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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by valentinhogea, Feb 10, 2013.
  1. ColtMrFire
    Just for objectivity sake, this is the opposite of what most people say about the pairing. Not that your opinion doesn't count... not everyone will like the V2, but I think Zakazak is looking for the GENERAL consensus on gear, and generally V2 is highly recommended for the 800 in online circles. As I said, the 6CG7 tubes have a bigger effect on the sound than the standard 6DJ8, 6BZ7, 6922, ECC88 tube families I rolled. In fact, I would not recommend the V2 without the 6CG7 tubes for the 800, as they also removed the thin/dry treble sound. And with Schiit's 15 day return policy, it has extra safety in being a good buy.

    Zakazak, if you do end up pulling the trigger on the V2, I would suggest ordering some 6CG7 tubes at the same time, so they arrive along with the amp (or soon after), so you don't have a big gap eating into the 15 day trial period. Worst case scenario, you can always sell it on head fi, Schiit amps are always in demand.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  2. ColtMrFire
    Also, with regard to the future of the Sennheiser sound we discussed earlier, I bumped into this video of Tyll talking about that very thing, and he has first hand knowledge of the direction they're head (which admittedly sounds weird). Starts at 7:40 in the video.

    Nik74 and omniweltall like this.
  3. Nik74
    @zakazak I may have missed that part of the discussion but are you able to audition some of the amps you are shortlisting ?
    Unfortunately objectivity is a very vague concept in this hobby and ultimately only your ears can decide.
    Opinions range not only regarding tubes or solid state or individual amps but also towards the headphone itself. Yesterday I saw the 800 mentioned by a number of people in a thread about their worst headphone experience - crazy I know but different strokes for different folks

    With a headphone like the 800 a good pairing for me could be a meh pairing for you so take what you read as indication of possibilities rather than recommendations

    If I add my side to this and suggest another possibility: a used Hugo can be had for €600 these days and is an amazing dac for the price. Your 800 might want more current than the Hugo amp can give it to really bloom but then you could add the crack or later on a higher end tube amp. Please see this as another route towards 800 synergy , it’s not a recommendation:)
    ColtMrFire likes this.
  4. ColtMrFire
    Unsurprising, as the 800 is like a highly tuned Formula 1 car... extremely sensitive to components but performs like a monster when done right. Not liking? Okay. But I don't imagine anyone hating the 800 if heard with the proper amp... certainly not when heard from the right TOTL amp. It's a shame really, because it's an amazing piece of German engineering that can be severely misunderstood.
    omniweltall and Nik74 like this.
  5. omniweltall
    Earlier in my audio journey, I had a listen to HD800 in a shop, then completely ignored it (sounded too thin, bright with no bass) and skipped to the next TOTL. That was the dumbest choice ever, as I had a series of bad experience with headphones. It took me about a year to come back to the HD800, when someone let me have a listen to his HD800. Actually I came across to HD650 first, then back to HD800. I just recently bought an HD600. My headphone experienced only began to stabilize after HD650/800. Those two are my benchmark.

    Point is...you gotta tweak it first and create a system around it. Even a simple EQ on the bass will improve its sound.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
    Rayzilla, ColtMrFire and Nik74 like this.
  6. Nik74
    My imaginary end game TOTL for the 800(S) is the EAR HP4 according to the descriptions and comparisons that I have so far read. DNA Stratus and the Zana Deux are other TOTL winners but produced on the other side of the pond so for a UK enthusiast a little trickier perhaps...
    omniweltall likes this.
  7. DavidA
    Everyone that I know who owned the V2 (4 total) ended up selling it since it a bit thin and dry sounding no matter what driver tubes were used and all didn't like it paired with the HD800 and other headphones like the HD700, T1gen1, DT990, DT1990 and HD600. The only headphone that some liked the V2 paired with was the HD650. I don't know if anyone of the owners tried a 6cg7 but one thing they all noted was that the V2 wasn't very responsive to different driver tubes which is why I think its the power tubes that have the most influence in sound of the V2.

    @zakazak, I have a few friends that hate the HD800 since it sound really artificial to them even out of an amp like the Liquid Glass and EC Balancing Act which just shows how different we all hear so it come down to listening for your self to see if you like it or not.
  8. ColtMrFire
    I already mentioned this in my previous post, but the only tubes that changed the sound sig most were the 6CG7 tubes. It is a very different sound and works better from my experience. The V2 without them is a bit hazy and a bit dry in the treble.
  9. nephilim32
    And the Pass Labs HPA-1 3500$ USD . Lol
  10. zakazak
    Oh boy...those choices... Any more recmendations? Preferable smth that geta also sold in the EU :frowning2:
  11. ColtMrFire
    None that I've heard, but plenty of online love for these paired with the 800:

    Bryston BHA-1 (if you want solid state... used units are a little over $1K)
    Schiit Vali 2 (cheapest option I believe, but high price/performance ratio)
    Schiit Mjolnir 2 (but you can get a used T3/BW for around the same price of a new MJ2, and those are supposedly better)
    DNA Sonnett 2
    Garage 1217 Horizon 3

    You've got some researching to do...
  12. nephilim32
    I really believe the Burson is a steal for the price, but it really doesn't matter what I think because you yourself have to audition amps with the 800's . Like most say on here the 800's are picky and tricky. System synergies are no joke with the 800's but I find that is some of the beauty about this headphone .
    800's are truth sayers and reveal so much subtly in amps and DACS, which is why I very much recommend you spend a good 1hr listening and auditioning gear. Take your time. Enjoy the experience .
  13. ColtMrFire
    Part of the journey and fun of this hobby is just being experienced with alot of different equipment. That means you may buy an amp and it won't work out. But the important thing is you start gaining knowledge about your taste and what you perfer and don't prefer. That only comes from experience. Don't put too much pressure to find the perfect amp right away. Took me a couple years and several amps until I got the right match.
    Deftone, treebug and omniweltall like this.
  14. DavidA
    A few more choices: G-109 or any of other higher Vioelectric amps (I've only heard G-109 and V281), Icon Audio HP8 Mk2, WA3, WA6 and AudioGD NFB-1 (haven't heard it be a friend who has one says its good with his HD800 and HE560).
  15. treebug
    Agree with this, although it took me more than a couple of years! I settled on the HDVA600 and thought it wouldn't get better and then I heard the HD800 through the Luxman P-750u. Incredible detail and soundstage, with the Senn's and every other headphone I've tried with it. Not cheap, but wow!

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