Jump to content

HD800 Impressions


tkam
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 168
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

With the B52 pretty good.

With my Phoenix, not so much. With the Phoenix (Stock balanced cables) I thought that the 800's sounded kind of flat and dull (Dynamically speaking). They do have an open character that some might find addictive, but not me.

With a Balanced M3 they were somewhere between my Phoenix and the B52.

IMO they share the same dynamic issues that hold back the 600/650's. They all need to be turned up louder than I normally listen to come alive dynamically.

I can certainly understand why someone would like them, but the hero worship that is building up is IMO totally unmerited.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I liked it when I heard it at the NJ meet. With the balanced m3, the bass was nice and tight and imaging was pretty good. With the B52, everything was a little loose. The imaging was fuzzier and the bass, while more of it, was less focused.

I really didnt like that it made Jenny Lewis sibilant and got worse when I cranked the volume :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will try to keep my goofy impressions short:

I really like it in my setup. Had to grow on me for a while though, coming from the HD650. I am sure they have changed quite a bit with burn in, for the better that is. They were edgy and tight almost sibiliant.

I don't think they are bass shy. Ok, compared to the HP-DX1000 they are, but imo, the HP-DX1000 is way too overpowered in the bass, at least in my setup. I feel that the HD800's bass is sort of "right", more articulate and tighter than the more bloomy and undefined HD650. I also like their transparency and the less in your head soundstage. They itch a bit after a while, the fit of the 650 is just as good, after I adjusted the horrible clamp.

Even though I don't particular fancy Diana Krall, I enjoy listening to some of her stuff. "Temptation" from the album "The Girl in the Other Room" sounds fantastic on the HD800.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very monitor-like, reflecting the quality of amp and source behind them, making them very amp and source dependant. Bass is only a concern if you're a bass-head or listen to music where that mid-bass hump many cans have improves the fun. Great head-stage, though very dependant on the mic positioning during recording if listening to classical or jazz for example. Not as sweet as the R-10 (I listened with a pair last night), but considerable more "open" sounding (read: more treble) than late SN pairs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll post more later, but I think what surprised me the most about the HD800 is their lack of distortion, very Stax like in that regard. I was also a little bit concerned about the bass, but that has turned out to be unwarranted. The HD800 produce deep, strong bass that's articulate and very textured. It doesn't have l3000, ps1 or O2 levels of impact but they are punchy when they need to be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very monitor-like, reflecting the quality of amp and source behind them, making them very amp and source dependant. Bass is only a concern if you're a bass-head or listen to music where that mid-bass hump many cans have improves the fun.

Unfortunately I am a basshead and a fair bit of my music is improved with a slight to moderate mid-bass hump. Definitely agree that it's a 'phone in the monitor-speaker style.

Great head-stage, though very dependant on the mic positioning during recording if listening to classical or jazz for example.

I think it depends on the size of the head-stage called for in the recording, for instance most fullscale symphonic works have a large soundfield since they're recorded in nice big concert halls, and this works well with the HD800's head-stage. Something with a small soundfield such as a recording made in a small jazz bar with the mic being fairly close to the musicians doesn't work that well. I find that the HD800's head-stage makes the space sound too big in such situations.

-------------

Further impression. My Blues! What have you done to them? My RS-1 is the go to headphone for all my Blues music, after a good session I'm like "damn...daayaamm!!" and I feel emotionally moved and/or drained. With the HD800 my reaction following a Blues listening session is along the lines of "well, that sounded pretty good but I'm not feelin' it..." I mean, it's great that I can hear when SRV and Albert King break their guitar strings during "Blues at Sunrise" but if I'm not feeling the music then it's not much good to me. I need an emotional connection to my music and the HD800 ain't giving it to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there anyone who owned/owns K1000, that likes the HD-800 as much/more than the K1000?

i had a K1000 and LOVED the sound, sold them,and i am affraid to get another pair because, it's out of production and they might just stop working one day and i'll be screwed,so if the HD800 sounds anything close to K1000,then i'll get them and be done with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there anyone who owned/owns K1000, that likes the HD-800 as much/more than the K1000?

i had a K1000 and LOVED the sound, sold them,and i am affraid to get another pair because, it's out of production and they might just stop working one day and i'll be screwed,so if the HD800 sounds anything close to K1000,then i'll get them and be done with it.

I like the HD800 more than the K1000, but I don't think they sound alike. The HD800 is "cleaner" to me. I have always had a hard time listening to dynamic headphones for long stretches of time; not so with the HD800. But take this with a grain of salt because (a) I just didn't like the K1000s like a lot of people and (B) I never had one of the "approved" amps (e.g. FirstWatt, etc.).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there anyone who owned/owns K1000, that likes the HD-800 as much/more than the K1000?

i had a K1000 and LOVED the sound, sold them,and i am affraid to get another pair because, it's out of production and they might just stop working one day and i'll be screwed,so if the HD800 sounds anything close to K1000,then i'll get them and be done with it.

Uh, so let me get this straight -- you thought the day would come where you wouldn't be able to listen to them any more, so you pre-empted that day by making it show up earlier?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well i don't exactly understand what you mean,because english is not my native tounge,but if you are asking if i sold them because i was affraid that they were going to stop functioning,then the answer is no.

i had to pay back a loan that i took from my mom so i had to sell them..

