Sennheiser HD800S measurements (unsanctionned)

Discussion in 'Audio Science' started by sorrodje, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. kirayamato

    kirayamato Friend

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    anyone using a ragnarok with HD800S ??
     
  2. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    Received my HD800S yesterday. My initial impressions:

    HD800: listenable with only 30-40% of my music (a mixed bag of snobby audiophile recordings and brightly mastered contemporary pop/k-pop/j-pop)
    HD800 + SuperBAF Mod: listenable with 50%
    HD800S: listenable with 60-70%
    HD800S + SuperBAF Mod: listenable with 80%

    Note that I'm currently using my ZDS for evaluation here. Perhaps with a more lush sounding amp like ECBA or DNA Stratus and the right tubes, I could achieve 90%+. The HD800S + SuperBAF Mod is essentially HD800 with SuperDupont Mod done right plus SuperBAF Mod, sans the Cork Mod. The HD800 has never been more listenable.

    Another interesting point is that to my ears, the HD800 sounds a bit more open and airier than HD800S + SuperBAF Mod. The difference is minor but noticeable nonetheless. Although I would take the latter due to its more natural and balanced tone, I could understand some people preferring the former. Pick yer poison.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  3. EraserXIV

    EraserXIV Friend

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    Could the HD800 with Dupont Mod and SBAF absorber retain that sense of openness and air that seems to be missing on the HD800S?
     
  4. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    I feel the sense of openness has more to do with the resonator than the absorber. In stock form, the HD800 sounded more open and airy than HD800S.

    Unless one could come up with a resonator that is just as effective in reducing the 7K treble peak as that of the HD800S while retaining that openness at the same time, then I don't think so.

    Again, the difference is minor. Consider it a small tradeoff for the more linear, fatigue-free sound you get. Before the HD800S my primary headphone was modded HD650 (a.k.a. HD850 Junior), but I think I'll be getting more head time with modded HD800S from now on.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  5. Muse Wanderer

    Muse Wanderer Friend

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    I have the HD800S paired with a Ragnarok and Yggdrasil (via Wyrd)

    The Yggdrasil - Ragnarok - HD800S is a great pairing that sounds much better than the Yggdrasil-Rag-HD800. With the 6KHz spike of death fixed I can listen to many recordings that were previously 'painful' to listen to using the HD800.

    The bass is so detailed I can hear 'mini-notes' within the timbre of a cello, it is stunning. I had to listen to Bach's Cello Suites again and again and again. Jordi Savall's Les Voix Humaines recording has many pieces played on Cello and the system brings out every nuance and every breath the artist takes. The air around each note is mesmerising. The Yggdrasil made a huge improvement on this but the HD800 vs HD800S had a minimal change in that the bass was a tad increased.

    Treble is smooth and crystal clear with no sibilance I can hear. Not as sparkly as the HD800 but I don't miss that at all. Too much treble caused so much fatigue even with the Yggdrasil and it was downright impossible to listen to the HD800 for more than an hour.

    The mids are still recessed but not as much as on the HD800. Opera recordings such as Wagner's Ring cycle by Solti are a pleasure to listen to on the HD800S. However I prefer my speaker setup in this case as the high strings and voices can be blunted against the orchestral low mids / bass. It is great to listen to but the balance is not as flat as speakers. That's the 800/800S signature problem though rather than a DAC/amp issue

    Because of the recessed mids I am still considering getting an HD600 or HD650 to compliment the HD800S. However I will miss the staging, air and resolution. I can't have perfect headphones it seems. Speakers are perfect enough for me though and my Monitor Audio GX100 speakers sound fantastic when driven by the Ragnarok.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  6. Storytime

    Storytime Rando

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    Thanks for the impressions, songmic. I was wondering what you thought of the nature of the recessed mids in the four variations above. In know that sorrodje indicated this was one of the major improvements of the 800S over the 800. Do the mids on the HD800S become even less recessed (i.e., more forward) when you add the SuperBAF Mod, or is there no further improvement over the HD800?
     
  7. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    I am planning to get HD800S and use it with Mjolnir 2. I do not have a need for integrated amp and therefore do not want to but Ragnarok. Would you have any comments on that setup?
     
  8. Muse Wanderer

    Muse Wanderer Friend

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    I never heard the Mjolnir 2 so can't help you in that regard.

    Mind you, my impression regarding the HD800S has changed quite a bit since I got hold of the Campfire Audio Andromeda in-ear monitor.
    After adapting again (!) to the HD800S sound signature, the Andromedas have opened my eyes, or shall I say ears, to the mid-recessed sound of the HD800S.
    Violins sound pushed into the background, as if the rest of the orchestra is in front of you and the violins pushed further away. Definitely unnatural and hollow sounding.

    What is the use of having impressive technicalities with high resolution, pinpoint imaging, wide soundstage when the tuning is off?
    Why listen to the music I love with skrewed up sound?

    BTW - I listened to an unmodded HD650 today and loved it. If it was less grainy and less veiled with more resolution, it would be perfect.
    I will potentially get an HD600 and HD650 to compare with the Rag and move on.
    Or just stick with the Andro and speakers.
    HD800S will probably wave goodbye to the Yggdrasil/Rag soon!
     
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  9. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    HD650 with less grain, less veil, and more resolution? Why, that's exactly what our common mods bring to the table! If you love unmodded, wait until you hear it modded.
     
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  10. Muse Wanderer

    Muse Wanderer Friend

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    As I grudgingly listen to my HD800S, just to confirm what I just wrote, I wish I was listening to the Andromeda instead.
    Would the modded HD650 or HD600 be most in line with the Andromeda sound signature?
    The Utopia sounded close but the mids were still somewhat recessed.
    I would have to mod the HD650 - a bit averse to modding but then no pain no gain.

    The Rag is staying as it is perfect as a speaker amp.
    Would the HD650 modded or HD600 scale well with the Yggdrasil/Rag?
    If I were to upgrade to a tube amp, it would have to drive speakers as well.
    At present besides the Studio (too expensive) there does not seem to be a tube amp that drives speakers as good as dynamic headphones.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
  11. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    1. Haven't heard the Andromeda, so someone else will have to answer that question.
    2. The mods on the HD650 are fairly easy. The Dynamat portion is more time consuming and annoying than difficult or risky.
    3. Yes, HD600/650 scale like crazy.
     
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