Originally Posted by chunkfnk
Thank you so much! I'm glad someone's also on the same train of thought as me. I look forward to your impressions.
Hey, sorry for the very delayed response. I wanted to give the Project Sunrise II (PS2) a thorough testing before forming my opinion on it.
Here's a picture of the combo on my desk, I really love how the amp looks!
My test setups:
- PC - HT Omega Claro Plus+ Sound card - Project Sunrise II - HiFiMan HE400
- Laptop - HiFimeDIY Sabre DAC - Project Sunrise II - HiFiMan HE400 (or Phiaton MS400, Audio Technica M50)
- HTC Amaze 4G android phone - HE400 (or Phiaton MS400, Audio Technica M50)
- And also all the above configurations without the PS2
What I listened to:
- A bunch of stuff on Spotify, mixed genres (electronica, trance, classical, a few instrumentals, and others)
- A few flacs (Muse's new album)
I really wanted to love this amplifier, especially after seeing how cool it looked. But the main advantage that I could notice when using this amplifier is the improved bass impact. I bought this amp mainly for my newer HE400's, and was hoping that they would sound more dynamic (meaning, lows sound very low, highs sound high). Essentially, like how I remember them from a Head-Fi meetup I went to. The dynamics basically didn't change when I added or took out the amplifier from the equation.
Now don't get me wrong, the improved bass impact was good; but there's still dynamics missing. And preferably, I want both to be improved by the amplifier that I end up sticking with.
Though I didn't try the HE400's for a very long time, nor do I have great ears for minute musical details (that I know of), I was underwhelmed when I tried out my HE400's without an amp, and again when I tried it with the PS2 amplifier because I expected more improvements. Also, I couldn't really tell what this 'tube sound' that people talk about is, I might need to try a better tube amplifier.
Maybe there is a little more sound difference than what I've described (bass impact improvement only); but it's not apparent enough to me to recommend to others. Therefore, I don't feel that the PS2 and the HE400 was a fitting combination.
So I've been doing a lot of reading after using the PS2, and ortho dynamic headphones or planar magnetics (like the HE400) can require a lot more current to drive than regular dynamic headphones. Therefore selecting an amplifier that can provide a high raw amount of power may be a much safer bet. And it sounds like a solid state amplifier are the ones to go to in that case (maybe unless you get a high end tube amp).
Supposedly the Matrix M-Stage HPA-1 sounds good with the HE400, and I have one on the way, so hopefully that'll do well. I can post again when I get that if anyone's interested.