Pros: Beautifully Designed With High Grade Components
Cons: I was not able to secure it as a gift!
I think this is one time I was thankful another headphone amp failed and I was forced to seek out a replacement. I stumbled on the Sennheiser HDVA 600 with it's balanced inputs, balanced pass through outputs, enough headphone outputs for (2) sets of balanced headphones and (2) sets of 1/4" headphone plugs. This headphone amplifier is beautiful, modern, elegant, what you would expect from Sennheiser engineering. I chose the HDVA 600 for two reasons:
1. On both my larger and smaller audio systems I already have the SABRE DAC in play, so I did not need the older DAC in the Sennheiser HDVA 800, and the 600 and 800 are exactly alike except for the inclusion of the DAC on the model 800, same design, same power output, same everything.
2. As the HDVA 600 has just now been discontinued in lieu of keeping only one headphone amplifier, the HDVA 800, all of a sudden the HDVA 600 is discounted to $997.00 in lieu of $1,599.00! Do you need to hear more?
Mine is on order and should arrive in the next 5 days, and I must make a comment on the gentleman comparing the output of this finely tuned Lamborghini to the 1/4" headphone output on a Sony ES 5400 SACD player, which I owned and sold, because Sony will no longer carry parts past 2016, and many things cannot be fixed on the 5400 at this time, but to compare the HDVA 600 work of art to the Sony 5400 SACD headphone output, "come on".
If you did not know it, the actual cost of the Sony 5400 SACD player is $625.00, and I know this after battling Sony for over 8 long months about them badly damaging my prize SCD-1 SACD player, then throwing my box away and shipping it back thrown in a small box with limited packing, further damaging the player. As soon as I received the 5400 replacement, I sold it, again, as there will soon be no parts and no repairs out of the Laredo Texas repair facility, and who in their right mind would send any top shelf product to Sony in Laredo Texas with their terrible track record. Simply Google Sony Laredo Texas repair facility complaints and you won't ever send anything there, and if you don't send your product there, they have no other facility in the US to repair your piece of audio equipment, but I certainly digress.
If you want the finest of headphone amps, the Sennheiser HDVA 600, without the DAC is the real thing, but you won't be able to find them much longer at $997.00, so you better act very quickly! The model above the 600 is the 800, which will stay in their product line, however it has a somewhat outdated DAC, not bad by any stretch, just not the cutting edge DAC chip in many newer component, so I opted for the huge price break and relied on the SABRE DAC in my other components , and ordered the beautiful model 600, wow, what a deal! You really better jump on this one quickly as these will sell like hotcakes!