Valhalla 2 vs ifi zen can for Sennheiser hd 650
Nov 25, 2020 at 10:52 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

Maxpain

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As the title suggests....what would be the better choice for hd 650 regarding sound and driving quality? My current setup with the 650's is the micro idsd (silver) but the amp stage is not cutting for me no more...I would like something more.

I would go straight for the zen can but I have read that valhalla is made to fit with the 650s so I would arpeciate if someone who has experience with either combo would make a suggestion.

Thanks in advance.
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 11:54 AM Post #2 of 11
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Hey there! Thanks for posting up.

What are you looking at needs and budget-wise? Depending on your needs and budget, a Micro Black Label Signature or the ZEN Stack would be more than enough power and sound-wise. If you like the sound of the Micro iDSD, and want to stay in the realm of iFi's house sound with our usage of the Burr Brown chips, I would recommend the ZEN CAN.

People have liked the pairing of the 6 series with the ZEN lineup we actually made a 6xx version just for Drop and that sold through quickly!

Let me know if I can answer any specific questions for you. I don't have a 6 series by me, but am confident they will have enough power to run them and sound great with it.
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 4:47 PM Post #3 of 11

Maxpain

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Hello and thanks for replying...

I like to sound of micro but its amp has reached its capability for me and as you know hd 650 really do take advantage of a better amp. My budget unfortunately does not stress over 300-400 euros. I would go for the zen can cause I read very good stuff about it and I am sure that it can drive the 650 very good.

My main question is about synergy and signature between valhalla (tubes) vs the zen can and if someone has tried them both it would be very helpfull. As I have posted in the past ifi should really consider a budget tube amp it would make a killing!

Cheers.
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 5:12 PM Post #4 of 11

Acapella48

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I would go straight for the zen can but I have read that valhalla is made to fit with the 650s

I purchased a pair of Drop HD6XX's for a similar reason. But instead of going with the Valhalla 2, I opted for the Lyr 3 with it's single 6SN7 tube vs the 4 tubes: (2) 6N6P's and (2) 6N1P's in the Valhalla 2.

I paired the Lyr 3 with a Bifrost 2. This combo may be more than you're willing to spend. As you know, you could get the Lyr 3 as an AIO by going with a DAC module

The 6N6P's have no known equivalent, so you're stuck with that tube type; whereas the 6N1P's can be swapped out for any 6DJ8/6922/ECC88/ECC85/6BZ7 types. And of course, you should buy the tubes in matched pairs. Having a single 6SN7 eliminates having to buy matched pairs.

The HD6XX's definitely likes tubes - at least with the Lyr 3.
 
Nov 25, 2020 at 5:26 PM Post #5 of 11

buke9

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Hello and thanks for replying...

I like to sound of micro but its amp has reached its capability for me and as you know hd 650 really do take advantage of a better amp. My budget unfortunately does not stress over 300-400 euros. I would go for the zen can cause I read very good stuff about it and I am sure that it can drive the 650 very good.

My main question is about synergy and signature between valhalla (tubes) vs the zen can and if someone has tried them both it would be very helpfull. As I have posted in the past ifi should really consider a budget tube amp it would make a killing!

Cheers.
I will say this. I had the Valhalla 2 for a bit but did not have the 650’s at that time but the HD-700’s so not a great comparison yes I know and just didn’t like it much. I do have the HD-6XX’s now and have to say a Bottlehead Crack is probably the best I’ve heard from them and second best of what I have is the Cavalli Tube Hybrid. With that said the Zen Can Signature 6XX that I heard at CanJam NYC is probably better than the CTH but with a caveat that I didn’t have them side by side but it did sound very good.
 
Nov 26, 2020 at 3:04 AM Post #6 of 11

Maxpain

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Well I live in Greece where getting tour hands to a B. Crack is very deficult and it will take long time. I can easily get the can zen even audio test it after the quarantine...and I can also get the valhalla pretty easily.

