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purr1n
302
Jul 20, 2021
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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 of them. The prior HD8XX was pretty good already; but understandably I think people wanted more; and the folks at Drop 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. (Let's not dwell on the HD700.) Well now 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 HD8XXv2 Frequency Response
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Drop x Sennheiser HD8XXv2 (BLU/RED) vs HD800S Anniversary Edition (GRN) Frequency Response
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HD8XX (v2) Harmonic Distortions HD(db) vs Frequency at Various SPL
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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). 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 FR 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!
(Edited)
Jul 20, 2021
danny87
386
Jul 21, 2021
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So can I say the HD8XX is tonally similar to the warm and smooth sounding HD650, while retaining the HD800 soundstage?
Jul 21, 2021
verifonix
1141
Jul 21, 2021
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That's what he is saying.
Jul 21, 2021
omniweltall
69
Jul 21, 2021
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I guess now this is much improved than before. Just like the HD58X. Did not expect this, but bravo to Massdrop and Purrin.
Jul 21, 2021
LimKimPork
18
Jul 21, 2021
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why every graph they posted avoiding 0db match up at 1khz which was what they were doing all the time and suddenly not on hd8xx and 800s comparison? I wonder HMMMM
Jul 21, 2021
Evshrug
2406
Jul 21, 2021
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“One thing to note is placement. I ensured the driver was as far forward and low as possible.” Interesting note on placement. I had the exact same experience with the HD 820… positioning the driver forward and low (with my ears in the top-back of the cup) brought the magic for that headphone: fuller low mids and bass, a much more rich and “complete” sound. The HD 800 wasn’t as placement picky as the HD 820 is, but there definitely is a “sweet spot” with all these headphones… once you find it, you’ll definitely know it!
Jul 21, 2021
Evshrug
2406
Jul 21, 2021
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Yeah, I noticed that too. Odd. I’ll PM head-fi… but I suppose the graphs were aligned based on an average, or perhaps manually. Even so, the shapes are the same, and whether you look at them this way or mentally re-align them to match at 1 kHz, contrast is mostly in the mids/bass. Also, I want to hear them, to experience how simultaneous tones interact with eachother, for separation and masking. Will said Jermo added a bit of treble (over the HD 800S, so I’m curious about that relative to my HD 800, I didn’t have any complaints about the pre-production HD 8xx treble) to keep it from being buried in the mix under the other changes, so we’ll have to see what that sounds like.
Jul 21, 2021
LimKimPork
18
Jul 22, 2021
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It is very easy to mislead ppl who has limited time spending measurement. Here is some example of same graph with different normalized freaquancy can cause confusion to person who does not know how to read a graph.
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Jul 22, 2021
purr1n
302
Jul 24, 2021
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I would not say warm like HD650. More like neutral with a midrange scoop. In a nutshell:
  • Not a bassier HD800(S). Bass presentation not as thick as HD800S (less third order) and more similar to OG HD800.
  • Maintains transient response, the attack, bite, and "snap" of HD800(S), which cork and Vader mods do take a bit off.
  • Not as bright as HD800(S), but instead a midrange scoop with a tiny bit of emphasis is lower mids.
  • Same expanded slightly diffuse headstage as HD800(S).
  • Lower bass extension than HD800.
  • Nothing like HD650 (in case you wanted this comparison!)
Personally, I do not need another headphone. However, but nothing has headstage like the HD800(S). It's the only headphone which is capable of projecting a stereo image 4" in front of my eyes instead of 0.5" in front. (Speakers can project a soundstage past the wall depending upon my sources and gear). The HD800 even beats SR1a in most aspects of headstage.
(Edited)
Jul 24, 2021
purr1n
302
Jul 24, 2021
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LOL, it's a conspiracy! I tend to align at 500Hz to 1kHz. Drop x Sennheiser HD8XX v2 (BLU/RED) vs HD800S Anniversary Edition (WHT) Frequency Response
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Marginally more lows, deeper mid scoop, moderately reduced highs.
Jul 24, 2021
danny87
386
Jul 24, 2021
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Thank you for the detailed comparison, and for the revised FR graph. The V2 got me intrigued, so I guess I'll stick to my order.
Jul 24, 2021
DROPNEVERSHIPONTIME
0
Aug 3, 2021
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Evshrug
2406
Aug 3, 2021
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Purr1n doesn’t work for Drop, or Sennheiser. He’s the founder of the SBAF forums. I’m sure he isn’t trying to change your opinion, just expressing his own findings.
Aug 3, 2021
AdviceGuy
31
Aug 6, 2021
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Maybe Calm down. A good tuner is not enough. A real modification is needed. It has been done, but purposely overlooked, a YEAR AGO!: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/senn-hd800-ultimate-s-mod.879024/post-15489022
(Edited)
Aug 6, 2021
DROPNEVERSHIPONTIME
0
Aug 9, 2021
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x
(Edited)
Aug 9, 2021
GiantHeadphoneSquid
610
Aug 11, 2021
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Posts like this are the only reason this joke of a site is still worth occasionally loading up. Your doing God's work, DNSOT.
Aug 11, 2021
DROPNEVERSHIPONTIME
0
Aug 16, 2021
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Aug 16, 2021
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