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Help! Advice on budget amp (<$300) to use with DT880 and HD650?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
After a lot of research on this site and some listening, I have decided to purchase both the DT880 and the HD650. I know they are very different cans, but I like certain aspects of both. The plan is to use them for a while and sell one if I develop a preference.

Would very much appreciate any advice on a budget desktop amp that will work reasonably well with BOTH headphones. I'm sure this is tough given how the different the headphones are and my price range so I don't expect perfection, just something that is decent. My source is a limitation as it will be an IPOD playing lossless through a sendstation LOD (this setup is for the office). Based on a lot of hours on this board I have the following on my short list:

-Little Dot MKIII: consensus is that it would pair very well with HD650 but not well with DT880s. Other issue is that the LD is a little too flashy for my cubicle given the exposed tubes.

-Corda Swing: consensus is that pairs well with DT880. Have not found much on how it is with the 650, which I have taken to mean it is not a great match.

-Cute Beyond: Seems to be well regarded but have not found much on what headphones it pairs well with.

Willing to go up to $300 but would prefer to stay in the $200-$250 range. Again, would appreciate thoughts on which amp would work best for my needs, either one of the above or another suggestion.

post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 

Another possibility

One other option that for some reason I had missed is the Travagans Red amp which appears to be very similar to the cute beyond, with the added benefit of being able to drive a small pair of speakers. This would spare me from buying a little Pyle or T-amp to drive the Orbs I was plannning to buy for my desk.

Would love any thoughts on the Travagans vs. the options in the OP for the 650 and DT880. Thanks!
post #3 of 10
Who said Ld mk3 and dt880 are not good together? I used dt880 with Ld mk2 and it was realy good match. Ld mk3 similiar with mk2, I think it could be even better.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 


That is good to know. To your point, I don't recall anyone saying that they were not a good match. I had just inferred from all of the posts about the LDII/III pairing well with the 600/650s and no mentions I found about it with the 880 that it would not pair well. Thanks again.
post #5 of 10
I think you'll be fine with the LD MKIII. Although I haven't heard it paired with the 880s, the 880s sounded just as good with my LD MKIV as they did with the amp built into the Citypulse DAC I once owned.
post #6 of 10
You might consider the Musical Paradise MP-301. Skylab gave it a very positive review and said it sounded "TERRIFIC" when coupled with his 600 ohm Beyers. (I drive my JVC HA-DX3 with one and love the sound.)
post #7 of 10
Another vote for the Little Dot MKIII, it's a good amp for the DT880.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 


Thanks for all of the replies. Upon reflection, my concern about something with exposed tubes like the the LDIII, MP-301 (or the A3) is that since this is for an office setup, I may take some flak and/or have some issues with my manager since it stands out so much. Any thoughts on second place for the HD650/DT880 among the Cute Beyond, Corda Swing, and Travagans Red or something I have missed?
post #9 of 10
There is a new maker of Dyanlos, which have the same design as the Gilmore Lite.


I have been using a dynalo with my HD580 for a while and have been happy with the results. I have not heard any Beyerdynamic HP and do not know how they would sound on the amp.
post #10 of 10
Any further thoughts between the Cute Beyond, Corda Swing, and Travagans Red?
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