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Small Amp for HD650's - Page 3

post #31 of 91
The Meier-Audio Porta Corda MKII can be powered by an external 9-24V PSU. It comes ready for that but you need to buy the PSU. The Corda line works very well with the HD650 but I wouldn't recommend feeding them from batteries.
post #32 of 91
I own the Total Bithead and it does have a decent sounding DAC in it for what it is.
I don't consider it in the same league as the SR-71 or Gilmore Lite. I don't have any intention of getting rid of mine as I have no method of getting a line out from my Powerbook without the TBH. I'll keep it for that reason alone (until a better USB DAC comes along).
The TBH, like the Sr-71 does not have an AC option.
CPW
post #33 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow_aetk
The Meier-Audio Porta Corda MKII can be powered by an external 9-24V PSU. It comes ready for that but you need to buy the PSU. The Corda line works very well with the HD650 but I wouldn't recommend feeding them from batteries.
I would like to second this recommendation. The PC II + a good 24V supply should fall within your budget. With battery life not a concern, you should switch on the optional class A mode for improved sound. Plus, you have the best crossfeed in the business available at the flick of a switch, should the source (or your personal preference) demand it. This amplifier sounds much better than it looks!

Like TooNice above, I'm a little surprised that you decided to remove the Xin SuperMacro from your list. For $300, you can have the basic amp upgraded with double BUF634 buffers and OPA627 or OPA637 op amps, which would suit your HD650 very nicely. If you like a brighter sound, you can save $30 and get the AD8610 instead of the OPA627. You can do without the "four feature switch" upgrade since three of them are wasted with the HD650 and the fourth---crossfeed---is of debatable benefit as it isn't nearly as well implemented as the Corda's.

I have both the above amps (my SuperMacro has the OPA637) and can attest that they both make wonderful music with the HD650 (which I also use). I personally prefer the SuperMacro for its sound, although there are times when I find crossfeed useful.

Bear in mind that my musical tastes lie on the classical/jazz side of the fence. If you're more into the heavier stuff, a "hard hitting" amp like the Gilmore Lite may be more to your liking. This is just speculation, as I have no personal experience with that amp: I'm going on the aggregated opinions of others in various threads within Head-Fi. On the other hand, the HD650 is more often praised for its delicacy than its aggression, so that may say something about what turns you on!
post #34 of 91
SuperMacro drives my HD600 nicely. Though "pay more get more", I do think SM is one of the most under-valued amps in the world. Two months ago, my friends compared SM with AD8610 to two other high-end amps (HA2002 and HR2) at a mini-meet, using a nice source (AYRE D-1) and good gears (HD650, RS1 and ER4) and said SM sounds as good as these two. My SuperMacro is the socketed version and I have rolled OPA227 (default in SM), AD8610, and OPA627/637. All of them sound amazing in SM, even though they have different sound sigatures.
post #35 of 91
Thread Starter 
•Headamp Gilmore Lite Dynamic Headphone Amp (http://www.headamp.com/lite.shtml): This certainly seems to be my safest and probably best bet. However I have slight concerns about using the 230/115V Voltage Converter since I am in the UK. Could purchase the Gilmore Lite Dedicated Power Supply as well, but I think that may be a little too expensive.
•Rega Ear Headphone Amplifier (http://www.rega.co.uk/index2.htm): Nice commercial amp and at an excellent price with the added advantage of it being based in the UK.
•Meier Audio PORTA CORDA MkII (http://home.t-online.de/home/meier-audio/index.htm): Seems to have more features than the others.
•Shellbrook Labs The Ascent
(http://www.shellbrooklab.com/ascent.htm): I think its similar to the gilmore, but very new so opinions not yet formulated.

Basically I'm trying to decide between these now. I understand the confusion as to why some of the DIY amps have been dismissed such as the supermacro and ppa. My reason for this is by no means logical-I simply want to buy a product 'as is' without having so many variables-to know exactly what I'm getting. Whilst I understand those options are very valid and perhaps a good choices- I guess I just don't want them.

Anyway the Gilmore Lite appeals to me the most-its versatlity, quality, price, and majority reccomendations all lean to it. However being based in the UK I have a problem. The Gilmore Lites standard Elpac power supply is only available in a 100-120V model. Whilst I could buy the Dedicated Gilmore Lite Power Supply in 220-240V supply (and would love to!); it breaks my budget considerably. HeadAmp are offering a 230/115V Voltage Converter as a convenience for $20; although with all these parts the Lite loses the sleek portabilty factor that made it so appealing to me in the first plce. And quite honestly instead of the Gilmore Lite and Dedicated Gilmore Lite Power Supply in 220-240V supply for $479; I would rather get the SR-71 for $395. But if you still think the gilmores worth all that hassle (I do really like it) then maybe I should just go for it?

The Rega seems to be my most sensible option right now-its cheap and apparently very good with HD650's and based in the UK. If there really isn't much difference between it and the others mentioned I may well just end up getting that.

The Meier is definitely an option for me since I go to Germany often and could easily get one delivered to my hotel. The combination of batteries and AC power along with the crossfeed plus the good price makes this probably just as good as the rega for me at least.

