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Heed CanAmp

post #1 of 2774
Thread Starter 
I first read about this headphone amp in a post by PinkFloyd and decided to order one. Well it arrived today and I am in awe. An amp as inexpensive as this has no right to sound this good. The unit retails for $400

Before I attempt to describe what I hear a little background may be in order. Heed Audio is a Hungarian company that has been in business since 1987, you can read details at: http://www.heedaudio.hu/en/about.html

Their product line looks like: http://www.heedaudio.hu/en/prod_el.html with the CanAmp described at: http://www.profundo.us/heed/canamp.htm

I have only had the amp running for about 2 hours driving my RS-1, K701, and K340. The first thing I noticed was how present and tight the bass is, this followed by how clear the high is presented. What blew me away is the depth of the music, it seems to have layer upon layer thus making the music three dimensional. This thickness is then presented with an almost reverb quality that makes you feel engulfed by the music. I am hearing stuff that I did not know was recorded in my Cd's because I could not hear it before.

I will let a few days go by and check again, my goal it to get a couple of local Head-Fiers to listen to it and get their impression. The amp is on loan and I do have the option to purchase and it seems it will be staying. Nonetheless it is also good to get somebody else's perspective. I apologize for my lack of terminal terms but I just know this amp kicks ass and I love it.

Now a couple of lousy pictures I took.



post #2 of 2774
Glad you like it Miguel and it just goes to prove that uncomplicated honest to goodness amps deliver SO much more in the sonic department than all these over egged attempts at reinventing the wheel we so often see with ridiculous "audiophile" price tags slapped on for good measure.

I don't care how big the amp or how big its price tag, the HEED is by far the best I have heard to date bar none. As you say the "depth" is palpable with every instrument in its own space in time.... once you get over the psychological fact that this amp only costs XYZ and the circuit is SO simple that it can't possibly sound good and you start listening (and enjoying) the music you start realising just how good an amp this is.

In fact, my psychological barrier was knocked for six within minutes of listening to this amp, it's pretty much "night and day" better than the amps I'm used to so it was hard to ignore what it was doing to my ears.. that three dimensionality is not subtle, that depth is not imaginary and the sheer musicality of the amp is not a figment of my imagination. This baby delivers big time and it does so with grace, pace and soul.

It'll be interesting to hear what your fellow head-fiers think of the sound..... I, for one, could happily live with it forever. If I never saw another amp it wouldn't bother me, there is no aspect of the amp that offends me it pleases me from head to toe.

I notice that your fascia is slightly different from the one I have? Mine has "HEED" on the front and also has a chrome knob.. cosmetics, not important in the scheme of things, but wondering why there should be such a difference........

Anyways, give her a few days to bed in and you're in for some sonic fireworks, if you think it sounds great now.........................

EDIT: With regard to the fascia I remember Alpar (designer) mentioning that he had difficulty sourcing some of the bits and bobs so this would explain the use of a different knob. Good really in that every HEED amp will be an individual and not a mass produced robotic blowmoulded clone with as much individuality as a lightbulb.

post #3 of 2774

Impressive testimonial!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkFloyd
.....
I don't care how big the amp or how big its price tag, the HEED is by far the best I have heard to date bar none. As you say the "depth" is palpable with every instrument in its own space in time.... once you get over the psychological fact that this amp only costs XYZ and the circuit is SO simple that it can't possibly sound good and you start listening (and enjoying) the music you start realising just how good an amp this is.
That has to be the flat out strongest recommendation of an amp I've ever heard/read!!!
post #4 of 2774
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkFloyd
Glad you like it Miguel and it just goes to prove that uncomplicated honest to goodness amps deliver SO much more in the sonic department than all these over egged attempts at reinventing the wheel we so often see with ridiculous "audiophile" price tags slapped on for good measure.

I don't care how big the amp or how big its price tag, the HEED is by far the best I have heard to date bar none. As you say the "depth" is palpable with every instrument in its own space in time.... once you get over the psychological fact that this amp only costs XYZ and the circuit is SO simple that it can't possibly sound good and you start listening (and enjoying) the music you start realising just how good an amp this is.

