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Valhalla or LD MK IV SE for HD 650s

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

In the end, I found the AKG 702s a little too analytical for my tastes.  I may not have given them a fair shake, but after comparing to both the Beyer 880s and the Sennheiser 650, I found that I preferred both of the latter cans' sound signatures better.  In the end, I just couldn't pass up the honey-like tone of the 650s and ended up exchanging the 702s for those.

 

Now I am still in the process of selecting an amp.  I would like a tube amp, although I wouldn't mind something that brings out the high end of the 650s a tad more.  (Nothing too much, I really am satisfied with the overall sound.)

 

After doing some research, I think I have narrowed it down to the following:

 

Schiit Valhalla

Little Dot Mark IV SE (although I'm not crazy about it being built and sold in China, I've read nothing but good experiences)

    and as a dark horse, local hero

Woo Audio WA3 (or possibly the WA6 -- although that's a bit more than I'd like to spend.  And I'm a little put off that Woo Audio doesn't do local area pick-up.  Why must I pay for shipping within NYC?

 

Of those three, which matches the best with the Senn HD 650s.

 

As a reminder, I am running through an Arcam 72T CD player and, when functioning, a Music Hall MMF 5 turntable (with either a goldring or ortofon stylus). 

 

One last question regarding the turntable -- if I am no longer running through my receiver (which actually has a built in phonostage), will I need to get a separate standalone phonostage, or will the headphone amp suffice?  If I need a phonostage (which I suspect), what recs in the $300 range?

 

post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 

Bump.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

One last try. Bump.

post #4 of 11

Change the wires on your 650s. It will make the biggest difference. Moon audio has a good web site to get you started.

post #5 of 11

Care to explain exactly what differences it made? 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big B View Post

Change the wires on your 650s. It will make the biggest difference. Moon audio has a good web site to get you started.



 

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidgotsa View Post

Care to explain exactly what differences it made? 
 



 



Hahahahaha.

post #7 of 11

haha! I'm not sure if he was sarcastic or not that's why I asked... ;) 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FEAST View Post



Hahahahaha.



 

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidgotsa View Post

Care to explain exactly what differences it made? 

It makes Aerosmith sound like angels and Guns N' Roses sound like God. You probably don't want to listen to anyone in the D's, though--new headphone cables make them sound like the Devil himself.


Unless you want to cut out $100+ from your budget, I wouldn't bother with cables yet.
Edited by Bobsama - 2/15/12 at 8:06am
post #9 of 11

If you are willing to try out the cable route, imo silver cables does manage to brighten up the HD650, but only very slightly.. for some people they rather save the money towards a better source or amp. I have the Little Dot Mk IV SE and while it has the wonderful tube sound on the mids, it doesn't really emphasize the highs i think. Fast way to get highs is to just de-foam it but i think it messes with the overall sound balance too. 

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Categg View Post

If you are willing to try out the cable route, imo silver cables does manage to brighten up the HD650, but only very slightly.. for some people they rather save the money towards a better source or amp. I have the Little Dot Mk IV SE and while it has the wonderful tube sound on the mids, it doesn't really emphasize the highs i think. Fast way to get highs is to just de-foam it but i think it messes with the overall sound balance too. 



Cables dont matter noobs.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

I ended up getting the Little Dot MK IV, which I've been getting use to for the past 10 days or so.  It's my first foray into the world of tubes, so I wasn't sure what to expect.  It is certainly a very pleasing listen and gives a nice oomph to the music.  Grant-Lee Phillips' "Virginia Creeper" sounds beautiful.  However, I do notice that it does seem to roll off the highs a bit (which, I understand, is typical of the tube sound.)

 

I certainly don't like an overly bright sound, and I am very impressed with what this amp puts out (especially considering the minimal burn in time thus far -- maybe 30 hours of operational time, but only about 10-12 with music actually being fed through it), but I am curious to see how tube rolling might help get a tad more upper end presence.  I've been through the Tube Rolling Guide, and have earmarked about 3 or 4 ones that I am curious to try.  Any thoughts or suggestions on tube rolling?

 

However, with that being said, I really do like the amp.  Very low noise, including when I turn the volume all the way up.  I keep the gain at the 5 setting for now.  Tried 10, and found it got too loud too fast and seemed to lose a bit of composure (could be that the tubes had no break-in at the time).

 

And by the way, the though of buying high end cables never even crossed my mind.  I have never really felt that such things had any appreciable effect -- certainly not for the cost.

 

BTW, anybody no of an A/V source switcher I could use that would not degrade sound quality.  I bought an inexpensive switcher from Monoprice, but I found it added a hum that was not there when I went straight from the Arcam CD player to the amp (even over a 25 foot run).

 

 

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