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HE-6 Loaner Program - Page 43

post #631 of 903

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I  


" You also were listening to the Maggies and we had the sub off which when on provides the low bass needed to cover the low bass and mid bass. With the sub on It is so much better. Also the speakers cost 600.00 and add the price of the sub so your looking at 1K for a full range speaker.
I do not need to use a speaker amp with other headphones and can sit more comfortable than upsetting my listening room as I did to listen to the HE6. Really makes no sense to listen and rearrange the room when I go to where my head rig is and I have three seating areas where I need not rearrange anything. So the inconvenience of  using the headphones with a 20 ft cable really does not appeal to me. I do not even do that with cans  It just does not work for me that way.Next time you stop over I will let you hear the maggies with the sub and use the Decware as a preamp. I promise you jaw will drop."



The HE-6 seemed to have good synergy with the NAD amp. Of course at you house you, Aaron and myself had the luxury of being able to compare all the top-tier headphones in a controlled environment. Overall though, I agree that unless the HE-6 is efficient enough to be driven to it's full potential on a quality headphone amp, it's not convenient. A much longer cable and higher quality termination would also be needed if they continue to be required out of a two channel amp.


I would love to hear the Maggies with the sub on.

post #632 of 903

Ross anytime you want to come over and hear them with the sub let meknow. The tube preamp also took them up another couple of notches and utilezed all the power of both the sub amp and the Outlaw. Very dynamic and very detailed,

post #633 of 903

Hey guys I'm in Milwaukee, WI and would love to try these.

post #634 of 903

Send a PM to Fang (Nankai) and see if he's still taking loaner apps. With how many people on still on the list it appears they will be released before everyone gets a chance to hear them. We're roughly 1.5-2 months from the end of the list if everyone keeps up the 1 week only trial period.

 

I do hope if I love them that they will at least be released by Christmas.

post #635 of 903

He told me to post in hear and see where they were.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Send a PM to Fang (Nankai) and see if he's still taking loaner apps. With how many people on still on the list it appears they will be released before everyone gets a chance to hear them. We're roughly 1.5-2 months from the end of the list if everyone keeps up the 1 week only trial period.

 

I do hope if I love them that they will at least be released by Christmas.

post #636 of 903
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post
 Really makes no sense to listen and rearrange the room when I go to where my head rig is and I have three seating areas where I need not rearrange anything. So the inconvenience of  using the headphones with a 20 ft cable really does not appeal to me. I do not even do that with cans  It just does not work for me that way.

OK, but my main point was (which I totally left out of the post), was that any headphone would need a longer than an OEM cable to listen with, the Outlaw set-up, but now after reading your last post, is a moot point. As you posted, the only reason that you moved your chair was to listen to the speaker outs of the Outlaw, which you wouldn't have to do if you were listening at one of your other 3 dedicated listening areas just for headphones.

I had a brain fart, sorry. There would be no reason to use your Outlaw receiver headphone out, if you were using headphones.

 

BTW- If you ever need anyone to babysit your three beautiful dogs for the price of dog food, put me first on the list  . They are wonderful, and they don't eat equipment, at east, not in your house.

I would love to listen to your Maggies at their full potential someday, and would love to have you guys come over and hear my Vienna Acoustics surround set-up. It's to die for, especially Telarc's 1812 Overture with the original bell ringers, choir and canoneer's. When the first shot rings out, it works better than Ex-Lax 
 

post #637 of 903

Finished.

 

Final Impressions & NAGRA DT48S comparisons

 

CosmeticsConnections & Design:

 

This is the prototype. I have no idea if any, what changes will be made to the finished product. Overall, the quality & designs fits right in with other high end, under 1,000 headphones. I found them very light on my head. The padding is full, yet soft like a pillow, without being to fluffy. They covered every ounce of my ears. They fit on my head nearly perfect. Only needed a few minor adjustments. They are on par with my former MDR F1/SA5000/DT880 in terms of comfort. I like the wooden design. Minimal gloss, unlike some of the prettier looking AT woodies. Construction is good, but I question the overall durability of these headphones. Don't get the wrong impression. The craftsmanship is wonderful, but seem more on the fragile side of the spectrum.

