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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 597

post #8941 of 24348

That's how I read it too in the previous threads. I don't think I'm in bad condition at all. I'm just wondering where it may sit with the rise of the Vali and newer M-stage.

post #8942 of 24348
The old and new m-stage are virtually identical regarding the amp sections, so the m-stage isn't really on the rise. It has been a champion budget combo with HD800s for a long time.

Ive never heard a Vali so I can't comment on the differences.


As far as a budget DAC to use while saving, this is different from amping the HD800s in that every step up generally provides better quality. If you are truly going budget I would say knock out both DAC and amp for just $320 with the m-stage hpa-2 with USB DAC. It isn't perfect, but the optional DAC is surprisingly good. It is USB only, like many budget DACs. From there upgrade your DAC first, then amp later.
post #8943 of 24348

Sounds like I'll grab an M-stage at some point then. The stand alone amp version with preamps. No reason to upgrade my DAC because my Bifrost Uber is phenomenal. That or just spring for a BHA-1 right away or some other premium SS amp with preamps.

post #8944 of 24348
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorrodje View Post
 

 

Where's the Eddie Current S7 in your ranking ? :popcorn:    I saw you have (had) a violectric V800 ? is the V800/HD800 combo enjoyable ?

 

I haven't heard the S7, but it's supposed to give the Senns some kicking bass and better tonality. Then again-that all depends upon the tubes, as it's a tube roller's dream apparently. The V800 is a very nice dac in the price range-but it seemed a little to shouty and unnatural sounding to my ears that I got rid of it after a week. It had to much of a 'look at me' sound with it's technicalities imo-rather than an effortless musicality along with the technicalities that I much preferred from my DP1. Hope that helps-and sorry I forgot to respond to your PM regarding this...

 

-Daniel

post #8945 of 24348
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post
 

 

I haven't heard the S7, but it's supposed to give the Senns some kicking bass and better tonality. Then again-that all depends upon the tubes, as it's a tube roller's dream apparently. The V800 is a very nice dac in the price range-but it seemed a little to shouty and unnatural sounding to my ears that I got rid of it after a week. It had to much of a 'look at me' sound with it's technicalities imo-rather than an effortless musicality along with the technicalities that I much preferred from my DP1. Hope that helps-and sorry I forgot to respond to your PM regarding this...

 

-Daniel

 

The V800 is regarded as a pretty good dac if you like a neutral/clear sound. It's similar in character to Sabre chip dacs.

 

Care has to be taken here as the system can turn out bright if paried with a bright amp and the HD800.

 

If you like warmer, smoother more flattering presentation it probably isn't for you.

 

All this being said the V800 has a couple of years behind it now and things are changing fast in the dac sector. A second hand V800 could be interesting but I wouldn't bother getting one new.

post #8946 of 24348

has anyone heard the  Cary Audio CAD 300 SEI with HD800? There is one for sale here on headfi for ages, just wondering what you guys think? Its going for a great price. 1350 euro

 

Supposed to sound excellent with speakers as well

post #8947 of 24348
post #8948 of 24348
What is the purpose of the link ?

Al
post #8949 of 24348
Quote:
Originally Posted by James-uk View Post

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/high-end-pc-audio,3733-3.html

Interesting read on dacs.

Having participated in a blind test myself I cannot explain why differences are impossible to tell in the blind but so obvious when we can see the equipment. I have come round myself to wondering how much of these differences are based on expectation. I know this subject has been beat to death but it remains unsolved.

post #8950 of 24348
When you say blind study under what circumstance was the test done. I do mini reviews and I can tell different amps or dacs . But it must be done with you own equipment and music . And only the one device is changed . Now if you still cannot pic the device out they must be very close in sound .

Al
post #8951 of 24348
Quote:
Originally Posted by James-uk View Post

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/high-end-pc-audio,3733-3.html

Interesting read on dacs.


Thanks for the article, interesting read. I will be curious to see how people start tearing it apart...

 

I have by no means done any scientific testing, but when I attempted to do some careful blind test with my wife, testing:

1. Asus Xonar One Muses

2. Sennheiser HDVD 800

 

I was not able to tell the difference between the two (Sennheiser HD800 was the headphone I tested with).


