Best Amps For the Sennheiser HD800 - 2017 Edition

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

  1. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Yes, Jotun is on 24/7, balanced after market cable.

    Though I just realized something weird. Treble was getting tizzy/grating/harsh, more than usual. In fact, there would be times I could swear it sounded more relaxed and smooth, and others where it sounded grating/harsh, even with the same tracks.

    On a hunch, I turned off the dryer in our house what was drying clothes and the harshness immediately went away and it was smooth again. I generally don't mind bright amps/headphones, so Jotun/HD800 didn't bother me until specific times. I realized when the washer or dryer was running, or even if I had the lights on my room at night, the treble gremlins would come back.

    It's weird because I already have a power conditioner all my gear is plugged into (Belkin Pure AV), so maybe it sucks. I don't think getting a new amp is going to change the fact that the power in my house is fucking with these cans.
     
  2. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

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    We're reaching levels of nervosa here that shouldn't even be possible.
     
  3. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    I wish my ears would realize that because they hurt.
     
  4. SSL

    SSL Friend

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    Is the actual noise of the appliance audible from your listening position?
     
  5. JoshMorr

    JoshMorr Friend

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    This on and off treble harshness is directly related to the brainwaves the government is sending out to control out thoughts. I would recommend a tin foil hat to slow down the mind control. Also if you see one of these treble gremlins, do not get them wet or feed them after midnight.
     
  6. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    A dryer is an extremely high current drawing appliance. It's not hard to believe that this can affect the performance of you gear. I have ridiculous power gremlins in my house; everything from the fridge to the dryer to the microwave. Lights and dimmers are some of the worst culprits. In one of the most ridiculous examples, I could hear a pulsing hum in the noise floor with my headphones, and I realized it was due to the blinking LED on my laptop as it was charging.
     
  7. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    For me it's very subtle, but my ears would start to hurt during certain random times, with music that had previously not given me that problem. That's how I knew something was off and started investigating. The light in my room can do it, and the dryer and the heat/AC. Everything else seems to be fine. Someone with the same problem recommended a PS Audio Duet, which fixed his issue (apparently Furman and Belkin don't do jack shit for it), so I may look into getting that.
     
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    On the power thing, I'm a believer and so are many others here. It would be interesting to perform a blind test one day. I recall speaking to @Donald North on all the power pollution inside my house with all the ballasts, dimmers, switchers, Ethernet over AC, etc. Don mentioned that he got around this by using only incandescent lighting. I've since switched most of my CF lights and some of my LED lights to the less efficient (and also better color quality) halogen lights.

    As for the Belkin "power conditioner", I have one too and it didn't do shit. My old SL Waber filter however did the trick for the various Schiit circlotron amps I had around the house. These amps with their 38 secondary taps in power transformer are super sensitive to weirdness on the AC lines. At CanJam a few years ago at the Westin in OC, the Schiit table was stuck in the back of a room and all of their gear sounded like complete shit with nasty treble glare. I thought it was because that they were still tuning their Ragnarok; but that horrible glarey sound affected everything at their table, even gear combinations that I knew should not have sounded that way. This is why when I organize big meets, I make sure the power quality is excellent. Those who were at the last big meet at the LAX Hilton may have noticed the dozen industrial power distribution blocks that looked liked mini-Daleks for every set of half-dozen tables.

    @ColtMrFire: It might not be just your amp that is sensitive to power weirdness. It could be your source too.
     
  9. stormdrain

    stormdrain Rando

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  10. murphythecat

    murphythecat GRU-powered uniformed trumpkin

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    god I love those threads!|

    Ive come to the conclusion that I also dont like digital EQ or DSP eq with the hd800 and well with everything actually. I can tolerate a class a pre amp with tone control or analog EQ, but digital EQ or DSP removes imo the magic of HiFi

    I find the Ifi Ican with the bass boost absolutely necessary with the hd800. it really adds the missing bass. of course, probably cannot compare in the mid/high to tube amps though
     
  11. rainer.skill

    rainer.skill Rando

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    I really liked the Cary Audio HH-1 Hybrid with the HD800, secound best i found the bryston BHA-1 but my listening experience with tube / hybrid amps is very limited so I can`t compare it to other tube amps.
     
