Sennheiser HD820
Apr 21, 2021 at 6:40 PM Post #3,451 of 3,499

ruinedx

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That is actually very neat, I remember I tried the Liquid Platinum for a bit but ended up returning without any tube rolling. It was real nice but I couldn't really warrant the purchase when I had the LD MK2.
My LD MK8 recently broke and is currently looking into being repaired but nobody in my city has any clue what this amp is unfortunately.

You think it's better than the Platinum? Maybe tube rolling the Platinum would change things
The Liquid Gold X sounds similar to the platinum with decent tubes in it. If you want to upgrade your DAC too the Liquid Gold X is a no-brainer over the platinum.
 
Apr 21, 2021 at 7:00 PM Post #3,452 of 3,499

Nooborghini

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The Liquid Gold X sounds similar to the platinum with decent tubes in it. If you want to upgrade your DAC too the Liquid Gold X is a no-brainer over the platinum.
Honestly no idea if I need another DAC but I figured since I'm upgrading, maybe I should go for it.
Maybe something like an RME DAC.

My M200 is fine on tube preset colour SC3 iirc, SC1 I am noticing the sibilance just a tad bit on some songs.

In my zoom calls? Jesus Christ I want to die.
Was even thinking of grabbing a Norse Audio cable as well if that makes a difference.
 
Apr 21, 2021 at 7:03 PM Post #3,453 of 3,499

ruinedx

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Honestly no idea if I need another DAC but I figured since I'm upgrading, maybe I should go for it.
Maybe something like an RME DAC.

My M200 is fine on tube preset colour SC3 iirc, SC1 I am noticing the sibilance just a tad bit on some songs.

In my zoom calls? Jesus Christ I want to die.
Was even thinking of grabbing a Norse Audio cable as well if that makes a difference.
The RME DAC is overrated . Only useful if you are into Parametric EQ (which I wouldnt recommend, get a good match instead of compensating with EQ). Nothing special audio wise, if anything has properties that are less desirable for hd800/hd820

I would see what you think of the built-in DAC first, then if you don't like it consider Musical Fidelity MX-DAC or Schiit Bifrost. MX-DAC is hard to find in USA now, but Bifrost easy: https://www.schiit.com/products/bifrost-1

Or a cheaper route, as mentioned on other page, project horizon 3.1 (w/ golden lion) + schiit bifrost. But that isnt solid state.

Or you could go Liquid Platinum + Schiit Bifrost, and upgrade the liquid platinum to golden lion tubes

If you start to go significantly over $1000 on amp-only price because of tubes you are better off saving up for the amp i got which is $2k fully tubed and destroys everything else I have heard for hd800s/hd820
 
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Apr 21, 2021 at 7:14 PM Post #3,454 of 3,499

thehutch

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GS-X mini is not particularly good with HD800S/820
Haven’t used it, but I’ve seen many good reviews of the GS-X/800 combo.
 
Apr 21, 2021 at 7:21 PM Post #3,455 of 3,499

ruinedx

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Haven’t used it, but I’ve seen many good reviews of the GS-X/800 combo.
There are far better options far cheaper, and for $2k the DNA Starlett absolutely obliterates the GS-X (any version) with the HD800/HD820.
 
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Apr 21, 2021 at 8:11 PM Post #3,456 of 3,499

Nooborghini

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The RME DAC is overrated . Only useful if you are into Parametric EQ (which I wouldnt recommend, get a good match instead of compensating with EQ). Nothing special audio wise, if anything has properties that are less desirable for hd800/hd820

I would see what you think of the built-in DAC first, then if you don't like it consider Musical Fidelity MX-DAC or Schiit Bifrost. MX-DAC is hard to find in USA now, but Bifrost easy: https://www.schiit.com/products/bifrost-1

Or a cheaper route, as mentioned on other page, project horizon 3.1 (w/ golden lion) + schiit bifrost. But that isnt solid state.

