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HE-5..initial musings - Page 102

post #1516 of 1668
I don't know anything about the electrical reasoning behind this, but I think Frank reiterated the 2 watt recommendation because:

1) I believe Fang originally recommended the 2 watts
2) Perhaps sending a lot power to generate some benchmark volume level (say, 87db) creates a better sounding 87db than what you would get from the bare minimum necessary for that volume. Not sure if this applies to the AKG 701, but don't you have the First Watt partly because it provides better current/power/etc than a $200 amp or soundcard (in addition to whatever synergy it may have)?
3) The observations in this thread seem to suggest that it is better to overpower these than to underpower them more so than other headphones.

As for needing 2watts, you don't NEED it. The HE-5 sounds great out of a CKKIII and I think my amp only pushes out <1.5 watts. But needless to say, I am very curious how this would sound out of a stronger amp....
post #1517 of 1668
Yea I think it's more for headroom. I think the HE-5 sounded great from the M^3, WA6, and Gilmore Lite.
post #1518 of 1668
I have the firstwatt because its supposed to be able to swing current faster to control the headphone drivers better and all the reviews of it with the k1000(which I bought it for) were great. I don't know how to build one or I would have built a lower power version. It has way more power than I will ever use on headphones. For efficient headphones, seems like the 100db+ sensitivity ones, I have to put resistors across the outputs to soak up most of the power.

The rating 1mw for 87 db means 87 db at 1 mw though. You can't put 2mw directly into the headphone and still get 87db out of it. Its just the quality of the amp after that. Not how much headroom it has.

Edit: And yes I realize amps need a little headroom to not be running at 100% all the time but in this case not 1.984 watts of it / 125x what the headphone requires.
post #1519 of 1668
Pyriel0,

So many SS headphone amps produce in excess of 1 watt. I think HE-5 ranks pretty low in terms of sensitivity, so most amps technically produce in excess of 100x the watts they need to produce for, ironically, the headphones that they're intended to power... and yet many people seem to love amps that give out more juice (B22, GSX, etc., granted for more reasons than just the output) and even still, people say, maybe in jest, moah POWAH!!! I wish I could give you a comparison of a CKKIII with 1.4 watts and a CKKIII that could somehow generate 5 watts and tell the world my impression of the supposed improvements that would result.

I think your argument was sparked by the WA6SE not being strong enough for the HE-5 in spite of its ~1watt. Some people do like the HE-5 with the Woo6 (in this thread), while others (also in this thread) noted that they sounded bloated or uncontrolled together. These preferential points of view aside, I'm just saying it may be safer to err on the side of caution and say that the HE-5 performs better with more watts rather than say that the headphone will perform adequately with an amp that pushes out just 1mw of juice just because of the specs. The message should not be "Don't have a great amp? Who cares! Go out and buy the HE-5 and plug it into your iPOD! It's got the necessary juice to push it to 87db!" ??????

I know that's a stretch, and I know that's not what you meant, but what desktop SS amp produces less than .1 watts at 32ohm and is considered worthwhile for a $600 HP, just because it meets the HP's specs to push out a certain volume?
post #1520 of 1668
Pyriel0,

I also see that you own an ortho. I know very little about headphones in general compared to the average Headfier, and even less about orthos, but isn't it the case that some orthos also just do ... very well with more watts?

People have already commented that these are not nearly as hard to drive as some other orthos out there, like the wharfedale ortho, but that headphone in itself may be evidence that more watts can yield more enjoyment. And I doubt a headphone like that has specs 87db 2000mw
post #1521 of 1668
Sorry that I tried to use cold hard math and amp quality over bigger numbers and "the salesman said so". I'm not posting anymore on it.
post #1522 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by foaming at the ears View Post
Pyriel0,

