Best Amps for HD800 - 2021 Edition

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by ChaChaRealSmooth, Dec 18, 2020.

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  1. whitefang

    whitefang New

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    I have a GSX Mini incoming for my HD800, probably in two weeks or so.
    I had a GSX Mk2 before though, and the GSX Mini being just so slightly warmer I doubt it would suit your needs.
    If you want to stick with SS amp with the warmth maybe you can try FLUX amps. I have an FA-10 which was for my HE6se but it also pair so well with my HD800 and has warm and full-bodied without sacrificing the soundstage (like violectric amp does).
    according to FLUX the other models like the 12 or 22 has even warmer sound than the 10 but I have no experience with those.
     
  2. Dadracer

    Dadracer New

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    I have tried the HD800 and HD800S with a variety of SS and Valve amps and am now convinced that a DHT amp is the best option. SS class A amps work well and pentode powered amps too but with DHT and specifically with the 300B valve the music is transformed to a level I had never heard from the HD800 before. The mid range especially takes on an almost liquid nature but hugely detailed and alive. To that end I recommend the Cayin HA300.
     
  3. Lycos

    Lycos Acquaintance

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  4. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF's Mr. Bean

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    Excellent question! And one I do not have an answer for until the loaner HD8xx arrives (which is on its way shipping as of this post).

    However, early speculation: I do not think this list would be 100% applicable to the HD8xx. This is due to the [rather large] upper midrange dip and different bass characteristics. Some amps here synergize due to helping tame that treble; this would not really be necessary anymore. Also, the HD8xx may benefit more from amps that can really grip the driver in the lows. But I can't say for certain until I hear it.
     
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Completely change.
     
  6. matts19

    matts19 New

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    How about Singxer SA-1. I keep hearing about its smoothness everywhere I turn to. I cannot help but wonder if it is a good match for HD 800.
     
  7. Lycos

    Lycos Acquaintance

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  8. adeadcrab

    adeadcrab Acquaintance

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    Enjoying the HD800S with the La Figaro 339i OTL amp. 6SJ6GT mesh tubes make the amp pretty damn linear and exceptionally resolving.

    Stage is a little bit flat paired with Soekris 1421 as the DAC, but adding a preamp with Burson Classic opamps gives the sound some three dimensionality and a touch of sweetness in the midrange that these headphones are lacking.
     
  9. Rob the Comic

    Rob the Comic banned from ASR

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    Can I throw in the Cavalli AUX. Very neutral and resolving amp with the 800 SDM. The Cavalli seems to sound better on the normal setting; the high impedance option tends to make it sound a bit brutal. I haven’t even tried the higher option on the Phonitor XE as, again they sound fine on the normal setting, plus of course the dip switches are recessed on the bottom of the unit - who thought that was a good idea.
    After going through this thread again, I can see I am going to have to try a compatible tube amp. Some guys down here have been raving about the 3db’s Feliks Envy but I don’t think I could justify the money.
     
  10. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    They removed the unicorns on this edition. So no Crimson and no Gold.
     
  11. loadexfa

    loadexfa MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    He has the Monoprice edition, not the OG LauX.
     
  12. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    Ohhhh, my bad and thanks for the heads up. So he's in for a treat when he tries the OG, although the Crimson is better with the HD800, the Gold is magical with other HPs.
     
  13. Rob the Comic

    Rob the Comic banned from ASR

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    I’ve had a good session with the original Gold at a friends place interstate down here. Great amp with tons of juice. I must say how impressed I am though with the Monoprice version. I exchanged correspondence with Alex Cavalli on another site and he claimed it is just a less powerful version of the original. Very neutral amp. After posting yesterday, I did some comparison with the higher impedance and the 800sdm again. Definitely better, more space not that it’s needed, and more speed and punch. Cymbals sounded a lot more natural on Abbey Road. The AUX looks a LOT better in person too. The on/off is a bit cheap and flimsy feeling as I mentioned in a review elsewhere, but it represents great value IMHO.
    Have never got to hear the OG Crimson unfortunately; doubt any unit’s made it to Australia.
     
