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Best ~$1k amp for HE-500

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by toopoor, Apr 8, 2014.
  1. TooPoor
     I asked in the HE-500 thread and got some some good responses, but not everyone who owns, or has owned, a HE-500 still reads that thread. I figured I'd ask here. I'll lay down some criteria and make it easy!
    1. I've owned a Lyr. Liked it, not interested in another one. But what about that Mjolnir?!?! Would need a balanced DAC though, correct?
    2. I have a Project Ember which I believe is really good at it's price point.
    3. I humored the following: speaker amps, Auralic Taurus, Questyle CM800R, V200 (still in the running, had one and sold it)
    4. I like a more warm signature, but with tight bass and quick decay. Can I not have my cake and eat it too?
    5. I really need to stay below $1k USD...
    6. I have a great DAC, so not looking for an AMP/DAC, but yet still interested in the new WA7 offerings (new toy syndrome)
     So what do you guys think? I've heard amazing things about the Lafigaro/DarkVoice 337/339 and it's priced perfectly (>$800) as well as the newest Little Dots. But I'm seriously considering eventually going with a more expensive can (HE560/HE-6, OPPO PM-1/2, HD800) so that'll play a role as well.
  2. Joshua277456
    Have you seen some of the OTL tube amps from Woo Audio?
  3. TooPoor
    I have, just not sure which one has great synergy with the HE-500. I like the idea of the WA7 with tube power supply.
  4. koiloco
    Here's my input based on what I've listened to
    • Nope
    • Heard good things about it and people said it's powerful enough to drive HE500 well but I am not sure
    • Taurus > V200
    • I don't think you need to warm the HE500 up anymore unless you just prefer super warm signature.
    • Vintage receiver for $300/$400 in good condition?
    • I wouldn't buy WA7 for HE500.  I am a Woo owner/fan but still won't buy WA7 for HE500.
    337 for HE500,  hmmm hifimanrookie would be able to tell you days about his.  Though, keep in mind $800 is probably with stock tubes. Get ready to invest in maybe $300 or $400 to get the best out of 337/339.  Gluck.
  5. Joshua277456
    Yeah you could get a vintage Marantz receiver with an integrated headphone amp
  6. TooPoor
    Have been looking at the LD MKVI+... Is balanced too, seems quite powerful. This or the 337/339.
  7. monkeysixtysix
    FWIW... I know you said you aren't looking for an amp / dac combo, but I have the Fostex HP-A8 and think it sounds phenomenal with my HE-500's. I had a few specific requirements that led me to the Fostex (wanted a combo, wanted dual headphone outputs, wanted a remote etc), and I couldn't be happier with it.

    Have used the Senn HD 598, 650, Fidelio X1, and Hifiman HE-400, and HE-500 with it and it has performed wonderfully we each of them. HE-500 with the Fostex could be end game for me...
  8. monkeysixtysix
    Hmmm, it looks like the HP-A8 has gone up in price. I got mine from B&H a few months back for $1099. It's now listed for close to $1500. But if you can find it for around $1k I would highly, highly recommend it...
  9. 1974
    Does the HP-A8 have enough juice to power the HE-500s properly? I mean, it was pretty much designed for the TH900 which are lower impedence cans.
    Edit: Specs here...
    Seems that HP-A8 is 700mW (32-ohm loaded), but doesn't the HE-500 need at least 38 ohms to be powered to full potential?
  10. formula1
    If you have a dedicated dac already:
    For under 1k grab a Soloist. It have more power and plenty of headroom than the A8
  11. Chik0240
    Soloist+1, but if you have the balance cable, the taurus mkii is an upgrade(doubling the price though)
  12. hodgjy
    The TEAC HA-501 will pump 2.8 W into 32 ohms, making it good for the HE-500.  Sounds smooth and refined when I use it for dynamics. 
  13. TooPoor
    I ended up getting a La Figaro 339. Couldn't be happier.
  14. koiloco

    I really dig the look of La Figaro amps and truly admire the internal wiring!
  15. Shazb0t
    Pick up an Emotiva mini-X and save yourself some money.

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