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HD800 vs LCD-X vs HE-6 vs SR-007 for critical listening and monitoring purposes? - Page 5

post #61 of 81

Isn't the LCD-X marketed as a headphone expressly for mastering?  I love the sound personally but am not a recording professional.  With all this talk about HD800 I feel I must be missing something that the X aren't providing but there is nothing missing as far as I can tell when they are on my head.  Maybe I need to hear these mythical HD800's with the right amp or the HE-6 as well. I returned the HE-6 almost immediately after seeing both sides of the headphone cable labeled 'L' and the inline cable adapter being loose and intermittent, not to mention the completely inappropriate cheapness of the miniRF connectors on the headphones and their awful comfort.  Admittedly my amp was only a few watts and I never gave then more then 24 hours of burn in but they didn't sound very good either.

post #62 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post

I agree! But that's the HD 800s you were hearing, not the amp.
Uh.. right. rolleyes.gif
post #63 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post


Uh.. right. rolleyes.gif

 

Seconded.

post #64 of 81

Ever thought about a custom in ear for mastering? The absolute flattest, most neutral I've heard are the UERM's. Also, don't discount something like an HD600, which can serve well in that regard. Much as I love the HD800, they aren't well suited to many genres. I would take a handful of headphones over them for most varieties of pop and rock. 

post #65 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericfarrell85 View Post
 

Ever thought about a custom in ear for mastering?

 

That's what I was thinking too a few pages back ;) 

 

Or you could just buy a pair of yamaha near field monitors... you know the one that half the world's studios use.


Edited by TwoEars - 5/18/14 at 6:39pm
post #66 of 81

:popcorn:

post #67 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

:popcorn:

I know right with you there 

post #68 of 81

I'll contribute and say that comparing one bad amp to another bad amp...doesn't really prove anything about a great headphone :confused:

post #69 of 81

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post
 

1. First of all, I sold my equipment. I ran the HD 800 of a Musical Fidelity M1HPA and very good DIY USB DAC with ultra-low jitter and a very expensive (relative towards many other DACs) clock. I did not enjoy that combo, so I sold it. 

2. I have also tried the HD 800s with Sennheiser's own HDVD800 with a good source and balanced cabling, supposedly a great combo. It was good by HD 800 standards, but not good enough for me. 

3. The HD 800 does some things very well, including transient response, openness and imaging. But it's an unnatural sound that's always on the thinner and brighter side of neutral no matter how much you pay for the gear around it (unless it's tubes involved, in which case you can get ride of the thinness and brightness, but that's not a fair way to judge the headphone IMHO). 

4. Saying the HD 800 betters the Audeze's for bass control is just stupid. It just has less bass. Less bass may sound like more controlled bass but if you look at measurements the Audeze's are VERY clearly superior in the bass. And that's also how I hear them. They also have a more natural tonality and vocals sound much more realistic than through the HD 800, where they sound dry and lacking in organic body. 


5. EDIT: Oh, and by the way. No disrespect from me either but if you say my gear is not on par, you should take a look inside that Audio GD amp of yours or measure its performance.  

 

1. Well I think we have just found one of the main reasons you do not rate the HD800's. The MF HPA is a poor amp, and yes I have heard it, and I would not use that amp with any quality phone. As for the DIY (??) DAC, so what if it has 'ultra low' jitter. That does not mean it will sound good and jitter is not the be all and end all of DAC design and as for being very expensive well what's that got to do with anything. I have heard a £10000 Naim DAC which did not sound any better than my £1200 Cyrus CD8 SE2, which itself is not as good as my NFB-7. Synergy is vital as well and you can't put a price on that.

 

2. I had a trial of the HDVD800 amp from the company that I bought the HD800's from, did not impress me and far inferior to my Master-6.

 

3. As for the 'thinner & brighter side of neutral', well my HD800's do not sound thin, yes thinner than the Audeze 2.2, but it actually sounds better and more natural to me most of the times but this can be recording dependent. As for being bright, well sorry I do not hear that either. With poor amp/source/synergy the HD800's may lack body and bass leading to a brighter perceived sound. Quality amp/dac will give a superb bass response and good body and weight to the sound, how do I know- because I am hearing just that even with a neutral SS amp, assertive DAC and silver cabling!!

 

4. The Audeze's, and I have only owned/heard the 2.1 & 2.2's, major on bass depth and weight with good control, the HD800's major on bass control & speed with good depth.

