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Sennheiser HD800 S Impressions Thread (read first post for summary)

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by shabta, Jan 19, 2016.
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    I own both and use them parallely until 650s death after an accident during moding it with hope for wide stage.
    But to answer, I'd tell you not to buy 650 if you are owning 800s.
    650 belong to dark side while 800s neutral. 650 smaller sound stage and much less detail.

    If you wanna get new hp, take a look at ibasso sr1. It is my new love beside 800s
  2. Nik74
    Thanks for that suggestion. I m looking for a headphone with similar impedance to the 800S though. Also I am a fan of the Sennheiser house sound and right now I want to spend under £250 which is why a used 650 seems appealing
  3. ZappaMan
    I’m thinking about getting the ether c, is anyone here who has both ether c, 800s, and maybe chord products who could tell me what they’re like?
  4. exdmd
    HD800S prefer tubes in my experience. I would not use a solid state amp with them (the unobtainable Eddie Current Black Widow is the exception) but instead recommend a Schiit Valhalla OTL tube amp. You would have to spend more than $2000 to get significantly better sound from a separate amp. If the Valhalla is too expensive use a Vali 2 instead and save for an Eddie Current or Amps and Sound tube amp.

    The Klipsch you mentioned is a combined DAC/Amp for $500. If you need a DAC I would go with the Schiit Bifrost Multibit and Valhalla 2 amp total cost $950. If that breaks your budget go with a Schiit Modi Multibit DAC and Vali 2 tube hybrid amp.

    I really suggest the Bifrost Multibit DAC as it is upgradeable and already has the Schiit Generation 5 USB built in. It is a warm sounding DAC that could work well for you.
    exhale likes this.
  5. Phronesis
    We don't need to debate it, but I'm skeptical that amps make much difference, as long as they have enough power, unless you have an amp that deliberately colors the sound (e.g., some tube amps). I'm finding that the HD800S sounds exquisitely good with the Hugo 2 and Mojo.
    exhale likes this.
  6. exhale
    I already have a tube DAC / SS Amp which i use mainly for the DAC stage and i was lucky enough to get my hands on an E88CC Valvo tube which makes these headphones sound unbelievably ... beautiful. But not entirely warm, i can still hear some sibilance (especially with female vocals). The amp stage of my setup is some sort of DIY thingy (won't get into details) which was initially built to power the DT880 600 ohm but after using these phones with it, for the first time since its inception, it got hot. So i was thinking that maybe it's time to get a proper amp for them. Hopefully, one with a balanced output (which the Klipsch has, unlike many others in its price range). That's why i was considering it. The balanced output and the supposedly warmness it imprints on the sound.

    The Hugo 2 is a tad too expensive and i don't want to drive into that sink hole... You are right about the Mojo, though. Listened to them through the Mojo and it sounds quite beautiful. But (and this is my subjective opinion, of course) it doesn't even come close to the sound i'm getting through the Valvo tube... and while i'm as skeptical as they come, the difference is very big between the two!

    I think it's my fault that i wrote my original message in an incomplete manner... I really wish to try these headphones via balanced output. So if you guys can recommend me a good, balanced amplifier for them i'd greatly appreciate it. Budget wise, i wouldn't want to go past 600 EUROs.
  7. Ichos
    Well the most obvious solution is Jotunheim.
    Or the Massdrop amps - x THX AAA 789 or Liquid Carbon X (+dac) or CTH (+dac)
  8. NoMythsAudio
    While I won't get into the skeptical or not analysis of a amp, with all due respect to all, I think it's ridiculous to suggest one needs to buy a $2000 amp to hear "improvements" in a $1500 headphone. Sometimes I wonder what I'm doing on this head-fi; people brandish these figures and money like you don't really work for them.
    Apologies to anyone who may feel offended.
    TYATYA likes this.
  9. Phronesis
    FWIW, I do agree that it's important to be careful about recommending that people spend extra money on gear to get better sound, if there's a possibility that the real sound improvement isn't as large as perceived (i.e., it's quite possible to misperceive differences when the sound quality is already high, because the high sound quality provides 'raw material' to perceive favorable differences by focusing attention on some aspects of the sound). It may not be a coincidence that the warm glow of glass tubes happens to be associated with a 'warmer' sound.

    Because of this discussion, I did some comparison of the Hugo 2 and Mojo with the HD800S today. There were moments on a particular track when I didn't like the sound of the cymbals with the Mojo, and when I switched to Hugo 2 it seemed to be better. But when I matched up the music segment for comparison in that track, I found that the Hugo 2 didn't actually sound better than the Mojo. I concluded that the issue is with the recording, not the DAC/amp or HD800S.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  10. Thenewguy007
    Consider the HD800 a open tin can with a string attached to it. When you put it to your ears, the sound coming from the other end will dictate the sound.

    As for the cost, all good amplifiers have transformers in them & they cost anywhere from $75 to $500+ per transformer depending on the quality. Those add up really quick to the costs.
    volly likes this.
  11. llcook51
    Last week, I received a Cavalli Liquid Platinum hybrid amp. It is amazing with the 800S. The highs are pure liquid crystal and the lows are deep and solid. I am very happy with the pairing.
  12. smodtactical
    Tried to read opinions but would like more. Is the 009 much more detailed than the hd800S? Also hows the bass and body vs hd800S?
  13. Thenewguy007
    I think the 009 would be more detailed, As for bass & body being better between the two, I would say it depends on what amp you drive those two.
    smodtactical likes this.
  14. smodtactical
    Does the 800S do anything better?
  15. Nik74
    The area where the 800S excels even compared to much more expensive headphones including the 009 is its huge soundstage
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