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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by valentinhogea, Feb 10, 2013.
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  1. MacedonianHero Contributor
    The 6kHz peak is still a colouration whether it "bothers" you or not. It is not in the source music and that is my main issue with them. Having to purchase flawed amps that roll off the treble to account for this isn't ideal either as so many HD800 owners have done in the past (generally speaking). I don't understand why you keep brining up the number sold? I'm with you as a fan of these headphones, but I do realize that they had one serious flaw that thankfully were rectified in the S version with the Helmholtz resonator. While you mention the SR-009, you can't compare e-stats to regular headphones as the investment is VERY significant over a pair of $1300 dynamic headphones. First off, when they were released (and for a very good number of years), the SR-009s cost $5499 US PLUS you'd have to invent an equal amount in a dedicated headphone amplifier to get to hear them close to their very best. So we are talking about almost a 10X price increase. So your 5000 vs 50,000 unit comparison is roughly in the same ballpark when we factor in price.

    And with regards to the SR-007 MK1 (I used to own them too), they were BETTER than the newer MK2, why....let me tell you....the SR-007 MK2 had a treble peak (among other issues), that the originals did not. See a trend here? :wink: I never stated the S was better because it was released later, but that it did not have the treble peak, flaw, colouration of the original and were discontinued because the S version's sales had eclipsed the original because of that flaw that introduced a much higher emphasis on instruments in the 6kHz range that WAS NOT IN THE SOURCE MATERIAL. Thus the lack in transparency; the SR-007 did that in reverse.

    Please do not read things into my comments that I never inferred...it's rather frustrating to argue against a straw man. I would gladly state the opposite if the S had the peak and the originals did not (like the SR-007).
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
    Youth, greggf and Hifiearspeakers like this.
  2. donlin
    Well said, I was thinking the guy must have a reading comprehension problem as well.
    Youth, greggf, dmdm and 1 other person like this.
  3. MacedonianHero Contributor
    Throw in a straw man here and there, and it makes things quite frustrating. Everything Hifiearsspeakers said, I agree with 100%.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
    Youth, greggf, donlin and 2 others like this.
  4. MacedonianHero Contributor

    I bought and owned the HD800 before about 7 years before this member even joined Head-Fi and I very happily owned them for about just about 7 years in fact...,but the 6kHz peak was an issue that was identified pretty much right from their release. My good friend Skylab was one of the first to really chime in as he got his pair pretty much from the outset. Subsequent measurements by many different folks over the past decade backed this up. Again, that's not to say that we didn't enjoy them, but that we weren't looking at them with rosy coloured glasses either. Then the S version came out and fixed this commonly mentioned complaint/flaw; so many of us jumped on this new version. That was my entire point to the original post by this member claiming the HD800 were superior...which they clearly are not from a transparency, performance and quantitative point of view. Taste however is entirely something else which I can totally accept...anyone can prefer anything as there is no
    accounting for personal tastes and preferences.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
    Youth, Ichos, Maxx134 and 3 others like this.
  5. gLer
    Not sure why we’re all rehashing this stuff. I’m sure HD800/HD800S owners are intimately familiar with the strengths, weaknesses and quirks of their headphones by now.

    As for the 6kHz peak, the $15 SDR mod eliminated that for me, without messing with the bass. The 800S changes more than just the peak; some like the changes, others don’t, but to say the 800S is universally accepted as a ‘better’ HD800 just isn’t the case.
    Liu Junyuan, omniweltall and dmdm like this.
  6. Maxx134
    Just like to point out a clarification please..

    The $10 (SD) mod insert will not give you an 800S...
    It will give you a nicer, more neutral sounding 800 with subdued 6k resonance peak...

    For making your 800 sound similar to an 800"S", with all the benefits of the 800, you need simply ThIs Mod.. insert instead.

