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HD650 (and UERM) AMP

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi!

 

I received a pair of Sennheiser HD650 headphones today in the mail.

I've been searching around on the forum for quite some time, trying to figure out what AMP and DAC to buy in order to get the most out of the HD650s.

 

My budget is around 500$ (could possibly go a little higher).

As far as I can see from all the searching, my best bet for something under 1k would b Schiit.

I already own a FiiO E11 AMP (costed me 150dollars where I live) (portable) that I bought for my UERM. It seems to me that it was a complete waste of money since, to me, it does not improve the SQ very much.

 

I also need a DAC, but it's from my understanding not as important as a good AMP?

Would a cheap 100dollar DAC for example Schiit Modi be adequate?

For AMPs I understand that the best would be to buy a Bottlehead Crack kit, but I do not want to risk loosing my hearing because I soldered something incorrectly. Other than that, I understand that Asgard2, Valhalla and Lyr are supposedly all very good with the HD650? Tubes over SS for the HD650 right?

 

I also own the UERM which I'm not sure if would benefit much from an AMP or not, would it?

I've read that the Valhalla is not good for low impedance headphones and my UERMs are 35ohm which isn't exactly high imp.

If so then what AMP would suit both the HD650 and the UERM? (but mostly the HD650)

(the AMP and DAC will be used with my laptop NOT for portable use hence prioritizing the HD650 over the UERM)

 

 

I apologize for the post being so poorly written and that everything is all over the place.

post #2 of 14

buy a built crack.

post #3 of 14

SS is as good as tubes for the HD6xx headphones. 

 

A soloist SL with a Dac like a Modi/Odac would make a nice setup. 


Edited by formula1 - 7/17/13 at 3:42pm
post #4 of 14

You are in a tough place. Amps that work really well with high Z headphones like the 650 don't work as well with very sensitive low Z phones like the UERM.  The best compromise would be something like Headamps Pico Power if you are looking at new equipment or possibly the Gilmore Lite on the used market.  Something solid state with low output impedance and solid circuit design with adjustable gain.  It takes quite an amp to really wring out the best in the 650, but that is only my personal opinion from my experiences.  Good luck with your hunt!

post #5 of 14

Here are some solid options for your budget OP:

I personally run a Schiit Bifrost Uber with Little Dot MK III (with a Schiit Lyr on the way), and my HD650s sound absolutely fantastic on this setup.

post #6 of 14

the Fiio E11 specs 35 mW into 300 Ohms, apparently uses a V booster circuit - a possibly useful increase over standard DAP output

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

I don't think it's possible to buy a built crack from bottlehead and I don't want some random person to build it for me, it's not that I can't solder, I just don't want 2 risk loosing my hearing even if the chance is 1 in a 1k... (not like I'd have any insurance if I rupture my eardrum cuz I've soldered something incorrectly)

I guess I can buy an AMP + DAC for the HD650, and then sometime later buy an AMP for the UERM. 

Does the UERM actually benefit much from an AMP?

 

Would Schiit Modi + Valhalla/Asgard2 be a good option for HD650?

The DAC doesn't have to be expensive does it? isn't the difference between 100dollars and 300dollars very minor in DACs?

 

JD007, thanks for the recommendations but "solid options for your budget", my budget is around 500dollars not 200-300, is there very little benefit from buying something for 500 as oposed to 200-300? How does the Little Dot compare to the Schiit models?

post #8 of 14
I have not heard of the entry level Schiit models and Lyr is on the way so I can tell you about that soon, but from what I've seen online they are quite good for their price. I gave options for within that budget, I mean we don't have to spend all of our budget even though we want to smily_headphones1.gif

I run the little dot with my hd650 right now and I can say its pretty amazing. Definitely a very good amp for the price. It is an OTL so the closest comparable Schiit is the Valhalla.

If you want to spend more and don't mind going over a bit, the Schiit bifrost + Valhalla stack could be very good. I own the bifrost über and it is a very good and neutral sounding dac. Beauty of the bifrost is that it's modular, so if you don't have the money now just get the regular base model, later on you can upgrade to uber
Edited by Jd007 - 7/17/13 at 9:06am
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm considering getting the Schiit Lyr, as it's supposed to suit both low and high imp headphones, so I suppose it would be a good match for both my HD650 and my UERMs.

Any idea if the Schiit Modi would be a good enough DAC? or would Lyr + Modi be a bad combination? Would it be sufficient for a while and then possibly upgrade to Bifrost later? Is there actually any noticable difference between Modi and Bifrost?

post #10 of 14

lyr + modi should be good. i don't know the difference between the modi and the bifrost as I have never owned/heard the modi. i mean you can always upgrade to bifrost later. good luck with your purchase and hope you enjoy w/e you buy!

post #11 of 14

The suggestions of "Lyr" obviously disregards your request for an UERM amplifier. If you are just going to disregard them, search HD650 in this same forum to find that almost every amp has once been used to power a HD650.   The Lyr was designed for hard to drive / low z Orthodynamic phones. Doesn't mean it wont work for other things, but 6 watts is a large amount of juice to a balanced armature device.

post #12 of 14

I'm in roughly the same boat and looking at amps roughly the same price point.  Through all my research so far, it seems to point to the following two amps that have gain settings for low and high gains (for low Z and high Z headphones).

 

1) Burson Soloist SL (roughly USD$600)

2) Lake People G109 (roughly USD$500) - Lake People are the same guys behind the Vioelectric.

3) If you can stretch a little, the Vioelectric V200 (close to USD$1000).

 

However, all these have gain switches for different phones and they also have huge power reserves (for IEMs all the way to Orthophones).

 

Disclaimer: I'm also in my research phase so, I haven't heard any of these.  I'm just writing to share some of my research ...

 

Hope this helps!

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3NTAL View Post

The suggestions of "Lyr" obviously disregards your request for an UERM amplifier. If you are just going to disregard them, search HD650 in this same forum to find that almost every amp has once been used to power a HD650.   The Lyr was designed for hard to drive / low z Orthodynamic phones. Doesn't mean it wont work for other things, but 6 watts is a large amount of juice to a balanced armature device.

yeah, i did not originally suggest the lyr. i originally suggested modi + asgard2 but OP asked if he can spend more to get better result. also in the OP he mentioned that the amp is mostly for the 650 as IEMs don't really require amps

 

for IEMs i would stay away from tube amps. the noise floor will generally be too loud for high sensitivity IEMs (i know this is the case for the little dot mk iii OTL an the lyr hybrid). you can get tubes that have lower noise floor but solid state is still the better way to go IMO

post #14 of 14
I'm looking into the lyr aswell for my hd650's currently I have the little dot mk3 and little dot dac 1. It does sound good but just want to try the lyr and possibly schiit combo. I'm just starting my music journey so just doing as much research as possible and trying to get the best sound possible of course with my budget
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