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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 55

post #811 of 18788

I would like to emphasize that my comments are not intended to disparage the many fine headphone amps that are out there (God forbid the moderator(s) would shut down this thread). I don't usually sell much of the gear I've acquired (hence the proverbial stereo gear/cables "orphan closets" in two homes) and am sure that those HP amps I now own will find other convenient uses. Please take my views as simply reflecting my own opinions about the 800 paired with a speaker amp.

post #812 of 18788

I'm interested in seeing how this works with my Denon AVR if not just for grins.  Did you make your own cable for this?  Banana plugs?  The one caveat for me right now is that I'm saving for speakers and a good tube integrated to run them so I don't want to splash out on a high end cable for the HD800s.  Can you compare the sound out of the speaker taps to running balanced out?

 

I'm saving towards either the new Schiit statement amp (hybrid again, I am not a SS fan) depending on reviews or the Leben CS300XS.  Right now I am leaning towards Leben since it is a known quantity with very good reviews.  It will be time to reconsider running speaker out when I have a higher quality amp as I am sure it will work better than what I have now ;)

post #813 of 18788

Since few of us read back to other posts (guilty!), here is the link Maxvla shared a few hours ago.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/649107/speaker-amps-for-headphones

 

Operakid seems to be the one on-point for this brigade.

post #814 of 18788

I too have went on mainly to a speaker amp for my HD800/HE6. Currently using the McIntosh Mc225 with the HiFiMAN resistor and it's a huge step above the mjolnir I own and the BHA-1.

 

The amount of low end retrieval is incredible since I've acquired this amp. The HD800's bass is very similar to my previous LCD3's; but not quite as present and slow. The HE6 are even a tad bassier than both. The highs are even more transparent, analytic, yet smoother and less aggressive ( 100% natural timbre). I'm not to sure what to do with the mjolnir, I feel like selling it and the gungnir to fund a NAD m51, otherwise I'll just keep my mjolnir for a second rig.

 

It's hard justifying keeping all this at my age and limited income blink.gif

 

 

post #815 of 18788
Quote:
Originally Posted by dleblanc343 View Post

I too have went on mainly to a speaker amp for my HD800/HE6. Currently using the McIntosh Mc225 with the HiFiMAN resistor and it's a huge step above the mjolnir I own and the BHA-1.

The amount of low end retrieval is incredible since I've acquired this amp. The HD800's bass is very similar to my previous LCD3's; but not quite as present and slow. The HE6 are even a tad bassier than both. The highs are even more transparent, analytic, yet smoother and less aggressive ( 100% natural timbre). I'm not to sure what to do with the mjolnir, I feel like selling it and the gungnir to fund a NAD m51, otherwise I'll just keep my mjolnir for a second rig.

It's hard justifying keeping all this at my age and limited income blink.gif





What I wonna know is how you got all this "at your limited income.?" Just kidding! I am just jealous of the Mac. Glad to hear it lives up to its rep.
post #816 of 18788
Quote:
Originally Posted by dleblanc343 View Post

Currently using the McIntosh Mc225

 

 

What a sweet combination. Congratulations! I tried my Music Reference RM-200 hybrid with the HE-5LE very briefly and it sounded heavenly. However, I stopped almost immediately since I didn't have the resistors or Hifiman thingy and was afraid of blowing up the amp after reading some of the posts regarding tube amps over at one of the HE-6 threads.

post #817 of 18788

So, serious question; using one of these - http://hifiman.com/Products/?pid=104 - I should be able to connect the HD800 to virutally any speaker amp?  I realize this requires a balanced cable, which I would need to order, but other than that what are the risks with this?  Just watch the volume essentially & don't smoke your headphones?

 

What should I expect from the sound with one of these?   Is it similar to balanced outputs or different?  Everyone talks in superlatives and I am not sure what to expect or if it's worth putting around $450 towards when I could be saving for an integrated amp and speakers :)

post #818 of 18788
No need to spend $450. You can get a balanced cable for $100-150 and that box, if you desire for $100.
post #819 of 18788
Very nice. I'm definitely looking into it then. If you can PM me where I would pick up the balanced cable, I would very much appreciate it.
post #820 of 18788
http://headphonelounge.com/

Site doesn't show prices for all the options available, but send them an email asking for the cheapest cable with HD800 connectors and a 4 pin XLR termination. I would highly recommend adding the MDPC-X in whatever color you like. I got my cable from them a year ago and it was just over $100 (I like a short cable).
post #821 of 18788
Quote:
Originally Posted by toschek View Post

Very nice. I'm definitely looking into it then. If you can PM me where I would pick up the balanced cable, I would very much appreciate it.

