Drop x Sennheiser HD8XX (final tuning)

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

  1. Marvey

    Marvey Super Friend

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    Yeah, this is new. A revised tuning. the final tuning To satisfy those who were left with their heads scratching at this: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...ser-hd8xx-measurements-analysis-review.10768/

    I guess I will throw in my two cents with respect to the final tuning of the HD8XX. To be clear, I've been slightly involved in the tuning process for them. The prior HD8XX was pretty good already; but understandably I think people wanted more than a tweak; and the folks at Drop I'm sure wanted more. Something more evolutionary rather than a mere tweak. Well this is it. Well over tens ago, maybe around twelve, there was a rumor going around that Sennheiser would release a successor to the HD800. That this HD800 successor would not be bright, but be voiced like the HD650 or even the Audezes, but have the technicalities, fine detail, soundstage, etc. of the HD800. Instead we got the HD700. Yup the HD700. The colossal piece of this was that combined the worse aspects of the HD650 and HD800.

    Well finally, I honestly believe that we have it! This the truly the HD800(S) for the folks who do no like the tonal signature of the HD800(S), but appreciate everything else it can do. During my time with the sample (one of many of which this turned out to be the production version), I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Wait I thought - this possibly can't be anything based on the HD800(S) - it's not bright at all! I found a headphone which was very even except for a scoop in the mids around 2.5kHz. This worked perfectly for me because this dip works for a lot of naturally mic'd recordings where there is excess reverberation. The v2 also takes a nice touch from the prior iteration with a small bump in the lower mids to add some fullness and body to the sound.

    I don't think I need to gush about the soundstage, the retrieval of low level information, the dynamics and slammin' bass (when used with appropriate amplification). The change in tonal signature did not affect the technicalities one single bit. And also, no there are no clumsy mods. No pieces of foam, liner, whatever nonsense. Drop pulled off a BIG ONE here! They weren't totally successful the first time around, but this second time, they hit it out of the park.

    Drop x Sennheiser HD8XX v2
    Frequency Response
    upload_2021-7-20_17-50-39.png

    Drop x Sennheiser HD8XX v2 (BLU/RED) vs HD800S Anniversary Edition (GRN)
    Frequency Response
    upload_2021-7-20_17-51-38.png

    Here I aligned the highs. The HD8XX v2 does have more of a dip at 3kHz (almost an Audeze type dip) and overall more lows. The HD8XX also retains the small lower mid emphasis of the first version of the HD8XX.

    I will come back with distortion and CSDs after dinner.[/S]
     
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    Last edited: Jul 20, 2021
  2. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    Great news for everyone involved. It feels like early on - with Audeze, Sennheiser, Grado all still making neat little community projects.
     
  3. Marvey

    Marvey Super Friend

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    Drop x Sennheiser HD8XX (v2)
    CSDs
    FPC HD8XXv2 L.jpg
    FPC HD8XXv2 R.jpg
     
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  4. Marvey

    Marvey Super Friend

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    HD8XX (v2)
    Harmonic Distortions
    HD(db) vs Frequency at Various SPL
    upload_2021-7-20_19-0-26.png

    Nice pattern here with H2 > H3 > H4. Note that H4 barely moves up. The second harmonic, H2 moves up a bit in the upper mids with increasing volume. I've always wondered if this has to do with diffractions and reflections the cup design - it doesn't seem to be a concern from an audibility point of view. H3 which I personally feel is substantially worse sounding than H2, stays fairly low and only goes up at higher volumes. Note that H3 of the HD8XX is a little bit less than H3 of the HD800S (measurements not shown).
     
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    Last edited: Jul 20, 2021
  5. rott

    rott Secretly hates other millenials - Friend

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    Been waiting a long time to try any version of HD800, felt the time was right with this development and pulled the trigger. Shipping earlier than expected in September too, nice timing for a birthday present to myself.
     
  6. Marvey

    Marvey Super Friend

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    One thing to note is placement. I ensured the driver was as far forward and low as possible. Otherwise the highs can be brighter would be suggested by the measurements. There's plenty of wiggle room with the HD8XX cup design to adjust accordingly. It's not perfect - there's still that dip. But as I mentioned, it's at least in a good spot, especially for those who listen to naturally mic'd classical or chamber music where there is a lot of room reverb.

    I feel a bit more reserved than usual writing this review; but yeah, this is really fantastic. I think it's because it's been a long long time waiting. Imma gonna order one for myself.
     
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  7. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    where did you buy it from? It would be good to get a link here to make sure people buy the V2 version. The page I saw on drop said it wasn’t available yet.
     
