Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Sennheiser HD 700 Impressions Thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Sennheiser HD 700 Impressions Thread - Page 30

post #436 of 2082

I find that the HD700 is amp sensitive.  Love them with my Lyr and Amperex Orange Globe tubes. Really smooths out the highs. Tried some other recommended tubes and I couldn't last more than two minutes with them.  Highs were just too much.  Tried the Schiit Magni just for kicks and sold it after two weeks.

 

Just picked up a pair of HiFiMAN HE500's two weeks ago.  The HD700 really holds its own against them.  If I had to pick between the two, I think it would be the HD700.  They really compliment each other. Greater detail, tighter, but less bass, a little more exciting, awesome for vocals and jazzy music and of course, much more comfortable.  The HE500 are silky smooth across the range, especially the mids and are incredible for club type music.  I think the HE500 still need a little more break in, they have about 150 hours, but for now, the Senns have the edge for me. YMMV.

On the other hand, If I was asked for a recommendation, it would be the HE500. They would sound better across more sources/amps.

For the first time, I have two pairs of headphones that I really, really love.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnypierogi View Post

I've had my HD-700's for about a month and have generally been enjoying them very much. My only beef is with the mid-range spike, but I believe that can be tamed with the proper amp.
 
 
 
 

Edited by MickeyVee - 3/8/13 at 5:11pm
post #437 of 2082
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post

I find that the HD700 is amp sensitive.  Love them with my Lyr and Amperex Orange Globe tubes. Really smooths out the highs. Tried some other recommended tubes and I couldn't last more than two minutes with them.  Highs were just too much.  Tried the Schiit Magni just for kicks and sold it after two weeks.

 

Just picked up a pair of HiFiMAN HE500's two weeks ago.  The HD700 really holds its own against them.  If I had to pick between the two, I think it would be the HD700.  They really compliment each other. Greater detail, tighter, but less bass, a little more exciting, awesome for vocals and jazzy music and of course, much more comfortable.  The HE500 are silky smooth across the range, especially the mids and are incredible for club type music.  I think the HE500 still need a little more break in, they have about 150 hours, but for now, the Senns have the edge for me. YMMV.

On the other hand, If I was asked for a recommendation, it would be the HE500. They would sound better across more sources/amps.

For the first time, I have two pairs of headphones that I really, really love.

 

 

Good post MickyVee

post #438 of 2082

I am curious how you feel about the gain of your Lyr given the efficiency of the 700's? My XM6 has only 10db of gain compared to the Lyr's 20db and I can't turn the volume beyond a quarter turn before it gets harmful. How are you managing to get any reasonable volume control range?  This is one of the main reason's I chose to try the Asgaard over their other amps.

post #439 of 2082
@Mickey: thanks very much for your excellent post and sharing your experience/insights. Sounds like the Lyr is a good bet, but unfortunately it's beyond my price range right now. 
 
@Mark: I'm eager to hear your impressions on how the Asgaard pairs with the HD-700's. 
 
Anyway, I just ordered a Little Dot mkIII and a bunch of tubes for rolling. I've also listed my Rhinelander on eBay. If the Rhinelander sells and I want more than what the LD has to offer, I'll probably sell the LD and use the proceeds to purchase a Lyr. Alternately, if the Rhinelander sells and the LD does the trick, I'll be back here asking for advice about upgrading my DAC...
 
Back to cans - Mickey, it's reassuring to hear from you that the HD-700's hold their own against the HE-500's. As a person who digs hearing all the nuances of drum cymbals, I've been curious about planar designs like the HE-500's. Your qualification fits my own experience with the HD-700's, i.e., "If I was asked for a recommendation, it would be the HE500. They would sound better across more sources/amps." Whether in general or just with the Rhinelander, based on my own experience and what I've read in forums, the HD-700's don't seem to pair well with solid state amps. Other Sennheiser's (HD-598 and HD-650) paired quite well with the Rhinelander.
 
Audeze and Grado headphones also intrigue me, but not living near a shop that stocks high-end headphones I've only been able to audition different makes via buying-and-selling on eBay. 
 
