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Schiit or Woo Audio for HD-650

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by happybottle, Dec 27, 2012.
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  1. Happybottle
    Hey guys, I am hoping you can help me spend my money :)
    I'm using a pair of HD-650 at home, connected to a Audio-GD Compass connected to my desktop.  I've been using the Compass for a few years now and even if it wasn't presenting some hardware issues, which it is, I want to try a tube amp, which I've read forms a good combination with the HD-650.
    Last night, I was one click away from ordering a Schiit Bifrost and Lyr, when I decided to make one more round of research.  Turns out some people don't like the fact that the Lyr is a hybrid tube amp.  Those same people recommend the Valhalla or a Woo Audio WA3 over the Lyr.  So, now, I'm back to researching.
    Fast-forward a few hours, now I'm seriously considering the WA6, a bit more expensive, yes, but I don't mind spending a little bit more if I'm already going to pull the trigger on a tube amp.  But now I'm not sure which DAC to go for if I go with the WA6.
    So, between the Schiit mid-range non-balanced line-up (Asgard, Valhall, Lyr) and a WA6, which would you guys recommend for the HD-650?  If the WA6, which DAC?  The only other headphones I can think of trying in the future are the Beyerdynamic DT880 (600ohm) and maybe the HD-800s.
    I apologize if this post seems a bit -- scatter-brained.  I'm basically thinking out-loud, and the text above is what's going through my brain right now :)
    Thanks in advance!
  2. Keevs
    If you can find a place to try some amps with the HD650, that would be ideal.

    But I agree that the HD650 is good with tubes. Currently, I have a Graham Slee Solo SGR II (on loan for a few weeks) and a Little Dot MkIII (with gold grid Voshkod driver and power tubes), and I prefer the Little Dot MkIII to the Solo.
    The only other tube amps I've tried with the HD650 is the Schiit Valhalla and ALO Pan AM.
    I didn't really like the Valhalla as I thought they offered less dynamics then the LD MkIII. The ALO Pam Am was punchier and fuller then the Valhalla, however, the Pan Am is also a hybrid tube amp.
  3. wolfetan44
    Woo Audio.
  4. paradoxper
    Is this based off experience? Or...
  5. paradoxper
    OP, are you only planning on using the HD-650? Meaning, no foreseeable upgrade on ortho's or other dynamics?
    The Schiit Lyr is a wonderful pairing with HD650, optimized by tube rolling which is fun but costly. The Lyr stock is pretty flat. So investment in rolling is absolutely necessary. IMO
    However I feel it's more fit for ortho's.
    The WA6 is also a nice choice, clean and natural SQ. It's a bit more initially, but you won't have to deal with the expense of tube rolling.
    Depending on your budget I think you'd easily be able to get away with ODAC or Bifrost. Both perform admirably.
  6. wolfetan44
    No, I've heard the WA6 is great with the HD650.
  7. paradoxper
    So you're pushing recommendations you've never had experience with. I see. 
    ZoNtO likes this.
  8. Csericks
    The WA6 is fantastic with HD650.
  9. wolfetan44
    Deal with it :p
  10. paradoxper
    No worry. You're not the first. It's just the Head-Fi way per regurgitation. 
  11. Happybottle
    Thx for the reply.
    I don't have any current plans to upgrade to orthos, but man, I never plan these costly purchases ahead of time :)  I'd like to not limit myself if I can avoid it, but I'm starting to see that I can get something that will pair excellently with the HD-650s or something that will pair pretty well with everything.  If I were to get a pair of HE-6 down the line, would the Lyr perform better than the WA6?
    As for the tube rolling, I read that the Sophia Princess is a must buy with the WA6, is that right?
    Oh, and thanks for the recommendation on the DAC.  I think I will go with the Bifrost whether I go with Schiit or WA for the amp.  It was difficult to find any DAC recommendation for the WA6 in the forums.
    Thx again.
  12. paradoxper
    The WA6 is best fit for dynamics, while the Lyr is best fit for ortho's. The Lyr would perform overall the best with both.
    The Lyr can't drive the HE-6 to ideal performance. It will drive the HE-6, however with harshness and etching.
    Most recommend the HE-6 with a speaker amp. And I have to agree to truly unleash their potential.
    Lyr and EF-6 are my bare minimums for HE-6. The best I've heard the HE-6 out of a headamp is through the Mjolnir and Dark Star.
  13. Happybottle
    Thanks for the replies and advice/opinions, everyone.
    I just pulled the trigger on the WA6 and a Bifrost.  Very excited!
    Will update this page once I get everything set up, but I'm assuming I won't have everything for a couple of weeks.
    Thanks again!
  14. LAmitchell
    Congrats on the WA6, I've been eyeing one for quite some time. Looking fwd to hearing your impressions!!
  15. Happybottle
    Thanks!  I'm looking forward to my impressions, as well! :)
    The WA6 should arrive on Tuesday but the Bifrost has been backordered for a couple of weeks.  Apparently, they just started shipping out backorders on Friday, but I've yet to see my order move through.  Here's hoping it arrives before my staycation so that I can spend a good deal of time listening to the combo.
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