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Sennheiser HDVD800 Headphone Amplifier - Page 66

post #976 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheManko View Post

My usage is similar, in that I play a lot of games and watch movies/tv shows with my HDVD 800 and HD 800. The only problem I can think of is that action films generally don't sound very good when mixed down from 5.1/7.1 to headphones. Action scenes tend to sound a bit flat (depending on the movie) and the bass seems weaker than it should be compared to when you've got a subwoofer. Dialogue scenes, music and ambient sound all sound great, but action doesn't sound like it should.

 

Games on the other hand sound fantastic with the HD 800. This is of course highly dependent on the games you play, but any recent game should sound sublime. I play quite a lot of games, and all the big titles I've played this year like Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon, Metro Last Light & The Last of Us have without any reservations been great experiences with the HDVD 800 & HD 800.

Are you using CMSS/SBX/Dolby Headphone?

 

I found Bioshock Infinite to have strong sibiliance with CMSS-3D and the HD 800. CMSS-3D enhances the highs so that's of course part of the problem.

Are you watching your movies in stereo? Did you try PowerDVD with THX Tru Studio Pro or Dolby Headphone? I tend to find explosions and rumble better when using the Signature DJs, they have that phenomenal subwoofer feeling. I am looking forward to trying out the TH-900.

post #977 of 2308

So I sent Sennheiser Tech support an email asking where I can download drivers for the HDVD 800.

 

They email me back and say that they are not available to download, but check the web site periodically and see if they become available.

 

I email back and say I need the drivers...

 

They responded back with they will ship me a cd as the product specialist is not currently using his cd at the moment....

 

 

What is this crazyness? I don't understand why they can't make the drivers available for download???

post #978 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheManko View Post

I tried a bunch of high bitrate files and they worked just fine over USB. They were DVD Audio rips with 96/24 5.1 tracks with bitrates of ~6900-13824kbps. Tried WASAPI and DS and they all played like they should. I haven't had an opportunity to try optical yet, but coax does support 192/24 here, so the only input I haven't tested is the optical one.

 

For the USB behavior, I don't think it is so much the bit rate as it is the sample rate that is being loaded into the DAC. The only place that I have seen this happen is with 24/192 files that I got from HDtracks.com and only about half of them do it (about 7 of 15 tracks). I cannot reproduce the problem with any of the 24/96 files that I have.

 

The other thing is that it is sensitive to the type of digital source and USB Transfer mode being used. If I send audio data through the stock iTunes on my iMac running 10.6 and set my midi to 24/192, the problem doesn't ever show itself. However, if I bypass all of the Coreaudio processing in my iMac using something like BitPerfect, then the problem can show up. AlanHell seemed to get the problem when using a PC, but I'm not sure what kind of sourcing hardware or software he was using.

 

In other words, when the highest sample and bit rate possible for the DAC is used, and data is fired down the USB at the fastest transfer rate possible (probably using asynchronous mode which would add some handshaking overhead as well), it is as though some kind of processing overload in the DAC can glitch triggering the noise level to come way up to a significant level.

 

Note that I am not very familiar with the PC world audio support. I have heard that WASAPI can support two output modes, PUSH and EVENT DRIVEN, but this is only if the sound card in use supports both. My guess here is that one mode corresponds to USB's Adaptive (i.e., synchronous) Transfer mode and the other mode correspond's to USB's Asynchronous Transfer mode. In the former mode, the audio data is just output from the PC synchronously in real time (PUSHed?) and the DAC has to accept it and recover a clock from it. For the latter mode, when the DAC is ready for more data (based on its own internal clock), it sends a message to the PC (an EVENT?) that the PC must asynchronously respond to (DRIVEN by the event?) by sending a batch of audio data back to the DAC. The latter of these two is much more desirable in that it eliminates the source of most jitter that can occur on the data stream going to the DAC. This would normally be detected as a more open soundstage with a higher sense of clarity and focus.

 

Again, the hiss problem seems to be affected in part by the transfer mode being used. I'm GUESSING that the asynchronous mode is where the issue can occur, so if your sound card cannot support that mode on the PC, then you probably won't see the problem.

 

(By the way, If I have these PC terminology and issues are all wrong, please someone correct me! Although I think I've figured them out, I really would prefer to know what I was talking about here) bigsmile_face.gif

 

It's nice to know that the speed limitation doesn't seem to exist on the coax interface. This is consistent with the data in the instruction manual that you actually get with the HDVD800 (the S/PDIF speed limitation is only mentioned for optical). But it is also a bit confusing since I was always under the impression that most DACs taking S/PDIF input used a common S/PDIF clock recovery and data processing. The optical interface just adds two or three components to convert the optical signal into the common S/PDIF format used internal to the DAC. The Coax interface did the same for Coax (i.e., a few components to prep the electrical signal for the common S/PDIF processing in the DAC).


Edited by wisemanja - 6/19/13 at 9:45am
post #979 of 2308
It would be foolish of Sennheiser to reinvent the wheel and engineer their own DAC. Im guessing that Sennheiser, like many other companies, uses another company for their DAC (for example, Benchmark used Centrance in the DAC1).

That said, with all the very good DACs available right now, there's no excuse for the Sennheiser unit to have the issues and limitations that it has. Especially at its price point.

