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New Hifiman HE-5LE planar magnetic headphone - Page 94

post #1396 of 1911

Man I wish, I can build the cables, but I don't have the equipment =/
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by captouch View Post

Anyone done SE vs balanced comparisons on this? Wondering if it makes a big difference.


 

post #1397 of 1911

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

Man I wish, I can build the cables, but I don't have the equipment =/
 



 


Well, I don't have a balanced amp anyway, but I was just wondering.  redface.gif

 

I'm still looking for ways to tune the 5LE sound a bit more to my liking.  

 

With the EF5, I'm still finding them a bit harsh/sibilant on some recordings up top, a little lean in the mids, and lacking bass weight down low.  I haven't done a lot of tube rolling yet - maybe that will help.  I'm using an old Mullard 12AU7 and an AD797 opamp - I'm thinking maybe I should go back stock to the Full Music 12AU7 and the OP275 to get some smoothness back.  Or at least start there as Hifiman intended it and then make changes from that baseline.

 

Right now, I'm also using the SE cord, which initially I found to be brighter than the balanced cord with SE adaptor, but later when I compared, I wasn't so sure there was really a difference.  I was also able to get a silver SE cord directly from Hifiman as well - which I ordered before I got the actual phones because I was actually afraid they'd be too dark and the silver might brighten them up.  But strangely enough, I didn't find the silver to be any brighter at all - maybe even the opposite.  

 

So basically, I've got too many variables and unfortunately it takes too long (for me) to switch between cables, tubes, and opamps to really do meaningful comparisons.  

 

Then read Scottiebaby say that running speaker taps off a Sansui AU517 tames the sibilance and has great synergy - but do I really want to spring for a vintage speaker amp (though it's really not that expensive compared to HP amps).  

 

Think I'll probably play around with different combinations and see what helps tame the highs, fill out the mids, and add weight to the low end.

 

You haven't got your HE-500's have you?

 

 

 

post #1398 of 1911

Not yet, everything shipped on the 14th... get this, everything will arrive on the 20th.. man what are paying UPS for if they're slower and more expensive than USPS? I used to use UPS to ship booze since it's illegal to use the USPS for that, but I started using USPS and nothing has ever arrived broken or late ever...

 

I have an HE-500, Schiit Lyr, Nuforce HDP, Millet Max, Moon Silver Dragon, and Schiit Bifrost to play with on Tuesday. I also have my own personal cables to play with but I can't write about those.

 

The Schiit Bifrost comes on Tuesday, if it's worse than the HDP, I'm just gonna go buy what I know works, a Meier StageDAC.. I'm hoping that by cutting the USB as a standard input, they were able to build a very good, possibly flagship DAC for that kind of money.

 

I'll discuss the HE-5LE related findings on Tuesday, it's quite an exciting day for me.

 

As for the EF5 getting bright.. see I thought it was because the HDP was giving not enough power since I get the same thing.. but apparently on the EF5 which is supposed to be a monster of a tube amp for the cashmoneys it gets all bright and sibilant near the end too? Maybe thats what they mean by "restoring balance" with the new model. The thing is many people considered the HE-5LE superior to the HD800's back in the day which of course is great to hear if you're a HifiMan headphone owner, but it always feels like you're one step behind on your gear when you own these headphones and it's a bit discomforting.

post #1399 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

As for the EF5 getting bright.. see I thought it was because the HDP was giving not enough power since I get the same thing.. but apparently on the EF5 which is supposed to be a monster of a tube amp for the cashmoneys it gets all bright and sibilant near the end too? Maybe thats what they mean by "restoring balance" with the new model. The thing is many people considered the HE-5LE superior to the HD800's back in the day which of course is great to hear if you're a HifiMan headphone owner, but it always feels like you're one step behind on your gear when you own these headphones and it's a bit discomforting.

 

I don't know if it was my imagination, but going back to the stock tube and opamp on the EF5 seems to have helped.  I've seen it written that the EF5 is a warm amp - perhaps by my changing the opamp and tube I made it more aggressive, which doesn't give the best synergy with the 5LE.  

 

Looking forward to hearing your impressions on HE-500 vs 5LE around Tuesday.  Have fun!
 

 

post #1400 of 1911

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by captouch View Post

Anyone done SE vs balanced comparisons on this? Wondering if it makes a big difference.



I just hooked up the HifiMAN adapter to my speaker taps and listened to the HE-5LE, balanced, for a while last night. 

 

Much, much quieter background, better separation between instruments/performers.  The sound, while more authoritative and confident on a macro scale, was also more delicate with fine details at the micro level.

 

The problems:

  • The cable with the 4-pin balanced plug is the less capable--to my ears--than the SE cable that came with the HE-5LE.
  • I am listening to SE output directly through my souped-up Bada PH-12, and the balanced output through the adapter and an AMC (50 wpc) integrated, hooked up with python-girth Virtue Audio Nirvana speaker cable--the only thing I have on hand for the time being.  (Also, for the latter configuration, I use the Bada as a "pre-amp", connected from its headphone out via a 1/4" to 2xRCA adapter and OCC interconnects to the AMC.) 
  • The extra ancillaries (adapter box, speaker cables, integrated) in balanced mode add their own signature to the sound which, in some respects, is inferior to the sound in SE mode direct from the Bada.  For example, soundstage is less expansive and bass is not as extended while listening through the "box".

 

Actually, point three is a testament to the HE-5LE's giving you a very honest appraisal of anything you place upstream in your system.  With a better headphone cable, a better integrated (I'm looking at the Qinpu A-1.0x) and better links between speaker outs and the adapter, the balanced route could be truly exceptional.  But do I want to do all those upgrades to accommodate the HE-5LE (and subsequently the HE-6)?  Or shall I get the HE-500 and run them directly (SE) from the Bada? 

