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New Hifiman HE-5LE planar magnetic headphone - Page 113

post #1681 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

 

I'll try my hardest.  At the moment, they have the velour pads mounted on the headphones, in which the pads are in great shape.  The pads are of the older variety (thin, clear plastic backing) which connects to the cup assembly.  This older method can be "iffy" to remove and re-install the pads and there are times when the pad tabs can snap.  As it stands, the velour pads are nice and tightly attached to the headphones - in fact, much tighter than the newer black rings with the 4 tabs.  I'm not sure if I should disrupt the pads at this time or not until they need to be replaced.  I'll have to spend time with the headphones and see how the sound works out.

I know a way of improving the older velour pads actually (I have a pair myself from the accessories that came with my original HE500), just take them off your headphone, and use double-sided adhesive tape, tape the modern mounting rings onto the back of the old velours. It fixes the installation problem outright and from what listening tests I've done, does not change the sound at all.

 

The reason it doesn't change the sound is probably because the clear plastic "plate" is already blocking any sound from conducting through the earpad. It consequently really weakens bass extension just FYI.


Edited by jerg - 2/25/13 at 2:37pm
post #1682 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

I know a way of improving the older velour pads actually (I have a pair myself from the accessories that came with my original HE500), just take them off your headphone, and use double-sided adhesive tape, tape the modern mounting rings onto the back of the old velours. It fixes the installation problem outright and from what listening tests I've done, does not change the sound at all.

 

The reason it doesn't change the sound is probably because the clear plastic "plate" is already blocking any sound from conducting through the earpad. It consequently really weakens bass extension just FYI.

 

OK, good.  Thanks for that update. I do have a new pair of velour pads with the black rings in the bag.  So, I can use that pair to mount onto the HE-5LE after removing the older style pads.  It sounds like your experience has proven some limitations with the older style of pad.

 

I appreciate the response, because I'll then be able to ensure I'm moving into the HE-5LEs with the optimal sound configuration - sound wise.

post #1683 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

 

OK, good.  Thanks for that update. I do have a new pair of velour pads with the black rings in the bag.  So, I can use that pair to mount onto the HE-5LE after removing the older style pads.  It sounds like your experience has proven some limitations with the older style of pad.

 

I appreciate the response, because I'll then be able to ensure I'm moving into the HE-5LEs with the optimal sound configuration - sound wise.

The older velour is quite interesting sound-wise. It places your ears really close to the drivers, similar to the pleathers, which makes midrange bloom more than the new velours. However the combination of its high damping factor (as it is velour) and lacklustre lower bass conduction as I described earlier, the bottom end of the FR just isn't there in the right amount; so despite the midrange bloom, it still doesn't sound grounded enough to shine.

post #1684 of 1911

OK I am back to He-5le with balanced terminal from my HE-400 stock cable.

The modification from He-400 cable is impressive.

Maybe wje mentioned on the he-400 thread ( I'm not clear who said that) the stock cable of Canare seems a very good cable actually.

 

So far I have listen to He-400 which is Red-shifted, whereas He-5LE is Blue-shifted and much more balanced in tonal spectrum without sacrifising the Red-end of the spectrum with texture.

 

I have listened to Stravinsky which had been wonderful with HE-400, and now I find the music is even more wonderful with HE-5LE with balanced modification from He400 stock cable.

 

I have got full energy of treble that was missed in HE-400.

You can go to Mahler symphony 9 to enjoy the energy.

I am comforted.

post #1685 of 1911

Interesting how many configurations there seem to be.  

 

I have the shiny/glossy cups and mine came with 3 cables:

XLR (Yongsheng brand, male) with black cloth covered cable

TRS cloth covered cable with rubber one piece 1/4 plug

XLR (Yongsheng brand, female) to TRS adaptor (again cloth covered)

 

My pads must be the old velours.  Based on what Jerg said, sounds like I'd be wise to get me some new velours even though I'm happy with the SQ now.

post #1686 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

 

OK, good.  Thanks for that update. I do have a new pair of velour pads with the black rings in the bag.  So, I can use that pair to mount onto the HE-5LE after removing the older style pads.  It sounds like your experience has proven some limitations with the older style of pad.

 

I appreciate the response, because I'll then be able to ensure I'm moving into the HE-5LEs with the optimal sound configuration - sound wise.

 

How goes it Wayne - thoughts/impressions on 2nd go-round with 5LE's?

post #1687 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by captouch View Post

 

How goes it Wayne - thoughts/impressions on 2nd go-round with 5LE's?

 

It is going quite well.  The HE-5LE has a little top end "sizzle" but that does not constitute a lead to being sibilant.  Instead, if I have the Yellowjackets playing, their percussion is very detailed while the mids and the lower end take on their own, too.  The HE-5LE has a similar top-end to my HD-600s.  The HD-600s have just a slight amount less detail, but still not a night / day difference in that aspect.    Though, that is where the similarities end.

 

I guess to my dismay, I can't understand why HifiMAN would cease building this headphone.  However, since the HE-400 is the only headphone of their with the drivers manufactured in a factory, while their other orthodynamic headphones have the drivers assembled by hand.  It could have come down to costs.  It could have been a costly headphone to build.  Also, it was just a revised HE-5, which many people complained the top end was too much.  The HE-5LE apparently toned down the upper levels and moved into the new cup design from the wooden one - which was prone to cracking.

