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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 656

post #9826 of 18221

I found the mids on HD800 better than the mids on any other planar I've owned, including HE-500, LCD-2 and LCD-3.

post #9827 of 18221
Quote:
Originally Posted by sp3llv3xit View Post
 



Who can chime in?

IMHO, planars shouldn't be compared with dynamics.  They're two different species.  How does one compare a dog to a cat?

If you're a cat person, you get cats.  If you're a dog person, you adopt dogs.

Planar-magnetic cans sound very different from dynamic headphones.  

 

Planar magnetics are dynamics and can be compared (both are headphones), it happens all the time.

 

Heck even dynamics in general can sound very different from each other.

post #9828 of 18221

+ 1

 

They are all headphones after all.

post #9829 of 18221

Yup, all headphones. Not ear speakers ;) But there's Stax of them on here too.

post #9830 of 18221
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

 

Planar magnetics are dynamics and can be compared (both are headphones), it happens all the time.

 

Heck even dynamics in general can sound very different from each other.


Maybe I shouldn't have generalized the dismissal of the comparison between the two. But no matter what one uses to drive the HD800, it can never be made to sound thick enough to compare with planars.  Given the way the drivers are designed and built, there's just too much difference to make the comparison compete for purchase decision.  I buy both.  They're not like a comparison or competition between the T1 and HD800.  

 

That's just my personal take on the matter.  Planars sound fun. HD800 is reference.  Again, just my own interpretation.  Peace guys.

post #9831 of 18221
Quote:
Originally Posted by sp3llv3xit View Post
 


Maybe I shouldn't have generalized the dismissal of the comparison between the two. But no matter what one uses to drive the HD800, it can never be made to sound thick enough to compare with planars.  Given the way the drivers are designed and built, there's just too much difference to make the comparison compete for purchase decision.  I buy both.  They're not like a comparison or competition between the T1 and HD800.  

 

That's just my personal take on the matter.  Planars sound fun. HD800 is reference.  Again, just my own interpretation.  Peace guys.

I wouldn't be too quick to jump to that conclusion either. There are many amps yet to be built that could deliver on that - thick and powerful. From what i hear of peoples impressions of the GlennOTL/HD800 combo it might be close to that sound signature with the right tube combo. 

post #9832 of 18221

I posted a few days ago about wanting a tube amp to potentially improve my HD800 sound. It took some time for my ears to adjust because I've always preferred closed headphones, but wow. Sennheiser and it's open headphones just got a new groupie. If I want something closed so I'm not bothering others I will stick to my Shure IEM's. 



 



I'm already salivating at the fact that this headphone has been out for five years so I know Sennheiser should be releasing another flagship in a couple of years. If someone has any info on anything Sennheiser has in the works to replace the HD800 let me know so I can follow every detail or rumor like an Iphone groupie does for the Iphone.  


Edited by Trey36 - 4/5/14 at 10:34pm
post #9833 of 18221
Senn's last flagship design lasted about 15 years and HD800 sales continue to outpace any other flagship, so I doubt we will see a new dynamic any time soon. An ortho is very unlikely, a modern electrostat based on HD800 frame (as done with HE90 and HD580) would be amazing.
post #9834 of 18221
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Senn's last flagship design lasted about 15 years and HD800 sales continue to outpace any other flagship, so I doubt we will see a new dynamic any time soon. An ortho is very unlikely, a modern electrostat based on HD800 frame (as done with HE90 and HD580) would be amazing.

It would but then i would have to get one and an electro stat amp :( 

 

I hope that doesn't happen for a long time 

post #9835 of 18221
Thank you, another 10 years it is.
post #9836 of 18221
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoEars View Post
 

 

What's the mainline like compared to your modded crack? Or the zana if you've heard it?

 

Also - what's the main difference in sound character between OTL and SET really? I really haven't heard enough tube amps to know.

 

Hey TwoEars - sorry for the much delayed reply!  First, just to briefly clarify "OTL" refers to a tube amp without output transformers (or - output transformer-less).  SET refers to "single ended triode" tube amps, which means it is using a triode tube type and is not a differential or push-pull amplifier.  Most of the commonly discussed OTL headphone amps are SET designs - such as the crack, woo 3, woo 2, dark voices, etc.  These amps almost all use a 6as7(g) or 6080 tube, in series with high uf caps, as an alternative to output transformers.  It is a pretty clever design where - in order to lower the output impedance enough to run high impedance headphones - the signal is actually pulled off the cathode of the tube, rather than the annode.  The 6as7(g)/6080/7236/5998 family is really the only option if you want to accomplish this, so that's what all of the above-referenced amps use.  Still, the resulting output impedance is a bit on the high side.  When implemented well, OTL's tend to produce a full and pleasing sound (with high impedance phones - low impedance will sound anemic and flabby), but there is also going to be some bloom to the bass and likely roll off in the sub-bass.

 

The original zana deux was/is also an OTL, but of a different and costlier design with lower ouput impedance (and I would say objectively better sounding - very fast, detailed and dynamic).  I greatly enjoyed listening to this amp at CanJam, and a family friend had brought an unblemished vinyl copy of HDS701 (see: http://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/vta_method_e.html ) along that we played on craig's system.  It was one of the best sounding setups I heard all day.  Of the cheaper OTL's, crack comes the closest to an original zana to my ears, but contrary to what some others have suggested in the crack thread, I do not think even a hotrodded crack truly rivals a zana.  The new zana deux se, by contrast, uses output transformers, and I have not heard that.

