suggestions for a headphone amplifier

I recently bought a pair of Senn 650s. Up till now I have listened through the headphone jack on my Jolida JD100 player. Well, that only gets you so it's time to liven it up with an amplifier designed to make the most of whatever these 650s have to offer. I am ready to choose based on the groups suggestions, so show me what you've got!
Tell us how much you want to spend.
I use the Senn 650s with an Antique Sound Lab headphone amp. They are quality and give the Senns a very nice sound for long periods. Good luck.
There have been several threads on this question in the not too distant past. I started one in February that provided some good suggestions. (

BTW, out of the past discussion, I purchased a Musical Fidelity X-Can V3, which, I believe, has a Stereophile A rating. I liked it over the SS Headphone amps that I auditioned (e.g., Grado). It's a SET amp and uses 6922 tubes. I've swaped tubes and now I'm using Siemens CCa, which provides remarkable detail and clarity. I've also used Mullard tubes, which created a lush and rich sound, but these tubes are in my hybrid integrated and will stay there awhile. The MF X-Can V3 is also reasonably priced. At the time I posted the thread, I was using Senn 600, but I've upgrade to 650s.

The new MF model is nice for the few minutes I tried it, but I'm not a headphone guy. As with eerything else, audition it first, or pay fair market value if you're buying used.
How big of a sonic improvement are the Sennheiser 650's over the 600's?
In what all ways, sonically, are the 650's superior?
The Senns seem to like a good tube amp based on what I've read. I would shoot for the ASL tube amp. Try that for a while. If you have more to spend, but some Walker SST, first, paint all of your connections, then listen. If you still require greater fidelity (or maybe you have a greater budget at the onset than what the ASL tube amp would cost) then buy something better.
I own a set of Sennheiser HD-650 and a HeadRoom MaxedOut Home. Truly a great combination. I tried the Musical Fidelity X-Can V-3, good with Grado┬┤s sets. The HD-650 does need more power do drive them.

Of course this is only MY opinion and based on MY tastes, but I have tried a TON of different headphone amps and the BEST I have tried with my Senn 600s and 650s is the Moth Audio S2a3. E-mail me offline if you have any questions.

I second the Antique Soundlabs MGhead. If you can spend more, then Headroom amps will better the sound.

I'm currently using the Grado 125's with the Antigue Soundlabs amp. Sounds great for what i use it for. Highly recommend the Amp. There are better headphones out there than the 125's but they work fine for me.
I'm running my HD650's with A.N.T. "Amber". Designed and built in the UK by Alex Nikitin, the man behind most Creek components in the last 10 years.
Answer to Swampwalkers question: 500.00 or less. I am intrigued by the Earmax pro, and now exploring the Headroom offerings. These amps could conceivably raise the bar as far as dollars and cents. I am amazed by the scope of their products. Talk about ruling an audio niche! My preference is to find a nice second hand amp as my bucks will go further. Please keep them cards and letters coming, and thanks for reading.
I'm also looking for a new headphone amp. I currently have the Grace 901 which is a fine amp but I'd like to try a SET headphone amp. Is Moth still in business?
IIRC, Moth headphone products are now sold under the Eddie Current (cute, huh?) name. I think there is/was in the under $500 range. You may want to try for used amps and reviews of virtually all hp products. And Rocco, if you can stretch your budget to about $700 you should be able to find a used Audiovalve RKV MK2, which is an OTL amp that to my ears has more punch and more definition than the ASL amps.
Daltonlanny -

IMO the Senn 650 has a smoother, richer midbass and better balance than the 600. I find the midrange of the 650 is flowing and the highs are smooth, with a slightly dark presentation. To me, the sound of the 600 is generally similar to the 650; however there are some slight differences - the 600 treble is grainier, the midbass is boomier, and the bass is less robust. I also find the 650 to be more comfortable than the 600 and I have less listening fatigue with the 650.

Also, the MF X-Can does not lack power to drive the 650.

Thanks Johnrob!
Another vote for the Antique Sound Labs Head MK III. This is a fine, economical intro to the magic of the SET experience. I thought the MF X-Can perfectly capable, but the ASL added that special quality of living air; with a marvelous hang-time for a note's resonant fade-out ...
It's one day later and I am savoring all of the suggestions.Some additional snooping on my own has uncovered Audio Valve RKV MK11, Singlepower offerings, enen a Gillmore new offering or the established Little w/ dedicated power supply. In some instances my 500.00 dollar ceiling is blasted, though I knew that would occur anyway. Headroom amps are for the most part unavailable for now, and I guess that their new line won't show for a month or two. Looks like there's a ton of great product out there. Tough choices!!!!!!
Don't forget to replace the stock 650 cord with the Zu Mobius one. I use a Headroom Max amp (with the new reference module that is in the latest version). This all works fine with me. Kubala Sosna Emotion ICs work well well with the 650s, as the ICs complement the 650's slightly dark sound.
There are several aftermarket cords for the Senn 650s. I like the Equinox cable. Others like the Zu but some say it's too bright. I tend to prefer a darker presentation.
Interesting comment that the Zu cable is bright, as I think the Cardas cable is bright & that the Zu is actually mellower & even a little darker than the stock 650 cord. I'll add my agreement that the 650 is a very significant improvement over the 600s, even with the stock cable.

I actually switched from the 600s, which I found to have a confining sound & distant presentation, to Grado RS1s (a very nice headphone with the optional "comfy" pads) until I tried the 650s.