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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by valentinhogea, Feb 10, 2013.
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  1. ValentinHogea
    The cable discussions derailed the previous thread, so hopefully we can behave a bit and keep them in the Sound Science-category. Thx

    Some existing threads summarized

    The closed HD800 Appreciation Thread:
    AMP / DAC pairing discussions:
    Best amp 1? http://www.head-fi.org/t/568583/best-amp-for-hd-800
    Best amp 2? http://www.head-fi.org/t/427946/best-hd800-amp
    1000-1500 USD amps: http://www.head-fi.org/t/583814/amp-dac-for-disappointed-hd800-owner
    No fixed price amp + dac: http://www.head-fi.org/t/611093/amp-and-dac-for-hd800
    1000-2500 USD amps: http://www.head-fi.org/t/629322/hd800-1-000-2-500-amp-sonic-bliss
    No fixed price amp: http://www.head-fi.org/t/513277/hd-800-amp-discussion
    Best DAC 1500-1700 USD: http://www.head-fi.org/t/622775/best-sounding-dac-for-hd800
    Reviews / Headphone-related discussions:
    Jude's review and further discussion: http://www.head-fi.org/t/398829/the-sennheiser-hd-800-the-first-listen-the-first-review
    Praising-thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/608699/does-it-get-much-better-than-the-hd800
    Differences in old and new HD800? http://www.head-fi.org/t/646871/new-hd-800-very-different-than-the-old-hd-800
    "Convince a ortho-lover to the strengths of HD800" http://www.head-fi.org/t/643740/team-hd800-challenge
    Is the HD800 overpriced? http://www.head-fi.org/t/467234/is-the-hd800-overpriced
    HD800 vs HE-6: http://www.head-fi.org/t/641885/hd800-he-6-comparisons
    HD800 vs HE-500: http://www.head-fi.org/t/633012/hd800-vs-he500
    Modding HD800:
    Anax 1.0: http://www.head-fi.org/t/577530/hd800-anaxilus-mod
    Shoud the stock cable be replaced? http://www.head-fi.org/t/642871/should-the-hd-800-factory-cable-be-replaced
    Various aftermarket cables, which is "best": http://www.head-fi.org/t/625516/hd-800-moon-audio-vs-saa-vs-toxic-cables
    gevorg, zilch0md, cizx and 2 others like this.
    The HD800s are on my head right now.. listening to Coastal Grooves by Blood Orange and it is superb [​IMG]
    dmdm and Champ HkGt like this.
  3. jtinto
    Art Blakey for me right now 
  4. Solude
    Call it synergy, call it needing some gear that is up to the task, call it the third time's the charm... but I'm really enjoying the HD800 this time out.  Using the PWD2 and Soloist right now.  When my cables, B22 and GS-X arrive I'll get on with the official A/B of the LCD-2 and HD800 on each amp and ending with one amp and one can. 
    nephilim32 likes this.
  5. ValentinHogea
    Sweet... There sure is something special when one unlocks these headphones.
    From "bright and artificial" to "oh, now I understand all the fuss about them".
    I dare anyone to try the HD800 + ZDSE + NAD M51. Find it hard to beat currently. If the HD800 still appears sibilant and artifical, well, then they're simply not for you. :) And boy are we lucky there are so many other top-notch HP's.
    nephilim32 likes this.
  6. songmic
    I've been eyeing the HD800 for some time now. TBH I was never a fan of HD800, because I was looking for one headphone to rule them all - does pop and rock as well as classic, jazz, acoustic, etc. While I felt the HD800 excelled in the latter, it sounded boring and lifeless with most pop and rock music.
    Considering that I have a ZDSE incoming, I would like to give the HD800 a second chance. What do you think of ZDSE + HD800? Does the ZDSE make the HD800 sing in such a way that it performs superbly with pop and rock too? Or, as great as the combo may be, it still doesn't make the HD800 a great headphone for pop and rock?
  7. BournePerfect
    My rig (in sig) continues to wow me every day. In fact this is pretty much endgame for me at this point. Now I will be upgrading some final tweaks (aftermarket cable for HD800, KinRex usb psu for SBT etc) without worrying about the costs involved since I am 100% happy with the rest of my rig. It's a good place to be. :)

    Songmic: I wasn't really completely satisfied with rock and pop until I settled on the right tube for it. Currently using a NOS Brimar, but will be looking at others down the line. My round/blackglass/NOS tung sol is mellow, laid back, and magical for vocals, but the Brimar is more dynamic and transparent and suits harder stuff much better. YMMV


    edit: I should mention that I was never a fan of the HD 800 until I received my ZDSE. I had tried other (cheaper) ss options that were often recommended, but with little success. Those included the highly touted Dynalo and TTVJ Fet-A. They didn't do anything to curtail the brittle, dry, sibilant nature of the Senn imo. The Zana arrived and solved all those issues for the most part, while retaining all of the strengths that the HD 800 is known for. My DP1 also brought my rig up another level when it arrived.

