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RS raptor vs b-52 for hd800 - Page 2

post #16 of 61

I keep reading how the EC BA or the Woos beat the B52, but vcoheda, a highly experienced listener who owned both the B52 and the BA feels the B52 was superior with the HD800s,

and I concur that the B52/HD800 is just simply superb (I listened to the entire Beatles '09 box set on it and thought things can't get much better).

 

And furthermore, to my ears my T1s are equally wonderful with my B52 (in a different way than the HD800s, but vive la difference).

The T1s lose that trace of upper high excess bite they suffer from with my solid state amps.

And the B52/T1 combo works very well with a wider variety of recordings, even strident 80s CDs. The T1 is tops with many recordings. I highly recommend the B52 for T1 fans.

The B52/T1 is just the right balance of liquidity and control, and very natural with lots of air. The soundstage of the 800s is bigger with more depth and separation, but the T1/B52 staging is fine as is

and not compressed or confining at all.

 

So, I really think the B52 deserves some respect and consideration from potential amp customers and should not be dismissed as unworthy,

especially if you are dealing with flagship headphones that may be brighter than you want or prefer warmth, naturalness and listening ease or listen to non-audiophile rock/pop recordings.

Of course, I have not heard the Woos or EC amps, but I have a lot of experience with other solid state amps and lots of phones (and speakers).

 

PS: even my PS1000s are even-handed, controlled, and very musical and liquid and even reserved with the B52 (not with all CDs, but certainly many of them).

So if you have any of these phones, I would really consider the B52. And also, the B52 is tunable with tube rolling.

My LCD2s seem better with solid state in my latest listening tests, without the syngery of the other phones on the B52.

 

 

 


Edited by rgs9200m - 3/29/11 at 10:22am
post #17 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post


Of course, I have not heard the Woos or EC amps, but I have a lot of experience with other solid state amps . . . .

 


 

 

 


Most Woo and EC amps are tube amps.

 

post #18 of 61

@purk - my headroom balanced home (maxxed) is great with my HD800, so solid state amps can shine with this headphone.

 

@nikon - i want to and plan to buy some PX4 tubes. i would love if that changed things. we'll see.

 

@rgs - some people just hate RSA products, so by default everything else is superior. i really liked my B52 but keeping two expensive tube amps (that and the BA) was not practical. also, the HD800/Bal Home combo sounds about 80-90% as good as the HD800/B52. and low impedance headphones are much better on the BA than the B52. actually, my RS1 on the BA is probably the best i have ever heard it. same goes for the R10.

post #19 of 61

lol, I like how when people recommend one product over another, it's ascribed to hatred.  Ridiculous.

post #20 of 61
Thread Starter 

I have heard the woo wa22, the leben cs300xs and the apex pinnacle with the hd800s. The apex pinnacle was by far the best tech level, leben was very fun to listen to, the wa22 was a little bit of both.

 

I was originally considering the b52 only because I had seen past threads about b52+hd800 = best of the best... but it now seems the pinnacle/hd800 system I heard truly was the end all.

 

Looks like i'm probably going to end up with a woo audio amp or EC amp until I decide enough is enough and get a pinnacle (or whatever new design is out by that point).

 

This thread (and the private messages I have gotten from it) has been very helpful - thanks to everyone

 

If anyone has a wa2/wa22 in the NYC area they want to sell - feel free to message me.


Edited by Chefguru - 3/29/11 at 11:43am
post #21 of 61

Good luck, chef.  Let us know how it turns out.


 

post #22 of 61

I didn't mean to say that the Woos and ECs are solid states, it was just some awkward wording on my part. I know that these are tubed. Thanks for noticing that.

I meant to say that I had experience with a number of other amps, but that they were all solid state.

My SAT math scores were better than my English ones (long ago, unfortunately).

 


Edited by rgs9200m - 3/29/11 at 1:10pm
post #23 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

I didn't mean to say that the Woos and ECs are solid states, it was just some awkward wording on my part. I know that these are tubed. Thanks for noticing that.

I meant to say that I had experience with a number of other amps, but that they were all solid state.

My SAT math scores were better than my English ones (long ago, unfortunately).

 



Heh, my SAT scores were longer ago than I care to think about, too...

 

Speaking of solid state amps, one of the best HD800/amp combos I have heard was HD 800 with the Luxman P-1 (or P-1u, I forget) at one of the NYC meets.  I thought it was a truly excellent combo.

post #24 of 61

Vcoheda, Yeah, my main dynamic rig for a few years was a Headroom Max (1999 vintage) with RS1s and a Meridian 508.24 cdp. There WAS some kind of nice synergy going on,

and I still have these pieces. So I can relate to the HR Home Bal + RS1 matchup. Again, it just sounded natural and live. Actually, the RS1s sound better with the Max than with the B52,

which somehow energizes them too much with too much impact.

 

You know, I think the moral here (& has probably been said often before) is that it's the amp/phone combo that needs to be judged.

 

Oddly , with all the gazillion words around here, a lot combos are rarely discussed, even though they consist of mainstream amps and mainstream phones.

I don't recall many impressions of a B52/T1 or B52/PS1000, for instance. Maybe they weren't memorable combos to people, but I think they would be worthy of comments, good, bad, or indifferent.


Edited by rgs9200m - 3/29/11 at 1:44pm
post #25 of 61

By the way, chefguru, since you are one of the few who has actually heard the Pinnacle, could you give any impressions?

If it was that good, maybe I could probably trade in a closetful of stuff for it. I'd still hold on to my B52, though, because I'm too emotionally attached to it.

OMG, what am i thinking?? I need to get a life...


Edited by rgs9200m - 3/29/11 at 1:46pm
post #26 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

By the way, chefguru, since you are one of the few who has actually heard the Pinnacle, could you give any impressions?


 

I have heard or owned majority of the top level contenders short of the new stax sr-009. Even rare stuff like the ultrasone e7 (e9 and e10 also), grado ps-1, Sony mdr-r10 balanced (bass heavy), Orpheus, ath-l3k, hp2, oII mk1/mk2... etc. 

 

I'll make the impression really simple: for about $11,500 the hd800/pinnacle is at least on par with the $25,000+ dollar he90/hev90.

 

In my mind the hd800 /pinnacle combination is the best in the world. The real breath taking part is of course the soundstage. It's not just that it's massive but unlike on other amps - very real, and very filled in. The whole tonal range is perfectly balanced- speed and dynamics very powerful. It's too bad more people won't get the chance to hear it.

 

post #27 of 61

Thanks chefguru!

post #28 of 61

Before you make a decision I would suggest listening to the Manley Labs Neo-Classic 300B  preamp. An amazingly powerful, organic sound. Utilitarian aesthetics but very well made. A joy with the 800 and 650. A killer preamp, too.

post #29 of 61
It's not hatred for the B52. I've only had a couple of brief listens and didn't find anything wrong with it.

The difference is that I've been very pleased with the Zana Deux, which is $3,000 less. $3,000 would buy you a very nice turntable or other audio goodie to go with it.

If you like the B52 and don't mind the price difference, go for it. Like I said, I didn't hear anything to make me dislike it, and I haven't heard of any services issues for it.
post #30 of 61

One other nice thing about the B52 is that is that, for an exposed-tube amp, it runs pretty cool (no ambient heat, even on a shelf) and is a low profile piece.

I don't stack my 2 parts so it isn't too tall.

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