... Does anyone here try the Ear Max Pro Silver Edition OTL amp with HD800 before? I'm really wanna know what is your opinion on this tiny tube amp...
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- Head-Fi Buying Guide (Ultra-High-End Headphones (Summit-Fi))Last edited: 7/21/14
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- Head-Fi Buying Guide (Ultra-High-End Headphones (Summit-Fi))
The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread - Page 661
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Hi guys, thank you for the advice but I would prioritize solid-state amps at the moment.
It seems that our option is limited though unless you want to look into really esoteric brands such as Bakoon.
Pretty much. I'd say you can consider Dynahi (DIY) Ragnarok, ECP's line (if you can find one of his amps,) the Master 9 and maybe Liquid Gold.
Edited by paradoxper - 4/13/14 at 5:37am
I think @roguegeek compiled a list of 6-8 SS amps for the HD800 between the price range of $1000-2000 a couple weeks back in this thread.
I'm still deliberating between the HD800 and TH900 but I thought I'm going to ask for amplifier recommendation here since there is still a good chance of me ending up with the Sennheiser flagship. So please bear with my musings.
I haven't had much experience with high-end solid-state amplifiers designed for headphones so my experience is limited to a couple few namely the HeadAmp GS-X 2, AURALiC Taurus MK2, Schiit Mjolnir and a balanced AMB Beta22. The last one is an open-source DIY but the builder is a professional and it's a "holds no barred" build, complete with a digital volume control.
Listening impressions are done with the HD800 and TH900 using Esoteric P-05/D-05 CD transport and D/A processor stack.
The Mjolnir is not in the same class as the other three so let's leave it out of the equation for now. :-)
The Taurus MK2 and GS-X surprisingly sound quite similar to these ears with only minute differences here and there: the AURALiC unit has a meatier bass with a slight bass bloom while the HeadAmp unit has an airier, slightly more open treble. They both still have that solid-state aura about them though, perhaps what we would call a slightly cold, clinical sheen over the sound.
Which now brings us to the Beta22.
The AMB unit is really, really interesting because it doesn't have that archetypal solid-state sound: it has a liquidity to its sound that one normally attributes to excellent tube amps. At the same time, its ability to resolve details in the recordings is the best among the amps that I have tested in this comparison although I would say that the GS-X 2 is not too far behind.
My only complaints is it runs extremely hot and aesthetically it's not as nice as the rest owing to its DIY nature. Sonically though, I think it's at least a step above.
So what do I do next? Ideally I would want to avoid DIY design because I can't be bothered with the hassle but I have to admit that the Beta22 is a very tempting proposition. I would want to explore other options first though.
I'm aware that Schiit is releasing a new flagship amplifier. Do you folks think that it will have a comparable performance to the amplifiers that I've tested so far?
I'm all ears to suggestions. :-)
Last but not least, I would like to apologize for the lengthy post containing inane rambles of an old man.
Not sure what the rest of your chain was. But I can guarantee in my system that the Taurus is not cold or clinical. Beyond my own experience I haft never seen a single user report or professional reviewer say this either
I'm enjoying my newly-acquired Lehmann Linear SE at the moment, FWIW.
I totally agree that the Taurus is neither cold or clinical. I think the Taurus is one of the top choices for the HD800. I always been into tube amps and currently own 2 but the Taurus has made me a complete convert.
Hi, thank you for the heads-up about the ECP amps! I have never heard of the brand before so it's nice to learn something new here. :-)
@Sonido and @Amictus
I shall take a look. Thank you for the tips.
I apologize if my impressions caused a misunderstanding but please be aware that I was speaking in relative terms. By themselves neither the Taurus MK2 or GS-X 2 sounds too overly cold nor clinical (the fact that I allude to by using the term "slightly" in my original post) but the coloration becomes apparent when you compare them directly with an amplifier that has even less of such properties, which in this case is the Beta22.
Actually, the Beta has a very "old school" sound to me which reminds me of the very best of Krell amps.
If your going DIY why not go for the Su Sy Dynahi? IMO it's miles ahead of the Beta22.
FWIW the Beta22 kicked the GS-1 out the door, the GS-X mk2 kicked the Beta22 out the door, then the F1J kicked the GS-X mk2 out the door.
What HPs did you try with the SuSy? I have been curious if such a powerful amp could run sensitive headphones like the TH900 without too much hiss? I am sure that it would do the business with the HD800.
OH - my bad. I haven't tried the SuSy yet. I've heard an older Dynahi a few years ago and it was with the HD800. The older Dynahi was also miles ahead of the Beta22. So I was just taking an educated guess that the SuSy would be the same or better.
Tsk Tsk Preproman.... getting my hopes up like that.
- The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread
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