Sennheiser HD820
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Giraku

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So it's just an HD800s that's closed back? No increase in bass response or anything, just the same sound sig but closed?
HD820 is much fuller sounding compared to HD800S. To my ears, bass response is also better than HD800S. Bass extension is probably the same but with slightly more quantity and stronger slam.
Sound stage is wide for closed cans but clearly narrower than HD800S, which is good for me because I want to be "in" the music not outside.
The only problem is that the clamp force is a bit loose. HPs stay on the head ok. But when I press the housing against my face, bass quantity dramatically increases. I prefer a little tighter fit that would provide even more bass. Don't get me wrong, the bass quantity without pressing the housing to my face is just good enough and very well balanced. It is my personal preference to have a bit heavier presentation some times.
If you love HD800/S and looking for an upgrade, look elsewhere. If you cannot stand thin sound signature of HD800/S like me and are looking for quality closed HPs, I highly recommend HD820.
 
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I listen to a lot of live recordings as well, particularly Pearl Jam, and the 820 does a nice job of spacing out the band from audience participation front to back. I can’t speak to the 800S in that regard. At the time, I had the Utopia, Susvara, and 800S all in one place, so the 800S didn’t get as much attention as I would have preferred now. Sadly, I do not have the Susvara to compare along those lines anymore. The Utopia is less expansive all around.

The Utopia still sounds more intimate to me with female vocalists like Nora Jones. And the acoustic guitar in a song like Painter Song still has more realistic scale and sound on the Utopia. I’ve tried all different volume levels on the 820 and can’t get that same level of realism top to bottom with that acoustic guitar. For me the instrument loses its scale and shape in the transition from localized to viseceral bass. The notes seem to lose their spatial relationship to one another and the lower frequencies lose their shape and locality in a way that doesn’t comport with the rest of the instrument.

With the Utopia, the lowest bass notes are fuller and unified with the mid-range. It’s almost like there is a disconnect on the 820 between the lowest bass notes and the rest of the instrument. At a certain point it begins to seem like they’re coming from different sources rather than one instrument. That doesn’t happen to me with the Utopia. As a guitarist, that is my biggest issue with the 820 so far. I probably wouldn’t notice it as much with other acoustic instruments or electric guitar.

This is of course all IME.
 
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QueueCumber

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I would say the lower bass to upper bass/mid-range transition is potentially an artifact, or sacrifice, of an enhanced soundstage, but the Susvara has an expansive soundstage while maintaining instrument coherence from top to bottom. Perhaps it is an artifict of an enhanced soundstage with these types of drivers vs. electrostatic drivers?
 
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I don't find the file on the USB drive came with my HD820. If you are talking about "Frequency Response.png", that is used in the User's Manual when you run "start.html". The purpose is to compare this FR curve measured unit by unit (unique to your own unit) against the model FR curve on the first page of the manual. This is just an image file so that you cannot "use" it on a computer except for viewing.
I shared the FR on my unit in my previous post.

If you don't mind, please share yours so that we can see how variable FR curves are among individual HD820 units.
For sure. I will get on my PC later and download it from the USB.
 
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freqresp_high_LI (2).jpg
 
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Interesting measurement. The lowest acoustic guitar note fundamentals are significantly different dBs on the response curve compared to the immediate fundamentals around them and the upper acoustic guitar bass-range fundamentals. I don't think the dB difference alone would account for the perceived separation in space. Or, would it?
 
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I don't find the file on the USB drive came with my HD820. If you are talking about "Frequency Response.png", that is used in the User's Manual when you run "start.html". The purpose is to compare this FR curve measured unit by unit (unique to your own unit) against the model FR curve on the first page of the manual. This is just an image file so that you cannot "use" it on a computer except for viewing.
I shared the FR on my unit in my previous post.

If you don't mind, please share yours so that we can see how variable FR curves are among individual HD820 units.
The transition on your set is smoother between the lower bass and higher bass than on mine, whereas I have a steep drop and plateau. Do you experience a similar thing on the acoustic guitar of Nora Jones's Painter Song?
 
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Harsher treble than the Z1R?

(walks out quietly and closes the door)
I think his review was upfront and honest. He simply likes a darker less treble detailed signature. Everyone likes a slighly different sound. That’s what is nice about choice!
 
