A question for those of you who use the HD600 in a mixing/referencing/context. Are SS amps the only way to go for this? I currently use an Aphex HeadPod 4 for both critical and casual listening, and I feel like it has done a fairly good job at conserving the 600's relatively neutral sound sig, but I can't help but feel the need to spice things up a bit for casual listening sessions. I have been looking into the Asgard 2 and Valhalla, but I can't shake the feeling that I either have to go with a dry, accurate (SS) amp at the expense of fun, or vise-versa. Should I get a second "fun" amp and keep the HeadPod for critical applications, or is it possible that one amp (Asgard 2?) could do it all? It's worth mentioning that have zero experience with tube amps so I'm not even sure the tube sound is what I want. My favorite attribute of the HD600 is its remarkable ability to reproduce instruments with great realism. My casual listening habits include a great deal of folk/acoustic/bluegrass with a smattering of prog rock. Any thoughts or suggestions greatly appreciated!
I always favored transparency, specially with an already well balanced and transparent headphone like the HD 600. People in the recording industry pay big $$ for transparent equipment, and the artist wishes everyone could hear it the way it was mixed in the studio. Unfortunately, that's usually not the case with bad quality radio and consumer electronics. Listening to it the way it was originally mixed should be fun, if it's not, then your not listening to the "good stuff" (assuming a relatively transparent setup).
On the practical side, Solid State is more efficient, smaller, doesn't get as hot, and is less expensive to own and maintain. But some like to experiment with their sound, or simply want a certain signature based on their mood or genre of music. Those are the Tube rollers among us. However, if I was interested in a different signature for each genre, I would have a different headphone for each, and leave the amp as neutral and transparent as possible.