Definitely get a headphone amp. In the end you'll get better sound for less money.
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You may want to look at a Manley 300b based preamp, which is also a state of the art headphone amplifier, it is one of the world's most remarkable preamps and I think you would find it to outperform the Gamut preamp, and then you can have your cake and eat it to, on some of the headphone forums this combination of preamp/headphone amp and the HD 800's has been lauded as one of the most synergistic and satisfying setups there are PM me for more details.
If you love Harbeths, I have a hard time believing you'll like the HD800, at least not without over-the-top warm tubes. Have you heard them? I heard them a while ago, and was not impressed (poor Qualia 010 ripoff). The HD650 or HD600 are both excellent, cheaper, and may be more along the lines of your Harbeth's sonics.
Also note that while Rogue tube amps are great, their built-in headphone jacks will not compare to a decent standalone headphone amp, or integrateds with a reputation for good headphone jacks.
Mulveling's post really hits the nail on the head and I say this based on experience with equipment mentioned in post(s). I appreciate those who show respect for their neighbors rather than the common me me me behaviors that have become the norm in many places. Thank you for your civility which is becoming something of a rarity in so many areas of western life.
I am an ex-Harbeth owner myself and I would recommend you take a listen to the Grado GS-1000i phones. I basically consider myself a headphone hater and I much prefer listening to speakers in a real space. To me, whatever frequency-based or alleged sonic superiorities of other phones, IMO the Grados sound more like listening to my speakers and less like headphones. At the latest NY show, I listened to many different phones and, except for the Stax, I still preferred the Grados for that reason. Plus,they will sound absolutely wonderful with a Grado battery headphone amp for $350, which is a definite plus. You can always upgrade the headphone amp later if you feel the need.
Get another pair of smaller Harbeths and set up a very near field (speakers 2-3 ft in frt of your chair) listening arrangement for late night. With a bit of practice you will be able to set up and remove in a matter of minutes.
Unless you already listen extensively to headphones, the change from speakers to phones could be unsatisfactory.
While I'm not sure about the smaller Harbeth idea, Rhljazz makes an excellent point about headphones. It seems the people who like them are addicted, but if you're really not much of a headphone listener, don't assume that you're just going to buy a great set of phones and a great amp and problem solved. Many phones, including ones that are allegedly "open", can still sound very constricted if you're used to speakers. Not to belabor the point, but that's what I like so much about the Grados - I really feel like I'm not listening to headphones. Still, I use them far less than I do the speakers.
Thank you very much for the advice. So many are correct as to my loving speakers and possible lack of experience with headphones. Yes when I've tried them, I've found them annoying . I have not heard HD800 and now off my list. I really need to audition Grado's and amp before investing on something I will hate. I will continue to confine my listening with Harbeth's to daylight hours while others at work. Thank you again.
What sort of late night hours and dB levels are you talking about. Are there neighbors above, below and/or next to your listening room? Talk to your neighbors about what you're doing, even invite them over for a listen. It actually might be better for everyone if you did some sound transmission inhibiting reconstruction to your listening room. Different equipment might not be the optimal solution.
Headphones aside, I totally understand your predicament of apartment living and maybe I can offer a suggestion. If you listen to rock this may be out, but I've spent a lot of time collecting music I can listen to late at night at low volumes - solo classical guitar, solo piano, violin/guitar, string quartet, etc. There's a lot of good stuff out there without excessive bass and drums that you might be able to get away with. I personally find it preferable to headphones, even good ones.
Just one guy's opinion...Buy a Burson Soloist headphone amp and a pair of HiFiman HE-500 or Audeze LCD 2 or 3 (as your budget allows) and prepare to really enjoy the music.
+1 on the Audeze. Right now I am using Sennheiser HD-600 with a Grommes PHI-26. The HD-600 sound great, but the Audeze sound really GREAT.
Seeking your advise again had Vandeersteen 3's then bought a used pair of 5's. Best speakers I ever had. Had to sell when I sold home and downsized to condo. Boy are you LUCKY. Tried the Quatro's ,but not in the same league as 5's. Like the Hardeths at this stage of listening.and size of room . Gamut equipment to good to give up. Based on your comments ,I've zeroed in on WOO WA-22 headphone amp , Woo sells Grado's looking at GS-1000 i based on those owning Harbeths .What do you think? At this stage of my life 72 . Listening to classical,opera and Beatles,Pink Floyd and 70's light sometimes. Advise KEEP the 5's as long as you can and Don't get old . Thank you pointed me in the correct direction .
That will undoubtedly be a killer combo, but just keep one thing in mind. The Grados are really, really open, meaning you can hear every noise in the room, almost as if you were wearing nothing. You'll have to listen to them as if you were listening to the speakers - in a quiet environment. If that works for you, I would vote you proceed. Best of luck.