i was switching between HE-5 and Senn HD-800 today.I gave the phones to my wife to compare- she said the KRELL/HE-5 just blow the HD-800 completely away.I agree with her and say that the HE-5 puts life in music that i have never ever experienced from any audio component before.The question is how much power does the HE-5 need to perform on this level and what a role does the balanced connection play here.
I ordered the Apuresound balanced cable also..but I went a step further. I am also having made at the same time a female pair of XLR's to BARE WIRE adapter for exploring some home amps I have available. The GSX will have power enough perhaps along with the Balanced Beta, but if not I can reach further and juice them with some home amp power!
I can change the Gain of the Beta for example but at the expense of the other eight balanced phones that don't require the juice, I'm hoping I don't have to resort to doing that.
I have a slew of Gain Clones (47 labs, Amp1, Nixon mono's etc) that are reasonably quiet and some home brew passive attenuators that I'm going to try. The LFD is a quiet integrated that would match well (perhaps). With the adapter's I have more options...
I should have bought that First Watt when I had a chance, instead I passed and didn't think I had the need...I'm not always the sharpest knife in the drawer.