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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 459

post #6871 of 19552

Just got back from auditioning the Naim DAC-V1.  Spent a couple of hours with it and this is the best that I've heard the HD800 so far.  The amp is very capable with plenty of punch and dynamics and the DAC section is out of this world.  The combo provides plenty air and detail, punch, beautiful mids and to die for highs.  Is it worth 2x the price of the WA7? That's very subjective and it probably isn't. Music is more engaging from bottom to top and a soundstage is out of this world. For me, this is an exceptional one box solution for the HD800.  The plan was to add a tube amp down the road but from the audition, I may not feel the need.  Only time will tell.

Don't get me wrong, the Woo WA7 is phenomenal and the Naim takes the HD800 to another level.

You've probably figured by now that I ordered one.  Going to get busy putting the WA7 up for sale to help fund it.

More to come once I've had it for a few weeks.


Edited by MickeyVee - 12/15/13 at 3:39pm
post #6872 of 19552

What other one-box solutions have you compared the DAC-V1 with?

 

I'm looking for the best desktop setup I can get for $2k-ish.

post #6873 of 19552

Excuse my exuberance, may have gone a little overboard (adjusted my post :).. I'm sure there's lots more but my comparison is to the Woo WA7.  See my HD800 review with the WA7. The only other high end that I know of in the $2K range is the McIntosh D100 but for me, it's too big for my desk.  I was going to audition it but was totally smitten by the Naim.  I found nothing lacking during my auditions.  Nice size and via USB, it can skip songs on my Mac plus provides volume control.  See Jude's review in the Winter Gift Guide in desktop dacs/amps for his impressions.

 

To quote Jude:

~~ With the headphones it drives well, the DAC-V1 sounds awesome, exhibiting great impact and detail, with a smoother tonality, no edge or glare of its own. So far, my favorite headphones with it have been the Sennheiser HD 800 and HD600/650--it seems to smile very favorably on their higher nominal impedances.

 

~~Naim has really created a beautiful sounding DAC in the DAC-V1. Its built-in headphone amp is certainly great when it's paired up correctly, but isn't quite as versatile a headphone driver as I'd hoped it would be. If you're looking for a desktop all-in-one--and not going to be driving relatively inefficient planar magnetic headphones--you should consider the Naim DAC-V1, especially if getting a high-end-sounding DAC in the process is something you'd value greatly.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by fierce_freak View Post
 

What other one-box solutions have you compared the DAC-V1 with?

 

I'm looking for the best desktop setup I can get for $2k-ish.


Edited by MickeyVee - 12/15/13 at 12:59pm
post #6874 of 19552
Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_freak View Post
 

What other one-box solutions have you compared the DAC-V1 with?

 

I'm looking for the best desktop setup I can get for $2k-ish.

Well I think that "best desktop setup" depends on your taste when you are ready to spend thousands of dollars for the HD800. For example one of my friends likes the Burson Conductor 9018 very much because it is very detailed and smooth; while another one is wishing for a HDVD800 as a Christmas present. However if you want something extremely detailed and neutral in this price range, you should give the Benchmark DAC2 HGC or DAC2 D a try. Of course in the future you can add an amplifier to alter the sound if you want because many people find the DAC2 HGC too cold for them to enjoy music. I've been using my DAC2 HGC and balanced B22 amp to feed the HD800 for about 10 months and I think I won't need to upgrade anymore.

post #6875 of 19552

I'm taking a big chance, but I've 'invested' in the Geek Pulse X DAC with the Femto clock upgrade. Here's hoping a balanced DAC with dual ES9018K2M DACs will really make the HD800 shine when used with my impending Bryston BHA-1.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/687851/geek-pulse-geek-desktop-dac-amp-by-light-harmonics

 

It's still in campaign mode at Indiegogo but remember, it's a 'crowdsourced' product and might not ever be released. That said, Light Harmonics is well known for their DaVinci DAC and is about to release their first 'crowdsourced' product, the Geek Out in January, so my fears about spending the money now are pretty minimal. If anyone wants a referral from me during the last 12 days of the campaign, send me a PM.

