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HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone - Page 454

post #6796 of 14244

EF6: 5W at 50 Ohm

 

Mjolnir: 5W into 50 ohms

 

This seems to be the minimum to drive the EF6 properly. The EF6 is class A. the Mjolnir is Class A - A/B.

 

I am using a class A/B balanced pro audio speaker amp that puts 7.2 watts into 50 ohms and I am quite satisfied.

post #6797 of 14244

Look at this one.

 

8000 MW /  50 ohm 

 

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/SA/SA31/SA31EN.htm

post #6798 of 14244

Audio-GD has some seriously powerful headamps. Another example is their fully-balanced Master-8, which looks quite good with 7 watts into 50 ohms but it's three times the price of the SA-31. It would be interesting to compare the two!

post #6799 of 14244
Quote:
Originally Posted by zibra View Post

Well if you like transparent amp and you would like to find it to deliver enough power for HE6 you should PM majkel na dmaybe youll find solution. I strongly reccomend it if you like such signature. You gve me retoric question which is impossible to answer. Theres no "ideal" sound signature for everyone however I think its possible to find some reference aspects of good headamp without adding for itself, at least adding very little. Or maybe its just hobby which makes us to test a lot of gear without thinking why we change it so often. Seriously, if its so good after hearing so many devices why change it? Maybe it still lacks something...?

 

HE-6 needs a lot of power for dynamic peaks, not only to meet normal listening levels, and equally needs a good enough power supply to ensure voltage doesn't drop, and enough bias current to keep the amplifier working at it's lowest distortion.  From the page you linked:

 

"Realistic SPL's (sound-pressure levels) values for fortissimo passages with a full orchestra (plus chorus) typically register around 110dB (peak) at front-section seats in the performance hall. Of course, rock concerts, with their massive sound-reinforcement systems, can exceed 120dB (peak) for front-row seating locations. So, realistic reproduction of the full dynamic range of music performances would require a headphone-amplifier power-output level at least 32.5 dB above the specified 87.5 dB at 1 mW power input for the HE5LE headphones. Bottom-line; you'd want to target headphone-amplifiers that can provide at least 1.6W (1600mW) RMS of output power into the 38-ohm load in order to avoid dynamic compression; that's sufficient current-drive to directly power a number of higher-senstivity loudspeakers... "

 

By the time you have an amplifier that meets the requirements I have stated you are looking at a handful of over-engineered headphone amplifiers or speaker amplifiers.  Depending on the voltage that your source is putting out you can actually use quite a bit of the power of a lower powered speaker amplifier or one of these high powered headphone amplifiers.  I use a lot of travel on the atennuator on my amplifier which puts 7WPC into 50 Ohms - I get to 50 out of 99 for some recordings.  The HE-6 needs even more power than the HE-5.  If you don't provide enough power for the HE-6 it will sound thin, dynamically compressed, and lack tonal saturation and bass presence IMO mostly because the power supply is not able to keep up with the load.  This is not just a coloration thing, I have heard several neutral and transparent amplifiers with the HE-6 with different power supplies and all of them sounded different in certain key areas such as bass response and midrange tonal saturation.  If you are listening to compressed modern recordings this probably won't matter so much as the dynamic peaks will be much closer to the average level of the recording, but for good recordings you need headroom for dynamics.  So yes the power output of speaker amplifiers is actually useful for the HE-6.

 

There is no reason why any speaker amp is better than any headphone amp, just that in order to provide enough capacitance with the power supply and bias current to keep the distortion low, you are looking at something more similar to a speaker amplifier than a headphone amplifier.  Therefore it makes sense to look at some high quality speaker amplifiers as they fit the bill and can be cheaper than some of the high power headphone amplifiers.  Only problem is you need a preamp or a DAC with preamp functionality.

 

When the designer of the HE-6 was demonstrating the headphone at audio shows he was using a speaker amplifier, and the amplifier he designed specifically for the HE-6 more resembles a speaker amplifier than a headphone amplifier.  This is not a coloration thing but a matter for providing the power supply and heat dissipation needed to power the HE-6 through a full dynamic range (including dynamic peaks) also accounting for for output voltage of different sources.  The amplifier you linked will clearly not be able to provide the power supply capacitance or heat dissipation which would be necessary to properly power the HE-6 IMO.


Edited by drez - 10/9/12 at 8:02pm
post #6800 of 14244

Might I also add that it's erroneous to think speaker amp circuits are always more complicated than headphone amp circuits (as was implied by someone a page or two ago).  

post #6801 of 14244

To add to that, as they sell more and there is a bigger market for them, they offer a LOT more VFM in contrast to Headphone amps.

post #6802 of 14244
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

Might I also add that it's erroneous to think speaker amp circuits are always more complicated than headphone amp circuits (as was implied by someone a page or two ago).  

