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HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone - Page 142

post #2116 of 14788
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuwhere View Post

They can sound lean with SS amps. Perhaps a tube amp with some KT88/6550s but EL34 should sound sweet. Manley or old VTL should do, perhaps even Audio Research, Conrad Johnson, a David Berning, Jadis?


My Cary SLI80 with EAT KT88s and Cool Valves made the even the HE-6 prototypes shine, especially from the speaker terminals.  Highly recommend that amp, even with the stock Sovtek tube compliment.  A best of both worlds in my book, especially if you can get good deal on one.  The EATs jack up the overall price tag quite a bit, but it's still a bargain for what it does.

post #2117 of 14788

Lol, I read about those old VTL amps quality or lack of. The only VTL equipment I ever owned was their Ultimate preamp. I still have an old Audio Research D70B in storage that I need shipped from another country.

post #2118 of 14788
Quote:
Originally Posted by warp08 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by wuwhere View Post

They can sound lean with SS amps. Perhaps a tube amp with some KT88/6550s but EL34 should sound sweet. Manley or old VTL should do, perhaps even Audio Research, Conrad Johnson, a David Berning, Jadis?


My Cary SLI80 with EAT KT88s and Cool Valves made the even the HE-6 prototypes shine, especially from the speaker terminals.  Highly recommend that amp, even with the stock Sovtek tube compliment.  A best of both worlds in my book, especially if you can get good deal on one.  The EATs jack up the overall price tag quite a bit, but it's still a bargain for what it does.



Cary makes some nice amps. In triode?

post #2119 of 14788

I would love to build the Crack Paramount 300B SET monoblocks...I reckon they'd be magical with the HE-6s...something I'm going to look into in the near future.

 

I spent a lot of time with the K701s and prefer them to compliment my LCD2s than the HD800s.  If the HE-6s are less peaky in the trebles than the HD800, I think I'll take a shine to them.

post #2120 of 14788

Do (some) tube amps add decay?  If so, I think a warm, lush tube amp would be a great pairing with the HE6, I would love to hear that combo.  But to be honest, the HE6 sounded very similar in terms of tonality on all 5 or so amps I tried them with, though none of the amps I was familiar with had a very warm sound.  The 2 speaker amps I tried I have no idea what kind of sound they have because I've only heard them with their paired speakers. 


Edited by rhythmdevils - 12/26/10 at 12:45am
post #2121 of 14788
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmdevils View Post

Do (some) tube amps add decay?  If so, I think a warm, lush tube amp would be a great pairing with the HE6, I would love to hear that combo.  But to be honest, the HE6 sounded very similar in terms of tonality on all 5 or so amps I tried them with, though none of the amps I was familiar with had a very warm sound.  The 2 speaker amps I tried I have no idea what kind of sound they have because I've only heard them with their paired speakers. 


If anything, I believe tube amps can kinda homogenise the decay and sustain, making for a fleshier tone, whilst blunting razor transients and de-emphasising release.  IMO good tube amps simulate distortions of soundwaves jumping through atmosphere by forcing electronic waves to jump through the space of vacuum - leading to a realistic coloration, at the cost of percussion accuracy...but well worth it for improvements to slower transient rise times in strings, guitars, wind instruments and voices.  They also stage and image more realistically as well.  These pleasant attributes cannot be EQ'd in no matter how one tries.


Edited by SP Wild - 12/26/10 at 1:02am
post #2122 of 14788
Quote:
Originally Posted by SP Wild View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmdevils View Post

Do (some) tube amps add decay?  If so, I think a warm, lush tube amp would be a great pairing with the HE6, I would love to hear that combo.  But to be honest, the HE6 sounded very similar in terms of tonality on all 5 or so amps I tried them with, though none of the amps I was familiar with had a very warm sound.  The 2 speaker amps I tried I have no idea what kind of sound they have because I've only heard them with their paired speakers. 


If anything, I believe tube amps can kinda homogenise the decay and sustain, making for a fleshier tone, whilst blunting razor transients and de-emphasising release.  IMO good tube amps simulate distortions of soundwaves jumping through atmosphere by forcing electronic waves to jump through the space of vacuum - leading to a realistic coloration, at the cost of percussion accuracy...but well worth it for improvements to slower transient rise times in strings, guitars, wind instruments and voices.  They also stage and image more realistically as well.  These pleasant attributes cannot be EQ'd in no matter how one tries.

Well Carver said he could duplicate tube sound on SS, it was the challenge. 

 

I have worked with tubes for years. I wouldn't say they are one way or the other, warm, neutral or cool sounding. It is the design/topology used. I have heard tube equipment sound like solid state, fast deep articulated bass and without the soul of tubes. I have heard it overly lush. But I agree, they can add just the right amount of distortion that is truer to life than SS. Do a good design and then there is one thing left that will make or break the amp. The iron. Have great transformers and you have got it. You can have it all but most people don't want to pay the price of good iron. I have some nickel steel double C core output transformers from Audio Note Uk. Unbelievable but you aren't going to find them in any commercially available equipment. No one is going to put transformers that cost over a thousand dollars into a piece of equipment unless it is a statement piece but add up the rest of the components and you have a 25 or 30 thousand dollar piece of equipment or more.  

