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Team HD800 challenge! - Page 5

post #61 of 185
Another amp I like with HD800 is the apex peak with volcano. It runs about $2100 from TTVJ.

Edit.. nevermind you already have owned it.
Edited by Maxvla - 1/3/13 at 11:54am
post #62 of 185

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post #63 of 185

Honestly, I've found with a good source, most of the amps recommended here can sound great.

 

I personally love the hybrid Apex Peak/Volcano with the HD800. Though SS amps are my usual preference, I feel I need a dose of tube magic at times.

 

Many times in the past, I've found even good tube amps didn't have the control and imaging of their SS competitors. That's why I've gravitated towards hybrid designs, which seem to retain much (but not all) of the benefits of both tube/SS.

post #64 of 185

I would have thrown the Apex or Arete into the mix. They fit into the OP's price criteria. I surmised however that he would not be interested in the Peak for the HD800, considering that he currently owns both. (And I certainly understand the nuances of where he is coming from having owned both the HD800 and P/V as well.)


Edited by purrin - 1/3/13 at 11:53am
post #65 of 185
Oh my bad. I wondered why I didn't bring it up the first time. After yesterday it was on my mind and today I'm browsing on my phone and signatures don't show on the mobile skin.
post #66 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

I would have thrown the Apex or Arete into the mix. They fit into the OP's price criteria. I surmised however that he would not be interested in the Peak for the HD800, considering that he currently owns both. (And I certainly understand the nuances of where he is coming from having owned both the HD800 and P/V as well.)

 

Arete has a warmer presentation that some HD800 users might like.  I didn't have a hd800 when I was auditioning the Arete, but the Arete is not what I'd call neutral.   I ended up preferring and keeping the Butte which is half the price, even less if you don't use the volcano.  The butte is a rocking little amp for the price.  I can't even remember when the last time I used it was, I have so many more amps now, but I haven't sold it yet either :P

post #67 of 185

I preferred the Arete over the Peak with the HD800 and T1 because it was slightly warmer. My issue with the Apex amps was more with their synergy with modern sounding DACs (i.e., the PWD2) in regards to the treble presentation. A little bit too etched or too much edge.

post #68 of 185

I often wonder how many of your opinions are set in stone from having a pair of 6k peaky HD800s.  It almost seems like we're at the point where we have to qualify HD800 version 1 and version 2. Having the goal of specifically matching an amp to tame harsh or etched treble doesn't apply to all of the HD800s anymore.

post #69 of 185
Thread Starter 

My profile is up to date but here is what I have now, and what is 'paid for but not delivered'...

 

Have in house...

Apex Peak & Volcano w/ 6SN7 Sylvania Bad Boy, 5692 JAN CBS Hytron, 6SN7W Sylvania Brown Base, Psvane CV181-T

 

Incoming sometime between mid January, late February...

SWA β22 Head-Amp/Pre-Amp
HeadAmp GS-X MkII
First Watt F3

 

Source, not changing this one anytime soon...

PS Audio PerfectWave MkII

post #70 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

I preferred the Arete over the Peak with the HD800 and T1 because it was slightly warmer. My issue with the Apex amps was more with their synergy with modern sounding DACs (i.e., the PWD2) in regards to the treble presentation. A little bit too etched or too much edge.


What's funny is that the Ref 7.1, a PCM1704UK DAC, is brighter and sharper than the PWD (not in a harsh way). The former is more neutral while the latter is definitely the more forgiving, rounded, and smoother.

 

This is all assuming the use of a good converter. Otherwise the Ref 7.1 can sound mushy and veiled.

post #71 of 185

I've heard about a dozen HD800s and measured about six of them of varying serial #s from low hundreds to 15000. There are only small differences (either objectively or subjectively). My HD800s did not stay unmodded for long and my issues were never particularly with the 6kHz peak, but rather higher up. I know Maxvla's HD800 is one of the more pleasant in that it was the only one which did not require mods to me. In other words, a randomly selected HD800 is an HD800. 

