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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 614

post #9196 of 16598
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron1006 View Post
 

After some more research on your suggestion I realized that the little DAC I'm using atm can be used as a USB to optical converter. So needless to say after reading nothing but positive comments about it, I'm in for one Beresford Bushmaster MKII. Thanks for the suggestion :).

Thats good news buddy, I use a USB to optical/spdif converter with mine. In fact I always use these over direct usb. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

Off topic but read.
Using a spidif to input your DAC is fine
But the cable must be good for the purpose
And you are far better off using a already made one PC adaptor
I will post what I mean later here.
The pint is we use a regular coax cable
And the imp of the cable must be 75. Ohm
And most all of them are not.
Just a heads up.

Al

I think he's going to use optical anyways bud. 

post #9197 of 16598





Yes I think so. , but this can be used for others .

Instead of a ready made cable use these , the imp is matching as in cables it's most likely not.

Al
post #9198 of 16598
Quote:
Originally Posted by roguegeek View Post

With the feedback I have read from you and others, there's no doubt the CMA800R is way up there on the list of amps to consider. I just can't ignore all of that positive feedback about the Taurus MkII either.


I'm sure you've read the direct in-depth comparison made by project86?
Quote:
AURALiC Taurus mkII vs. Questyle CMA800

This is a tough one because the Taurus mkII is probably the best solid state amp I've ever heard thus far. It costs a few hundred dollars more than the CMA800, but has more features such as preamp functionality, balanced headphone output, and a lot more power. Both are phenomenally well built and very attractive. I went back and forth many times and the differences between these two are subtle - very much more difficult to spot than in the prior amp comparisons. Both are extremely resolving, neutral, well extended on both ends, and very open sounding. After much comparison I believe I found some small differences, though again these are way more alike than they are different.
 
First of all, the Taurus seems to have two distinct sounds to it. The single ended jack is more direct, more dynamic, more lively. The balanced output seems more nuanced and subtle, with more expansive soundstage and more precise imaging. In comparison, the Questyle is closer to the balanced output of the AURALiC - both are what I'd call neutral, clear, and highly resolving. The CMA800 takes a very slight lead when it comes to timbral accuracy - it goes a bit further in making me believe I'm hearing a real instrument. Especially with the HD800, which I still feel is its best match. I also thought the CMA800 did a little better when handling complex orchestral works. Maybe it's the "zero TIMD" thing, or some other attribute, but it seemed absolutely unfazed by even the most ridiculously complicated performances. From Mussorgsky's Night On Bald Mountain, to Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, to L'Apprenti Sorcier by Paul Dukas, and many many others (not to mention highly technical jazz, electronica, metal.... I could go on) the CMA800 just seems to have more honesty and instrument separation, and thus better layering. 
 
Is it a slam dunk for the Questyle? Sorry, no. The Taurus has a sound of its own and I love it for what it is - I actually prefer the single ended jack to the balanced most of the time, especially with certain headphones. It's like taking the warmth of the V200, and the smoothness of the Yulong A18, mixing in a dash of precision from the CMA800, and ending up with a delicious cocktail of great sound. But more on that when I (finally) review that amp at InnerFidelity (soon). If forced to choose between them, I'd have an extremely difficult time. If my rig was HD800 only I'd choose the Questyle. If it was HE-6 only I'd choose the Taurus. The possibilities branch off from there - don't get me started on DAC pairing.... I'll just conclude by saying both are exceptional, and really are the two best solid state amps I've ever heard. I've got the Questyle CAS192 DAC and I've heard the AURALiC Vega DAC, and hearing those just reinforces the notion that these are two excellent companies at the top of their game. AURALiC has been around a bit longer and seems to have made significant inroads towards becoming a somewhat well known and respected brand here in the USA. I'm sure Questyle would like to do the same, and so far they are on the right track.  

Once again, note that qualifier. Also note he's comparing with the CMA800, not CMA800R, the newer model with balanced output, (improved sound maybe?).
Edited by Sonido - 3/15/14 at 11:22am
post #9199 of 16598

Well guys & gals, after 5+ hours of driving and auditioning, I ended up with something that I never thought I wound have.  First, let me say that I not a neutral kind of guy and the ultimate of transparency and neutrality is not necessarily for me.

