Audiophile newbie needs your help
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jacksontran41

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Hi guys,

I am currently using my Sennheiser HD800 with the Sony PHA-3 through single-ended connection (unbalanced). As much as I am happy with my current sound, I know the HD800 has not reach its full potential yet. Therefore I am planning to get a new Amp/DAC and currently looking at either Sennheiser HDV 820 or Sony TA-ZH1ES. If any fellow audiophile brothers have had any experiences with either one of them, or knowing which one should I get, I am very appreciated. My audiophile knowledge is limited so that's why I decide to go with reliable brand like Sony and Sennheiser, but if there are any other brands that suit well with the HD800, I am willing to give it a try too. Thank you and have a good one!
Cheers!
 
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Redcarmoose

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There was a Sennheiser HDV820 owner who was talking about his amp in the Z1R thread about a week ago. He also owned the HD800 or HD800s......but I remember him liking the Sony TA-ZH1ES much more. He simply thought the TA amp was warmer and a better combo with the HD800 headphone. Though remember some folks like a more analytical sound and don’t want any warmth/color. So it’s a subjective thing. I have the TA amp and absolutely love it on so many levels.

The TA amp is maybe not as popular as it could be as many want a separate DAC and amplifier. The TA is not as powerful as my Woo 5LE but it’s maybe simply as powerful as the Asgard One I have.

Because the Sony ZR1 and Sony Z7 are both easy to drive, the TA is a very special amp with them, and takes them to their prime sound. The TA can also be used just as an amp with analog inputs. It has line out and volume controlled out, plus a remote. The build quality is amazing getting a super quality experience every time you work with the DAC/amp. The DSD remastering engine takes the analog from the DAC and reconverts it back to digital in a DSD envelope before going to the final analog stage. It’s a sound much like upsampling to my ears, probibly more harmonically complex. It adds a little warmth and air to the digital signal. With the Z1R and Z7 the TA gets way louder than you could ever use. I primarily use it in low output mode with those two headphones.

It’s also a great amp for IEMs due to being dead silent. It has 4 pin balanced out, 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced out also 3.5mm / 3.5mm balanced mini-plug out, 1/4 inch single ended and 3.5mm single ended.

Edit:
Well, I went back to the Z1R thread and could not find the comparison post. Also checked the Z1R for classical music thread, where it could have been when I read the entire thread. So take what I say with a grain of salt. You could post the question in the TA amp thread here. Also I know of one other member which owned the Sennheiser HD800 and TA amp at the same time. I’ll post his user name at the bottom.

PM him....
https://www.head-fi.org/members/whitigir.378966/

I actually sent him a PM. I tried the HD800 with my Woo 5LE, but I’m simply not a big fan of the HD800. I also have heard the HD800 from a couple other TOTL systems, but I think the signature is just slighly too cold for me. Though it’s a completely great headphone for some, offering some of the best detail and imaging obtainable. I can hear why people love it.

Edit: X2

He said ....

“They are great, the TA and the wm1Z are both an excellent synergies for 800/s with their analog and lush signature”
 
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jacksontran41

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There was a Sennheiser HDV820 owner who was talking about his amp in the Z1R thread about a week ago. He also owned the HD800 or HD800s......but I remember him liking the Sony TA-ZH1ES much more. He simply thought the TA amp was warmer and a better combo with the HD800 headphone. Though remember some folks like a more analytical sound and don’t want any warmth/color. So it’s a subjective thing. I have the TA amp and absolutely love it on so many levels.

The TA amp is maybe not as popular as it could be as many want a separate DAC and amplifier. The TA is not as powerful as my Woo 5LE but it’s maybe simply as powerful as the Asgard One I have.

Because the Sony ZR1 and Sony Z7 are both easy to drive, the TA is a very special amp with them, and takes them to there prime sound. The TA can also be used just as an amp with analog inputs. It has line out and volume controlled out, plus a remote. The build quality is amazing getting a super quality experience every time you work with the DAC/amp. The DSD remastering engine takes the analog from the DAC and reconverts it back to digital in a DSD envelope before going to the final analog stage. It’s a sound much like upsampling to my ears, probibly more harmonically complex. It adds a little warmth and air to the digital signal. With the Z1R and Z7 the TA gets way louder than you could ever use. I primarily use it in low output mode with those two headphones.

