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Audiophile by accident . The Hobby: An Unexpected Journey - Page 15

post #211 of 458

I don't know about her listening but she's still coping with him buying all the new stuff :))

post #212 of 458
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post


Wondering if your wife is still singing listening to all your phones?

 

Well...what can I say? It was did argue a little bit when she saw the HD800, but it did not take long and she is very understanding, though I think I am near the limits right now :))

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild View Post

This thread is amazing. Every now and again I find a thread that gets me so engrossed that I can't stop reading until I've gone through the whole thread, this is one of those rare times beerchug.gif

Thank you very much, really enjoy it when people like my posts.

post #213 of 458
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterBj View Post

I became an audiophile when I was recording an album in the studio(I am a full time pro. double bass player) an the engineer said;'' I can now record in high resolution,should we try?''

The difference was stunning,everything so much clearer and natural.

Years later the same engineer and I,being unsatisfied with some of the so called audiophile recordings on the market, decided that we would let people hear what we think a high end audiophile recording should sound like,this is what we came up with

http://www.soundliaison.com/

 

We just had our first review and we couldn't be happier:

http://www.soundstagexperience.com/index.php/music-movies-a-shows-menu/by-category/download-music/444-carmen-gomes-inc-thousand-shades-of-blue

Excellent recordings peterBJ! Congrats on that review!

post #214 of 458
Thread Starter 

 

Previously:

The Amazing Sennheiser IE800

 

The Spectacular Sennheiser HD800

 

Hey guys,

It’s been a while since my last post. I have been really busy lately and I really missed writing here. Fortunately the last weeks I have gathered some thoughts to write about. The most important thing I want to write about is the Sennheiser HD800. I know I wrote about it twice now, and in both cases compared to Audeze LCD2.

My last post is the most relevant between the last two. That is when Sennheiser HD800 really impressed me a lot and changed my thoughts about it drastically. I loved them so much as a few weeks ago I bought a pair.

Sennheiser HD800

Since then, the HD800 have grown on me even more. These headphones are absolutely spectacular on the right gear, in my case the Burson Conductor .

These headphones deserve  post of their own. I almost feel responsible doing this, as I feel that I haven’t done them justice in my first post and I have to make up for it.

Lets take this from the start.

In my opinion they look quite nice and I really enjoy their futuristic design.
Every time I put them on I feel like this:

How I actually look like:

 

 

 

hd800.jpg

 

However, they seem really fragile to me. I have touched the silver grill by mistake and left a print there. My hands were clean, but still managed to do that. I couldn’t remove it so it is still there and it bugs me . Audeze LCD2 feel like a tank compared the senns.

I liked the stock cable from HD800. The build quality seems to be very good and it looks nicer than the usual stock cable ( LCD2 for example ). One thing I don’t like about it: the splitter seems to be made from cheap plastic and the cables that go from the splitter to the cups don’t look like high quality to me. Actually, I know a friend that had some problems with that portion of the cable, meaning that in time it opened up. This seemed to have happened to more owners.

HD800 Cable

I feel I really must be extra careful and treat them with more care. Don’t put them  directly on your desk as the paint may chip off. I always put them on something more cushy and not directly on a hard surface.

Sennheiser HD800

On the comfort side, I don’t think I have ever wore a more comfortable headphone. I really forget they are on my head after a while.

So let’s get to the most important part, the sound. So many things to say and so few words to express all I would like to say about these headphones.

I will tell you my impressions on a few songs.

ACDC – You Shook Me All Night Long

The first thing that struck me was the bass and the guitars. The bass is not at all shy. It is very present with a  very nice punch and tightness. Of course the sound was multi layered and very airy. The PRAT was awesome and toe tapping. One thing I had to do while listening to the song was to lower the volume as the treble got a little too tiresome.  The fact that I lowered the volume was not quite a bad move as I really got to enjoy the song like this with no problems. Yeah you heard me, I like rock on HD800. It is a little bright sometimes but lowering the volume solved the problem. It was quite ok as I can really enjoy music at even lower volumes with HD800 .

Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon – Time

Damn… The bells at the beginning were absolutely awesome. Every bell was so clear and so well defined in its place. The sounds came from all directions and you could easily concentrate on each and get it’s original location. The sound was pouring effortless and the dynamics were incredible. The soundstage is exceptional and you forget you are listening to headphones.

