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Just how much would a better amp improve my HD 650s? - Page 5

post #61 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by olor1n View Post

The OP needs to be more specific about what he is after. Those details determine whether the advice should be to get different headphones, or persevere with the HD650 and add components that accentuate particular strengths.

I want to upgrade everything eventually, but I think the amp needs it more than anything.  The final goal is to get to HD800s or LCD-2s by getting a better amp first.  So, the amp has to improve the HD650s while also doing well by whatever my next headphone is.  This is why I'm thinking maybe Mjolnir.  The challenge is to get something that will improve the HD650s without making the next headphone (especially HD800, if that's what it is) weaker.

post #62 of 156
Budget?
post #63 of 156
Quote:

Originally Posted by Austin Morrow View Post
 

[...]

 

Just different types of amps. Eddie Current Balancing Act, DNA Stratus, a bunch of other high end headphone amps.

 

I will agree with one point though, however. There are some budget-mid fi amps and DAC's out their that really do push the HD650 to about 85%-90% of their potential, and that includes some of the stuff from Schiit and Little Dot.

 

Can you list the components that'll push the HD650 to its full potential? How much does it cost to get that extra 15-10%? Won't be placing any value on your response here. Just want to see how ridiculous the answer is.

post #64 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by derbigpr View Post

 

 

1) I think many designers of amplifiers use the stupidity of their costumers to sell them hugely overpriced products. I never said amplifying is easy peasy, its just not nearly as complicated as many would make you think.  For that reason many DIY'ers on this forum were banned when they started showing their cheap products outperforming the more expensive products of certain forum sponsors, but that's another story.

 

2) Please, give me a quote of me saying that my TV sounds perfect. I just said HD650's sound great out of it, no worse than out of my headphone amps.

 

3) End of discussion for me. I just feel sorry for those naive people who will rush out and buy amps that cost more than their HD650's, and then will be hugely disappointed because they will see their HD650's still sound like...HD650's.

 +1

 

Balancing Act, DNS Stratus etc etc are just too good to waste on the HD650's unless you are intending to upgrade the phones very soon.


Edited by nigeljames - 7/2/12 at 6:55am
post #65 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by derbigpr View Post


3) End of discussion for me. I just feel sorry for those naive people who will rush out and buy amps that cost more than their HD650's, and then will be hugely disappointed because they will see their HD650's still sound like...HD650's.

 

I think for the strong HD650 fans including myself, we'd be more dissappointed if something made them not sound like HD650s.  It's a unique sound that those that really like it really like it, and seek to improve upon it without changing its nature.  No other headphone has that type of voicing.  I think the folks you're referring to are the ones that aren't overly fond of the sound of HD650 and always feel like there's something wrong with the setup to "fix" them to sound like a different headphone that's voiced in a way they don't dislike as much.  There's a difference in squeezing out higher performance without wrecking the sound signature, which the HD650's are highly capable of, versus trying to make them sound like a differently voiced headphone. 

 

And there is the classic 10 year old schism of the HD650 in a nutshell.  Those that love HD650 because they understand and love the sound signature they have and wouldn't want to ruin that tone, and those that love HD650 because they're told they're the best thing ever, but when they listen to them they never get they experience they actually wanted and forever try to change them.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardilla View Post

Nah,I'm not saying that. I'm saying 1500 amp isn't wasted on the 650.
Anyway, if you enjoy the HD650 with a budget amp, please enjoy.
If you buy a really nice amp, don't sell your Hd650.

 

Right!  Basically, it's probable that a superior headphone on a superior amp will beat an HD650 on an inferior amp.   It's probable that a superior headphone on a superior amp will beat (or equal, in your WA22 review) the HD650 on the same superior amp.  But it's also possible for an HD650 on a superior amp to best a superior headphone on an inferior amp.   Everyone fights over the headphones and no one seems to remember they're building an audio system.  All the components together are your "audio system", not one component alone, and superior/inferior of individual components are meaningless since the combinations can be greater than the sums of their parts.

post #66 of 156

Yup. This debate should not be between HD650-non-lovers and HD650-lovers.

A true HD650 lover like myself enjoys it just as much as the other cans I have. But often for different reasons. For me, neither the WA2 or 22 is wasted on the HD650. Is it the most resolving headphone? No. The most accurate?. No. Just darn enjoyable. f you like it, that is.

Mike at Headfonia always seems to compare his reviewed cans to the HD650. A good thing, since so many have heard it - but then again, not so many have heard it properly amped..

When reviewing the Hifiman HE500 (which I also own) he wrote what is quoted below. I always found it puzzling, mostly findng the HE500 superior. I enjoyed the HD650, but just didn't agree with what Mike said. That was until I heard the HD650 on the WA22.. Then, suddenly, I understood what this fuzz about amps and HD650 was about.
 

