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Discussion Starter #1
So I have a soundcard that has a DAC and a 120db headphone amp capable of running 600ohm headphones, but the folks over here tell me that's an abomination
It has analog RCA out so I presume it could hook up to an amp through that. I really need to use the card to adjust bass and treble (using it with my 595's right now) but if I were to go with an amp what would you guys recommend? I have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of headphone amps so treat me as a noob in this regard.
 

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You most likely want a tube amp. Any Eddie Current amps work well with Sennheisser, you can also try the Isabella amp/dac/everything. It's going to be expensive either way.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jarmel View Post
You most likely want a tube amp. Any Eddie Current amps work well with Sennheisser, you can also try the Isabella amp/dac/everything. It's going to be expensive either way.
I am not willing to spend more for the amp than the headphones themselves. What about these?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ChaobSiroc View Post
I am not willing to spend more for the amp than the headphones themselves. What about these?
There's no point in buying the HD800 if you're not willing to invest in a great source and amplification.

I wouldn't ever consider running the HD800 off of a soundcard based setup. I have a £200 DAC and £400 amp and I'd consider that as the very least that I'd want to run something such as the HD800.

My recommendation is to demo the headphones with various amps and sources until you find something you find you are happy with - you're spending a huge amount of money on the HD800, there's no point in guessing when it comes to amps/sources; you'll only end up disappointed/wasting money.
 

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Originally Posted by tUDJ View Post
There's no point in buying the HD800 if you're not willing to invest in a great source and amplification.

My recommendation is to demo the headphones with various amps and sources until you find something you find you are happy with - you're spending a huge amount of money on the HD800, there's no point in guessing when it comes to amps/sources; you'll only end up disappointed/wasting money.
I could do up to $800 on an amp tops. Unfortunately I live a long ways from any bigger city and there is no place where I could test the HD800's.
 

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So what's your official total budget for both dac, amp and headphones? Adding a tubeamp to a claro doesn't really give you 600 dollars worth of "performance" improvement.
 

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Originally Posted by yellowtoblerone View Post
So what's your official total budget for both dac, amp and headphones? Adding a tubeamp to a claro doesn't really give you 600 dollars worth of "performance" improvement.
That's what I was thinking originally. So if anything what should I do with the $800 I could spend? The Claro Halo has a good DAC so I see no need to output digital from the card to convert to analog separately, to then amp.

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Originally Posted by Jarmel View Post
I would say that the source takes priority then the amp. Garbage in, garbage out.
Source is lossless audio files ripped from CD's so...
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ChaobSiroc View Post
Source is lossless audio files ripped from CD's so...
He means the DAC, not the files.
 

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Originally Posted by tombom View Post
He means the DAC, not the files.
Well the source of everything is the music files on the computer and somehow or other you have to get the audio off so how the heck are you supposed to do that if all soundcards are terrible?! [/end-rant]
 

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Not really, the claro isn't even an entry level audiophile dac component. If it's good enough for you already then just spend a few dollars on a new much cheaper headphone instead.
 

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Originally Posted by yellowtoblerone
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Not really, the claro isn't even an entry level audiophile dac component. If it's good enough for you already then just spend a few dollars on a new much cheaper headphone instead.

So then how do you get the audio off the PC? Optical output to DAC to AMP? IF so then is the digital part of the soundcard not good enough either?!
 

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I have a pair of Sennheiser HD485's which are powered by the cheap built-in amp inside my Logitech PC speakers. This is in turn connected to the 2.0 output of my SoundBlaster card and sounds surprisingly ok with a rich bassy sound despite the cheap amp.
I still want to get a better sound though and am considering getting this BTech BT92B Headphone amp to do that. It definitely seems to be worth a look, and sells for about £30/$45.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by ChaobSiroc
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So then how do you get the audio off the PC? Optical output to DAC to AMP? IF so then is the digital part of the soundcard not good enough either?!

USB is the preferred method nowdays, you need a usb dac that has jitter-removal before it hits the dac chip tho. Though I for one don't believe someone can hear jitter. But if I was using some HD800s, bet your ass I would be doing all I could to prevent it, imaginary or not.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HandOfDoom View Post
I have a pair of Sennheiser HD485's which are powered by the cheap built-in amp inside my Logitech PC speakers. This is in turn connected to the 2.0 output of my SoundBlaster card and sounds surprisingly ok with a rich bassy sound despite the cheap amp.
I still want to get a better sound though and am considering getting this BTech BT92B Headphone amp to do that. It definitely seems to be worth a look, and sells for about £30/$45.

This is a bit weak for HD800.
 

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My favorite HD800 amp is the Woo Audio WA22, that is assuming you have a fully balanced source and you invest in a balanced cable for your HD800's


For unbalanced operation I would choose a WA5, but that's even more expensive


For an SS amp I would go with a custom B22.

For budget use my Maxed out MOSFET Max is probably the cheapest amp I'd go with... I haven't personally tried pairing HD800's with it, but it hasn't let me down with any other headphones I've tried yet.
 

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I will probably be getting Wa2 for my HD800. I will post my impressions on how well it pairs.
 

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I loved the WA22 & HD800 combination, I couldn't tell any difference between balanced and unbalanced in sound though; the amp was brand new so that may have been something to do with it.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tUDJ View Post
I loved the WA22 & HD800 combination, I couldn't tell any difference between balanced and unbalanced in sound though; the amp was brand new so that may have been something to do with it.
Then you probably didn't hear how good it actually sounds. None of my amps sounded really good when they were brand new. Usually very harsh at first
 
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