HD800S entry level amp?

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by Ekul61, Oct 28, 2017.
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  1. Ekul61
    Thx above. Luv my fiio x5. From what I've read. You can't use x5 1st gen as a digital source. I haven't even looked at dacs and sources yet.

    I'm starting to get the idea that. The Asgard 2 is a descent ss amp. If I'm going to upgrade. I should try tubes for a change. I believe woo and shiit have return policies
  2. Guidostrunk
  3. mulder01
    This sounds like the beginning of the end my friend.
    Guidostrunk likes this.
  4. AlanU
    The HD800s is such a dynamic headphone. Your ears will have a preference soon as you test different combo's.

    I've used my cheap 02 Objective amp with my Space tech labs tube dac w/ super rectifier power supply (approx $4000++ dac setup) and my modified HD800 and it sounds absolutely amazing to my ears. Next thing you know it I can use my mellow sounding warm Peachtree portable headphone amp and get alot of pleasure as well (odd how an ESS sabre chip can sound so warm an analog with the peachtree electronics). My Burson Virtuoso with tube buffer currently running vintage Sylvania's or black treasures also sounds great.

    My point is any setup that mellow's the extreme hyper detail of the HD800(s) is a good thing for me ears. If your a person that is a detail junkie you can enjoy those headphones with alot of headphone amps out there.

    I think the ifi micro black label or even the new nano idsd with Burr brown dac chipset would be a great compliment to the HD800.

    Many headphone offerings will work with the HD800S. I guess my point is your specific ears and music genre will determine what "might" work for you.

    For my ears I think any tube combo will probably sound more organic with great note decay with the HD800 (s). If your into electronica you can hammer your ears with pretty much any headphone amp on the market as the Hd800 is quite easy to drive.
    EagleWings likes this.
  5. Ekul61
    Yes^ I am a detail junkie. So should I stick with solid state
  6. mulder01
    I can't speak from experience, but I wonder if you should aim for a 009 setup rather than spend a fortune on the gear in front of your HD800? Not a recommendation as such, as I own neither headphone, just throwing another idea into the ring.

    If you are talking about new amps / dacs / music servers etc that is...
  7. Ekul61
    Thx, don't know what a 009 setup is. Wil research
  8. mulder01
    Oh just meant Stax SR-009 (headphones), sorry, used to abbreviating everything. If it's detail you crave then a lot of people go with those. Big investment with a good amp though.

    Maybe forget I said that... :p
  9. Ekul61
    I get the impression the 800s with a good solid state amp will give me the micro detail I want. Still looking for amp ideas
  10. rexhu100
    Like I said, I think Emotiva BasX A-100 is the best at its price range for HD 800s, IMHO.
  11. mulder01
    You've got plenty of suggestions then! Changing your mind on type and budget probably doesn't help but...
  12. Ekul61
    1 -Gotcha. Just a strange market. Many of the amps suggested are not in production anymore..
    2 -Also many suggestions are amps sold from web sites that look like guys making them in there garage.
    3-None of the amp company's have phone numbers ( email service only)
    4- many say $500 tube amp is all you need
    5- lastly, many say it will be hard getting a lot better sound than my Asgard 2
    So yes it's easy to change my mind with such a confusing niche market.
  13. Whazzzup
    are we up to 3 grand yet?
    rexhu100 likes this.
  14. Ekul61
    Not really even tho the headphones were $1500.
    Never know. I usually don't skimp on my audio equiptment
  15. AlanU

    Headphone land is a wild ride. Some take a minimal approach, some brag how big their wallets are and how much they've spent and some justify their purchase :)

    We are all having fun at the end of the day. Price is something that does not necessarily mean will be superior or better. Our ear are so subjective.

    Are you looking for an amplifier "only" ???? What DAC are you using?????

    I'd say in many cases the DAC has more weight in the final sound signature more so than the amplifier. However when you start talking about vacuum tubes the sound signature can potentially(pushing the limits of calling it generalizing) have more high frequency roll off and maybe even less bass slam.

    If your truly a detail freak I'd suggest looking into DAC's that have the ESS sabre 9018 chipset. I prefer Burr Brown DAC's due to less hyper detail and possibly more analog sound.

    Try pick up a Concero HD DAC that has hyper details with very distinct instrument separation. I sold my Resonessence labs Concero HD because it was gave me too much detail that made me analyze music rather than enjoy it.

    I keep my modified HD800 simply because I own it and it sound very nice for some music when I'm in certain moods. I have the HD650 and HE560 that really is my goto HP for non critical enjoyment of music that does not throw me into a headphone world of extreme hyper detail. Tubes and HD800 suites my ears much better than using solely solid state.

    If your spending decent coin on a pair of headphones I'd suggest playing with different combos of DAC's and amps. I will say my modified HD800 sound the best to my ears with my Tube dac setup and even with the "CHEAP" 02 objective amp. I'd listen and enjoy that combo over my Burson virtuoso with burr brown dac chipset. Combo of components and speakers/headphones is all about synergy of the combined/complete system.

    I'd start looking at different DAC's before buying new amps
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