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Best cable for HD800 into LavryDA11 - Page 2

post #16 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.

That adding damping to headphones improves the sound for you does not mean it's an across the board improvement. It's just a change that you may like, but others including the manufacturer, may not like nor have intended. 

post #17 of 30

That is true.  Whatever sound in a high end product was intentional.  For that matter, (as an example) the unseemly high distortion measurements in the Denon D7100 may have been intended, and the very thick, wooly, bass that results may be something both intended and that some users enjoy.  I find it very hard to swallow though, with the more likely prospect (in the case of the Denons) being that they were over deadline, over budget, trying to transition from getting their products made by an OEM to producing in house and learning on the fly, and trying to appease marketing, accounting, and the lowest common denominator of consumer at the same time.  Things like FR spikes, especially in the 4-7K region, that have been mitigated into more a more pleasing plateau with the Anaxilus mod is hard to explain as "intentional" and something users specifically enjoy.  If you take a look on another site, you can see raw driver measurements vs in-headphone measurements (for instance with the Audeze headphones) - its obvious there was already quite a bit of engineering going on to contain the drivers, which are much less well behaved on their own, but with more time and expenditure, they could do even more.  Again, I'd like not to hijack this thread, even though it's actually my fault that its been hijacked in the first place.  There are other sites with a wealth of information on these topics that don't have vested interests in products succeeding, and I will be limiting my comments to those sites as these conversations have historically not been well received here.

post #18 of 30
Thread Starter 

Wow...this has gone off into areas that I wasn't expecting. Cant wait til I ask a complex question! In any case, I have landed on a DNA Sonett which hopefully will improve my listening experience. Have a friend who uses one with his HD800's and swears by them. We'll see...I bet this will now kick off other posts re the Sonett...start your engines now...

post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotur View Post

Wow...this has gone off into areas that I wasn't expecting. Cant wait til I ask a complex question! In any case, I have landed on a DNA Sonett which hopefully will improve my listening experience. Have a friend who uses one with his HD800's and swears by them. We'll see...I bet this will now kick off other posts re the Sonett...start your engines now...

 

 

To be fair you probably made a great purchase. But it's annoying to see people went on to do exactly what I urged them not to do. 

post #20 of 30

While I recognize the possibility of the plecebo effect, is anyone aware of a review or comment where the reference grade upgrade cables for the HD 800 have been compared?  I am thinking a comparison between Cardas, Alo, A Pure Sound, Moon and Cable Pro.  I would think it would be soo easy to do this comparison and write about it.  Using the same headphone amp, source and HD 800 just switch the cable and listen to the same couple songs.  Is anyone aware of such a comparison?  I am currious as to the results.  I believe cables matter but I am not convinced that there is much difference between these high end cables.   

post #21 of 30

Wow!  Cables do make a difference!  I have a pair of HD800s, which re-cabled a few years ago.  I used the infamous Warren Audio cable, which really helped the brightness and neutrality of the HD800s.   Well the Warren cable failed at the connector, and not wanting to spend more money, I just switched back to the stock cable.

 

What a huge disappointment!  The HD800s became brighter, thinner, much less tone, the bass became washed out, sound stage shrunk and flattened.

 

So I bit the bullet and after looking at the Stephan Audio Arts Endorphin, Cardar CLEAR, and the Moon Black Dragon V2 - I went with the Moon.  Wow!  What an improvement!  Richer tone, gone is the bleached treble, the bass is way deeper and better defined, the sound stage is back to the wide and detailed level I love the HD800 for!

 

I really wonder about folks and their judgment on cables.   Manufacturers don't want to add $400-$500 to price of a headphone if they don't have to, especially when they are on the top of the heap already.  I've seen many $10-$20K amps, dacs, pre-amps that ship with stock Chinese, Russian, or Eastern European tubes.  When mated with a decent pair of NOS tubes the sound quality improves immensely.

 

I'm about to spring for the SAA Endorphins to give them a try.

 

Amps:  Lyr with NOS tubes, Woo WA6-SE (1950s Mullard Gz30, Zenith NOS 6EM7s).

post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by 930Blue View Post

While I recognize the possibility of the plecebo effect, is anyone aware of a review or comment where the reference grade upgrade cables for the HD 800 have been compared?  I am thinking a comparison between Cardas, Alo, A Pure Sound, Moon and Cable Pro.  I would think it would be soo easy to do this comparison and write about it.  Using the same headphone amp, source and HD 800 just switch the cable and listen to the same couple songs.  Is anyone aware of such a comparison?  I am currious as to the results.  I believe cables matter but I am not convinced that there is much difference between these high end cables.   