Shortly after I sold my HD-650's, DT-880's and D2000's to buy them, I decided to keep all my eggs in the HD-700 basket. A couple months later I don't regret it one bit. For me it was a law of diminishing returns: I'd crossed the line where I was spending more time and effort evaluating different headphones than I did just sitting back, listening to and enjoying music. Yeah, I'd have learned more and perhaps ultimately found something that "better" suits my interests and tastes (jazz, classical, classic rock, etc.) but in general I think the HD-700's sound great and are even very comfortable. 
 
Until last year, when we moved to a house with shared walls, I'd always been a speakers guy. I wanted headphones that sound like speakers, which isn't gonna happen. While Denon's may sound ever-so-slightly more speaker-like, the HD-700's come close in that regard and are not only more comfortable but also stay on your head when you move around.
 
Thanks again to all concerned for your posts.
 
I'll touch base after I've spent some time with the LD mkIII (that is, if folk are interested). 
post #440 of 2082

Interestingly enough.. gain is 9-10 (max) o'clock on both.  I also use Audirvana + running on top of iTunes and have additional gain control.  With A+ at around -9 DB, I can take the Lyr to 12 o'clock tops.  No problems either way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark-sf View Post

I am curious how you feel about the gain of your Lyr given the efficiency of the 700's? My XM6 has only 10db of gain compared to the Lyr's 20db and I can't turn the volume beyond a quarter turn before it gets harmful. How are you managing to get any reasonable volume control range?  This is one of the main reason's I chose to try the Asgaard over their other amps.

post #441 of 2082
Just thought I'd offer some words to anyone reading this who uses an Asus Xonar ST/STX sound card, either as a headphone amp for HD-700's or running the Xonar's line-out to a dedicated headphone amp .
 
Yesterday I changed the stock op amps as follows:
 
1) I/V = 2 X LT1364
2) Buffer = OPA2227
 
I chose LT1364's for their alleged "valve-like" sound, and OPA2227 is lauded as offering more detail and clarity than the stock buffer op amp without sacrificing too much "neutrality".
 
In short, this was a great upgrade, and it's a piece of cake to do it. 
 
I wrote previously about the painfully bright mid-range spike I'd hear while listening at a medium-high volume to something like a MyCoy Tyner piano solo on a Coltrane Quartet recording. These op amp changes have tamed the spike considerably. 
 
With the on-board headphone amp, the excessive brightness is practically gone. The sound is still a little bit on the bright side at higher volumes when running the Xonar's line-out through the solid-state Rhinelander, but I expect a tube amp (the Little Dot mkIII) will polish and warm it up quite nicely. 
 
Incidentally, both the Rhinelander and LD amps can be used as pre-amps, but they are DC coupled. As I understand it, it's a bad idea to pair DC coupled amps together, otherwise I'd use the LD as a pre-amp to the Rhinelander. 
 
Does anyone has thoughts or advice on that particular issue, pairing DC Coupled pre-amps?   
 
If you're reading this and you're happy with the sound of your HD-700's, I would advise you not to mess with it. But I highly recommend it if you want to temper that mid-range spike and your DAC has swappable op amps. 
post #442 of 2082
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post

Interestingly enough.. gain is 9-10 (max) o'clock on both.  I also use Audirvana + running on top of iTunes and have additional gain control.  With A+ at around -9 DB, I can take the Lyr to 12 o'clock tops.  No problems either way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark-sf View Post

I am curious how you feel about the gain of your Lyr given the efficiency of the 700's? My XM6 has only 10db of gain compared to the Lyr's 20db and I can't turn the volume beyond a quarter turn before it gets harmful. How are you managing to get any reasonable volume control range?  This is one of the main reason's I chose to try the Asgaard over their other amps.


