Best Amps For the Sennheiser HD800 - 2017 Edition

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Marvey, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. deserat

    deserat Acquaintance

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    Tested with tubes. Dead silent all the way up to max.
     

  2. Sonorus

    Sonorus Acquaintance

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    Well believe or not it's single ended only problem!
    Today at last i was able to run the system fully balanced in/out.
    Guess what - it is dead silent at high gain with the pot fully turned on!!!

    Other than that i am happy to say that i have reached my end game set up.
    gumby + mjolnir 2 + HD800 sdr = endless music enjoyment the system is made for classical music.
    Next is to give lisst a try and i am done.
    Thank all of you for the help and suggestions.
     
    BillOhio, Carlos CPA, deserat and 2 others like this.
  3. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    Oh, you'll be back;)

    Jokes aside, congrats for finding your own personal audio nirvana!
     
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  4. iDesign

    iDesign Acquaintance

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    I listened to the Sennheiser HDV 820 for 100 hours before making this post. I feel the HDV 820 is unsurprisingly one of the finest amplifiers I have ever heard with HD 800 S. Axel Grell and his team extensively redeveloped the formula previously used in the HDVD 800 and HDVA 600 and utilized their knowledge of the design/mechanical limits of the HD 800 S drivers to develop an amplifier that is perfectly matched. The HDV 820 is able to fully excite all of the modes of the HD 800 S's drivers and the music is impressively dimensional in terms of height, depth, and spatial awareness. The HDV 820 is smooth and it creates a warming effect with the HD 800 S yet it is astonishingly transparent-- and perhaps, more transparent than the Sim Audio MOON Neo 430HAD. In fact, I prefer to listen to the HD 800 S from the HDV 820 than the Chord DAVE because the tonal balance is so perfect that it overshadows the precision and resolution of the DAC. I would describe the HDV 820 as an accurate, reference amplifier and its not an iron fist in a silk vail like my Schiit Yggdrasil+Eddie Current amplifiers. The HDV 820 is without question one of the best amplifiers for the HD 800/S in 2017 and beyond. Very well done.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017 at 12:19 AM
  5. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Almost "Made"

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    Isn't the HDV 820 just a repackaged HDVD 600?
     
  6. iDesign

    iDesign Acquaintance

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    No. There has been a lot written on the subject especially on the German forums and sites. The analog and digital sections have been completely redesigned in the HDV 820. Sennheiser seems to have listened to years of market feedback and totally rewrote the script on the HDV 820.
     
  7. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    is HDVD820's Output impedance still around 40 Ohms ?
     
  8. iDesign

    iDesign Acquaintance

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    Hi Sorrodje. Yes, the output impedance is still approximately 40Ω. I wished Axel Grell would comment more about their design philosophy and the reasons they delayed the HDV 820 for one year before releasing it. One of the most notable changes from the black HDVD 800 prototype shown at the Fujiya Avic Headphone Festival in 2015 is that Sennheiser quietly switched from Burr-Brown to ESS Technology for the DAC.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017 at 12:09 AM
  9. Golmang

    Golmang Almost "Made"

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    yep, 43 Ohms to be exact.
     
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  10. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    Thks.

    In my humble opinion, such a high output Z imparts too much the sound . Much more than anything else so I 'm a bit skeptical about the fact the HDVD820 could be that much different (not to mention "better") with such output impedance.

    But I'm maybe wrong and I would be interested to compare this Dac/Amp to a similarly priced RME ADI pro for example.
     
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  11. SnowPuppy

    SnowPuppy Rando

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    I was at the RMAF 2017 Canjam in Denver Colorado and I heard the Senn HDV820 with a pair of HD800 and HD800S. I did actually prefer the sound of the HD800S and I own a pair of HD800S. I was amazed at how good the HD800S sounded with the HDV 820. Though it is hard to compare in that environment and with different music I can say that the HD800S and the HDV820 was the best sound at the show for me. And that is saying a lot because I heard many rigs that were excellent. So I completely agree with iDesigns post. If I had heard the HDV820 before I got my Ragnarok it would have been a harder decision to get the Ragnarok. I would have been highly tempted to spend more and get the HDV820. However with the Ragnarok I can drive my speakers very well and it will work really well with other headphones I hope to get in the future so I am still very satisfied with the Ragnarok. That said I would not hesitate to recommend or purchase a HDV820 with a pair of HD800S. Truly an amazing combination.
     
  12. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Almost "Made"

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    In my experience, the higher the output Z the better for the HD800.

    I think the quality of the amplifier/design has as much as a impact on whether the higher output will sound good though.
     
  13. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    Not in mine. And I tested blindly a 43 ohms output against a 0 ohms output on the same amplifier :). Much preferred the 0 ohms one. To each their own.
     
  14. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    HD800 gets nothing good from high source resistance.
    Amps with non milliohms source resistance often happen to be tube amps or no global feedback designs, which are genetically better designs.
    Stick a resistor in their arse and you get a pinch more midbass and more bloat. It's sinful to have desires for such sound!
    My experimentation to add 5 to 50 ohms in series with HD800 has resulted in shittier sound every time.

    Here are amps that I have recently used:
    JLHood, 0.2 ohms, great.
    EC 2A3, 5 ohms, excellent.
    EC Studio, dunno 5 ohms?, excellent.
    Laconic wannabe mini Zana, probably high 50s of ohms, crap.
    NBM, around 3 ohms, good/great.
    Original HDVA600, 40 something ohms, mediocre.
    Jotunheim, <0.01 ohms, conditionally good.

    Correlation to source resistance?
    If anything, high R sucks more.
     
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  15. SnowPuppy

    SnowPuppy Rando

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    Have you heard the HD800 on the Senn HDV820 amp?
     
  16. Xecuter

    Xecuter Friend

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    I miss my hd800. With the studio the gobs of plankton were unreal. It was so ridiculously clean and precise.
     
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  17. iDesign

    iDesign Acquaintance

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    Input impedance alone does not determine the sound and there are countless examples of low impedance amplifiers that are not good with the HD 800/S. The HDV 820 will only appeal to persons that want to take the guesswork out selecting an amplifier for their Sennheiser headphones and hear the HD 800/S driven to what Sennheiser felt was the full potential. In simple terms, you must listen to the HDV 820 because it is radically improved from its predecessors.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017 at 8:23 AM
  18. allegro

    allegro Rando

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    Any reason why Sennheiser does not just offer the HDV820 as just a stand alone amplifier without the DAC?
     
  19. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf MOT: Sonarworks

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    Because designing a manufacturing/sales process for an extra product costs money.
     
  20. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    Yes, but every design is an investment on top of all else. If a chance of profit is high, cogs are on the move.
     
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