Amp for Senheiser HD555's

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dan706
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Amp for Senheiser HD555's

Post by dan706 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:12 pm

Could anyone please suggest a sub $1k amp for a pair of Sennheiser HD555's being used specifically for gaming, music (Mostly EDM 130-150 bpm) and voice comms (Ventrilo/Mumble/Teamspeak). Please feel free to include a comparison of solid state vs tube amps and preferably some personal experience with the product you're recommending.


Many thanks in advance,

Dan
ASUS Xonar Essence STX > Matrix M-Stage > HD650
ASUS Xonar DG > ATH-AD400 / HD555

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Re: Amp for Senheiser HD555's

Post by warisz00r » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:48 pm

I can't see any use of an amp for such a middling pair of headphones, unless if your source is unamped.

You will do much better spending your cash on a much better set of phones
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Belial
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Re: Amp for Senheiser HD555's

Post by Belial » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:49 pm

2nded. The 555s are by all accounts nothing to write home about, and even if they were, they don't require amping.

Better off putting the money into a better set of easy to drive phones.

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Re: Amp for Senheiser HD555's

Post by Drubbing » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:59 pm

3rded.

No amp benefits for gaming and comms use anyhow.

For music though, take your sub $1k, and buy BOTH a better set of phones and an amp. For that money you could get the HD650 and the Matrix, which will run them easily. Change left over for beer. It's win win win.
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dan706
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Re: Amp for Senheiser HD555's

Post by dan706 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:03 pm

They're currently being run by my PC's sound card, which isn't terrible but lacks finesse. Do feel free to suggest a reasonably priced open, circumaural full sized replacement option as my 555's are now a good few years old. For the money I spent on them at the time, you'd be hard-put finding anything better for the same price.

Looking forward to your responses. Thanks again.

Dan
ASUS Xonar Essence STX > Matrix M-Stage > HD650
ASUS Xonar DG > ATH-AD400 / HD555

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Belial
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Re: Amp for Senheiser HD555's

Post by Belial » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:29 pm

What do you like about the 555 sound? What don't you like? What music do you listen to?

There's plenty of options, we need more info to be able to give you any decent sort of advice. That said, Drubbing's suggestion is a good one, especially if you like the Senn sound.

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Re: Amp for Senheiser HD555's

Post by dan706 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:47 pm

Sorry for being a bit vague in my OP. I mostly listen to many subgenres of EDM (Trance etc - flame away), although I use the cans for long gaming sessions too. I like the Senn sound as the bass is great for an open ear design without being overpowering, and it provides great, accurate mid to high range sound considering the price I paid for them. They sound noticeably better being run by my VSX-1020-K compared to my PC's sound card. The 555's are also well designed, comfortable for endless hours on end and very resilient to rough handling.

I'm looking to upgrade them this year to something suitable for the uses I've listed above, although I'd like to avoid anything with a mic attached - as most "headsets" with inbuilt mics are generally rubbish when it comes to producing clear, rich, accurate sound. To get around this I use a desktop microphone. I'm looking at the HD650's, the matrix and a couple of other combo's and would appreciate more input based on personal experience in the field.

Thanks [=

Dan
ASUS Xonar Essence STX > Matrix M-Stage > HD650
ASUS Xonar DG > ATH-AD400 / HD555

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Re: Amp for Senheiser HD555's

Post by Drubbing » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:59 pm

Really though, my suggestion is overkill for your various uses - unless you want a really nice set of phones particularly for music.

For phones that don't need an amp the Shure 840 is worth a look, although a closed back. In open, the MS1 is one of the best around at its price. Quite different to the Senn sound, more punchy and up front. Can't say I've got on with any of the cheaper Senns' sound.

Remember, you don't need an amp, unless the phones do. And those that do, don't necessarily sound better than those that don't. But it will cost more to get amp-hungry phones sounding the way they're meant to. So in that sense, amps are pretty poor value.
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Re: Amp for Senheiser HD555's

Post by dingostolemyipod » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:06 pm

Better Soundcard sounds more like the go to me.
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dan706
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Re: Amp for Senheiser HD555's

Post by dan706 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:03 am

I do want a good set of phones, especially for music, that will also be used with gaming. So with your suggestions in mind, I'm having a read of some reviews on the Shure 840, MS1 and HD650's. Amp-wise I'm looking at either one of the Asus Sound Cards (which have an outlay in the same range as a few of the amps I'm looking at), the HiFiMan EF2A or the Matrix M Stage.

Can anyone give some comparison between the HiFiMan EF2A and the Matrix M Stage?

Dan.

*Edit - Comparing between the cheaper Ausus Xonar DX PCI-E 7.1 Gaming card and the Asus Xonar Essence STX as they're getting better feedback than the Creative cards.
ASUS Xonar Essence STX > Matrix M-Stage > HD650
ASUS Xonar DG > ATH-AD400 / HD555

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Re: Amp for Senheiser HD555's

Post by beachgardener » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:58 am

maybe the Xonar DG, meant to be for gaming and has headphone amp
http://www.asus.com/Multimedia/Audio_Cards/Xonar_DG/
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dan706
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Re: Amp for Senheiser HD555's

Post by dan706 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:50 am

I'm reasonably sure, but will confirm tomorrow, that the Xonar_DG may not give me much better performance than what I'm already getting from the SupremeFX X-Fi expansion card that came with my motherboard http://www.asus.com.au/Motherboards/Int ... I_Extreme/

From what I've read, the Xonar Essence STX will drive the HD650's with ease, although I'd like to compare it to the EF2A and the Matrix M Stage.


Dan.
ASUS Xonar Essence STX > Matrix M-Stage > HD650
ASUS Xonar DG > ATH-AD400 / HD555

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Re: Amp for Senheiser HD555's

Post by Drubbing » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:58 pm

dan706 wrote:From what I've read, the Xonar Essence STX will drive the HD650's with ease, although I'd like to compare it to the EF2A and the Matrix M Stage.
More like they'll run them...just. 650s are demanding headphones and will need something better. The M stage is a far, far better buy than the EF2.
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dan706
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Re: Amp for Senheiser HD555's

Post by dan706 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:22 pm

Drubbing wrote:More like they'll run them...just. 650s are demanding headphones and will need something better. The M stage is a far, far better buy than the EF2.
They are demanding headphones, but the Asus Xonar Essence STX will apparently run up to 600 Ohm 'phones. The HD650's are 300 Ohm. In an earlier e-mail, Marcus mentioned that neither the EF2 or the Cube run the HD650's well, and that the M Stage doesn't have a DAC.

I'm trying to decide if I'll buy the Asus card, or the Mini i.


Thanks for all the feedback so far,

Dan.
ASUS Xonar Essence STX > Matrix M-Stage > HD650
ASUS Xonar DG > ATH-AD400 / HD555

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Re: Amp for Senheiser HD555's

Post by Drubbing » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:32 pm

dan706 wrote:They are demanding headphones, but the Asus Xonar Essence STX will apparently run up to 600 Ohm 'phones. The HD650's are 300 Ohm.
A Nissan Micra is rated for 5 passengers, so is a Range Rover V8. Which one would you use to take 5 passengers on a weekend trip on unsealed roads?

dingo has the STX, he will have an opinion on whether it is good enough under higher loads. If the EF2 and cube can't run them well enough, it's unlikely an amp on a soundcard will.

If it was my money, I'd be spending it on less demanding phones, rather than finding the cheapest way to run them.
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