 

The HE6 came packaged with a assortment of connections & adapters for both speaker amp/headphone amp usage. The cables themselves are de tachable & of the screw on/off variety. Red/white coloring for proper cable placement. Very easy & self explanatory. Unfortunately the stock cable seems to fit with most high end headphones, which are just 'OK.'. I'm sure getting a better & more capable 3rd party cable will be mandatory for most serious buyers.

 

Headphone History

NAGRA DT48S Cir 1955-1957

DT48a x4

DT48S

DT48e X7

Sen 650

Sen 600

Sen 595

Sen 212 Pro

AKG K501

AKG K240 Sextett

AKG K280

AKG K701

AKG K1000

AKG K340

Audio Technia AD700

Audio Technics 810 (Ortho)

Yamaha Y1 (Ortho)

Beyers DT480

Beyers DT770 03

Beyers DT880 05

Beyers DT990 05

Sony SA5000

Sony MDR F1

 

Equipment & cables used:

NAGRA DT48S

GoldPoint Pro Headphone amp V9

OPPO 83SE Universal player

Yamaha V1800 receiever

Zu Birth PC

Zu Bok PC

ZU Mother PC

Cardas Silver stereo interconnects

Belkin  stereo interconnects

Monster 1000 toslink cable

Monster digital coax cable

Blue Jean Toslink cable

Panamax 5300 Power center & surge protector

 

Overview.  2 headphones from 2 different eras, purposes, & technology come together with interesting results.

 

Brief history. The NAGRA DT48S is the first headphone released to the public in the mid 50's. The NAGRA DT48S is based off the original that was restricted to professional use for 20 yrs. Since 1937. So we have a headphone based on the first moving coil design. Due to their technical prowess, They met NAGRA's strict standards for recording purposes & other professional applications, even though they were released to the public. From what I know they were modified sonically before their release. & some say were 600 ohms. My NAGRA DT48S is from 1955-1957, only 5 ohms, & has been repaired & re cabled by Alex from apuresound.com. To put it bluntly, I decided to compare the NAGRA DT48S to the HE6 cause I feel they are the best headphones I ever owned, & quite possibly , the best I heard. My apologies to the K1000.

 

My Ortho knowledge is not up to snuff. I believe planar technology was created in the 60's, (electrostats also fall in the planar family) & have some noticeable improvements over dynamic headphones. In general, the sound is more natural, effortless audio reproduction with a smoothness that voice coil technology cannot compete with. Yamaha lead the charge for ortho's in the 70's.. Even making ortho friendly receivers. Yamaha also has one of the most revered & respected Ortho ever created. The Yamaha 1000. Fostex was also a major player in Ortho technology, but mostly for the professional market. Ortho's run lasted until early to mid 90's I believe. Ortho's have a cult following, partly in due to the ease of modding, & there has been a resurgence in Ortho's recently with the Fostex T50, LCD1, LCD2, HE5, HE5 LE, & the formidable HE6, which I'm about to review.

 

Neutrality/Transparency

 

I must admit, I expected a highly colored & 'fun' headphone. To my surprise they are more neutral & transparent, then I thought. That is a good thing IMO. They lean on the tonally/timbre rich & warm side, but do so delicately, think subliminally tinkering.. The HE6 'slides' this in without notice at first, it just sounds like it should be there. & nothing in excess like the 650, which seemed overly rich & lush to the point of sounding a bit manufactured. The HE6.

 

rich/warm un amped instruments sound realistic & natural to me. On the flip side, you realize the HE6 does add a bit of it's own 'magic', cause drums, finger snaps, tambourine among others are too rich sounding IMO.. So it really is a mixed bag.. I was on cloud 9 then was hit with a nose dive..Cello to drums. So the HE6 isn't hard-line neutral. Drums can sound a bit artificial, but the HE6 is transparent enough to allow the listener to differentiate the type of drums/drum machine being used. Acoustics get a 'pass' with the HE6. There's a nice sense of warmth & sheen, but isn't able to re create a authentic type experience with 100% consistency & lacks the ability to dissect every layer & every fiber of the individual string. The HE6 blend string instruments to a certain extent, but with a inviting & enticing sense of warmth that pulls you into the music emotionally, while the NAGRA's just expose what is there without being discrete or trying to connect you to the music. Better used as a analyzing tool, then a headphone that touches all the right neurons for the intended response.

