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Best cable for HD800 into LavryDA11

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Looking to maximise the potential given that $500 is my budget. Used is fine too. Very new to this environment. Hanks
post #2 of 30

It is pointless, buy an amp instead.

post #3 of 30

I agree, that money could be better spent.

post #4 of 30

If I were you I would look into Toxic Cables. I believe the company just released a new line of cables that would fit the HD800

Quote:
Originally Posted by padam View Post

It is pointless, buy an amp instead.

 

That obviously a matter of opinion (and belief) and considering that this guy owns the HD800 and LavryDA11 I think it's safe to assume he's not totally new to the whole head-fi thing. Let's just answer his question rather than point out that you don't believe in cables. 

 

If we keep up this habit of just posting that we disagree threads like these will soon be flooded by "sell LavryDA11 and buy O2+ODAC!" posts. 

post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Staal View Post

If I were you I would look into Toxic Cables. I believe the company just released a new line of cables that would fit the HD800

 

That obviously a matter of opinion (and belief) and considering that this guy owns the HD800 and LavryDA11 I think it's safe to assume he's not totally new to the whole head-fi thing. Let's just answer his question rather than point out that you don't believe in cables. 

 

If we keep up this habit of just posting that we disagree threads like these will soon be flooded by "sell LavryDA11 and buy O2+ODAC!" posts. 

I never said I don't believe in cables. I am saying people are saying "better" to something that is "different" or rather "worse" in some cases.

But I've been to live recordings (in the future hopefully I will be doing them myself and mixing as well)

So I am very much aware of what components a signal (whether it be analog or digital) goes through before it is recorded and how much do these components cost.

 

Once one becomes aware of how all this works (what we are actually hearing), and decides to "take that in" he will likely to take a completely different approach on what to buy or not to buy or how to compare equipment.

 

All I can say is that the DA11 headphone out is not bad, but a better amp such as a Dynalo (Gilmore Lite or GS-1) will improve the HD800 significantly. I also like the fully balanced CEC HD53N as well.

post #6 of 30

I would invest in an amp. If you are into DIY, go for the Bottlehead Crack, which has excellent synergy with most Sennheiser headphones. Or you could go with a solid-state solution and pick up a new Schiit Audio Asgard or a used Burson Audio HA-160 amplifier. Other than that, I'd insist on saving your money for a better amplifier like the WA22 from Woo Audio.

 

destroysall.


Edited by Destroysall - 12/4/12 at 8:11pm
post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotur View Post

Looking to maximise the potential given that $500 is my budget. Used is fine too. Very new to this environment. Hanks

I agree with many others here, regardless of your view towards cables, the Lavry is very meh directly driving the HD800, best stick with the stock cable and get an amp with that money.

post #8 of 30

Upgrade cables are usually placebo effect. If they really improve the sound, don't you think the headphone manufacturer would use them? 

 

To quote something I read in another thread-most upgrade cables have no engineering behind them, the stock cables do. 

 

That said, you might like an upgraded cable due to more sturdy connectors or a better style/look/feeling. Those are valid reasons I suppose. 

post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by phototristan View Post
To quote something I read in another thread-most upgrade cables have no engineering behind them, the stock cables do. 

That's a mighty fine statement that I can agree with in most cases. 

 

destroysall.

post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by phototristan View Post

Upgrade cables are usually placebo effect. If they really improve the sound, don't you think the headphone manufacturer would use them? 

 

To quote something I read in another thread-most upgrade cables have no engineering behind them, the stock cables do. 

 

That said, you might like an upgraded cable due to more sturdy connectors or a better style/look/feeling. Those are valid reasons I suppose. 

I agree 100%

 

The fact is even the "best" cabling purchased by the spool in bulk will not cost you over $2 a foot; and that's retail. I am sure the manufactures do not purchase at retail prices. So on a 4' cable, it cost the manufacture $8 more (if the other cable were miraculously free) to produce. Why would they not provide this cable already with their $1500 HD800's? You can make the argument that a cable is can be a designer add on to your equipment, but some magical sound improving addition it is not.

 

As the above poster stated, the manufacture who is pouring millions into R&D for some of these headphones is not skimping a few bucks for "low quality" over "high quality" cable. When you purchase an aftermarket cable, you are not paying for the cable itself. You are paying for the marketing, manpower in the build process and profit. All of this is already being done by the manufacture, so the only difference is in the actual cable cost. Is it possible that they could skimp a few bucks here to make a larger profit? Sure. Is it reasonable to think their flagship products are compromising sound over a few bucks when they retail for over $1500? No.

