Brings life and emotion to Sennheiser HD 800
Originally Posted by rxs0
Any opinions on the Headphone amplifier of the Lynx Hilo? Any other users of the Hilo on this forum?
My first impressions based on a demo in a demo room lasting approx. 5 hours:
Source, DAC and headphone amplifier:
- Windows 7 + foobar2000 -> USB -> Lynx Hilo
- Lynx Hilo -> digital -> Grace Design m903
- Lynx Hilo -> digital -> Benchmark DAC1 HDR
Each was used as both DAC and headphone amplifier. "digital means either RCA S/PDIF or Toslink". I think Grace Design was fed with Toslink.
- Sennheiser HD 800 with all three
- Sennheiser HD 650 only with Grace Design m903, and for the first 1-1.5 hours
Lynx Hilo, Benchmark DAC1 HDR, Sennheiser HD 800, and Sennheiser HD 650 belonged to the demo company. State of run in unknown to me. Grace Design m903 belongs to me and has been run in and in use for 1 3/4 years.
Lynx Hilo: April 2012 firm ware and Windows driver v. 1.55
Music: Varied and well known to me.
Important notice: I listen at (very) moderate loudness levels, many would (probably) call them (very) low.
Sennheiser HD 650 was very nice with Grace Design m903. My thought about the HD 650 during/after the session was "So that's what all the fuzz is about". For comparison: The day before I tried Audeze LCD2.2 bamboo with the same PC and USB to Grace Design m903. My thought during/after the session was "What's all the fuzz about?" and "Much Ado About Nothing".
Denon AH-D7000 is very good with Grace Design m903 by the way, and it's also been very good as a DAC for STAX SR-009 + STAX SRM-007t.
Unfortunately I haven't been as a happy with Sennheiser HD 800 which I've experienced hasn't involved nor moved me. It has more or less left me as a (distant) observer instead of taking hold of and moving me. It has what we in Norwegian refer to as low or lacking goose bumps factor (Norwegian: gåsehudfaktor). Ditto for toe tapping, head bopping and body movement factor. I've hence earlier asked on the Norwegian forum Hifisentralen whether the HD 800 might be emotionally handicapped. Not everyone was happy with me even asking the question, even though I actually also at the same time asked whether anyone had suggestions for headphone amplifiers that might remedy this problem. Unfortunately I didn't get any good suggestions.
I got curious about the Lynx Hilo for different reasons. Sennheiser HD 800 was used for the demo because it was a headphone I own that was available at the demo company. I had also hoped for a beyerdynamic T 1, but it wasn't available, and I couldn't travel across the country carrying a lot of stuff.
The Lynx Hilo did good things for Sennheiser HD 800 (and me). Suddenly HD 800 could rock, roll, boogie, move me and more. It even had soul. There was toe tapping, head and body movement. Whenever I connected it to Grace Design m903 or Benchmark DAC1 HDR, the wish to move etc. subsided or vanished. I am so far not sure what factors are the source of this, but it was repeatable. The combination did well with any music I tried, new and old, good and "rusty" recordings, even severe loudness war victims like Duffy's "Rockferry" and The Seatsniffers' "Assembly Line".
I found this very attractive and enjoyable. At last, something that can give life and emotion to Sennheiser HD 800.