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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 593

post #8881 of 25223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorrodje View Post
 

Someone here compared  the Eddie Current Super7 and the DNA Sonett 2 ? 

 

I'm officially in the market for an amp upgrade and I'm looking for a transparent & neutral tube amp ( something like a Solid State sound without the edginess and with this very specific tube presentation ) . Nothing overly warm or tubey ;) . 


Last Saturday evening , we did a mini-meet with two friends of mine. The one offered the house & diner and the second brought his Jdslabs Abyss, Eddie Current Balancing Act, TotalDAC D1 Dual and a Fostex TH900.... :D.  I personaly was generous enough to bring my ears and my HD800 with my little AudioGD NFB12.1. 

 

So we did serious listenings. 

 

The first point is the Abyss is very impressive. the greatest bass (Fast , deep, precise , clean ) I've ever heard from "headphones" and better soundstage & imaging capabilities than our beloved HD800.  Don't get me wrong ,the Abyss don't blow the HD800 Out the water but it's definitely a step above the Senn.  impressive! . i found that Abyss & HD800 was on par for impact and dynamics but IMO HD800 stays the king for resolution , probably due to its slightly analytical signature while the Abyss is little bit ( very very slightly) on the dark side of neutrality. 

 

But that's not my main point here.

 

We firstly compared HD800 + NFB12.1 combo against abyss + BA + Totaldac combo. and the difference was huge! I saw desperately my HD800 seriously dominated in every area. Then, i plugged the Senn to the Balancing Act+ Totaldac combo and was immediately blown away. I didn't really believe in Hi-end gear so when I say i was blown away, you can take it seriously.  This moment really changed my mind. Suddenly , all main flaws af my HD800 disappeared.  I usually use a combo with which I'm very happy: REGA DAC + MG Head and I really like to listen to music with my rig ( unfortunately  I didn't take it saturday evening so I couldn't compare directly) but HD800 kept some harshness sometimes. Although the added warmth counterbalance the slight harshness, this harshness stays.  With the BA+Totaldac , i immediately noticed that all harshness has disappeared withou any artificial warmth added. HD800 Sounded crystal clear & sweet with a far higher level of transparency. I was stunned from the first seconds of listening. my HD800 sounded so "right". I've never heard this before. 

After this discover, I've thrown the NFB12.1 in my bag and we've done more listening. HD800 was then far more close to the Abyss. My above comparison is based from listens done on Balancing Act/Totaldac  combo both for HD800 & Abyss. 

 

Then, you know why I'm now in the market for a new amp. :D . I really can't have enough money for a Balancing Act.  So, less expensive options are welcome !

 

My favorite so far is the DNA Sonett 2  against Super7 because of the price and the form factor but I can wait a bit more to save money if the S7 is clearly better. Thoughts about it ? other options ? 

 

Great write-up!

 

One small thing though.... you do realize that the total dac is pretty much expensive enough to pay for the balancing act. the abyss and your HD800 all in one go right? :D

 

What I'm saying is that there might have been a difference in the dac and not only the amp.

 

As for amps... I haven't heard the super seven. But I'm seriously impressed by my balanced Sonett 1 with upgraded tubes.

 

I never thought a tube amp could have so much snap and clarity and such pitch black background.

 

Would be interesting to listen to a balancing act some day since everyone always goes on about that one.

post #8882 of 25223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post

^Why tube? I'm sure high end SS wouldn't have that edginess, at least that's what the owners say insofar as to justify their purchases.

 

 

I really like to see glowing tubes on my desk and until now i've always preferred tube amps with HD800 but my mind stays open for the future. I'll probably consider a Hi end Solid State alternative besides my tube amp in the future but righ now I want tubes. :tongue_smile:

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoEars View Post
 

 

Great write-up!

 

One small thing though.... you do realize that the total dac is pretty much expensive enough to pay for the balancing act. the abyss and your HD800 all in one go right? :D

 

What I'm saying is that there might have been a difference in the dac and not only the amp.

 

 

I know that ;) . totaldac has a more affordable dac . the A1 . More affordable but still way too expensive for  my wallett . 

 

Now we're all on a ladder. to climb this ladder we have to use both right leg ( amp) and left leg ( dac) .Now it's time for me to use the righ leg upgrade because I feel my amp is the weakest point of my rig. That been said, I'm convinced that the DAC is the key point of a dedicated to HD800 Rig and I'm very happy with my REGA. :)

 

I watch with great interest your adventures with Your Sonett :D . I've emailed Donald North Yesterday and I'm currently waiting his answer. 