 

I auditioned the Bryston BHA-1, Sennheiser HDVD800 and Naim DAC-V1 in pretty much every configuration.  After 2 1/2 hours, I came to the following conclusion [note this only applies to me - YMMV]

  • I found the Bryston BHA-1 way too sharp and extended in the high end for me. Not in a bad way but enough to know that I would be really unhappy with it in the long term.  Mids and lows were sweet but I did not get much of a feeling of soundstage, maybe because the highs were a bother.  Went back to it 2 other times in the session and found the same thing.
  • I really, really wanted to like the HDVD800 but to be honest, I had a hard time telling the difference between it and the Naim.  I spent a lot of time going back and forth between the Naim alone, the Senn alone and the Naim as a DAC for the Senn.  If I had to do a blind test, I probably couldn't tell the difference between the setups other than the Senn may have had a touch more air/soundstage and maybe a touch richer in the mids.  If I was starting from scratch and didn't have the Naim, it would be a toss up with the HDVD800 with points going to the Naim with Mac integration and the remote and points going to the Senn with multiple outputs.

I thanked my sales guy who has served me well for almost 20 years and went out empty handed.

 

As I was about to go home, I recall seeing that the Headfone Shop in Toronto started carrying Woo, specifically the WA6 and WA7.  Thought I'd give the WA7 another listen so headed north. The setup this time was with the foster HPA8 as the DAC feeding the WA6 and WA7.  Gave everything about 1/2 an hour to warm up as I listened and came to the following conclusions.

  • Yup, did the right thing selling my original WA7.  Sounded a bit thin and lifeless.  Tried it a couple more times with various songs and came to the same conclusion.
  • Only spent a few minutes with the HD800 plugged into the Fostex but long enough to realize that I was dealing with the Naim/Senn scenario again.  Tried it a coupe of more times during the audition.  Really, really nice but I wanted something different.
  • Now, the WA6..  :blink:
    This is different, not as clean and neutral as everything else, less deep bass extension, good highs with mid bass and mids to die for. Everything from Patricia Barber, Dire Straits to Deadmou5 to Enigma sounded richer and more engaging.  Holy cr@p, everything I've read about the WA6 says no, not bad but nowhere near the ultimate, or even middle of the road for the HD800.  Back and forth between the units, step out for a coffee, come back and the same thing.  Kick butt mid-bass. Could be more precise and cleaner but it's not shy! I really like the WA6! Fun, engaging, forgiving of poorer recordings while providing them some life in the mid-bass and mid-range. Say it isn't so.  OK, read that it really doesn't have enough power to drive the HD800 well.  What? Cant get this thing past 1 o'clock without the ears bleeding and very comfortable at 11 o'clock. Out again for a think and back in with the credit card.  Chinese rectifier, really shouldn't sound this good. Sophia Princess on order.

 

If I want neutrality and transparency, the HD800 / Naim DAC-V1 is it.  If I want fun and engaging giving ups a little transparency sub-bass and soundstage, it's the Woo. Oh yes, the WA6 is a really nice match with the RS1i.  Vali on steroids without the ringing and slight roughness. It's good to have choices/variety.

 

:D:cool: 


Edited by MickeyVee - 3/15/14 at 1:33pm
post #9200 of 16598

The WA6 with USAF 596 + TS 6SN7 is pretty nice with HD 800. The Sophia Princess is not bad but USAF 596 is better, more clarity & fine balance between top end extension & smoothness.

 

Also what driver tubes are you using, the stock is not that great. I would suggest get 6FD7 or buy the 6SN7 adapters from Woo & use good 6SN7 tubes.


Edited by punit - 3/15/14 at 12:20pm
post #9201 of 16598
If anyone flames you shame on them. I feel your opinions were well versed
And coherent. As for conclusions. I am a big fan of the hdvd
Amp section. So if you found an amp that sounds neutral an detailed like it
And have good. And your remarks about the W7
Is correct to my ears
Al
post #9202 of 16598
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post


I'm sure you've read the direct in-depth comparison made by project86?

I have not. Real great read there. The one thing I do keep reading with the CMA800R is it's great with the HD 800 and just ok with everything else where as the Taurus MkII is great with the HD800 and also great with a lot more popular high-end cans. It's something I need to take into account because I don't see my collection getting any smaller. Although it does sound like the Questyle is better with the HD 800, everything I've read on the AURALiC makes it sound like if there is a difference in terms of quality, it's insignificant. Decisions, decisions.