Quote:
UPGRADING FROM THE HD650 TO THE HE-500:

The biggest upgrade you feel from the HD650 to the HE-500 will be:
1. Clearer bass section, though not as thick as the HD650.
2. More open sound — big difference
3. More forward character — HD650 is pretty laid back.
4. Faster pace.

Now, a well amped HD650 will give you:
1. Better soundstage image, better three dimensionality, better
layering, better depth.
2. Better micro details.
3. Better dynamic range.

source http://www.headfonia.com/hifiman-he-500-first-impression/3/

A well amped HD650 is a headphone experience you cannot get elsewere. Even if all headphones are unique, the HD650 have something (like the LCD's) that is hard to find elsewhere - most other higher end phones are treble tilted in comparison. As pointed out several times in this thread already ,though - many would prefer a decently amped HE-500, LCD-2 or whatever to a super-duper-amped HD650. If you love your HD650, it is a good excuse to try out a really great amp. But it will still be the HD650. Just a tad more of it. The magic little tad, that is. At least for me. If anyone is interested, I did a recent write up of the WA2/WA22 using the HD650.

Anyway - I think I made my standing clear. Anybody wanna discuss what amping can do to a HD650 instead wether or not it makes a difference?


Edited by ardilla - 7/2/12 at 1:56pm
post #67 of 156

Yo,

 

I always thought the HD650 sounded bad on tube amps. I heard it on both my WA3 and a friends WA2 and to me it sounds even worse. Could have been the tubes but the resulting sound was like mush.

 

I find the M-Stage, a budget amp, drives them very well. It's a cheaper amp and does them plenty of justice.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by telecaster View Post

The HD650 deserve a very good amp. Every mid budget solid state sounded alright but in the end alway harsh. A good tube good is heaven with HD650, think OTL...
 

post #68 of 156
If you wanna crisp up the HD650, a nice solid state is not bad. I had the Grace m902 which was fabulous with the HD650. The Lehmann BCL also does a good job, and the M-stage is a BCL-clone. Lacey DA11 does well, even my Creek integrated is a good match. But the snappiest I've heard is the WA22.. wink.gif And with good tubes, WA2 is no slouch, but it's not the crispiness that is its comparative advantage.
post #69 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie_X View Post

Yo,

 

I always thought the HD650 sounded bad on tube amps. I heard it on both my WA3 and a friends WA2 and to me it sounds even worse. Could have been the tubes but the resulting sound was like mush.

 

I find the M-Stage, a budget amp, drives them very well. It's a cheaper amp and does them plenty of justice.

 

+1

 

found the sound with the WA2 to be very thick and kinda veiled, this was also with TS 5998 tubes. it wasn't a bad sound, but it was very warm and overly smooth.

 

sounded amazing on the WA6-SE though, the mids where just simply amazing and it really took the HD 650s to the next level.

post #70 of 156

Like I had said before Im using my HD 650 with the M1 HPA amp. And the only thing I can tell its that it just sounds "right" with them. There is nothing that bothers me with the sound, it nor sounds muffled or harsh. Though I have no experience with other amps I feel that it is not in need to try around amps in search of any better sound with my HD 650, cause with the m1 HPA im perfectly happy and can lissen to hd 650 a whole day with out fatigue. And thats really something cause the m1 hpa does not making the HD 650 super laidback and smooth, not at all, the highs are there and sometimes what you call really sparkly but never harsh, just airy.

post #71 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post

Like I had said before Im using my HD 650 with the M1 HPA amp. And the only thing I can tell its that it just sounds "right" with them. There is nothing that bothers me with the sound, it nor sounds muffled or harsh. Though I have no experience with other amps I feel that it is not in need to try around amps in search of any better sound with my HD 650, cause with the m1 HPA im perfectly happy and can lissen to hd 650 a whole day with out fatigue. And thats really something cause the m1 hpa does not making the HD 650 super laidback and smooth, not at all, the highs are there and sometimes what you call really sparkly but never harsh, just airy.

 

 

That's good, If you find the sound you hear pleasing then by all means stick with it.  If you do decide to start listening to higher end amp you will then hear a difference.  Until then that is the sound that pleases you so just enjoy the music.

post #72 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardilla View Post

Budget?

 

Less than $1k, preferably less than $500.  My dilemma is that the amp is the weakest link in my chain right now, but buying an amp for more than twice what I spent on my headphones seems quixotic as well.

post #73 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by disastermouse View Post

 

 but buying an amp for more than twice what I spent on my headphones seems quixotic as well.

 

 

But why?  the amp drives the Headphones.  The headphones don't drive the amp.

post #74 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

But why?  the amp drives the Headphones.  The headphones don't drive the amp.

+1

post #75 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

But why?  the amp drives the Headphones.  The headphones don't drive the amp.

 

Because the amp is probably going to be better than what the HD 650s need and nearly $1k for an amp is nearly $1k I can't then spend on the next step up from HD 650s.

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