And while Im being critical, I will say that the smoke and mirrors that seem to surround this product is really steering me away. Between the hyperbole that it is a dramatic "game changer" in sound quality and that the balanced output sounds significantly better than unbalanced really reeks of expectation bias and marketing voodoo. Add to this the lack of detailed specifications and the difficulty in obtaining info/support from Sennheiser and I have to think this amp is pure FOTM hype.

Im sure it sounds good, but I seriously doubt it sounds any better than the Lehmann BCL, Violectric V200, or the other well designed and proven quality choices currently on the market.
post #980 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

It would be foolish of Sennheiser to reinvent the wheel and engineer their own DAC. Im guessing that Sennheiser, like many other companies, uses another company for their DAC (for example, Benchmark used Centrance in the DAC1).

That said, with all the very good DACs available right now, there's no excuse for the Sennheiser unit to have the issues and limitations that it has. Especially at its price point.

And while Im being critical, I will say that the smoke and mirrors that seem to surround this product is really steering me away. Between the hyperbole that it is a dramatic "game changer" in sound quality and that the balanced output sounds significantly better than unbalanced really reeks of expectation bias and marketing voodoo. Add to this the lack of detailed specifications and the difficulty in obtaining info/support from Sennheiser and I have to think this amp is pure FOTM hype.

Im sure it sounds good, but I seriously doubt it sounds any better than the Lehmann BCL, Violectric V200, or the other well designed and proven quality choices currently on the market.
In regards to your last paragraph, it definitely isn 't as good as made up to be; and I really was hoping it to be as I was going to buy it. I think the HDVA600 is the better buy of the two for its versatility allowing for external/ dedicated dacs. This all being said, it is an easy way out solution for the HD800's if you absolutely are keen on an SS amp.
Edited by dleblanc343 - 6/19/13 at 11:06am
post #981 of 2308

and here I am liking the hdvd800 more than my v200 which I instantly sold after having listened to both.

 

Sticking to my v800 though

post #982 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post

Are you using CMSS/SBX/Dolby Headphone?

 

I found Bioshock Infinite to have strong sibiliance with CMSS-3D and the HD 800. CMSS-3D enhances the highs so that's of course part of the problem.

Are you watching your movies in stereo? Did you try PowerDVD with THX Tru Studio Pro or Dolby Headphone? I tend to find explosions and rumble better when using the Signature DJs, they have that phenomenal subwoofer feeling. I am looking forward to trying out the TH-900.

I tend to use stereo in both games and movies, but now and then I try Dolby Headphone as I have a Xonar Essence ST hooked up via Coax to the HDVD 800. The room simulation Dolby Headphone attempts adds some bass resonances which closer emulates the intended amount of bass compared to doing a straight downmix. It's a highly enjoyable effect in film, and it feels like Dolby Headphone was really designed for movie style mixing.

 

The reason I don't often use Dolby Headphone in games is that it compromises the soundstage of music and acoustic effects in games. Especially in something like Bioshock Infinite where the soundtrack is orchestral and with high recording quality. Games often pump up the volume in all channels louder than movies do, so they expose the problems with Dolby Headphone easier. It can sometimes sound like there's dynamic range compression going on, even when there's not supposed to be, and the echo from the DH room simulation almost overwhelms the game sound when it's pouring out of all the speakers at once. It's not intolerable to use or anything, but I enjoy the pure stereo sound more, especially when the game itself has a good amount of effort put into the recording quality and bitrate. Some games like Sleeping Dogs have dreadful bitrate for the audio and you don't miss anything by using Dolby Headphone, while something like Metro Last Light has an almost mesmerizing quality to the sound when you're just running stereo.

post #983 of 2308
I was hoping to get some more information on the build. Another headfier sent me a italian review but I cant read Italian. It looks good on the inside of the amp in the Italian review. If anyone reads Italian PM me with their email and I can forward the review.

Edited by Frank I - 6/19/13 at 2:46pm
post #984 of 2308

So Frank - do you think that your review will be done in June?

 

Just use google translate to change the Eyetalyan review to Engrish. tongue.gif

post #985 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by livewire View Post

So Frank - do you think that your review will be done in June?

 

Just use google translate to change the Eyetalyan review to Engrish. tongue.gif

I am writing it now so I know my end will be done in June. 

post #986 of 2308

869820  Thats tha link if anyone can read it


Edited by Frank I - 6/19/13 at 3:28pm
post #987 of 2308
I downloaded an album from Hdtracks yesterday and had a listen...full 24/192. Two of the tracks give a huge amount of hissing when using the HDVD800. When I've loaded them all on my AK120 they're fine. It sounds like a deluge of rain in the background to the track. Confused as to why it's only doing it on 2 tracks out of 10...
post #988 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSARider View Post

I downloaded an album from Hdtracks yesterday and had a listen...full 24/192. Two of the tracks give a huge amount of hissing when using the HDVD800. When I've loaded them all on my AK120 they're fine. It sounds like a deluge of rain in the background to the track. Confused as to why it's only doing it on 2 tracks out of 10...

What are you using to play them?

post #989 of 2308

Guys, trying using the HDVD 800 ASIO driver and not WASAPI.

 

That is what I have been using and havn't had any problems with 24/192 playback thorugh Foobar using USB.

post #990 of 2308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speakerphile View Post

What are you using to play them?

Using Audioirvana.
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