 

However it is indisputable that an Amp will indeed change the sound signature; sometimes better, sometimes worse depending on preference.


Edited by theque - 12/5/12 at 5:08pm
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by phototristan View Post

If they really improve the sound, don't you think the headphone manufacturer would use them? 

You have to be careful with this line of reasoning, as it only extends so far.  While manufacturers often know what would be best, they sometimes make decisions more in line with their bottom line than what would be the highest fidelity.  Damping in headphones is a good example of this - the argument goes that if it was needed, why would the manufacturer not provide it?  Surely their engineers would know better!  The answer is the engineers do know better, but that doesn't mean the manufacturer follows their advice.  If a (non-externally visible) upgrade is deemed to be too expensive to implement given how much a company wants to charge, they will skimp on it more often than not.  I happen to agree with you on cables in this instance with the HD800, but would not go so far as to say "if it was better wouldn't they use it?" - Oftentimes the answer is no.

post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

You have to be careful with this line of reasoning, as it only extends so far.  While manufacturers often know what would be best, they sometimes make decisions more in line with their bottom line than what would be the highest fidelity.  Damping in headphones is a good example of this - the argument goes that if it was needed, why would the manufacturer not provide it?  Surely their engineers would know better!  The answer is the engineers do know better, but that doesn't mean the manufacturer follows their advice.  If a (non-externally visible) upgrade is deemed to be too expensive to implement given how much a company wants to charge, they will skimp on it more often than not.  I happen to agree with you on cables in this instance with the HD800, but would not go so far as to say "if it was better wouldn't they use it?" - Oftentimes the answer is no.

I am the Director of Product Management for a satellite communications modem manufacture. I do agree that on entry to mid level products, skimping is normal. With that said, there are two things that you are missing. First, our flagship products have no compromises, the price reflects this; I would make the argument that an industry leading company such as Sennheiser is not skimping on their flagship products. Secondly, anything we skimp on, we sell individually as an upgrade accessory as that is where all the real money is made; in the "do you want fries with that" category. As I stated in my above post, the difference in the manufacturing cost of their current cable and the "best" headphone cable on the market is minimal. To create and up-sale these would not only be extremely cost effective, but highly profitable as well.

 

The reality is, cables do not make a difference in sound on a technical level. This should be an indisputable fact by now. With that said, the placebo effect is real and has physical impacts to ones body. Thus if you truly believe changing the cable will make a sonic difference; it most certainly will to you.

 

But with that, I would argue ones sanity who spends $500 on a cable when they do not have an Amplifier.

post #13 of 30

I think it's possible that a cable could potentially change the sound, but it would be on such a small level, whether it's even perceivable is doubtful.  

 

Further, if it does change the sound, is the change an improvement? I'd bet that in a double blind test, either no difference could be perceived or folks would prefer the stock cable or the upgrade cable by an even split.

 

Fact is, most all stock headphone cables are not only sufficient for the signal load they need to carry, but have plenty of headroom as well. 

 

You would also think that companies selling expensive upgrade cables would be chomping at the bit to participate in any and all studies which prove their cables improve sound. In fact, not only do they avoid it, in their marketing, they even avoid stating their cables will improve the sound. They just say things like 'made with the highest quality oxygen-free copper and/or silver, frozen then thawed and braided by elves at midnight'.  

 

But do they say, 'this will improve the sound or the signal'?

 

Personally, I believe that the stock cable always sounds the best since there is some manufacture engineering behind it whereas with some third party cable, there is either less or no engineering. To that end, when comparing, the stock cable always sound the best. 


Edited by phototristan - 12/5/12 at 6:40pm
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by theque View Post

I am the Director of Product Management for a satellite communications modem manufacture. I do agree that on entry to mid level products, skimping is normal. With that said, there are two things that you are missing. First, our flagship products have no compromises, the price reflects this; I would make the argument that an industry leading company such as Sennheiser is not skimping on their flagship products. Secondly, anything we skimp on, we sell individually as an upgrade accessory as that is where all the real money is made; in the "do you want fries with that" category. As I stated in my above post, the difference in the manufacturing cost of their current cable and the "best" headphone cable on the market is minimal. To create and up-sale these would not only be extremely cost effective, but highly profitable as well.

 

The reality is, cables do not make a difference in sound on a technical level. This should be an indisputable fact by now. With that said, the placebo effect is real and has physical impacts to ones body. Thus if you truly believe changing the cable will make a sonic difference; it most certainly will to you.

