No, David...It does not. Just don't expect to to be driven by an Amphora or a Bithead,
Any ballsy home amp will do. I used a Raptor, Luxman P-1. Headroom Desktop, Xin Reference, Valhalla (not good enough), and a EF-5.
The difference in efficiency compared to the "proto" model is astronomical.
I did some testing at RMAF. With the EF-5 I would listen to the HE-5 LE at 10-11 o'clock and the HE-6 production at 11-12 o'clock, while the prototype had me listening at 3-4 o'clock when I had it. I found the HE-6 production to also work well with my ZDT. With ZDT I had to listen to the prototype at 3-4 o'clock, and the new production version only required the volume to be at about 1 o'clock. For comparison sake, I use the ZDT at 11 o'clock for HE-5 LE and 10 o'clock for HD600, HD800 or LCD-2.
I almost thought the EF5 could achieve a little higher max volume with them than my ZDT. Overall I thought the EF5 was a good match for the HE-6 now, both in power and timbre and tone. The HE-6 squeeze that little bit of extra performance out of the EF5 amp, but the amp will still hold them back a little, although sounding glorious doing even that. The EF6 prototype and ZDT extracted more detail and space from the HE-6 than the EF5 could, but the ZDT had the warmth and richness of the EF5 rather than being more analytical like the EF6.
So both amps now have plenty of headroom to crank it up or for dynamic transients, while they were near maxed with the prototype. They HE-6 are still not as efficient as the HE-5 LE, but they are a good bit closer now. You still have to choose a powerful amp, but it doesn't need to be a speaker amp now. I tried the HE-6 production on the CEntrance DACmini and it did seem a bit underpowered with them, requiring max volume for normal listening (no distortion). The DACmini could drive the HE-5 LE or Beyer T1 much better. The HDP still needed to be playing at about 3 o'clock without much headroom as well, but it out-powered the DACmini, while falling behind the EF5 with them.
Edited by HeadphoneAddict - 11/3/10 at 12:10am