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<$600 AMP/DAC for the Sennheiser HD800's

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hey all, I am planning to get the HD800's in a couple weeks and obviously, I can't drive them to any sort of decent level without a decent amp nor will anything sound great without a DAC. 

 

I've mainly dabbled in portable audio so most of gear consists of IEMs, portable amps, LODs, etc. so I don't know what direction I am going in terms of full desktop gear.

 

I have about $700 for both an amp and a DAC.

 

What I am considering:

Nuforce HDP (Both Amp+Dac): $450

 

HRT Music Streamer II+ ($350)+Schiit Asgard ($250)=$600

 

Audio-GD NFB 12: $250

 

Maybe another potential possibility but a bit more than I want to spend:

RSA SR71-B ($480ish Used)+HRT Music Streamer II ($350)=$830

 

Any recommendations? I listen to mainly epic (orchestral) music, techno, trance, hip-hop, etc. Source will be through my laptop.


Edited by lawlz - 8/16/12 at 3:14pm
post #2 of 19

A Music Streamer II is not $350. They are $149 on Amazon, every day.

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

There's a Music Streamer II and  a Music Streamer II+. $150 and $350 respectively.

post #4 of 19

Holy smokes! $200 for the + ?

post #5 of 19

If you have a budget of $700 why consider the NFB12?

 

Have a look at the NFB10.2, this gives you the option to go balanced. 

 

You also can consider the the Yulong D100 and Matrix M-Stage. 

post #6 of 19

I think Bottlehead Crack and Music Streamer 2+? Honestly instead of Music Streamer 2+, you could go with ODAC, Schiit Bifrost, or NFB 12 in DAC only setting.  So Bottlehead Crack plus DAC = awesomeness. 

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by djevoultion View Post

If you have a budget of $700 why consider the NFB12?

 

Have a look at the NFB10.2, this gives you the option to go balanced. 

 

You also can consider the the Yulong D100 and Matrix M-Stage. 

You just reminded me of how amazing the Yulong D100 was at a head-fi meet up. To the OP: The M Stage has lots of positive reviews too, so you can't go wrong with either. With $700 why not consider Mjolnir? You could always buy ODAC and save up for a better DAC down the road....(Gungnir looks amazing). 

post #8 of 19

If I were you I would have this thread moved to Summit Fi, they will probably have better recommendations for HD800. Just my opinion. I could be wrong....wink.gif

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by djevoultion View Post

If you have a budget of $700 why consider the NFB12?

 

Have a look at the NFB10.2, this gives you the option to go balanced. 

 

You also can consider the the Yulong D100 and Matrix M-Stage. 

 

x2, you could go for NFB-10.2. I am using NFB-10SE to drive HD800 now. Now bad, can drive them very well but maybe not up to the optimal quality cause i couldn't compare amp side by side. So... no comment on the sound quality.

post #10 of 19

Graham Slee series.

post #11 of 19

If you want a DAC + amp for around $600, in my opinion, you can't beat the Audio-gd NFB-10.32 (updated version of the 10.2). It will probably come to about $650 or slightly less with shipping. As others have said, this gives the option to go balanced. I've never auditioned the HD-800s balanced, but it does make a noticeable difference with the HD-650s. I've had some experience with the NuForce, and it doesn't even come close to what the Audio-gd offers for the money.

 

Disclaimer: I've only auditioned the original NFB-10 (with the same Wolfson chips) but from what others have said, the new 10.2/32 are pretty close.

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cynan View Post

If you want a DAC + amp for around $600, in my opinion, you can't beat the Audio-gd NFB-10.32 (updated version of the 10.2). It will probably come to about $650 or slightly less with shipping. As others have said, this gives the option to go balanced. I've never auditioned the HD-800s balanced, but it does make a noticeable difference with the HD-650s. I've had some experience with the NuForce, and it doesn't even come close to what the Audio-gd offers for the money.

 

Disclaimer: I've only auditioned the original NFB-10 (with the same Wolfson chips) but from what others have said, the new 10.2/32 are pretty close.

 

x2

post #13 of 19

HRT + Bottlehead Crack or DACport LX + Botlehead Crack

post #14 of 19

+1 on the Bottlehead Crack. Mike from headfonia said that the crack was the best amp under 1000 for the hd650s, so i'm assuming they'd be great for the hd800s as well. There is actually a group buy going on at massdrop.com, and if enough people commit, you could save even more money. Another amp to look at would be the schiit lyr, i have one and it sounds great with my hd650s. As for the dac, the schiit bifrost and the odac would be two good options to consider.


Edited by jwusoccer - 10/16/12 at 8:58pm
post #15 of 19

Hi lawlz

 

I own the Hd800 and I've tried it with vaious amplifiers and sources. I suggest you to save up more money and go for a serious amp and for a serious Dac. The HD800 is not very difficult to drive but is extremely sensitive to all the components in your chain and needs a very good amp (tube is better) to shine. For the budget you have I think that is hard to find something that can drive the HD800 to it's full potential

 

Great amps for HD800 are beta22 , CEC hd53n , Burson HA-160 or 160d ,Woo audio WA22, Woo audio WA5. 

 

Great Dacs for the HD800 are audiolab M-DAC, Calyx DAC, M2tech young

 

I suggest you also to consider a full balanced setup from DAC to headphones to reach the maximum level of detail and dynamics

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