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HD800 + $1,000-$2,500 Amp = Sonic Bliss? - Page 6

post #76 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

These are two different amps.  The GS-X is going to give you the utmost in transparency.  While the βeta-22 will add just a little of it's own color.  Now going off my old GS-1.  I had it and the βeta-22 at the same time.  For me.  The βeta-22 beat the GS-1 in the bass department.  

 

Mind you my βeta-22 is a 4 channel fully balanced design.  The GS-1 beat the βeta-22 in just about everything El's "technically"  The βeta-22 beat the GS-1 "IMHO" in enjoyment or should I say it was more fun to listen to.  This is with the HUD800s.  

 

With the LCD-2.2s I enjoyed these with the GS-1 the most.  That's because that headphone is already colored and the GS-1 just brought it to life.  It sounded good on the βeta-22 as well, but just a little to bassy for me.  The two amps compliment each other to the fullest.  I will have both.

Preproman,

 

Thank you for sharing your impressions.

 

If I understand you correctly, the GS-X is more neutral, transparent and detailed than the Beta 22.  

 

I have always wondered when evaluating amps of this caliber, how one tells when one is "colored" or something is truly "neutral"?  I think of "colored" when I hear it mentioned as being different from my perception of "true life" or a non-flat response. I  am sure that both amps ruler flat by measurement so it is unlikely a peak or trough in their response. Perhaps the GS-X sounds "cooler" than the Beta 22 which you (and others) associate with "neutral" or "true to life"? Sometimes when bass response is less attenuated, I believe that something can come off as "warmer" given human sensitivity to low frequencies? 

 

Are there differences in output power, voltage, power bandwidth or some other electrical attribute between these two amps at the impedance that we are talking about that might explain "warmth"? Others have described it as "warm", "fun" and "euphonic" so your experience is in the majority. I am just trying to understand the perception of "warmth" in a ruler flat, balanced SS amp?

 

It is also interesting why you found one more enjoyable than the other as well. I have had an audition with the LCD-2 and my impression was not that they were colored (just my take, could be wrong).  I would descibe them as quite neutral, but I found their sound stage to be quite small (but precise), some details in the music not as revealed as with the HD800s and they were very uncomfortable to wear on my head. The HD800s I found to be more detailed, tremendous sound stage, were very comfortable.  But I would say that they were colored in that there was bass attenuation compared to the LCD-2 and some sibilance in the high frequencies on some songs.

 

Thanks Again

post #77 of 172

To truly gain the experience you have to own both.

post #78 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

To truly gain the experience you have to own both.

Short, sweet and expensive...:-)

post #79 of 172

I love the HD800 but finding the right amp for them has been a serious several-years-long endeavor.  My top picks so far are the ZDSE and the Luxman P-1.  The ZDSE is a great fit and can match well with many other headphones.  Tube rolling is also a possibility if you want to find more coloration.  I think the P1-u is supposed to sound very close to the P-1 but I found the amp to be less versatile than the ZDSE with other headphones.  If I was a one amp and one headphone type person I'd probably go with the Luxman.

 

I look forward to hearing the GS-X if/when it gets done but for me I'm content with stopping at the ZDSE in terms of an HD800 match.  What I like about both the ZDSE (with the right tubes) and Luxman is that they are not dead nuts neutral amps but only slightly colored with enough current to drive the hd800 properly.  I think you guys have nailed it in terms of the tradeoffs and benefits between other amps mentioned.

post #80 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

To truly gain the experience you have to own both.

 

x2. I think the info provided here is pretty solid. More accurate and detailed than I've seen in other threads. Now all that's left is to listen to both.

post #81 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post

Short, sweet and expensive...:-)

 

 

Look at it this way.  If these are in fact the top two amps on your list.  (they maybe and they may not be - only you would know that)  You could get in on this GS-X run now.  Next year work on purchasing the βeta-22.  

 

Ying is very professional, he'll be there with you every step of the way - He delivers on the day / date he said he would at the start.

post #82 of 172

I'd say if you get it on this GS-X run it will still be a while before you get it...
 

May as well plan on nabbing both (that's what credit cards are for right?) if you can swing it and hanging onto the one you like best.


Edited by Mr.Sneis - 10/2/12 at 2:18pm
post #83 of 172

Mr.Sneis,

 

Just because you've be waiting for 3 years wink_face.gif  Don't mean we all will.  

 

It's coming.  I'm sure of it.

post #84 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post


Look at it this way.  If these are in fact the top two amps on your list.  (they maybe and they may not be - only you would know that)  You could get in on this GS-X run now.  Next year work on purchasing the βeta-22.  

Ying is very professional, he'll be there with you every step of the way - He delivers on the day / date he said he would at the start.

Preproman,

The good thing here is that if I purchase any of the three amps that I am considering (AMB Audio Sigma/Beta 22, DNA Stratus 2A3, or a HeadAmp GS-X) I will likely be quite happy.

All should be capable of augmenting my listening experience beyond the m903. Short of attending the Rocky Mountain meet, there are very few times other than buying and flipping where I will be able to listen and compare these amps. I don't think that I have the stomach for flipping. If any of you are attending the Rocky Mountain meet and listen to these three amps, I would love to hear your impressions.

