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Headphone Amp for Sennheiser HD800


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I recently got a Sennheiser HD800, and am now hesitating between these thwo options that would be easily available locally as headphone amp.

 

I really like the looks of the Sennheiser HDVA600:

 

Sennheiser HDVA 600 - headphone / audio amplification - acoustic

 

And the fact that it was designed for the HD800 is obviously comforting.

 

On the other hand, the SPL phonitor 2 has received some great reviews, and I like the idea of professional audio equipment (and I always wanted VU meters...)

 

In Kürze: Sound Performance Lab

 

Any recommendations?

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I looked for an answer to this question a while ago. I found a thread addressing this question on Head-Fi. It counts 283 posts, however. That number made me dizzy; therefore, I gave up and stuck to my Benchmark DAC2 to drive my HD800.

I had the same reaction, they have just too many posts on the HD800. So I hope I get more selective feedback here.

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I saw that I just haven't found a dealer for them yet. Plus I don't really like their design.

 

If you look at outer ones, yes, I must admit. But inner parts are top notch as I've heard.

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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A guy I know from the Philippines says he's tried a few integrated amps with his high-end headphones, and he says the reserve power in those amps usually makes the headphones perform better than most headphone amps, even when the headphone amp is rated plenty powerful enough for the headphone.

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You want VU Meters?

 

Check these out...

 

McIntosh MHA100 Headphone Amplifier

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]17616[/ATTACH]

 

I am demoing one of these right now and with the HD800 it sounds amazing, plus you get a 50 watt integrated amplifier and a 32/192 DAC as well.

Wow, that's a nice piece of gear (and indeed the VU meters I had in mind). But $4500 is exceeding what I was planning to spend on this.

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A guy I know from the Philippines says he's tried a few integrated amps with his high-end headphones, and he says the reserve power in those amps usually makes the headphones perform better than most headphone amps, even when the headphone amp is rated plenty powerful enough for the headphone.

That probably works, but I'd be to afraid of accidentally grilling my HD800 with a 200W peak...

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I recently got a Sennheiser HD800, and am now hesitating between these thwo options that would be easily available locally as headphone amp.

 

I really like the looks of the Sennheiser HDVA600:

 

Sennheiser HDVA 600 - headphone / audio amplification - acoustic

 

And the fact that it was designed for the HD800 is obviously comforting.

 

On the other hand, the SPL phonitor 2 has received some great reviews, and I like the idea of professional audio equipment (and I always wanted VU meters...)

 

In Kürze: Sound Performance Lab

 

Any recommendations?

 

What's your budget?

 

At the entry level, or just above, the Schiit Valhalla 2 works very well with the HD 800.

 

John Grandberg (project86 at Head-Fi and InnerFidelity) is fond of Violectric amps with the HD 800, but I find the combo sleep-inducing.

 

FWIW, when the HD 800 was introduced in 2009, Sennheiser used Lehmann amps at the press introduction.

 

I haven't heard the combo, but people whose judgment I trust has suggested staying away from the Auralic Taurus with the HD 800 (apparently there is such a thing as too much brightness and open-ness).

 

I think my favorite amp of all those I've owned so far, for use with the HD 800, is the criminally under-appreciated Luxman P-200.

Office: MacBook Pro - Audirvana Plus - Resonessence Concero - Cavailli Liquid Carbon - Sennheiser HD 800.

Travel/Portable: iPhone 7 or iPad Pro - AudioQuest Dragonfly Red - Audeze SINE or Noble Savant

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What's your budget?

 

At the entry level, or just above, the Schiit Valhalla 2 works very well with the HD 800.

 

John Grandberg (project86 at Head-Fi and InnerFidelity) is fond of Violectric amps with the HD 800, but I find the combo sleep-inducing.

 

FWIW, when the HD 800 was introduced in 2009, Sennheiser used Lehmann amps at the press introduction.

 

I haven't heard the combo, but people whose judgment I trust has suggested staying away from the Auralic Taurus with the HD 800 (apparently there is such a thing as too much brightness and open-ness).

 

I think my favorite amp of all those I've owned so far, for use with the HD 800, is the criminally under-appreciated Luxman P-200.

 

I've also heard the Lehmann suggestion from someone who really knows what the HD800 is capable of.

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For solid state headphone amps I'd like to mention Bryston BHA-1 and Auralic Taurus MKII. Both amps are Class A.

 

I highly recommend converting the HD 800 to balanced with an after-market cable. The differences between single-ended and balanced are not subtle and well worth the upgrade.

 

Both the BHA-1 and Taurus MKII support 4-pin XLR connection for balanced. The BHA-1 also supports dual 3-pin XLR. I use an Endorphin HD 800 balanced cable by Stefan AudioArt with excellent sound.

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I tried the HD 800 with my Benchmark DAC2 as well as with my Little Dot Mk III headphone amp/preamp (<300 USD) and MUCH preferred the sound with the Little Dot (with Raytheon driver tubes) No VU meters, though, but you get to look at tubes ;-).

 

Ultimately, I returned the HD 800, but I may go back to them at some point in the future.

 

Regards,

 

Guido F.

For my system details, please see my profile. Thank you.

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I recently got a Sennheiser HD800, and am now hesitating between these thwo options that would be easily available locally as headphone amp.

 

I really like the looks of the Sennheiser HDVA600:

 

Sennheiser HDVA 600 - headphone / audio amplification - acoustic

 

And the fact that it was designed for the HD800 is obviously comforting.

 

On the other hand, the SPL phonitor 2 has received some great reviews, and I like the idea of professional audio equipment (and I always wanted VU meters...)

 

In Kürze: Sound Performance Lab

 

Any recommendations?

 

I'd be very interested to hear what you finally choose.

 

I upgraded from HD600 to HD800 some time ago but have not yet upgraded my headphone amp. I'm using a Musical Fidelity X-CANVBP with an X-PSUV3 which sounds fine but I'm sure I could improve matters. I've stuck with this setup partly because it has a very good pre-amp section which any replacement would need to better.

ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer with Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP for control >

Hi-Fi 1: Airport Extreme bridge > Netgear switch > TP-Link optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge AND PS Audio PerfectWave Transport > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge Mk.II > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus Anniversary Edition .

Hi-Fi 2: Sonore Rendu > Chord Hugo DAC/preamp > LFD integrated > Harbeth P3ESRs and > Sennheiser HD800

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I've also heard the Lehmann suggestion from someone who really knows what the HD800 is capable of.

The Lehmann Linear was the amp used by Sennheiser to originally promote the HD800 when it came out, so it must do something right.

 

However, I heard from my local dealer it may not be on par with Burson and Sennheiser's own.

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