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HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone - Page 788

post #11806 of 14888

Mine was with the Kenwood 9100, pushed the loudness button and me think "I just got a complimentary lcd2 for 170 quids" :D

post #11807 of 14888

Who said Audio wasn't suppose to be fun?!

:beerchug:

post #11808 of 14888

From the First Watt to my Last Euro ;-)

 

Short story:  I want to find out for myself if driving the HE-6 from a good speaker amp really realises additional potential vs driving it from my Vio V200 setup.  The First Watt amps come highly recommended and -very untech argument- I like the designers' philosophy.  So after having communicated with preproman I mailed Reno Hifi to see what they could offer me.

 

Mark @ Reno got back to me with a good deal on a First Watt F3 that they'll ship at no cost to Nelson Pass to have it converted to European voltage.

 

From what I understood the F3 is a bit of a cross between the F1 (absolutely neutral) and the more 'tubist' sounding F2, still very neutral but with just a hint of sweetness.  It's a single end design.  Knowing my preferences in sound sig I don't think that's going to be a problem, looks a good fit.  But I read the following on a 6moons review: "But crossovers are fine now since the F3 behaves quite conventionally as a voltage-source amplifier".  Does this imply that they consider it to be a voltage amp rather than a currant amp?  

 

From what I understand orthos need current rather than voltage (but I know zilch about electronics).  A voltage amp is supposed to have a high input impedance and a very low output impedance, right?  Current amps it's supposed to be the other way around.

 

From what I see on the first watt site, impedance wise, both have a 10kOhm input impedance but the F1J has 60 Ohm output vs 1 Ohm for the F3.  Both supply 15W into 8 Ohm.  Daryl is very happy with his F1-J so I don't have any concerns about if this is sufficient or not.

 

Am also intrigued by the F4 which is a different concept using unity gain, supplying current and being driven by the gain from a pre-amp (or in my case, I guess via the gain settings and volume control on my V800 DAC).

 

Help, I hate it when I don't know enough to make an independent and well founded decision.  

 

​Any thoughts on wether the F3 will work fine with my HE-6?  Or the F4?  Or should I just scope out the usual sites and wait for a used F1J or find someone to build a clone?  I'll ask Mark at Reno the same questions but would appreciate any inputs from this side.  I'll ask the same questions to Reno Hifi and they're great but well, they sell the F3 of course but don't have the F1J anymore.

post #11809 of 14888
I am sorry I do not have any of those amps , but I can say the one with an output imp of 60 ohms is no good for sure.
The 15 watts at 8 ohms seems a little low but I know some people here have them and say it's fine. Now my woo wa5 is about the same wattage and it is fine and plays really loud and has enough gain for the quiet tracks too.

The new f4 I never heard of. Post some links to the products. But get answers from atleast two who agree and have been here for a while.

Al
post #11810 of 14888

I don't know what context that 6moons quote is from, but i wouldn't be worried about it. 99% of amps are voltage-source amplifiers. Current-source amps are quite rare, but more versions are coming out slowly. You should have a very fine and musical pairing with the F3. Most of these First Watt amps are made for high sensitivity speakers but they are the perfect match for the HE-6 and other hungry orthos.

post #11811 of 14888

Here's a link to the First Watt page with the models and basic info but these are 'atypical' amps, design wise:  http://www.firstwatt.com/prod.html

 

Preproman runs his HE-6 from the F1J which has the 60 Ohm output impedance, he's not complaining :) Think it has to do with the fact that the HE-6 is an ortho and has a flat impedance across the FQ-range  + is not as sensitive to the classical mismatch that might happen with low impedance dynamic cans and high output impedance tube amps.  But what do I know?

post #11812 of 14888
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

I am sorry I do not have any of those amps , but I can say the one with an output imp of 60 ohms is no good for sure.
The 15 watts at 8 ohms seems a little low but I know some people here have them and say it's fine. Now my woo wa5 is about the same wattage and it is fine and plays really loud and has enough gain for the quiet tracks too.

The new f4 I never heard of. Post some links to the products. But get answers from atleast two who agree and have been here for a while.

Al

 

This other amp is current driven, so you actually want a higher output impedance. "Everything is reversed" in current mode (meaning that you aim at a very low input impedance and high output impedance - the opposite of voltage mode).

The F1-J is this guy and don't you dare say it's no good in front of Darryl :biggrin:.

post #11813 of 14888

I don't think output impedance and power  apply in the same way to current amp topology. I am enjoying my Bakoon, which is specced at 2W max and has an output impedance of 2.5MOhms...:eek: . I can't listen past 12' o'clock.

post #11814 of 14888
I guess I should not hVe said that. But given the output imp it just seemed wrong . Sorry. Thanks

But I did say get two people who know not claiming I was one of them with these amps.
But I would like to know how it does work .
Al
Edited by ALRAINBOW - 2/11/14 at 2:35pm
post #11815 of 14888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
 

From the First Watt to my Last Euro ;-)

 

Short story:  I want to find out for myself if driving the HE-6 from a good speaker amp really realises additional potential vs driving it from my Vio V200 setup.  The First Watt amps come highly recommended and -very untech argument- I like the designers' philosophy.  So after having communicated with preproman I mailed Reno Hifi to see what they could offer me.

