Best HD650 System for $0-1300
Mar 21, 2007 at 6:26 AM Post #31 of 59

OracleGuy

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 17, 2004
Posts
255
Likes
0
You're really trying to tempt me into that balanced amp upgrade aren't you! My wallet is sorry enough already!
600smile.gif


I haven't tried a proper balanced amp, so can't argue with you -- actually I'm sure the DAC-1 plus a balanced amp would be better [and now I'm really dying to find out how much better!], but I think the bass is pretty good straight out of my DAC-1. I really notice the percussion more than before -- drum beats seem to have a ton of instantaneous impact.

One thing I did was change the jumpers inside my DAC-1 to 0 dB (from -20) attenuation on Iron_Dreamer's advice, re: being the best impedance match for the HD650s. The setup is plenty loud, that's for sure.

I should say that Benchmark doesn't actually recommend this setup. It seemed like a good "bang for the buck" move at the time. My thinking was that I could start with a really good source, get the balanced experience, and then add a separate balanced amp later.

If I was to invest roughly the same amount of money at this point, I'd probably also look at a Headroom Balanced Desktop (w/DAC), the new Meier Opera, or the PS Audio GCA, all of which are amps with integrated DACs. The Meier and PS Audio amps reputedly come close to the sound of a balanced amp.

For about $1,300, I'm pretty happy with the DAC-1 and balanced Zu Mobius for now!
 
Mar 21, 2007 at 6:52 AM Post #32 of 59

onecm

Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Posts
99
Likes
0
For SS, the leading contendors would appear to be:


Balanced Desktop/DAC
Opera (I have one)
Apogee mini dac (with balanced hp out)

these appear to all be good value due to the obvious cost efficiencies of housing a dac and amp in one box..

Check out saint.panda's Apogee/Opera comparison in the big opera thread.

if you want tubes, there's so many unknowns you'd definitely want to audition or buy sh.. so many different singlepower configs, a woo, or maybe a second hand raptor all fit within your price range. You can't know which sound will suit you without listening to at least a couple of amps imo..
 
Mar 21, 2007 at 7:34 AM Post #33 of 59

nkoulban

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Posts
242
Likes
11
I'd go the HeadRoom Balanced Desktop with Desktop DAC and a Headphile Silver balanced cable to brighten up the 650s if you wanted them less laid back.
 
Mar 21, 2007 at 8:11 PM Post #34 of 59

NtD Gr3nade

Banned
Joined
Dec 28, 2006
Posts
729
Likes
0
I don't think balanced is possible, cables will put me up to $1500, my limit is $1300 for my final upgrade. Right now I am considering:

Stello DA &HP 100 Combo

Monarch M24 With a Gimore Lite

Balanced HR if Tyll is willing to knock a couple 100 of the desktop amp.


I will also be selling my Micro once I have the money avalible to get me up to $1300, and my 595s are going soon to start the funds.
 
Mar 21, 2007 at 8:47 PM Post #36 of 59

vcoheda

High-End Forum Volunteer
Joined
Nov 10, 2004
Posts
10,063
Likes
116
Unless you intend to go fully balanced - that is, start recabling all of your headphones - then the HR Balanced Desktop does not make any sense. Using it just with your Senns is costing you $300 (difference between balanced and regular desktop) not including the cable (another $100-$250). Definitely not worth it. If you do intend to recable your other headphones, somewhere down the road, then it starts to make more sense.

I think it depends what you are really in the market for, an amp or a DAC. If the former, then get a high end Single Power or HeadAmp or something along those lines. If the latter, then look into a Benchmark, Lavry, or Apogee. If you need both, then a Stello Combo, Opera, or HR Desktop w/ DAC would seem like a good choice.
 
Mar 21, 2007 at 9:11 PM Post #38 of 59

mofonyx

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Posts
1,016
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally Posted by OracleGuy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Definitely go balanced with your HD650s.

Direct out of the XLRs from the DAC-1 or DA10 saves the cost of a balanced amp, and gets you a top-notch source.



Are you able to control the volume if you do that?

on both sources?
 
Mar 21, 2007 at 9:30 PM Post #39 of 59

vcoheda

High-End Forum Volunteer
Joined
Nov 10, 2004
Posts
10,063
Likes
116
Quote:

Originally Posted by The Monkey /img/forum/go_quote.gif
remember that the HeadRoom desktop balanced output jacks can also accept 1/4" unbalanced plugs.


