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Want to get a Sennheiser HD800 for my Xonar Essence STX

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

 

Long (Long!) time lurker, first time poster.

 

I've been "upgrading" my ears gradually over the years, and am now using a xonar essence stx with a Sennheiser PC360 G4ME for gaming, and Shure SE530 for music listening. Almost all my music collection is 44khz/16bit FLACs self-ripped from my CDs. I mainly listen to New Age, Lemonjelly, etc. And A LOT of Jean-Michel Jarre.

 

I love the sound of the Xonar, and am very happy with it. I've also read a lot of praise for it here, particularly that it has a good DAC with good value for money.

 

I now want to take that "big leap" and go for the big one: A Sennheiser HD800. I know that driving this using the Xonar's amp is stupid, if not out of the question. Hence, I'm willing to get an external amp. Total budget for the whole project £2000.

 

My main questions are:

 

1\ What amp would you recommend? I hear the Black Cube Linear is the perfect match?

 

2\ How much would I need to invest in the cable between the Xonar's RCA out and the amps IN? Any recommended cables?

 

3\ audioaffair.co.uk have what looks like a very good offer on an HD800 + Graham Slee Solo Ultra Linear for £1399. I have absolutely no experience with stand alone amps (bar the Xonar's built-in one), and I read that the GS is targeted at people wanting to get that tube feeling but for a lesser price. The website for the amp even goes to say that you might here the "traditional" tube hiss.

This worries me that this AMP isn't right for me (FYI, I'm a detail freak, I like to notice every little thing in the music) - but the price is much better than the HD800 + BCL (about £400 cheaper).

 

What are people's view on the GS amp for my set up? 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and hopefully reply :D

 

Feel free to recommend a different amp/headphone combo, but the one thing that I'm not flexible on for the time being is that the source has to be FLAC music coming out of a Xonar Essence STX.

 

Thanks again.

post #2 of 4
I found the HD800 a terrible sounding pair of headphones, having £2000 to play with can get you a whole lot of combination. I really suggest you audition before buying, or search for second hand pairs to minimize loss if you do not like what you hear.

Also, being most expensive/flagship doesn't necessary means it sounds better to you.

A few very detailed phones you can look at other than the HD800, in no particular order.

T1
LCD 2
HE 5LE
HE 500
K701
SA5000
AD2000
A2000X
W5000
Edition 8

On the cable, I am currently using cables from Audio-Gd, good quality plugs, very sturdy built quality, shielded. It cost me £15. So don't bother burning money on RCA cables, a well built one will do fine.
post #3 of 4

Also first time poster here.. :)

 

I would be very interested in hearing your (or anyone's) impressions of HD800+Essence vs HD800+stand-alone amp if you do get it.

 

I may be getting LCD-2 and I'm going to pair it with my Essence ST ... but now I'm wondering if I'm going to get any substantial increase in SQ with something like Lyr.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdv373 View Post

Also first time poster here.. :)

 

I would be very interested in hearing your (or anyone's) impressions of HD800+Essence vs HD800+stand-alone amp if you do get it.

 

I may be getting LCD-2 and I'm going to pair it with my Essence ST ... but now I'm wondering if I'm going to get any substantial increase in SQ with something like Lyr.


 

A quick heads up: I ended up getting an AKG K701 with a Black Cube Linear amp. Reason is, I found a very good combo deal for the both online, so purchased.

Things haven't settled in yet (only about 100 hours or so play time) but I compared my Shure 530s ran from the BCL and from the Essence's amp directly - and the difference is MASSIVE. It is remarkable how much better things sound with the BCL.

 

Also, I've ran my desktop speakers (Razer Mako) from the BCL also, and it has transformed them significantly.

 

The K701s are going through some interesting changes while burning in. I'll wait until they've settled (I've read in many places that they are notorius for taken ages to settle in), but I like their airiness and bass level (the 2 main problems people have with it).

 

More later, if you're still interested :P

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