 

But with that, I would argue ones sanity who spends $500 on a cable when they do not have an Amplifier.

I agree with you on cables-  I really was not making the argument with regards to cables as they really make no difference in any test I've seen (or participated/listened in).  There are areas (damping chief among them) that would be time consuming for the manufacturer to implement to the best of their abilities though.  Take a look at the inside of high end Beyerdynamic headphones - the cups are empty, leaving room for all sorts of reflections and unwanted resonance that really muddy up the sound.  The drivers, on the other hand, were marvelous.  A little damping from a local modder had a complete 180 effect on their sound.  Similarly, take a look at the Anaxilus mods - especially the newest iteration - some strategically placed foam inside the cups works wonders, both subjectively and on a measurement level.  The question could be asked - if these differences are possible and discernible why don't the manufacturers implement them as well?  Surely they know the theory?  Heck, damping and accounting for reflections and resonance is a big thing among the high end speaker market...  The truth is anything they can't build into the cups, drivers, or frame of the headphone is an extra expense - its not something you can take a mold of and make quickly, it would add man hours and manual labor onto the product.  The question then becomes is it worth it?  Companies with bottom lines often say no - something that will only show up on super niche measurement forums and not be noticed by most casual listeners is not worth the extra outlay that cuts into costs.  I recently had my LCD-3's extensively modded (for the better) by an experienced member of the forums here.  Upon hearing a modded set, I asked incredulously why Audeze didn't do this in the first place.  The answer was that Audeze had a bottom line and tuning them individually like he did would bring it closer to the realm of 009 prices.

 

As a disclaimer, I am no means an "every aftermarket mod is automatically better" advocate.  There are mods out there that don't benefit or even degrade the sound quality of amps, DACs, headphones and speakers.  That said, there are a lot of experienced people out there with more time and less focus on profit than the manufacturers who can add to the products in a way that the engineers knew about but were hamstringed from implementing.

 

I feel like we're getting away from the OP's question, so I'm going to reel myself back in now.  I just wanted to combat the notion of "if it was better the manufacturer would have done it" as I have found it to be patently untrue in some cases.  "If it was better and cost was no object" would be more accurate, and cost is still an object even in some of the higher end headphones.


Edited by Radio_head - 12/5/12 at 7:29pm
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

I agree with you on cables-  I really was not making the argument with regards to cables as they really make no difference in any test I've seen (or participated/listened in).  There are areas (damping chief among them) that would be time consuming for the manufacturer to implement to the best of their abilities though.  Take a look at the inside of high end Beyerdynamic headphones - the cups are empty, leaving room for all sorts of reflections and unwanted resonance that really muddy up the sound.  The drivers, on the other hand, were marvelous.  A little damping from a local modder had a complete 180 effect on their sound.  Similarly, take a look at the Anaxilus mods - especially the newest iteration - some strategically placed foam inside the cups works wonders, both subjectively and on a measurement level.  The question could be asked - if these differences are possible and discernible why don't the manufacturers implement them as well?  Surely they know the theory?  Heck, damping and accounting for reflections and resonance is a big thing among the high end speaker market...  The truth is anything they can't build into the cups, drivers, or frame of the headphone is an extra expense - its not something you can take a mold of and make quickly, it would add man hours and manual labor onto the product.  The question then becomes is it worth it?  Companies with bottom lines often say no - something that will only show up on super niche measurement forums and not be noticed by most casual listeners is not worth the extra outlay that cuts into costs.  I recently had my LCD-3's extensively modded (for the better) by an experienced member of the forums here.  Upon hearing a modded set, I asked incredulously why Audeze didn't do this in the first place.  The answer was that Audeze had a bottom line and tuning them individually like he did would bring it closer to the realm of 009 prices.

 

As a disclaimer, I am no means an "every aftermarket mod is automatically better" advocate.  There are mods out there that don't benefit or even degrade the sound quality of amps, DACs, headphones and speakers.  That said, there are a lot of experienced people out there with more time and less focus on profit than the manufacturers who can add to the products in a way that the engineers knew about but were hamstringed from implementing.

 

I feel like we're getting away from the OP's question, so I'm going to reel myself back in now.  I just wanted to combat the notion of "if it was better the manufacturer would have done it" as I have found it to be patently untrue in some cases.  "If it was better and cost was no object" would be more accurate, and cost is still an object even in some of the higher end headphones.

Very well stated in my opinion.

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