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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
    Quote:
    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
    Quote:
    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
    Quote:
    No worry. You're not the first. It's just the Head-Fi way per regurgitation. 
     
  11. Happybottle
    Quote:
     
    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
    Quote:
    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
    Quote:
    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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