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HD800 being "picky" with amps myth - Page 2

post #16 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by PleasantSounds View Post
 

I have 3 headphone amps and the HD800 sounds different with each of them. The differences are not as trivial as the quantity of bass or highs - it goes down to finer details like control of decay, speed, resolution.  

I dont' think anyone said amp didn't make a difference in sound, yes there are differences and you probably can tell them apart with relative ease but, amp differences are no where as large as headphones. Amps are one of those things that if a person who didn't know anything about Audio were to test the difference, they would need a prolonged time to be able to tell them apart. 

 

the fact that people have to take the Amps home and listen to them for a feel days to accurately determine the characteristics of each amp already says plenty about how small the differences are. Yes once you hear the difference you feel like its quite big, but lets say if you hand the headphones to your wife or mom would they be able to tell the difference between majority of amps? probably not. 

post #17 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by OkawaiiO View Post

I dont' think anyone said amp didn't make a difference in sound, yes there are differences and you probably can tell them apart with relative ease but, amp differences are no where as large as headphones. Amps are one of those things that if a person who didn't know anything about Audio were to test the difference, they would need a prolonged time to be able to tell them apart. 

the fact that people have to take the Amps home and listen to them for a feel days to accurately determine the characteristics of each amp already says plenty about how small the differences are. Yes once you hear the difference you feel like its quite big, but lets say if you hand the headphones to your wife or mom would they be able to tell the difference between majority of amps? probably not. 

That's a very low standard. And they probably couldn't tell the headphones apart either.
post #18 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post


That's a very low standard. And they probably couldn't tell the headphones apart either.

Most people can tell the difference between headphones, I can't say so for amps.

post #19 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by OkawaiiO View Post

Most people can tell the difference between headphones, I can't say so for amps.

Some can, but it's a very low standard.

A considerable amount of the "myth busting" in this forum is inexperience and low standards.
post #20 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post


Some can, but it's a very low standard.

A considerable amount of the "myth busting" in this forum is inexperience and low standards.


Actually quite the reverse.  Standards are too tough for the majority of the "audiophiles" to manage.  Quite a few regulars here have been plenty of good experience.

 

Of course if you can substantiate myths you are free to do so at any time.

post #21 of 323

Wow - this thread is 2 pages long already, and there's basically no science in it. The fact is, if an amp has:

 

1) inaudibly low noise

2) inaudibly low distortion at the required power and current level

3) output impedance <1/10 of headphone impedance at all frequencies

4) sufficient voltage swing to drive the headphones to an acceptable level

5) inaudibly low channel imbalance

6) a flat frequency response

7) Little or no overshoot or ringing regardless of load

8) Decent phase response

 

the amp will sound just like every other amp that meets these criteria.

 

It isn't terribly hard to meet these criteria with modern electronics either, and any competently designed amp should succeed at this. As such, any competently designed amp with sufficient power and voltage swing (and this just means enough to get the headphones fairly loud) will drive the HD800 perfectly. Note that it only takes ~160mW at 8Vrms to get to 120dB with the HD800, so the limiting factor for nearly any amp out there is going to be voltage swing, not current capability (and even the amount of voltage required to get them ridiculously loud is well within the capability of most reasonable amps). The HD800 is actually a fairly easy load, from the amp's perspective - high impedance, low current, and not hugely insensitive. Something like an LCD2 is much more challenging to the amp than the HD800 ever could be.

post #22 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post
 

 

Can you relate these subjective descriptions to the physical mechanisms at play? how to control of decay, speed, and resolution relate to the differences in the signal driving the headphones? Usually the signal is quantified in terms of frequency response, distortion, and signal-to-noise, etc.

 

Can you tell us a little about your headphone amps that produce these differences? It would be helpful for us to understand what is happening that results in audible differences. What is their rated power, THD+n, output impedance, etc.?

 

Cheers

 

Decay, I believe is related to the amp's output impedance. The differences are most pronounced in the low frequencies, but perhaps it's just proportional to the wave length and therefore harder to detect in highs. I'm speculating here, but possible that the output impedance can vary with frequency. I have never seen any data to that effect though.

