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Just how much would a better amp improve my HD 650s? - Page 7

post #91 of 156

Haven't heard the Shiit stuff. Don't get too occupied with raw power.... Neither the HD800 or the 650 needs wattage monsters. The LCD-2 isn't that hard to drive, wattage-wise either. 

 

I always found the HD800 painfully bright, so if you have a brightness issue - HD800 + LCD-2 is a nive route. PS: LCD-2 rev.1 is easier to drive, cheaper 2nd hand and has a sweeter sound. 

post #92 of 156

I want to share my experience regarding headphone amps and DACs and why I don't believe in "scaling" at all.

In the last year I finally moved to some very good headphones: HD650, K701, HD25-1ii and UE TF-10 and bought the Fiio E9, E6 and the CA DacMagic Plus DAC/amp.

 

From what I hear the only difference when I use a headphone amp is volume, which wasn't enough for classical sometimes. HD650 for me sounds the same as long as the volume is the same, no matter if it is run from a PC (with or without the E9/E6), the DacMagic or my Galaxy S. There are small differences for TF-10, but only because of impedance mismatch, not some "magic" amplifier influence as you are driven to believe from posts on Head-Fi.

 

DACs have an even smaller influence. In a way I regret buying the DacMagic, I don't think I could hear a difference in blind testing with the Galaxy S. The only real difference is noise at high volumes: the DacMagic has none. And I don't want to hear "the DacMagic is only an entry-level DAC". It measures as good as the Benchmark DAC1; reading Head-Fi you are lead to believe the differences between an on-board DAC/phone and a dedicated one would be huge, but they are very, very small.  Maybe 10 years ago there was a noticeable difference, but nowadays there is practically none for well-engineered DACs and phones.

 

Cables are one of the biggest scams in this industry: zero scientific evidence, and zero difference in sound. Out of curiosity I swapped the HD25 cable with the one from HD650, and I couldn't hear at all the "big" difference people were claiming.

 

Now people will come and say I have hearing problems or I don't pay attention to the details in music. I hear differences between all headphones, but almost none between the electronics I have. Even between the headphones the differences are not that big, when you reach a certain quality level it's normal for the sound to be more or less the same.

For me the journey in the headphone world is over for the next 10 years at least, I'm very satisfied with what I have now. I had a revelation when I bought a pair of B&W DM601 S2 speakers last month. None of the headphones I have can reach the instrument separation, soundstage and clarity these speakers have, and they were cheaper than the HD650 (both bought second-hand).

 

My advice for those interested in quality sound: invest the most in headphones/speakers, buy an amplifier only if not loud enough or there is a serious impedance mismatch, don't buy a DAC unless you hear obvious problems (noise, for example).

post #93 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by lgratian View Post

I want to share my experience regarding headphone amps and DACs and why I don't believe in "scaling" at all.

In the last year I finally moved to some very good headphones: HD650, K701, HD25-1ii and UE TF-10 and bought the Fiio E9, E6 and the CA DacMagic Plus DAC/amp.

 

From what I hear the only difference when I use a headphone amp is volume, which wasn't enough for classical sometimes. HD650 for me sounds the same as long as the volume is the same, no matter if it is run from a PC (with or without the E9/E6), the DacMagic or my Galaxy S. There are small differences for TF-10, but only because of impedance mismatch, not some "magic" aplifier influence as you are driven to believe from posts on Head-Fi.

 

DACs have an even smaller influence. In a way I regret buying the DacMagic, I don't think I could hear a difference in blind testing with the Galaxy S. The only real difference is noise at high volumes: the DacMagic has none. And I don't want to hear "the DacMagic is only an entry-level DAC". It measures as good as the Benchmark DAC1; reading Head-Fi you are lead to believe the differences between an on-board DAC/phone and a dedicated one would be huge, but they are very, very small.  Maybe 10 years ago there was a noticeable difference, but nowadays there is practically none for well-engineered DACs and phones.

 

Cables are one of the biggest scams in this industry: zero scientific evidence, and zero difference in sound. Out of curiosity I swapped the HD25 cable with the one from HD650, and I couldn't hear at all the "big" difference people were claiming.

 

Now people will come and say I have hearing problems or I don't pay attention to the details in music. I hear differences between all headphones, but almost none between the electronics I have. Even between the headphones the differences are not that big, when you reach a certain quality level it's normal for the sound to be more or less the same.

For me the journey in the headphone world is over for the next 10 years at least, I'm very satisfied with what I have now. I had a revelation when I bought a pair of B&W DM601 S2 speakers last month. None of the headphones I have can reach the instrument separation, soundstage and clarity these speakers have, and they were cheaper than the HD650 (both bought second-hand).

 

My advice for those interested in quality sound: invest the most in headphones/speakers, buy an amplifier only if not loud enough or there is a serious impedance mismatch, don't buy a DAC unless you hear obvious problems (noise, for example).

 

+100

post #94 of 156
@OP My 2nd setup is an NFB-5. To me it has good sound quality from its built in DAC, and plenty of power. If you're looking to go balanced at some point, the NFB 10SE looks good.
post #95 of 156

The NFB-10SE is feature packed and is great bang for buck. Very good with the LCD-2, rubbish for the HD650. Stay away, unless you like a hard edge in the upper mids, brittle and grating treble and a nasal quality in vocals. I didn't own the HD800 when I had the 10SE but I cannot fathom a scenario where anyone could enjoy that particular pairing given these qualities.

