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Only need a DAC here too. We get way too many amps and way too little DACs. These only seems to do OK with HD650 and HE-500.. Don't know if I'll get this.. Anyone can comment on these two headphones? Seems like Magni and Modi are better friends with them.
I would not consider the O2 or the Magni either to be really proper pairings with the HE-500. I can't comment on the HD650, but with the HD600 I found the Magni capable of driving them capably, however I personally prefer a tube amplifier. I have paired the HD600 with a Little Dot MKIV SE and have had really exceptional results with that combination. Considering how similar the pairings are for the HD600 and HD650, I imagine you'd see similar results. With the HE-500, despite it being a high sensitivity design that can be driven by most normal headphone amplifiers, you really won't get anywhere near the full capabilities of the headphone without using a really solid amplifier intended for orthodynamics. I'm currently using a Schiit Lyr for my HE-500s but have also experienced good results with a Bottlehead S.E.X. someone else had, as well as the Gungnir/Mjolnir stack.
I should have an opportunity to demo the Bryston BHA-1 in the next few weeks wit the HE-500 in a balanced configuration, and I am looking forward to the results there. I also am working on arranging an opportunity to try them out with the WA22 in a balanced configuration. My next step is moving away from single-ended and towards balanced in my home setup, so this in preparation for that.
I don't currently own either the O2, the ODAC, or the combo, however I have had the opportunity to demo the combo unit previously on a few different occasions and with a mix of gear.