That is the safe and easy/ no headache way, but you can also solder in some resistors straight into the amp. I'm not good with that kind of stuff, and am good friends with the hifiman rep over here so I just spend the few bucks.

 

Also, if the amp is under 20 watts per channel, you can probably plug them straight to the amp, depending on the amp; just be very careful with the volume knob

post #822 of 18788

Have gotten all my HP after-market cables here: www.charlestoncablecompany.com (charlestoncable@gmail.com)

 

No flowery nonsense or scientific voodoo, just solidly built and very reasonably priced.

post #823 of 18788
Good prices, though I'm not fond of the - plain cable with printing on the side of it - look.
post #824 of 18788

I have had very favorable results with DIY Mogami Neglex balanced cable.  It compares very nicely to the Black Dragon cable I have.  You can get 10 feet on ebay for <$20.  $6 for a neutrik 4 pin xlr, and about $50 for the HD800 connectors. If you don't like the bare cable look, there are any number of sleeving options.

post #825 of 18788

I received my HD 800's today.

 

I spent a nice 2 or 3 hours with them tonight just getting to know them. Played with a few amps and casual A/B with my D7000's (Lawton modded).

 

Amps: O2, Burson HA-160D, Schiit Lyr, and my Carver Receiver.

 

Initial impressions: Wow, the 800's really bring out the differences between amps. I admit I was a skeptic, but now I believe...

 

Here are the amps in order of how much I hate them through the HD 800:

 

1. O2 - shrill and scratchy, lacks body and coherence.

2. Lyr - Fairly well balanced, but a little too bright, slightly sibilant, and the bass is light - lacks weight.

3. Carver - A little stronger and muddier on the bottom that thickens the mids a smidge. Very good body and treble is nice. Smooth and detailed.

4. Burson - The best of the group with the HD 800. In between the Lyr and the Carver tonally - leaner than the Carver but fuller than the Lyr. Perfect balance between bass-mids-treble, and a little more open sounding than the Carver.

 

Funny though, when I compared the amps with my D7000, my findings were very different.

 

1. Lyr - I guess I just don't like this amp. Sounded like a layer of grime coating a window. Shrill treble yet smeared detail.

2/3. O2 and Burson - Really couldn't tell them apart. A little flat and dull sounding - grime like the Lyr but a little cleaner.

4. Carver - Clear, clean, tight bass, sparkly treble. A very good match aparently (also admittedly what I'm most accustomed to).

 

What frustrated me was that all of my observations are very song dependent. Some lush recordings (Patricia Barber for example) sound fantastic on the D7000/Carver rig and the 800/Burson rig. Other recordings that are super clean (overproduced?) like Dire Straits Brothers in Arms or anything by The Police are the opposite - they sound best on the 800/Carver rig and the D7000/Burson rig. Many other recordings fall somewhere unpredictably in between.

 

A few other observations:

 

*I found it interesting that the O2 sounds so good with the D7000 and so bad with the HD 800. I didn't expect this.

*The DAC portion of the HA-160D sounds identical to the DAC built into my Squeezebox Touch. This was after running both analog and Coax from the Touch to the Burson and switching between the two inputs.

*The Denon doesn't sacrifice any detail or refinement to the 800. It lacks the fuller midrange and the more open/diffuse sound quality of the 800 in exchange for tighter punchier bass and a closer more pinpoint kind of sound. I haven't listened to classical music with the 800's yet, but I suspect that this is where they will shine. The HD 800 is like an S-Class Mercedes and the D7000's are a Porsche 911.

 

I'm definitely enjoying the HD 800's right now, though I don't know if they will find a permanent place in my home. More listening to follow...


Edited by palmfish - 3/11/13 at 10:39pm
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