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HE-5..initial musings - Page 54

post #796 of 1668
Before I've received the EF-5, the HE-5 were quite harsh and sibilant on some recordings to my ears. After pairing it with the EF-5 amp, the harshness was tamed quite a bit to the point where it's really enjoyable to listen to. In addition, I could hear more details, mids were pushed forward, smoother sounding and wider soundstage.
post #797 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamahome77 View Post
Before I've received the EF-5, the HE-5 were quite harsh and sibilant on some recordings to my ears. After pairing it with the EF-5 amp, the harshness was tamed quite a bit to the point where it's really enjoyable to listen to. In addition, I could hear more details, mids were pushed forward, smoother sounding and wider soundstage.
What was your amplification prior to the EF-5?
post #798 of 1668
A few thoughts on amplification:

1) The HE-5 is a bit bright, kind of like a smoother Grado. Probably not a problem with tube amps, but possibly so with some solid state amps.

2) They like power. Nowhere near the K-1000 level, but a lot of traditional headphone amps, both tube and solid state, will be challenged driving these. Just speculation, but with their low 28 ohm impedance and power hunger, a transformer coupled tube amp will probably perform better than an OTL amp. I started with a 7788 "spud" amp with a 1.25w output. Sounded very nice, but a bit restricted and short on headroom. Something with a real power tube like an EL34 should work well.

3) They like DHT's. I'm currently using a DIY GM70 based ( a large Russian transmitting triode) SET amp. It's overkill, but it really opened things up compared to the 7788 "spud". Fast, open, detailed, yet at the same time warm and lush. A definate "rock and roll" combination!

4) If you get a chance, try a small speaker amp. A few pages back, someone mentioned a "Moth". I bet this would be a great combination.
post #799 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by somestranger26 View Post
What was your amplification prior to the EF-5?
Equipment in my profile. It's a nice budget amp. I also do not like it with SS amps as it's overly bright for me.
post #800 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
Actually, I have mainly been using the HE-5 with my repaired Singlepower Extreme. They sound much better with it than with the Phoenix, although I don't think the Phoenix is bad, but without trying them balanced, no one will know how the Phoenix really can sound with them; the Phoenix is only a good amp single ended. It's a great amp when used balanced.
I can testify that the Phoenix sounds significantly better balanced with the HE5 than SE'd as predicted. More headroom, fuller bass, less hollow sounding, smoother highs, more efficient, etc., most likely due to better driver control from the extra power.

.
post #801 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankCooter View Post
1) The HE-5 is a bit bright, kind of like a smoother Grado. Probably not a problem with tube amps, but possibly so with some solid state amps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamahome77 View Post
Equipment in my profile. It's a nice budget amp. I also do not like it with SS amps as it's overly bright for me.

The word 'bright' seems to be cropping up a bit more than with the first round of impressions. Something for the perspective purchaser to ponder perhaps? I've already ordered though.
post #802 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainFood View Post
The word 'bright' seems to be cropping up a bit more than with the first round of impressions. Something for the perspective purchaser to ponder perhaps? I've already ordered though.
Not really. "Bright" may have been the wrong word to have used. The highs are extended yet smooth. Very nice, unless you're like something really dull like an HD-600. Definately not "bright" like a Grado 325. What kind of amplification you intend to use?
post #803 of 1668
Well, I've played safe and ordered a EF-5, as I'd expect my Berning MicroZ to struggle.

Quite like the idea of trying a SET speaker amp one day, when funds permit.
post #804 of 1668
Well, I can understand where the thought of brightness could come from.. but it is a very mild bright. At least, this is run through my WA6. I'll agree with the idea that with solid state, it has a bit more of a grating feel to the presentation. But if you have a nice tube amp, then there shouldn't be concern. I think calling it a "smoother Grado" is very well on track. I only really have an SR-80 for reference to that, so take that with as many grains of salt as you'd like.
I feel the SR-80s are a really nice headphone, especially for the price. But they are almost headache inducing from the highs at times for me. The HE-5 is nothing like this by comparison, while retaining the personal, close feeling from the SR-80 (and expanding on it).

I don't really want to make too much of a deal of the solid state thing. I have no idea how the HE-5 performs on other solid states outside of my Ultra Micro amp. But it's definitely not something that really bothers me on the UM. The WA6 is just a more pleasant pairing for me. I have a Headamp GS-1 on order that should be here within a few weeks (December/January at latest, says Justin), so potentially it will make the SS experience with the HE-5 drastically different. When I receive it, I'll check the pairing out and see if it's similar to the UM.

