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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 306

post #4576 of 19569
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post

Any comments on the: Emmeline II "The Raptor" Headphone Amp? There was an HD800 discussion on the Martin Logan owners forum and the member went with this and the DLIII. Said the combo was absolutely stunning. It's in my price range if I keep the Bifrost Uber or my DLIII as the DAC. I thin I've narrowed it down to the WA7 (preferred), WA2 or possibly the Raptor.

Wa2 and dliii is nice with hd 899, especially if u like a warmer sound.

I just sold my dliii to someone with a bifrost, they said dl3 was better, wasnt uber though.
post #4577 of 19569
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jd007 View Post

What would you guys say is the best amp in the $1-1.6k range for the HD800? I prefer a warmer sound, and am willing to sacrifice a bit of detail to get more body and thickness to the mids and bass, but soundstage must be remain good. Currently I'm looking at the WA2, WA6SE, CSP2+, Taboo MK III. Source is a Bifrost w/ Uber (single ended). Thanks guys!

A used (or new if you can stretch a few hundred) EC Super 7.
post #4578 of 19569
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post


Wa2 and dliii is nice with hd 899, especially if u like a warmer sound.

I just sold my dliii to someone with a bifrost, they said dl3 was better, wasnt uber though.

 

HD 899, new Sennheiser's uber set? tongue_smile.gif

post #4579 of 19569

Appreciation:

Have, and have had, several cans from most of the majors.  Just got my HD800 11 days ago.

My reference system is Lenovo Win7, 8 GB Ram, Foobar2K, JPlay etc. > Ayre QB-9 > Burson HA160DS > HD800 w stock cable.

After over 260 hours nonstop burn-in with them sitting in a drawer, I started listening to favorites from my music collection.

I have a slight problem:  I CANT TAKE THE DAMN THINGS OFF MY HEAD!!   Nor do I want to.  They convey way more pleasurable musical information than anything else I've experienced.  Have never heard Stax cans or the HE-6 (I own the HE5LE), but I did audition LCD-3 and they are equally compelling in a very different way.  I plan to buy them someday, finances permitting.

 

Just a couple observations: 

The treble "issue" many reviewers speak of, and which was quite present for me, pretty much disappeared after around 200 hours burn-in. 

I suspect the low end "issue" (e.g. punch, slam, whambang, etc.) is more related to equipment matching and/or living in a society where explosive base (literally, as in home theater action movie woof-woof) pervades our sonic environment.

To me, HD800 sounds balanced across the frequency spectrum - the base is well defined, dynamically correct, and fast.  And vocals are to die for.

post #4580 of 19569
^ HE-5LE are a nice complement to the hd 800 biggrin.gif
post #4581 of 19569
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobilizer View Post

Appreciation:

Have, and have had, several cans from most of the majors.  Just got my HD800 11 days ago.

My reference system is Lenovo Win7, 8 GB Ram, Foobar2K, JPlay etc. > Ayre QB-9 > Burson HA160DS > HD800 w stock cable.

After over 260 hours nonstop burn-in with them sitting in a drawer, I started listening to favorites from my music collection.

I have a slight problem:  I CANT TAKE THE DAMN THINGS OFF MY HEAD!!   Nor do I want to.  They convey way more pleasurable musical information than anything else I've experienced.  Have never heard Stax cans or the HE-6 (I own the HE5LE), but I did audition LCD-3 and they are equally compelling in a very different way.  I plan to buy them someday, finances permitting.

 

Just a couple observations: 

The treble "issue" many reviewers speak of, and which was quite present for me, pretty much disappeared after around 200 hours burn-in. 

I suspect the low end "issue" (e.g. punch, slam, whambang, etc.) is more related to equipment matching and/or living in a society where explosive base (literally, as in home theater action movie woof-woof) pervades our sonic environment.

To me, HD800 sounds balanced across the frequency spectrum - the base is well defined, dynamically correct, and fast.  And vocals are to die for.

 

 

How do you like that QB-9?  I'm thinking about getting one.

post #4582 of 19569
Quote:
Originally Posted by third_eye View Post


A used (or new if you can stretch a few hundred) EC Super 7.

