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HE-5..initial musings - Page 25

post #361 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanth View Post
But the HE-5's are thin compared to most dynamics, nature of the beast!
That has not been my experience; but we all hear things differently.
post #362 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanth View Post
But the HE-5's are thin compared to most dynamics, nature of the beast!
Thin trebles? or something else?
I havent heard a HE5, but I dont think you can attribute it to the nature of the beast (if you are meaning their planar nature). Ortho/Isodynamics are not all like electrostats, in some can whack it out. And sound v.full.
post #363 of 1668
Indeed one of the most impressive things to me about the LCD-2 when I heard it at RMAF was the tremendous bass impact it achieved without bleeding into the mids and while still retaining remarkable quickness.
post #364 of 1668
Ordered the HE-5 on 11/6 . Don't know what to expect for shipping times. =)

Will be driving them with a wa22 (also on order). PS DL3 + Cullen3 already sitting in my rack.

Anxiously waiting for recablers to come up with a balanced set of cables.
post #365 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinker View Post
This means that we either have different headphones or the HE-5 will be the most amp related headphones out there, i dont see other conclusion.
I suspect that you are right - there is going to be a slight variation across the headphones and our perceptions of sound differ. Probably one of the most inflammatory proponents in this audio hobby stems from our subjective perceptions. The other side of the sword is that it is an essential component for our enjoyment and I for one am very pleased that you hear what you hear, I only wish the HE5 was the nirvana of headphones for me.



For those that do hear the slight edginess, I have an orthotrick for you to try. I suspect that the peak stems from the clunky connector housing. Try placing a small round sticker ( about the size of a nickel) in the middle of the ear side of the driver. I would try placing it on the inside of the ear pad to start - if it makes a difference , play with the size until you hit the sweet spot, then move it behind the pad ( out of sight and mind )

..dB
post #366 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by dBel84 View Post
For those that do hear the slight edginess, I have an orthotrick for you to try. I suspect that the peak stems from the clunky connector housing. Try placing a small round sticker ( about the size of a nickel) in the middle of the ear side of the driver. I would try placing it on the inside of the ear pad to start - if it makes a difference , play with the size until you hit the sweet spot, then move it behind the pad ( out of sight and mind )

..dB
This did cross my mind..exact same trick am using on my SFI Pickering to tame that edginess in the treble and it works great.
Edit: Come to think of it, I think i went with this after I saw it on your own SFI pucks
This is an easily reversible mod so definitely worth a shot.
post #367 of 1668
Very interesting. I will try this.

It is true, we hear differently for one thing, either how the signal is sent and/or how the signal is interpreted. Moreover, we have different gear which also adds to the variation. Now, I'm not alone in thinking the highs aren't perfect, Beagle was with me last night as we evaluated against the PS-1000 and the HD800s. What is interesting is that both of us found that the HE5 offers an interesting perspective, some may call it a truth or transparency to the music, as if a layer is stripped away. This is infective and addictive. At the same time, there is also a sense of musicality that is lost (we are talking degrees not absolutes) as compared with the PS-1000s.

Now, both Beagle and I are fans of Grado and the house sound, the sense of music and life-likeness that one often hears with this company's phones, and in many respects this is what keeps them around for me over other offerings. The HE5, when I mentioned it was thin, I meant again, in comparison, not absolutely. I will note that the HD800s come across as quite a bit thinner sounding throughout the spectrum than the HE5 and save for the incredible space they offer they aren't my cup of tea, at least not with something like the HE5 in existence. The headstaging and imaging of the HD800s is a grand forte of those phones, very similar to how I feel about the R10's. The HD800s also have a deep, tight bass, but as Beagle mentioned yesterday, many often use the word "tight" when they really mean anaemic or lacking, I do feel this with regards to the HD800s for some tracks, where it takes more volume to get those bass lines to come through. When they do, they hit fast, excellent attack with above average weight, but the decay is rather non-existent. Something I would have expected from an ortho, but it is not the case with the HE5's which have ample bass. If they have ample bass (and they really do), how then could I term them thin? Well, if one listens to a track, for example a string selection, where most of the notes are in the upper registers, it is easier to describe that sound, and comparing them with the PS-1000s and the HD800s, the HE5's come across as having a more prominent, almost forced (again in comparison) top end and with their lightning speed, which provides ample air, it also detracts somewhat from the overall natural decay of the notes, an attribute which is less so on the HD800s, again something that seems counterintuitive from what I'm hearing down below.

