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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 484

post #7246 of 18323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Not with the HD800. I heard one with HD650 off Bottlehead's tape rig at RMAF 2011 and was completely underwhelmed. I believe it was a Crack w/ Speedball, but it could have been the standard. I don't recall. I don't intend to own a Bottlehead product based on that experience. I'd be willing to give one another try at a meet/etc, though.

I own a few Bottlehead products in the Crack and Quickie. I also used to own the Woo Audio WA7, the only other tube amp I've tried. I also used to have the HD700, and I found the WA7 to sound slightly better than the Crack for the HD700. The Crack did sound better for my Beyerdynamic T90 than WA7. I have sold both the HD700 and WA7 since, so I can't compare directly or use the WA7 with HD800. I got the Bottlehead Quickie later on to use for my speaker amp setup for my HE-500. I got my HD800 about a week ago, and really only had the Crack to drive them, and it sounded okay. Out of curiously, I tried the HD800 with my HE-500 setup (Quickie + Emotiva), and while it had some noise floor issues, I was quite surprised when it sounded better than the Crack for the HD800! For one the sound became much more intimate and engaging, especially vocals. I reported this find on the Bottlehead forums and was encouraged to try the Quickie with the Crack. I was hesitant at first because I had never heard of using a preamp with a headphone amp, but to my surprise, not only did it sound even better than Quickie + Emotiva, it had a dead silent noise floor. So right now I'm using Quickie + Crack to drive my HD800, and it's sounding very musical and engaging. Comparing Quickie + Crack with Crack alone for the HD800, the difference is quite significant. I tried the HD800 with just the Emotiva alone, and as others have reported with that pairing, it sounded pretty bad. But the fact the Quickie + Emotiva was even better than Crack alone for the HD800, and also the significant improvement from adding the Quickie to the Crack made, has me concluding that the Quickie is pulling a lot a weight in the sound of my chain for the HD800.

post #7247 of 18323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
 

I own a few Bottlehead products in the Crack and Quickie. I also used to own the Woo Audio WA7, the only other tube amp I've tried. I also used to have the HD700, and I found the WA7 to sound slightly better than the Crack for the HD700. The Crack did sound better for my Beyerdynamic T90 than WA7. I have sold both the HD700 and WA7 since, so I can't compare directly or use the WA7 with HD800. I got the Bottlehead Quickie later on to use for my speaker amp setup for my HE-500. I got my HD800 about a week ago, and really only had the Crack to drive them, and it sounded okay. Out of curiously, I tried the HD800 with my HE-500 setup (Quickie + Emotiva), and while it had some noise floor issues, I was quite surprised when it sounded better than the Crack for the HD800! For one the sound became much more intimate and engaging, especially vocals. I reported this find on the Bottlehead forums and was encouraged to try the Quickie with the Crack. I was hesitant at first because I had never heard of using a preamp with a headphone amp, but to my surprise, not only did it sound even better than Quickie + Emotiva, it had a dead silent noise floor. So right now I'm using Quickie + Crack to drive my HD800, and it's sounding very musical and engaging. Comparing Quickie + Crack with Crack alone for the HD800, the difference is quite significant. I tried the HD800 with just the Emotiva alone, and as others have reported with that pairing, it sounded pretty bad. But the fact the Quickie + Emotiva was even better than Crack alone for the HD800, and also the significant improvement from adding the Quickie to the Crack made, has me concluding that the Quickie is pulling a lot a weight in the sound of my chain for the HD800.

 

Just a suggestion, try a higher end DAC and connect it directly to the Crack. 

post #7248 of 18323
http://youtu.be/Zvireu2SGZM

Watch this before spending more than you need on a dac/amp . I've personally got the HDVD800 but I brought it with my eyes open and for other reasons other than just SQ. It sounds perfect with the 800s , I'm completely happy with it and have no need to buy any more components. It is an electronic device that gets the most out of the 800s, no more , no less.
post #7249 of 18323

The V200/HD800 pairing is of interest to me, as I feel I may be reaching my limit with the Lyr. None of my tubes seem to kill off the treble spike and I have to resort to digital EQ to get it to non-fatiguing levels.

