I'm a bit confused about what amp to get for my new HD 800s. At the moment I can get the HD 800s with a free Rhinelander or a discounted BCL as follows,
(1) HD 800 + Rhinelander for $2000 AU
(2) HD 800 + BCL for $2800 AU.
Unfortunately the store with the deal doesn't sell Burson, but I could go for option (1) and maybe sell the Rhinelander and buy a Burson HA-160D for $1000 AU, call this option (3).
I could certainly here a slight left right imbalance with the BCL (edit: I didn't here this on second audition). I didn't here this with the Rhinelander. The Rhinelander seemed to have better soundstage, but there was not a lot of body to HD 800s sound like there was with the BCL. The HD 650 actually seemed closer in sound quality to the HD 800 with the BCL, than with the Rhinelander!
From looking at online photos of the HA-160D, it looks to me that the Burson has slightly better parts and more build quality. I also like the idea of the stepped attenuator. However, some people have complained that the Burson sounds shrill with the HD 800 and without much bass control, and that the Lehmann has faster transients and more details. Some people also say the Burson is warm or tube like, which I don't really like.
I don't want the preamp/DAC to be part of the decision making, because, although I would use these features, I want to determine which is the best headamp of the lot.
I won't have a chance to audition the HD 800s with the HA-160D before my purchase, but I can audition it with the HD 650s.
So, what would you do in my situation to get the best headphone amp for the HD 800s, (1), (2) or (3)???
Thanks very much for your advice!
Edited by BingCrosby1903 - 2/19/11 at 4:00pm