Originally Posted by brunk
Why exclude yourself from the many wonderful single-ended options? There's so much more to choose from, and frankly quite a bit of them beat the pants off a "balanced" setup too.
I haven't found the same... every balanced setup I've managed to listen to has always sounded better than the single-ended setups I've tried. That's not to say I haven't heard some fantastic single-ended systems, but for some reason I always seem to prefer a balanced setup. They just appear to present a fuller soundstage to me, eg. my opinion.
I'm not sure if it's something to do with my hearing, but I also prefer solid state over tube amplifiers. Everything I've read tells me that a tube amp is likely to have the best synergy with my HD800s, yet every time I listen to one, it seems slightly off-putting to me. Strange, I know.
Maybe one day things will change. I'm actually half-tempted to purchase a used but well recommended tube setup and give it a longer listening to than the limited time I've been able to spend with systems at meets. I'm sure part of it is me still adjusting to the nuances I'm now discovering since I've owned the HD800s. I'm a believer that you aren't necessarily born an audiophile, but you start off as an enthusiast who eventually learns to listen for things that you never previously recognized.
That said, it could be that my hearing is fubar and nowhere near the norm that most Head-fiers seem to experience. I do still hear the differences between my DT770s, other mid and low end headphones and my HD800s, and I definitely hear and recognize the HD800 as superior. I'm content knowing that I hear things differently, but happy that I still get to enjoy what the HD800s have to offer.