Uh, so let me get this straight -- you thought the day would come where you wouldn't be able to listen to them any more, so you pre-empted that day by making it show up earlier?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I compared the HD800 (on maxed WA6 and ZDT amps) to my Stax O2 Mk1 with maxed Woo GES and I feel that the Stax rig is a little more detailed/refined, laid back and relaxed while the HD800 rig is a little more dynamic and energetic, and a little more forward and aggressive but in a good way. Sometimes the HD800 sound slightly edgy to me, while the O2 Mk1 are always smooth. The HD800 seem to thrive on having the volume control turned up higher to wake them up, while the O2 Mk1 present great detail and sound at low to medium volumes.

The O2 Mk1 soundstage seems deeper/narrower, while the HD800 seems wider and more holographic - but they both have good imaging and positioning and definition of instruments in the soundstage. The HD800 remind me a little of my HE60 while not as detailed, but I also think the HD800 have more bass impact and a more solid and grounded image than the HE60. The HD800 do have a little more flavor of their own than the O2 Mk1, due to their midrange emphasis.

The HD800, just like the O2 Mk1, are fairly sensitive to the amp you use. The 800's can sound decent with my maxed WA6 or balanced Square Wave XL (or even the Amphora), but the sound takes a big leap ahead with my EC ZDT. The ZDT amp is noticeably better and even single ended the HD800 sounds more spacious with better separation and dynamics. The ZDT is also the first amp to make my 4-pin XLR K1000 sound like they are worth keeping although it's still a little underpowered - but my HD800 still have better speed, detail, and transparency over the K1000. I don't know how much of that is the stock cable on the K1000 and how much is the amp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're the first person I've come across so far who thinks the 800s sound better cranked up, Larry. Out of interest, what's your source?

For myself, they make me want to buy a turntable. Listening to good hi-res needledrops is heaven. Bad CDs, not so much. I would venture to say they spotlight digititus, if it exists on the recording.

Edited by Hopstretch
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're the first person I've come across so far who thinks the 800s sound better cranked up, Larry. Out of interest, what's your source?

Macbook Pro or Airport Express optical out > PS Audio Digital Link III at 96Khz up-sampling > anti-cables XLR interconnects > Jensens Transformers XLR-RCA input transformer > anti-cables RCA interconnects > ZDT.

The 192Khz up-sampling mode is a little brighter, and I only use that with the Stax O2 Mk1. The volume level tolerable also depends on the music you listen to - I don't like current brick-walled rock music with them, but it gets better with jazz and classical and acoustic, electronic and new age, and such (most of what I listen to).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that soundstage has been mentioned again, I'd like to make a quick note. Sennheiser has finally fixed the goddamn "3-blob" soundstage problem of the HD580/600/650 series. They finally have a coherant soundstage without dead spots in it.

Also like my HD580, they sound better with vinyl, even though my digital setup is worth 10X more than my vinyl rig. I don't get as much detail off the records but the overall balance is nicer, with the bass & midrange filling in a bit. Part of it is the records themselves as the LP versions of some of my albums are way better than the CDs, but that's not the whole story since a few of my CDs and LPs are effectively identical when played on high-end rigs. In general, the HD800 sounds warmer & more punchy when playing music on my vinyl rig, and with records, I think I could be pretty happy with it. Partly because my the music in my LP collection suits it better, and partly because for whatever voodoo reason, records just work better with the Senn 800.

More investigation is needed, I'll need to see if these impressions hold on a high-end and more neutral vinyl setup than my own.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're the first person I've come across so far who thinks the 800s sound better cranked up, Larry. Out of interest, what's your source?

For myself, they make me want to buy a turntable. Listening to good hi-res needledrops is heaven. Bad CDs, not so much. I would venture to say they spotlight digititus, if it exists on the recording.

I was thinking the same thing today. Either needle-drops or a DAC without digititis. I can't help wondering if tubes shouldn't be in the path somewhere in some form or another too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mr DHL just delivered #1563 into my eager hands. Fresh out of the box, these have a trait that I also associate with good loudspeakers...provided a decent recording, I am able to pick and follow any element or instrument within the music. Initial impressions definitely suggest a very revealing nature. Dark Side of the Moon SACD sounds fantastic, (What's the Story) Morning Glory? CD sounds bloody awful...as it does on any decent system in my experience. This is great fun, definitely one of those purchases that has me reaching into the depths of my music collection. It'll be interesting to see how they evolve in the early days & weeks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, there's no going back. I bought a pair of used HD650s for a friend and, while they were passing through, took the chance to spend the afternoon listening to them side by side with the HD800s in my system. The 800s simply pissed all over them.

Despite having lived very happily with both 6X0 series Senns in the past for extended periods -- they now seem uncomfortable, lethargic and muffled to me by comparison. Off you go!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Despite having lived very happily with both 6X0 series Senns in the past for extended periods -- they now seem uncomfortable, lethargic and muffled to me by comparison. Off you go!

It sounds a bit cliche, but what you describe is what I might associate with the infamous Sennheiser 'veil'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.