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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:14 am
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Location: Vancouver (West Point Grey)
My budget is pretty firm at about $1300 max Canadian. Anyone know which solid state amps pair well with these particular cans?

I've ruled out tube amps because I do a lot of gaming.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:54 pm
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Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
Schiit Jot 100%.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:56 pm
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Location: toronto, ON, CA
used bryston headphone amp


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:05 pm 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/ ... -pcm-1793/

I'll have to say the Burson Virtuoso with 1793 dac is quite refined and plenty of punch with my modified HD800. Attach a usb cable to your computer and your ready to go! I preferred the 1793 over the hyper detailed burson virtuoso ess sabre 9018. Each to their own but the HD800S are already an incredibly dynamic HP that doesn't need more to add to it's "hyper" character. IMO I prefer a tube setup to relax the HD800 insane soundstage. I actually think the soundstage is slightly over exaggerated "build into the HP".

I use my Burson virtuoso 1793 as a secondary Dac with my simaudio integrated amp with Totem Earth speakers. Not an offensive DAC with fake soundstage. Not like a tube organic sound but pleasant.

Also locally there's a guy selling a tube headphone amp. You honestly should tame your HD800S with tubes. Even with tubes your HD800S can be overly stimulating and fatiguing over a long period of time. The high freq roll off in the HD800S is still dynamic roller coaster to your ears.

http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/ ... speedball/

That is a recognized awesome amp for the HD800 and HD650 HP.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:39 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:14 am
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Location: Vancouver (West Point Grey)
msommers wrote:
Schiit Jot 100%.


Interesting. From what I've just read and concluded - the jot doesn't excel with the hd800's because it's a very forward amp with regards to it's treble response (something I'm particularly sensitive to).



Thanks for the heads up, Alanu. I've messaged the guy selling the virtuoso. Hopefully he's still around and hasn't sold it.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:00 am 
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Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
I must have been really tired last night, I thought I was reading about the HD650 haha.

Sorry about that and you are right, it's an awful pairing!

I wouldn't worry too much about gaming honestly if that's why you're not for tubes. IMO, tubes are the only way to go with the HD800 and I can tell you from personal experience that the Schiit Mjolnir 2 with some Philip Mini Watt tubes is a stunning combo that can make the HD800 slam dcently well (if you're looking for gaming impact) and keeps the soundstage really open with exceptional layering and resolution without being fatiguing.

However, the HD800 is not one that does slam well anyways and is a little lean and bass-shy vs. other phones at this pricepoint. EQ with Sonarworks handles this fairly well and also tames the 6khz spike that is so commonly bothersome.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:02 am
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Location: Kingston, ON, CA
Teac UD-503

Here's one for $1,099: http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/649368933-teac-ud503-usb-dacblack/
(no affiliation)

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"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." (Aristotle, 384-322 BCE)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:23 pm 
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Location: Vancouver (West Point Grey)
msommers wrote:
I must have been really tired last night, I thought I was reading about the HD650 haha.

Sorry about that and you are right, it's an awful pairing!

I wouldn't worry too much about gaming honestly if that's why you're not for tubes. IMO, tubes are the only way to go with the HD800 and I can tell you from personal experience that the Schiit Mjolnir 2 with some Philip Mini Watt tubes is a stunning combo that can make the HD800 slam dcently well (if you're looking for gaming impact) and keeps the soundstage really open with exceptional layering and resolution without being fatiguing.

However, the HD800 is not one that does slam well anyways and is a little lean and bass-shy vs. other phones at this pricepoint. EQ with Sonarworks handles this fairly well and also tames the 6khz spike that is so commonly bothersome.


Not a problem, lol.

If I can't get my hands on my desired oppo ha-1 by the end of the week (been told it's an amazing end-game solution for the hd800's but it's bloody hard to find), I'll order the Mjolnir 2 with the LISST option.

Later on down the road I could always start tube rolling if I want to burn more cash.

