I could only find a few very short threads on the subject, and only one or two owners who made only short passing comments. Was wondering if anyone's heard it and could give a more detailed description? I'm looking to get a tube amp sometime in the coming months with a budget of ~$300, and am taking a hard look at the Bellari because it has pretty much the exact same dimensions as my Matrix Cube. Put side by side they would be perfectly matching and symmetrical, and how cool is that! Seriously though, any info would be appreciated.
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Anyone have experience with the Bellari HA540?
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I own one and use it often.The 540 has tons of gain, low noise floor and It sounds great with my DT990's and my Grados, tones down the highs and brings out the mids. Tube rolling with the Bellari is always fun because the sound varies so much from tube to tube. I highly reccomend it. You can find it for under 250 if you look around. the only two things I do not like about the amp is the stock Ruby tube it comes with is very bland, and the output jack is in the back (not that big of a deal but annoying).
Edited by Fearless1 - 1/11/12 at 12:13am
The tubes I have tried are: Vintage Mullard, Old RCA (great but low gain), Amperex BB, and most of the newer ones, but the Sylvania provided the sound I was looking for. The 990s are the pros, 250 ohm. The 540 sounds great with all my collection, but it shines with the 990's, seems to widen the soundstage and "fixes" what I find a bit wrong with them the shrill highs and the lack of mids.
Fearless1, I noticed on your profile it says you also have a Qinpu A6000 MKII. That's also one of the amps I've been considering. Any idea how they compare in headphone performance?
The Qinpu sounds ok, but it sounds almost soild state as compared to the 540. The Bellari is much more robust or lush sounding and true to a tube sound. What cans are you looking to power?
Edited by Fearless1 - 1/11/12 at 1:47pm
You don't sound too enthusiastic about it, haha. So besides the fact that it sounds more solid state, do you think the Qinpu is a lesser amp, or just different? The A3 got good reviews from Skylab and HeadphoneAddict, so I was hoping the A6000 was equally as good because its speaker driving capabilities may or may not come in very handy for me. Having the best quality headphone amp possible is my first priority though. Currently I have some Hifiman HE-300 and Brainwavz HM5, both low impedance, and I'm thinking about getting something else soon as well. Not sure exactly what, though Grado and Audio Technica are towards the top of that list.
It only has 1 output. It has two different inputs for higher or lower gain sources. Specs say 1W at 16 ohms, but I don't know much about the HE-5LE.
Am driving my Hifiman HE-500 with the Belllari HA540 using a Tung-Sol 12AT7 NOS tube (though most likely a UOS - but man does it sound good). The HA540 has tons of gain as others have attested, a lower gain tube is highly recommended. I tried several going all the way down to 12AU7s (20% gain compared to a 12AX7). The sweet spot seemed to be the 12AT7s. The 12AU7s tended to give a laid back sound and lose some of the detail. The 12AX7s do not provide enough headroom for gain control and tend to be sharp and grainy.
Now to sound: I would describe the sound coming out of the Bellari as full-bodied and rich with all the details fully there - but that is also likely due to the Hifiman HE-500s which are just fantastic headphones. My volume level for the Hifiman is sitting at about 10 o'clock so there is lots of driving room left. I don't feel the amp is being strained at all and the HE-500s are getting all the juice they need and are really showcasing themselves. Just beautifully lush, liquid, sweet and crystal clear!
This is a highly underrated amp, I think mostly because the well-known reviewers haven't tried it yet. I have a sneaking feeling it would blow a lot of their high-end gear out of the water (given the right tube swap). I tried the Hifiman EF5 with the HE-500s at the same time as the Bellari and it was no contest. The Bellari was just more detailed, warmer and lush. I thought the Hifiman HE-500s would pair better with a close namesake but it didn't.
The Bellari HA540 is very sensitive to tube swaps, which I guess also means it's quite neutral - tube rolling fun - thankfully it only has one tube - otherwise to the tube rolling stress asylum we go! One tube is all I can cope with at the moment. If you get the amp waste no time in getting the stock Ruby tube swapped out. The amp is a real hidden gem awaiting discovery --- keep the love.
My 2 cents based on recent purchase of a Bellari 540. I bought it for a bedroom rig I wanted to put together. I have to tell you, with the right tube and phones I have enjoyed this amp soooo much, to me the sound is crisper, clearer, with more micro details, than my main rig, which includes a tube amp costing 10 X the Bellari. May be digital source is better than CD's is part of it. But I have a Cowon X7 player filled with FLAC files, Ultrasone Ed. 8's with Signal Cable 1/4 to RCA cable. the sound is unbelievable. I've been into this stuff for 40 years btw. I tube rolled and to me the sweet spot was found with an Amperex Bugle Boy. Plenty of gain form y HIFI MAN LE-5's btw.
- Anyone have experience with the Bellari HA540?
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