and HDVD 800 today, except with the LCD-2 instead of the HD 800 and the results were pretty much the same. A more precisely focused center image with the HDVD 800 dac, that somehow always seems to come outside your head in front of you, while the V800 instead sounds much wider, but at the cost of the focused center. Voices and instruments in the center of the sound image are bigger and wider, but sound like they're between your ears instead of in front of you. The plus of the wider soundstage is that everything just sounds effortlessly separated from each other in transparent layers, while the HDVD dac seems a bit closed in.

 

When it comes to tonal balance and such the V800 and HDVD 800 dac are almost identical. With the HDVD dac there seems to be just a bit of glare in the higher mids, which can appear during long sustained notes. It's a very slight issue, if you can even call it that. That's the only difference I was able to pick out on that front. They're both going for neutrality and seem to be nailing it. Neither is warmer or colder than the other.

 

I'm loving how the LCD-2 sounds with the HDVD 800 amp. Never heard them sound this good before, with either dac. A clear improvement over the V200 and Auditor. The specs on the HDVD 800 are vague to say the least, but however much power they're delivering to the LCD-2 it seem to be more than enough to my ears. I've ordered a balanced cable for the HD 800, and I might do it for the LCD-2 as well since they're sounding pretty excellent right now. 

I agree with the LCD2. Balanced is the way to go. I am using them with the Oppo which has the better dac. I feel the same way about the dac that is built in. The amp is very good with every headphone I have thrown at it so far and in comparison to the V200 it has a wider sound stage and bette focus and a tad more transparency.  I wish I knew the power ratings and I am working on a review for Dagogo so I have  Sennheiser USA trying to get me all the information I need. The review wont be done till mid June.

post #578 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post

What i am trying to find out  what type of op amps were used it appear there are 4 opamp because I see them in the glass top so I don't think this design is discrete transistors and no place does it say what the power is.

 

The opamps may very likely be used as DC servos (to keep any DC offset off the outputs without using capacitor coupling) rather than operating on the signal itself. If it's a bridged "balanced" amp, then it would make sense to see 4 of them.

 

se

post #579 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post

 

The opamps may very likely be used as DC servos (to keep any DC offset off the outputs without using capacitor coupling) rather than operating on the signal itself. If it's a bridged "balanced" amp, then it would make sense to see 4 of them.

 

se

It will be interesting to see what actually inside this design. it certainly is powerful and is musical. 

post #580 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post

It will be interesting to see what actually inside this design. it certainly is powerful and is musical. 

 

And likely about all you'll be able to do is "see" as I suspect Sennheiser will want to stay pretty tight-lipped about the finer details.

 

se

post #581 of 2070

-


Edited by thinker - 1/19/14 at 12:58am
post #582 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinker View Post


When you connect the HD-800 with Cardas Clear balanced to HDVD-800 then you have to reevaluate your review

That's like saying "when you use an equalizer then you will have to reevaluate your review".  

 

The question is about what a review should be.  Should it be stating how the product sounds with as little tone-shaping, as little eq as possible?  

 

Or should a review be how the product sounds when eq'ing it to the reviewer's taste?  

post #583 of 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Operakid View Post

That's like saying "when you use an equalizer then you will have to reevaluate your review".  

 

The question is about what a review should be.  Should it be stating how the product sounds with as little tone-shaping, as little eq as possible?  

 

Or should a review be how the product sounds when eq'ing it to the reviewer's taste?  

 

I don't think saying "When you connect the HD-800 with Cardas Clear balanced to HDVD-800 then you have to reevaluate your review" is like saying "when you use an equalizer then you will have to reevaluate your review" because in this case Sennheiser themselves have provided the capability to listen to the machine via Balanced output that's built into the machine. "Thinker" is merely pointing out that when one uses this built-in facility, the results are quite different to using the 1/4" facility. If one is comparing the performance of a product with another very high performance product then it may be reasonable to suggest that one should listen to it performing to it's full potential - in this case, using the built in balanced facility. Now seeing that Sennheiser hasn't yet provided a balanced cable, it seems fair that one could use a third cable party cable - in this case the Cardas Clear. Ironically "Thinker" is suggesting this cable because as he has found it in fact does NOT to tone-shape or EQ the sound. And all this so that one can evaluate the sound of the machine performing to it's full potential. Just a thought.

