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What's the best amp for HD800 - Page 4

post #46 of 527

@ TwoEars  The Sonett paired with HD800 is awesome. I've been enjoying them for almost 4 years...exclusively.

post #47 of 527
Quote:
Originally Posted by P+D-MI View Post
 

@ TwoEars  The Sonett paired with HD800 is awesome. I've been enjoying them for almost 4 years...exclusively.

 

Another week or so and I'll know all about it. :D

 

Thanks for the feedback :smile:

post #48 of 527
Quote:
Originally Posted by erikfreedom View Post
 

manley labs neo classic 300b.  add a pair of Takatsuki 300b and you are good to go. 

This man speaks the truth!

 

No experience with the expensive Takasuki 300B which are said to be on par with the WE300b's but I've heard the Neo Classic with the HD800 and my God! Possibly the only tube amp I'd look into having ownership with if the HD800 was the only headphone I'd own.

post #49 of 527

I'm driving mines in balanced mode with a Ray Samuels B52 with upgraded tubes, couldn't be happier. The Bendix quad-set especially was a life changer with these headphones.

post #50 of 527
Quote:
Originally Posted by twsmith View Post

Take a look at project86's review of the CMA800 -  he does compare this amp to the V200 and Taurus MII.   My impression is that he thinks all 3 play in the same league but each has pros and cons depending on your preferred headphone and overall SQ.  I believe he feels that for the HD800s, the CMA800 is probably the best match.   No comments on either the GS-X MKII or Bryston.   I used to have a GS-X (first generation) and I did not think it was the best match for HD800, but the MKII could be a different story.   I am actually considering getting a CMA800R for my HD800.   

Me too (now 😄)
post #51 of 527

I can only agree with CMA800R, fantstic brick for HD 800. Excellent synergy, yet affordable price when compared to other. And let's not forget about Bakoon HPA-21. Heard both of 'em, I have CMA800R. Couldn't be happier.

post #52 of 527

The Bryston BHA-1 is absolutely fantastic with the HD800s.  

 

I've been running these headphones off the stock unbalanced cables on my Benchmark DAC2 HGC for the past year or so, and always felt they sounded great, but were somewhat "thin" sounding.  The bass was always there, but sounded distant and constrained.

 

After listening to them on the Bryston on a balanced cable, everything changed.  The amp completely filled in the lower registers -- the bass has slam and impact, but the open, spacious qualities of the rest of the spectrum are still preserved.  It amazed me.  At first I thought they were different headphones, but then realized this is what they should have sounded like in the first place.  Even more impressively, the overall character of the sound (that I liked in the first place) hasn't changed -- the Bryston just filled in the gaps.

 

I never knew a decent amp could fill in the gaps like this before.  I'm starting to suspect that Sennheiser engineered these cans to run balanced, off a solid amp, but supply a standard single-ended cable because of market reasons (95+% of users only have SE sources/amps).  It's a shame -- the box should come with a warning label to go buy a decent balanced system in order to fully enjoy the headphones. :)

post #53 of 527
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonahsfo View Post
I never knew a decent amp could fill in the gaps like this before.  I'm starting to suspect that Sennheiser engineered these cans to run balanced, off a solid amp, but supply a standard single-ended cable because of market reasons (95+% of users only have SE sources/amps).  It's a shame -- the box should come with a warning label to go buy a decent balanced system in order to fully enjoy the headphones. :)

 

You are not wrong. The HD800's were designed using the violectric v181. :wink_face:

 

As revealed by Alex Grell in an interview.

post #54 of 527

i read something about it, but the Violectric HPA V100 was mentioned, back when the hd800 was released, balanced wasn't endorsed as much as today by mainstream manufacturers, but it would be nice from sennheiser to include both cables

post #55 of 527
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonahsfo View Post

The Bryston BHA-1 is absolutely fantastic with the HD800s.  

I've been running these headphones off the stock unbalanced cables on my Benchmark DAC2 HGC for the past year or so, and always felt they sounded great, but were somewhat "thin" sounding.  The bass was always there, but sounded distant and constrained.

After listening to them on the Bryston on a balanced cable, everything changed.  The amp completely filled in the lower registers -- the bass has slam and impact, but the open, spacious qualities of the rest of the spectrum are still preserved.  It amazed me.  At first I thought they were different headphones, but then realized this is what they should have sounded like in the first place.  Even more impressively, the overall character of the sound (that I liked in the first place) hasn't changed -- the Bryston just filled in the gaps.

I never knew a decent amp could fill in the gaps like this before.  I'm starting to suspect that Sennheiser engineered these cans to run balanced, off a solid amp, but supply a standard single-ended cable because of market reasons (95+% of users only have SE sources/amps).  It's a shame -- the box should come with a warning label to go buy a decent balanced system in order to fully enjoy the headphones. smily_headphones1.gif

Interesting.. I actually tried the BHA-1/BDA-2 and returned them to keep the Benchmark DAC2...
post #56 of 527

Interesting indeed, I found the Bryston thin and harsh with the HD800.

post #57 of 527
Quote:
Originally Posted by P+D-MI View Post

Interesting indeed, I found the Bryston thin and harsh with the HD800.

Haha, completely oposite of me then, I thought it was too lush/forgiving smily_headphones1.gif
post #58 of 527

Driving the HD800 balanced is the biggest delta, I noticed.  They also sounded amazing on the Sennheiser HDVD600 when in balanced mode -- although I do prefer the sound of the Bryston amp.

As someone who genuinely likes the voicing of the HD800s, driving them balanced off the BHA-1 basically gives you more of the awesome qualities (win!). 

 

CybDev: interesting observation. the Benchmark DAC2 does have a fantastic sound. I listened to the Bryston BDA-2 and liked it, but the benchmark sound is clearly superior.  To be fair, it's also a massive improvement over the previous generation of DAC1 as well.  The headphone amp is very good, but the lack of balanced output limits what they can do for the HD800.  These cans just don't shine when driven single-ended.

post #59 of 527
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonahsfo View Post

Driving the HD800 balanced is the biggest delta, I noticed.  They also sounded amazing on the Sennheiser HDVD600 when in balanced mode -- although I do prefer the sound of the Bryston amp.
As someone who genuinely likes the voicing of the HD800s, driving them balanced off the BHA-1 basically gives you more of the awesome qualities (win!). 

CybDev: interesting observation. the Benchmark DAC2 does have a fantastic sound. I listened to the Bryston BDA-2 and liked it, but the benchmark sound is clearly superior.  To be fair, it's also a massive improvement over the previous generation of DAC1 as well.  The headphone amp is very good, but the lack of balanced output limits what they can do for the HD800.  These cans just don't shine when driven single-ended.

I use the stock HD800, the DAC2 also works as a balanced DAC for my LLmk2/SR-009's...
post #60 of 527
WA5 is a 300B that sounds luxurious with the HD800. Starting to think that the SR009 beats it it in almost every area though, after having lived with both cans for a while. Are there HD800 amp combos that can make HD800 even compete?
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