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HD800 vs HE500 - Page 24

post #346 of 1025
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

What about the variances in everyones tuned ports that are commonly called ears? :blink:

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

That's a whole different realm lol.

Yep, those holes go deep into the imagination. :regular_smile :

post #347 of 1025

Guys, I reckon this discussion needs to be in the context of the music being listened to. That makes the most difference. :smile:

post #348 of 1025
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

Guys, I reckon this discussion needs to be in the context of the music being listened to. That makes the most difference. :smile:

The earbashing around here has been following Rafferty's Rules. Why is it that diminsihing returns and imaginary details excite so many and the only way to get the ridgie-didge is to hit your kick?

post #349 of 1025
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

The earbashing around here has been following Rafferty's Rules. Why is it that diminsihing returns and imaginary details excite so many and the only way to get the ridgie-didge is to hit your kick?

 

that's a part of one  whole

post #350 of 1025

StanD: A discussion doesn't need rules, except that one shouldn't be rude. Personal attacks and rude implications are what people use when they can't back up their arguments, or at the very least, aren't willing to. 

 

I'm going to refrain from pruning this thread...for now, but if the rude implications continue, then I'm going to start locking people out. Choose wisely.

post #351 of 1025
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

StanD: A discussion doesn't need rules, except that one shouldn't be rude. Personal attacks and rude implications are what people use when they can't back up their arguments, or at the very least, aren't willing to. 

 

I'm going to refrain from pruning this thread...for now, but if the rude implications continue, then I'm going to start locking people out. Choose wisely.

I'll be nice.

post #352 of 1025
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
 

A mini first impressions review cuz why not.

 

I have to say first impressions A/Bing HE-500 and HD800, the HE-500 flat out wins for pop/rock with my chain. The HD800 has a more polite sound that doesn't fit this genre well at all. The soundstage is wider, but the vocals also sound more distanced and spread out, which doesn't sound as natural as the intimate vocal presentation of the HE-500. Also, the more impactful bass and more tactile instrumentation of the HE-500 really works well for the rock/pop genre. Last I A/Bed the HE-500 vs. HD800 with my friend's HD800, I did not have my Quickie preamp, and the HE-500 lacked soundstage depth and sounded somewhat congested. At that time, it was an even fight between the two for rock/pop, which each with its own weaknesses. Now that I have the Quickie in the chain, it has much better soundstage depth and coherency, and also more transparent and not congested anymore. Losing the congestion and with better transparency really helped my ears pick up more details on instruments and that contributed to the tactility of the HE-500 now. With the Quickie in the chain, it's not even a close fight for rock/pop.

 

As for classical, it's a different fight. The HD800 soundstage helps it greatly here, but it really depends on the composition. If it suits a polite sound, then the HD800 sounds better, but if the song is more dramatic with aggressive instrumentation from a full orchestra (drums, cymbals), once again the HE-500 tactility wins out. With the increased soundstage depth of the HE-500 with Quickie, I'm not missing out too much on soundstaging.

 

For jazz and acoustic, I find the importance of tactility to be more important than extra soundstage, so we know which one I prefer here.

 

For vocals, as mentioned earlier, I honestly find the HD800 to be a bit unnatural as it stretches out the voices a bit too far. The HE-500 has a more coherent soundstaging for vocals, and with the added tactility and body, it wins here as well. The HE-500 vocals sound more realistic and more believable that you're being sung to in the same room.

 

It's very important to note that my chain on my HE-500 is far more optimized than my HD800 chain. I only have the Bottlehead Crack for HD800. I have the Speedball upgrade kit, but haven't gotten around to installing it, but I plan to before doing my formal review. Really this is like comparing a tricked out Camaro to a stock Corvette. The Camaro ZL1 does in fact beat the last generation (not Stingray) entry-level Corvette in 0-60 speeds. I also stand by the notion that the HD800 can be improved far beyond what I'm currently hearing out of it, so it'll be a new journey. :o

 

Chains:

Audioengine D3 -> Bottlehead Quickie -> Emotiva MiniX a-100 -> HE-500

Audioengine D3 -> Bottlehead Crack -> HD800


Wow great impressions man! Loving it. Honestly your audio chain and your writing style takes after my own. I sort of get the feeiing I would have the exact same accessment. Thanks for your thoughts!

post #353 of 1025
Quote:
Originally Posted by dleblanc343 View Post

Lol, lots of action in this thread all of a sudden.