 

Blimey, I might be waffling a bit! Sorry about that - I'm listening to the HDVD800 / Cardas Clear Bal / HD800 combo now after 500 hours and it's just ear boggling. It feels VERY 3 dimensional - like I have speakers in the room! And somehow I don't remember it sounding quite like this a few days ago. It's like it's even more refined and polished again. I can't wait to hear more reviews when others get hold of them because the descriptions of my experiences don't them justice technically.

 

My advice for anyone waiting for theirs to arrive GO FOR THE BALANCED OUTPUT!!!!   ;)

post #584 of 2070

It's not the balanced operation I am calling an equalizer, it is the Cardas Clear, a very capacitive cable that rolls off transients, which I have clearly documented with test equipment.  It sounds as it displays waveforms: rolling off corners of transients.

 

Now, it it sounds good to you, great.  But it in no way is it a neutral cable, hence my calling it the equivalent to an equalizer (non-adjustable type.)   

post #585 of 2070

Here's a press release for HDVD 800 and HDVA 600:

 

Perfect Sound in an Award-Winning Design 
Sennheiser headphones amplifiers win 'best of the best' design award

 

Wedemark/Munich, 8 May 2013 – The Sennheiser HDVD 800 and HDVA 600 headphone amplifiers have been honoured with one of the highly acclaimed red dot design awards. The headphone amplifiers from audio specialist Sennheiser scooped the top prize in the product design category: 'best of the best 2013'.

"Our high-end headphone amplifiers have been developed with meticulous attention to detail both inside and out. We are therefore particularly pleased that they also impressed the jury of the prestigious 
red dot design awards“, said Axel Grell, Product Manager High-End at Sennheiser. The 'red dot: best of the best' is awarded for groundbreaking design among international competitors. 
 
Designed for perfect sound 
The exquisite design that underlines the exceptional quality of the sound impressed the 37 experts in the red dot design award jury, which had the task of judging a total of 4,662 products submitted. Carefully selected materials ensure an unsurpassed sound experience. In order to fully utilise the audio potential of the headphone amplifiers, the material selection has been thought through down to the finest detail. 
 
A glass panel embedded in the aluminium housing of the amplifier gives a clear view of the HDVD 800’s top-quality interior: specially selected components and sophisticated circuitry promise the ultimate in listening pleasure. Sennheiser experts carried out listening tests to evaluate the sound aspects of each individual component before they finally chose the optimum combination. For example, the rotary potentiometer is mechanically connected to the volume control by a 150mm long shaft. Also visible through the glass panel are the cooling element, the audio relay and countless MELF resistors. The housing and control elements of the amplifier are made of anodised aluminium. The front panel of the housing and the controls are milled from solid material. 
 
The HDVD 800 and HDVA 600 were developed and designed in Germany. These new members of the Sennheiser high-end family are also manufactured there. The Sennheiser HDVD 800 is available immediately and the HDVA 600 by the end of May. 
 
The Sennheiser headphone amplifiers, together with the other award-winning products, will be on show from 2 - 28 July 2013 at the traditional 'Design on stage' special exhibition in the red dot design museum in Essen. The red dot design museum covers an area of 4,000 square metres and is the world's largest exhibition of contemporary design.
 
About the red dot design award 
With more than 12,000 entries from 60 countries, the red dot design award is one of the world's biggest design competitions. The "red dot" has also become internationally established as one of the most appreciated seals of quality for outstanding design. The award focuses on three categories: product design, communication design and design concept, which are each judged independently. In the product design category, an international expert jury evaluates the submitted products on the basis of their degree of innovation, functionality, formal quality, ergonomics, durability, symbolic and emotional content, product periphery, selfexplanatory quality and ecological compatibility in a total of 17 categories. 
 
About Sennheiser 
The Sennheiser Group, with its headquarters in Wedemark near Hanover, Germany, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. In 2011 the family company, which was founded in 1945, achieved a turnover of around 531 million euros. Sennheiser employs more than 2,100 people worldwide, and has manufacturing plants in Germany, Ireland and the USA. The company is represented worldwide by subsidiaries in France, Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Germany, Denmark (Nordic), Russia, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Japan, China, Canada, Mexico and the USA, as well as by long-term trading partners in many other countries. Also part of the Sennheiser Group are Georg Neumann GmbH, Berlin (studio microphones and monitor loudspeakers), and the joint venture Sennheiser Communications A/S (headsets for PCs, offices and call centres). 
 
You can find all the latest information on Sennheiser by visiting www.sennheiser.com
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