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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 859

post #12871 of 14141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin_Time View Post

 

Finally, the HE-6 IS very uncomfortable to me in (hard ear-pads and too much clamping force) in addition to being very heavy.  I found that using the new HE-560 Focus or Focus-A ear-pads (~$30) reduces much of the discomfort.

 

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.

post #12872 of 14141
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.

Then you really haven't heard what the HD800s can really do.  Out of the 3 amps you mentioned, IMO, only the Crack start scratching the surface of the HD800s potential.  At first, I thought the same about HD800 like you do;  typically, not my taste or what the heck are these people raving about ......It took me a while to realize and understand why HD800s have earned its reputation.

I love HE-6 very much too and don't find it very uncomfortable but after having HD800 for a while, the urge to get HE-6 keeps diminishing.

I also decided to sell my HE-500.

post #12873 of 14141

Out of my main headphones (SR009, HE6 and HD800), the HD800 gets the least headtime and the HE6 the most. 

 

And I have heard what the HD800 "can do". Maybe not the absolute best performance ever (e.g. driven by the Pinnacle, EC BA or EC 4-45) but when it comes to top flight amps I doubt the differences exceed 10%. I agree the HD800 sounds amazing on my premium tubes + WA5 compared to my previous amps or even the WA5 without the tubes I have now.

 

But it boils down to what sort of music you play most of the time. I have an eclectic range of music and I like discovering new music on Spotify, most of which is poorly recorded. HD800 is amazing for well recorded music and orchestral pieces in general. In fact, I can say that HD800 might be better on some 1% of my music collection (the well recorded stuff) compared to the HE6 and sometimes the SR009 (if we are talking about soundstage, imaging and grandness). However, for most of the music I listen to, I will reach for the HE6 and SR009 instead of the HD800. Maybe an Anax mod is in order, but still, I doubt that the HD800 as modded would trump the HE6 in terms of sheer visceral power that sounds so good with modern day music and rock, and the sheer airiness and effortlessness of the SR009 that has to be heard to be appreciated.

 

FYI I am driving all three headphones with the WA5 (with an electrostatic tranny for the SR009).

post #12874 of 14141

^ SR009 driven by a good amp will be a step up from from HD800, IMO.  HE-6 vs HD800 will depend on personal preference, music genre and of course, source quality.  If I ever go for a Stax setup, it would be the SR009 and Blue Hawaii.

post #12875 of 14141

I'm with both of you on this.  It's preference and what music you prefer.  Since I had the HD800, my search for music has changed, and I looked for classic or jazz or audiophile recordings.  I have lots of other genres I enjoy, and wasn't enjoying them out of the 800.  800 is probably a headphone in collection for enjoying certain genres.  I have resolving setup that does more genres well, and felt the same about the HE-6 and it worked well with an amp that provided enough power.  

post #12876 of 14141
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.

You're quite right. The HE-6 pads measure 6 cm x 51/2 cm on the inside.  The new Focus pads measure 5 1/2 cm around.  You may want o try the LCD3 Lambskin pads which are bigger (6 3/4 cm x 5 1/4 cm), with elongated shapes that fit the ears better. They also are ultra- soft and seal better--and cost 3 times more!

 

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.

post #12877 of 14141
The WA5LE with upgraded tubes is not even in my top 5 amps for the HD800s-yet cost significantly more than the others I preferred to it. Not a good match imo, and definitely doesn't bring the HD800s to their potential.

-Daniel
post #12878 of 14141

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

post #12879 of 14141
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post

The WA5LE with upgraded tubes is not even in my top 5 amps for the HD800s-yet cost significantly more than the others I preferred to it. Not a good match imo, and definitely doesn't bring the HD800s to their potential.

-Daniel

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?
post #12880 of 14141
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 #12881 of 14141
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 #12882 of 14141
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 #12883 of 14141
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 #12884 of 14141
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 #12885 of 14141

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.

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