I think the tube or solid state decision is more basic than the sonic differences between a Beta 22 and a GS-X. Tube amps attract me for their tune ability via tube rolling. I also am intrigued by the simplicity of the circuits. I also have experienced the "magic" of tubes in my guitar playing experience, albeit a different application than high fidelity audio. The cost of NOS tubes and their life is another consideration.

On the other hand, the engineer in me believes that class A, balanced, MOSFET/JFET solid state amps should perform to tighter specs. And provide a higher resolution listening experience in terms of musical detail.

I am a bit lost in which will provide the larger, deeper, more holographic soundstage between the two technologies? It may have more to do with the actual amp designs more than type of amp. I also unsure which will be the most enjoyable listening experience (subjective).

This thread has been extremely helpful and I truly appreciate all who have taken the time to participate. In the end, as much as it makes me uncomfortable; I will need to pick one based on imperfect information.

Bob
post #85 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Sneis View Post

I'd say if you get it on this GS-X run it will still be a while before you get it...

 
May as well plan on nabbing both (that's what credit cards are for right?) if you can swing it and hanging onto the one you like best.

I suppose that i could, but I still have two expensive guitars for sale....things are slow in this market and I don't want to add an amp to the list. I think that it is likely that I will enjoy either. It is only when you have both, side by side that distinctions and preferences would be understood.
post #86 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Sneis View Post

I love the HD800 but finding the right amp for them has been a serious several-years-long endeavor.  My top picks so far are the ZDSE and the Luxman P-1.  The ZDSE is a great fit and can match well with many other headphones.  Tube rolling is also a possibility if you want to find more coloration.  I think the P1-u is supposed to sound very close to the P-1 but I found the amp to be less versatile than the ZDSE with other headphones.  If I was a one amp and one headphone type person I'd probably go with the Luxman.

I look forward to hearing the GS-X if/when it gets done but for me I'm content with stopping at the ZDSE in terms of an HD800 match.  What I like about both the ZDSE (with the right tubes) and Luxman is that they are not dead nuts neutral amps but only slightly colored with enough current to drive the hd800 properly.  I think you guys have nailed it in terms of the tradeoffs and benefits between other amps mentioned.

So you own a tube (ZDSE) and a solid state amp (GS-X when it arrives). I have a fairly good SS amp/DAC (Grace m903) albeit not quite in the league of either that we have been discussing. One could argue that adding a tube amp like a DNA Stratus would provide me with contrasting listening experiences.

:-)
post #87 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post


So you own a tube (ZDSE) and a solid state amp (GS-X when it arrives). I have a fairly good SS amp/DAC (Grace m903) albeit not quite in the league of either that we have been discussing. One could argue that adding a tube amp like a DNA Stratus would provide me with contrasting listening experiences.
:-)

Exactly.  I learned quite some time ago, trying to find "the one" (whether it be a headphone,amp, source, combination of all, etc.) is a fools errand in this hobby.  Then again I'm not the type that would drop and sell everything I've got for a 009 + BHSE.

post #88 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

These are two different amps.  The GS-X is going to give you the utmost in transparency.  While the βeta-22 will add just a little of it's own color.  Now going off my old GS-1.  I had it and the βeta-22 at the same time.  For me.  The βeta-22 beat the GS-1 in the bass department.  

 

Mind you my βeta-22 is a 4 channel fully balanced design.  The GS-1 beat the βeta-22 in just about everything El's "technically"  The βeta-22 beat the GS-1 "IMHO" in enjoyment or should I say it was more fun to listen to.  This is with the HUD800s.  

 

With the LCD-2.2s I enjoyed these with the GS-1 the most.  That's because that headphone is already colored and the GS-1 just brought it to life.  It sounded good on the βeta-22 as well, but just a little to bassy for me.  The two amps compliment each other to the fullest.  I will have both.

Both the GS-1 and GS-X will only give you the amount of bass (with bloom) that's on the recording. Nothing more, nothing less to my ears. Some other amps like the B22 or my Liquid Fire do add a little colouration there. 

post #89 of 172

The Liquid Fire is somewhat dependent on the tubes used.

It can be quite neutral to slightly "fun" depending on the above.

 

My HD800's sound wonderful on the Liquid Fire, yet they seem to have something of a kinship with the SPL Phonitor.

(Something about the mid range presentation that just works for me with some music).

 

I could be quite happy with either amp + the HD800, but since I have both to choose from, I tend to pair the 800 with the Phonitor and the Liquid Fire with my LCD-3's.

 

Short of something like a change of DAC, I think I'm a pretty happy camper for a while (...of course I've said that before Lol!).

post #90 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamiee View Post

The Liquid Fire is somewhat dependent on the tubes used.

It can be quite neutral to slightly "fun" depending on the above.

 

My HD800's sound wonderful on the Liquid Fire, yet they seem to have something of a kinship with the SPL Phonitor.

(Something about the mid range presentation that just works for me with some music).

 

I could be quite happy with either amp + the HD800, but since I have both to choose from, I tend to pair the 800 with the Phonitor and the Liquid Fire with my LCD-3's.

 

Short of something like a change of DAC, I think I'm a pretty happy camper for a while (...of course I've said that before Lol!).

I wouldn't classify the Siemens E88CC tubes as "fun". But my comments previously were purely in comparative terms to the GS-X. In more absolute terms, I would classify the LF as a neutral amp.

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