I couldn't find a suitable DAC-match for the HD800 at a price/performance level below the Concero... but then again I didn't try absolutely everything out there either.
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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 109
Gear mentioned in this thread:
I also highly recommend the Concero, given your requirements. It serves an excellent role as a transitional DAC in that if you get a higher end one later, you can still use it as an excellent USB converter while retaining it's filter options and remote control features.
I was using it as just a DAC at first, and now as a USB converter for a PS Audio Nuwave. I find it noticeably better than the Nuwave USB input, and the Nuwave uses the well regarded XMOS chip. The Concero doesn't seem to bottleneck the HD800 relative to it's pricepoint.
Audio-GD DACs are also an excellent value, I've owned 2 of their DACs and now one of their amps. Though they are much bulkier than the Concero if that's a factor. And their less "transitional" unless you want to pull a DAC buy/sell round robin like I did for a bit.
Came to add my thoughts that cables do indeed make a difference-then noticed it was RustA you're squabbling with lol.
But to the guys that claim 'brain burn in': that doesn't account for a damn thing if I don't listen to the headphones while they are burning in-yet there are easily noticeable improvements many hours later on just a second relisten. Case in point ime: K702 and Pro 2900.
Most def! +1!
You can get PS audio DL iii dirt cheap if you can find it and it has nice anologee sound.
DL III is very nice, should be better than bifrost too.
I think you just need to get a bigger back pack the fit the big @$$ box it come in . But seriously, I have not seen anything like that. When traveling, I pack then into a carry on in that big box -- sucks!
I was being stupid lately and actually put my HD800s up for sale. I came to my senses thank God, but I did sell off a lot of my other gear including my Bifrost. Is there any DAC out there that will hold me over (similar to the Bifrost) until I can grab a high end/summit fi DAC? I'd love to pick up a Concero still, but would like to explore my options for a decent 'budget' (ugh, I hate that word when discussing the HD800s) DAC.
Glad you decided to stay in the hobby. Like your marriage this hobby will also last a lifetime a sI been doing it since 1979
Hifiman travel case should fit them.
I'm 15 years in, about 5 years with speaker set-ups and about 10 yr with hp's (6 of them with the 650's) and I can always see me enjoying this hobby. My Dad has had the same hobby all my life too, so it must be in my blood! Even though I've recently bought an end-game headphone I'm still miles from reaching the the summit. But I'm kind of pleased, as I'm enjoying the journey too much. Don't want it to end ha.
Two weeks with the HD800's now and they are constantly surprising me. I recently set up my old Marantz cd player to spin a few cd's. I've been using computers as a source for quite a few years now. The Senn's really let me know the Marantz limitations. The sound seemed hard and very digital, clinical.. I know this player well(or I thought I did) and always though it had a gentle, pleasant signature.. But it just goes to show how transparent these hp's are. For better or worse they will let you know everything! It's the first time that I've actually found the HD800's fatiguing with brass. Letting my Marantz run through my Rdac and the sound changes to a more natural tonality.. Again the HD800's letting me hear the difference instantly.
I think I may have struck lucky with my two rigs and the HD800's because they certainly let me know when I added something that was not to their liking! Seems they are harder to please than I first thought... I'm gonna be very careful with upgrades from now on. Snobs that they are
Tonally, I have found the HD800 somewhat underwhelming in stock form. I thought my stock SR-Lambda, an almost 35 year old headphone, to have superior tonality. I love many things that the stock HD800 did, but it didn't ultimately satisfy.
Fast forward to the present, I have put Anax 2.0 (Rabid Dawg 1) and some simple and subtle parametric EQ and have fundamentally "fixed" this headphone. All my quips and reservations are long gone. The stock Lambda has nothing over the Senn at this point in time.
No more excessive brightness. No more thin and nasal tonality. All the technicalities and strengths of the stock HD800. The EQ shift was only about up and down 3dB. I'm sure EQ would really help the stock form also, but the mod makes the EQ simpler and less dramatic.
I am a newcomer to parametric EQ and realize that many do not want to have to learn the ropes, so I will post my exact EQ settings from Electri-Q (using Foobar2000):
Peak filter I - Freq: 4137.4 Gain: 5.8 BW: 1
Peak filter II - Freq: 5696.1 Gain: -6.1 BW: 1.1
Peak filter III - Freq: 20000 Gain: 3 BW: 3
Gain filter - Freq: any Gain: -3.3 BW: any
*The gain filter is to prevent clipping. Let your amp make up the difference by cranking up that volume knob.
Try it out if you can. You can even AB from no EQ (remember to volume match) to this EQ at the click of a button. It changed my HD800 from a nice but flawed headphone, to my favorite headphone. It probably would even help out the stock HD800, although not as dramatically, as I tweaked it with Anax 2.0 in mind. Also feel free to tweak and improve if you want. I aimed for neutrality and openness here, but you may want to bump the bass also.
Edited by juantendo8 - 4/5/13 at 2:36pm
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