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LCD-3 / HD-800 amp - Page 3

post #31 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by gavtorn View Post

I also heard the wa-22, wa-2, liquid fire - which were all better than the soloist - also more expensive.

 

This comes down to the goal.  I found the Soloist better than the WA22, LF, B22 and GS-1 I had in house.  Terrible match for the LCD-3 and HD800 though, too laid back.  Of the amps I've had only the Peak really worked for both assuming you want an engaging sound without tipping into bright, shouty or fatiguing.  Peak with the Hytron 5692 for the LCD-3, Sylvania 6SN7W for the HD800.

post #32 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

 

This comes down to the goal.  I found the Soloist better than the WA22, LF, B22 and GS-1 I had in house.  Terrible match for the LCD-3 and HD800 though, too laid back.  Of the amps I've had only the Peak really worked for both assuming you want an engaging sound without tipping into bright, shouty or fatiguing.  Peak with the Hytron 5692 for the LCD-3, Sylvania 6SN7W for the HD800.

 

I loved the laid back combo of the LCD-3 paired with the stratus :)  Other SS amps I heard were too forward for me.  I guess it comes down to personal preference...  I only moved on from the burson when I heard a much more expensive amp and was able to save the cash for it ;)

post #33 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post


It is flat out the best dynamic amp I've heard, no doubt. The LF is a fantastic amp but if you have patience to find the perfect tube for each of your cans the LG beats it hands down.

It just that good. The whole idea behind it is to be as transparent as possible while voicing only the tubes you give it. So you hear each tube.

Basically, what dmcs said. smily_headphones1.gif

This is why I own the LF.  I have zero patience for tube rolling.  I would love to hear the GS-X mkII. 

post #34 of 204

The GS family of amps are the ultimate in transparency IMO.  It don't get any better than that..

post #35 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

The GS family of amps are the ultimate in transparency IMO.  It don't get any better than that..

Agreed!

post #36 of 204

Interesting!

I've recently got the HD800, and am currently considering adding a LCD-2/3 to my collection.

 

So far I only have low-end amp/dac, so I've been looking around the local dealers to try to listen to a few before I drop what _I_ consider a lot of money on a decent amp and possibly dac.

 

So my scope is pretty much that I will be going for something I can try before I buy it, and that kinda limits my options since I'm based in Oslo, Norway.

 

I've spent some time listening to the Sennheiser HDVD800, Antelope Zodiac, Lehmann BCL USB in a store, and for what my limited experience tells me the HDVD800 is nice but felt like it lacked some of the bass response, the zodiac was absolutely great but it didn't have enough power for the HD800 without lots of gain, and the BCL usb I tried must have been faulty or possibly the USB/DAC part was really crap compared to the HDVD800/Zodiac? I found the BCL to sound awfull compared to the others and think that's rather weird considering the positive reviews of HD800+BCL I've seen.

I did not have a chance to try the amp part of them with the same DAC which I guess makes comparing them a bit tricky...

 

I also got to borrow a Fostex HP-A8C for a few days, and alltho I had some issues with USB connection it worked very well over TOSlink.

Again some of the issues I felt I noticed with the Zodiac, not enough power without gain...

 

I'm hoping to be able to compare a few amps/dacs in a store sometime next week;

Burson Soloist

Burson Conductor

Schiit Mjolnir

MyTek Stereo192

Fostex HP-A8C

Auralic Taurus

 

I'm wondering if any of you have tried any of those with both the HD800 and LCD-2/3?

Is there anything in particular I should be aware of, something I should pay extra attention to etc?

 

I'm pretty new at this so any suggestions are welcome, also if you can point me to some resources on how to best compare amps and headphones(there is only so many hours in the day and just too many good threads on head-fi to cover them all... :P) :-)

post #37 of 204

Definitely worth considering is whether you prefer your music presented in a detailed-and-neutral fashion, or a slightly more musical (but not necessarily any less detailed) way when choosing the kind of amp to buy. Personally, after experimenting with both (with both headphones) I would now choose a top tube amp for preference, but only very just, since I'd want the best of both worlds.

post #38 of 204
Quote:
I also got to borrow a Fostex HP-A8C for a few days, and alltho I had some issues with USB connection it worked very well over TOSlink.

Again some of the issues I felt I noticed with the Zodiac, not enough power without gain...

 

 

What do you mean by "not enough power without gain"?