 

Speed (as I understand it) is the ability to reproduce loud sounds immediately after quiet ones. Some manufacturers quote the slew rate which is the way to quantify it, but it's most often seen on the professional grade equipment. 

 

Resolution is mostly related to matching characteristics of both channels. The better they match, the more precise is the stereo image and ability to locate individual instruments. There's probably several things at play: frequency response, phase response, output impedance, perhaps also THD. I guess it all boils down to matching the components and production tolerances.

 

The headphone amps I use regularly with the HD800 are:

Lynx Hilo

Woo Audio WA7

Denon AVR-2312

In all cases Hilo is used as source.

 

Cheers

post #23 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post

the amp will sound just like every other amp that meets these criteria.

It isn't terribly hard to meet these criteria with modern electronics either, and any competently designed amp should succeed at this. As such, any competently designed amp with sufficient power and voltage swing (and this just means enough to get the headphones fairly loud) will drive the HD800 perfectly.

Have you tried HD800 with different amps?
post #24 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post


Have you tried HD800 with different amps?


He doesn't have to.  If the amps meet his criteria, they will be the same.  If they aren't the same, there is a reason (most likely one of the criteria aren't met).

post #25 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post


He doesn't have to.

That's what I meant by "inexperienced."

Maybe inexperience and low standards are mutually reinforcing?
post #26 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post


That's what I meant by "inexperienced."

Maybe inexperience and low standards are mutually reinforcing?

The laws of physics and electrodynamics don't change depending on how many headphones you've heard.

 

(That having been said, you will note that I do have a fairly long list of criteria an amp has to meet to be considered "audibly perfect" - some inexpensive amps meet it, some expensive ones don't, but it definitely isn't just looking for a flat frequency response and hoping the rest is all OK)


Edited by cjl - 6/24/14 at 6:32pm
post #27 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post

The laws of physics and electrodynamics don't change depending on how many headphones you've heard.

(That having been said, you will note that I do have a fairly long list of criteria an amp has to meet to be considered "audibly perfect" - some inexpensive amps meet it, some expensive ones don't, but it definitely isn't just looking for a flat frequency response and hoping the rest is all OK)

I notice you didn't answer my question.
post #28 of 323

Because, as I pointed out, it doesn't matter. Unless you're contending that Sennheiser broke physics?

 

(Of course, if you have any actual evidence, for example a measurement showing different performance with the HD800 and different amps, or a successful abx/dbt, you're welcome to bring it forward now...)


Edited by cjl - 6/24/14 at 6:50pm
post #29 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 

Wow - this thread is 2 pages long already, and there's basically no science in it. The fact is, if an amp has:

 

1) inaudibly low noise

2) inaudibly low distortion at the required power and current level

3) output impedance <1/10 of headphone impedance at all frequencies

4) sufficient voltage swing to drive the headphones to an acceptable level

5) inaudibly low channel imbalance

6) a flat frequency response

7) Little or no overshoot or ringing regardless of load

8) Decent phase response

 

the amp will sound just like every other amp that meets these criteria.

 

It isn't terribly hard to meet these criteria with modern electronics either, and any competently designed amp should succeed at this. As such, any competently designed amp with sufficient power and voltage swing (and this just means enough to get the headphones fairly loud) will drive the HD800 perfectly. Note that it only takes ~160mW at 8Vrms to get to 120dB with the HD800, so the limiting factor for nearly any amp out there is going to be voltage swing, not current capability (and even the amount of voltage required to get them ridiculously loud is well within the capability of most reasonable amps). The HD800 is actually a fairly easy load, from the amp's perspective - high impedance, low current, and not hugely insensitive. Something like an LCD2 is much more challenging to the amp than the HD800 ever could be.

This! Ideally, all amps should be designed with these goals in mind. So why should headphones that are developed with similar goals sound so different? Unless some of them are being designed very poorly. 

post #30 of 323
Thread Starter 

i still believe it was a sheeple thing, one guy said something about the hd800 being picky when it got released and everyone just followed suit. 

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