Originally Posted by James-uk
This is my first post in the HD650 thread . Just wanted to say that I still think the 600/650s are 2 of the best headphones ever made in my opinion. I still use my 650s regularly especially with my new addition (HDVD800) they are outstanding. I do own the HD800s also and whilst they are 'better' I do find I reach for the 650s a lot . Maybe I like a warmer sound I don't know . I own /have owned the fiio 09k , burson 160ds, O2/odac and V800/200 and I can say based on hearing these the HDVD800 is the perfect match for the 800s and 650s . Plus I can leave both sets plugged in simultaneously and swap between them without worrying about plugging and unplugging all the time and potentially causing damage to the drivers(by mistake) . I've never owned a tube amp and I don't believe I can gain anything from having one but I am going to buy a bottlehead mainly for the fun of building it plus I do want to know what the 'tube sound' is like (even though I prefer knowing I have accuracy and low lower distortion) and reading through this thread it appears to be a good match for 'fun' listening sessions.
Welcome. I like your choices. I've heard the HDVD800 with HD800 and think it is an excellent match. But the HD800 still cause me to retreat at times due to over-emphasis of glare in voices, sibilance, or anything in that region.
So I use the HD650, which never cause me to wish they had a different sonic signature. Resolution is very good, especially after removing the foam and using Cardas Clear cables (still a good value, and technically much more advanced than what I've seen around).
Resolution of the HD650 is very good, but not excellent, yet fully enough for me. Musicality, accurate tonality, and lack of coloration are the strengths (the HD700 I find terribly colored, sort of a "cupped hands" coloration).
For DAC and amp: rather than spent more on a desktop system, I decided to go quality in my portable system. Also, despite loving tubes, I was disillusioned by my WA6 (even after tube rolling) when I found that my $300 Arrow amp was much more involving and detailed.
So I popped for (what doesn't seem expensive after receiving it) the Ray Samuels (RSA) SR-71B, new, updated version. I use unbalanced inputs and both unbalanced (Cardas Clear Light) and balanced (Cardas Clear) cables. I got info from Ray's choice of connector to the Cardas team, and they got in touch with Ray. Cardas now seem willing to make them for anyone that requests it.
The quality of this combo is without fault at anywhere near its price. I feel no urge to get kilobuck desktop stuff (despite being a picky audiophile equipment glutton).
I use the Meridian Explorer DAC and a very good Moon cable (copper) to the RSA amp. The Meridian is underrated, extended, detailed and true to the music without forcing detail reproduction to the point where the tradeoff with proper timbre and transients is excessive. (On the road, I use my iPad v3 analog out, which is musical but lacking in some audiophile virtues... yet delightful.)
I'm about to test cables with the RSA and HD650:
Cardas Clear balanced, 1.5m (RSA connector)
Cardas Clear Light unbalanced, 1m (1/8" from RSA unbalanced out).
Cardas older headphone cable 3m (1/4" with solid metal adapter to 1/8", and with Grado adapter cable)
Stock cable (1/4" with solid metal adapter to 1/8", and with Grado adapter cable)
I'll let you know what I find. My recollection is:
Clear balanced > Clear Light unbalanced > Cardas headphone 1/4" > stock 1/4"
Edited by Stoney - 8/6/13 at 11:48pm