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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 596

post #8926 of 13802

cough120ohmIEC

post #8927 of 13802
Higher impedance amps will up the midbass, particularly given the spike in the hd800s impedance curve ~100hrz. That said, deep bass is noticeably tighter and improved, to my ears, via the low impedance setting on my mainline.
post #8928 of 13802

Alright, I might as well start asking. Amps in the $500-1000 range. I can probably go higher if area of diminishing returns is higher, but let's start there and see what's recommended. What's out there that will keep the resolution and transparency? I'm really not interested in adding color anywhere.

post #8929 of 13802
Quote:
Originally Posted by roguegeek View Post
 

Alright, I might as well start asking. Amps in the $500-1000 range. I can probably go higher if area of diminishing returns is higher, but let's start there and see what's recommended. What's out there that will keep the resolution and transparency? I'm really not interested in adding color anywhere.


I noticed you ordered a Crack in the other thread. Interesting choice if what you want is not adding color. Unless of course, you're looking for a complementary amp, the reason I ordered the Questyle. It's supposed to do what you describe and there's a lot of praise (or hype) going around on it for giving a very transparent sound. I might be able to pick it up tomorrow, or Monday at latest. So far the notable amps I've heard the HD800 out of are the Crack and Vali. I can say the Vali is more transparent, and I can see why it gets a lot praise as a great amp for the HD800. It'll be interesting to see if I get completely blown away by the Questyle.

P.S. The K812 should be coming in tomorrow as well. This could be a fun weekend. :beerchug: 

post #8930 of 13802
Quote:
Originally Posted by roguegeek View Post

Alright, I might as well start asking. Amps in the $500-1000 range. I can probably go higher if area of diminishing returns is higher, but let's start there and see what's recommended. What's out there that will keep the resolution and transparency? I'm really not interested in adding color anywhere.
Nothing I've heard in that range is really worth wasting time with. Go cheap and save for high end. Vali/M-Stage til then.
post #8931 of 13802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post


Nothing I've heard in that range is really worth wasting time with. Go cheap and save for high end. Vali/M-Stage til then.


Well we'll see how the Questyle CMA800R stacks up, won't we? ;) project86 in the other thread highly endorses it, along with a couple others. Today it was mentioned in the same sentence as the ECP Audio L-2, perhaps the amp Tyll likes best for the HD800 (http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/jps-labs-abyss-ab-1266-planar-magnetic-headphones-page-2). Of course it could all be hype, but I'm excited! Anyways, technically it's not in the $500-$1000 range, though I got it in that range. Although, I don't think the place I got it from will be having it for sale again, at least not at the price I got it at. The manufacturer got nasty emails from other vendors when it gave the special price to the one vendor. This is disappointing because if it really is this good, I might get another one in the future to go balanced.


Edited by Sonido - 3/7/14 at 11:44pm
post #8932 of 13802
Quote:
Originally Posted by roguegeek View Post
 

Alright, I might as well start asking. Amps in the $500-1000 range. I can probably go higher if area of diminishing returns is higher, but let's start there and see what's recommended. What's out there that will keep the resolution and transparency? I'm really not interested in adding color anywhere.

 

My suggestion would be to upgrade that crack order to a mainline RG.  I sampled a ton of amps with hd800's at CanJam, and the mainline really is among the best headphone tube amps out there.  Bottlehead does have sales periodically, and if you're able to sit tight for a short while, I think it is highly probable that they will offer it for $1k again at some point.  It is definitely a more sophisticated and time consuming build than a crack + speedball, but if you follow the directions carefully, no single solder joint is any harder than on a crack build.  In fact, installing the led's on the crack a-socket were probably more of a struggle for me than any one step on the mainline build (excluding identifying the one bad joint out of a couple hundred that initially threw a couple of my voltage checks off heh).  Bear in mind that a relatively decent soldering station and good automatic wire strippers are a must for this kit.  Also, in a pinch, and wife, child and work permitting, I live close to Pasadena and could probably lend a hand with trouble shooting if you ended up needing it.  

 

Also, just to follow up on Sonido's ECP L-2 reference, the L-2 is basically a "spud" derivative, which was an early design by the guys at bottlehead.  The mainline and L-2 share a lot of similarities: both are single gain stage, highly regulated, constant current fed, 6c45p parafeed tube amps with hq output transformers.  As Doc B has summarized:

 

Quote:
 Mainline was derived from our own $7500 6C45pi based 'big preamp/headphone amp' from 2003, designed quite a few years before the l-2 came about. And of course the spud concept goes back to the original WE417A based spud amp, built at a VALVE meeting in my basement around about 1994-5. Mainline is not a spud, as we use a hybrid shunt regulator that adds one more tube to the amp. I wasn't aware of the l-2. It is rather flattering to see others use a topology we have pioneered.

 

The mainline also incorporates bottlehead's excellent "submissive" fine/course attenuator circuit and se and balanced outputs, whereas the L-2 has se or balanced in but only se out.