These are strong nitpicks, meaning I'm going deep trying to find faults, mainly because they are such wonderful headphones, I have to justify how not to buy them (I have a loaner pair right now). Still, like anything, no headphone is perfect, and it is good to keep that in perspective. For current offerings, I've not heard a headphone that has the open and 3d headstage that the HD800s present. But other issues with the phones would keep me from purchasing them (like the price), very similar to how I felt about the R10's when they were in production.

The HE5's offer so many attributes of expensive electrstats (and in fact, I prefer these to any electrostatic I've heard which includes the Omega II (first version). They are exceptionally nimble, and warm in comparison throughout the spectrum, their bass is deep, responsive and doesn't overwhelm the upper mids through the upper midrange, which can often happen when bass is not controlled. They do seem to respond best with a solid state amp or at least a hybrid (and I've tested on two hybrids, one includes the EF1 (though it looks like the EF5 on the site?). The EF1 btw is a great little amp with a wonderful rich sound, tonally closer to neutral full tube amp rather than a neutral sounding hybrid or solid state.

For pure finesse, I give highest marks to the HE5 particularly given its price point. The fact that it rocks rather well too means its price to performance goes WAY up in my books. I listened to some Daft Punk after Beagle left, testing the three phones back and forth for about an hour, concentrating on tracks that had heart pounding bass as well as superimposed soundstaging. The HE5s were able to provide a type of coherence through some of the tracks that neither of the other two were able to do (again dealing with degrees here) this despite the sound being particularly closed in in comparison. The "wall of sound" is still very detailed, nimble and the imaging is exquisite. If I were shopping around for a headphone that is a top contender I would be targeting the HE5s because of its sound characteristics, its price, build quality AND its ability to be driven by a regular amp, sure it may need to have lots of guts, but it doesn't have to be a multi-thousand dollar and high voltage outputting beast like electrostats require.

I'll enjoy my time with the HD800s and HE5s, analyzing them more over the next week or so before I have to return them. Have I been presented with a perfect headphone yet? No, but I do think we are getting closer and perhaps orthodynamic technology may be the avenue that produces something as near to perfect as I could want.
post #368 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanth View Post
No, but I do think we are getting closer and perhaps orthodynamic technology may be the avenue that produces something as near to perfect as I could want.
In my experience with Orthos there is a certain glimpse of possibility that exists in their sound. Every one I have heard sounds like it has potential in some way but there has always been at least one compromise. I hope that this second wave of Orthos can reduce these compromises.
post #369 of 1668
^^ Good post Zanth. I'm certainly not saying I think the HE-5 are perfect, either. I didn't think of them as thin, but I think I understand now what you are saying. I don't think of them as lush or ripe in the lower mids at all, and perhaps that is what you find missing. They are definitely a real contrast from the DX1000 in that way.
post #370 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by JadeEast View Post
In my experience with Orthos there is a certain glimpse of possibility that exists in their sound. Every one I have heard sounds like it has potential in some way but there has always been at least one compromise. I hope that this second wave of Orthos can reduce these compromises.
I agree with you, although based on very limited exposure myself to orthos. The biggest drawback for me has often been that they sounded a little congested - this new wave now has huge drivers that are placed reasonably far from the ear and I think this helps a great deal.
post #371 of 1668
Thread Starter 
The UPS man left the First Watt today, but of course I'm awaiting the arrival of my cabled phones.

