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HD800 being "picky" with amps myth - Page 9

post #121 of 243
Well, here is post regarding a reason why my amp is not up to snuff.  I was told the output impedance is too low, and needs more. But, what's intersting is the users in the thread love the GSX MK2 with less than 1 output impedance.  :confused_face(1):  So much contradictions.  Actually never said bass was low with my amp.  I think these posts answers the thread topic clearly.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeptic View Post

My guess is that your issue is amp based silverears. There have been a lot of comments over the years suggesting that many folks simply don't love the pairing of hd800s and b22 for whatever reason. Frankly, low impedance SS amps in general are probably less than ideal from the standpoint of (arguably) overdamped bass.

Sennheiser certainly knows how to make a ~0 ohm out SS amp (nwavguy showed just how cheap and easy this is to accomplish), yet they selected 40 ohms for their own amp, and assuming it is a push pull on the balanced jack, that will double when you run it off the xlr. My strong suspicion about why so many advocate balanced is that they like a little extra in the bottom end even though, all things considered, balanced hp amps spec out worse at twice the cost (susy designs being the exception).

Same principles apply to tube amp recommendations (and vintage stereo amps). The better, high end, more dynamic tube amps from EC, ecp, bottlehead etc. still tend to have middling output impedance specs that bump the bass a tad - particularly given the huge impedance spike at 100hrz on the hd800s curve.

Purrin has a fascinating thread on this on one of those other sites we're not permitted to link directly. Bottom line, many of the folks who feel the hd800s are overly lean, sharp, bass light yada yada are probably running low impedance SS amps.

Mine sound just okay from my agdr boosted o2, good from my modded crack, and awesome from my mainline. On the flip side of the coin, my old woo otl was too tubey, lacking in dynamics and slow sounding for me to enjoy with hd800s.
 

Edited by SilverEars - 7/6/14 at 7:04pm
post #122 of 243

Could be worst, they could be trying to shove a bottleneck crack down your throat. Bottle neck this and that.

post #123 of 243

Well, if that's really something that would make a difference to the sound, it's cheap and easy enough to experiment with it. Just buy a 40 ohm resistor and wire up an impedance adapter. It's cheap...

 

http://www.amazon.com/Ohm-20W-Resistor-Wire-Wound/dp/B0002KR4FW#

 

(Of course, I'm sure the people claiming that as the problem would jump all over this as being a poor choice, since the resistor isn't a $600 part with an exotic or unusual geometry).


Edited by cjl - 7/7/14 at 10:37am
post #124 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunshineReggae View Post


Right, the warm and analog sound only really great expensive dacs carry. What a nonsense.

Ok fine. Have fun pairing the HD 800's with no DAC or quality DAC for that matter and just go straight to either EQ'ing or whatever amp you purchase. If pure digital sound is your bag that's cool, but don't say that a quality DAC can't have a impact for overall warmth, soundstage or clarity with a detailed headphone like the 800's is actually 'Nonesense' on your part. I'm trying to help others here and share my research with enthusiasm and not be some elitist jerk. I am sharing what I've found in my experience. It's not none sense but I know it's not to everyone's fancy for listening tastes.
post #125 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post

One thing I can say the difference between the HD800 and HE-6 thread is that I sense more dedication in the 800 thread.  Also, I did not run into those that would provide comparisons like I see HE-6 thread does often times(not sure if they have been scared away), so lack of this information wasn't helping.  HE-6 thread didn't seem very steared toward one gear, but there was more of this is what I hear with this, and this sounds different.  I don't know why I don't run into HE-6 or SR009 guys on the HD800 threads?  

The advice commonly thrown at me from those that only owns HD800(those were the ones mostly commenting) was there is something wrong with my DAC, Amp, and need to mod it to get rid of the brightness.  One advice that seem to try to hard to sound technical was the recommendation of the Sennheiser amp has 40ohm output impedance so every one of my amp should also when I listen to HD800.  I asked for reasons to back this up, but they could not explain. After that credibility of the thread went to 0. I have common sense to certain degree to weed out what I should not digest.  My buddy at a meet told me that the Sennheiser amp setup was bright. I would agree there.

