Sennheiser HD 800 and Audiolab MDac

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers' started by HizerKite, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. HizerKite

    HizerKite New Member

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    Hi all, this is my first post so please bear with me..

    I currently use a pair of Sennheiser HD600 phones with an Audiolab Mdac, I chose the Audiolab as it has remote control which is essential for me. The dac drives the 600s nicely but does anyone have experience of using the HD800s with the Audiolab as I have already been bitten by the dreaded 'upgrade bug'.


    Thanks
    Richard
     
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    I have not used the mDac but I had the HD800 for 3 years. The HD800, contrary to many reports, works well with any amp I've ever had, even the ipods and iphones(!), with one exception - volume. Used on such a low-power device the volume is limited and clipping is inevitable, but (this is important) full tonality and freq. response is preserved. A better amp not only increases the volume with the HD800, but it increases detail in the upper harmonics, adding a "sparkle" that is amazing to hear. People who say that all major amps sound alike should test with the HD800.

    Here are some comments that suggest it will work, with one person claiming the sound was thin with high-impedance headphones. My feeling is, it will work just fine.

    New Audiolab DAC
     
  3. HizerKite

    HizerKite New Member

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    Hi and many thanks for the reply and useful link. I think the combination will work as the 800s are the same quoted impedance (300 ohms) as the 600s so should be ok.

    Regards
    Richard
     
  4. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    I've had a go with the combo for a few hours. It drives them well and shows off the HD800's rather harsh high end rather too much for my liking, but still the experience was a very good one. The M-DAC is just not smooth, I have heard a couple that were much better in this regard, but they were considerably more expensive. The Fostex HP-A8 and the Resonessence Invicta. I don't know about stand alone amps, perhaps that's a cheaper option.

    Hey, maybe you'll love the HD800 + M-DAC anyway, your best bet is to find a place that will let you try them together, where do you live?
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  5. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    There may be a possibility of going the other direction - LCD3 or Fostex perhaps?
     
  6. HizerKite

    HizerKite New Member

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    I'm sure the Lcd3 are great headphones but I just couldn't live with that look :(

    Also, are a little out of my price range. I'll have a look at what Fostex have to offer though

    Richard
     
  7. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    The Fostex TH900 might be a bit out of your price range but the TH600 must be due out soon. The TH900 is like a Denon AH-D7000 with much tighter bass and more forward and entertaining upper mid-range / treble. Personally my favourite headphone ever, very close to the Grado PS1000, but like I say these are probably a bit over your budget also.

    Another thing that I forgot to mention about the HD800 is that the bass is very lean. It's analytical and that goes with the harsh high frequencies. Totally not true of the Fostex, but I stress that for this money you really should try them out. Get yourself down to the Hifi Headphones showroom, I think they have the Fostex and I'm sure I've seen the HD800 in the photos too.
     
  8. HizerKite

    HizerKite New Member

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    Hi and many thanks for the info. I decided to go for the 800s in the end and have spent the afternoon listening to a few of my favourite cds. Am very happy with the sound from these headphones and the comfort which is probably 50% of the importance for me is spot on. Now to sell my HD600s :)

    Richard
     
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