Good Amp for HD650s for £100~ ?

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers' started by tekdz, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. tekdz

    tekdz New Member

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    Just looking at buying the hd650s on here and just wondering whether an amp is actually needed? I would like to spend around £100 on the amp if this is enough to get a decent 1.

    So yeah in a nutshell looking for a good amp for the hd650s around £100, if this is enough money for a good amp!!

    Cheers
     
  2. Shaun-HiFi

    Shaun-HiFi Administrator Staff Member

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    Good headphone amp for Sennheiser HD650

    The Sennheiser HD650 is one of those headphones that needs plenty of power from a headphone amplifier to get the best out of it. The impedance of this headphone is relatively high at 300 Ohms (headphones like the Beyerdynamic Telsa T1 go as high as 600 Ohms).

    Sennheiser HD650s need a mains powered headphone amp with a plenty of headroom. Entry level amps like the ProJect Head Box II don't drive the HD650 with enough authority.

    Below are some suggestions for amps that would be suitable (all well over the £100 budget I'm afraid):

    Graham Slee Solo - a British made amp and a good partner for the HD650s (has been used to demo the HD650 on Sennheiser exhibition stands) with a bright presentation that punches through the HD650's veiled midrange.

    Lehmann Rhinelander - German made headphone amp with plenty of power to drive the HD650s, but a more smooth and warm presentation than the Graham Slee Solo.
     
  3. tekdz

    tekdz New Member

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    Thanks a lot for the reply

    When you say that amp would not drive it with enough authority do you mean that the music would sound flat for example?

    Would this amp be any better? Or it just more expensive because of its dual Pro-Ject Head Box SE II Headphone Amplifier

    The other amps look really good from the reviews but I am afraid £350 - £400 really is out of my price range!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  4. Shaun-HiFi

    Shaun-HiFi Administrator Staff Member

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    Headphone amplifier for Sennheiser HD650

    Yes, without enough power driving the HD650 they won't sound lively and dynamic. You may also not be able to get enough volume out of them to listen comfortably.

    The Project Headbox SE II does have more power and will drive the HD650. It's a nicely made amplifier also. Also worth looking at the Graham Slee Novo.

    The recommendations made previously were to get the very best out of the HD650. I understand it's starting to look a little over the top to spend more on the amp than the headphones! :confused:
     
  5. tekdz

    tekdz New Member

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    Looks like the GS Novo could be the one! Although it really will destroy my budget :(

    I presume it will come with all the necessary wires etc to use on a pc/ tv for example?
     
  6. kelvinmunson

    kelvinmunson New Member

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    Hi tekdz did you buy the GS Novo........... if so what did you think about it ?

    If you haven't decided yet............. the answer to your question is that the Novo comes with a Line Level input, so even if they don't supply the cables you will only need a normal pair of RCA phono leads to connect to your TV/PC.
     
  7. steveecrane

    steveecrane New Member

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    Great Little Headphone Amp; Dire Customer Service

    All,

    Hello! First the up-side, then the down:-

    My wife recently bought me the Fiio E11 for my birthday. I run it with Sennheiser HD650s, (ageing) HD450s and CX300 versions 1 and 2 (in bed and on-the-road respectively - too much detail!). Apart from a tiny amount of near-inaudible background hiss in-between the music when using IEMs, I am finding very little to criticise and, at the price point, absolutely nothing warranting further negative comment!

    Tight, deep, rhythmic bass; clean highs (without any over-emphasis or sibilance); transparent mid-range. I've never been lucky enough(!) to have the perception of anything remotely resembling front-to-back imaging with headphones, only left-to-right but, for me at least, that's not their raison d'être. (I've heard some fancy DSP achieve a pretty good approximation but all that does is ruin my monitoring when I switch to mono to check mix compatibility and suchlike).

    Oh, and I'm not a great fan of the bass boost setting II, either: too much bass and far too uncontrolled and flabby. One for the hip-hop and dance generation methinks. Oh how old am I sounding?

    I compose, produce and engineer all sorts of music - both live and in the studio - and, whilst I have never pretended to have golden ears, I know what I like and what works well for me (and often my audience!).

    Furthermore, I only ever believe you should buy what you like, not go purchase summat 'better' or 'perfect' on the basis of someone else's recommendations alone: they're your ears in your listening environment ... and it's your cash, so do with it as you please, even if that means buying something that has been rubbished by a reviewer. S'up to you, really ... but go and use your OWN ears first.

    I also don't go in for 'snake oil', as in overly expensive cables and suchlike: too much psychosomatic suggestion, IMHO. Me? I like a well-engineered bargain, not an over-engineered, law of diminishing returns, behemoth that will cost me my first born, an en suite bathroom or a holiday in the sun!

    What I will say is that several people I've played this little box to (sometimes 'anonymously') - either on my 'phones or their own - have all commented on how it brings the music to life, makes it exciting or simply involves them: they wanna listen to more, not switch it off! Accuracy? They're headphones, for Heaven's sake! Please don't talk to me about absolute accuracy when shifting them half a centimeter on your head can drastically alter the overall tone, and a lump of earwax, a cough, sneeze or blowing your nose can make such a huge difference to the recording!

    So, whilst I recognise that the 650s have a 'sound' and not everyone likes the Sennheiser approach to music-making, the E11 does very little to add or detract from that sound, IMHO. On that basis, make up your own mind and spend your own hard-earned cash how you want to ... but add the E11 to your short-list. For me, This E11 thingamajig is a real find, offering superb value-for-money on-the-move.


    On the downside, I appear to be one of the few people who don't rate HiFi Headphones' Customer Service as first-rate. First my wife pays for an expedited delivery ... and the E11 ends up taking 5 days to arrive, late for my birthday. No great shakes, to some degree, save for the fact I've had free eBay deliveries arrive in a more timely manner!

    However, next they don't respond to 4 eMails asking why this was the case. In fact, they don't even acknowledge them! I've told her not to bother wasting any further of her time: there's a lot of competition out there ... and it's better and easier to vote with your feet. Their loss ... and summat of a pity too - they promised so much and could have seen me buying more from their site over coming years.

    Hope this helps ...
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  8. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Just wanted to add to Steve's experience here. Having read the above comment I was a little sad and thought I would investigate. One of my colleagues here spoke to Steve and I just thought I would pop a comment on to square the circle here.

    Steve's wife ordered on a Thursday evening before a Bank Holiday weekend. As our dispatch is 4pm we couldn't send out her order until the Friday. As the chosen delivery method was UPS (which only delivers on a working weekday) and as the Monday was a Bank Holiday the goods were not delivered until Tuesday. That is as expected with the order time and delivery method and the Bank Holiday.

    The reason why we didn't reply to emails was simply that because of the email title, the emails were considered spam and treated as such by our email system.

    When this comment was noticed Shaun called them to personally apologise. Sorry again Steve and lovely wife!

    We make every effort to make people happy but as you can see it doesn't always go to plan:)
     
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