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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 626

post #9376 of 25179
Honestly I never did try the original just the
Upgraded and what frank has is what I want
And beyond it.
Al
post #9377 of 25179
To add to the above regarding tube amp pairings for the hd800's: 

 

Bottlehead's Mainline and the ECP L-2, if you can find one (which is basically derivative of a much earlier parafeed/spud design by the guys at Bottlehead), should be at the top of the list of contenders.  See, e.g., the review of the l-2 on innerfidelity.  To my ears, the Woo lineup is just too slow and tubey for hd800's, and their OTL's in particular, want for dynamics.  (I owned a WA3 for many years and have heard every amp in their lineup. Their OTL's simply do not keep pace with constant current loaded circuits and are bettered by Bottlehead's OTL.  I do have a soft spot for 300b tubes, and the WA5 max w/ HD800 is incredibly immersive with, for example, choral music, but don't expect particularly fast impactful bass.  WA22 is a nice amp but I'd still rank it behind both the Mainline and Zana Deux.)  As to the latter, Zana Deux's are very nice - detailed, lively and fast, as tube amps go, but they can also bring out a little treble edginess.  (Others might weigh in as to whether or not this has been tempered at all in the ZDSE?)  The Mainline has this sort of speed and easy handling of transients, but is a little more refined to my ears, nicely extended, and minus that occasional edginess....such that I no longer felt like the anax mod was an improvement to my HD800's.  I haven't heard the DNA amps, and the BA had a long line at CanJam, but I would love to get to hear these at some point.  

post #9378 of 25179

If someone wants to go off the beaten path and looking for an OTL, TTVJ has a refurbished Wheatfield HA-2 for $1300.  I heard it with the HD800 once at a meet and was very impressed.  It made me reconsider the HD800 when I had previously given up on it.  I would venture that the only amp less expensive than the HA-2 which will pair in the same range would be the Mainline.  I have the L-2 and it is pure magic with the HD800.  A completely non-fatiguing sound with unbelievable speed and PRaT.  It creates a cohesion of sound with the HD800, tames the treble without sacrificing detail.  It fills out the massive soundstage of the HD800.

 

I haven't heard the Mainline but it's a sibling of the L-2 so it should pair well.

 

It sounds so good I may be giving up my Stax rig.

 

Anyways, someone buy the Wheatfield so I'm not tempted to pick it up.

post #9379 of 25179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post
 

Al I dont have that Sennheiser amp anymore. It sounded excellent with the HD 800 when I had it and the GSX MK11 is fully balanced and sounds even better with my Oppo BDP105 balanced. I am using the Oppo ESS 9018 Dac mostly now

 

Daniel you never had the  WA5 with the proper tubes in there. Using the Chinese tubes is a major trade off. My WA5 with the EML 300b, Tungsol Black glass 1942 6F8G and the 596 rectifier is much different than what you used with them. I dont think you ever heard the HD800 with the proper tubes. My WA5 has been to different meets and you can go read those threads where everyone who heard it thought is sounded fantastic with the hd800. In the NY spring meet there were even people using the balanced HD800 who said  it was the best they every heard.  So i am not surprised you did noyt like the WA5 especially with the tubes you were using.

 

No.

 

I had plenty of 'proper tubes'. I had not only the stock ones-but also the full upgrade tube package from Woo, including Sophia 300Bs, 274Bs, wartime 6SN7s and more. I rolled everything-and simply was never close to being satisfied. Maybe those weren't the be-all-end-all tubes for the HD800, but seeing as the ZDSE w/ a simple cheap driver tube change absolutely throttled the Woo in terms of speed, prat, bass impact (not bloom), transparency-for MUCH cheaper-it was a no brainer. The WA5LE was sold off. I'm sure it does better with some headphones (especially HE6 and other orthos I presume)-but it was no match with the Zana. To this day I still prefer the ZDSE, Luxman, and BHA-1 to the Woo for the HD800s. For other headphones I couldn't tell you. Glad you're enjoying the Woo though-it seems like it makes you happy-and that's all that really matters.

 

-Daniel

post #9380 of 25179
I have to agree with you. I do not like the woo WA5 with the hd800. But frank does have tubes I do not. But all you just said I have too. But it's not the speed or detail it's just the overall sound. . I cannot say it's speed or detail as the amp is fantastic with the he6. I am just not sure what it is. Bit for the HDVD800 is best anyway with the hd800

Al
post #9381 of 25179
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post
 

 

No.

 

I had plenty of 'proper tubes'. I had not only the stock ones-but also the full upgrade tube package from Woo, including Sophia 300Bs, 274Bs, wartime 6SN7s and more. I rolled everything-and simply was never close to being satisfied. Maybe those weren't the be-all-end-all tubes for the HD800, but seeing as the ZDSE w/ a simple cheap driver tube change absolutely throttled the Woo in terms of speed, prat, bass impact (not bloom), transparency-for MUCH cheaper-it was a no brainer. The WA5LE was sold off. I'm sure it does better with some headphones (especially HE6 and other orthos I presume)-but it was no match with the Zana. To this day I still prefer the ZDSE, Luxman, and BHA-1 to the Woo for the HD800s. For other headphones I couldn't tell you. Glad you're enjoying the Woo though-it seems like it makes you happy-and that's all that really matters.