 

Tonally rich instruments sound more realistic on the HE6 then on my NAGRA DT48S. They have more 'bite', & more 'flesh.' the NAGRA's feel naked in comparison.. But the NAGRA DT48S is more consistent overall & authentic in general when comparing a host of un amped/acoustics instruments.. The HE6 is more hit or miss. & the NAGRA's removes layer upon layer of acoustics along with a life like authenticity that is unreal at times.. But with certain instruments, the HE6 really get's it right, where the NAGRA's tend to struggle a bit. Too sum it up. I was impressed with the Neutrality & transparency.. People looking for a strictly fun headphone should look elsewhere..

 


Midrange

 

IMO the midrange is what really makes or breaks a headphone. I will use an analogy by Kevin to describe the DT48's mid range. It's like a mike feed that's connected to your brain. This is very true. The DT48 mid range is the best sonic trait it has. The DT48 NAGRA is very mid centric without sounding forward. The mids are full, intimate, extremely detailed, resolving, with  a true to like authentic presentation, with great clarity to match.. So how does the HE6 stack up? The mid range does sound more natural & effortless in it's presentation. Free flowing comes to mind. Very smooth, but feels a bit distance & recessed compared to the NAGRA. The vocals on the HE6 carries more weight & warmth to the vocalist voice making them sound more alive & seductive, but there is a slight gloss over the mid range that lacks the resolving power & detail extraction the NAGRA gives you in spades.. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.. The HE6 mid range is certainly detailed enough to pick up minor gaffs, & can allow for a more pleasing listening experience, masking minor ambient quirks.. The HE6 mid range wants to keep the listener engaged. The NAGRA wants to discet everything in the vocalist voice.

 

Bass

 

This is where the HE6 start to move ahead of the NAGRA. The DT48 in general is a labor of love in getting proper bass. It's very tricky but can be done, especially the vintage 5-25ohm versions. The NAGRA's are overly dependent on the source for their bass. The bass is truly neutral without any emphasis in the bass. This makes them sound 'bass lite.' I believe Beyer's did this to monitor the bass accurately for recording & other pro applications. They just wanted to hear the bass how it is. Some call this flat. There are people who feel the NAGRA & DT48 in general get the bass right, others feel you needed added emphasis to get realistic bass with acoustic instruments.

 

The NAGRA's bass varies greatly depending on the recording. The bass is full, tight, & snappy. Some might interpret them as bass lean due to the lack of extra weight & quantity. The NAGRA's re produce un amped bass much better then amped bass or poorly done bass. The NAGRA's lack bass definition, meat on the low end, & extends much less then the HE6. The HE6 bass is rich, better mid bass, meatier bottom end with much better extension. The DT48 roll off starts between 50-60hz from most reports. But some members have listed they go deeper, with less roll off. The HE6 just offers a fuller, richer bass with more impact & quantity without sticking out. I agree with Frank & others who say the HE6 have a balanced sound. They really do.. & the bass is no different. Bass heads look elsewhere. The HE6 bass leans more towards the accurate & realistic side of the spectrum.

 

Highs

 

This is another area that I feel the HE6 betters the NAGRAs. The NAGRA's highs are of good quality. Clean & detailed. But doesn't extend farly as much as the HE6. The highs extend very well, & smoother, better well rounded with some 'sparkle'. While the NAGRA's illustrate some roll off in the upper frequencies in comparison.

 

Distortion/Blackness/Noise floor

 

The HE6 demonstrate a type of blacker then black ground that I have yet to discover in any headphone. & sounds natural to boot. The NAGRA's are 'grayish' in comparison. The HE6 seems to have a lower distortion level, which allows for so,me great lower level resolving power that picks up more data with little effort, while the NAGRA strains a bit. The Blackness is like a void, where instruments & voices simply appear & disappear with a very authentic & life like decay.. Think playing Marco polo. You literally don't know where the instrument is coming from. Any direction & height. It's like being sucker punched but in a good way.. Truly stunning.. This was with my Panamax 5300 PC/SP/Goldpoint V9/Oppo84se combo..