 

 

No one said anything about being more complicated.  It was said that headphone amps circuits where much smaller than speaker amps as in power supplies and transformers.  This relates to being able to supply the current the 6s needs. 

post #6803 of 14244
So I guess we have one of the explanations. Each supply rail in the headphone amps that are enjoyable via the HE-6 have total capacitance of 5500uF or more, then add similar numbers in the PSU alone. These are numbers that even in SS speaker amps use to be lower.
post #6804 of 14244
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post


No one said anything about being more complicated.  It was said that headphone amps circuits where much smaller than speaker amps as in power supplies and transformers.  This relates to being able to supply the current the 6s needs. 
Interesting how we read things differently. This was exactly my intention with respect to differences in what the amp was designed for, headphones or speakers.

Signed,
Someone
post #6805 of 14244
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

??

oops, 8ohm...but I see below that figure is wrong!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

EF6: 5W at 50 Ohm

 

Mjolnir: 5W into 50 ohms

 

This seems to be the minimum to drive the EF6 properly. The EF6 is class A. the Mjolnir is Class A - A/B.

 

I am using a class A/B balanced pro audio speaker amp that puts 7.2 watts into 50 ohms and I am quite satisfied.

 

Interesting, I believed Mjolnir was 12W into 8ohm.  If you're saying it does 5W into 50ohm, that would imply it's closer to 30W into 8ohm!  Though obviously it doesn't have the power supply capabilities to handle real 8ohm loads, so that's purely theoretical.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drez View Post

 

HE-6 needs a lot of power for dynamic peaks, not only to meet normal listening levels, and equally needs a good enough power supply to ensure voltage doesn't drop, and enough bias current to keep the amplifier working at it's lowest distortion.  From the page you linked:

 

"Realistic SPL's (sound-pressure levels) values for fortissimo passages with a full orchestra (plus chorus) typically register around 110dB (peak) at front-section seats in the performance hall. Of course, rock concerts, with their massive sound-reinforcement systems, can exceed 120dB (peak) for front-row seating locations. So, realistic reproduction of the full dynamic range of music performances would require a headphone-amplifier power-output level at least 32.5 dB above the specified 87.5 dB at 1 mW power input for the HE5LE headphones. Bottom-line; you'd want to target headphone-amplifiers that can provide at least 1.6W (1600mW) RMS of output power into the 38-ohm load in order to avoid dynamic compression; that's sufficient current-drive to directly power a number of higher-senstivity loudspeakers... "

 

By the time you have an amplifier that meets the requirements I have stated you are looking at a handful of over-engineered headphone amplifiers or speaker amplifiers.  Depending on the voltage that your source is putting out you can actually use quite a bit of the power of a lower powered speaker amplifier or one of these high powered headphone amplifiers.  I use a lot of travel on the atennuator on my amplifier which puts 7WPC into 50 Ohms - I get to 50 out of 99 for some recordings.  The HE-6 needs even more power than the HE-5.  If you don't provide enough power for the HE-6 it will sound thin, dynamically compressed, and lack tonal saturation and bass presence IMO mostly because the power supply is not able to keep up with the load.  This is not just a coloration thing, I have heard several neutral and transparent amplifiers with the HE-6 with different power supplies and all of them sounded different in certain key areas such as bass response and midrange tonal saturation.  If you are listening to compressed modern recordings this probably won't matter so much as the dynamic peaks will be much closer to the average level of the recording, but for good recordings you need headroom for dynamics.  So yes the power output of speaker amplifiers is actually useful for the HE-6.

 

There is no reason why any speaker amp is better than any headphone amp, just that in order to provide enough capacitance with the power supply and bias current to keep the distortion low, you are looking at something more similar to a speaker amplifier than a headphone amplifier.  Therefore it makes sense to look at some high quality speaker amplifiers as they fit the bill and can be cheaper than some of the high power headphone amplifiers.  Only problem is you need a preamp or a DAC with preamp functionality.

 

When the designer of the HE-6 was demonstrating the headphone at audio shows he was using a speaker amplifier, and the amplifier he designed specifically for the HE-6 more resembles a speaker amplifier than a headphone amplifier.  This is not a coloration thing but a matter for providing the power supply and heat dissipation needed to power the HE-6 through a full dynamic range (including dynamic peaks) also accounting for for output voltage of different sources.  The amplifier you linked will clearly not be able to provide the power supply capacitance or heat dissipation which would be necessary to properly power the HE-6 IMO.