The HE-5's do have a chalk like, slight syrupish quality. The hardness diminished when re-playing the same movement of Music with a reduced gain, ergo...either amp compression or panel resonance.

I would love to have them here to hear....if power won't cure the ills, the Audeze might.
post #372 of 1668
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dBel84 View Post
I suspect that you are right - there is going to be a slight variation across the headphones and our perceptions of sound differ. Probably one of the most inflammatory proponents in this audio hobby stems from our subjective perceptions. The other side of the sword is that it is an essential component for our enjoyment and I for one am very pleased that you hear what you hear, I only wish the HE5 was the nirvana of headphones for me.



For those that do hear the slight edginess, I have an orthotrick for you to try. I suspect that the peak stems from the clunky connector housing. Try placing a small round sticker ( about the size of a nickel) in the middle of the ear side of the driver. I would try placing it on the inside of the ear pad to start - if it makes a difference , play with the size until you hit the sweet spot, then move it behind the pad ( out of sight and mind )

..dB
Blunt the leading edge of the panel resonance...GREAT IDEA!
post #373 of 1668
edit - took me a while to respond , much has passed between zanth's post and my response lol.

ps - great news on the First Watt's arrival. One thing I should point out - this is a transconductance amplifier - driving current and not voltage , I have wondered many times how it fares as well as it is said to with headphones but perhaps this is exactly what the HE5 needs??


Thanks for your insights Zanth. I wish I could have spent more time with them and tease out the nuances. I had a pretty good feel for them but it is only when you have something in your system for an extended period that the subtleties truly show themselves.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanth View Post
The EF1 btw is a great little amp with a wonderful rich sound, tonally closer to neutral full tube amp rather than a neutral sounding hybrid or solid state.
having experimented a lot with hybrids, both simple and complex, I suspect that the EF1 is in many ways similar to the YAHA. The low plate voltages "compress" the sound a little giving it that lovely tone people find appealing in some tube amps. The opamp buffer will impart a significant sonic character to the amp as well and not ever having played with the OP265 , I cannot say much about it. I thought that H-D may have moved towards a higher current buffer stage for the EF5 ( and that may well be the case ) since the orthos respond well to more available current. Is it worth the price tag?? for a commercial amp, probably but in the DIY world it would be considered a first tier hybrid which could be built for less than $100. AND I know this is not a rational comparison as DIY does not factor in any of the hidden costs of commerce. The higher you push the plate voltage on these hybrids, the more the sound opens up and the subtleties (microdetail) begin to crystallize. This is the journey I have followed building these amps; good HV supply and optimized discrete buffer design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanth View Post
Have I been presented with a perfect headphone yet? No, but I do think we are getting closer and perhaps orthodynamic technology may be the avenue that produces something as near to perfect as I could want.
you are not alone ..dB
post #374 of 1668
Thread Starter 
Max output +/-13 V and 5 amp peak to peak. About 13db gain. This is a JFet base..not Mosfet and should offer about 10 watts (RMS) into this load and remain fairly stable. For the given bias it offers less distortion than the typical Mosfet used. A more organic presentation than the typical First Watt offerings also.

I have several Home-Brew horns that it is compatible with if any concerns are raised. But Alan Wey (of First Watt) and I talked at length about this and he believed it would be a good choice for the needs. If not I have a LFD integrated that will suffice. It's the best integrated I have heard (this coming from a Man that hates integrateds) and does Bedroom duty with the baby Harbeths.
post #375 of 1668
Bah , integrateds get a bad wrap but I think if they are designed for the task at hand, they offer the best solution - short signal paths, compact form ( in most cases ) . Anyway, sounds like you are in the know and in good company, Harbeth's have been one of my all time favourite speakers since entering this insane hobby many moons ago.

Do let us know how it all pans out when you have had the time to process everything..dB
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