The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread
Feb 26, 2015 at 1:11 PM Post #17,176 of 28,610

edstrelow

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Yep - here's a link to an article from Inner Fidelity on the mod (in case you haven't seen it).

Very easy to do and reversible (but I'm keeping it).

LINK

Interesting. I have been tweaking Stax phones with sorbothane a substance which at least has the virtue of being designed for damping of audible frequencies. There are lots of different flat, self-stick versions of varying thickness, and stiffness. These are very cheap on Amazon and Ebay. You can slap pieces anywhere on the earcups although I think the best results are obtained by placing it close to the drivers. The results are, I think extremely good.  I have only tried it on one dynamic phone so far and found sorb was working much the same as for the stats. Perhaps someone will give this a go.
 
Feb 26, 2015 at 2:46 PM Post #17,177 of 28,610

Justin_Time

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The thing about going electrostatics is that it isn't just the headphone - it's the amp also - and the good ones are pricey. It's a big financial commitment for what is likely to be a small improvement over the high end planar + dynamic headphones and conventional amps I already have.
 
My choice would be to take a fraction of the cost of an electrostatic rig and get a pair of Elrog 300Bs now and perhaps the HE1000 headphone next year (depending on the forum feedback), and still have spent much less than an SR-009 + BHSE setup.

 


Tony,

You are quite right.

I was about 50% off the mark. After you get the Stax 009 and the BHSE, you should feel very light on your feet indeed, as $5,000 has been removed from EACH of your two pockets!

The speed with which were are approaching the cost of the Stax units--theretofore thought of as unreachable--is not very comforting.

To repeat an old and tired refrain about price escalation, these may be the golden days of High-End Headphones.

The $1,500 IEM, $5,000 HP and $5,000-$10,000 headAmps have already begun their assault on affordable gears. The recent entries of big names in High-End Home Stereo into the headphone world portents the beginning of the end..

These big boys will do to us what they have already done to the High-End Home Stereo, producing very high-end and ridiculously expensive gears reserved for only the priviledged few, leaving most of current Head-Fiers to reminesce about the good old days where one of the best headphones (the HD-800) money can be bought at a mere $1500!

Cheers,

ST
 
Feb 26, 2015 at 4:27 PM Post #17,178 of 28,610

TonyNewman

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There's the rub - by the time folks get thinking seriously about electrostatics they would usually have a large sunk cost in dynamics and planars. Taking that leap means stumping for another high end amp and headphone. Big bucks.
 
I'd really like to - but my wallet says no
frown.gif

 
Feb 26, 2015 at 4:30 PM Post #17,179 of 28,610

rage3324

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If you had $1200 (with money available for upgrades later) to spend on a used or new amp for the HD800, what would you purchase?
 
Feb 26, 2015 at 4:55 PM Post #17,180 of 28,610

kapanak

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  If you had $1200 (with money available for upgrades later) to spend on a used or new amp for the HD800, what would you purchase?


You already have the WA7 with the WA7 tube power supply. You really can't do much better than that at this price point for HD800. Maybe tube upgrades, but that's about it, and a slippery slope.
 
At higher price point, ever so slightly higher than $1200, EC Super 7, DNA Sonnett 2, Schiit Ragnarok, Auralic Taurus MKII, and Sennheiser's own HDVA600/HDVD800 comes to mind. All easily doable under $2000. All great matches for HD800. Much better than anything else under $2000.
 
Feb 26, 2015 at 5:04 PM Post #17,181 of 28,610

rage3324

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You already have the WA7 with the WA7 tube power supply. You really can't do much better than that at this price point for HD800. Maybe tube upgrades, but that's about it, and a slippery slope.
 
At higher price point, ever so slightly higher than $1200, EC Super 7, DNA Sonnett 2, Schiit Ragnarok, Auralic Taurus MKII, and Sennheiser's own HDVA600/HDVD800 comes to mind. All easily doable under $2000. All great matches for HD800. Much better than anything else under $2000.