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  8. Cellist88

    Cellist88 Friend

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    Damn....this makes me excited. Is there a cut off date?
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2021
  9. rott

    rott Secretly hates other millenials - Friend

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    https://drop.com/buy/drop-sennheiser-hd-8xx-headphones

    Marv's comment on there (similar to what's posted above): https://drop.com/buy/drop-sennheiser-hd-8xx-headphones/talk/2830183 which Ieads me to believe this is the V2.

    Will's comment (towards the bottom) announcing best effort to ship in September: https://drop.com/buy/drop-sennheiser-hd-8xx-headphones/talk/2830071
     
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  10. Marvey

    Marvey Super Friend

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    Drop sent me several tunings and I gave them my two cents worth. They ended up going with the one I liked best.

    Let me clarify with Drop that the purchase link is the correct one. I am pretty sure it is. Again, not perfect neutrality. But a dip in the mids is a small price to pay for the HD800 headstage. Think of it this way: not a facetweeter.

    Words cannot express what a relief. And yes, even the HD800S was a facetweeter. A simultaneously thicker and sharper sounding facetweeter to the OG HD800.

    EDIT: This is the final tuning. I guess they didn't go with the prior tuning before production.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 20, 2021
  11. Friday

    Friday Friend

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    Were there any genres or instances where you found the 2-3kHz dip annoying? Also wondering if you were able to try the HD8XX with the (proto?) Lokius and if the 2kHz knob was in the right place to counter the dip.

    On a more nerdy note: did you manage to look at the burst response for this?
     
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  12. Jerry

    Jerry Friend

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    With the Genesis, LCD-R and now this one, 2021 turns out to be a much more interesting year than anticipated.

    @purr1n How's the mids compared to HD6X0? Is this leaning more towards 650 or 600? I always found HD800's thinner mids to be inferior to the HD6X0.
     
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  13. Huntersknoll

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    Was not ready for this information this morning. Seems like the HD8XX I wanted when they originally announced it. I'll be getting one of pre-order today. Kudos to Drop for actually making the changes and trying to drive the product forward rather than just putting out a small revision and calling it a day.
     
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  14. Marvey

    Marvey Super Friend

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    Quick Loki settings below. Lokius may do better (I forgot I left mine at desk at at home - I'm working home today) if the bands are more narrow. However, I got acceptable results with Loki already which shares the 500Hz and 2kHz bands with Lokius. The Lokius mid-high band is 6kHz instead of the Loki's 8kHz band, so that will actually work better than what is seen here. Anyway, a rough guide for Loki owners (noting that Loki is a broad brush approach and that I prefer to take a light touch when it comes to EQ).

    upload_2021-7-21_10-37-25.png
    upload_2021-7-21_10-33-51.png

    I'll see what I can do Lokius later in the week.

    No burst. I didn't have it long enough before I had to send it off. I don't think we will see anything worse or better here. With respect to transient response, the HD8XX is like any another HD800(S). Although I should mention that the bass is a bit more articulate and leaner than the HD800S - that is more like OG HD800 bass. I wasn't a big fan of the thicker bass (higher third harmonic) on the HD800S because I never felt the OG HD800 was necessarily lean sounding. Dry in timbre yes, fricking bright yes, lean - nope.

    Solid state guys can crank up a bass EQ a bit. Tube guys with output impedance of a few ohms up to 20-ohms can leave it be. Bassheads can just crank it up 12db. As long as your amp can swing voltage, it's fine. The great thing about the Sennheisers is that they aren't 16-ohms planars what will melt your amp if you abuse the bass EQ.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
  15. Degru

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    Anyone else think that FR looks super unappealing? I've personally found HD800S to be almost dark-sounding and bloated due to the scooped mids and thicker bass character, with the treble peak barely factoring into the equation. The 8XX appears to exaggerate that behavior even further. The original low-serial HD800 seemed much more neutral and lighter on its feet to my ear.
     
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  16. Jerry

    Jerry Friend

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    Shit...I had no idea the Lokius is out. I thought that was a typo.

    I have been waiting for this. Price is very reasonable too. This year just keeps getting better and better.

    Thank you @schiit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
  17. Gracchus Janus

    Gracchus Janus Rando

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  18. batriq

    batriq Probably has made you smarter

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    @purr1n From your conversations with Drop, do you happen to know if all pre-orders (including early ones) will get the updated tuning?
     
  19. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Poopsmith

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    Uh....it's not an ortho.
     
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  20. Marvey

    Marvey Super Friend

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    It's my understanding that everyone will get the same updated tuning. Drop wasn't fully satisfied even after the initial pre-orders, so they took another shot or two to get what they really wanted.

    --

    For another perspective, HD8XX vs LCD2C

    HD8XX (BLU/RED) vs LCD2C (WHT)
    Frequency Response
    upload_2021-7-21_21-56-36.png
     
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