I recently attended a meet this weekend where I got to try my HD800 with a few other amps to include the Violectric V200, Burson Soloist SL, and a custom one off boutique tube amp. It was a good experience to put in perspective the performance of my current amp.
That being said, I was quite shocked by the synergy of the junior Burson amp with the HD800. I had initially listened to it to get an idea of the Burson house sound but still expected my current amp to readily stomp all over it. This was not the case however. The Soloist SL just had a far more organic and natural sound. It gave the HD800 a certain wholeness across the frequency range and also pulled off something else which really surprised me.
If anyone recalls some of my previous posts about how I prefer using crossfeed DSP, with the Soloist SL, I actually thought it sounded better without the crossfeed enabled. The Burson pulled off a very accurate and convincing soundstage with no apparent fatiguing over separation. It wasn't the most expansive or out of head I've ever heard but it just felt extremely right. In contrast, the boutique $4k-ish tube amp threw out a holographic out of head soundstage that was unreal (literally) but felt it may have been almost too airy and ethereal for all genres of music. The Burson just sounded right with everything I threw at it. Needless to say I now feel the need to buy the full size Soloist to see what I'm missing but I may have to sell my Nuwave DAC to afford it.
My SA-31 sounded pretty phenomenal with the LCD-3 which doesn't surprise me. It's a very spacious sounding amp which I think benefits the Audeze house sound. I think with the HD800 it's just too distant sounding on some tracks and the Soloist SL really added some nice midrange intimacy and midbass punch.
Ironically, I originally planned to buy the Soloist earlier but bought the Nuwave instead because I thought the Soloist would be a lateral move from my current amp. Boy, was I wrong. And I listened to it AFTER the V200. The V200 also had an excellent synergy with the HD800 and I also liked it more than my current amp with the HD800. It was silky smooth sounding and had a certain "boogie" factor to it. Ultimately I preferred the Burson's synergy with the HD800. I got to listen to both the Soloist SL and V200 on my own source/DAC to eliminate variables. Even the guy with the megabuck tube amp was rather impressed and surprised by the Burson.
I also got to listen to my HD800 on a Mjolnir/Gungnir with Wavelegth Proton USB converter. The Schiit Stack seemed a little too aggressive and forward for my taste. And also WA22 with Yamaha A-S2000 SACD Player; Both balanced. I preferred V200 and Soloist to both but they weren't with my source gear and music for better evaluation. Unfortunately the person with the Apex Peak/Volcano didn't make the meet so I didn't get to listen to it. The WA22 was exceptionally clean sounding but something about the sound just didn't really grab me like the others with the HD800.
So in conclusion, the Soloist SL was the star of the show for me and whoever was asking about if it's sufficient to drive HD800, worry not, it drives it just fine and with excellent synergy. And that volume pot is buttery smooth and easy to dial in very minute adjustments. I really can't wait to get my hands on the full size soloist now. Though I'm still weary of minute adjustment with stepped attenuator.