By both are you referring to 700's and HE500's or do you have an Asgaard? As far as turning down your source in Audirvana, are you not sacrificing bits or Is your material al 16bit?
post #443 of 2082
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnypierogi View Post

Just thought I'd offer some words to anyone reading this who uses an Asus Xonar ST/STX sound card, either as a headphone amp for HD-700's or running the Xonar's line-out to a dedicated headphone amp . Yesterday I changed the stock op amps as follows: 1) I/V = 2 X LT1364 2) Buffer = OPA2227 I chose LT1364's for their alleged "valve-like" sound, and OPA2227 is lauded as offering more detail and clarity than the stock buffer op amp without sacrificing too much "neutrality". In short, this was a great upgrade, and it's a piece of cake to do it. I wrote previously about the painfully bright mid-range spike I'd hear while listening at a medium-high volume to something like a MyCoy Tyner piano solo on a Coltrane Quartet recording. These op amp changes have tamed the spike considerably. With the on-board headphone amp, the excessive brightness is practically gone. The sound is still a little bit on the bright side at higher volumes when running the Xonar's line-out through the solid-state Rhinelander, but I expect a tube amp (the Little Dot mkIII) will polish and warm it up quite nicely. Incidentally, both the Rhinelander and LD amps can be used as pre-amps, but they are DC coupled. As I understand it, it's a bad idea to pair DC coupled amps together, otherwise I'd use the LD as a pre-amp to the Rhinelander. Does anyone has thoughts or advice on that particular issue, pairing DC Coupled pre-amps? If you're reading this and you're happy with the sound of your HD-700's, I would advise you not to mess with it. But I highly recommend it if you want to temper that mid-range spike and your DAC has swappable op amps.
Interesting comments. I am using AD8397s with my MBPro which have built in buffers and don't have any peak issues as well.

As far as pairing a DC coupled Preamp and amp together, there should not be a problem if they are well-designed. The only issue that I can see is the "potential" for the amp to increase the DC offset coming from a poorly designed preamp. I have designed and built several DC coupled phono and preamp circuits and the DC offset can be easily kept to less than .1mv which will not be a problem even for high gain amps.
Edited by Mark-sf - 3/11/13 at 8:05am
post #444 of 2082

Yes.. both HE500 nand HD700.  No, don't have the Asgard. No, I don't heard any degradation using Audirvana volume control.  I actually have a relciner about 12 feet from the Mac/Bifrost/Lyr, have the Lyr at about 11 o'clock and use the Apple Remote to adujust the volume in Audirvana.  Works like a charm!

 

 

Would like to hear impressions of the HD700 with the Asgard 2. I'd like a SS amp someday. Considering the M-DAC but would rather spend less $ on an A2/

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark-sf View Post


By both are you referring to 700's and HE500's or do you have an Asgaard? As far as turning down your source in Audirvana, are you not sacrificing bits or Is your material al 16bit?

Edited by MickeyVee - 3/11/13 at 12:35pm
post #445 of 2082
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post
 

Unfortunately, I just heard from Audio Adviser today that my Asgaard 2 is now backordered for another month even though I ordered it a month ago.  frown.gif Makes one wonder how AA's purchasing is handled.  I am planning on using the amp directly out of my Oppo and PhonoAmp. While I have control over the gain with the later I do not with the Oppo without losing bits.  For my Mac I use Amarra but have not investigated how it handles volume changes.  I do not currently have a separate DAC as I use the XM6 when listening via the Mac.

post #446 of 2082
@Mark: thanks for your post and sharing your knowledge regarding pairing DC coupled amps.
 
Sounds like an intriguing possibility, and I'd like to run the following case scenario by you:
 
Were I to use the Little Dot mkIII tube amp as a pre-amp, sending the output to the solid-state Rhinelander, about where would I set the volume pot on the pre-amp in order to ensure DC offset below .1mv? 
 
I don't have the proper tools to measure output voltages, neither do I have the level of experience that you do. But I'm eager to give it a try, proceeding with caution. I know enough common sense stuff in order to avoid some of the more obvious mistakes that could "blow everything up". 
 
