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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 260

post #3886 of 13459

I'm listening to Grant Geissman & co.'s "Sounds of Monterey Bay" .. a lovely jazz recording interspersed with lots of field recording elements (running water, rainfall, thunder, etc.).. w/ the HD800 & the BH Crack (rolling the Raytheon VT-231.. an "end game" tube..for me).  This is a well recorded album and the imaging queues are fantastic.  Rolling thunder sounds incredibly lifelike.. and hearing the vividness of piano (timbre that's surprisingly tough to get 'right,' IMO) is so satisfying.

post #3887 of 13459
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

I'm listening to Grant Geissman & co.'s "Sounds of Monterey Bay" .. a lovely jazz recording interspersed with lots of field recording elements (running water, rainfall, thunder, etc.).. w/ the HD800 & the BH Crack (rolling the Raytheon VT-231.. an "end game" tube..for me).  This is a well recorded album and the imaging queues are fantastic.  Rolling thunder sounds incredibly lifelike.. and hearing the vividness of piano (timbre that's surprisingly tough to get 'right,' IMO) is so satisfying.

 

Are you attending the Bottlehead meet this weekend?

post #3888 of 13459

Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

 

Are you attending the Bottlehead meet this weekend?

 

Didn't know there was one going on (admittedly, I haven't check the meet forum).. I'll see if I can make it!

post #3889 of 13459

Well, I  figured out, that one of the strongest point of the hd800 i.e the short decay, is actually what some people  dislike,  and responsible  of the comments such like  "not musical", soulless, artificial etc... The hd800 is close to neutral, and you might be thinking that people don't like neutral, but the hd595 is relatively "neutral", and I've never seen as harsh criticism as the word "unbearable" for the hd595. No the problem is not with the source, if you are using a non-transparent source to make your hd800 more enjoyable, I  still consider that the original "problem" is with the hd800.

 

The reason that the hd800 sounds  so good with classical music, voice etc .. is because these are natural sounds, that are  recorded.  Each sound that occurs naturally, have in general a longer decay  than the attack (if not, it's as if it's played in reverse). 

However with synthetic musics, I guess they have been mixed/ mastered /tested using speakers or headphone with driver that have longer decay than the hd800.

That's why synthetic stuff might sound "weird" on the hd800, some  sound   may seem unexpectedly short. Your brain notice sounds, and then  they are already gone: this put you in the position of a constant observer, the decays are just too short to enjoy anything.  So unless, you are constantly in a state of someone that "study music" , there is some music  you just can't play in the background , and forget it. And this despite the massive soundstage, of the hd800 that suggests a  laid back signature.

 

So here's my best solution to bring back some soul, or at least make the hd800 sound more like a "normal" headphone. I  use the vst spl transient designer that bring back some decay.

Actually the decays are not longer, but "fatter", which explain why you won't hear sound

overlapping each other, even if you  boost it to max.

 

You loose a little fidelity for a more relaxing sound, it's a trade off. Bit I think it  harm sound  less than stuff like crossover, dolby headphone, tb isone etc ....

I increase the sustain (which is associated to decay) by a very small amount (0.52 db).

The hidden sliders can be accessed  by loading the vst through "art teknika console".

I don't touch to the attack setting (it would irritate after some time).

Link setting on (preserve stereo image).

 

 

 

Proof that some magic work with that dsp :  sibilance is efficiently masked, or any "tizz".

Remove sibilance much better than any eq.

And it's done by SPL, so if you trust that much their phonitor, you should give a try to their vst biggrin.gif.


Edited by extrabigmehdi - 7/22/13 at 10:46pm
post #3890 of 13459

If anyone thinks the HD800 is 'soulless'.. they haven't listened to it through a BH Crack.. with the Raytheon VT-231 tube.  It's heavenly.  As far as full sized headphones go.. there's nothing.. NOTHING else.. that I want to listen with (under $1500).  It possesses the clarity, speed, transparency, and extension of what you'd expect from an excellent, neutral sold state amp amp.. but provides the rich, natural, vibrant presentation of a great tube.  I've rolled a number of 12AU7s and 12BH7s.. I've yet to find one that sounds as phenomenal as the the Raytheon VT-231 does.

 

..and it's absolutely badass with rock/metal.

 

wink_face.gif

 

..now, back to our regularly scheduled knob-twiddling.

 

tongue_smile.gif

post #3891 of 13459
Extrabig, can you also buy de-esser from SPL and report? It also suppose to remove the nasty 'S' from recording, it theoretically can 'tame' hd800 'sibilant' :P
post #3892 of 13459

The HD800's are so amp and source dependant that they can't really be labelled generally. Thats why there are so many of us in disagreement regarding their sound characteristics. On my Audio gd they sound neutral, balanced and maybe a little flat. On my older 70's integrated/receiver amps they sound big, warm and analogue like. On an early eighties Technics amp they sound crisp and detailed at the top but almost too bassy at the bottom... I can go on with the change with different dacs as well but you get the picture. 

 

I've said it probably about 15 times now and I'm annoying myself saying it again :) But they are a very clean window onto your equipment. Rubbish in rubbish out. (apart from the soundstage will always impress :)

post #3893 of 13459
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

The HD800's are so amp and source dependant that they can't really be labelled generally. Thats why there are so many of us in disagreement regarding their sound characteristics. On my Audio gd they sound neutral, balanced and maybe a little flat. On my older 70's integrated/receiver amps they sound big, warm and analogue like. On an early eighties Technics amp they sound crisp and detailed at the top but almost too bassy at the bottom... I can go on with the change with different dacs as well but you get the picture. 