I can say though, the HE-5 quickly made a name for itself in my mind. They're definitely not going to be leaving me anytime soon. If anything, it's making me consider selling off my HD800s, which were my go-to cans for just about anything beforehand. The HE-5 are a great value for the price.
post #805 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by immtbiker View Post
Frank is being quite modest. He is a designer and builder of some of the finest sounding and beautiful DIY tube amps in the world.
Holy sh!t those are nice! Do you sell your amps Frank or are they excursively for your own pleasure?
post #806 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankCooter View Post
A few thoughts on amplification:

1) The HE-5 is a bit bright, kind of like a smoother Grado. Probably not a problem with tube amps, but possibly so with some solid state amps.

2) They like power. Nowhere near the K-1000 level, but a lot of traditional headphone amps, both tube and solid state, will be challenged driving these. Just speculation, but with their low 28 ohm impedance and power hunger, a transformer coupled tube amp will probably perform better than an OTL amp. I started with a 7788 "spud" amp with a 1.25w output. Sounded very nice, but a bit restricted and short on headroom. Something with a real power tube like an EL34 should work well.
1. They are bright/sibilant with my mid-centric TU-882, so this may have more to do with tubes vs solid state.

2. Hmm... they actually were at a listenable volume straight out of my Zune (maxed volume) and sounded pretty adequate out of my Nuforce Icon Mobile fed by the Zune.

I definitely agree with you about TC > OTL for these though, when I use high Z mode out of my amp the headphones sort of crackle and stutter because they're not getting enough current.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tamahome77 View Post
Equipment in my profile. It's a nice budget amp. I also do not like it with SS amps as it's overly bright for me.
I'm surprised such a cheap amp could drive them at all.
post #807 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankCooter View Post
I just counted 23 posts in this thread regarding your "painful sibulance". Anybody else getting tired of this? Please just send them back and be done with it. I'll contribute to the postage. I'll bet others will too.
Like this post, it is a response and continued discussion. But sure, I'll finish with it for you since you asked so nicely.
Edit- send postage via cash, I don't take checks.
post #808 of 1668
Well, I have been doing more reading on the HE-5 and I think that the FOTM may be one of the reasons for the hype, but what is definitely the reason for ditching other equipment "just for these" and so, comes from the "new toy syndrome". I think it is logical, as I have experienced -word very valued on this forums- myself.

The first days you see your <<new pair of headphones>> and hold them in your hands, smell the scent of your new product (each one has a different one) and the gorgeous look and finish, you think it sounds glorious. You come to this forums and read some experiences similar to yours and that idea is engraved in your head.

After some time using the headphones you start listening to some brightness, or over bloated bass, or whatever is characteristic from that headphone. Then you add that to how you are feeling that day -it usually happens when you are not feeling as good as the day before-, and the headphones you once thought were the greatest and you no longer need any other headphone in this world becomes annoying to listen to, or it is not perfect any more.

Excuses like burn in, this source, dac, amplifier, cables, ERS paper, ... is your way to give another chance to those headphones or to try and get out of your mistake (of selling everything just for this headphones).

The story repeats itself a lot. If not, people like HPAddict and other guys who have been here for a very very long time would have already settled with a pair a long time ago.

In the end it is tough to admit you have lost money because you are getting "another one of the bunch", and the worst of all is you know you will never find your perfect headphone if you keep thinking like that.

In the end the solution is to enjoy your music with what you have.
Imagine if you could be like one of those guys on the underground wearing ibuds and enjoying there tunes, but knowing you have a very good pair of headphones (don't have to be the best, most expensive or most beautiful ones), they just have to take you away to the universe music is, to that state of joy/happiness and delight.

Well this was unexpected, didn't imagine I would write my thoughts about this on this thread, so not to hijack it, if you feel like commenting on this you can through me a PM and I can start a new thread elsewhere about "head-fi's analysis", or some name like that.
-----------------------0--------------------------

Getting back on track, I do like the driver design, except for the headband and metal pieces that hold the drivers. They look grado-like and they are not the best design, IMO.
post #809 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullseye View Post
Excuses like burn in, this source, dac, amplifier, cables, ERS paper, ... is your way to give another chance to those headphones or to try and get out of your mistake (of selling everything just for this headphones).

Indeed! If you don't like it with gear you liked before - you probably won't ever like it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullseye View Post


The story repeats itself a lot. If not, people like HPAddict and other guys who have been here for a very very long time would have already settled with a pair a long time ago.
Not sure this is true for many, or even most, long-timers. HPAddict I think has, and I *definitely* have long term headphones we're totally happy with (for me the JVC DX1000). I also have owned Beyer DT770, 880, and 990's for a long time. But it's still fun to try new things
post #810 of 1668
Yeah well, I was generalizing. Can't comment individually for each and every member of HF

And I also like trying out new things, but you and others (like HPAddict) get some samples for review, or some models to try and give your opinions about.
I would also enjoy it that way

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
Not sure this is true for many, or even most, long-timers. HPAddict I think has, and I *definitely* have long term headphones we're totally happy with (for me the JVC DX1000). I also have owned Beyer DT770, 880, and 990's for a long time. But it's still fun to try new things
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