A great classic: best amp for the binome "HD600 & rock music"? PLEEEEEAAAASE HELP!
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greenhorn

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Hi, everybody,

I am the perfect newcomer in the world of headphones, still amazed by what my 2 weeks old HD600 could bring as an improvement, as compared to the speakers...


... and here I am, unable to go to sleep, at 4 a.m., with this headache due to reading most of the threads on amps.



PLEASE HELP ME!!! I don't have the possibility to listen to different amps, actually I never had the opportunity to check my headphones but connected to my normal amplifier. I will therefore have to rely entirely on your advices.

I mainly listen to rock music, in particular Beatles and Rolling Stones. Some reggae too. Not to forget rhythm & blues, of course.

I don't think I would be happy with a tube amp, because I don't want to get into this "tube rolling" business - sorry to the tube-inconditioners
I would prefer a SS model which I would not have to upgrade, but just to be VERY HAPPY with it as it is...

The price limit would be about $400.

After going through the forum, I *think* I would choose between the Creek OBH 11-SE and the Corda HA-1.

Please be so kind as to give me some advice! I am aware that this issue has been discussed again and again and again, but I'm still lost
Have you had the opportunity to listen to these amps, via HD600, to the kind of music I prefer? If so, what would be your choice???

Many, many thanks in advance!

greenhorn
 
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Fortune

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Hi greenhorn,

Welcome to the insanity...

Although you aren't convinced on the tube idea, I would highly recommend the MG Head OTL. Check out posts by Nick Dangerous, who graciously did the work for the rest of us, and use his tube recommendations.

The detail of the Corda may bring out more of the imperfections in some of the classic rock recordings you enjoy. It's just my 2 cents.

Good luck
 
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BenG

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You said you listen to Beatles & RS. you should consider crossfeed as one of options on any amp. Alot of those early stereo recording have a wide and descrete soundstage that can sound particularily strange with headphones(ie. the sound coming directly from each ear). This is where the merits of crossfeed become obvious and useful to me.
 
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andrzejpw

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Hmm, I'd say go for either a Meta42 or a Headroom Little with the Premium module. You get the nice headroom crossfeed with the second choice. But then again, you can build a meta42 with a crossfeed module.

PM eric343, tangent, or JMT to build a meta42, or build your own!
 
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Hirsch

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Solid state, under $400, for HD-600, primarily rock music

You've narrowed it down to the two of the three real contenders in that price range (the third amp I'd think about is the Grado RA-1, but others will disagree with me). Of the Creek OBH11-se and the Corda HA-1, I'd recommend the Corda over the Creek. I found the Creek to be very analytic in nature, and not particularly involving. I have limited experience with the Corda, but I really liked what I heard, and you also have crossfeed.
 
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jodokast

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Re-consider tube amps, namely the MG Head.

Do searches.



That is all.
 
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kelly

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The Corda is the obvious choice of the commercially available solid state amps under $400.

You may want to check out the DIY stuff too, though.

The Creek is a steaming pile.
 
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markjia

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I agree that you should seriously consider a tube amp. Given your taste in music, i think they are well suited for you. Your music would really benefit from the smoothness of tubes. I find that some tube amps *may* help hide some of the imperfection in older recording.

As for the reliablity of tubes, i don't think they're a lot of trouble, you might need to relace the tubes in a year or so, but its really easy with virtually all tube amps.

If you want crossfeed, you could get an seperate crossfeed processor. I'd think someone here would be willing to build one for you. They're pretty cheap.

An MG Head + crossfeed should cost less than $400.
 
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greenhorn

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Hi,

First of all, many thanks to everyone who posted answers!

I still would stick to a SS amp
Why? Because I want it to give its best as soon as I need it, without having to wait for hours or having to keep it permanently powered, and I don't want to change tubes either


I still have some comments and questions.

It seems indeed that crossfeed is necessary to me, otherwise I will never be able to listen to those artificially stereoed recordings of the sixties. This should eliminate the Creek OBH 11-SE and help me decide myself for the Corda HA-1, right?

It also seems to me that there is a general agreement on the fact that Corda has a better crossfeed than the Headroom Little / Premium...

Still I have some problems in this decision, due to the following reasons:

- Creek is Class A, while Corda seems to me not being Class A (kelly suggested that it should be somehow improved with a view to make it operate exclusively in Class A, which means it is NOT Class A, right?);

- Corda has cheap jacks (nobody seems to understand why
);

- I do NOT know what "op-amps" are, but everybody seems to agree that it's better for a SS amp NOT to have them and have something else instead, and I understand that the Corda has them (and the Creek seems not to have them);

- kelly, in the long review you just posted, you say that a significant bass drop appears on the Corda because of the cross feed... now does this bass drop exist even if you leave the crossfeed switch on the "off" position?

- it is not clear to me if the Corda is provided or not with a power supply, or do I have to buy one separately? I know the Creek has a power supply included.

So there are pros and cons for each of them, so far


Please correct me if I am wrong and thanks again in advance for any replies!

greenhorn
 
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mkmelt

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Greenhorn, you have not provided any information concerning your music source(s) that ulimately feed you headphones. If you are listening to vinyl records of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones instead of CD audio digital copies of these analog recordings, you would know that there is a great deal of recorded ambience (concert hall and recording studio acoustic reflections and echoes) that were captured during the orignal recording sessions.