I've said it probably about 15 times now and I'm annoying myself saying it again smily_headphones1.gif But they are a very clean window onto your equipment. Rubbish in rubbish out. (apart from the soundstage will always impress smily_headphones1.gif
Fully agree with the the first line.
I've been fortunate to hear them with ECBA, EARHP4 & Apex Pinnacle.
For 'tuby goodness' - ECBA
For punchy bass - Ear HP4
For the best of both worlds - Apex Pinnacle biggrin.gif
Obviously IMHO
post #3894 of 13459

Though I can't speak for main-stream pop music, I do know that electronic dance music producers, nowadays at least, tend to produce their tracks on the "drier" side, with very little reverb. This is because large venue speaker systems have gotten so much better, louder, and more powerful recently, that music with reverb played really, really loudly on those speaker systems sound out of place.

 

Reverb is intended to give the illusion that the sound is filling up the room, to make up for weaker sound systems. But now that club sound systems have gotten much better, the reverb is less necessary. Instead, they just want to play that pure sound.

 

A good example is this track:

 

 

It has exactly that "dry", shortened decay sound. It doesn't sound musical. But when the song is played loudly, in a club setting, it sounds right, because with the enormous speakers, it will seem to have a "purer" sound. The sound signature was definitely intentional.

 

So, when the HD-800 plays more recent EDM tracks as these, and tends to have that "drier" sound, it's actually probably playing it exactly the way it was meant to be played.

 

But, I may be wrong of course. I don't even own the HD-800 (but just heard it a few times at a recent meet, which I wrote about a few posts earlier in this thread) tongue.gif. But from what I've heard of the HD-800, I do think if it sounds "sterile" with very recent EDM tracks such as above, it's probably just playing the music the way it was produced.

 

Edit: (Oh God... writing about the HD-800 makes me want to buy one so bad.)


Edited by fuzzybaffy - 7/23/13 at 4:38am
post #3895 of 13459
Buy one now! biggrin.gif
I hated HD800 for 3 years since the launch, only to find it to be my most loved phone now.
post #3896 of 13459
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

The HD800's are so amp and source dependant that they can't really be labelled generally. Thats why there are so many of us in disagreement regarding their sound characteristics. On my Audio gd they sound neutral, balanced and maybe a little flat. On my older 70's integrated/receiver amps they sound big, warm and analogue like. On an early eighties Technics amp they sound crisp and detailed at the top but almost too bassy at the bottom... I can go on with the change with different dacs as well but you get the picture. 

 

I've said it probably about 15 times now and I'm annoying myself saying it again :) But they are a very clean window onto your equipment. Rubbish in rubbish out. (apart from the soundstage will always impress :)


Fully agree the statement that HD800 is a very clean window which truly reflecting the source which causing "Rubbish in rubbish out", however, while I love my HD800 I do consider this effect as a major weakness of it.

post #3897 of 13459

It's been a couple weeks now since I got my HD800s and I'm really starting to appreciate their clarity and precision.  Also with heavy rock.  I did have a niggling feeling at first that there was something slightly sterile or 'soulless' about the sound, especially when compared to my Hifimans.  But I don't perceive them like that so much any more.  I think I'm going to like these headphones.  :)

post #3898 of 13459
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kendoji View Post

It's been a couple weeks now since I got my HD800s and I'm really starting to appreciate their clarity and precision.  Also with heavy rock.  I did have a niggling feeling at first that there was something slightly sterile or 'soulless' about the sound, especially when compared to my Hifimans.  But I don't perceive them like that so much any more.  I think I'm going to like these headphones.  :)

 

Regarding the sterile/soulless part, most people just get used to it. Peculiarly (to me) some even like that. I did get used to it, for a little while.  That said, there's plenty of things that are awesome with the HD800s and I hold them in very high regard overall. To fix the sterile/souless and the brightness bits, I used the Anax mod and an aftermarket copper cable with great success. Now as I am selling my HD800s they're pure stock and I am missing those mods. Getting a lot of copper interconnects in your setup also goes towards the same effect of making the more musical, for those who like that. Pity the latter makes the LCD-3s sound sub-optimal if you're unfortunate as I am to have just one system.


Edited by negura - 7/23/13 at 11:33am
post #3899 of 13459
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBull View Post

Buy one now! biggrin.gif
I hated HD800 for 3 years since the launch, only to find it to be my most loved phone now.

 

Haha... yea... If I had the funds, I would. Within a couple of years, I hope to be able to finally buy one.

post #3900 of 13459
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBull View Post

Buy one now! biggrin.gif
I hated HD800 for 3 years since the launch, only to find it to be my most loved phone now.

 

You would not be the only one. For some reason the HD800 is one of the more polarizing headphone that I know of. The same people have hated it comparing it to the LCD2 saying how unnatural it was compared to those headphones and then months later saying the HD800's neutrality is a breath of fresh air with the bass heavy LCD2.

 

I've decided to downsize my HD800 rig lately to just my D1 as the dac/amp and then the headphones and they still sound great. I will say that I do think the amp inside my dac is great and bested the Violectric V200 when I owned that amp. After hearing it again today I'm glad I didn't sell them. I will have to switch back to the stock cable however since the Toxic Silver Poison cable I have on now is a bit longer than the stock cable as I had the stock cable shortened to 6 feet when I had it terminated to a 4 pin XLR. 

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