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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 859

post #12871 of 19165
Quote:
Originally Posted by lojay View Post


That might explain my distaste for the HD800 on the WA5. And I agree about your comments on cost. I would have never bought the WA5 new.

Might i ask, which 5 amps do you prefer with the HD800, with what source and why?

 

I used the Eximus DP1 (from SBT w/ EDO) with all amps, as well as a couple of others occasionally. I preferred the ZDSE (by a landslide), Luxman P1u, Taboo mkII, Bryston BHA-1, and Master 8 off the top of my head. Basically I didn't like what the WA5LE (or 300Bs ) did to the Senns. Everything sounded...bloated...for lack of a better descriptor here. Bloated, rounded on the bass and most everything else. It did have a big ss and good tonality-but those are about the only positives I can say for it. The Vali of all thing's reminds me of a poor man's WA5 bass, good tone, and decent transparency.

 

-Daniel


Edited by BournePerfect - 8/9/14 at 9:28pm
post #12872 of 19165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin_Time View Post
 
Below are lists of amps I have listened to for at least a year with the HD800. You'll see that it is not a simple matter of quality but also one of correct sonic match:

 

Poor Matches

 

Bryston BHA-1 (dull)

Burson HA-160D (bright & hard)

Burson Soloist (hard; 2D)

HiFiMAN EF6 (hard; sibilant)

Oppo HA-1 (bright) only a few months

RS Dark Star (very bright)

Schiit Mjolnir (fatiguing)

 

Good Matches

 

Bakoon HPA-21 (warm, vivid details)

Cavalli Liquid Fire (good overall)

EAR HP-4 (lush sound; my favorite)

Red Wine Audio Corvina/Bellina (warm)

Vioelectric V200 (neutral & smooth)

Woo WA5-LE (best overall; gonzo bass)

 

Of course, those short descriptions do not do the amps justice but will have to do to keep it short.

 

Interesting, although I only auditioned them for about an hour or two, I much preferred the BHA-1 to the V200 (tried them several times with different DACs: Cambridge DM100 & Auralic Vega).

post #12873 of 19165
Quote:
Originally Posted by 62ohm View Post
 

 

Interesting, although I only auditioned them for about an hour or two, I much preferred the BHA-1 to the V200 (tried them several times with different DACs: Cambridge DM100 & Auralic Vega).

You can probably blame that on different taste.  

 

I just find the BHA-1 oddly dull in the mid-range with both the PS1000 (probably due to the U-shape voicing) and to a lesser extent the HD800, that one for unknown reason to me.  One thing, though, I have used only either the Oppo 95 /105 or the PS Audio PerfectWave transport and DAC. 

post #12874 of 19165
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post
 

If you're going to name off amps and how well they pair, er, or don't - could you please include your source(s).

I not sure without a quote but I am guessing that this post was addressed to me.

 

I am also a little confused about what you meant by "source(s)."  

 

In responding to 62ohm, I was merely expressing my own opinion about the sounds of headphones and amps that I own and have listened to for over a year (I rarely discuss first impression except in the case the Oppo HA-1 that I bought only a few months ago when they just came out.  It was so indicated in the list). I am not reporting anyone else's opinion so I am afraid I have no source(s).

 

But perhaps you meant audio sources.  In that case, I have used mostly the Oppo 95/105 for SACD and the PS Audio PerfectWave Transport and DAC.  Occasionally I used the Wadia 121 as my desk-top DAC.

 

By the way, the above lists are summaries of a very long post I recently wrote about my experience trying to match headphones, cables and amps in the High-End Forum. 

 

I hope that clears it up.

post #12875 of 19165
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post
 

 

I used the Eximus DP1 (from SBT w/ EDO) with all amps, as well as a couple of others occasionally. I preferred the ZDSE (by a landslide), Luxman P1u, Taboo mkII, Bryston BHA-1, and Master 8 off the top of my head. Basically I didn't like what the WA5LE (or 300Bs ) did to the Senns. Everything sounded...bloated...for lack of a better descriptor here. Bloated, rounded on the bass and most everything else. It did have a big ss and good tonality-but those are about the only positives I can say for it. The Vali of all thing's reminds me of a poor man's WA5 bass, good tone, and decent transparency.

 

-Daniel

 

The WA5 is great for tube rolling because it's sound changes drastically with tube changes, even the cheaper driver tubes. A pair of very expensive Sylvania 6SN7W metal bases makes the amp sound unbearable. The Tungsols make it sing. Different tubes make the WA5 sound like a different amp.