 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS, THIS, THIS!!! +300

 

That's the explanation we've been waiting for that actually explains the electrical issues involved!  Bravo! You finally provided a coherent explanation in electrical terms.  Sticky it, spam it, cut and paste it in this thread every week or two, this is gold, right here! beerchug.gif

post #6806 of 14244
With a 50 ohm load like the HE-6 or 120 ohm load like the K1000, you actually need much more of the voltage swing of a speaker amplifier than its maximum current capability. For instance, a 50W/8 ohm amp will deliver 8W to the 50 ohm load but resulting current swing is comparable to this amp driven with the 8 ohm speakers at 1.28W. The HE-6 consume 0.4A RMS when driven 8W continuous. It's no big deal to obtain such current for most serious solid state headphone amplifiers. However their problem is lack of proper voltage swing 'cause for these 8 watts 20V RMS is required, as well as low output impedance which is another advantage of speaker amps over some headphone amps, tube ones in the first place.
Edited by majkel - 10/10/12 at 8:59am
post #6807 of 14244
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

oops, 8ohm...but I see below that figure is wrong!

 

 

Interesting, I believed Mjolnir was 12W into 8ohm.  If you're saying it does 5W into 50ohm, that would imply it's closer to 30W into 8ohm!  Though obviously it doesn't have the power supply capabilities to handle real 8ohm loads, so that's purely theoretical.

 

 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS, THIS, THIS!!! +300

 

That's the explanation we've been waiting for that actually explains the electrical issues involved!  Bravo! You finally provided a coherent explanation in electrical terms.  Sticky it, spam it, cut and paste it in this thread every week or two, this is gold, right here! beerchug.gif

 

 

Can you break this down for a grade school kid?

post #6808 of 14244
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

Can you break this down for a grade school kid?

I think majkel actually already did a good job of it...but lets see...I'm hoping in simplifying I'm not distorting any of the original detail but the "oversimplified version"

 

Big power supplies with appropriate capacitance for the required load are much more common in speaker amps than headphone amps, the ability to operate driving a sustained high current draw while still having sufficient reserves for peak swings is also much more common in speaker amps than headphone amps.   Any amp can drive xx current, with xx current peaks, and even drive xx current sustained, but being able to drive high current sustained while not running thin on reserve power to swing more (as majkel said, especially in terms of voltage swing) for peaks is a larger challenge in terms of the power supply and heat dissipation.  The wider the dynamic range of the music being played the greater the sudden swings to peak from the nominal output, the greater the need for reserve voltage.

 

On the flip side, the qualifier here would be "within a certain limit."  The need for 200W monoblocks totaling 400W power is still probably better used with a 16" subwoofer or some Maggies wink_face.gif  HE-6 needs a lot of power, but it doesn't need more power than the average pair of floor standers with dual 8" woofers. rolleyes.gif  Though with my latest toy I'm broaching closer to that at 140wpc....but that's way more than needed.  The big transformer to sip from helps though. 

post #6809 of 14244
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

I think majkel actually already did a good job of it...but lets see...I'm hoping in simplifying I'm not distorting any of the original detail but the "oversimplified version"

 

Big power supplies with appropriate capacitance for the required load are much more common in speaker amps than headphone amps, the ability to operate driving a sustained high current draw while still having sufficient reserves for peak swings is also much more common in speaker amps than headphone amps.   Any amp can drive xx current, with xx current peaks, and even drive xx current sustained, but being able to drive high current sustained while not running thin on reserve power to swing more (as majkel said, especially in terms of voltage swing) for peaks is a larger challenge in terms of the power supply and heat dissipation.  The wider the dynamic range of the music being played the greater the sudden swings to peak from the nominal output, the greater the need for reserve voltage.

 

On the flip side, the qualifier here would be "within a certain limit."  The need for 200W monoblocks totaling 400W power is still probably better used with a 16" subwoofer or some Maggies wink_face.gif  HE-6 needs a lot of power, but it doesn't need more power than the average pair of floor standers with dual 8" woofers. rolleyes.gif  Though with my latest toy I'm broaching closer to that at 140wpc....but that's way more than needed.  The big transformer to sip from helps though. 

 

 

OK,

 

That's what I thought.

post #6810 of 14244

I plan on buying a matching Eximus S1 (125W, 500W mono) for my current DP1 as I slowly piece together another speaker rig. First thing on my list after the S1 is to give the HE6 another shot. I'll let you guys know in the not too distant future how this pairing sounds...

 

-Daniel

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