 

A recent update from the LH Labs forum:

 

http://lhlabs.com/force/geekpulse/426-there-is-some-confused-people-out-there

 

I hope my answer can help you, but my primary language not English, grammar may be suck...


Geek Pulse X is full balanced design version of Geek Pulse
1. Geek Pulse X have XLR output connector (4 pin for headphone) on front panel and Dual XLR output connector (Daul 3-pin) for line out.
2. Geek Pulse X have Dual ES9018K2M dac chip inside, one dac chip for one audio channel decode

Geek LPS
1. Standalone product , Linear Power Supply
2. Main design for provide Pure Clear 12VDC Power for Geek Pulse / Geek Pulse X
(ps: Geek Pulse / Geek Pulse X have a Simply Power Supply in package, just buy it to upgrade the Power Supply system)
3. and have a USB in and USB out connector, to provide Pure Clear 5VDC USB power
(ps: you can google a word "iusbpower", it is same function of this product)

Geek Blue
1. Standalone product, Bluetooth 4.0 audio transfer.
2. Main design for connect a mobile to play audio using AptX technology.
(ps: It need Gavin/ Larry Ho to answer, if your mobile not have AptX technology, can it work??)
3. Geek Blue have a analog audio line out (direct connect active speaker or Amplifier) and Digital SPDIF output (connect DAC like Geek Pulse)

Femto Clock upgrade (Crystek Clock upgrade)
1. a parts call "Clock", using in Geek Pulse / Geek Pulse X
2. This upgrade will change a "very good clock" parts in Geek Pulse / Geek Pulse X, will change ONE SET (2 pieces) on each machine.
3. below USD$2000 price range DAC, In normal case cannot using this "very good clock" parts, because it's very expensive, need USD$60 UP per 1 piece.

 

Dale

post #6876 of 19552

#25792 checking in, these cans sound very speaker-like even with weak amplification like mine lol (I know, the Magni don't deserve to drive HD800s, currently saving up for a better amp)

post #6877 of 19552

For those of you that want to make your own HD-800 cables, there is a killer deal on connectors in the DIY forums :)

http://www.head-fi.org/t/676402/diy-cable-questions-and-comments-thread/930#post_10072116

post #6878 of 19552

As one of the regulars here for a while, I want to say how much I have enjoyed the lively HD 800 dialogue that has taken place here. Unfortunately, I've been weighing a decision for the past few weeks and have decided that I am going to sell my HD 800's. My hearing loss is at the stage where I cannot justify owning a pair of headphones of this caliber any longer. I still enjoy listening to music at moderate volumes with loudspeakers, but my hearing (and chronic tinnitus) is such that I can no longer perceive the fine details and nuances that high-end audio equipment reproduces.

 

I flew helicopters in the US Army for 20 years and my hearing has progressively gotten worse as the years passed. Last month, at the encouragement of my family, I finally bit the bullet and got hearing aids. Over the past month what I have discovered is, much like brain "burn-in" with headphones, my brain has been compensating for my hearing loss for years, and once I became acclimated to the hearing aids (experiencing the world with restored high frequencies), they allowed my brain to relax, which had the effect of revealing my true "baseline" hearing whenever I remove them. My true baseline hearing is akin to someone with normal hearing stuffing foam inside their ears - muffled and full feeling.

 

The brain is an amazing thing, and the contrast of my perceived change in hearing over the past 30 days has been startling - no doubt the "burn-in" discussion will make its way back here again someday as it inexorably makes its rounds through the various threads. Suffice it to say that whenever I listen to music now it sounds dull and muffled. I can actually place the HD 800's on my head with my hearing aids on and get full frequency perception, but the fidelity is not even close to audiophile standards anymore. It has been an eye opening (and depressing) experience for me, but I dont have any choice in the matter so it is what it is. Thankfully, modern hearing aids are remarkable - small, discrete, intelligent, and even natural sounding - just not natural enough for an audiophile to enjoy high-resolution music.

 

I'm sure to continue following this thread and will continue to enjoy the lively discussions which are bound to continue here. But my plan is to sell my HD 800's and downgrade to the HD 600. Depending on how my experience with the 600 goes, my Essence One Muses and Crack will likely soon follow. The good news out of all this is I don't have to be tempted by all the beautiful amps and DACs that many of you own. It's a very fun hobby and pursuit, and I will surely miss it.