 

I'd really like to see an Innerfidelity review on the CMA800R.

post #9203 of 16598

It's all about enjoying the music, if the WA6 is your thing just go for it! :beerchug:

 

Funnily enough I remember Tyll saying something similar in a video I think it was. It was something along the lines of "after a lifetime of chasing good audio reproduction I'll happily take all the harmonic distortion this little thing can dish out". I think he was speaking about the wa3.

 

Thanks for a great write-up, hope you had a fun day!

post #9204 of 16598
Quote:
Originally Posted by roguegeek View Post

I'd really like to see an Innerfidelity review on the CMA800R.
Well project86 is a writer for innerfidelity.
http://www.innerfidelity.com/writer/17777
post #9205 of 16598
I agree with his reviews , as it's all connector anyway but I like his very much.

Al
post #9206 of 16598
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post
 

 

Let the flaming begin! :D:cool: 

 

 

What's the problem with WA6 ? why would people flame you ? 

post #9207 of 16598
The Questyle is like a Chevy Camaro SS. To get a BMW or Mercedes of the same horsepower, you're going to have to spend 2-3 times the cost of the Camaro. But of course the cheaper luxury cars still beat the Camaro in comfort and handling. But if horsepower is all you care about, then the Camaro is a better option for the price. The HD800 is like horsepower in this metaphor.
post #9208 of 16598

Was kind of kidding :o  WA6 is not discussed very much here. Deleted.  Anyway, been glued to the new setup, it's smoothing out and I'm really enjoying it!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sorrodje View Post

What's the problem with WA6 ? why would people flame you ? 

post #9209 of 16598
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post

I auditioned the Bryston BHA-1, Sennheiser HDVD800 and Naim DAC-V1 in pretty much every configuration.  After 2 1/2 hours, I came to the following conclusion [note this only applies to me - YMMV]
  • I found the Bryston BHA-1 way too sharp and extended in the high end for me. Not in a bad way but enough to know that I would be really unhappy with it in the long term.  Mids and lows were sweet but I did not get much of a feeling of soundstage, maybe because the highs were a bother.  Went back to it 2 other times in the session and found the same thing.
  • I really, really wanted to like the HDVD800 but to be honest, I had a hard time telling the difference between it and the Naim.  I spent a lot of time going back and forth between the Naim alone, the Senn alone and the Naim as a DAC for the Senn.  If I had to do a blind test, I probably couldn't tell the difference between the setups other than the Senn may have had a touch more air/soundstage and maybe a touch richer in the mids.  If I was starting from scratch and didn't have the Naim, it would be a toss up with the HDVD800 with points going to the Naim with Mac integration and the remote and points going to the Senn with multiple outputs.
I thanked my sales guy who has served me well for almost 20 years and went out empty handed.

As I was about to go home, I recall seeing that the Headfone Shop in Toronto started carrying Woo, specifically the WA6 and WA7.  Thought I'd give the WA7 another listen so headed north. The setup this time was with the foster HPA8 as the DAC feeding the WA6 and WA7.  Gave everything about 1/2 an hour to warm up as I listened and came to the following conclusions.
  • Yup, did the right thing selling my original WA7.  Sounded a bit thin and lifeless.  Tried it a couple more times with various songs and came to the same conclusion.
  • Only spent a few minutes with the HD800 plugged into the Fostex but long enough to realize that I was dealing with the Naim/Senn scenario again.  Tried it a coupe of more times during the audition.  Really, really nice but I wanted something different.
  • Now, the WA6..  blink.gif

    This is different, not as clean and neutral as everything else, less deep bass extension, good highs with mid bass and mids to die for. Everything from Patricia Barber, Dire Straits to Deadmou5 to Enigma sounded richer and more engaging.  Holy cr@p, everything I've read about the WA6 says no, not bad but nowhere near the ultimate, or even middle of the road for the HD800.  Back and forth between the units, step out for a coffee, come back and the same thing.  Kick butt mid-bass. Could be more precise and cleaner but it's not shy! I really like the WA6! Fun, engaging, forgiving of poorer recordings while providing them some life in the mid-bass and mid-range. Say it isn't so.  OK, read that it really doesn't have enough power to drive the HD800 well.  What? Cant get this thing past 1 o'clock without the ears bleeding and very comfortable at 11 o'clock. Out again for a think and back in with the credit card.  Chinese rectifier, really shouldn't sound this good. Sophia Princess on order.
Sounds like you and I hear things similarly but have vastly different priorities. I owned the WA6 w/Sophia because I was full IEM mode and it was a high quality but zero noise floor amp. After getting HD800s I couldn't wait for my preorder BHA-1 to come in, the WA6 was so boring. When it did come in, it was like I was just now hearing the HD800s for the first time. Highly detailed and much more interesting. The soundstage size difference alone is massive, and I'm not exaggerating. I think the mids of the WA6 is good, but only because the rest is lackluster, so that you notice the mids more. I think the WA6 is an alright amp, but it is polar opposite of a good match for HD800s. All of the HD800s strengths are countered by the WA6 and the strengths of the WA6 is countered by the HD800.
post #9210 of 16598
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post
 