 

Not the first time I've read that the EC amps beat the WA5 noticeably but none of the people have my tube combinations. That is one reason not to buy the WA5 though - like other Woo amps it takes a lot of splurging on tubes to get a good combination. I remember that the WA5 sounded not much better than my Little Dot (jesus...) with stock tubes. But I've heard that EC amps sound spectacular even in stock form.

 

Different ears as well. Your bloated might be someone else's "lush" and "romantic". 

 

Maybe I should ask my friend to lend his P1u to do a detailed shootout some day. Or order a EC 4-45 :)

post #12876 of 19165

How is the Beyerdynamic A1 amp with the HD800?

 

I had a very extended session with the HD800 on the A1 amp yesterday and came away kind of not impressed. I was using my DX90 as the source and my own music and to my ears my K812 sounded better straight out of the DX90 headphone out.

 

The HD800 was okay and probably would have been impressive if I had not come to know the K812 for the last few months. My guess is that the A1 wasn't up to the task of showing me what the H800 can really do but my impression was that the K812 has better resolution across the board, including bass resolution/texture and more even sounding/neutral overall. The HD800 sounded a little peaky/sibillant at times (very minor though) but was also quite even sounding/neutral. The HD800 sounded quite similar to the K812, well balanced except that that slight peakiness and the bass lacked a little definition/slam compared to the K812. I do feel like I would have been a lot more impressed coming straight from the LCD-2/HE-500 instead of months with the K812.

post #12877 of 19165
Quote:
Originally Posted by lojay View Post

The WA5 is great for tube rolling because it's sound changes drastically with tube changes, even the cheaper driver tubes. A pair of very expensive Sylvania 6SN7W metal bases makes the amp sound unbearable. The Tungsols make it sing. Different tubes make the WA5 sound like a different amp.

Not the first time I've read that the EC amps beat the WA5 noticeably but none of the people have my tube combinations. That is one reason not to buy the WA5 though - like other Woo amps it takes a lot of splurging on tubes to get a good combination. I remember that the WA5 sounded not much better than my Little Dot (jesus...) with stock tubes. But I've heard that EC amps sound spectacular even in stock form.

Different ears as well. Your bloated might be someone else's "lush" and "romantic". 

Maybe I should ask my friend to lend his P1u to do a detailed shootout some day. Or order a EC 4-45 smily_headphones1.gif

All in all I had over a grand in various tube upgrades for the WA5LE, so it's not like I didn't put the time and $$ into it. I never found a combo that did the HD800 justice-and the P1u I had at the time beat it easily for my preferences-although I wouldn't consider either of them end game by any stretch.

Btw Craig's amps usually have absolute trash stock tubes-the ZDSE no exception.

-Daniel
post #12878 of 19165
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post


All in all I had over a grand in various tube upgrades for the WA5LE, so it's not like I didn't put the time and $$ into it. I never found a combo that did the HD800 justice-and the P1u I had at the time beat it easily for my preferences-although I wouldn't consider either of them end game by any stretch.

Btw Craig's amps usually have absolute trash stock tubes-the ZDSE no exception.

-Daniel

 

Not trying to be defensive, but I might be crazy having spent more on tubes than that of the amp itself. That's why I say it's a good reason against buying the WA5, for most it's simply not worth it. But heck, it's not like I can't sell the tubes in the used market (we have a good used market for 300Bs in Hong Kong) or when I get some 300B monos for my speaker rig.

 

I kind of agree that the WA5 doesn't perhaps do the HD800 justice (which is why my HD800s are dusty) but that might also be because I have the HE-6s which the WA5 drive well. I still think my setup does better than the P1u but then its my ears, my source and my music preferences.

 

Would you consider the recent EC's end game by any chance? I'm having these in serious consideration but only the ECBA uses the tubes that I have.

 

For the casual reader I don't want to mislead you, none of this means I think the WA5s are end-game for the HD800s. Look elsewhere for something cheaper that drives the HD800s better.

post #12879 of 19165
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post
 

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. 

Matt,

thanks for the compare. Time to get the Valhalla 2 for the 800?

post #12880 of 19165

Now I am deeply interested in trying out the Valhalla 2..

post #12881 of 19165
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcoarment View Post

I ordered Focus pads along with the HE-6 to compare with the stock pads and found them fine overall except for one big problem: the padding "ring" is wider than the stock pads', so the inner "hole" diameter is much smaller. That made enough size difference that my ears no longer fully fit inside, and made parts of the "ring" press against my ear uncomfortably. I went back to the stock pads after about 20 minutes.

I admit that I've only heard the HD 800s on three amps — Bottlehead Crack, EF-6, and Asgard 2 — so I may not be giving them a fair chance yet. If I'd only heard the HE-6 on an amp that wasn't ideal for them (like the vast majority of all headphone amps), I wouldn't have a fair opinion of them, either. But I have to wonder why so many people, including people with very nice amps, make similar complaints as mine about the HD 800.

