HD800s
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HiFiHawaii808

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Thanks, yes I intend to keep both these amps for the long haul.

Likely will spend in future on either more tube rolling or adding new headphones, I currently have my eye on ZMF.
Hehe. I just bought a Verite Closed.
 
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Bruc3

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Hehe. I just bought a Verite Closed.
I am jealous, lucky you. The Verite is out of my budget at the moment.

I will likely just get the Aeolus, or maybe the Auteur. But from what I have read, I think I will like the Aeolus better for my current taste.
 
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SennheiserNoob

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If you are a treble head, you might like the HD800S as they are. If you are a bass head, you probably won't like them. If you listen to classical music and/or big band jazz, you are probably going to like them. The HD800S is not really a great all around headphone. It is a specialist. It specializes in large sound stage, detail retrieval and resolution. If you care about those things, the HD800S is hard to beat.

This is a complete contrast to the HD650, for instance. It does not have great imaging or detail retrievel. But, it has a warm sound signature and sounds outstanding with intimate music with vocals. The HD800S is not like that. Don't expect the HD800S to be a straight upgrade to the HD650s. They are an entirely different thing. Glorious when you use them the way they are designed to work.
This was more or less the impression I had gathered as well, yeah. I hesitated somewhat because I'm definitely more of a basshead - at the same time I'm still really curious. I plan to try them out in a store at least, when I get a chance. Seems like an interesting pair even if it's not everyone's cup of tea.
 
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jagwap

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I do not get why people associate warmer sound with fun and musicality. Adding bass in replay equipment at best muddles the timing of the musicians due to imprecise timing, ansd at worst ruins the performance.

The description of HD800 range as being clinical is misleading when it comes to musical reproduction. I find them to be the best I have heard yet for accurately presenting the musicians intent, in timing and dynamics. The lighter bass (than Harman curve) means tighter bass. No overhang, bloat or masking. So it gives you everything, far from clinically. I think I have had the most emotionally rewarding playback on these cans ever.
 
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I could be wrong but to my understanding, the midrange is more recessed, correct? In which case I'd assume some people might find notable sounds/vocals/etc to be harder to hear or sound different from how they are accustomed?
 
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Bruc3

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I could be wrong but to my understanding, the midrange is more recessed, correct?
I won't say they are recessed, but compared to my HD6xx as that has a upper midrange boost and also is a more intimate headphone as a whole, vocals on the HD800S may seem more distant in direct comparisons.

But honestly, day to day use I feel vocals sound really nice even coming from my HD6xx and with the right tracks it can even better the HD6xx on vocals I think as you get the added clarity to the voices.

But if you want the most intimate/forward vocals then HD800S is not for you.
 
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I do not get why people associate warmer sound with fun and musicality. Adding bass in replay equipment at best muddles the timing of the musicians due to imprecise timing, ansd at worst ruins the performance.

The description of HD800 range as being clinical is misleading when it comes to musical reproduction. I find them to be the best I have heard yet for accurately presenting the musicians intent, in timing and dynamics. The lighter bass (than Harman curve) means tighter bass. No overhang, bloat or masking. So it gives you everything, far from clinically. I think I have had the most emotionally rewarding playback on these cans ever.
Because those who want a warm and musical presentation don't necessarily care about the musicians intent for the music. They want a bass and lower mid elevated presentation that sounds great in a club. Head thumping, dance music type sound. The problem is when you have that type of coloration to the sound signature, you make a trade off that doesn't work for certain types of music since tonal balance is altered. You lose sound stage, detail and airiness. I like both for different types of music. So, I always keep headphones or IEMs that are great at one or the other and then do genre specific listening.
 
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I won't say they are recessed, but compared to my HD6xx as that has a upper midrange boost and also is a more intimate headphone as a whole, vocals on the HD800S may seem more distant in direct comparisons.

But honestly, day to day use I feel vocals sound really nice even coming from my HD6xx and with the right tracks it can even better the HD6xx on vocals I think as you get the added clarity to the voices.

But if you want the most intimate/forward vocals then HD800S is not for you.
I love vocals on the HD800S because of the clear presentation and huge sound stage. I also like the intimate sound from the HD650. They are both great. Just different.
 
