Which amplifiers should I consider?
Sep 20, 2013 at 1:38 AM Post #16 of 33

driftingbunnies

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Perhaps it's a noob mistake on my part. Am I correct in understanding that high-end is delineated soleley on a monetary level. It's not the performance; it's the price. LIke for real? lol
 
This is like us saying that an Oppo105 is not high-end, because it doesn't cost enough. Its astounding performance be damned. My head just spun around.

 
If you don't think price is a good measure then please enlighten me with the best way to measure equipment. Are we going to assign one guru to say whether one piece of equipment is high end vs another? What if they arbitrarily decide that the only amp you really need is one of those ones built from a mint tin can? Are you willing to accept that as my recommendation? The reason that people don't want to respond is because if those who are serious enough to look into Summit-fi know not to feed the troll.
 
Sep 20, 2013 at 5:17 AM Post #17 of 33

Maxvla

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Quite a few less-than-polite replies here. You guys need to be better ambassadors to new members. It goes without saying that new members should search, and try to understand the layout of a new forum. When it doesn't happen, don't tell them what they should have done, or known.

The straight and true of it, Shaffer, is that your question, posed in the high end forum, was answered in the first reply, and within an hour of your posting. http://www.head-fi.org/t/682248/which-amplifiers-should-i-consider#post_9816208

For me, the GS-X + HD800 is the end of the road. This Summit-Fi forum is somewhat about price, but also about what people are satisfied with being their endgame solution. There are certainly people who have spent many times what I have on my rig, and are still searching for the end. Does this mean my 'summit' hasn't been reached, just because of a certain monetary value? Not at all.

It is difficult for me to go backwards to find amps at a cheaper price point with the goal of ultimate transparency, because it doesn't exist, at least not to the extent I've discovered at the price point I shopped. That said a few amps that surprised me were the: Objective 2, generally very clear and resolving, though lacking dynamics and can sound a little compressed because of it. This is an inexpensive item that punches well above it's weight. Next is the Matrix M-Stage, which tends to have synergies with surprising headphones, and can end up merely average with others. Another popular amplifier, which is designed to run highly resistive loads (though typically sensitivity, not impedance) is the Schiit Lyr, a hybrid amp, with many many pages worth of tube rolling knowledge to peruse. Something a step up, and fully tubed, the Little Dot MKVI+ is a balanced amplifier that works very well for high impedance headphones such as your 880, and many other popular models that are 300 or 600 ohm. The catch there is you would need to reterminate your headphones to balanced configuration, or, if your headphone has removable cables, get a custom cable made for it (usually easy to find for popular models). There are some higher power single ended amps that also offer exceptional sound quality, but most of those are well over 1000 and into summit-fi territory. This is just a small list to get you started. There are many many amps out there, and I haven't listened to even a significant portion of them, so I can't tell you what to get, not that I would anyway because my taste is likely different.

If you want to venture into electrostats, your budget needs to increase at least twice to get near a reference sound quality. Both the headphones and amps are very much small run items, so overhead plays a bigger role in the final price. The amps are actually fairly dangerous to work on if you don't know what you are doing, or are not careful. Many companies don't bother with the risk, so there is less competition, meaning prices have even more leverage to stay high. There are some less expensive ways to get into stats, but most of them are significantly colored in one way or another.
 
Sep 21, 2013 at 8:38 AM Post #20 of 33

Frihed89

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If you are interested in an SET amp, the DNA Stratus is excellent.  On the used market, it is hard to beat a Single Power MPX3, especially one that can take the 5687s for output tubes (SLAM is the designation, I think).  Most MPX3s were and still are not poorly built, esp. if they go back to 1997 or before.
 
Sep 21, 2013 at 11:39 PM Post #22 of 33

The Monkey

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No-one, really? I don't mind telling you guys that I'm a little disappointed. FWIW, I'm a member of a fairly exclusive high-performance audio forum populated by guys with at least +30 years in the hobby. Guys what? We help people who ask for our guidance, and not simply dismiss their concerns. Can't believe I had to write this. 

 
 
We're the worst.
 
Sep 22, 2013 at 2:06 AM Post #26 of 33

Asr

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For a variant of the Beyerdynamic DT880, I'd be more inclined to suggest a tube-based amp instead of the HeadAmp GS-X MK2, like one of the Eddie Current amps or maybe the Donald North Audio Stratus. No I haven't heard most of their amps, I'm just suggesting them because they're both good vendors who seem to make quality amps (I've personally met the amp designers behind them too).
 
Also is your location "NYS" short for New York state? If so, you should attend this upcoming meet: http://www.head-fi.org/t/669860/official-ny-regional-fall-meet-november-9th-2013
 
Btw, no offense to those who auto-suggested the HeadAmp GS-X MK2, but have you guys actually heard it? We don't need more cases of people suggesting things that they haven't heard. I owned it and wouldn't suggest it for someone using a Beyerdynamic DT880 (which I've also owned before, but not the 600 Ohm model, it was the 250 Ohm model).
 
Sep 22, 2013 at 3:11 AM Post #28 of 33

Chris J

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Any other suggestions? I'm not looking to be spoonfed; just that personal listening is new to me and I'd like a jumping-off point as far as quality amplification.



Well since you asked..........
I have a pair of Beyer DT880/600 Ohm.
But I prefer my Stax SRS-2170 system.
Doesn't cost an insane amount of money and has a more relaxed and natural presentation than the DT880
 
Sep 22, 2013 at 4:22 AM Post #29 of 33

Frihed89

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I meant 2007 or before, NOT 1997, with reference to the vintage of the MPX3.  Sorry for the inaccuracy.
 
Sep 22, 2013 at 4:51 AM Post #30 of 33

froger

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For a variant of the Beyerdynamic DT880, I'd be more inclined to suggest a tube-based amp instead of the HeadAmp GS-X MK2, like one of the Eddie Current amps or maybe the Donald North Audio Stratus. No I haven't heard most of their amps, I'm just suggesting them because they're both good vendors who seem to make quality amps (I've personally met the amp designers behind them too).

Also is your location "NYS" short for New York state? If so, you should attend this upcoming meet: http://www.head-fi.org/t/669860/official-ny-regional-fall-meet-november-9th-2013

Btw, no offense to those who auto-suggested the HeadAmp GS-X MK2, but have you guys actually heard it? We don't need more cases of people suggesting things that they haven't heard. I owned it and wouldn't suggest it for someone using a Beyerdynamic DT880 (which I've also owned before, but not the 600 Ohm model, it was the 250 Ohm model).
I suggested the GS-X though I have not heard of it, because of what the OP requested "A sense of crystalline clarity is number one on
the list of wants." I guess you have heard the DT880 on the Stratus or any EC amps? How do the combination sounds? why is the DT880 better with those amps than the GS-X?
 

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