I know very little about the Ascent, but it seems very similar to the Gilmore, even price wise. Drew just e-mailed to inform me that there would be no power supply issues for me (incedentally he admits this is a very tough choice). Could this be the right choice?

Other ones that I'm sort of half considering are the headroom little-no power supply problem for me according to headroom and although beyond my budget I do really like the SR-71 (but just can't get it!)

To be honest If I lived in the USA I would pick up the gilmore lite in a heartbeat-it just feels right. But please understand that I'm not in the US and thus have an even more complicated descision to make!

So which one should I get?!
P.S I admire your patience with me and am very grateful, there is simply no other resource for headphone research worth looking at.
post #36 of 91

Hi Machead.....

[QUOTE=machead] I'm a little surprised that you decided to remove the Xin SuperMacro from your list. For $300, you can have the basic amp upgraded with double BUF634 buffers and OPA627 or OPA637 op amps, which would suit your HD650 very nicely. If you like a brighter sound, you can save $30 and get the AD8610 instead of the OPA627. You can do without the "four feature switch" upgrade since three of them are wasted with the HD650 and the fourth---crossfeed---is of debatable benefit as it isn't nearly as well implemented as the Corda's.
QUOTE]

I guess I misread Apocalypse's original post. I thought it was the Xin Micro. So I went out to Xin's site and looked at the Super Macro. It is impressive - good components all. Should sound fantastic. But I have a question. I noticed if you select an upgrade package with additional buffers, the capacitence goes down. Is this because they are not needed or just due to the size of the case he is using? The reason I'm asking is that for the same price, a Pimeta style amp or PPA, in a larger case, allows you to keep the same capacitence and increase your buffers to 4 per channel, although any more than 2 is wasted on my ears. Thanks -- Tom
post #37 of 91
The caps in my SM decreased from 5000uf to 3360uf when I reconfigured it to socketed version and I can't hear any difference in sound. I asked Xin about the caps's impact on sound. He replied that 2000uf is more than enough for SM and more caps don't bring noticeable improvement in sound. It's because we "ask for" more caps and he response to add up to 5000uf
post #38 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonoh
Good thread here.
I agree, i myself am going through almost the same exact decision right now and its really helpful to see little mini-review comparisons of the amps in this price range in one concise thread.

If more people wouldnt mind posting their own thoughts here (epecially liked gpalmer's post) I think it would be benificial for many!!

Thanks again for the great info...
post #39 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse_HD650
I understand the confusion as to why some of the DIY amps have been dismissed such as the supermacro and ppa.
hehe, that gave me a good laugh. It's not like the SM is a DIY amp. It's just that you can order it with sockets so you can put in your own opamps. All that requires is a screwdriver IIRC.

Does anyone find the Gilmore Lite to bright/analytical with the 600/650? I'm looking into buying one but heard I would be better off with a pimped out PPA.

I hope this isn't too off topic.

- Justin
post #40 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by noname
Does anyone find the Gilmore Lite to bright/analytical with the 600/650? I'm looking into buying one but heard I would be better off with a pimped out PPA.

I hope this isn't too off topic.
Nope, your right on target! Especially, with Apocalypse_HD650's sources.
post #41 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse_HD650
...DIY amps have been dismissed such as the supermacro and ppa...Anyway the Gilmore Lite appeals to me the most...
Don't let a nice website fool you, the Gilmore Lite is a DIY amp. Headamp commericalized Gilmore's designs but Gilmore put his designs out for anyone to use. Headamp is not the only maker of the Gilmores however he, I think his name is Justin, does a very good job at it from all accounts.
post #42 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonoh
Headamp is not the only maker of the Gilmores
name anyone else who has made more than ten of the Gilmore Dynamic for sale...
post #43 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpalmer
name anyone else who has made more than ten of the Gilmore Dynamic for sale...
Jonoh stated that the GL is a DIY amp, along with all the Gilmore's.

Does it really matter if no one else, save HeadAmp.com, sells a lot of Gilmore Dynamic's?

- Justin
post #44 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by noname
Jonoh stated that the GL is a DIY amp, along with all the Gilmore's.

Does it really matter if no one else, save HeadAmp.com, sells a lot of Gilmore Dynamic's?
I was actually curious since what Jonoh actually said is "Headamp is not the only maker" of Gilmore designs. Maker implies a reseller or at least a DIYFH to me not someone building them for themselves. I sure wouldn't classify someone who has turned out less than 10 amps as a reseller or even a DIYFH. I don't know of anyone else who really is doing them and reselling them. I know there are a few people who have turned out a number of subsonic Gilmore's but I'm not sure whether or not they can be classified as a Gilmore dynamic. As far as whether or not it matters, it just didn't strike me as a factually correct statement so I was curious if I had missed somone that was turning them out. And just out of curiosity again, why does it matter to you?
post #45 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse_HD650
To be honest If I lived in the USA I would pick up the gilmore lite in a heartbeat-it just feels right. But please understand that I'm not in the US and thus have an even more complicated descision to make!
Just listen to your heart, if you don't, you'll regret it and finish by getting the Gilmore anyway
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