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post #4786 of 21428
They're too sterile for lively music, IMO, it's like SR-009s without the atmospheric/visceral "wow" factor. For HT, non-music use, however, I'm finding them to be excellent.
Quote:
Originally Posted by driver 8 View Post

Yeah, my HD800's bass (off the ECBA, at least {and with a balanced Cardas, if that matters?}) is always pleasing after a bit of an adjustment period on my part.

See, that's what I'm hoping, going balanced will quicken some vita into them.
Edited by Magick Man - 1/19/13 at 2:54am
post #4787 of 21428
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post

They're too sterile for lively music, IMO, it's like SR-009s without the atmospheric/visceral "wow" factor. For HT, non-music use, however, I'm finding them to be excellent.
See, that's what I'm hoping, going balanced will quicken some vita into them.

 

I've seen people [with very good ears] say the exact opposite: the HD800 is more "visceral" than the SR-009. I think amps play a pretty huge factor here.

 

Personally I think the "HD800 are sterile" thing is the result of people not hearing them on a synergistic rig. They require the right tubes (more than almost any other headphone I've heard), even if you're listening on an ECBA.


Edited by MuppetFace - 1/19/13 at 3:13am
post #4788 of 21428

So they are extremely picky then. What would be your favorite amps to use with them in terms of synergy?
 

post #4789 of 21428
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post

So they are extremely picky then. What would be your favorite amps to use with them in terms of synergy?
 

 

 

I'd go so far as to say the HD800 is one of the pickiest headphones I've ever owned. The K1000 may be the only one to top it in terms of difficulty finding good amp synergy for me.

 

Eddie Current gear (S7, ZDSE, BA, 2A3, Leviathan) sounds great with the HD800 provided you have the right tubes. People have been raving about the DNA Stratus with stock tubes as well. Hopefully I'll get to try that Stratus out myself, as I tend to really like 2A3 amps.

 

Apex gear is pretty good (though the Pinnacle is too expensive IMHO), and I know some head-fiers who like the new Bryston amp which I haven't heard yet.

post #4790 of 21428
The rig is synergistic with my other headphones, quite musical and lively. My HP-2s are jaw-dropping on it, but then again they're termed for balanced operation. Back to the HD800s, I have to say they're almost grating with any of my SS amps, though detail retrieval is top notch. It improves with the Cary SLI-80 set in triode mode (NOS Genalex Gold Lions), but still isn't what I'd call engaging. As I said earlier, running them balanced on the BA may produce what I'm looking for, I'll just have to wait and see, I'm taking them to the shop later today.

My SR-009s/WES combo is purposely tuned for euphony with Shuguang 50yr Black Bottles. It's silky smooth, just breathtaking. It really stokes the dynamics and life, while keeping ultra fine detail.
post #4791 of 21428

Apropos solid state, I really enjoyed the HD 800 with the Cary XCiter DAC and Violectric HPA-V100. The sound space was ah-may-zing., and while the treble was sometimes a little bright, even on acid test recordings it never broke up or got sibilant.

 

I still intend to have an HD 800 someday. It's really magical. At the time, I had the option of buying either the HD 800 or HE-6. Even though the HD 800 was markedly so much better at the things it was better at, I opted for the HE-6 because it wasn't weak at anything, even if it isn't the unqualified best at anything either. After my brief time with it I felt the HD 800 wasn't the headphone to have if you only have one.

 

I haven't heard the HD 800 yet on any systems (tube or otherwise) that change that opinion, so I'll defer to MF and MM, as they have a lot more experience and exposure to TOTL amps with the HD 800. I think it's worth noting, at least, that you can get excellent sound with it on non-summit-level gear -- but be aware you can get even better sound if you upgrade your system around it.


Edited by ardgedee - 1/19/13 at 4:45am
post #4792 of 21428
Thread Starter 

Not surprising that sounds smooth as silk: the Woo amps are very euphonic and tubey in general. The SR-009 from the BHSE will sound much more flat (in terms of engagement) and less lively in my experience, though the driver control will be better at louder volumes compared to the Woos. The differences in stat amps on that level aren't vast, but the SR-009 is such a chameleon it can make a difference. Really just depends on what you're looking for in the end.

 

Honestly, I don't think the difference between single-ended and balanced will make much difference aside from making it louder on the BA. I've spoken to some very experienced BA owners who report the difference between the amps single-ended and balanced operation is minor in most cases. However some people I respect swear by replacing the stock cable on the HD800, so you could hear an improvement just from a new cable, balanced or otherwise.

 

In my experience amps are always going to be a trade-off, and no amp and tube set is going to drive every headphone equally well. The HP2 is an easier load, both literally and in terms of synergy in my experience. Hell, the HP2 sounds great just off my notebook without an external amp. The HD800 on the other hand sounds like crap.