One thing is obvious in the end, HD800 is bright.  redface.gif  

Ok. So you are obviously on the defensive about your amp and DAC, so what do you have? Please tell me you at least have an OPAMP for those magnificent cans. wink.gif

Also. To comment on your last quote of my quote. It's not BS. A dedicated headphone amp and a DAC can dramatically improve the 800's performance. Also analyzing a frequency graph and eq'ing the lows mids and highs will only get you into trouble and most likely you can end with some distortion or improper field of dynamics with the 800's.
but then again. EQ'ing is all a matter if taste soundwise for people to manipulate the lows mids and highs and find a treble and Bass output one can be happy with. Thus, with all I've done I have found that buying dedicated equipment like amps and DACs makes for the strongest and most resolute pairing for those HD 800's. they are very very detailed and to be honest it's very difficult to EQ them without sacrificing any of the pristine dynamics they offer. This is just what I've found. No BS. smily_headphones1.gif

So let me know what amp or DAC you have? If you don't have either maybe I can help if you are interested. Take care.
post #126 of 243

^You do know this is sound science, right? I mean, impressions and thoughts are fine, but they are only that. We try to be remotely scientific here (I think :D).

 

For example, distortion when EQ'ing? You should back that claim up. 

post #127 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

^You do know this is sound science, right? I mean, impressions and thoughts are fine, but they are only that. We try to be remotely scientific here (I think biggrin.gif ).

For example, distortion when EQ'ing? You should back that claim up. 

You are right. Sorry. This isn't an impressions thread, but I thought sharing my thoughts with the Burson soloist and HD 800 pairing really doesn't seem picky at all. Just my finding. All the characteristics that the 800's have are amplified very proper with the Burson. The sound is so flat (balanced) it blows my mind. Couldn't be happier.
Also Eq'ing. Yeah it's a tricky game I find with the Sens. I use the app by elephant candy for my EQ interests and I've found tinkering with the lows, mids and highs can heighten certain qualities of the overall soundstage, but take away from something else because of enhancing a particular sound field weather it be the lows or highs. I have only found this a tricky game with the HD 800's because they are already built to such a perfect capacity, so therefore when I tinker with the EQ graphs I get an imbalance of sound. If I try and go more on the bass side, my mid range gets compromised no matter how much I try and clean it up. If I try to heighten the highs it sounds too crispy. I guess I need to work at it a bit. And maybe to distortion is a poor choice of a word on my part. I believe imbalance is the word I'm looking for.

smily_headphones1.gif
post #128 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post

Well, if that's really something that would make a difference to the sound, it's cheap and easy enough to experiment with it. Just buy a 40 ohm resistor and wire up an impedance adapter. It's cheap...

(Of course, I'm sure the people claiming that as the problem would jump all over this as being a poor choice, since the resistor isn't a $600 part with an exotic or unusual geometry).

HD800's impedance isn't isn't linear, so that would probably sound wonky.
post #129 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

^You do know this is sound science, right? I mean, impressions and thoughts are fine, but they are only that. We try to be remotely scientific here (I think :D).

 

For example, distortion when EQ'ing? You should back that claim up. 

 

Not all EQ's are created equal, whether hardware or software implemented. Some can cause phase errors which is considered distortion.

post #130 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post


HD800's impedance isn't isn't linear, so that would probably sound wonky.

It would sound exactly the same as an amplifier with a 40 ohm output impedance. Amp output impedance is usually pretty much resistive in behavior, at least at audio frequencies.

 

(My guess is that aside from the volume difference, it wouldn't actually be that audible. The HD800 is fairly high impedance, so an extra 40 ohms won't make that much difference)

post #131 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post

It would sound exactly the same as an amplifier with a 40 ohm output impedance. Amp output impedance is usually pretty much resistive in behavior, at least at audio frequencies.

(My guess is that aside from the volume difference, it wouldn't actually be that audible. The HD800 is fairly high impedance, so an extra 40 ohms won't make that much difference)

It depends on the impedance curve. It works more cleanly when the impedance curve is flat (e.g., planars, dynamic IEMs) and not so cleanly when the curve varies (e.g., dynamic headphones, BA IEMs). I've tried it with many pairs using an Etymotics 75 ohm resistor.
post #132 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post

It would sound exactly the same as an amplifier with a 40 ohm output impedance. Amp output impedance is usually pretty much resistive in behavior, at least at audio frequencies.

(My guess is that aside from the volume difference, it wouldn't actually be that audible. The HD800 is fairly high impedance, so an extra 40 ohms won't make that much difference)

It depends on the impedance curve. It works more cleanly when the impedance curve is flat (e.g., planars, dynamic IEMs) and not so cleanly when the curve varies (e.g., dynamic headphones, BA IEMs). I've tried it with many pairs using an Etymotics 75 ohm resistor.

Yet, the difference would be very small with a 40 ohm resistor. Don't want to do the calculations right now, but it must be less than 1 dB. Not sure how it affects electrical damping, though. 

