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Headphone amp recommendations (HE-560 and HD6XX)

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#1
Great website! I'm ashamed that I just bought the Schiit Lyr3 with DAC based on the glowing reviews elsewhere. Needless to say, I'm going to return the sh** and start from scratch.

I'm a classical musician but I've never owned or tried a decent pair of headphones. I will be getting the HE-560 and/or HD6XX.

What's a good amp or amp/DAC for those headphones? I really like the idea of an amp/DAC combo but Topping D50 with an amp seems to be the way to go. Total budget for the amp+DAC is around $800.
 

Grave

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#2
A30 and buy more headphones. :p
 

solderdude

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#4
Alternative for HE560 = Sundara. These are close in performance.


Alternative for HD6XX = HD58X Jubilee
HD58X is a slightly 'tighter' and 'fresher' alternative for the HD6XX which is a bit 'looser' in the bass and 'smoother/more romantic' in the upper mids/treble.


A30+D30 makes a nice combo, there is even a small stack rack for this.
 
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Rollaven

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#5
After visiting this website and reading a couple of reviews I bought the Topping A30/D30 combo. Can’t say I regret the purchase. A good DAC/AMP doesn’t have to be expensive that’s one thing I’ve learned from the reviews.

For in the office I use the dragonfly red and at home the topping combo, does great with my Elear.
 
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#6
Alternative for HE560 = Ananda. These are close in performance.


Alternative for HD6XX = HD58X Jubilee
HD58X is a slightly 'tighter' and 'fresher' alternative for the HD6XX which is a bit 'looser' in the bass and 'smoother/more romantic' in the upper mids/treble.


A30+D30 makes a nice combo, there is even a small stack rack for this.
o

Thanks for the advice. Amanda is $999 on amazon while the HE-560 is $300 from adorama. Since they are pretty close, HE-560 seems to be a better choice. HD6XX is $200 from massdrop. I think I might get both.
 
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#7
Is there an audible difference between the Topping D30 and D50? Can A30 drive HE-560 with classical music (high dynamic range?)
 

Grave

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#8
Hifiman is garbage. :p
 

Rollaven

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#9
I don't know if there's an audible difference between the D30 and D50. The A30 has more than enough power to drive your 560's that I'm sure of.
 
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#10
I love the HE560 and they're not that hard to drive. I can drive them to uncomfortable SPL without distortion even on a portable like the Chord Mojo. The A30 definitely has enough power for them (listed in specs, I don't own one), but its output impedance might be a bit high for the 45 Ohm headphones. I have a Schiit Magni 3 and that also has more than enough power, is $99 and has a low output impedance. The Objective 2, and probably tens of other amps can drive them probably too.

I don't have the HD650, but do have the HD600 which have the same impedance and sensitivity. The Mojo and Magni both drive them well too. I just don't like the sound of the HD600 as much as HE560 (or any of my Beyerdynamic, Grado or Sony headphones for that matter)
 

solderdude

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#12
o

Thanks for the advice. Amanda is $999 on amazon while the HE-560 is $300 from adorama. Since they are pretty close, HE-560 seems to be a better choice. HD6XX is $200 from massdrop. I think I might get both.
Sorry... did not mean to write Ananda (which is successor of the Edition X v2) but meant Sundara.
The plot thus is HE560 and Sundara (which should be around 500)
 

Rod

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#14
I love the HE560 and they're not that hard to drive. I can drive them to uncomfortable SPL without distortion even on a portable like the Chord Mojo. The A30 definitely has enough power for them (listed in specs, I don't own one), but its output impedance might be a bit high for the 45 Ohm headphones. I have a Schiit Magni 3 and that also has more than enough power, is $99 and has a low output impedance. The Objective 2, and probably tens of other amps can drive them probably too.

