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Cheap amp for Sennheiser HD 800

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hey I've just received some Sennheiser HD800s as a gift and have no idea what accessories I should buy. Unfortunately I have no amp or DAC and have a budget of around $250. I'll mostly be listening to classical music or rock through my computer. My sound card is an IDT High Definition Audio CODEC if that helps. I know that I won't be able to get anything great for $250 but I want to get whatever will let me get the most out of my HD800s for that price. Thanks for any imput.

post #2 of 19

How about I trade you my AD900s that require no amp at all?

 

Maybe have a look at the new NFB 11 from Audio-GD. It is a new DAC/Amp combo and apparently is a beautiful performer for the price. It can be had for around your budget while it is in it's promo price phase but you have to be quick before the price goes up!

post #3 of 19
I was thinking Little Dot MKIII. I just ordered a HD800 so I hope peeps here can recommend a good amp that won't break the bank.
post #4 of 19

If you feel like taking on the assembly of a beginner level kit, the Bottlehead Crack OTL tube amp is said to pair really nicely with the HD800's.  I haven't personally heard it, but there is a lengthy thread in this forum, in which one user recently commented (to the astonishment of some others) that he often prefers the Crack to his Zana (a very high end tube amp) when listening to the HD800's.  (see http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/476650/crack-bottlehead-otl/390)

 

Here's the bottlehead site: http://www.bottlehead.com/store.php?crn=44&rn=442&action=show_detail if this sounds like something you might be interested in considering.

post #5 of 19
I can't solder if my life depends on it. frown.gif
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DjAmTraX View Post

I can't solder if my life depends on it. frown.gif


Have you tried soldering? It's not that difficult and you can pick it up in an hour or two or practice.

DIY really is the least expensive way to a good amp.
post #7 of 19

Matrix M-Stage? I think it's $250 now. Very solid and powerful amp, supposedly powers the 800s very well.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions everyone, I'll definately look into those.

post #9 of 19

If you could squeeze another $50 more into your budget maybe you could check out the Bellari HA540:

http://www.musicdirect.com/product/88055

Lots of power.

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by USAudio View Post


If you could squeeze another $50 more into your budget maybe you could check out the Bellari HA540:



http://www.musicdirect.com/product/88055



Lots of power.




The Bellari is not a great match for the HD800. I know, I have both. Of my collection, I must say that the Lehmann BCL is the best. Too bad it cost so much.
post #11 of 19

I recently purchased a FiiO E7 DAC/Amp - approx £55 from amazon UK - for listening to music via my laptop. The E7 has completely cleaned up virtually all of the noise I previously experienced when plugging headphones into my laptop's headphone out. 

 

Yesterday, I listened to some CDs though HD800's connected to my E7 and laptop. The HD800's sounded crystal clear and ultra-detailed if a little thin and less bassy than my usual headphones (Apple in-ears/Senn HD25's), but that's probably the HD800's relative innate sound characteristic. Also, the 1/4 -> 8th inch converter plug used with the HD800's was cracked and looked like a budget model, so that probably affected the sound quality. 

 

When I listened to some live rock recordings, the HD800's sounded very thin, but the E7's bass boost compensated for that - I think I preferred listening to rock music through my existing headphones (listed above) though - so with the E7, your HD800's will sound clearly, but with HD800's I'm not sure how the E7 compares to other amps.

 

I'm considering a pair of high-end headphones like the HD800 (or T1's or LCD-2's) and wondering if the FiiO E7 really does them justice. FiiO also recently released the E9 which sells for under £100 and apparently gives more power than the E7, but I haven't tried it. Has anyone experienced the FiiO E7 and/or E9 with HD800's (or other hi-end headphones for that matter?).

 

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoetheArachnid View Post

Matrix M-Stage? I think it's $250 now. Very solid and powerful amp, supposedly powers the 800s very well.


x2


According to project86, there is some really great synergy between the two.

post #13 of 19

As I am new to this forum. I would suggest the MP-301 amp from Musical Paradise if you want to go for cheap tube amp. I find the sound it puts out on my phones to be remarkable.And for $200 bucks out of Canada you can't beat it.


Edited by popa - 12/6/10 at 6:50pm
post #14 of 19

X2 on the M Stage

Just get the Matrix M Stage or the Lovely Cube. Both are pretty much clones of the Lehmann Black Cube, there is just no way you can beat these two for driving the HD800 at that price level. 

post #15 of 19

LD III will be fine for HD800s

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