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Audio-gd SA-31, Project Sunrise 2 or Lake People G109S for HE-500 and HD600?

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by cjg888, Jun 10, 2013.
  1. CJG888
    At present. I am using an Opera Consonance Cyber 20 (transformer-coupled EL-84 SE amplifier, outputting 1W into 32 Ohms) with these two headphones. I find it is a very good match for the HE-500s, only sometimes I wish for a brighter, faster, more incisive sound. With the HD600s, I enjoy the enormous soundstage and liquid, detailed midrange, but am distracted by a clearly audible 50Hz hum (presumably from the AC tube heater circuit). This hum is intrinsic to the amp's design - I've already returned the amp to the manufacturer and received the response "they all do that, Sir...".

    I have tried using my HD600s with the O2. This is not a bad combination, but loses out to the tube amp in terms of transparency, midrange detail and soundstage. It just sounds a little compressed and veiled. It doesn't really "come alive".

    Therefore, I am looking for a solid state or hybrid amp as a complement to the Cyber 20, to drive the HE-500s on faster-paced material and as a standard go-to amp for the HD600s (and the AT ATH-A900Xs, when I need some isolation....). So far, I am considering the Audio-gd SA-31 (probably the most cost-effective, as it is made locally in China, and there is no risk of being stung for import duty), the Lake People G109S, and the Project Sunrise 2 (for which I have a stash of suitable NOS ECC82 tubes in the basement - this is also the Cyber 20's driver tube!). I am, however, concerned that the Audio-gd may sound too warm and lacking in midrange transparency.

    Which of these amps is likely to be most suitable for my purposes?
  2. daerron
    The Sunrise II is a good match for the HE-500 though I have no experience comparing it to truly high end headphone amplifiers, but I find the sound very satisfying and a lot better compared to the solid state amps I used before that, the sound staging and imaging is much improved. The cost is also very low so there is less risk involved in trying it out. You could also perhaps consider the Project Ember amplifier which has even higher output and auto biasing which is a handy feature.

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