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HE-5..initial musings - Page 79

post #1171 of 1668
Well I finally cranked up my HE-5 with the APS balanced cable today (via the Phoenix) - and WOW. The balanced HE-5 with the APS cable sound much better than with the stock cable run single-ended - and I mean MUCH. I was shocked. A significant increase in openness, better high end smoothness, and more bass impact. I have no way to know how much is the cable itself and how much is the balanced drive - but this is a big step forward for the already good HE-5.
post #1172 of 1668
I am making a cable using the connectors supplied by head direct, and I just want to make sure I am not crazy. The whole housing seems to be the ground according to my DMM, so I solder the R/L to the pin in the center and the ground to??? There is no tab for the ground, so where is the ground wire intended to be secured?
post #1173 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
Well I finally cranked up my HE-5 with the APS balanced cable today (via the Phoenix) - and WOW. The balanced HE-5 with the APS cable sound much better than with the stock cable run single-ended - and I mean MUCH. I was shocked. A significant increase in openness, better high end smoothness, and more bass impact. I have no way to know how much is the cable itself and how much is the balanced drive - but this is a big step forward for the already good HE-5.
The balanced drive IMO. I balanced the stock cable and transformed my OCCC cable into one for the HE-5 and there was almost nothing in it between them. The Phoenix balanced vs. single-ended is dramatically different though and the HE-5 is very different as well.
post #1174 of 1668
SE on phoenix is meh that's for sure ! also if anyone has connectors they don't even plan to use i would gladly take them off your hands
post #1175 of 1668
Just got my HE5/EF5 combo today, and while it's too soon to make any audio quality judgment (I'm skeptical about the whole burn-in thing but I figure I'll give it a chance), my first impression is that the balance is noticeably off, that the left side is stronger than the right. It's not the HE5, because my Denons do the same with the EF5, and the HE5 sounds fine on my Jade. I don't want to do a long burn-in with it like this, because I'm afraid of it causing some permanent imbalance in the HE5.

Maybe the (2-channel) tube is not well balanced? Unfortunately I don't have any other 12AU7 tubes lying around. Anyone done any tube rolling yet?
post #1176 of 1668
I got my HE-5s one hours ago and I couldn't wait to listen to them. I wouldn't expect to get a big surprise as I know the phones are not burn-in and I don't have an proper amp to drive them.( I am using a little dot MKIII now and my little dot MK VI+ will be here at the end of Feb.)

But I still have some questions on them. first, I can notice the volumes are imbalanced, the left cup is louder. Second the sibilance is very noticeabley. I know these phones have the sibilance issue if they are amped improperly, but my questions the sibilance is only (or more) from right cup. Has anyone experienced the same issue?

I am going to continue to burn them in and see what's happened. Sadly I have to wait for my MK6+ for another one and half month.
post #1177 of 1668
What other headphones do the HE-5's sound similar to?
post #1178 of 1668
599 is a relative bargain for these ....what connector type is used at the cups ?

Peete.
post #1179 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by takezo View Post
mine's been burning in for about 10 + hrs. since i received it yesterday.
it's my first planar headphone and so can't say where this fits in the
hierarchy of things but here are some of my initial impressions:

- sturdy and well constructed. slightly heavier than the denon d7000.
- clamp force is rather tight but loosens up after few hours.
- first 45min to an hour, the sound is good but muddy. uninspiring to say the least.
- but is soon followed by a dynamic, highly resolving, yet very very refined
sound. no mid bass bump like the d7000 but much more resolving and the
timbre is extremely well fleshed out. better than d7000 and gs1000 in that
department. the mids are quite refined but highly resolving. it reminds of
the mids of the hf-2 but much much more resolving and refined. i've never
heard billie holliday sound so rich and smooth. completely grain-free but crisp
and detail heaven... yet there's a very gentle characteristic about the mids...
the best i've heard so far. the highs are as extended as the gs1000 and
d7000 but incredible focus and control. no sibilance to be found, unless the
recording has it. very impressive highs. prudence is out of her shell!
- odd characteristics: maybe it has to do with planar technology, but it takes
at least 45 warm up for every session, up to this point, for it to sound its best.
it could just be my tube amp warming up too...
- definitely a keeper and a bargain, imo.

I have a question that why most of the Phones do not burn in for some time before it released to the market. it is a practice in hi end home audio rigs to be burned in about 400-500 hours before shipped.
post #1180 of 1668
Hey PaulyT and Mudhole,

I have never been "behind" the concept of burn-in, but after the HE-5's I may have to revaluate my assumptions... Upon first listen, exactly like you guys observed them, they were very imbalanced sounding, and even paired with the EF-5 there were some sibilance. After some period of running them in, and being patient, they came together, the difference was astonishing. Though I must add even upon first listen they sounded great to me, but after the burn in period which I was skeptical about, they unleashed their full potential. I am not going to get into the sound characteristics since they have been already discussed in the forum, and also you will have the fun of discovering them yourselves! Bottom line is just enjoy and wait a bit, if you have the patience, since these cans are something very special in the headphone world, and would not trade them for anything out there... Happy listening!
post #1181 of 1668
Yes, that's part of the reason I want to be careful in burn-in, so I can evaluate this for myself. But in this case, I don't think the perceived imbalance is because of the headphones, rather the amp, because when I plug my Denons into the EF5, I feel the same way - that sounds that are supposed to be centered are coming from just to the left - like between my left eyeball and my nose, if I had to put it in spatial terms. I tried the HE5 with my other amp (Audiotailor Jade), and there was no imbalance.

I'm going to look for another 12AU7 to plug in, see if that makes a difference. Tubes are not always perfectly symmetric in their response when it's a 2-channel tube.
post #1182 of 1668
it might be a short in the interconnects.
post #1183 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pricklely Peete View Post
599 is a relative bargain for these ....what connector type is used at the cups ?

Peete.
These are connectors that I haven't seen before. Outside of Head Direct, I don't think anyone has sourced them yet. I did get an included extra set when I purchased the HE5/EF5 combo.
post #1184 of 1668
I think they are a mini coax and there might be one that works at Radio Shack if you take them in to compare with what they have.
post #1185 of 1668
I've read a good chunk of the two big HE-5 threads and the amp matching thread. A couple of fan boys dilute the helpfulness of the threads but I'm glad to see old skool headfiers like Asr, Currawong, Skylab, Biker, mrarroyo etc etc ets so I will ask here:

I know from Asr's posts the HE-5 will probably be a good contrast to my AD2000. I really like the AD2000 but now that my system is nearly totally tweaked (great source, good connects, power conditioning etc) the AT phones are starting to show their peakiness in the high-mids and highs. Plus, I am looking for something with more soundstage which presents a radically different sound than the AD2000. Not many criteria other than that. And lets not forget; this price point really is attractive. If I'm not looking at this phone, my other options are the $HD800 or $PS1000. Ouch.

I forget who said it in another thread but I totally agreed. Their argument was basically negative reviews of a product are more helpful. And it makes a lot of sense when I'm investigating this phone. I want to know if I can live with its weak points. Can someone give a breakdown of the negatives of this phone in regard to SQ? (The workmanship is an understandable risk with this type of product and I can live with it.)

Be ruthless! GO!
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