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Should the HD 800 factory cable be replaced?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I have been nothing but thrilled with the sound from my HD 800's, but I recently came across a Six Moons review that flat-out ridicules the stock cable. Quoth the reviewer: "Stock cables aren't up to par. They must be replaced or any true discussion on performance is invalid."

 

Really?! Were these headphones actually *held back* this whole time? That's a frightening thought.

 

Is there any truth to this? To be honest, I've ran some searches, and I'm not even sure what that type of cable is called, the kind that are interchangeable like that. Where do I find them? Which are best for the model in question?

 

Advice appreciated; thanks for reading.

post #2 of 24

i think improvements are minimal if any.

 

personally, i'd upgrade it just for the hell of it. but the stock cable is good imo and i really don't find too big of a difference in SQ.

 

the hd 800 has a nice cable too, its like 12 ft and has a solid feel to it.

 

i don't think theres a huge difference though, if there is, its little.

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

Yeah, the stock cable feels good to me. The part antecedent the jack is reinforced with kevlar. According to Sennheiser, at least; they seemed pretty proud of it. Heh.

 

Say I did want to get a cable. What kind of search words should I use on websites? Is there a name for these kind of cables? Any brands I should know of that are reputable?

 

Also... what's the approximate value of the stock cable? I'd hate to unknowingly, y'know, downgrade.

post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweets2TheSweet View Post

I have been nothing but thrilled with the sound from my HD 800's, but I recently came across a Six Moons review that flat-out ridicules the stock cable. Quoth the reviewer: "Stock cables aren't up to par. They must be replaced or any true discussion on performance is invalid."

Because they want you to buy a "better" cable. They know the audio "nuts" have more money than common sense. And I  wouldn't trust this website, I've seen doubtful  reviews, that made me think it's more about encouraging people to buy expensive products, than giving helpful informations.

post #5 of 24

If I  wanted to replace the hd800 cable, it would be more because the tangling annoys me, than sound quality.

post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 

Huh! I noticed how pretentious the writing was on the site (they put career sommeliers to shame), but I hadn't suspected tactics so shady and manipulative. Now that you've mentioned it, the suggestion that the factory cable is junk does seem rather... dubious?

post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 

Whoa, never mind. I just found listings for HD 800 upgrade cables, and the prices are absurd. Some of these cost more than the frickin' headphones did. Thanks anyway, y'all, but... no way. I'm riding the factory cable til it dies in a mildly exaggerated blaze of glory.

post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweets2TheSweet View Post

the suggestion that the factory cable is junk does seem rather... dubious?

Well personally , I  don't believe in difference done by cables, unless the cable got some unusually high impedance or

acts as a big resistance.

 

Otherwise the stock cable of hd800 , is already  not sold for cheap  (150 pounds, I  see).

http://headphonespares.sennheiser.co.uk/hifi-tv-headphones/hd-800

post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks, that link was helpful. That's about $240, which certainly doesn't seem cheap to me.

 

Ostensibly, many have complained that the sound attained via the stock cable is too bright. I use the 800's through an SET amp, so "too bright" is right out, anyway. I love the sound. This pipe dream is over.

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweets2TheSweet View Post

Thanks, that link was helpful. That's about $240, which certainly doesn't seem cheap to me.

 

Ostensibly, many have complained that the sound attained via the stock cable is too bright. I use the 800's through an SET amp, so "too bright" is right out, anyway. I love the sound. This pipe dream is over.

Well I've once done an experiment with an other "bright" headphone, the srh-940.

I've put between the headphone , and source a volume control, the koss vc-20, which basically behaves like an adjustable resistance.

I  noticed that some of the brightness was gone, however I  found that overall it harmed the overall sound quality (less detailed, dull, meh).

So perhaps these people are replacing stock cable of hd800, with one of bigger resistance, but that looks like a bad idea.

post #11 of 24

Sorry to raise this thread from the depths of the underworld, but can I just comment on how amazing the stock cable actually is? I picked up a Blue Dragon (terminated to Neutrik 4-pin into an adapter cable - a Blue Dragon Neutrik female to Furutech 1/4" Furutech) a little bit after I picked up the HD800s (and not to rag on Drew Baird, the maker of the cable - I'm sure the Silver Dragon is amazing, don't get me wrong) to replace the stock cable and did a fair amount of extended listening for a little less than two seasons (fall and winter). On a whim, I put the stock cable back on and there's no question in my mind as to the difference in clarity. My HD800s are restored to their former glory! (Sorry, did this just last night so I'm on a bit of a high from it XD) I keep pointing to my head like a dork and saying "IT'S RIGHT HERE! THE SOUND IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE." The sound dies off quicker - makes it feel like the headphones are just getting out of the way and letting the sound pour itself into my ears, whereas the Blue Dragon muddies the waves a little. Not to say it's a bad cable, it just as though there's something "in the way" of the sound. It is astounding! ... I'm still baffled at this revelation. haha

 

Anyway, just my 2 cents.

 

... I love this hobby. XD


Edited by neoresin - 4/27/13 at 9:08am
post #12 of 24

Funny, my experience with the Blue Dragon was just the opposite - I found it made a significant improvement in the sound of my HD800 versus the stock cable.  Overall detail and transparency were improved, bass was very much improved, and the highs were a bit smoother.  I heard these improvements right away since they weren't subtle improvements.  The minute I tried the Blue Dragon cable I got a big grin on my face.  

post #13 of 24

Since the a cable swap mostly change the impedance/resistance characteristics of the headphone, wouldn't it make sense that results will varies following the impedance/resistance characteristics of the output of your amp?

It's all about the synergy of the amp/wire/headphone. Making any standalone cable sound critiques is nonsense in my opinion. 

 

By the way I use a Mayer amp with two outputs with different impedances (0 ohm and 150 ohms) so I get the same results for free! :)

post #14 of 24

Hey again, so... yeah. I'm going to put my foot in my mouth. I tried the stock cable vs the blue dragon cable on the Schiit Bifrost and the Valhalla first off and the results were that I thought the stock cable was actually better than the blue dragon. The highs were less harsh and the width of stage was definitely there with the stock. The blue dragon had clearer, yet harsher highs and less space for some reason. I didn't know what it was. I was ready to accept that the blue dragon just wasn't something that worked with my setup and it wasn't really worth using.

 

Then I tried the comparison with a new amp: the DNA Stratus.

 

Blown. Away. Is all I have to say (except, of course, whatever else I'm going to say here lol). The difference between the stock and the blue dragon was massive. With the more powerful 2A3 amp (I mean, there's really no comparison between the poor Valhalla and the voluptuous Stratus), the blue dragon widened the pipe, let the sound flow right out of the amp and into my ears. The stock cable was good, but the blue dragon was definitely better. It let the sound breathe... That's the best way I can put it. I've been tempted recently to check out their different cables. If it weren't for their prices... ack...

 

Anyway, *inserts foot in mouth*. I request that people ignore my previous statement. Sorry about that. Go for the blue dragon. It's worth the jump. :)

post #15 of 24
Has anyone tried the Black Dragon cable with the HD800? I hear it tames the highs even more than the blue.
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