Originally Posted by dleblanc343
I completely agree on the NAD M51 being phenomenal with the CMA800R, but I'm not 100% with the HD800's. You're using the LCD-X correct?
I just read your review over in the HD800 thread and it's great to hear some impressions from another with the same setup. I agree with your impressions of the HD800 with the CMA800R and I as well found that this is a fantastic amp and is one of the best SS amps I have heard, and certainly the best I have owned. It is the best I had heard the HD800 and it favors their resolution without pushing their tendency to amplify grain.
I agree as well that the HD800 has a nature that you just have to learn to accept. In my case over time I began to believe that the HD800 were not really providing as accurate a representation of the music as they should, and despite their reputation for neutrality they are in fact coloring the sound in their own way. It was actually the quality of the CMA800R in part that helped me reach this conclusion.
Shortly thereafter the LCD-X were released and as I am lucky enough to have a local dealer I got to spend some time with them, and despite not being in any way interested in buying another set of very expensive phones I ended up taking them home after my demo. The LCD-X are an impressive achievement as they have high resolution and air, but still give you the ortho realism and dynamic. When I was listening to them initially I can remember thinking "This is what the HD800 should sound like", and I suppose my solution to taming the HD800 was to buy the LCD-X. If you have the same rig as I do you may have a similar taste and I can strongly recommend a listen to the LCD-X.
I still have my HD800 and I do use them from time to time and in general after an initial wow factor I find they become disappointing. No complaints about the NAD M51 or the CMA800R, they are both among the best pieces of equipment available at any price.
Edited by Sanlitun - 3/17/14 at 1:53pm