Or you could go Liquid Platinum + Schiit Bifrost, and upgrade the liquid platinum to golden lion tubes

If you start to go significantly over $1000 on amp-only price because of tubes you are better off saving up for the amp i got which is $2k fully tubed and destroys everything else I have heard for hd800s/hd820

I was considering the Bifrost for a DAC, R2R dac's are apparently the way to go.
I read around and the other R2R DAC's I was looking at are the Musician's Pegasus / Ares II. What do you think about those two vs Bifrost? Price I see is almost doubled though. I guess if we're looking at the $1000-$1500 price range, you recommend Musical Fidelity MX-DAC as that's your current setup right?

Is the Project Horizon 3.1 is better than the Darkvoice? Seems similar in price point. The Horizon looks mighty clean!

I was also looking into the Scarlett as well after a few months of searching but wanted to see if the guy in my city can fix my Little Dot MK8. After a few months, something inside popped and started smoking. Big sad.
 
Apr 21, 2021 at 8:12 PM Post #3,457 of 3,499

ruinedx

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I was considering the Bifrost for a DAC, R2R dac's are apparently the way to go.
I read around and the other R2R DAC's I was looking at are the Musician's Pegasus / Ares II. What do you think about those two vs Bifrost? Price I see is almost doubled though. I guess if we're looking at the $1000-$1500 price range, you recommend Musical Fidelity MX-DAC as that's your current setup right?

Is the Project Horizon 3.1 is better than the Darkvoice? Seems similar in price point. The Horizon looks mighty clean!

I was also looking into the Scarlett as well after a few months of searching but wanted to see if the guy in my city can fix my Little Dot MK8. After a few months, something inside popped and started smoking. Big sad.
Warm R2R dacs not necessarily a great idea with something like Cavalli or DNA . May sound too syrupy. A slightly laid back delta sigma would be better synergy IMO, hence why I am running MX-DAC + DNA. Warm R2R could help if you bought something like the aforementioned GS-X amp.
 
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Apr 21, 2021 at 8:18 PM Post #3,458 of 3,499

Nooborghini

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Warm R2R dacs not necessarily a great idea with something like Cavalli or DNA . May sound too syrupy. A slightly laid back delta sigma would be better synergy IMO, hence why I am running MX-DAC + DNA. Warm R2R could help if you bought something like the aforementioned GS-X amp.
Ahh I see, doubling up on the warmth is probably a bad idea. This is very helpful thank you.

I was considering grabbing a Darkvoice for the time being while my stuff is being repaired but now that I'm looking at the Project Horizon you recommended, time to read more!
 
Apr 21, 2021 at 8:21 PM Post #3,459 of 3,499

ruinedx

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Ahh I see, doubling up on the warmth is probably a bad idea. This is very helpful thank you.

I was considering grabbing a Darkvoice for the time being while my stuff is being repaired but now that I'm looking at the Project Horizon you recommended, time to read more!
The project horizon 3.1 + genalex gold lion 12AU7 (you can buy both from that shop) is a great combo for cheap, better than darkvoice.

if you buy it built from them in the dropdown menu (instead of the cheaper DIY kit) you get a 5yr warranty.

Then all you have to decide is whether to pay the extra for the aesthetics of the black aluminum top, I do think it looks a lot cooler than the clear acrylic does

Would be $360 total for: the amp built from them + upgraded tube + the nice black aluminum top plate.
 
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Apr 21, 2021 at 9:31 PM Post #3,460 of 3,499

Nooborghini

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The project horizon 3.1 + genalex gold lion 12AU7 (you can buy both from that shop) is a great combo for cheap, better than darkvoice.

if you buy it built from them in the dropdown menu (instead of the cheaper DIY kit) you get a 5yr warranty.

Then all you have to decide is whether to pay the extra for the aesthetics of the black aluminum top, I do think it looks a lot cooler than the clear acrylic does

Would be $360 total for: the amp built from them + upgraded tube + the nice black aluminum top plate.

