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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 617

post #9241 of 24297

I kind of wonder what you guys would think about a really warm SS amp like the burson conductor or Audio-GD Phoenix.

 

The Phoenix is warm and smooth, little bit "heavy" in it's sound signature. I personally didn't care for it since I felt it colored the recordings too much. But maybe it's what you need?

 

I also liked the character of the Burson HA-160 though, but the synergy with the HD800 was terrible. I've heard that the conductor is supposed to have better synergy with the HD800.

 

Also, I've been working on something... stay tuned.

post #9242 of 24297
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Hm.. I wonder then, as a detail freak, what you will settle for since you don't like the most detailed phones out there? Also, it's fine to state your preferences, but tubes and/or very warm DACs are certainly not the only way to go, as you tell your readers.

I already settled for the HD800 and HE6, a long time ago.

 

I never told anyone warm dacs, or tubes are the only way to go... Here's what I quoted that may have brought some confusion: "I don't think SS is the way to go for me" as highlighted in my impressions as I had a feeling it would stand out before I even posted. And "If you want to get rid of the edginess, you absolutely need a very warm dac or maybe the Anax mod can do wonders, who knows".

 

On the last statement, I clearly mention the two necessities in taming edginess if you are to have an HD800/CMA800R. Anything else will absolutely have edginess. 

 

Hope it's a bit more clear lol :o

post #9243 of 24297

I've just come back from my local Hi-Fi store today after hearing a range of Sennheisers. I got to have a solid 1 hour sessions between the HD600s, 650s, 700s and 800s.

 

I spent a good bit of time with the 600s when I went in and listened to a few tracks running through a Rotel amp (I'm unsure of the model, it was about $2,200AUD) and wasn't all too impressed by them, they sounded good but it wasn't what I had expected from them. I moved up to the HD650s and for me, this was a noticeable jump in quality despite some people preferring the HD600s likely due to its flatter frequency response. I felt pretty confident with the HD650s and was ready to eyeball them as an addition to my current setup. I continued and moved along to the HD700s and I felt there was a noticeable improvement between the HD650s and the HD700s, as there should've been considering the HD700s were nearing the $1,000AUD mark. 

 

Then I picked up the HD800s.

 

These things blew the HD700s out of the water with an atom bomb. I was shocked that for about $500AUD more than it's little brother that there was an improvement this big. I'll preface by saying that I'm horrible with describing how things (especially headphones) sound. They had more clarity, imaging, soundstage and separation.

 

I listened to a few tracks from Daft Punk/Ed Sheeran/James Blake/Skrillex/Miles Davis. I could hear each instrument or sound separate from all the rest and I could focus on one and follow it perfectly until it ended. I could hear the soundstage and each little note and where it was coming from and when I did listen, it was clear and precise.

 

I left the store after all of this to think things over before I decide to purchase the or not and I'm now at home typing this up mainly to get what I heard into writing.

 

The HD800s are amazing and now it's just a case of justifying $1,500AUD for them. I think that a lot of people like to play the upgrade game and buy and sell different headphones, getting better and better each time but I'd like to jump straight there and know I've got exactly what I want. I also doubt I'd ever need to buy headphones again if I got these.

 

For reference my current setup (albeit entry-level) is a FiiO E07K and some DT770 80 Ohms.

 

If I pull the trigger on these, I'm looking into Schiit as my DAC/Amp setup, what would you all recommend?

 

Those are my thoughts on the HD800s! Sorry if it's a bit long and rambling!

 

Thanks,

 

Dave.

post #9244 of 24297
Short term you can do a Matrix M-Stage HPA-2 w/DAC (if you use USB primary), or a Schiit Modi + Vali stack (also USB only). Both are great with HD800s for the money. If you like Schiit for long term, keep up with impressions of the Ragnarok (amp) that is due this or next month, and Yggdrasil (DAC) due sometime later this year. Otherwise stick with the low priced options I mentioned and start saving and searching for a high end amp and DAC. Skip all the middle stuff as it doesn't do well enough with HD800s to warrant the cost, IMO.
post #9245 of 24297

I personally don't see myself moving to a high end amp or DAC. I prefer solid state amps as I dislike the idea of changing the sound with tubes. I don't understand the point of a high end DAC as all it does is urn 1s and 0s into a signal. 

 

I'm definitely looking into the M-Stage HPA-2 or possibly the O2+ODAC from JDS Labs.

post #9246 of 24297
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabboo View Post
 

I personally don't see myself moving to a high end amp or DAC. I prefer solid state amps as I dislike the idea of changing the sound with tubes. I don't understand the point of a high end DAC as all it does is urn 1s and 0s into a signal. 

 

I'm definitely looking into the M-Stage HPA-2 or possibly the O2+ODAC from JDS Labs.

