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Best value tube amp for Sennheiser HD800 under 2k

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I recently purchased the Sennheiser HD800 and paired it up with my current Audio-Gd compass. The sound wasn't as great as I expected, something seemed lacking compared to my current HD650/Audio Gd Compass Dac/AMp. I need some help in deciding what to purchase in order to improve the quality of sound coming out of my system. I'm currently thinking about WA22/WA2/WA6 with Audio-Gd compasss for DAC. I want the best value tube amp for Sennheiser Hd800 under 2k hopefully, one where I would notice dramatic differences. 

 

Please advice. Any recommendations would be appreciated =)

post #2 of 13

I can personally recommend the Eddie Current Super 7.  I got tubes for mine that I hoped would be particularly helpful in giving more weight to the bass and taking a notch off the treble, and it has worked wonderfully. 

 

This topic has been addressed in a number of earlier threads, and there are a lot of other recommendations.

post #3 of 13

You could try EarMax Pro Silver Edition.

post #4 of 13

Does your budget include the cost of tubes?  The WA22 comes in just under $2,000, but you could easily drop another ~$1,000 in tubes if you aren't careful.  If your budget should include tubes, the WA2 might be a better option.

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaddy View Post

Does your budget include the cost of tubes?  The WA22 comes in just under $2,000, but you could easily drop another ~$1,000 in tubes if you aren't careful.  If your budget should include tubes, the WA2 might be a better option.

 

+1

 

and WA22 absolutely requires a balanced source/DAC to sound its best, if you can afford tubes + balanced, go for it.

 

the WA2 is great with HD 800 as well! tongue_smile.gif the extra money can be saved and/or put towards nice tubes for the WA2.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

 

+1

 

and WA22 absolutely requires a balanced source/DAC to sound its best, if you can afford tubes + balanced, go for it.

 

the WA2 is great with HD 800 as well! tongue_smile.gif the extra money can be saved and/or put towards nice tubes for the WA2.

Thank you for the advice! I was just wondering would WA2 + Audio compass be good enough to drive HD800? 

If tubes are really that expensive, I might really consider SS amp. Can someone give me an estimate of the price and how long these tubes last?

 

Thanks in advance!

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanwave1000 View Post

Thank you for the advice! I was just wondering would WA2 + Audio compass be good enough to drive HD800? 

If tubes are really that expensive, I might really consider SS amp. Can someone give me an estimate of the price and how long these tubes last?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

i think it will be good enough. umm if you go WA22, tubes are very expensive. WA2 isn't cheap either, but cheaper than WA22. the most important tubes would be tung sol 5998 power tubes, a pair is about 180-200$ and would last you a couple years. theres cheaper options out there though. tubes last anywhere from 5000-10000 hours, but it varies depending on the tube type, amp type, how often you use them, etc....

 

the super 7 mentioned above is also very popular, though you would go over your budget if you decide to upgrade tubes in the future

 

if you decide to go SS, i recommend burson soloist, many people seem to be very happy with it + HD800. if i decide to get a SS amp in the future, the soloist is definitely at the top of my list. 


Edited by Dubstep Girl - 5/17/13 at 7:08am
post #8 of 13

I would also look into the EC S7 or maybe a used ZD.
 

post #9 of 13

Tung Sol 5998 power tubes are NOT the most important.  Yes, they're an option, and many people like the tubes, however in my opinion the current price of those tubes makes them less desirable.  There are other power tubes that sound just as great at a far cheaper price.  RCA 6AS7G Black Plates are a great choice and should cost at the worst $100 for a matched pair.  You can spend $300 on tubes for the WA2 and see a nice improvement over the stock tubes.

 

Let's look at it this way...

 

WA2 - $1,190 (don't worry about the upgrades)

Power Tubes - $100

Preamp Tubes - $100

Rectifiers - $50

 

TOTAL - $1,440, and well under your $2,000 budget.

post #10 of 13
Yeah i guess. I just like the tung sols alot. If you can afford them, theyre worth it. But . RCA 6AS7G are definitely great tubes as welll and cheap. I got my pair for 15$. Prices are all over the place but they can be found pretty cheap. Rectifiers are cheap too (RFT EZ80 or EZ81) and tons of good preamp tubes at a good price.
post #11 of 13

I love the Zana Deux with my HD800's. The only tube I upgraded was the 6SL7 tube, which I replaced with a Sophia Electric/Fullmusic version for a decent improvement over the NOS tubes that folks were using in it. Shop around for a used Zana, it's an extremely transparent tube amp that you'll definitely enjoy.

post #12 of 13

And what about a WA6 full upgrade ?

 

don't forget the amazing 274 princess sophia ....tongue_smile.gif
 

post #13 of 13

What type of music do you listen to?

IMO It's all depends on it, well at least in between WA2(Lush, Full bodied sound) / WA6SE(Faster, Dynamic, better Separation closer to SS sound than WA2),

but if it were me I would just go with WA22 with stock tube then upgrades tubes or DACs later or you can wait until for a used one with tubes.

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