I believe it could vary widely depending upon the transformers used.
Get the HD800's and slowly upgrade from there. Keep the HD650 as a complementary setup. Both are different sounding and both have its advantages and disadvantages but the HD800's win all out hands down if run through a good amp and source setup. Or maybe you can try the HD800's on your Crack and see if you like it, you never know, my ears are not yours.
According to uchihaitachi, a lot of people preferred "the LCD-3 and HD650 over the Orpheus and the HD800"
during a blind test (people were blindfolded):
This is for people that keep repeating that the hd800 are the best, just like a broken record.
I wish I tried these hd650.
I am with Maxvla... this seems very odd. Each of those headphones feels very different on the head. I would have immediately know which headphone was on my head. Well, actually, I haven't used the orpheus, so I wouldn't have recognized it... but process of elimination I would have known.
I am a big believer in blind A/B testing because knowing what you are listening to will effect your judgement... I have repeatedly seen this happen, especially when the differences between components is subtle. I am surprised that people opinions shifts so much blinded/sighted with those headphones since in my experience they sound very different.
I do understand why people might prefer the LCD3 or 650s to the HD800. If I was a bass head, I might prefer the LCD3. If I didn't like in your face detail... but wanted headphones that mellow everything out, I would love the 650s. But that's not me. I am not someone who would say the HD800 is the best. I like Stax SR-009 more, and depending on the track, I sometimes prefer SR-007mk1. Other than those to headphones, yeah, I would say for my tastes the HD800 is the best. I like an open, fast, detailed, accurate / neutral set of cans. The HD800 is all these things. Speaking of listener bias... I was completely shocked when I compared the HD800 to a number of the lesser Stax and the Koss 950s Having been a Stax lover for years, I didn't believe a dynamic headphone could touch electrostatics for jazz, classical, and female vocalists. Imagine my surprise when I picked the HD800 over a number of electrostatics.
Alright - the HD800s are such a beast. In a great way.
A while ago I've built myself a badass copper cable with high-end wires, soldering and good connectors and I think I am right now clocking 150-200 hours on it. I swear it's transformed from when I first listened to it. It adds strong body, bass presence, musicality and a hint of warmth to my HD800s. The treble is still really well extended but actually my HD800s are now less sibilant prone than the LCD-3s. The latter is with silver cables.
Recently I've added an interface (AP2+IFI IUSB) to my upstream and that's also added another couple of notches of flow, detail, smoothness, musicality and extension.
The slam and the energy are still surprising me, it's the N-th time the last couple of days and I am still getting surprised by it.
I keep getting amazed how much the HD800s scale when fed the proper sauce. If anyone tells me again the HD800s sound thin, lack bass, too sibilant, I could laugh, but I will say ... please have patience and build a system around them and you will be GREATLY rewarded.
Yeah! The HD800s are GREAT!!! My favorite and beloved headphones that I even like slightly better than the SR009 + T2 combi (I had the chance to compare both), because the HD800 sounds more "rough" and with a different spacious feeling and does not have those electrostatic smooth highs of the SR009. I like this very much, but I think I could live happily ever after with the SR009, too...
Yeah, yeah... I've bought some decent wings for my grandma and I swear she can fly now...
Cable-sound is pure imagination or results from a different resistor.
There is no better and no worse. It's only a waste of $$$ if you buy it for irrational amounts of money.
Haptics can be a good reason to buy another cable, but the HD800 cable is just fine, I think.
(Only the rubber on the connectors tends to brittle on some early HD800 units.)
The HD800 can easily be driven by the most amps out there.
There is simply no need for an expansive amp!
Here again it's mainly the output impedance which makes the difference.
(Tube amps is a different story, but why should I use a 'colored' and often technical inferior unit to drive such a great headphone?)
It's all a matter of personal taste, naturally. Don't forget this. There is no all-embracing HD800-catharsis, that you can achieve by using this or that cable or amp for it.
I even don't like the suggested (Anax) modifications on my HD800.
I've modified my HD800 with some felt and mahogany, but I don't know whether this makes an audible difference at all, compared to the 'raw' HD800.
People, don't fool yourself.
The most complex part you listen music with is your brain... and this always fools you, try be aware of it.
This 'body part' even invents an invisible man in the up in the sky...
That's the way the things are (at least for me).
The HD800 needs no extra cable and no expansive amp, because it simply does not improve its sound by using it.
My personal taste says:
I like the HD800 best out of a decent solid state amp with (nearly) zero ohms output impedance, but I fully understand that some (/many?) of you see/hear the things in a different way.
And I also think, that the HD800s are truly the best headphones out there... having heard >100 headphones from mediocre to 'high-end'.
Probably my brain was 'designed' (no, I'm an atheist and no stupid creationist) for the HD800 or vice versa...
A friend in the German Hifi-Forum once said to/about me: "Offenbar wurde der HD800 speziell auf Dich abgestimmt. Gib es zu, Du bist das uneheliche Kind von Axel Grell."
That's a very good point...
Imagine.. One moment you're feeling a very light and airy cushion on each side of your head. Next moment your face is being clasped with what feels like a male Mountain Gorilla with sweaty palms .... Mmmm wonder which ones these are??
I happened to open this thread and have to dissent that the Auditor is a good amp for the HD800. That amp was probably one of the worst ones that I heard with the HD800 back when I owned the HD800. First, the specs of the Auditor/Phonitor are a mismatch for the HD800's specs. The Auditor/Phonitor ideally drives 600 Ohm headphones - i.e., which is a trait of Beyerdynamic headphones more than Sennheiser headphones. And as I expected, the Beyerdynamic T1 (as one example) did sound very good on the Auditor - which was a pairing that I'd definitely say had synergy. The Auditor/HD800, on the other hand, bore out contrasting results and the HD800 ended up sounding under-driven by the Auditor (weak bass & mid-range). To anyone who honestly thinks the HD800 sounds good on the Auditor, I'd have to recommend listening to other amps that actually drive it properly. Not that I'd call the B22 a great amp for the HD800 either though - I had that combo too for a while and didn't think it was the best pairing. Out of all the amps I heard with the HD800, the best ones I found were the Luxman P-1u and HeadAmp GS-X (MK1), each for different reasons. As far as solid-state at least, anyway. I found the HD800 to generally sound better on tube amps and the best tube amp I heard it with was the Eddie Current Zana Deux.
As for the recent post on the HD800 vs stats, I'd have to dissent with that as well. While I'd concede that maybe the HD800 has some loose similarities to the SR-009 amped by the HeadAmp BHSE, I'd honestly have to call the HD800 a joke compared to either the OII MKI or SR-009 on the BHSE and would never consider them remotely close to the Stax, and that's being generous. I used to think the Audeze LCD-2 sounded closer to the Stax, until I acquired the Fostex TH900, which gets even closer IMO.
I've always wanted to hear an Eddie Current, have only heard good things about them.. maybe one of these days..
I also found the HD800 to sound thin and shrill out of the Phonitor. At the time my GS-1 was the better pairing. This was when all my headphones and amps was SE. When switched to a all balanced audio chain. The HD800 was one of the few headphones that showed benefits of the balanced config. That's when the B22 took it a notch up for me. Now the GS-X mkII has taken it up another notch on top of that.