Questions about High end Tube Amp & which one for my taste.
May 27, 2015 at 8:43 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4

Ghaunty22

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Looking around for high end tube amps that are really good for headphones like hd800's for late 90's Trance music.
 
I like bright, very sharp mid range details on the instruments & vocals & don't like the low end bass that much. Alot of the late 90's had little bass & plenty of gorgeous details from midrange up.
 
Can anyone say what is the realistic price to spend? If 500 is too cheap for tube, what about 1500-1800usd?
3-5 grand though? No way! Might as well go solid state.
 
What are the words in reviews to look for? imaging, clarity etc?
 
Thanks
 
May 27, 2015 at 9:30 AM Post #2 of 4

superjawes

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I think Summit-Fi might be a better place for this. I imagine that more HD800 owners will be lurking there (and you might even find a thread already exists).

Now I don't know about how much people like it with the HD800 (other than people liking tubes overall), but a Valhalla 2 will only set you back $349. That's all-tube all the time, and you can roll tubes (if you're into that kind of thing). I've also heard good things about the Bottlehead Crack (+Speedball) with high impedance cans, although that is a DIY amp, which may or may not be something you want to get into. Price is $279 (+$115 for Speedball).

At any rate, I don't think $500 is a bad price point. Maybe you can get "better", but I'm not sure how much more performance you can squeeze out of an amp by throwing more money at it. Definitely worth trying out the HD800 with a few amps, if you can.
 
May 27, 2015 at 9:18 PM Post #3 of 4

maeveth

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There are good values at nearly all price ranges. There are several people running HEKs, 3000USD headphone, off the Schiit Lyr 2.
 
May 27, 2015 at 9:46 PM Post #4 of 4

inthere

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Tube rolling can get very expensive.
 
I would suggest getting the Aune T1 mk2. Takes one tube. Use it as a test machine to keep spending down. Switch in tubes and you'll hear the differences in each one. My favorite at the moment is the Phillips E188CC-7308, which cost about $169. It sounds like what you want but of course you can spend more if you like on a Siemens or a Telefunken. It sounds awesome on Trance to my ears.
 
It's a tube DAC and you can hook up any amp you want later, including another tube amp. 
 
The good thing is if you find a tube you like you can buy 3 or 4 more for your high end amp later, but the good thing is if you *don't* like it you've only bought one tube.
 

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