Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Amp and DAC for HD800
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Amp and DAC for HD800 - Page 2

post #16 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayorAdamWest View Post

Was thinking about the DAC1 USB... thoughts?

 

I tried it and do not like it at all.  It is to bright and thin.

post #17 of 73

I would suggest a V100 or V200 with the Bladelius usb DAC

post #18 of 73

When you get 'blown away' at first listen, it does not mean that this sound will continue to impress/satisfy in the long run.

post #19 of 73

Indeed the Burson HA-160 with sennhs synergize really well. You can add the DA-160 (dac) and use your macbook SPDIF out. 

post #20 of 73

Hello,

 

From reading the back and forth exchanges, it seems to me you've already made up your mind while still asking for recommendations. which you proceded to shoot down one by one.

 

So at the risk of repeating others and still not being heard, here are my experience and recommendations for the HD800/amp pairing:

 

1.  If you insist on SS amp your best option is to forget about the HD800 and get a pair of more forgiving headphones like the Audeze LCD-2 or the Beyerdynamic T1

 

2. If you want to stick with the HD800, my strong recommendation is to stay away from solid-state amps. Even the best SS amps still have some harshness--some call it white noise--that the HD800 will reproduce with excrucuating fidelity. I never could listen to the HD800 on any SS amps for very long, the Burson Audio included--by the way, this amp sounds wonderful with the LCD2/3 and the Grado PS1000.  On poor rock recordings, the HD800 sounds positively unpleasant with SS amps.  I think the HD800 is too revealing for its own good so it reproduces everything faithfully, warts and all.

 

3. The HD800-Red Wine Audio Corvina (balanced tube) combination is purely magical. The balanced output tightens the bass and sharply focuses the midrange.  The treble has lost all its harshness while remaining very detailed. The RWA Corvina is a very good buy at $1500--same amp as the big sister Isabellina--but it doesn't have a DAC.  The balanced Woo WA22 is also a good match with a gorgeous look and a lot more money ($2500).

 

4.  Because of fastly advancing technology, you'll change yourPC and your DAC more often than you'll change the tubes on you Head Phone Amp.  HPA have tiny amplification (typically less than 5 watts) compared to speaker amps (50-500 watts). So the tubes are not driven very hard. I've had a HPA tube amp for 5 years with still the same tubes and the same wonderful sound. In the same period, I have gone through three DACs. Besides, switching tubes is fun--I am oldfashion, I swapped tubes, I don't roll them.  It's the simplest and least expensive way of changing the sound of your system.

 

But if you still prefer the convenience of SS HPA--I think your mind is already made up--your best option is to chuck the HD-800 and get an LCD2, or a Beyerdynamic T1 and save a little money in the process.  By the way, the HD800 is also allergic to silver. I still love its near-holographic sound when mated with a balanced tube amp and UP-OCC (Ohno copper) cable.  Magic! 

 
post #21 of 73

I have a pair of HD 800s arriving tomorrow.  I own a Burson 160D and a Woo WA6.  One of those should turn the trick (or I'm going to prying open my wallet again!).  I'll report back, allowing for burn-in.  I'm expecting nice things from the Burson, it's been a stellar amp so far-- paired with the HD 650.  It's picky about desk placement (keep those hard drives away and lift the grounds).  But it's really clean.  It should provide tremendous detail, but I'm expecting the sound to trend toward cool, the HD 650's are a warm sounding headphone, the Burson neutralizes some of that.

post #22 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin_Time View Post

Hello,

 

From reading the back and forth exchanges, it seems to me you've already made up your mind while still asking for recommendations. which you proceded to shoot down one by one.

 

So at the risk of repeating others and still not being heard, here are my experience and recommendations for the HD800/amp pairing:

 

1.  If you insist on SS amp your best option is to forget about the HD800 and get a pair of more forgiving headphones like the Audeze LCD-2 or the Beyerdynamic T1

 

 

 

I do not know if you own T1s or what you know about them, but they are not great with SS. 

post #23 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Szadzik View Post

 

I do not know if you own T1s or what you know about them, but they are not great with SS. 

 

Perhaps he was making a point on the HD800s being unbearable with SS amps.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Justin_Time View Post

 

1.  If you insist on SS amp your best option is to forget about the HD800 and get a pair of more forgiving headphones like the Audeze LCD-2 or the Beyerdynamic T1

 

2. If you want to stick with the HD800, my strong recommendation is to stay away from solid-state amps. Even the best SS amps still have some harshness--some call it white noise--that the HD800 will reproduce with excrucuating fidelity. I never could listen to the HD800 on any SS amps for very long, the Burson Audio included--by the way, this amp sounds wonderful with the LCD2/3 and the Grado PS1000.  On poor rock recordings, the HD800 sounds positively unpleasant with SS amps.  I think the HD800 is too revealing for its own good so it reproduces everything faithfully, warts and all.