What measurements have you seen with reference to bass control?  Yes I know the Audezes have a deeper fuller bass so yes the HD800's have less bass but I re-affirm my opinion that it has a better bass that the Audezes that I have heard. The HD800's bass still had very good depth and decent weight which when combined with excellent control, speed and impact gives me a more involving realistic bass with great PRaT. The Audezes bass is better with slower sparse music IMO.

 

5. Now this is just getting silly :confused_face(1): 

The Master series amps have very good specs, although these are not very important as to regards whether it will sound good, and are very well built.  If you had ever owned one you would know. 

Justin, of Headamp, has stated in another thread that he could not even purchase the parts for $1500 never mind build the amp for that price :wink_face:

 

Please find me people who have a dislike, or feel they are over priced, for the Audio-gd Master series amps who have actually owned one?

With reference to your gear 'not being up to par' this is with regards to driving the HD800's only, and as you have identified the areas where you feel the HD800's are lacking, and these are the same areas they can be lacking  if used with an amp/dac that are not good enough or have poor synergy, then I think you have already answered yourself.

post #70 of 81
You all wrong. Koss porta pro is the best.
post #71 of 81

You all likely know http://www.head-fi.org/t/548875/review-audeze-lcd-2-r1-r2-hifiman-he-6-stax-sr-507-stax-oii-mki-bhse-et-al and http://www.head-fi.org/t/635893/mini-review-stax-sr-009.

 

It is a good starting point, and I linked them here because they coincide with my findings. Also, they are good example for what is critical listening (which is not necessarily the same as studio monitoring).

 

I have noticed that no matter how pleasant some sound appears first, you have to live with it for a month at least; if it's not close enough to neutral tonal balance, I get irritated with it over time, and need to change it to something else, at least temporarily.

 

What follows next is all IMHO and YMMV (everyone's experience is limited and hearing is different in some ways compared to others').

 

The stock SR-009 is reference quality even when driven with the SRM-323S, but even more with the KGSSHV or BHSE. At first hear, it was by far, head and shoulders better than anything  else I've heard, despite the light treble haze (may be cured by the BHSE). Note that I haven't heard the JPS Abyss yet. I started to appreciate the 007 Mk1 later - but read on.

 

I consider the HD800 reference quality, if you use it with e.g. the Cavalli Liquid Gold. But when I compared the HD800 to all current Audeze (LCD-2, LCD-3, LCD-X, LCD-XC), I found the HD800 sound most desirable, even if it was driven by the low-profile Furutech ADL Esprit (which sounded better to my ears than through the twice more expensive Graham Slee). It was not etched, nor boomy, nor too thin. The main drawback of the HD800 is not that it can sound etched, but that it can sound grainy and flat. Most probably reflecting the source/amp, but still.

 

The Stax SR-507 with the SRM323S or one of the tube Stax amps is close to the HD800, has less peak in low treble, and is perhaps somewhat more elevated in higher treble, with smoother midrange and more midbass. The HD800 is somewhat cleaner, but harder sounding, and the 507 is more open, but harder than e.g. the stock 007 Mk1.

 

Despite the alleged problems, I find the AKG 812 a fine reference headphone, too. Easy to drive, much easier than the HD800. Often (and in most common setups) I'd prefer it over the HD800.

 

Also, check my mods done at the Stax 007 Mk1 ear pads (http://www.head-fi.org/t/677809/the-stax-thread-iii/2310#post_10536905) and the Fostex TH900 (http://www.head-fi.org/t/595683/fostex-th900-impressions-discussion-thread/6930#post_10537146). 

 

The 007 Mk1 with the modded pads gets easily ahead of the dynamic headphones in tonality, soundstage, resolution, musicality. Not closed/veiled any more, has a huge and pin-point sound stage and very well defined treble (better than the 009).

 

The TH900 with the modded Stax pads gets very close to the 007 Mk1 (Asr has found the stock 007 Mk1 and TH900 quite close in another post, but this is on a different level), and sounds with more meat than the 007.

 

The TH900 with its own modded pads has less V shape sound with better midrange, and even better/deeper bass than the original. I find the original TH900 too boomy, matching with some music, but nearly non-listenable with others.

 

Perhaps some day I will get the Stax 009, but now I am completely fine with the 007 Mk1 together with the TH900, bith with modded pads (since I need a closed headphone, too).