Check out this review:  http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue54/headphones.htm

 

Remember the Cardas standard HD800 cable is very different then the Cardas Clear HD800 cable. 

post #23 of 30

Every manufacturer, irrespective of the price of the product, needs to make compromises based on economics. Otherwise we'd have diamonds and gold in everything.  Sennheiser is no exception.  The HD800 stock cable is good but not more than that.  I put on a Moon Audio Blue Dragon on my HD800 and the improvement was almost profound -- more transparency, significantly deeper bass, smoother highs.  And, no, it wasn't my imagination  -- it was one of those moments when you hear the difference in a few seconds and you suddenly get an ear to hear grin and say something like "holy **** that's unbelievable" and you immediately know your money was well spent.

 

It almost universally accepted to upgrade the cables on the HD800 - and on other equipment too. 

post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyyyeman View Post

Every manufacturer, irrespective of the price of the product, needs to make compromises based on economics. Otherwise we'd have diamonds and gold in everything.  Sennheiser is no exception.  The HD800 stock cable is good but not more than that.  I put on a Moon Audio Blue Dragon on my HD800 and the improvement was almost profound -- more transparency, significantly deeper bass, smoother highs.  And, no, it wasn't my imagination  -- it was one of those moments when you hear the difference in a few seconds and you suddenly get an ear to hear grin and say something like "holy **** that's unbelievable" and you immediately know your money was well spent.

 

It almost universally accepted to upgrade the cables on the HD800 - and on other equipment too. 

I now understand that the HD800 can indeed benefit from a different cable but for many if not most other cans, the difference is not as noticeable. 

post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rb2013 View Post

Wow!  Cables do make a difference!  I have a pair of HD800s, which re-cabled a few years ago.  I used the infamous Warren Audio cable, which really helped the brightness and neutrality of the HD800s.   Well the Warren cable failed at the connector, and not wanting to spend more money, I just switched back to the stock cable.

 

What a huge disappointment!  The HD800s became brighter, thinner, much less tone, the bass became washed out, sound stage shrunk and flattened.

 

So I bit the bullet and after looking at the Stephan Audio Arts Endorphin, Cardar CLEAR, and the Moon Black Dragon V2 - I went with the Moon.  Wow!  What an improvement!  Richer tone, gone is the bleached treble, the bass is way deeper and better defined, the sound stage is back to the wide and detailed level I love the HD800 for!

 

I really wonder about folks and their judgment on cables.   Manufacturers don't want to add $400-$500 to price of a headphone if they don't have to, especially when they are on the top of the heap already.  I've seen many $10-$20K amps, dacs, pre-amps that ship with stock Chinese, Russian, or Eastern European tubes.  When mated with a decent pair of NOS tubes the sound quality improves immensely.

 

I'm about to spring for the SAA Endorphins to give them a try.

 

Amps:  Lyr with NOS tubes, Woo WA6-SE (1950s Mullard Gz30, Zenith NOS 6EM7s).

 

hi rb2013, have you got your SAA Endorphins yet? I'm also thinking about getting them. Have been chatting with James, he's really quite helpful and informative.

post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bukitdamansara View Post

 

hi rb2013, have you got your SAA Endorphins yet? I'm also thinking about getting them. Have been chatting with James, he's really quite helpful and informative.


Not yet, been spending money on aquiring a nice tube collection for my Lyr.  Hoping to see a used SAA for the HD800 come up for sale.  I will be ordering soon, have to sell some stuff first~  Be sure to post if you get them.  I like the Moon Black Dragons V2 so far  - very nice~!

post #27 of 30

Will do. Now am already enjoying the HD800 with stock cables. Just can't imagine how much better the sound can get with upgrades!
 

post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bukitdamansara View Post

Will do. Now am already enjoying the HD800 with stock cables. Just can't imagine how much better the sound can get with upgrades!
 


Oh it get better - much better!

post #29 of 30

Yes, it can get much better.  I forgot to mention that when I get the new Moon Audio Blue Dragon cable for my HD800 (and heard the significant improvement), I took the phones with the new cable to a friend of mine who also had the HD800 but with the stock cable, for a side by side comparison.  I had already heard the improvement and I waited to see his reaction when he did the side by side, listening first to one then the other.  After just two or three comparisons, he looked at me with his eyes wide and said with a smile on his face, "more detail, more transparency, better bass, better all around.  No doubt about it." 

post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyyyeman View Post

Yes, it can get much better.  I forgot to mention that when I get the new Moon Audio Blue Dragon cable for my HD800 (and heard the significant improvement), I took the phones with the new cable to a friend of mine who also had the HD800 but with the stock cable, for a side by side comparison.  I had already heard the improvement and I waited to see his reaction when he did the side by side, listening first to one then the other.  After just two or three comparisons, he looked at me with his eyes wide and said with a smile on his face, "more detail, more transparency, better bass, better all around.  No doubt about it." 


1+  I have the Moon Black Dragons V2 and what an improvement over the stock cable!  Can't wait to give the SAA Endorphins a go!!

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