Best Amp + Dac for HD800 S
Sep 5, 2016 at 12:43 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 664

smodtactical

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We have a Amp thread for the HD 800 original but we don't have a focused and consolidated thread for AMP + DAC recommendations for the HD 800 S. Lets make this that thread. I will post all the overall thoughts as the thread matures on the first post for easy reference.

Would greatly appreciate all your thoughts on good combinations/chains/rigs that you have around your HD 800 S especially with respect to amp+dac combinations.

Thanks!

Update: I have made lists below to consolidate all the recommendations. Hopefully this will make searching for amps and dacs easier:

Amps // User recommending
======================
Eddie current black widow // Raybone0566, sheldaze, iDesign
Eddie current zana deux super // blackrain139, EagleWings, sheldaze, iDesign
Eddie current Aficianado // EagleWings, sheldaze
Eddie Current Balacing Act // Feuergeist76, sheldaze, iDesign
Audio GD NFB-1 // Mr G
Schiit Jotunheim // BarDash
Woo Audio WA22 // drbobbybones [Non-S 800 but modded], Energy
HeadAmp GSX MKII // Energy, Whazzzup
Balanced BETA 22 // Energy
Schiit Ragnarok // Energy, Snowpuppy77
Vioelectric V280 // tonyxiaoz
Apex Teton // blackrain139's friend, m17xr2b, Brainslav
Feliks Audio Espressivo // Oscar-HiFi
Ampandsound Kenzie encore// EagleWings
Ampandsound Mogwai SE // EagleWings
Decware CSP 3 // EagleWings
DNA Sonett 2 // sheldaze
DNA Stratus // sheldaze
Garage 1217 Ember // Geezer Rock 001
Bottlehead mainline // @Rhamnetin
Elekit TU8600S // Smodtactical
Bryston BHA-1 // Rob80b
Pass x350.8 // Smodtactical

Dacs // User recommending
======================
Audio GD DAC-19 // Mr G
Schiit Yggydrasil // Feuergeist76, iDesign, Energy, m17xr2b
Modi multibit // BarDash
Matrix X-Sabre // Energy
Yulong D18 // Energy
Chord Dave // Ubs28, blackrain139
Chord HugoTT // Whazzzup

Amp/Dac combo // User recommending
==============================
Simaudio 430HAD // pieman3141
WA7 // BarDash, Energy
OPPO HA-1 // drbobbybones [Non-S 800 but modded], Energy
marantz hd-dac1 // svraka1998, jamca
HDV 820 // iDesign, Snowpuppy77, @smodtactical
 
Last edited:
Sep 5, 2016 at 10:34 AM Post #2 of 664
Some initial responses I got in the impressions thread, I hope the authors don't mind me posting them here to highlight them.
 
I have read many times that the HD800 pairs well with a tube amp. I even read at Headphone.Guru that it seems like the ALO Studio Six tube amp was made with the HD800 in mind. I assume they will work equally as well on the HD800S.

I am personally using a Cavalli Audio Liquid Crimson - a hybrid tube amp - and it adds a touch of warmth to the overall tone that I find sublime.

I also use a Chord Hugo as the DAC, which is on the neutral side and has a nice synergy with a warmer amp. I think the main key is to change only one system component at a time to evaluate the overall impact.
 

 Originally Posted by sharon124 /img/forum/go_quote.gif


Hi,

Kindly read this..
Thx

http://www.head-fi.org/products/sennheiser-hd-800-s/reviews/16639

 
Sep 7, 2016 at 12:24 PM Post #3 of 664
Is anyone runnung the 800 S with a ragnarok and yggrdrasil?
 
Sep 10, 2016 at 4:35 AM Post #5 of 664
Sep 11, 2016 at 5:58 AM Post #6 of 664
Chord Dave. 
 
Oct 17, 2016 at 9:17 PM Post #7 of 664
The Simaudio 430HAD (yes, with DAC) sounded amazingly effortless. Sound seemed to be coming from nowhere and everywhere at once. I think the crossfeed was on when I tried it out, but nothing else was activated on the software side.
 
Oct 17, 2016 at 10:15 PM Post #8 of 664
The Simaudio 430HAD (yes, with DAC) sounded amazingly effortless. Sound seemed to be coming from nowhere and everywhere at once. I think the crossfeed was on when I tried it out, but nothing else was activated on the software side.

 
Pieman thanks for that.
 
I'm curious how the combo unit would sound against the 430 HA amp + Yggy and also against the Yggy + Rag stack.
 
Oct 18, 2016 at 12:25 AM Post #9 of 664
   
Pieman thanks for that.
 
I'm curious how the combo unit would sound against the 430 HA amp + Yggy and also against the Yggy + Rag stack.


The Yggdrasil is profoundly better than the ES9018-K2M DAC in the 430HAD which I feel is the amplifiers Achilie's Heel. The 430HA is wonderfully transparent and the Yggdrasil is what it needs to reach its true potential. 
 
Oct 18, 2016 at 10:00 PM Post #10 of 664
I am using my HD800S with Audio GD DAC-19 >> ACSS connection >> Audio GD NFB-1 Amp (Balanced connection to HP). I would describe the overall sound as being: neutral, accurate, airy with a black background. Try out the combo to see if it is to your liking. I like it with most recordings. It does not tone down recordings with significantly higher than normal treble energy. I use LCD 2.1 for such recordings.   
 
Oct 19, 2016 at 12:00 PM Post #11 of 664
I'm using the chain Yggy->Eddie Current Balacing Act with PX-4 tubes into the HD 800 S and this is absolutely wonderful. The EC is an amazing amp I love every single minute I'm listening. It's a perfect match to the HD 800 S. Acoustics to die for.
 
Oct 31, 2016 at 11:44 PM Post #12 of 664
I'm using the Jotunheim and Modi multibit balanced with my my HD800S. Very enjoyable but sometimes a little bright.
That's why I decided to check this thread for some ideas.
 
Nov 1, 2016 at 9:20 PM Post #14 of 664
Honestly I'm by no means a "professional reviewer' but the Jot with the 800 S is a little too bright and not warm enough at times for my taste, although if you go balanced it's a big improvement in many ways.
There's been times where I've had to use the EQ and skip over a track that's heavy in treble.
Not to take anything away from the Jot because it's a wonderful powerful amp but IMO the HD800S is better served with something a little warmer. 
 
Nov 2, 2016 at 12:37 AM Post #15 of 664
I wonder how the 800S pairs with WOO amps.
 

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