 

3. The HD800-Red Wine Audio Corvina (balanced tube) combination is purely magical. The balanced output tightens the bass and sharply focuses the midrange.  The treble has lost all its harshness while remaining very detailed. The RWA Corvina is a very good buy at $1500--same amp as the big sister Isabellina--but it doesn't have a DAC.  The balanced Woo WA22 is also a good match with a gorgeous look and a lot more money ($2500).

 

4.  Because of fastly advancing technology, you'll change yourPC and your DAC more often than you'll change the tubes on you Head Phone Amp.  HPA have tiny amplification (typically less than 5 watts) compared to speaker amps (50-500 watts). So the tubes are not driven very hard. I've had a HPA tube amp for 5 years with still the same tubes and the same wonderful sound. In the same period, I have gone through three DACs. Besides, switching tubes is fun--I am oldfashion, I swapped tubes, I don't roll them.  It's the simplest and least expensive way of changing the sound of your system.

 

But if you still prefer the convenience of SS HPA--I think your mind is already made up--your best option is to chuck the HD-800 and get an LCD2, or a Beyerdynamic T1 and save a little money in the process.  By the way, the HD800 is also allergic to silver. I still love its near-holographic sound when mated with a balanced tube amp and UP-OCC (Ohno copper) cable.  Magic! 

 

 

So it appears that the HD800 requires tubes to get rid of the harshness and sibilance. Good to know.

post #24 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin_Time View Post

Hello,

 

From reading the back and forth exchanges, it seems to me you've already made up your mind while still asking for recommendations. which you proceded to shoot down one by one.

 

So at the risk of repeating others and still not being heard, here are my experience and recommendations for the HD800/amp pairing:

 

1.  If you insist on SS amp your best option is to forget about the HD800 and get a pair of more forgiving headphones like the Audeze LCD-2 or the Beyerdynamic T1

 

2. If you want to stick with the HD800, my strong recommendation is to stay away from solid-state amps. Even the best SS amps still have some harshness--some call it white noise--that the HD800 will reproduce with excrucuating fidelity. I never could listen to the HD800 on any SS amps for very long, the Burson Audio included--by the way, this amp sounds wonderful with the LCD2/3 and the Grado PS1000.  On poor rock recordings, the HD800 sounds positively unpleasant with SS amps.  I think the HD800 is too revealing for its own good so it reproduces everything faithfully, warts and all.

 

3. The HD800-Red Wine Audio Corvina (balanced tube) combination is purely magical. The balanced output tightens the bass and sharply focuses the midrange.  The treble has lost all its harshness while remaining very detailed. The RWA Corvina is a very good buy at $1500--same amp as the big sister Isabellina--but it doesn't have a DAC.  The balanced Woo WA22 is also a good match with a gorgeous look and a lot more money ($2500).

 

4.  Because of fastly advancing technology, you'll change yourPC and your DAC more often than you'll change the tubes on you Head Phone Amp.  HPA have tiny amplification (typically less than 5 watts) compared to speaker amps (50-500 watts). So the tubes are not driven very hard. I've had a HPA tube amp for 5 years with still the same tubes and the same wonderful sound. In the same period, I have gone through three DACs. Besides, switching tubes is fun--I am oldfashion, I swapped tubes, I don't roll them.  It's the simplest and least expensive way of changing the sound of your system.

 

But if you still prefer the convenience of SS HPA--I think your mind is already made up--your best option is to chuck the HD-800 and get an LCD2, or a Beyerdynamic T1 and save a little money in the process.  By the way, the HD800 is also allergic to silver. I still love its near-holographic sound when mated with a balanced tube amp and UP-OCC (Ohno copper) cable.  Magic! 

 

 

 

 

+1

 

Woo Audio 2 wink_face.gif

 

 

yes tubes really go well with HD 800.

post #25 of 73

A small correction.

 

The Corvina is really a hybrid design.  It has a tube stage and SS amp module--somone kindly reminded me of this in another thread.  This design seems very successful with the HD800, removing the harshness/sibilance from the sound while imparting a pretty tigh control on the bass.

 

The combination with the Woo created a sound that is distinctly different but equally wonderful. 

 

I saw the positive comment about the HD800 and Burson 160D.  My experience with this combination has not been positive.  Perhaps I am more sensitive to the glare/hardness/sibilance in the sound than others. The Burson works wondefully with the LCD-2/3 and badly clases with the HE-6.  I will try it with the T1 again as someone noted that this was a bad combination.  It has not been my experience but I want to re-confirm that.

post #26 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryder78 View Post

 

Perhaps he was making a point on the HD800s being unbearable with SS amps.

 

 

So it appears that the HD800 requires tubes to get rid of the harshness and sibilance. Good to know.


I currently have Benchmark DAC1 + Rudistor RPX-35 pair, which makes my HD800 only good for classic and jazz. I do really like how they sound in those genres until I played some of my rock collections. This kind of bright + bright system really makes rock sounds like hell~~~~~

 

Is the Neko D100 Mk2 + RWA Corvina going to solve the problem for me? I mean, I do really like the imaging and sound stage of the HD800 and want to make it work for more genres. If there is no possible solution form the source, then I might as well get a pair of LCD2 for just pop and rock. I do have another UM Miracle sitting around for those genres, but I still prefer full size when I was home.

