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HE-5..initial musings - Page 111

post #1651 of 1668
My HE-5's are on their way back to HeadDirect in NY (30-day refund). I decided that they just weren't working for me. Per previous posts I only used them with the Woo WA6SE, which I felt ran out of steam in most challenging passages, and then with a Rockhopper B22 (3-board) which was plenty of power for them, but made the midrange too aggressive and sibilance definitively an issue. With that amp I'd feel listening fatigue within 5 minutes of putting them on and listening became unpleasant to the point where taking the headphones off was a big relief. I still felt there were things that they do that are just outstanding - I was hearing details that I'd only heard before on GS1k's, though the HE5's more linear than those cans and otherwise nothing like them in terms of overall character.... other than both did well at low-level listening. I will also likely give the HE5LE version a shot because what I was hearing from the HE5's was good enough to pursue this further. The B22 single-ended was definitely amp-enough to drive the HE5's. I'm now listening to that amp with HD600s with a Cardas cable and have no fatigue whatsoever. They certainly do not render detail like the HE5's, but are much easier on the ears. I'm also not hearing the sibilance I was with the HE5's, and with those cans there was also some very odd rendering of electrical instruments with vocals where the electrical instrument turned into a kind of grunge that I would otherwise not identify with a guitar, or with what I was familiar with in the specific recording. I don't think this was for lack of current though. Bass with the HE-5 / B22 combination was ample, tight and controlled. BTW, I experienced no listening fatigue at all with the WA6SE / HE5 combination, though hearing the B22 I can say that the Woo was not as crisp and detailed as those cans are capable of. I also miss aspects of the HE5, but not the fatigue. I hope the LE will be the answer - it sounds promising from the comments on the prototype.
post #1652 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
I tried the HE-5 briefly (single-ended of course) using the P-51 Mustang, and while I thought the sound was pretty good, it was not in the same league as the HE-5 balanced run on the Protector. The HE-5 require more current than a normal portable amp can deliver; the Protector in balanced feeds them enough to make it work well.
Much appreciate your inputs Skylab. Still, I'm wondering how the portable Millett Hybrid would fair if paired with the HE-5. I'm certainly hoping the upcoming LE would be less finicky with amplification.
post #1653 of 1668
As accounts of these headphones suggest that they seem to really benefit from ample current, I wanted to pass along an arrangement I came across in another forum that might work great with these headphones. Running them with a FirstWatt F1 or F2 current source amps. These are unique amps that can only drive single driver designs, and will not work with speakers with any passive crossovers. The 6moons reviews of these are quite comprehensive and even mention using them to drive difficult to drive headphones. For DIYers, boards for these amps are available and there are many threads about building them (as well as lower power versions IIRC) over at diyaudio.com
post #1654 of 1668
I've been listening to the HE-5s with the millett Hybrid MiniMax for about 4 weeks now. I was listening to the HD650 with it before I bought the HE-5. Comparing with the HD650, the HE-5 is more revealing, the top end has more "crisp" than the HD650. Drums are more fun to listen to. This is my first amplifier after simple cmoys however, because of this I don't know any better matches out there. To my ears though, this is a pretty nice combo. I won't be returning my pair.
post #1655 of 1668
I had the pleasure of listening to both the old and new version (prototype) at the recent Qns Head-Fi Meet. Didn't know which was which in a kind of blind test. I used the TTVJ FET class A SS Amp, which has plenty of power. The Rep asked which I preferred and hands down it was the new version. It was a short session but the new version was just more liquid (coherent) if that makes any sense. I actually prefered my Grado RS-2 over the current HE-5
post #1656 of 1668

Comparision of Balanced Protector vs EF-5 w/HE-5's

You find that the Balanced Protector works well with the HE-5. That is good news for using the HE-5's in portable situations.
How would you compare the Balanced Protector/HE-5 sound to the sound of the EF-5/HE-5 combination?
post #1657 of 1668

Since this looks like the HE-5 thread I'll post here. I'm just hoping for a quick opinion here- if I found the dt880 to be a little too harsh/trebley, and the hd650 lovely, but light on the treble, should I be considering picking up a pair of HE-5 or will I be off put by it's treble quantity?


Edited by Zida - 12/11/10 at 12:08am
post #1658 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zida View Post

Since this looks like the HE-5 thread I'll post here. I'm just hoping for a quick opinion here- if I found the dt880 to be a little too harsh/trebley, and the hd650 lovely, but light on the treble, should I be considering picking up a pair of HE-5 or will I be off put by it's treble quantity?