It’s also a great amp for IEMs due to being dead silent. It has 4 pin balanced out, 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced out also 3.5mm / 3.5mm balanced mini-plug out, 1/4 inch single ended and 3.5mm single ended.

Edit:
Well, I went back to the Z1R thread and could not find the comparison post. Also checked the Z1R for classical music thread, where it could have been when I read the entire thread. So take what I say with a grain of salt. You could post the question in the TA amp thread here. Also I know of one other member which owned the Sennheiser HD800 and TA amp at the same time. I’ll post his user name at the bottom.

PM him....
https://www.head-fi.org/members/whitigir.378966/

I actually sent him a PM. I tried the HD800 with my Woo 5LE, but I’m simply not a big fan of the HD800. I also have heard the HD800 from a couple other TOTL systems, but I think the signature is just slighly too cold for me. Though it’s a completely great headphone for some, offering some of the best detail and imaging obtainable. I can hear why people love it.

Edit: X2

He said ....

“They are great, the TA and the wm1Z are both an excellent synergies for 800/s with their analog and lush signature”
Thank you for a very detailed reply bro! I am very grateful for it. I think I’ll go with the Sony since there are many positive review for it. If I may ask what set up are u currently using with the Z1R? I actually also want to purchase the Z1R but perhaps after investing in a qualitiy amp first.
 
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Thank you for a very detailed reply bro! I am very grateful for it. I think I’ll go with the Sony since there are many positive review for it. If I may ask what set up are u currently using with the Z1R? I actually also want to purchase the Z1R but perhaps after investing in a qualitiy amp first.
The cradle gets really good source to the TA, better than my CD transport; and just slightly better than USB from computer. You could use a 1A instead of a 1Z as both DAPs used as file players sound the same from the cradle. In November I’ll be getting the AudioQuest Carbon USB cable which takes it all to a slightly different level.

But normally the Z1R is sitting where the Z7 is in the above picture. A big improvement is the (MUC-B20SB1) Kimber cable too, which changes the tone of the Z1R; adding some midrange detail, treble detail and cleaning up the lower midrange and bass. The Kimber simply adds clarity.

Keep in mind that the Z1R and HD800 are on opposite ends of the spectrum as far as tone goes. In some ways that makes them complementary and many do own both. Still getting used to the Z1R is going to be a big transition from the HD800.


https://www.head-fi.org/members/whitigir.378966/
Whitigir has had both the Z1R and HD800 at the same time with the TA amp. He is also the one who talked me into getting the Carbon USB cable for the Sony dock.


But it’s funny the TA amp isn’t more popular here. I’ve never seen a piece of equipment so well layed out and designed. It’s super easy to use and has an amazing attention to detail both in construction and sonicly. One of the nicest purchases I have ever made. It can be bettered but it takes a heap of cash to do it.
 
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Hi guys,

I am currently using my Sennheiser HD800 with the Sony PHA-3 through single-ended connection (unbalanced). As much as I am happy with my current sound, I know the HD800 has not reach its full potential yet. Therefore I am planning to get a new Amp/DAC and currently looking at either Sennheiser HDV 820 or Sony TA-ZH1ES. If any fellow audiophile brothers have had any experiences with either one of them, or knowing which one should I get, I am very appreciated. My audiophile knowledge is limited so that's why I decide to go with reliable brand like Sony and Sennheiser, but if there are any other brands that suit well with the HD800, I am willing to give it a try too. Thank you and have a good one!
Cheers!
Audio-GD
http://www.audio-gd.com/Products-EN.htm
 
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Hello everybody!

I am a newbie in this thread, and I need your help with choosing a headphone and an amp to buy. I am thinking of buying a Hifiman Edition X v2 with Woo Audio WA8, or Sennheiser HD800s with Oppo HA 1. I've listened to both pairings, but I still can't decide which one to pull the trigger on, because both of these pairings come down to a similar price, according to my research. I like my sound to be open, with a fair bit of soundstage and clear imaging, a bit on the analytical side, also a bit on the brighter side, without losing a punchy bass. I feel like the Hifiman pairing sounds great, but WA8 with 3 tubes on makes the sound a bit jumbled up, the bass just gets mixed in with low trebles, but damn they sound good.

