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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 31

post #451 of 14705
uote:
Originally Posted by fejnomit View Post

Moving beyond the *lame* discussion of serial numbers, I'd like to plug my favorite amp for the HD800 which is the DNA Stratus. The 2a3 is a great complement to the 800s. Directly heated triodes in general seem better than any smaller dual triodes or octals. They allow the 800s to retain their even frequency reponse while fleshing them out both up and down. The precise bones take on great body. The 2a3 is the best I've heard so far- better than the 300b. Next is the 45 when I get my BA redone. Any thoughts?


For me recently it is the F3 from First Watt. I am running it off speaker tops. Awesome bass extent ion and really even presentation across freq range.However currently the Stratus looks super appealing. As well as the GS-X mk2 -- having the preamp option on that one is a nice bonus.

post #452 of 14705
I compared my HD800 (14793) with my two friends' (one ~800 and 1200's) as well as two models we have in stock in-store (20500's). That's a total of 5 HD800's head to head a/b'ing.

The results? They all sound the same with stock cables on. Mine changes a bit with my Q and my friend's with the black dragon is noticeably tamed; but I find it sacrifices detail.

For those who have previously owned and didnt like the phone and loves it this time around; you definitely changed components in your rig leading to the retry being more enjoyable.

The HD800 is the flagship that changes the most along with various component changes. My lcd3 retain their sound signature on no matter what, the HE6 is analytical on many amps but perfect on my McIntosh 225 and various vintage tube integrateds. The HD800's could be confused as entirely different headphones going from an amp to another. I.E I don't enjoy the 800's on my mjolnir or the bha-1 but it's phenomenal on the stratus, S7 and my mc225.

I repeat my experience on our tests; five different HD800's in stock configuration on the same amps are literally the same sounding. The variances are probably existant from model to model, but even my good ears can't differentiate no matter how much focus i put on a passage.

Comparisons were made on bha-1, b22, burson ha160, woo wa6se, nuforce hdp, fiio alpen, mjolnir, a vintage sansui integrated and a mcintosh mc225. Sources being bifrost, gungnir, m51
Edited by dleblanc343 - 3/2/13 at 5:21pm
post #453 of 14705

Very informative post dleblanc343. I'm afraid it's futile though, as the rampant speculation will no doubt drown out this and other data points.

 

Out of interest, have you tried the MJ>HD800 with the M51 behind it? I found the Gungnir wanting in that chain and all the qualities that irked me were addressed when the NAD replaced it.

post #454 of 14705
Quote:
Originally Posted by dleblanc343 View Post

I compared my HD800 (14793) with my two friends' (one ~800 and 1200's) as well as two models we have in stock in-store (20500's). That's a total of 5 HD800's head to head a/b'ing.

The results? They all sound the same with stock cables on. Mine changes a bit with my Q and my friend's with the black dragon is noticeably tamed; but I find it sacrifices detail.

For those who have previously owned and didnt like the phone and loves it this time around; you definitely changed components in your rig leading to the retry being more enjoyable.

The HD800 is the flagship that changes the most along with various component changes. My lcd3 retain their sound signature on no matter what, the HE6 is analytical on many amps but perfect on my McIntosh 225 and various vintage tube integrateds. The HD800's could be confused as entirely different headphones going from an amp to another. I.E I don't enjoy the 800's on my mjolnir or the bha-1 but it's phenomenal on the stratus, S7 and my mc225.

I repeat my experience on our tests; five different HD800's in stock configuration on the same amps are literally the same sounding. The variances are probably existant from model to model, but even my good ears can't differentiate no matter how much focus i put on a passage.

Comparisons were made on bha-1, b22, burson ha160, woo wa6se, nuforce hdp, fiio alpen, mjolnir, a vintage sansui integrated and a mcintosh mc225. Sources being bifrost, gungnir, m51


OK Sounds like we can all rest now! That was sure an intense test. Thanks dleblanc! beerchug.gif

post #455 of 14705

Nice info popcorn.gif.

 

Did you try it after "burning in" all the same 5 pairs? 

post #456 of 14705
Still lame-because there is a seperate thread for that precise topic. Not sure how it relates to appreciation lol.

That said-I greatly appreciate my HD800/ZDSE combo, but am very curious to try the ECBA at some point. OTOT, there are a couple of Headfiers who feel the ZDSE/HD800 has better synergy than with the BA, so who knows. Would also like to hear the Stratus at some point too. I may actually try a higher end dac instead...decisions, decisions.

-Daniel
post #457 of 14705

I appreciate the 19000+ Sen HD800.  Happy now :p

 

Great work on being the first to actually test the theory.  No change it is.

post #458 of 14705
Quote:
Took a peak at it and before I spend that much... I think I would DIY. IMHO when you start to get into point to point wired gear... tweaking to your preference is key.  Are there any circuit board designed amps out there that are even in the same ballpark as this amp?

That's assuming you know how to build - and have spent enough time doing so that you know the various benefits and deficits of the *many* circuit and component choices you will have to make.  I have gone down the road of having my *dream* headphone amp built for me many times and each time shied away at the end because I was never sure my chosen salad would end up tasting good.  I have always liked Donald's sound and trust his ear.  So for me the Stratus was a no-brainer.  And if there are a few things that I feel like changing about it as I get to know it better, that can always be done, as you suggest.   In terms of circuit board amps, there has been talk of the HD800 with the B-22...

Quote:

For me recently it is the F3 from First Watt. I am running it off speaker tops. Awesome bass extent ion and really even presentation across freq range.However currently the Stratus looks super appealing. As well as the GS-X mk2 -- having the preamp option on that one is a nice bonus.

I read your appreciation for the HE-6 -> F3 combination in the HE-6/Amp thread and find it very interesting you are recommending it here for the HD800s.  If it can handle both then it makes this perhaps the go-to SS amp for me...

