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Posts by NA Blur

The WA6-SE holds a special place in my audiophile heart because it does tame the HD600/650/800 headphones from Sennheiser by better supplying enough power the these hungry cans as well as provide some harmonic distortion which softens the treble. The higher output impedance of most tube amps also adds emphasis to the bass which is nice for the somewhat bright HD800.   I have not heard the Lyre is a long time and cannot comment on it.
What headphones do you plan on using with the amp(s)?   What music do you listen to and what source ( i.e. PC, portable, CD player etc ).   Why are you looking at tube amps and not solid state amps?   What connectors do you need such as balanced, inputc, etc?
Tube amps are not always idea for planar headphones because they can sound noisy at times if you are not careful. This is due to the high output impedance of the tube amp coupled with the low impedance of the planar headphone. If you are expecting to enter audio nirvana with a tube amp because of possible flaws either in your headphone choices or music I can assure you that it will not help.
Having heard both and owning the m903 I suggest going with the m903 because the build quality is more consistent and higher. I have had problems with the volume pot and noise getting onto the balanced line of the V281.   I do like the V281's single ended output as it is less noisy than the balanced out, which is strange because true balanced mode is supposed to reduce noise. Are you looking for an all-in-one option? What inputs / outputs do you require? If you are...
First check that it is not your player / settings by looking at any channel balance options you may have turned on. Also, swap the headphones around so the left is on your right side etc just to make sure your hearing is good on both sides. Sometimes wax can cause the appearance of a channel imbalance. Check that the cable is firmly pressed into the player and headphones. Sometimes a loose connection can cause this issue.
It is not atypical of USB DACs to to this, but a good DAC will not have huge popping episodes. Is you PC a more than a few years old?
The HE-400i is an excellent choice as it has linear bass, an open presentation, even midrange, and extended but tame treble. I listen to my pair every chance I get and have been through a ton of different headphones. I enjoy it with all of the genres you mention and due it being 1/3 the cost of the headphones you are currently looking at it would save you some serious cash too.
Try turning your bitrate / sample rate down to 48.0 kHz and turn off USB HUB Power Management and see if that helps.   Try all USB ports and see if one plays nice.
I love the HE-400i as it is very airy, linear in the bass, and extends neutrally into the treble. It's midrange is upfront, but not so much so as to make it annoying abrasive. Of all the headphones I have tried over the years the current rev of the HE-400i, with the pads placed with the thick parts forward, is the highest audio quality headphones I can recommend particularly for the price.
Here are a few of my favorites:   Album:  Body & Soul Artist:  Beat Syndrome Track:  Body & Soul (Original Mix)   Album: The Universe Made of Darkness Artist: Tesla Boy Track: Stars   Album: The Missing Elements Artist: Suduaya Track: Salutation to the Planets   Album: Chill Out Ibiza (The Balearic Edition) Artist: Cafe Lounge Track: Playa D'en Bossa
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