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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 484

post #7246 of 12085
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDCollector View Post
 

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.

Based on your location and circumstances, I personally would go with solid state too.  The Sein HDVD800 DAC/Amp is a little above your budget but maybe keep an eye out for a used one?  Then, there's $900 Woo WA7 DAC/Amp which I have personally listened to.  It sounds wonderful with HD800 but it's also a tube amp(much less tube rolling though)

post #7247 of 12085
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post
 

Based on your location and circumstances, I personally would go with solid state too.  The Sein HDVD800 DAC/Amp is a little above your budget but maybe keep an eye out for a used one?  Then, there's $900 Woo WA7 DAC/Amp which I have personally listened to.  It sounds wonderful with HD800 but it's also a tube amp(much less tube rolling though)

 

I've looked at the Sennheiser amp/DAC but oddly enough have not encountered too many references. One could expect it to suit these headphones particularly well. Anyone here actually uses it?

post #7248 of 12085
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post
 

Based on your location and circumstances, I personally would go with solid state too.  The Sein HDVD800 DAC/Amp is a little above your budget but maybe keep an eye out for a used one?  Then, there's $900 Woo WA7 DAC/Amp which I have personally listened to.  It sounds wonderful with HD800 but it's also a tube amp(much less tube rolling though)

you can always test drive the HDVD800 from Crutchfield risk free for a month.  It is a little bit above your budget, but you might find out it is all you need.

post #7249 of 12085
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7ryder View Post

you can always test drive the HDVD800 from Crutchfield risk free for a month.  It is a little bit above your budget, but you might find out it is all you need.
I could be wrong, but I doubt Crutchfield sells to Colombia.

As far as solid state with HD800 under $1000 (to fit with Concero $600) I haven't heard anything I would say is as good as the CSP2+, not even close. The Mjolnir is a good option on a budget, but if you can handle tubes, the CSP2+ is significantly better for the extra price. Otherwise I would say go with a Matrix M-Stage HPA-2 (~$280) and save your pennies for eventual Headamp GS-X 2 (~$2800), the only high end solid state that can hang with tube amps (have not heard Cavalli Liquid Gold, but at $6500, it's well beyond my limit). Concero + HPA-2 if you must go solid state. The Concero HP is a good alternative for slightly worse sound in a microscopic package size and it is a little cheaper than the Concero + HPA-2 combo.
post #7250 of 12085

Great to hear that the Decware amp is top notch because I have no intention of buying any additional tube amps so it's my CSP3 for the long haul.  The Bottlehead amps are highly regarded when paired with a HD800.  Did you ever get a chance to hear one of them with a HD800?

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

I could be wrong, but I doubt Crutchfield sells to Colombia.

As far as solid state with HD800 under $1000 (to fit with Concero $600) I haven't heard anything I would say is as good as the CSP2+, not even close. The Mjolnir is a good option on a budget, but if you can handle tubes, the CSP2+ is significantly better for the extra price. Otherwise I would say go with a Matrix M-Stage HPA-2 (~$280) and save your pennies for eventual Headamp GS-X 2 (~$2800), the only high end solid state that can hang with tube amps (have not heard Cavalli Liquid Gold, but at $6500, it's well beyond my limit). Concero + HPA-2 if you must go solid state. The Concero HP is a good alternative for slightly worse sound in a microscopic package size and it is a little cheaper than the Concero + HPA-2 combo.
post #7251 of 12085
Not with the HD800. I heard one with HD650 off Bottlehead's tape rig at RMAF 2011 and was completely underwhelmed. I believe it was a Crack w/ Speedball, but it could have been the standard. I don't recall. I don't intend to own a Bottlehead product based on that experience. I'd be willing to give one another try at a meet/etc, though.

The CSP2+ is excellent, but I don't doubt there are other tube amps just beyond it's price point that can bypass it. I've never heard a Zana Duex and that is one of the most popular HD800 amps at that price point. I'm not as anti-tube rolling as I was a year ago, but I'd still rather not bother with it, so above the Bryston BHA-1, there is almost nothing solid state except DIY or GS-X2, which happened to be a perfect match. The other SS options like the Bakoon and Liquid Gold are more than I am comfortable spending.
post #7252 of 12085

What I like about the Decware amp is that one could go with stock tubes and be happy for a long time.  

 

I'm thinking the V200 will work well with the HD800.  I believe the designer uses the HD800 as his testing headphone with this amp.  I owned one in the past and it was pretty good with the planars.  The shortcoming was mainly in soundstage width.  HD800 has some width to spare.  Plus this amp can be had for $700-900 on the used market.  If it doesn't sound as good as my tube amp I'll let you know.  Since I am just getting it on loan there will be no purchase bias :D.  I'm not expecting miracles as the owner said he still preferred tube amps but he liked the V200 as a solid state alternative.

  

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Not with the HD800. I heard one with HD650 off Bottlehead's tape rig at RMAF 2011 and was completely underwhelmed. I believe it was a Crack w/ Speedball, but it could have been the standard. I don't recall. I don't intend to own a Bottlehead product based on that experience. I'd be willing to give one another try at a meet/etc, though.

The CSP2+ is excellent, but I don't doubt there are other tube amps just beyond it's price point that can bypass it. I've never heard a Zana Duex and that is one of the most popular HD800 amps at that price point. I'm not as anti-tube rolling as I was a year ago, but I'd still rather not bother with it, so above the Bryston BHA-1, there is almost nothing solid state except DIY or GS-X2, which happened to be a perfect match. The other SS options like the Bakoon and Liquid Gold are more than I am comfortable spending.
post #7253 of 12085
Quote:
Originally Posted by WNBC View Post
 

The V200 is a great amp, and is incredibly versatile. Good German pairing all around. :tongue:

post #7254 of 12085
I will have a Violectric V181 balanced amp and V800 balanced DAC to try in a week or so. I am looking forward to trying their gear as I've never heard any of it before.
post #7255 of 12085
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Not with the HD800. I heard one with HD650 off Bottlehead's tape rig at RMAF 2011 and was completely underwhelmed. I believe it was a Crack w/ Speedball, but it could have been the standard. I don't recall. I don't intend to own a Bottlehead product based on that experience. I'd be willing to give one another try at a meet/etc, though.