Of course. And for that price it better.
biggrin.gif


But if you are using it single ended, then you are basically paying $900 for a $600 desktop.
 
Mar 21, 2007 at 10:46 PM Post #40 of 59

Patu

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Posts
3,302
Likes
15
Quote:

Originally Posted by NtD Gr3nade /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Stello DA &HP 100 Combo


One vote for this combo. It has truly amazing synergy with HD650.
 
Mar 21, 2007 at 11:32 PM Post #42 of 59

Patu

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Posts
3,302
Likes
15
Quote:

Originally Posted by NtD Gr3nade /img/forum/go_quote.gif
What else have you tried?


I have most experience with HD650 out of all the headphones I've owned. I've heard them out of several amps but the ones I've owned are Corda Aria, Rudistor RP5.1, Rega Ear and Corda HA1 MkII. Out of these RP5.1 is pretty much on the same level with HP100/DA100 combo and as an amp I preferred it to HP100. DA100 and HP100 just make so delicious combo that it's hard to beat for the price. I had Storm Digital D02 NOS DAC as source when I had RP5.1.

I have also auditioned HD650 with Lehmann Black Cube Linear, custom Singlepower Supra, Sudgen Headmaster, Corda Head5 and few others. Supra made them sing quite nicely when paired up with Wadia CDP. With those other amps and sources I haven't got as good results as with my curren Stello combo.

This combo is very recommended for HD650. akwok has also owned this combo with HD650 and if I remember correctly, he said that he has never heard HD650 sound so good.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 21, 2007 at 11:40 PM Post #43 of 59

NtD Gr3nade

Banned
Joined
Dec 28, 2006
Posts
729
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally Posted by Patu /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I have most experience with HD650 out of all the headphones I've owned. I've heard them out of several amps but the ones I've owned are Corda Aria, Rudistor RP5.1, Rega Ear and Corda HA1 MkII. Out of these RP5.1 is pretty much on the same level with HP100/DA100 combo and as an amp I preferred it to HP100. DA100 and HP100 just make so delicious combo that it's hard to beat for the price. I had Storm Digital D02 NOS DAC as source when I had RP5.1.

I have also auditioned HD650 with Lehmann Black Cube Linear, custom Singlepower Supra, Sudgen Headmaster, Corda Head5 and few others. Supra made them sing quite nicely when paired up with Wadia CDP. With those other amps and sources I haven't got as good results as with my curren Stello combo.

This combo is very recommended for HD650. akwok has also owned this combo with HD650 and if I remember correctly, he said that he has never heard HD650 sound so good.
smily_headphones1.gif



K, thanks. I feellin this combo alot more now coming from someone with that much experience with the HD650. Have you tried balanced with a HR system? If you have, does the DA/HP 100 combo still beat it? Thanks.
 
Mar 22, 2007 at 12:32 AM Post #44 of 59

Roam

Banned - aka aerius
Joined
Mar 1, 2007
Posts
476
Likes
20
Quote:

Originally Posted by NtD Gr3nade /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I was recently reccomended the Monarchy M24 to a Gilmore Lite by another member. What else is out there for this price range that could beat this set up? Thanks.


The Monarchy M24 is by far the best DAC you will find at anything near $1000, not until you start getting into truly silly money will you find something better. You can find more in Lynn Olson's PFO review where he also explains the technical reasons behind why it sounds so darn good.

My advice would be to buy the Monarchy DAC with whichever amp fits your budget, and in the future when funds allow you can upgrade the rest of your setup to the same level as the DAC.
 
Mar 22, 2007 at 12:51 AM Post #45 of 59

Patu

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Posts
3,302
Likes
15
Quote:

Originally Posted by NtD Gr3nade /img/forum/go_quote.gif
K, thanks. I feellin this combo alot more now coming from someone with that much experience with the HD650. Have you tried balanced with a HR system? If you have, does the DA/HP 100 combo still beat it? Thanks.


Actually I have never heard HD650 balanced. One other Finnish HD650 owner has Lavry DA10 which has balanced outs. I should go to his place sometime to try it out.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top