Welcome back to the party.
Welcome back to the party.
Congrats, I am also toying with the idea of getting a Master 9 or EF-6 to drive them (but general consensus is M9 is better so am leaning towards it), as my wife is giving me grief about the big speaker amp lying on the floor which is messing up her Feng-Shui
In case anyone (especially from EU to avoid shipping charges) is interested in the EF-6 (or HE-6 - EF-6 combo):
I have the Cayin A-70T Integrated / Power Tube amp in my upstairs bedroom system. It has a line in to the power amp section (which bypasses the tube pre) so I can also use it with the Master 1 pre :
Would it be worth while to connect the HE 6 to this instead of the Rotel ? It weighs nearly 60 pounds & will be a pain to drag it downstairs & have to undo all the current speaker wiring. Plus I have to carry it upstairs again & redo all the cabling if it does not sound any better. I think majority of the opinion on this thread is that solid state work's better with the HE-6 rather than tubes, hence am a bit reluctant to invest all the time & effort. But if the "elders " on this thread think the Cayin might sound better than the Rotel then will give it a try.
So do you guys think I should go through all the effort & try the Cayin or just sit back & enjoy the Rotel ?
I tried it in 2 combinations : direct from the Audio GD NFB 7 dac to the Cayin integrated & also from the dac to Master 1 pre to the Power amp section of the Cayin.
The Tubes through both options sound better than the Rotel. The sound stage depth & width both increased . There is so much more space between the layers of sound. Sounds so much smother, fluid yet still has good clarity. So much more engaging, the music just draws you in, this is the first time I had a goose bump moment with HE 6. I prefer the sound of the Dac --- M1--- Cayin compared to DAC -- Cayin . It sounds slightly more dynamic / crisp when connected through M1. Also the volume can be controlled more minutely.
So the Rotel will go upstairs into the bedroom system to replace the Cayin. Damm...just when I thought I was done with collecting tubes for WA22. Now I have to get some good KT88's, currently using Electro Harmonix.
Guess in my heart I am a tube guy, just sounds more musical to me.
Thank you to all the HE 6 Masters for all your feedback & encouragement to push the envelope, was totally worth it .
PS : in case anyone's wondering why the amp has a "Spark" label. Spark Audio is the manufacturer of the Cayin brand. It is branded & sold as Spark in Asia & as Cayin in US & Europe.
For those that have the HD800, which is clearer sounding HE-6 or HD800. I don't have HD800, but HD-6 's clarity is just remarkable. Also, what's the clearest headphones you guys have heard? I guess the answers would be 009?
They're...different is the best I can put it. Generally the HD-800 are brighter -all other things such as amp etc being equal- and very resolving but the HE-6's clarity has more substance to it. Don't know how to properly explain the difference to my ears, it's the difference between tapping a silver fork against a glass made of plain, thin walled glass (HD-800) vs the same against crystal (HE-6).
In terms of 'euphony'--> HE-6, no contest imo.
I've heard both cans but with two different systems; environments. I can often be read referring to the mids of the HE-6 as being clear as a bell! Between the HD800 and HE-6, I'd give the nod to the HiFiMAN HE-6. "In this corner, weighing xxx grams... wearing Black trunks in Black trim... and still heavyweight champion can of the world!!! Please give a large round of applause for..." ok 'Silent One' just calm down!
For me I would have to say the HD800's are clearer sounding. The greater air and space combined with the slightly leaner balance give the HD800's the edge.
However the HE6's, as you know, are still excellent and have more body and euphony. Both are simply superb though.
Having been able to drive the HE-6, SR009 and HD800 from the same amp (the Woo WA5 powering the Woo WEE), I can say that SR009 is an improved version of HD800 in all respects, including soundstage. The SR009 has terrible soundstage when underamped (e.g. with the Stax SRM007TA) but it has opened up considerably with the WA5 + WEE combo and is only slightly narrower than the HD800 in soundstage. It may not favour with soundstage addicts but to me it makes the music altogether more natural and realistic. I also find the SR009 more comfortable to wear with my relatively small head.
I have decided to sell my HD800 because there is little that it does which the SR009 does not do better. I should add that the HD800 is about 80%-90% of the SR009 when properly amped. They share many sonic traits. The HD800 is very impressive for its price.
HE-6 is noticeably less resolving or detailed than the other two, but it is more "euphonic" in the sense that it is very tactile - you can "feel" the voices and instruments next to you and they are very very palpable. In other words, it packs a lot of punch compared to the SR009 and the HD800. I note that my HE-6 is properly driven by my WA5 because it is a speaker amp. There are one or two opinions to the contrary but the general consensus seems to be that the WA5 is one of the better amps for the HE-6.
As to the other traits of the HE-6, it has better dynamics than the HD800 but is perhaps just as dynamic as the SR009, because of its excellent transient and bass response. It is also euphonic (in the usual sense of the word) by presenting voices in a way that is ever so subtly emotional or pleasant. For these reasons, the HE-6 is staying in my collection.
Some of my friends (who are not into hifi or headfi) preferred the HD800 to the HE-6 after their short auditions with the cans on my current set-up, perhaps because the HE-6 has a more closed-in and less "hifi" character, which may be appealing when one first listens to these headphones. It is the more down-to-earth of the 3 headphones.
Finally, the HD800 is slightly sibilant. I find that it renders voices quite poorly as it adds a certain harshness to the voice. I do not use it for long listening periods. On my set-up (which is slightly warm) and with the SAA Endorphin cables, the usual brightness of the HD800 has been tamed significantly, but nothing can save the HD800 from its natural flaws (other than using another headphone, of course). I find the HE-6 and SR009 to be listenable for hours and hours until physical discomfort kicks in. Neither can be characterised as sibilant on my set-up.
Just my 2 cents. YMMV.