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Hifiman HE-5 Orthodynamic Headphones - Page 9

post #121 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by immtbiker View Post
Without a doubt, The WES, A-10 and Justin's Blue Hawaii (at the NYC Spring meet) completely turned the O2 MkII into a totally different headphone. It was the first time I really liked them.
Listening to the 0!'s on the Maxxed WES was equally impressive. Something about those 3 amps brought out the best in the Omegas and made them enjoyable to me. More dominant bass and a more aggressive sound stage. I could definitely live with those combos. The GES and 007t don't do the Omegas and justice whatsoever, but the GES/Jade/SR Lambda Pros combos are still terrific.
Agreed again.
post #122 of 294
Fang,
Are you emailing tracking numbers to buyers?
What currier do you use?
post #123 of 294
I was told by Head direct that the orders would be shipped from china and that they would email the paypal acct email with a tracking no. I haven't received one yet. I wish that I would have received a simple confirmation of my order from head-direct itself. Not having any communication just makes me worry.
post #124 of 294
3 emails over the last week have been unanswered asking for status and tracking (even if there's no info for me, just respond). I'm not worried but communication is a necessity in good business practices IMO.
Kingwa of Audio-gd does this very well as an example.
post #125 of 294
Strange, as I have gotten prompt responses with every email I've sent.
post #126 of 294
Yeah, still no shipping notice for me yet either
post #127 of 294
Thread Starter 
Apologize for delay. Too busy here. Will try to get everything together later today or tomorrow.
Reply
post #128 of 294
Anxiously awaiting for my pair!
post #129 of 294
Just got my tracking no.!
post #130 of 294
Guys, thanks for answering my queries so far, i got a few more:

1. May be a bit far fetched, but how does the sound compare to JH13, excluding soundstage? Reading about the prat, detail, and bass deepness, they seem similar.

2. Hows the comfort of the headband and pads? Im rather sensitive to clamping (argh senn HD485). Do they clamp at all? Judging from the pics they don't seem to.
post #131 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by jyle_t View Post
Guys, thanks for answering my queries so far, i got a few more:

1. May be a bit far fetched, but how does the sound compare to JH13, excluding soundstage? Reading about the prat, detail, and bass deepness, they seem similar.

2. Hows the comfort of the headband and pads? Im rather sensitive to clamping (argh senn HD485). Do they clamp at all? Judging from the pics they don't seem to.
1> umm i think its got better soundstage though when it comes to imaging I might want to do a side by side but i suspect the JH-13 betters it in this regard.

2> The headband tends to bend under the weight of the huge magnets..the pads are stiff when new and can clamp the head, but with use it becomes better. They really ought to use stiffer material for the headband. Only gripe I have with ergonomics of the HE-5.
post #132 of 294
I finally have a response and an EMS tracking number. Hope this gets thru- last time I used EMS from China, it got returned to China, never leaving customs (probably a Chicago mail thing more than EMS).
post #133 of 294
Well, you've done it now, Fang!

I've spent a month and a half deciding on a new headphone, amp and source for my new rig... And just a few moments ago I caved and purchased an HE-5 and HF5.

I'm looking forward to hearing your success for myself!


Thanks,
Evan
post #134 of 294

Compilation of thoughts on the HE-5 - copied all into one place

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Wow! Fang, these HE-5 sound very good on my maxed Woo WA6 tonight. They can still play fairly loud on this output transformer coupled SET amp, so people can't say they only need SS amps. With the volume all the way up there is no distortion or clipping but it is louder than I am comfortable listening to for more than half a minute or so (the WA6SE that I don't have is supposed to have 3x more power, but it isn't needed here). The SAC KH1000 amp for my AKG K1000 phones also works great with the HE-5, and it has more power than I could ever use with the HE-5, K1000 or HD800.

The HE-5 bass is wonderfully deep and full with good impact and speed, and vocals are rich and present, and the highs to my ears are not anywhere close to being too much but are crisp and vivid. The bass is a little more awesome with the SAC amp, but the bass with the WA6 is very good. It's too late at night to pull out my Grado RS-1 and HD800 to compare to HE-5 right now, as I already just woke up my wife with the sound out of the open-back and it upset her. (this is why I have IEM and closed phones like LA7000). I will have much more to report over the next few days.

Fang, the EF5 amp's PSU was set so that it is showing 220v, and I want to make sure that sliding the switch up so that the 110v is uncovered is correct. Also, it was set for 16v which is for the EF1, and I want to make sure with my aging eyes that I should slide that switch up to the 18v setting. To my aging eyes it looks like the EF5 amp is 18v. I don't want to cook the EF5 amp before I get to try it out, so I am making sure about the settings with you first.

Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Normally up in my bedroom rig (CD5001 > PS Audio DLIII > HEV70, WA6, SAC and EF5 amps) I would use my HF-2, HD600, K1000 and HE60 the most; but now I find myself pretty much only listening to the HE-5 and enjoying them the most.

My basement rig is the Apogee > ZDT where I keep my HD800, LA7000 and RS-1, with SRD-7 Mk2 to drive O2 Mk1/Jade (awaiting Woo WES). I haven't felt the need to run down there in days to listen to music. I am still burning in the EF5 and HE-5 right now, and will do more comparisons at 200+ hours.

The HE-5 continue to amaze me with the their sound for only $600 phones. They are the best orthodynamic phones I have tried, and offer competition with phones twice their price, dynamic or electrostatic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
I will add that the HE-5 are still more laid back than the HD800 or even the Jade, and the HE-5 are the warmest of the three (Jade second and HD800 third). They have that sense of warmth that the O2 also give, which the K701 and HD800 don't offer as much unless you get exactly the right amp for them.

The heavier weight does make them a poorer choice for the dancing and thrashing crowd. They have momentum and shift position a bit with big movements.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
I can tell you now I prefer the HE-5 to a stock D7000, but I cant say yet vs my Lawton Audio modded recabled rewoodied D7000 yet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
In addition to the LA7000, I'm also going to be comparing the HE-5 to my APS V3 cabled RS-1 and my HD800, so we'll see. Many of my phones (including stats) are more expensive than the HE-5, and everyone wants these to be a giant killer. I will say right now, after listening for a day I think they are worth every penny they are asking for them. I would take the HE-5 over a stock RS-1 or stock D7000 any day, both selling for around the same street price.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
More updates:

The HE-5 can actually be driven decently by an iBasso D4 portable DAC/amp when running off the 9v battery supply. It's underpowered on just the 5v USB power (like the HD600) and can be driven into clipping more easily, but with 9v battery turned on the gains are noticeable. The Predator 5v portable sounds slightly better with the HE-5 than the D4 at the same 5v, but the D4 pulls ahead when using the 9v option.

The SAC KH1000 amp can drive my HD600 via the 4-pin XLR jack and HE-5 via the 1/4" jack at the same time, with no drop in sound quality with both phones. With both running at the same time, the volume levels are actually pretty close when switching between the two phones. So, I compared the HE-5 to my balanced APS v3 cabled HD600 and I am certain would spend more time with the HE-5 than the HD600, as the HE-5 make my HD600 sound veiled and dull in comparison. Two days ago I would have said the HD600 still sound fantastic to me, and now I don't want to pick them up as long as I can reach for the HE-5.

The velour pads on the HE-5 are still pretty stiff and not molding properly to the sides of my head around the ears, unlike my slightly broken-in HD600 pads do. The HE-5, even when leaking sound where the pads don't meet the ears, has great bass quality, detail and impact. I think the HE-5 are what my APS V3 cabled RS-1 were supposed to sound like, and later tonight or tomorrow I will get to the RS-1 and HD800 comparisons on the ZDT amp.

PS: While I am waiting for my WES to arrive after I sold my GES, I am using my Sennheiser HEV70 amp to drive my HE60 electrostatic headphones. The HE-5/SAC combo sounds better than the HE60/HEV70 combo, with the same music off the same DAC at the same time.
And from the other HE-5 thread I have more comments:

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
I previously mentioned that my maxed Woo WA6 (non-SE) can drive them nicely, as did a $299 HiFiMan EF1 amp at CanJam and RMAF (although the EF2 does not fare as well). And I noted that I can get decent sound out of an iBasso D4 portable USB DAC/amp when running it with a fresh 9v battery, although it still wont play loud enough (and don't even think about the D4 in 5v-only mode). The Nuforce uDAC also could not get to adequate volume levels at 5v only either.

But, the EF5 and SAC KH1000 amps really take them to new heights as far as power is concerned. They drive the HE-5 effortlessly. As far as sound quality, my Woo WA6 still sounds great vs the EF5, and it can play loudly. But you can hit max volume on the knob more easily with WA6, and be left wishing for another 2-3 dB of headroom (although there is no clipping), while that doesn't happen with the EF5 or SAC KH1000 amps. Still, the WA6 beats all the portable amps with the HE-5, although one with all the mods like my WA6 will cost 3x more than the EF5. So, then you have to consider bang-for-the-buck.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Most of my listening so far has been using the CD5001 > PS Audio DLIII > SAC via XLR and EF5 via RCA > HE-5 so I think they pair up well, and it sounds good with the DAC in 96K or 192K up-sampling. The Pico DAC-only also pairs well with the EF5.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
I'm still burning in the HE-5 with the EF5, while the HD800 are in the basement rig with my ZDT amp, so I haven't been able to compare them yet.

