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Best solid state amp to bring out HD650's bass? - Page 2

post #16 of 30

I've read reports that the HD650 sounds great, particularly with respect to snappy bass, with:

 

Schiit Mjolnir

SPL Auditor

Burson Soloist

post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgjy View Post

I've read reports that the HD650 sounds great, particularly with respect to snappy bass, with:

 

Schiit Mjolnir

SPL Auditor

Burson Soloist

 

Yep. This is when Op needs to listen to each device carefully and pick the flavor he likes the most! 

post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassophile View Post

Or do I need to look at tube amps to get the best bass response?

 

I would not automatically associate valve amps ("tube amps" in US) with good bass response. I'm sure there are valve amps with good bass response, but generally speaking if  you want good well defined bass, then good solid state amplifiers will deliver handsomely in this regard.

post #19 of 30

A little bit off topic, but I just posted the following to my review of the iCAN amp. It might be of interest to anyone using the HD650s that wants a bit more detail to the sound:

 

Last night I plugged my DT770s into the iCAN now that they are more broken in, and I was pleasantly surprised at how clean and detailed they sound, without veering into the edginess that I heard with the Beyer T1s. Pretty good for a headphone that costs over $1000 less! They pair up well with the iCAN.

 

But then when I went back to my HD650s there was still that nice warm tone, but now they seemed to lack that last little bit of detail, and I am kind of a detail junkie. I just love hearing every little texture and ambient sound. So I pulled my TDS202 (http://www.amazon.com/Acoustic-Research-TDS202-Enhancement-1-Speaker/dp/B00005QZ16) out of my living room system and added it to the chain. Boy does it bring out the details! It was too much with the DT770s, but with the kind of thick HD650s, it added a whole new level of sharpness and clarity, even above what the 3D effect does for them.

So if you have a set of headphones that you like, but that always feel like they lack some of that low-level detail retrieval, and some treble sparkle, then this little gadget can do wonders. It can do this with any amp, not just the iCAN. It also adds even more spaciousness to the soundstage when combined with the 3D effect on the iCAN,so should do the same on any amp.

It is probably not audiophile approved, but it is still fun, and it is only $30. I will have to see how it wears on me, as in other headphone systems, I found it got tiring after a while. But I think the sound coming out of the Tera is so much cleaner and smoother than anything I have ever used as a source in the past, that I might find I can use the TDS device without it wearing on me. It still sounds wonderfully clear but still warm and musical this morning. However, iIf there is any noise in the system, like hiss, that also gets boosted. Here is a review of an earlier discontinued device that used the same technology:http://www.stereotimes.com/acc110198.shtml

And here is the website of the developer of the technology: http://tdsaudio.net/testimonials/consumer.htm

Note: There is an error in the title on Amazon. There is no speaker in the unit, and you only need one for hooking up two channels via RCA inputs and outputs. It also comes with two pairs of AR RCA interconnects in the box.

post #20 of 30

I would second the recommendation for the Burson HA-160. Great punch in the bass section and great extension with the HD650. I would also look into the Violectric V181/200, great amps with a slight warm tilt to them. Warmer compared to the Burson. I also have heard good things about the new WA7, but that of coarse is not an SS amp. Also the Grace amps are said to be great in the bass section, as well as a well built Beta 22.

post #21 of 30

I recommend the la figaro 339, it's a real great match for the HD650. Bass is perfect with that amp. It's OTL so you don't get the rolled off bass and treble from modern low cost transformers.

post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by telecaster View Post

I recommend the la figaro 339, it's a real great match for the HD650. Bass is perfect with that amp. It's OTL so you don't get the rolled off bass and treble from modern low cost transformers.

At headphone wattage levels, there really is no proven correlation between output transformer price and bass frequency response.  Transformer freq response is rated at the RMS wattage for the primary coil, at those wattage levels YES there is bass roll-off within the audible spectrum, and that's what you see on the spec sheet.  At headphone power levels however (milliwatts), OTs are a totally different device.  For headfi applications, they behave very flat and linear with good deep bass extension.

