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HD800 Impressions


tkam
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When I eventually import the HLD X0 (approx 40 Kilo) player from Japan I know what to expect......Damn Them!!!!

:chair::palm::o

Ask if you can pay with two transactions. First one is cheaper (the receipt that you will show to customs officers), and the second one to pay the rest. Of course you will have to ask them to include a cheaper price receipt inside the package. Of course this is risky, since you can't insure the package with the full price, but you can now use proper courier service, which usually is faster and more reliable. My $0,02.

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Yes, importing equipment is a pain in the a**, american amps (eddie, woo, headamp, etc) have no distribution here. However, Europe has its own good manufacturers, less know but good, in solid state headphone amplification, a good example is SPL from Germany, or in tube EAR-Yoshino. Also there is a very good distribution of high-end Japanese electronics, so finding a Trio, Luxmann, Accuphase, Leben, etc. is no problem. Add to this a strong and professional diy community. We are not alone at all....

Also have you actually listened to any of the other phones you listed besides the ones you own(k1000, 4070, O2)?

yes

You find HD800s to be clinical/inaccurate compared to these? :rolleyes:

The last thing that comes into my mind when Im listening to the 4070's is clinical, they are very revealing, but highly musical cans. Actually its hard for me to think of a clinical Stax...

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When I think of "clinical" I think of pro-audio DACs that are tuned to measure flat, but have enough distortion to make music unpleasant to listen to for any length of time.

I think the 6.3k peak in the HD-800's frequency response is responsible for much in the way of bad experiences, as it emphasises sibilance very often, as well as distortion in vocals and more. With people getting them and hearing the distortion in their gear, they blame the headphones.

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Yes, importing equipment is a pain in the a**, american amps (eddie, woo, headamp, etc) have no distribution here.

That's true, due to lacking distribution channels (except Grado) american amps engineered and sold by small businesses are quite rare in Europe.Also you can't buy them used from american headcasers or headfiers in order to keep the losses low in case of dislike due to the weird american voltage, and due to lacking service the resale value in Europe is quite questionable.

I'm into headphones audio for almost ten years now and I've auditioned almost any headphones of past and present but although I have attended some huge meets and lots of mini meets and I've owned ~ 15 amps myself I can easily count the american amps I had the chance to audition.

A lowly Singlepower, a somewhat pimped HeadRoom desktop amp, Headamp GS-1, GS-X and a KGSS , and a CMoy class amp called Grado RA-1, overprized to an extent - it's bordering on ripoff.The latter is by far the best selling american headphone amp in Europe and when a buyer later on realizes what he got for his hard earned it doesn't help to improve the image of american engineering.

That's it if memory doesn't fail me.

On top of the immanent hassles and risks of self importing some of those american small businesses do have a bad reputation for lacking responsiveness and even hazardous bad engineering/ built quality (Singlepower everyone?) to the point of speculations this side of the pond whether it might be just a case of a different culture.

Personally I don't believe that americans are used to crappy engineering/craftmansship and beeing lied at again and again or no response for months, but nevertheless it puzzles me that american fanboys did aggressively defend e.g. Xin or even worse Singlepower for years and years.

Could you imagine Meier Audio (Corda) or Lehmann Audio (BCL/Rhinelander) or Mr. Brocksieper (Earmax) or Audiovalves (RKV) or SPL (Phonitor/Auditor) or Beyerdynamic just to name a few internationally known german manufacturers of headphone amps to deliver a year after they had charged your CC or ignore you in case of a necessary repair or flat out lie at customers regularly?Not in your worst nightmare .....

They would be out of business within six months in central Europe, that's for sure.

Most american manufacturers are surely competent engineers and honest businessmen, but the few black sheep have tainted the reputation as a whole.Justified or not it does make it less likely that europeans take the risks of importing american gear.

However, Europe has its own good manufacturers, less know but good, in solid state headphone amplification, a good example is SPL from Germany, or in tube EAR-Yoshino. Also there is a very good distribution of high-end Japanese electronics, so finding a Trio, Luxmann, Accuphase, Leben, etc. is no problem. Add to this a strong and professional diy community. We are not alone at all....

Europe has as much or even more manufacturers of headphone amps as America, but despite of globalization the two huge markets are still divided because almost all manufacturers are small businesses without the capital/experience for international distribution on their own, and long term contracts with local distributors you don't know much about often don't work out as hoped for.

Look for instance at the disaster regarding the american and german Stax distributors.

Extreme mark up and lousy service.Nobody is happy with the situation but Stax is tied to them for many years.

The last thing that comes into my mind when Im listening to the 4070's is clinical, they are very revealing, but highly musical cans. Actually its hard for me to think of a clinical Stax...

Well, I remember my long gone Stax SRX-Mk IIIs as sounding somewhat clinical but the 4070s certainly aren't.Soundwise my favorite Stax but unfortunately heavy as stone and the heat build-up in summertime - pfffhhhh.

Your original impression post about your HD800 experience seemed to be somewhat defensive in advance.

There's no need for that, and (as far as I understand this place) here even less than at head-fi.

You've actually owned the headphones and auditioned them for many hours and you have any right to detest them.

My verdict isn't as harsh as yours but to my ears they are certainly sounding more"analytical" than "musical" (whatever that means).An additional possible unfortunate HRTF incompatility could easily render the headphones unlistenable.That's just the way it is.

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Yes, importing equipment is a pain in the a**, american amps (eddie, woo, headamp, etc) have no distribution here.

Not at all. I do not really see what the problem is.

Importing is certainly not a pain in the ass, at least from my experience. Just as easy as buying anything locally on the net. You find what you want, pay, then wait for the delivery, what's the problem? :D

The only problem I see would be if you had to send the stuff back again for one reason or another.

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x2

I have been buying from US (not only 'audio' stuff) for more than 20 years and the only problem is how to deal (read cheat...) with customs.

And if you need to send the stuff back you have a smaller problem than if you bought it in China, btw.

Btw I do like my HD800s (but I somewhat hate the 6k peak too).

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