 

Sound stage & imaging

 

The HE6 Sound stage is quite ordinary. In some respects that's good. It's not overly big or feels artificial. The Sound stage is bigger & rounder in the 3d sense then the NAGRA which are heavy left to right sounding. They sound exactly like a headphone. Very seldom do you get a out of head experience. The HE6 Sound stage does have better vertical depth then horizontal width & depth. The overall size is above average. They do offer a complete 3d experience. Both the space the instruments occupy & the instruments themselves are 3d & good, but not stellar imaging. The NAGRA's space is flat & 2d.. Think side scrolling gaming. But the instruments & vocals are 3D & gives you a better sense of the instruments & studios surroundings.. From reverb reflections off walls. Studio conditions. The weight & dimensions of the instruments. The NAGRA's sound stage & imaging is better equip to accommodate to the recording. The sound stage will expand, widen, get smaller, change heights of the venue. In this sense the NAGRA's are a chameleon, while the HE6 sound stage pretty much stays the same & is less transparent. You don't get the full picture so to speak with the HE6. The air around the instruments isn't very good on the HE6, & is just a tad better then my NAGRA's. Both headphones do a good job with sound stage coherency , albeit, the NAGR does a better & more believable job of it. The HE6 sound stage does give the listener a full 3d experience,  with the NAGRA you kind of have to 'fill in the blanks & can seem a bit awkward at times. Think of a fighting game with 3d stages & 2d characters. The NAGRA's also offer better instrument separation, but this could easily change if the HE6 had more adequate amping.

 

Clarity. Detail. Speed.

 

I did expect more clarity & speed. I expected stat like speed & clarity. The Speed is Dynamic good. Not overly impressive, but the notes & instruments are clean & clear. Detail is very good, but it didn't expose anymore information then the NAGRA's.. Clarity & fidelity is clearly on the NAGRA's side.

 

Final thoughts

 

I won't project a winner. It wouldn't be fair to the HE6. I didn't have the juice to drive them to their potential. It would not surprise me if the HE6 are more detailed, faster, with great separation, & possibly clarity with the right power amp or mono block. So, no winner. I do, however, feel the HE6 is a very good headphone even under powered, their greatest strengths were able to shine. IMO, for 800.00 they would be a great bargain. I would even sell them for 800 for a month before starting to sell them for around 1,000. If Mr Fang does sell the HE6 between 1,200-1,600, I see this as a mistake, especially if the retail version is hard as nails to drive as this prototype. Better the sound, make them easier to drive, sell them for 995, & I think they will sell very well, despite being in direct competition with the LCD2. I would like to thank MR Fang for giving me the chance to listen to his wonderful sounding headphone. I hope he does extremely well with them.

post #638 of 903

Nice write up KB! 

 

I hate to say it, but I can barely hear a difference in SQ with the HE6 between my 80W Denon speaker amp and the built in amp inside my Beresford TC-7520, which is decent, but not great in any way, and the volume is nearly maxed on the Beresford to get enough power.  The difference is just a tiny bit more seperation, bass control, and dynamics. I'm pretty mystified.  I did the comparison just because it's so easy because I don't have to move RCA cables in the back to a different headphone amp.  And because I'm not that impressed with the way the HE-6 is sounding.  Though I won't say more until I listen more...

 

I suppose this Denon amp might not be very good.  It's part of an integrated tape/CD/amp speaker set I got in the 90's for about 1k.  I assume that means it is at least as good as some of the budget speaker amps people have been getting good results with. 

 

I'll have to listen more.

post #639 of 903

Thank you.. That's a bit odd.. I think the majority feel the retail version needs to be more efficient. I'm not buying a headphone that requires a power amp to drive them to their full potential. I hope Fang takes our criticism to heart with honestly & not malice.... We are being honest to help Fang better his headphone. But being a yes, man, does nothing to provide the truth & feelings of head fiers. Bolstering ego's can lead to un happy returns financially. I want Mr Fang to be very successful. No one else allowed me to be apart of their big item loaner program. So, I respect MR Fang for that & his undeniable talent, that we can all agree on..

 

I am sorry you did not have a good experience with the HE6 RD.. I still enjoyed the HE6 very much so, out of my modest set up..
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmdevils View Post

Nice write up KB! 

