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Minbeo
18
Mar 2, 2017
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Got this one from China for 130$, upgrade stock tubes to Russian 6P1P-EB + WE403A like recommended, let's say i'm very impressed. Compared to Schiit Vali 2+Amperex 6922 Holland driving my HD800(SDR modded), APPJ sound much more clear (Vali 2 got a more hazy sound which becomes apparents when compared dirrectly to the APPJ)
APPJ Schiit Vali 2 Overall Clearer, more extended, much more seductive Fuller sound, hazy, rolled off high, a little bland
Bass Leaner but more defined Hit harder but more one note Mid Very clear, have a seductive quality (must be SET) Fuller but a little bland(too laid back for me maybe) High More extended, airy Rolled off Soundstage Much more holography It's ok but the hazy sound doesnt help Dynamic Better, more PRAT Details Both is good but APPJ is just clearer while Vali a bit muddy
Overrall i prefered the APPJ(with this setup), its colored but doesnt have that typical bloomy, syrupy Chifi tube gear sound. Vali 2 is solid, i actually got the Vali 2 after the APPJ because of good deal and intend to keep both. Massdrop price of 90$ is a steal! P/S: An important note that you must use a suitable , quality power cords for this amp, with some cords its sound too lean and harsh for HD800, i'm using a thick ofc cords which help bring a much better tonality.
Update!: So i've had some more fun with tube rolling: @Schiit Vali 2: Turn out my NOS Amperex is a very hazy tube, switch it with a Siemens ECC85 help lift the veil, sound much more lively. Tried some 6ns7 with adapter (Shuguang black treasure CV181-Z, RCA 6ns7gt gray glass)-> Mehhh, sound quite flat to me... @APPJ: WE403A are microphobic as hell, i can hear my typing got amplifiered if i put it on my table, still sound really sweet but after a while i feel soundstage is kinda 3 blobs, treble still a bit harsh with HD800. Now i dont think they worth the money anymore (30$/pair).Follow advices here and around i'm quite happy with another tubes combo for much cheaper: Voshkod 6J1P-EV(very neutral, realistic soundstage) + RCA 6005(warm, smooth, thicker sound) For me I dont think any more rolling needed, specifically chose this APPJ version because i dont wanna waste too much money on tube rolling anyway.
Mar 2, 2017
Chiliarches
1
Mar 22, 2017
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What kind of power cord would you recommend? Got a link to buy it? I am definitely getting a "lean, harsh, bright" sound out of this...
Mar 22, 2017
Minbeo
18
Mar 23, 2017
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i recommend replacing the tubes first, stock chinese tubes are very low quality: Distort, harsh, microphonic and what not.. Output tube(the tall ones) are most important, i recommend a pair of RCA 6005, you will need 6aq5 to 6P1 converters, both can be found on ebays. These tube are same as big 6v6, will add much more heft+warmness to the sound. Input tube i recommend Voshkod 6J1P-EV, awesome tubes, very balanced, great soundstage and detail without harshness, & dirt cheap too. i'm using a 6ft Well shin hospital grade cable from taobao, i can't find exactly same one from ebay but there're alot of similar cables there.I recommend hospital grade cables, they're often very cheap with much better build quality than regular cables, cant warranty the sound because the 10ft Well shin sound like craps :D, just buy a bunch of cheapest ones to try out. P/S: This one look like the famous Ironlung jellyfish http://www.ebay.com/itm/6ft-Hospital-Grade-Green-Dot-Power-Cord-Cable-18Gauge-3-SJT-C13-Nema-5-15P-/270888842150?hash=item3f123bb3a6:g:3cAAAOSwPc9WznKC
Mar 23, 2017
dr0wzyy
53
Mar 27, 2017
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I've just recently bought the HD800S model, and holy shit am I fed up with scouring the internet for good amp/DAC combo or stack and it's been driving me MAD lol. Im really into tinkering, but am pretty new to tube-amps when it comes to headphones. Would you recommend everything you just said to me as well? The craziest thing is that I read your exact recommendations on using this amp and the tubes you put in it on superaudiobestfriends forum and went "aha! that appj is on Massdrop right now!!" and bam. I come here to consider the buy and here you are. I assume you've done the Superdupont mod or the other one (forgot the name) and this Tube amp has you satisfied? I love thick detailed powerful textured audio especially when gaming but I really want to take advantage of the balanced cord I got with my HD800S. You are literally the first person I've came across that seems to be willing to try alternative solutions for achieving a pleasurable outcome when driving your pair, but with an adventurous mindset whilst keeping the wallet from DYING. Could you help me out homie? Ive yet to make the plunge on a decent DAC but I know tube amp'ing is 1/2 the battle over figured out. Hit me back asap if you see this soon!!
