MSII+, Burson HA-160 + HD 800 = good combination?
Mar 28, 2011 at 2:47 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

Lan647

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I'm seriously considering upgrading my rig soon, I prefer a balanced sound with deep, controlled bass that is smooth and powerful when it needs to be (think: TDK soundtrack) and impactful and tight when it needs to be (think: queen, another one bites the dust). When it comes to mids I want em true, but still with a slight warmth and smoothness that gives that pleasant feel of presence. Treble needs to be a little laid-back when it's not needed and without harshness or brightness that gets uncomfortable after a while. I like the soundstage engaging and precise, yet open and deep.

Headphone used for now is the HD 800, connected to a stereo amp that has plenty of power, tight bass and smooth (recessed, maybe) highs. Soundstage is the surround version with pretty good separation and the mids placed in front of you, otherwise not very precise. Bass could go lower and could be more controlled (it gets slightly boomy with some music), impact is good. Mids lack magic and even though they are pretty clean, they are somehow grainy at times and sibilance can be heard with many recordings. I simply want a system that can make the HD 800 come to life, bring their strengths to light but without sounding bright. Good synergy, in other words...
 
So, will the suggested rig above provide what I want, and if not, what is there to improve? Feel free to discuss pros and cons based on my preference in sound. Worth noticing is that I'm not really a fan of classical music, at least not for now. 

Also take note that this will not be my final upgrade, a balanced rig including tubes and high-end dac is high on the list. 

Thanks!
 
Mar 28, 2011 at 3:16 PM Post #2 of 7

Mad Max

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Instead of the MSII+ why not grab an Audio-gd Reference 5 or 7?  Better DAC and it has balanced outputs.
 
DAC first, then a great amp second.  You might want to look into the Little Dot MkVII+ balanced amp in the meantime while you search for the tube amp you want.
 
Mar 28, 2011 at 3:53 PM Post #4 of 7

Mad Max

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Oops, that Burson is $700, I thought it was $1600, I don't know why.
 
NFB-1WM in that case?  lol
 
Anyway, you should spend more on the DAC than the amp if you are going for a higher end tube amp later.  Buying used would be a good idea, especially if it is just meant to be an intermediate.
 
Mar 28, 2011 at 4:05 PM Post #5 of 7

Lan647

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Quote:
Oops, that Burson is $700, I thought it was $1600, I don't know why.
 
NFB-1WM in that case?  lol
 
Anyway, you should spend more on the DAC than the amp if you are going for a higher end tube amp later.  Buying used would be a good idea, especially if it is just meant to be an intermediate.


The MSII+ IS told to be very good, significantly better DAC:s are probably a lot more expensive, so I can't really afford that yet either way. :p other DAC alternatives are the included DAC in the HA-160d (maybe that was the one you were thinking about?) and the matrix mini-i, though like the m-stage, it is told to be more warm and relaxed rather than natural and detailed...
 
 
Mar 29, 2011 at 1:35 PM Post #7 of 7

soundaddicted

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Quote:
The MSII+ IS told to be very good, significantly better DAC:s are probably a lot more expensive, so I can't really afford that yet either way. :p other DAC alternatives are the included DAC in the HA-160d (maybe that was the one you were thinking about?) and the matrix mini-i, though like the m-stage, it is told to be more warm and relaxed rather than natural and detailed...
 

 
The 160D is around $1200. 
 
Now, i remember a review a head-fi'er wrote using the HA160+HD800's. You can read it here
 
 

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