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Team HD800 challenge! - Page 6

post #76 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

 

 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

 

 

I know exactly what you mean.  I have season tickets to the Austin symphony, and find that cymbals among other treble sounds are hardest to get right in reproduction.  A fine cymbal shimmer is a make or break noise for me when judging a setup.  Not because it's a wonderful sound, but just because it's so easy to pick out as close to real or not.  

 

Treble is a tough nut to crack in headphones.  A lot of that energy in the signal is supposed to dissipate and interact with other sound waves.  When we wear headphones we're throwing these high frequency waves right into our ear canals, which I believe leads to many of the treble issues we have when compared to speaker or live listening.

 

On a semi-maybe related note, I thought I had a treble fatigue issue for a very long time until I realized it was a sound stage issue.  My brain gets really tired of listening to music that doesn't sound like it's coming from outside my own head.  Like any person with working ears, I still hate harsh treble, but I don't find it as fatiguing as I once thought I did.


Edited by TWIFOSP - 1/3/13 at 1:21pm
post #77 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

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

 

 

I wonder if this had something to do with being custom painted by ColorWare?   How many have you measured from there?  I'll have a pair in 4 weeks from there as well..  We'll see.

post #78 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

Team HD800... what is the go to, can't fail, going to love the HD800, amp under $2500 new or used these days for alternative/punk/metal?

 

I have been thinking about this for awhile.  Over the few months I have spent a fair amount of time listened to a number of amplifiers driving the HD800 (from the build in amp in the Dragonfly through EC / GS-X v1) while at the same time comparing these systems to a variety of Stax systems.  At the end my conclusion is that amplifiers for the HD800 fall into three categories: lack power to properly drive the HD800,  smooths out the HD800 so much the magic is gone, and those that effectively drive the HD800 but basically don't significant alter their sound (e.g. close to wire with gain).  Among the amplifiers that drove the HD800 well, there were certainly differences, but I would characterize the differences as less that 10%, maybe less than 5%.  So, if you didn't love the HD800 with b22 or the Peak, then you won't *love* it with any other amplifier, even the "perfect" amp. That's not to say that you might not find some small, incremental improvement with a different amplifier, but it won't move you to love the HD800. I would say focus on optimizing whatever headphones you already love.

 

--Mark

post #79 of 185
Thread Starter 

I guess when you only have 52 posts in almost 7 years... make them count =)  Wise words verber.

 

The joke, my HD800 vendor told me more or less the same thing and wouldn't take my money /facepalm

post #80 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post
 

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.

 

--Mark


Edited by verber - 9/22/13 at 4:18pm
post #81 of 185

Mark, if you can, come by to the mini-meet we have planned in Feb.

post #82 of 185

I'm curious, are there counterfeit HD800's on the market? How can you tell a legit pair from the fakes?

post #83 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by 333jeffery View Post

I'm curious, are there counterfeit HD800's on the market? How can you tell a legit pair from the fakes?

No

post #84 of 185

No counterfeits on the market.  Senn did have issues with fake ie8's I believe, and came up with a proprietary barcode system if I recall correctly to weed out fakes.  The HD800 would cost megabucks to fake as it doesn't have anything remotely resembling an OEM design.  Creating the tooling for custom plastic injection molds like the HD800 uses would cost crazy money and not be at all worth it unless the HD800 was as popular as, say beats or bose.

post #85 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by verber View Post

 

--Mark

 

Mark, I agree with everything you've said. But, I just wanted to add that the GS-X can scale higher and sound better with a better signal. The Lavry isn't the last word in DACs IMO.

post #86 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

 

Mark, I agree with everything you've said. But, I just wanted to add that the GS-X can scale higher and sound better with a better signal. The Lavry isn't the last word in DACs IMO.

 

I am sure that this is true.  I stopped at the Lavry because when I last did several blind A/B comparisons with much more pricy DACs I either couldn't hear the difference, or the improvement in SQ was so tiny that I couldn't justify the multi-$K cost, ROI just wasn't good enough for me.  The tests were done with speakers, ML Aerius being driven by either Classe or Chord amps. Shoot, I guess I am going to have to see if this is still true with the HD800 and SR007.  Whatever I discover for me, I am sure there are people who have much better ears than me who could immediately tell the difference.

 

--Mark


Edited by verber - 1/4/13 at 1:07pm
post #87 of 185
Thread Starter 

I've never heard Lavry gear but going from the W4S DAC-2 to the Metrum Octave w/ Audiophilleo2 was a whee step up and then to the PS Audio PWD2 was a true step up.  And don't think for a minute retail is $4000, it's nearly half that on the street so for me it was an easy upgrade to swallow.

post #88 of 185

Solude,

Did you ever try a usb converter with your DAC-2. The Stello U3 made a huge difference in my system.

I'm really impressed by the latest PS Audio products. The D2 is drool-worthy

 

beerchug.gif

post #89 of 185
Thread Starter 

I used the W4S DAC-2 with the AP2 before kicking it to the curb ;)

post #90 of 185

HaHa

I'm still working my way up and learning lots

Right now the Mac Mini usb to Stello U3 aes/ebu to DAC-2 is sounding pretty good to me smily_headphones1.gif

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