HD800S entry level amp?

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by Ekul61, Oct 28, 2017.
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  1. mulder01

    Yeah fair call, so where are you at? $1200 max for new solid state current production amp from a well known company?
  2. Ekul61
    Thx above^. I haven't even looked at dacs yes. My fiio x5 dap through a Asgard 2 is quite good.
    I'd say about $1200 is a good figure.
  3. koven Contributor
    Check out the Metrum Amethyst, pretty good pairing in your price range.
  4. Ekul61
    After research showed. This is a amp dac combo. Being somewhat new. I thought separate components were the preferred choice.
  5. mulder01
    I really don't think it matters. I had been looking for a portable solution for my Abyss for some time and at one stage ended up buying an ifi idsd micro. Has a bit perfect DAC and high powered amp with plenty of juice to push the abyss well beyond where I wanted it (volume wise). I ended up selling it because the detail was too forward for my liking and found it fatiguing. It has a 3D sound setting that does a great job of giving you a more out-of-head, wider sound which I liked, but it also made the sound more forward again. Don't know how it sounds with the HD800 or if you will subjectively enjoy it though. You might love it, and you would have the added bonus of portability, but I can't listen to it for you... But no, I don't think it matters how many chassis your equipment is in. As someone mentioned above, it's more about finding a good synergy and sound that you enjoy.
  6. Ekul61
    y thought of the day is to buy a auralic taurus. Could change by tomorrow.
  7. mulder01
    haha do the responsible thing and wait a week - if you still want the same amp in a week, then buy it :wink:
  8. AlanU
    Do your research on different dacs.
  9. chungjun
    Begin with the end in mind?

    Start with:- Elemental Watson
    End with:- Well, famous last words... this will be "my end-game amp!" till... tomorrow...
  10. Ekul61
    Yes so true. The ultimate I choice is. Best bang for your buck. That won't leave u yearning for more for many years to come.
  11. AlanU
    Final stage is the headphones. The Hd800S being a dynamic headphone we can colour the source or with amp with Vacuum tubes. Another approach is to rely on the designer that developed the solid state circuit board that drives the digital to analog converter. Every manufacturer can manipulate the sound signature of the dac.

    The amp in my opinion also has a sound signature more so with how it can drive headphones with finesse. Some amps may be dead on neutral or have some warmth.

    Using a mediocre or cheap dac with a high end amp will very likely sound meh. Use an amp capable of driving your headphones properly with a "better" DAC that suites your ears would probably have better sound quality.

    Instrumental/orchestra I can imagine hyper detail would provide lots of detail to complicated pieces. For jazz vocals I do prefer longer note decay and organic reproduction of the music. IMO the DAC carries more weight in sound reproduction as long as the amp is decent enough in power.

    I really would put emphasis on purchasing the most you can afford on a DAC. Headphones wise I'd rather listen to my cheaper HE560 over my hyper details "in your face" modified HD800 (or HD800s) when I want to get "moved" by jazz vocals. I'd rather roll vacuum tubes to change the sound signature of my music over being stuck with a solid state setup but that's just my preference. If you currently have a decent amp/dac I'd suggest changing your headphones for "Different" sound.

    Many ways to skin a cat!! In the hifi world people will change dacs, amps, speakers to cater to their music. In the headphone world i think there's no "one trick pony" this is why I think many own different types of headphones to change as their "mood" swings to different music genre.

    OP if you find a good/excellent amp you can start buying different DAC units to manipulate the source. While your at it pickup different headphones. I do not care for the HD800 (or S version) when it comes to jazz vocals. The HD650 has a different sound stage and feel of music. With my setup my new pair of He560 is more holographic and natural realism/sound compared to the analytical hyper detail and artificial sound stage my HD800 sounds.

    OP I suggest audition till your ears bleed. I still feel the HD800s can be fatiguing but with tube harmonics added to the mix I find the SQ more pleasant.

    Let your ears tell you what it likes.
  12. Ekul61
    Thx above. Headphones in use. 800s, 400i, grade 60. Asgard 2 , fiio 12 amp. My next move is a amp. To better. The Asgard ,800s pairing.
  13. chungjun
    This may be out of budget (and probably off-topic as it is certainly not "entry-level")... potential end-game (Hahaa... begin with end in mind)?

    A fellow head-fi member is selling his Violectric V281, listed price as USD1900. I haven't heard V281 myself so I can't comment on sound quality. Head over to the V281 thread and the reviews are rosy with HD800S. I was sold and so I bought one (used, and to pair with HD800S) and it is making its way over...

    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  14. Witcher
    I use the iFi Audio iCan SE with the HD800S. Very good, cost effective amp. Works great. Recently added a Schiit Loki, and both pair very well indeed. I tried the Schiit Magni3 too, but I personally didn't like it as much mainly because of the lack of subbass which the iCan SE has tons of.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  15. Ekul61
    Thx above. Plus the 281 has a balanced output. Very nice
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