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New Hifiman HE-5LE planar magnetic headphone - Page 95

post #1411 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by captouch View Post


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


I believe I've had a "hint" of the variations.  Though, personally, I don't think for myself, selling my HE-5LE to then have to come up with a few more hundred dollars to jump to a new pair of HE-500s is in the cards.  When taking the proper time, I've really enjoyed the HE-5LE.  The sound is something I can really appreciate and even if the variations were there, it still may not mean that the differences are something I'd love and might totally regret making the switch.  So, for now, the HE-5LEs are staying put and I'll be enjoying my favorite songs on them. 

post #1412 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post


I believe I've had a "hint" of the variations.  Though, personally, I don't think for myself, selling my HE-5LE to then have to come up with a few more hundred dollars to jump to a new pair of HE-500s is in the cards.  When taking the proper time, I've really enjoyed the HE-5LE.  The sound is something I can really appreciate and even if the variations were there, it still may not mean that the differences are something I'd love and might totally regret making the switch.  So, for now, the HE-5LEs are staying put and I'll be enjoying my favorite songs on them. 



HE-500 is fuller, more robust, but after the HE-5LE, it almost feels artificially so like the HE-5LE was trimmed back to come off as more "polite" to compensate for it's less-than-stellar efficiency. Once you get it right the clarity of the treble and brighter presentation present to me more resolution. Sorry, I must have used every audiophile buzz-word in the book in that last sentence...

 

But basically by having LESS inherent bass and lower midrange, you're painting a bigger picture with a fountain pen instead of a watercolor brush. The lines are more refined, albeit harsh sometimes, but that is the reality of music.

 

I believe I prefer the HE-500 MORE.. but the HE-5LE needs to be compared side by side, not as the HE-5LE's senior. 

 

$200... thats up to you if thats worth it for different and if you are not enjoying the HE-5LE for what it is, I would consider the HE-500 then the LCD-2 (most impact of them all). For me I don't really look at the $200 price difference at all since I spend more money on dumb **** these days, if thats what it costs, thats just what I have to pay, not that I understand what it exactly pays for.

 

The HE-500 I prefer slightly to the LCD-2... again the bass impact is very vivid and unreal which creeps up into your midrange which has a lot of thump lower down, impact in the middle, and then finally a polite warm treble that seems to cut off a bit too early for my ears being a Grado listener.

 

Again, my word is no absolute I have just stated my preferences and none of these headphones are better than the other. It's essentially the trifecta of audio perfection depending on your taste. I come from a long line of Grado, Etymotic, and HD600 so you can immediately see how I come up with my impressions.

 

I have not listened to the HE-5LE since Tuesday, I will revisit to finalize my thoughts.

post #1413 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by captouch View Post

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.

 

 


No experience with the NFB-12,  but I found similar improvements from the HE-5LE by pairing it with an Asgard vs. running out of an HDP. Wish I still had the HE-5LE.

 

post #1414 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post



HE-500 is fuller, more robust, but after the HE-5LE, it almost feels artificially so like the HE-5LE was trimmed back to come off as more "polite" to compensate for it's less-than-stellar efficiency. Once you get it right the clarity of the treble and brighter presentation present to me more resolution. Sorry, I must have used every audiophile buzz-word in the book in that last sentence...

 

But basically by having LESS inherent bass and lower midrange, you're painting a bigger picture with a fountain pen instead of a watercolor brush. The lines are more refined, albeit harsh sometimes, but that is the reality of music.

 

I believe I prefer the HE-500 MORE.. but the HE-5LE needs to be compared side by side, not as the HE-5LE's senior. 

 

$200... thats up to you if thats worth it for different and if you are not enjoying the HE-5LE for what it is, I would consider the HE-500 then the LCD-2 (most impact of them all). For me I don't really look at the $200 price difference at all since I spend more money on dumb **** these days, if thats what it costs, thats just what I have to pay, not that I understand what it exactly pays for.

 

The HE-500 I prefer slightly to the LCD-2... again the bass impact is very vivid and unreal which creeps up into your midrange which has a lot of thump lower down, impact in the middle, and then finally a polite warm treble that seems to cut off a bit too early for my ears being a Grado listener.

 

Again, my word is no absolute I have just stated my preferences and none of these headphones are better than the other. It's essentially the trifecta of audio perfection depending on your taste. I come from a long line of Grado, Etymotic, and HD600 so you can immediately see how I come up with my impressions.