 

I second this. I've owned a lot of tube amps on the "great with HD800" list -- including WA2, WA6SE, Liquid Fire, Mapletree Super II, etc. -- and the Super 7 is my favorite so far.

post #4583 of 19569
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olias of Sunhillow View Post

 

I second this. I've owned a lot of tube amps on the "great with HD800" list -- including WA2, WA6SE, Liquid Fire, Mapletree Super II, etc. -- and the Super 7 is my favorite so far.

what would you say is the sound signature difference that makes the super 7 good? personal preference comes into play and i just want to make sure our preferences line up for the recommendation. specifically, wa2 vs super 7? thanks

post #4584 of 19569
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

How do you like that QB-9?  I'm thinking about getting one.

 

I love it.  A bit on the high end of "affordable" gear at $2,750 list price but I have seen used ones for $2,000 claiming excellent or mint condition.  Having heard a number of DAC's since buying it, I consider $2K a steal for a good used one.  This is not to say it isn't worth every dollar of it's list price.

It hits all the checkboxes for me:  solid state electronics, single-ended AND balanced outputs,  impeccable resolution, effortless dynamic range, quite neutral with a hint of warmth in the mids (not sacrificing speed or transparency - vocals are divine, especially with the HD800)).   What makes it stand out is the sense of musicality - I think the technical term people use is PRAT - pace, rhythm, attack, and timing.  I feel I am listening through the DAC and not to the DAC. 

Note:  as you probably know, only input is USB.

I have no negatives to speak of.  If I were in the market again, I might look at the April Eximus (includes head amp) or the Antelope Audio line.

Hope this helps.

post #4585 of 19569
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

How do you like that QB-9?  I'm thinking about getting one.

Been very happy with mine.  Musical describes it very well - voices come across as well, natural.

 

A new DSD version is available - a pretty major upgrade to much of the internals.  A bit hard to believe, but from the couple of reviews I've seen, it appears offer a significant sound improvement over the original regardless of whether the DSD capability is used.

 

Price has increased to $3250.  But if you can find a used 24/192 capable QB-9, Ayre will upgrade for the difference ($500).  Upgrades are a big benefit to the Ayre products - generally upgrades are priced at only the difference between the new and previous versions.  Hoping I can get mine upgraded soon.

 

At the recent Denver meet I was able to borrow Justin's GSX MK2.  MB Pro > QB-9 > GSX MK2 > LCD3, with decent cables.  Couldn't imagine wanting more.  Justin's Oppo > Blue Hawaii > SR009 setup wasn't nearly as engaging.


Edited by Hi Rez - 8/7/13 at 2:49pm
post #4586 of 19569
Originally Posted by Olias of Sunhillow View Post

 

I second this. I've owned a lot of tube amps on the "great with HD800" list -- including WA2, WA6SE, Liquid Fire, Mapletree Super II, etc. -- and the Super 7 is my favorite so far.


Originally Posted by Jd007 View Post

what would you say is the sound signature difference that makes the super 7 good? personal preference comes into play and i just want to make sure our preferences line up for the recommendation. specifically, wa2 vs super 7? thanks

 

Yep.. I'd appreciate thoughts on what made the S7 sound so good with the HD800, as well.

post #4587 of 19569
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stalker81598 View Post

 

Thanks for the info, very much appreciated.

 

update on those tube recommendations if you decide on WA2. the tung sol 7236 by jack is really good if you like a really warm lush sound. they're good! biggrin.gif

post #4588 of 19569
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi Rez View Post

Been very happy with mine.  Musical describes it very well - voices come across as well, natural.

 

A new DSD version is available - a pretty major upgrade to much of the internals.  A bit hard to believe, but from the couple of reviews I've seen, it appears offer a significant sound improvement over the original regardless of whether the DSD capability is used.

 

Price has increased to $3250.  But if you can find a used 24/192 capable QB-9, Ayre will upgrade for the difference ($500).  Upgrades are a big benefit to the Ayre products - generally upgrades are priced at only the difference between the new and previous versions.  Hoping I can get mine upgraded soon.

 

At the recent Denver meet I was able to borrow Justin's GSX MK2.  MB Pro > QB-9 > GSX MK2 > LCD3, with decent cables.  Couldn't imagine wanting more.  Justin's Oppo > Blue Hawaii > SR009 setup wasn't nearly as engaging.

