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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by valentinhogea, Feb 10, 2013.
  1. bosiemoncrieff
    It was long rumored that the HD800 tuning changed from more "full sounding" to more "airy." Any idea when this change might have taken effect? I have SN 6xxx
     
  2. RCBinTN
    You may want to go back to DavidMahler's original thread ... he, too, heard a revision in the HD800.

    https://www.head-fi.org/threads/battle-of-the-flagships-58-headphones-compared.634201/
    You'll need to page through to find his HD800 review - the links don't work since Head-Fi upversioned the platform.

    Both my HD800 are around SN 34000 so much later than yours ...
     
  3. Thenewguy007
    That was just a rumor. The sound difference people were hearing was the older earpads being squished & used up vs a pair with brand new ones.

    Though I think there was a revision in tuning, but that was from the first batches of HD800 a decade+ ago. I think the first few hundred produced.
     
    RCBinTN likes this.
  4. bosiemoncrieff
    Ohhh. So I guess I'll look for SN<300? < 250?
     
  5. P+D-MI
    I have one of the first run of 500 and definitely different than any of the newer units i've heard. In a word, fuller. Oh yeah, and I've replaced the pads. Btw, I'll never sell them.
     
    RCBinTN and bosiemoncrieff like this.
  6. bosiemoncrieff
    I imagine it'll be very difficult to find one of the originals.
     
  7. Svatopluk
    I doubt if any manufacturer has the capability to produce truly consistent sounding headphones. The drivers that are not within specified tolerances must be reworked, resulting in additional costs for the manufacturer. Even the inspec drivers have variations resulting in the need for matching, slightly brighter ones are paired with other like drivers, the same with slightly darker ones. This, along with earpad condition may explain the variations and may be resposable for some of the retuning theories.

    But what do I know!
     
  8. FiGuY1017
    I can’t help but feel bad for the next generation of those in the minority like me(who’d like the stock sound) they’ll be missing out on the og. Every other headphone I have is great to listen to ,but with these ,it’s a music experience. I’ll be hanging onto these until I get buried with them.
     
  9. Amberlamps
    My HD800S suffered from droopy ears, both sides would fall down very easily.

    Someone has probably already done this, but for anyone who hasn’t, this is what I did.

    I took the headband off, it clips off but be careful, as there is a good few clips, each clip is really two clips. ( Putting the head band on requires force to snap the clips back inplace )

    Once the head band is off, use a light and you will see tiny holes in the metal headband, if you then look on the end you should see a copper coloured piece of metal with a tiny ball bearing in it, ( its actually on the black plastic of the earphone ) the copper coloured metal covers the ball and at one side is slightly bent over.

    To stop your headphones from falling down again, take something blunt and gently apply force to the side that is bending over, don’t push the bearing down, just the metal thats slightly bending over. Do it very very gently and you will be rewarded with excellent stability.

    My right earphone will now only come down if I move it, and with a loud satisfying click, and it no longer falls down by itself.

    There is a ball bearing at each side of the head band, one or both may need done. All you have to look for is the metal ball bearing and the copper coloured metal, one side of the metal is attached to black plastic, the opposite side to that is the part that is bending down and which may need pushed down slightly.

    To be honest, it’s a badly designed system, but it can be fixed easily, and in minutes.

    Disclaimer, follow my instructions at your own risk.
     
    RCBinTN likes this.
  10. thecrow
    Absolutely!! :)
     
    bosiemoncrieff likes this.
  11. Ichos
    It's the right timing for a massdrop HD800!
     
  12. Skullophile
    My pair is just >500 serial number.
    D279815D-695D-4BCF-A24F-716DBFD665BF.jpeg
     
    nephilim32 and whirlwind like this.
  13. adlevision
    Howdy gents,

    I'm evaluating whether to keep the HD800. I think I will, for the usual mind-blowing reason, but I could use some help evaluating the frequency graph (attached at the bottom) and EQ suggestions. I'm blind, so it'd be great if one of you could "read" the graph for me by stating it in dB. I understand the graphs are very smoothed out, but maybe it will provide some useful info to me. Similarly, EQ discussions are always carried out using images. It's a bit awkward buying $1000 headphones that I don't like listening to without EQ, but that's the story. Mids are too thin for violins and cellos to have body, tiz and sibilance are bad. WHat's not to dislike? The lightning transient response and imaging, of course.

