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FUN Amp for HD600's!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I've had my 600's for a while - with all intentions of purchasing an amp (which hasn't happened yet). I was mainly waiting for impressions on upcoming amps from a wider variety of people. Despite my source having inadequate power to drive my headphones properly, I still very much enjoy the sound with one exception - I'm definitely lacking the 'fun factor' of good rock music that I previously spent most of my time listening to. I now find myself listening more to quieter, more relaxed tracks which is by no means bad, I've definitely developed a greater appreciation for more music - but when I go back to some of my old rock favorites it's definitely missing something.

My top priorities for an amp are:
-Great Bass (my current source offers very little of this )
-Vocals/Midrange (full sounding)
-Ultra-Detailed throughout the range, but not bright, thin or harsh at the top end.

EDIT: In general I'm looking for an amp that sounds like it has alot of power! A big, strong, clear amp that will show my cans who's boss!

Top on my list are the Corda HA-2 and Meta42. Suggestions and advice from those with similar experiences would be appreciated.

-dd3mon
post #2 of 22
You should add the Gilmore to your list.
post #3 of 22
AudioValve RKV... or a MG Head OTL with a killer tube (albeit will not have quite as much bass).

Yo, who rocks without tubes?!?
post #4 of 22
I don't know if you wish to spend this much, but the high-end headroom amps are tailored toward the Sinn600. They really do lift those cans into another realm.
post #5 of 22
There are some killer deals on the Melos SHA-1 these days. That's an interesting option as well.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
There are some killer deals on the Melos SHA-1 these days. That's an interesting option as well.
'

I would also recommend the Melos. I prefer this amp to the Max with the HD600's. It is really a great combo.
post #7 of 22
I disagree with the Melos recommendation, it's more suited to low impedance 'phones...the amp would clip too readily at my preferred listening level (around 1 to 2 'o clock). I also found that the Melos (esp. when compared with the Head) didn't do a whole lot for the HD600's midrange performance.

I'd go with the MG Head if I were you..

- Wasif
post #8 of 22
Earmax Pro. For reasons unknown, that wimpy little amp produces *very* deep bass. It's a mystery. Most "tubey" tube amp I've heard, very lush in the middle, and mellow on top. Sounds just like what you're seeking.

The EMP is NOT a versatile amp, IMHO, and is really only suited for the HD600. If you plan on one day swapping that phone, you'll probably end up selling the EMP, too. nevertheless, by far the most "fun" amp with the HD600 I can think of.

Mark
post #9 of 22
Quote:
I disagree with the Melos recommendation, it's more suited to low impedance 'phones...the amp would clip too readily at my preferred listening level (around 1 to 2 'o clock). I also found that the Melos (esp. when compared with the Head) didn't do a whole lot for the HD600's midrange performance.
I hate to disagree, but I have used the Melos to drive the K1000 and HD600 with no clipping at all and at very loud levels too.
post #10 of 22
Melos: Shouldn't clip, but not a "tubey" amp either concerning the HD-600. Still, a good match... and particularly excellent with Grados.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks alot for all the input!

I guess it really comes down to Tubes vs. Solid State.. I do want the speed, quickness and power of a solid state, but no sterility - I've had enough of that.. I think an RKV would be excellent - most say it bests even the EMP, but I don't think I wanna spend that much money.. I wish more people had the gilmore/HA-2 or prehead to compare with more amps

thanks again, more comments are always appreciated,

-dd3mon
post #12 of 22
Corda HA-2 and Earmax Pro are equally fun with the HD 600. Both have a colorful and transparent midrange, deep bass as well as smooth and delicate but accurate highs, each in its own way. BTW there's no reason to rate the EMP as not versatile. It works fine with all the different headphones I've tried it with.
Quote:
«...most say it bests even the EMP...»
I don't remember anybody ever has compared these. It must be hearsay. I'm sure the RKV is also great with the HD 600, but one signature of the RKV are its rolled-of highs, while the EMP has a brilliant and extended treble with the rights tubes (though never harsh or sharp).

JaZZ
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I don't remember anybody ever has compared these. It must be hearsay.
The only comparison I can remember is joelongwood's - I believe he liked the RKV better, but he also doesn't own the 600's anymore, and that will probably be my only set of cans for a while.

The gilmore v2 looks very attractive as well at it's special introductory price - I wish I had pics of the silk-screened front panel

The only reason I was considering the HA-2 over the gilmore in my original post was because of the crossfeed and (to me) more appealing looks of the Corda (vs. the original gilmore) - unforunately there's no one who's heard a v2 yet

Thanks again,

-dd3mon
post #14 of 22
If you want power and speed then get yourself :

Headroom Home
or
Headroom Maxed Out Home
or
Headroom Max
or
Headroom Blockhead
post #15 of 22
ddmon3,

I have stock HD600 (waiting for Equinox) headphones driven by the prehead (with the LM something unforgiving op-amp). The source is the Meridian 588 and the interconnect from Outlaw Audio.

In terms of speed, power, definition and extension at both ends, this solid state amp is quite good I feel.

Now, I must be quite sensitive in that area, although the source is very refined and the cans supposed to be not harsh, the sound is sometimes a little too bright. For example, the trumpet in Kind of Blue is just too much at times... It feels like I get what I wanted: extreme reality. And I admit that I do not find the sound of trumpet too pleasant when at 1 meter away .

Since I got them, I have been feeling that the stock HD600 have a tendency to push the highs a little or at least make them sound detached. People call them laidback while detailed. I wonder if it does not translate into boosted treble and recessed mids?

An other feeling I have at times is that the sound is very very detailed, but it does not carry real emotion. I keep being impressed with the detail I hear, but it gets almost distracting from the music itself!

Anyway, this is just to warn you that those ultra-revealing ss amps may have some drawbacks with cans such as the HD600 (it was actually a nightmare with my RS2, which I sold) when you have a detailed source.

For me, I'll see if the Equinox cable answers my concerns. Otherwise, I will be eager to listen to some tube amp like the MG Head. After all, maybe I am just trying to get the best from both worlds: a very detailed and precise sound while being very sweet and emotional... .

Arnaud
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