Drop x Sennheiser HD8XX (final tuning)

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Marvey, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    I preordered one but I’m fully expecting the vocal range to be too recessed and to return it. I doubt mods could bring up the vocal range and just behind peaky treble I can’t stand receded vocals.

    id probably wind up with a flatter headphone modding a stock HD800. Ive got some materials that would probably work really well.
     
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  2. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    Adding to what Cellist88 said: crinacle's opinion on the original CA Solaris (which I love to death other than an excess of treble energy-- I'd own a pair if the wallet allowed) conflicts with mine a fair bit, but he's at the very least consistent and has experience with a shit ton of gear. As far as having valid data points go he's hard to trump, but personal preferences always come into play (especially with IEMs, moreso than headphones in my experience)
     
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  3. tranq

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    Yeah I bought a high impedance tube amp this spring 6AS7G equivalent Output tube, 6SN7 driver.

    I have a set of Focal Clears, which I love when being driven by Ragnarok 2 or Magni 3, Asgard 2. The impedance of the Clears is too low to be a good match with my tube amp. Results in upper bass bloat, even tube rolling cant fix it completely.

    I also have HD600s and HD6XXs that I love as well.

    Im trying to find something on the same level as the Clears that is at a higher impedance...

    I find myself tube rolling to bring out vocals....the more background singers I can identify and pull out of the background the better.

    Wheres a guy to look when he loves the sound signature of the Clears, and wants something just as nice, at a higher impedance, that plays well with tubes.

    Ive found that I like certain tubes better with the 6XXs and certain tubes better with the 600s.

    I guess I need to reread all the HD8XX info and see who is saying what when driven by tube Amps. Ive also never heard a pair of Audeze so i have no idea what they sound like or if I'd like them. Im unable to use that as a reference for FR.
     
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  4. Zed Bopp

    Zed Bopp Friend

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    Why not get a cheap-ish non-tube amp with close to 0 output impedance? HD8XX seems to be pretty far from Clear tonally.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2021
  5. Pancakes

    Pancakes Friend

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    Or a cheap-ish tube amp like the SW51? Low Z out should be more than fine for the Clear.
     
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  6. loadexfa

    loadexfa Friend

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    I also agree if you like the Clear you should stick with it and look at amps instead. The Stratus is a fantastic match but probably makes sense to start with a more affordable SET amp such as the SW51.
     
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  7. Maven86

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    Your guess is pretty close. He gives the VO a B- compared to the S- he gives the Utopia, which seems to emphasize the upper mids:

    https://crinacle.com/rankings/headphones/

    I like Crinnacle's reviews and actually think his preferences are fairly consistent. But it's obvious from his rankings that he wouldn't be crazy over the HD8xx, at least from the impressions given here.

    I guess my preferences lie somewhere in the middle. I like the Verite but love the Utopia and the HD8XX definitely has my attention... with slight reservation. I'm still wondering whether it'll essentially end up being a less euphonic Verite, with a somewhat bigger headstage, and better clarity, while giving up a little transient speed and resolution. If anything, it still sounds like a steal for the price, and the comfort factor alone still makes it appealing.
     
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  8. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    I find that succinct description very helpful, perhaps @purr1n or someone else (is there another SBAFer who has heard it?) can weigh in on its accuracy.

    edit: the greater breadth of the mid dip, and the difference in bass, treble, and of course the "timbre" (partly based on cup resonances) of Zach's wooden creations would all together seem to say that such a comparison to the Verite would not be all that accurate...
     
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  9. tranq

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    I'm not giving up or moving on from the Clears. They will be coming to my office along with Ragnarok 2 as I return to work.

    Im looking for the next acquisition, Im only a few years into the hobby, and have much I want to experience. The tube amp I have is quite nice, and rolling tubes is very interesting, just looking for a higher end higher impedance set of hps to pair with them. They will be in my living room.
     
