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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 857

post #12841 of 19510
Good enough for me (;
Now all i need to decide is if to get the ODAC or Modi, with the Vali.
Edited by pearljam50000 - 8/9/14 at 10:56am
post #12842 of 19510
@purrin

I don't see any Decware amps on your list.
Is it because they are not good enough with HD800, or is it because you haven't heard them?
I'm currently using Mjolnir, but thinking of getting a tube amp for HD800. Currently lookint at CSP3 or Sonett2.
Keeping Mjolnir for my HD650.
post #12843 of 19510
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post
 

I have a few of the boys over today. We are testing the 800's on the Valhalla 2 and HA-1. Everything fed from the NAD m51. The Val2 has only warmed up for about 30 minutes. Just plugged the 800's into for the first. And...very interesting. :p

Cool :) Keep us informed. I'm defo getting interested in the Val2 

post #12844 of 19510
Quote:
Originally Posted by pearljam50000 View Post

Good enough for me (;
Now all i need to decide is if to get the ODAC or Modi, with the Vali.

Whichever you can get cheaper. If you go with the ODAC, I'd get something like the Wyrd much sooner. I get noticeably different results based on the quality of my USB output.

Alternatively, a friend and I both prefer the Geek Out 450 as DAC over the ODAC. I'd consider going that path. I use mine to a Krell Klone at work as a temporary DAC and it was a step up from the ODAC.
post #12845 of 19510
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerodeefex View Post


Whichever you can get cheaper. If you go with the ODAC, I'd get something like the Wyrd much sooner. I get noticeably different results based on the quality of my USB output.

Alternatively, a friend and I both prefer the Geek Out 450 as DAC over the ODAC. I'd consider going that path. I use mine to a Krell Klone at work as a temporary DAC and it was a step up from the ODAC.

What is the difference you are noticing?  Is it a laptop?

post #12846 of 19510
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

I have a few of the boys over today. We are testing the 800's on the Valhalla 2 and HA-1. Everything fed from the NAD m51. The Val2 has only warmed up for about 30 minutes. Just plugged the 800's into for the first. And...very interesting. tongue.gif

Matt - if possible, can you give us a quick comparison of the val2 vs your crack with speedball via the m51?

val2 is an interesting amp, but I assume it must use global feedback to get its output impedance down to the published specs. I tend to think of feedback as anathema to OTL SET amps, but maybe I'm just drinking the bottlehead kool-aid. What's your conclusion after a back to back?
Edited by skeptic - 8/9/14 at 12:09pm
post #12847 of 19510
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerodeefex View Post

Whichever you can get cheaper. If you go with the ODAC, I'd get something like the Wyrd much sooner. I get noticeably different results based on the quality of my USB output.


Alternatively, a friend and I both prefer the Geek Out 450 as DAC over the ODAC. I'd consider going that path. I use mine to a Krell Klone at work as a temporary DAC and it was a step up from the ODAC.
What is the difference you are noticing?  Is it a laptop?

Sounds congested and less resolving straight out of my old macbook air and other notebooks compared to my desktop. Once I get it back, I'll test my macbook pro and surface pro 3 USB out with and without the Wyrd
post #12848 of 19510
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerodeefex View Post


Sounds congested and less resolving straight out of my old macbook air and other notebooks compared to my desktop. Once I get it back, I'll test my macbook pro and surface pro 3 USB out with and without the Wyrd

I once had this happen out of a usb port I know doesn't output enough current, tried another port on the same DESKTOP.  I've heard about air not putting out enough power for GeekOut1000, not sure how it fares with providing enough power for the ODAC.  I also tried my smartphone with ODAC, not enough current to it.

 

If you have access to a desktop, you should test out the ODAC on it vs Wyrd.  Pro would probably be more reliable in terms of current output ability.


Edited by SilverEars - 8/9/14 at 12:24pm
post #12849 of 19510
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

@marcoarment is here on the forums. He makes a good point I reckon, but I do wish he had listed the music he likes, as I reckon that makes the most difference when choosing headphones.

 

A lot of impressions of the HD-800s with different gear not only comes down to the music, but what one is used to and has experienced.

 

Best value so far though has been the HD-800s from the Geek Out and from the Valhalla 2.

