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Just bought the HD600s...looking at amps

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
after 3 years of contemplating a headphone purchase. I originally bought a pair of Sont MDR 750s because of the good reviews in What Hifi Magazine. A couple of years later I heard the 580s and was very impressed, but I couldn't justify the money at that time since I had recently bought the Sonys.

Well, I'm heading back to school for the next 4 years and living in one bedroom of a 2 bedrrom condo I really can't listen to my big floorstanding 95db sensitive beasts as much any more so I thought headphones. I remembered the 580s and went shopping.

Unfortunately, the high end dealers here in British Columbia have sold out of all the 580s and some of the good deals on e-bay won't ship to Canada(besides the duty, conversion, tax and shipping would kill me anyway).

Enter - The HD600. What a wonderful headphone even better than the 580(to which I heard side by side cause they had a demo 580). It is more expensive, but I thought what the hell. I had not been too impressed by the Grado's. They were the same price - I believe the 325s but they sounded much more up front and in your face. They reminded me a bit of Klipsh - oddly. Even if I did like them they just were not that comfortable on me.

Right now I'm running them with my Arcam Integrated but would like to try tubes. I'm looking at the ASL MG HEAD cause it's in my budget and a cheap way to try tube amps.

What are your thoughts?
post #2 of 20
MG-Head seems like the right pick to me. some might say X-Can V2, but I'm not too confident about that one. prolly just me being picky tho. the MG-Head should be more tuby as well.
post #3 of 20

Give the EarMax Pro consideration with the Senns. I use this amp in conjuntion with a number of phones and it never lets me down. Search the reviews for info on this amp. Markl has some great comments.

Where to to read reviews and purchase:



post #4 of 20
Yeah, I would second the earmax pro.
It will be my next purchase.
post #5 of 20
this should be in the headphone electronics forum, as an amp is not a headphone
post #6 of 20
Earmax Pro should definitely be considered. It tends to produce a bassy, rich sound. Also look at the MicroZotl, which should be more neutral while retaining a tubey sound.
post #7 of 20

I own the 580 and the MG Head. I actually demoed the MG Head with my (at the time) just broken in 580 and the store's 600 for about 2 hours. IMHO it was not worth buying the 600 given the slight difference in sound vs. the price difference.

The 580/MG w/stock tubes for jazz (Coltrane - Love Supreme) and classical music (Mahler No. 2, Crouching Tiger... and Gladiator soundtracks) is excellent. Very detailed highs without being fatiguing. The bass is just right, without being boomy. The best test and I wish I had this disc when I demoed was the Chesky Ultimate Demonstration Disc. Track 3 is Spanish Harlem by Rebecca Pidgeon. You can hear the pluck of the bass and the guitar. The detail of the shaker is amazing and the vocals are smooth. I can even hear her breathe out with "P" and "B" sounds.

However, for trance, ambient and beat driven music it lacks punch. I did some tube rolling after getting accustomed the sound of the stock tubes (about 2-3 months). I've found that the Mullard CV4004 and the Ei El484s have that missing bass while retaining the detail, and highlighting female vocals for bands like Massive Attack, Portishead, Mazzy Star, EBTG, etc.

I think you'll probably get a bit more of everything with th 600, but not to the point of being excessive or fatiguing. IMHO, buy the 580. With the money you save you could tube roll or buy a DIY amp DBSE (done by someone else).

I would recommend the MG Head without a doubt.

Regards - reynman
post #8 of 20
I would recommend the MG Head without a doubt.
I'm in complete agreement with the reynman. His tube rolling assessment, to my ears, is dead on. The MG Head makes the Senns sing. If you like the Senn sound, you won't be disappointed.
post #9 of 20
I would propose Headroom Max. The combination is very neutral and dynamic. Rich and deep bass, clear mids and round highs ... I believe Max is quicker and more neutral than tube amps.
post #10 of 20
Yes, the Max is quicker and more neutral than most tube amps.

BTW, if you do try a MG Head (which I also had at one time and thought sounded good), be careful about quality control.
post #11 of 20
Well, if the Max is in your price range, I don't think there is much that can touch it with the HD600s...
post #12 of 20
Yes, what price range we are talking here?
Don't forget that while the max pro is better than MG Head or X-Can V2 it is also more than twice the price.
If you can afford it-great, if not my recommendation goes for X-Can V2.
post #13 of 20
I would recommend the Sugden Headmaster or Earmax Pro if you can spend $750+ US. The uber transparent Headmaster fits like a glove with the dark HD600. The Earmax will give you that romantic midrange in spades, plus it's no slouch in the bass department either
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 


My price range for the amp is no more than $300.00US. As I live in Canada the exchange kills me. Taxes are higher here and salaries are roughly the same but we get Canadian dollars. Tax on this item will be 14% bringing it to over $500.00. This would be not unlike you having to pay $500.00 for the MG Head and $550 for the HD600s.

I already have the HD600s - and using my Arcam Interated...I was going to get the ASL AQ2004 Tube pre/amp for the Arcam or go with a dedicated tube amp.

I understand that Creek, MG HEAD, X-Can(who makes these? Musicl Fidelity??).
post #15 of 20
X-Can are made by Musical Fidelity, go for the V2. it's the new and better version, but they have been discontinued for a few months now so if you can find one. And like the sound of it, buy it. As they are fewer of them going around by the day.

You might be able to find a few secondhand ones on ebay but the prices tends to be quite high due to the fact it's discontinued.
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