It's still an amazing headphone — just not my taste. I had almost the same opinion of the widely loved HD 650: recognition that it's good, but I don't like it.

Hey marco why the change from th900s to the HE6? Thought you were happy with the th900.. Your sr009s on their way to be replaced too?
post #12882 of 19165
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddTheMetalGod View Post

If I wanted a solid state amp and USB DAC for the HD800 for $500-$700 CDN what would you guys suggest? It can be a single component or two, it doesn't make a difference to me. I'd appreciate any input biggrin.gif.

Dangerous Music Source - perhaps ask for used from retailers like Economik or Long & McQuade. Also, call them personally to get a better deal. Works especially well with HD800.

post #12883 of 19165
Quote:
Originally Posted by M-13 View Post
 

How is the Beyerdynamic A1 amp with the HD800?

 

I had a very extended session with the HD800 on the A1 amp yesterday and came away kind of not impressed. I was using my DX90 as the source and my own music and to my ears my K812 sounded better straight out of the DX90 headphone out.

 

The HD800 was okay and probably would have been impressive if I had not come to know the K812 for the last few months. My guess is that the A1 wasn't up to the task of showing me what the H800 can really do but my impression was that the K812 has better resolution across the board, including bass resolution/texture and more even sounding/neutral overall. The HD800 sounded a little peaky/sibillant at times (very minor though) but was also quite even sounding/neutral. The HD800 sounded quite similar to the K812, well balanced except that that slight peakiness and the bass lacked a little definition/slam compared to the K812. I do feel like I would have been a lot more impressed coming straight from the LCD-2/HE-500 instead of months with the K812.

It looks like I have to check out the K812.  At the very least, AKG seems to have come a long way in terms of look since the K1000.

 

I did two things to the HD800 that seemed to help reduce if not eliminate the sibilance/hardness issues.  

 

First I applied the Anaxilus mod, which reduced the sibilance/hardness problem by a noticeable amount. Second, I replaced the stock cable with the Copper Venom from Toxic Cables (OCC copper; 22AWG rectangular wires; cryo treatment).  The sibilance/hardness problem was reduced to a minimal level with a bonus boost in the upper-bass and slightly more warmth in the midrange.  

 

After that, the HD800 seemed to get along with most amps pretty well, though tube/hybrid amps still complement the voicing of the HD800 best.  

 

Have you seen this new HD800 look from ColorWare? The HD800 G, limited to 10 units. #1, 2, 7 and 10 are no longer available.

 

 


Edited by Justin_Time - 8/10/14 at 8:25am
post #12884 of 19165

post #12885 of 19165
Quote:
Originally Posted by aive View Post

Hey marco why the change from th900s to the HE6? Thought you were happy with the th900.. Your sr009s on their way to be replaced too?

 

I'm keeping the TH900 for now because it's the best closed-ish headphone I've ever heard and I do need to use closed headphones sometimes, although it has relatively little isolation both ways for a "closed" headphone. The HE-6 serves my open role: the best sound quality, which I can enjoy only when I'm able to use open headphones (about half the time).

 

SR-009s are still in the repair process for the channel imbalance — I only got 4 days worth of use out of them before it started. The repair will supposedly take months and may not even fix the problem. I can't possibly overstate how disappointed I am in that purchase so far, and I can tell you that the quality difference is definitely not worth the high extra cost and inability to deal with the regular retail and warranty chain. (I made it worse by buying through PriceJapan, but it's not that much better than buying through a US retailer — you need to wait months before they even arrive, many still have the channel imbalance, and all repairs still need to go back to Stax Japan for months.)

 

Even when they return, I probably won't be able to enjoy them very much because I'm so angry at Stax's poor quality control, obtuse and condescending repair process, and continued denial that this is a real problem that appears to be affecting as many as 5–10% of SR-009s sold, according to PriceJapan (who sell a lot of them). That's why I'm likely to just sell them, and the KGSSHV, when they eventually return… if they're actually fixed.

 

Now that I've been hit by the channel imbalance and discovered how great the HE-6 is with an appropriate amp, I can't recommend buying the SR-009. The HE-6/EF-6 combo ($3000) costs less than half as much as the SR-009 and a good electrostatic amp (~$6500 minimum if you go PriceJapan, $8000+ if not), gets you almost the same overall sound quality and better bass, sounds great with more music, and is always in stock from a US retailer with excellent customer support and warranties (Head Direct).

 

(Sorry for hijacking the 800 thread. You can get back to that now.)

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