 

IMO, there was never a version 1 or version 2. This was always BS. I attribute the differences to gear, cables, music, mood, and evolving tastes.

post #72 of 185

Fair enough, I didn't mean it as a criticism, just a qualifier as it seems like most of your posts tend to talk about gear specific to treble issues.

 

I don't know nearly as much about the subject as you do with all of your measuring, but it does seem like there are a large number of frequency graphs out there with a 6k peak and then those with an actual dip at 6k.  I figured this was a deliberate change based on feedback since it's so pronounced.  I only have experience with just the pair of HD800s I own, so I'd have to defer to your experience. 

post #73 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

What's funny is that the Ref 7.1, a PCM1704UK DAC, is brighter and sharper than the PWD (not in a harsh way). The former is more neutral while the latter is definitely the more forgiving, rounded, and smoother.

 

This is all assuming the use of a good converter. Otherwise the Ref 7.1 can sound mushy and veiled.

 

I was thinking more some of the Merdian and to a lesser extent the Wadia, Linn ladder DACs. What PWD firmware are you running?

post #74 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWIFOSP View Post

Fair enough, I didn't mean it as a criticism, just a qualifier as it seems like most of your posts tend to talk about gear specific to treble issues.

 

No worries, I didn't take it as unqualified criticism. My replies are usually dry and to the poin with a hint of sarcasm. As for my 10000 posts on treble issues, that's because IMO, many headphones actually do have treble issues. Also I've noted that real-life music has a lot of treble energy, but yet it doesn't make me wince in pain like from a Beyer Tesla or Ultrasone. While I certainly don't like someone smashing a cymbal in my face because it's loud, shocking, biting, scary even, but it doesn't make my ears bleed. There's some disconnect here between reality and reproduced music. I've always highly recommended that people get a cymbal smashed in their face so they can realize this.

 

Quote:
I don't know nearly as much about the subject as you do with all of your measuring, but it does seem like there are a large number of frequency graphs out there with a 6k peak and then those with an actual dip at 6k.  I figured this was a deliberate change based on feedback since it's so pronounced.  I only have experience with just the pair of HD800s I own, so I'd have to defer to your experience. 

 

I think I've measured one pair where the HD800 graph had a depression at 6k according to Sennheiser's supplied documentation. The measurement was just as close to all of the other HD800s. These irregularities can probably be attributable to placement on the head (which can cause peaks to shift) or Sennheiser's octave-smoothed discontinous bar-graph presentation - their laser interferometers, faraday cages, and tectonic plate isolation devices be damned. 


Edited by purrin - 1/3/13 at 1:05pm
post #75 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

 

I was thinking more some of the Merdian and to a lesser extent the Wadia, Linn ladder DACs. What PWD firmware are you running?


Latest fw. The unit came in to the store last month.

Edit: BTW, I found noticeable differences among the filters. Like you, I found filter 4 the smoothest/darkest, but I more often prefer filter 1. It sounds more dynamic and punchy. I can see the preference changing with even small changes in equipment (including cables).

 

I find the P/V easier to listen to than either the Dynahi or Beta22. More mid-centric, liquid, forgiving, smoother (but not always darker), with a leading edge that's defined but not as sharp. Easier to listen to in most regards. I do notice the lowest octaves aren't as well rendered as the SS amps, nor is it as neutral or precise in imaging, but these aren't great enough to be deal-breakers (for me).

 

To give you an idea of my preferences. I thought the HE-5, DT990 and T1 peaks were more bothersome than the HD800 or HE6 broad peak. Though, I find all of these headphones brighter than neutral, especially with the stock cables.

For DACs, I liked the Buffalo series, but they tended to be too dry and etched for my tastes. They fall on the opposite end of the spectrum from the PWD or y2 DACs. The Ref 7.1 is in the middle. I left the Minimax Sabre DAC out because it's tubed and that made it a unique blend of the two extremes.


Edited by Shahrose - 1/3/13 at 1:25pm
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