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HD650 AMP/DAC recommendations

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hey All,


I'm taking the plunge into higher end audio gear and wanted to make my own thread for recommendations and comments to address any blaring mistakes. 


After reading entirely too many reviews, I've decided on HD650's. They seem to have the best all-around comfort, sound and price point. Forums claim that the 600's are more neutral, I tend to like a wider range of sound, so the 650 appears more welcoming.


As far as an AMP/DAC goes, I've read in multiple places that the 650 is picky and needs to be paired with a particular amp/dac. I've narrowed the choices to the O2+ODAC combo and the Maverick TubeMagic D1. I've seen references to Schiit combos and Nuforce, but wasn't able to find a definitive result. The O2+ODAC seems like a safe bet.


I listen to classic rock, ambient and downtempo music. I use my laptop as a desktop.



Headphones: 300-500

Amp/DAC: 200-300



MBP Retina



I'm open to suggestions and comments on any other AMP/DAC combos/pairings and headphones.




P.S. If anyone could recommend a store in socal (LA) that I could test out different gear, that would be excellent.

post #2 of 6

Yes, O2+ODAC is a very safe bet. Get the JDS Labs version because they know what they're doing and have amazing customer service. You might want a more powerful adapter ($10) if you listen at high volumes. You can ask them about it.

post #3 of 6

The 650 is somewhat picky about amp/dac. I've been through them all. :rolleyes: 


If you want the 650 to sound a little cleaner and have more detail, try the Asgard2. It's a very good amp at $250. Pair it up with a modi and you're still within budget. The lyr will give you more punch and dynamics but it spendy. 


Truth is there is really only one for the hd650. The bottlehead crack amp will rock your socks and curl your toes. It's a match made in heaven for the 650. I have never heard anything that compares to what this amp offers to the 650. 


It's a diy kit though but within your budget. 



post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I was definitely gonna go with the JDLabs version of the O2+ODAC. For some reason, I thought the bottlehead crack was way out of my price range. I'm comfortable soldering, so the kit aspect wouldn't be a problem.
The only thing that worries me is the size / break factor. Don't the tubes get hot? I'd be worried about smacking something into them when the amp is sitting on my desk.
post #5 of 6
Originally Posted by faffi View Post

A few months back I replaced my Essence STX with an Audio-GD NFB-15.32 external DAC/amp ($300 shipped).

I like it because is comes with S/PDIF (optical/coaxial) inputs, so it can work with sound cards.

USB bypasses the sound card.

Audio-GD should be restocking the 15.32 with in a few weeks.


post #6 of 6

ill get around to that hd650 and crack someday

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