The 560 is technically superior, but I enjoy the 500 more. I find it to be more forgiving and versatile. Listening to Nirvana with the 560 made me very sad. The 560 does sound fantastic with the right music...jazz, especially.
Thanks for the update @SuperU
We now have the same setup, except I've got the HE-500.
At the least headphone meetup I went to I listened to a whole slew of 1-$3,000 headphones, amps, and DACs. And after going back to my system there wasn't even the tiniest hint of a letdown. It's really remarkable how much good sound you can get on a relatively modest budget these days.
Big thanks to companies like Garage1217 and Schiit who are putting really killer gear out...
It's all relative.
Perhaps the Lyr 2 doesn't get the HE-6 all the way there, but I'm betting it gets you 90-95%. And, with the HE-6, that's going to sound pretty amazing.
At least that was my experience with the Ember II which has half the power of the Lyr.
Look up the power numbers for the m9xx. I don't know what they are.The Ember will feed just over 2W into a 50 ohm headphone.It looks like the Lyr 2 can go up to 4W.I haven't heard the HE-6 from the Lyr 2, so can't really comment on the pairing.
It sounded very nice to me. Better clarity and refinement, but still with the ability to really kick. Whether or not it was under-driven, I really can't say. Relative to a speaker amp, maybe so, but during the few months I spent with them the Ember was all I had at my disposal. If you go that route, I'd recommend a darker tube to help with the treble (I used the 6N6P). This pair also had some aftermarket pads on them (don't know which ones) that supposedly darkened the...
Absolutely better than the HE-500 and sounded just fine with my Bifrost 4490 and Project Ember II. But, going back to the 500s never left me disappointed, and I'd rather pocket the extra $500 by going with the better value (in my opinion).
Better in technicalities, but very track specific. With jazz, it's a pretty heavenly headphone. Put on something like Nirvana and they make me want to rip them off my head. I find the 500s to be more...
@Theogenes, I'll echo a couple of your sentiments.
The Magnavox CD player was very nice. And, like you, I felt it slaughtered the Denon DA-500. I feel like they are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
The Magnavox was very warm and inviting. It didn't offer tons of detail, but the organic sound made up for that quite well. Clapton Unplugged sounded pretty fantastic on it. The Denon had significantly more detail, but sounded a bit nasally and dry in comparison....