I just got a new pair of HD800 a week ago and currently I'm ampping them by my Benchmark DAC1 HDR.
I had to admit right out of box the highs from this combo is too much for my ears to bear and I had to play with Foobar's EQ to make it listenable. However, after about 30ish hrs of play time, the treble improved dramatically to listenable levels and I start to love the HD800 and see the great potential of a good amp HD800 pairing. At this moment, I love the overall presentation of the HD800 and its smooth yet very fast response to the music I listen to. However, I still think the highs of my current set up is just a bit too much for my liking and I'm currently looking for another SS amp that doesn't have an overly bright signature. The DAC1 HDR is probably just too neutral, and adding HD800 to it there is no magic happening if you get what I'm saying :P
I've searching through the forum for the past week and looking for people who have gone through similar steps and many is recommending the tube route, I have nothing against tubes but I really hate the hassle of tube rolling for a certain signature(been there done that with a Little Dot which is now sold). I'm OK with my current HDR and HD800 pairing, I can live with it, but I just want a bit more musically from the headphones, not by much, just a bit more.
I'm planning to use the balanced out from the DAC1 to whatever amp I'll be getting, so I'm not changing the source. Here is my short list:
1) The new Bryston BHP whatever
2) The Mjolnir from Shiit
3) Woo WE22 if it has to be... but I will be using the stock tubes only.
I almost pulled the trigger for the Bryston but figured I should consult with the community first and maybe there is a better choice out there for my budget? ($800-$2000 the cheaper the better :D) I mainly listen to Classical, Jazz, Piano, occasionally Pop, Rock when I want some noise.
Thanks for any advise!!