 

Does anyone have a source or something on the importance of electrical damping or perhaps an in depth explanation. I can't get a grip on how important it actually is, though it does ofc depend on the individual headphone and amplifier design.

post #133 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

Yet, the difference would be very small with a 40 ohm resistor. Don't want to do the calculations right now, but it must be less than 1 dB. Not sure how it affects electrical damping, though. 

 

Does anyone have a source or something on the importance of electrical damping or perhaps an in depth explanation. I can't get a grip on how important it actually is, though it does ofc depend on the individual headphone and amplifier design.

 

 

headphone impedance / amp impedance = damping factor.  there's still "controversy" on what the right damping factor is, but higher is better in general and suffice to say anything around 20 is widely agreed on as good enough in any situation.  also in general, underdamped means less controlled bass (emphasized, but bloomy/boomy).  there are transducers that are very highly acoustically damped in their design; these may sound better (to some) with an underdamped amp as the transducer will provide much of the bass control.  This is likely where the whole synergy thing came about...but it normally applies more to speakers with horn loaded drivers or heavy mass damping physically applied

 

here's a word from he-who-will-not-be-named:

 

Quote:
There are a few headphones supposedly designed for significantly higher output impedances. I do wonder if this might be more myth than reality these days in terms of audiophile and consumer headphones as I’m not aware for any specific examples. But it’s certainly possible. If so, using these headphones on a low impedance source might cause under-damped bass performance and a different frequency response than the manufacture intended. This might explain some of the “synergy” claims when certain headphones are mated with a certain source. But those “synergies” are entirely subjective—one man’s “bright and detailed” is another man’s “harsh”. The only way to get consistent performance is to use a low impedance source and follow the 1/8th Rule.

 

a high damping factor is the correct way of doing it in all cases, it's inarguable from a science perspective.  however, a lower damping factor may offer a personal synergy that sounds really nice, like tube rolling and such.


Edited by ferday - 7/7/14 at 5:59pm
post #134 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by nephilim32 View Post


You are right. Sorry. This isn't an impressions thread, but I thought sharing my thoughts with the Burson soloist and HD 800 pairing really doesn't seem picky at all. Just my finding. All the characteristics that the 800's have are amplified very proper with the Burson. The sound is so flat (balanced) it blows my mind. Couldn't be happier.
Also Eq'ing. Yeah it's a tricky game I find with the Sens. I use the app by elephant candy for my EQ interests and I've found tinkering with the lows, mids and highs can heighten certain qualities of the overall soundstage, but take away from something else because of enhancing a particular sound field weather it be the lows or highs. I have only found this a tricky game with the HD 800's because they are already built to such a perfect capacity, so therefore when I tinker with the EQ graphs I get an imbalance of sound. If I try and go more on the bass side, my mid range gets compromised no matter how much I try and clean it up. If I try to heighten the highs it sounds too crispy. I guess I need to work at it a bit. And maybe to distortion is a poor choice of a word on my part. I believe imbalance is the word I'm looking for.

smily_headphones1.gif

 

I agree.  The "nonuberbuck" Soloist actually sounds great with the HD-800 (not half bad with the TH-900 also)

 

Dare I say that IMO even the HA-160D is a nice match as an all in one solution. 


Edited by Mortalcoil - 7/7/14 at 6:12pm
post #135 of 243

best thing I could get as a layman person was from nwavguy, I don't think I've read clearer explanations. but there is probably more in depth stuff out there(too complicated for me).

I remember reading something basically saying that the damping factor had to be real bad on headphones with flat impedance response graph(so ruling out the FR changes with the source's impedance) to even be audible. when it was it was mostly in the bass getting "bloated". the rest was mainly about amp efficiency as not to waste too much for no reason. (if I find it back I'll send the link to you).

all in all the 1/8 or less for damping ratio did make sens and for all joined reasons, was a good rule to follow.

I'm guessing that orthos having some heavy stuff to move, they would need a better damping factor. but from what I get the hd800 driver is pretty light.

 

here 40ohm wouldn't do a lot as the lowest impedance of the hd800 seems to be around 330/340ohm on Tyll's graph. so we would still have a good damping ratio even for the lowest value. and given what the hd800 needs as voltage and current, I don't think that going to 40ohm would matter. most amps have more than enough to be ok with under 1ohm.

there will be a slight FR change. I doubt it could reach 0.5db with those values but I didn't actually try to find out, I'm just used to some values for other headphones and IEMs and have some resistors at home that I "counter EQ" to see how much they changes sound. give me your hd800 and I'll try :wink_face:

but if it's audible, it would probably feel like going in the right direction as it would lower the overly bright mids(but also some sub bass).

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