    Ofcourse, the first option is less expensive, but cost for both so low it is irrelevant.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  7. MacedonianHero Contributor
    But there are some resonances still in that range that are only ideally eliminated by the Helmholtz resonator. But I have heard a few mods that also were an improvement over the stock HD800.
    Hifiearspeakers and Maxx134 like this.
  8. protoss
    @Hifiearspeakers @donlin

    Of course I have a confirmation bias, silly.
    Same with you all. You two are basically cheerleaders. You both have nothing to add but passive biases here too silly.

    Welcome to original HD800 the best of it all.

    Get that pom pom ready :p
  9. protoss
    You know what's funny. My "quote" with my name defines I am a fan of coloration and it's an indication of what a endgame needs to be on endgame levels.

    The HD800 6k peak is flaw. Sure. Just like every other headphone has a flaw. Certain amp accentuate that peak greatly sadly. But others clearly dosnt and reduces it. You have to mention this also if not. Well I already know the answer because everyone is bias.

    Now if it reduces it, than that 6K peak is clearly isn't a problem than right. But of course it's still there. But won't affect the person at all with a good amplifier.

    I posted this article hundreds of times to help people. https://www.headphoneer.com/hd800-amplifier-review/

    Many ideas and which way to go to get a good amp to make the HD800 shine. Of course it's not the ultimate list but a very good one on it's own.

    I bought up the sold number to make a point that the hd800 is a successful headphone. Yes, it is. It's a success. And you attack it by saying why did they stop at 50k? And I was like lol What. That's the reason.

    Back to 6k I do not see the 6k peak as a serious flaw thou. I see it has a problem/flaw like I see utopia has a flaw or any Hifiman products that breaks on me aka flaw or LCD 2/3 drivers dying for the 100 times. Like seriously Audeze LCD drivers are one of the worst flawed design ever. These were serious flaws repeated over and over again untill the frazor drivers came out and than again dead driver.
    What about schiit amiplfers destroying your headphone drivers? I consider this a horrendous serious flaw. How about Staxs 009 drivers dying? This is a bad flaw. I never seen 1 Hd800 driver died. And I never seen a company stop making a headphone because of a minor 6K peak issue.

    Funny thing is I notice many headphones have 6k peaks. And you mention one of them MK2. But nothing sold 50k units without it being a serious consider flawed.

    Btw Hd800 release price was 2k not today's $1300. 009 release at $5.2k now today at 3.3k just to clarify.

    And one last thing. You make it seem when the S" came out in 2016 the original was discontinue. Well it stayed until 2019. I talked to senny rep guy. He said, the S is for people that wants a warmer balance tone.


    Btw. Hard to notice by now. But I am a fan of both. Of course duh lol
    dmdm and omniweltall like this.
  10. MacedonianHero Contributor
    I hope you continue to enjoy your 6kHz flaw...I'l stick with transparency (and less headaches as a result). :wink:
    Youth and protoss like this.
  11. protoss
    Yes, I checked your modding techniques. Its very good. I recommend :)

    I also mod too lol.
    Maxx134 likes this.
  12. protoss
    Lol. I do have other headphones like you. But thanks. It dose not bother me lol

    dmdm likes this.
  13. MacedonianHero Contributor
    If you look back here:


    I remember paying $1399 US for my pair in 2010. Plus for the SR-009, let's not forget that you can't plug that into a regular headphone amplifier...and for these flagships, you're looking at a dedicated e-stat amp of around $5000-ish (or higher) on top of the $5500 for the headphones. So my ratio mentioned earlier still holds FWIW.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  14. Ichos
    Please remember that the SDR mod lowers the 6Khz peak but it's not very effective with the resonance that exists.
    The resonator takes care far more better of the resonance and also lowers the 5KHz peak.
    It's more effective.
    I owned both headphones.
    I liked the HD800S better , but still remains a colored headphone and the trade off for the excellent technical ability is the loss of natural tonality.
    Some instruments and notes are artificially boosted.
    At least for my ears.
    Maxx134 and MacedonianHero like this.
  15. Ichos
    And this is a trade of all high end headphones.
    It's a design flaw , in order to get more detail , better separation and huge stage you have to boost the high frequencies.
    As a result tonality and decay suffers.
    dmdm likes this.
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