Balanced SS amp for HD600, K701 & RS1, max. $800?
Jul 25, 2010 at 6:19 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

Mad Dude

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Hello Head-Fi'ers,
 
Due to various reasons, I have recently decided to sell my Mapletree Ear+ HD Super II (If you are intrested, see http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/503903/fs-mapletree-ear-hd-super-ii-230v-eu-tubes), which means - I need a new amp! After thinking about it for a while, I want to get an SS amp rather than one with tubes. Prevents me from spending too much money on expensive tubes...
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Anyway, I am looking for a balanced SS amp for less than $800. The headphones I will use with it are the Senn HD600, Grado RS1, and AKG K701 (I want to balance the K701 and HD600). Doesn't matter if the synergy isn't perfet with all of these 'phones, but it should be able to drive them well. In the future, I will probably replace both the HD600 and K701 with a HD800 or T1, so the amp should be able to drive one of those as well.
 
I would prefer a warm sounding amp that is musical rather than "neutral". Crossfeed would be nice to have, but not essential.
 
I am strongly considering the audio-gd ROC SA, which seems to be almost perfect for my needs, but I want to see if there are alternatives. Also, I don't like the ROC's stepped volume control (could be replaced with a normal one though...)
 
Which other amps should I consider? Any recommendations are welcome!
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Jul 25, 2010 at 9:27 AM Post #4 of 11

jazzy76

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Yes, the v100 is unbalanced and the xlr are for better and powerful input signal.
 
The Roc SA is maybe to much powerful for your phones and probably is designed to work with K1000 and HE6 better. The standard Roc is ok with your cans and for your future plans. The substitution of volume control in the ROC SA is a bad idea due the space, the trasformer, and the particular design of the amp.
 
Another choice is the V181 or the Einar VC-01i...  not many in this category.
 
My 2 cents
 
Frank
 
Jul 25, 2010 at 10:01 AM Post #6 of 11

Mad Dude

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Regarding the ROC SA having "too much power", could this be a disadvantage when using phones with "normal" power requirements? Is the non-SA ROC actually a better choice with my headphones?
 
The V181 seems very interesting. But I'm a bit hesitant to buy one, as there are currently no reviews about it...
 
Jul 25, 2010 at 11:15 AM Post #7 of 11

jazzy76

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"too much power" translates to very few positions of volume regulation and for the Grado 10 watt seem a bit dangerous for the headphone.
The non-SA ROC actually is a better choice with your headphones and still remains a powerful amp for "normal" power requirements.
Ask for further info to Realmassy, he had balanced sennheiser hd650 and bal. k702 driven by the Roc with great results (but now he has an HE5-LE).
 
frank
 
Jul 25, 2010 at 11:47 AM Post #8 of 11

Mad Dude

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Quote:
"too much power" translates to very few positions of volume regulation and for the Grado 10 watt seem a bit dangerous for the headphone.


True, that's a good point. On the other side, the non-SA ROC is often described as neutral and analyzing. Not exactly what I am looking for.
I'm actually tempted to get the V181... Is there any reason I should prefer the ROC over it? (Or the other way around?)
 
Jul 25, 2010 at 4:11 PM Post #10 of 11

Mad Dude

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I have already considered the Concerto, especially because it has built-in crossfeed. But then again, its single-ended. I really want to try balanced amp/headphones this time.
 
I think I'll get either the ROC (non-SA version) or the V181. Can't decide which one though... But I like the fact that the ROC has switchable inputs. This way, I could use both the balanced output of my DAC magic as well as the unbalanced one with a crossfeed filter in between (which will probably be my first DIY project).
 
Jul 25, 2010 at 6:15 PM Post #11 of 11

Zombie_X

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I have the Roc and I have balanced HD600's and DT880's. I think it drives the HD600's very nicely and the DT880's even more so! The HD600's becomes tighter and more defined (far less muddy sounding). The DT880's become more cohesive and the treble smooths out. The bass also fills in. This amp does good with my SR0325is's and SR-225i's too!! They really sound smoother from the extra power being pushed to them.
 
But the SA has my attention for sure. that added power output sounds tasty to me...
 

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