  14. bokonon

    bokonon New

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    Does it make sense to upgrade from Valhalla 2 with Brimar CV4033 12AT7 tubes (great step up from stock tubes IMO, better dynamics and resolution) to Woo audio WA6-SE? Woo is affordable for me now. My DAC is OG Yggdrasil btw. Thank you.
     
  15. nojwe

    nojwe Acquaintance

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    Owned the Valhalla 2 for a few years but dumped it once I got a Woo Wa7. I fully expect the Wa6 SE is better all around, so I wouldn’t hesitate to make that jump if it’s in your budget, especially if you can find one used for about 1-1.1k.
     
  16. DRKSHDW

    DRKSHDW New

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    How is the Magni Piety with the HD800S? What do I get by spending more money. My budget is $1,500.
    Also I looked at the Shortest Way 51 Amplifier and max power output is 200mw at 32ohms? Is that right? I would think at 300ohms it wouldn't be enough for the HD800S (I think the need around 100mw).
     
  17. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    While the Piety can power the 800s to volume, it isn't what I would call endgame w 800s, it lacks driver grip and control with the hyper-revealing Senns, and SW51+ is a what some call a 6x0 specialist amp, and for good reason. A rather lackluster amp with the 800 family (it lacks bass and extension at the top end too).

    If you really wanna squeeze the most juice out of your 800S, I'd up your budget by about $500 and get on the waiting list for a Starlett. DNA and 800(S) synergize quite well together, and the Starlett or a used Stratus are going to be your cheapest points of entry.

    Most Sennheads would say that you build a system around the 800, not the other way around.
     
  18. Emojiless

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    I use HD800S (and HD6XX) from SW51+ and I agree. HD800S sounds somewhat blunted from the SW51+, like the driver is not excerted to tull potential and quite often ends up sounding a little boring.

    I’ve used and passed on a Jot 2 and that was the opposite - felt like the driver was over excerted and there was too much contrast. At first its fun but after a while starts sounding fake. The staging was noticably smaller as well which kinda takes away one of the major selling points of HD800S.

    I’ve had a Valhalla 2 as well which I think had great control of HD800S drivers, and the staging was there, but it had some haze to the sound that would get annoying after a while.

    Im interested in the new Lyr+, hoping it would have a holographic stage like the SW51+ that I could hopefully expand with some fancy tube and would have a similar driver control to the Valhalla 2.
     
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  19. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    I was on the Lyr+ loaner tour and with the tung sol tube, it sounded pretty good with my HD 800 SDR (with a good aftermarket copper cable). There was one main downside to the pairing: the Lyr+ didn't reduce the treble peak enough, for my taste. Tube rolling might help mitigate this.

    Another amp to keep an eye out for, secondhand, is the Drop x Eddie Current ZDT Jr. They come up for sale every once in a while, are a great price, and they sound lovely with the HD 800 SDR. The only thing is to get one with the white dot on the back indicating that Drop fixed the problem with hum on that unit.
     
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  20. internethandle

    internethandle Almost "Made"

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    I’ve gone from Valhalla 2 to BHA-1 to Studio B with the 800, and I’d agree that the Valhalla 2 is surprisingly nice for entry level. It does not slam or stage at the level of the bigger amps and is completely outclassed in technicalities among other qualities, but it still manages to control the driver, as mentioned, surprisingly well and with the right tubes can be adequately detailed, although on the whole the Valhalla displays tube differences less than other amps. It’s not a tubey/warmpoo amp with the 800, but it usually is not with most cans, which can be a good or bad thing with the 800 depending on your sonic preferences. Some want the 800’s peakiness tamed more than the Valhalla might accomplish.

    Anyway, it was a really nice chain with an OG BF2 and a decent transport, at least, and I could have lived with it had I not gone spend crazy.
     
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