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Earmax Pro or headmaster

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'm seriously considering either of these two amps to pair with the HD600s that i'm getting somewhere in this month, could you please comment on that? I know those two amps are totally different, but one of them must benefit the HD600s better. Your opinions will be highly appreicated. Thanks.
post #2 of 29
Hmm, this could go either way. Most people prefer the Senns. w/ a tube amp, but that's not always necessary. From your profile, you've already got a tube-like cd player, so the Earmax might be overkill (i.e. the sound might get too syrupy). Are the majority of your recordings decent (in sound quality)? If so, the Headmaster would probably let you see most clearly into them. I'm pretty sure somebody else actually tried this combination earlier, though I don't remember who, and ultimately preferred the Headmaster after a close decision.

Update: Fixed my earlier mistake. Nobody remembers, right? Good...
post #3 of 29
Well that was actually Sumb and the shootout was between the Wheatfield HA-1, Headmaster, and the EarMax Pro. The final outcome as I recall , called it a draw between the Headmaster and EarMax Pro. However, he thought both overall were superior to the Wheatfield.
post #4 of 29
Eh, I was close enough.
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
What?!? Rega planet is tube based?!!
I'm speechless and suddenly feeling pretty imbecile.
post #6 of 29
Haven't tried the Headmaster, but The Earmax Pro was the best amp I've owned, and I've owned a few. They were literally made to power the 600s.

Consider this: you'll really want to invest in NOS tubes for Earmax Pro so that will add $100 or so to the list price.

I would also say that if you go with the Earmax Pro you may not be able to use it with other phones. I am dubious about the Pro's ability to drive anything other than the 600s (Earmax regular will clip even with the 600s) .

post #7 of 29
Whoops, sorry oldnametooshort, I spoke WAY too soon. I really need to refrain from posting before I fully wake up.
It's not tube-based, but it is usually described as having an almost tube-like sound, which is what I was remembering. So my basic point is still valid, just not how I got to it.
post #8 of 29
Originally posted by markl
I am dubious about the Pro's ability to drive anything other than the 600s (Earmax regular will clip even with the 600s) .
Even the Earmax pro clips sometimes with hd600s. Two albums that clip: Dido's No Angel (clips with the last track and one of the earlier ones, can't remember which), and I can't remember the second album either.

Getting old. Memory starting to fail.
post #9 of 29
i think he said "tube-like"

i thought the rega was more clear and neutral. shows how much i know (i haven't listened to it)
post #10 of 29
Admittedly, neither have I. I'm going on the majority of reviews I've read on it.
post #11 of 29
I find the Senn 580's to be a little on the warm side. The Headmaster cools them down a little and snaps them into focus.

I think they make a great combo.
post #12 of 29
The Earmax Pro drives the RS-1 with aplomb. The midrange and bass of this combo is magic. On the other hand it didn't wow me with Senn's. It took away the only thing they do better than Grado's (IMO), the depth of the soundstage.

The Earmax wows with liquid sound, intimate midrange, deep bass, and ambience.

The Headmaster floors you with its uncompressed soundstage and ability to pull details. It brings both the best and worst out of recordings.

It all comes down to the kind of sound you prefer, and what you listen to.

Maybe Masz can comment, he has owned both amps as well
post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply guys.
I'm still confused about the earmax though, I read a few reviews online and all I heard is good things about them. I really like to try out the senn's sound but i'm afraid that they'll sound harsh with SS amps (according to duncan, i also heard that tube amps really benefit the senns). Will other tube amps be better than earmax with the senns? Please post your opinions, thanks in advance.
P.S. I'm actually looking for a combo that'll sound totally different to my CD3000s+RA-1. If I get the headmaster, i'll probably be thinking about ditching the RA1 because i'll never carry a portable headphone amp with me, and i'll never use it again at home since it's inferior to the headmaster. Plus I'm so sick of selling stuff online so i dont want to ditch the ra1...
post #14 of 29
Did somebody call my name? heh heh.

For what's its worth here is my opinion of both. I own a tube based cd player called the nOrh CD-1. When I paired it with the Earmax + SennHD600, the sound became too tubey (too liquid?) for my liking. It was also much darker. Details were also not "there" as much as I'd liked. Soundstage and imaging was OK for me. When I replaced the Earmax with the Headmaster, I still get a tubey sound from the cd player. I attribute this to the transparency of the Sugden Headmaster. Soundstage was much wider, details better. The best was instrument separation and the decay of the instruments which I really like. I don't know much about the Rega Planet 2000 so I can't comment on it. I suggest you listen to both amps (if possible) and see which one you prefer. What is acceptable for me may not be acceptable to you. My only problem with the Headmaster was that feed it a bad recording and your ears will hate you. Feed it a good recording and you will get lost in the music. I was pretty lucky because the nOrh CD-1 was pretty forgiving of bad recordings so I didn't end up throwing any CDs away.
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
I used to own MGhead+Etymotic 4p+rega planet 2000, the sound was beautiful, it was really open without being too tubey. Does that mean the earmax won't sound TOO tubey with the planet?
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