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HD800 + Headamp GS-X MK2 + ? DAC / HD800 + HDVD800

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

Like title says, deciding between these 2 combos:

 

1. HD800 + Headamp GS-X MK2 + ? DAC (considering a tube dac perhaps?)

 

2. HD800 + HDVD800

 

For option 1, I dont know what DAC I should get for the pairing, so I need suggestions.

 

As for option 2, it's convenient since I don't have to mess with or buy additional cables but I'm skeptical about how it would fare against

option 1.

 

I would be getting the official XLR balancing cable as well.

 

P.s. I've no access to the HDVD 800 & Headamp GS-X MK2 since it's not available here in Singapore.

post #2 of 35
I will definitely go for option 1 if you are keen to get a better sound. From what I read, the dac in HDVD800 is pretty mediocre. What is your budget and are you willing to wait up to a year for GS-X MkII?
post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 
Well I thought the wait wouldn't be that long. I'm expecting like 5-6 months max o.o

But if I have to wait to get better sound then I'm more than willing to do so.

If that's the case, what suggestions do you have for the dac? I'm expecting to spend around $4-5k SGD which is around $4k+ish USD? (In total)
post #4 of 35
First, your conversion is a bit off. US$4K is almost $5000 SGD. GSX MKII with DACT alone will cost around $4000 SGD including GST, leaving you with less than $1000 SGD for DAC. You have to see if you can find a dac with that leftover budget that can match your expectation. I believe some still find good results with budget DAC like Concero.. For the GSX MkII, there are people who have ordered since March and yet to receive the amp. You have to be mentally prepare to wait long, but should be fine if you are willing to do that.
post #5 of 35

I would suggest expanding your options regarding your choices above.  There are other excellent combinations of separate amp and dac or amp/dac in a single unit that would match quite well with the HD800s. It sounds from your post that you probably would not have the opportunity to locally audition either one of the above, which limits your decision to basically what you read in this forum or elsewhere.   Since it appears that you are prepared to spend some $$ for your setup, one excellent combined unit that I would strongly recommend is the Resonessence Labs INVICTA --the dac is world-class and the built-in HP amp exceeds in my opinion any other dac/amp combo and equals many of the best separate headamps available. It sounds fantastic with HD800s and you can drive them in balanced mode too.   Resonessence seems to have more of a world-wide footprint compared to Headamp, so it actually may be possible to audition one in Singapore.    Also try searching through HeadFi some more - you may get other ideas.   I have the highest regard for Headamp products, in fact I've owned several in the past including a GS1 and GS-X (first generation), and while they are excellent sounding for sure, I've found through experience that dac, amp and headphone synergy probably in the long term far outweighs the merits/disadvantages of any single component.   As a final comment, I have to underscore the very long wait times for the GS-X.   I had to wait well over a year for my first gen GS-X; in retrospect, I doubt that I would do it again but that's just my opinion. 

post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the inputs,

But is the invicta's amp section on par with the gx mk2? And is the concero dac significantly better than the dac in the hdvd800? Well since if I'm going to wait for another year, right now I'm thinking of spending a little bit more for the schiit statement dac.

@twsmith

Anyway if you were to suggest a combo that synergies well what would that be?

From the way you say it, seems like the gs-x mk2 doesn't really synergize well with DACs?

Edit: maybe a little is an understatement but yeah.

Oh and I would be saving alot of money if I go for option 2. Since I'm also getting a computer.
Edited by HYHY - 10/26/13 at 8:20am
post #7 of 35

You likely could get a gsx mk2 from the current production batch.  The current batch is sold out, but Justin says he usually has a few cancellations that end up being available.  Contact Justin if you are interested in trying this route.   Ship date on these will probably be early next year, but with HeadAmp, you never quite know.

post #8 of 35

At the Tokyo show today I listened, for a very long time, to the HD800 with HDVD 800 and HDVA 600.  Freaking stunning, so smooth, so lush, gorgeous bass.  This was with XLR4 Senn cable and the source was regular 16bit CD.  Both sounded absolutely fantastic, but they were both playing from the same source, so I assume the HDVD800`s DAC was being bypassed.  The Senn guy told me the amplification sections are identical in both units. 

 

I am seriously considering the 600 for my HD800s, based on the sound, plus, the thing looks really cool.  And one more thing:  The unit is 100-240v internally, so it is actually `transportable`.  It`s about the size and weight of 2 Macbook Airs.  I live half the year in Japan and half the year in Thailand (100v and 230v), so for me this is a really interesting option.  

 

Good luck with the decision.  I think you`d be crazy to not get, at least, the 600 and then whatever DAC with it.  (I`m pretty skeptical that the 800s DAC is so bad, actually.  I am going back tomorrow to try to listen to it specifically.)


Edited by Dopaminer - 10/26/13 at 10:24am
post #9 of 35

i use the HD 800 wiith the GSX MK2 and the Mytek 192 DAC, after a few weeks of burn-in, i really enjoy it with GSX MK2. 

 

like completely wire with gain sound.

post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by HYHY View Post

Thanks for the inputs,

But is the invicta's amp section on par with the gx mk2? And is the concero dac significantly better than the dac in the hdvd800? Well since if I'm going to wait for another year, right now I'm thinking of spending a little bit more for the schiit statement dac.

@twsmith

Anyway if you were to suggest a combo that synergies well what would that be?