According to this guy, the amp on max gain can drive HE6. It shouldn't have any problem with Hd800:

http://www.headfonia.com/creme-de-la-creme-fostex-hp-a8/

 

How did you compare Sennheiser HDVD800, Antelope Zodiac? Usb/coax input? Windows/Mac? Zodiac+ / Gold?

 

You should add to that list

Grace m903

Teac UD-501

 

PS

Mjolnir / Soloist / Taurus are Amp only (without Dac section)

post #39 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceausuc View Post

What do you mean by "not enough power without gain"?
According to this guy, the amp on max gain can drive HE6. It shouldn't have any problem with Hd800:
http://www.headfonia.com/creme-de-la-creme-fostex-hp-a8/

How did you compare Sennheiser HDVD800, Antelope Zodiac? Usb/coax input? Windows/Mac? Zodiac+ / Gold?

You should add to that list
Grace m903
Teac UD-501

PS
Mjolnir / Soloist / Taurus are Amp only (without Dac section)

Yeah I read that article, in fact it was what made me go look for the Fostex in the first place :-)

On max gain I guess it could work fine? I did not experiment much with adding gain as I _feel_ it distorts, but this could just as easily be caused by bad source I suppose.
I have the same problem with my FiiO E17 portable amp/dac, where adding gain seems to increase noise.
I spent a total of 4 days with the Fostex, 3+3+5+9h listening sessions at home with the HD800 I recently got, and most of that time the volume was at max or -5/6 dB with 0 gain and I felt I wanted more.
The lows are actually much clearer on my onboard soundcard on a Asus P6Tv2 motherboard(AD2000B chip IIRC), alltho the general "resolution" and clarity leaves something to be desired of the onboard audio... also there is a lot of noise coming from the card which is why I am looking for a separate amp
For the duration I borrowed the Fostex I only had the chance to compare it to Onkyo TX-SR608, FiiO E17 and the onboard sound on P6Tv2, not exactly ideal, I know...
On a side note all but the E17 seemed to have more noise when I tried them with my Shure SE-535 IEM's just to compare, and every one sounded fine in the Sennheiser HD280Pro(64 ohm)'s I have. (but the 280's sound sooo bad when compared to HD800 its's not even fun...)

The Sennheiser HDVD800 vs. Antelope Zodiac Gold + Volticus was tested in a listening room in a local store that sells them for about 3 hours, with Sennheiser HD800 and Beyer T1 cans.
On a separate occasion in the same store I compared HDVD800 vs. Zodiac (plain normal) + Volticus (they didn't have the stock power supply available at the time) vs. Lehmann BCL USB but that was more like an hour because too many other people came by the store and I frequently got interrupted, I didn't feel i could do them justice and plan to return some other time.
Both times, USB input via a Mac, some of the music was 16/44.1 FLAC, some Spotify premium and some Qobuz high quality streaming, with various music (I can't remember my exact tracklist).

I would indeed want to try the m903 and UD-501 but I don't know any local stores that sell them so getting my hands on them for comparing will be problematic...

I am aware that the Mjolnir, Soloist and Taurus are all amps without DAC.
I started out not knowing much at all about my options, and the guys at the first store where I got my HD800's (and listened to the HDVD800/Zodiac/BCL USB) suggested the all-in-one's we've discussed.
After reading a bit here on head-fi I'm starting to lean towards buying separate amp and dac, as this leaves me with the option of switching out single components later. (I have no illusions about one of those 3-in-1 units being my last and final amp/preamp/amp...)
Also since I'm inexperienced in comparing audio gear I think that it's probably easier for me to tell if the amp sounds better or worse than others, if I can compare them using the same DAC.

Sorry if I come across a bit defensive, I'm rather new at this and could use all the help I can get when trying to decide which amp/dac/3-in-1 unit to get :-)
And just to be clear, it is my understanding that the HD800 is relatively easy to drive compared to the likes of LCD-2/3, HE6 etc..., and they are on my list of things I'm probably going to get to supplement the HD800 for different music, I would like an amp that pairs well with both so I'm a bit sceptic to the ones that I _feel_ isn't doing the HD800 justice.