 

Still, all is good with the HE-5LE.  I guess I should say that it's even better the 2nd time around because after my travels, I can really see and hear its true capabilities.

post #1688 of 1911
I'd like to hear the reasoning on how one can makes Summit Fi and this one don't.
post #1689 of 1911
Off-topic answer to Happy Camper's question (Click to show)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

I'd like to hear the reasoning on how one can makes Summit Fi and this one don't.

 

Very roughly, lately I've been deciding asking the question: When members buy the headphones, are they doing so most often with TOTL gear for a potential "final" system or otherwise mostly using them with very high-end gear?

 

Also, I consider if they would interest the people who mostly only read Summit-Fi who have been through everything so many times already.

 

 

post #1690 of 1911

I was listening to these the other night driven by my EF5 amp.

 

Great detail and clarity at all frequencies, just a great enjoyable listen.  Someday I'd like to listen to these vs the LCD-3, HE-6, and HD800 to see how much more those TOTL cans provide.  But without having done so, I'm not desiring anything more out of my headphone listening experience than what the HE-5LE can offer.  o2smile.gif

post #1691 of 1911

Don't do it.  You'll be going down the same rabbit hole I'm going down.  No end in site.biggrin.gif

post #1692 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

Don't do it.  You'll be going down the same rabbit hole I'm going down.  No end in site.biggrin.gif

 

Now that is some serious sage advice from someone who has learned good lessons through the upgrade path.  We should all take the advice seriously.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
sage advice:  very good and wise advice
post #1693 of 1911

Yeah, fortunately, no one I know locally has any of those, so I think I'm safe.  I wouldn't blind buy anything at that price level either.

 

I actually listened to the HD800 and HE-6 at last year's Bay Area Head-Fi meet, but on a variety of different amp/source setups and in what is inevitably a noisy environment.  So again, I think I'm pretty safe from the lure of those TOTL (and wallet-emptying beasts).

 

Just happy to have what I have. . .for now.  atsmile.gif

post #1694 of 1911

Just got Darryl's 5LEs! I could listen to them for about 1h30 yesterday evening.

So far, I'm VERY happy with what I heard, to say the least ;)

 

Quick impression

The following impression is more a comparison to 2 other Hifiman headphones I'm familiar with and that I really love(d). I'll go straight to the point: the HE-400 is not one of them rolleyes.gif

 

The 3 participant are the following:

HE-500 + new velour + original silver platted cable (sold recently, after 11 months of daily use)

HE-4 + Alpha pads + original copper cable

HE-5LE + Alpha pads + Norse Audio cable (hardwired)

 

The setup:

Squeezebox Touch -> NFB-27 DAC (USB) --> NFB-27 / SA-31 amp

 

Voicing

It's quite hard to objectively say where "plain neutral" sits on the dark/bright scale. In my book, and between the 3, the 5LEs are the closest to that neutral line.

To give a (proper?) example: I would put the 4s + SA-31 (warmest setting) and the 5LEs + NFB-27 (amp) roughly in the same position on that scale.

 

In warm/cold scale, all the Hifimans fall in the warm side. Being the most euphonic headphones I've ever heard (yummy!) the 500s are, hands down, the warmest of the 3! The 4s are close to the middle line (but never ever cold sounding). The 5LEs are right in the middle.

 

Overall, and to my ears, the 5LEs are the most natural sounding.

 

Balance

These are definitely more balanced than the 500s, no doubts! Being flatter overall, I feel they are also more balanced than the "U-shaped" 4s. With their mid-bass and upper mid emphasis, the 500s are the least balanced of the 3.

 

Sound-stage

None of them stand out in term of size, layering and, even, presentation. When properly driven*, their are globally equivalent.

I feel the 500s and 5LEs are more resolving that the 4s (treble aside). As such, one could feel they offer better layering abilities. I'm not sure about that yet.

 

*I used to drive the 4s with my M-Stage. When I switched to the SA-31, the sound-stage increase substantially. These bad boys need some juice!

 

Detail retrieval

As prepoman said, the 4s are some "detail monsters"! Considering the treble only, I fully agree with this statement. The 5LEs and (even more) the 500s fall short to the 4s in that area.

Yet, I feel that the 5xx are more resolving in the mids. This is where our mileages does vary ;).

With more treble energy and a better tonal balance, the 5LEs are better at resolving details than the 500s.

Overall, I'm having a hard time deciding which of the 4s and 5LEs are the most resolving.

 

Early conclusion

That's it for now! More in due time ;)

I will try to give a complete comparison (bass, mids, treble) in the future!

 

From what I could hear in such a short session, I would say the 5LEs are the most "right" sounding of the 3. That can be both a good and a bad thing:

- Bad: it does not "wow" as much as the yummy 500s and lively 4s (at first listen). Note that I might have had a different impression if I'd never listened to the 500s beforehand! 

- Good: I'm having a hard time finding any flaw in these headphones! They do many things good and (for now) nothing wrong!

 

I'm lovin' it!


Edited by Clemmaster - 3/7/13 at 1:37pm
post #1695 of 1911

Yup,  When they left the house I was like..  What the heck I'm I doing.  But yes - these are a good headphone.  I agree 100% with Clems impressions.  You have some good amps there - they really put the juice in these phones that they really need.  I still got my 500s and like Clem said sometimes they just have that wow factor.  The 5LEs and the 6s are very close..

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