  10. loadexfa

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    What do you want to get from this next pair of headphones? I haven't heard the 8XX but I find the HD 800 (and the S) mostly good for classical music (QUITE good, IMO). I'd recommend a goal beyond "high quality, high impedance to enjoy with tubes". If you're looking for laid back with "neutral" tuning, the ZMF Auteur may be a good option. They don't synergize with every amp though. The ZMF Atticus is more "fun" tuned and less amp picky in my experience. If classical beasts are your goal, the 8XX (or 800S) is worth considering. There are many choices, for dynamic drivers, I've settled on ZMF, Sennheiser, and Focal after hearing others but your taste and/or goals may not match mine. Also, since we're talking more broadly, this probably belongs in the general advice thread.
     
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  11. tranq

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    Im mainly just trying to figure out what would be better for me to try, the 800S or the 8XX, my statements above are vague, but honestly so are the thoughts in my brain. I generally preferred the 600s over the 6XXs but tube rolling has equaled out those preferences. Now I generally use 600s for classical, bluegrass, jazz and the HD6XXS for Rock, Pop, Blues, Country. Just trying to get a feeling for the differences between 800S and 8XX. They seem to be the two choices in the price range im comfortable with. Had been considering Aeolus as well but I think im going to wait on them for a different year. I had also considered some DT990s 600ohm, but the treble spikes have me hesitant. May try them anyway and sit on the HD800 series for a later date..
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
  12. Cellist88

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    @tranq Just rule out the 800s, either 800sdr or 8xx
     
  13. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    Can we keep poking sticks and ask them to make the HD82X next? Can't have Axell leave on a brown note.
     
  14. loadexfa

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    Most of us haven't heard the 8XX yet so it will be hard to say for sure. Also, which amp? The 800 series is notoriously picky, even with tube amps they can sometimes sound like shit, synergy matters a lot.
     
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  15. tranq

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    Yeah unfortunately the amp is a homemade affair. My friend has made and sold close to 100 of them. Many to his audiophile friends in Indiana, and some to those of us who he has befriended via head fi. He started by making 4 identical amps for blind tube testing within his audio group. The amp was well received so started making more of them. I have another friend who owns 2 of the amps, and has both the HD800 and the HD800s, but he is mainly straight classical and opera, and while I like that stuff, I wont buy HPs solely for a single genre so im just trying to collect info and make an semi informed decision. All the info and opinions here are greatly appreciated..

    Edit - I should add im not really worried about synergy with the HD800 series and the amp itself. From my perspective that synergy is dependent on tube combination and music type.

    I can alter or augment the sound to some extent, but the essential character of the sound I get will come from the headphones themselves.

    Maybe I am looking at it wrong
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
  16. loadexfa

    loadexfa Friend

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    This does not match my experience. Tubes and genre definitely make a difference but won't always be capable of creating synergy when switched around.

    Yes, the headphones/speakers make the biggest difference but overall synergy is very important for "magic". :)

    Perhaps. Worst case scenario, you should be able to lose little money if you get something you don't like and quickly want to return and/or resell it. So I wouldn't stress over getting it "right", anything you try and like or dislike is a data point.
     
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  17. SchwizzelKick66

    SchwizzelKick66 Rando

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    DMS, an audio youtuber, has an 8xx demo unit in for review. He is theorizing that the HD8xx tuning was achieved by adding damping tape to the inside.

    https://twitter.com/dms3tv/status/1433811943429640226

    He apparently put a similar tape inside his HD800s and it measures almost identical to the 8xx. I won't pretend to know what goes into tuning a headphone and whether this could actually be legit, but if true one could fairly easily mod the HD8xx into an HD800s by removing the tape. So essentially you'd have an $1,100 HD800s after a simple mod.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    Man... I love looking at that driver. Is the material also in the bottom of the center Helmholtz or is that the texture of the HD800S resonator too?

    Can the stock HD800 be EQ'd with a lokius* to match the HD8XX? Or does this new tape change how it reacts to the new reflections/absorption/or whatever else this material is designed for. It looks leaky IMO, maybe some sort of added back-pressure to increase bass and possibly help with reflections in the cup? I can already picture all the micropore being torn-up right now :p

    *(since its the hot topic right now)
     
  19. purr1n

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    Where are the measurements?
     
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  20. Bina

    Bina MOT - Shanling

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    Oh sweet memories, buying cheaper Sennheiser model and removing tape to make it better, anyone else remembers days of HD555 and its tape remove mod? ;)
     

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