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What's the best amp for HD800

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by harry170183, Apr 21, 2013.
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  1. jsgraha
    I'll be interested to what amp that you will end up with. I have soloist for more than a year, and I do have a hard time choosing an amp to replace it. I have local audio shop which I can audition and a/b with soloist to other amp from various brand. A few give me a nice impression which include a luxman and liquid glass. I hope you find what you looking for from an amp.
  2. britneedadvice
    A recent very creditable , review by DubstepGirl of the Apex Teton appears on the 'Headphone.Guru' site.She compares the Teton to the GSX. Agreed, the GSX is (top spec) 3/5ths the cost of the Teton.(Agreed also, that DSG recommends upgrading the tubes on the Teton) However, at the top end , is cost the main consideration? Her main Headphone used for the review was the HD800.
    I have previously posted, IMO , the HD800, requires a tube Amp.
    The issue regarding balanced vs SE has been well argued elsewhere.(including the Teton thread).
    DSG makes reference to the creditable attributes of both the Teton and the GSX.(with the HD800 ). In favour of the Teton,she states, "more lifelike" and "more musical" - for me this has to mean the Teton has it in this dual(not withstanding cost)??
  3. purk Contributor
    Even though I love the GS-X MKII a great great deal.  I have to agree with DubstepGirl that the GS-X MIKII's soundstage is a little missing in the depth department compared to several amps that I have auditioned in similar price range.  For example, my Super Symmetry Balanced Dynahi is nicer in the depth department.  Even my old Gilmore Reference Balanced also have wider & deeper soundstage.  Same can be said with the ECP L2 & DSHA-1.  Beside that I don't really have much to complain about the GS-X MKII though its very neutral & transparent approach to the sound may not be too friendly with bad recording materials.
    kazsud likes this.
  4. dL.
    The HD800 sounds really really good with the Woo Audio WA7 + WA7TP. It has a lot of synergy and the overall presentation is very musical to my ears.
  5. dolor
    I use my hd800 with the vioelectric v200. Put the amp on full gain and they sound Amazing.
  6. knowhatimean
    The Vioelectric look really interesting to me for the fact the pre-gain adjustment switches are something that "all"
    headphone amps should have.
    If you listen to Orchestral music if you raise the volume beyond a certain point you'll only end up killing any great micro detail
    that your playback sources have created to that point if the volume adjustment increases to "steeply".
  7. Twangsta
    I don't have a Vioelecrtic but I have a question about its pre gain. Is it essentially like an out put gain from a DAC like -10db or +4db as on audio interface before it hits your headphone amp?

    Can you describe the changes you hear with different levels of pre gain. Thanks!
  8. vc1187

    The V200 is an excellent amp for the HD800. When I had it, I paired it with the V800 DAC. I preferred the sound over an OTL Tube amp (Bottlehead crack) which is saying a lot, since I think the HD800 pairs well with that.

    There is a great sense of smoothness with the V200. The only downfall is that the soundstage is not as wide as other amps, and there is less depth and layering.
  9. knowhatimean
    I don't actually have a Violectric. I was just saying why it appears to be a great feature
    Having options of pre-gains allows you to greater flexibility in making sure you have enough or it will "trim" how much gain you are
    applying when you move the volume contol up .
    In other word say if you don't use the switch at all  every increment of the vol control  is 1db. now you set the switch to a - setting so that each step is only .7db rather than a full db for each notch on the vol control.
    If you set the switch to a +setting each notch may be adding 1.3db each notch will now be .3 higher than flat where on the - setting
    you were'nt adding a full db of vol. The amounts I used were just for explantion purposes as I don't know what the actual value of
    - or + switches add or subtract to the volume control movement.
    At least that how it appears to work to me. It will depend on what the output of your DAC or player is sending to the headphone amp
    whether you want use a + or - setting or not use the switch at all. Having a 2V signal from my DAC & the fact I normally find most
    headphone amps I've used get too loud too fast I would try using a minus setting first
    I'd be thrilled to have three or four nothches of volume to use rather than just one (that might be a little too loud) (my Burson Soloist
     drove me up a wall with this even on the lowest gain setting ;but this appears to be set up differently)
  10. Twangsta
    Interesting control lay out for sure.

    Has anybody noticed a change in sound presentation with different output settings from their DAC? I'm hearing a lower mid boost going to +4db from -11db on my apollo twin into my BCL.
  11. dolor
    What amp would you recommend to get better soundstage out of the HD800?
  12. vc1187

    This depends on your price range and whether you are going SS or tube.

    Though I haven't heard it myself, the V281 seems like an upgrade from the V200 if one wants to go balanced and a more expansive soundstage. The audio-Gd M9 also has some great reviews for its smoothness and soundstage reproduction.

    For tubes, anything in the Eddie current line up (including the now discontinued S7) do soundstage alone like no other amps I've heard before.
  13. knowhatimean
    Not to "Throw a wrench" in the works, your best bet for improving soundstage performance is to get a better ' DAC'
    I really don't think headphone amp / DAC combinations are the best idea to begin with. Separates will cost a bit more, but unfortunately the old saying of "You get what you pay for" does apply here
    You will get "respectable" performance from combos, but  you're looking to improve upon sound characteristics that are being produced by a DAC  not amplification (Amps alone 'can' change the sound , but they're dong it by adding a "Coloration" on top of the music, but that seems to work for a lot of people I guess !)
    The saying that always "cracks me up" (thanks for the entertainment,guys) is "The HD800 'needs' tubes" (He,he,he, he...... there I go again; You guys are entertaining !)
  14. skeptic
    Hey prepro - looks like I may be picking up a rawson F3 clone (with the primary goal of trying it with some high efficiency speakers), but I'm curious how you rigged your F1j -> hd800 setup.  It would be fun to compare with the mainline.
    Did you use a resister network adapter of some sort or just run the cable straight in, via an XLR to banana adapter?  I assume a passive pre/attenuator box would be the way to go on the input side?  Maybe a good excuse to rig up a couple of glassware selector and attenuator boards in a simple chassis - e.g. http://glass-ware.stores.yahoo.net/a5stat.html 
  15. preproman
    Yup I didn't use any resisters. Just a cable with spaeds / bananas. I used three different pre amp. The pre on the AMR, the pre on the PWD mk2 and a AMB a20 pre. I haven't used a passive pre yet. Thats because the F1J use very little gain and my main purpose for it was the HE-6 so i needed an active pre.

    I just so happened to try the HD800 to see how it would sound. I was surprised to say the least.

    Congrats on the F3. Im looking at a couple other First Watt amps to try as well
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