Originally Posted by zigy626
A question for HD800 owners that own summit-fi amp/dac. I have seen that many people are willing to spent really a lot of money on Amplifiers and DAC's to go along with the HD800's. Sometimes upwards of $5000. We are after all talking about Headphones here. How good can it get really? Personally I have no experience with summit-fi amps that go along with HD800, so can someone enlighten me with there experience with summit-fi amp/dac pairing with HD800. What can one expect when you pair a HD800 with something like a woo audio WA5 amp that costs $3000?
The implication here is that headphone listening is not as worthy of better upstream equipment as speaker listening. (At least that is how I read the skeptical nature of the question, but of course it is understandable, as anyone outside the community
would think the cost or value of audiophile equipment is basically insane, but would certainly relate to the cost of a $75,000 car.)
Specifically, the HD800 is capable of achieving natural tonality of all musical objects (including vocals) that sinks deep into the pleasure centers of your brain, and does the same with spatial information allowing you to perceive the
a believable size, shape, and placement of each of these objects, adding to the enjoyment (for me at least).
And the better input you feed it, the closer to this holy grail you come. Conversely, bad distortion in the digital or amplification realm will be fatiguing, as in piercing highs, clipped bass, or digital artifice.
Headphones probably need more, not less, help than speakers because of the intimate relationship you have with a transducer so close to your ear.
I hear the goodness and all the characteristics of my high end tube amps and high end CD player and cables in all their glory with the HD800s, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I love these phones, and if you love music and high end sound, the cost of upstream equipment is worth whatever you can reasonably afford.
(And of course there will be a lot of arguments about the placebo affect, how I have have spent too much time drinking the Kool-aid etc., but I know what I hear.)
Edited by rgs9200m - 3/31/13 at 12:13pm