I think your argument was sparked by the WA6SE not being strong enough for the HE-5 in spite of its ~1watt. Some people do like the HE-5 with the Woo6 (in this thread), while others (also in this thread) noted that they sounded bloated or uncontrolled together.
A little OT, but I noticed this too. The WA6 produced a nice soundstage and unfatiguing treble but definitely didn't control the bass as well the as the SS amps I mentioned. I did feel the bass was uncontrolled at times and some bass clarity/detail was lost. I don't think it was power-related. I agree with Pyriel that power isn't the issue with the amps being mentioned here for the HE-5. I was also confused when Fang recommended a 2W rating because it seemed like way overkill. I think my earlier guess of more "headroom" doesn't fly here...It's further supported by the fact that the HE-5 sounded great out of amps that Fang would consider underpowered.

Earlier when monsieurguzel was criticized for underamping the HE-5, I saw that he was using the WA5, which is quite a robust headphone amp that doubles as a speaker amp. I highly doubt the WA5 wasn't driving them sufficiently.
Correct me if I'm wrong here.
post #1523 of 1668
Mmmmm, I'd been waiting on a cable to try out my replacement pair and it finally arrived today. So far, no sibilance or harshness, and no sibilance is glorious!
post #1524 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by somestranger26 View Post
Mmmmm, I'd been waiting on a cable to try out my replacement pair and it finally arrived today. So far, no sibilance or harshness, and no sibilance is glorious!
What cable you're using?

The combo has around 15 Hrs on them, and the sibilance is now killing me (coming from HD650, I'm very and unnecessarily sensitive to sibilance).

Another thing I'm concerning is wood cracking issue. My pair was manufactured around mid January, when the problem was supposed to be fixed, according to Fang, but I found many of you folks had this problem. One guy (sorry, can't remember your name and can't find your post) even had this problem with 2 phones in a row.

So aside from the above, how many of you guys have this problem?
post #1525 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrTv View Post
What cable you're using?

The combo has around 15 Hrs on them, and the sibilance is now killing me (coming from HD650, I'm very and unnecessarily sensitive to sibilance).

Another thing I'm concerning is wood cracking issue. My pair was manufactured around mid January, when the problem was supposed to be fixed, according to Fang, but I found many of you folks had this problem. One guy (sorry, can't remember your name and can't find your post) even had this problem with 2 phones in a row.

So aside from the above, how many of you guys have this problem?
It's the stock cable, they sent my HE-5 replacement a la carte about a month ago. The last pair was really harsh and sibilant but that wasn't why I rma'd it.
post #1526 of 1668
I ordered a HE-5 not too long ago and received it recently. Mine is re-cabled with the APureSound V3. I've previously heard the HE-5 at a couple of meets and I thought it was promising, which led me to buy one.

I have 2 days of listening on the HE-5 so far. Source is the Plinius CD-101 and amp is a Rockhopper Balanced M3 (running in single-ended mode for now).

I'm still not completely sure what to make of the HE-5 yet. Initial impressions are tepidly positive though - it does sound fairly good compared to what I think should be standard for headphones in this price range (over $500 that is) but it's not perfect in all areas. I also find that it seems unable to match the particular strengths of some of my other headphones - the Stax OII MKI (amped by the HeadAmp BHSE) on one side and Qualia 010, HP1000/HP2, JH13, and (AT) AD2000 on the other. The HE-5 is good on its own though and has very good overall clarity and speed while offering a different kind of sound compared to my other headphones.

I wouldn't say I'm impressed yet but my opinion might change later. I hope to write more about the HE-5 at some point. I will not be answering any questions until then.
post #1527 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post
I ordered a HE-5 not too long ago and received it recently. Mine is re-cabled with the APureSound V3. I've previously heard the HE-5 at a couple of meets and I thought it was promising, which led me to buy one.

I have 2 days of listening on the HE-5 so far. Source is the Plinius CD-101 and amp is a Rockhopper Balanced M3 (running in single-ended mode for now).