My dealer is going to call me when he gets in the upgraded QB-9.  I will spend at least an hour to get initial impression of sonic differences - I currently have no interest in DSD but will be glad to pass along any impressions.  Hi Rez echoed what my dealer said - lots of changes in addition to DSD capability.  Maybe should post assessments on Ayre appreciation thread?

 

Also wondering about the GSX MK2 - aside from forum posts I haven't seen any industry reviews on this model.  Anyone know of one and can publish link?  Thanks

post #4589 of 19569

For those of you considering otl Woo amps for your hd800's, I would strongly urge you to find a way to audition before buying.  Their otl line has a very definite house sound that is full, smooth and immersive - but ultimately not dynamic, detailed or punchy enough (IMO of course) to really show off everything the hd800's can do.  I haven't heard the S7, but if you were to compare a ZD, or even one of the bottlehead amps, to a Woo2 or Woo3, you would immediately perceive significant differences in these respects.  The Woos are warm and enveloping but sound slow by comparison.  It boils down to a matter of personal preference.

 

I hate to recommend against them.  Woo definitely makes beautiful products, and the Woo 5 -> hd800 is jaw dropping good for choral music.  For several years, I owned and very much enjoyed a Woo 3 (running amperex pq 7308's, which now cost about as much as the amp rolleyes.gif).  It was great with hd650's but not great at all (IMO) with hd800's.  Based on the time I've spent with it at meets, the Woo 2 is more powerful and more highly resolved than the Woo 3, but they ultimately sound quite similar with your eyes closed...

 

Beefy's comment from the crack thread is also worth considering from a design standpoint (http://www.head-fi.org/t/476650/crack-bottlehead-otl/1935#post_9600445 ):

 

Quote:

The truth of the matter is, aside from the WA2 using paralleled sections on the output and thus having higher peak power output, the Crack is potentially a FAR better amp.

 

With a Speedball, you have a much better tube load than the resistors in the WA2. LED biasing should be superior. Bit hard to tell from the photos whether the WA2 is direct or AC coupled. Add a good pot and film caps on the output, and you are miles ahead for far lower cost.


Edited by skeptic - 8/7/13 at 6:21pm
post #4590 of 19569
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobilizer View Post

Appreciation:

Have, and have had, several cans from most of the majors.  Just got my HD800 11 days ago.

My reference system is Lenovo Win7, 8 GB Ram, Foobar2K, JPlay etc. > Ayre QB-9 > Burson HA160DS > HD800 w stock cable.

After over 260 hours nonstop burn-in with them sitting in a drawer, I started listening to favorites from my music collection.

I have a slight problem:  I CANT TAKE THE DAMN THINGS OFF MY HEAD!!   Nor do I want to.  They convey way more pleasurable musical information than anything else I've experienced.  Have never heard Stax cans or the HE-6 (I own the HE5LE), but I did audition LCD-3 and they are equally compelling in a very different way.  I plan to buy them someday, finances permitting.

 

Just a couple observations: 

The treble "issue" many reviewers speak of, and which was quite present for me, pretty much disappeared after around 200 hours burn-in. 

I suspect the low end "issue" (e.g. punch, slam, whambang, etc.) is more related to equipment matching and/or living in a society where explosive base (literally, as in home theater action movie woof-woof) pervades our sonic environment.

To me, HD800 sounds balanced across the frequency spectrum - the base is well defined, dynamically correct, and fast.  And vocals are to die for.

Glad you are enjoying your HD800 beerchug.gif

 

For me, the "treble issue" went away after I got my Moon Audio Black Dragon. Not sure about burn in because I listened to mine right out of the box so any differences might just be perceived.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

 

update on those tube recommendations if you decide on WA2. the tung sol 7236 by jack is really good if you like a really warm lush sound. they're good! biggrin.gif

 

Thanks, that's exactly what I'm looking for.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skeptic View Post

For those of you considering otl Woo amps for your hd800's, I would strongly urge you to find a way to audition before buying.  Their otl line has a very definite house sound that is full, smooth and immersive - but ultimately not dynamic, detailed or punchy enough (IMO of course) to really show off everything the hd800's can do.  I haven't heard the S7, but if you were to compare a ZD, or even one of the bottlehead amps, to a Woo2 or Woo3, you would immediately perceive significant differences in these respects.  The Woos are warm and enveloping but sound slow by comparison.  It boils down to a matter of personal preference.

 

 

You just made me want the WA2 even more biggrin.gif

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