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HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone - Page 551

post #8251 of 13016
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuwhere View Post

Very nice review there Cante Ista. I'm using a Copland CTA 504 tube amp, 50wpc, sourced with an Oppo 95. Its presentation is very relaxed. Old Tung Sol 6550 tubes are the bees knees.


How would you say is your set up on staging? Also are you running HE-6 straight off speaker taps or do you use an adapter?

post #8252 of 13016
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cante Ista View Post

I finally got around to writing the review. I have had the HE-6 for three months now and the F3 for about a month and a half. I have listened to them almost daily and thought that I should try to write up my impressions.  My source is MacMini which serves only as a music server with Amarra. That is connected to my NAD m51 DAC, which is then routed to the F3. The F3 is not a clone. It is the original thing I got used and then refurbished by Mr Pass. I have not modded the amp during the referb process  but I am extremely happy with its performance and I am not sure how much more performance I could squeeze out out of it. This is my first attempt at a review, so I would appreciate constructive criticism. High-fives are also welcome.

 

HE 6 on the F3 has a very immediate presentation -- like you are sitting in the front row. The sounds are delivered with pinpoint accuracy. The focus is needle sharp. I think this is in part because every frequency is presented in a very clean and transparent fashion. I think clean is a good way to describe what’s going on here from top to bottom. What I love about the HE-6 and what sets it apart from many other headphones I have heard is how precise and detailed it is. Let’s start with the bass is. This is my favorite type of bass presentation. You just hear the notes, on the same level with all other frequencies -- noting added, nothing subtracted, nothing lacking! Just perfect! When I put on some IDM (i.e. apex twin, autechre or aufgang) and beat driven ambient music (i.e. pantha du prince or some shpongle, tripswitch), there is a very solid bass impact. Electronic music (I include hip-hop here) can contain some very low bass and the HE-6 on F3 delivers it. When some read this they may think I am talking about the “I can almost feel it in my chest type of bass”. But that is not exactly how this sounds.  It is rather brains than brawn. Lots of bass detail and low low low extension, but it is a headphone set up after all. I think that if you’d increased the bass impact you would lose all of the articulation, and, like I said before, this is the type of bass that draws me to the HE-6.  The beauty of this set up though is that all that bass is happening without taking anything away from other frequencies. The bass stands on its own, among other sounds or musicians on the stage, easily discernable from everything else, providing the basis on which the tracks stand.

 

And the other frequencies are also all there. Everything layed out on a black background, coming out and letting you know it is there. This type of detail is very easy to see on electronic music,  which, when at its best (I am not taking about the mass-produced stuff you hear on the radio, which is bad – just like rock and even jazz can be made bad when produced for the lowest common denominator), layers many many sounds to create harmonies – sound upon sound upon sound upon sound. Same thing with orchestral music – every section has its place and instruments can be isolated from all other. Just pop in some Mahler or Beethoven, etc. No other types of music can match the complexity of symphonies overall. In places so much stuff can be happening all at once, and jump around across frequency spectrum, and F3 with the HE-6 don’t have issues.  The HE-6 and F3 rig just resolves these nuances and harmonies beautifully and allows you to see each layer separately but then also jump to a higher (aka more distant) layer of perception and apprehend all of them together as one piece. This for me is the pinnacle of good headphone set up. Having the ability to hear every little nuance separately, but then also have the ability to step back and ‘apprehend’ all those sounds together coherently in time. This is in part because the amp and headphones present a nice 3D stage. They aren’t speakers, but I can definitely see the sound stage and separate different sounds or musicians in space. The sound stage is not as big as HD800, but nothing there is missing. If I remember correctly, I think the sound stage is similar to the one I heard on the SR009 with BHSE and OPPO95. In fact, in my limited experience I think that the HE-6 with the F3 with HE-6 come very close to the electrostatic set up I head at a recent DC meet. It is not the same – for sure. But detail-wise and sound-stage wise, they are definitely comparable. Not the same level, but comparable.  

