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New Hifiman HE-5LE planar magnetic headphone - Page 99

post #1471 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

 

 

I'll even do one better.  I'll take Chris to Cafe Rio, which I refer to as a "Chipotle on Steroids".  I love that place and they're just starting to open up East coast locations.

 

http://www.caferio.com/  tongue.gif

 

It sucks because I have a girlfriend and all we do is eat fancy sh** like steak, seafood, and sushi.. I'm seriously always down 24/7 to eat mexican or cheap chinese food!

post #1472 of 1911

The Qinpu A-1.0X arrived over the weekend.  Very transparent with beautiful tone and timbre, and a great match for the HE-5LE.  Am using highflight's speaker tap adapter cable.  Pat Metheny's "Letter from Home"--I've listened to this disc probably two dozen times over tha past few months--sounds better than ever.

 

Wow!  I am enjoying the 5LE all over again.  Absolutely no regrets, no remorse for having tried and sold the many headphone en route to the 5LE. 

 

. . . end of the road looks like the HE-6 . . . !


Edited by pataburd - 5/3/12 at 1:08pm
post #1473 of 1911

How do these headphones play with metal? I was looking at adding a complimentary set of cans to my 325is and came upon the 500 and 5LE. I've read very little impressions from people who used it with metal, but the reception was very positive, any insight from long time owners?

post #1474 of 1911

I like them, they don't have they edge of the RS-2 but it's still very good.

post #1475 of 1911
I have listened to grados for years but picked up a pair of the inexpensive Fostex orthos, I liked what I heard but even with modifications they weren't right for me. Browsing this forum I ordered a pair of HE-5LE and a Lyr. I am absolutely amazed at the sound, it is the first time I have heard headphones with a sound stage (as opposed to grados) and clear intimate imaging that Grados and speakers reproduce. Now I like these so much I am considering the HE-500 because the reviews online say it is better, but the comparisons to the HD650 turn me off (the senns were aweful to my ears, vieled, distant, no fun.) Has anyone who has a "grado" ear compared the HE-500 to the HE-5LE? . Also has anyone tried the HE5-LE with a 2A3 SET. The 2A3 can comfortably swing around 150V across a 3k primary, with a 38 ohm secondary this would give about 0.9 to 1W before the distortion gets out of hand, a bit on the edge for properly powering the HE5-LE but possibly a match for the HE-500.
post #1476 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by WesternE View Post

I have listened to grados for years but picked up a pair of the inexpensive Fostex orthos, I liked what I heard but even with modifications they weren't right for me. Browsing this forum I ordered a pair of HE-5LE and a Lyr. I am absolutely amazed at the sound, it is the first time I have heard headphones with a sound stage (as opposed to grados) and clear intimate imaging that Grados and speakers reproduce. Now I like these so much I am considering the HE-500 because the reviews online say it is better, but the comparisons to the HD650 turn me off (the senns were aweful to my ears, vieled, distant, no fun.) Has anyone who has a "grado" ear compared the HE-500 to the HE-5LE? . Also has anyone tried the HE5-LE with a 2A3 SET. The 2A3 can comfortably swing around 150V across a 3k primary, with a 38 ohm secondary this would give about 0.9 to 1W before the distortion gets out of hand, a bit on the edge for properly powering the HE5-LE but possibly a match for the HE-500.

 

Welcome to the club.  I'm a former Grado lover turned ortho lover.  To me, the Fostex took some time to break in.  Now, I wouldn't sell mine for $200 - seriously!  I have the HE-5LEs that I'm running off of a Yamaha amp with speaker taps.  I also have the HE-400s, too.  I haven't heard the HE-500s, so I can't provide you with some observational differences between the 500 and the 5LE.  I've been at the crossroads where you are and considered the HE-500, but after reconsidering the $300 or so difference after selling my HE-5LEs, I've decided to keep what I have and enjoy them.

post #1477 of 1911
Some one did a comparison a few pages back and found the 5LEs to be a match to the 500s. Having owned/heard both, I would largely agree. If you're moving up, choose a $1K phone.
post #1478 of 1911

Are any of you guys running them on recables at all? I had the Moon Audio Silver Dragon V3 on it and it was just sublime. It's a subtle change, but once you've grown accustomed to it, it's not one that you can ever let go.. especially considering how easy it is to build one out of the raw cable they sell.

