Which Headphone Amp in the $500 - $800 range

I like to upgrade from am EarMax (original) which I love the sound of, but believe it to be a tad unpowered for my HD 600's. Would someone be able to lend a hand? Would love a Single Power but it appears out of my price range.

Thanks much, Poots
Hey Poots,

If you haven't done it already I recommend you check out head-fi.org, a website dedicated to headphone listening. Very knowledgeable folks over there and I'm sure they could come up with several amps in your range.

I am currently using a grace designs m901 to drive my Senn. 650's and I feel that it compliments the cans quite well. If you're patient you may be able to find a used one in your price range. I've also been very curious about the offerings from Headamp. The gs1 is just slightly over your budget but have gotten some pretty awesome reviews. Rudistor may also have something that would mate well with you 600's.

Do you want to stick with a tube amp? If so maybe the Ray Samuels Raptor would interest you or maybe a used Audiovalve if you can find one.

With sooo many headphone specific amps out there it may take you a while to find one to replace your Earmax but you have a budget that almost assures that you'll be able to top it. Good luck on your hunt.

When you visit Head-Fi.org, take a look at the review I wrote on Consonance Cyber 20. The review is a few years old. I've not actively looked into the headphone scene for the past two years so things may have changed quite a bit.

I had started out looking at the Earmax Pro. Then I got really involved with Head-Fi.org and organized several local meets. I brought all my front end gear to these meets so I could try out different amps. But ended up buying this one, and two other amps, Cyber 30 (using 2A3s) and Rudistor RP-5.1cav (tube hybrid). Each amp has it's own special personality. I have both HD600 and HD650. I especially enjoy the HD600 w/ Cardas headphone cable and the Cyber 600 combo for Jazz and female vocals.

I believe there's also a review of the Cyber 20 at Soundstage as well.

If you check out the for sale forum at www.head-fi.org there is a Singlepower PPX3 with the output adapters for 5687 tubes. Its a steal at the asking price of $650. Probably some reviews out there on the PPX3 and the PPX3-slam. (which it is with the 5687 output tubes) If you google them.
Thanks for the "heads" up on the Single Power PPX3. It was a great deal, and was sold by the time I got there.

Thanks for pointing it out.

Good advice about rolling around at headfi.org

I love my Woo Audio WA6 single-ended, class A headphone amp. I do suggest going ahead and ordering it with the upgraded rectifier tube.

I can recommend the SinglePower that I use with my 650's...I previously drove them with Musical Fidelity's X-Can3 (bloated bass)...the SP is perfect...wait and find one used as I did...you will still need to crank it up but the sound is too sweet!
Second the motion for hanging in there for the SinglePower. I'm using the MPX3 and ordered it with dual RCA output jacks from Mikael (used demo). I use it as my main stereo preamp and bi-amp with it when not using my 650's.

Many adapter sockets available for both the driver and output locations ($100 ea.). Neat thing: Its'single driver tube has noticebly more effect on the the unit's character than the changing of the two output tubes. Something to think about if you run into more exotic stuff as you only need to purchase 1 to get the real flavor of the tube.

FYI, the MPX3 uses the 6SN7 in all three tube positions in it's standard form (no adapters).