 

Mark @ Reno got back to me with a good deal on a First Watt F3 that they'll ship at no cost to Nelson Pass to have it converted to European voltage.

 

From what I understood the F3 is a bit of a cross between the F1 (absolutely neutral) and the more 'tubist' sounding F2, still very neutral but with just a hint of sweetness.  It's a single end design.  Knowing my preferences in sound sig I don't think that's going to be a problem, looks a good fit.  But I read the following on a 6moons review: "But crossovers are fine now since the F3 behaves quite conventionally as a voltage-source amplifier".  Does this imply that they consider it to be a voltage amp rather than a currant amp?  

 

From what I understand orthos need current rather than voltage (but I know zilch about electronics).  A voltage amp is supposed to have a high input impedance and a very low output impedance, right?  Current amps it's supposed to be the other way around.

 

From what I see on the first watt site, impedance wise, both have a 10kOhm input impedance but the F1J has 60 Ohm output vs 1 Ohm for the F3.  Both supply 15W into 8 Ohm.  Daryl is very happy with his F1-J so I don't have any concerns about if this is sufficient or not.

 

Am also intrigued by the F4 which is a different concept using unity gain, supplying current and being driven by the gain from a pre-amp (or in my case, I guess via the gain settings and volume control on my V800 DAC).

 

Help, I hate it when I don't know enough to make an independent and well founded decision.  

 

​Any thoughts on wether the F3 will work fine with my HE-6?  Or the F4?  Or should I just scope out the usual sites and wait for a used F1J or find someone to build a clone?  I'll ask Mark at Reno the same questions but would appreciate any inputs from this side.  I'll ask the same questions to Reno Hifi and they're great but well, they sell the F3 of course but don't have the F1J anymore.

I'm getting an F3 this Thursday. I plan on using it with my AMR DP-777 DAC (with its built in preamp). I'll let you know how it works out. I know another Head-fier who loves his setup which is comprised of: PWD MK2 >F3 >HE-6. 

post #11816 of 14888

Thanks guys!  Just ordered the F3 at Reno HiFi, Mark came back to me via mail (super friendly and very quick responses).  I'm purchasing it now but I'll have to wait until mid april to try it out (asked them to hold it for shipping until I'll be back in Europe for a couple of weeks).

 

Anyway, for general info in case anyone else want to purchase it and stumbles over this thread, here are the answers to my questions about the F2, F3 and F4 straight from him, essentially it's the same as what Brunk and others have said.  A friend of mine who holds a PhD in electrical engineering also confirmed the electricity parts (but he works on nuclear reactor design, not amps ;-)  Special thanks for their assistance in this matter to Preproman (Daryl) and Brunk!

 

Q:  What are the sonic differences between the First Watt amps?  From a discussion it seems that the F1-J is the absolutely most neutral and the F3 would have a more tube-amp sound. Is this correct?

 

A: 

The amp I’d recommend would be the First Watt F3.  I’ve helped hundreds of people to own and enjoy the F3, and everything I’ve ever heard is that we all consider it to be a very neutral, accurate, highly-detailed, smooth-sounding solid state amp.  (I’ve never heard anyone describe the F3 as particularly warm.)  The F1 and F3 sound quite similar in many ways—and they are both detailed and accurate.

 

Your headphones will have to be connected to the amp with four wires (not three wires, with a common ground/negative).

 

You may drive the F3 directly with your DAC and use the DAC’s volume control.

 

Q: 

On the 6Moons review of the F3 I read  "But crossovers are fine now since the F3 behaves quite conventionally as a voltage-source amplifier".  Does this imply that they consider it to be a voltage amp rather than a current amp?  

 

From what I understand orthos need current rather than voltage (but I know zilch about electronics).  

 

In your opinion, will it be as good as the F1J to drive my HE-6 (from an electrics/power perspective, I have absolutely no worries about the sound signature)?  I just want to make absolutely sure that the amp will be able to get the absolute best this inefficient beast of a headphone has in it.

 

Also took a look at the F4, from what I understand a unity gain pure current amp, how does this compare to the F3 (I could drive it from my DAC as that has the hardware volume control and a switch enabling me to set gain to +3, 6, 9, 15 dB)?

 

A:

 

Virtually every amp ever built after 1940 is a “voltage-source/voltage-drive” amplifier; and the F3 is a voltage-source amp.  The F1/F1J and some other obscure Yamaha amp in the early 1970’s are about the only exceptions where they are “current-drive/current-source” amps.

 

Your headphones “need current” in the sense that they require energy to be driven since they are relatively inefficient (and a low-power amp doesn’t have much energy/current/voltage).

 

The F3 will have much more energy or power to drive your headphones than you’ll ever want (and with Tons of headroom). 

