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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 306

post #4576 of 13327

Hey all,

 

So, my HD800's are almost here, and I decided to go with the Sennheiser HDVD 800 Amp/DAC for home use (which is on backorder, but arriving from Sennheiser next week).

 

I'm also in the market for a portable amplifier to take these puppies on-the-go.  I have a Meridian Explorer USB DAC, which I've liked very much for lower-powered headphones, but without a doubt I'll get infinitely better quality from my HD800's if I pair the Meridian with a portable amp.  I could always go alternatively with a portable all-in-one DAC/Amp (like the ALO Intercontinental).

 

Here are the ones I'm looking at:

 

ALO Rx Mk3-B+ (which appeals to me for both its long battery life and balanced XLR output)

ALO Intercontinental (if I decide to, for instance, ditch the Meridian Explorer when using my HD800's)

ALO Continental v3 (I'm more of a solid state guy, but I understand that the RX Mk3-B+ might brighten the HD800's sound too much)

Ray Samuels Audio products (The Shadow, SR-71, Predator, Protector, et. al.)

 

...Any other suggestions are very much welcomed.

 

My music tastes are all over the map, but I'm particularly a huge classical, jazz, and Pink Floyd fan - so I'm concerned about reports I've heard about "grain" when listening to the HD800's over the Rx Mk3, even though it's capabilities make it my front-runner portable amp-only.... and I hope that maybe the Meridian will help smooth it out.  I also have a fairly large collection of 24bit/192khz files (which the Meridian Explorer can decode), so if I go with an all-in-one Amp & DAC, I'd love for the DAC on that unit to be able to decode my high-res music.

 

Anyway, any portable amp recommendations you guys have - or any advice on the products I've listed above - would be hugely appreciated.  Thanks so much!

 

EDIT: I'd prefer to not have to buy a separate DAC and separate amp for my HD800's, within reason.  It'd be best for me to either pair a portable amp with the Meridian Explorer (best case scenario), or purchase an all-in-one DAC & Amp.


Edited by persona1138 - 8/7/13 at 12:15am
post #4577 of 13327

On-the-go as in... around places moving around...?

 

I personally cannot fathom listening to the HD800 anywhere outside of my home since it bleeds sound worse than Audeze, and the added fact that every portable combination I have tried thus far with the HD800 resulted in a lean sound that I did not prefer. Then again, I had/have CIEMs so it wasn't priority for me to actually endeavor for a possible match. In any case, I would recommend trying the continental since tube may match better with the HD800 than an SS at the portable level.

post #4578 of 13327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Girls Generation View Post

On-the-go as in... around places moving around...?

 

I personally cannot fathom listening to the HD800 anywhere outside of my home since it bleeds sound worse than Audeze, and the added fact that every portable combination I have tried thus far with the HD800 resulted in a lean sound that I did not prefer. Then again, I had/have CIEMs so it wasn't priority for me to actually endeavor for a possible match. In any case, I would recommend trying the continental since tube may match better with the HD800 than an SS at the portable level.

Thanks for the recommendation!  I'm a film and television editor, and often need to work off-site but don't want to lug around my HDVD800... Hence the need for a portable monitoring solution that offers natural (which is my listening preference anyway) sound.

 

...Anyway, don't worry.  I'm not using my HD800's on the train, plane, or anywhere in a public setting.  :P

post #4579 of 13327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

 

the Tung Sol 7236 are pretty nice if you can't find tung sol 5998, these tubes are kinda hard to find, so this wouldn't be a bad buy. 

the best by far for the HD 800 though are the GEC 6AS7G, most transparent, sweet beautiful tube sound (Even better than 5998 which is already quite impressive), great textured tight bass, and very detailed treble and mids, lots of air. it can be a little bright at first, but after the tubes are fully warmed up, they sound amazing.

 

the Westinghouse 6V4 option jack sells is a total ripoff. look for a mullard ez80 or RFT EZ80 (these are easily found for $25 a pair NOS). 

 

i wouldn't pay 290$ for amperex 7308 either, though i'm sure they're decent tubes.

amprex 6dj8 bugle boys or some of the nicer amperex tubes are good for HD 800. im sure the siemens tubes are pretty good too. and my old favorite the jan sylvania 7308 is pretty good too, a little darker, but nice. 

 

Thanks for the info, very much appreciated.

post #4580 of 13327
Quote:
Originally Posted by persona1138 View Post

Thanks for the recommendation!  I'm a film and television editor, and often need to work off-site but don't want to lug around my HDVD800... Hence the need for a portable monitoring solution that offers natural (which is my listening preference anyway) sound.

...Anyway, don't worry.  I'm not using my HD800's on the train, plane, or anywhere in a public setting.  :P

Tubes v solid state. That old chestnut. I have converted 4 of my headphone amps into portable ones using the power gorilla power pack.
I can use an ALO Panam which is tube based and is 12v as well as a Graham Slee Novo Solid State and runs on 24v.
The key to this is whether the amp has a dc output jack. If it does youll be able to run it on a decent powerpack like the power gorilla. It's a case of checking thevvoltage the amp needs against the voltage the power pack can handle.
The Panam gives a lovely sound and has a dac for extra flexibility over the Novo. The Novo can push more power and sounds better. It's probably cheaper on the 2nd hand market too and you don't have to search for a tip . The tips power gorilla supply fit it.
I live in a motorhome and seldom use mains electric.
post #4581 of 13327
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!

CSP2+ is smoothness, Taboo MK III is muscle....Both are great it just depends on your preference.

post #4582 of 13327
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.
post #4583 of 13327
Quote:
Originally Posted by zigy626 View Post

Since this is an appreciation thread for the HD800 I would just like to put this in writing. Yesterday while listening to a particular big band jazz piece I experienced a sensation one could only feel at a live event. It was like I was there, it was very exhilarating, be it only lasted for a short moment. I promise I was sober bigsmile_face.gif. Having owned many many many speaker type setups even a 5.1 channel system over 20 years I never experienced that emotion. The only time I felt that kind of exciting/exhilarating moment was when I attended a live classical concert at my University. Maybe I should start going to some live concerts again to get my fix. Now this recording was not hi-def just a normal flac file 16/44. I wonder how much money I would have to spend on a speaker setup in order to get the same feeling of being there? My guess is around $15K-20K easily. My Cyrus and B&W provides a very nice 3D soundstage but it never gave me a feeling of being right at the centre of a concert. So guy's enjoy your HD800's as they are really special I guess I am preaching to the choir.   

Nice! That's what its all about beerchug.gif

post #4584 of 13327
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.

HD800 has beautiful sonics with a B52, FWIW. (Try to get a not-too-high gain source because there is the DACT 23 stepped attenuator.)

post #4585 of 13327
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 #4586 of 13327
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 #4587 of 13327
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 #4588 of 13327

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 #4589 of 13327
^ HE-5LE are a nice complement to the hd 800 biggrin.gif
post #4590 of 13327
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.

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