 

I hate to say it, but I can barely hear a difference in SQ with the HE6 between my 80W Denon speaker amp and the built in amp inside my Beresford TC-7520, which is decent, but not great in any way, and the volume is nearly maxed on the Beresford to get enough power.  The difference is just a tiny bit more seperation, bass control, and dynamics. I'm pretty mystified.  I did the comparison just because it's so easy because I don't have to move RCA cables in the back to a different headphone amp.  And because I'm not that impressed with the way the HE-6 is sounding.  Though I won't say more until I listen more...

 

I suppose this Denon amp might not be very good.  It's part of an integrated tape/CD/amp speaker set I got in the 90's for about 1k.  I assume that means it is at least as good as some of the budget speaker amps people have been getting good results with. 

 

I'll have to listen more.


Edited by kool bubba ice - 9/24/10 at 3:31pm
post #640 of 903
Quote:
Originally Posted by kool bubba ice View Post

 

I am sorry you did not have a good experience with the HE6 RD.. I still enjoyed the HE6 very much so, out of my modest set up..
 


 


I'm not writing them off, I just thought it was odd that they wouldn't sound much better with an 80W amp.  I have an appointment in Palo Alto on Monday and know someone with a nice speaker rig there.  Since I won't be able to ship on Monday anyways, I'll take them to test out there as well.  And I just traded someone my second pair of K340 for a Shiit Asgard, and haven't done much listening with that combo yet. 

 

EDIT:  It's sounding better with the Denon today actually, and pretty good with the new Asgard as well.  I'm not sure if this Denon is a bit spotty or if the HE6 just takes some time to adjust to...


Edited by rhythmdevils - 9/24/10 at 6:55pm
post #641 of 903
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie_X View Post

Hey guys I'm in Milwaukee, WI and would love to try these.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie_X View Post

He told me to post in hear and see where they were.
 


I am on the list and if it is OK with Fang, I can pass them along to you ..dB

post #642 of 903
Quote:
Originally Posted by kool bubba ice View Post
I think the majority feel the retail version needs to be more efficient. I'm not buying a headphone that requires a power amp to drive them to their full potential.

It was stated at the very beginning of the loaner program that to be a part of the trial, you needed to have an amp with speaker taps, in order to run the HE-6, so there is no surprise there. Like the K1000's the topography of this headphone requires wattage. That's not going to change in the production unit. I asked Fang. He said they will be more efficient and have improved sound output, but they will still need more wattage than just using a headphone out on a headphone amp. 

 

My Dareds only put out 13-15 volts and I feel that is sufficient for my tastes. I also used my 100 watt Adcom and didn't really notice any difference. Frank I felt that using a little more wattage than the Dareds (his Outlaw and a Denon), opened up some congestion that he heard on my amps (quaisi monos) at a NJ Meet. I bring this up because I'm not sure that a demo with an 80 wpc receiver would offer better results. YMMV.

I guess what I'm saying, is that if you like the headphones, then getting a small amp wouldn't bother you, but if the headphones are not your cup of tea, then something more substantial might not change your mind.

I amp borrowing a 20 watt Hlly Tamp 20 Class T amp in a week or so, which costs around $150 USD. This amp has no headphone jack, so I assume that it was made for headphones or speakers that are driven just out of the speaker taps. I'll report back on this. If you like the HE-6 and the Hlly sounds good, then $150 is not too large of an investment. Also, maybe we can get Fang to create an EF-6 and package it with the HE-6 like the EF-5 was made specifically for the HE-5's and 5LE's.

 

 

TAMP-20-03.JPG

 

TAMP-20-05.JPG

 

TAMP-20-01.JPG
 

post #643 of 903

I completely forgot that we have a Muse T-amp TA2024 15watt x 2 amp here that I never bothered to try with the HE-6. I stuck it on a shelf in the basement when my son started using my 12 watt Nuforce amp and forgot all about it.

post #644 of 903

But would that be enough anyways Larry? 15W at 8ohms or is that 60ohms?

post #645 of 903
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

But would that be enough anyways Larry? 15W at 8ohms or is that 60ohms?


Dunno - but it sounds like more power than the other 5-12 small watt amps I tried.

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