HD800S entry level amp?

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

    What DAC are you using? buying a Master 9 or high end dac will better your decent Asgard amp compared to buying a high end amp with mediocre dac. I'm still quite shocked how many here put emphasis on a amp more than a dac.

    How you approach spending on your system is upto you of course :) I"d go source than down the chain. You've already purchased the Hd800s so your already stuck with that specific sound signature. The 400i you has less detail but it's more of a chillout non critical listening headphone that is very decent for the price. The HD800S is crystal clear and also lacks bass but people buying such headphones should know that already. For my ears and preference the bass from the HD800(s) is just enough as I'm not a bass head.

    If you buy a high end amp that is great as it's part of the equation in great SQ. However like anything if you have a system with weakness you'll definitely hear the deficiency. A better dac with "good" amp will sound better !!!! Cheap dacs just sound average regardless if you use the best amp in the world.

    I say the Headphones/speakers > DAC > AMP in how much impact the sound quality will change. Having all 3 as you max your budget will reap the best sounding (personal preference).

    I still think the Hd800 (s) is an overly stimulating headphone for true chillout relaxation . However when you want the "detail" fix it'll deliver.

    I urge you to test the He560. It's a noticeable step above the 400i in overall SQ. I'd rather have a decent amp and excellent DAC and use the leftover cash for a different set of headphones for a dramatic sound quality difference.

  2. Ekul61
    Thx above. My source and dac right now is the fiio portable x5. The fiio does not allow for digital usb out. Meaning i would have to go to different source to play through a new dac. Not sure how this will play out, but i'm guessing I will end up with a small laptop to a new dac to a new amp.
  3. ahmadfaizadnan
    I loved my previous liquid carbon with HD800 (SDR mod) :ksc75smile:
  4. AlanU
    Your DAC setup is decent but do not assume you'll have miraculous gains in SQ with a higher end amp. Between the two components to swap I'd go DAC first (spend the $$$$$) then upgrade your amp.

    For my 2 channel my Totem Earth speakers sound distinctly different when I change my source from a Tube DAC to a solid state dac (burr brown dac chip from my Burson Virtuoso) Amplification is the same Simaudio amplifier. So my point is same speaker with different character from different source. Even power filtration to my ears makes a difference with my 2 channel but that's a different story all together.

    Have fun!!! The biggest huge change you'll hear is swapping headphones as long as you already have a decent "system"
  5. mulder01
    I can vouch for the v281 as well, as I bought one years ago and have never felt the need to upgrade it. Thought it was a bit too far above your budget to suggest it though.
    There is also the v220 which is exactly the same but without a balanced output, so going down to this model would save you some coin.
  6. Ekul61
    Thx. Headphones will be here tomorrow. So i will do fiiox5 asgard 2 and 800s. Untill i figure the dac or amp thing out. As mentioned if i buy a dac. I will have to run my computer through it, not the fiio x5. I demoed the above setup for a week. Luved the clarity of the 800s compared to my 400i
  7. mysticstryk
    The best SS amps will smear over little details that the best tube amps in the same price bracket will resolve.

    Don't contaminant your 800 with SS circuitry guys. If you have to, at least make it a hybrid.
  8. Witcher
    I tried the HD800S with my friend's mojo and liquid carbon. My God was it heavenly!
  9. Witcher
    You are absolutely right on this. I'm a hobbyist musician, and when I want to analyse a piece of music to learn it by ear, I use the HD800S. When I just want to chill, the Z1R comes out. Both could not be more polar opposites of each other, despite both being dynamic drivers.
  10. Ekul61
    Some say microdetails are not that good with a tube amp. All I know is my cheap Asgard 2 solid state ain't bad.
  11. ahmadfaizadnan
    Right! I used to have mojo and X-sabre for dac but I felt like mojo+carbon+HD800SDR is a better combo than x-sabre as dac.
  12. Whazzzup
    I have no feedback at this price point. Dac>server is the priority. Then amp. The best thing an amp can do is step out of the way and but a microscope and bloom on your dac. Nothing wrong with ss in this case.
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