Bass emphasised home amp/dac for HD600 (and maybe others down the track)
May 23, 2008 at 1:52 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

RedSky0

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Yeah, title sums it up really, I was looking for some suggestions.

Was looking for something preferably not outside the $200-400 range and which is good value (well I guess that's probably obvious
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If you think I'd be better off getting a DAC and amp seperately I'd appreciate feedback on that too, but I'm fairly constrained within my budget so I'm guessing an all in one would get me best bang for buck.

Are there any amps in that price range that fit the HD600s really well? Or are there any that work as great all rounders maybe? I'm thinking I might pick up an AKG/Beyer later down the track so versatility would be a good thing, but then there's lots of efficient phones I could explore too so that's not a necessity (ATs, Ultrasones, Denons?), not to mention I doubt they would sound abysmal anyway. Any, particularly amps which output really punchy bass? I've come to the conclusion I'm ... somewhat of a bass head, I still value articulation, sound stage and such but that's probably the most important factor.

I know there's plenty of topics about amps for the HD600. Thing is I was looking specifically for this kind of advice so I thought I may as well start a new topic
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Also, I'm running it from a Mini³ at the moment, would a desktop amp in that price range be a 'worthwhile' upgrade? (subjectively speaking from your PoV of course).

Thanks.
 
May 23, 2008 at 4:31 PM Post #2 of 17

Pete7

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HD600's need a lot of voltage swing and it's not possible for a portable amp to provide them with that. PPA or M^3 with either an internal or external STEPS power supply with a variable bass boost would be likely choices. I use my HD600's with an M^3 w/ STEPS PSU and with the variable bass boost I can tailor how much bass I want to my liking. Either of these amps will provide the voltage the 600's need. Keep your eyes open on the for sale forums, they pop up from time to time and are usually in the $300-400 range. As far as the DAC, I would get that separately- a Zero or Zhaolu would be good solutions and reasonable,too.
 
May 23, 2008 at 5:16 PM Post #3 of 17

Hadden

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Good DIY suggestions. I find with the 600 when properly driven, have a bit too much bass already, a bass boost would be overkill for me. It is remarkable how different these phones can sound depending on amplification and Dac changes. From thin boring, to OMG! I love them.
 
May 24, 2008 at 9:11 AM Post #4 of 17

RedSky0

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Dunno about DIY, I'm not very technically minded. Also you think that's really a sweet spot? I mean realistically I just can't spend that much given my eh ... poorness factor, but do you think it's really good value at that point compared to some $200-300 alternatives?

I was actually thinking of getting the Zero and using it as a DAC/AMP, how would that compare to the kind of setup you're proposing?

Thanks for the help by the way
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May 24, 2008 at 9:58 AM Post #5 of 17

skeptic

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You might take a look at the Woo Audio 3+ in the for sale forum ($300). This is essentially a Woo Audio 3, minus the preamp, redesigned to function a bit better than the original WA3 with low impedance HP's. However, a solid 250-300 ohm can will still pair best with the 3+ per the reviews you will find in this forum.

For example, see http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/woo...-match-301963/

The 3 and 3+ are reputed to sound very good with Sen 600s and 650s, and I can personally confirm that it has very nice synergy with Beyer DT880's if you do ultimately end up picking up a pair.

[Note many user comments note that AKG 701's are much better served by the Woo 6, so the Woo 3 probably wouldn't be a good buy if you want to ensure compatibility with these HP's]

With the right set of tubes, the WA 3 puts out very nice, solid, controlled bass.
 
May 25, 2008 at 11:14 AM Post #6 of 17

RedSky0

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Thanks for the input, this'll probably reveal just how little I know but:

What's the function of a pre-amp and what effect does it have when it's removed?

With the right set of tubes? So I have buy something additional to it?

Also, I was reading somewhere that tube amps aren't as preferred for a bassy sound, would that be true?

If you could clear that up, that'd be great
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Also, any other suggestions are most welcome
 
May 25, 2008 at 1:34 PM Post #7 of 17

Hadden

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Quote:

Originally Posted by RedSky0 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Dunno about DIY, I'm not very technically minded. Also you think that's really a sweet spot? I mean realistically I just can't spend that much given my eh ... poorness factor, but do you think it's really good value at that point compared to some $200-300 alternatives?



You don't have to build yourself. The DIY designs show up all the time on the FS forum. There are builders here who can make one for you as well.

I just picked up a used PPA w/Treads ps for $200. I see M3 and CKIII regularely there as well.
 
May 26, 2008 at 11:55 AM Post #9 of 17

tfarney

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Red Sky, this really depends on what you mean by "bass emphasized."

A good ac-powered amp that can handle the voltage swings required to deal with the 600s uneven resistance will "control" the bass better. The result will be bass that is tighter, faster, crisper...and to a lot of people's ears, smaller. The opposite is a bass that booms and hangs out a bit too long. Audiophiles don't tend to like it, but folks who tend to crank up the bass knob on their receiver, or install big subs in their cars, do.

I'm going to describe this within the best of my ability:

Controlled bass: Very fast and clean at the beginning of the note. Deep. Clear. Gets out of the way pretty quickly.

Boom: A little softer on the attack. Resonant, boomy. Still pretty deep. Hangs around a bit longer.

If you like Boom, there's nothing wrong with that, and you're going to be able to get there for a lot less money. Boom, on HD600s, in an amp/dac, can be achieved with a Headroom Total Bithead for $149. If you want really well-controlled bass on HD600s, the least expensive path is going to be an inexpensive DAC -- look around places like Audiomagus, and the SuperPro, by the way, has stunning specs for the money -- and a 70s vintage receiver or integrated amp. If you want to push your budget a bit you can get something new, but to do a DAC and an amp and stay under $400, you aren't going to have a lot of choices. Maybe a SuperPro, only $79 if you don't need USB, $109 if you do, and a Little Dot Mark V for $299?

These recommendations are based on reading, not listening, by the way. Personally I play lossless files from an iBook through a Trends Audio UD-10 into a refubished early 70s Harman Kardon A-402, then HD580 (functionally the same as HD600s). The bass is crisp and tight and HUGE when the recording calls for it. But it doesn't boom much. I recently picked up a 70s vintage Kenwood receiver at a yard sale for my dad. I tested it out at home before I took it to him, and it did a great job of driving the 580s with tight controlled bass. $5.

Tim
 
Jul 6, 2008 at 3:52 PM Post #10 of 17

RedSky0

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Yeah, probably looking for controlled bass. I mean I don't mind a bit of boom, but bass is all about mind-numbing punchiness for me, not that enveloping cloudiness.

Hmm, is the PPAv2 an updated PPA? M^3/PPA seem most plausible at the moment purely because of the price, WA3 does sound interesting but is rather pricey. Not quite sure if I want a tube amp either really due to my bass fetish.

A DAC is entirely necessary with both of these from the get-go though if powering from a PC headphone socket, otherwise it will give interference, right?

Any other suggestions/affirmations?

Thanks.
 
Jul 10, 2008 at 5:32 PM Post #14 of 17

Redo

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My Keces 131 and Eddie Current EC/SS packs a punch on the bottom end. Though combined a bit out of your price range, it will achieve what you are looking for on the bottom end flawlessly.
 
Jul 10, 2008 at 5:40 PM Post #15 of 17

zyxwvutsr

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There's an awesome deal on a headfive amp ($160 shipped worldwide) for sale in the amps f/s section. It hasn't been mentioned a lot on the forums recently, but it is certainly a very capable amp w/a slight emphasis on bass.
Given your total budget, that should leave enough money for a good DAC.
 

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