Infected Mushrooms – IM The Supervisor – Noon

Dat bass… Yes you heard me… Who said HD800 hasn’t got bass, clearly didn’t hear it on proper setup. The bass is so punchy, so deep and so damn fast. The PRAT on this song was awesome. The instruments were very detailed, excellent placed in space and very present throughout the song. The sound came effortless and HD800 handled it with extreme ease.

Tristania – Illumination (symphonic gothic metal)

One word. Excellent! The bass is superb. It really hits you with force and real impact. It is so punchy and so present. The sound was very opened and all the instruments were so well separated and well placed. The sound is multi-layered and not one instrument blended in with another. The voice could use a more natural tone but overall I really loved the song on HD800.

Andre Rieu (Dreaming) – Air (J.S. Bach)

The sound-stage is amazing. The sound is so opened that if you close your eyes you forget you are listening to headphones and that you are at home. You can see yourself in the concert hall, you can see the orchestra and pinpoint every instrument there. The details are amazing and the dynamics are the best I have ever heard in a headphone.

Leonard Cohen – The Traitor

The instruments in the beginning of the song are awesome. The details really tickle your ears. Again the instrument separation is absolutely beautiful. There is so much air between the instruments. You can hear everything and you can easily concentrate on the furthest instrument and still hear it clearly. The voice is quite nicely reproduced and has an excellent texture. It is not as natural as on LCD2, but the reproduction was still awesome.

Conclusions

These headphones are the best headphones I have heard to date.   The soundstage and openess of the sound is exemplary on them. I sometimes really forget I am listening to headphones.  The sound is so multi-layered that on the the most crowded songs I have listened to, never did I found, not even once, that two instruments blended in the same layer.

The imaging and sound positioning is excellent and you can really pinpoint the location of any sound with great ease.

They truly are detail monsters. The get all out of that recording. I expected to be annoyed by lower resolution files, but I enjoyed them greatly even on some mp3s I had listened to. Sometimes I got scared, as I thought some sounds came from my room and I was preparing for battle if any intruder had broken in my secret audiophile lair:

Ok, the bass…These headphones DO NOT lack bass! I repeat…they DO NOT lack any bass! Their bass is awesome, actually. It goes very very deep, it is very punchy, very fast and knows how to jam.

The mids are top notch too. The instruments and voices have a wonderfully detailed texture.

The voices are well reproduced but they could use more body and a more natural tone.

I did not find the HD800 to be bright headphones. They are very neutral to me. The times I thought them to be bright I realized the song was at fault being a bright recording. When something was bright on HD800 was even bright on LCD2. Be careful as  there are many bright recordings out there. So the treble is very very well defined  and is very sparkly when it is needed to. Unfortunately the sound is a slight sibilant but usually when it got too sibilant it was the recordings fault as well.

The dynamics & micro-dynamics on these headphones are excellent . I can really listen to lower volumes with HD800 and still be fully satisfied.

I have used it on some movies as well. They excelled here as well. In crowded open spaces you really feel that you are in that place. It is quite incredible.

I am going to give you a little advice: Don’t use them on a HD horror movie if you have heart problems!

 

Next: 

A Wonderful trip down memory lane

 


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 4/21/13 at 4:55pm
post #215 of 458
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan.gheorghe View Post

The Spectacular Sennheiser HD800

 

Thank you very much for nice impressions! As for the treble and voices you mention, you should definitely get a tube amplifier along with different sets of tubes and tune the sound to your liking... I would suggest not to get an OTL (output transformer-less) but parafeed (output transformer-coupled). Parafeed amps generally sound more neutral than very warm OTLs while they offer a very natural tone with awesome vocals and zero treble harsness or sibilance. I also find an impedance switch to be very helpfull in order to even more improve a natural feeling and get rid of any dullness or "unnaturalness" = the headphone just sounds "right".

 

That way (using an amp and suitable tubes for your system), you can get very butter-smooth treble and LCD-2-like mids... But with my favourite configuration, treble has zero harshness but remains close-to-neutral, voices are very alive and what's important - the headphone sound very life-like (with shelved down treble, this life-like feeling disappears and therefore one just has to find the right balance between HD800 and LCD-2 approach :-) probably closer to HD800, to my liking ).