I know this was a long message with a lot of run on sentences, but I'm desperate for some help. Thank you everyone.
 
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buke9

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I’m not a big fan of the Sony or Sennheiser amps . For the 800’s would more like a warmer amp or tubes . Airist Audio Heron 5 is a very nice solid state and Linear Tube Audio Microzotl 2 is a good Tube amp that does well with planars also. I really like my Amps and Sound Kenzie also and it also for a Tube amp does well with planars.
 
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seems like I'm quite at the opposite end this time:

among all the amps I have and the ones I've tried I still like the Sennheiser amps best with the HD800(s) (with Gumby as DAC).
Seems like I'm a minority here ... or maybe a lot if it is just marketing and repeating the lines of all those alternative amp producers on here ...

Never liked the HD800 with tubes ... if you have a headphone like the HD800 why making it more distorted and sounding warmer and less clear by using tubes?
Better buy an Audeze as a second headphone and have some of the best of both worlds :)
 
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jacksontran41

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The cradle gets really good source to the TA, better than my CD transport; and just slightly better than USB from computer. You could use a 1A instead of a 1Z as both DAPs used as file players sound the same from the cradle. In November I’ll be getting the AudioQuest Carbon USB cable which takes it all to a slightly different level.

But normally the Z1R is sitting where the Z7 is in the above picture. A big improvement is the (MUC-B20SB1) Kimber cable too, which changes the tone of the Z1R; adding some midrange detail, treble detail and cleaning up the lower midrange and bass. The Kimber simply adds clarity.

Keep in mind that the Z1R and HD800 are on opposite ends of the spectrum as far as tone goes. In some ways that makes them complementary and many do own both. Still getting used to the Z1R is going to be a big transition from the HD800.


https://www.head-fi.org/members/whitigir.378966/
Whitigir has had both the Z1R and HD800 at the same time with the TA amp. He is also the one who talked me into getting the Carbon USB cable for the Sony dock.


But it’s funny the TA amp isn’t more popular here. I’ve never seen a piece of equipment so well layed out and designed. It’s super easy to use and has an amazing attention to detail both in construction and sonicly. One of the nicest purchases I have ever made. It can be bettered but it takes a heap of cash to do it.
D505571A-61B8-401F-89F2-4316FC00F341.jpeg

Hey what’s good my man :) I’ve finally made the purchase and very satisfied with the TA. Again, gotta pay my gratitude to one who gave me great recommendation. Thank you!

P.S: Have u got yourself the Audioquest USB B cable you mentioned before? How good is it and do you think it could improve the sound quality (or just another waste of money that us audiophiles like to spend money on?
 
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Redcarmoose

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Hold tight...........looks like it will be towards the end of the month till the Carbon USB arrives. It’s going to need to be a drastic improvement (at $170) for me to recommend it; so hopefully it works. Just hooked up a silly long HP USB cable last night. The long cable sounds the same as the short one I use. Just wanted to see if it was possible to get a computer super far away from the TA for ergonomic uses.

Glad you like the TA. I like it more all the time. Spent all last night using the dock and 1Z along with the Sony Z5 IEM. The TA beats the 1Z as far as imaging and bass texture. It’s so quiet it ends up being a special IEM amp as well.



I could start rambling about the TA but I will refrain. Lol.


If you feel like it write a little about your experience, as it may help others on the fence. Much of the time people become confused as to which products to get as there is so much information and opinions out there. After someone has made an investment they will defend it at times. I now seem to think tone is one of the biggest and most personal factors. At the end of the day it’s the tone that allows people to feel good about their purchase. Interestingly it seems many on Head-Fi look for a separate DAC and amp, so the TA does not fit the bill. Also there are more powerful amps. But for someone already indoctrinated into the Sony sound..........and owning other Sony gear; the purchase can be magical.
 
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