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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by valentinhogea, Feb 10, 2013.
  1. lugnut
    Just out of curiosity, what aspect of tube amps are you tired of ?
  2. Ichos
    Changing tubes , chasing for the right sound , thinking maybe this or that sounds better and hearing distortion.
  3. omniweltall
    I dont roll tubes with my tube amp. Every tube has its strength and weakness. I decided on 1 set and stick with them. For me, mid tonality and bass are my priorities.
    DavidA and Nik74 like this.
  4. johnjen
    Until my BIG 45 amp project I stayed away from tubes for many reasons.
    One of which is, it's fairly 'easy' to make a decent tube amp, but a tube amp that 'demands your attention' is much more of a rarity.
    It is this level of SQ where 800's can REALLY shine and some of the commercially available tube gear can miss out in this respect.
    That isn't to say they sound 'bad', well some can, but they don't grab you by your ears and force you sit and listen either.

    800's can deliver, what I call Magic in the Mids (MitM), with delicacy and focus and a degree of 'direct personal involvement' that is compelling.

    And tube rolling will never make up for a design that has certain types of 'compromises', let alone one that uses 'non-optimal' output xfmr or coupling caps.
    These are some of the critical areas where "certain types of 'compromises'" are usually made.
    But then none of this is new info by any stretch.

    When tube based systems are tweaked, there is a level of 'direct personal involvement' with the music that is 'memorable' to say the least.
    And 800's can scale right along with tubes ability to 'push the envelope'.

    Maxx134, thecrow and omniweltall like this.
  5. whirlwind
    I do not own the HD800 right now, but I did own it for years. I preferred the HD800 with tubes over the SS amplification.

    In my own experience the headphone was far less analytical with tubes making it much more musical listening experience for me while still retaining much of the detail.
    The HD800 is very transparent to to tubes IMO.

    I listened to the HD800 on single ended and balanced SS amps.....but always felt tubes were best sound to my ears....YMMV of course as it is subjective.

    I guess it is just a personal preference thing though as I know people who prefer the HD800 from SS amps, so basically what ever works for you....the HD800 is one great headphone that has stood the test of time and will live forever I suppose.

    I listened mostly with the following tube amps. OTL....Transformer Coupled and SS
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
    DavidA, JamieMcC, RCBinTN and 4 others like this.
  6. Ichos
    Great amps!
  7. Nephorsis
    Has anyone tried the HD800 with the Topping DX7 dac/amp before?
  8. Focux
    Wow nice GSX..
    whirlwind likes this.
  9. RCBinTN
    I hear a bit of longing for that sweet tube amp & HD800 sound to re-appear in your home studio :)
    whirlwind likes this.
  10. whirlwind

    I would never say never, I did own the HD650 on three separate occasions :)
    RCBinTN likes this.
  11. FiGuY1017
    I’ll recommend something based on the only perspective I have, mine. So this is just my opinion. I’ve ran my 800’s from my iPhone using the cck for a long time and decided to try a laptop, to see if I could get any improvement. Well, what I found was that due to the lower output impedance of the iPhone, it’s not even close. The sound using the iPhone as a source stomps all over my laptop. The sound becomes less “forced” for lack of a better description. Give it a try if you stream, the difference was significant for my ears. Agian, I can only speak from my experiences(my equipment, my ears)
  12. Law87

    recovering addict....

    I was rolling Tube with lyr 1, but I recover....going on 3 years, about to relapse with the Lyr 3 lol
    DavidA, omniweltall and RCBinTN like this.
  13. RCBinTN
    Moving up to a better DAC will certainly help your HD800 sound, as well. The HD800 scale better than any other HP that I've heard.
    My revelation moment was upgrading my DAC from Schiit's Gungnir D/S to the Gungnir MB technology. A world of difference.

    I also recently tested my HD800 with a mini-rig we set-up for my son in law: Modi MB + Magni3.
    The SQ was amazingly decent, for the price of that rig :)
    nephilim32 and FiGuY1017 like this.
  14. Law87

    to me honesly the original HD800 was THE pickiest when it comes to gear, I said the Amplifier has a bigger impact, it brings the highs and bring out the Lows, but not all Tube amp are good with the HD800, it ridiculous, its like dating a celebrity who has the worse Obsessive compulsive disorder. The HD800s and HD820 is much much better.
    DavidA and FiGuY1017 like this.
  15. FiGuY1017
    I absolutely agree, once I discovered this gem of a dac, I became a true believer in the benefits of a totl source. This MKiii/Vandergraf has been a revelation for me. Def my endgame dac until I can move up to 5k or so.

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