Best Amps For the Sennheiser HD800 - 2017 Edition

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

  1. Zed Bopp

    Zed Bopp Friend

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    Hey, @Vtory , since you might just know about this... Using HD800 (EQ'd) - what would I mostly gain with Lyr 3 vs ADI-2 DACs own hp amp?

    ADI-2 DACs amp has left my Lyr 2 with minimal use, but I understand it's very different to the 3.
     
  2. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Good question.

    I was a EQ-addict (especially for the recent two months), now slowly (try to) avoid that status. Otherwise, my future dac choices will be extremely limited (I hate OS-dependent eq solutions for a number of reasons). Anyway this means my comparison is based on no-EQ.

    Still kinda like ADI2 hp out. It performs decently. No slouch compared to sub-$100 amps except a few insane-value products (e.g., magni 3). At least I don't see any strong motivation to switch to magni 2 from built-in hp out. Jotenheim was clearly better but delta was acceptable considering the cost of convenience.

    That said, Lyr 3 is better to me by a healthy margin regarding all the audio criteria in my book. You will get the most dramatic improvements in dynamics and details (immediately observable), then may appreciate "tastefully dry and analytical" presentations. Both are on the "dry/clinical" side, but adi2 hp out is less of control/"art" by comparison. Very slight touch of warmth of lyr 3 (maybe strength of many hybrid tubes) just makes me enjoy hd800 as is.

    But I am still hesitating to strongly recommend my path, because you already seem to be satisfied with your current rigs. Curiosity always kill your bank account lol. Saving to the next "big" upgrades sounds more efficient.
     
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  3. Zed Bopp

    Zed Bopp Friend

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    That's pretty much what I was thinking. I've very recently learned to tweak ADI-2's EQ to some very pleasing results with the 800, so I bet it's best to just enjoy what this one box does alone for now. Though, I'll surely be looking out for a good deal on amps such as Lyr 3 in the future. Thanks!
     
  4. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    Nice post man and you nailed it. It is indeed in the bass dynamics where our preferences seem to differ.
     
  5. Crazypanda

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    I took your advice and I have decided to go for the Lyr 3 over the WA7. I bought the lyr 3 with the mulitbit used (desperately needed a new DAC anyways) along with four tubes aside from the stock, which will help give me some idea of how much tubes can change sound (dont want to roll too much though).

    The four tubes i got were:
    -a new production tung-sol
    -raytheon 6sn7gt
    -Ken-rad vt-231 smoked glass
    -sylvania 6sn7gt

    Hoping this setup will last me a long time before i start to get curious again. Anyone willing to share impressions on the tubes i purchased?
     
  6. Forza AudioWorks

    Forza AudioWorks MOT: Forza AudioWorks

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    It probably was already mentioned many times here, but I thoroughly enjoyed HD800 with Bakoon HPA-21.
     
  7. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Yep, I was really impressed with how well HD800 took EQ, and how it can sound with Sonarworks. However, the sheer volumes of spam sent (while ironically never responding to email) and the irritating activation of the reference 4 upgrade soon brought me to my senses. The fact that I mostly listen to Stax now means that it doesn't support my headphones anyway, now, so I summarily removed it, to declutter the Windows sound devices.

    It's liberating- and it means it's less of an issue to turn the PC off late at nice, and use my little Pi-based endpoint without worrying about lack of EQ.
     
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  8. Chris Bair

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    Does anyone know of good amps for the hd800 with a super dupont mod in the $300-$600 range? I was thinking of the ican se for the bass boost and general warth it is said to have.

    If anyone has any suggestions or can link me to where I can find this info/post about it, let me know!
     
  9. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Among (always) obtainable ones, Lyr 3 (Schiit) must be considered imo: http://www.schiit.com/products/lyr-3

    Indeed it is one of the best amps among <$2k for hd800 to my liking:
    Best Amps For the Sennheiser HD800 - 2017 Edition
     
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  10. Chris Bair

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  11. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Eddie Current Black Widow. But this is out of your budget ($1200-ish).. moreover only (very rarely) available in the used market.

    You can also consider Schiit Magni 3 (much cheaper). I didn't test it seriously though.
     
  12. AppleheadMay

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    I had the EC BW and it’s indeed a marvel.
    I also had the Magni 3 and though it’s a nice amp for the price I found cans like the Senn 6 and 8 series out of it’s reach.
    I am currently using the HDVA 600 which I found for 600€ and I smile everytime I hear it. Amazing amp for the price.
     
  13. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Hdva600 sounds like quite interesting suggestion if anybody really wants SS for 800 with limited budget (I have not heard it though). Just googled and found they were sold at $800-ish new.
     
  14. AppleheadMay

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    WoW! Thede are 1499€ straight from Senn here in Europe.
    https://en-de.sennheiser.com/headphone-audio-amplification-hdva-600-acoustic
    When I bought it they were still about 1200€ new on Amazon UK.

    I got it barely used from someone at HF in the US for 600€ shipping included.
     
  15. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    The HDVA600 is in most ways being outclassed by S Jotunheim.
    Considering the price delta, I would not recommend the HDVA to a friend these days.

    Areas where HDVA is more enjoyable: better depth projection, less aggressive treble.
    It's place is with stock HD800 and random source, where no thought has been spent on matching and synergy.
     
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  16. Walderstorn

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    I usual don't paraphrase but in this situation i will to avoid a mistake. Don't consider the HDVA for a modded HD800, you won't receive the few benefits it gives, specially treble taming. You'll lose detail and there's a big chance to find it just boring.

    Don't you like tubes as a whole? What did u try? Why do you feel it would be a better bet solid state for the HD800?

    Not agreeing or disagreeing, just trying to understand your reasoning since it makes helping easier.
     
  17. Chris Bair

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    I love tubes actually, its just a little too much work for me, and with my daughter being 11 months and starting to get into more things I am worried about her burning herself or what not. Also I listened to the woo audio wa8 eclipse, and now I know that the only tube amp I will buy is that, and my budget is not that large yet.
     
  18. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    I understand the daughter worries but maybe you could consider something enclosed. Like hybrids and things...other than that the lyr 3 seems to be a solid, withing budget, choice.

    All the best of luck on your endeavor.
     
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  19. itsikhefez

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    I don't have the HD800s yet but am confident in buying them very soon. I am currently using the HD650 after using the HD700 for about a year. I appreciate and enjoyed the increased detail and openness of the HD700, but overall enjoy listening to music more on the HD650.
    On to the actual topic of amps, I mentioned the above to give direction on which amp might be right for me with the HD800s.
    The amps I have now are both DIY that I built, one is the CK2III that works great with the HD650, and also an RJM Sapphire v4 which has little discussion anywhere. A few people use the Sapphire with the HD800s and say its a good match.
    For the HD800s, is the consensus towards SS or Tube? My budget is around $1500, and I'm increasingly interested in buying or building a tube amp, such as the BH Mainline or Crackatwoa, Decware CSP3, or Elekit TU-8600. I am willing to up the budget to around $2500 for a ZDS or other EC amp if it is what will keep upgradititis longer than the other options.
    Sorry the long post, hope its in the spirit of SBAF :)
     
  20. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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