    Playing with EQ, I've learned two things. First, my disdain for EQ was premature, since I'm fairly stunned by the good results with the HD800, even using a simple 31-band GEQ in Foobar. Second, I've learned that I suck at predicting what bands correspond to which sonic characteristics--lack of experience.

    What I've roughed out so far is the following:
    * -6 dB @6kHz. Kill it, kill it, kill it until it's dead!
    * Next, I took literally everything else down about 2 dB to give me some room to play with boosting.
    * Brought up the low bass just for fun.
    * Brought 2.5 kHz up to 0 dB for a Grado-like spike--sheepishly, because I sold my SR-225i years ago to get away from this spike. I think I need to bring up surrounding bands, since the highs are now unnaturally spotlighted.
    * Importantly, I progressively dropped bands from 800 Hz down to 200 Hz by very slight amounts each time to add fulness to the fundamentals.
    ...That's pretty much the story so far. Comments and suggestions, particularly in relation to how this seems when juxtaposed on the individual frequency response graph?
    For context: According to my ears, the HD600s are "correct" and my gear shoots for neutral, though I have all Bur Brown DAC chips in everything by choice. Amp is TEAC HA-501, said to be neutral.

    A couple of other questions:
    * What's with the diamond-shaped raised area on the screens inside the ear cups? Are we decorating ear cups now?
    * Early HD800 impressions didn't report the 6kHz spike, and there are at least some suggestions that the trend in drivers is toward more treble since 2013, either intentionally or just batch variation? Did early adopters just not hear the spike and bright treble because they couldn't see it on the graph, was it something that became more of a real problem in the drivers along the way, or do newer owners just hear it as more profound because they are already listening for it? I know I legitimately cringe at the spike. I just kind of worry about the possibility that I either have an extreme unit, perhaps even a fake (EBay), or that newer units just ain't what they used to be.
    freqresp_high.png
     
    nephilim32 and RCBinTN like this.
  14. JaZZ Contributor
    Hi Adlevision

    I wouldn't care for the individual curve for you pair – it's heavily smoothed and moreover normalized by any Sennheiser norm.

    Since my pair is modified (bare reflective surfaces within the ear cups lined with one or two layers of black velvet, which has turned out to have the best HF absorbtion properties), my foobar/xnor EQ curve doesn't exactly suit your needs. Therefore I have tried to make one that extrapolates from it and should be passably usable for an unmodified pair. See attached Zip file.

    Well, for some reason Head-Fi doesn't make uploaded Zip files visible/accessible for its users, so I'll send it to you via PM.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    nephilim32 and adlevision like this.
  15. johnjen
    My 2¢.
    The Senn supplied freq response charts are 'normalized', meaning averaged over each of the 1/3 octaves that the chart shows.
    This is a 'standard' measurement technique that has been used for decades.
    It hides the unevenness that the FR actually has.
    I figure it's a marketing response to showing a FR graph yet not showing any usable nor meaningful information.

    And your FR graph is actually better than many I have seen, as in, it's flatter than most.
    And I wouldn't use that graph as a basis for making EQ adjustments.
    It simply has so little resolution, that it isn't really helpful to use as a basis for correction.

    As for using EQ, my suggestion is to make small adjustments (like you already have) of 5dB or less.
    And drop the entire FR by that same 5dB.
    This will help to keep the digital signal from clipping, which can really mislead the efforts at EQ adjustments.

    And in my experiments and subsequent EQ adjustments, that 6.5KHz peak only really needs to be reduced by ≈ 4 to 5dB and it by itself won't 'fix' the 'problem'.
    Because simply put it isn't a FR problem.
    And as such while the FR adjustment can 'help', it can't 'solve' this annoying aspect to the 800's.

    And simply put, this audible 'annoyance' has to do with the overshoot response that these and most all other HP's have.

    IOW FR adjustments can help ameliorate this 'annoyance', but not reduce it to insignificance.
    And bringing up the very bottom end can really make substantial improvements everywhere, and I have found, in surprising ways.
    The 800's can deliver bass energy that can be most impressive in terms of tonality and resolution and what I call coupling.

    Lastly, consider using a parametric equalizer instead of the more traditional full or 1/3rd or 1/10 octave based fixed frequency EQ's
    This will allow you to tailor the adjustments to the specific frequencies that need them and leave the others that don't need changing, alone.

    This subject can get rather complex and detail oriented all to quickly, which can dissuade many from reaching a suitable solution that works for them, but the end results can be very satisfying.

    JJ
     

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