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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by valentinhogea, Feb 10, 2013.
  1. Hansotek
    Your attempt at a logical correlation between the quality of the HD800 stock cable and the quality of the engineers at Sennheiser is a false proposition. You assume quality is the only design parameter. Certainly they could design a better cable if they wanted to, but they have to consider other things like cost, construction time, supply chain availability, sourcing, etc.
    Secondly, the cable's resistance is not applied to the headphone's resistance, it is applied to the load from the source. If the source is 1ohm and the cable is 0.1 ohm, you're essentially only getting 90.9% of the source signal. Drop that down to a 6ft 10AWG cable (i.e. 0.01 ohm) and you jump up to 99%.
    Third, insertion loss is not uniform across the frequency spectrum, so you can't just "turn it up", as you say. It will affect all different kinds of variables from FR, to soundstage, to imaging clarity, bass impact and more. It's not insane nonsense, it's basic math and science.
  2. bearFNF Contributor
  3. jibzilla
  4. etc6849
    If one measures resistance from L+ to ground OR R+ to ground with the cable on headphones your ohm meter will show the series resistance value of the headphone driver + cable.  That is what I was getting at.  The amp sees this total resistance.
    Keep in mind, I said resistance (R) NOT impedance (Z).  They really aren't the same thing, Z= R+jX.  The reactance is really very negligible compared to resistance for a given headphone cable.  We are dealing with a GHz signal over coax, etc...  Also remember the driver is really going to have it's reactance change as it moves, and this change is way more dominant than the reactance of the cable.
      You can model things however you want adding .1 ohms to the output impedance of the headphone amp, but by not including the driver impedance in your model you lose credibility and your assertion is factually flawed.
    The amp sees the cable and headphones since they are connected to it (this is obvious).  The headphone amp should be modeled as a voltage source.  It typically does have a 120 ohm resistor on it's output for highgain loads (like the HD800).  This is really a simple circuit as pictured below.  Yes you lose some voltage across Rcable (resistance of the cable) so Rhp (resistance of one of the headphone drivers) does not see the full source voltage Vs, but sees Vheadphone instead.
    BUT this voltage change is very small as Rcable<<Rheadphone.  In other words it is simply a voltage divider:  Vhp = Vs*(Rhp/(Rhp+Rc)) which is almost Vs since Rcable is so small.  Replace R with Z if you want, still a voltage divider and definitely the only impedance we are worried about are that of the cable and driver.
    PS: your source impedance (e.g. output impedance of the headphone amp) is off, although I would approach this circuit as shown above.  The IEC standard is 120 ohms, and we are talking about a high impedance headphone (HD800), so 120 ohms makes sense here not 1 ohm.
    DISCLAIMER:  I know someone will critique my post again, and yes I am assuming Vs is an ideal source.  This is perfectly ok to do here since changing headphone cables is NOT going to greatly impact the total impedance (headphone plus cable) that the headphone amp is seeing (e.g. 320.05 ohms versus 320.1 ohms, pretty sure Vs can keep up with that).
  5. Hansotek
    It's not my model. Though, it would be fair to say I oversimplified things a bit. I think we can both agree that cables are, on the whole, too dang expensive. I have heard at least a dozen different HD800 cables, some of which made a very noticeable difference, others of which made none at all. I find it frustrating that any discussion about cables that might actually help somebody not get ripped off is shouted down with reductive arguments. It's a long running pattern on any audio-related site.
    Sorry if I gave offense, I certainly could have been more polite in my initial response. No excuse.
  6. SearchOfSub

    so..... will you ever recommend a good cable TY.
  7. thecrow

    I totally agree. Some cables ive heard may or may not have made a difference and any difference could well be placebo.

    Im currently sussing out norne cables. When trying outvthe silvergarde s (silver cable) the difference stands out like the proverbial. After hearing cables like that i can in no way concur thay cables will never make a difference.

    Anyway that's my 2 cents. I won't get bogged down in that discussion too much.
  8. Hansotek

    I'll tell you three that I know to change the sound for the better:

    WyWires Red - very reasonably priced. Does what most people are looking for in that it takes the highs down a little, brings out the bass a bit, adds a bit of depth layering, and makes the HD800 sound slightly less analytical.

    Double Helix Neucleotide (which you can DIY) - I have a 8-strand neucleotide macromolecule cable with some nice Oyaide connectors. Does many of the same things as the WyWires Red, but does them all better (though, I think the WyWires cable calms the treble a touch more). The big things with this cable are depth and emotion though. I have shed more than a few tears listening to the HD800 through this cable. Very expressive. Depth is also pretty incredible. Sound images float freely in a 3D space between near and far. They never feel shoved into a blob of close, near or far. The stock cable feels infuriatingly analytical and boring, in comparison.

    DanaCable Lazuli - It's expensive, but the change is not subtle. Much more bass, much smoother treble, much more forward and musical mids. The sound is incredibly full and much easier on the ears, even compared to the good cables. Sounds the most like a real, live performance. I feel like detail with the Lazuli starts to push into SR-009 territory. It almost makes the HD800 a different (and superior) headphone, IMO. It's the real deal for sure. Not certain why I still find the DHC cable a bit more emotionally expressive. In many ways I like them equally.
    ColtMrFire and ezekiel77 like this.
  9. etc6849
    No apologies needed.  I was definitely sarcastic in my reply to your post, so I went and removed the sarcasms and left only what I would consider engineering facts (e.g. stuff that any engineering textbook will show).  You are certainly welcome to your opinion on what you hear and are free to make your own choices without any judgement.
    Hansotek likes this.
  10. jhljhl
    SA Endorphin cables for hd800 are really nice.
  11. Peti
    Many will swear on the Norne Draug 2 with the HD800C but I have never heard them.
  12. Hansotek

    Not that I need a 4th HD800 cable, but if I could get the Draug 2 cheaply I'd consider it, just so I can see for myself and weigh in on it.
  13. YoengJyh
    is there any trade-in program from HD800 to HD800s + additional cash? 
  14. SearchOfSub

    Can someone tell me how cables can make such big differnce like Danacable lazuli. I am speaking from experience from Moon Audio silver dragon v3 on Audioquest Nighthawks. Cable took NH to another level. Cables don't have drivers so I guess lots of info gets lost with cables?

    I realize cables usually have diminishing returns. But lazuli is worth the investment? TY.
  15. thecrow
    Relatively speaking the draug2 is not that expensive.

    But be patient as it can take 4-8 weeks (plus) sometimes to be made. Don't expect it quickly.

    Trevor at norne was planning to stop them as he is soon bringing out new cables. (I beleive)

    And there is a 30 day money back guarantee as well

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