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- productSennheiser HDVD800tagged by System, 3/6/13
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Last edited: 7/26/13
Introduction - The HD 518's are the starter model in the Sennheiser's audiophile range. They are really VFM and a good starter audiophile headphone for people who are looking into going the...
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Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 42
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Just copy and paste http://www.hifi-forum.de/viewthread-110-14032-4.html to GOOGLE search then click translate.
Not a 100% accurate in translation but you get a good idea whats being discussed.
Hope this helps.
You can also cut and paste the actual text you want to translate into Google Translate.
The original German text was included in the post and was easy to find on the page the link lead to.
Here's the translation from Google Translate (please don't believe it's what the German authour actually wrote):
Thanks and it is appreciated. I am waiting for a product release from Sennheiser as I am doing an official review on the amplifier and I should have more information from the many questions I asked them. I should have this review done by early June when I have all the information I need. I will say it is an excellent sounding amplifier with every headphone I have listened with.
There's a reason for the "shaft" on the volume control. It's an interesting concept that allows for the actual attenuator to be closer to the input instead of having it soldered directly on the front panel and running the copper pathways to the back of the amplifier where the input section is. It allows for a lower noise floor even though it is more academic than real.
The other alternative is to have the input section on the front along with the input connectors as is the case with my reference amplifier. But I wouldn't recommend it for most people.
Still, this particular feature is not a new idea but rather a very old one. Old receivers (Tandberg) but also some newer high end products like the BP26 preamplifier from Bryston use this system as well. Sony used it in late seventies and even power switches were implemented in this way. However, in those days it was more a necessity than extravagance since those were the days before multi-layer circuit boards so there was only so much of copper traces that could be laid on the board without them overlapping.
I like the Sennheiser HDVA600 but I don't think it is as good as the Bryston BHA-1. The HDVD800 seems to have a rather competent built-in DAC but it is 2000 Euro in Europe. The HDVA600 is 1600 Euro and still quite a lot of money considering it is not the best thing you can buy. I have not tried the one with the built-in DAC butit might be worth the price difference and would actially make the HDVD800 a better value than the HDVA600.
The output impedance never can be 'wrong'.
It's a matter of personal taste. But why should I spend so much money for an amp like the HDVD800 when I can get the sonical results for much lower costs?!
I'm German and that maybe partly means that I'm practically oriented and simply don't believe in 'audio voodoo'.
The Sennheiser HD800 is really easy to drive.
My Cantate.2 is enough for it. It's very well constructed by Jan Meier and offers enough power for the HD800.
If I want a different sound, I just take different resistors between the headphone jack and the HD800...
Sennheiser picks a 43 ohms resistor for the output.
So will I do and I think that I'll get (nearly?) the same sound at the same volume levels with my Cantate.2 compared the the HDVD800.
Don't get me wrong!
I like the HDVD800 very much... especially its design and features.
But even the balanced option won't enhance the sound over the non-balanced one.
That's a fact.
If there are probable differences at the same volume level (you'll have to measure the level, to be certain that it is equal), no one can say, if it is better or worse.
Let me clarify this:
In the case that there really are audible differences (that are not imagined by the listener), who in the world can say:
A is better than B ?!
Because: what is "better"?
The HD800 already sounds amazingly good out of the Cantate.2 with 0 ohms output impedance.
It sounds (slightly) different with 50, 100 ohms or other higher impedances. That's a fact.
Someone may prefer its sound @ 0 ohms. Another one will like it more @ 120 ohms. etc. pp. - I'll try it out at Sennheisers now suggested 43 ohms.
The Headphones Make the Music!!! in the first place (not the source or the amp, both can have a certain impact, though)
And, of cause, the recording quality and the condition of the human brain.
Even a "perfect recording" may sound more dull than an imperfect one... an old one.
It's all a matter of taste!
And for my personal likings the HD800 + Corda Cantate.2 + Denon DVD-3910 is an awesome option to listen to music...
...and I've already tried many headphones, amps and sources.
I'm truly aware that no source-amp-headphones-combination can be 'the one and only "philosopher's stone"' for all people on earth.
Some like the SR009 + T2 very much, other the Orpheus, others the HD800 + XYT-amp, while others just love the Dre Beats.
Again, I think the HDVD800 is a good, but also overpriced amp (here in Germany), but it's one amp out of hundreds, which also are considered to be good or even very good.
To all owners of the HDVD800: Have fun with it!
I just got my HDVD 800 today.
My understanding is that the gain control affects only the unbalanced analog RCA inputs.
I plugged the Rotel preamp I use as a phono stage into these inputs and turned the gain up one notch so that the volume level is closer to that of the coax digital input.
Edited by JefferyK - 5/13/13 at 7:53pm
P.S. I'm very skeptical of burn in, but the initial very "digital" sound started smoothing out while I was listening, at about the 30-minute mark. I don't think it was my ears adjusting. Other folks have had a similar experience with this amp. The detail is something else -- very involving. Placement is very precise -- none of the "swimming" I experienced with my other amp. And noticeably less distortion. I just hope the HDVD 800 will give me the plush, "live" sound my other balanced/built-in DAC amp did. Not quite there. Looking forward to trying a balanced cable.
Edited by JefferyK - 5/13/13 at 9:29pm
I have a few questions on the analog XLR outputs, as the manual does not have a lot of information on them, so was hoping someone could answer the following:
- I would like to hook them up to a power amp - is the output gain / volume affected by the volume dial, or is it fixed?
- Do the outputs switch off when a headphone is connected?
- My amp only has RCA inputs. any issues with using XLR to RCA cables?
- Also appreciate any recommendations on XLR to RCA cables.
I had previously been using a Dacmagic plus, which I used at my desktop as a headphone amp as well as the source for my desktop sound system (Rotel power amp and Focal Sib/Cub speakers), and was hoping to use the HDVD 800 in a similar way, hence the above questions.
- Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier
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