Pros: The sound, Todd
Cons: It's black - I'm a silver guy.
I had borrowed some HD800s for a weekend, and used them w/my Cayin and Benchmark USB amps. I found them to be easily the best headphones I had heard , and was quickly aware that my current amplification was not really up to what these puppies could give me. I bought the phones, and pursued a new amp.
I called Todd because of his great reputation. He is VERY easy to do business with. After discussing things he recommended his Peak/Volcano combo. He specifically told me that Pete is particulary proud of the P/V design and sound. He feels it is 90% of the experience of the Pinnacle, at least - but at 21% of the cost. Todd repeatedly told me he really is no hassle with his 30 day return - if I don't like it, return it (he told me at least 3 times). So I bit.
It was not love at first listen. I had a sputtering tube in the left channel (Shuguang black bottle). 15-20 hrs later the tube was quiet (Todd offered to send me a new tube out immediately, but I figured it would settle down w/burn in). Things were now deep dark quiet, but the magic still wasn't there. Good sound, but not GREAT. A week later, I was hoping for more, so I started component switching, and whoa Nellie! - I 've got the synergy!!!! I'm running my Simaudio Andromeda CDP digital out into my Benchmark, SE out into the P/V.
from Positive Feedback-
Todd likes the warmth and humanity of tubes, but he also like the articulation, detail and tight bass of solid-state components. Tube stuff shouldn't sound fuzzy or artificially warm. That's where the hybrid design comes into play. It's not edgy sounding but it has definition and detail."
That says it perfectly. Also, as others have said, it is almost holographic in it's 3 dimensionality. It is quite evealing of different tubes - I have 3 tubes that I'm going nuts with - a tall bottle chrome Sylvania 6SN7GT, a Raytheon 6SN7WGT, and the Shuguang. I don't know which I like best - it's like being at the counter inside the Ben and Jerry's ice cream factory - which flavor do you want? I don't know , I love them all - how about a triple scoop!
I will say I tried the "holy grail" Tung - Sol oval plate and found it way too warm and thick.
I won't bore you anymore - the prior reviews have explained the strengths of this P/V combo very well. I'm just tossing another one in the ring! Let me sum up by saying that with the HD800s and the P/V, I have never heard such good sound. By a country mile.