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Good amp and dac pairings for HD800S

  1. Newgrounds
    Hello I'm currently taking recommendations on amp and dac pairings for my HD800S. I would appreciate recommendations in tiers from low price points to mid to high. What I'm looking for are combinations that take advantage of their clarity and imaging but aren't to sterile or dry sounding. I want a little bit of kick to them but nothing overly warm or dark. Also a bonus would be combos that scale well with other Sennheiser cans such as the HD600/650/58X/660S as I would prefer to not switch around amps often. Any help would be greatly appreciated thank you.
  2. Rhamnetin
    Bottlehead Mainline. There's one in the for sale section here for $900. Considering my next amp recommendation would be $5,000, I'll leave it at that for high end.

    And the next step down I would say is the Bottlehead S.E.X. Bottlehead amps are just so well designed compared to most other tube amps.

    I pretty much only recommend Chord DACs these days. Never heard better. The Mojo is a great value, above this is a used 2Qute, and above that the Qutest.
    Newgrounds likes this.
  3. Newgrounds
    Thank you for the recommendations. What would be your opinion on double amping with the Mojo? Do you think it was negatively impact the end result if I went from Source->mojo->amp->headphone?
  4. Rhamnetin
    The Mojo has a line out mode that you'd be using, that outputs a fixed 3v line level signal, so you won't be double amping like that.
  5. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Audio-GD NFB-11.28, DAC/Head amp, about $400 delivered to your front door.
    I've been using one for the past year :)
    It come with a line-output, so you could also connect a tube headphone amplifier to it.
  6. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Burson Conductor or Meier DACcord FF+Classic FF. Or Violectric V200 with a DAC module.
  7. Arniesb
    I would just go Hugo 2 + Plus Get great copper cable and call it a day.
  8. earChasm
    If you are still undecided my 2 cents based on my personall experience (and preferences) with a limited number of goodies. But at least it's no "I heared/I read" crap :.b

    1) HDVA600 with a Chord 2Qute (or Qutest) to spice it up a little. The HDVA600 + a 2Qute could be snatched for a good price. Checks all your wishes.

    2) The Violectric 280/281 should be spot on or else if you do need a bit more bite;

    3) a second hand Auralic Taurus.
    Arniesb likes this.
  9. Cburd
    I'm wondering the same thing. I tried the $600 Chord Mojo and was less than impressed. I also tried the Fiio offerings and was more impressed but mostly because they drove my 800(S) cans surprisingly well for a bit over $100. The Mojo was louder but that was it. Returned. I keep the Fiio amps on hand for mobility because, well, they're cheap, they're very portable and they do help but needing more, I have now moved to the iFi iDSD Micro Black and though it has proven somewhat unreliable, the sound is (as far as I can tell) stellar! What I mean by "as far as I can tell" is; Can I get more from these great cans? It drives the HD800s's quite well and really brings my Tidal playlists to life! BTW, all of the amps are fed by my two Astell & Kern DAPs, the AK70MKll and the Kann, the Kann being my go to device. The Kann/iFi combo make the 800(S) cans sound just awesome. The best headphones I have EVER used... by a long shot! My biggest question is: Can I do better? How the hell do I know when my $1,700 cans have peaked? Where's the end game? Of course I am eyeballing some nice tube amps in the $1,000-$2000 range like Moon Audio Dragon Inspire IHA-1, Woo Audio WA6, WA7 and the coming WA11 (WA11 being solid state no tubes but very interesting). My concern is what are they going to do for me? The only way I can tell is to try them or to ask someone. I'm asking here. I'm tired of buying crap and returning it. People don't like that and I have nowhere locally (that I'm aware of) that I can audition this stuff. Any help would be truly appreciated.
  10. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Well we can't actually give you any help that would actually be helpful and clear.

    Maybe some have heard some improvements using other amps, but we can't tell if you can hear the differences. If you don't, you'll think they just made you waste money.

    If I put some kind of a limit on how much a good amp that will be worth it would cost, it's not likely to satisfy your curiosity. At the very least you might go and order a WA6se or a WA22.

    So really there's nothing anybody can do. You should just go on Google and see if there are Hi-Fi stores in your area, maybe try speaker gear manufacturers since they're more likely to have a more extensive dealer network, and then call them up and ask what headphone stuff they have if any.
  11. serman005
    A Darkvoice 336SE with rolled tubes (RCA/EH/Gold Lion, eg.) is an excellent value.
  12. Cburd
    Thanks.....yea, although I had that
    proverbial glimmer of hope, I kind of figured there wasn’t going to be a magic bullet. I really appreciate your input!
  13. Cburd
    Yes, heard about that and heard good things. Thanks...will revisit that. Oh..BTW, Is that one of those build it yourself amps? Appreciate the input!
  14. serman005
    No--it comes completely assembled. You may be thinking of the Bottlehead Crack, which is excellent and which requires assembly.
  15. yong_shun
    I am thinking JDS Labs The Element or Chord Mojo. I like these 2 :)

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