In fact, my psychological barrier was knocked for six within minutes of listening to this amp, it's pretty much "night and day" better than the amps I'm used to so it was hard to ignore what it was doing to my ears.. that three dimensionality is not subtle, that depth is not imaginary and the sheer musicality of the amp is not a figment of my imagination. This baby delivers big time and it does so with grace, pace and soul.

It'll be interesting to hear what your fellow head-fiers think of the sound..... I, for one, could happily live with it forever. If I never saw another amp it wouldn't bother me, there is no aspect of the amp that offends me it pleases me from head to toe.

I notice that your fascia is slightly different from the one I have? Mine has "HEED" on the front and also has a chrome knob.. cosmetics, not important in the scheme of things, but wondering why there should be such a difference........

Anyways, give her a few days to bed in and you're in for some sonic fireworks, if you think it sounds great now.........................

EDIT: With regard to the fascia I remember Alpar (designer) mentioning that he had difficulty sourcing some of the bits and bobs so this would explain the use of a different knob. Good really in that every HEED amp will be an individual and not a mass produced robotic blowmoulded clone with as much individuality as a lightbulb.

What are the amps that you are "used to" (what are you comparing this to)? How do you compare it to the Singlepowers/Woos (or any of the popular SS amps)?

It's very tempting, when a review comes out, making this kind of statement!

I am looking for an upgrade right now. The price seems to be a bit of a stretch for my budget, but I am not discounting it, if this is "the one"...

I really enjoy tubes, so this would be a departure, from what I have been looking for. In your experience, do you think will suffice for the long-term, in the "musicality" dept (that "suck you into the music" characteristic)? In my experience w/SS amps (at least in speaker setups), they can sound wonderful, but can also lack some of that extra dimension/sense of of "realism"...
post #5 of 2774
Where and how did you buy yours Miguel? As in, did you order from a Web site or find a local dealer?
post #6 of 2774
Profundo, the US distributor, is actually based in the bay area...interesting...
post #7 of 2774
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLCanhead
What are the amps that you are "used to" (what are you comparing this to)?
Nothing that exotic at the moment...... I have directly compared it to my WNA MKll / WNA MKlll / Graham Slee SOLO / MF X-CANS / MF X-CANS V2 / MF X-CANS V3 (all modded) and Corda HA-2 MKll. The three dimensionality of the HEED trounces all of them by quite some margin, it's close to the MF V3 in places and close to the SOLO in the excitement department.. in fact, I know this may sound a bit stupid and maybe Miguel will slap me and bring me back down to earth but..... take the best of the V3, the best of the SOLO, the best of the WNA MKlll and you've got the HEED. Jack of all trades and "master" of all trades in this case.

I'm not yet sure what kind of job it's doing with the Grado SR225s as I'm not a Grado maestro but it sure drives them better than either the Slee SOLO or MF X-CAN V3 IMO. The WNA MKlll makes them sound smoooooth but I think it's adding some colouration and presenting the music through rose tinted specs... the HEED / SR225 combo is a warts and all "natural" insight into the recording, maybe Miguel is in a better position to comment on its abilities with Grado 'phones as I'm not yet fully acquainted with their house sound. Alpar of HEED comments (with regard to the amps ability to drive loads from 8 to 600 omega)

"However this specification comes from us, let me qualify it a bit. The CanAmp can drive headphones with lowish impedance but for optimal performance one should actually consider headphones from 64 ohms upwards, the higher the better. In the process of its development, a pair of Sennheiser HD600 (600 ohms) served for reference which are highly regarded everywhere, especially in Germany, the CanAmp's only target country for quite some time."

To me it does a superb job of driving the Grados but, as I say, I'm no Grado expert and you'd need to ask a Grado head what he / she thinks. As for the Senn HD600, HD414, HD25 / 1, AKG K501 it does an absolutely incredible job taking control of the drivers and pummeling your ears with the most glorious sound and absolutely gargantuan presentation. You want to hear your HD600 in 3D? Look no further than the HEED. You want to be able to pick out every layer in your recording? The HEED. You want to tap your toes so much and have a big smile on your face? The HEED.


