The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread
May 2, 2013 at 3:40 PM Post #2,356 of 28,958
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Nothing is fixed by slapping yourself in the head repeatedly. It may also result in a loss of long-term sound quality. 
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May 2, 2013 at 3:44 PM Post #2,357 of 28,958
Get a cheap Phoenix so you have both un/ balanced and lots of power.
Get mine
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....as I have just bought a vintage Pioneer XS1010 with 6 W in the headphone output!!!!
 
 
May 2, 2013 at 4:15 PM Post #2,358 of 28,958
Denon's mid to high-end lines are all discrete. My 2112ci is discrete and so are the two or so lines below this. As I said, receivers have come a long was since the 90s. Let's not get stuck in the crappy receiver myth. Higher-end Denons are extreme value and they are pretty much the best receivers on the market and better than their Pioneer counterparts in just about every way. I should know as I researched these things for quite some time. I went over all the chips and design documents I could find to make sure I wasn't getting some integrated piece of crap. As for the headphone impedances I think Denon designs their systems pretty well.
 
As far as I know they drive all impedances I have tried from 18-300. Tons of power and bass and that is a sign they are doing just fine.
 
I know what good sound amounts to in the end and I don't need the best of the best of the best. I have listened to Krell with B&Os and all the rest in systems that would put the HD800s to shame for the most part if you are talking concert-like sound. Most of the time a 10000 amp isn't doing anything that a 2000 dollar amp can do. And this scales downwards. I'm not really concerned about the amp tbh. I just wanted some details on the upper-end of these headphones.
 
 
May 2, 2013 at 4:24 PM Post #2,359 of 28,958
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IME, the Denon receivers have a high output impedance at the headphone jack.

I didnt like the way the HD800 sounded out of it when I tried it. Of course, YMMV.


Yeah, IDK, kind of hard to take that for anything. Denon makes some pretty decent headphones and they know what they are doing I'm sure as they have been designing amps for decades. I don't really have any other choice as I'm not spending 2000 dollars on an amp when I have one right here that sounds fine.
 
I use MPC and process if needed the EQ at 32-bit floating point. Denon is pure direct mode to headphones and I have never had a problem amping higher ohms headphones. The bass out of the 1350s, with a tight seal, is actually pretty incredible and sounds good enough in the pound region to match a smaller sub with lower wattage in all but the lowest tangible frequencies. For 80 ohm headphones I have a decent bit of headroom on this amp. 300 should be fine for everyday headphones.
 
May 2, 2013 at 4:38 PM Post #2,360 of 28,958
While I can't vouch for Denon headphone output, I can say "Amen" to the Denon praise above. When I learned in 2011 that I could buy a Denon w/Dolby Digital with Audyssey MultiEQ XT room equalization built-in for about $300... I knew we'd just crossed a major new performance paradigm. Still in disbelief at the amount of tech for the money in that 1712.
 
May 2, 2013 at 4:40 PM Post #2,361 of 28,958
I hear you man. 2112ci refurb for 390 here.
 
Nothing I could see but a scratch on front and didn't even look like it was opened up although it does have the refurb sticker which tears paint if it comes off.
 
So far honestly there is no better deal on the market. This thing is incredible. I researched the Denon lines for quite some time to arrive at my decision for this one.
 
Plus, if I do replace my amp it is more than likely going to be with a high-end Denon, as I need something that can host a lot of connections. and only if they change their chipsets and stuff. From what I saw this 2112ci had the same chipsets as the higher-end ones for DACs at the time, and it doesn't look like a whole lot has changed at the moment.
 
If I did honestly think the HD800s sounded bad with these I would in the end probably get something in the 1000 dollar range for amperage. Any recommendations in that range?
 
 
May 2, 2013 at 4:43 PM Post #2,362 of 28,958
Audyssey is so amazingly effective at what it does, I'd never recommend buying a home theater amplifier without it. It transformed a crappy, echoey, narrow hallway of a room into an expansive sound theater... and was easy to do.
 
Huge... and cheap! Total win.
 
Anyway, I digress. Haven't stuck my HD800 into the 1712. Think I'll try that now... what the heck.
 
May 2, 2013 at 4:49 PM Post #2,363 of 28,958
For the record this is what the Denon 2112ci has: AKM Semiconductor 24-bit/192-kHz AK4358VQ x 2 per channel differential.
 
Nick, it looks like your ADCs are the same as mine but on the site it doesn't list the DACs. Prolly the same I guess no idea but just remember to use 2 channel direct pure if you can and tell me what you think! Also, remember that I can EQ pretty easily and lose almost nothing if some SMALL problem is in the high-end or something like that.
 
May 2, 2013 at 5:21 PM Post #2,364 of 28,958
OK, time for a mini-review on Denon receiver HP capabilities.
 
I fired up the Denon AVR-4311CI with the HD800's. I used my Denon DVD-5900 DVD/SACD as source via the Denon Link digital connection. Test disc's were the DTS version of Alan Parsons "On Air", The SACD of Nick Drake's "A Treasury" and a regular Redbook CD of the Eagles "Their Greatest Hits".
 
 

 

 
 
The Denon receiver uses 2 AKM 4358 DAC's to cover it's 11.2 processing:
 
* The Denon AVR-4311CI receiver uses TWO AKM DACs, the exact same DAC as in the 3311 receiver.
Because the AVR-4311 receiver is an 11.2-channel receiver, it has 13 preouts for 13 channels. So it needs 13 DACs. And TWO AK4358 DACs equals 16 DACs all together; the three extra DACs are NOT used. 
 
