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Need HD800 amp/dac suggestions

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
So I recently decided to purchase the Sennheiser HD800. I'm a big fan of the Sennheiser sound, and I've recently come into a budget that allows for them. I've previously owned the HD598 and HD650, and currently use ie8s as my go to iem.

However, I've heard that the HD800s are difficult to drive. I'm working with a budget of around $1200 for both a dac and amp. Is it plausible to run the hd800s with a dac/amp in that budget range? And if so, do you have any combos/suggestions that you'd recommend?

If it matters, I tend to listen to indie, folk, blues, alternative rock, jazz, classical, and occasionally some house/trance.

Thanks!
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firstandrepair View Post

So I recently decided to purchase the Sennheiser HD800. I'm a big fan of the Sennheiser sound, and I've recently come into a budget that allows for them. I've previously owned the HD598 and HD650, and currently use ie8s as my go to iem.

However, I've heard that the HD800s are difficult to drive. I'm working with a budget of around $1200 for both a dac and amp. Is it plausible to run the hd800s with a dac/amp in that budget range? And if so, do you have any combos/suggestions that you'd recommend?

If it matters, I tend to listen to indie, folk, blues, alternative rock, jazz, classical, and occasionally some house/trance.

Thanks!

 

You say you are a big fan of the 'Sennheiser sound', is that based on the sound of the HD598 and HD650's?

 

If so you could be in for a surprise because the HD800's sound nothing like the previous cans, far better though.

 

Have you heard a pair of HD800's? If you have, fair enough :biggrin:

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Good point, to clarify... I enjoy the soundstage and openness of the 598's, along with the lush sound of the 650s.  I owned a tube amp when i had the 650s and really enjoyed the color it brought out in my music.  I haven't had the chance to hear the HD800s, from my understanding they provide more clarity while giving a superior soundstage, at the expense of the lush sound I enjoyed from my old 650s.  Am i far off?

post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firstandrepair View Post
 

Good point, to clarify... I enjoy the soundstage and openness of the 598's, along with the lush sound of the 650s.  I owned a tube amp when i had the 650s and really enjoyed the color it brought out in my music.  I haven't had the chance to hear the HD800s, from my understanding they provide more clarity while giving a superior soundstage, at the expense of the lush sound I enjoyed from my old 650s.  Am i far off?

 

No that's pretty accurate but if you like or want a lush sound maybe an Audeze phone will be a better bet.

 

If the tube amp you owned had a 'tubey' sound and you enjoyed them with the HD650's (I have also owned them, twice) the HD800's might come as a bit of a culture shock!  :wink_face:

post #5 of 16

The HD800's are very different to the HD650's. I would say that the HD598's actually are closer in sound signature to the HD800's than the HD650's.

 

Like others have said you might be in for a bit of a culture shock. Don't make any quick judgements though, this is a hard headphone to judge and many who hated it at first now rate it as their #1. (I know... I was one)

 

If you want dac and amp on a budget that gives the lush sound you want I would recommend:

 

1. Crack tube amp with speedball upgrade

2. A good nos DAC.

 

That combo should be able to compete with some $2000 systems on the market for something like $600-800.

post #6 of 16

I currently enjoying my HD800 with Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus (using as DAC only) and modified BH S.E.X. amp but still curious to know if NAD D1050 or Micromega Director can beat DacMagic Plus

post #7 of 16

I'm currently enjoying my HD800 with a rega dac + MG Head tube amp but I've purchased recently a cheap dac/amp AudioGD NFB12.1 and the result with HD800 is about the same. There's No need to spend 1000$ to enjoy your HD800 ;) . I had a dacmagic ( old version) before and I really appreciated it with  my Tube amp and the HD800 

post #8 of 16
Matrix M-Stage HPA-2 w/USB - $320. Seriously. Use that while saving up for a high end combo ($2000+). I've been using an M-Stage for several months while waiting for my GS-X to be delivered and it still sounds great.

http://www.head-fi.org/products/matrix-m-stage-hpa-2-w-usb-dac/reviews/10470
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorrodje View Post
 

I'm currently enjoying my HD800 with a rega dac + MG Head tube amp but I've purchased recently a cheap dac/amp AudioGD NFB12.1 and the result with HD800 is about the same. There's No need to spend 1000$ to enjoy your HD800 ;) . I had a dacmagic ( old version) before and I really appreciated it with  my Tube amp and the HD800 

 

I actually have not heard much about the MG Head tube amp, would you recommend it? I was considering the WA6 since I've only heard good things about it.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Matrix M-Stage HPA-2 w/USB - $320. Seriously. Use that while saving up for a high end combo ($2000+). I've been using an M-Stage for several months while waiting for my GS-X to be delivered and it still sounds great.

http://www.head-fi.org/products/matrix-m-stage-hpa-2-w-usb-dac/reviews/10470


I seriously had been considering the M-Stage, good to hear that recommendation :smile: .  Especially since its USB driven, which is sorta what I was looking for.

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firstandrepair View Post
 

 


I actually have not heard much about the MG Head tube amp, would you recommend it? I was considering the WA6 since I've only heard good things about it.

 

Yeah I definitely recommend it with the HD800. Against WA6 maybe you should give a look to Skylab tubes amp ranking : http://www.head-fi.org/t/402585/review-summary-a-ranking-of-32-tube-and-tube-hybrid-headphone-amps ;)

post #11 of 16
Go with the woo WA7. It's really cute all in one but can be used seperate . Well within your budget. But get the tube upgrade. 100 upgrade well worth it. And your done . The WA7
Will work very well with mostly all headphones and iem,s. It will not work witha HE6. I own we the unit. Just my two cents.
If you have any questions feel free to PM me .
Al
post #12 of 16
Had the WA6 with HD800 and the sound was too tame and boring. Clean and clear but uninvolving.
post #13 of 16
The phonitor is a really good amp for them. And the woo WA22 is really good too. But none of them are in your budget andno dac.
post #14 of 16

If you want your HD800 sound best go for Bifrost Uber or DacMagic Plus, I prefer it over Bifrost and use it as Dac only, and BH Crack, It's way way better then WA7

post #15 of 16
Price point please and is all put together or a DIY. ?

Al
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