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Which amp for getting better lows from HD800s without loosing detail?

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
I recently had a chance to listen to HD800s and I have an intention of getting them. The source I will be using is DAC1 pre. I loved the detail that they can extract and the huge soundstage. I also loved their midrange and the airiness. However, I found the lows a bit, how can I say, well low . I would prefer getting more low-end presentation without loosing the detail throughout the whole spectrum. Which amp will be good for this purpose, considering the synergy with DAC1 pre as well?

I am looking at two OTL design amps, Zana Deux and Decware Select Zen CSP2 due to their design philosophy of driving higher impedance cans better, however a nice gentleman from here told me that he preferred Sonett to Decware CSP2 with the Senn HD800s (I do not know if he did any tube rolling or it made any difference though). Probably Zana Deux is better than both, but at the cost of the two and some change . Then, there are also offerings from Woo Audio, which I have no experience with and RSA (I can go and pick the amp in person and I am mostly interested in Raptor in that case). So, which one do you think will be better? I am considering mostly SE setups, since I believe that Zana Deux will be much comparable to balanced ones at its price points and the price of ZD is the highest I would go. Still I would prefer cheaper options if they sound similar of course.

Any information is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
post #2 of 40
One other thing to consider is an aftermarket cable.
post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 
Probably the cable will be the last thing that I will be playing with. Orcin (sounds like a Turkish name, where are you from BTW?), I do not think the HPA2 amp in DAC1 pre will do the headphones justice. This is why I am trying to decide on the amp. I am not a believer in the cables if it is not a very fancy one and with the fancy ones, the price is beyond my reach. There are some aftermarket cables for HD800s, which cost as much as the HD800s themselves, which I find outrageous. I have a tendency of not spending more than 10-15% of the cost of the item to the cables. I did it before and I regretted it.
post #4 of 40
A 4 channel B22 which would mean you would have to get yourself a half decent HD800 balanced cable in order to take advantage of the full potential of the DAC1 Pre and of course the 4 channel B22. In my mind if your cable luck has not been good you bought the wrong cable.....there are great cables and not so great ones, it's a crap shoot of you are guessing. I do sympathize with your caution about high priced aftermarket cables that cost as much as the headphones themselves. I would not pay anywhere near 1400.00US for an HD800 cable either but there are much cheaper very good cables to choose from that are better than the stock one supplied. Have a look in the headphone/cable threads for current high value favorites.

Peete.
post #5 of 40
For better bass you should probably go SS. Bass was amazing with the Beta22 (balanced).
post #6 of 40
Solid state usually tightens up the bass, but the Zana has a wonderfully low output impedance, so it does well. I've been running the HD-800 from a Zana the past few months and I absolutely love the combination. The HD-800 with the Moth (sadly, no longer in production) is also superb, but the lows are slightly softer with it. If you can afford a Zana, go for it. It's an incredible circuit with top notch build quality. I was a little uneasy dropping the cash on one, but haven't had any regrets since. I'm coming up on two years with the Zana and I still love it as much as I did on day one.
post #7 of 40
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the comments. I have been checking around the amp threads to find possible candidates with a great synergy when paired with HD800s, and Headroom BUDA also seems to be a candidate, and one of the cheaper balanced options and still in my budget. People commented about very good lows with this combo, which is something I want. Considering that HD800s will be my main cans, what do you think about BUDA? Did anyone try it with Benchmark DAC1 pre?

I do not want a B22 due to the following reasons:
1. I need an amp which can be used with different voltages, so an international power supply is a bonus.
2. I would love to have a warranty on the product
3. There are different quality B22 builds and the price can increase a lot with a decent one, I am not a DIYer myself. I would like to not try and find a better builder and pay much more.
4. Size and weight is an issue to some extent. I would prefer one big chassis to two. I might be moving out of the country some time next year.

So, a B22 won't be an option for me. But a BUDA might very well fit the bill, if the sound and synergy is really good with HD800s and even with DAC1. Also, does anyone know about their desktop power supply? Does it increase the sound quality? Does it have the option of switching to the European voltage?

Thanks.
post #8 of 40
I can't say much about the improvement in SQ with the DPS (I don't have one) but I do know that its pretty easy to switch to 220v.
post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
Solid state usually tightens up the bass, but the Zana has a wonderfully low output impedance, so it does well. I've been running the HD-800 from a Zana the past few months and I absolutely love the combination. The HD-800 with the Moth (sadly, no longer in production) is also superb, but the lows are slightly softer with it. If you can afford a Zana, go for it. It's an incredible circuit with top notch build quality. I was a little uneasy dropping the cash on one, but haven't had any regrets since. I'm coming up on two years with the Zana and I still love it as much as I did on day one.
I second what Uncle Erik said, minus the Moth part, as I have never heard one.

Craig is also great to deal with.
post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 
@httran: Thank you for your comments. How would you rate the synergy with BUDA and HD800s? Do they perform well in the bass department? Are the details still there?

@nor_spoon: Thank you for the comments. I listened to ZD and a Recstar's Moth before, both of them were amazing, but at that time there weren't HD800s around.
post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by artears View Post
@nor_spoon: Thank you for the comments. I listened to ZD and a Recstar's Moth before, both of them were amazing, but at that time there weren't HD800s around.
The HD-800 is fantastic with both - believe me!
post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by artears View Post
How would you rate the synergy with BUDA and HD800s? Do they perform well in the bass department? Are the details still there?
There is excellent synergy with BUDA and HD800s -- I've got them myself and just last night was marvelling at how great both the detail and bass sounded. Now, I do have the HR UDAC as well, for the source, which I think is quite complementary for the BUDA. I would imagine the DAC1 Pre would be OK, but I think the UDAC would be a better choice to pair with the BUDA. I don't really know the answer though, so possibly others who have actually used a DAC1 with the BUDA can chime in. ANother thing to remember -- if you do think a BUDA would fit your needs, you really have to get the DPS unit from Headroom -- the Astrodyne power supply included with the BUDA is really not sufficient.
post #13 of 40
i don't get it really.
How a SS amp could have better lows than a tube amp?? I think it is exactly the oposite IMO
post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarKu View Post
i don't get it really.
How a SS amp could have better lows than a tube amp?? I think it is exactly the oposite IMO
From my experience, SS gives you far tighter/defined bass while tube is still tight but has more weight. So yeah my X-CanV8P has more bass than my Roc, but the Rocs bass is a ton tighter sounding.
post #15 of 40
I haven't listened to the other amps you mention, but my Woo WA22 has given me a significant improvement in bass on my HD800s, both balanced and single-ended. Previous amps used were a Headroom BUDA, Mapletree EAR+ and Naim Headline.
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