I don't have the HD650, but do have the HD600 which have the same impedance and sensitivity. The Mojo and Magni both drive them well too. I just don't like the sound of the HD600 as much as HE560 (or any of my Beyerdynamic, Grado or Sony headphones for that matter)
I have the HE560 and find there the hardest to drive than any of my other headphones. Its the only headphone that I need to run the RME into high power mode out of the DT-770 80 ohm, Meze Classic 99 and HE440i. Its why I am waiting on the 6 watt Massdrop/AAA amp, to keep distortion levels to a minimum on the HE560 and similar headphone purchases in the future. So I consider distortion levels now on any amp with hard to drive headphones. The specs that I see a lot shows the distortion levels at a very low power, or maximum distortion levels which doesn't tell me much about how high the distortion is at .5 watt out of a 1 watt amp. The only way I can tell is turn it down very low then turn it about halfway then listen. I can usually tell a difference. But is it coming from the amp or headphones? Only way to tell was buy a higher power amp and run it at the same loundness levels and listen and compare to RME's amp. If I am wrong here please correct me. Novice compared to many here for sure.
 
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#15
Topping d50 for dac. Jds labs El Amp for headphone amp.
JDS El Amp sounds like a decent choice, low output impedance so I'm not limited to only high impedance headphones. Do you know any reviews and measurements of this unit? I like graphics and numbers.
 

pkane

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#16
I have the HE560 and find there the hardest to drive than any of my other headphones. Its the only headphone that I need to run the RME into high power mode out of the DT-770 80 ohm, Meze Classic 99 and HE440i. Its why I am waiting on the 6 watt Massdrop/AAA amp, to keep distortion levels to a minimum on hard to drive headphones. So consider distortion levels on any amp with hard to drive headphones.
Same here. HD650 are a much easier load than HE560s. I have no problem driving them directly from the DAC balanced line output, but HE560s require a reasonably powerful head amp.
 

Rod

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#17
Same here. HD650 are a much easier load than HE560s. I have no problem driving them directly from the DAC balanced line output, but HE560s require a reasonably powerful head amp.
Hello all, I made corrections about my thoughts on the HE560. Please re-read and correct me if I made bad assumptions on my last post.
 

pkane

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#18
Hello all, I made corrections about my thoughts on the HE560. Please re-read and correct me if I made bad assumptions on my last post.
I've not had any problems with audible distortions, but HE560s were just not loud enough at max output of the DAC. I tried them with TEAC HA-501 and it was nearly maxed out at my normal listening levels, some recordings were too quiet. TEAC's impedance matching settings didn't help here. Matrix HPA-3B at 10dB setting worked perfectly with room left at the top. I've not had the need to try them at 25dB setting. Again, no problems at all, even without an amp with HD650s.

I EQ my headphones, so any distortion in frequency or phase I would've noticed in measurements. If you do notice distortions at normal listening levels, I would attribute them to the amp being overloaded rather than to these headphones.
 

Rod

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#19
I've not had any problems with audible distortions, but HE560s were just not loud enough at max output of the DAC. I tried them with TEAC HA-501 and it was nearly maxed out at my normal listening levels, some recordings were too quiet. TEAC's impedance matching settings didn't help here. Matrix HPA-3B at 10dB setting worked perfectly with room left at the top. I've not had the need to try them at 25dB setting. Again, no problems at all, even without an amp with HD650s.

I EQ my headphones, so any distortion in frequency or phase I would've noticed in measurements. If you do notice distortions at normal listening levels, I would attribute them to the amp being overloaded rather than to these headphones.
Ya its what I thought. I tend to run the HE560 at a low level because if I turn them up to a moderate to moderately loud level I must be, like you said, starting to overload the amp, especially in a low volume recording. So for now I am listening mainly to the HE400i and the MEZE 99 classics for home and the DT770 and LG V20 for portable until the Massdrop amp arrives. 3 months to go. I just got a notice that the Massdrop/AAA amp has entered the production phase.
 
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#20
Ya its what I thought. I tend to run the HE560 at a low level because if I turn them up to a moderate to moderately loud level I must be, like you said, starting to overload the amp, especially in a low volume recording. So for now I am listening mainly to the HE400i and the MEZE 99 classics for home and the DT770 and LG V20 for portable until the Massdrop amp arrives. 3 months to go. I just got a notice that the Massdrop/AAA amp has entered the production phase.
Too bad I just missed the THX AAA massdrop. I could get the monoprice one but I don't really want to buy something without seeing the reviews/measurements. Do you think JDS El Amp will work okay with HE-560?
 
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