Well guys & gals, after 5+ hours of driving and auditioning, I ended up with something that I never thought I wound have.  First, let me say that I not a neutral kind of guy and the ultimate of transparency and neutrality is not necessarily for me.

 

I auditioned the Bryston BHA-1, Sennheiser HDVD800 and Naim DAC-V1 in pretty much every configuration.  After 2 1/2 hours, I came to the following conclusion [note this only applies to me - YMMV]

  • I found the Bryston BHA-1 way too sharp and extended in the high end for me. Not in a bad way but enough to know that I would be really unhappy with it in the long term.  Mids and lows were sweet but I did not get much of a feeling of soundstage, maybe because the highs were a bother.  Went back to it 2 other times in the session and found the same thing.
  • I really, really wanted to like the HDVD800 but to be honest, I had a hard time telling the difference between it and the Naim.  I spent a lot of time going back and forth between the Naim alone, the Senn alone and the Naim as a DAC for the Senn.  If I had to do a blind test, I probably couldn't tell the difference between the setups other than the Senn may have had a touch more air/soundstage and maybe a touch richer in the mids.  If I was starting from scratch and didn't have the Naim, it would be a toss up with the HDVD800 with points going to the Naim with Mac integration and the remote and points going to the Senn with multiple outputs.

I thanked my sales guy who has served me well for almost 20 years and went out empty handed.

 

As I was about to go home, I recall seeing that the Headfone Shop in Toronto started carrying Woo, specifically the WA6 and WA7.  Thought I'd give the WA7 another listen so headed north. The setup this time was with the foster HPA8 as the DAC feeding the WA6 and WA7.  Gave everything about 1/2 an hour to warm up as I listened and came to the following conclusions.

  • Yup, did the right thing selling my original WA7.  Sounded a bit thin and lifeless.  Tried it a couple more times with various songs and came to the same conclusion.
  • Only spent a few minutes with the HD800 plugged into the Fostex but long enough to realize that I was dealing with the Naim/Senn scenario again.  Tried it a coupe of more times during the audition.  Really, really nice but I wanted something different.
  • Now, the WA6..  :blink:
    This is different, not as clean and neutral as everything else, less deep bass extension, good highs with mid bass and mids to die for. Everything from Patricia Barber, Dire Straits to Deadmou5 to Enigma sounded richer and more engaging.  Holy cr@p, everything I've read about the WA6 says no, not bad but nowhere near the ultimate, or even middle of the road for the HD800.  Back and forth between the units, step out for a coffee, come back and the same thing.  Kick butt mid-bass. Could be more precise and cleaner but it's not shy! I really like the WA6! Fun, engaging, forgiving of poorer recordings while providing them some life in the mid-bass and mid-range. Say it isn't so.  OK, read that it really doesn't have enough power to drive the HD800 well.  What? Cant get this thing past 1 o'clock without the ears bleeding and very comfortable at 11 o'clock. Out again for a think and back in with the credit card.  Chinese rectifier, really shouldn't sound this good. Sophia Princess on order.

 

If I want neutrality and transparency, the HD800 / Naim DAC-V1 is it.  If I want fun and engaging giving ups a little transparency sub-bass and soundstage, it's the Woo. Oh yes, the WA6 is a really nice match with the RS1i.  Vali on steroids without the ringing and slight roughness. It's good to have choices/variety.

 

:D:cool: 

 

Interesting, I actually preferred the WA3 over WA6 for HD800 (weird, right?). I used to have a plan to get the WA2, then it changed to HDVD800 / BHA-1. After reading your post here, I think my plan changed back to WA2 again..

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