Sennheiser HD800 audition tracks - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-15-2019, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Sennheiser HD800 audition tracks

I need some suggestions for music tracks to audition with my newly acquired HD800 (not HD800s) phones.

Bought secondhand from a local meticulous audiophile who upgraded to HE1000SE's to keep his Focal Utopia's company when he's away

These are like-new tricked out HD800's (which he preferred over the 800s)- Colorware matte black paint job to resolve the silver chipping issue, and Robert-installed (owner of) Aphrodite Zeus XLR permanent HP cable.

Look exactly like a factory HD800s black, but original HD800 sound + single crystal copper cable

Sounds sublime with my newly acquired Violectric V200 hp amp.

Need suggestions for CD/SACD/DVD/BluRay 2ch tracks that you think would make these shine/be great demo material to showcase the HD800's strengths and/or your favorite HP tracks.

Last edited by Rgb; 03-15-2019 at 12:07 PM.
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-15-2019, 12:37 PM
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-15-2019, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I used this for a first listen-

https://jenchapin.com/music/revisions/


from the CD on an Oppo 981HD analog 2ch out > V200 > HD800
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-16-2019, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Figured you'd chime in with those tracks you always go back to for that headphone "Wow" factor...
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-16-2019, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Rgb View Post
Figured you'd chime in with those tracks you always go back to for that headphone "Wow" factor...
ok.

how bout a couple tracks from last years best. A full spectrum barrage and very revealing of a systems capability. If you really wanna test your system, try running them(or anything really) through https://fongaudio.com don't forget to eq your headphones flat ;] I can assure you, on my system, the program makes headphones sound almost exactly like the speakers they're emulating.

https://anachronismdeath.bandcamp.com/track/orogeny

https://constructoflethe.bandcamp.co.../rot-of-augury

https://ekpyrosis.bandcamp.com/track...al-convergence

https://youtu.be/uJ7pjChlUgk

https://hateeternal.bandcamp.com/tra...desolate-sands

https://kataplexis.bandcamp.com/track/decrepit-tombs

https://mortuousdeath.bandcamp.com/t...alis-of-sorrow

https://everlastingspewrecords.bandc...-chaos-kenosis

and my personal favorite and definitely something I go back to when testing new equipment.
https://anata-earache.bandcamp.com/t...tors-departure
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-17-2019, 05:40 PM
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Literally any song you are familiar with......

Blasting brown notes for 10 years and counting!

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post #7 of 16 Old 03-19-2019, 02:22 PM
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Jennifer Warnes - Bird On a Wire
Eagles - Hotel California
Steely Dan - Cousin Dupree
Holly Cole - I Can See Clearly Now
Patricia Barber - Gotcha
Joe Satriani - Flying In a Blue Dream

With that said, N8Dogg is right. Listen to material you're intimately familiar with.

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post #8 of 16 Old 03-20-2019, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post
Jennifer Warnes - Bird On a Wire
Eagles - Hotel California
Steely Dan - Cousin Dupree
Holly Cole - I Can See Clearly Now
Patricia Barber - Gotcha
Joe Satriani - Flying In a Blue Dream

With that said, N8Dogg is right. Listen to material you're intimately familiar with.
Thanks for the picks- just wanted to discover some audiophile grade demo quality tracks other than the standard Diana Krall/Patricia Barber's of the world.
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post #9 of 16 Old 03-20-2019, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdht View Post
ok.

how bout a couple tracks from last years best. A full spectrum barrage and very revealing of a systems capability. If you really wanna test your system, try running them(or anything really) through https://fongaudio.com don't forget to eq your headphones flat ;] I can assure you, on my system, the program makes headphones sound almost exactly like the speakers they're emulating.

https://anachronismdeath.bandcamp.com/track/orogeny

https://constructoflethe.bandcamp.co.../rot-of-augury

https://ekpyrosis.bandcamp.com/track...al-convergence

https://youtu.be/uJ7pjChlUgk

https://hateeternal.bandcamp.com/tra...desolate-sands

https://kataplexis.bandcamp.com/track/decrepit-tombs

https://mortuousdeath.bandcamp.com/t...alis-of-sorrow

https://everlastingspewrecords.bandc...-chaos-kenosis

and my personal favorite and definitely something I go back to when testing new equipment.
https://anata-earache.bandcamp.com/t...tors-departure
Definitely something different from the Krall's of the world
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-20-2019, 01:53 PM
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[QUOTE=Rgb;57777608]
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdht View Post
Definitely something different from the Krall's of the world [IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif[/IMG]
heh, it's suprising that we've been getting master quality death and black metal releases on Tidal in the last couple years.
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post #11 of 16 Old 03-21-2019, 05:04 AM - Thread Starter
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To be specific, the HD800's are known for their wide, deep, open, airy, 3D soundstage, lendng themselves to acoustic, jazz, vocalists.
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post #12 of 16 Old 03-21-2019, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdht View Post
heh, it's suprising that we've been getting master quality death and black metal releases on Tidal in the last couple years.
It's about time!

