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Sennheiser HD800 Questions

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

New guy here so I should probably apologize for the newb post.  I have a ton of reading to do around here.

 

I am looking into headphone audio and the HD800s caught my attention.  I've been a regular on AVS for a while under the same handle so I am not a complete newb to audio.  I also tend to think that I have a good idea of what good sound reproduction is.

 

I've read a few reviews on the HD800s and am very intrigued by them.  I tend to enjoy a detailed and crisp sound presentation.  I guess some would call it forward...

 

My question is if going straight to the HD800 is like going to say a B&W Diamond, KEF Reference, etc. in the speaker world?  Is such a comparison even possible?

 

How much do the other components in the chain make a difference in headphone audio?  I currently use my PC as my 2.1 channel system.  I am running the Asus Essence STX.  I understand the STX has a pretty good headphone amp.  However, is it good enough for the HD800s?

 

If not, can you guys recommend a good headphone amp?  I've been looking at Woo Audio but not sure which model would be a good fit.

 

The last question is if it is possible to audition the headphones locally?  I am in socal, Orange County area.  I've only been able to find only retailers.

 

Thanks. 

post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 

Ok, did some research and it seems like one of the Woo Audio tube amps would be a good fit to get rid of some of the harshness in the top end that people talk about.

 

Which of the Woo amps would be the best fit?  I like the WA2 but the price of the WA6 is much easier on the wallet.

 

Is the WA2 a worthy upgrade over the WA6?  Where does the WA6-SE fit in?

 

Is a good DAC still required or will my Asus STX be sufficient?

post #3 of 5
I would get a DAC if you have the cash. Don't cheap out on an amp, a cheap amp = cheap sound.
post #4 of 5
OTL amps match very well with the HD800. WA2 is an OTL, WA6 and WA6SE use output transformers. Remember to budget for aftermarket tubes. Your STX will be fine as long as you aren't getting any electrical interference from your computer.

Orange County is home to several killer HD800 rigs. They meet up several times a year. Keep an eye on the local meet section
http://www.head-fi.org/f/24/local-regional-head-fi-meets-parties-get-togethers

Somewhat related, I checked the insides of my WA2 today and Woo Audio keeps everything nice and tidy. They do an amazing job with aesthetics.
post #5 of 5
For the HD800 each component needs thorough selection. In my system the last but significant factor was the analog interconnect. Normally I use the Grado PS1000 but recently I have played a bit with the HD800 in my system and changing the IC for silver plated shielded wires created completely different sound, very life-like.
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