One Amp to Drive Them All!
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AlterAnthony

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Greetings,

So, I am in need of an amp capable of driving my three main headphones (AKG K701, Sennheiser HD650 and Grado RS-1) to a more than just satisfying level. The amp should perform especially well with the K701 and HD650 while the RS-1 is not that critical.


I've been considering the Meier Audio Corda Opera, the HeadAmp GS-1, the WooAudio 6 and the PS Audio GCHA. I am leaning towards SS rather than tubes, although I would consider a transfomer-coupled design. Also, I already have an amp that can drive all the three headphones quite well (Musical Fidelity X-CAN v3) but I would like to have something of a higher class than the X-CAN v3.

I would be very thankful for any kind of input on this subject!
 
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Uncle Erik

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What kind of music do you like? If you like rock and a lot of low-end slam, then solid state would be better for you. If you like vocals and mids, then tubes might be better.

What price range are you considering? It'll be hard for people to give suggestions without knowing.

Also, what's wrong with OTL tube amps? Some people (myself included) think that an output transformer colors the sound. Sometimes it's colored well, sometimes not. Generally, you have to spring for pricey iron to get good sound. An OTL, on the other hand, will give you a good, clean, fast sound at a lower price. Actually, if you generally prefer solid state, an OTL will get you closer to that sound, since the vast majority of solid state amps do not use output transformers, either. I like the OTL sound so much that I'm building one for my loudspeakers.

As for a recommendation, I like the PreSonus Central Station with all three headphones. I've got several amps, and some make better pairings with individual headphones, but this is the one that's best with all three. It's a DAC, preamp, and a couple other things, but it has a fantastic headphone amp in there. The Sennheisers never sounded better and there's enough current to drive the K-701. The RS-1 sounds great, as well. Check it out. If you don't have a DAC, it does that exceptionally well, too. My only gripe is that the Central Station doesn't have a power switch. You have to put it on a power strip if you want to switch it off. Other than that, it is an excellent performer.
 
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AlterAnthony

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Yeah, as soon as I posted I noticed that I missed mentioning some crucial information.

I would like to keep the price under 1200 USD, as for my musical preferences... my taste spreads from jazz and classical to hard rock so I cannot pinpoint an amp based solely on my music choice.

On the OTL vs. transformer-coupled... I already have an OTL design based amp (Ray Samuels Audio Emmeline II "The Raptor") and I would like something different...

I will consider the PreSonus Central Station, thank you for your suggestion...
 
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TzeYang

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discreet diamond buffers. Unity gain ftw!!
 
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johnsonad

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I LOVE my WA6, there are a few people here that use it souly for their K701 and HD650. PM fkclo as he has a Raptor and the WA6, as I remember it the WA6 gets most of the play time! It is a great amp for a great price, the GZ34 is a hard tube to beat and Jack is a pleasure to deal with.
 
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3x331m

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mrarroyo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
- Get a Mapletree Ear + Purist HD at a $600 plus S&H.


x2.

Or you can DIY with the kit for ~$400 + S&H.
 
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AlterAnthony

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Quote:

- Get a Mapletree Ear + Purist HD at a $600 plus S&H.


This I've been considering.

But... HD or HD2?


Oh, and thank you all for the replies!
 
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tbonner1

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Uncle Erik
Thanks for your feedback regarding the Presonus head amp. I like it with the Senns as well, but wish it had a little more dynamic power with the AKG 701. I cannot understand why more people do not go for this amp at the money it sells for.

Can you comment on how the PPX sound compares to the Presonus head amp?
 
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mrarroyo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AlterAnthony /img/forum/go_quote.gif

This I've been considering.

But... HD or HD2?


Oh, and thank you all for the replies!




IMO the HD is a better sounding unit. I had the HD150 which I ended up returning because the bass impact was not there, and I felt the HD was more open.

BTW, in the V3 did you implement the fast acting diodes? Makes a difference.
 
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xxlMusikfreak

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I can do a comparison of a fully modded V3 and a GS-1 with 650, 701 and HF-1 soon.
 
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cooperpwc

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This Lord of the Amps title is one of the best yet.
 
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AlterAnthony

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cooperpwc
This Lord of the Amps title is one of the best yet.


Well... Thank you!


Quote:

Originally Posted by xxlMusikfreak
I can do a comparison of a fully modded V3 and a GS-1 with 650, 701 and HF-1 soon.


I would be very thankful if you did!

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrarroyo
BTW, in the V3 did you implement the fast acting diodes? Makes a difference.


Yep, UF diode installed. Anyway, it seems that you misinterpreted me and think that I don't like the X-CAN v3, which is far from the truth. It's a great amp and stands tall even against such amps as the SP PPX-3 and the LehmannAudio Black Cube Linear but I just want a different flavour for my secondary setup.

I'm leaning towards the Opera. It has a nice set of feature, neat looking design and supposedly a really pleasant sound signature. I will manage to test an unit soon and then I will decide. Funny though, no one in this thread recommended it.
 
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spacemanspliff

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KevC

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Woo Audio 6 is supposed to be loved by K701 owners =)

I'm quite happy with my Darkvoice 336i but I think that's too low end for what you're looking at!
 
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