 

 

You should change your mind or your HD800 will quickly reach the For Sale section and you'll join the crowd of HD800 haters. ;)

 

HD800 does a wow effect because of its clarity, fastnessn, soudnstage & detail. But , day after day and month after month, living with the HD800 is another story. Qualities becomes Flaws and harshness & fatigue can become your better ennemies.  Read this thread and the previous one. You should discover how many Owners were wowed for the first time and how after weeks they disappeared from the thread. Guve a look to profile or signature: No more HD800. The only HD800 keepers are people who took time to build a specific rig for their HD800. This quest doesn't require necessarily a lot of money but a lot of time to choose appropriate gear for your tastes and necessarily an open mind.  

 

I didn't believe so much in the differences between amp & DAC before purchasing my HD800. Now I do ;) 

 

 

For those whose interested on my opinion about the Vali : I unplugged and sold it and My MG Head is back. Definitely not my cup of tea despite its virtues. :o . Vali + NFB12.1 was very good but REGA + Vali isn't ( IMO, IME ...blablabla) 


Edited by Sorrodje - 3/17/14 at 1:56am
post #9247 of 24297
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorrodje View Post
The only HD800 keepers are people who took time to build a specific rig for their HD800. This quest doesn't require necessarily a lot of money but a lot of time to choose appropriate gear for your tastes and necessarily an open mind. 

 

Speaking of which....

 

So - it was raining, I got a bit bored and well... I ended up hardwiring my HD800's. Oh well, these things happen. :redface:

 

Maybe this should be in DIY but what the heck, it's fun.

 

The HD800 comes apart surprisingly easy, it's definitely a well engineered product. The overall project took me 5 hours or so, but I wouldn't say it's hard. If you can build a crack amp you can definitely do this. Most of the time was spent scratching my head about how to secure the cables going into the HD800, I wanted something nice looking and not just a big blob of superglue.

 

You need some good tools though, miniature torx set for instance. The cable is a professional grade microphone cable with 23AWG oxygen free copper, it's not mogami but very similar.

 

So as you can see what I ended up doing was that I drilled out the old stock connectors and I'm using those to hold the new cable, it's a very snug fit and a bit of super epoxy applied from the top of the connector makes sure that everything stays in place. Working great so far!

 

 

New cable in place and ready for hard termination, little bit of presolder on the wires. Now which one was the red HD800 termination point? Hmmm... 50-50 right?

 

 

Not too shabby. I wanted to be extremely careful not to heat up the internal wiring of the driver, so presoldered wires and a quick dab with the soldering gun was all I did.

 

 

Done! Neutrik makes good connectors but when you want a bit of bling nothing beats Viablue.

 

 

Everything back together and tubes heating, prepare for takeoff.

 

 

So how does it sound.... well... I cannot deny that there is a certain psychological bias that comes from having built something yourself.... and for some reason I'm having a bit of a problem doing A/B comparisons. ;)

 

So take this with a grain of salt but I know you'll want it so here goes.

 

You know how people talk about finding those last 1-2% in a system? Well, I think I just found those percent in mine. I've had fancy cables in my home before but at the time they just didn't do what I wanted them to. I think I was expecting too much and/or wasn't listening for the right things.

 

But now I can honestly say that this is the first time I've ever heard my HD800 sound better without any EQ than with EQ. I usually EQ down the 6k Hz band a bit to take away some of the harshness and siblance you can get up there. I... don't... feel the need anymore. The way I hear it now is that the treble is extended but smooth.

 

I also can't detect any "digital edge" at all. I've always had this slight, slight digital edge in my system, it was small and it wasn't bothering me much but it was definitely there. I thought it was coming from the Anedio D1 as a price to be paid for it being hyperdetailed and resolving. Well, whatever it was I can't hear it anymore.... I can't swear if it's the cable or just the overall synergy of the system that finally clicked, but something definitely happend to my ears. It sounds "calmer and more composed".

 

I just listened to the entire "The XX" album from start to finish in one go and it was utter and complete sonic bliss. I think there is a touch more more bass volume and midrange presence, and the overall presentation feels more relaxed.

 

Overall I must say that this system plays amazing music, details come flying at you from a pitch black canvas, relaxed presentation, neutral, clear, free from coloration, fantastic soundstage, great presence, lots of textures and layering. Pick you favorite hyperbole and stick it in! It's "hypnotically good". :smile:

 

So that could be my tip of the day for you. If you're finding the HD800 a bit abrasive in the treble try a relatively thick pure copper cable (single strand will do just fine!), and stay far away from any kind of silver. It's not a massive change but like I said, if you're chasing those last 1-2 percent it could be just the thing you were looking for.


Edited by TwoEars - 3/17/14 at 2:33am
post #9248 of 24297

@TwoEars: Great post thank You. Very clean DIY and  using the female connector for a cleaner result is a great idea ! 

 

I' m convinced that recabling directly on drivers will be my ultimate upgrade. As we say in France:  "The cherry on the cake".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I-want-my-Sonett 2-right-now :veryevil: 


Edited by Sorrodje - 3/17/14 at 2:20am
post #9249 of 24297
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabboo View Post

 

For reference my current setup (albeit entry-level) is a FiiO E07K and some DT770 80 Ohms.