From the way you say it, seems like the gs-x mk2 doesn't really synergize well with DACs?

Edit: maybe a little is an understatement but yeah.

Oh and I would be saving alot of money if I go for option 2. Since I'm also getting a computer.

I will be frank here -- for awhile I had both the GS-X (Mk I) and Invicta together -- it was very easy to compare the HP out from the Invicta vs the GS-X using the Invicta dac (XLR out).  I thought both were actually quite good -- neither was perfect though, and while the GS-X seem to have had more "heft" and body, I felt the Invicta's HP amp did a better job resolving low level detail and presented a somewhat more expansive soundstage. Going balanced with the Invicta did bring it surprisingly closer to the GS-X in terms of overall body (but the software for the balanced config came out after I sold my GS-X).  It is likely that the MkII version of the GS-X is really a much better amp, however I could not help but conclude that maybe the Invicta dac just wasn't a good match for the GS-X in other ways, and perhaps a different dac with the GS-X would clearly better the Invicta.  All I can say is that I find the sound from the Invicta using the HD800s (balanced) more than satisfies me and I feel no need at this point to purchase another external amp.   I would rather spend my $$ on hi-res music.  

post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 

@Dopaminer

 

Let me know your thoughts about the DAC ~

 

@Dubstep Girl

 

I'm hearing mixed reviews about the mytek so if I were to decide on that I think I would need to audition those 1st.

Can't find these anywhere in my country though... (Yeah my country is sort of amp/dac unfriendly)

 

@twsmith

 

Invicta's should be available here, but the website for the dealer doesn't exist anymore.

 

Maybe I would try to find the store and audition it personally.

 

Edit: Btw what connection did you guys use for your DAC to your source? (I'm planning to plug it to my computer though)

And does anyone knows whether the GS-X Mk2 + Schiit Gungnir combo is a viable option?


Edited by HYHY - 10/26/13 at 5:27pm
post #12 of 35
Hi HYHY, it seems like you are looking for some quick answers here which hopefully instantly solve your issue. I think you may get disappointed in the end if you hope to get the right answers from just a few of us as we all hear things differently. There are plenty of information in the this forum, so read up more to get a better and balanced view. Of course, nothing will top hearing the gears yourself. While I agree there is no easy access to quite a number of TOTL head-amplifiers in Singapore, you will be surprised the amount of DACs you can find in Singapore, not to mention you hardly need to travel more than a hour to reach the shop. Therefore, saying Singapore is a DAC unfriendly place is as wrong as it gets, unless you stay at home all the time. Google is your friend and just put in more effort, you can easily audition many DACs. Good luck!
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by HYHY View Post
 

@Dopaminer

 

Let me know your thoughts about the DAC ~

 

@Dubstep Girl

 

I'm hearing mixed reviews about the mytek so if I were to decide on that I think I would need to audition those 1st.

Can't find these anywhere in my country though... (Yeah my country is sort of amp/dac unfriendly)

 

@twsmith

 

Invicta's should be available here, but the website for the dealer doesn't exist anymore.

 

Maybe I would try to find the store and audition it personally.

 

Edit: Btw what connection did you guys use for your DAC to your source? (I'm planning to plug it to my computer though)

And does anyone knows whether the GS-X Mk2 + Schiit Gungnir combo is a viable option?

 

mine needed burn-in, sounded bright and digital for a week, slowly it became neutral and just slightly warm in the mids, like laid back very slightly but mostly neutral like GS-X

post #14 of 35

The HDVA600 or HDVD800 should be available in Singapore in not-so-far-future, as the salesperson at Senn's showroom at Marina Square said they will carry those.

 

My current setup for HD800 is PC > Matrix X-Sabre > Bryston BHA-1, all connected to a Yulong P18 power conditioner. All these brands have local dealer here.

 

By the way, my impression with Schiit's dealer here wasn't very good. They charges very high premium and are hardly contactable...

post #15 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kn19h7 View Post
 

The HDVA600 or HDVD800 should be available in Singapore in not-so-far-future, as the salesperson at Senn's showroom at Marina Square said they will carry those.

 

My current setup for HD800 is PC > Matrix X-Sabre > Bryston BHA-1, all connected to a Yulong P18 power conditioner. All these brands have local dealer here.

 

By the way, my impression with Schiit's dealer here wasn't very good. They charges very high premium and are hardly contactable...

 

Would try to audition those when they are available. By schiit's dealer do you mean audio iconic?

 

http://audioiconic.com/

 

Edit: Oh and also do you know if sennheiser are stocking up on the balanced cables? If not I would have to get 1 online.

Quote:
Originally Posted by froger View Post

Hi HYHY, it seems like you are looking for some quick answers here which hopefully instantly solve your issue. I think you may get disappointed in the end if you hope to get the right answers from just a few of us as we all hear things differently. There are plenty of information in the this forum, so read up more to get a better and balanced view. Of course, nothing will top hearing the gears yourself. While I agree there is no easy access to quite a number of TOTL head-amplifiers in Singapore, you will be surprised the amount of DACs you can find in Singapore, not to mention you hardly need to travel more than a hour to reach the shop. Therefore, saying Singapore is a DAC unfriendly place is as wrong as it gets, unless you stay at home all the time. Google is your friend and just put in more effort, you can easily audition many DACs. Good luck!

 

Thanks for the advice, seems like there's much more to discover.


Edited by HYHY - 10/26/13 at 8:19pm
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