 

The F4 amp is another Very Unusual amp with “no voltage gain,” [but it does have current-gain].  I would not recommend the F4 in your system because while it might work, I’m not totally sure that it would work—but I am totally sure that the F3 will work.

 

 

post #11817 of 14888

Congratulations.  Mark at Reno HiFi is great to deal with.  I found he M2 to be a big improvement over the v200, so i expect you will be happy. 

post #11818 of 14888

^ Yeah, First Watt / Pass Labs for the win!

post #11819 of 14888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
 

Thanks guys!  Just ordered the F3 at Reno HiFi, Mark came back to me via mail (super friendly and very quick responses).  I'm purchasing it now but I'll have to wait until mid april to try it out (asked them to hold it for shipping until I'll be back in Europe for a couple of weeks).

 

Anyway, for general info in case anyone else want to purchase it and stumbles over this thread, here are the answers to my questions about the F2, F3 and F4 straight from him, essentially it's the same as what Brunk and others have said.  A friend of mine who holds a PhD in electrical engineering also confirmed the electricity parts (but he works on nuclear reactor design, not amps ;-)  Special thanks for their assistance in this matter to Preproman (Daryl) and Brunk!

 

Q:  What are the sonic differences between the First Watt amps?  From a discussion it seems that the F1-J is the absolutely most neutral and the F3 would have a more tube-amp sound. Is this correct?

 

A: 

The amp I’d recommend would be the First Watt F3.  I’ve helped hundreds of people to own and enjoy the F3, and everything I’ve ever heard is that we all consider it to be a very neutral, accurate, highly-detailed, smooth-sounding solid state amp.  (I’ve never heard anyone describe the F3 as particularly warm.)  The F1 and F3 sound quite similar in many ways—and they are both detailed and accurate.

 

Your headphones will have to be connected to the amp with four wires (not three wires, with a common ground/negative).

 

You may drive the F3 directly with your DAC and use the DAC’s volume control.

 

Q: 

On the 6Moons review of the F3 I read  "But crossovers are fine now since the F3 behaves quite conventionally as a voltage-source amplifier".  Does this imply that they consider it to be a voltage amp rather than a current amp?  

 

From what I understand orthos need current rather than voltage (but I know zilch about electronics).  

 

In your opinion, will it be as good as the F1J to drive my HE-6 (from an electrics/power perspective, I have absolutely no worries about the sound signature)?  I just want to make absolutely sure that the amp will be able to get the absolute best this inefficient beast of a headphone has in it.

 

Also took a look at the F4, from what I understand a unity gain pure current amp, how does this compare to the F3 (I could drive it from my DAC as that has the hardware volume control and a switch enabling me to set gain to +3, 6, 9, 15 dB)?

 

A:

 

Virtually every amp ever built after 1940 is a “voltage-source/voltage-drive” amplifier; and the F3 is a voltage-source amp.  The F1/F1J and some other obscure Yamaha amp in the early 1970’s are about the only exceptions where they are “current-drive/current-source” amps.

 

Your headphones “need current” in the sense that they require energy to be driven since they are relatively inefficient (and a low-power amp doesn’t have much energy/current/voltage).

 

The F3 will have much more energy or power to drive your headphones than you’ll ever want (and with Tons of headroom). 

 

The F4 amp is another Very Unusual amp with “no voltage gain,” [but it does have current-gain].  I would not recommend the F4 in your system because while it might work, I’m not totally sure that it would work—but I am totally sure that the F3 will work.

 

 

 

Congrats and I know the wait is going to kill you.:wink_face:  Mark is the man.  There are others on the DIYaudio wed site that knows a lot about Nelson's amps as well.  There's a entire section just for Nelson Pass amps http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/pass-labs/

 

I was looking really hard into the F4 but I was going mono block in order to drive them in balanced mod.  So far the F3, F5, J2 and the F1(J) are said to work really well with the HE-6.  I know Mark has got a lot of us head Fi'ers inquiring about amps for this headphone.  

 

Yeah, the impedance mismatch is not a factor with Planars they seem like a match made in heaven IMO..  

 

The only thing now (for me anyway) would be the preamp section in the V800.  I hope it does not supply to much gain and don't give you any room to play with.  It's digital as well correct.  If you like the amp, the next thing to get is a better pre amp.  Preferably an analog one (Passive) and DAC.  This is called building a rig around your headphones - Welcome to the club, this is if you like the amp to begin with.

 

Should be getting your cable ready now - you have time to decide on one - that's if you think cables make a difference. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cradon View Post
 

I'm getting an F3 this Thursday. I plan on using it with my AMR DP-777 DAC (with its built in preamp). I'll let you know how it works out. I know another Head-fier who loves his setup which is comprised of: PWD MK2 >F3 >HE-6. 

 

Ah ha..  Making big moves over there.  You have to get the Duelund VSF Black Cast Capacitors installed, it's a must.  Did you get it from Greed or from Darren?  

post #11820 of 14888

Do you guys know if the Metrum Aurix can be used as a pre?

It is not clear to me if the RCA output is just looped from the inputs of if it actually goes through the volume stage?

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