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Can't decide on a tube amp for HD600's

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by berto, Sep 10, 2011.
  1. Berto
    Hi all, long time lurker, but finally decided I need some help with some decisions!
    I'm looking to buy a tube amp to use with my HD600's. Problem is, I can't decide which to choose.
    I've narrowed it down to a few options. I'm not looking for a write-up on any of these pieces, as I've already read the write-ups on head-fi.
    I'm looking at the WooAudio 3, (possibly the 6 if it's really worth it), the Bottlehead Crack (with speedball upgrade), the Little Dot MKIVse and the Schiit Lyr. I've looked at the Ming Da and a few others but I think (from what I've read) that these would be the best match for the HD600's. Problem is, they're all basically in the same price range, and there's no way for me to listen/inspect either of them before buying one.
    I'm definitely going to be rolling tubes. I'm not sure if that eliminates the Lyr; Skylab reviewed the similar Valhalla, and indicated that if tube rolling was the intention, to overlook the Valhalla. I'm not sure if the Lyr is any different in this regard (although I did see a tube rolling thread for the Lyr).
    Does anyone have any experience with the HD600 and any of these amps? There are a few threads for "Best amp for HD600" etc, but none of them compare these amps. 
    If anyone could provide absolutely any guidance, it would be immensely appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Il Mostro
    I am not going to make a recommendation, since I am in the same quandary as you regarding my next amp, but the Lyr will definitely be easy relative to tube rolling.  NOS 6DJ8's, 6922's, ECC88's are still available.  However, the best are becoming dearer now.  I have ditched NOS in my AI Modulus 3A preamp strictly due to cost and the fact that it is a bonafide tube-eater. I cannot begin to explain how much money I blew on NOS with the Modulus -- thank God for the mil-spec 6H23's.  I still have a small boatload of NOS (Siemens, Amperex, Valvo, Mazda, etc.)  that never made it to slaughter, which might result in an audition of the Lyr.  Bottom line: 6922's are accessible.
  3. cAsE sEnSiTiVe
    I use a WA6 with the 600's.....and it is a marvelous combination. Mine was modded by John Amato here on the board, and I'm using a Sophia rectifier, but the basic sonic signature should still be a great match for the HD600..
  4. Berto


    There hasn't been a single instance where I've seen that the Sophia isn't a "must" upgrade. If I do go with the WA6 I will certainly have the Sophia with it. What do you suggest/use for a preamp/dac? Or are you connecting directly to a source?
  5. cAsE sEnSiTiVe
    It initially worked well being fed by a Marantz SA8001, but these days I'm using FLAC files wirelessly through a Modwright Transporter and on to the amp. A vast improvement all the way around.
    In other words, the WA6/HD600 combo will scale very nicely for you. [​IMG]
  6. Frank I


    i would think the OTL like Woo would work better than the Lyr for the hD600. My CSP.2 was very very good with HD600 and the tubes are all current production and use 6922 as does the Woo 3. The Lyr may be way too much power. There are great tube rolling options either the Woo3 or CSP2
  7. milosolo
    I have the Lyr/HD650 combo and I am very happy with it. It is easy to tube roll the Lyr and as you've seen there is a very active Lyr owner's group on Head-Fi. This is nice because there is lots of knowledge sharing about tube rolling, HP and source combinations to read about. This makes it easier for relative novices such as myself to put things together in an cost efficient way.
    I have not heard the WA6 but from what I have read this would also be a good amp for the HD600/650/800. Take a read through the Woo Amp Owner's thread if you haven't already for more ideas. When I was looking for an amp I strongly considered the WA6 and WA6SE but settled on the Lyr primarily for budgetary reasons. The Lyr isn't too powerful for the HD600. I typically have the volume between 9 and 12. I like having the extra headroom on tap. FWIW if I had to choose an SS amp right this minute for the HD650 I would probably go with something from Violectric.
  8. Berto


    I looked at the CSP2 (now the CSP2+) and it would definitely be pushing the limits of my budget. Have you listened to the WA3 at all?
  9. Frank I


    Sorry to say I have not but the reviews are pretty consistent and it is an OTL. The great thing about the Decware is you can add to your system later if you decide to add a power amp and speakers. I have found higher impedance cans work better with OTL designs.  There is a CSP-2 in the FS section and you may be able to get the lifetime warranty transferred they are great headphone amps and even better pre-amps.
  10. Jojomite
    i think the schiit lyr pairs really well with the senns:)
  11. Gwarmi
    Cayin HA-1A is worthy of an audition. It features a 4 x step impedance selector on the back 
    and can power a K1000 very nicely.
    Input impedance 22KΩ
    Output impedance 6Ω-300Ω
    Power output 1W×2(Triode RMS)
    Input sensitivity 490mV
    Frequency response 25Hz-30kHz
    THD 1%
    S/N ratio 88dB
    Channel balance <0.5dB

  12. Hifianddrumming
     I wouldn't go for the MKIVse with the 600s. The lyr is more targeted towards orthos and hard to power cans, I would have to say the WA6 :)
  13. tdogzthmn
    I only have experience with the Crack, but I can vouch for its excellent pairing with the HD600.
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  14. Chris_Himself
    I like the X-Can series from Musical Fidelity, if you get one upgraded by PinkFloyd of Rock Grotto, you can get up to 1w per channel as well, but what he does is strip them down to the bare PC board and rebuilds it practically from the ground up with mil-spec parts from Panasonic, Dale Vishay, etc.
    They're fairly cheap and they're a great way to get a good jump start in tube amps.
  15. Mediahound
    The Lyr is not too much power for the HD600s, it's great. Heck I can even drive my Denon D7000s with the Lyr, just have to turn the volume knob lower. 
    I don't know why people think the Lyr gives too much power. That is only the case if you turn it full blast, way beyond listening levels and potentially smoke your cans, but who does that?
    The Lyr provides a great power headroom for any can you throw at it. 

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