Do you mean HE-5 or HE-5 LE?

 

I found the HE-5 treble to be similar to my APS V3 cabled RS-1, and I still have them and don't think it's too much or too harsh. The HE-5 also had better bass impact than my RS-1, plus the soundstage was larger although with slightly nebulous instrument placement.   Once I had the HE-5 it was easy to sell the RS-1, as the HE-5 were kind of like an RS-1 with bigger soundstage.

 

The HE-5 LE treble is different, and slightly subdued vs the HE-5, but more sparkly than my LCD-2.  The cable from the original HE-5 improves the LE treble quantity, as does removing the grill clothe from behind the drivers.  However, the grill clothe mod cuts the bass a little and I put it back, opting for the cable swap instead.  The HE-5 LE improve on the HE-5 sound with fuller and warmer mids, and more precise image placement.  The HE-5 LE is kind of like a cross between the HD650 and HD600, but with better speed, attack, detail, and transparency than either.  With the old HE-5 cable you can get more treble out of them without it becoming grainy or harsh, and they open up a little too.

post #1659 of 1668

I found that HE-5 recabled with Moon Audio Black Dragon cable is a perfect match in terms of neutrality and live sound. The nasty lift up at upper mids and highs is gone. The frequency balance is very similar to HD800 now with a hint of softening the edges in music. The orchestral performance is almost life-like - you can almost touch it and 'smell' it.

 

The stock silver plated cable is at the bottom of the bad reputation of HE-5, being phones with non-linear frequency response. For serious listening - avoid the stock cable!


Edited by reaction - 12/11/10 at 12:57am
post #1660 of 1668

Ahhh booo. I wasn't planning on modding these.


Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
slightly nebulous instrument placement.


Would you mind explaining a little bit what you mean by that?

A cross between hd600 and hd650 sounds great to me, but it's the HE-5 that I found for sale.

I have never been much of a grado guy. The only grados that I liked were the grados that didn't sound like grado, the HP-1. Does it look more like the HE-5 aren't for me? I'd be looking for these to be an up/side-grade for my HD650

post #1661 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zida View Post

Ahhh booo. I wasn't planning on modding these.


Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
slightly nebulous instrument placement.


Would you mind explaining a little bit what you mean by that?

A cross between hd600 and hd650 sounds great to me, but it's the HE-5 that I found for sale.

I have never been much of a grado guy. The only grados that I liked were the grados that didn't sound like grado, the HP-1. Does it look more like the HE-5 aren't for me? I'd be looking for these to be an up/side-grade for my HD650


"slightly nebulous instrument placement" Meaning that it's sometimes difficult to pinpoint where an instrument's sound is coming from exactly.  This is similar to the imaging with my Stax SR-Lambda.  With the HE-5 LE it's easier to tell if the bass player is in front of the piano, or the piano is behind the vocalist, etc.

 

I did in fact compare the HE-5 to the HP-1, using my Single Power Square Wave XL amp and Eddie Current ZDT amp, and I though the HE-5 were fairly close in performance and tone, but with a little more recessed mids than the HP-1, which would describe the mids of the re-cabled RS-1 with bowl pads.  Many of the other Grados have a peaky and sometimes slightly honky upper mids lower treble to me.

post #1662 of 1668

Hmm, that sounds interesting. Thanks for the advice, but the phones wound up selling while I was busy mulling over 'em. Oh well, there will always be another time!

post #1663 of 1668

A while ago I got my HE-5 stock cable reterminated with a 4 pin XLR plug. Listening through my wa22 I notice a very apparent drop in bass depth, weight and overall snap. Could the cable termination be responsible for this?

 

Thanks in advance.

post #1664 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by ygm View Post

A while ago I got my HE-5 stock cable reterminated with a 4 pin XLR plug. Listening through my wa22 I notice a very apparent drop in bass depth, weight and overall snap. Could the cable termination be responsible for this?

 

Thanks in advance.


Not sure what is up - you could try both impedance settings and see if that makes a difference.  I've used the HE-5 with my balanced HE-5 LE cable on my ZDT and didn't experience any bass loss, but I have not re-terminted the stock cable, nor do I have a WA22 here to try.

post #1665 of 1668
I am thinking about doing a copper cable for my HE-5 to darken it some. Do you suggest it? Anyone has tried that?

I am using Stello DA100 with Meier Concerto
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