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The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 658

post #9856 of 25166

If you ever decide to roll some tubes please put the GEC 6AS7G & TS 5998 (for power) high on your list.

post #9857 of 25166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feynman View Post
 

Quick update on Vali vs Crack. My point goes to the latter. 

 

Much smoother sound, more liquid and not as harsh sounding (I did not think the Vali was that harsh but compared to this it is). The soundstage is also a lot better on the Crack vs the Vali. Overall thus far the sound is a lot more enjoyable from the Crack. 

 

Copy that. The Crack sounds like a more "mature" platform and catches up in terms of transient response in the treble with the Speedball. The Vali has a tendency to impart specific colorations (e.g., the rougher treble, but only in a relative sense). The Vali does sound more resolving of low level information than the Crack though. 

post #9858 of 25166

Metrum Octave at home :beerchug: . It helps me while I'm waiting my DNA sonett 2 . :D


Edited by Sorrodje - 4/7/14 at 2:38pm
post #9859 of 25166

I liked the Vali with the HD800 for a change of taste (versus the Naim built in HP amp) so I wanted to move up the tube chain.  The Vali is now relegated to a drawer.  Had a chance to hear a Crack at the Toronto HeadFi meet and it was OK.  I preferred my setup but that's just my taste. What blew me away were the two Eddie Current amps there with amazing DACs.  Way out of my league so I'm going to live in HD800 mid-fi land.  Here's a picture of my current rig and probably how it will stay for a while.  With this setup, I can go Tube or SS depending on the mood. TBH, mostly tube these days. 

Need to spend any spare cash on house reno's now before I can bring anything else home. I'm looking at you WA22, some day. Happy4now!

My HeadFiSys as of April 2014


Edited by MickeyVee - 4/7/14 at 6:32pm
post #9860 of 25166

^ will you be even happier if I told you that there's not a huge difference between your WA6 and WA22 (unbalanced)?  :D

IMO and experience, the only time there would be some clear distance between the 2 amps is when you run WA22 in full balanced mode.

post #9861 of 25166

^ good to know, thanks.. I figured my next move, whenever it may be, would have to be balanced.

post #9862 of 25166
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post
 

^ good to know, thanks.. I figured my next move, whenever it may be, would have to be balanced.

Please note that this balanced vs unbalanced discussion only applies to the WA22.  For other amps, there might not be any difference in sound quality for the 2 connection methods.

post #9863 of 25166
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post

^ will you be even happier if I told you that there's not a huge difference between your WA6 and WA22 (unbalanced)?  biggrin.gif
IMO and experience, the only time there would be some clear distance between the 2 amps is when you run WA22 in full balanced mode.

Do you think zana 2 se is better than wa22 balanced for hd800.?
post #9864 of 25166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian411 View Post


Do you think zana 2 se is better than wa22 balanced for hd800.?

I would not be able to answer your question cuz I haven't heard the zana but I have read quite a few positive reviews about zana/HD800 combo.  Regarding balanced vs unbalanced, IMO and experience, if an amp is designed to perform equally well in both connection modes, there won't be sonic difference though one can always point out that balanced connection usually rejects noise and deals with potential interference better.  Unfortunately, WA22 is not one of those amps as clearly stated by Mr. Woo somewhere on HF.  I read this when i researched the amp before purchase.

 

Maybe, someone who has owned both could chime in and offer some insight.

post #9865 of 25166
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post

I liked the Vali with the HD800 for a change of taste (versus the Naim built in HP amp) so I wanted to move up the tube chain.  The Vali is now relegated to a drawer.  Had a chance to hear a Crack at the Toronto HeadFi meet and it was OK.  I preferred my setup but that's just my taste. What blew me away were the two Eddie Current amps there with amazing DACs.  Way out of my league so I'm going to live in HD800 mid-fi land.  Here's a picture of my current rig and probably how it will stay for a while.  With this setup, I can go Tube or SS depending on the mood. TBH, mostly tube these days. 
Need to spend any spare cash on house reno's now before I can bring anything else home. I'm looking at you WA22, some day. Happy4now!
....

I'm using the same cable as you. tongue.gif
post #9866 of 25166
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post
 

I liked the Vali with the HD800 for a change of taste (versus the Naim built in HP amp) so I wanted to move up the tube chain.  The Vali is now relegated to a drawer.  Had a chance to hear a Crack at the Toronto HeadFi meet and it was OK.  I preferred my setup but that's just my taste. What blew me away were the two Eddie Current amps there with amazing DACs.  Way out of my league so I'm going to live in HD800 mid-fi land.  Here's a picture of my current rig and probably how it will stay for a while.  With this setup, I can go Tube or SS depending on the mood. TBH, mostly tube these days. 