 

I have read somewhere that the F3 is a tube lover’s solid state amp. I don’t about that that. While with the HE-6  the decay and whatever creates the meat on the bones experience in the bass and midrange is there slightly more than every other SS amp I have heard, I have also heard tube amps that the F3 cannot match in that regard. I also think that it has all the characteristics of a good SS amp, like awesome extension, control, and PRAT. I don’t know that tube lover would abandon tubes for F3 with the HE-6. Please mind my set up here, thou. There are no tubes anywhere in my signal path and perhaps this could be the culprit. Maybe F3 is just really good at amplifying tube preamp sound, etc. Maybe it is because HE-6 is adding/taking away something – I don’t know. While I would not call it tubey, I would also not call it cold and analytical. For SS amp, I think it is on warmer side. So for instance when I listen classical, strings and woodwinds retain a nice smooth presentation and voices are super natural. In fact, on one recording I turned around because I thought someone was with me in the room with me. But the presentation of highs is the kicker for me – the highs are not strident at all! Violins and flutes are smooth and detailed.  I know some have said that HE-6 can have strident highs. I have echo what others have said. This is likely system dependent. I also don’t think it’s all in the power. F3 packs 15WPC, so not gobs of power, but dives the HE-6 effortlessly. Like I already said, it is ALL there, balanced and beautifully laid out for you to enjoy, with no fatigue and no piercing highs.

 

In summary, the biggest strength of the combination of the HE-6 with F3, is the level of detail and its incredibly precise layering. This is accomplished with great bass impact and smooth extended highs. This for me is what good headphone system exceeds at, and this one definitely does so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

beerchug.gif

 

Also, you and your partner in crime (Happy Camper?) have got me wanting to hear the Sim-Audio...BAD! Not that I could afford it, well...rolleyes.gif could always sell the car if the Sim-Audio/HE-6 pairing is that moving.

post #8253 of 13016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent One View Post

beerchug.gif

 

Also, you and your partner in crime (Happy Camper?) have got me wanting to hear the Sim-Audio...BAD! Not that I could afford it, well...rolleyes.gif could always sell the car if the Sim-Audio/HE-6 pairing is that moving.

 

 

yeah that thing was $8.5K - but I was like.  

 

 

 

 

 

Way outta my price range.  I'll stick with the $1.5K First Watt..   For nowwink_face.gif

post #8254 of 13016
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post






I just reread what I posted and man.... I know English is not my 1st language but it is better than that. I was multitasking when writing it. I apologize if anything was confusing.
post #8255 of 13016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cante Ista View Post


Tell us about it. Have you posted a review anywhere? What are the specs? How does it sound?

Hi. I have not posted a review because i am new to the headphone stuff but not to audio.  I posted mostly to suggest that Deja Vu is a great place to go in the DC area.  But to your question, the amp was built for Deja Vu (as was my preamp and the 2A3 monoblocks I have with my speakers).  The 300B is about 8 watts.  Do not know much more because it is an amp they have had around the shop for awhile.  It provides a full sound with good detail with soundstage around the head (not like speakers, but not pushing at you).  I have an HE adapter.  At the shop i tried it with a Joildia CD player, a good audio note preamp and a couple of sets of speaker cables (audio note lexis and some dynamic design i brought).  What was clear immediately was how much better it was than the Violetric 200 i had that I had used with HE 500's.  And It was much better at home because of a ource is better (esoteric transport and blue circle 501ob dac) and the cables are better than what we were using at the shop.  There is plenty of oomph for the jazz and chamber music i tend to listen to.  Orchestra is good but i may want to try something with more power for comparison.  Not much more to say because I just have not tried many headphone/amp combos. Sorry I do not have more detail on amp specs but I can ask Vu next time i am there

 

gary.  

post #8256 of 13016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cante Ista View Post


How would you say is your set up on staging? Also are you running HE-6 straight off speaker taps or do you use an adapter?

 

Speaker taps. The HE-6 doesn't have a wide stage but it can resolve space between images or separation. This depends on the quality of the amp too. It also has very good depth. I'm using a 10ohm parallel resistor for impedance matching. I also have another tube amp, an Audio Research D70 Mk2, 60 wpc. It also uses 6550 output tubes. This amp is more lively than the Copland. The Copland has an intimate sound.

post #8257 of 13016
post #8258 of 13016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hun7er View Post

What about this amp http://www.leboncoin.fr/image_son/427845812.htm?ca=15_s ?