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Giraku

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I would say the lower bass to upper bass/mid-range transition is potentially an artifact, or sacrifice, of an enhanced soundstage, but the Susvara has an expansive soundstage while maintaining instrument coherence from top to bottom. Perhaps it is an artifict of an enhanced soundstage with these types of drivers vs. electrostatic drivers?
Susvara is a planar HP not electrostatic. Since Susvara is an open back design, it's supposed to have a wide soundstage. With the closed back HD820, having a relatively wide soundstage may have come with some prices. Also planar HPs usually have more linear response throughout the frequency than regular dynamic HPs. I used to own HE2kv2 and liked them. But at the same time, I wanted to hear more punch in the bass department.
HD820 is power hungry (well not at the level of Susvara though) so that the choice of amplifier makes significant differences in what you hear. I use Hugo 2 and Pro iDSD at home to drive HD820. For mobile use, I use WM1Z. WM1Z (balanced) does provide enough volume at 100-110 out of 120 max but with the price of thinner body. Hugo 2 drives HD820 very nicely. I love this combo.
What amplifier are you using to drive HD820?
 
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The transition on your set is smoother between the lower bass and higher bass than on mine, whereas I have a steep drop and plateau. Do you experience a similar thing on the acoustic guitar of Nora Jones's Painter Song?
To my ears, it's not that bad. Have you tried a bit of EQ on that specific frequency area to see if that is the cause? You are right about the steep drop on the FR plot. But the actual difference is about 3dB, which can be easily fixed with EQ.
 
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Susvara is a planar HP not electrostatic. Since Susvara is an open back design, it's supposed to have a wide soundstage. With the closed back HD820, having a relatively wide soundstage may have come with some prices. Also planar HPs usually have more linear response throughout the frequency than regular dynamic HPs. I used to own HE2kv2 and liked them. But at the same time, I wanted to hear more punch in the bass department.
HD820 is power hungry (well not at the level of Susvara though) so that the choice of amplifier makes significant differences in what you hear. I use Hugo 2 and Pro iDSD at home to drive HD820. For mobile use, I use WM1Z. WM1Z (balanced) does provide enough volume at 100-110 out of 120 max but with the price of thinner body. Hugo 2 drives HD820 very nicely. I love this combo.
What amplifier are you using to drive HD820?
I was using the Hugo2 Sunday afternoon and this morning. I was using the PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium HP Saturday and Sunday morning.
 
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To my ears, it's not that bad. Have you tried a bit of EQ on that specific frequency area to see if that is the cause? You are right about the steep drop on the FR plot. But the actual difference is about 3dB, which can be easily fixed with EQ.
3dB comports with JND research. Between ~140 Hz and ~180 Hz I have a ~6.5 dB drop, and a ~5dB difference is maintained almost into the midrange. I don't have any EQ equipment in my HP setups (I only have Audessey in my HT setup). Any recommendations on small but decent EQ devices? I don't have computers near my setups. Albeit, I feed the Hugo2 (and a WA8) with the iPhone X.
 
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3dB comports with JND research. Between ~140 Hz and ~180 Hz I have a ~6.5 dB drop, and a ~5dB difference is maintained almost into the midrange. I don't have any EQ equipment in my HP setups (I only have Audessey in my HT setup). Any recommendations on small but decent EQ devices? I don't have computers near my setups. Albeit, I feed the Hugo2 (and a WA8) with the iPhone X.
I use MacBook Pro (2016) + Roon 1.5 as the source. Roon has nice EQ functionality.
 
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Great impressions, thanks. Have you heard either of the ZMF flagship closed backs? Both of those consistently review better than the Z1R, although the Atticus is unashamedly coloured so if neutrality is your thing the HD820 will likely be a better match. Would be interesting to read an Eikon vs HD820 matchup.
That would be interesting. I did try the Eikon twice. Heavier of course, they are pretty realistic sounding, just realistic with some extra highs and lows. The highs are similar, the mids too, but the bass not as flat. Being that I prefer the extra bass, that would be a close one, you're right, a good comparison to be had between those two. I would imagine the HD820 is easier to drive, and more comfortable in the long term.
 
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Giraku

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I was using the Hugo2 Sunday afternoon and this morning. I was using the PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium HP Saturday and Sunday morning.
BTW, you got a nice amplifier. I haven't heard PrimaLuna and am very curious about the sound. Would you mind elaborating on the sound signature of this fine amplifier?
 
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