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Amp for Sennheiser HD 600 and Arcam Alpha 8 se

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello all, first of all let me say this is my first post to the forum and I just joined, though I have been reading the threads for a few years.

 

I recently purchased some Sennheiser HD 600s as an upgrade from my Sennheiser HD 595s. I have been using an Arcam Alpha 8se CD player as my main source and using my Yamaha HTR-6250 receiver as the amp. I have been using the DAC on the CD player primarily though I do occasionally run music from my computer to the receiver and use the Yamaha as the DAC.

 

Although there is more detail with the Sennheiser HD 600 compared with the HD 595s in my system, the amp does not seem able to properly drive the Senns as they have a kind of strange signature to the sound, especially in the lower end. They sound very cold. Interestingly, they seem to work very well with movies and Yamaha's "Silent Cinema" system in my amp that virtually recreates surround sound for headphones.

 

I would like to buy an amp suited to the Arcam 8se and the Sennheiser HD 600. I would prefer to not buy a new source component if possible, even if there is better stuff out there than my Arcam. As far as sound, while I would like to retain detail, I would  like a bit more of a warm sound with cleaner, more defined bass. I listen primarily to rock music and some country.

 

My preferred budget would be $150-180 or less though I'll consider anything up to my absolute max of $275. If something is widely available used that is also an option. I don't care about size: portability is of no concern. As far as solid state or tube, I will consider either, but I am not interested in heavily modding tube amps and if it is difficult to obtain tubes or mod them in any way that is just not my thing.

 

Sorry for the long winded post and thanks for the help!

post #2 of 5

I think you should first make certain that your dissatisfaction is due to the amp (which, incidentally, is a great amp); I personally doubt that it is. I owned both those phones and the 600 does sound cold compared to the 595, at least initially; I found it somewhat harsh too, though others love it. Try to audition it with another amp before you make any changes.  

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply. They do, indeed, sound harsh with many CD recordings. They shine especially with acoustic guitar. I would say the biggest complaint with my system is it seems to have too much treble. It was not as bad with HD595s. Again, although the HD600s are producing more details, the bass area does not seem as detailed or clear as the 595s. I wasn't sure if the headphone amp section of my Yamaha receiver was considered to be of high quality as many receivers are considered to have "after-thought" headphone sections. I bought it primarily as a 7.1 channel receiver and it was a budget receiver at that. Would a dedicated headphone amp in my price range improve sound quality and create the warmer sound I desire?

post #4 of 5

I use my HD600 with my Marantz CD60 and it sounds fantastic, but the Little Dot MkII really smooths out rough edges. Heavy Distortion effects on guitars when extremely fast and on thickly-layered sections sounds a little bit like Fuzz effects sometimes.

 

The MkIII might be a safer choice though, as it's a bit more tube-y than the MkII from what I've read.

post #5 of 5



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Dean View Post

Thanks for the reply. They do, indeed, sound harsh with many CD recordings. They shine especially with acoustic guitar. I would say the biggest complaint with my system is it seems to have too much treble. It was not as bad with HD595s. Again, although the HD600s are producing more details, the bass area does not seem as detailed or clear as the 595s. I wasn't sure if the headphone amp section of my Yamaha receiver was considered to be of high quality as many receivers are considered to have "after-thought" headphone sections. I bought it primarily as a 7.1 channel receiver and it was a budget receiver at that. Would a dedicated headphone amp in my price range improve sound quality and create the warmer sound I desire?



Apologies, as I mis-read that you were using an Arcam amp rather than Yamaha. Well, if the Yamaha were a stereo receiver I could reply with confidence; since it's HT I just don't know. However, what you say about the sound suggests your ears may be like mine. I just find the 600 too forward and bright in the upper midrange/lower treble area. I currently use an HD650, which to my ears fixes that problem without losing anything else. It's something you might consider, as the 600 would be no problem to sell.

 

In answer to your last question, generally speaking an amplifier will not bring about the sort of change in sound you're looking for. However, it's possible your receiver is a complete stinker with headphones and a better one will change the whole situation. Is it possible to borrow a stereo amp--dedicated or speaker? Then you'll get a better idea where the problem lies.  

 

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