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What's the best amp for HD800 - Page 10

post #136 of 533

I'm using Luxman p-200 and Icon Audio HP8 mkii.

I don't think that Luxman can't drive them. The sound is amazing, very clean.

Strangly with Icon Audio I don't hear that they give much more wormth but the sound is also very nice.

I should probably do a more in detail comparison soon.

post #137 of 533

I have pretty much narrowed it down to either the DNA Sonnett 2 or the Decware CSP3. I am leaning toward the Sonnett as it has an impedance switch so it will work with all my phones and it also has both single ended and balanced outputs. Anybody see any problems with either of these amps driving some HD800's well?

post #138 of 533
CSP3 will be excellent, just be sure to avoid the beeswax cap 'upgrade'. Haven't heard the Sonnett, but Donald's got a bulletproof reputation.
post #139 of 533
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

CSP3 will be excellent, just be sure to avoid the beeswax cap 'upgrade'. Haven't heard the Sonnett, but Donald's got a bulletproof reputation.

What is the deal with the beeswax caps? When I read that I thought it was kind of funny as back a long time ago a lot of capacitors used wax (bees or not I don't know) but I thought that here 50 years later we are back to beeswax again. All things considered I think I will go with the DNA.

post #140 of 533

I may be biased, but Woo Audio WA22 is on my purchase list to pair with HD800.  I have a lot of SS amps, but no high-end tube amp yet.


Edited by HiFiGuy528 - 6/11/14 at 10:52pm
post #141 of 533

@HPiper :


I can't compare with the CSP3 but I have the Sonett 2  for a month. 


I pair it with a Metrum Octave MKI and my HD800.  The result is perfectly good . I could say outstandingly good but I'm not so experienced so I cant' really compare to the best offers on the market. I hope to compare soon my rig against a Eddie Current Balancing Act + Totaldac but I hadn't the opportunity yet. 


The amp seems solid , simple & reliable.  I've opted for the TKS potentiometer and setting the volume on the sonett 2 is very smooth and precise. No channel imbalance at all even at very low volume.  I use only low gain and low impedance settings for my HD800 even at loud levels for Classical.  My average volume settings for serious listenings is around 5 ( 10 is the max) , when I want to have serious listenings of classical music, i set the volume to 7.   So I think the amp have all the needed power.


The first point I really appreciate is the fact that the Sonett keeps all the dynamics at different volumes. from the lowest to the loudest, the music seems to sound exactly the same : balanced , bodied , dynamic. 


When i discovered the amp, two point impressed me : First of all, the authority: My HD800 seems perfectly under control . I've always found the HD800 had impressive bass ( tight , fast , precise) but with the Sonett 2 Authority, my HD800  gained some more slam and body in the bass departement. Overally the authority and control the Sonnet provides an obviously clean sound. Think "Solid State". no wooly bass and wet mids or loose treble here. Clean power and authority.


The second point is the soundstage. We all know that the soundstage of the HD800 is impressive but can lack a bit of depth.  with the Sonnet 2 it  seems the depth increases seriously but moreover it seems i could now see more clearly the background of the soundstage. the effect is a clear upgrade in layering . Width stays impressive too .


The oeverall result of Bass and Sub bass slam and soundstage depth increase is that the HD800 produce a better, more realistic image . HD800 imaging capabilities are always very good but with the Sonett it's even better and it reminds me my first try with the Balancing Act from which my HD800 gave me the better sound I've ever heard. I tried the Abyss and consider it provides the best image I heard. But well amped the HD800 comes close, very close IMO.


Since I received my Sonett  2 , I listened to 50 or 60 hours of music. Before i have the Sonett 2 I always had difficulties to listen to some of my music because of some harshness on average recording. For example  this album


CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 100






I discovered these Last weeks with the Sonnet 2 that this music became perfectly enjoyable . Overally, it seems the HD800 became more forgiving.


The first day I listened to the Sonett 2, I was even a bit disappointed because I thought my HD800 was a bit denatured and sounded suddenly too smooth lol.  Indeed, I found the Combo gained a lot for Electro/Funk/Jazz-Rock/Fusion but lost something for Classical. Metrum + Sonett seemed to sound a bit too dark & thick. Then I swapped the Stock JJ GZ34 rectifier tube for a NOS Mullard one... It seems everything is perfect for my ears now. I have both slam, body and Impact and I recovered the clarity and refinement i really need. Maybe the Mullard brings a pinch of Euphony too. I need to do some serious comparison during next weeks to be sure but right now I don't want to unplug the Mullard.


You can notice I don't talk about HD800 trebles at all.  Maybe I'm habituated now but since I have the Metrum Octave , HD800 treble didn't bother me anymore. The Metrum Dac brings something special to the overall tone. Sound didn't became meaty or juicy. Metrum offers a more "solid" sound. Thick but dry IMO.  The word "earthy" comes to my mind. not muddy at all. Besides that, The Sonnett 2 adds both authority & smoothness/liquidity.


The complete combo Dac+Amp does marvels with my Senn and right now I'm happy with the Result  but I'm still in the first time with the combo ( Honeymoon bias) . The most impressive upgrade is that I feel my complete rig sounds now  "right" for my tastes an the music I listen to . But time will tell me if i'm autobiased or if I'm done for my single ended HD800 Rig . The fact is I've the worst difficulties to stop to listen to Music when I have my headphone on my head ;)


Oh . and I like the Donald's blue :D 

Edited by Sorrodje - 6/12/14 at 1:31am
post #142 of 533

+1 for Rock Candy Funk Party & HD800


I love all my Bonamassa with this can!   :D 


Just ordered the rock Candy Funk party bluray and two cd set.....live at the iridium

Edited by whirlwind - 6/12/14 at 3:09am
post #143 of 533
If you like bass I wouldn't get it.
post #144 of 533
Originally Posted by kazsud View Post

If you like bass I wouldn't get it.




Get HD700 instead.

post #145 of 533
Talking about the Wa22.
I would get a Wa2 it has better bass and most of the sound characteristic of the Wa22.

I heard them on the same day w/ stock tubes and in a none meet environment.
post #146 of 533
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post




Get HD700 instead.

Actually I do have both 700 and 800 got it all covered!

post #147 of 533
Originally Posted by HPiper View Post

Actually I do have both 700 and 800 got it all covered!

Not to open up an old can off worms, passions on HeadFi cause me to take a step back and wonder wear the truth lies on the 700's. I would love to hear/read your opinion comparing the 800 to the 700. Best, Kevin
post #148 of 533

The Violectric V200 pairs exceedingly well with the HD800, and is the setup I am using.

But I am really anticipating the release of the V281, which should be later this month.

post #149 of 533
I do not have HD800, had one pair for a short time a few years ago - but I was not that much into headphones then. Now I have some nice headphones and I also have three headphone amps: Schiit Mjolnir, LittleDot mk6+ and Melos SH-1. Do you think any of these could be a good match for HD800 in either single-ended or balanced mode?
post #150 of 533

Hi guys,


I haven't been here for some times but admittedly I haven't made a decision yet. Although the more I listen to the various high-end solid-state amps such as the Taurus and GS-X, the more I'm tempted to risk commissioning a Beta 22 because of its unique and positively old-school sound. Anyway, I have a question: can you modify this amp for headphone use? Apparently it's the ultimate AMB design.






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