 

Quote:
That said-I greatly appreciate my HD800/ZDSE combo, but am very curious to try the ECBA at some point. OTOT, there are a couple of Headfiers who feel the ZDSE/HD800 has better synergy than with the BA, so who knows. Would also like to hear the Stratus at some point too. I may actually try a higher end dac instead...decisions, decisions.

I have not been the biggest fan of the BA and the HD800 in stock configuration.  I have been using the Mullard ECC35 in the BA, which is a 6SL7 variant like the ZDSE.  I find the HD800 and a 6SL7 variants a sublime and very complimentary combination.  But the output tube is still a problem.  I don't care for the 300B, as I said.  And although I like the PX-4, it is mostly a detail-machine and note a tone-machine, to my ears.  That's why I am having my 300B/PX-4 BA swapped to a 45/2A3 version and plan still to use a 6SL7 variant for the HD800s.  This could be the ultimate BA->HD800 relationship.  Gonna be heard to beat the Stratus, however...

post #459 of 14705

which do you think is the best cable for the hd800 to decrease the sibilance? I use them with the Zodiac+ and it is the song/recording who has the sibilance, maybe I could decrease it somehow?

 

thanks

post #460 of 14705

EQ

post #461 of 14705
Quote:
Originally Posted by fejnomit View Post

That's assuming you know how to build - and have spent enough time doing so that you know the various benefits and deficits of the *many* circuit and component choices you will have to make.  I have gone down the road of having my *dream* headphone amp built for me many times and each time shied away at the end because I was never sure my chosen salad would end up tasting good.  I have always liked Donald's sound and trust his ear.  So for me the Stratus was a no-brainer.  And if there are a few things that I feel like changing about it as I get to know it better, that can always be done, as you suggest.   In terms of circuit board amps, there has been talk of the HD800 with the B-22...

I read your appreciation for the HE-6 -> F3 combination in the HE-6/Amp thread and find it very interesting you are recommending it here for the HD800s.  If it can handle both then it makes this perhaps the go-to SS amp for me...

 

I have not been the biggest fan of the BA and the HD800 in stock configuration.  I have been using the Mullard ECC35 in the BA, which is a 6SL7 variant like the ZDSE.  I find the HD800 and a 6SL7 variants a sublime and very complimentary combination.  But the output tube is still a problem.  I don't care for the 300B, as I said.  And although I like the PX-4, it is mostly a detail-machine and note a tone-machine, to my ears.  That's why I am having my 300B/PX-4 BA swapped to a 45/2A3 version and plan still to use a 6SL7 variant for the HD800s.  This could be the ultimate BA->HD800 relationship.  Gonna be heard to beat the Stratus, however...

 

 

Do you have a blow by blow comparisons of the Stratus vs. the BA or EC2A3 anywhere I can read up on?  These are the three amps I'm trying to decide on.  Not able to hear them first before purchase.

post #462 of 14705

Just got the HD800's (#209xx) yesterday and after eight hours of listening I am very happy with the purchase.  Driving them with the Asgard 2 for now.

post #463 of 14705
Quote:

 

Do you have a blow by blow comparisons of the Stratus vs. the BA or EC2A3 anywhere I can read up on?  These are the three amps I'm trying to decide on.  Not able to hear them first before purchase.

I am still waiting on the mod to the BA, then I plan to do a lengthy comparison of the BA with 2A3 to the Stratus.  I'll post when ready but it won't be for a month probably.

post #464 of 14705
Quote:
Originally Posted by soullinker20 View Post

which do you think is the best cable for the hd800 to decrease the sibilance? I use them with the Zodiac+ and it is the song/recording who has the sibilance, maybe I could decrease it somehow?

 

thanks


Don't know about the BEST but I have a Cardas and no sibilance.

post #465 of 14705

That thread in the pirate site is hearsay.  Notice that anyone commenting on the Stratus, first of all, doesn't actually own it.  They heard it at meets.  To me this explains a lot about the so-called muddy bass - when have open-backed phones ever transmitted their bass well in a large boomy room?  I have never once experienced this and - in stark contrast - feel that *bass mud* is the downfall of the EC sound... 

 

Second of all, they are talking about the Stratus with stock tubes.  When I first heard the BA with stock tubes I didn't want to buy it.  Then Craig rolled in the KR PX-4s and a very nice 6SN7 variant and it was a done deal.  So those listeners who have never tried the Status -> HD800 combination with various tubes should categorically NOT comment.  Simply changing the stock rectifier for the EML 5U4G, for instance, gives gorgeous, extended, detailed bass...  Not to mention what happens with better 2A3s...  And the notion that the S7 is some tube-rollers dream makes no sense to me.  You have a bunch of 6SN7s or 6SL7s.  And?  You better love that tube, or else...  To my hears that tube does no wonders for the HD800s.  It does not make them come to life...

 

And the accusation that "fanboys" have populated the Stratus thread is utter B*S*.  I don't see how the same accusation can't be made for the BA thread.  The poster then goes on to say that the Eddie Current 2A3 with BA heater/psu is sure to be the ultimate.  Who says?  Why?  Based on what? 

 

He is right about the output transformer playing a large role in the sound of the Stratus.  Same goes for the BA.  And the Electra-Print tone to me ears is inferior to the OPT chosen by Donald...  Also Solen caps sound to me quite dull and lifeless compared to the Jensen caps in the Stratus.   Point is, I would not let the EC *fanboys* turn you off from the Stratus - I would bring your HD800 to a meet to hear both if you can.  If you can't - and the only phone you're really looking to pair with an amp is the HD800 - then I would hands down choose the Stratus.  I would choose the Stratus for the LCD-3 as well, just with different tubes. 

 

Hope that helps...

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