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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 703

post #10531 of 24297
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieMcC View Post
 

Hi guys looking for some guidance on pricing with regard to purchasing a little used late 2013 pair of HD800's would £650 be considered a fair price?

 

TIA

 

Jamie

Great price, snap em up! 

post #10532 of 24297

Bottlehead Mainline has been praised here with HD800, but

can anyone share impressions of

 

BH Mainline vs  any of the following:

 

GS-X mk2

Taurus mk2

CMA800R

Liquid Glass

DNA Sonett

DNA Stratus

Balancing Act (BA)

 

or other ToTL 

 

Is it on the same league with say DNA Stratus or BA?

post #10533 of 24297
Quote:
Originally Posted by Priidik View Post
 

Bottlehead Mainline has been praised here with HD800, but

can anyone share impressions of

 

BH Mainline vs  any of the following:

 

GS-X mk2

Taurus mk2

CMA800R

Liquid Glass

DNA Sonett

DNA Stratus

Balancing Act (BA)

 

or other ToTL 

 

Is it on the same league with say DNA Stratus or BA?

 

I have heard most of those amplifiers with the HD800 except for mainline or the Liquid Glass). None would be a mistake. At that level it's going to be a very personal preference. My favorite have been GS-X mk2 because it just gets out of the way and lets the HD800 do all it can, plus is extremely versatile. The BA (and a modified EC Super 7)  were tied as my second favorite.  They didn't seem quite as transparent as the GS-X but they rounded off the HD800 just the slightest bit, while still maintaining the agility that I so love (and many tube amps hide).  Personally, I hate the hassle of tubes and the temptation to get into tube rolling, so the GS-X was the obvious choice for me.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post
 

I really wouldn't knock down the budget stuff with the HD800.  Just for giggles last night, I ran the FiiO X5 DAP line out into the Schiit Vali with the HD800 and was pleasantly surprised... dynamic, engaging and fun!

 

To use the often quoted line.  The HD800 scales really well.  At the $1800 price point,  I wrote that the HE-500 + the right electronics might be my preference.  That's because I think $300 for DAC and amp *might* hold the HD800 back enough that significantly better DAC/Amp might let the HE-500 catch up. But from a couple hundred dollars more, $2k and on, I don't think there is anything that can match the HD800 + electronics until you hit $7k for just the amp and headphones (e.g. Stax SR-009).

 

--Mark

post #10534 of 24297
Quote:

Originally Posted by verber View Post

 

None would be a mistake. At that level it's going to be a very personal preference.

 

I think it's hard to overemphasize this part. :rolleyes: 

 

 

BTW - I agree with your reasoning concerning systems and their price points. The HD800 needs some good gear behind it to really shine, otherwise I prefer other headphones. Or is that a "personal preference" too? :biggrin:


Edited by TwoEars - 5/13/14 at 9:13am
post #10535 of 24297
Quote:
Originally Posted by Priidik View Post
 

Bottlehead Mainline has been praised here with HD800, but

can anyone share impressions of

 

BH Mainline vs  any of the following:

 

GS-X mk2

Taurus mk2

CMA800R

Liquid Glass

DNA Sonett

DNA Stratus

Balancing Act (BA)

 

or other ToTL 

 

Is it on the same league with say DNA Stratus or BA?

Is the mainline 1199 dollars for the kit or for the finished product? 

post #10536 of 24297

The HD800 with my Little Dot Mk 3 sounds absolutely wonderful - ONLY if you love tube rolling. The versatility of this little amp with tube rolling is astounding and the HD800 will gladly scale along with it. The best part is you don't really have to spend too much on a pairing amp and most tubes which provide decent sounds are relatively affordable. 

post #10537 of 24297
Mark have you tried the seen HDVD 600 OR 800 AS AN AMP
al
Edited by ALRAINBOW - 5/13/14 at 10:05am
post #10538 of 24297
Quote:
Originally Posted by verber View Post
 

 

I have heard most of those amplifiers with the HD800 except for mainline or the Liquid Glass). None would be a mistake. At that level it's going to be a very personal preference. My favorite have been GS-X mk2 because it just gets out of the way and lets the HD800 do all it can, plus is extremely versatile. The BA (and a modified EC Super 7)  were tied as my second favorite.  They didn't seem quite as transparent as the GS-X but they rounded off the HD800 just the slightest bit, while still maintaining the agility that I so love (and many tube amps hide).  Personally, I hate the hassle of tubes and the temptation to get into tube rolling, so the GS-X was the obvious choice for me.

 

 

To use the often quoted line.  The HD800 scales really well.  At the $1800 price point,  I wrote that the HE-500 + the right electronics might be my preference.  That's because I think $300 for DAC and amp *might* hold the HD800 back enough that significantly better DAC/Amp might let the HE-500 catch up. But from a couple hundred dollars more, $2k and on, I don't think there is anything that can match the HD800 + electronics until you hit $7k for just the amp and headphones (e.g. Stax SR-009).

 

--Mark

Can you tell me why you didn't like about the Taurus Mk.2?