 

-Daniel

weak link were the sophia 300B and the 274B .   In my opinion Chinese tubes are not in the same league as EML,KR and other 300B plus the Sophia 274 B is terrible. Bright and poor choice for tubes in my listening experience and I had every woo amp here and even the Wa 234 did not sound good withy Sophia tubes but when I swapped them out with the EML300B and Tungsol 6sn7 Black glass plate tubes it was transformed.  Bottom line is you did not like it no big deal, but I do in my system. I know what my amps sound like ands thats why they are here. You liked something different but yet you dont own it any more. If the Zana was so good why is it gone. Kind of confusing. If it was that good why did you sell it? I not even sure you still have the hd800. I seen a pair of those for sale recently. Perhaps the Valli will satisfy you.

 

 

Dont tell me what my amp sound like with my tubes if you never heard a WA5 with the same tube compliment. I heard the sophia 300B and 274B and they are terrible for the WA5.   I dont use any sophia tubes at all. None. They are rebranded TJ music tubes from China.


Edited by Frank I - 3/20/14 at 7:23pm
post #9382 of 25179

I've heard Frank's Wa5 on two occasions and the GSX 2 the same day with the Wa5 and I'd say the Wa5 is two notches better w/ Franks setup.

The only amp I heard that was better was the Wa234. I felt the Liquid Gold and Stratus (stock tubes first version) weren't as good either. 

 

Can't comment on Zana or Leben 

post #9383 of 25179
I heard them on the 234 twice and I just did not like them on it. Now franks wa5 has tubes no one has so I must buy them. . Woo should be at the meet I will try them with the HE6 and the hd800

Al
post #9384 of 25179
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazsud View Post
 

I've heard Frank's Wa5 on two occasions and the GSX 2 the same day with the Wa5 and I'd say the Wa5 is two notches better w/ Franks setup.

The only amp I heard that was better was the Wa234. I felt the Liquid Gold and Stratus (stock tubes first version) weren't as good either. 

 

Can't comment on Zana or Leben 

How good was the DNA Stratus with stock tubes or can you remember? 

post #9385 of 25179
I have done a bit of study the pass two days, most ppl agree that HD800 sounds better with tube amps, and these are the tube amps that known to be well matched with HD800: EC Balancing Act, Zana Deux, WA5, Apex Teton, Apex Peak, Manley 300B, DNA Stratus. Which will give the HD800 speaker-like performance? I mean instead of thin and bright the HD800 tend to sound without EQ, which amp can give a weighty, LCD-like, smooth, close-to-live, musical sound?
post #9386 of 25179
Not sure you can really say they sound better with tube amps. The problem is that there just aren't nearly as many solid state amps in the high end compared to the many tube amps. I know there are some high end tube amps I like less than even midrange solid state amps. It's really a case by case basis, but with the population difference it looks deceptive.
post #9387 of 25179
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeissiez View Post


Which will give the HD800 speaker-like performance?

A speaker amp!
post #9388 of 25179

 mean instead of thin and bright the HD800 tend to sound without EQ, which amp can give a weighty, LCD-like, smooth, close-to-live, musical sound?

 

​I dont think the Hd800 sound like that on either the GSX Mk 11 or the  E5. It sounds very good on both amps. Where good tube amps differ is in the sound stage and tonality.   300B tubes are full bodied tubes and have a magical midrange. Selection of tubes is most important to get it right but that being said the GSX Mk 11 sound excellent with the HD800 and the liquid Gold Cavalli amp I heard with Scott Hull the other day and we compared to the GSX had a wider sound stage and more air and separation than the GSX . The GSX was a little quieter.  The GSX MK 111 is a terrific amplifier . I really enjoy it with my reference headphones.

 

I am getting that close to live with either of these two amplifiers.


Edited by Frank I - 3/20/14 at 9:23pm
post #9389 of 25179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Not sure you can really say they sound better with tube amps. The problem is that there just aren't nearly as many solid state amps in the high end compared to the many tube amps. I know there are some high end tube amps I like less than even midrange solid state amps. It's really a case by case basis, but with the population difference it looks deceptive.

very true and something i actually hadn't noticed before. when you go past 2000 dollars there don't seem to be as many solid state options

post #9390 of 25179
Quote:
Originally Posted by magiccabbage View Post
 

very true and something i actually hadn't noticed before. when you go past 2000 dollars there don't seem to be as many solid state options

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by magiccabbage View Post
 

very true and something i actually hadn't noticed before. when you go past 2000 dollars there don't seem to be as many solid state options

There ar emroe coming over 2K . There will be a very interesting 3500.00 solid state amplifier coming soon that Steve Eddy is building. I can wait to hear that amp. 

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