Edited by palmfish - 12/16/13 at 5:52pm
post #6879 of 19552

Assuming your hearing aids were equalized correctly-maybe now you're just noticing the HD800s aren't for you? Or maybe more accurately-your system is no longer tuned properly since it was compensating for (I assume) upper frequency hearing loss before? I'd suggest tuning you rig all over again-or looking possibly at another flagship. Keep in mind the the HD800s are exceptional at low volume listening-which I found a lot of others that aren't. It sounds like that could be beneficial in your situation.

 

Don't give up yet! Also-be wary of your hearin aids gain when figuring listening volumes out, which I'd imagine wouldn't be too difficult. My .02.

 

-Daniel

post #6880 of 19552

Palmfish I hope you continue to find ways to enjoy music at the best level possible. Please continue to participate here. your input is always appreciated!

post #6881 of 19552

Good luck and take of your hearing. Remember that hearing all the details and the nuances is not all there is in enjoying music :smile:

post #6882 of 19552

Aww, sorry to hear that Palmfish :( Hopefully you don't fade away too fast from the forums, we enjoy your presence! I am no expert with hearing loss and such, but maybe you can still enjoy the midrange and lower frequencies perhaps? If you can, maybe look at an Audeze or something. From one vet to another, thank you for your service!

post #6883 of 19552

Couldn't have said it better myself.  Take care of yourself Palmfish and enjoy the music in the manner that is most appropriate to you.

:beerchug:

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by longbowbbs View Post
 

Palmfish I hope you continue to find ways to enjoy music at the best level possible. Please continue to participate here. your input is always appreciated!

post #6884 of 19552

My wife is 50% deaf in her right ear and I know how expensive high end hearing aids can be.  I hope the Armed Services are helping to offset the cost of your disability.

 

I am grateful for your service and also the advice you give on head-fi.

post #6885 of 19552
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post
 

Assuming your hearing aids were equalized correctly-maybe now you're just noticing the HD800s aren't for you? Or maybe more accurately-your system is no longer tuned properly since it was compensating for (I assume) upper frequency hearing loss before? I'd suggest tuning you rig all over again-or looking possibly at another flagship. Keep in mind the the HD800s are exceptional at low volume listening-which I found a lot of others that aren't. It sounds like that could be beneficial in your situation.

 

Don't give up yet! Also-be wary of your hearin aids gain when figuring listening volumes out, which I'd imagine wouldn't be too difficult. My .02.

 

-Daniel

 

I appreciate your thoughts Daniel! Yes, I do have high frequency hearing loss.

 

I know what you're saying and in theory, it should be a simple matter of re-tuning my system for the new frequency response. Unfortunately, hearing aids are not simply analog devices that amplify certain frequencies like they used to be. They use a complex (and varying) combination of amplification and compression to allow certain quiet sounds to be effectively heard and certain loud sounds to be attenuated. And they incorporate DSP to aid in directional cues as well as noise and feedback suppression. It's a lot more involved than just that, but the end result is a device that is constantly analyzing the environment and making adjustments to numerous parameters to create an approximation of "normal" hearing most of the time. With the HD 800's, I definitely have more treble than before, and I still enjoy the frequency response of the HD 800's, but the things that make them exceptional headphones are no longer present for me. Soundstage width and depth are impossible to discern, and there is distortion (sometimes a static-like hiss, or subtle whistle, or an electronic polyphonic harmonic side tone) when certain instruments or frequencies are played or sustained.

 

Again, I can listen to music casually and enjoy tight bass, warm mids and sweet highs, but the subtleties are gone and the artifacts can be distracting. That's why I think the HD 600's are worth a try - I still want to own a quality headphone with a pleasing (to me) frequency response but without the performance advantages that are wasted on me. My HD 558's are actually more than adequate for my needs and actually really don't sound any different to me than the 800's now. But they are made of cheap materials and feel flimsy and they aren't "legendary," so I've decided the HD 600's are what I want to own.


Edited by palmfish - 12/16/13 at 7:28pm
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