Edited by skeptic - 3/8/14 at 12:55am
post #8933 of 13802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post


I noticed you ordered a Crack in the other thread. Interesting choice if what you want is not adding color. Unless of course, you're looking for a complementary amp, the reason I ordered the Questyle. It's supposed to do what you describe and there's a lot of praise (or hype) going around on it for giving a very transparent sound. I might be able to pick it up tomorrow, or Monday at latest. So far the notable amps I've heard the HD800 out of are the Crack and Vali. I can say the Vali is more transparent, and I can see why it gets a lot praise as a great amp for the HD800. It'll be interesting to see if I get completely blown away by the Questyle.
P.S. The K812 should be coming in tomorrow as well. This could be a fun weekend. beerchug.gif  
The crack wasn't really for the HD 800. I'm sure I'll try the pairing, but the reason for that purchase was to just have fun building something. I heard it sounds great with the HD 600.

So if the budget raises to $1.5k, what are the options now?
post #8934 of 13802

So I'm looking into an HD800 setup sometime down the year and will need a stop gap amp until I can afford a Zana Deux. What are people's thoughts about the Crack vs the Vali vs the M-Stage for the HD800s? I should also add that I don't want something super bright and fatiguing.

 

Another question is would something like a Decware CSP-2 or Violectric V200 be endgame with the HD800s? A lot of people talk about the Zana as being the best for it but I'm wondering if the same quality can be had for closer to $1000


Edited by RAZRr1275 - 3/8/14 at 9:31am
post #8935 of 13802
Quote:
Originally Posted by RAZRr1275 View Post

So I'm looking into an HD800 setup sometime down the year and will need a stop gap amp until I can afford a Zana Deux. What are people's thoughts about the Crack vs the Vali vs the M-Stage for the HD800s?
It's an interesting question and I'll be looking forward to the responses on this as well. There's quite a bit of difference on the price and functions of those amps, so it will be interesting to see how people weight it.
post #8936 of 13802

I think a lot of us are in the same boat.. looking for something to make due until we can afford to go to one of the TOTL amps.  Right now I'm doing OK with the Naim DAC and Vali but find that I'm giving the RS1i more head time as they're more engaging with not so well recorded music, especially with the Vali.  For those special tracks, it's definitely the HD800 and Naim.. simply outstanding!  The Vali does well but we all know there's more.

On my list of end game amps are the Sennheiser HDVA 600, Woo WA2 and DNA Sonnet 2. 

There's a Toronto HeadFi meet at the end of the month so hopefully I'll get a chance to audition the HDVD800 and the Bryston amongst others.

post #8937 of 13802

I agreew with Maxvla on the mid-range amping for the HD800 specifically-don't bother. The Vali and m-Stage are both very impressive with the HD800, and nothing I've owned in the $300-1000 bracket (balanced or not), is better. In fact, most aren't even as good ime. I would say the next appreciable jump up is the $1100-1600 range, with the likes of Bryston, Luxman P1u (used), Sonnett 2, and probably a Decware CSP3+. From there, it's the big boy territory that will get close to nirvana with the Senns: ZDSE, Stratus, L-2, EC 2a3 etc...

 

Imo, and ime-don't bother with the stopgaps in between-there seems to be little or no improvements for the $$-especially in the 3-1000 range. Get a Vali AND an m-Stage (for different sound sigs) for the HD800-then start saving those pennies for the big boys.

 

-Daniel

post #8938 of 13802
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post
 

I think a lot of us are in the same boat.. looking for something to make due until we can afford to go to one of the TOTL amps.  Right now I'm doing OK with the Naim DAC and Vali but find that I'm giving the RS1i more head time as they're more engaging with not so well recorded music, especially with the Vali.  For those special tracks, it's definitely the HD800 and Naim.. simply outstanding!  The Vali does well but we all know there's more.

On my list of end game amps are the Sennheiser HDVA 600, Woo WA2 and DNA Sonnet 2. 

There's a Toronto HeadFi meet at the end of the month so hopefully I'll get a chance to audition the HDVD800 and the Bryston amongst others.

 

 

I'm saving up for a TOTL tube amp.  I need something quite small that does not look like it came out of a Borg spaceship (or the girlfriend will not be ammused).  Perhaps the WA7...but I'm not sure that it qualifies as (or sounds like) a TOTL amp.

 

In the meantime, I'm enjoying my Lyr.

post #8939 of 13802

I went from the Bifrost Uber/Lyr to the WA7.  Enjoyed both but the WA7 is more of a side grade with the HD800. Keep saving! :veryevil:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by elvergun View Post
Perhaps the WA7...but I'm not sure that it qualifies as (or sounds like) a TOTL amp.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying my Lyr.

post #8940 of 13802
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post
 

I agreew with Maxvla on the mid-range amping for the HD800 specifically-don't bother. The Vali and m-Stage are both very impressive with the HD800, and nothing I've owned in the $300-1000 bracket (balanced or not), is better. In fact, most aren't even as good ime. I would say the next appreciable jump up is the $1100-1600 range, with the likes of Bryston, Luxman P1u (used), Sonnett 2, and probably a Decware CSP3+. From there, it's the big boy territory that will get close to nirvana with the Senns: ZDSE, Stratus, L-2, EC 2a3 etc...

 

Imo, and ime-don't bother with the stopgaps in between-there seems to be little or no improvements for the $$-especially in the 3-1000 range. Get a Vali AND an m-Stage (for different sound sigs) for the HD800-then start saving those pennies for the big boys.

 

-Daniel

Thanks for the advice! Definitely makes the HD800 a more affordable option in the short term. I'm basically just looking for a nice complement for my HE-6 for the time being before I get a better speaker amp for them and a TOTL amp for the HD800. 

 

What sort of differences are there between the Vali and M-Stage sonically?

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