I liked the LCD-3, also the HE-500 (not so much the HE-6), but somehow I find the others more satisfying on the long run. Perhaps a pad mod would do wonders with the Audeze as well, but I haven't tried. 

 

If I had to choose one pair of headphones for critical listening, and it could be either open or close, I would choose one of these: SR-009, SR-007 Mk1 (w/ modded pads), HD800, K812, TH900, SR-507 (or 407). Then scale the amplification on need. If the budget is around 2K eur, get the Stax 4070, or the HD800 with e.g. a used Furutech, or the K812 with a NAD receiver (check the K812 thread), or the SR-007 Mk1 with a used SRM-323S. If you can stretch higher, you should stretch much higher, and get the 009+BHSE, HD800+Cavalli LG, or the Abyss+Cavalli (which I haven't heard, but reliable people say good things). Compared to what musical enjoyment the same money buys with speakers, this is still bargain - if you can live with a headphone sound stage. I cannot, and my sole use of headphones is at office, and at home at late night, when I shouldn't disturb others.

 

If I wanted to select headphones for studio monitoring (out of those I know), I would choose an Audeze LCD-3 for checking the bass, a Stax 009 or HD800 for the midrange, and my modded 007 Mk1 or the 009 for the treble. All in all, my overall winner here would be the SR-009 (or the Abyss), but if I was making a recording, I wouldn't rely on solely one speaker or headphone. With years of experience one could use perhaps one of these, but requires a lot of learning/feedback cycles.

 

Of course, take a grain of salt to all this. 

post #72 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by zolkis View Post
 

You all likely know http://www.head-fi.org/t/548875/review-audeze-lcd-2-r1-r2-hifiman-he-6-stax-sr-507-stax-oii-mki-bhse-et-al and http://www.head-fi.org/t/635893/mini-review-stax-sr-009.

 

It is a good starting point, and I linked them here because they coincide with my findings. Also, they are good example for what is critical listening (which is not necessarily the same as studio monitoring).

 

I have noticed that no matter how pleasant some sound appears first, you have to live with it for a month at least; if it's not close enough to neutral tonal balance, I get irritated with it over time, and need to change it to something else, at least temporarily.

 

What follows next is all IMHO and YMMV (everyone's experience is limited and hearing is different in some ways compared to others').

 

The stock SR-009 is reference quality even when driven with the SRM-323S, but even more with the KGSSHV or BHSE. At first hear, it was by far, head and shoulders better than anything  else I've heard, despite the light treble haze (may be cured by the BHSE). Note that I haven't heard the JPS Abyss yet. I started to appreciate the 007 Mk1 later - but read on.

 

I consider the HD800 reference quality, if you use it with e.g. the Cavalli Liquid Gold. But when I compared the HD800 to all current Audeze (LCD-2, LCD-3, LCD-X, LCD-XC), I found the HD800 sound most desirable, even if it was driven by the low-profile Furutech ADL Esprit (which sounded better to my ears than through the twice more expensive Graham Slee). It was not etched, nor boomy, nor too thin. The main drawback of the HD800 is not that it can sound etched, but that it can sound grainy and flat. Most probably reflecting the source/amp, but still.

 

The Stax SR-507 with the SRM323S or one of the tube Stax amps is close to the HD800, has less peak in low treble, and is perhaps somewhat more elevated in higher treble, with smoother midrange and more midbass. The HD800 is somewhat cleaner, but harder sounding, and the 507 is more open, but harder than e.g. the stock 007 Mk1.

 

Despite the alleged problems, I find the AKG 812 a fine reference headphone, too. Easy to drive, much easier than the HD800. Often (and in most common setups) I'd prefer it over the HD800.

 

Also, check my mods done at the Stax 007 Mk1 ear pads (http://www.head-fi.org/t/677809/the-stax-thread-iii/2310#post_10536905) and the Fostex TH900 (http://www.head-fi.org/t/595683/fostex-th900-impressions-discussion-thread/6930#post_10537146). 

 

The 007 Mk1 with the modded pads gets easily ahead of the dynamic headphones in tonality, soundstage, resolution, musicality. Not closed/veiled any more, has a huge and pin-point sound stage and very well defined treble (better than the 009).

 

The TH900 with the modded Stax pads gets very close to the 007 Mk1 (Asr has found the stock 007 Mk1 and TH900 quite close in another post, but this is on a different level), and sounds with more meat than the 007.

