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I would like to suggest one of the Sennheiser headphone amps, both are exceptional, and both are on sale, and both are equipped to handle a balanced output. I think I paid $974.00 for mine, and it's v

Honestly I think for anything less than $2k just grab a Schiit Valhalla 2 + some decent tubes and be done with it. Once you get over that you can start looking at DNA / Eddie Current. Personally i run

Dont sell your stax system. Made that mistake myself...



I have been on a similar journey to find the "perfect" amplifier for the HD800, at least until I caved and bought a HE-1000 from Galactic Soap here on stereonet.

 

Having said that, I still own the HD800s and am on the waiting list for the DNA Stratus (my poor wallet cannot afford the Solaris right now) and in the meanwhile will take ownership of a custom made 300B tube amplifier from Eric Chan in Burwood NSW (check out his eBay store - my amplifier is the one with the extra headphone output).

 

Some other options I have come across that haven't been scoped out here:

 

- Ray Samuels Audio Neo Classic 300B pre-amplifier - very well received on Head Fi and here, available locally from Krispy Audio, can feed your power amplifier or high efficiency speakers too!

- Schiit Ragnarok - what I own and use for the HE-1000s now, smooth and resolving, but can sound a tad dry. Can drive alot of speakers (100W into 4 ohms)

- Torpedo III - parafeed tube amplifier based on the legendary ECP L-2 amplifier, available DIY or pre-made from beezar.com, its the favour of the month with the guys at SBAF - get the one with Cinemag transformers (750 USD DIY or 1100 USD premade)

- Eddie Current Zana Deux S - turnaround time is 6-8 weeks from USA, much quicker than DNA Stratus, OTL amplifier so plays nice with the HD800s and other high impedence dynamics and maybe even efficient orthos, but look elsewhere with you have the HE-6 or other hard to drive orthos,

- EAR HP4 - tube amplifier from UK, nearest retailer is in NZ, apparently very musical and resolving, but very expensive compared to the ones described above, customs and shipping will be painful >_<

- Earle's Time Machine pre-amplifier (http://www.westonacoustics.com/page1005.html) - uses 2A3 or 45 tubes, locally made in Victoria

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Definitely interesting , would love if there was an Australian distributor.

Need to try before buy.

  

It's not about the money, it's about the rush.

  

Yes, well good luck with that.

Absolutely

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I have been on a similar journey to find the "perfect" amplifier for the HD800, at least until I caved and bought a HE-1000 from Galactic Soap here on stereonet.

 

Having said that, I still own the HD800s and am on the waiting list for the DNA Stratus (my poor wallet cannot afford the Solaris right now) and in the meanwhile will take ownership of a custom made 300B tube amplifier from Eric Chan in Burwood NSW (check out his eBay store - my amplifier is the one with the extra headphone output).

 

Some other options I have come across that haven't been scoped out here:

 

- Ray Samuels Audio Neo Classic 300B pre-amplifier - very well received on Head Fi and here, available locally from Krispy Audio, can feed your power amplifier or high efficiency speakers too!

- Schiit Ragnarok - what I own and use for the HE-1000s now, smooth and resolving, but can sound a tad dry. Can drive alot of speakers (100W into 4 ohms)

- Torpedo III - parafeed tube amplifier based on the legendary ECP L-2 amplifier, available DIY or pre-made from beezar.com, its the favour of the month with the guys at SBAF - get the one with Cinemag transformers (750 USD DIY or 1100 USD premade)

- Eddie Current Zana Deux S - turnaround time is 6-8 weeks from USA, much quicker than DNA Stratus, OTL amplifier so plays nice with the HD800s and other high impedence dynamics and maybe even efficient orthos, but look elsewhere with you have the HE-6 or other hard to drive orthos,

- EAR HP4 - tube amplifier from UK, nearest retailer is in NZ, apparently very musical and resolving, but very expensive compared to the ones described above, customs and shipping will be painful >_<

- Earle's Time Machine pre-amplifier (http://www.westonacoustics.com/page1005.html) - uses 2A3 or 45 tubes, locally made in Victoria

Tried the Zana Deux today, astonished at the performance. Everyone that owns the HD800 needs to atleast try it .

The soundstage was very 3D, instruments just floated in air .

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Yup, Zana Deux is a great amp for hd800. It's the amp that made me buy hd800 about 4 years ago. Though not side by side, I prefer ZD to any of woo amp for hd800

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Honestly I think for anything less than $2k just grab a Schiit Valhalla 2 + some decent tubes and be done with it. Once you get over that you can start looking at DNA / Eddie Current. Personally i run the ECP Audio Torpedo 3 (DIY kit) and don't think anything would really be an upgrade until i hit the DNA Stratus. Ive tried the whole Schiit range / Taurus / Ear / Woo / EC / Cavalli etc. The last time I went to A2A they sat me down on a V281 and a Headamp GSX2, both were awful pairings (I'm not saying they're bad amps).

 

 

How's the Torpedo 3? (I'm tossing up between this amp and, perhaps, EC Black Widow for the HD800)

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How's the Torpedo 3? (I'm tossing up between this amp and, perhaps, EC Black Widow for the HD800)

 

Astonishingly great. Running it with cinemags and upgrades mundorf caps > modded HD650s. Haven't heard a BWv2 (no one has) and while I'm sure its a great pairing I've been told by a few people I trust that the original BW gets nudged by the T3. That being said, I have no first hand experience here and the Black Widow has the bonus of powering planars easily too if you have a stable. I've never enjoyed planars so its not an issue for me. 

 

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