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Best solid state amp to bring out HD650's bass?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

Right now I'm amping my HD650 with the internal amp of the Benchmark DAC1. Plenty of power, but the sound signature is reportedly on the lean side. Or perhaps there is no real sound signature as it is meant to be very neutral.

 

Anyway, the bass output on my HD650 is not overly satisfying at the moment, not even as satisfying as my ATH-M50's (and I have the 'new' version of the M50's which are supposed to be lighter on bass), and I hope it could improve with amplification?

 

What solid state amps bring out the best bass response in the HD650's? And achieve this without bass-boost features (which I am not keen on)? Or do I need to look at tube amps to get the best bass response? And how much would the bass response improve - can I expect it to compete with my M50's when amped right?


Edited by bassophile - 2/28/13 at 1:47am
post #2 of 30

I feel your pain. My current Amp is a bit underpowered and I'm having to EQ to get the Bass I want. I decided to dump my amp and buy a more powerful Burson Amp with 4 Watts of power. Bursons are know for their Bass so I'm hoping it will negate the need for the EQ. It is a fully Solid State Amp. You can get good Bass with either type, the Tubes are more for the mids and Highs as I understand it. 

post #3 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bareyb View Post

Bursons are know for their Bass so I'm hoping it will negate the need for the EQ. It is a fully Solid State Amp. You can get good Bass with either type, the Tubes are more for the mids and Highs as I understand it. 

 

X2

Bass slam on the 160 Series is pretty good. 

post #4 of 30

The new iCAN amp puts out a lot of high quality bass with my HD650s, and the amount of bass is selectable with three different settings:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/654405/ican-amp-review-a-new-amp-that-gives-you-more-more-bass-more-soundstage-and-more-detail

post #5 of 30

I like the BUDA from HeadRoom or the WA6 from Woo Audio.

 

The BUDA being more neutral sounding and the WA6 more fun.

 

To control the low end you need more power ( typically current ) and better damping ( low output impedance ).  Some people report that a higher output impedance of 10's of Ohms can make the HD-650 and HD-800 sound more musical, but there is no doubt you are losing some sound quality.

post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

I like the BUDA from HeadRoom or the WA6 from Woo Audio.

 

The BUDA being more neutral sounding and the WA6 more fun.

 

To control the low end you need more power ( typically current ) and better damping ( low output impedance ).  Some people report that a higher output impedance of 10's of Ohms can make the HD-650 and HD-800 sound more musical, but there is no doubt you are losing some sound quality.

 

isn't the DAC1 already supposed to have super low output impedance?

post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

 

isn't the DAC1 already supposed to have super low output impedance?

It does have super low impedance. It has very good dampening, unfortunately it does so at the expense os low end extension and definition.

 

I just posted a review of the DAC1 yesterday (compared to DACmini and GRACE m903). If anyone is interested you can read it here:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/654526/all-in-one-comparison-centrance-dacmini-vs-benchmark-dac1-vs-grace-designs-m903#post_9239681


Edited by bareyb - 3/9/13 at 12:29pm
post #8 of 30

Isn't EQing for more bass a lot cheaper than buying a new amp that colors the sound?

post #9 of 30

I have the HD650's and both a Burson HA-160 and a Little Dot Mk III. I don't not have especially great ears, but I just did a side-by-side comparison and IMO the Burson had more "thump' but the LD MkIII (tube amp) had a lot more pleasing bass, with more musicality and resolution. One guy's opinion.

 

The songs I used for the comparison were 'Iron Band' by Dire Straits, 'Walk on the Wild Side' by Lou Reed and 'Rock On' by David Essex. Each has a prominent bass component, but each of a somewhat different character from song to song.

post #10 of 30

However, in terms of solid-state amps (with DAC), I was pleasantly surprised by the Magni/Modi combination with the HD650's. Sorry for going off topic on a tube amp. Cheers.

post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by meat01 View Post

Isn't EQing for more bass a lot cheaper than buying a new amp that colors the sound?

You need a pretty powerful amp to start with if you are going to be doing a lot of EQing  (IMO) or it will clip. I needed 2 wpc clean power before I was able to start using any of the EQ stuff in iTunes without clipping the amp. 

post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bareyb View Post

You need a pretty powerful amp to start with if you are going to be doing a lot of EQing  (IMO) or it will clip. I needed 2 wpc clean power before I was able to start using any of the EQ stuff in iTunes without clipping the amp. 


That is probably especially true when you are boosting the bass, as that takes lots of power. I am amazed at how well the iCAN does with its bass boost, but it is a very powerful amp (however nowhere near 2wpc....it puts out 400 mw into 32 ohm) . I am becoming a basshead because it sounds so good. And it is nice to be able to select different levels on the fly without having to open up an EQ. I just flick a switch and adjust the bass boost to taste with three different levels from none to medium to high. Mostly I use high!


Edited by Nirmalanow - 3/13/13 at 8:03am
post #13 of 30

I understand the appeal of a solid-state amp but to be honest just spring for an OTL tube amp for the HD650. They benefit extremely from them. For 2 years I was in denial that I could get good enough sound out of them from a solid-state. On day 1 after I got a tube amp, I completely regretted all the time and money I wasted trying out solid states. Is there a particular reason it must be a solid state?

post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bareyb View Post

You need a pretty powerful amp to start with if you are going to be doing a lot of EQing  (IMO) or it will clip. I needed 2 wpc clean power before I was able to start using any of the EQ stuff in iTunes without clipping the amp. 

2 watts?!?!

are we still talking about the HD650?

post #15 of 30

 I took my HD650s down to a local dealer and tried them out on a Marantz PM8004 integrated amp.  This amp has bass, mid, and treble controls.  It seemed like dropping the midrange just a tad made for an nice improvement vs. boosting the bass. Also, in my limited testing I have never heard an amp before that made such a noticeable impression as to somehow sounding superior to other amps. Smooth and Sophisticated were two words that came to mind...  On the other hand I suppose it could have been the DAC in the 10 year old top of the line Denon DVD player it was connected to, but there you have it.  I already have powered studio monitors so only need a preamp and headphone amp vs. a full integrated amp so probably won't get the Marantz but in general I would say don't fear amps with Bass controls eh.
 

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