 

I have one now and trying to decide if going with a Stratus of Eddie Currant 2A3 Mk.II is worth it.

post #10539 of 24297
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post
 

Can you tell me why you didn't like about the Taurus Mk.2?

 

I have one now and trying to decide if going with a Stratus of Eddie Currant 2A3 Mk.II is worth it.

 

You can get a cheaper tube amp first "to get a feel for the flavor".

 

Second hand DNA Sonett 1's are selling cheap here on head-fi and are wonderful with the HD800. Fast, dynamic, transparent, and with a big soundstage.

post #10540 of 24297
Quote:
Originally Posted by Priidik View Post
 

Bottlehead Mainline has been praised here with HD800, but

can anyone share impressions of

 

BH Mainline vs  any of the following:

 

GS-X mk2

Taurus mk2

CMA800R

Liquid Glass

DNA Sonett

DNA Stratus

Balancing Act (BA)

 

or other ToTL 

 

Is it on the same league with say DNA Stratus or BA?

 

The Liquid Glass pairs beautifully with the HD800. Most tubes sound very good to excellent.  A few are extraordinary (Siemens Cca; Amperex Pinched Waists).

post #10541 of 24297
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoEars View Post
 

 

You can get a cheaper tube amp first "to get a feel for the flavor".

 

Second hand DNA Sonett 1's are selling cheap here on head-fi and are wonderful with the HD800. Fast, dynamic, transparent, and with a big soundstage.

Thank, good suggestion. I also own a Woo WA6SE which I plan to try as well. I am very interested in the stratus and the wait time seems to continue to grow. So buying a Sonnett to check out may make a lot of sense


Edited by rydenfan - 5/13/14 at 1:57pm
post #10542 of 24297
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post
 

Can you tell me why you didn't like about the Taurus Mk.2?

 

I have one now and trying to decide if going with a Stratus of Eddie Currant 2A3 Mk.II is worth it.

 

As I said earlier to the list you provided: None of those amplifier would be a mistake, they would all be excellent. At that level (I was talking SQ, not price or performance/cost) it's going to be a very personal preference.  There was nothing I recall disliking about the Taurus... or any of the other amplifiers. I could have been happy with any of them.  Actually, I could have been happy with my Headamp GS-1... until I heard the GS-X mk2,  Super 7, and BA. I first listened to these amplifiers within a few weeks of each other. They were the first amplifiers that really lifted my experience over the GS-1 (which I think of as a forgotten treasure).

 

I listened to other amplifiers after these three. Some in my home, some at meets or mini-meets. They may, or may not be as good as say the Super 7 for me because I expect adaptive hedonism is at play. To make me go wow, the Super 7 just needed to beat my GS-1.  Once I heard the Super 7, an amplifier would have to beat the Super 7 for me to say "wow", and even an amplifier which is just as good I might not rate as highly as the Super 7 because connected to the Super 7 is the first hearing which gives it some extra points.  [This is why I try to do blind A/B tests, though I didn't get a chance to do that will all of these amplifiers.]

 

The GS-X mk2 seemed to let the HD800 be all that it can be.  It's strengths shine. It's weaknesses are still present but not encouraged.  (I typically don't try to characterize the HD800... I am not as good as others in putting what I hear into worlds. I think two reviews that capture most of what I hear are David Mahler's Battle of the Flagship Headphones and Innerfidelity's Comparing World Class Headphones: HD800.  I will give it a shoot here anyway...)

 

Earlier someone said they thought of the HD800 as a race car.  I think that is a great analogy.  I think the GS-X mk2 more than any other amplifier I have used lets the race car go as fast as it can.  It's a thrilling and exciting ride, but it's not always the most comfortable. I think the tremble of the HD800 is amazing but slightly elevated. Lesser amps seem to either tone down the tremble which remove some of the air, agility, coherence, or they seem to make it worse resulting in the HD800 sounding bright and in the worst case sibilant.  I felt the GS-X mk2 just gave it to me, wire with gain.  Whatever was there I got to hear, clear as a bell.  Sometimes wondrous.  Sometimes annoying.  Always brutally  truthful.

 

I like the Super 7 and BA for slightly different reasons.   I thought they took the slightest edge off the HD800 (the elevated tremble, it's somewhat unforgiving nature) at just a tiny cost to what I think of as transparency and agility.  As a result I found the HD800 easier to enjoy at the cost of feeling like I might sometimes be missing something.  What am I missing? Sometimes it's something that would be unpleasant.  Sometimes it might be an extremely subtle feature that would bring me delight.

 

My personal preference is brute honesty, hence my love of the GS-X mk2.

 

--Mark


Edited by verber - 5/13/14 at 3:45pm
post #10543 of 24297

Mark,

 

I think you wanted to say "treble".  I could be wrong.  :biggrin:

post #10544 of 24297
My guess is in 100 years time the HD800 will sound like the HD800 on the best amp/dac of that time.
post #10545 of 24297
Only if they have the very best cables hahahaha. I just had to say that. !!! just kidding
Al
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