You would not find the WA2 to be an upgrade over the WA7? I don't find the WA7 to be bad or anything, but can tell the HD800 could do better with more. I am thinking about selling the dacmini as well which gives me the abilit to look at an all-in-one solution for 2k. I likely would be buying used, so think more along the lines of used prices 
 
Feb 26, 2015 at 5:10 PM Post #17,182 of 28,610

kapanak

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  You would not find the WA2 to be an upgrade over the WA7? I don't find the WA7 to be bad or anything, but can tell the HD800 could do better with more. I am thinking about selling the dacmini as well which gives me the abilit to look at an all-in-one solution for 2k. I likely would be buying used, so think more along the lines of used prices 


Honestly, I think Woo Audio products, ESPECIALLY the WA2, makes the HD800 sound too liquidy, syruppy, or gooey. I'm not sure how else to explain it, but the HD800 loses all the qualities that makes it special with the WA2, like microdetails, accuracy, etc. You'd be better off with a different headphone if that's what you're looking for.
 
For $1300-$1400 (depends on your choice of potentiometer) DNA Sonnet 2 is your best bet for something that just makes the HD800 sing and brings forward 99% of the best sound HD800 can produce. http://www.dnaudio.com/DNA-Sonett-2-headphone-amplifier.html
 
Then get a used Sabre box, like the Concero HD or Matrix X-Sabre as your DAC for below $800.
 
Feb 26, 2015 at 5:15 PM Post #17,183 of 28,610

preproman

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Honestly, I think Woo Audio products, ESPECIALLY the WA2, makes the HD800 sound too liquidy, syruppy, or gooey. I'm not sure how else to explain it, but the HD800 loses all the qualities that makes it special with the WA2, like microdetails, accuracy, etc. You'd be better off with a different headphone if that's what you're looking for.
 
For $1300-$1400 (depends on your choice of potentiometer) DNA Sonnet 2 is your best bet for something that just makes the HD800 sing and brings forward 99% of the best sound HD800 can produce. http://www.dnaudio.com/DNA-Sonett-2-headphone-amplifier.html
 
Then get a used Sabre box, like the Concero HD or Matrix X-Sabre as your DAC for below $800.

 
Now, how in the world would you know that?
 
Feb 26, 2015 at 5:24 PM Post #17,184 of 28,610

kapanak

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Now, how in the world would you know that?

 
99% compared to the best I have heard. Me. My ears. I thought that assumption was automatically made by people that have been on HF for a while.
 
For two weeks, I heard the HD800 through Schiit Ragnarok, Auralic Taurus MKII, Sennheiser HDVA600, DNA Sonnett 2, DNA Stratus, Bottlehead Crack, Schiit Valhalla 2, Lehmann Black Cube Linear, Resonessence Labs Concero HP, Marantz HD-DAC1, HeadAmp GS-X, and Violectric V181.
 
Other than the Concero HP and the Marantz, which were DAC/Amps, the rest were fed by first the Resonessence Labs Concero HD, then by the iFi Micro iDSD, and at last, by an Auralic Vega DAC.
 
Based on my judgement and ears, I found the Stratus to be the best tube amp, and the Sonnet 2 to be the second best. The most resolving was the Ragnarok, and the most enjoyable solid state was the Taurus MKII.
 
Now, I hear the EC 445 sounds even better than anything I heard, so I won't know what they sound 100% until I hear it from a Schiit Yggy fed to a EC 445.
 
Of course, your 100% will significantly differ from my 100%. Rage wanted an answer, I gave him an answer. Maybe you should give an answer too if you want, instead of criticizing others in a forum revolving around personal opinion and subjective views.
 
Feb 26, 2015 at 5:32 PM Post #17,185 of 28,610

whirlwind

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  You would not find the WA2 to be an upgrade over the WA7? I don't find the WA7 to be bad or anything, but can tell the HD800 could do better with more. I am thinking about selling the dacmini as well which gives me the abilit to look at an all-in-one solution for 2k. I likely would be buying used, so think more along the lines of used prices 


Honestly, I think Woo Audio products, ESPECIALLY the WA2, makes the HD800 sound too liquidy, syruppy, or gooey. I'm not sure how else to explain it, but the HD800 loses all the qualities that makes it special with the WA2, like microdetails, accuracy, etc. You'd be better off with a different headphone if that's what you're looking for.
 
