Cans and amps

I’m just starting out with headphones and am on a steep learning curve. I’ve gotten a Feliks echo tube amp and an LSA HP-1. Nice. What combinations do you use/like and why? Any suggestions on what else I should explore?

My favorite combination is a Decware CSP3 with the 25th Anniversary mods and Sennheiser HD800S (with a Decware ZROCK2 EQ unit added in). Wow!

I also really enjoy in another system a PS Audio GCHA with a pair of ZMF Ori–the Ori really digs the power the GCHA dishes out!

By far my favorites headphone are my ZMF Aerlous. Detailed enough, warm without being veiled, and sound that just wraps around you.

Driving with Schiit Jotunheim right now, but that will be updated in the future.

Do find that interconnects make a noticeable difference in SQ?

I use a Woo WA5-LE for amplification and the DSD for DAC duties. Yes cables make a big difference. Possibly more so. I use an all silver cable from Lavricables top of the line, for Focal Utopia’s. Just wonderful, musical sound.

I find interconnects and headphone cables make significant differences.

I use Senn HD600, Focal Elegia, Hifiman HE400i with Bottlehead Crack and Pass Labs WHAMMY amps. Schiit Bifrost Multibit DAC. Cables make a bigger difference with cans but swapping tubes on the Crack and op amps on the WHAMMY make much more of a difference.

I was a big fan of headphones and went through a lot of trail and error with both amps and cans. My all time favorite combination was a Violectric V281 amp with Audeze LCD-MX4’s. Violectric has discontinued the V281 and the new models are not yet available, but Fried Reim at Lake People is super communicative and builds a fantastic product IMHO. One suggestion I would make is whatever amp you choose, pick one with a balanced output for the cans, it makes a big difference.

Thanks for your time and info! A lot to explore.

Schiit Valhalla is a nice tube can amp. I use it with my Sennheiser HD650s and Bluesound Node 2i.

Have fun exploring!

HiFiman Sundara’s with a Schiit Magni3+ and a Sprout100. I like it.

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Sennheiser HD600, Focal Elegia, Hifiman HE400i with BHK Pre. Sounds good to me.

BHK Pre? I never thought of using a pre-amp as a headphone amp. How do you do that?

It has an excellent headphone amp. Just plug into the quarter inch input in the front.
I use it with Focal Elears. Very nice.

So my education continues! I just read its specs. What will those folks as PS audio think of next?

BHK Preamp has a wonderful headphone amplifier designed right into the preamp.

I use it with my Elears as well! Fantastic pair of cans with a fantastic amp.

I love the STAX/KOSS setup. Feeding it directly from the XLR Outputs of the Directstream DAC Sr. makes wonderful music. I can have those Cans on for 8 hrs. and not have any listening fatigue, and with the Dekoni Ear Pads, the comfort is the best I’ve had since my Sennheiser HD40 back in 1985.

I suggest you join the headphones.com audio forum. Lots of great headphones/headphone amps discussion.

Head-fi is another great site.


Once again, I am grateful to all of you for sharing your experience with me. I’ll be checking out the suggested sites and components.

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