HD800 and HD800S distortion analysis

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by purr1n, Jan 17, 2018.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I don't remember what Tyll wrote exactly, but I did get the sense that some people (you know, the type that tend to be really keen on minor stuff, like many of us here) who heard the HD800S early on thought the bass gave us a warmer and more fuzzy feeling than the HD800. For most listeners, the differences in the bass are insignficant. But when people like me are splitting hairs on DACs, such a change may not necessarily be welcome*. SBAF being SBAF, or Tyll being Tyll, probably wanted to peak into the measurements to see what was going that might explain what we were hearing. How this became a measurement war, or a measurements-for-the-sake-of-measurements thing, I scratch my head. My question to Jude is what does he hear?

    * My position remains that if one is willing the mod the HD800, then the HD800 is preferable to the HD800S, especially given the price premium of the HD800S over the HD800.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
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  2. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    I know, measurement-war and all, but two things I noticed in the measurements:
    • On the EARS coupler the HD800S seemed to get better bass extension. I think Sennheiser mainly wanted to improve the extension and the added distortion is simply the price to be paid. We also have to remember that as Bill-P showed earlier, Sennheiser changed the pad design of the HD800, which probably gives us slightly less bass extension than Tyll's initial HD800 measurements from way back in 2009 show. So comparing the 2009 IF HD800 to the 2017 HD800S measurements is probably not fair in this regard. My own HD800 vs HD800S measurements on the same coupler also showed slightly better bass extension from the HD800S. Subjectively that also seemed to be the case, although it's been a long time that I've heard an HD800S and I'm generally not a fan of the HD800S. (Then again I'm not sure if this is the Bill modded HD800, which might not get the same bass extension as the regular HD800.)
    • Marv's distortion plots here do show less of an upper mid/lower treble 2nd order distortion spike on the HD800S. Although I've never measured such a spike (at least not nearly to the same magnitude) and my understanding is the FR on the coupler may be responsible for the apparent distortion here. Whatever it is, the HD800S measures better in this regard as well. It's possible Sennheiser tweaked something for that, too.
    Again, I'm not much of a fan of the HD800S myself, but these two things do point to me that Sennheiser changed and arguably improved some things relative to the HD800 other than the resonator.
     
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  3. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    Thanks for your time and effort to investigate this in-depth! Your results are consistent with all others I've seen, except Jude's. At this point, I tend to think there's something about his new rig that makes it produce different results from the rest, and I'd really love to see him take some comparative measurements between his new and old rig (provided he still has the latter).

    Like with the "mysteriously absent" 10kHz spike in his MDR-Z1R and IE800S measurements, it might not be that hard to find a likely explanation for this discrepancies, if only he were willing to investigate things further on his side. I doubt it will happen though, since he seems absolutely convinced that his results are the only valid ones.

    Speaking of which, I've found Heinz Renner's (the AKG K1000 developer's) HD800 vs. HD800S comparison on a German forum and it too shows slightly higher bass distortion for the HD800S. Yet another DIYer with subpar rig, obviously.
     
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  4. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    Well, Jude, I'd like to invite you to respond here. I'm sure Marv would be happy to help you if you don't have a handle here yet.
     
  5. Klasse

    Klasse Friend

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    @Marvey what can you tell about the earpads? Do they look or feel any different? (stock HD800 vs stock HD800S)

    The earpads on my HD800S feel somehow crispy and I've never noticed such a thing on my former HD800.
    Sadly I don't have the HD800 anymore to compare properly.

    Gently pressing the external (more cushioned part of) the earpads on my HD800S is not perfectly silent.
    A slight crunchiness can be heard and felt.

    [​IMG]

    On a side note (not sure if already mentioned) the 3 units of HD800S measured by Tyll provided slightly better isolation in the treble region relative to the HD800 and HD800SDR he also measured. It's only 2-3dB difference overall over 2kHz (including HD800SDR) so maybe not relevant enough, although a slight tweak on the earpads can lead to that sort of difference.

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018

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