I think I'll just wait for another ridiculous statement to be made before I state my position further >smily_headphones1.gif


Well at least we have people who own both headphones at the same time. They're also stating their chain and music quite clearly, so nothing really ridiculous about it. The opinions on this thread are very high standard compared to other threads where people don't actually own one of the phones or their chain is completely goofy, totally messing up one of the phones.

 

WA22 for the HD800 and <$200 Emotiva sounds like a more than enough fair fight, especially fronted by a good source too.

post #354 of 1025
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post
 

Listening to the HD800 right now on my WA22 and been switching back and forth between HE500 and HD800, it makes me wonder if the HE500 is sold for $1400 and the HE-6 is not there, would some of these notion/impression/evaluations still exist and hold true?  

Of course, it's easy to say "yes".

 

I guess my ears' scalability is not very high like some golden ears we have here.  :D


I agree here. Price colors preception so much. The opinions of the HE-500 vs. HE-6 before price change and post price change is a case study in human psychology. We had people trading HE-500 for HE-6 straight up without any cash compensation before the price change. This wasn't just a few months, it was over a year the HE-500 was part of summit-fi.

 

Since Currowang is in this thread, watching it like a hawk. I remember reading his initial impression after listening to the HE-5 for the first time (3 years ago?). He said it was about as good as the HD800 maybe better. ROFL. :veryevil: And honestly? It probably is.


Edited by M-13 - 12/31/13 at 6:12pm
post #355 of 1025
CW still watches this thread like a hawk. smily_headphones1.gif
post #356 of 1025
Quote:
Originally Posted by M-13 View Post
 


I agree here. Price colors preception so much. The opinions of the HE-500 vs. HE-6 before price change and post price change is a case study in human psychology. We had people trading HE-500 for HE-6 straight up without any cash compensation before the price change. This wasn't just a few months, it was over a year the HE-500 was part of summit-fi.

 

Since Currowang is in this thread, watching it like a hawk. I remember reading his initial impression after listening to the HE-5 for the first time (3 years ago?). He said it was about as good as the HD800 maybe better. ROFL. :veryevil: And honestly? It probably is.

Not only does price color expectation/perception, so does all the chatter one hears, I'm a firm believer that most of the magic is in the cans not the amp. As long as the amp is good and proper, the cans are the major thing.

post #357 of 1025
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

Not only does price color expectation/perception, so does all the chatter one hears, I'm a firm believer that most of the magic is in the cans not the amp. As long as the amp is good and proper, the cans are the major thing.


Interesting. Consider this. If with various amping and tweaking in the chain, the HD800 could sound exactly like a well driven HE-500 with all its musicality, tactility, while keeping its strengths like a wide soundstage and better detailing. Overall though, the sound signature was modified to sound like the HE-500, nothing like what the HD800 was designed to sound like, with its analytical sound. Would you consider this a great accomplishment or an abomination?


Edited by Sonido - 12/31/13 at 6:49pm
post #358 of 1025
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
 


Interesting. Consider this. If with various amping and tweaking in the chain, the HD800 could sound exactly like a well driven HE-500 with all it's musicality, tactility, while keeping its strengths like a wide soundstage and better detailing. Overall though, the sound signature was modified to sound like the HE-500, nothing like what the HD800 was designed to sound like, with its analytical sound. Would you consider this a great accomplishment or an abomination?

