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HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone - Page 133

post #1981 of 14203


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moodyrn View Post

Skylab I guess your impressions validates impressions from people(including myself) using the speaker taps to drive them. The sound is so good from my fisher that I have no desire to try them on any other amps. As good as they sound with my fisher, I bet they are just heavenly out of the speaker taps of the leben.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by baka1969 View Post

@skylab Just as I had suspected from the start that the HE6 requires a speaker amp too get the most out of them. I even suspect my b22 wouldn't drive them to their FULL potential.


Yes, it does indeed seem to be so, that there is a little bit extra to be squeezed from the HE-6 when they are given access to what for a headphone should be a ludicrous amount of power.  This must also be why I always favored them from the Mini-Torri up until now.

 

But on the flipside, the HE-6 do sound good from many standard headphone amps.  As good as they possibly can?  No.  But very good nonetheless.  What that means is that they can be purchased and enjoyed by someone who has a reasonably powerful headphone amp, and then also provide an upgrade path for the future. 

post #1982 of 14203

deadhorse.gif

 

My work here is now done, but it is nice that "the group" has finally caught up to the reality of these headphones. I have been singing the speaker amp song since the moment I received these (ordered on day one) after comparing with my memory of the protos.

 

I turned up the heat on my rhetoric after I decided to chop up my SE adapter and go for it over three weeks ago. Then it got even better with my ALO speaker tap cable, Ken did a great job.

 

These headphones sound way better through the speaker taps on my $200 speaker amp than balanced out of my tube-maxed WA22, over $2K into that.

beerchug.gif


Edited by grokit - 12/18/10 at 10:08am
post #1983 of 14203

Quote:Originally Posted by grokit 


"My work here is now done, but it is nice that "the group" has finally caught up to the reality of these headphones. I have been singing the speaker amp song since the moment I received these (ordered on day one) after comparing with my memory of the protos.
I turned up the heat on my rhetoric after I decided to chop up my SE adapter and go for it over three weeks ago. Then it got even better with my ALO speaker tap cable, Ken did a great job.
These headphones sound way better through the speaker taps on my $200 speaker amp than balanced out of my tube-maxed WA22, over $2K into that."



I too have been saying the same from the very beginning. To Rob's point, after spending $1k on a headphone, very good just isn't good enough for me. The point of purchasing a flagship headphone is to extract the "best". The HE6 may or may be mentioned as among the elite headphones. And by many accounts they should. Saying that people should be satisfied with getting almost the most out of them is unsatisfactory. People were mislead by several others to believe that the HE6 were an efficient and easily driven headphone. This is not only untrue but a disservice.

The facts are that in order to drive the HE6 to. It's maximum potential they need a speaker amp. Period. Horseshoes and hand grenades.... Those, for me, are where almost counts. But when it comes to spending good money on a top-tier can, I won't accept almost the best performance.

We were guinea pigs during the prototype stage. Ok fine that's fair enough. But to be guinea pigs for a product that people have to spend money on and the bottom line isn't totally fleshed out before production isn't fair. The bottom line is, like the prototype HE6, the HE6 being sold needs a speaker amp to get it's best performance.

Is this beating a dead horse? No. If it were, the speaker tap realization would have happened before they were made available for sale and not lead to belive the HE6 would get max performance from a quality headamp.

post #1984 of 14203

That's what I've always suspected, instead of opamps, one needs power transistors that can deliver more current. The same with tube amps.

post #1985 of 14203

Does driving them thru a speaker amp fixes/improves the issues with the 'blank spots' in the headstage and imaging overall?

post #1986 of 14203

I would say yes. The imaging is spot on. In fact, on of the best I've heard. I remember there were a couple(who hadn't posted on this thread in a while) of people that was really ripping others for saying that you needed a speaker amp to get the most out of them. One of them hadn't even tried it on a speaker amp. Again like I've said so many times on this forum, "please don't criticize people for saying something if you hadn't tried it yourself". I know it seems odd for a headphone to reach their full potential on a speaker amp instead of a headphone amp, but these are different beast and are far from your prototypical headphone. I know some may criticize these headphones saying that you have to go out and spend a lot of money on a expensive speaker amp to get the most out of them, but you don't. What these things need is a lot of power(or current). They sound better out of the speaker taps of my 30 year old beat up sony receiver that has been sitting in the garage for ages than they did out of a balanced bijou I used to own. Now a speaker amp isn't a must. They do sound very good out of a lot of headphone amps. These headphones sound so good, that anything that you can get a decent volume out of will work, but like someone has already said why pay this much for a headphone and not get the most out of them. The imaging was a little smeared from other amps I tried, but one I put them on the speaker taps for the first time imaging greatly improved.