I own a few Bottlehead products in the Crack and Quickie. I also used to own the Woo Audio WA7, the only other tube amp I've tried. I also used to have the HD700, and I found the WA7 to sound slightly better than the Crack for the HD700. The Crack did sound better for my Beyerdynamic T90 than WA7. I have sold both the HD700 and WA7 since, so I can't compare directly or use the WA7 with HD800. I got the Bottlehead Quickie later on to use for my speaker amp setup for my HE-500. I got my HD800 about a week ago, and really only had the Crack to drive them, and it sounded okay. Out of curiously, I tried the HD800 with my HE-500 setup (Quickie + Emotiva), and while it had some noise floor issues, I was quite surprised when it sounded better than the Crack for the HD800! For one the sound became much more intimate and engaging, especially vocals. I reported this find on the Bottlehead forums and was encouraged to try the Quickie with the Crack. I was hesitant at first because I had never heard of using a preamp with a headphone amp, but to my surprise, not only did it sound even better than Quickie + Emotiva, it had a dead silent noise floor. So right now I'm using Quickie + Crack to drive my HD800, and it's sounding very musical and engaging. Comparing Quickie + Crack with Crack alone for the HD800, the difference is quite significant. I tried the HD800 with just the Emotiva alone, and as others have reported with that pairing, it sounded pretty bad. But the fact the Quickie + Emotiva was even better than Crack alone for the HD800, and also the significant improvement from adding the Quickie to the Crack made, has me concluding that the Quickie is pulling a lot a weight in the sound of my chain for the HD800.

post #7256 of 12085
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
 

I own a few Bottlehead products in the Crack and Quickie. I also used to own the Woo Audio WA7, the only other tube amp I've tried. I also used to have the HD700, and I found the WA7 to sound slightly better than the Crack for the HD700. The Crack did sound better for my Beyerdynamic T90 than WA7. I have sold both the HD700 and WA7 since, so I can't compare directly or use the WA7 with HD800. I got the Bottlehead Quickie later on to use for my speaker amp setup for my HE-500. I got my HD800 about a week ago, and really only had the Crack to drive them, and it sounded okay. Out of curiously, I tried the HD800 with my HE-500 setup (Quickie + Emotiva), and while it had some noise floor issues, I was quite surprised when it sounded better than the Crack for the HD800! For one the sound became much more intimate and engaging, especially vocals. I reported this find on the Bottlehead forums and was encouraged to try the Quickie with the Crack. I was hesitant at first because I had never heard of using a preamp with a headphone amp, but to my surprise, not only did it sound even better than Quickie + Emotiva, it had a dead silent noise floor. So right now I'm using Quickie + Crack to drive my HD800, and it's sounding very musical and engaging. Comparing Quickie + Crack with Crack alone for the HD800, the difference is quite significant. I tried the HD800 with just the Emotiva alone, and as others have reported with that pairing, it sounded pretty bad. But the fact the Quickie + Emotiva was even better than Crack alone for the HD800, and also the significant improvement from adding the Quickie to the Crack made, has me concluding that the Quickie is pulling a lot a weight in the sound of my chain for the HD800.

 

Just a suggestion, try a higher end DAC and connect it directly to the Crack. 

post #7257 of 12085
http://youtu.be/Zvireu2SGZM

Watch this before spending more than you need on a dac/amp . I've personally got the HDVD800 but I brought it with my eyes open and for other reasons other than just SQ. It sounds perfect with the 800s , I'm completely happy with it and have no need to buy any more components. It is an electronic device that gets the most out of the 800s, no more , no less.
post #7258 of 12085

The V200/HD800 pairing is of interest to me, as I feel I may be reaching my limit with the Lyr. None of my tubes seem to kill off the treble spike and I have to resort to digital EQ to get it to non-fatiguing levels.

 

I have a Cary amp coming (Nighthawk) that I plan to use at work with my Mad Dogs, but I will definitely give it a quick tryout with the HD800. I'm not expecting a miracle there though, but stranger things have happened...

post #7259 of 12085

Just got home and ready to eat dinner but I have just joined the club. And I couldn't hold off on the amp purchase and got everything now.

post #7260 of 12085
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7ryder View Post

you can always test drive the HDVD800 from Crutchfield risk free for a month.  It is a little bit above your budget, but you might find out it is all you need.
I could be wrong, but I doubt Crutchfield sells to Colombia.

As far as solid state with HD800 under $1000 (to fit with Concero $600) I haven't heard anything I would say is as good as the CSP2+, not even close. The Mjolnir is a good option on a budget, but if you can handle tubes, the CSP2+ is significantly better for the extra price. Otherwise I would say go with a Matrix M-Stage HPA-2 (~$280) and save your pennies for eventual Headamp GS-X 2 (~$2800), the only high end solid state that can hang with tube amps (have not heard Cavalli Liquid Gold, but at $6500, it's well beyond my limit). Concero + HPA-2 if you must go solid state. The Concero HP is a good alternative for slightly worse sound in a microscopic package size and it is a little cheaper than the Concero + HPA-2 combo.

I concur with the CSP2+ here. However, it has been discontinued and the new CSP3+ runs about $400 more. I have not heard a CSP3+, but I would buy one for the HD800's since my CSP2+ was awesome and the new one has a few nice upgrades.

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