 

I have a Cary amp coming (Nighthawk) that I plan to use at work with my Mad Dogs, but I will definitely give it a quick tryout with the HD800. I'm not expecting a miracle there though, but stranger things have happened...

post #7250 of 18323

Just got home and ready to eat dinner but I have just joined the club. And I couldn't hold off on the amp purchase and got everything now.

post #7251 of 18323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7ryder View Post

you can always test drive the HDVD800 from Crutchfield risk free for a month.  It is a little bit above your budget, but you might find out it is all you need.
I could be wrong, but I doubt Crutchfield sells to Colombia.

As far as solid state with HD800 under $1000 (to fit with Concero $600) I haven't heard anything I would say is as good as the CSP2+, not even close. The Mjolnir is a good option on a budget, but if you can handle tubes, the CSP2+ is significantly better for the extra price. Otherwise I would say go with a Matrix M-Stage HPA-2 (~$280) and save your pennies for eventual Headamp GS-X 2 (~$2800), the only high end solid state that can hang with tube amps (have not heard Cavalli Liquid Gold, but at $6500, it's well beyond my limit). Concero + HPA-2 if you must go solid state. The Concero HP is a good alternative for slightly worse sound in a microscopic package size and it is a little cheaper than the Concero + HPA-2 combo.

I concur with the CSP2+ here. However, it has been discontinued and the new CSP3+ runs about $400 more. I have not heard a CSP3+, but I would buy one for the HD800's since my CSP2+ was awesome and the new one has a few nice upgrades.

post #7252 of 18323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post


I could be wrong, but I doubt Crutchfield sells to Colombia.

As far as solid state with HD800 under $1000 (to fit with Concero $600) I haven't heard anything I would say is as good as the CSP2+, not even close. The Mjolnir is a good option on a budget, but if you can handle tubes, the CSP2+ is significantly better for the extra price. Otherwise I would say go with a Matrix M-Stage HPA-2 (~$280) and save your pennies for eventual Headamp GS-X 2 (~$2800), the only high end solid state that can hang with tube amps (have not heard Cavalli Liquid Gold, but at $6500, it's well beyond my limit). Concero + HPA-2 if you must go solid state. The Concero HP is a good alternative for slightly worse sound in a microscopic package size and it is a little cheaper than the Concero + HPA-2 combo.

 

I have a shipping address in the U.S. so delivery wouldn't be a problem. The issue for me is I can not sample any gear before buying it, so I must make the decision blindfolded so to speak, and can not afford to make the wrong one. This is quite an expensive hobby.

 

Tube sound I'm not entirely convinced I'll like. SS I know and like.

 

Another thing is, I only listen to music at very moderate volumes. Is this a factor to consider when determining how much to spend on an amp? Maybe the money could be best allocated on a better DAC?

post #7253 of 18323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayzilla View Post
 

Just got home and ready to eat dinner but I have just joined the club. And I couldn't hold off on the amp purchase and got everything now.

Congrats! What amp did you go for?

post #7254 of 18323

In my opinion the amp is important at all levels of listening so I wouldn't use it as a factor in spending more on a DAC.  However, some headphones are not strong at low levels.  I couldn't tell you the engineering reasoning for this but there are lots of energy analogies in enzymology.  The HD800 is very good at low levels.  

 

There's a huge range of opinions when it comes to the importance of DACs.  

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/689783/december-2013-mid-level-dac-comparison

http://www.head-fi.org/t/693798/ranking-of-17-dacs-and-dac-configurations

 

I have heard DACs that I didn't think were great, but these were not controlled tests so I won't make any big claims.  For me the spending importance goes Amp > DAC because one does not have to spend a lot to get a technically great DAC.  One pays for the extra features.  I have heard the HD800 is picky with sources and DACs.  I've been lucky in that the Ciunas DAC and HD800 work well together so I'm not going to DAC roll.    