 

I have not listened to the HE-5LE since Tuesday, I will revisit to finalize my thoughts.

 

Chris,  Thanks for your response in the forum and providing your impressions.  In my case, the used market for the HE-500 is pretty dry.  Meanwhile, the HE-5LE is selling for somewhere between $420 - $460.  If this is the case, then my jump might actually be closer to $300.  Now, I don't have my own budget to worry about, because if that was the case, I could just go and order the "top 5" top of the line headphones and have my fun as well as ordering a slew of amps, too.  However, my family has to be considered in my paths and decisions I make.  I can't bankrupt my family in spite of my audio disease.  So, in small steps, I've clearly seen where I can go and levels I can get to.  Earlier today, I had the HE-5LEs on and drove them with my Sansui receiver.  The vocals of Leonard Cohen and Diana Krall were just stunning.  Even coming from the Grado family, I'm still amazed at how well the HE-5LEs can articulate the music so well and make it so pleasing.  

 

With that said, I did get some 4-pin XLR connectors and resistors this week.  I'm going to make the speaker taps to run my HE-5LEs with the stock cable and the XLR connectors to see where the sound heads.  6 Moons had a pretty good review and did note that utilizing the XLR connectors for 2 separate negative connectors instead of "summing" them with a TRS connector did make a difference in sound that could be appreciated.  However, some paint duties will keep me from doing the cable work for a few hours.

 

Now, for a killer combination that I'm realizing a lot of synergy with, happens to be my Fostex T50RPs that I've modified with the general guidelines in the thread on this forum.  I have the HifiMAN EF-2A amp utilized in the combo and think that the pair is superb.  Probably, even a better match than the HE-400s with the EF-2A amplifier.  I need to give my HE-400s some more time to get my hands around the sound a bit more.  I've gotten to a better level of satisfaction with the HE-5LEs, now it's just the HE-400s that need some thought.

 

Again, thanks for your posting.
 

 

post #1415 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).  

Does anyone have an A/B comparison of the Adapter Box compared to the speaker taps? I recently purchased an adapter box and am amazed at how good the the HE5LE's sound powered by full size 2 channel amps; Also amazed at how much power it takes to make the HE5LE's  sound their best. 

However if speaker taps sound better...

 

 

post #1416 of 1911

Running the HE-5LE to speaker taps is the $20 solution to a potentially $500-1000 problem, everybody who owns it should be fervently trying to snatch these adapters up.

post #1417 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

Running the HE-5LE to speaker taps is the $20 solution to a potentially $500-1000 problem, everybody who owns it should be fervently trying to snatch these adapters up.


Hey Chris, where do you know where to buy these speaker taps?  Or do you sell them (if so, I'll PM you). rolleyes.gif

 

Also, what are your latest thoughts on HE-500 vs HE-5LE?

 

post #1418 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by captouch View Post


Hey Chris, where do you know where to buy these speaker taps?  Or do you sell them (if so, I'll PM you). rolleyes.gif

 

Also, what are your latest thoughts on HE-500 vs HE-5LE?

 


Eh? Hifiman makes an adapter. although I'm pretty sure I could just build it, what in the heck do these things look like? I could be convinced to do it for some sandwich money :)

 

(I'm a food motivated individual)

 

HE-5LE and HE-500 are equals, which is weird. HE-500 is the same headphone with a bit of meat to it, I wrote a huge thing on it already!

 

The HE-5LE is on it's way to Pandab55 for him to keep, I decided on the HE-500 just so he could have that headphone, otherwise it'd be sort of a difficult decision. The HE-500 doesn't feel like the true successor though.. that must be music to you HE-5LE havers

 

post #1419 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post


Eh? Hifiman makes an adapter. although I'm pretty sure I could just build it, what in the heck do these things look like? I could be convinced to do it for some sandwich money :)

 

(I'm a food motivated individual)

 

HE-5LE and HE-500 are equals, which is weird. HE-500 is the same headphone with a bit of meat to it, I wrote a huge thing on it already!

 

The HE-5LE is on it's way to Pandab55 for him to keep, I decided on the HE-500 just so he could have that headphone, otherwise it'd be sort of a difficult decision. The HE-500 doesn't feel like the true successor though.. that must be music to you HE-5LE havers

 


Thanks Chris. You had said earlier you'd revisit the 5LE and post thoughts - just wondering if anything had changed. Nice to hear their just different flavors - makes me feel better about the 5LE's though I've been warming to them more and more anyway on the NFB-12.
post #1420 of 1911

I'm also still a big fan of the HE-5LE, which is superb out of my ZDT amp, and still quite punchy and quick from my EF5 amp.

post #1421 of 1911

Jonlereux,
     Yes.  And I just sent back my HifiMAN adapter for a refund.