Quote:
How do you compare it to the Singlepowers/Woos (or any of the popular SS amps)?
I don't. I'm primarily comparing to British / Euro amps in the £250 - £500 range, I wouldn't spend more than that on a handful of components in a box. I'll leave that comparo for some rich person to do

Over to you Miguel It must have a few hours on the clock by now?
post #8 of 2774
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romanee
That has to be the flat out strongest recommendation of an amp I've ever heard/read!!!
And you may know I absolutely LOVE the MF series of amps, the SOLO and the WNA MKll / MKlll (and I've played an active part in all of them) so you'll realise my ravings are most genuine..... I hate having to confess that a £225 Hungarian amp absolutely trounced these highly regarded British amps but it has, hands down, no contest. I don't think I can add to that.
post #9 of 2774
Quote:
And you may know I absolutely LOVE the MF series of amps, the SOLO and the WNA MKll / MKlll (and I've played an active part in all of them) so you'll realise my ravings are most genuine..... I hate having to confess that a £225 Hungarian amp absolutely trounced these highly regarded British amps but it has, hands down, no contest. I don't think I can add to that.
So now he tells us! I wish I'd known that precisely 2 days ago, when I went out and bought an X-Can V3, a choice based in no small part on the enthusiam you and other members of the board have for the MF!

Only joking - I'm new to all this headfi stuff (this is my first dedicated HP amp) and despite the revelations above, I'm very chuffed to bits with my new MF. I like the valveness of it and I like that a noob like me can mod it fairly easily at some stage in the future too. It also scores points with me because it looks nutsy. Still, looks the Heed should be on my list of possible future up/cross grades.

Pluck
post #10 of 2774
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr
Where and how did you buy yours Miguel? As in, did you order from a Web site or find a local dealer?
I read the impressions in Rock Groto: http://rockgrotto.proboards39.com/in...ead=1151507228 Then I did a bit of research and found the USA Distributor whom I contacted. The USA Distributor found a USA Dealer willing to send me one of their units for me to test and voila!

This amp keeps on getting better and better, at only 12 hours of burn in it sounds amazing. Since I feel funny when I read about an amp being touted as the greatest I am coordinating with two fellow Head-Fiers for them to listen and get their opinions. I am sold on this little "wonder-box"

Some additional internal pictures of the amp follow (I hope it does not void the warranty ) Click on the pics to make them HUGE!











As a side note I am working with the Dealer to get a face plate like the one on PinkFloyds Heed CanAmp.
post #11 of 2774
Thank you for all of your detailed/thorough responses!