 

I'm gonna go ahead and blow your mind in another way once again.

 

The HE-5LE was to me, better than the HE-500, if the HE-5LE was adorning the Moon cable vs the HE-500's and it's stock one.

 

So it wasn't just a preference thing at that point, favoring speed over strength, but the silver cable adds the strength to the HE-5LE's agility.

post #1479 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

Are any of you guys running them on recables at all? I had the Moon Audio Silver Dragon V3 on it and it was just sublime. It's a subtle change, but once you've grown accustomed to it, it's not one that you can ever let go.. especially considering how easy it is to build one out of the raw cable they sell.

 

I'm gonna go ahead and blow your mind in another way once again.

 

The HE-5LE was to me, better than the HE-500, if the HE-5LE was adorning the Moon cable vs the HE-500's and it's stock one.

 

So it wasn't just a preference thing at that point, favoring speed over strength, but the silver cable adds the strength to the HE-5LE's agility.

 

I was using the HE-6 cable on my HE-500 for months, because the stock cable dulled them down a little and the HE-6 cable sounded more detailed and transparent.  I now have the Moon Audio Silver Dragon V3 convertible cable (can use balanced, single ended, or with SR-71b) and it's better than stock but not a whole lot different from the HE-6 cable.  Both are very good, and I only got the Moon cable for the convenience and features.  I can share the balanced, SE, and SR-71b adapters with my Moon Audio LCD-2 cable.

 

I still like the HE-5 LE and found them to sound better with the original HE-5 cable, so I never bothered to try them with the HE-6 or Moon Audio cable.  In that configuration, with my ZDT amp I preferred the HE-5 LE over my LCD-2 r1 when those were the two best orthodyamics out there, and at RMAF 2010 so did several other people who compared them.  It's kinda nuts that I have all these orthos and can't bring myself to part with any of them (HE-5, HE-5 LE, HE-500, HE-6, LCD-2).  If I had a gun to my head and was told to pick only one, it might have to be the HE-500 for their versatility (in terms of driving them, synergy with amps, and genre they do well).  If I could keep more then HE-6 would be next, then HE-5 LE, then LCD-2, then HE-5.

post #1480 of 1911

I'd keep the HE-5 because honestly I feel that those puppies are pretty collectible for what they are. I know they allegedly had a tendency to go shrill, but it's not like the HE-5LE doesn't either.

 

If I had to keep one headphone forever, it'd be the HE-500 because you can run those well on even portable amps. It sort of comes off as an HD-650 on roids, albeit less comfortable and the SMC connectors kinda make me nervous when I sleep on them, so maybe improve on the connection too. The connectors are cheap anyway though, like $2 a pop, even less if you buy from a wholesale parts distributor.

 

Hifiman definitely makes a diverse array of audiophile oriented products, which is why I trust their headphones to all be good. I had an opportunity to rebuy the R1 LCD-2 for the same price as the HE-500 (yes money is still a problem for me even at this level) so I couldn't say no to a headphone that was universally regarded as superior to the HE-500.

 

Problem is, that I actually do not feel that the LCD-2 is better than the HE-500. They both relatively sound the same to me, the LCD-2 comes off as more dynamic between the two and has the better bass, but I think when powered by a proper amp the HE-500 can begin to break away from the LCD-2 quite audibly.

post #1481 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

I'd keep the HE-5 because honestly I feel that those puppies are pretty collectible for what they are. I know they allegedly had a tendency to go shrill, but it's not like the HE-5LE doesn't either.

 

Like a dummy, I overlooked a package deal here in the FS forum.  The guy was selling a pair of HE-5 headphones (wooden cups, brown leather headband) along with his HE-5LE amplifier for a grand total of $500.  I was basically interested in just the amp and wanted to see if he'd consider splitting the items for the sale.  Needless to say, he didn't want to split the items up and, in turn, time was wasted on my end.  However, if I had just moved ahead and said - "I'll take it", the gear would have been mine for a very fine price.

post #1482 of 1911
Quotes :
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

I still like the HE-5 LE and found them to sound better with the original HE-5 cable, 

 

I believe that was back when HifiMAN was applying sheathing to their cables, correct?  Do you recall what wire or cable they were initially using on the HE-5?

