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[Jaben Combo] Sennheiser HD 800s & Phatlab RASA Balanced Headphone Amplifier

This special combo includes the following items:

Sennheiser HD 800s  x 1
Phatlab RASA Balanced Headphone Amplifier x 1

  • A modern classic, Sennheiser’s reference class HD 800 headphones deliver sound that is as natural as possible and true in every detail. Improving on a seemingly perfect formula is not a task undertaken lightly, but Sennheiser’s engineers have succeeded in enhancing still further the sound reproduction in the open, circumaural HD 800 S.

    The striking industrial design combines form and function seamlessly, the layered metal and plastic headband construction attenuating vibrations to the earcups while the handmade microfiber earpads offer exceptional comfort for even long periods of listening enjoyment.

    Crafted for perfection, the HD 800 and the HD 800 S are precision-built in Germany from only the finest materials and components. The transducer is encased by stainless steel, while the headband and headphone mounting utilises the most advanced materials developed in the aerospace industry for high strength with minimal weight.

    The new HD 800 S offers even better high precision connectivity options and is now supplied with two connection leads, a 6.3mm connector and a XLR-4 balanced cable to offer even better quality sound from sources with balanced outputs such as the Sennheiser HDVD 800 headphones amplifier.

    Absorber technology of the HD 800 S
    The enhanced sound reproduction of the HD 800 S is achieved through the addition of the innovative absorber technology that was pioneered in the Sennheiser IE 800 – a breakthrough that preserved the audibility of very high frequency sounds by eliminating a phenomenon known as the “masking effect”, where the human hear struggles to hear frequencies of sound when lower frequencies of a higher volume occur at the same time. By absorbing the energy of the resonance, Sennheiser’s patented absorber technology prevents any unwanted peaks and allows all frequency components – even the finest nuances – in the music material to become audible. This innovation was a key element in making the IE 800 the world’s best sounding in ear headphone, and in the HD 800 S it helps to bring even greater purity and precision.

    Such enhancements build on the formidable achievements of the classic, with the 56mm sound transducer – the largest ever used in dynamic headphones. The unique ear cup design directs sound waves to the ear at a slight angle to create an impressively natural and spatial listening experience.

    While much appears the same, the enhanced performance within is revealed by a distinctive new look, with the silver finish of the 2009 classic HD 800 making way for high-class matt black for the HD 800 S.

  • Simplicity, the principle through all our creations 
    In the development of RASA, we devoted to realizing the performance of Phantom, Phatlab’s preceding flagship tube amplifier, in a solid-state replicate. Though the component counts of RASA seems multiple times of tube amp, it actually comprises a 3-stage structure, first the input buffer and conversion stage to take advantage of fully balanced construction, second the zero negative feedback gain stage for coherent sound quality, and third the power output stage to cope with all kinds of loading. The major difference from Phantom might be in the directly-coupled output of RASA instead of transformer-coupled output in Phantom. Apart from the similar characteristics like clarity, details, and spaciousness, RASA is more straightforward and Phantom is otherwise implicit by nature.

    High precision volume control system and L-R balance (offset) adjustment 
    The precision and match of multi-channel volume control are critical to a balanced amplifier’s performance. The imbalance of volume between positive and negative polarities may lead to downgrading in signal integrity. A traditional 2-gang potentiometer has typical 10 to 20% tolerance between gangs, needless to say, a 4-gang counterpart used in fully balanced construction. The volume control of RASA is a refined and improved version from Phantom. It consists of 4 resistor ladders for positive and negative polarities of the individual channels and up to 1024-step resolution. Besides, the volume knob emulates a type-A transfer curve that is linear to human hearing. The volume control brings the best linearity and details even at its minimal level. Moreover, L-R volume balance (offset) adjustment is a long-forgotten function in the Hi-Fi system. The reason is its deterioration to audio quality from multiple interconnections of potentiometers in traditional design. By adopting digitally controlled resistor ladders, we are able to bring back the L-R channel balance adjustment with zero impact to sound quality.