Need to spend any spare cash on house reno's now before I can bring anything else home. I'm looking at you WA22, some day. Happy4now!

My HeadFiSys as of April 2014

Thats an enviable rig Mickey and looks great with the HD800. Oh, and theres nothing mid-fi about any Naim product ;)

post #9867 of 25166

lol if that Naim DAC + WA6 of MickeyVee's is considered a mid-fi setup then what will become of my rig? Low-fi setup? :D

post #9868 of 25166

I like the ADL cable and switch between that and a Q cable.  Both are great!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by akhyar View Post
I'm using the same cable as you. tongue.gif

 

Thanks.  The DAC section of the Naim is great but I would consider the HP amp section mid-fi though it's detailed and silky smooth.  Lacks a bit of slam.  The Woo sounds better to me.  Call me shallow but looks are an importat factor for me :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post
 

Thats an enviable rig Mickey and looks great with the HD800. Oh, and theres nothing mid-fi about any Naim product ;)

 

No such thing as lo-fi with the HD800! :biggrin:

Quote:
Originally Posted by 62ohm View Post
 

lol if that Naim DAC + WA6 of MickeyVee's is considered a mid-fi setup then what will become of my rig? Low-fi setup? :D


Edited by MickeyVee - 4/8/14 at 6:28am
post #9869 of 25166
Ah.. MickeyVee, I remember you had the HD700, welcome to HD800 club smily_headphones1.gif Why you sold it ? (I never liked HD700 by the way).
post #9870 of 25166
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post
 

I would not be able to answer your question cuz I haven't heard the zana but I have read quite a few positive reviews about zana/HD800 combo.  Regarding balanced vs unbalanced, IMO and experience, if an amp is designed to perform equally well in both connection modes, there won't be sonic difference though one can always point out that balanced connection usually rejects noise and deals with potential interference better.  Unfortunately, WA22 is not one of those amps as clearly stated by Mr. Woo somewhere on HF.  I read this when i researched the amp before purchase.

 

Maybe, someone who has owned both could chime in and offer some insight.

 

FWIW, I liked the original Zana better than the WA22 when I heard them both in short succession at CanJam, but others could very well prefer the latter.  They are both fine amps.  To me, the Zana sounded a bit livelier and the WA22 a little more laid back, albeit quite a bit less tubey than many of Woo's other amps.  I assume the same would hold true for the ZDSE.   

 

The "balanced" issue is a  interesting one, particularly due to the recent expiration of Nelson Pass' SuSy patent.  

 

Per the engineers at Benchmark, among others, traditional "balanced" designs are properly viewed as having more cons than pros - unless you need the extra power to drive an inefficient transducer.  Push-pull or, alternatively, bridged amps generally add noise and distortion (excluding common mode - which is really only relevant to long cable runs).  They also raise output impedance/reducing damping (theoretically bad but which may or may not be to the tastes of the user at issue).  Most notably, they cost about twice as much to build.  On the flip side, you get double the voltage (moar power!) and double the slew rate, the latter of which is believed by most to be inaudible in the context of any competent amplifier.  

 

For efficient headphones like the hd800's, a good 2-channel, single ended amp (which may or many not include true balanced outputs (i.e. a differential signal) via the use of output transformers, as implemented by bottlehead and DNA among others), should be the preferred design.  

 

 

SuSy amps are evidently the exception to this rule.  I don't have the technical background necessary to fully appreciate the why of it, but if you look at Pass' technical summary article, you will note that he essentially agrees with the Benchmark guys in so far as suggesting that the 3 traditional balanced approaches either perform worse than, or at best, equal to, ordinary 2 channel single ended designs.  https://passlabs.com/articles/super-symmetric-amplification  

 

Quote:
 By contrast, the Super-Symmetry topology does not use operational amplifiers as building blocks. It has two negative inputs and two positive outputs and consists of two matched gain blocks coupled at one central point where the voltage is ideally zero. The topology is unique in that at this point, the distortion contributed by each half appears out of phase with the signal, and we use this to reinforce the desired signal and cancel noise and distortion. This occurs mutually between the two halves of the circuit, and the result is signal symmetry with respect to both the voltage and current axis, and anti-symmetry for distortion and noise. This means that the distortion and noise of each half appears identically and cancels.

 

In connection with the expiration of this patent, Dr. Gilmore, Spritzer and company have released gen2 SuSy dynahi and SuSy dynalo diy projects.  But aside from Pass amps, I'm not aware of any commercial headphone amps using this topology.  

 

[Edited per Purrin's correction below.  Thanks!]


Edited by skeptic - 4/8/14 at 10:13pm
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