 

DM, I'm number 77 on the Mjolnir preorder list. Jason has assured me numerous times that the Mjolnir is a good match for the HD800. In his words, it's the first SS amp that doesn't make him miss tubes. Impressions from members who are normally quite critical of components were favourable when Schiit demoed a preproduction unit. It was noted that a slight voicing issue was identified through the HD800 and that Jason was aware of it and tweaks have subsequently been applied to rectify. I'm still apprehensive about the order (almost went the WA2 instead) but figured post release hype could not be trusted and that I'd have to pull the trigger myself to find out. I'd suggest you go out of your  way to hear one when it hits. Can't be too hard considering you're in the States.

post #96 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by disastermouse View Post
 Maybe I should look for a meet now that I've moved to a larger town.

 

 

How far are you from DC?

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/608355/va-md-dc-meet-on-saturday-july-28-2012

post #97 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

How far are you from DC?

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/608355/va-md-dc-meet-on-saturday-july-28-2012

Just moved to Savannah, GA - need to update my profile.  :(

post #98 of 156

I might chime in because I went from a really bad amp to a uber beefed up good amp. HD650 is pure gold! Actually I think a headphone should cost half an amp. In the end a headphone is a simple device and quality is reachable with good parts and design, while a good amp requires good parts and design PLUS lots of workmanship hours!

With a beefed up LF339, or even a stock lafigaro 339 HD650 is far from muddy or smooth or veiled. I never get those comments because I only knew this tube amp. Fast detailed, deep and sweet sound is my description of it.

_DSC2465.jpg

post #99 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by telecaster View Post

 In the end a headphone is a simple device and quality is reachable with good parts and design, while a good amp requires good parts and design PLUS lots of

 

 

Oh how wrong you are if you think a good amp is harder to build than a good headphone. :P

post #100 of 156

We're not actually discussing upgrading to something like the DacMagic, but upgrading from..

 

HD650 and K701 are hard to drive headphones that does indeed nedd a very good amp. There are loads of headphones you will be better of with. Too bad, you should really get some cans that are easier to drive. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lgratian View Post

I want to share my experience regarding headphone amps and DACs and why I don't believe in "scaling" at all.

In the last year I finally moved to some very good headphones: HD650, K701, HD25-1ii and UE TF-10 and bought the Fiio E9, E6 and the CA DacMagic Plus DAC/amp.

...........

post #101 of 156

Very nice looking amp. I'd like to hear it some day. Very nice tube storage concept (but what about dusting?) Looks like you have your source in order as well. A+ :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by telecaster View Post

I might chime in because I went from a really bad amp to a uber beefed up good amp. HD650 is pure gold! Actually I think a headphone should cost half an amp. In the end a headphone is a simple device and quality is reachable with good parts and design, while a good amp requires good parts and design PLUS lots of workmanship hours!

With a beefed up LF339, or even a stock lafigaro 339 HD650 is far from muddy or smooth or veiled. I never get those comments because I only knew this tube amp. Fast detailed, deep and sweet sound is my description of it.

_DSC2465.jpg


Edited by ardilla - 7/4/12 at 1:48pm
post #102 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardilla View Post

We're not actually discussing upgrading to something like the DacMagic, but upgrading from..

 

HD650 and K701 are hard to drive headphones that does indeed nedd a very good amp. There are loads of headphones you will be better of with. Too bad, you should really get some cans that are easier to drive. 

 

 

I would happily recommend any entry level headfier a Fiio E9 and HD600/HD650. Even that combo is so much better than many easier to drive headphones. I appreciate a good amp all the more for listening for a long time from an E9. 

post #103 of 156

i think this may be more of a question as to wether the HD 650 is a good enough headphone to show off a very good clean clear accurate and tight amp.

 

my answer would be yes.  it will certainly show the differences in amps better than a lot of other cans, and less then a lot of other ones

post #104 of 156
Thread Starter 

The E9 is the best amp I've yet heard - please read that carefully because I'm not saying it's the 'best' at all - just that I haven't yet been able to sample anything better.  So I wonder if I have any idea what my HD650s are even capable of.  And yet, I LOVE what I've heard so far.  Yet, with my DICE Tube amp near field (am I using that term correctly?) iPod dock set, the sound is....richer...like a syrupy liquid - and yet also not muddled or artificial.  I suspect the DICE isn't even all that...but I'm looking for richness, clarity AND engagement from my DAC/Amp/Headphone chain.  Again, NOT to replicate a speaker set-up, but to find in headphones their own charms in richness, clarity/space, and engagement without fatigue.

 

Brief aside - has anyone here had their headphone listening warp their musical preferences?  I used to love electronic music with samples and mashups - but the problem is you're really listening to a recording of a recording...whereas with a well-recorded (or even just adequately recorded) analogue or acoustic piece of music, there's more depth when the clarity of your listening device gets better.  It's making my electronic music sound flashy but flat.

post #105 of 156

the E9 paired with an hd650 is great, but IMO thats only 50% of an hd650 coming out from it. ymmv

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