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Sennheiser HD 700 Impressions Thread - Page 70

post #1036 of 7115
Thanks, ordered the same cable from eBay.
post #1037 of 7115

Not getting too much feedback on this and I don't want to make a bad decision, so I think I'll bust out the Magni/Modi for the time being with the HD 700 and use that until I can finalize a decision on amp and DAC. Hope it jives well enough with the stack that I don't end up hating the thing before I can properly power it. This will also give me more time to increase my budget.

post #1038 of 7115
Quote:
Originally Posted by roguegeek View Post
 

Not getting too much feedback on this and I don't want to make a bad decision, so I think I'll bust out the Magni/Modi for the time being with the HD 700 and use that until I can finalize a decision on amp and DAC. Hope it jives well enough with the stack that I don't end up hating the thing before I can properly power it. This will also give me more time to increase my budget.

I am not that experienced across all the different products discussed here, but have been following head-fi forums quite closely for a long time and getting whatever I can out of it, out of local dealers, and soon my first meet (yeah for minneapolis...)  so just to qualify my follow comments as more wannabe than been there done that:

 

Given what you have described and your budget points, I wonder if you may be better off in starting down a path rather than looking for the one trigger point.  For example, the new M-Stage HPA-2 USB would probably be better than the small Schiit stack with both the HD-700 and the AKG, and leave no strain on your budget.  Then over time, the next step would be to get a DAC you can live with for a long time and I would highly recommend the mid level dac review thread as a good start.  I have no doubt that over the next 12 months you will have plenty of fantastic DAC options at the 300-600 dollar price point that will hold their own with just about anything you could grab today for under 1,500.  That may then end your quest right there if you love the amp section of the HPA-2, but if you are still looking for more, then you sell off the HPA-2 USB and go for a great dedicated amp as I don't think that market is going to collapse into nothing but all in one dac/amp units anytime soon.  This may not be the most efficient path for you, but it has the following advantages:  Quite possibly best immediate result with your top headphones right now, keeps the hobby fun as you get to continue to review and audition the "next step", give you decent digital capabilities now, that you then upgrade later... and then by that point, if you happen to have another or a different top two of three headphones to consider, you have the flexibility of focusing in on the most optimum final amp at that point.  Just my two cents.  Good luck no matter what path you choose.


Edited by Greggo - 1/10/14 at 12:45pm
post #1039 of 7115

Oh I completely agree. It's going to be unrealistic to think I'm going to nail what I'm looking for in one go. If anyone has ever seen the post from my past, you'll understand that I see this as a journey of discovery and that hopefully I will never find a destination. The new H700 is like any other adventure on that journey. I'll try something, see how I liked it, and try again until I'm happy. Just to be clear, I'm using the Schiit stack just to be able to actually to have something to plug into. I don't expect them to represent the potential I see in the HD 700. Some of the recommendations you brought up are ones I haven't seen yet, so they're going on the list as something to look into.

post #1040 of 7115

Yeah, I didn't mean to imply that you thought the Magni/Modi would be the ultimate, I was just thinking about how to have a good shot of equal or better amp performance of the Compass 2, along with DAC performance that may be "close enough" for a while until you take the time to sneak up on your ultimate DAC choice.  The HPA-2 USB recommendation is not based on experience as I was careful to note, but I have read so many good things about it concerning the 701/702 and the HD-800, and a fair amount of "a bit bright" regarding the Magni/Modi to think that the HPA-2 USB would be a much safer interim solution, and that the amp section of the HPA-2 may in fact be a strong candidate for your final solution.  I see a fairly consistent view from others that any amp doing well with the HD-800 would probably be a good match for the HD-700.  Of course, I am reaching a bit by treating this as fact, but since there are many more comments about HD-800 amp pairing than HD-700, it is the best guidance I have found for myself as of yet, and you will find many comments about the HD-800 and HPA-2 being a good match.

