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Amp Upgrade for HD650, please help

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi, my system is an elite pro spdif to paradisea+, which is a very nice musical dac btw, out to a Corda HA-1 mk.1 to stock cable HD650

Even with the supposedly warm paradisea I still find the sound a little harsh at times, especially at higher volumes, while the Corda is a nice amp, I believe it has a reputation for being somewhat bright and coldish. I wonder if I should be opting for a warmer amp.

Also, does changing the cable to lets say an Equinox really make a huge difference in sound, I like an analog/warm musical sound, so a cable that made the headphones sound sharper wouldn't necessarily be a good thing for me even if it was more detailed.

Looking to spend around $300-400 for the amp but am flexible. Suggestions?
post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 
nobody?
post #3 of 14
Sennheiser shows their headphones with the Solo headphone amp by Graham Slee.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
that retails for $900, i'm not that flexible on price.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jono3642 View Post
Hi, my system is an elite pro spdif to paradisea+, which is a very nice musical dac btw, out to a Corda HA-1 mk.1 to stock cable HD650

Even with the supposedly warm paradisea I still find the sound a little harsh at times, especially at higher volumes, while the Corda is a nice amp, I believe it has a reputation for being somewhat bright and coldish. I wonder if I should be opting for a warmer amp.

Also, does changing the cable to lets say an Equinox really make a huge difference in sound, I like an analog/warm musical sound, so a cable that made the headphones sound sharper wouldn't necessarily be a good thing for me even if it was more detailed.

Looking to spend around $300-400 for the amp but am flexible. Suggestions?

I changed my HD650 cable from the Stefan Equinox to a Revelation and am VERY pleased with the results. Side-by-side, the Equinox sounded thin and brittle to me, whereas the Revelation sounds very smooth and natural. Beautifully balanced sound, no veil whatsoever.
post #6 of 14
buy the woo audio 6 that just listed. A temporal and financial steal.
post #7 of 14
A used X-Cans V3 could be found for under your $400 budget, known to play superbly with Sennies, you will be hard pressed to find better in that price range, something that is significantly better would likely to cost you closer to the $1K+ price range.

IMO you would be far better off spending the money on a new amp and/or DAC than a pair of expensive headphone cables.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fidelity View Post
A used X-Cans V3 could be found for under your $400 budget, known to play superbly with Sennies, you will be hard pressed to find better in that price range, something that is significantly better would likely to cost you closer to the $1K+ price range.
What about something like the Eddie Current SS?
post #9 of 14

No Brainer...

This is a "no brainer"...

Darkvoice 332 - with a good DAC / CDP... you will be amazed!
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jono3642 View Post
that retails for $900, i'm not that flexible on price.
Sorry, did not see the price limit. In that case an used Musical Fidelity X-Can V3 at about $325 including S&H.
post #11 of 14
You don't often hear the 650 called harsh. Most complaints refer to it being too dark. I pair my 650 with the Corda HA-2 MKIISE and a somewhat bright VDA-2 DAC and do not experience any harshness. If you find the 650 with your Corda harsh, a tube amp like the MF X-Can V3 would be a good way to go. If you want to stay with solid state, Ray Samuels' amps are voiced warmer than your Corda. You might be able to find a used one within your price range.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
The system is not really that harsh, I just find it a little neutral and boring and now and again there is a hint of sibilance or just sharpness, it depends on the recording, its just annoying when it happens.

I tried an XP-7 ages ago with HD650 and thought it was too dark, warm and syrupy lol. But those HD650's were faulty, as a year after I sent both amp and headphone back I bought another HD650 and it was a completely different headphone, even before burn-in.

I am incredibly happy with the HD650, I really like the Paradisea dac, so I think I will opt for the X-CAN V3 as reading earlier threads the synergy seems great. Some people say it gets harsh at higher volumes though, any experience of that?
post #13 of 14

Fairly Bright...

The stock XCAN v3, before it's fully burn't in, can sound a bit bright - especially without the XPSU v3 and the X10 v3 tube buffer. Even after its fully burn't in, it has more of a SS sound than tube sound - with just a bit of warmth added by the tubes.

I thought it was a good complement with my HD650's... because they sound so dark and slow, and really need a brighter, faster sound. But... it may be a bit bright with HD600's, Grados, or ATH's - which all sound a bit brighter, faster than the HD650's.

You can make it more mellow with the above complements, with alternative tubes, with copper IC's, and with the "PinkFloyd" mods (which are easy to DIY).

The XCAN v3 is a great amp, but you may not find that it warms the HD650's a great deal.
post #14 of 14
Gradofan2, have you had an opportunity to use Russian 6H23-EB on your V3?
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