Mar 27, 2017
dr0wzyy
53
Mar 27, 2017
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and to relate to Chilliarches, I HATE lean bright and dry sounding things. I'm more of a bass loving lofi hiphop appreciating dude. (although I worship good metal, alternative, etc. and can't get enough Opeth right now haha) but also intend on using my HD800S cans for gaming in an epic theater sounding kinda way. Hope this helps if you know what I aim I achieve. Hard finding answers in the audio realm, being that audio enjoyment is so damn objective/opinion based.
Mar 27, 2017
Minbeo
18
Mar 28, 2017
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In my opinions HD800 need tube amps, it's not a secret that all the top ones for HD800 are full tube or at least hybrid amps. Tubes will help tame HD800's hot treble, give more warmness and euphoria to its otherwise cold and over analytical sound, at the same time evelate its strenth in soundstage and microdynamics. I am in the same route as you, tried some solidstate and hate it with HD800, back to Vali 2 as a stepping stone for top of the line tube amp. Appj is a side project because its cheap and it can power my bookshelfs too, i just accidentally like it quite much more than the Vali 2(even with numbers of good tubes). I'll eventully upgrade to a top one in the future but this amp surely keep me happy for now. Our music taste is quite similar, lo-fi + beat tape is my jams while working :D, prog metal is great with HD800+Appj. But keep in mind that HD800 is inherently not a thick and bassy sounding headphone, you wont get that kind of sound with any amp without sacrifire alot of HD800's strength like clarity and speed. Better to get secondary headphone like He500 or Fostex Th-X00 for that kind of stuffs. I'd say i highly recommend this amp, i bought it for 130$ from China, you guys can get it from Massdrop for only 90$ and 40$ for a hell lot of fun with tube rolling, damn!!! :D By the way, if you love deep bass so much, try a Subpac, quite pricy but it'll give the bass feel you will never get from a pair headphone or bookshelfs. P/S: The new HD800S version dont need modding at all.
Mar 28, 2017
dr0wzyy
53
Mar 28, 2017
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Oh hells bells I didnt mean to suggest that I wanted to mod my pair haha, was merely inquiring as to whether your pair of the OG HD800's sounded "superior" to HD800S if you ever had a chance to demo one. Oh and man I've done tons and tons of studying before I made this purchase and from what I've gathered, I'd have to be preeeetty fond of dry screetchy highs if I didn't grave a tube amp. To be honest I'd LOVE sumn like a Woo WA22 for the tubes, upgrade ability plus balanced. or maybe a dragon. but I've no $2000 to slap on an amp after spending the $1700 for the HD800S's. I was considering a Jotunheim due to the balanced out puts but I feel like that would only be viable if I were gonna get the onboard DAC and then no tubes. I'm not too afraid of spending another $600-$700 but as fr as DACs, tube amps and balanced goes? I feel kinda SOL unless i get creative with mix and matchin. I hear the blue dragon cord adds towards the kinda direction you and I seem to be headed, my curiosity has almost been piqued
Mar 28, 2017
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