While I'm at it, and sorry for repeating myself: I've been trying to find a thread about techniques/best practises for how to compare headphones, DACs and amps in the best way but haven't really found the kinda "howto" guide for beginners I was hoping for, - any suggestions?
post #40 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by CybDev View Post


I spent a total of 4 days with the Fostex, 3+3+5+9h listening sessions at home with the HD800 I recently got, and most of that time the volume was at max or -5/6 dB with 0 gain and I felt I wanted more.


While I'm at it, and sorry for repeating myself: I've been trying to find a thread about techniques/best practises for how to compare headphones, DACs and amps in the best way but haven't really found the kinda "howto" guide for beginners I was hoping for, - any suggestions?

 

So you didn't play with the gain settings on the Fostex? That is too bad because is a feature that many amps offer so playing with it should be normal 'testing'.

The BCL is considered a good amp so probably its dac is not a good one.

 

You should start by reading  these forums for a while, you will understand better how are headphones different and what amps people like to use with them. Most people only use one Hi End headphone and build a system around that.

HD800 is easy to drive hi impedance, planars are power hungry low impedance so if an amp will drive HD800 well doesn't mean will do the same for planars.

If you want an amp that can drive them all from T1 to HE6 you have very few options and these are not cheap.

 

Then there is the 'synergy' thing:

For instance some headphones are brighter (HD800) that others (LCDs) and so are amps. Bright Headphone + Bright Amp = NO LOVE :)

 

The usual advice around here is to try as many components as you can, both headphones and electronics and then decide.

As for separates or one dac/amp *I think* it depends on your budget: if > 1.5-2k separates should be preferred as these could give you better performance. But that is no rule. There are no rules on head-fi:)

post #41 of 204

Interesting,

 

Anybody has compared Teac UD-501 with Fostex HP-A8 here?

post #42 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by myc View Post

Interesting,

 

Anybody has compared Teac UD-501 with Fostex HP-A8 here?

 

The Teac is pretty new so there not much info about it.

But since you are in Japan maybe you could help us understand this review here:)

http://www.phileweb.com/review/article/201211/20/664.html

post #43 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceausuc View Post

So you didn't play with the gain settings on the Fostex? That is too bad because is a feature that many amps offer so playing with it should be normal 'testing'.
The BCL is considered a good amp so probably its dac is not a good one.

You should start by reading  these forums for a while, you will understand better how are headphones different and what amps people like to use with them. Most people only use one Hi End headphone and build a system around that.
HD800 is easy to drive hi impedance, planars are power hungry low impedance so if an amp will drive HD800 well doesn't mean will do the same for planars.
If you want an amp that can drive them all from T1 to HE6 you have very few options and these are not cheap.

Then there is the 'synergy' thing:
For instance some headphones are brighter (HD800) that others (LCDs) and so are amps. Bright Headphone + Bright Amp = NO LOVE smily_headphones1.gif

The usual advice around here is to try as many components as you can, both headphones and electronics and then decide.
As for separates or one dac/amp *I think* it depends on your budget: if > 1.5-2k separates should be preferred as these could give you better performance. But that is no rule. There are no rules on head-fi:)

I played with the gain settings very briefly, it didn't take me very long to notice the difference, so I didn't spend a lot of time checking if it was present on all tracks or just the one.
(the HP-A8C has gain settings available via the remote, so no need to disconnect things to get at switches or flip it upside down or anything)

Most of the 3-in-1 units I've looked at so far are $1800(BCL USB) - $3300(Zodiac) anyway, and it seems I can get away with buying a half decent amp and dac separately for about the same price.
(sucks living in Norway...)
I'm thinking if I get a proper amp with a neutral sound, not too bright and not too dark, it could pair well with both HD800 and possibly some more "musical" cans as well.
post #44 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by CybDev View Post

I'm thinking if I get a proper amp with a neutral sound, not too bright and not too dark, it could pair well with both HD800 and possibly some more "musical" cans as well.

You think the HD800 not musical?

post #45 of 204

For LCD3s the Mjolnir beats all my past/present including the recently sold ECBA. 

For HD800s, I slightly preferred the ECBA over the Mjolnir.

Please do bear in mind that the Mjolnir is very neutral and source sensitive.

A lot of people have found it to be on the brighter side, though that's not my impression at all. I found it very transparent, dynamic and a perfect match with the LCD3s. IMHO, obviously.

 

My newly ordered Apex Pinnacle should arrive by the end of this month (very_evil_smiley.gif) and will see how it compares to the Mjolnir.

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