Inexpensive Amps for HD650 / HD580
Mar 2, 2006 at 4:01 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

never2clever

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I'd like to drive pairs of Sennheisers (I have a pair of HD580s and a pair of 650s) but I don't want to spend a lot of money. I will not run it off of batteries.

I was hoping to spend $300 or less including a computer (USB) DAC.

Suggestions?

Some contenders (how well do these work with HD650s?):
- A Headroom Total Bithead - right price/features, but not enough oomph to drive HD650s?
- Modding a TBH to use an external power supply
- A Meier Porta Corda USB w/AC adapter
- Firestone iCute Beyond and Fubar?
- a Silverstone DAC and some $150 amp?
any other ideas?

Or am I better off trading in my HD650s for something easier to drive so I can use a TBH?

I know if I raise the budget to $450, things get better. Either a Meier Aria or any of the $300 amps (Gilmore Lite, Headroom micro, Rockhopper, ...) and some DAC (Silverstone or Firestone or ...). But that's too far down the slippery slope...

Yes, it seems silly to have such a great pair of headphones and skimp on the amp, but I got a really good deal on them.

Thanks for the advice.

mg
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 4:09 AM Post #2 of 17

senny-ftw

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I have HD600s which have same drivers as 580 and similar to 650 to drive... and a Total Bithead.

It can't really do it. It sounds great but it won't crank up enough; the red undervoltage light flashes at me all day...I run off batteries which gives me about 10% extra power before the clipping happens, but it's still not enough for me.

I'm also interested in a more powerful amp; will probably let the TB do the DAC bit in the interests of economy
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 5:48 AM Post #3 of 17

cpw

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I also have a TBH and am quite happy with it for what it is. If I use it w/ the laptop, batteries are optional and the red light does flash but I've learned to ignore it. It's got some great features and the DAC sounds good but the amp itself is nowhere close to my SR-71 (but then we're back to batteries again).
If you can stretch to a Gilmore Lite or an XP-7 w/ pwr supply (my choice 4 you), I'd do it given the cans you're using.
Hope this helps,
CPW
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 6:48 AM Post #5 of 17

Cosmid

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Quote:

Originally Posted by senny-ftw
I have HD600s which have same drivers as 580 and similar to 650 to drive... and a Total Bithead.

It can't really do it. It sounds great but it won't crank up enough; the red undervoltage light flashes at me all day...I run off batteries which gives me about 10% extra power before the clipping happens, but it's still not enough for me.

I'm also interested in a more powerful amp; will probably let the TB do the DAC bit in the interests of economy
smily_headphones1.gif



Total BitHead does not have enough power to drive HD650. This is the only reason why I return it. And it is confirmed by guys in HeadRoom. If you really want a sub $300 amp, HR Micro is good enough. Head-fi contributors have 10% off promotion.
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 8:45 AM Post #7 of 17

tankdriver

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I'm powering my HD650's w/ Zu Mobius with an iCute Beyond at the moment. In my first rig I drive them with a G&W T-2.6F and the source is an EastSound CD-E5.

My PC rig embrace the iCute, M-Audio 2496 and HD595's. In the low gain position I have a huge volume space with the 50Ohm HD595's. In high position it seems perfect with my HD650's. The Fubar DAC is also great. My brother use it and I tested it against my M-Audio. My soundcard hadn't a chance.
580smile.gif


Finally, for around 170$ the iCute Beyond is a great amp. Clear and natural sounding with impact in bass.
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Mar 3, 2006 at 2:36 AM Post #9 of 17

edisonwu

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I like to introduce the EarMax Pro to you, price is Just a little bit exceeding your current budget for a used one. But it's good for the price.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 2:47 AM Post #10 of 17

never2clever

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There's a lot of great advice!

Unfortunately, spending $300 for the amp leaves nothing in the budget for a DAC. The cheapest decent computer DAC seems to be a Silverstone EB-01, which is still $100.

Otherwise, the Rockhoppers, Headroom Micro and Gillmore Light really do seem great. And can you really buy a X-Can V3 for $300?
But I'd be at $420+ for the system, at which point an Aria might be an option too.

I corresponded with Jan Meier who assures me that the Porta Corda USB will drive HD650s well. By the time I add a wall wart, I'm over $300, but not by too much.

Thanks again.

mg
 
Feb 25, 2010 at 7:27 PM Post #11 of 17

lordsegan

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Look into the line from Little Dot.

www.littledot.net/

They have several items in your price range, including a combined DAC/AMP as well as amps that you could pair with a DAC such as the Musiland 01 US or Musiland 02 US.
 
Feb 25, 2010 at 10:51 PM Post #15 of 17

Shizdan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Head Injury /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Um, guys. This is from 2006. Which probably means he's either already found what he wanted or has died of old age.


I'm gonna say he died of old age
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