I realize the answer to my question may be buried in many of the posts related to the HE500’s – but, I’ve read them all, and don’t recall a good answer.
Looking for some help in identifying a SS or Hybrid amp that is <$1,000, which drives both my low to moderate impedance dynamic phones, as well as my HE500’s… WELL!
Let me save some of you some time… I already know typical headphone amps will not drive the HE500’s well (e.g. WA6 SE, Millett Hybrid MiniMax, etc.). I’ve got them, tried them… and I know. This is not open to debate – so, let’s avoid that… just don’t respond if you’re “defending” either the HE500’s, or any conventional headphone amp.
And… oh yes… forget about trying to “convert” me to the LCD2, or HE6, etc. – I’m not interested, they’re not “my sound.” Again… just move on.
Though, I would acknowledge the Millett Hybrid MiniMax driven by my Monarchy M24 Tube DAC / Line Stage in combo drives the HE500’s superbly – their sound is simply no better than most of my other phones, especially the HD650’s and AD2000’s, which are equally superb! So… why keep the HE500’s, if these other phones sound just as good, or perhaps better – unless, there is an amp that will elevate them significantly beyond these great dynamic phones.
Also, I already know the Lyr will not drive both conventional dynamic phones and the HE500’s well – that’s based on “testimony” from the highest and most knowledgeable levels. The Lyr has way too much power to mate well with low to moderate impedance dynamic phones, the noise floor is too high, and you have no usable range on the POT. So… that’s not open to debate either – just move on.
So… I’m looking for a SS or Hybrid amp, with about 1.5+W and <1 ohm impedance, with high current output, preferably with class A operation.
I’m not sure what that leaves… not much, I know… but, surely something.
I’ve kinda focused down to the EF5 (though that may not be class A operation), and maybe something from Audio-gd. Though, there may be something else, I haven’t focused on yet. With regard to Audio-gd, I am not interested in any of their DAC units in combo with their Head amps. I’ve already got one of the best DAC’s available at any price.
I suppose a Beta 22 might fit the bill – but, that’s more than $1,000.
What about the M3 – does it have enough power to elevate the HE500’s?
From my research, I rather suspect, I’m down to the EF5, and the Beta 22, and maybe some of the Audio-gd amps – though, those with sufficient power to drive the HE500’s to their optimum, suffer from the same limitations as the Lyr, except some of them do have adjustable gain, which helps some, but colors the signal a bit.
And… maybe… there is no “all-in-one” solution – my demands may be unrealistic. It just may be that only a dedicated amp is sufficient to elevate the performance of the HE500’s (e.g. Lyr, Audio-gd something, or integrated speaker amp, like a NAD, etc.). If that’s the case, then I may not be an HE500 kinda guy – I may be too inflexible / frugal to make that investment for a nominal improvement in their sound.
Thanks for any incite you may be able to provide… but… please let’s avoid the “defensive debates.”