- 1,281 Posts. Joined 6/2004
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I see you've gota DIY Zen, so you might want to think about DIY here. For your budget you could build a very nice "spud" amp based on high quality output transformers. I have an HE-5. You're going to need something with a little "grunt" to drive it properly.
Well that Zen was built by another DIYer. I have built some CMOYs and done basic mods here and there, but a complex design might be a bit too much atm :(
I bought a used WA6 to try with the Audeze LCD-2, and it works very well with them for an amp in that price range. Also works well with the HE-5LE. I can't speak for how it is with the HD650, though.
did you try the WA6 with your 600ohm beyers? I'd love some impressions or mini reviews of how it handles high impedance beyers. Since this is pretty much going to be my next amp, but with beyer needing high voltage swings and what not, I was thinking of going with the OTL route.
skylab, reading your LCD-2 review made me wanna get one too, but then I know I can't afford it so HE-5 LE it is for now :)
I also notice you have KX-100 in your sig, I figure it is sonically similar to the Fisher 400? Have you tried either HD650 or HE-5 LE on it? If so, how would you compare that experience to WA6? Thanks a bunch!
While you at it, could you spare a few words on how CSP2 works with HE-5 LE in comparison? I have already seen enough posts on CSP-2 vs WA6 with HD650 :)
The CSP-2, while it's a great amp, with LOTS of gain, and so it can drive pretty much anything OK, wasn't ideal with the HE-5LE. It was pretty good, actually, but it does have a high-ish output impedance (being an OTL design). It would not be my first choice with the HE-5LE.
I would suggest an Elekit TU-882AS tube amplifier that you can purchase a pcb populated kit from vkung over on audiogon. Some assembly is required, but doesn't require too much more than a screwdriver. I've been really happy with it with my low impedance headphones, and it's been very capable of driving the used HD650's I purchased recently, and it sounds beautiful to my untrained ears.
Got my HE-5 LE today, tried it on for a few minutes.. From the get go it is obvious the PPX3 is not up to the task here, sounds very grainy on the low notes.
I guess the gist of my dilemma is to either make the already good better (a better OTL design like WA2 or mpx3 for HD650), or improve on less than stellar (another topology better suited for current hungry low impedance phones - WA6 maybe). Other than the general sp reputation being on the very tubey side and having forward mids among their family, where does PPX3 (with 6GU7 or 6CG7) stand in the OTL land today? Mediocre? Good value for money?