If you don't mind having a look, here are the specs on the tube amp:

 

Technical Specifications:
 

  • SEPP (Single-Ended Push Pull) OTL in Class-A
  • Frequency response: 12 hz~100 Khz (-1dB)
  • THD+N: 0.15% (80 mW @300 ohm)
  • Power Output:
  • 350 mW @ 300/600 ohm
  • 300 mW @ 120 oh
  • 100 mW @ 32 ohm
  • Variable Gain: 3,4,5, or 10x
  • Recommended Load Impedance: 32 ohm~600 ohm
  • Input Impedance: 50K ohms
  • Pre-Amplifier Output Impedance: 600 ohms
  • Pre-Amplifier Gain: 3-10x (also controlled via gain switches)
  • Pre-Amplifier Voltage: 10V RMS
  • Power Consumption: 30W (228V * 0.130A)
  • Pre-Amplification circuit includes both driver and power tubes
  • Driver Tubes: 2x 5654 (5725)
  • Power Tubes: 2x 6H6PI (6H6n, 6H6nN)

 

Obviously I can change the gain settings to the lowest value in order to minimize the risk of exceeding .1mv. Also, both amps should be plugged into the same electrical grounding source, in order to avoid ground loop, is that correct?
 
Another case scenario would be that I reverse the roles of the amps, i.e., use the solid-state as my pre and the tube as my main. Going by hunches I think it would make more sense to have the tubes earlier in the chain. (If you'd like to see the specs on the Rhinelander, I can copy-and-paste those also.)
 
One final thought on this scenario in general: I understand that the number of components used in an audio chain should ideally be kept to a minimum. By employing either the tube or solid-state as a pre-amp, would I be introducing unwanted artifacts, e.g., distortion, into the audio chain to such an entent that they'd outweigh the benefits? 
 
Thanks again for your time and thoughts. 
post #447 of 2082
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post
 

One thing I forgot to ask, there has been comments about a higher noise floor with the Lyr as compared to the Asgaard or Vahalla.  How are you finding this with your 700's?  Does it seem to vary significantly with tube choice?

post #448 of 2082

Don't have the others to compare but the noise floor is very, very low on the Lyr.  Have to turn it up to 2-3 o'clock before I can hear any noise at all.  Pretty much zero at even high listening levels.  The only time I've had any real noise is with bad tubes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark-sf View Post

One thing I forgot to ask, there has been comments about a higher noise floor with the Lyr as compared to the Asgaard or Vahalla.  How are you finding this with your 700's?  Does it seem to vary significantly with tube choice?

post #449 of 2082
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnypierogi View Post

@Mark: thanks for your post and sharing your knowledge regarding pairing DC coupled amps.
 
Sounds like an intriguing possibility, and I'd like to run the following case scenario by you:
 
Were I to use the Little Dot mkIII tube amp as a pre-amp, sending the output to the solid-state Rhinelander, about where would I set the volume pot on the pre-amp in order to ensure DC offset below .1mv? 
 
I don't have the proper tools to measure output voltages, neither do I have the level of experience that you do. But I'm eager to give it a try, proceeding with caution. I know enough common sense stuff in order to avoid some of the more obvious mistakes that could "blow everything up". 
 
If you don't mind having a look, here are the specs on the tube amp:

 

Technical Specifications:
 

  • SEPP (Single-Ended Push Pull) OTL in Class-A
  • Frequency response: 12 hz~100 Khz (-1dB)
  • THD+N: 0.15% (80 mW @300 ohm)
  • Power Output:
  • 350 mW @ 300/600 ohm
  • 300 mW @ 120 oh
  • 100 mW @ 32 ohm
  • Variable Gain: 3,4,5, or 10x
  • Recommended Load Impedance: 32 ohm~600 ohm
  • Input Impedance: 50K ohms
  • Pre-Amplifier Output Impedance: 600 ohms
  • Pre-Amplifier Gain: 3-10x (also controlled via gain switches)
  • Pre-Amplifier Voltage: 10V RMS
  • Power Consumption: 30W (228V * 0.130A)
  • Pre-Amplification circuit includes both driver and power tubes
  • Driver Tubes: 2x 5654 (5725)
  • Power Tubes: 2x 6H6PI (6H6n, 6H6nN)

 

Obviously I can change the gain settings to the lowest value in order to minimize the risk of exceeding .1mv. Also, both amps should be plugged into the same electrical grounding source, in order to avoid ground loop, is that correct?
 
