Best Amps For the Sennheiser HD800 - 2017 Edition

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

  1. Smitty

    Smitty Too good for bad vodka - Friend

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    Yeah, I personally feel that all my planars were anemic through it.
     

  2. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Facebook Friend

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    Keep us up to date if you try it with the hd800.
     
  3. AMW1011

    AMW1011 Friend

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    I've got the IHA-1 here with all the upgrades. It has plenty of balls. I can even drive a ZMF Vibro mk2 on it with very quiet tracks and I listen loudly.
     
  4. pedalhead

    pedalhead Friend

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    Is that the new version with more gain?
     
  5. AMW1011

    AMW1011 Friend

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    The transformer upgrade increases gain, so ya.
     
  6. porkfriedpork

    porkfriedpork Friend

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    According to Drew at Moon Audio, IHA-1 outputs 650 milliwatt into 300 Ohm with 18 db (+ 5 with Lundahl) gain.
    As a point of comparison, the Schiit Valhalla 2 is 800 milliwatt into 300 Ohm with 16.9 (on high) gain.
     
  7. Peti

    Peti Acquaintance

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    This is a fantastic thread, big thank you for it guys! You got the meat of the Head-Fi HD800 thread (which is also great, but painful to read through due to its length). I am fairly acquainted with the capabilities of the HD800 with various solid stage amps and I have decided to try some tube goodie this time. I have had the luck to audition the DNA Stratus a few times at various meets, and I quite liked what I have heard, to say the least, so I know more or less what to expect if I want to buy that amp. However, the EC ZDS is much praised, too, which I have never heard. They are not too far from each other price-wise, and I was wondering how the ZDS compares to the Stratus? Are they in the same league, just different tastes, a sort of side grade, if you will? Any thoughts would be much appreciated as I'm planning to get one of those sooner or later.

    P.S.: I hope I have posted my inquiry in the right thread.
     
  8. ogodei

    ogodei Rando

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    That's a judgement call. I found Stratus to be a the better all-rounder, sounding great with a wider range of headphones. Both tighter and clearer while still very musical. That said the ZDS is great sounding if a little softer and is probably much easier to get hold of.

    Although I saw a Stratus floating around for sale in the last few days...
     
  9. Peti

    Peti Acquaintance

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    Great, thank you. I'm rally interested about the soundstage in particular, but any comments are much appreciated. I have seen one DNA on head-fi for 2350$, I think it's a decent price for it, right?
     
  10. ogodei

    ogodei Rando

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    It went up for sale last night, I'm surprised it hasn't sold already. If I didn't have a Stellaris on the way in I would have bought it myself.

    Re soundstage: That would be a tough call between the two. Both very good, I don't think there's a wrong choice there.
     
  11. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Facebook Friend

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    I heard word that Stratus doesn't have such a great soundtsgae.
     
  12. ogodei

    ogodei Rando

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    I heard the Stratus. It does.
     
  13. songmic

    songmic Friend

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    Having owned ZDS for a long time and recently acquired a Stratus, I think I should be able to add my $0.02. Give me a week or two to play around with my HD800 (SBAF + SDR modded).
     
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  14. Peti

    Peti Acquaintance

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    Ahh, I couldn't resist, I've pulled the trigger on the DNA in the Head-Fi classifieds. But keep the opinions coming, I'm still curious.
     
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  15. songmic

    songmic Friend

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    By "pulled the trigger," you mean the seller confirmed that he would sell his Stratus to you, or did you simply shoot a PM and are waiting for a reply?

    Considering the popularity of the Stratus, chances are the seller has already received many PM's by now, and the sale is already pending. Good luck grabbing it, otherwise you would have to wait at least a year or another Stratus that pops up every once in a blue moon.
     
  16. Peti

    Peti Acquaintance

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    Yeah, we have agreed already. I exactly know the meanings and difference of both "pulling the trigger" and sending a pm to inquire about the availability of the amp. So yeah, the deal is sealed. The search for amps is over, as far as I'm concerned. I was going to place an order eventually on the ZDS, but with the appearance of this deal and zero waiting time I just couldn't resist.

    It still bugs me a little that I could not have heard the HD800 with the ZDS though before the purchase.
     
  17. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    You're getting a great amp. It's in the same league as the ZDS, just slightly different flavors.
     
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  18. songmic

    songmic Friend

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    In that case, congratulations! You really landed on a sweet deal, and best of all, saved yourself a year's wait.

    I'd say don't worry too much about the ZDS. As for certain headphones, the ZDS might be a better match, but with HD800 I'm sure the Stratus will leave little to be desired. I swore to myself I would never again buy another HD800 after being very much content with my modded HD650, but I broke that oath after I acquired a Stratus.
     
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  19. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    Congrats @Peti . @Donald North applied last upgrades on mine and It think they worth the investment . Significant improvement in technicalities ( better resolution, pin point imaging, layering and openness) imo. I didn't compare directly though so take my impressions with a grain of salt. In one word , i think the "tube bloom" is significantly reduced with no change for the typically DNA slightly euphonic and delicate sound.
     
  20. Peti

    Peti Acquaintance

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    Thank you guys! The deal comes with different tubes (a pair of Psvane WE275 tubes (2A3 equivalents), an Emission Labs 5U4G tube, and a Russian 6N1P tube) so it's gonnabe fun to wet my feet into this tube rolling business! :)
     

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