I allways wanted tubes but if the zen can has more synergy with the 650 I will go for that. I should propably mention that I listen mostly to jazz, funk, soul, classic rock and classical music with the 650 and meta, punk, hard rock, house and generally electronic music with my meze 99 neo which of course they don't need a much better amp.

Problem is that I have never listened to a tube amp valhalla or anything else so I don't really know what ti expect from the sound signature. All I can say is that I like the analog sound of the micro idsd and that I prefer clear and natural sound above all else...don't like the edgy treble or artificial polishing at all and that's why i chose the 650's over other headphones.

Thanks for contributing to my question btw cheers.
 
Nov 26, 2020 at 11:36 PM Post #8 of 11

SilverEars

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I will say this. I had the Valhalla 2 for a bit but did not have the 650’s at that time but the HD-700’s so not a great comparison yes I know and just didn’t like it much. I do have the HD-6XX’s now and have to say a Bottlehead Crack is probably the best I’ve heard from them and second best of what I have is the Cavalli Tube Hybrid. With that said the Zen Can Signature 6XX that I heard at CanJam NYC is probably better than the CTH but with a caveat that I didn’t have them side by side but it did sound very good.
Anybody can compare Valhalla 2 with BH Crack for Sennys? Curious what the differences are. I wonder why impedances are different for both OTL. Just tubes have different output impedances?

I'd have to agree with the 600/650/6XX with BH Crack. No need to go demishing returns. Just end it there.

I don't like the sound of iFi BL. Got that typical SS etchy sound. I would rather go with Schiit.
 
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Nov 27, 2020 at 3:57 PM Post #9 of 11

buke9

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Anybody can compare Valhalla 2 with BH Crack for Sennys? Curious what the differences are. I wonder why impedances are different for both OTL. Just tubes have different output impedances?

I'd have to agree with the 600/650/6XX with BH Crack. No need to go demishing returns. Just end it there.

I don't like the sound of iFi BL. Got that typical SS etchy sound. I would rather go with Schiit.
Sorry cant compare the two as the Valhalla 2 has been gone for several years now . Yep the Bottlehead Crack is the best I’ve heard with the 650,6XX’s and have tried several.
Impedance has to do with the amp topology as some OTL’s have little problem with low impedance cans like the Linear Tube Audio Microzotl 2 is great with low impedance planars but the BH Crack is a bass bloomy mess.
 
Nov 27, 2020 at 5:52 PM Post #10 of 11

SilverEars

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Sorry cant compare the two as the Valhalla 2 has been gone for several years now . Yep the Bottlehead Crack is the best I’ve heard with the 650,6XX’s and have tried several.
Impedance has to do with the amp topology as some OTL’s have little problem with low impedance cans like the Linear Tube Audio Microzotl 2 is great with low impedance planars but the BH Crack is a bass bloomy mess.
So, low impedance planars sound bloomy? Which isn't surprising, planars tend to lose dynamics and clarity in imaging with lack of high enough current. It's generally better to go solid-state with high wattage output with planars. OTL is no no. OTL will not push sufficient current.
 
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Nov 27, 2020 at 7:19 PM Post #11 of 11

buke9

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So, low impedance planars sound bloomy? Which isn't surprising, planars tend to lose dynamics and clarity in imaging with lack of high enough current. It's generally better to go solid-state with high wattage output with planars. OTL is no no. OTL will not push sufficient current.
The Microzotl 2 will do just fine but yes it is rather expensive. And have only tried my Ether-C’s and they sounded very good as did the HD-800’s . Even a Hybrid like the Liquid Platinum is very good with most planars but it does fall a bit short with lower sensitivity planars like the Abyss and I’m sure the HE-6 as for the Abyss it does get very loud but the mids are fairly hollow sounding and even my Liquid Carbon does well better but the Audio GD Master 9 really drives them much better.
 

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