Much of the recorded ambience is lost on the CDs, however, to maximize the listening experience and reproduce as much of the recorded ambience as possible, I have to agree with several of the posters on this thread that tube amplifiers are particularly well suited for use with the HD-600s.

I happen to own a pair of HD-600s, and after experimenting with several sources and amplifiers, have settled on listening to vintage rock and pop reel to reel tape recordings, played through a vintage tube receiver, and the HD-600s. I own many of the early Beatles and Rolling Stones on factory reel tapes and the sound is truly fantastic. Electric guitars tones sound natural, full bodied, and three dimensional. Bass is palpable, much better than on many of the CDs, and vocals are so clear and natural it is hard to believe. This setup has spoiled me for listening to anything less for enjoying vintage 60s and 70s music.

I have tried substuting a solid state amp for the tube receiver and found much of the clarity in the bass tones, and depth of the soundstage was lost. I have also listened to CDs through a modest but decent player connected to the tube receiver and the HD-600s and here the results with the tube amplification are quite nice too.

As to warm up time for tube equipment, I find that after the initial wait of 30 seconds for the tubes to warm up and begin to operate, another 20 minutes provides 95% of whatever further sonic improvement is possible due to thermal stabilizing of all the components.

As to solid state equipment being always, ready to go, I have noticed audible improvement in the sound of my solid state amplification (sound becomes smoother and less grainy) that takes place after 30 minutes of use, again because of all internal components achieving thermal stability.

The combination of HD-600s with a good tube amplifier is truly magical. I urge you not to miss out on this unique listening experience. I would think that someone who would stay up half the night reading posts on a headphone/amp forum, (I for one am guilty of the same) would not ignore the advice of the only people on the planet who truly care about this subject.

In the movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, the french archaeologist, Balloch, says to Indiana "Jones, do you know what the Ark is? It is a radio for talking to God". If that were true, and I had the Ark within my possession, the first thing I would want to do is look for the headphone jack so I could plug in my HD-600s. The second would be to look into the back of the Ark cabinet to see the glow of the tubes inside it.
 
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kelly

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As I said, the bass drop with the crossfeed engaged is very small. There is no bass drop with the crossfeed not engaged. No matter how you listen to the Corda, it will likely sound better to you than the Creek.

The jacks aren't "cheap", they're just 1/8". It's a design decision that I disagree with, not a quality issue.

The stock Corda operates in Class A.

The Corda's power supply is internal. An IEC port is on the back of the amp so that a normal power cord may be used.

Most solid state amplifiers use opamps for one thing or another. Your assessment that "opamps bad" is a little off base.
 
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markjia

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greenhorn,

The question of which is the better crossfeed filter (Corda vs. Little) is quite debatable, and not bad and white. But I'd say overall, more people prefer the Headroom's line.

As for the jack on the Corda, the HD600s use a 1/8" jack. The 1/4" actually comes from an adapter...so in terms of sound quatlity, there should be no harm. actually, assuming that the jack is of as high a quality as the sennheiser adapter, it could be even better than a 1/4" jack, since there would be fewer connections along the way. Now if you plan on getting a cable upgrade for the HD600...there could be a problem...
 
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MirandaX

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Quote:

Originally posted by mkmelt
In the movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, the french archaeologist, Balloch, says to Indiana "Jones, do you know what the Ark is? It is a radio for talking to God". If that were true, and I had the Ark within my possession, the first thing I would want to do is look for the headphone jack so I could plug in my HD-600s. The second would be to look into the back of the Ark cabinet to see the glow of the tubes inside it.


This is far and away the best quote I've ever seen on a discussion board!
 
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BDA_ABAT

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Another possibility (just to drive you a little more nuts...)

Consider getting a META42 amp from one of the folks at this site (JMT, Tangent, Eric343) AND upgrade the cable for the HD600s.

There are several folks who have raved about the META. This thread talks a little about the META for HD600:
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showth...threadid=14186

Do a search on META42 and you'll find plenty to peruse.

There's also a current thread discussing cable options for HD600:
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showth...threadid=14461
and, again, if you do a search, you'll find plenty to mull over in the replacement cable dept.

Anyway, might offer you some additional power to fully drive the cans plus a decent cable upgrade and still be within (or close to) your price range (depending on how nuts you go with the META, of course).

Good luck!
Bruce
 
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greenhorn

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Thanks again to everyone having posted new messages!

... and I am proud for having generated a thread which includes now "the best quote ever seen on a discussion board"


My source would be mainly CDs (rarely vinyls).

I live in France. Therefore, the Corda might be a good choice vs the Headroom Little (it comes from Germany, no custom taxes, easy to return if there is a problem etc.)...

Moreover, I did not find ANY negative opinion on Corda, while I could find some negative opinions (or just bad experiences like strange hiss) on both MG Head and X-Cans, as well as on Creek OBH11-SE.

If there is anyone having had really bad experiences with the Corda/HD600 combo, please let me know!!!

As for the Meta 42, I read only good things, but, since I HAVE to make a choice... well, I just have to make a choice!
 
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