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Amp/DAC for HD650s

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

Asked a similar question in the PC audio section, but I don't think I'll get too much out of there in regards to a variety of opinions (Although what I did get was good!)

 

I currently own HD595s. Very good headphones, I love the sound they give out. However, I want to upgrade to an 'actual' audiophile experience. (Something to justify all those FLACs I have)

 

I'm pretty much decided on the HD650s. I noticed I can buy those in a bundle with the Graham Slee Solo II SRG for cheaper than buying both on their own. I've heard before that Senn used to demo the HD650s using this amp, but I'm not sure of how it's rated on here. It would be easier for me to get a hold of, being UK based myself. Thoughts?

 

As for the DAC, I'll admit I'm pretty completely clueless in this regard. I can use a cheap soundcard and pass it to the DAC when I want to game, so I figured I can just get a good USB DAC and that'll be that. I've seen the Stello DA100 mentioned, but other than that, I'm clueless when it comes to them. Where is the point of diminishing returns, etc?

 

My budget is decent, so you can hit me with what you recommend the most and then scale down in price if you want. Perhaps after that I'll be able to decide on a good budget. (Basically right now, at the point of diminishing returns)

 

Sorry if I sound clueless, hopefully you guys can knock some sense into me.

 

Cheers. :)

post #2 of 31

It has been said that the Schiit Valhalla pairs very well with the HD650s. 

post #3 of 31

That it does.   Very nice combo.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgjy View Post

It has been said that the Schiit Valhalla pairs very well with the HD650s. 



 

post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, thanks for the feedback.

 

Is the Valhalla a DAC too or will I still need to think about that?
 

post #5 of 31

The Valhalla does not have a DAC.  You'll need a separate one.

 

What's your budget for a DAC?  DACs are one of the products that actually do seem to get better as price increases.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tephnos View Post

Hey guys, thanks for the feedback.

 

Is the Valhalla a DAC too or will I still need to think about that?
 



 

post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 

For a DAC, I'd be willing to go up to something like a DA100 Signature (What is the difference between the DA100 and the Signature, btw?) in price.

 

 

post #7 of 31

I don't have this combo, because I really like my current setup, but if I was in the market for a new amp and dac, I'd probably get this regardless of the bargain it is.  IMHO, you can't beat this combo for $500.

 

Schiit Valhalla $350

 

HRT Music Streamer II

http://www.whathifi.com/review/hrt-music-streamer-ii

http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=HRTMSII

 

Or if you have a little more cash:

http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=HRTMSIIPL

 

 

post #8 of 31

You can also add the HA-160Ds to your list. Amp/Dac combo, one box solution. 

It works good with Sennhs. 

post #9 of 31

X2.  I've also read that it is a great synergy.  Burson makes great stuff.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fabio-fi View Post

You can also add the HA-160Ds to your list. Amp/Dac combo, one box solution. 

It works good with Sennhs. 



 

post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 

Haha, and now I can see where the 'upgradeitis' comes from. So many options.

 

At first I thought I was sold on a Solo SRGII/DA100 Sig combo (Mainly because you can buy the 650s and Slee in a bundle) and now I'm hearing of even more, although no direct comparisons. :p

 

I'm not seeing anywhere I can get the valhalla in the UK though. I can get the Music Streamer II Plus fine.

 

The HA-160DS looks about £900. Not bad but it would probably come to around the same price as a Slee Solo SRG II/DA100 Sig combo as I'd still need to buy the headphones. Anyone got experience with these? It would be easier if I could go out and listen to them at meets or something I know... being remote sucks. :p

 

Edit: Nevermind, noticed you meant the HA-160DS. That's a lot better at £660. Hmm....

 

 

Quote:
HA160DS: Warm, neutral, impactful, forward, punchy, fast pace.
Graham Slee Solo SRG II: Mellow, relaxed, full sweet mids, smooth.
Graham Slee Solo Ultra Linear: Mellow, relaxed, more treble presence, more linear and less mid-centric. The treble however is not as smooth as the SRGII.
Apex Butte: Excellent clarity, soundstage, imaging, full mids but very clear, fast pace.
GS1: No experience but the G-Lite has a good performance top-down, good bass, but quite dry an emotionless.

That's all I've managed to hear as a direct comparison between my initial choice and the 160DS, at least.


Edited by Tephnos - 1/6/12 at 3:54am
post #11 of 31

HA-160D is like $1000 .. overkill for HD650s which are only $350?

post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by arek View Post

HA-160D is like $1000 .. overkill for HD650s which are only $350?


Not one bit. The HD650 has long been part of the top trio (DT880, K701, HD650) long before the $1000 & + top headphones were introduced and it wasn't all that unusual to see it paired with amps such as the Zana Deux ($2500) for example. It's not because its price is low that it won't benefit from a $1000 DAC/amp. For Hi-fi sedentary headphones it's quite common to see some people recommending balancing the budget 1/3 DAC, 1/3 amp, 1/3 headphones (I personally think it's not that black and white but it's a rather good indication nonetheless). The Burson is just that, more or less.

How to determine where an "upper limit" should be drawn is highly dependent on one person's budget, but taking that out of the equation I'd rather look at the intended use and design of the headphones than solely their price. The HD650 was designed to be used with those kinds of amps.


Edited by MayaTlab - 1/6/12 at 8:42am
post #13 of 31

I agree.  I think price matching is irrelevant.  It's about performance matching.  The 650s pair very well with top tier amps.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MayaTlab View Post


Not one bit. The HD650 has long been part of the top trio (DT880, K701, HD650) long before the $1000 & + top headphones were introduced and it wasn't all that unusual to see it paired with amps such as the Zana Deux ($2500) for example. It's not because its price is low that it won't benefit from a $1000 DAC/amp. For Hi-fi sedentary headphones it's quite common to see some people recommending balancing the budget 1/3 DAC, 1/3 amp, 1/3 headphones (I personally think it's not that black and white but it's a rather good indication nonetheless). The Burson is just that, more or less.

How to determine where an "upper limit" should be drawn is highly dependent on one person's budget, but taking that out of the equation I'd rather look at the intended use and design of the headphones than solely their price. The HD650 was designed to be used with those kinds of amps.



 

post #14 of 31
I was lukewarm on the HD650's until I heard them with the Burson. It's a good combo.
post #15 of 31

I'm driving my HD650 via Schiit Lyr/Bifrost combo and the results are sublime. Oh my the 650s scale... L3000.gif

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