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AMP / DAC under $300 - Page 2

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spriggs View Post

Id have to agree and disagree at the same time, some tube amps mainly otl tube amps dont play nicely with low impedance headphones, ive found some still work well, a hybrid amp is ok but a real tube amp ive found is the best, now there are transformer coupled tube amps (otl stands for "output transformerless") that work well with both low impedance headphones like grado and high impednace headphones like your 650. id say those are the best bet as they will work with pretty much any headphone you throw at it even some of the more powerfull ones will run the ortho headphones very nicely

 

I can agreee. I was particularly suggesting an OTL tube amp (WA3, Crack, etc) with the HD650, but only if the OP doesn't want lower impedance headphones. IMO, most tube amps nowadays are OTL design. Meaning they won't have the same synergy as a good SS amp will. Now, the debate can go back and worth, and believe me... I like tube better, so I'm not a SS crusader of any kind. But, for the most versatile amp, for a person on a budget, an SS amp would be ideal.


Edited by Greed - 4/5/13 at 6:15pm
post #17 of 28
 

 

post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post

 

I can agreee. I was particularly suggesting a OTL tube amp with the HD650, but only if the OP doesn't want lower impedance headphones. IMO, most tube amps nowadays are OTL design. Meaning they won't have the same synergy as a good SS amp will. Now, the debate can go back and worth, and believe me... I like tube better, so I'm not a SS crusader of any kind. But, for the most versatile amp, for a person on a budget, an SS amp would be ideal.

he has a budget of 500, for that money you can get some nice tube amps. like i  said if you get the modi dac which is 100 and then you would have 400 left, for 400 you can get some really nice tube amps. it really just depends now on whether op wants a otl amp or a transformer coupled amp.

post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spriggs View Post

he has a budget of 500, for that money you can get some nice tube amps. like i  said if you get the modi dac which is 100 and then you would have 400 left, for 400 you can get some really nice tube amps. it really just depends now on whether op wants a otl amp or a transformer coupled amp.

 

You can but, having a tube amp opens up the possibility for rolling tubes. Now, since you make amps, you of all people should know that tube rolling is not for people that are tight on money. 

 

Also, 400 isn't much when you consider most stock tubes that come with tube amps are horrible and sound grainy. An SS amp will eliminate that. Now, if the OP wants the best amp for his HD650 for $400, then the choice is clear... Bottlehead Crack+Speedball. Only problem is, it is DIY, and I'm not sure if he is savvy in that area. 

post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post

 

You can but, having a tube amp opens up the possibility for rolling tubes. Now, since you make amps, you of all people should know that tube rolling is not for people that are tight on money. 

 

Also, 400 isn't much when you consider most stock tubes that come with tube amps are horrible and sound grainy. An SS amp will eliminate that. Now, if the OP wants the best amp for his HD650 for $400, then the choice is clear... Bottlehead Crack+Speedball. Only problem is, it is DIY, and I'm not sure if he is savvy in that area. 

well the amp ofcourse comes with stock tubes, if your on a budget just use those till you can afford to start useing nos tube, also depends on the amp and the tubes it uses like the bottle head crack is what a 6as7 and a 12au7 some tube types are super expencive some are not.

 

A nice tube amp for 400 will sound great even with stock tubes, I guess it depends who makes the amp and whats their stock tubes, I tend to use russian nos as a stock tube (no chinese tubes ever).


Edited by Spriggs - 4/5/13 at 6:28pm
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spriggs View Post

well the amp ofcourse comes with stock tubes, if your on a budget just use those till you can afford to start useing nos tube, also depends on the amp and the tubes it uses like the bottle head crack is what a 6as7 and a 12au7 some tube types are super expencive some are not.

 

A nice tube amp for 400 will sound great even with stock tubes, I guess it depends who makes the amp and whats their stock tubes, I tend to use russian nos as a stock tube (no chinese tubes ever).

 

A pair of the "best" sounding tube with the HD650 are around $200.

post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post

 

A pair of the "best" sounding tube with the HD650 are around $200.

on what amp ? The design of the amp is most important than what tubes you use a bad design will sound bad, a good design will sound better even with the same tubes as the bad design.


Edited by Spriggs - 4/5/13 at 6:32pm
post #23 of 28

what im saying is for 400 a tube amp will allow for good sound now id say even better than most ss in the same price range and for better sound in the future when or if you start to tube roll.

post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spriggs View Post

on what amp ? The design of the amp is most important than what tubes you use a bad design will sound bad, a good design will sound better even with the same tubes as the bad design.

 

Bottlehead Crack

 

 

I definitely understand where you are coming from. If I was the OP, I would jump on a tube amp for sure. An OTL tube amp is a match made in heaven with the HD650. Many people are perfectly content with a nice tube amp and the HD650. The cans still amaze me to this day, even though they are long past their prime.

post #25 of 28

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB5/NFB5EN.htm

 

check out audiogd's range of products...many budgets.

i gotten the balanced version of the dac/amp for aound 500+  (NFB10)

 big, tall soundscape, the flavor of the sound is slightly warm with alot of  clarity n power..

not the sharp analytical metallic sound of typical ss amps.

my best buy so far.

 

 

=================

 

i wont go with the 160 burson...with the hd650.

 

 

=================

post #26 of 28

You forgot the Dr DAC Muses Edition which is a class A amp like the Matrix and with a great headphone stage and the Calyx Coffee though it's only 120 mW should be good for anything under 100ohm impedance except some AKG's and orthos and the Maverick Tubemagic D1...these are the good ones. The HLLY DMK IV doesn't have a good enough headphone output stage from reviews, neither does the Audioengine... There also many Audio gd options, under $300, though you have to factor in shipping.

Edit. Didn't see you bumped up the price to $500, the Audio gd NFB 10SE, is a good option though I think a seperate dac and amp would sound better like a Lake People G109 P and an ODAC and you'd have a cracking combo...or maybe some DIY options, if you're good with a solder like the Bottlehead, Project Sunrise, Bijou or EHHA Rev A and some others, what I've seen is that DIY options usually perform way waaay above commercial amps, pair those with a nice DAC and you'll have no need to upgrade again, other than to have some bragging rights, which I find perplexing, lol. I'd rather spend £1000 on music, than buying the latest and greatest amp and dac. Good Luck.


Edited by Ndumagr8 - 4/6/13 at 5:17am
post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies, for a budget of $500 (including DAC), the general consensus seems to be get a DIY tube amp;

 

DIY tube amps such as the Bottlehead Crack seem like great choices. 

 

If I were to go the DIY route, which would be better, the Bottlehead Crack or Project Sunrise II?

 

Also how large is the packaging of the unassambled kit when I get it? I ask because I may be moving soon and I might want to wait until I settle to assemble the kit.

post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TittySambo View Post

Thanks for all the replies, for a budget of $500 (including DAC), the general consensus seems to be get a DIY tube amp;

 

DIY tube amps such as the Bottlehead Crack seem like great choices. 

 

If I were to go the DIY route, which would be better, the Bottlehead Crack or Project Sunrise II?

 

Also how large is the packaging of the unassambled kit when I get it? I ask because I may be moving soon and I might want to wait until I settle to assemble the kit.

 

The Bottlehead kit, is actually not large. The amp itself, is not large either. You should be fine building on a any size table tbh. If I were you, I would jump on the Crack, instead of the Sunrise. Check the reviews on the Crack, they are outstanding. Specifically in regards to your headphone, the HD650. It is an amazing amp for the price, especially if you get the speedball upgrade. 

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