 

The TH900 with its own modded pads has less V shape sound with better midrange, and even better/deeper bass than the original. I find the original TH900 too boomy, matching with some music, but nearly non-listenable with others.

 

Perhaps some day I will get the Stax 009, but now I am completely fine with the 007 Mk1 together with the TH900, bith with modded pads (since I need a closed headphone, too).

I liked the LCD-3, also the HE-500 (not so much the HE-6), but somehow I find the others more satisfying on the long run. Perhaps a pad mod would do wonders with the Audeze as well, but I haven't tried. 

 

If I had to choose one pair of headphones for critical listening, and it could be either open or close, I would choose one of these: SR-009, SR-007 Mk1 (w/ modded pads), HD800, K812, TH900, SR-507 (or 407). Then scale the amplification on need. If the budget is around 2K eur, get the Stax 4070, or the HD800 with e.g. a used Furutech, or the K812 with a NAD receiver (check the K812 thread), or the SR-007 Mk1 with a used SRM-323S. If you can stretch higher, you should stretch much higher, and get the 009+BHSE, HD800+Cavalli LG, or the Abyss+Cavalli (which I haven't heard, but reliable people say good things). Compared to what musical enjoyment the same money buys with speakers, this is still bargain - if you can live with a headphone sound stage. I cannot, and my sole use of headphones is at office, and at home at late night, when I shouldn't disturb others.

 

If I wanted to select headphones for studio monitoring (out of those I know), I would choose an Audeze LCD-3 for checking the bass, a Stax 009 or HD800 for the midrange, and my modded 007 Mk1 or the 009 for the treble. All in all, my overall winner here would be the SR-009 (or the Abyss), but if I was making a recording, I wouldn't rely on solely one speaker or headphone. With years of experience one could use perhaps one of these, but requires a lot of learning/feedback cycles.

 

Of course, take a grain of salt to all this. 

Thanks for the detailed post. I have the 007Mk1 and am interested in doing the mod. However, I don't know where/what pads to buy for the HP. Could you point me in the right direction? Thanks again.

post #73 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by kothganesh View Post
 

Thanks for the detailed post. I have the 007Mk1 and am interested in doing the mod. However, I don't know where/what pads to buy for the HP. Could you point me in the right direction? Thanks again.

 

I used the brown 007 Mk1 pads, available on ebay and from distributors. Then I have modified them according to the post. The new filling is available in hardware stores, as active carbon filter for ventilation machines and kitchen hoods. Mine has a thickness of 14-15 mm. Alternatively, the original foam fill can be trimmed as well, but the new one "sounds" better.

post #74 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post

The further I kept reading this ^ post, the more certain I became of its stupidity.


First of all, I sold my equipment. I ran the HD 800 of a Musical Fidelity M1HPA and very good DIY USB DAC with ultra-low jitter and a very expensive (relative towards many other DACs) clock. I did not enjoy that combo, so I sold it. 


I have also tried the HD 800s with Sennheiser's own HDVD800 with a good source and balanced cabling, supposedly a great combo. It was good by HD 800 standards, but not good enough for me. 


The HD 800 does some things very well, including transient response, openness and imaging. But it's an unnatural sound that's always on the thinner and brighter side of neutral no matter how much you pay for the gear around it (unless it's tubes involved, in which case you can get ride of the thinness and brightness, but that's not a fair way to judge the headphone IMHO). 


Saying the HD 800 betters the Audeze's for bass control is just stupid. It just has less bass. Less bass may sound like more controlled bass but if you look at measurements the Audeze's are VERY clearly superior in the bass. And that's also how I hear them. They also have a more natural tonality and vocals sound much more realistic than through the HD 800, where they sound dry and lacking in organic body. 


My current STAX system is also vastly superior to my previous HD 800 system. 


EDIT: Oh, and by the way. No disrespect from me either but if you say my gear is not on par, you should take a look inside that Audio GD amp of yours or measure its performance.  

So, so much fail here. Experience and research want to be your friend.

-Daniel
post #75 of 81

Funny enough both perspectives here in the recent posts are correct in some ways. It's hard to explain how the HD800s are so much better on a high-end rig. But they are not without flaw. No headphones really are. Some of the stuff described above is actually quite true about the short comings of the HD800s. Comparison with Audeze does the argument no favours though imho.


Edited by negura - 7/30/14 at 4:47pm
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