 

If I pull the trigger on these, I'm looking into Schiit as my DAC/Amp setup, what would you all recommend?

 

Those are my thoughts on the HD800s! Sorry if it's a bit long and rambling!

 

Thanks,

 

Dave.

 

 

  I try Schitt Lyr with tubes like the cca pre & post 1965, mullard gold pin, amperex SQ to make HD800 sings  but i failed miserably. 

  i have not try my new power cord which is using factory grade wire(   40%silver & 60% copper)   with rhodium plated plugs yet ..

  the point is in order to make ****t  - HD800 sings ... my opinion you need a lot of investment

  Since you are having only 1 headphone, try to get a set up that moves u emotionally & not  solely wow you

post #9250 of 24297
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoEars View Post

 

 

 

Everything back together and tubes heating, prepare for takeoff.

 

 

So how does it sound.... well... I cannot deny that there is a certain psychological bias that comes from having built something yourself.... and for some reason I'm having a bit of a problem doing A/B comparisons. ;)

  :biggrin:  ..Very funny

 

 

  Congrats for  your achievement

post #9251 of 24297
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorrodje View Post
 

The only HD800 keepers are people who took time to build a specific rig for their HD800. This quest doesn't require necessarily a lot of money but a lot of time to choose appropriate gear for your tastes and necessarily an open mind.

 

This is getting Head-Fi-ridiculous. I'm sure many, MANY, HD800 owners are just fine with their random lower end gear, still enjoying the clarity, soundstage etc which is the base signature. No one is denying better gear might better things by some subjective amount, but let's not exaggerate to the extreme. I would be satisfied even with ODAC/O2 rig vs the CMA800R I'm testing right now. Also you can always EQ, Anax mod and whatever. Let's keep things sensible yes?

 

(I know the point was just trying some different gear, cheap or not. Vali etc. But I'm still not saying to anyone that you need to go though dozens of amps to find what you like.)


Edited by hekeli - 3/17/14 at 3:13am
post #9252 of 24297
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabboo View Posts.

 

If I pull the trigger on these, I'm looking into Schiit as my DAC/Amp setup, what would you all recommend?

 

Dave.

 

   Owh.. i forget..  Do listen to crack amp driving HD800 ..

  I just recieved mine last week..

  IMO  you cannot go wrong with this.. even without the fancy  tubes

post #9253 of 24297
Quote:
Originally Posted by hekeli View Post
 

 

 

(I know the point was just trying some different gear, cheap or not. Vali etc. But I'm still not saying to anyone that you need to go though dozens of amps to find what you like.)

 

Yes that was the point. 

 

Everyone can surely find quickly a good result. I did with a Dacmagic + jazz for example and the first change I did in my gear is to get rid of my previous dac that was too bright. So when I read " Dac doesn't matter, its' only 0 and 1" I really cant shut my mouth ;)

 

That been said I totally agree that it's quite easy to obtain a good and enjoyable result with the HD800 but who knows it is good enough ? That's my second point. If you're like many of us very involved in a  "best sound" quest ( more refined, more accurate, more enjoyable ou whatever you want then the quest is a bit more complicated IME.  Anyone who tried different gears with the HD800 understands immediately that changes are real. Sometimes subtles and sometimes obvious but overally real.

 

More forgiving and less transparent headphones are more easy to live with.  With a HD800 , the question "I'm happy with what I hear...but....but...but is there somewhere something better" stays in my mind. That's my personal experience. :)

 

My 0,02. 


Edited by Sorrodje - 3/17/14 at 3:33am
post #9254 of 24297
Good morning.

If anyone from this thread is going to ny meet
I am bringing my hd800 my hdvd800
And my offramp. All will be played through
My surface pro. Both red book and hi Rez

It really is something to hear.

See you there.

Al
Edited by ALRAINBOW - 3/17/14 at 5:44am
post #9255 of 24297
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post
 

Just want to point out that the GS-X mk1 and mk2 are quite a bit different in SQ. There is no comparison, the mk2 is a much better amp IMO.

I'm quite aware that the modules in the Mk2 have been updated and should sound better than the Mk1 (especially when handling more difficult to drive headphones), although it would be surprising to me that they would be that much different, considering that the Mk1 was already considered near or at the top of its class. I might add that I enjoyed immensely the Mk1 when I had it, especially with a few other headphones (e.g. balanced AKG701s); it's just that I could never seem to get it to sound quite the way I wanted with my HD800s (which the Questyle does).  

 

I would suggest that a fairer test of the GS-X Mk2 vs the CMA800R might be to compare the Mk2 balanced to two Questyle amps (dual mono).  Of course you could compare the GS-X Mk2 in single-ended mode to one CMA800R, although I doubt too many people would buy a GS-X to use only as a single-ended amp. Either way, I suspect the differences between them would narrow down quite a bit.   The point here is not to debate the relative merits of the GS-X vs the CMA800R -- both are very good amps that can readily compete with other fine amps that have a special synergy with the HD800s.   None are necessarily "the best" -- it's really personal preference. 

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