Edited by jh7000 - 3/8/14 at 5:46pm
post #8952 of 24348
Well I can say the asus is just as good as the hdvd800 dac. They both need help. Do you have any kind of USB converter ?

Al
post #8953 of 24348
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

Well I can say the asus is just as good as the hdvd800 dac. They both need help. Do you have any kind of USB converter ?

Al


I have since added a April Music Eximus DP-1 Dac/amp, and while I may be able to tell a slight difference, I have not done any blind testing. I am also adding a highly-rated Questyle amp to my setup to see if I can find any improvements.

 

I am guessing this topic will need to move over to another forum, but here was another interesting video that have experts that do testing/measurements for a living show how flawed human hearing is...

 

Makes me think I should stop spending so much money on upstream components and try to focus on just enjoying the music!!!


Edited by jh7000 - 3/8/14 at 6:04pm
post #8954 of 24348
I cannot explain the circumstances of the study. But to my ears there is changes in dacs big time. I do not hear cables , or hardrives . But absolutely dacs. And I can say almost all dacs greatly improve with a good USB converter too. I guess I am just imagining it all. Lol.

Al
post #8955 of 24348
Quote:
Originally Posted by James-uk View Post

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/high-end-pc-audio,3733-3.html

Interesting read on dacs.

 

Very good article, I enjoyed reading all of it. Just a shame that they seemed to go to such lengths to set everything up and then only two guys did the listening! They should have had 5 guys at least.

 

I'm also somewhat skeptical of random switching between devices. I much prefer a tournament-style back to back shoot out. "A sounded better than B", then "C sounded better than D". And "when finally comparing C to D we preferred D" and so on.

 

However - I did a little experiment with my gear just for fun:

 

Setup 1: Flac --> Foobar2000 --> wasapi-push --> Creative Soundblaster Ti HD --> toslink --> Anedio D1 --> Bal. DNA Sonett --> HD800

 

Setup 2: Flac --> Foobar2000 --> wasapi-push --> Creative Soundblaster Ti HD --> RCA cables --> Bal. DNA Sonett --> HD800

 

All EQ's, options, plug-ins, and volume control were disabled.

 

The Soundblaster uses the Texas Instruments PCM1794 chip. And the Anedio is sabre.

 

First off - there is absolutely no question that when used like this the Bal DNA sonett really brings that humble soundblaster alive. The stock headphone output from the soundblaster headphone amp is definitely holding that PCM1794 chip back. With the RCA cables to the sonett in place the bass is significantly tighter, better controller and with more snap. Soundstage is better, details are better. Heck - everything is better. The difference is not small and not hard to notice. Bass is just very flabby and smeared at high volumes when using the stock creative headphone amp compared to the sonett.

 

But when comparing Setup 1 to Setup 2 things aren't so simple. Setup 2 is good, very good in fact. It is more forgiving and more easy listening than Setup 1.

 

Setup 1 however is pretty easy to tell from setup 2. The tell tale sign is to listen for texture and tightness/snap in the bass region, you should feel that there is zero veil and a "presentation drenched in sunlight". That's how you know you're listening to the Anedio. The high end of the spectrum can be a little bit more glaring and less easy listening than setup 1 if the source material isn't great.

 

So for bad recordings I would say that setup 2 actually has the edge for easy listening.

 

However when you have good source material setup 1 is pretty special... there is absolutely no veil. It's crystal clear, huge soundstage and presence. Fantastic texture and details.

 

Setup 2 is very good. It's neutral but it feels "different". If the anedio gives the sense of being outside on a clear spring day the creative gives the sense of standing inside a mastering room behind a very well polished sheet of glass. Everything is there, it just isn't so ultra-sparkly clear. And in comparion there is the slightest bit of veil.

 

Being very intimate with this gear and the Anedio D1 by now I would feel very confident to try it out in a blind test. But it would have to be back to back and not with other DAC's in the mix! That makes it really tricky I would think. As they say... human hearing memory is short lived.

 

But none of this is really news to me... I've kept saying that if you want to do audiophile on a budget get the Essence STX + HD650. That combo plays the socks off almost everything else in that price range.


Edited by TwoEars - 3/8/14 at 6:26pm
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