HF-2 or HD800 or K1000: Make a Noob's Wallet Squeal
Jun 7, 2009 at 10:00 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 30


New Head-Fier
Jan 10, 2009
Looking for a different and better sound than I'm getting from my HD650s (which I like fine, but would prefer something brighter). I could sell the 650s and buy the HD800s or used AKG K1000s or keep the 650s and buy the HF-2s. Good choices, but I'm not able to audition any of the candidates. Using the RCA cleartop tube in the EF1 for brightness, but still falling asleep halfway through Norah Jones' "Come Away with Me."

I listen to a variety of music, but not much rap. Lately Eva Cassidy, Nora Jones, and Alison Krauss seem to find there way into my CD player more often than anything else. But also listened to London Symphony Orchestra's "Symphony in Winter" and "Elvis 30#1s" today, so a lot of different stuff in redbook, SACD, and DVD-A.

Going into overload after using the the search engine and reading all the related threads. Am tending toward keeping the HD650s and getting the HF-2s but could be convinced otherwise.

Great info here, hope to someday make it to a function (Cam Jam?), and thanks,
Jun 7, 2009 at 10:06 PM Post #3 of 30
$1,000 for used with a few dings seems like a lot for a used headphone, but seems like it is worth it from the reviews. Seems like a lot of AV stuff that is really good goes out of production of is screwed with: SA8001, K1000, Sony SXRD. . .

And thanks for the feedback.
Jun 7, 2009 at 10:13 PM Post #4 of 30
I would go with the HF-2s. They will give you a nice alternative to the 650 and not make you break the bank like the other two phones. Initial reports say that they are at least on or close to the same level as the RS-1, so a great value and a nice way to support the community.

The K1K is a truly special phone, and, IMO, worth the money in every way. That said, you have to have an amp that is up to the challenge. It doesn't have to be expensive, but you probably need a low power speaker amplifier. Anything above more than about 10 watts should be fine. All I am saying is that they don't really work well with a headphone amp unless it is somehthing like a Beta 22.

I don't know enough about the 800 to comment on it.
Jun 7, 2009 at 10:21 PM Post #8 of 30
Great comments. Will look into the amp for the K1000. Thought that if the EF1 would power the HD650, it would power the HD800 and K1000 OK and the HF-2 with ease. Guess not!
Jun 7, 2009 at 10:26 PM Post #9 of 30

Originally Posted by Benaiir /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Did you consider the JH13's? It might be a FOTM, but FWIR, people who invested in one say it floors the HD800's in about every category.

Where in the world did you hear that? They are better than my UE-11 Pros in my opinion but nowhere near a HD-800. I bought both but would never consider one a replacement for the other.

A little educational read.

Jun 7, 2009 at 10:31 PM Post #10 of 30
JH13 not what I had in mind. Learned something though. And thanks,
Jun 7, 2009 at 10:33 PM Post #11 of 30
I can't quite make a fair comparison, since I've only listened to the HF-2 and HD-800. I have a HF-2 on order and plan to order the HD-800 in a few weeks. I own the HD-650 and K-1000.

Right now, I'd probably go with the K-1000. Its speaker-like presentation and terrific tonal balance are excellent and a world apart from the HD-650. I think it would be an excellent fit for your music, too. You get the full benefit of SACD with them, too.

Another thing that works in your favor is that you're already running speakers. You'd be able to power them with your speaker amp. If you wanted, you could sell the EF1 and HD-650 to offset the cost of the K-1000. The HD-800 is awfully picky with amps (it sounded different on the four amps I tried it with), so you might end up chasing down a couple thousand more in amplification to get the most out of it.

While I really liked the HF-2, it sounded like more of a good rock can to me. I liked it a lot, but it won't give you the same airy presentation the HD-800 and K-1000 will. I think you'd like that sound better than the Grado or HD-650 sound.

But be sure to listen to others who have more time on the HF-2 and HD-800. And keep in mind that my opinion will likely change in the next few weeks. Still, it is hard to go wrong with the K-1000. I think it would be a safe bet.
Jun 7, 2009 at 10:50 PM Post #12 of 30
Thanks UE. The K1000s certainly look cool. I'll reseach powering them with my NAD (sounds almost erotic).

I kind of knew that I'd probably end up upgrading the amplification too.

Saw that Head-fi had flea market forums, and am an audiogon and paypal member so marketing the HD650s and EF1 might not be too big a hassle.

Jun 7, 2009 at 11:02 PM Post #13 of 30
Of the various combinations...I would go with the hd800 + hf2 as I think they're complementary and most likely you can use the same headphone amp.
If you can't afford it, I'd go with hf2 + hd650 as again, I think they'll be complementary.
HF2 for in your face presentation and hd650s for something where you want more soundstage, more neutral.
I do love the k1000s (own them myself) but I think they'd be the most work, most money, and most change to your system because you'd most likely need 2 amps to drive the hd650 + k1000s.
From everything I've heard, I think an amp that is used to drive both dynamic headphones and the k1000s are a compromise in the k1000 sound. That includes the Beta22. Exception is something like Woo Audio 5 which is $$$.
They do really need a speaker amp to drive them properly and even there, it won't really reach it's potential without a good source and even interconnects will matter.
If you go the k1k route, just be prepared for it to be a work in progress for a while, but they are in the end definitely worth it IMO.

I do have a similar system right now (K1000s + hd800 + vintage RS1) and I plan on keeping all 3 because I think they all complement each other.
Jun 7, 2009 at 11:33 PM Post #14 of 30
Thanks all for your feedback. Will research amplification for the K1000s before making a decision. After the research though, it seems like there are no wrong choices here, just priorities to rank, costs and benefits to weigh and decisions to make.

Thanks again,
Jun 8, 2009 at 12:13 AM Post #15 of 30

Originally Posted by vpivinylspinner /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Where in the world did you hear that? They are better than my UE-11 Pros in my opinion but nowhere near a HD-800. I bought both but would never consider one a replacement for the other.

A little educational read.


Here's where I heard it:

Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer /img/forum/go_quote.gif
the JH13 sounded so spectacular that I preferred it to the HD800

Try to be a little less nasty next time? BTW... The search tool is up there.

Users who are viewing this thread