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My impression of Grado PS1000s, Senn HD800s w/RSA B52 amp (+ question on a good solid state amp...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I find I really enjoy my PS1000s with my RSA B52, but I want a solid-state amp for my home office.

Would anyone care to comment on these 3 options:  Headamp GS-X, Phonitor, or Headroom BUDA?

 

(A comment on which of these amps would work with a Senn HD800, maybe balanced, would also be welcome.)

Thanks in advance.

 

I find the B52 (after it plays for about 45 minutes, especially) just brings out fully fleshed-out musical images in the PS1000s

without any annoying punchiness in the lows, mids or highs,

with rounded images, very realistic, lifelike silky tonality, detail, just the right amount of

spaciousness and layering (unlike the GS1000s that had an artificially expanded soundstage with strangely dispersed images).

Also, highs are well integrated with the rest of the sound and sweet overall.

I've based this on a lot of listening to the Beatles 9/9/2009 stereo box set with an EMM CD source.

 

The Senn HD800s (stock cable) are nice too, with a nice tube-like gentle fog from which crystalline highs come forth

(from cymbals and triangles in the music especially). The HD800s are a bit of an acquired audiophile taste here,

but I do enjoy them a lot, even thought the images are smaller than the PS1000s. The Senns create a kind

of small space I am looking into with a nice sparkle and bits of magical sound. The Grados are more mainstream,

but sound like very high-end speakers I have heard at shows, like Dynaudio Evidences or Von Schwiekert

VR9s or Verity Ovations, without any strange colorations. The Grados have very natural vocals, like Quad 988 speakers,

but with nice body and substance. The HD800s have a good bass foundation, but I kind of have to listen closely

to find the low bass, but it is there if I search for it and it is a very pleasant one. The Grado bass is just a traditional

strong foundation.

 

Overall, the Grados have a very different sound signature compared to the Senns, but both are legitimate and pleasant.

In the end, I definitely prefer the PS1000s over the HD800s, but I like the HD800s for variety. That is one of the joys

of headphones, as I love a variety of listening experiences for each piece of music, something that is not practical

for speakers.

Thanks for reading.

post #2 of 10

I don't really know, sorry, but my comment will bump the thread =)

post #3 of 10

Have you considered the RSA Apache or HR-2,  because if you like the house sound Ray gives his amps, it may be wise to stick with what works.  Otherwise if your looking for something different, perhaps a Apache or HR-2, you know, mix things up a bit!

 

I'd pick the HR-2 if it were my money, put the rest towards a source for the office.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

OK, thanks for that. I kind of thought the B52 was in a league of its own for Ray, but I'll do some more reading.

post #5 of 10

Apache is really nice with T1/PS1000/HD800. However, I have only tried single-ended with PS1000. T1/HD800 balanced with Apache sound fantastic. I also have Phonitor and it is a great match with HD800 also. Maybe Apache has a bit more energy and sense of space but Phonitor would be good choice price/performance wise. I really cannot comment on GS-X or BUDA since I have never heard them. 

post #6 of 10

Hands off the Phonitor. I friend of mine had the SPL Auditor (2 times), and these things killed 5 or 6 headphones (including one T1) in the course of time. They SPL circuits are obviously too "audiophile"... 

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickchen View Post

Hands off the Phonitor. I friend of mine had the SPL Auditor (2 times), and these things killed 5 or 6 headphones (including one T1) in the course of time. They SPL circuits are obviously too "audiophile"... 


Could you elaborate on your friends apparent nightmarish experience with SPL Auditor? This is the first time I have found someone having a really bad experience with SPL amp.

post #8 of 10

He had bought a 2nd hand (almost new) Auditor, which sounded fine (except high distortion sounds when switching on/off or when pluggin in/out). But soon his cans died, so he sent it to SPL for repair. They officially stated the amp wasn't faulty, but nevertheless sent him a brand new as exchange. That 2nd one worked fine for a couple of weeks, then the HP started to die again (a T1 was also victim BTW). He sent it again to SPL, they said, one Opamp was defective, and they stated that is was a user fault - to slow plugging in and out with too long resulting short circuits.

 

Normal amps have protective measures for that case, but SPL is audiophile, they state it sounds better without...

 

They sent him a 3rd one, which he sold directly.

post #9 of 10

I have the PS1000, HD800 and T1, which I pump through my M^3 with STEPS.  I recommend the amp, which is fantastic.

post #10 of 10

Thanks for the insight nickchen.

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