 

I mostly listen to rock albums from the '90s forward, with preferences toward live albums and anything well-recorded using acoustic instruments, and also a very large quantity of the official live releases of Phish's current and recent tours. Some of my go-to tests for headphone quality and enjoyment:

 

  • Phish. Lots of Phish. Occasional other jam bands: Yonder Mountain String Band, Moe, String Cheese Incident, all primarily their live shows.
  • All of The Avett Brothers' studio albums, especially Emotionalism (which is far too hot on the treble, and the only high-end headphone I've found that makes it tolerable is the HE-6) and the properly-mastered Second Gleam and The Carpenter
  • Joe Pug's Messenger
  • Counting Crows' Saturday Nights And Sunday Mornings and all of their live albums
  • The Milk Carton Kids' Live From Lincoln Theatre video
  • Alice In Chains' MTV Unplugged (which I'd say is better than Nirvana's in both sound quality and content, despite Nirvana being the better overall band)
  • Some great classic rock and folk like The Last Waltz, Joni Mitchell's Blue, Simon and Garfunkel, and Neil Young Live at Massey Hall 1971 (amazing)
  • Some occasional Mumford & Sons or Decemberists
  • Plus a bunch of '90s–present rock bands like Foo Fighters, Eve 6, Crash Test Dummies, Social Distortion, Stroke 9, SR-71, Meat Puppets, etc., much of which sounds awful on most flagship headphones

 

In other words: what most people would consider an absolutely horrible, out of touch, and mostly outdated music collection. But I love it.

 

My main complaint with the HD 800 is that its overall technical excellence comes at the cost of personality. I thought I wanted neutrality for years... until I got it. It's a great headphone at achieving technical perfection of a style that, as it turns out, I don't really care for: smoothness, with a mostly laid-back sound signature, light bass, and relatively little excitement. You're left with little to complain about, but nothing stands out. And it lacks the treble finesse and fast decay usually found in orthos and stats to provide a "wow!" level of detail.

 

But even the article you referred to is relatively out of date: since then, I rented and then bought an HE-6, renting it with the EF-6 amp (which was great) and then buying a used Schiit Mjolnir from here (which is almost as good as the EF-6 at powering the HE-6) to tide me over until the Ragnarok is widely available. I believe the HE-6 is the better-sounding headphone on nearly all fronts, and it brings excitement and energy to the music without significant technical flaws or tonal imbalances. (It also made me realize how nice a good midrange is, and how recessed the midrange often is in other headphones.)

 

The HD 800 beats the HE-6 in soundstage, comfort, and amp-friendliness, but I greatly prefer the HE-6's sound. (And it's not uncomfortable on me, just heavier.) But if you're looking for a great overall-setup value in a flagship headphone, I don't think you can look at any of the orthos, and especially not the HE-6, because of their amp needs. You can drive the HD 800 well enough from amps that cost less than $300, while I think the $750 Mjolnir is the cheapest amp that can drive the HE-6 respectably. So, all in, you can get a great HD 800 setup for about $1800+DAC, whereas you're looking at $2100+DAC minimum for the HE-6.

 

(Of course, if you're looking to maximize value near the high end, you're probably better off skipping both and taking a good look at an HE-560 setup.)


Edited by marcoarment - 8/9/14 at 12:36pm
post #12850 of 19510

I know what time period you are from.  :D I personally think it's much more musical than what's popular now.  Music is great from that period, it's just that the recording doesn't seem too be as great as the earlier periods.


Edited by SilverEars - 8/9/14 at 12:37pm
post #12851 of 19510
Just because terrible music is popular doesn't mean there isn't a ton of great modern music though. I mostly used to listen to music from the 90's and early 2000's until I scoured Youtube for new music and uncovered entire genres I didn't know I would enjoy. I don't really judge any time period based on music anymore, there is probably artists from every time period I would like if I knew them.
post #12852 of 19510
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

I know what time period you are from.  :D I personally think it's much more musical than what's popular now.  Music is great from that period, it's just that the recording doesn't seem too be as great as the earlier periods.

Not going to agree with you on this one.  ;)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddTheMetalGod View Post

Just because terrible music is popular doesn't mean there isn't a ton of great modern music though. I mostly used to listen to music from the 90's and early 2000's until I scoured Youtube for new music and uncovered entire genres I didn't know I would enjoy. I don't really judge any time period based on music anymore, there is probably artists from every time period I would like if I knew them.

This, I agree with 100%

post #12853 of 19510

Yes, there has been good and bad mastering in every generation, but my point is that popular music charts had more musical tracks back then than what you see on the top charts now.  Yes, it's relative, but just my personal opinion.


Edited by SilverEars - 8/9/14 at 2:37pm
post #12854 of 19510
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post
 

I have a few of the boys over today. We are testing the 800's on the Valhalla 2 and HA-1. Everything fed from the NAD m51. The Val2 has only warmed up for about 30 minutes. Just plugged the 800's into for the first. And...very interesting. :p

The suspense is killing me, Matt!! 

post #12855 of 19510

I'll give some quick thoughts now. Please remember that when you have people over to your place to audition gear, you spend most of your time hosting and very little time listening. Tonight and tomorrow I'll spend more time evaluating the new gear and will share more detailed impressions. 

 

*The Val 2 is the real deal, especially with the hd800. This pairing was my favorite of all. 

 

*The Crack is still king with the hd650/600 but the Val 2 gave it a real run. 

 

*NAD m51...if there is any way you can afford it, get it. 

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