Best Amps For the Sennheiser HD800 - 2017 Edition

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by purr1n, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    Temporary ban for BS posts. Do a fuckin' search before shitposting.
     
  2. Peti

    Peti Facebook Friend

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    Wow, I've never seen you cursing before. Not here nor on head-fi. Granted, I haven't visited sbaf lately.

    Anyhow, I just wanted to chime in on the developments of finding sinergy for my HD800. I didn't give up on the original HD800. It's been an ongoing journey since 2013 for me to find that sinergy. The DNA Stratus got me close, that's for sure. Then I deviated to speakers and now I'm back to 'phones, fully.

    Personally I found out that jitter made these headphones top-heavy and piercing-sounding to me. I have invested into an Sotm txusb Ultra plus power supply and that changed the whole game to me. I have been listening to the ESS Sabre DAC included in my WA8 with great pleasure(!). Before it was total discomfort after a few minutes of listening. I was as an Anti-ESS guy as the next one, but now I can listen to it for hours, on end.

    Mind you, I am going to upgrade on both the dac and amp fronts but right now I just thoroughly enjoy this combo. Again, jitter elimination did the trick for me. Now I just keep my eyes open for a DNA amp and I'm undecided on the dac front yet. The advantage of my current set-up, however, is that it runs off-the-grid, from batteries, save for the Sotm TxUSB-Ultra that is connected to the Audioquest NRG Edison outlet with an Audioquest Tornado power cable. Source is a Fiio M11Pro.

    In my humble opinion if you want to get rid of the tinnitus-inducing qualities of the original HD800 do yourself a favour and eliminate jitter by re-building the usb signal. There are many paths towards that, I went with Sotm. Now I prefer this source to my SFCD-1 cd player.

    Also, I would like to emphasize the positive results of the Stefan Audio mod that had been done on myHD800. I also asked them to hard-wire the Cardas Clear cable to the phone. Another nice bump in sound quality. The way I feel now, with these revelatory findings I think I can get off the upgraditis-train and just enjoy my music. That is, after I got ahold of a nice stationary amp and dac!
     
  3. Lycos

    Lycos Rando

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    Hi! @purr1n . Will there be any update in (end of) 2020?
    Would love to see if there's a new candidate between $330 and $3300.

    What's SWT51? I tried to google it but nothing comes out.

    What's your thought Burson Soloist 3x ?
    I'm looking for an SS or hybrid amp option for HD800s at max ~$1k.
    My DAC at the moment is Chord 2qute and Topping E30.
     
  4. ogodei

    ogodei Headphone Heaven Gatekeeper

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    @Lycos see here

    @purr1n , will there be another "Best Amp for HD800" list or should there be a "Best Amp for Focal Utopia" list to replace it? Probably with the exact same amps.
     
  5. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    It doesn't. There will be a 2021 edition of this thread. @ChaChaRealSmooth is working on it. FWIW, Studio Jr. not good pairing with HD800.

    At this price point ($2k to $3.5k), Stratus and Starlett and Studio B are better with HD800. ECP T4 too, but not DSHA 3F.

    A90 is dumb when you can get similar type of sound with Magnius for hundreds of dollars less. However, neither Magnius or A90 are good enough for HD800. I'd rather use a $99 Magni 3+ than either.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2020
  6. Xecuter

    Xecuter Brush and floss your amp twice a day

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    If stratus is on the list then Studio t should be too IMO. Studio + hd800sdr is exceptional. I don't find it overly thin or fatiguing. Rockna probably helps a lot with this but the level of detail and speed is worth the tonal density trade off in the lower mids.
     
  7. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    Of course. I mostly showed off Studio T at meets back in the day with HD800. The problem is that Studio T isn't being made ever again, therefore putting it on a recommended list sort of amounts to a "fuck you, this is most awesome, but you can't have it, so sucks to be you".
     
  8. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    I don't have much to say so I'm lurking quietly on topics I'm interested in. I still can't stand BS posts but usually other Staff members are quicker than me to ban shitposters. That's it .
     
  9. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    Isn't Studio B sonically identical to Studio Jr. 300B with feedback? By SJR not being a good pairing, are you talking about the 2A3 version? I thought you had listed SJR as one of the best amps for HD800 in your latest list.
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    2A3 version with the CInemags. The Cinema OPTs are drier sounding which I don't think is as good with the HD800.

    I will add to first post in the 2021 thead on stuff that isn't necessarily ideal. That is they can work, but there is better at the price point:
    • BH Crack. Best HD6xx series, but never seems to be quite as magical with the HD800.
    • A90/D90 Topping. High end Topping is hot garbage and doesn't sound any better than their lower end stuff. On the lower end, JDS, Geshelli, and Schiit sound better. Please stop asking about Topping. Their entire lineup at their respective prices underperforms in terms of sound quality.
    • Any other random TOTL amp: Probably great, but not necessarily so for HD800
    • Feliks: I'm not into the philosophy of sky high output impedance into changing the HD800 into a TH900. Besides, resolution isn't the highest on these amp. Better off with Horizon.
    • Vioeletric: Lower end 200 model tonally works with HD800, but why make the HD800 into a murky low-fi headphone. V281 is nice, but BHA-1 and Ragnarok 2 are better suited to HD800.
    • Apex Teton. Great with HD800, but seems an awful lot to pay for a tube amp without output transformers.
    • WA234. Dual volume knobs and garish design. Really you can do better in terms of function and sound for much less. This is a cod-piece to show off.
    • VIva Egoista. Name says it all.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
  11. gaspasser

    gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    I found what you were seeking:

     

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