post #1987 of 14203

I, for one, am pleased that I can get such great performance from my HE6 by using modestly priced speaker amplifiers.   One only needs to peruse the High-end Audio Forum to read innumerable posts regarding the search for "suitable" headphone amplifiers, usually mega-expensive, to drive many of the phones considered to be "high-end".   IIRC, there was much discussion regarding the need for various high-priced amplifiers to drive the HD800 when it was first introduced.  I also remember similar discussions regarding the K340, K1000, T1, etc, etc.  

 

I have read several posts comparing the HE6 favorably to the Stax O2.  Talk about amplifier requirements!!!!!!   Yet folks accept without question the fact that electrostatics require specialized amplifiers costing hundreds, often thousands more than speaker amplifiers that can drive the HE6 to its full potential. 

 

post #1988 of 14203

The point isn't whether or not they require a speaker amp to reach their full potential. It's that we've been told by interested parties that we didn't need a speaker amp and that the HE6 could be driven to it's full potential with a quality headphone amp. That is not the case. Something I've mentioned from the beginning and been criticize for. I have a problem being misled.

post #1989 of 14203

That is really the good thing about the HE-6. You can buy a good used and inexpensive solid state integrated amp or receiver with may be 20 or so watts per channel, convert the TRS for speaker wires and you're good to go. You don't need an hp amp that costs >$1k to get the most out of it. I don't even plan to mod its cable, I feel that it is good enough.

post #1990 of 14203

Do these headphones come with one amp cable, or with two amp cables (for head amp and speaker amp)?


Edited by lyramax - 12/18/10 at 4:56pm
post #1991 of 14203

At first I thought it came with a speaker amp cable but it didn't. I just made my own. You can cut and strip the cable but I wouldn't suggest it. That way you have both a speaker cable and the original hp cable with its TRS connector.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lyramax View Post

Do these headphones come with one amp, or with two amp cables (for head amp and speaker amp)?

post #1992 of 14203
I want to clarify something - I am NOT saying that any old speaker amp will drive the HE-6 better than a really good headphone amp. It's probably not that simple. I found that the Leben sounds better with the HE-6 via the speaker taps than the headphone out. But the Leben is a really killer speaker amp, not any old run of the mill jobbie. I have not tried a cheap stereo speaker amp. Not sure whether that would sound better than something like the Woo WA2 or not. I don't have a suitable cheap speaker amp to try it with.
post #1993 of 14203

The NAD 316BEE is modestly priced and sounded better with the prototype HE6 and HE5LE than the head amps. I heard them with.

post #1994 of 14203

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

I want to clarify something - I am NOT saying that any old speaker amp will drive the HE-6 better than a really good headphone amp. It's probably not that simple. I found that the Leben sounds better with the HE-6 via the speaker taps than the headphone out. But the Leben is a really killer speaker amp, not any old run of the mill jobbie. I have not tried a cheap stereo speaker amp. Not sure whether that would sound better than something like the Woo WA2 or not. I don't have a suitable cheap speaker amp to try it with.

 

That's a great point. IMO it's not that a speaker amp is any better than a headphone amp; it's just that a decent speaker amp will have the current necessary to drive the HE-6 properly, while most headphone amps will not. But hopefully the Lyra and EF6 will be up to the job for a reasonable price, adding to a very short list of headamps that will do the job from what I can tell, and an even shorter list if you want something < $1000.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

 

These headphones sound way better through the speaker taps on my $200 speaker amp than balanced out of my tube-maxed WA22, over $2K into that.


Quoting myself here, just to re-emphasize that cost isn't the defining factor. I spent almost the same on a 20 watt T-amp and it wasn't even close to doing a decent job, my WA22 was actually way better than that one. Watts don't necessarily mean current evidently, and the HE-6 thrives on current.

 

So I traded the T-amp back in for a custom ALO speaker tap adapter and haven't looked back biggrin.gif

 


 


Edited by grokit - 12/18/10 at 6:03pm
post #1995 of 14203

I'm going to buy a  simaudio i5 le to drive the he6, and see how it goes.

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