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Best ~$1k amp for HE-500

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

 I asked in the HE-500 thread and got some some good responses, but not everyone who owns, or has owned, a HE-500 still reads that thread. I figured I'd ask here. I'll lay down some criteria and make it easy!

 

1. I've owned a Lyr. Liked it, not interested in another one. But what about that Mjolnir?!?! Would need a balanced DAC though, correct?

2. I have a Project Ember which I believe is really good at it's price point.

3. I humored the following: speaker amps, Auralic Taurus, Questyle CM800R, V200 (still in the running, had one and sold it)

4. I like a more warm signature, but with tight bass and quick decay. Can I not have my cake and eat it too?

5. I really need to stay below $1k USD...

6. I have a great DAC, so not looking for an AMP/DAC, but yet still interested in the new WA7 offerings (new toy syndrome)

 

 So what do you guys think? I've heard amazing things about the Lafigaro/DarkVoice 337/339 and it's priced perfectly (>$800) as well as the newest Little Dots. But I'm seriously considering eventually going with a more expensive can (HE560/HE-6, OPPO PM-1/2, HD800) so that'll play a role as well.

post #2 of 16

Have you seen some of the OTL tube amps from Woo Audio?

 

http://www.wooaudio.com/products/

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

I have, just not sure which one has great synergy with the HE-500. I like the idea of the WA7 with tube power supply.

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

 I asked in the HE-500 thread and got some some good responses, but not everyone who owns, or has owned, a HE-500 still reads that thread. I figured I'd ask here. I'll lay down some criteria and make it easy!

 

1. I've owned a Lyr. Liked it, not interested in another one. But what about that Mjolnir?!?! Would need a balanced DAC though, correct?

2. I have a Project Ember which I believe is really good at it's price point.

3. I humored the following: speaker amps, Auralic Taurus, Questyle CM800R, V200 (still in the running, had one and sold it)

4. I like a more warm signature, but with tight bass and quick decay. Can I not have my cake and eat it too?

5. I really need to stay below $1k USD...

6. I have a great DAC, so not looking for an AMP/DAC, but yet still interested in the new WA7 offerings (new toy syndrome)

 

 So what do you guys think? I've heard amazing things about the Lafigaro/DarkVoice 337/339 and it's priced perfectly (>$800) as well as the newest Little Dots. But I'm seriously considering eventually going with a more expensive can (HE560/HE-6, OPPO PM-1/2, HD800) so that'll play a role as well.

Here's my input based on what I've listened to

  1. Nope
  2. Heard good things about it and people said it's powerful enough to drive HE500 well but I am not sure
  3. Taurus > V200
  4. I don't think you need to warm the HE500 up anymore unless you just prefer super warm signature.
  5. Vintage receiver for $300/$400 in good condition?
  6. I wouldn't buy WA7 for HE500.  I am a Woo owner/fan but still won't buy WA7 for HE500.

 

337 for HE500,  hmmm hifimanrookie would be able to tell you days about his.  Though, keep in mind $800 is probably with stock tubes. Get ready to invest in maybe $300 or $400 to get the best out of 337/339.  Gluck.

post #5 of 16

Yeah you could get a vintage Marantz receiver with an integrated headphone amp

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Have been looking at the LD MKVI+... Is balanced too, seems quite powerful. This or the 337/339.
post #7 of 16
FWIW... I know you said you aren't looking for an amp / dac combo, but I have the Fostex HP-A8 and think it sounds phenomenal with my HE-500's. I had a few specific requirements that led me to the Fostex (wanted a combo, wanted dual headphone outputs, wanted a remote etc), and I couldn't be happier with it.

Have used the Senn HD 598, 650, Fidelio X1, and Hifiman HE-400, and HE-500 with it and it has performed wonderfully we each of them. HE-500 with the Fostex could be end game for me...
post #8 of 16
Hmmm, it looks like the HP-A8 has gone up in price. I got mine from B&H a few months back for $1099. It's now listed for close to $1500. But if you can find it for around $1k I would highly, highly recommend it...
post #9 of 16

Does the HP-A8 have enough juice to power the HE-500s properly? I mean, it was pretty much designed for the TH900 which are lower impedence cans.

 

Edit: Specs here...

 

http://www.fostexinternational.com/docs/products/HP-A8C.shtml#content-3-tab-tab

 

Seems that HP-A8 is 700mW (32-ohm loaded), but doesn't the HE-500 need at least 38 ohms to be powered to full potential?


Edited by 1974 - 5/20/14 at 12:13am
post #10 of 16

If you have a dedicated dac already:

For under 1k grab a Soloist. It have more power and plenty of headroom than the A8

post #11 of 16
Soloist+1, but if you have the balance cable, the taurus mkii is an upgrade(doubling the price though)
post #12 of 16

The TEAC HA-501 will pump 2.8 W into 32 ohms, making it good for the HE-500.  Sounds smooth and refined when I use it for dynamics. 

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 

I ended up getting a La Figaro 339. Couldn't be happier.

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by TooPoor View Post
 

I ended up getting a La Figaro 339. Couldn't be happier.


I really dig the look of La Figaro amps and truly admire the internal wiring!

post #15 of 16

Pick up an Emotiva mini-X and save yourself some money.

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