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Suggestions for amps - HD800

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by mjban, Feb 11, 2014.
  1. mjban
    Hey guys! I've been reading the forum for about two weeks now, trying to decide which amp to get for a HD800. I've read all kind of recommendations for tube amps and SS amps. My budget is $600 (can't go any further), and I already have the Bifrost Uber DAC. At home, I bought two different very basic amps just to compare the sound signature of a SS amp vs a tube amp: the FiiO E09K with the E17 and the Aune T1 with a 6922EH tube. After some listening I feel better stereo imaging and better soundstage with the FiiO, and there is no grain as with the Aune T1, so I'm pretty much decided for a SS amp.
    BUT I'm very interested on the WA6 after reading many reviews about this being a great match with the HD800. 
    My source is a Mac with the Audirvana+ player and FLACs. 
    So my options so far are:
    - Burson Soloist SL
    - Schiit Asgard 2
    - Schiit Lyr (but there are mixed opinions with the HD800)
    - WA6 + Sophia Princess Rectifier (but scared of having to change tubes to get better or more comfortable sound, or ending up not liking the tube sound)
    Is there any other great amp for the HD800 that I'm missing? Aside from the V100/V200, and between my price range. 
  2. talisman42
    Why not the E12. Lots cheaper and you'll probably get close to the sound you're looking for. ... and they're portable. Even the bass boost comes in handy at times. You can use your E17 as a DAC, then do the LO Bypass to your E12. Slightly warmer presentation which is a good match for Grados and HD800.
  3. jackwess
    A portable amp will not give enough juice to drive the HD800's to it's full potential. Probably better using it for something more forgiving like the HD700. 
    Personally recommend the Soloist SL. There was a thread where many users paired it with the HD800. If you like a neutral presentation and detailed sound go for it. 
    nephilim32 likes this.
  4. punit
    The Bottle Head Crack is a great budget option if you can DIY, if you can't then you can buy one used on the F S/T forums (as I did). But you will have to spend around $150-300 in tube upgrades to get amazing sound from the HD 800.
    The Meier Corda Classic also drives the HD 800 well.
  5. mjban
    Thank you guys. I just pulled the trigger for the Soloist SL! It is a step up from any FiiO I think. 
  6. nephilim32

    Of course!! The FIIO E 17 is more tailor made for portable devices, however it's max impedance level is 300 ohms, but that still does not make it enough for the 800's cause your bottoming out the amps power, therefore you are more prone to grain and distortion at high volume levels. It's not enough. Also, I do love my FIIO e 17 but to my ears it's way better for I pods and it works better as an amp than a DAC overall. Mainly though you need far greater equipment (DAC+AMP) to support the 800's to their full capacity. There are no short cuts, so the Burson is a fine way to start. Have fun. Expect a burn in time of a couple of weeks until the unit blooms! :wink:

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