 

I am taking a somewhat similar approach.  I have the Dragonfly 1.2 right now, which I think is a decent DAC but a weak amp.  I don't have firm plans yet and still have some auditioning to do over the next 6-12 months... but I am thinking about maybe adding a Crack/Speedball next, then a bit later adding a DAC (DSD capable and priced under 1k) or a DAC/amp combo if the DAC ticks all my boxes and the amp just comes along for the ride, and then further still down the road, a really nice solid state headphone amp.  So at the end of the day, I would still have my Dragonfly for travel, have a really good DAC that may also have a decent integrated headphone amp, a tube amp that is a great match for the HD-700 and perhaps other headphones I may own at that point, and a killer solid state amp that may still offer a nice flavor with the HD-700 but is selected based on how it pairs with future additions to the stable like maybe a good planar magnetic design or something that simply shines in areas and in pairings that are much different than the HD-700.  I just think it would be cool to have one or two decent digital sources able to feed two or three decent amps that are being used with two or three really good headphones.  That would give me up to 18 possible combinations of sound signature/flavor... so if only half of them make sense and are "really good", that is still 9 options depending on what mood I am in or just to serve as a nice platform for me to exercise some critical listening and see what differences, if any, I can consistently identify between the various pairings.

post #1041 of 7115

The Magni is not a good pair for the HD700, IMO. 

post #1042 of 7115

for those of you still checking in on the HD-700 in general, some more "appreciation":

 

I have about 50 hours on my set right now, again mostly with the Dragonfly and mostly with 320 kbps MP3 files... listening to KD Lang's song, Save Me, and I had an experience that for me is unique to the HD-700.  First of all, she sounded a little different to me... as I have heard this song on redbook CD on a variety of speaker and headphone systems, mostly mid-range but in the case of some speaker systems, very high end as well.  Anyways, the sweetness/breathiness/airiness of her vocals are usually what draws me in right away, along with nicely recorded guitar strings that resonate so richly with a plucky quality that compliments the percussion nicely.  With the HD-700, I heard these same vocal qualities, but to a very slightly less degree than I was expecting to (but strings and percussion sounded as good as I ever remember hearing them), and to fill that very small gap was a new sensation, where I heard her voice stand a bit apart from the other instruments as if it was trying to claim it's own a space a little more definitively.  The even bigger surprise was that I was immediately drawn to and struck by the vibrato in her voice.  Her control in bringing it in and out of her phrasing in different ways at different times.  Was my initial sense of hearing something different than usual evidence of the HD-700 deviating from neutral, or maybe something else?  I am not sure, because I did not feel like I was getting something "colored" per se, but it was unique for me, and I have listened to this song hundreds of times on tens of systems... but today, I felt like I saw and felt a real woman singing in the studio rather than just hearing a female vocal float in the air.  I dare say it felt a little more authentic, maybe a bit more organic, but how do I rationalize this with that very slight dulling down impression that first set in?  Anyways, for me, it is just a good example of a nice difference that I take away as a positive new experience that thus far, for me, is unique to the HD-700.  I have always noticed the vibrato, of course, but never had it stand out like this and compel me to appreciate the control and the texture with such admiration as I did today.  And all of the stringed instruments on this song just shine in all their glory on the HD-700, I think this is a real strength for them.  Not hyper detailed sounding, just rich and full bodied, like they are able press their distinctive thumbprint into your ear a little stronger than usual.

 

Moving on to some guilty pleasure... Duran Duran sounds just awesome to me, with Rio being about as perfect as I could ever imagine. Drum kit and bass guitar better than ever, with guitar, synths and vocals being as good as I remember them anywhere else.  Pace and energy was very well communicated.  Lots of fun listening to this song on my bare bones setup.

 

I do a little bit of classical and jazz listening, but not enough to be really comfortable with it form a critical listening perspective.  I have mostly used KD Lang, Basia, Steely Dan, Toto, Sade, Joe Sample, and Boston to evaluate audio systems over the last 15 plus years.  Not only do I really enjoy their music, but I find their recording quality and general production values to be very high. My wife and I are both so familiar with them at this point that we also feel very confident in quickly hearing a system's strengths and weaknesses, usually within seconds rather than minutes.  A nice benefit for us is that for a few years I was lucky to hear these discs in a variety of super high end systems, so even though audio memory is highly suspect, I did have many opportunities to set a nice reference for other comparisons.  All of these artists (and many more...) sound fantastic to me on the HD-700.  Everything is crisp, clear and what I feel are the distinctive strengths of these sounds/styles are put on full display by the HD-700.  Just loving these things.  Will be bringing in some higher rez music very soon, and then stepping up to better electronics at some point.  If things just keep getting better from here on out I will be a huge fan of this can.