:P

post #27 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by reeltime View Post

I have a pair of HD 800s arriving tomorrow.  I own a Burson 160D and a Woo WA6.  One of those should turn the trick (or I'm going to prying open my wallet again!).  I'll report back, allowing for burn-in.  I'm expecting nice things from the Burson, it's been a stellar amp so far-- paired with the HD 650.  It's picky about desk placement (keep those hard drives away and lift the grounds).  But it's really clean.  It should provide tremendous detail, but I'm expecting the sound to trend toward cool, the HD 650's are a warm sounding headphone, the Burson neutralizes some of that.

Cool, i'd love to read your thoughts on that pairing. So many people tends to like tubes, but we'll see..

post #28 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecourier View Post

Cool, i'd love to read your thoughts on that pairing. So many people tends to like tubes, but we'll see..

beta22 does it for HD800 for me. It is more of DAC, amp, and headphone pairing. Not all tubes sounds great with HD800.
post #29 of 73

As promised, I have some initial reports on the HD 800's combined with the Burson 160D and Woo WA6.

 

The cleanest DAC I have available out of my MacBook Pro is USB to the Burson (I also have an Apogee Duet at my disposal-- that's another review), then either the Burson Amp or the WA 6 to drive the headphones.  The source is FLAC files through Fidelia, using Dire Straits Communique as reference material here.

 

The Burson D/A is not the greatest in the world, but it's certainly not the worst, either.  It got a horrible write-up on CNET, but those guys are rarely reliable for high end audio reviews.  Headfonia puts the 160D in the mid-fi range, and Mike actually prefers it to the DACmini. 

 

I use the Burson because it has pre-amp outs to drive my Genelecs and WA6, too.  I will eventually upgrade, but for now, I gotta roll with what I got, and it's a decent multi-purpose audio tool.  This rig is exceptional for the HD 650s.  Will it do wonders on the HD 800s?  

 

Yes.  And no.  The solid state amp is fine for the HD 800s from a power standpoint.  It drives them, drives them with plenty of power to spare (using the low output still pushes my hearing threshold).  And I don't feel like I'm lacking straight off the Burson.  

 

The sound is fairly tight, good to very good bass extension, trending a little into sibilance on the highs at the extreme upper frequencies.  Imaging is exceptional, but soundstage is not exceptionally wide, but not poor either.  Decay in the reverb is only good, and part of the reason the soundstage may lack a bit in width.

 

As a do-it-all-in-one unit, I'd say it's a reasonable unit for the money.  Now comes that big BUT.

 

The problem is-- I have a WA6 sitting right next to it.  And it's not exactly stock.  I'm running a 1957 Mullard GZ34 metal base rectifier tube, and 6SN7 matched drivers.  Oh my.  

 

Plug in and the base dives instantly deeper with a LOT of punch.  It's the kind of bottom end that gets drool worthy, and makes me wish I had a pair of LCD-3s to compare.  The soundstage gains about a foot.  The sibilance that is ever so slight on the Burson is gone through the WA6.  Decay goes on forever and opens the sound up.  In short, it's not even close.  I can tell instantly things have changed for the better.  Imaging is brilliant.

 

Is the Burson bad?  No.  Absolutely not.  If I didn't have my hot rod WA6 sitting next to it, I may be singing a different story.  And there's the little voice in my head that's nagging-- if things are THIS good on the WA6-- What would the WA5-LE sound like?  My wallet doesn't want to know, but my ears sure do!

 

A quick word on the driver tubes on the WA6-- the HD 650's yielded a near indistinguishable difference in drivers between the 6DE7 tubes and 6SN7s.  On the HD 800s, the 6SN7 driver difference is a clear change, the 6SN7 throws a lot more bass punch into the sound.  The 6DE7 tubes which sounded great with the 650's are thin on the HD 800s.  

 

That's what I got for ya.... 


Edited by reeltime - 6/9/12 at 11:59am
post #30 of 73

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHell View Post


I currently have Benchmark DAC1 + Rudistor RPX-35 pair, which makes my HD800 only good for classic and jazz. I do really like how they sound in those genres until I played some of my rock collections. This kind of bright + bright system really makes rock sounds like hell~~~~~

 

Is the Neko D100 Mk2 + RWA Corvina going to solve the problem for me? I mean, I do really like the imaging and sound stage of the HD800 and want to make it work for more genres. If there is no possible solution form the source, then I might as well get a pair of LCD2 for just pop and rock. I do have another UM Miracle sitting around for those genres, but I still prefer full size when I was home.

:P

 

You should be able to Google for comparisons of the Neko Audio D100 Mk2 to the Benchmark DAC1 to answer your first question regarding the difference in sound. I know there are many people who have compared the two. There is also a loaner program and free trial period for the Neko. HTH.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Amp and DAC for HD800