Edited by Sorrodje - 3/7/14 at 12:46am
post #8883 of 25223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorrodje View Post
 

Now we're all on a ladder. to climb this ladder we have to use both right leg ( amp) and left leg ( dac) .Now it's time for me to use the righ leg upgrade because I feel my amp is the weakest point of my rig. That been said, I'm convinced that the DAC is the key point of a dedicated to HD800 Rig and I'm very happy with my REGA. :)

 

Well, I do think you're making a good decision in getting rid of the Audio-GD. Some people will probably kill me for this but I had the Phonix for a while, and after some consideration and with the help of hindsight, I've now decided that I was a horrible amp. It was very warm (both in temp and sound signature) and just not very transparent. Everything coming out of it sounded the same somehow, a little bit warm and smeared. After I moved away from the Phoenix it was as if a veil had been lifted from all my records and they could breath again.

 

An amp is supposed to be transparent and not impose its own sound signature...

 

I've read a similar reflection from another head-fier, he had begun to wonder "if audio-GD simply wasn't very good at building amps" I think the wording was.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorrodje View Post

 

I watch with great interest your adventures with Your Sonett :D . I've emailed Donald North Yesterday and I'm currently waiting his answer. 

 

Nice, maybe we'll get another HD800 Sonett combo going here. :D

 

If you do your research your can find some very, very nice things being said about both the Sonett & Sonett 2.


Edited by TwoEars - 3/7/14 at 1:06am
post #8884 of 25223

Mhhh it depends of what we're looking for.  NFB12.1 + HD800  is really an enjoyable combo. And we all know here that some dac or amp are nearly unlistenable with HD800. 

 

I bought the NFB12.1 for 120€ because I was curious about it. it scales to a better level when associated with the Schitt Vali for example. NFB12.1 + Vali does a lovely entry level combo for HD800 IME ;)

 

With HD800 ,I think we've two options :

 

- Colored/warm combo that counterbalance the  nature of the HD800. It's easy and not expensive and we can obtain an extremely enjoyable and musical result without losing too much resolution & transparency. EQ is maybe the easier and the less expensibe manner to obtain good results.

- Neutral/transparent combo that amplify and magnify inherent nature of the HD800. This option costs much more money because pieces of gear that can exploit HD800 transparency and resolution without the expense of harshness are rare & expensive but the result is really worth the investment because then, the HD800 does'nt sound only enjoyable. it sounds "right" 

 

 

That's what I understood Last Saturday evening. 

 

My 0,02  :beerchug: 


Edited by Sorrodje - 3/7/14 at 1:37am
post #8885 of 25223
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sorrodje View Post

 

it sounds "right" 

 

To my ears my HD800 setup sounds "right" so maybe I'm there :D

 

Absolutely zero siblance or fatigue, it's as relaxing to listen to as an LCD-2/3/X.

 

My setup is all about soundstage, clarity and resolution with some EQ'ing to help.

 

Everyone should try the inverse EQ approach for a day...  it's that damned 6k freq spike that does it!

 

You need to find a good EQ program a kill that 6k spike with fire, that's where all the talk about siblance and harshness comes from. Then lift up the midrange between 2-4k. 

 

Believe it our not but the HD800 can be made to sound resolving, engaging, fun and even borderline forgiving!


Edited by TwoEars - 3/7/14 at 1:42am
post #8886 of 25223

With my favorite music , I've really never needed any EQ . We compared Abyss and HD800 last saturday and the "6khz peaks" was definitely not so obvious to my ears.  I hear peaks in HE-4 or Beyerdynamic T1 and DT880 signatures but what I hear from the HD800 is a slightly elevated Hi mids/low treble range between 1 and 7 khz . No peak at all. no need to EQ then.

 

What I hear is more consistent with this graph form innerfidelity:

 

 

I much prefer analyze non compensated graphs because I doubt the average compensation is the good one for my ears. 

 

 

But I think my brain is now completely accustomed. Somethink like a stockholm syndrom maybe ? :D 

post #8887 of 25223

If you download this package: http://www.roomeqwizard.com/

 

It has an inbuilt sine-wave generator that can be made to go from 20-20.000 Hz in 45 seconds or so.

 

You can tell me when it starts hurting the most and we can discuss the non-existent 6k Hz peak after that ;) 

 

But if you don't have a problem you don't have a problem I guess.... it's just that I have this theory that people go out hunting for the perfect soft sounding tube amp to cure a problem that really is solved by EQ'ing and nothing else.


Edited by TwoEars - 3/7/14 at 2:38am
post #8888 of 25223

When I'll understand how to install the package on my Ubuntu I'll give it a try. 

post #8889 of 25223

Hey guys, is it just me or does most of Genesis recordings treble sounds peaky? With HD800 of course.

post #8890 of 25223
Quote:
Originally Posted by 62ohm View Post
 

Hey guys, is it just me or does most of Genesis recordings treble sounds peaky? With HD800 of course.