Another case scenario would be that I reverse the roles of the amps, i.e., use the solid-state as my pre and the tube as my main. Going by hunches I think it would make more sense to have the tubes earlier in the chain. (If you'd like to see the specs on the Rhinelander, I can copy-and-paste those also.)
 
One final thought on this scenario in general: I understand that the number of components used in an audio chain should ideally be kept to a minimum. By employing either the tube or solid-state as a pre-amp, would I be introducing unwanted artifacts, e.g., distortion, into the audio chain to such an entent that they'd outweigh the benefits? 
 
Thanks again for your time and thoughts. 

 

I believe there may be some confusion here. I was responding to your question in the abstract. Neither the LDmkIII nor the Rhinelander are DC coupled headphone amplifiers. They both have capacitors protecting the audio path. Therefore, DC offset is not an issue whichever way you connect. As to which to go first in the chain, both units require you to use both their preamp and power stages and both have suitably high input impedances and low outpult impedances. Therefore, I would try them in each position and see which combination does it for you. You are doubling up on the active stages but you already know that, and you will then have four ways to suit your mood, material or taste and hopefully answer your last question.wink_face.gif 

 

Finally, be advised that as you have two volume controls their relative settings may have a significant sonic impact. It is usually best practice to have the "power amp's" volume control on full with its highest gain setting and let the "preamp" be your active volume control running in its low-gain state. This effectively takes the second volume control out of the sonic picture. Now this assumes that you end up with sufficient range on the control. If not you will need to back down on the power amp gain. This all assumes a standard volume control implementation with one leg to ground and the wiper as output and a suitably quiet poweramp.

post #450 of 2082
@Mark: clearly I mis-read some posts on other forums about the LD and Rhinelander, which led me to believe they're DC coupled. Damn internets.
 
Thanks for putting me right, your post tells me exactly what I wanted to know. In a couple days I'll get down to juggling amps. Right now I'm only getting to know the Little Dot mkIII, which arrived yesterday. 
 
After a half-dozen or so listening hours, here are some of my first impressions on the HD-700's through the LD mkIII: 
 
1) Regarding the overall character of the sound, it's far warmer and fuzzier than the Rhinelander or Xonar ST headphone amp. ("Tell me something I don't already know...") It makes me nostalgic for listening to my dad's behemoth Marantz receiver in the 1970's when I was a kid. Frankly, on some types of recordings, e.g., acoustic small ensemble jazz, there's *too* much warmy goodness for my taste, the sound is muddled, making tube rolling a no-brainer. 
 
2) Mid-range spike now sounds well-tempered. Nice. 
 
3) Bass can be muddy and flabby, but again that's tubes - hence rolling is key.  
 
4) "WOW" moment: after the first hour listening to my test playlist, I had the "WOW" moment, but an atypical one. Finally I understand why folk prize and regard solid-state so highly. I'd been taking the Rhinelander's clean, clear and crisp sound for granted. Yeah, the LD noise floor seems reasonable enough, but the Rhinelander exhibits no audible noise whatsoever. The LD can't touch the Rhinelander's realistic and peppy bass, not to mention it's purity of essence. The LD sounds congested at higher volumes, the Rhinelander goes to 11.  
 
So, back to the HD-700's, this being an HD-700 appreciation thread, as I forge ahead rolling tubes and switching around pre-amps and amps, I gotta gives props to the HD-700's. They are simply awesome, they scale up remarkably well. They respond to what's fed them. If you have the desire and patience to explore, you can tune the sound a variety of ways to suit your tastes.
 
Thanks again, Mark, for your tips. If anything else would happen to pop into your head about my pairing the Rhinelander and mkIII, please let me know. It seems sensible that I wait until I've had more listening time on the LD, rolled some tubes, etc., before I add new variables into the mix. 
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Sennheiser HD 700 Impressions Thread