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RS raptor vs b-52 for hd800

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 

Hoping someone can chime in on the differences between RS raptor vs RS b52 with the hd800s.

 

I am about to pull the trigger on the b52, but I'm not so sure I can justify the purchase considering I will never use the pre-amp features. The raptor has been stated in a couple places to be an excellent match for the hd800s - but just how close does it comes to that b52 perfection?

post #2 of 61
While I really like the B52 when I have heard it at meets and Ray's, I think for the money, the Raptor with the right tubes would be tough to beat. I would drop Ray a line or give him a call.

I recall Jude mentioning in a thread that until he match the HD800 with the Raptor, he felt the HD800 was missing something, but not anymore. I have been to 2 RMAF with the Head-Fi meet in the large convention room and I recall the Raptor with the HD800 was the setup Jude brought.
post #3 of 61

I noticed a large increase in SQ going from a Raptor (with nice tubes) to balanced HD800 on an Apache.  Singled ended might not be enough difference between the two, but I was extremely pleased taking my HD800 to balanced.

 

I thought the unbalanced HD650 was really good with the Raptor, however, when I got the HD800, I knew it could do better.  I switched to solid state as I have this setup at my office, and having my tubed Raptor was frowned upon, and I figured the B52 would push the fire nazis too far.

 

The HD800s scale up nicely with the better gear.  I do think you have to do balanced to really see the difference

post #4 of 61

Have you considered a Zana Deux?


 

post #5 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones13 View Post

I noticed a large increase in SQ going from a Raptor (with nice tubes) to balanced HD800 on an Apache.  Singled ended might not be enough difference between the two, but I was extremely pleased taking my HD800 to balanced.

 

I thought the unbalanced HD650 was really good with the Raptor, however, when I got the HD800, I knew it could do better.  I switched to solid state as I have this setup at my office, and having my tubed Raptor was frowned upon, and I figured the B52 would push the fire nazis too far.

 

The HD800s scale up nicely with the better gear.  I do think you have to do balanced to really see the difference


What difference do you hear between balanced and unbalanced? I listened to my balanced HD800 on my Beta 22 both through the balanced and single-ended outputs of the amp and didn't hear a difference in sound quality.

 

post #6 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones13 View Post

I noticed a large increase in SQ going from a Raptor (with nice tubes) to balanced HD800 on an Apache.  Singled ended might not be enough difference between the two, but I was extremely pleased taking my HD800 to balanced.

 

I thought the unbalanced HD650 was really good with the Raptor, however, when I got the HD800, I knew it could do better.  I switched to solid state as I have this setup at my office, and having my tubed Raptor was frowned upon, and I figured the B52 would push the fire nazis too far.

 

The HD800s scale up nicely with the better gear.  I do think you have to do balanced to really see the difference


Thanks for the reply bones, very helpful.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

Have you considered a Zana Deux?


 

 

 Not yet, but I am also thinking about going with the Apex pinnacle which I have heard, and was utterly floored with.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by visualguy View Post




What difference do you hear between balanced and unbalanced? I listened to my balanced HD800 on my Beta 22 both through the balanced and single-ended outputs of the amp and didn't hear a difference in sound quality.

 

 

Is your beta 22 using 4 boards (true balance) ? I think a lot of these amps are not really balanced, they are just splitting the current.
 

 

 

post #7 of 61

Chef, if you are even considering the Pinnacle, I think you are in a different league than the RSA stuff.  The Pinnacle sounded great when I heard it.  As did the 307a and the various high end EC amps.  All of them better than the B52.

post #8 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguru View Post

 

Is your beta 22 using 4 boards (true balance) ? I think a lot of these amps are not really balanced, they are just splitting the current.
 

 



Yes - it's 4 boards. Sounds the same to me balanced and single ended other than the volume difference.

 

post #9 of 61

I think that if you are seriously considering a B52 you should also consider the Eddie Current Balancing Act. It is priced below the B52 and to my ears sounds significantly better with all my personal cans (K340, K701, HD650) as well as the HD800 and LCD-2 which I have heard on other systems. Also, my Balancing Act is from the initial run and uses 307A tubes. I have heard all of the aforementioned cans except the K701 on BAs using AD1s and PX4s. 

post #10 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by morphsci View Post

I think that if you are seriously considering a B52 you should also consider the Eddie Current Balancing Act. It is priced below the B52 and to my ears sounds significantly better with all my personal cans (K340, K701, HD650) as well as the HD800 and LCD-2 which I have heard on other systems. Also, my Balancing Act is from the initial run and uses 307A tubes. I have heard all of the aforementioned cans except the K701 on BAs using AD1s and PX4s. 



 Yeah, I think the b52 is out at this point after hearing a lot of different views on it. Right now I'm deciding between one of the EC or APEX amps. Now I need to trying to get an idea of how close the peak w/power supply is to the pinnacle!

post #11 of 61

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by visualguy View Post


Yes - it's 4 boards. Sounds the same to me balanced and single ended other than the volume difference.

 


Amps with barely measurable distortion dont generally improve when balanced, except for increased power output which isnt really an issue when your trying to put (maybe, usually not even...) 20mw into a relatively high impedance load. 

post #12 of 61

i owned both B52 and BA (300B tubes). the HD800 easily sounded better on the B52. i actually don't think the BA does high impedance well.

post #13 of 61
I'd also recommend the Zana Deux for the HD-800. That's my usual listening setup and has been for almost two years. Sometimes I use the Si2A3 when I want lush vocals and acoustic instruments. The Zana has a firmer control over the bass and a bit of crispness in presentation. Almost sounds like solid state, but just enough tube smoothness to know you're not. I'd recommend checking one out and readimg through the Zana Deux thread.
post #14 of 61

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post

i owned both B52 and BA (300B tubes). the HD800 easily sounded better on the B52. i actually don't think the BA does high impedance well.


Try the PX4's.

post #15 of 61

Another suggestion here.  I'm running my HD800 balanced out of the Headamp Gilmore Reference Balanced (same as GSX) and really enjoyed the sound.  You should look into this amp as well.  Comparing SE vs. Balanced on my Gilmore, the HD800 is noticeably better in bass & treble resolution as well as great sense of dynamics.  The soundstage also has more focus and a good bit wider.

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