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HD800 being "picky" with amps myth - Page 4

post #46 of 323

LIke what cjl said our technology isn't perfect, every manufacture will choose which part of the sound they want to sacrifice that best appeals to their target market, so even high end headphone have sound signature. Its like cars even though lambo, ferrari and  GTR all can reach 250+km/h, The comfort, steering will all be different. All of them will be fast but in their different ways. Just like headphones I don't think anyone going from a sennheiser HD555 to ANY of the high end headphones will think that hd555 is over all superior. But each of the high end headphone will have an area where it excels in. In the end its up to the buyer to see which part of the sound is most important to them and what should be sacrificed in order to achieve that.

 

I personally really like HD800's sound stage and i am willing to sacrifice some bass in order to obtain that superior sound stage. I also have a LCD2 when i need some extra bass. ( just get every thing lol.)

post #47 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by dclaz View Post
 

Should such an expensive set of headphones have much of signature? Are they not aiming for flat response so the output as as accurate as possible?

 

Due to a number of factors, even the highest end headphones have far worse frequency response than even a cheap (but competently made) amplifier or DAC. For example, you will have difficulty finding any headphones that do not measure very poorly compared to this sub-$100 sound card DAC I tested here. It is just too hard to achieve anything close to a perfect flat response with an electromechanical transducer and the complex acoustics of the headphone enclosure and outer ear. Additionally, no two people have identical heads and ears. Even seemingly trivial factors like hair or wearing glasses can make a difference that is enough to be detected in a fast switching ABX test.

post #48 of 323

Regarding the "experience" argument, did any of the believers with the high end equipment ever make a comparison between amplifiers that should not sound different for any measurable reason (like high output impedance), under accurately level matched double-blind conditions ? The authority of a few years of experience with expensive gear is pretty weak compared to the millions of years of evolution that developed the psychological biases that make sighted listening tests inherently unreliable.

post #49 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
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.

 

And even the LCD-2 is by far easier to drive than any typical passive loudspeaker. Yet, one can buy decent speaker amplifiers at a reasonable price.

post #50 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 

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

 

Sennheiser might not be able to break physics, but their marketing, combined with the power of audiophile OCD, can successfully convince people that it is possible. Somewhat amusingly, before the HD800 was released, the previous flagship HD6xx headphones were subject to the exact same "very picky with amps" myths, and one was supposed to have to use an expensive high end amplifier to get anywhere near their full potential. Now that there is a much more expensive model available, many people shamelessly run them from relatively cheap sources and actually enjoy the sound. The headphones are still the same, so what changed ?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

I'm sure that's true much of the time. I'm also pretty certain that our measurements are currently inadequate.

Objectivism will probably be true one day in the very distant future but we have to live now, so either we use some trial and error and discernment to get the best sound or we've handicapped ourselves.

 

If you can explain what is inadequate about measurements, maybe they could be expanded and improved. Until then, we have the possibility of objectivism being inadequate against the proven certainty of non-level matched sighted listening being able to produce imaginary differences.

post #51 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

If you can explain what is inadequate about measurements, maybe they could be expanded and improved. Until then, we have the possibility of objectivism being inadequate against the proven certainty of non-level matched sighted listening being able to produce imaginary differences.

What's inadequate about the measurements is evident in the listening. I'm unwilling to sacrifice enjoying better sound in order to prove that I'm more scientific according to current scientific limitations.
post #52 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

What's inadequate about the measurements is evident in the listening. I'm unwilling to sacrifice enjoying better sound in order to prove that I'm more scientific according to current scientific limitations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post

Actually, one of the central tenets of proper blind comparison in the field of audio is to level-match upstream variables (e.g. DACs, amps) within 0.2dB (typically at 1KHz). This is a pretty discriminating standard.

The bulk of audiophile "experience" out there isn't properly level-matched. The resulting error from matching upstream electronics by ear will be audible by ear.
I think our listening is actually more inadequate. We don't listen comparatively with sufficient controls.

Technically, we can measure everything we hear. There's some difficulty in translating some of these measurements (especially non-linear ones) to what we hear. Correlating a description from the modern audiophile lexicon to a certain measurement is still imperfect, especially since a sound descriptor (e.g. muddy bass) can be the factor of multiple measurements.

In other words, we can measure anything but it's feasible we're not measuring the right things for what we want to describe.
Edited by 3X0 - 6/25/14 at 5:49am
post #53 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post
 

 

And even the LCD-2 is by far easier to drive than any typical passive loudspeaker. Yet, one can buy decent speaker amplifiers at a reasonable price.

Absolutely, though headphone amps do have their own set of challenges - speaker amps don't have anything remotely close to the low noise floor requirements of even a basic headphone amp, since noise that would be blatant and very objectionable when heard through sensitive headphones would probably be inaudible with basically every pair of speakers on the market. As you said though, the power, current, and low output impedance requirements of speaker amps absolutely blow away the requirements for any headphone amp, and you can buy ones that measure very nicely for a few hundred dollars.

post #54 of 323

for some the best sound is the sound they like.

for others the best sound is the sound they know to be closest to the original.

the first will usually convince himself that what he likes is actually the right sound, by calling it "neutral, real, natural" with no actual measurement to actually back up those convenient reassuring words. the second one will usually convince himself that the right sound is actually enjoyable, and if clean neutral sound wasn't his actual taste, he'll insist trying to get used to it, "there is a learning process, same as jazz". also nicely reassuring. 

and it doesn't matters if any of it is actually true. you just have to believe it to experience the pleasure and satisfaction of it. it's very human and as long as the quest is pleasure(and not truth) all is good.

if it's about driving a hd800, the requirements should be very well known and if people need more, then it is probably because they prefer some EQ+distortion instead of how the hd800 really sounds on a clean amp. but we can decide to believe that the EQ part is actually better driving capability if it makes us happier.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

If you can explain what is inadequate about measurements, maybe they could be expanded and improved. Until then, we have the possibility of objectivism being inadequate against the proven certainty of non-level matched sighted listening being able to produce imaginary differences.