    If I were to describe what I am hearing in my rig now in one word, it is the word that frequently pops in my head during my late night listening sessions in perfect darkness and silence:

    olor1n likes this.
  8. Hun7er
    I have HD800/EC S7 combo. In one word : magic. 
    The sound are rich, textured. The vocal are living in your ears. It shares your the emotion of the music.
    Simply stunning
  9. ValentinHogea

    Well considering my absolute favourite genres are Metal, Electro-House and Hip-Hop... I would say that it sure suits all my needs. :wink:
    It's a solid all-rounder. I've sold off my LCD-3's, they didn't do anything except for a bit extra bass and poorer sound stage/imaging.
    I have a hard time imagining something much better without going stat. That's why I've decided. No more dynamics. No more side-steps.
    The next stop is the SR009 + EC Electra... But imma start saving, and enjoying pure bliss whilst filling the piggy bank.
    (With Mullard ECC35 tall black base. I have a Mullard ECC35 short brown base when I want to soften things up even more...)
  10. ValentinHogea
    And to add up on the one-word summarization...
  11. BournePerfect
    Valentin: Agreed with no more sidestepping at this point-just tweaking. I have also been eyeing an Electra/009 for a while , but I'm not convinced it would necessarily beat my current rig by that much, especially at the cost involved.

    Also: are you using a converter (U3, Legato II, Off Ramp etc) with your NAD yet? My understanding is that is the main thing that can bring it up another level...

  12. ValentinHogea
    Hi Daniel,
    Not that convinced about the added extra either. But, well.. I think that this hobby/interest long since passed the costs initially budgeted. :wink:
    Other options are quite limited though...
    Orpheus? Not a chance in this lifetime. Even if one finds one. It's a good chance that one is forced to purchase an amp that could be the older revision, and thus the OCD will force an added 4000 USD for an Aeristaeus.
    R10's? No more spare parts if I got it correctly.
    SR-Omega, well... the above.
    HE Jade, seem to be disintegrating.
    So what's left. A new version of the Jade, a new Senn stat or the 009. The last one chasing about 3200 USD, well.. The strongest candidate so far.
    And regarding an extra USB-transport. Pretty satisfied with the USB though. I've used the SPDIF via another transport and the sound signature is quite different, but I don't know if I'd consider it as better. The impossibility to evaluate the transports above, feels like a eine, meine, moe.
  13. jazzerdave
    So I was at CanJam this year and absolutely fell in love with the HD800 paired with the Cavalli Liquid Glass.  I ordered and received the Liquid Glass (it's been issue free so far), but I find myself now owning the HE-6 and LCD-3 with no HD800 in sight.  I certainly didn't prefer either of these cans to the HD800 at the show but found decent deals on each and decided to give them a better chance to wow me outside of show conditions.  While I feel my appreciation for the HE-6 has grown tenfold, and I still feel the LCD-3 does what it does extremely well, I'm pretty sure I'm going to sell both the HE-6 and LCD-3 and just get the HD800.  
    Anyway, I just figured I stop by and basically show my appreciation for the HD800 (even though I don't own it yet).
  14. songmic
    Your favorite music is metal and electronica, and you still decided to keep the HD800 in lieu of LCD-3? Unbelievable...
  15. rawrster
    I feel the same about Stax. I been eyeing the 009 with a BHSE but at the cost and the wait for the BHSE unless I'm lucky and find one in the FS (oddly enough I have seen 2 in the FS lately) the cost is a bit much. The cost of everything I own doesn't go up to the cost of either the amp or the headphones and imo I have two great setups in the HE6 and HD800. It's not the best in terms of components but sounds pretty close to the top imo of course. 
    In that sense the HD800 is a bargain if you can find the right components for it and luckily for me I have with minimal expenses as I got the dac right on the first shot and the amp on the second shot although my first HD800 amp was no slouch.
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