 

Ideally, I would get the HE-6, together with a very good tube integrated and go balanced directly from the speaker taps.


Edited by pataburd - 3/20/12 at 6:22am
post #1401 of 1911

There are some posts (from not too long ago) in the HE-6 thread detailing what kind of resistors one should be using to avoid the Hifiman adapter box which tends to impart it's own signature on the system.  Pictures and instructions too I recall.  That's probably a better option than the box (which is pricey too for a couple of resistors in parallel).  

post #1402 of 1911

Um Chris_Himself, it's now Tuesday.  Time to pull out your new HE-500s and your Schiit and provide us with some impressions.  eek.gif   wink.gif

post #1403 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

There are some posts (from not too long ago) in the HE-6 thread detailing what kind of resistors one should be using to avoid the Hifiman adapter box which tends to impart it's own signature on the system.  Pictures and instructions too I recall.  That's probably a better option than the box (which is pricey too for a couple of resistors in parallel).  


The correct resistors are the "wire wound" resistors that are sold by Radio Shack.  100 Ohm, 10 Watt, sand-cast resistors.  Install on of them in-line on the right positive wire and one in-line on the left positive wire.  A pair of the resistors (Cat # 271-135) sell for $2.19 at the store.

 

post #1404 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

Um Chris_Himself, it's now Tuesday.  Time to pull out your new HE-500s and your Schiit and provide us with some impressions.  eek.gif   wink.gif


I am a man of my word. Impressions will have to wait for later, but for not the HE-500 is not a gigantic departure from the HE-5LE as I was hoping it would be. I might even be so crazy to say that it's an HE-5LE with dialed back treble and a slightly more rich lower midrange..

 

I was more excited for the amp than the HE-500's truthfully, I mean LOOK at it!

 

Picture 81.jpgPicture 82.jpgPicture 83.jpgPicture 84.jpg
 

 

post #1405 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post


I am a man of my word. Impressions will have to wait for later, but for not the HE-500 is not a gigantic departure from the HE-5LE as I was hoping it would be. I might even be so crazy to say that it's an HE-5LE with dialed back treble and a slightly more rich lower midrange..

 

I was more excited for the amp than the HE-500's truthfully, I mean LOOK at it!

 

Picture 81.jpgPicture 82.jpgPicture 83.jpgPicture 84.jpg
 

 


Thank you for the great initial follow-up.  You have some bangin' gear at the moment.  Very nice!

 

post #1406 of 1911

My assessment of the 5LE after using it for awhile was the highs were a little bit hot, the mids a little lean, and the bottom lacking some weight.  Been playing around with cords, as well as tubes and opamps in my EF5, trying to get a warmer sound.  I haven't done anything really scientific or meticulous, but the stock Full Music tube and stock OP275 seemed to actually give me the warmest sound, which helped a bit with the highs, but I still wished for a way to fill out the mids and add heft to the lows.

 

Earlier, in another thread, I was saying how the HP out of the Audio GD NFB-12 DAC was not very good for the HD650 because I felt it took too much off the top, sacrificed detail, though it had noticeably more low end oomph versus my Crack and EF5.  The HD650 not being terribly bright, having more subtle detail level, and already having pretty strong bass didn't sound very dynamic with the NFB-12 HP out (though the DAC portion going into another amp was fine).  The HP out actually worked OK with my DT880's.

 

Turns out it actually works out quite well with the 5LE's too!  It calms the highs, fills the mids, and adds more weight to the lower frequencies.  Guess this is what they mean by synergy!  smily_headphones1.gif

 

Anyone else try the NFB-12 with the 5LE's?  I'd like to hear other's opinions on this.

 

 

post #1407 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

Man I wish, I can build the cables, but I don't have the equipment =/
 


Chris,

 

I just did some quick math.  If I were to opt for a set of balanced cables for my HE-5LE constructed of double helix, and then get an appropriate extension cable made, let's say 10 - 12 feet, I'd probably be looking at taking out a 2nd mortgage on my house.  Maybe, not as much with the double helix option, but I know the 99.995% silver solution with Teflon coated braided cable for the cable and the extension would at least have me eating Ramen for the next half a decade.  I want to jump into a nice 6 or 8 foot cable, but there's many times when I need a much longer length due to the other areas I could roam to in my place to sit with the headphones on.

 

post #1408 of 1911


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post


Chris,

 

I just did some quick math.  If I were to opt for a set of balanced cables for my HE-5LE constructed of double helix, and then get an appropriate extension cable made, let's say 10 - 12 feet, I'd probably be looking at taking out a 2nd mortgage on my house.  Maybe, not as much with the double helix option, but I know the 99.995% silver solution with Teflon coated braided cable for the cable and the extension would at least have me eating Ramen for the next half a decade.  I want to jump into a nice 6 or 8 foot cable, but there's many times when I need a much longer length due to the other areas I could roam to in my place to sit with the headphones on.

 



I have a 10ft Moon Audio Silver Dragon V3 that I'm willing to part with if youre interested. It's terminated in a Furutech FP-704, but I'd be glad to reterminate it to a pair of XLR's of your choice mate. 

post #1409 of 1911

My second set of 4-pin Neutrik XLR connectors arrived this morning.  I'll be able to get my speaker taps built this weekend so I can test out the balanced cable option to see how the sound varies.

post #1410 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post


I am a man of my word. Impressions will have to wait for later, but for not the HE-500 is not a gigantic departure from the HE-5LE as I was hoping it would be. I might even be so crazy to say that it's an HE-5LE with dialed back treble and a slightly more rich lower midrange..

 

I was more excited for the amp than the HE-500's truthfully, I mean LOOK at it!

 


Chris, what are the latest impressions of 500 vs 5LE? Thanks.
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