 

I personally have Torpedo parafeed headamp and I am very satisfied... But I like WA6 as well (it is also output transformer-coupled and has an impedance switch while reasonably priced).


Edited by RustA - 4/14/13 at 7:00am
post #216 of 458
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RustA View Post

 

Thank you very much for nice impressions! As for the treble and voices you mention, you should definitely get a tube amplifier along with different sets of tubes and tune the sound to your liking... I would suggest not to get an OTL (output transformer-less) but parafeed (output transformer-coupled). Parafeed amps generally sound more neutral than very warm OTLs while they offer a very natural tone with awesome vocals and zero treble harsness or sibilance. I also find an impedance switch to be very helpfull in order to even more improve a natural feeling and get rid of any dullness or "unnaturalness" = the headphone just sounds "right".

 

That way (using an amp and suitable tubes for your system), you can get very butter-smooth treble and LCD-2-like mids... But with my favourite configuration, treble has zero harshness but remains close-to-neutral, voices are very alive and what's important - the headphone sound very life-like (with shelved down treble, this life-like feeling disappears and therefore one just has to find the right balance between HD800 and LCD-2 approach :-) probably closer to HD800, to my liking ).

 

I personally have Torpedo parafeed headamp and I am very satisfied... But I like WA6 as well (it is also output transformer-coupled and has an impedance switch while reasonably priced).

Thanks, RustA. I love the transparency and the air brought by Conductor to HD800 for now :D

post #217 of 458
Thread Starter 

 

Previously:
 
 

A wonderful trip down memory lane

Hello guys,

A few weeks ago when I was visiting jack-fi for an audition, we ended discussing about vinyls and old times. The guys from jack said that it was a time when they had a turntable in every audition room and that maybe they will bring them back, as they begun to miss them.

Two weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised to see a functional one in their second audition room, a Kuzma Stabi SD:

jack512_o.jpg

A pair of Focal Electra 1008 BE and a Jadis Orchestra amplifier stood proudly near the turntable.  It was a time for a listen. My ears started itching.

The music started flowing and with it so did memories from my childhood. The sound had that magic analog/turntable touch that I missed throughout the years.  We started with some old vinyls and we got that static that used to bug me while listening when I was a child. Now it surprised me to see  the situation has changed in such manner that I actually loved that static for the particularity and emotion it brought to the music.

The Focal Electra and the Jadis amplifier did their job wonderfully and they impressed me very much. Those little 2 speakers did a very good job on the whole audio spectrum.

The sound overall flowed nicely and musically. The voices were very present and had a very nice texture.  I started thinking how the hell did they manage to include all those details into that small thin groove. How could it make so many sounds in the same time. So, as you may have guessed the sound was very detailed and the separation of instruments quite good.

After listening to the old vinyls the guys put a brand new one with the soundtracks fromTron: Legacy. That is where the true WOW appeared. The bass was amazing. It was so deep and impactful it truly amazed me. The openness of the sound was again very impressive. While listening to the soundtracks I got a thrill on my spine and throughout my body at every 10 seconds or so.

That is my awesomeness meter and it was derailed that day. We then put the same song from a CD and I felt the song was less alive than on the vinyl. Did not make an extensive comparison between the two but another thing  I observer was that the bass was not as present and did not go so low as with the turntable.

I tried to listen at home to the same Tron soundtracks with LCD2 & HD800 & BursonConductor. It was very good but not the same…

I remembered my father has over 100 vinyls at home.

Many friends of my father have sold/given all their vinyls and their turntables away when they got a cd player.

Those vinyls have been in our family for more that 28 years and I am happy they have made it through the CD era without being given away.

Jack-fi  opened a nice trip down memory lane and made me refocus my attention on the turntables once again.

Ok, so let’s get to the other part of the story.

This weekend I have been at my wifes’ grandparents at the country side. They have a modest house in a village near Tulcea. They are over 80 years old. While they were all talking in the garden I entered the house and started exploring. I found two rooms that were not lived in any longer. One room contained a old russian turntable and 4 stashes of vinyls.

omg%2520cat

Ok…so practically that was an audition room? :D I looked at the turntable.