     I A/B-ed the adapter against a Cardas-wired speaker tap (with Neutrik 4-pin XLR) that I bought from cantsleep, and there was no contest.  By comparison, the adapter box sounded small, thin and shrill.  I boxed up and shipped the HFM box the very next day.

     Hiflight built me an OFC speaker tap from professional grade microphone wire and with a Neutrik jack, which I plan to A/B against the Cardas after Easter.

     My advice is: get a decent speaker tap.  It will be less expensive (about 1/3 to 1/2 the price) and will perform better--it's a lot simpler, too--than the HFM adapter box.

     The HE-5LE definitely sound their best through a power amp. (I am using a 50wpc AMC integrated, with my Bada PH-12 serving as a "pre-amp".)  I have a Qinpu A-1.0X on order, and can't wait to hear how the 5LE respond.  They are great(!) at revealing upstream changes--the effects of swapping tubes, cables, sources are readily and clearly apparent. 

     As the hours accrue on my HE-5LE (maybe around 150+ by now), they just seem to sound better and better.   : )

 

Patrick

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonlereux View Post

Does anyone have an A/B comparison of the Adapter Box compared to the speaker taps? I recently purchased an adapter box and am amazed at how good the the HE5LE's sound powered by full size 2 channel amps; Also amazed at how much power it takes to make the HE5LE's  sound their best. 

However if speaker taps sound better...

 

 



 


Edited by pataburd - 4/5/12 at 8:50am
post #1422 of 1911

Here's the information on the HifiMAN amp to headphone adapter.  It's on the HifiMAN web site under amplifiers for $99.00.

 

 

 

Overview:

 

HE-Adapter is a device to protect amplfiers and headphones when using a speaker amplifier to drive HE-6, HE-5LE and HE-4 headphones.

 

Specifications:

 

Input: Speaker Connector
output: 4 pin XLR
Resistors in parallel: 10 Ohm
Resistors in series: 25 Ohm

Size: 16.5 cm * 12.2 cm * 7.5 cm or 6.5 inch * 4.8 inch * 2.9 inch
Weight: 542 g or 1.2 lb

HE-Adapter is not for any high or average efficiency headphones, such as HE-300 and HE-500.

 

 

hifiman1.JPGhifiman2.JPGhifiman3.JPG


Edited by wje - 4/6/12 at 5:02pm
post #1423 of 1911
Thanks Wje. Sounds like it might add some color and speaker taps might be a good option. Not sure how much better going from full size amp will be versus my NFB-12 or EF5. Will see if I can pick up a vintage amp then worry about the speaker tap cable next.
post #1424 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by captouch View Post

Thanks Wje. Sounds like it might add some color and speaker taps might be a good option. Not sure how much better going from full size amp will be versus my NFB-12 or EF5. Will see if I can pick up a vintage amp then worry about the speaker tap cable next.


The only thing to worry about with a vintage amp, is the possibility of having to rebuild some of the innards.  I love vintage gear, but at some point, the caps will need replacing as well as other components, too.  In my case, my Sansui was the best option in the world with my Grado / Magnums.  However, with the HifiMAN being more demanding, I started to pick up some noise (slight hiss) between tracks of my music.  I suspect a lot of it has to do with the lesser efficient HifiMAN HE-5LE and the requirement of using more volume, which is increasing the background noise level, too.

 

But, nothing beats the looks and general performance of vintage gear.  My Sansui 881 receiver, which was their top of the line model back in 1986, produced 63 watts per channel.  The MSRP on it was $530.00.  In today's dollars, I guess that would put the cost at somewhat north of $2,200 - $2,500.  With that taken into consideration, it may be well worth it to take on a vintage piece and invest the $100 - $150 in components, if you have the capability of taking the receiver apart, fully cleaning it and replacing the capacitors, etc.

 

Good luck !!!

 

 

 

post #1425 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

 

HE-5LE and HE-500 are equals, which is weird. HE-500 is the same headphone with a bit of meat to it, I wrote a huge thing on it already!



That bit of meat is worth 100 grams.  Must be more comfortable (or less uncomfortable) to wear than the heavier HE-500s?


Edited by BrainFood - 4/8/12 at 5:10am
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