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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 569

post #8521 of 25764
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

Yes but depending on the amp for me they do. Also when you go back and forth does the sound level change. As in my hdpr10. It is a pain as when you enable the EQ it drops about 6 db in spud level

True. I do use warmer than neutral amps admittedly :) 


Don't notice any difference with volume level as a whole when activating the EQ. The new Foobar one which is pictured on the original post is very good. You can manipulate the volume level or choose not to. For me, a couple of db can mean dipping just below my thresh hold of annoyance in regards to instruments such as brass and even strings. Its a fine line, but I always have the mentality of less is more! 


I spent years been against EQ of any kind. But the better technology these days with using computer based media players, I've found that the results can be very positive. And far less expensive than component rolling.. 

post #8522 of 25764
Very well said. And I agree completely. And we all have different wants in music. As I do not like LCD, headphones unless EQ, a bit and fine the he6 and hd800 fine. But not all feel that way. But extreme detail does get fatiging too.

post #8523 of 25764

How do you find the sound with this EQ?  What are you trying to accomplish?  I assume it reduces the harshness on sibilant recordings, but do you hear any adverse effects?




Originally Posted by pila405 View Post

I am really interested in everyone's opinion on the EQ I use at the moment with the HD800 (assuming the rest of you gear is neutral). (Foobar2K; Graphic Equalizer component):

**I know every headphone measures a bit differently, but if Sennheiser's QC is good enough, the FR should be close.

post #8524 of 25764

From the moment I first heard the HD800 they didn't sound neutral, but rather bright to me, but in each and every section they performed phenomenally well so I decided that I prefer to buy the 'phones and EQ the FR to be flatter and more neutral,
That's all I tried to achieve here, and I believe it did the work quite well.

It reduces the overly aggressive treble and adds a bit lower bass (where they "roll off", 70-20Hz mostly)

post #8525 of 25764
Originally Posted by pila405 View Post

From the moment I first heard the HD800 they didn't sound neutral, but rather bright to me, but in each and every section they performed phenomenally well so I decided that I prefer to buy the 'phones and EQ the FR to be flatter and more neutral,
That's all I tried to achieve here, and I believe it did the work quite well.

It reduces the overly aggressive treble and adds a bit lower bass (where they "roll off", 70-20Hz mostly)


I do almost exactly the same. There are different ways to roll of the upper midrange/treble but a +3 dB bass boost really brings the HD800 to life for me.


It's an absolutely superb headphone for electronica with a + 3 dB bass boost! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

I had a pair of Sony XB1000's for electronica music for a while... then I tried the HD800 with a +3dB bass boost and never listened to the XB1000's again.... :L3000:


But the amazing thing about the HD800's is that even with a +3dB bass boost it doesn't bleed over into the midrange/treble at all. It's perfectly fine to leave it like this and listen to vocal/classical music. To be honest it's how the HD800 should have sounded without any EQ if you ask me.


I kind of feel/suspect that since the HD800's have such a unique build/driver it's entirely possible that sennheiser didn't get the voicing 100% right... not that they would ever admit that of course. It's just an idea you know. It's one thing to build a pioneering driver technology, it's another to make that drive technology sound exactly the way you want without using an EQ.


So I don't really feel guilty about EQ'ing the HD800's at all. It's a superb transducer with a superb soundstage. Don't like the voicing? Just give it a gentle EQ nudge... job done and problem solved.

Edited by TwoEars - 2/22/14 at 11:29am
post #8526 of 25764
I agree and to futher add to the concept. I think every headphone made goes through a design and implementation stage. And then numerous consessions to get the product to a agreed upon completed item. And the superior imaging and fast ness won over a little harshness . The same is for the he6. It has little do dads inside . When I listened to one that was modded it lost it's imaging and brightness. . And it was just a little foam inside not much to make a big change. The hd 800 drives have serial type model number . This is to insure that replacements are exact to the matching driver. And I am reasonably sure we could not hear the subtle change but there instruments can.

post #8527 of 25764

I completely agree. I listen to Classical music 99.9% of the time, and I think that if the system is truly neutral it should sound good with anything.

