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Should the HD 800 factory cable be replaced? - Page 2

post #16 of 46

I just bought some Q-audio cables for my HD-800 and, while I need to spend some more time with them, there was no night and day difference between it and the stock cable.  If I do end up noticing a difference after some more listening, I'll be sure to post my findings.

post #17 of 46

To be honest, as a former electronic engineer , I'm very skeptical that phone cable can change the sound dramatically

I'm planning to get  Black Dragon V2 Premium next week for my HD800 and give it a shot.

I will report back for sure. My setup is Weiss DAC2 & Lahmann BCL.

post #18 of 46
Originally Posted by vovkinson View Post

To be honest, as a former electronic engineer , I'm very skeptical that phone cable can change the sound dramatically

I'm planning to get  Black Dragon V2 Premium next week for my HD800 and give it a shot.

I will report back for sure. My setup is Weiss DAC2 & Lahmann BCL.


Any updates?

post #19 of 46

I ended up with Cardas clear cable.  I also tried ALO audio 16 reference bu found it heavy and uncomfortable. In terms of sound improvement  I did not hear any "smoothing" effects the other members mentioned here.

In comparison with HD800 stock cable - well  ...I don't see any reasons to update unless you have an extra cash to burn. It's all subjective. I agree - the cardas clear cable looks good on HD800 but it does not improve the sound dramatically and I wouldn't upgrade if I did not find a good deal on cardas ( half of the retail price)



Originally Posted by pdrm360 View Post


Any updates?

post #20 of 46

After having been in the camp of "the stock cable is fine" I'm swinging around to being an advocate of replacing the stock cable with a pure copper cable.


Much of it has to do with what kind of music you listen to. For electronic or classical music I think the difference between the stock cable and a pure copper cable is negligible. However - for pop music, rock and vocal I think a pure copper cable can help lessen the metallic sheen and hard treble that the HD800 sometimes can have.


If you're fine with the stock cable then keep it. But if you don't quite like the HD800 and want a slightly more full bodied sound with less hard treble you can try a pure copper cable. It doesn't have to be fancy, copper is copper really. Just make sure there's no silver on it.


This is what I've heard after switching cables back and forth many times, you can believe me or not. It's not a massive change, but to my ears it's there.

post #21 of 46
Audio quality aside (blasphemy, I know), the construction of the stock cable is incredibly stiff. Depending on who you are that will either be interpreted as rugged or just plain awful. I started using my HD800s with a DIY braided OCC copper cable I made while waiting for the headphones. Never bothered with the stock cable until just recently. It's just so inflexible, I can't drape it over anything correctly without it curling up. I guess the best way to describe it isn't "memory" but just the fabric jacket reduces flexing. I'm stuck using it at college for another month :/

So yeah, the actual physical behavior of the cable itself might be reason to reconsider.
post #22 of 46

Hi guys,


I was recently given the balanced Senn cable for testing over the stock. I am running the centrence hifi m8 > senn HD800


While it did change the sound quite obviously I couldn't really decide on if it was better or not and depended on the music I was listening too.  I had the impression it just made the mids more present at the expense of the highs.


I agree with the previous poster that for classical and jazz etc you may not prefer the difference.


I think it really will be a preference choice for you.


Interesting about the amp really made a difference though. Perhaps on the higher end amps the balanced output makes more of a difference but I have no experience with this.


Happy listening!

post #23 of 46

Personally I took the approach that if I wanted a different sound than HD800 for certain genres where they can sound a bit bright at times (rock, pop), I took my $500 and bought HE-500. That way I get the sound I want for those genres with the more recessed treble and strong bass impact, and keep the HD800 for all the things they're great at (just about any acoustic genre). 


I just think for my $500, I now have way more flexibility and range of enjoyable sound signature than if I had got a different cable for my HD800.

post #24 of 46
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

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.


Hello -

I'm about to purchase the HD800.  Do you have a balanced cable for yours, if so can you share details? 

Sennheiser offers a balanced cable for US$380 that I've heard is constructed same as the stock cable only with a 4-pin XLR.  Any experience with that cable?

I've got Wywires Red for my LCD-X/XC and that's a nice cable.


Thanks for your help -


post #25 of 46

So I barely have enough to purchase a used HD 800 and 6moons audio review of it does state that stock cables doesn't do justice.  As a semi-audiophile, I think cables have limited improvement.  I'd rather spend money on better equipment than buying these costly high end cables.  If it does improve sound, it shouldn't be that much.


So I am staying with the stocks.  HD 800 sound so good that high end cables will have minute improvement.  Stock cables look good anyways. :)

post #26 of 46

Just my opinion, but I don't think a custom cable makes much, if any, difference. To make it succinct, I'd say that if there's any difference, it'd be negligible and I doubt many would pick up on the difference. I have the HD800 and the only reason why I'd gotten a 3rd party cable has more to do with practicality than sonic enhancements.....stock cable, though excellent, is way to long for my need, hence a custom 1.5m cable was in order simply because I sit in front of my computers and the the dac/amps are right in front of me. Same goes for the LCD2, and when I get my AKG K812 next week, I'd most prolly be sourcing for a 1.5m replacement cable as well.

post #27 of 46

I reject  your reality and substitute my own. :tongue_smile: 


I was made a believer that changes are made when I experimentally picked up some solid core 14awg pure copper used for thermostats at Home Depot and tossed it onto my speaker rig. The results were not what I expected. I expected minor changes that would take time to reveal themselves and put it into the category of "real or imagined?".  What I did find however was that the tonal signature was totally changed. It warmed up compared to the silver coated copper I was using before.  It was warm, but dry and a bit harsh. Odd that.  Then with time the dry harsh sound mostly went away and became more of a liquid snap. 




1) Cables sound different.

2) Break-in occurs.


This was me with a skeptical, but open mind - randomly grabbing some new cheap off the shelf copper.


That was a year ago or so. Recently I found a 3/14 AWG IEC power cable and snatched it up for 0$. I stuck it on my Crack amp and was completely floored by how all aspects were changed - from micro detail to soundstage, bass... all the standard stuff was improved. Then I said.. hmm. I hit the power cord junction points with deoxit treatment and again it was improved.  A power cable. I did not expect any change, let alone one so dramatic (to my ear).


Now I was in part raised audiophile. I've strayed away from it for years and re-immersing with headphones.  I learned at a fairly young age what critical listening is and how to tune into audio. Unfortunately, also kind of ruined. I can't really go to a concert and enjoy it. I really only hear what's wrong with the presentation most of the time.


Anyhow my point is that just because people discount something - it doesn't mean its not true. The reverse bias is of course also true.  An audio rig is only as good as its weakest link.

post #28 of 46
post #29 of 46

I use the HDVD 800 with the HD 800.  Replacing the stock cable with the balanced cable has made a huge difference in soundstage.  "Ommmph" 

post #30 of 46

Is that not due to using the Balanced mode as opposed to the quality of cable?

I am considering the HD800 but I have a balanced amp and would need a balanced cable. All extra expense so any recommendations. I am in the UK so some of the recommendations I have heard I cant get here.

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