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Headphone amp for HE-400

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi,

I'm new here and I want to upgrade my less than modest headphone setup but have a hard time choosing a headphone amp.

Just to put you in context, my source is a Thorens 126 mkIII turntable with an Orthofon 2M blue cartridge plugged into a Pro-Ject tube box II (stock tubes replaced by Telefunken tubes) and I plan on replacing my Grados SR60 by some hifiman HE-400 (not 100% sure yet, this might change). I listen mostly to classic rock, jazz and classical music.

Now, since I have a tube preamp, some people think that I should go with a SS amp so that the sound from my preamp + telefunken tubes wouldn’t be modified by a second set of tubes. However I really love the sound of tubes and a tube amp might be good as well. This is my first “problem”. I don’t want to go into the evergoing SS VS tube debate, just thoughts about putting amp X after my tube preamp.

Second is which amp to choose... I’ve read lots of reviews and every amp has its fans and at a 500-1000 price point every amp should at least be a big step up from what I’ve got right now. Some SS that caught my attention were: Burson HA160 /  Burson Soloist SL / SPL auditor and Musical Fidelity M1HPAP. On the tube side the Woo audio WA3 or WA6 really got my attention. The Lyr is also an option.

This is the big picture and I’d like to have your thoughts (on anything, even the headphones) since I can’t really test all this stuff for myself and I'm aware that in the end it all depends on personal tastes.

Thank you very much!

Olivier


Edited by Olivier11986 - 8/7/13 at 11:02am
post #2 of 13

Hello and Welcome :)

 

The amps mentioned are great, what kind of sound you like? something neutral, warm? (regarding headphones, i think you are in the right direction) 

post #3 of 13

lyr + he500 is a good combo for what you want to listen to (he400 lacks the detail for classical imo). i think you should take your total budget, and spend ~70% of it on headphones, the rest on amp.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you both for your input!
I like warm sound with enough bass. I'm not a basshead but I need to at least feel it. Right now with my setup and my Grados SR60 the mids and the highs are good but there is absolutely no bass at all and its really deceiving. Since I don't have any control over trebble/bass on either my preamp or future headphone amp, this scares me a bit. I've also been able to test the SR220 on my setup, but I had the same problem.

As for the headphones, I might wait a bit more to save for the HE500 and keep my SR60 for now since I think that the most important upgrade right now is the amp.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

The more I read reviews the more I think I'll go for the Schiit Lyr. It seems to produce great results with planar magnetic headphones and it's reasonably priced IMO.

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olivier11986 View Post

The more I read reviews the more I think I'll go for the Schiit Lyr. It seems to produce great results with planar magnetic headphones and it's reasonably priced IMO.

 

Of course, it have enough power for planars. 

 

But, it won't be suitable for low impedance headphones. 

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by fabio-fi View Post

 

Of course, it have enough power for planars. 

 

But, it won't be suitable for low impedance headphones. 

?? planars are low impedance and the lyr is designed to drive them. unless you meant it won't be suitable for high impedance headphones, which i kinda agree (it'll sound great but not optical IMO)

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Actually I might be able to get a used Woo WA6, so my choices are down to either the Lyr or the WA6.

The He-400 are supposedly easy to drive, so I shouldn't have any problem with either amp.

Jd007 is right, the HE-400 are only 35 ohms.

post #9 of 13
Actually the HE-400 is relatively easy to be driven. I use it with two totally different amps, the Sennheiser HDVD-800 and the FiiO Mont Blanc. And both of them work fine. I guess I do not need to elaborate here which one sounds better, but the other one also makes a decent set up with the HE-400 and is a lot of fun / joy listening to... It doesn't necessarily have to be big and / or expensive to go well along with the HE-400. So here is a lot of space for experiments with high chances to find a good match. Btw, Give the HE-400 sufficient time to burn-in (approx 150 to 250 hrs) before you finally judge him...
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jd007 View Post

?? planars are low impedance and the lyr is designed to drive them. unless you meant it won't be suitable for high impedance headphones, which i kinda agree (it'll sound great but not optical IMO)

 

Low impedance, high sensitivity headphones. Sorry, missed that part. 


Edited by fabio-fi - 8/9/13 at 11:42am
post #11 of 13

The 400s are easy to drive I use a Goldpoint SS amp The Lyr works well but in mind too much unnecessary power for 400

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by J&J View Post

The 400s are easy to drive I use a Goldpoint SS amp The Lyr works well but in mind too much unnecessary power for 400

Hi,

Can I ask what is the internal diameter of the stock pleather ear pads?

Thanks.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgelai57 View Post


Hi,

Can I ask what is the internal diameter of the stock pleather ear pads?

Thanks.

seems to be about 55 mm diameter. depth is about 20mm

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