My journey to find the "perfect" speaker
 
 
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post #13 of 16 Old 03-21-2019, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdht View Post
heh, it's suprising that we've been getting master quality death and black metal releases on Tidal in the last couple years.
It's about time!
Somewhere... a lowfi trve blacker and a bits r bits 16/44 is all you need'er are having a very agreeable conversation about audiofools, not realizing one is an ethno nationalistic bigot and one is a globalist egalitarian. Joy.

Seriously though the masters for northern chaos gods and kingdoms disdained kick serious ass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgb View Post
To be specific, the HD800's are known for their wide, deep, open, airy, 3D soundstage, lendng themselves to acoustic, jazz, vocalists.
You mentioned the Violectric v200, what dac and source are you using?

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post #14 of 16 Old 03-25-2019, 10:56 AM
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Here we go!

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post #15 of 16 Old 03-26-2019, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdht View Post

You mentioned the Violectric v200, what dac and source are you using?

Been auditioning with a Meridian Director so far
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

But also have a Music Hall 25.3
https://www.amazon.com/Music-Hall-di...r=1-4-fkmrnull

and a Denon 4400 I could use as an HDMI input capable DAC output to the V200
https://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVRX440...A2H3DYB5PUVNNI

Feeding the Meridian an optical TOSlink from a Sony DVD/CD portable from CD's and DVD's with PCM 2ch track.

Plan to try a DVDA/SACD player coax out to the Meridian and Music Hall next, then A/B against the Denon 4400's AKM DAC's

ALso plan to feed the DAC's from a laptop (USB out) with lossless CD/SACD/DVDA rips and 24/96, 24/192 lossless files

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post #16 of 16 Old 06-01-2019, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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10 of the best tracks to test your headphones

Question answered

https://www.whathifi.com/features/10...our-headphones

Quote:
10 of the best tracks to test your headphones
By Andrew Murphy May 30, 2018 Feature

There's an earworm or two in here...




10 of the best tracks to test your headphones
You'll likely use your headphones more than any other piece of hi-fi equipment. At any one time in the What Hi-Fi? office at least half of us are using them, and not exclusively due to our questionable personalities (though this figure will spike, depending on who's talking).

We're well aware there is personal preference in what you want from your headphones - even we aren't precious enough about hi-fi to assume the success of companies such as Beats is reliant only on good marketing. But by and large there's no reason you ought to expect a radically different performance to that of your amplifier and speakers.

You may already have your own playlist to test equipment before you buy it - if not, it's a worthwhile exercise - but we've put together this collection of ten tracks to help highlight what we believe to be the most important aspects of your headphones' performance. If they're found lacking in any department, you may want to consider an upgrade.

Find the full playlist on Apple Music, Deezer, Spotify or Tidal

RECOMMENDED VIDEOS FOR YOU...
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Explosions in the Sky – Wilderness


To test overall balance


Why? Balance isn't always an easy one for headphone manufacturers to get right. Quite often we find them overloading the bottom end in an overzealous attempt to keep their product from sounding lightweight or rolling off the treble to avoid any sharpness nearer the top of the frequency range.

In order to test the overall balance, you want a track that covers as much of the frequency range as possible. You'll get that from a lot of orchestral works - but more contemporary pieces can work as well, such as this from Explosions in the Sky. There's plenty of low-end heft in Wilderness's percussive pulse, while some of those guitar harmonics will reach high into the treble frequencies.

View Explosions in the Sky at Amazon

Fleet Foxes – Fool's Errand


To test midrange quality


Why? By and large, the midrange is where you'll find your vocal lines: pretty important, then. Clarity is, of course, a primary concern, as are stability and warmth. If there isn't enough midrange support from lower frequencies, vocals can sound thin and lack human quality.

Finding a track with a clear, prominent vocal line is all you need do, but it's even better if it includes such gorgeous vocal harmonies as Fool's Errand from the latest Fleet Foxes record. Robin Pecknold's voice ought to soar, flanked by those luscious harmonies without disappearing into them.

View Fleet Foxes at Amazon

Darkside – Paper Trails


To test bass control


Why? We mentioned some brands' tendency to skew the balance toward the bottom end, which we understand suits a certain section of the market. But if that's what you like, it is perhaps even more important those bass frequencies are articulate and suitably agile.