 

Thanks,

post #1483 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

 

I believe that was back when HifiMAN was applying sheathing to their cables, correct?  Do you recall what wire or cable they were initially using on the HE-5?

 

Thanks,

 

It was a silver plated copper.  The wire appears to be braided and then fully enclosed within a full length black heat-shrink like wrapper (which is thin enough to allow you to feel the braided wire inside).

post #1484 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

Are any of you guys running them on recables at all? I had the Moon Audio Silver Dragon V3 on it and it was just sublime. It's a subtle change, but once you've grown accustomed to it, it's not one that you can ever let go.. especially considering how easy it is to build one out of the raw cable they sell.

I'm gonna go ahead and blow your mind in another way once again.

The HE-5LE was to me, better than the HE-500, if the HE-5LE was adorning the Moon cable vs the HE-500's and it's stock one.

So it wasn't just a preference thing at that point, favoring speed over strength, but the silver cable adds the strength to the HE-5LE's agility.

Chris, how did the Moon Audio Silver Dragons compare to your own brand of silver cables?

Does anyone know what brand wire (if any) the stock 5LE XLR and TRS cables use? Just wondering if it's Canare or just Hifiman's house brand. That aftermarket OCC XLR cable Head-direct sells on their site sells costs quite a bit ($149) - anyone compared it to the stock XLR?
post #1485 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post


The HE-5LE was to me, better than the HE-500, if the HE-5LE was adorning the Moon cable vs the HE-500's and it's stock one.

So it wasn't just a preference thing at that point, favoring speed over strength, but the silver cable adds the strength to the HE-5LE's agility.

Despite my saying that I was content with 5LE's and didn't really feel the need to check out the HD-500's even if I got a good deal. . .

Curiousity got the better of me and I picked up a pair of used HE-500's from another Head-Fi'er - they arrived yesterday. They came with the original Canare thick cable, but I have a variety of cables I can use:
* Original balanced 5LE cable
* Original SE 5LE cable
* Silver (or SPC, not really sure) SE cable that Hifiman sent to me for just shipping charge - looks a lot like what was shipping with HE-500's once they moved away from the Canare
* Silver Ray cable from Chris

Anyway, I agree with the comments earlier that the HE-500 isn't so much an upgrade as a sidegrade at this point. Granted, I only have 4-6hrs of head time and they only had 50hrs of head time from previous owner, so who knows, maybe they're not fully burned-in/settled.

I'm using speaker tap outs of my vintage Yamaha CR-220 receiver (15wpc) and the original 5LE balanced cable, which I know isn't the best quality, but at this moment it's the only balanced cable I have.

I agree that they're more polite sounding than 5LE's. The mids are smoother/more liquid and more prominent (5LE mids are a bit thin by comparison), but I find the bass a little looser and less impactful, and the highs seem a tad rolled off (or level is lower). Initial impressions are that they're noticably less detailed than 5LE at least at higher frequencies (especially notable with brushwork on some jazz SACDs), but I haven't listened for detail at other frequencies. Haven't listened specifically for soundstage either. Just first level impressions

To my ears, the 5LE's have more PRaT and are more distinctive in their sound signature versus my other cans like HD650. For that reason alone, my first instinct is to keep the 5LE's for sure. The HE-500's would probably be overall less fatiguing over longer listening lessions - they're very smooth. I find them to be similar in sound signature to HD650's, but not ready to comment on how they compare to each other (HE-500 vs HD650) in any level of detail. What I think will be the bigger question is whether it makes sense to keep both HE-500 and HD650 or whether they're too similar to justify having both.

The last piece that will allow me to do more direct comparisons is a DHC nucleotide balanced cable that will arrive today or Monday.

Overall, I'm happy with both the 5LE and HE-500. Since I bought both used, the price premium for HE-500 was $125, which isn't bad.

Will post more thoughts as I do more listening.
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