Originally Posted by Solude
The joke, my HD800 vendor told me more or less the same thing and wouldn't take my money /facepalm
I think I love with your vendor, sounds like he is looking out for your best interest rather than trying to maximum profits.
To add to what I wrote, I was really hoping to find a single headphone that I would love for everything... small, intimate jazz through big orchestras to hard driving rock, and pretty much everything in between. I have historically been a Stax (actually electrostatic) bigot, so I was shocked when I preferred the HD800 out of the headphone jack on my Lavry DA-11 to any Stax Lambda [2-4]07s through a variety of amps including a BH. I was hoping that the HD800 could be my only headphone set that scaled well from portable use with a high quality USB DAC/amp through whatever my living room system would be.
I love the detail, speed, and air of the HD800, but found them sometimes a bit distant, and slightly light in the bass. It is really great for jazz, chamber music, or vocalists with just a few acoustical instruments backing them. I tried both EQ and a variety of amps to keep the clarity while integrating the sound, as people would say, make it more musical and give the sound a bit more heft. Nothing worked for me. In the end, I decided that if I was going to keep the HD800, the very best thing for *me* was to play to the headphones strengths. It's shines a bright light of whatever is the source, good or bad. For me, the very best amplifier is one that maximizes this which are amplifiers which are as transparent as possible. My favorite is the GS-X mk2 I eventually purchased, but I generally like all of Gilmore / Headamp amplifiers. That said, I have found the headphone amp in the Lavry DA-11 within say 15% of the GS-X which was a pleasant surprise. When I want to do critical listening and analyze what I am hearing, I love the HD800. When I want to be enveloped in the music, the HD800 is very very good, but not great.
With Stax, I owned a pair of SR-007 mk1 for awhile and has a pair of SR-009 on an extended loan. I mostly used a KGSSHV, but tried a number of tube and SS amplifiers. I found that the SR-007 is a nice compliment to the HD800. I was mixed in my preference between the SR-007 and the HD800. The HD800 seemed a bit more lively and dynamic. The SR-007 sometimes seemed to convey warmth and intimacy. I think the SR-009 does everything (except maybe imaging) better that both. If I was going to have a single headphone where cost was no object, SR-009 hands down provided I didn't want the headphones particularly transportable since the amplifier is not light-weight, small, or battery friendly. For awhile I considered keeping the SR-007 and the HD800 (which I could use portably). In the end, I decided that the HD800 + GS-X (living room) and HD800 + HiFi-M8 for portable use was close enough to the things I loved about the SR-007 that I would sell the SR-007 and use the money for non headphone projects.
Edited by verber - 9/22/13 at 4:18pm