So I've had the HD800 for about three weeks now. I am loving them more and more each day. A little background (you can skip this if you just want to provide some advice on tube options for me, lol): like another member, I was 99% about to buy the TH900 about six weeks ago. Then shortly after reading good things about the TH600, I added them to my list. Then shortly after that, I accidentally came across some HD800 threads. I never considered them before that time because I thought that I was a tiny bit of a bass-head and for whatever reason, when I thought about the HD800 a couple of years ago, I only recalled hearing about how they are only good for classical and there was no bass. Those comments stuck in my mind since then and so they were never considered. But then since I was about to plunk down a fair bit of money, I didn't want to leave any stones unturned and have post-purchase remorse for not even at least giving other HPs a chance. So I started reading more about the HD800 again and became intrigued. So I added them to the list and the more I read, the more I started moving them higher on the list.
On audition day, I tried the Ultrasone Edition 10 and 12, Fostex TH600 and 900, Beyer T5p and T1, Senn HD700 and 800. The Beyer's were quite impressive but in the end it came down to the Fostex's and the HD800. Although the Fostex sound was captivating, I found that the HD800 would give me more long term fun as they were very equipment dependent that it would give me reason or excuse to keep trying new things (equipment, tubes, etc.). The Fostex did not seem to change nearly as much as I tested with different amps. So after two days of testing, I walked out of the shop with the HD800 and I haven't second-guessed since the early days after the purchase.
After purchasing the HD800, I brought them to the store that I was considering buying the Line Magnetic DAC and amp from. Originally I was only going to buy an amp but after hearing the vacuum tube sound on the LM 502CA DAC, I had to find a way to include it into my purchase. BTW, these pieces are a lot cheaper to purchase in Hong Kong than in North America so I couldn't pass on this after reading some positive reviews of the Line Magnetic equipment. The dac has the ability to switch between the ESS 9016 dac chip or two analogue tubes 12AU7/ECC82 valves.
Here are a couple of links to a quick review on the Line Magnetic 502CA DAC:
The amp that I purchased is really a small speaker amp but it also has a HP plug, although it is 1/8 only. The fact that the amp can run speakers was what peaked my interest in it because it gives me the option to move into the speaker world more easily. It has two EL84 6BQ5 and two 12AX7 ECC83 tubes (all tubes appear to be their own Line Magnetic brand). I have no idea what kind of sound these tubes produce relative to other tubes so unfortunately I cannot give you any feedback on that. I just assume that I can do better.
Here are a couple of links on the Line Magnetic Mini 218 IA amp:
The bottom line is that I do not know anything about tubes but I would like some help/advice on what kind of tubes I could consider for the DAC or the amp. I would like to start with low priced tubes before I consider moving onto more expensive ones. Since the HD800 is my primary HP with this set up, I would like recommendations for tubes that would produce a full body sound and more warmth.
Thanks in advance for your time and effort!
Edited by Rayzilla - 1/31/14 at 5:02am