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E.A.R. HP-4

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Maybe I'm just inept when it comes to search functions, but couldn't find much at all on the Yoshino HP-4. I've got to believe that at least some of you own this amp, or have at least auditioned it, and I would very much appreciate your input.

Please comment with headphone synergy in mind; I was thinking of AKG-701 and Ultrasone Edition 9, but I will heed to other recommendations as well. Thanks, guys.
post #2 of 13
I've been looking at this thread which has some good stuff about the HP-4:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f113/e...ienced-199719/
post #3 of 13
i have never owned the EAR HP-4. However, the amp is considered to the best match for grado headphones
post #4 of 13
The EAR HP-4 is one of the best and hold its own against anything in the market.

It is pretty headphone friendly, and have extreme synergy with the HP-1000s and HD650s.

F. Lo
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the input, guys. So it seems that HP4 is best mated to Senns and Grados? Any experience w/ AKG 701 or UE9?
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdivider View Post
Thanks so much for the input, guys. So it seems that HP4 is best mated to Senns and Grados? Any experience w/ AKG 701 or UE9?
Absolutely lovely with the K701 (preferably recabled). Very nice with ED9 too !

F. Lo
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdivider View Post

Thanks so much for the input, guys. So it seems that HP4 is best mated to Senns and Grados? Any experience w/ AKG 701 or UE9?

I'm a proud owner of an E.A.R HP4 - which, to my ears, delivers the greatest musical experience I've ever had via a headphone amplifier.  Not to mention the feature set (balanced in and out as well as RCA, and an amp bypass - which makes it a killer tool for reviewing, as I can feed the same source to the HP4 and another headphone amp, side-by-side).  I was sad to see the ALO Studio Six (currently under evaluation) not offer balanced inputs!

 

Sure, the HP4 is far from cheap.  But after experiencing a handful of larger headphone amps, like Ray Samuels the DarkStar (which I also love), Burson Conductor (a KILLER unit w/ a feature set that puts all these to shame) and the ALO Studio Six (which lets lower than the E.A.R HP4, at least with the stock tubes in the HP4) the E.A.R HP4 just connects me to the music emotionally in a way the others don't quite pull off.  I've been brought to tears on numerous occasions listening to the HP4.  I can't say the same of other headphone amplifiers.  It's also so addictive to listen to it occasionally throws me behind in my work!

 

And it's difficult to quantify that difference, since I am speaking to the emotive power of the music through the HP4.  I like to call this sonic attribute "emotive transference"; which is the most important thing to me in sound reproduction, next to timbre and dimensionality.  The ALO Studio Six is a great amp, as is the Darkstar and Conductor.  Once you hear the HP4 however, (set up properly, some people mistakenly plug into the high or low Z outputs and don't experiment) you realize while those amps are great, there is another level of sonic integrity and the HP4 gets you there.

 

Tim DeParavicini of E.A.R has a strong background in studio gear (bands like Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Orb, and many others - only use E.A.R tape machines and other tube gear in their recording studios) and I believe this is why his high end audio gear is so damn musical.

 

I had my buddy @Warrenpchi over for a listening sesh last Saturday.  I wanted to be sure I wasn't favoring the E.A.R because I love the line (and own an 868 tube pre-amp in my main reference system) - letting psycho-acoustics get the best of me.  His reaction said it all.  He said:

 

"That amp sounded great until I heard the HP4"

 

Nuff said I think!  But, I am working on full reviews of all these amps.  We're in the midst of a move - but I'll get em done ASAP!!

 

Also:

The HP4 is a sublime match for Audeze LCD2 and LCD3's, Sennheiser HD800's, and yes: Grados too - but in my experience,

the 225's and up.

 

YEAH:

E.A.R HP4 + Audeze LCD3:

A Headphone Bliss Out

 

post #8 of 13

Great comments. I Aam really looking forward reading your review about those high-end amps.

 

Any idea how the HP4 pair with the Fostex TH900?

 

Also, have you tried some tube rolling with the HP4 ?  I read some guys tested succesfully Sofia Electric S6L7 ...

post #9 of 13

I wonder how the Audio Note Kit HE-6 amp compares to the HP-4

post #10 of 13
Any idea how the HP4 pair with the Fostex TH900?



Also, have you tried some tube rolling with the HP4 ? I read some guys tested succesfully Sofia Electric S6L7


I also found that it pairs wonderfully with Fostex TH900 and Sony MDR R10. It may not be powerful to adequately
drive HE6. I was recommended to use tube rolling with Tungsol 6SL7GTY and then we will be all set but does not
have a chance to try yet by the way it sounds right now. May be one day because of curiosity.
post #11 of 13
Thanks for the answer.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemercer View Post
 

 

Sure, the HP4 is far from cheap.  But after experiencing a handful of larger headphone amps, like Ray Samuels the DarkStar (which I also love), Burson Conductor (a KILLER unit w/ a feature set that puts all these to shame) and the ALO Studio Six (which lets lower than the E.A.R HP4, at least with the stock tubes in the HP4) the E.A.R HP4 just connects me to the music emotionally in a way the others don't quite pull off.  I've been brought to tears on numerous occasions listening to the HP4.  I can't say the same of other headphone amplifiers.  It's also so addictive to listen to it occasionally throws me behind in my work!

 

Mikemercer, you have an astounding personal rig...i never imagined such amps together. Have you done a personal shootout between them? Do you think that there's a contender for the HP-4? 

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemercer View Post
 

I'm a proud owner of an E.A.R HP4 ....  I was sad to see the ALO Studio Six (currently under evaluation) not offer balanced inputs!

 

Sure, the HP4 is far from cheap.  But after experiencing a handful of larger headphone amps, like.... the ALO Studio Six (which lets lower than the E.A.R HP4, at least with the stock tubes in the HP4)

 

Mikemercer,

 

thank you for your detailed description of the HP4.

 

I have few question if you don't mind: 

 

- I see many SE & Balanced input & Output on the back of the unit, but.. ONLY SE on the front !   So, are the Balanced output on the back for driving Balanced headphone, or is it just Balanced Line-out ?  And... if those back BAL Plugs are for Balanced Headphone, then it looks like for Balanced headphone there is no possibility to select between High and Low Z ??

 

- In your wording "the ALO Studio Six (which lets lower than the E.A.R HP4, at least with the stock tubes in the HP4)", I did not really understood if you prefer the Studio 6 or the HP4 ?  and why you mention the stock tubes of the HP4.

 

- Have you tested the HP4 with the AlphaDOG ?  and the SigPRO ?   Those are 2 headphone that I may purchase when I need a really non-leaking headphone.  My TH900 do not isolate enough :-)

 

 

thanks a lot for your answers

 

Bertrand

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