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Final Amp for HD800

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I’m posting this on behalf of a friend, who is not so comfortable with writing in English. But he reads english very well, so he will be reading this thread, I will only supply his questions and answers translated from danish to English. Hope this will work :regular_smile :

 

He is looking for a ”final” amp for his Sennheiser HD800. He’s current amp is a LittleDot MK VI+, upgraded with Tungsol NOS 6SL7.

 

He has narrowed his choice down to 3(4) candidates:

 

  1. DNA Stratus
  2. Liquid Glass
  3. ALO Studio Six
  4. And as a possible fourth candidate the LittleDot MK VIII SE, which should be aimed at high impedance headphones

 

But he has a few questions, which we hope some of you can help answer.

 

Since it is almost impossible to get a listen to these amps before buying, he would like to hear of any experiences with these amps in combination with HD800.

 

He would also like to hear opinions about whether these amp would actually make a significant improvement, compared to the LittleDot MK VI+.

 

As a source he is using the NAD M51 dac. He primarily listen to rock/pop. He likes a full bodied sound, with a detailed bass, an organic midrange, and a smooth and liquid treble.

 

If any of you guys have any experiences with other amps that could be ”end game” with a HD800, he would of course also like to hear about it. He is settled on tube amps though, so solid state is not an option. Price range: Not above $4000.

 

Any help will be appreciated :smile_phones:

post #2 of 14

Based on the sound description, I'm wondering if your friend could be better off with an audeze phone, but then again their comfort level isn't too spectacular.

 

But tube amps are the way to go. I've heard good stuff about Woo Audio amps, which are known for full bodied, smooth tube sound. WA2 is the one you're looking at. WA22 if your friend is willing to go balanced.

post #3 of 14
I personally think the HDVD800 as an end game amp for HD800, even better than the Liquid Gold pairing.

However if it's tubes, I totally recommend the WooAudio WA22, great amp for the finicky HD800.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0000 View Post
 

Based on the sound description, I'm wondering if your friend could be better off with an audeze phone, but then again their comfort level isn't too spectacular.

 

But tube amps are the way to go. I've heard good stuff about Woo Audio amps, which are known for full bodied, smooth tube sound. WA2 is the one you're looking at. WA22 if your friend is willing to go balanced.

 

He also owns the LCD-2, but he prefers the HD800 :normal_smile :

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

WA22 seems like an option, but he is unsure whether it is possible to get something even better, considering the price range (up to $4000). Not that the amp must be that expensive, but just to make sure he is not overlooking something.

post #6 of 14
Saying something like an end game amp for the HD800 is quite um… how should I put this? I guess you could say, up to personal opinion. Amping the amp finicky HD800 is even harder than amping an SR-009, due to their flat and neutral sound signature. Some like to maintain the neutrality, while others try to 'warm' them up. Like the SR-009 however, you're always going to feel like you're missing something, even when paired with a $6000 amp. (Or in this case, I should say you're friend).

From the four amps you've given, I would pick the liquid glass. smily_headphones1.gif
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

You are off course right, and I know he is aware that in the end it is a matter of personal preference.

 

But not being able to listen to the amps before buying, makes other peoples preferences the next best alternative to picking at random.

 

He has two questions about the Liquid Glass:

 

1) Does it require bias setting when changing tubes?  (He gets a bit confused, when he reads that it is self-adjusting, but still requires some sort of voltage/current setting)

2) Have you any recommendations regarding tubes?

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

All inputs still appreciated :smile: 

post #9 of 14

I personally have a Stratus and I am extremely happy with it.  I can't comment on the other amps, but I would highly recommend checking out the Stratus thread here.

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buyer no 1 View Post

You are off course right, and I know he is aware that in the end it is a matter of personal preference.

But not being able to listen to the amps before buying, makes other peoples preferences the next best alternative to picking at random.

He has two questions about the Liquid Glass:

1) Does it require bias setting when changing tubes?  (He gets a bit confused, when he reads that it is self-adjusting, but still requires some sort of voltage/current setting)
2) Have you any recommendations regarding tubes?

6SN7 octal tubes go quite well with the Liquid Glass. The Liquid Glass just self adjusts to the tubes currently in use, but you can select either 6.3V or 12.6V.

Sorry if the second part made no sense, it's hard to explain and I think I just did it wrongly...
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slashfury99 View Post


6SN7 octal tubes go quite well with the Liquid Glass. The Liquid Glass just self adjusts to the tubes currently in use, but you can select either 6.3V or 12.6V.

Sorry if the second part made no sense, it's hard to explain and I think I just did it wrongly...

I'm another friend to him and asking for him:

 

When you say that he CAN select, does it the mean he HAVE to select 6,3 or 12,6? 

What happens if the selection is wrong?

Same questions goes for B+ 200V/300V

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mataugust View Post

I'm another friend to him and asking for him:

When you say that he CAN select, does it the mean he HAVE to select 6,3 or 12,6? 
What happens if the selection is wrong?
Same questions goes for B+ 200V/300V

The selection can't be wrong, since there's just two. Here's an instruction site, really helpful: http://www.cavalliaudio.com/diy/cth/main.php?page=setup
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Our friend seems to be zooming in on the Liquid Glass :regular_smile :

 

Any specific tubes he should go for (and where to buy them), aiming at synergy with the HD800?

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buyer no 1 View Post

Our friend seems to be zooming in on the Liquid Glass regular_smile%20.gif

Any specific tubes he should go for (and where to buy them), aiming at synergy with the HD800?

6SN7 or VT-231.
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