This sounds like a wonderful piece of equipment that can fit into the budget of many!
post #12 of 2774
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt-Pluck
So now he tells us! I wish I'd known that precisely 2 days ago, when I went out and bought an X-Can V3, a choice based in no small part on the enthusiam you and other members of the board have for the MF!
This kind of thing makes me feel sick and is why I rarely say anything about amps these days, this is all personal opinion and you may find you like the sound of the V3 a lot better than the HEED. Don't feel bad you've bought the V3 just because I happen to like the HEED, hell I could be as deaf as a post for all you know!! My V3 is definitely staying put, as is the SOLO, very accomplished enjoyable amps but someone asked me what sounded best to me and I told them.... the HEED. Put 100 head-fiers in a room with 10 amps to choose from and it's almost certain that they won't all choose the same amp as their favourite, if it were that simple there would only be one amp on the market and this forum wouldn't exist. Factor in partnering equipment, headphones, synergy, cables and your own set of unique ears and you'll see that there are no constants in Hi-Fi land, everything is variable and dependant on a lot of factors. In a shoot out there's got to be a winner and in this shoot out the HEED took first place, that doesn't mean that the other contenders were no good it just means the HEED did most things very well and overall scored the highest. Anyway amps are like fine wines, there's one for every occasion, and no point limiting yourself to drinking the same type over and over again.... one with chicken, one with fish, one with pudding..... same with amps, the HEED does everything well (and some things very well) so is a good general purpose amp (like a good house wine)... with certain types of music or certain types of headphones, however, the MF V3 may do a lot better as may the SOLO or the WNA so my advice is....... buy them all if you can afford it and use each of them for a particular piece of music or a particular set of 'phones. It's very hard to do a comparison without declaring a winner and maybe the word "trounced" was a tad misleading but, overall, the HEED would be my choice if I had £225 - £500 and was looking for an amp.
post #13 of 2774
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrarroyo
Since I feel funny when I read about an amp being touted as the greatest I am coordinating with two fellow Head-Fiers for them to listen and get their opinions.
I know exactly what you mean you get the feeling "shall I or shan't I?" when it comes to telling people what it sounds like, if you say it sounds great and everyone else says it sounds shyte then you become an instant member of "team deaf bastard" I'm pretty confident in my ears abilities to tell a good one from a duffer so I just come straight out with the lowdown and to heck with the consequences. Plus I really don't need to rely on other people's ears, usually a recipe for disaster, always best to use your own ears and form your own judgement before buying anything. Hopefully people who hear the HEED will agree it's a damned fine splendid amp but you never do know
post #14 of 2774
Quote:
This kind of thing makes me feel sick and is why I rarely say anything about amps these days, this is all personal opinion and you may find you like the sound of the V3 a lot better than the HEED. Don't feel bad you've bought the V3 just because I happen to like the HEED, hell I could be as deaf as a post for all you know!! My V3 is definitely staying put, as is the SOLO, very accomplished enjoyable amps but someone asked me what sounded best to me and I told them.... the HEED. Put 100 head-fiers in a room with 10 amps to choose from and it's almost certain that they won't all choose the same amp as their favourite, if it were that simple there would only be one amp on the market and this forum wouldn't exist. Factor in partnering equipment, headphones, synergy, cables and your own set of unique ears and you'll see that there are no constants in Hi-Fi land, everything is variable and dependant on a lot of factors. In a shoot out there's got to be a winner and in this shoot out the HEED took first place, that doesn't mean that the other contenders were no good it just means the HEED did most things very well and overall scored the highest. Anyway amps are like fine wines, there's one for every occasion, and no point limiting yourself to drinking the same type over and over again.... one with chicken, one with fish, one with pudding..... same with amps, the HEED does everything well (and some things very well) so is a good general purpose amp (like a good house wine)... with certain types of music or certain types of headphones, however, the MF V3 may do a lot better as may the SOLO or the WNA so my advice is....... buy them all if you can afford it and use each of them for a particular piece of music or a particular set of 'phones. It's very hard to do a comparison without declaring a winner and maybe the word "trounced" was a tad misleading but, overall, the HEED would be my choice if I had £225 - £500 and was looking for an amp.
Pinkfloyd - I was definately joking - I certainly didn't want to make you feel sick!! I don't think boards like this on t'interweb should be held responsible for a persons buying choice. I'm sure the Heed is as good as you and others say it is - and I fully subscribe to the notion that 90% of discussions on these (and other) forums are based purely on personal opinion - thats what makes them fun, and is why they exist in the first place. The fact that news on the Heed has surfaced (for me, at least) a day or so after I bought my MF has absolutely no effect on me whatsoever - I'm still as pleased as punch with it, in fact it's reassuring to know that there are still loads of other great products out there - should the upgrade fever really take hold.

Please don't stop posting because of my silly joke.

Pluck
post #15 of 2774
I emailed the US distributor and I got an immediate reply back from Bob Clarke stating,

"thank you for your interest in the CanAmp. We have just currently run out of stock, after a sudden (in 1 day) massive spike in sales. I will contact the manufacturer to see how long it will take to receive a new batch. I will let you know just as soon as they are available... Just to warn you,*Heed does very good work, but they tend to be rather slow, so a first guess at six weeks might be a little optimistic. Though, they have surprised me in the past, and they owe me a shipment soon of some other products, so they may be able to move more quickly. The problem is, they have to do everything custom for the U.S., because of the different voltages.
*
I do think it is worth waiting for, though, as it is a lot of quality (and very musical, too), for such a low price ($400). Until this week, it was our slowest moving piece...someone must have gotten the word out... and if you like the CanAmp, you should hear their little Obelisk integrated! At $1250 it embarrasses a lot of very expensive and well-known pieces of gear out there."

Some how waiting (long) and HiFi go togehter hand-in-hand
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