What's inadequate about the measurements is evident in the listening. I'm unwilling to sacrifice enjoying better sound in order to prove that I'm more scientific according to current scientific limitations.

 

I keep finding those "science isn't enough to measure sound" highly offensive. I know there is no rational reason to be so, I'm not even a scientist myself. I should just have a good laugh, reminding myself that ignorance is bliss. but still it always pushes my button to see a fellow human blame science for what he himself doesn't know.

you see 3power readings for 3 different loads on the specs, does that mean that science can't measure other loads with that amp?

you get the impedance at 1khz on standard measurement, does it mean that science can't read other values?

2 headphones have similar FR but don't sound the same, science failed? or you just misunderstand the extent of what a FR graph is measuring?

I could go on all day. but in a nutshell, there is what people care to measure, and what they could measure. please don't mistake one for the other it makes you look foolish but more important, it is bad for my blood pressure.

 

now back to sound:

  in 100% of our stereo systems, sound in its entirety is at one point composed by 2 voltage values going up and down. that's how it is recorded, that's how it is converted back on our headphones. that signal is at time T+1 going up by a value, or down by a value. there is nothing more to sound on your sound system. NOTHING! every single thing that you hear is decided by this +distortions and other errors from the headphone. now do you really mean to say that 2014 science cannot measure or observe a voltage value with accuracy on the output of an amp? because at one point, that's what I understand from your post.

post #55 of 323
I clearly think there's more to the story and much that we do not yet understand.
post #56 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post
 

(treble emphasis with slightly recessed upper midrange - this also makes modern heavily compressed, clipped, and treble boosted recordings sound even worse)

 

I've noticed this more and more. I think a lot of it has to do to the fact that producers are starting to push more high end to help bring more high end to popular headphones like Beats and the like. I especially notice this in techno and rap styles where bass and patterns are the main focus. What may sound perfectly balanced with pop and rock will sound incredibly shrill and harsh with something like Skrillex on the high end. 

 

Could just be me but I've noticed more and more as well.

post #57 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by OkawaiiO View Post

 

I personally really like HD800's sound stage and i am willing to sacrifice some bass in order to obtain that superior sound stage. I also have a LCD2 when i need some extra bass. ( just get every thing lol.)

 

What would be so offensively horrible about using a digital EQ to hit the frequency you're feeling the HD800's are missing? Not trying to troll just wondering. I personally am in love with my Koss KSC75's with my Samsung S4 with Viper4Android's audio suite. It allows me to add an EQ and some more bass impact/punch. It turns a $15 pair of headphones into something that could rival something 20x as much. Sure they aren't as detailed as others an get and the sound stage is relatively small but I'm able to squeeze so much out of them by doing so. 

 

Maybe it's just a stigmatism that if you're paying out of your butt for headphones/amps/sources you shouldn't ever lower yourself to having to touch a frequency knob. I know I personally think that should be the case but since no two records are the same and no recording engineers are the same...

 

I am going to be ordering a pair of HD800's and a Schiit Lyr/Bifrost in the next few weeks and I can tell you that I will definitely be playing with some EQ to get the most out of them.

post #58 of 323

Here's a good read if it hasn't been posted already: http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/diy-modification-sennheiser-hd-800-anaxilus-mod

 

I felt (ha!) that doing the mod removed most, if not all the perceived issues people have with them.

post #59 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazic View PostWhat would be so offensively horrible about using a digital EQ to hit the frequency you're feeling the HD800's are missing?

Nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View PostHere's a good read if it hasn't been posted already: http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/diy-modification-sennheiser-hd-800-anaxilus-mod

Also valid. I went with the EQ route as I am not confident in my ability to reproduce those results; the consistency of a DIY modification of this nature seems a bit suspect.

 

In my case PEQ only "corrects" perceived frequency response (or more broadly, performance in linear terms), whereas the modification alters other factors such as housing resonances and decay performance.

post #60 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post

Nothing.
Also valid. I went with the EQ route as I am not confident in my ability to reproduce those results; the consistency of a DIY modification of this nature seems a bit suspect.

In my case PEQ only "corrects" perceived frequency response (or more broadly, performance in linear terms), whereas the modification alters other factors such as housing resonances and decay performance.

I'm not against the easier mods. With my Grado sr60s I found the L Bowl reverse was the best sound and comfort by far. Brought out a lot of bass that I was missing.

As for the EQ I usually adjust very slowly and build it over a few weeks. Since my ears tend to reset after a few hours and are "tuned" after a few mins to a pair of cans I usually don't mess with it much after the first 5 mins unless I have another phone to "cleanse my pallet" with per se. In almost all cases I end up just barely boosting the 16khz and the 30-200hz range for a light smirk. Ended up preferring that with almost every pair I own.

On a side note, how does the HD800s perform with each of the Schiit amps? I'm seriously considering a Lyr but can't get much help in how they differ. Tried emailing them but I get short and simple answers.
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