Though I don't know about the drivers. Maybe. Maybe they thought that exaggerated treble will give a false sense of more detail, but their resolution is superb without any artificial treble boost.

post #8528 of 25764
It's not the system being neutral it's balanced that puts it all together. As no system is really neutral. Here is a another example as you turn up the volume the depth of the music increases not just the overall loudness. If the music is compressed to much or you r system is tonaly unbalanced , that is when it gets louder and offensive.

post #8529 of 25764
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

I have to disagree bud, 2db is a big change to my ears! 3 db is quite a contrast. 


I noticed the HD800 is extremely sensitive to EQ. that can explains its finicky nature.   I agree that +/-2db makes a real difference with this specific headphone although I tried far less sensitive IEM ou headphones. With them I need to EQ much more to obtain listenable change. 


I only use EQ for experimentations. I don't need to EQ anything on HD800 when I enjoy my favorite music, especially contemporary Jazz or Classical.  

post #8530 of 25764

The amp and DAC can be totally audibly neutral. (Maybe less on the paper, but nothing we can notice, like 0.01% deviation from the the flat FR up until 20KHz)

post #8531 of 25764
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

Ok we can disagree. Here. I bought the great speakers , headphones and amps . And yes they sound better but never there best until the dac is done. Maybe this is why I have a different view on amps they some here. I am hearing things different. Here is one more little tidbit. Most all cd,s or digital recording sound far better with a really good DAC. . It seems the glare on some recordings is not glare but info the dacs we use cannot make sound properly until you read a certain level dac. Also the USB implinmintaion used on most dacs can be greatly improved witha good USB converter

Like an offramp or Audiophilleo

I too have to disagree with the DAC being first, at least from a monetary standpoint. Yes, for digital sources, the DAC is obviously very important. However, I think most people are disregarding how easy and cheaply you can get by on a DAC. The diminishing marginal returns curve hits far harder and sooner with DACs. Maybe I misinterpreted the statement, but I took it as spend all your money on a DAC first. I'm surprised anyone who argued against that didn't simply prove by examples. Would you prefer using an iPod straight with the HD800 or better yet the new AKG K812 which works very well from portable sources without a dedicated amp or DAC vs. some iPod ear buds with $1 million dollars to spend on your dac and amp? It seems like people here forgot low-fi headphones existed. Heck even if given the ATH M50 instead of the ear buds, I think the first option is still better. Yes the DAC and amp are important, but spend your money on the headphones first.

I should also add that it's likely that you wouldn't be able to notice the difference of a good DAC or amp without listening through a good headphone.
Edited by Sonido - 2/22/14 at 1:34pm
post #8532 of 25764

So what would the general expectations/guidelines be for a system percentage wise.. just as a starting point, one example given in the Complete Guide to High end Audio is:

- Pre/Power Amp $4000

- Digital Source $1300

- Loudspeakers $4000

- Interconnects / Cables $700

Total Cost $10K


Translate that to HeadFi & HD800:

- DAC - $487 (13%)

- AMP - $1500 (40%)

- HD800 - $1500 (40%)

- Cables - $263 (7%)

Total Cost $3750


Wait a minute.. this does not translate well with the HD800.. suggestions or your examples (dollar values optional - more interested in seeing the percentages)

MV:  HD800 - $1K (29%) , DAC/AMP $2K (59%), Cables $400 (12%) and nowhere near optimal


Possible/Realistic Optimal or at lease liveable: HD800 $1.5K (33%), WA2+Tubes: $1.5K (33%), DAC $1K (22%) Cables $0.5K (12%)


Your setups?

post #8533 of 25764

^ It depends a lot on the headphones themselves. The HD800 is one of the notable headphones that depend more so on your chain. If you were to take say the HD598, many argue amping doesn't even make much a difference for that headphones. Spending your money on the HD800 opens the door to justifying the cost of spending more on the amp and DAC.

post #8534 of 25764
I think I am misunderstanding something here . I did not do any thing any different most all else here. Inwas simply putting it in perspective as I see it now. I also have my speakers back when the first CD players were being sold. It's only about 20 years or so there is CPU audio. But I do agree with demisnishing returns. But if you say that the dac is least important always , then we have to part there.

post #8535 of 25764
First off through the cable upgrades unless you have an amp with balanced input to output.

Next the hd800 is a great headphone to start with. And try buying a proven used amp. It saves you money and it saves you time in picking what works.

For those heahones get a SS amp , no tube rolling save more money.
Get used dac too. A really good one , but you do not need dsd cause you can use a program like jriver to convert format on the fly .
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