- 4,267 Posts. Joined 6/2012
- Location: Ireland
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As I promised that I would report in after directly comparing on my WA22.
To my ears, the common HD800(#24361), that both I and Sonido listened to, does not sound any difference than mine(#26614). Our minds and bias are indeed powerful.
Sad but true!
Yes, bifrost and WA2 would be another combo right at your price point.
I had taboo MKIII for a little bit. The amp sounded great with HD800 but unfortunately, I had other associated problems that I ended up returning the Taboo to Steve. Super customer service, IMO.
What about solid state?
I have only listened to SS above $1500 price point so I can't comment. My $170 Emotiva is excellent for HE500 but doesn't pair well with HD800 in my set up.
Sonido recently put the quickie and crack in front of the Emotiva and according to him, he got pretty good synergy with this chain for his HD800. I also tried putting my Woo WA22 => Emotiva => HD800. It did sound better but to my ears, not optimal even in comparison to WA22 alone. I personally found tube amps more suitable for
HD800 and my taste. Btw, Glenn can make you an OTL for the HD800. There are quite a few happy owners of Glenn's amps driving HD800's. Check the thread out.
$1500 is pretty good for DAC/amp combo. I have found that HD800 is very amp "sensitive" but not as picky like others have suggested. Even from a low end amp, HD800 will still sound like HD800; it has a very strong sound signature. Take your time and look around.
Thanks for all your recommendations. I gather these headphones work best with tubes, which is something I wanted to avoid but now am not sure I should.
It is difficult to make a decision without the opportunity of listening to the gear first -which is impossible here- and at the prices involved one really cannot afford to make the wrong one.