I'm still not completely sure what to make of the HE-5 yet. Initial impressions are tepidly positive though - it does sound fairly good compared to what I think should be standard for headphones in this price range (over $500 that is) but it's not perfect in all areas. I also find that it seems unable to match the particular strengths of some of my other headphones - the Stax OII MKI (amped by the HeadAmp BHSE) on one side and Qualia 010, HP1000/HP2, JH13, and (AT) AD2000 on the other. The HE-5 is good on its own though and has very good overall clarity and speed while offering a different kind of sound compared to my other headphones.

I wouldn't say I'm impressed yet but my opinion might change later. I hope to write more about the HE-5 at some point. I will not be answering any questions until then.
Well I would assume it's not as good as rare headphones that cost more than twice as much... I would be more interested to know how it compares to its real competitors. Those would be anything used or new for under $1000... not the Qualia or O2 for sure. I got my AD2000 being shipped right now so i would be interested to hear your thoughts on that comparison
post #1528 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post
I ordered a HE-5 not too long ago and received it recently. Mine is re-cabled with the APureSound V3. I've previously heard the HE-5 at a couple of meets and I thought it was promising, which led me to buy one.

I have 2 days of listening on the HE-5 so far. Source is the Plinius CD-101 and amp is a Rockhopper Balanced M3 (running in single-ended mode for now).

I'm still not completely sure what to make of the HE-5 yet. Initial impressions are tepidly positive though - it does sound fairly good compared to what I think should be standard for headphones in this price range (over $500 that is) but it's not perfect in all areas. I also find that it seems unable to match the particular strengths of some of my other headphones - the Stax OII MKI (amped by the HeadAmp BHSE) on one side and Qualia 010, HP1000/HP2, JH13, and (AT) AD2000 on the other. The HE-5 is good on its own though and has very good overall clarity and speed while offering a different kind of sound compared to my other headphones.

I wouldn't say I'm impressed yet but my opinion might change later. I hope to write more about the HE-5 at some point. I will not be answering any questions until then.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts Asr.
post #1529 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyriel0 View Post
HE-5's don't take anywhere near 2 watts or even one watt. Its rated 87db at 1 mw. 90db = 2mw / 93db = 4mw / 96 = 8mw / 99 = 16 mw.

Even K1000's only take 400mw for 100db. How on earth do you think the HE-5 takes 2 watts?
Those numbers are relevant at the frequency used to perform the sensitivity measurement. Usually (though I don't know for sure in this case), that's a 1kHz test tone. But it's well known that bass frequencies require considerably more current draw from the amp. And there's also the fact that this is an orthomagnetic driver, where the power-vs-spl curves may be different from the usual dynamic drivers.

I can personally attest to the fact the the HE-5 requires more power than my Jade tube amp can deliver. This amp works beautifully with e.g. K701 or D5000, but was clearly underpowered for the HE-5 - especially when the bass was strong. I had to turn the volume nearly all the way up with HE-5, compared to usually ~1-2 o'clock position for the others. It was ok when music was just vocals or something, but as soon as you add a string bass or some low instruments (I listen to classical), it starts clipping and the bass is obviously distorted.

Now maybe the EF-5 is a little overkill; even on the low gain setting I never go above about 10 o'clock on the volume knob with the HE-5. But the bass response is clean and tight.

So, while perhaps 2 watts maybe an overstatement, it's pretty clear that the HE-5 require more current than most standard dynamic headphones, IMHO something with a higher average power rating in order to have adequate current draw esp. for bass response.
post #1530 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulyT View Post
Now maybe the EF-5 is a little overkill; even on the low gain setting I never go above about 10 o'clock on the volume knob with the HE-5. But the bass response is clean and tight.
It totally depends on the source. I have used four different DACs with the EF5, and the volume with the HE-5s was all over the place.

With the Maverick D1 on "bypass", my experience was like yours, as it has a very "hot" line out.

The Penguin DAC Cable (2nd edition) was not enough, actually had to turn it past 3 o'clock.

The Nuforce uDac did okay, with the variable pot.

The Matrix Mini is my best source, and it's right in between, just right
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