It isn't enough for your headphones to make your earlobes wobble if you can't actually hear what's going on down there. A track with a moving bassline will either drive or confuse a performance, depending on the aptitude of your kit. Darkside's Paper Trails has the added benefit of testing a vocal line deep into the frequency range, which will really highlight the clarity of the bass - or lack thereof.

View Darkside at Amazon

Pharoah Sanders – You've Got to Have Freedom


To test treble quality


Why? Coarseness in treble frequencies is probably one of the first things you'll notice in headphones because it'll make your ears hurt. If that's happening once you've given your headphones a day or two to run in, you'll end up wanting to bin them altogether. But sometimes it can go the other way - perhaps in an attempt to rid a performance of any sharpness, manufacturers will roll the frequency range off at the top end.

Either way, you aren't getting the rich treble frequencies you and your ears deserve. This particular track from Pharoah Sanders finds his saxophone in full-on attack mode. Without making your ears bleed, it ought to sound like a mother goose being prodded with a knitting needle, and you should accept nothing less.

View Pharoah Sanders at Amazon

Havergal Brian – Symphony No1 in D Minor (The Gothic)


To test level of detail


Why? It's rare we really criticise a product for lack of detail alone, but when we hear something particularly insightful it can really make a difference. The term itself is pretty self-explanatory: it's about digging deep into what is being performed, rather than how.

Large-scale orchestral pieces, with a grand range of instruments and timbres, will highlight just how much insight is being delivered. This particular symphony, written by Havergal Brian, is a veritable behemoth, spanning the piccolo to the timpani via two harps and a children's choir. Live recordings are another decent test: hand-claps are one of the more difficult sounds to reproduce.

View Havergal Brian at Amazon

John Martyn – Small Hours


To test space


Why? Space may appear a peculiar concept when it comes to sounds being played directly into your ears, but a claustrophobic performance can be the enemy of deeper listening. You don't want instruments to sound detached from one another, but each line should have space to breathe.

Again, live performances are a good test as to whether your headphones are able to judge the size of an auditorium - or you can go a step further with this album closer from John Martyn. It was recorded outside, so there is no excuse for Martyn's guitar to sound at all boxed in.

View John Martyn at Amazon

BadBadNotGood – Speaking Gently


To test rhythm and timing


Why? Anyone who was ever in a school band will know how infuriating it is to play with somebody who can't keep time – if you didn't know that, it was probably you. The same goes for hi-fi, and your headphones should be able to make sense of polyrhythm just as adeptly as they lock into a rigid 4/4.

This particular track from BadBadNotGood's album IV offers a simple, solid beat as it opens, before sprawling into a freer percussive mindset. Timing also feeds into how instruments interact, how they question each other and then answer. If the performance sounds loose, disorganised or dull, it's probably down to timing.

View BadBadNotGood at Amazon

Arvo Pärt – Tabula Rasa


To test dynamic range


Why? As good as your four-year-old nephew may be at playing the recorder, you probably don't want your headphones to play like they're at a school assembly. A dearth of dynamic range will give you a flat performance, sometimes sounding almost like a rehearsal, undermining any emotion on the original recording.

Pick a piece where small- and large-scale dynamics fluctuate as they do in Arvo Pärt's Tabula Rasa and you'll hear whether your headphones are up to the job. It's often the smaller-scale dynamics that make the greatest impression: those are what will give voices their expression, which will be especially important if you use your headphones for watching films and TV as well.

View Arvo Pärt at Amazon

Ólafur Arnalds – Ljósi∂


To test subtlety


Why? Getting you out the door and enthused for your run is one thing, but if you use your headphones for anything else then a little subtlety and restraint will be as important as that drive.

This Ólafur Arnalds piece, from his album Found Songs, is a lesson in refinement, with piano keys wanting to be stroked rather than hammered, violin weeping rather than in the midst of a full-on gin-sob. If your headphones can render this as well as they do Black Sabbath, it'll really pay off in the subdued moments of tracks before they end up letting fly.

View Ólafur Arnalds at Amazon

Joe Goddard – Lose Your Love


To test excitement, enthusiasm and drive


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Why? All of this may seem like arbitrary box-ticking if your headphones' performance doesn't make you want to move. Really, this kind of enthusiasm and drive is a combination of timing, low-end stability and a good grasp of dynamics - but we have heard products seemingly adept at each of these that ultimately fail to enthuse.

You can insert your favourite groove-laden track here, but we've opted for Lose Your Love from Joe Goddard's 2017 album Electric Lines. If your headphones are doing it right, you'll be anticipating the beat dropping, and you'll look unhinged to your co-workers as soon as it does.

Last edited by Rgb; 06-01-2019 at 07:55 AM.
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