This is quite exciting, I sent a message to Frans.
Was searching a bit, how come you went the Horizon route rather than the Ember? Sounds like the Ember route seems more practical as tube rolling is easy and painless
 
Apr 21, 2021 at 9:32 PM Post #3,461 of 3,499

ruinedx

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This is quite exciting, I sent a message to Frans.
Was searching a bit, how come you went the Horizon route rather than the Ember? Sounds like the Ember route seems more practical as tube rolling is easy and painless
The Horizon sounds a little better, although i am not sure if that is still true with the very latest revisions but it was initially

Ember would only be needed if you wanted to connect both like a Grado and HD800S to same amp.
 
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Apr 27, 2021 at 8:48 AM Post #3,462 of 3,499

reel2reel

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Just as a note I think I mentioned before, the HD820 is modeled for the HD800S sound - so the bass should not be the typical type of increased bass you would find in the average closed headphone. While it is true you can increase the bass by increasing the tension of the headphone against your face (compressing pads and reducing leakage), this also will increase boominess which the designer was specifically attempting to avoid with this design. It should be tight enough that it doesn't fall off your head, but the fit will feel slightly less tight than the HD800S and this is by design to allow some partial leakage of sound out of the pads to preserve a reference-level type sound with less boominess than a typical closed back.

The times I would only consider increasing tension on HD820 would be - #1 the headphone is literally falling off your head because its that loose, or there is a visible gap in the earcup seal, #2 big glasses that prevent the earcups from sealing normally. Otherwise, if you want the typical closed back heavy bass you are probably better off with a different headphone, as this one is meant to have a more lean, tight, reference-type sound... just with a bit more isolation from a loud environment than the HD800S offers.

I have found most of the major complaints regarding the HD820 are not regarding its actual spectacular performance once you really analyze them, but rather an expectations issue. People either expect it to sound *better* than the HD800S because it costs more, or they expect it to have huge amounts of bass because it is a closed back. Neither is true, because it is psychoacoustically modeled after the lean reference-type sound of the HD800S, and while it comes close to the HD800S it maybe is only 95% of the way there. The extra cost is due to the more complex design and materials that went into making a closed back that sounds like an HD800S.
Its quite sad that the HD800 community expected the same presentation layer of the 800S with more bass. In my opinion the HD820 is an analytical headphone and requires power to uncover its true potential. I would draw commonalities towards the Beyerdynamic philosophy of tuning which puts emphasis on precision rather than sugar coated reproduction. Need to compare with other top headphones but the V shape curve does not spoil my experience. Wonder why there is not any custom pads currently on the market to change the sound profile?
 
Apr 27, 2021 at 8:51 AM Post #3,463 of 3,499

ruinedx

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Its quite sad that the HD800 community expected the same presentation layer of the 800S with more bass. In my opinion the HD820 is an analytical headphone and requires power to uncover its true potential. I would draw commonalities towards the Beyerdynamic philosophy of tuning which puts emphasis on precision rather than sugar coated reproduction. Need to compare with other top headphones but the V shape curve does not spoil my experience. Wonder why there is not any custom pads currently on the market to change the sound profile?
I have found an amp that handles mids well complements the hd820 nicely - dna starlett or liquid platinum for instance. Plus a quality DAC.
 
Apr 27, 2021 at 12:00 PM Post #3,464 of 3,499

reel2reel

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Warm R2R dacs not necessarily a great idea with something like Cavalli or DNA . May sound too syrupy. A slightly laid back delta sigma would be better synergy IMO, hence why I am running MX-DAC + DNA. Warm R2R could help if you bought something like the aforementioned GS-X amp.
Ahh I see, doubling up on the warmth is probably a bad idea. This is very helpful thank you.

I was considering grabbing a Darkvoice for the time being while my stuff is being repaired but now that I'm looking at the Project Horizon you recommended, time to read more!
For me, speed and transparency is a must for the 820's. If you require a lush sound, go to planars. A tube amp with premium tubes will transform high res signal into a modern, vibrant dynamic image that is far from being too laid back like being chauffeur driven in a Bentley.
 

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