 

Those look like Russian Tung Sol 6550 reissues. I've tried them in my vintage Audio Research D70. They're a little weak in the bass compared to GE6550s.

post #8259 of 13016
@Gjc11028

Thanks. Sounds nice. I have never heard esoteric but I know it has quite a good rep. Your set up does sound quite nice.


@wuwhere

Thanks. I am really curious about hearing a good tube set up on he-6 (and hd800). I am wondering about what a good tube preamp would do for me. Or maybe another amp. What keeps me from it (besides the $) is the trouble of matching the resistance. Maybe after I get some more knowledge from others around here.
Edited by Cante Ista - 3/2/13 at 1:56pm
post #8260 of 13016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cante Ista View Post

@Gjc11028

Thanks. Sounds nice. I have never heard esoteric but I know it has quite a good rep. Your set up does sound quite nice.


@wuwhere

Thanks. I am really curious about hearing a good tube set up on he-6 (and hd800). I am wondering about what a good tube preamp would do for me. Or maybe another amp. What keeps me from it (besides the $) is the trouble of matching the resistance. Maybe after I get some more knowledge from others around here.

With the HE adapter you can use about any tube speaker amp there is for the HE-6.  It makes the amp think there is an 8 ohm load.  They say not to use it with higher efficiency headphones so not sure about the hd800.  If you get the adapter, you can take it and go listen to a bunch of things around town and hear the differences.  it is actually easier than borrowing amps and trying them in your home. i brought the headphones and adapater and some speaker cables with me and they can just hook it up to whatever amps they have out for demo.

post #8261 of 13016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cante Ista View Post

@wuwhere

Thanks. I am really curious about hearing a good tube set up on he-6 (and hd800). I am wondering about what a good tube preamp would do for me. Or maybe another amp. What keeps me from it (besides the $) is the trouble of matching the resistance. Maybe after I get some more knowledge from others around here.

 

Yes, a speaker tube amp, not a headphone tube amp. And with the more powerful output tubes, like 6550s, KT88, KT90 and even the newer KT120s.

post #8262 of 13016
Quote:
Originally Posted by gjc11028 View Post

With the HE adapter you can use about any tube speaker amp there is for the HE-6.  It makes the amp think there is an 8 ohm load.  They say not to use it with higher efficiency headphones so not sure about the hd800.  If you get the adapter, you can take it and go listen to a bunch of things around town and hear the differences.  it is actually easier than borrowing amps and trying them in your home. i brought the headphones and adapter and some speaker cables with me and they can just hook it up to whatever amps they have out for demo.

I do own the HE adapter but I don't think it is made with the best quality stuff. I think to get the most out of the HE-6 I would have to build my won resistor box and, unfortunately, I don't know much (read that, almost nothing) about the electronics and with a 9 month old infant and a full time job I have little time to read "the art of electronics" and other resources I have purchased to get smart on the topic. I am afraid that for now I am stock with solid state or simple plug and play tube gear.

In any case, I think your idea of taking the adapter around to audio shops is a good idea -- something to get a feel for the gear. But then I would want something better to to run in my signal path.

 

BTW, I am running my HD800 off my F3 speaker taps -- very nice -- but lets not derail the thread.

post #8263 of 13016
That load box is just that. You don't need it for anything but a transformer coupled tube amp. The sound (to me) was less dynamic than direct off of my SS amps over 100 watts.
post #8264 of 13016

He could have used some audio quality resistors but in that box most of the $ went into the plastic box and the connectors.

post #8265 of 13016

So I've been seriously trying to convince myself to downgrade and save some money by dropping down to the HE-500. Today I finally had a chance to listen back to back and compare the HE-6 vs the HE-500... and no bones about it, I still prefer the HE-6. The detail and sense of air, low end delivery, and just overall "presence" feels better on the HE-6. It's not a huge difference, but it's immediately noticeable. Maybe there's some sort of expectation bias at play, but I *wanted* to like the HE-500 more and it just didn't happen. Sigh, this doesn't make my decision any easier guys.

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