For $1300-$1400 (depends on your choice of potentiometer) DNA Sonnet 2 is your best bet for something that just makes the HD800 sing and brings forward 99% of the best sound HD800 can produce. http://www.dnaudio.com/DNA-Sonett-2-headphone-amplifier.html
 
Then get a used Sabre box, like the Concero HD or Matrix X-Sabre as your DAC for below $800.

Well, telling someone that they would be better off with a different headphone than the HD800 if they are planning on getting a Woo WA2 is maybe a little out of line....maybe ?
 
Feb 26, 2015 at 5:35 PM Post #17,186 of 28,610

kapanak

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  Well, telling someone that they would be better off with a different headphone than the HD800 if they are planning on getting a Woo WA2 is maybe a little out of line....maybe ?

I didn't tell him to get a different headphone. I gave an honest opinion of my own about what the WA2 does to the HD800, and how you can achieve the same sound signature by just using a different headphone instead of spending the money on HD800 and WA2. He already knows what the HD800 sounds like, and he likes it. He has a good amp for it, the WA7 with tube power supply. He wanted something better. I told him what I considered better. He wasn't planning on getting the WA2. He is asking about our impressions of it for now.
 
Feb 26, 2015 at 5:39 PM Post #17,187 of 28,610

preproman

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99% compared to the best I have heard. Me. My ears. I thought that assumption was automatically made by people that have been on HF for a while.
 
For two weeks, I heard the HD800 through Schiit Ragnarok, Auralic Taurus MKII, Sennheiser HDVA600, DNA Sonnett 2, DNA Stratus, Bottlehead Crack, Schiit Valhalla 2, Lehmann Black Cube Linear, Resonessence Labs Concero HP, Marantz HD-DAC1, HeadAmp GS-X, and Violectric V181.
 
Other than the Concero HP and the Marantz, which were DAC/Amps, the rest were fed by first the Resonessence Labs Concero HD, then by the iFi Micro iDSD, and at last, by an Auralic Vega DAC.
 
Based on my judgement and ears, I found the Stratus to be the best tube amp, and the Sonnet 2 to be the second best. The most resolving was the Ragnarok, and the most enjoyable solid state was the Taurus MKII.
 
Now, I hear the EC 445 sounds even better than anything I heard, so I won't know what they sound 100% until I hear it from a Schiit Yggy fed to a EC 445.
 
Of course, your 100% will significantly differ from my 100%. Rage wanted an answer, I gave him an answer. Maybe you should give an answer too if you want, instead of criticizing others in a forum revolving around personal opinion and subjective views.


Funny guy...
 
And just where was the criticizing?  And why so defensive?  Take it easy greasy...
 
This is what you said " brings forward 99% of the best sound HD800 can produce"   We make no assumptions here - at least I don't.  You know what they say about assuming things,,,,,    
 
Some really nice amps you heard there..    Why a Schitt Yaggy?  You heard it was the best or something  ha ha ha..
 
Hay buddy..  Good for you.  Have fun with your EC 445 and Yaggy.
 
Feb 26, 2015 at 5:41 PM Post #17,188 of 28,610

kapanak

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Funny guy...
 
And just where was the criticizing?  And why so defensive?  Take it easy greasy...
 
This is what you said " brings forward 99% of the best sound HD800 can produce"   We make no assumptions here - at least I don't.  You know what they say about assuming things,,,,,    
 
Some really nice amps you heard there..    Why a Schitt Yaggy?  You heard it was the best or something  ha ha ha..
 
Hay buddy..  Good for you.  Have fun with your EC 445 and Yaggy.


Very mature response.
rolleyes.gif
 
 
And yes, I heard it was great. The Yggy. I'll form my own opinion after I have had a chance to hear it.
 
Enjoy whatever you enjoy.
 
Feb 26, 2015 at 6:26 PM Post #17,189 of 28,610

rage3324

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Well, that got weird..
 
So, I happen to like the Woo sound with the HD800. So the WA2 is an option for me if I want a woo with more power. The DNA Sonett 2 really interests me as does some of the Decware options. 
 
Feb 26, 2015 at 6:37 PM Post #17,190 of 28,610

knowhatimean

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Speaking of EC, any word on the "Red Top" ?  ( I'm not a fan of tubes, but those who design them "Know their way around
a circuit" so a reasonably priced SS design from a respected headphone amp maker grabs my attention !
 

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