 

You can find good tube equipment though. Much used with excellent iron. Topology hasn't really changed at all. They figured out all the designs many years ago, back in the 50's as it was the last of the real invention. I have a friend who was a tube designer for RCA. He has all types of plaques for his tubes. Any design, one that I even thought was hot off of the new wave press, was something he could finish. He would say, oh yeah, we used to use that. But put in the good iron with a good design and you have got it. One thing that does kill many good tube amps is too much feedback and again just implementation. 
 

post #2123 of 14788

Good irons are expensive, from what I read about tube amps, spend the most money on irons and what's left on good tubes. Like I would rather upgrade the caps than spend hundreds on cables.

post #2124 of 14788

Tube circuits are really pretty simple. It is the implementation that needs to be well thought out. The main cost is the iron, if it is good. I have had custom wound output transformers made and while not cheap, it is well worth it. The ones I got from Audio Note UK are for my dac but they are also useable in a preamp so I will never get rid of them, they are useful and only go up in price. On tube amps you don't even have to spend a lot on caps, except for the input caps and you can even find deals on those. I used 800 volt 120uf oil caps (6) per side on mono amps and they wipe electrolytics and don't even cost a great deal. They are so fast you don't need more uf for sustained excellent bass. It's all good and fun. 

post #2125 of 14788

Yeah, I read all about the Carver challenge, and it seems to me that is more of a distortion coloration than frequency response that make tubes sound so nice to my ears.  I had a couple of tube amps and I think it is the quality of the output transformers that differentiated their presentations...one was very tubey sounding and the other was very fast and solid state like with good frequency extension.


Edited by SP Wild - 12/26/10 at 3:08am
post #2126 of 14788
Quote:
Originally Posted by SP Wild View Post

Yeah, I read all about the Carver challenge, and it seems to me that is more of a distortion coloration than frequency response that make tubes sound so nice to my ears.

Yes, to a degree. And what room doesn't distort and color live music? Even with treatments you still get coloration that is why I have always enjoyed tubes. You can have an amp that is a certain venue, a place and time, and keep it. A well done tube amp has such life that it can be beguiling. I have so many tubes in storage back in the states that I would love to be working with. Well someday. 

post #2127 of 14788
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post

Tube circuits are really pretty simple. It is the implementation that needs to be well thought out. The main cost is the iron, if it is good. I have had custom wound output transformers made and while not cheap, it is well worth it. The ones I got from Audio Note UK are for my dac but they are also useable in a preamp so I will never get rid of them, they are useful and only go up in price. On tube amps you don't even have to spend a lot on caps, except for the input caps and you can even find deals on those. I used 800 volt 120uf oil caps (6) per side on mono amps and they wipe electrolytics and don't even cost a great deal. They are so fast you don't need more uf for sustained excellent bass. It's all good and fun. 



I modded the caps on my tube amp and it made a big improvement. Next is getting some better wires and volume pot like TKD. I measured the vol pot on my amp and at max attenuation, the left channel was 97kOhms while the right was 89kOhms. The good thing is at max vol, the left is 10Ohms and the right is 17Ohms, not bad.


Edited by wuwhere - 12/26/10 at 4:24am
post #2128 of 14788
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

So far it seems to be a tie between the Leben and the WA5 for best HE-6 amp. Has anyone had a chance to compare them directly?


I would definitely add the Luxman SQ-N100 to that list.  The N100/HE-6 combination off the Luxman's speaker taps is phenominal.   This combination blows away anything else that I've ever heard.   The HE-6 is extremely well balanced across the entire frequency spectrum.  Its transparency and speed are incredible and in its own league compared to the T1, and HD800.  The soundstage is wide and deep and imaging is spot on.  The HE-6's level of clarity in the midrange is a real eye opener.  It achieve's this level of clarity without leaning out the midrange or emphasizing the highs.  The bass is deep, tight and powerful but again not overemphasized.  For reference, I also currently own the LCD2, LA7000, T1 and HD800.  My latest purchase is the LCD2 with the Silver Dragon cable and I like it a lot but it's too new to for me to make a judgement.  I've made some quick comparisons between the HE-6 and LCD2 and my preference is the HE-6.  However, my experience tells me that quick "A to B" judgements are not always the best.   I once purchased the Edition 9's based on a brief listening session and that turned out to be one of my worst headphone puchasing decisions ever.  


l


Edited by SteveM324 - 12/26/10 at 6:55am
post #2129 of 14788
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jian View Post

I have withdrawn my decision on buying the simaudio I 5 le and now my eyes are on the leben cs300x, which is in stock from a local dealer. Can I ask a question to skylab and those who are driving the he6 using the cs300x speaker terminal, that does it require a resistor box to plug the he6? And will it cause tube over heat without the resistor box? Cheers!


No resistor box needed and no issues with heating or any such issue.  Works very well.

post #2130 of 14788


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post

 

Great to read about the center fill. I mentioned it because earlier in the thread I kept reading about the lack of center fill. With this information the phones are more interesting to me again. 
 
On the TSRP I have NOS in Navy boxes. Beautifully printed in a deep blue in thick cardboard. Actually many tubes came off the line and were put into military boxes and the same line would often be used for civilian use, all the same tubes and same testing. I used to use tubes as I was a radioman when they still used tubes for transmitters and receivers. We would have just as many failures as anyone else and I knew someone that had worked at RCA in tubes. While Tungsol wasn't RCA they all worked with the same method. There are tubes that were rejects and sold under many names that weren't any good because they did fail tests or were too out of spec. Those, I agree, you should stay clear of. 
 
The non bad boys from 1952 are nice, the dull mica version. 

Yes that's right about the boxes but also does yours have the inspection stickers and dates of inspection on the boxes. As I understand it the TSRP's in WWII where not used very much because there wasn't much that the Navy had that use them.

 

No I never tried the tubes you are talking about, but if they are similar to the bad boys then imo they are not as good as the TSRP's.

Anyway in my amp its not about just the drive tubes, its about how well the Drive, Power and Rectifier's complement each other for the sound I prefer.

 

On a side note I am glad you picked up on the "metal" because that is the point I have been trying to get across, its not about the volume it's about the power.
 

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