 

Since you are listening to a lot of CDs would you consider an Oppo BDP 103?  You can use it as a computer DAC as well just play CDs and feed the signal to your amp.  I had the BDP-105 and I found it quite capable for computer audio as well as a CD player.  Turns out I just wasn't using its capacity as a Blu Ray player and I wanted to try other things.  Lots of reviews out there on these Oppos.  I'm guessing you'll still need to pair it with a headphone amp.  I'm sure other people have tried it with the HD800 and no external amp.  

 

If the Ciunas + V200 sound almost on par with my Ciunas + CSP3 then I would strongly recommend taking a look at the V200.  The V200 also plays well with other headphones you might try down the road.  

 

As for tubes vs SS amps.  I came into this hobby 4 years ago with no ideas about DACs, tubes, SS, etc.  Now having owned both SS and tube amps I've determined tube rolling is not hard unless one wants to consider the uber expensive tubes.  There is a time and place for both SS and tube amps.  Tube amps can be highly engaging and dynamic.  I am a fan of them.  

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by CDCollector View Post

 

Tube sound I'm not entirely convinced I'll like. SS I know and like.

 

Another thing is, I only listen to music at very moderate volumes. Is this a factor to consider when determining how much to spend on an amp? Maybe the money could be best allocated on a better DAC?


Edited by WNBC - 1/5/14 at 10:13am
post #7255 of 18323

^ Good call on the Oppo, given his preferences.

post #7256 of 18323
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDCollector View Post
 

 

 

 

What about solid state?

I have only listened to SS above $1500 price point so I can't comment.  My $170 Emotiva is excellent for HE500 but doesn't pair well with HD800 in my set up.

Sonido recently put the quickie and crack in front of the Emotiva and according to him, he got pretty good synergy with this chain for his HD800.  I also tried putting my Woo WA22 => Emotiva => HD800.  It did sound better but to my ears, not optimal even in comparison to WA22 alone.  I personally found tube amps more suitable for

HD800 and my taste.  Btw, Glenn can make you an OTL for the HD800.  There are quite a few happy owners of Glenn's amps driving HD800's.  Check the thread out.

$1500 is pretty good for DAC/amp combo.  I have found that HD800 is very amp "sensitive" but not as picky like others have suggested.  Even from a low end amp, HD800 will still sound like HD800; it has a very strong sound signature.  Take your time and look around.

What do you mean "it has a strong sound sig"? Would you care to elaborate?

post #7257 of 18323
Quote:
Originally Posted by WNBC View Post
Since you are listening to a lot of CDs would you consider an Oppo BDP 103? You can use it as a computer DAC as well just play CDs and feed the signal to your amp.

The 103 does not work as a computer DAC, I have one, it's only the 105 that has the USB Sabre DAC...

I do like the 103 though, FWIW.

post #7258 of 18323

Thanks for the clarification.  

 

If CDCollector already has a CD player then maybe put the money into the amp first then decide on a DAC later. 

   

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by bearFNF View Post

 

The 103 does not work as a computer DAC, I have one, it's only the 105 that has the USB Sabre DAC...

I do like the 103 though, FWIW.

post #7259 of 18323
I was trying to explain to a friend today why the HD800 is so great. I even pulled up some innerfidelity graphs to aid my explanation. I also showed him the sr-009 ones to show the reasons why I would consider them as well as the 800s as technically best HP available today. Now looking at this data along with some waterfall plots i honestly think the HD800 is technically better than the stax. I mean it's as quick in its decay if not slightly quicker and that's the biggest e-stat trump card usually. Thoughts?
post #7260 of 18323
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarKen23 View Post
 

What do you mean "it has a strong sound sig"? Would you care to elaborate?

IMO, the HD800 retains the way it sounds very well on different amps ranging from my Fiio E17 DAC/Amp, to the next up Fiio E09K, crack, Emotiva, Integrated amp and finally WA22.  The sound quality improves or worsen depending on each amp but I can still hear the same strong/forward mid, cold upper mid, the sound stage.  Hope I answered your question.

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