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Amp to provide good improvement for HD650s?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have recently bought some Sennheiser HD650s and have plugged them in to my Marantz SR7007 AV receiver. Despite the fact that they are not yet run in, the sound is excellent, easily as good as I expected. My plan was to buy an amp to power them properly, something like the Little Dot Mk3 or Schitt Valhalla. However, whilst a lot of people seem to be of the opinion that an amp is the only way to go for the HD650s, a significant minority say that there will be little or no difference between an amp and the standard headphone out of a receiver provided that the receiver has enough juice in the first place. It certainly sounds like my Marantz is doing a good job, so would I notice a reasonable improvement if I went for one of these amps?
post #2 of 18

The WA3, WA6SE, and BUDA come to mind.

 

I think going to one of your listed amps may improve the sound a little, but honestly even the amps I have listed are only going to give you a little more low end punch and perhaps a slightly more fun listening experience.  The HD-650 is just one of those headphones that does not always sound awesome with all types of music and it often leaves one wanting more especially at low listening levels.

 

It is going to be less expensive to simply add another set of headphones such as:

 

1.)  AKG K550

2.)  V-MODA M100

3.)  beyerdynamic DT990 ( 32 Ohm )

4.)  Sennheiser Momentum

post #3 of 18
It all depends on the quality of the headphone amp in your receiver, so I don't think anyone can give you a definitive answer unfortunately. Some receivers have a crappy headphone section, whereas others have a very decent headphone section and you would need a pretty expensive standalone amp to notice a difference.
post #4 of 18

If you're happy with the sound coming from your receiver, i don't see the need of a headphone amp. Unless you have plans to buy harder to drive headphones in the future. 

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

The WA3, WA6SE, and BUDA come to mind.

 

I think going to one of your listed amps may improve the sound a little, but honestly even the amps I have listed are only going to give you a little more low end punch and perhaps a slightly more fun listening experience.  The HD-650 is just one of those headphones that does not always sound awesome with all types of music and it often leaves one wanting more especially at low listening levels.

 

It is going to be less expensive to simply add another set of headphones such as:

 

1.)  AKG K550

2.)  V-MODA M100

3.)  beyerdynamic DT990 ( 32 Ohm )

4.)  Sennheiser Momentum

 

Thanks. That is interesting as I was thinking of buying the Momentums to replace my B&W P5s for portable listening. They seem much more open and detailed than the P5s, but I didn't think that they would compete with the HD650s for home listening. I guess they will have better bass extension for electronic music as this is the only place I have noticed the HD650s slightly lacking.

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueangel2323 View Post

It all depends on the quality of the headphone amp in your receiver, so I don't think anyone can give you a definitive answer unfortunately. Some receivers have a crappy headphone section, whereas others have a very decent headphone section and you would need a pretty expensive standalone amp to notice a difference.

I think the Marantz one is pretty good, it certainly seems to control the HD650s quite well.

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fabio-fi View Post

If you're happy with the sound coming from your receiver, i don't see the need of a headphone amp. Unless you have plans to buy harder to drive headphones in the future. 

No plans at the moment. I love the sound of the HD650s, but might get a set of Momentums primarily for portable use.

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingston12 View Post

No plans at the moment. I love the sound of the HD650s, but might get a set of Momentums primarily for portable use.

 

Momentums are a good choice. 

post #9 of 18

Depends how much you spend you can get a big difference.  But if you don't know what your missing out on then you don't miss it.  And if your happy with what you have I say don't upgrade until you have money jumping out of your pockets or its eating you that you can get a better sound/experience.

 *Note for the 200ish price range I'd say go for the project sunrise II.  Its slightly better then the schitt lyr IMO and the lyr is really good.


Edited by David Chavez - 8/12/13 at 8:45pm
post #10 of 18

I second Project Sunrise II or better still Project Ember which is the current flagship.

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the recommendations of the Project amps, I had not seen them before. They don't seem to badly priced, about the same as the LD3 and cheaper than the Valhalla. I think I would like to buy a headphone amp anyway as it will provide flexibility when I am listening away from my main system (still at home), but it would only really be worth doing if it improves on the main system as well as that is where I will do 90% of my listening.
post #12 of 18

Look for what people have said about Bottlehead Crack HD650 pairing.

post #13 of 18

I would say any OTL or hybrid is a good choice. Even a highly modded bravo sounds great. 

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingston12 View Post

Thanks for the recommendations of the Project amps, I had not seen them before. They don't seem to badly priced, about the same as the LD3 and cheaper than the Valhalla. I think I would like to buy a headphone amp anyway as it will provide flexibility when I am listening away from my main system (still at home), but it would only really be worth doing if it improves on the main system as well as that is where I will do 90% of my listening.

 

Then, you should consider the Soloist SL. Its a very flexible amp. 

post #15 of 18

Audio GD NFB 15.32. You will not look back. Lots of power, great DAC chipset, dedicated PSU.. don't see how it gets better for that price. Plus the cost is relatively low so even if it doesn't work out with HD650's, if you switch cans they can power almost anything. I use my IEM's with one of the older gen NFB's.

 

I went from a $449 Nuforce HDP which was well-received on Sixmoons (lol) to an NFB unit and it was honestly miles ahead in terms of how it delivered power to my HD800's and the high end orthos at the time.

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