Amp to go with HD650s
Sep 16, 2009 at 1:04 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 28

brianp

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Hi

I've just bought some HD650s, and I am looking for an amp to drive them. My budget is around £200, and I'm fine with buying second hand. The source is my macbook (encoded with ALAC) ->optical out -> Beresford DAC.

I'd prefer something thats available in the UK (either through a shop or the manufacturer).

Any suggestions? I'm only just getting into headphones (been interested in hi-fi for a while though) and the amount of choice seems a bit overwhelming at times.

Thanks

Edit: I listen to mainly modern jazz (EST, Avishai Cohen, Vienna Art Orchestra, Robert Glasper, Michel Camilo, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Zawinul Syndicate etc)
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 1:39 PM Post #2 of 28

Gitbags

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If you can stretch by an extra £40 I'll throw in a suggestion for the graham slee novo. I can't say it wrings out every last ounce of performance out of the hd650, but I'm more than happy with the pairing. If you can give one a try, do.

Or if your interested in tubes, check lucky frog audio on ebay and have a look at his darkvoice amps. Although I haven't heard any of the brand's offerings (unfortunatley
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) I can't say I've seen a bad word printed about them with hd650s on this site.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 2:04 PM Post #3 of 28

Sennshead

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I'm in your same boat: same phones, same genres, same budget. I've been searching the forums for a long time and it looks like our best bet are tube amps either Little Dot MK IV (not se) or DV 336se. It looks like solid state struggle to power the 650s, and I have first hand knowledge that portable isn't a great option either (LDMKI+ portable). I'm going with the dark voice 336se and upgrade tubes down the road. Good luck!
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 3:02 PM Post #4 of 28

ABathingApe

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Sep 16, 2009 at 3:59 PM Post #6 of 28

brianp

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What about a secondhand Graham Slee Solo? I'm a bit wary of tubes as they seem more temperamental, and the DarkVoices look like they come from China so spares would be a lot more hassle than buying from the UK. My current hi-fi amp is SS (arcam a22) and I like it, so I'd be more inclined to go with SS.

However, as I said, I am new to all this so please let me know if I'm spouting rubbish.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 4:16 PM Post #7 of 28

Sennshead

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I've heard it mentioned a few times that the GSS is a good amp for them (one of the better for the $ for 650s), but there is enough debate over solid state and the 650s to make me wary. Also I think the 650s could use some warming up, and b/c I listen to a lot of vocal jazz and tubes are supposed to do well with this in particular I'm going that direction.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 4:24 PM Post #9 of 28

brianp

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Ok, thanks. I'll look into the DarkVoice a bit closer. I've seen a Corda Headfive in the classifieds, so whats this one like? If it would be a good one to go for, what kind of price would be a good offer for it?
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 5:55 PM Post #10 of 28

thebathingape

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I have a darkvoice 336 se and a c2c + hd650. I rarely use my 336se after i got the c-2c and here are some of my feelings about them:

The c-2c is much more transparent, open and detailed. It is much tighter and goes deeper in the bass with more precision. The midrange has more energy (but isn't as "big" as with the 336se). I feel more of the "veil" of the HD650 with the 336se too. Its just abit slow and muddy in comparison.

I also get more listening fatigue with the 336se since i seem to use more energy on hearing the details than with the c-2c.

I tried many different tubes with the 336se and there are more i haven't tried that might be better (i bought a proper ts-5998 too), but the c-2c gave me the sound i was really looking for. I listen to all types of music btw, except for rap.

This might seem to bash the 336se abit, but for what i was looking for the c-2c was in another league.

And btw this is not an ad. Just happy about the amp
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Sep 16, 2009 at 6:07 PM Post #11 of 28

rosgr63

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I have a GS Novo and a Little Dot MKIV SE, they both drive the HD650 nicely.
The LD MK IV is also a good option. Tubes are easy to find (Mullards ex UK, etc) and are not that bad.
IMO If you can wait, save money and go for a Balanced amp and cable. The SQ will be that much better.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 7:00 PM Post #13 of 28

rosgr63

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Sep 16, 2009 at 7:32 PM Post #15 of 28

rosgr63

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Sorry no, I can only comment on what I have, the GS Novo is good.
Good luck!
 

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