 

The mainline is a highly regulated, c4s loaded, single gain stage, SET amp, with output transformers, and a big step up in all respects from the crack to my ears - notwithstanding that crack is a good sounding amp in its own right with hd800's.  In short, mainline is more refined and detailed, faster, more dynamic, transients much cleaner, and bass far tighter and with greater impact.  Trebles are beautifully extended but never strident, which makes it a perfect match for hd800's to my ears - better than a Zana to me (which, like crack, can occasionally manifest some treble sharpness), but reasonable minds can certainly differ once you're in the realm of these sorts of flagship products.  As to the trebles and general sound signature, failed engineer discusses the same thing in his post a dozen or so pages back in reference to the ECP L-2 which is very similar under the hood to the mainline.  To the best of my recollection, there was nothing I heard at CanJam that I liked as well with hd800's as the mainline (including the zana, WA5, and the $7k TTVJ 307A).  I confess I have not heard the zana se, balancing act, or DNA products.  If you'd care to read more of my ramblings about the mainline, I've posted some impressions in post nos. 43 and 48 here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/662240/mainline-new-bottlehead-premium-headphone-amp/30  Loquah has also written an exhaustive comparison of his impressions of the bottlehead mainline, crack and s.e.x. here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/683012/bottlehead-amplifier-discussion-comparison-thread-crack-sex-mainline

post #9837 of 18221

The HD800 will let you hear the source and any differences for that matter very clearly.

 

I heard these headphones today with various equipment

e.g. 

Sennheiser HDVD800 source: "someone's cellphone",

Eddy Current amp (model ?) source Philips CD Player

Head amp GSX MkII, source Mac book, DSD DAC (Ayre QB9?)

Mod wright Oppo 105, mod wright PS, amp ?

Auralic Taurus source : Sony Z1ES high res player/server

 

And bottom line, they all sound different. And I hate to admit it, the best HD800 combo during the Head-Fi meet today, in my book was the awkward Sony player with the Auralic amp. For me the sound stage is what sets the HD800 apart and just driving it directly from a exasound e20, I get lots of ambient information in my own set up and that was missing in a lot of the combinations above. The Sony player w/o touch screen seems out of place and is somewhat quirky to operate, once you get used, it might be OK but the button and dial menu is real slow compared to a PC/Mac/I pad based system. And that box is huge (21.6 x 19.5 x 8.5" ) and does NOT have a digital output - it's a Sony :wink:.

 

Take all this with a good pinch of salt, as there were "miles of extension cords" and multi outlets all over the place and all were playing different music - but that is basically the same situation for all discussions about the HD800 and how different they sound - yes they do, in different set ups. Start with the source quality and don't try to get a better sound by patching things up with "warm sounding cables" or tube amps, just my $0.02.

Enjoy the journey :beerchug:.

post #9838 of 18221
Quote:
Originally Posted by icebear View Post
 

The HD800 will let you hear the source and any differences for that matter very clearly.

 

I heard these headphones today with various equipment

e.g. 

Sennheiser HDVD800 source: "someone's cellphone",

Eddy Current amp (model ?) source Philips CD Player

Head amp GSX MkII, source Mac book, DSD DAC (Ayre QB9?)

Mod wright Oppo 105, mod wright PS, amp ?

Auralic Taurus source : Sony Z1ES high res player/server

 

And bottom line, they all sound different. And I hate to admit it, the best HD800 combo during the Head-Fi meet today, in my book was the awkward Sony player with the Auralic amp. For me the sound stage is what sets the HD800 apart and just driving it directly from a exasound e20, I get lots of ambient information in my own set up and that was missing in a lot of the combinations above. The Sony player w/o touch screen seems out of place and is somewhat quirky to operate, once you get used, it might be OK but the button and dial menu is real slow compared to a PC/Mac/I pad based system. And that box is huge (21.6 x 19.5 x 8.5" ) and does NOT have a digital output - it's a Sony :wink:.

 

Take all this with a good pinch of salt, as there were "miles of extension cords" and multi outlets all over the place and all were playing different music - but that is basically the same situation for all discussions about the HD800 and how different they sound - yes they do, in different set ups. Start with the source quality and don't try to get a better sound by patching things up with "warm sounding cables" or tube amps, just my $0.02.

Enjoy the journey :beerchug:.


Noticed that you mention that you're running your HD800's out of your Exasound E20.  Lately I've been running mine directly from my Exasound E28.  I've been very happy with that combination.

post #9839 of 18221

I have a random question. Would the hd800, crack and speedball work well with hip hop and reggae?

post #9840 of 18221
Quote:
Originally Posted by magiccabbage View Post
 

I wouldn't be too quick to jump to that conclusion either. There are many amps yet to be built that could deliver on that - thick and powerful. From what i hear of peoples impressions of the GlennOTL/HD800 combo it might be close to that sound signature with the right tube combo. 

 

 

Wow. Thanks for the recommendation.  Now there's something to look forward to!  (My wallet curses you though.)  ;)

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