Just aquired Sennheiser 650's and am in the market for driver amps. Lots to choose from, but I've only noticed Headroom and Meier products offering a "cross-feed" feature to blend L/R. Those of you who have their products (or other manufacturers ???), do you prefer utilizing this feature, somewhat, or almost never? Some say they'll never go back to conventional drivers without it.

Thanks in advance,

hey frank,
try the GRACE 901, has both crossfeed and a sophisticated pre as well!
az jake
Greetings, I have the Headroom and I wouldn't listen without the "effect" on. When ever I compare turning the effect on or leaving it off, I alway find things sound considerably better with it on. Happy listening
I'm using the 650's and an older, upgraded Headroom Cosmic.

Depends on what your source material is! Using C.F. will add a bit of upper bass and mid-range, which is useful for some CD's that sound bright, especially if you listen to Rock.

However, the C.F. blending can have some undesirable effects. If you are listening to albums that use panning effects, you will definitely NOT get the total side to side pan. This is very noticeable when the producer uses phasing tricks to place a sound to the "outside" of the speaker. Using headphones, the resulting re-centering of the effect can be quite dramatic.

The most interesting difference was on one of my favorite albums, Dan Fogelberg's CAPTURED ANGEL. Apparently, there was an out of phase problem on the master tape, because the highs always sounded "washed out" on both vinyl and CD, when listening to conventional speakers. Same effect using headphones with the C.F. on. Turning it off, the high frequencies literally jumped out, resulting in a major improvement...I had never heard the guitars sound so airy and open.

I would highly recommend the Stefan Art Audio Equinox cable for your 650's. Well worth the price and wait!
I'm using a Singlepower PPX3 SLAM to drive my Sennheiser HD-650's and absolutely love the combination! The "hardness"/"softness" dial is used to control feedback in the amplification circuit and is nice for tweaking. I don't really buy the crossfeed circuit, as this is something our brain does naturally when presented with biaural information... just my $0.02 though. There's a great thread on this over at headfi.org that you may want to check out:


Just inquired about the current Grace M901 Audiogon listing (now sold), and the seller stated it did not have the cross-feed feature like the new M902. The M902 is quite impressive, but also very expensive @ $1595. At that price point, Headroom enters the ring with its' heavyweights.

Meier makes some great product, but I wish there was a US importer. Can be a hassle dealing International, and credit card fees negate any advantages. That's not including import duties.

Appreciate both of your responces, and it looks like I'll need to be resourcefull regarding auditioning this feature.

If anyone else knows of other manufacturers with the "cross-feed" option, please contribute.

I've had a headroom max for several years with various phones & sources & I have never liked the crossfeed feature at all. It adds some unnatural, annoying ambiance. I do highly recommend the max (last generation, preferably with the later reference module) as a great, smooth amp.
(I also dislike the the high filter.)

I also use the 650s (with a Zu Mobius cable), but now prefer the AKG 701s (they are more liquid-sounding, but the 650s may be better with any abrasive or piercing recordings).

Good luck.
Firstly, I do not think there should be any issues regarding importing from Meier Audio or other international manufacturers. Check out how easy it is over at head-Fi. I live in South Africa where it is much more difficult (much higher shipping costs, higher customs charges etc.) but ordering from overseas nowadays is fairly hassle free.

More on topic, I have a PS Audio GCHA running my HD650s and I love it. It does not have crossfeed but I run all my music via the PC with foobar and use either its built-in crossfeed filter or one of the numerous crossfeed plugins available.

I have owned a Headroom amp and preferred not to use the crossfeed. If your looking for an amp you should check out www.singlepoweraudio.com You can read many reviews and opinions of there amps on head-fi.com.
They are VERY good. I have had two offerings from Singlepower and have found nothing close to them when it comes to headphone listening.
Also the Zu Mobius aftermarket HD650 cable will really add to the alredy nice HD650.
Singlepower offers crossfeed as an option to there amps if you want it.

Appreciate all your contribution of opinions regarding "cross-feed". I suppose it's just like anything else, in that one must personally audition this feature (easier said than done), though the mentioned models equipped with this, ARE sellectable. Just so many other fine tube and SS amps without this option.

Anyone with an extra "cross-feed"-equiped amp willing to offer a weekend loaner? (Trustworthy, with clean feedback)

Thanks again,

Frank (Chicago area)

Frank- you might want to post that request on head-fi.org, or check and see if they have any "meets" coming up where manuf. and members bring their amps and cans for testing/comparing. iirc, lots of members in chicago area.
Frank, don't venture over to Head-Fi. You will regret it. I now have 4 pairs of headphones and 4 amplifiers. I had converted my second system into a headphone based system right before my son was born. But he sleeps through anyways when I play music at my normal listening level. So I hardly listen to my headphones anymore.

When you visit head-fi.org, make sure you check for listings of local meets. These are great opportunities for you to audition the various amp offerings before buying one.

Musical Fidelity X-Can V3 Headphone amplifiers get class A ratings from Stereophile and they don't cost a fortune.

OTOH, if you want a multipurpose amp, you could get the Benchmark DAC-1 which is also a DAC. The DAC-1 is also highly rated, I don't remember if it was rated an A by Stereophile also, but I think it was. If you get the DAC-1 you could then use any crappy DVD player as a source and digitally output the signal to your DAC-1 (assuming the crappy player doesn't convert 0s to 1s and 1s to 0s), because the DAC-1 reclocks the digital signal before converting it to analog.

The reclocking would be a major decision maker for me, as I would only buy audiophile headphones to listen to music in my bedroom (I have a dedicated listening room for my stereo system) and wouldn't want to buy a new CD player just to listen to music up there, especially when I could just use the DVD player we have up there and digitally output the signal to something like the DAC-1...