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Upgrading from Sennheiser HD555 to Sennheiser HD800, questions;-)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello there, I'm new to the forum, and after much debate I decided to upgrade my headphones from HD555 to HD800's, my main question is will I hear very noticeable differences in general sound quality?  Will it be a night and day issue? I hope so.  Any comments from people who could compare the 2 would be much appreciated.   Thank you.

post #2 of 8

What Amp and DAC would you plan to use with the HD800?

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Also in regards to headphone amplifiers, I have bought a Matrix M-Stage headphone amplifier to compliment the HD-800s, is this a good choice on a budget? any info appreciated.  My main DAC will be an emu 0404 usb external soundcard.  Good setup?
 

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynarec View Post

Hello there, I'm new to the forum, and after much debate I decided to upgrade my headphones from HD555 to HD800's, my main question is will I hear very noticeable differences in general sound quality?  Will it be a night and day issue? I hope so.  Any comments from people who could compare the 2 would be much appreciated.   Thank you.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dynarec View Post

Also in regards to headphone amplifiers, I have bought a Matrix M-Stage headphone amplifier to compliment the HD-800s, is this a good choice on a budget? any info appreciated.  My main DAC will be an emu 0404 usb external soundcard.  Good setup?
 

 

Heya,

 

I would suggest you:

 

1. Save your money.

2. Do more research before you buy anything.

3. Try things before you buy to get more of a sense of what everything even means.

4. I hope your music library is HD800 "ready".

 

Here's why: You just said "night & day." That's a cue to me that says "I'm looking to be WOW'd" and honestly, you may not get that from any headphone, regardless of the price tag. You also mentioned "budget." Budget and "HD800" don't really go hand in hand. The HD800 is absolutely unforgiving of source equipment and music quality. I would suggest you put way more effort into finding other already well known and established synergies between the HD800 and amplifiers. They're generally going to cost more than the M-stage. You've got a usb soundcard that is your DAC. This also screams problems when it comes to source equipment. Any weak link and the HD800 isn't going to be showing off it's abilities, and your $1200~1500 price tag headphone just sounds like something costing much less and may or may not impress you.

 

Now, is it going to be better than the HD555's? Yes. By a metric ton? No. Night & day? Well to me, no. But to someone else, maybe yes. It's completely subjective.

 

I know I'm being critical and nit-picky, but it sounds like you're going from a peanut setup to a $2,000+ setup with very little research, and just grabbing at "the best headphone" or something. Hi-fi and high-end are not always the best for your music collection that you listen to. If your music is not very high quality, very well recorded originally, and being rendered by good equipment, the end result is not going to be pleasing on a headphone like the HD800 which is absolutely unforgiving of flaws. It's also very picky of source equipment, it can sound unholy bright with a setup that isn't warm enough or rolls treble enough, maybe you want that, maybe you don't. But there's just so much more to look into before you drop money into this.

 

So here's some more questions:

 

1. Why the HD800?

2. What's your maximum budget for everything (assume you need a new DAC/AMP)?

3. What kind of music collection do you have, and what quality is it (assuming digital media)?

4. What kind of sound signature are you seeking?

 

Very best,

post #5 of 8

I have used M-stage and HD800 and it is a very good combo. The M-stage controls the highs which works very well when paired with the HD800. You will have to spend lot more to get something better. I used the stock version of the M-stage and i found it better sounding with the default opamp.

 

Whether the HD800 suits one's music preference is a personal choice and what you define as sound quality. If you listen to a lot of vocals (like me), then i would recommend  HD600 and AKG Q701.  Incomparision with the HD800, the HD600 has thick and lush mids and the Q701 has forward (more involving) mids. If you like bassy music, then neither of the headphones mention is a good choice. The HD650 might be a better choice. You have to consider so many factors before choosing your ideal headphone :)

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you both for your insightful informative answers.  My music collection is soo varied, it encompasses everything from goth rock, soundtracks, electronic, avante garde, electro , house, techno, rock, punk, and from research done I was informed that the HD 800 performs well with most genres of music,  I'm buying the HD800 for its rich soundstage and sense of dynamics and its brutal honesty.  All my music is encoded as FLAC/320.  I'd also researched the HD800 in parallel with the matrix m-stage and had read positive reviews, hence why i bought it, backed up by what Niranhopper validates.

I also prefer airy, immersive,, open sound signatures, so the HD800 seems to fit the bill in that regard.

 

I forgot to mention i also have an Echo audiofire 8 firewire card, which may or may not prove to be an improvement over the Emu0404 usb as a source DAC.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

pS, I've spent up to 3 weeks on this board reviewing every thread possible on the Sennheiser HD800 in its relation to headphone amplifiers, sound, and functionality and whether or not i felt it was suitable for my needs.

post #8 of 8

ODAC and bottlehead crack is the best on a budget. The Hd800 sings out of that rig

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