My gear consists of a Musical Fidelity M1HPA connected to a DIY USB dac made for me by a friend who knows what he's doing, and he said to me this DAC trumps most things you'll hear in stores. He also made a cable to use between the M1 and the DAC. The DAC is connected via an Audioquest Forrest USB cable to an iMac running iTunes FLAC.
I'm not a cable believer but I'll go through this stuff anyway; the M1 is connected via the including power cable to one of these: http://www.99musik.se/attachment.php?attachmentid=26406&d=1289390622&thumb=1 (I consider myself educated in English but couldn't remember what these are called). The DAC is connected in the same way.
The headphones used are the Senn HD 800 and the Denon D600.
A while ago, I compared the sound of this entire desktop system using the HD 800, with that of the iPhone 4. The phone had no problem driving the HD 800 and both sources sounded EXACTLY the same, possibly with a slight increase in dynamics using the desktop system. This chocked me, I tell you.
I simply thought that much of the Hi-fi hobby is audiophile BS, and the iPhone is simply very good sounding. I've heard myself that differences between sources are minimal, not cable-minimal but by no means as large as those between headphones/speakers.
But now, I compared the D600 to the HD 800. The HD 800 has much less bass, a bit smoother, fuller sounding midrange and more even, coherent treble but there was no difference in terms of clarity/resolution between them. WTF?!
I tried disconnecting all other electronics (lamp, router, hard-drive etc) from the power socket but no difference.
Something must be wrong, is it these http://www.99musik.se/attachment.php?attachmentid=26406&d=1289390622&thumb=1 who bottleneck the system? Is it that the power of this house is below average (my friend suggested this, he said I should try an AC cleaner)?
If you help me solve this depressing issue I will be very grateful :) If not, I'll probably sell the HD 800. Don't want to, but what reason is there to keep them when a headphone half it's price does everything better for my needs?
I've heard the HD 800, STAX headphones etc outside where I am and certainly I've heard great differences then. No problem hearing how the SR-009 was significantly more clear sounding than the Audez'e LCD-2 for example. I'm convinced the HD 800s can sound much better as I've heard it myself and that there is something wrong with just my gear.