 

I've sold off most of my dynamic amps anyway. Want to try new things. Perhaps the Leviathan will be "the one to rule them all," assuming it gets made...


Edited by MuppetFace - 1/19/13 at 4:49am
post #4793 of 21428
Thanks for all the HD800. I'm going to put this under "Long term budget", and of course I must listen to them first to make sure.
post #4794 of 21428
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgray91 View Post

Thanks for all the HD800. I'm going to put this under "Long term budget", and of course I must listen to them first to make sure.

 

Ever consider getting into "summit-fi" via portables? The FitEar TG334 for instance, or maybe some customs (UERM, JH13/JH16, SE5-Way)? Honestly I don't listen to fullsized headphones much these days aside from my Jades and SR-Omegas.

 

Speaking of Jades, I really think a better-made Jade has the potential to be an absolute monster. Fang seems to be taking his time releasing their successor, which is good. No other upcoming headphone has me so far over on the edge of my seat as this.

 

Invicta --> Electra --> Jade II

 

...yikes. Wouldn't be too surprised if that beat out the Orpheus for 1/4th the price.

post #4795 of 21428

I know I'm late to this particular scene, broken social or otherwise, but recently I've been listening to Do Make Say Think almost obsessively...

 

 

For some reason bands on the Constellation label sound best in the winter.

post #4796 of 21428
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardgedee View Post

I know I'm late to this particular scene, broken social or otherwise, but recently I've been listening to Do Make Say Think almost obsessively...

 

Have you listened to the new Mono, For My Parents? It's a good'un. The new Godspeed You! Black Emperor is also great, if a bit more chaotic and noisy.

post #4797 of 21428
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgray91 View Post

Thanks for all the HD800. I'm going to put this under "Long term budget", and of course I must listen to them first to make sure.

Ever consider getting into "summit-fi" via portables? The FitEar TG334 for instance, or maybe some customs (UERM, JH13/JH16, SE5-Way)? Honestly I don't listen to fullsized headphones much these days aside from my Jades and SR-Omegas.

Speaking of Jades, I really think a better-made Jade has the potential to be an absolute monster. Fang seems to be taking his time releasing their successor, which is good. No other upcoming headphone has me so far over on the edge of my seat as this.

Invicta --> Electra --> Jade II

...yikes. Wouldn't be too surprised if that beat out the Orpheus for 1/4th the price.

I have actually, and currently am also preferring it due to practical reasons: space. Until I got my own place to live in, full-size will always be a problem. Besides, I would assume portable "summit-fi" has a lower entry barrier than full sized, so there's that too. At least that's what I see.
post #4798 of 21428
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

Have you listened to the new Mono, For My Parents? It's a good'un. The new Godspeed You! Black Emperor is also great, if a bit more chaotic and noisy.

 

Haven't gotten into Mono at all yet -- they're still on the margins of my attention.

 

I first spotted the new GY!BE album in a record shop in Seoul and it freaked me out. I was 99% certain it was either a bootleg or I'd imagined it until I was able to get online to confirm they really had a new album. I think Alleujah! is second only to Lift Your Skinny Fists... in Godspeed's corpus -- it's got so much life in it.

 

I've also been listening to The Go! Team -- about as polar opposite as you can get, in terms of emotional context. Go figure.

post #4799 of 21428
The SR-009 + BHSE combo didn't thrill me, though I enjoyed the amp very much with the SR-007 Mk1s. As all headphones don't appeal to all people, HD800s may just be too clinical and sterile for my taste. It isn't that I find them overly harsh or sibilant, though in a handful of cases they have been.
post #4800 of 21428
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardgedee View Post

 

Haven't gotten into Mono at all yet -- they're still on the margins of my attention.

 

I first spotted the new GY!BE album in a record shop in Seoul and it freaked me out. I was 99% certain it was either a bootleg or I'd imagined it until I was able to get online to confirm they really had a new album. I think Alleujah! is second only to Lift Your Skinny Fists... in Godspeed's corpus -- it's got so much life in it.

 

I've also been listening to The Go! Team -- about as polar opposite as you can get, in terms of emotional context. Go figure.

 

I totally agree with you on it being second only to Lift Your Skinny Fists. When I first heard Don't Bend! Ascend! last year, I was driving back from taking a friend to the airport in the very early morning hours. The night sky was giving way to an inky dark navy blue, and on the horizon there was a small patch of vibrant fire as the guitars started twanging in the introduction of "Mladic." Those guitars... they sound like seagulls almost, set against the ominous swell of those building string drones. It was an amazing sensory experience.

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