 

FR and THD analysis from Elliottstudio in the thread below.  His coil is this $7.48 Quam.

http://www.fullcompass.com/product/303987.html

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/629661/a-lo-cost-ht-supply-true-transformer-coupled-tube-headphone-amplifier/90#post_9172063

 

The Mad ear+ uses a Hammond 119DA, about a $30-35 OT rated at ~12W RMS.  The Ear+ has bass extension to ~10Hz, again capitalizing on the linear response of an under-driven speaker OT.

http://hollowstate.netfirms.com/Super2manual.pdf


Edited by kramer5150 - 3/15/13 at 10:45pm
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgjy View Post

I've read reports that the HD650 sounds great, particularly with respect to snappy bass, with:

 

Schiit Mjolnir

SPL Auditor

Burson Soloist

The Grace m903 has a fairly dark signature with great Bass response as well. It's more expensive, but it's got a top notch Burr Brown DAC and Preamp circuit (plus 2.1 wpc) built-in.. It's the nicest sounding and most powerful AIO I've heard and it comes with a remote control and a nifty Crossfeed circuit. So there's another option if you want an all-in-one with a small footprint. I use mine in the Workshop and the Garage. Very easy to breakdown and setup. 

post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bareyb View Post

The Grace m903 has a fairly dark signature with great Bass response as well. It's more expensive, but it's got a top notch Burr Brown DAC and Preamp circuit (plus 2.1 wpc) built-in.. It's the nicest sounding and most powerful AIO I've heard and it comes with a remote control and a nifty Crossfeed circuit. So there's another option if you want an all-in-one with a small footprint. I use mine in the Workshop and the Garage. Very easy to breakdown and setup. 

 

 

Interesting.  I thought though that I had read somewhere that the Grace 903 didn't do as well with higher impedance cans like the HD650s.  Otherwise I might just be tempted.  Anyone tried it? 

post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by runswithaliens View Post

 

 

Interesting.  I thought though that I had read somewhere that the Grace 903 didn't do as well with higher impedance cans like the HD650s.  Otherwise I might just be tempted.  Anyone tried it? 

The reviews online say it can push just about anything. It's got a low impedance output, but it's got loads of Voltage too. It's the most powerful AIO I was able to find. It's got a really nice signature. Warm and robust with smooth highs. Great Bass response. I think it would pair nicely with an HD650.  smile.gif


Edited by bareyb - 3/17/13 at 1:34am
post #26 of 30

One more recommendation for the Burson HA160. Especially now that it is available at attractive prices, since it is being phased out! Apart from the quantity and quality of bass, it also has that "slam" which is fantastic. It also adds some speed to the otherwise laid-back HD650 which makes the combination one of the best out there! Tubes make the 650 more mellow and I love that too guess it comes down to the choice of music one listens too and flavour one likes.

post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bala View Post

One more recommendation for the Burson HA160. Especially now that it is available at attractive prices, since it is being phased out! Apart from the quantity and quality of bass, it also has that "slam" which is fantastic. It also adds some speed to the otherwise laid-back HD650 which makes the combination one of the best out there! Tubes make the 650 more mellow and I love that too guess it comes down to the choice of music one listens too and flavour one likes.

 

X2

I have used the HA-160 with the computer soundcard, and it brings more bass (not bloated, more punch) to my headphones. Definitely a fun sounding amp for the Sennhs. 

post #28 of 30
Thread Starter 
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. 

 

What!?

 

This is news to me - so are you saying that simply by choosing the 'bass-boost' preset in iTunes, we are probably wrecking our headphones as the drivers will be damaged by the clipping it produces unless, at the time, we happened to have our headphones hooked up to an amp that outputs 2 watts-per-channel (which most of us won't have)...?

post #29 of 30

i don't use a digital eq

but a thought that came to my mind was

why not try turning down the frequencies you don't want to be as present instead of turning up the ones you want.

 

no idea if this would work well or not.

just a thought

 

sometimes i think stuff. 

sometimes i shouldn't

post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassophile View Post

 

What!?

 

This is news to me - so are you saying that simply by choosing the 'bass-boost' preset in iTunes, we are probably wrecking our headphones as the drivers will be damaged by the clipping it produces unless, at the time, we happened to have our headphones hooked up to an amp that outputs 2 watts-per-channel (which most of us won't have)...?

It only really happened when I was pushing my Amp to the limits with volume.  At low volumes not a problem. It also helps if you cut the preamp level on the EQ by the same amount that you boost the Bass. But no, I don't think you will ruin your 'phones by using the EQ. Just have to watch the clipping. 

 

 

 

Quote:

i don't use a digital eq

but a thought that came to my mind was

why not try turning down the frequencies you don't want to be as present instead of turning up the ones you want.

 

no idea if this would work well or not.

just a thought

 

sometimes i think stuff. 

sometimes i shouldn't

People do that all the time. It's a common practice to avoid the clipping we have been talking about. The theory is, anything over 0 db can push the music into the "clip zone". It's going to be true for some songs and not the others. Depends on how it was mastered. When I was mastering back in the day, we always went about -4 dB on the input to allow for some headroom. These days they have software programs that can boost everything to the max limit of "0" and in those cases, boosting any further will push it into the distortion zone. In my experience it depends much on the source material and the headphones. My Planars tolerate EQing up much better than my Dynamic 'phones for instance. 


Edited by bareyb - 3/23/13 at 4:39pm
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