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HD800+$500 amp?Or HD600 + $1500 amp?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

If the source is good enogh, Which one would give the best outcome for listening to classical music?

Besides Sennheiser, I am also considering beyerdynamic T1 or T90.

So a similar question would be "T1+$700 amp? Or T90+$1300 amp?"

post #2 of 15

Go for the HD800 as it has better instruments separation and dynamics.

 

If you do end up with a pair of HD800 headphones be sure to check out this mod as it really accentuates the dynamics.

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/diy-modification-sennheiser-hd-800-anaxilus-mod

 

The AKG K712 Pro also does really well with classical.

post #3 of 15

The difference between a $500 and a $1500 amp is miniscule. OTOH, the differnece between a HD800 and HD600 is immense (I have the 800 and a 650, btw).

 

That being said, the HD800 isnt an obvious choice.   The sound palettes of the 2 are very different, and IMO, the HD600/650 actually sound a little better with orchestral works, with the 800s stomping pretty much everything else in the market for baroque/chamber/small ensembles.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post
 

Go for the HD800 as it has better instruments separation and dynamics.

 

If you do end up with a pair of HD800 headphones be sure to check out this mod as it really accentuates the dynamics.

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/diy-modification-sennheiser-hd-800-anaxilus-mod

 

The AKG K712 Pro also does really well with classical.

 

OMG this is too complicated for me.:L3000:

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vkalia View Post
 

The difference between a $500 and a $1500 amp is miniscule. OTOH, the differnece between a HD800 and HD600 is immense (I have the 800 and a 650, btw).

 

That being said, the HD800 isnt an obvious choice.   The sound palettes of the 2 are very different, and IMO, the HD600/650 actually sound a little better with orchestral works, with the 800s stomping pretty much everything else in the market for baroque/chamber/small ensembles.

 

How do you think of T1 and T90?

post #6 of 15

Always headphone first imo, that has the biggest effect on sound quality.
Go with the HD800 + something like a Bottlehead Crack/Speedball amp imo

(but you will need to build the Bottlehead Crack/Speedball amp)

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nehcrow View Post
 

Always headphone first imo, that has the biggest effect on sound quality.
Go with the HD800 + something like a Bottlehead Crack/Speedball amp imo

(but you will need to build the Bottlehead Crack/Speedball amp)

 

I am not capable of that sort of thing yet:L3000:

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by PianistHusband View Post
 

 

How do you think of T1 and T90?

 

I've listened to a  couple of Beyer headphones and simply do not like their presentation, so unfortunately, dont have any experience here.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vkalia View Post
 

 

I've listened to a  couple of Beyer headphones and simply do not like their presentation, so unfortunately, dont have any experience here.

 

:eek:I prefer both Beyer and Sennheiser over any other brands.

Why is HD800 worse than HD600 for orchestral work? I thought the sound stage and seperation is much better...is it possibly due to amp?

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by PianistHusband View Post
 

 

:eek:I prefer both Beyer and Sennheiser over any other brands.

Why is HD800 worse than HD600 for orchestral work? I thought the sound stage and seperation is much better...is it possibly due to amp?

What!? HD800 is better than the HD600 for orchestral work, I'm sure nearly everybody would agree

Soundstage and seperation is definitely better, seeing as HD800 is touted as having one of the best soundstages ever

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by PianistHusband View Post
 

 

:eek:I prefer both Beyer and Sennheiser over any other brands.

Why is HD800 worse than HD600 for orchestral work? I thought the sound stage and seperation is much better...is it possibly due to amp?

 

For starters, the soundstage of headphones doesnt come close to even sniffing distance of what a concert sounds like, period.  The HD800s do a better job than any other headphone i know, but it is still a long way off from a pair of well-positioned speakers.    So that's really a lost cause.   

 

While the HD800s are no doubt more accurate than the HD650s, the warmer tone of the HD650s sound closer to the tonal balance of a live performance.      The separation of the HD800s is also better, but if you sit in a typical mid-row seat in a concert hall, how much separation do you hear?    I am used to what a concert sounds like and I'll stand by my statement:  the HD650 actually has a tonal balance that is closer to what a concert sounds like, live.  To me, anyway.  YMMV and there is nothing wrong with that, etc. etc.

post #12 of 15
HD800 + Matrix M-Stage HPA-2 w/USB DAC ($320) would be my suggestion. This will sound fantastic and allow you to save up for DAC upgrade first, then amp upgrade afterwards. I don't see much difference in the M-Stage and amps under $1000 with the HD800, so there's no point. The DAC in the HPA-2 is quite good for it's $40 optional cost. It will last you until you can afford a proper DAC, which could be almost anything depending on your taste. I ended up with the Matrix X-Sabre ($1100) as my DAC of choice, but you may differ.

This headphone and DAC/amp combo is the best value in entry level high end, IMO. $1820 for a rig that takes $3-4k to beat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vkalia View Post

For starters, the soundstage of headphones doesnt come close to even sniffing distance of what a concert sounds like, period.  The HD800s do a better job than any other headphone i know, but it is still a long way off from a pair of well-positioned speakers.    So that's really a lost cause.

I really tire of this viewpoint. I suppose since it's impossible to have headphones sound like speakers, you should just not bother trying? Angled drivers certainly get close to realistic sound. After getting used to HD800s and IEMs (which have their own interesting soundstaging) I have a hard time using normal flat driver headphones.
Edited by Maxvla - 4/25/14 at 6:37pm
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

I really tire of this viewpoint. I suppose since it's impossible to have headphones sound like speakers, you should just not bother trying? Angled drivers certainly get close to realistic sound. After getting used to HD800s and IEMs (which have their own interesting soundstaging) I have a hard time using normal flat driver headphones.

 

What part of "YMMV and there is nothing wrong with that, etc. etc." is causing problems here?  Your getting tired of my viewpoint is absolutely irrelevant to me - I am just stating my preferences, not forcing you to accept.  Or are you seriously suggesting that I should change my preferences or not state them because you do not approve?

 

If you want to buy the HD800s b/c they image better than the HD650s, by all means do so.   For me, a tonal balance that - to my ears -  sounds more like the real concert is more important than obsessing about imaging and soundstaging which, even if better, doesnt sound close to the same thing.    It is ok for you and me to have different preferences - this isnt a zero sum game where there can only be one right answer.

 

And I am not sure where you come up with the "you shouldnt bother trying" statement you are ascribing to me.  Just b/c I say I prefer A over B doesnt mean that B is irrelevant or not worth chasing (I DO own the HD800s for this reason).     


Edited by vkalia - 4/26/14 at 1:22am
post #14 of 15

Go used and you can buy a HD800 and a nice DAC and amp. 

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vkalia View Post
 

 

For starters, the soundstage of headphones doesnt come close to even sniffing distance of what a concert sounds like, period.  The HD800s do a better job than any other headphone i know, but it is still a long way off from a pair of well-positioned speakers.    So that's really a lost cause.   

 

While the HD800s are no doubt more accurate than the HD650s, the warmer tone of the HD650s sound closer to the tonal balance of a live performance.      The separation of the HD800s is also better, but if you sit in a typical mid-row seat in a concert hall, how much separation do you hear?    I am used to what a concert sounds like and I'll stand by my statement:  the HD650 actually has a tonal balance that is closer to what a concert sounds like, live.  To me, anyway.  YMMV and there is nothing wrong with that, etc. etc.

 

I agree with you. I finally got a pair of HD650...Violins do not overshadow bass and cellos, which is perfect for Brahams, Beethoven.

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