IMAG0669

It was full of dust. I cleaned it a little and checked for the power cable. I found one… My heart was pounding… Found a socket and plugged it in. Looked over the curtain and saw one old speaker. Followed the cables and found another one across the room. Pressed the power button and it started spinning…

dramaticl250

I started looking through the vinyls and found some very interesting albums there.

That is when memories really started flooding in. My father had a russian turntable too with similar speakers. From 5 till 10 years old I used to go to sleep while listening to the turntable. I used to listen to recorded stories or music before sleeping. So…you may say I have audiophile roots since I was a little boy :P

I also found a story disk I used to listen to:

SAMSUNG

Ah…sweet childhood. I am planning of getting this turntable and use these stories when I will have kids of my own :D

SAMSUNG

I also remembered how I used to look at the disk spinning and get real close to the turntables’ needle and started hearing the music at a very very low volume.

IMAG0659

The sound quality was kind of poor but now it was all about the music, and the magic the moment had. I just stood back and enjoyed the music.

I found a wonderful vinyl with Mozart Concert Nr. 24 for Piano and Orchestra:

0IMAG0645

After this I called my wife and we both listened to some Queen:

IMAG0636

Then some Lionel Richie:

IMAG0686

We also found a Beatles Vinyl :

SAMSUNG

That trip was a real surprise and I felt like a kid that found a little treasure. It was like opening a chest full of memories and the soundtracks on which they would play.

The turntables will always have the magic of the past and of true analog sound.

It made me think of my childhood and how the society changed throughout the years. In those times we did not have so much media and television, so we had more time to just sit and listen to music, to read a good book or just get out and play, things we could still do today but we get polluted by all the media and new life style.

So don’t forget what these turntable mean, just sit and enjoy the music.

IMAG0677


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 5/1/13 at 5:59pm
post #218 of 458
Thread Starter 

Hey guys. I'll be organizing a contest soon. The prize would be a Focal Spirit One, or a FIIO E07K. Haven't decided yet, but most probably it would be a Focal Spirit One (my favourite portable headphones). Have to think of a theme for the contest for now. Will let you know soon. What do you think about this? Check my blog for details. I will be posting some info soon.


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 4/25/13 at 3:19pm
post #219 of 458

Hi dan,

great articles, really involving, not overly technical , a pleasure to read!

Can you tell me, what level of volume/gain you usually set when listening to Conductor with LCD-2/HD-800?


Edited by bbbonthemoon - 4/26/13 at 10:24am
post #220 of 458
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbonthemoon View Post

Hi dan,

great articles, really involving, not overly technical , a pleasure to read!

Can you tell me, what level of volume/gain you usually set when listening to Conductor with LCD-2/HD-800?

Thank you bbbonthemoon. 

 

When I am listening at medium gain I have the volume knob at 1 o'clock. When I listen at high gain, I listen with 12 o'clock or sometimes even a click lower. I use the same settings for both headphones most of the times.

 

Guys, I listened to lcd3 again. It seems after having HD800 I could understand better what LCD3 brings to the table. I really love them. The first things I noticed were the dynamics and decay, which were better with lcd3. Also the sound is more detailed, more refined overall, larger soundstage. The vibrating instruments were excellent with LCD3. You could hear the whole extension of the vibration. You can feel the driver is faster on lcd3 and extends better than lcd2. The bass was not as impactful as lcd2 but still had more than suficient slam.

post #221 of 458

This... brings back some really, really old memories. Some happy, some sad, all but lost like dust in the wind.

 

 

SAMSUNG

post #222 of 458
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwilson View Post

This... brings back some really, really old memories. Some happy, some sad, all but lost like dust in the wind.

 

 

So, did I find another Romanian on headfi? :D 

 

Yes it brought a lot of memories for me too, but mine were good memories as I was 5-10 when I listened to vinyls :)

post #223 of 458
Thread Starter 

The contest is up and running guys. Check the details here.

post #224 of 458

Good luck to all participants !

post #225 of 458
Hi Dan,

I have followed your story for 2 Months on your blog. Great description of personal impressions and related feelings. I can absolutley understand your development, because I went throug a similar one. Starting HD580 then (intermediate Stax) LCD2 / HE500 and at Last HD800.

Greetings from Germany
Dan
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