    3-level (-6/0/+9dB) gain stage 
    The widespread of headphones’ sensitivity is always a challenge to modern amplifier design. It demands both low noise floor and high output power, which usually in conflict with each other. In RASA, the 3-level (-6/0/+9 dB) gain stage brings users both the lowest noise level and highest power output through a simple toggle switch. The unique design of the gain stage avoids the side-effect of the gain setting through the amplifier’s feedback resistor, which usually changes the transient characteristic of the amplifier in subjective perception. In RASA, its audio quality is consistent in different gain levels and well compatible with IEMs up to planar headphones.

    Versatility and purity 
    RASA is equipped with a microcontroller. It takes programming to fully exploit the potential of integrated devices. We used to avoid digital control in the amplifier for its potential switching noise. So we take full precaution to integrate the controller into the system. It includes a dedicated power supply starting from the transformer, isolated PCB layout, and digital isolator. There is absolutely no electricity flowing between digital and analog blocks and no trace of digital noise either through measurement or auditioning. Except for doing control, we apply the controller for the signal generator that can output 1000Hz sine wave and white noise, all based on DDS (direct digital synthesis) technology. It is convenient for users to apply the generated signals through the highest quality amplifier for extensive headphones break-in.

    Selected components for audio quality and reliability
    As always, we only apply carefully selected components for audio quality and reliability. Germany made MELF resistors are used through the entire board for their low noise, smoothness, and reliability. SMD film capacitors are located right next to the amplifier’s supply for coherent frequency response. Low impedance high capacity electrolytic capacitors are the main power reservoirs for supply in highly dynamic music passage. And polymer capacitors are the last mile in power supply for extensive high-frequency performance. Cost is no object in design and component options. Industry-standard Pentaconn® and Neutrik® connectors are used for output connections.

    CNC machined enclosure with prestigious quality
    It is well recognized the chassis and enclosure of audio equipment are the foundation of superior performance. The enclosure design of RASA is directly derived from flagship Phantom and carefully trimming in dimension and weight. RASA’s enclosure is elegant and compact sitting on the desktop and has the most solid construction with aerodynamic aluminum supporting top-notched electronics.

    Sophisticated and powerful 
    Single gain stage, zero global feedback, high resolution stepping volume system, current mode preamplifier, and high current output stage are unique features behind RASA’s prestigious performance. RASA’s electronics has borrowed the wisdom of tube amplifiers. It combines the neat tube-like topology with sophisticated solid-state functionality. There are no artificial details or sharpness that prevails the latest solid-state design. RASA presents music coherently and fluently without a trace of obtrusion. The music sounds rich and touching found in tube amp while driving demanding headphones as powerful as a solid-state amplifier.

  • Sennheiser HD 800s Specifications
    Color: black 
    Cable length: 3m 
    Contact pressure: ~ 3,4 N (± 0,3 N) 
    Ear coupling: Circumaural 
    Frequency response: 4 - 51,000 Hz (-10 dB) 
    Impedance: 300 Ω 
    Jack plug: 6.3mm/ XLR4 
    THD, total harmonic distortion: 0.02 % (1 kHz 1 Vrms) 
    Transducer principle: Dynamic Open 
    Wearing style: Headband 
    Weight w/o cable: 330 g 
    Audio-XLR connector: XLR4

    Phatlab RASA Specifications
    Frequency Response

    1 Hz – 100 kHz (+0/-0.1 dB)

    Output power (4.4φ)

    600mW + 600mW (300 ohm)
    3500 mW + 3500 mW (50 ohm)

    Headphone impedance

    16 ohm – 600 ohm (recommended)

    Gain level

    H: +9dB (SE), +15dB (Balanced)
    M: 0dB (SE), +6dB (Balanced)
    L: -6dB (SE), 0dB (Balanced)

    Max. S/N Ratio

    >110 dB

    Power supply

    115/230V (AC)

    Dimensions (WxHxL)

    330 x 77 x 275 mm

    Net weight

    5030 g

  • HD 800 S
    Cable with 6.3mm jack connector
    Balanced cable with 4.4mm connector
    Microfibre cleaning cloth
    USB flash drive

    Content of Package
    1. RASA amplifier
    2. Power Plug