  12. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    I use the Modi multibit fed by Sony DVD player (for CDs). I will try the incandescent lighting. I am also looking into a isolation transformer, since my washer and dryer don't use lights. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  13. Rozenberg

    Rozenberg Acquaintance

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    What about the BHA-1 vs other solid states you've tried? For example, Auralic Taurus?
    I'm kinda interested in the BHA-1 but not ready to let go of my Liquid Crimson yet.
     
  14. beemerphile

    beemerphile Friend

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    I'm curious what problem you are trying to solve by booting the LC to the curb. The Crimson is a great hybrid amp and as a general type, the hybrids seem to do well with these phones. Maybe not as well as some pure tube offerings, but well, I think. Some people think they need to "trade up" a SE Cavalli to a balanced amp because, well, the balanced amp is balanced. So far I haven't hooked up any balanced SS amp to my Yggdrasil that I enjoy more than my RCA-connected Liquid Glass. The last two contenders were the Rag and the Jot. The LG (also a Cavalli hybrid) paired well with the HD800's except for my use they were still less preferred than my HD650's so it was the HD800's that got booted.

    I'd at least hold off on the yard sale until I had confirmed that the BHA-1 suited me better.
     
  15. Rozenberg

    Rozenberg Acquaintance

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    I'm actually just curious whether there's an SS amp in the lower price range that comes close or maybe offers same performance as the LC. Yeah I really love the Crimson and I've been told by friends to keep it too.

    Well, only thing I'm willing to trade my Crimson for is EC tube amp but they're hard to find so I guess you're right, maybe starting to roll tube on the Crimson might bring some new experience too.
     
  16. rainer.skill

    rainer.skill Rando

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    Never heard the Taurus with HD800, I only tried the Cary Audio, Bryston BHA-1, BMC Ultra Dac, HDVD800, Violectric V200, Lehmann Linear, Meier Audio Corda Smphony, Matrix M-Stage, idsd micro. I really enjoyed the Cary Audio but I can't really describe the differences in sound vs the other amps. From SS-Amps I like the BHA-1 the most. But I'm not an expert with amps and there might be way better matches so maybe some other people can answer your question and compare BHA-1 / Cary Audio HH-1 to other recommended amps for HD800.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  17. Rozenberg

    Rozenberg Acquaintance

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    My lack of experience with amps is also the reason why I'm always curious about other amps. The thing is, after I have my Crimson, I bought the Liquid Carbon for fun and all and realized the difference was marginal on my HD650. As for other amps, I've only tried them at events and such but considering the situation and all, my impressions won't be really solid.

    (By the way why's Liquid Carbon not on the list though? For $500-700, they're a pretty good choice, except the problems)
     
  18. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    So it turns out the wall wart from the Modi Multibit was making a faint but noticeable humming/buzzing sound. When I switched out the Modi Multibit for the CD player's DAC (I actually had to swipe the bluray player from the lviing room, since my usual CD player's left RCA out buzzes), the annoying torture from my setup went away. Was probably amplifying the current/power in my house or something or other.

    Schiit mailed me a new one today. So Jotun is actually not terrible with the HD800/balanced thick copper cable with a smooth DAC for my purposes, so I will likely keep it around until I can afford an EC amp or something and give tubes another shot. Or maybe get lucky with a Black Widow find. The DAC in the bluray player sucks (annoying grainy treble, lack of air, etc) and actually noticeably downgrades the 800 but its fine until I get the replacement wall wart.
     
  19. kirayamato

    kirayamato Friend

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    how about the project ember 2 with a good tube for the hd800 anyone heard that ?

    seems like it could be a good option with a Modi Multibit
     
  20. Yoga

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    Violectric V281 should be on this list. Incredible SS pairing with the HD800, especially balanced.

    Phonitor 2/X pairs very well too, but not as dynamic/powerful as the V281. Owned these before the V281.
     

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