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Best Amp + Dac for HD800 S

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by smodtactical, Sep 5, 2016.
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  1. smodtactical
    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.


    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
    Eddie current zana deux super // blackrain139, EagleWings, sheldaze
    Eddie current Aficianado // EagleWings, sheldaze
    Audio GD NFB-1 // Mr G
    Eddie Current Balacing Act // Feuergeist76, sheldaze
    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
    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

    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 14, 2018
    RCBinTN, almostaudio and sheldaze like this.
  2. smodtactical
    Some initial responses I got in the impressions thread, I hope the authors don't mind me posting them here to highlight them.

  3. smodtactical
    Is anyone runnung the 800 S with a ragnarok and yggrdrasil?
  4. raybone0566
    Two Eddie current black widow2 in the classified. Stellar with the hd800
  5. smodtactical
    The 800 S or non S ?
  6. ubs28
    Chord Dave. 
    x RELIC x likes this.
  7. pieman3141
    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.
  8. smodtactical
    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.
  9. iDesign

    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. 
  10. Mr G
    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.   
  11. Feuergeist76
    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.
  12. BarDash
    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.
    Swiftfalcon likes this.
  13. pieman3141
    @Bardash: I was wondering what the Jotun sounded like with the 800 S. Most reviews have either paired them with the 600/650s (good) and the 800 (bright, bad, etc.).
  14. BarDash
    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. 
  15. smodtactical
    I wonder how the 800S pairs with WOO amps.
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