Thanks guys


Last edited by Elucidate on Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:25 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
The HD800 slams very well with the right amplifier. I use the HD800 along with a Bryston HP amp and the combo is absolutely brilliant for gaming and music. The Bryston is probably one of the more recommended amplifiers by HD800 owners

For the said budget, the Burson line of HP amps pairs very well with the HD800’s

I have yet to find one on the used market but keep your eye open for Sennheiser HDVA 600 – if you can stretch your budget a bit the combo is also excellent sounding.

The problem with HD800’s is that they crave good amplification, be it tubes or SS. A bad pairing will contribute to a lean and somewhat lifeless sound. Put some grunt behind them and they come to life! The experience is pretty amazing!

As already mentioned, I wouldn’t worry about tubes and gaming. Although I would highly suggest taking your 800’s to a few local shops, if there are any in your area, and demo as many amplifiers as you can, both within and out side your budget for comparison.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:17 pm
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Location: Quebec, QC, CA
I have a love/hate relationship with the HD800. I bought and sold them 3 times ! I've tried a lot of different amps to exploit their full potential :

Burson Soloist
Violectric V200
LittleDot MKVI+
Rockhopper Audio 3-channel B22
Goldpoint HP Pro
Mapletree Audio Ear+HD
Audio-GD Phoenix
Woo Audio 2
Shanling PH-100
Schiit Mjolnir
Questyle CMA 800R

By far, and I really mean it, the best was the Questyle CMA800R. Second rank is the Soloist.

I must say I'm really surprised by the Bryston recommendation. I could not listen to this combo for more than 5 minutes.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:49 pm 
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PappyBlue wrote:

I must say I'm really surprised by the Bryston recommendation. I could not listen to this combo for more than 5 minutes.



I became interested in the Bryston based on the many reviews (both pro and user based) of it paired with the HD800’s. I demoed one along side a Sennheiser HDVD 800 (Same amplifier as the HDVA 600 but with a built in DAC). I’d have to give the Senn HDVD another good listen but at the time I felt the 2 units were closely matched. The Bryston being almost 1/3rd of the price of the Sennheiser made it an easy buy. Also got a great deal on it!! 8)

I absolutely love the pairing. But will say it is not a very forgiving combination - revealing faults upstream, especially with poor recorded or highly compressed music.

But your comment is a great example as to why one should demo as many amplifiers as possible and not just take what others recommend.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:55 pm 
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Location: Winnipeg, MB, CA
if your looking at the Oppo the Dennis may still have this:
http://www.americanhifi.com/audio_product.php?id=165


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:12 pm 
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Location: Vancouver (West Point Grey)
mpublicover wrote:
if your looking at the Oppo the Dennis may still have this:
http://www.americanhifi.com/audio_product.php?id=165



I don't see the paypal option to buy it unfortunately. Would he be willing to list it on cam?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:28 pm 
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Location: Winnipeg, MB, CA
Elucidate wrote:
mpublicover wrote:
if your looking at the Oppo the Dennis may still have this:
http://www.americanhifi.com/audio_product.php?id=165



I don't see the paypal option to buy it unfortunately. Would he be willing to list it on cam?

he does do Paypal, it is listed as an option on his used equipment page. He is also a CAM dealer member with a few current listings.
Being local I drop by his shop regularly and have had many dealings with him. shoot him an email if your interested as he also doesn't always keep his site updated; just to be sure he still has it. I saw it a few weeks ago though when I bought a Sonica from him.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:14 pm 
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Location: Vancouver (West Point Grey)
mpublicover wrote:
Elucidate wrote:
mpublicover wrote:
if your looking at the Oppo the Dennis may still have this:
http://www.americanhifi.com/audio_product.php?id=165



I don't see the paypal option to buy it unfortunately. Would he be willing to list it on cam?

he does do Paypal, it is listed as an option on his used equipment page. He is also a CAM dealer member with a few current listings.
Being local I drop by his shop regularly and have had many dealings with him. shoot him an email if your interested as he also doesn't always keep his site updated; just to be sure he still has it. I saw it a few weeks ago though when I bought a Sonica from him.



I still don't see it listed anywhere on his site, mate (to purchase that is). Perhaps he sold it?

If he lists it on here I'll buy it.


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