Edited by Greggo - 1/10/14 at 9:01pm
post #1043 of 7115

The more I'm thinking about it, the more I'm thinking of possibly skipping an amp/dac combo unit and just moving onto dedicated quality equipment. I could test the Compass 2. I could test the HPA-2 USB. They may be great solutions, but I think I may be happier just increasing my budget and getting an amp (possibly tube if I can get over the fear of it warming up something too much) that I can play with and a DAC that's upgradeable that can also be played with. Again, I'm not expecting anything special with the Magni/Modi. It just happened to be something I had around that I can pull out for now. If anything, it will probably push me to move to higher quality, dedicated equipment faster. Still think it's worth playing around with a Compass 2 or HPA-2 USB? Maybe I will? Yeah, even in just writing this post, I'm flip flopping all over the place.

post #1044 of 7115

It's a slippery slope, that's for sure...I just got my DACmini a couple months ago, and I'm already thinking about moving to separate dac and amp combo.  I hate this forum, but I just cant quit.

post #1045 of 7115

I spent all morning going though every single mention of the HD 700 and amping in this forum (that's not an exaggeration) just to understand people's thoughts with pairing. I encountered the following tube amps:

  • Bottlehead Crack: $279, DYI, OTL
  • Woo Audio WA2: $1190
  • Woo Audio WA6: $660
  • Woo Audio WA7: $999, amp/dac combo
  • Schiit Valhalla: $399
  • Schiit Lyr, $449
  • La Figaro 339: $
  • ALO audio The PamAm: $449, amp/dac combo

...and the following solid-state amps:

  • Burson Soloist SL: $599
  • Burson Conductor SL: $1200, amp/dac combo
  • Matrix M-stage HPA-2 USB: $340, amp/dac combo
  • Audinst HUD-MX2: $248, amp/dac combo
  • Audio-gd Compass 2: $399, amp/dac combo
  • Lehmann Audio Rhinelander: $529
  • ​Lehmann Audio Linear: $

...that were mentioned in either a positive or neutral light that I may be interested. Obviously, there's a lot to work with here and I'm trying not to overwhelm myself (too late?), but I think I'm going to go with the Lyr paired with a Bifrost for now. This would be my first foray into the tube amps, which is another thing that excites me about this option. The only thing I'm worried about is decreasing any of the traits (soundstage, detail, separation, decay) that are making me wildly attracted to the HD 700 right now. Can anyone speak to this concern and offer thoughts?

post #1046 of 7115
Wondering about maybe trying out these cables on my HD700 as well: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Replacement-Audio-upgrade-Cable-For-Sennheiser-HD700-HD-700-Headphone-/261317123574?pt=US_MP3_Player_Cables_Adapters&var=&hash=item3cd7b6ddf6 think they were posted earlier in the thread, anyone got any experience with them? I guess they work?
post #1047 of 7115
Quote:
Originally Posted by roguegeek View Post
 

I spent all morning going though every single mention of the HD 700 and amping in this forum (that's not an exaggeration) just to understand people's thoughts with pairing. I encountered the following tube amps:

  • Bottlehead Crack: $279, DYI, OTL
  • Woo Audio WA2: $1190
  • Woo Audio WA6: $660
  • Woo Audio WA7: $999, amp/dac combo
  • Schiit Valhalla: $399
  • Schiit Lyr, $449
  • La Figaro 339: $
  • ALO audio The PamAm: $449, amp/dac combo

...and the following solid-state amps:

  • Burson Soloist SL: $599
  • Burson Conductor SL: $1200, amp/dac combo
  • Matrix M-stage HPA-2 USB: $340, amp/dac combo
  • Audinst HUD-MX2: $248, amp/dac combo
  • Audio-gd Compass 2: $399, amp/dac combo
  • Lehmann Audio Rhinelander: $529
  • ​Lehmann Audio Linear: $

...that were mentioned in either a positive or neutral light that I may be interested. Obviously, there's a lot to work with here and I'm trying not to overwhelm myself (too late?), but I think I'm going to go with the Lyr paired with a Bifrost for now. This would be my first foray into the tube amps, which is another thing that excites me about this option. The only thing I'm worried about is decreasing any of the traits (soundstage, detail, separation, decay) that are making me wildly attracted to the HD 700 right now. Can anyone speak to this concern and offer thoughts?

 

Great choice!

post #1048 of 7115

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrius View Post

Wondering about maybe trying out these cables on my HD700 as well: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Replacement-Audio-upgrade-Cable-For-Sennheiser-HD700-HD-700-Headphone-/261317123574?pt=US_MP3_Player_Cables_Adapters&var=&hash=item3cd7b6ddf6 think they were posted earlier in the thread, anyone got any experience with them? I guess they work?

I'm still considering to get one to convert to balanced to use on my BHA-1, but Ross gave his impressions.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ross View Post
 

Just wanted to let people know about this cable for the HD700 available on ebay: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-Replacement-Audio-upgrade-Cable-For-Sennheiser-HD700-HD-700-Headphone-/261317123574?pt=US_MP3_Player_Cables_Adapters&var&hash=item3cd7b6ddf6&_uhb=1

 

I was looking for a good quality copper cable for the HD700. I found the sound of the stock HD700 a bit too peaky in the treble, and suspected it might be the silver in the cable. I replaced it with a Moon Audio Black Dragon, but that took it to the opposite extreme - flat  and dull sounding. Rather than spend big money on another expensive after market cable, I found this one on ebay for around $30. It arrived today. Initial impressions are that it is very well made and, more importantly, sounds really good. It removes the slight brightness of the stock cable while smoothing out the sound, but without the heaviness of the Black Dragon. So far I am quite impressed. I should add that I have no connection with the seller. 


Edited by Rob80b - 1/11/14 at 3:01pm
post #1049 of 7115
Quote:
Originally Posted by roguegeek View Post
 

I spent all morning going though every single mention of the HD 700 and amping in this forum (that's not an exaggeration) just to understand people's thoughts with pairing. I encountered the following tube amps:

  • Bottlehead Crack: $279, DYI, OTL
  • Woo Audio WA2: $1190
  • Woo Audio WA6: $660
  • Woo Audio WA7: $999, amp/dac combo
  • Schiit Valhalla: $399
  • Schiit Lyr, $449
  • La Figaro 339: $
  • ALO audio The PamAm: $449, amp/dac combo

...and the following solid-state amps:

  • Burson Soloist SL: $599
  • Burson Conductor SL: $1200, amp/dac combo
  • Matrix M-stage HPA-2 USB: $340, amp/dac combo
  • Audinst HUD-MX2: $248, amp/dac combo
  • Audio-gd Compass 2: $399, amp/dac combo
  • Lehmann Audio Rhinelander: $529
  • ​Lehmann Audio Linear: $

...that were mentioned in either a positive or neutral light that I may be interested. Obviously, there's a lot to work with here and I'm trying not to overwhelm myself (too late?), but I think I'm going to go with the Lyr paired with a Bifrost for now. This would be my first foray into the tube amps, which is another thing that excites me about this option. The only thing I'm worried about is decreasing any of the traits (soundstage, detail, separation, decay) that are making me wildly attracted to the HD 700 right now. Can anyone speak to this concern and offer thoughts?


You forgot my Bryton BHA-1 :triportsad: but I'll get over it.:smile:

 

post #1050 of 7115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob80b View Post
 


You forgot my Bryton BHA-1 :triportsad: but I'll get over it.:smile:

 

I was purposely trying to hurt your feelings. Success! :veryevil: Totally had nothing to do with the $1400 price tag! ;)


Edited by roguegeek - 1/11/14 at 3:38pm
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