The Denon DVD-5900 uses a pair of Burr-Brown 24 bit/192 PCM/DSD 1790 Audio DAC's
 
A review of the DVD-5900 by Kris Deering can be found here:
 
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_11_1/denon-dvd-5900-dvd-player-2-2004.html
 
After a couple of hours A/B'ing between the Denon AVR-4311CI and my Decware CSP2+/Taboo MK III using the same DVD-5900 source it was no contest between them. The Decware was easily superior to the Denon for HP use.
 
The Denon is clean, but sterile in its presentation. Even with the vaunted HD800 it felt flat and much less dimensionality. You hear everything, but it is artificial in its presentation.
 
Switching to the Decware things really open up. Alan Parson "On Air" casts a wide soundstage and the Decware revealed it fully. Suddenly you had depth alongside height and width. 
 
Listening to Nick Drake, both gave you the pluck of the guitar, but only the Decware gave a sense of the room Nick was playing in. A good analogy would be the Denon was like watching a well shot 2D movie, while the Decware was a ticket to the second row of the coffee house.
 
The Eagles "One of these Nights" has a great bass line and some really nice high hat cymbals to anchor the great guitar and vocals. This was the best comparison for the Denon. I do not know if this was due it this being the only non HD disc, but it was a somewhat closer contest. Still, it was no trouble distinguishing and enjoying the extra provided by the Decware.
 
The Denon is a great piece for home theater. It runs my M&K 150's and SV Sub beautifully. The Decware would never do justice a good disaster movie and a large popcorn. 
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The Decware pair runs 1/3 more in combination than the Denon receiver and has only 2 channel to worry about. The victory for exclusive 2 channel Headphone use was not a surprise. These are 2 systems that have primary roles for entertainment. Ultimately, I am really glad I have both. But I know where my HD800's will be plugged into! 
 
 

 
May 2, 2013 at 6:02 PM Post #2,365 of 28,958
well at least you can hear everything even if it sounds lifeless and flat. i tried HD 800s out of my crappy HTIB receiver (panasonic junk i bought when i was 16 or 17, way before i got into headphones), so i could play games/music with them on the TV, and it was terrible. the hd 800s where edgy, grainy, thin, and bass less. really bad.
 
May 2, 2013 at 6:04 PM Post #2,366 of 28,958
It's not tragic, just not all that the HD800's can do.
 
May 2, 2013 at 6:07 PM Post #2,367 of 28,958
It's tragic when you've heard them on a better rig imo. It's always the downgrade that is more noticeable imo than the upgrade. That's why the E9 = ZDSE crowd always cracks me up. Live with both systems, get accustomed to the  differences, and the downgrade will almost always be night/day.
 
-Daniel
 
May 2, 2013 at 6:16 PM Post #2,368 of 28,958
Someone said that the AD900X's have 85% of the sound quality that the HD800's have. Does anyone agree to this? Because if it's true, I think I might get the AD900X's instead of the HD650's when I upgrade to open cans
 
May 2, 2013 at 6:20 PM Post #2,369 of 28,958
OK, time for a mini-review on Denon receiver HP capabilities.

I fired up the Denon AVR-4311CI with the HD800's. I used my Denon DVD-5900 DVD/SACD as source via the Denon Link digital connection. Test disc's were the DTS version of Alan Parsons "On Air", The SACD of Nick Drake's "A Treasury" and a regular Redbook CD of the Eagles "Their Greatest Hits".









The Denon receiver uses 2 AKM 4358 DAC's to cover it's 11.2 processing:

* The Denon AVR-4311CI receiver uses TWO AKM DACs, the exact same DAC as in the 3311 receiver.


Because the AVR-4311 receiver is an 11.2-channel receiver, it has 13 preouts for 13 channels. So it needs 13 DACs. And TWO AK4358 DACs equals 16 DACs all together; the three extra DACs are NOT used. 


The Denon DVD-5900 uses a pair of Burr-Brown 24 bit/192 PCM/DSD 1790 Audio DAC's

A review of the DVD-5900 by Kris Deering can be found here:

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_11_1/denon-dvd-5900-dvd-player-2-2004.html

After a couple of hours A/B'ing between the Denon AVR-4311CI and my Decware CSP2+/Taboo MK III using the same DVD-5900 source it was no contest between them. The Decware was easily superior to the Denon for HP use.

The Denon is clean, but sterile in its presentation. Even with the vaunted HD800 it felt flat and much less dimensionality. You hear everything, but it is artificial in its presentation.

Switching to the Decware things really open up. Alan Parson "On Air" casts a wide soundstage and the Decware revealed it fully. Suddenly you had depth alongside height and width


That wasnt a comparison between the Denon and Decware. It was a comparison between solid state and tubes.
 
May 2, 2013 at 6:22 PM Post #2,370 of 28,958
Quote:
It's tragic when you've heard them on a better rig imo. It's always the downgrade that is more noticeable imo than the upgrade. That's why the E9 = ZDSE crowd always cracks me up. Live with both systems, get accustomed to the  differences, and the downgrade will almost always be night/day.
 
-Daniel

True enough...I do not have to compromise here...
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