Remember what I said about the magic being in the cans. For example the transient response of the cans can't be changed in the amp. The light mass and low inertia of a Planar Magnetic isn't something that one can overcome with EQamping or minor circuit tweaking. The HE-500 has a sparkle in the treble that Jerg laughingly calls a "Sonic Annoyance," its small but noticeable. That's something you can tone down either by modifying the cans or using a parametric EQ or with less accuracy a graphic EQ. In this case it's small and nothing to lose sleep over. The HD700 has IMO too much treble emphasis that I find fatiguing. I'd take the HE-500 over this in a heartbeat. I'd take an HD600 over the HD700 in a heartbeat as well. I own an HD600 and an HE-500, among a pile of other cans and have spent plenty of time listening to the HD650, HD700 and HD800 using my own portable chain, Of these last three I could live without the HD650 or HD700. To me the HD800 sounds great, it is pricey, but I wouldn't mind having a pair if you gifted me one. :D My thinking is if I'm going to buy cans, especially something that costs a bunch, why should I buy something that's going to give me heartburn and require all sorts of gymnastics to make it sound acceptable? I'd be wiser to put my money into cans that sound good out of the box without having to take all sorts of extra measures. Some corrections might take measures that are simply not practical. Why spend the time and a ton of money developing DSP software and hardware to fix some design defect in a set of cans when one can simply buy something without the fault. We know that's never going to happen, spending tens of thousands of dollars to do this would be a fool's errand. Amps are much more tangible to design than cans. Straight up circuit design vs. electro-mechanical/acoustical design.

I say, buy a good set of cans and a decent amp and call it a day. Then spend some time enjoying the music. I feel that most folks fooling around with amps and wires are chasing ghosts, but if they are getting the hobbyist kick out of it, that's fine, only I think they tend to spread more stories than fact. There's nothing wrong with experimenting and having fun at it, I just get concerned when the uninitiated are unduly influenced by this. I don't think this is fair.

Oh, as far as the HD800 goes, I think they're a great set of cans. And as I've already made plain, the HD650 and HD700 not so much. YMMV.


Edited by StanD - 12/31/13 at 7:22pm
post #359 of 1025
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

Not only does price color expectation/perception, so does all the chatter one hears, I'm a firm believer that most of the magic is in the cans not the amp. As long as the amp is good and proper, the cans are the major thing.


I don't agree with you. But hey roll with it if that's what you believe. :veryevil: LOL. However I do hope your conclusions come from trying out multiple amps in various price categories and not based on imagination.

post #360 of 1025
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 
Remember what I said about the magic being in the cans. For example the transient response of the cans can't be changed in the amp. 

 

I recommend listening to very fast, very well-made with a pair of planar headphones in a variety of amps. If there's ever a meet in your area, likely someone will have a pair, so you can try them with a variety of gear. There are numerous meet impressions where people commented on their surprise at how different their music sounded with the same headphones out of different systems. 

 

Very often people like a pair of headphones, such as the HD-800s, but find a small amount of fine-tuning (however they go about that) is the icing on the cake. Also, my experience has been that amps have a varying ability to maintain delivering the fine details of fast-paced music. So maybe it is the ability of the amp to maintain a consistent transient response that is critical. A small difference may be small, but listening to a lot of music, all those small differences add up to a lot over time and are much more noticeable with good recordings.

 

Also with better headphones, unpleasant distortion can be more apparent. Recently I sat and listened with my JH-13s straight out of my iPhone. It was unbearable (despite the iPhone being technically "good enough"). Instruments sounded absolutely grating, even though I hadn't expected them to. Listening again for an hour with a borrowed iDevice DAC/amp, the sound was far better. This is one of MANY experiences I've had which were similar.

 

Now I'm not going to disagree that the chase can be crazy and over-the-top (especially given there is a lot of music I wouldn't bother over it for which I relegate to listening to out of my car stereo or on public transport with cheaper IEMs) but I will say, this is the wrong thread for the argument about it, and the wrong forum too, especially without experiencing things for oneself first.

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