"selling England by the pound" sounds fine to me. On WA2 though

post #8891 of 25223
Quote:
Originally Posted by roguegeek View Post
 

 

 

I know the HD 800 has been known to be extremely amp picky, but I really didn't understand the magnitude until I heard it myself. It's so incredibly apparent with these cans over any others I have heard. I think I've just accelerated my plan to get these things optimally amped through single ended termination.

Its the transparency of the HD800 rather than them being amp picky. Feed them a good amp and they will sound good - and price doesn't have to come into the equation. It's just a case of remembering that they are 300 ohms and they will appreciate high impedance output over low. A low impedance/high current amp will give them an overly fed treble and not much beef below.   

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoEars View Post
 


I've heard very good things about the vali from people I trust.

 

The HD800 is also infamous for having a sharp treble peak at 6k dB when placed on the head. Tyll demonstrated this on his dummy head and has do with the standing waves between the head and headphone. In fact lots of headphones have this problem but it seems extra severe on the HD800.

 

 

 

I like to inverse that 6k peak in a good EQ program and then lift up the lower end.

 

(what I actually really do is that I take away an equal amount of everything that is over the "0 dB line" so that I'm taking away bits, not adding them. Usually gives better sound quality).

 

The HD800 is the best and most comfortable transducer and with the best sound stage. But the freq response when placed on the head leaves a lot to be desired.

 

Which is why I'm a EQ believer and think the HD800 is the best headphone I've ever heard when EQ'd properly.

 

Get rid of that 6k peak and let me know what you think. :)

Yeah, some seem to be more affected by the treble than others. I know the peaks are there but they just don't annoy me at all when they are amped well. I EQ other cans but have never needed to with the HD800. Infact I kind of use it as a bench mark for EQing other headphones! 

 

I've said this sooo many times; that a little EQ can go a long way. Especially if you only dislike one aspect of a headphone. One peak maybe all it is! You can spend a fortune on amp or tube rolling softening the sound for example. But you can end up dulling a lot more than the one freq that is causing you annoyance and therefore cause a lot more damage than good.     

post #8892 of 25223
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post
 

Its the transparency of the HD800 rather than them being amp picky. Feed them a good amp and they will sound good - and price doesn't have to come into the equation. It's just a case of remembering that they are 300 ohms and they will appreciate high impedance output over low. A low impedance/high current amp will give them an overly fed treble and not much beef below.   

 

 

Not always... :wink_face:

post #8893 of 25223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorrodje View Post
 

Mhhh it depends of what we're looking for.  NFB12.1 + HD800  is really an enjoyable combo. And we all know here that some dac or amp are nearly unlistenable with HD800. 

 

I bought the NFB12.1 for 120€ because I was curious about it. it scales to a better level when associated with the Schitt Vali for example. NFB12.1 + Vali does a lovely entry level combo for HD800 IME ;)

 

With HD800 ,I think we've two options :

 

- Colored/warm combo that counterbalance the  nature of the HD800. It's easy and not expensive and we can obtain an extremely enjoyable and musical result without losing too much resolution & transparency. EQ is maybe the easier and the less expensibe manner to obtain good results.

- Neutral/transparent combo that amplify and magnify inherent nature of the HD800. This option costs much more money because pieces of gear that can exploit HD800 transparency and resolution without the expense of harshness are rare & expensive but the result is really worth the investment because then, the HD800 does'nt sound only enjoyable. it sounds "right" 

 

 

That's what I understood Last Saturday evening. 

 

My 0,02  :beerchug: 

 

Thanks for sharing your impression on the listening session (post #8888). Very interesting !

I think, this makes it very obvious that any aggressive highs or sibilance is not inherently a problem of the HD800 but rather the associated equipment.

So from my point of view EQ is correcting the faults of amp or DAC but not anything that is wrong with the HD800 because it isn't.

 

You pointed out two ways to get to enjoy the HD800 and for the first the end result is more important, if it leads to enjoying the music, no matter whose fault get's corrected. But a lot of bashing on the HD800 is like barking up the wrong tree ;-)).

 

I hope I'm on the second road ... patiently waiting for a GSX-MkII.


Edited by icebear - 3/7/14 at 9:08am
post #8894 of 25223

What seems obvious to my ears is that a HD800 powered by EC Balancing Act+ Totaldac hasn't anymore harshness even compared to the Abyss that can't definitely be considered as harsh. That been said the HD800 sounds obviously a bit brighter and a bit less bassy too.

 

 

But I beat dead horses there  :deadhorse:

post #8895 of 25223
Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeljames View Post
 

 

Not always... :wink_face:

Ok I'm generalising :)

 

But my point is, is that the HD800's aren't bass light or overly bright. They are very transparent. And 300 ohm. Remembering these two factors and you will find happiness :D (As long as you can find a good amp... But that's another story)

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