They sound different from each other, with the HD800 being a little more spacious and aggressive sounding and the HE-5 being a little more laid back with more bass. So, I am not picking a winner yet, but I love both.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
I think the soundstaging makes the HD800 better for classical, but the HE-5 catch up with jazz and acoustic, and maybe passes them up with rock music. I'm not decided with vocals and electronic yet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Since davidmahler already has R10 (DO NOT SELL) then maybe the HE-5 would be just the ticket to complement them. I could probably also go without my HD800 once my Woo WES arrives, since I tend to prefer my O2 and Jade. My HD800 are very similar to my HE60 but with more bass and impact and an improved soundstage, but they have just a little bit of the etch that you get with a Stax Lambda series phone. The HE-5 adds to that bass impact while pulling the mids back a little, yet keeping all the detail of the HD800 without any etch; but it has a smaller soundstage (bigger than a Grado though). Only you can decide if the trade-off is worth it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Regarding aggressiveness, I think we agree on all the other areas of the HE-5 sound, based on previous posts. I think the way that we feel about the aggressiveness may be me using the wrong terms.

I don't always thinks of aggressive as PRaT, and I agree the HE-5 have more PRaT. The more aggressive HD800 upper mids reach out and grab you by the throat and say, "HEY look at all this detail, LOOK, isn't it wonderful!" And the HE-5 to me just seem to do it without making a big deal about it. The Mustard guys just eat it and enjoy it, but don't talk about it; the Grey Poupon guy wants you to know that's he's special enough to use it.
I spent a bit of time last night (12/1/09) with the HE-5 vs the HD800 using my Apogee mini-DAC > ZDT and NAD C555 TT/Ortofon Blue, and the ZDT can drive both phones at the same time without a change in sound quality when listening to one and plugging in the other (HD800 via 4-pin XLR, HD-5 via 1/4" jack).

The HE-5 on the ZDT amp sound a lot better than they did at CanJam@RMAF, which I suspect might be because I am using the Apogee mini-DAC instead of PS Audio Digital Link III DAC. I also wonder if the ones at RMAF may have not been the production version like these, or maybe not broken in enough, I don't know. Regardless, they are now very well driven off the ZDT and the gap between the performance of the HD800 and HE-5 is noticeably smaller than it was at RMAF.

I am quite impressed with how well the HE-5 performance holds up to the HD800, and switching between the two phones did not make me feel that one was significantly superior or inferior to the other. Switching from those two phones to my APS V3 cabled RS-1 made the RS-1 seem compressed and thin in comparison. If the RS-1 are the first phones I put on for the day, they sound fantastic, but after listening the HD800 and HE-5 first, I can't enjoy my RS-1 nearly as much (or my HF-2 which sound more congested). The HE-5 soundstage is better than that of my APS V3 cabled RS-1, and does NOT sound especially tiny compared to the HD800 as some have been lead to believe. But the HE-5 soundstage is indeed less expansive or immersive than the HD800, and the sense of the concert hall is better appreciated with the HD800.

However, the HE-5 just play the music effortlessly, without ever sounding strained or incapable, and don't leave me wishing for more or less bass, mids or treble. They are nice and punchy, but not in your face or recessed sounding. If I didn't have the HD800 then the HE-5 would be my best open dynamic headphone, and it's the best orthodynamic headphone I have heard so far (many stock and modded orthos have graced my ears at various meets and I have owned 4 pairs myself). The HE-5 and HD800 are the closest dynamic headphones to my electrostatics, with the HD800 being closer to the HE60 (with more bass) and the HE-5 being more similar to the O2 Mk1 (with better treble, but similar narrower but well defined soundstage).

When I was importing, editing and cleaning up some LP needledrop recordings via GEMsound PL-USB phono stage A/D converter (Audacity and SoundSoap) I used the HE-5 to monitor the recording process. I was cleaning up the pop/crackle/surface noise and adjusting the sound EQ, and I got some good results that still sounded right with my other headphones. The HE-5 were also decently driven by the headphone out of the GEMsound PL-USB A/D box, but they wont play off the GEMsound as loudly as the WA6, let alone the more powerful ZDT, EF5 or SAC amps. The nice thing is when the HE-5 are driven off an underpowered amp it doesn't seem to hurt the sound quality, only the volume levels. The 3MOVE and D4 in 9v mode both seem to have adequate power to drive the HE-5 to louder than normal listening levels.

My only complaint is that the velour earpads have not softened up yet to form to my head shape better yet, but they've only had about 20 hours of head time out of the 200 hours of burn-in.
post #135 of 294
Fang, is there something different about the production model of the HE-5 from the ones we heard at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest that has made them easier to drive?
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