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I could be wrong but to my understanding, the midrange is more recessed, correct? In which case I'd assume some people might find notable sounds/vocals/etc to be harder to hear or sound different from how they are accustomed?
Not recessed. Balanced or not forward.
 
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Gotcha. Either way, I definitely want to check them out for myself - after reading so much back-and-forth on these things in various online communities, the curiosity is killing me :darthsmile:
 
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One thing that I have not heard anyone mention is the comfort of the HD800S. They have nearly zero clamping force, are relatively lightweight and feel fantastic. My main headphone is the HD800...I own both the modded 800 and the newer S version. The HD800 is the only headphone that I can wear for hours and hours without any fatigue whatsoever. The sound is also sublime, but like others have said, they need to be fed properly with an amp that has good synergy. I personally use either the Violectric V281 or the Cavalli Liquid Platinum. The Bottlehead Crack is also an amazing match.
 
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I do not get why people associate warmer sound with fun and musicality. Adding bass in replay equipment at best muddles the timing of the musicians due to imprecise timing, ansd at worst ruins the performance.

The description of HD800 range as being clinical is misleading when it comes to musical reproduction. I find them to be the best I have heard yet for accurately presenting the musicians intent, in timing and dynamics. The lighter bass (than Harman curve) means tighter bass. No overhang, bloat or masking. So it gives you everything, far from clinically. I think I have had the most emotionally rewarding playback on these cans ever.
I totally agree with this.
I can listen to (almost) any type of music with the HD800S and I find them not only revealing in the technical sense, but also in the emotional one.
I feel I'm more aware of the actual musicians, the layering of the instruments and production. I am more immersed in the music.
People talk sometimes about fun headphones. That is a lot of fun for me.
I'm not saying my definition of fun is listening to Rory Gallagher or Shostakovich with the HD800S, but fun it is nonetheless.
 
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I somewhat disagree, not all solid states sound the same, likewise not all tube amps have the same kind of sound signature.

You can have solid states like Violectric amps that are warm, and somewhat tube sounding and some tube amps that sound more like solid state, even tube rolling can alter the sound quite a bit.

I own a Questyle CMA Twelve which is a solid state amp and a La Figaro 339 which is a full OTL tube amp.

My impressions are bit opposite to yours, the HD800S with CMA12 definitely has more vocal presence and more intimate/forward sounding, whereas my Figaro gives a deeper/wider soundstage which is smoother on the treble. My Figaro also gives that slightly organic sound.
I agree. I am limited to the equipment/amps which I own, which admittedly are not considered 'high-end'. Of course there are solid state amps which will produce different results to what I've heard. In hindsight I should have realized this. With the right amp (tube or ss) the HD800s are great headphones.
 
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HiFiHawaii808

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Gotcha. Either way, I definitely want to check them out for myself - after reading so much back-and-forth on these things in various online communities, the curiosity is killing me :darthsmile:
Curiosity killed
One thing that I have not heard anyone mention is the comfort of the HD800S. They have nearly zero clamping force, are relatively lightweight and feel fantastic. My main headphone is the HD800...I own both the modded 800 and the newer S version. The HD800 is the only headphone that I can wear for hours and hours without any fatigue whatsoever. The sound is also sublime, but like others have said, they need to be fed properly with an amp that has good synergy. I personally use either the Violectric V281 or the Cavalli Liquid Platinum. The Bottlehead Crack is also an amazing match.
They are really comfortable.
 
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HiFiHawaii808

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I totally agree with this.
I can listen to (almost) any type of music with the HD800S and I find them not only revealing in the technical sense, but also in the emotional one.
I feel I'm more aware of the actual musicians, the layering of the instruments and production. I am more immersed in the music.
People talk sometimes about fun headphones. That is a lot of fun for me.
I'm not saying my definition of fun is listening to Rory Gallagher or Shostakovich with the HD800S, but fun it is nonetheless.
I agree and it's unfortunate that those who prefer neutral sound signature got the less appealing word associated with their taste in music. Whenever I read that a headphone is more musical, that tells me it is technically inferior. It's really just a euphemism for a headphone that can't do the whole job right. They will say that technical detail is for Spock types who lack emotion, but that couldn't be more untrue either. The musician is responsible for conveying the emotion, not the headphones.
 
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