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Hifiman HE-4 Impressions Thread - Page 133

post #1981 of 3062
Unless you're diving deep on a DAC, get a Modi or Odac. Blind test, audiophiles couldnt tell the difference between a much more expensive dac vs odac. Modi and Odac are suppose to be neck to neck.

There are a few dac/amps out there that can do the he4 justice to full ability and best pairing, so buy a dac and spend on an amp. Schiit Lyr, Project Ember, or EF5 come to mind. If you want solid state with a great dac, look for an Audio-GD and go balanced. Soundstage and bass greatly improves balanced, although this could be the product of the amp/dac design on the Audio-GD.

There's a sketchy Audio-GD in the fs threads for $500. Sketchy because it's advertised as one model but face plate says otherwise, one pic of the inside will easily show what it is though. Balanced cable will run you $80 for a quality one although Mshenay has one fs I believe..
Edited by Soundsgoodtome - 5/3/14 at 11:23am
post #1982 of 3062
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post

Unless you're diving deep on a DAC, get a Modi or Odac. Blind test, audiophiles couldnt tell the difference between a much more expensive dac vs odac. Modi and Odac are suppose to be neck to neck.

There are a few dac/amps out there that can do the he4 justice to full ability and best pairing, so buy a dac and spend on an amp. Schiit Lyr, Project Ember, or EF5 come to mind. If you want solid state with a great dac, look for an Audio-GD and go balanced. Soundstage and bass greatly improves balanced, although this could be the product of the amp/dac design on the Audio-GD.

There's a sketchy Audio-GD in the fs threads for $500. Sketchy because it's advertised as one model but face plate says otherwise, one pic of the inside will easily show what it is though. Balanced cable will run you $80 for a quality one although Mshenay has one fs I believe..
I'll probably stay in the $100 range dac, unless there's a significant improvement going higher like bifrost.
post #1983 of 3062
Some say the difference between the Modi and B ifrost isn't a big leap like the price would make you think. Maybe if you're in the realm of squeezing every bit of sound quality... but you're better off spending on HPs or amps for big changes in sound.
post #1984 of 3062

That should work just fine!

post #1985 of 3062
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thujone View Post

That should work just fine!

Thought I'd just throw it out there...AQ Dragonfly + EF-5 is a great entry HE-4 setup. The EF-5 cn be found below the $500 retail...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HiFiMAN-EF-5-Headphone-Amplifier-with-Tube-output-SAVE-/310943972794?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4865b47dba
Edited by mrscotchguy - 5/3/14 at 9:24pm
post #1986 of 3062
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrscotchguy View Post

Thought I'd just throw it out there...AQ Dragonfly + EF-5 is a great entry HE-4 setup. The EF-5 cn be found below the $500 retail...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HiFiMAN-EF-5-Headphone-Amplifier-with-Tube-output-SAVE-/310943972794?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4865b47dba
Thanks! That's really tempting...
post #1987 of 3062
I really like the sound. Tube rolling has been fun since you can get decent tubes for almost nothing (12au7, 12at7, etc). I was surprised by how noticeable the change was with the new tube I'm using. I bought EF5 used, and I'm pretty sure the factory selected tube was near its end of its life. The old one was pretty grainy but had a fun holographic effect, though, too much bass roll off for my taste.

Down the road I will pick up a nicer quality tube, and even consider op-amp rolling. Some have said that Audio-GD's discrete opas sound great in it, even if it requires you to leave the acrylic top off.

Ultimately, this is what it should come down to... If you prefer more focus on bass, then this amp probably isn't the best choice. My integrated vintage NAD and my SS PS Audio amp produce much more bass impact and punch but in turn, the treble gets a bit too sparkly for some. I have found myself using the EF5/HE-4 combo more and more to actually listen to music more than I ever did with any of my other equipment combos.
post #1988 of 3062
The ODAC is the best DAc I've heard, next to the Modi, E17, a Pico DAC, and Compass 2's Sabre ES9018 equipped dac. Even then, the difference between them is very miniscule. Less different than say how the HE-4 sounded off the Lyr (full and impactful), and the SA-31 (more linear, clean, and a bit more reserved). the HE-4 made quite an impression with the Lyr, and I'm doubtful something like the Vali could compare, but perhaps I'll see one day.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 5/4/14 at 7:48am
post #1989 of 3062
Which vintage NAD do you have scotch?
post #1990 of 3062
I pulled the trigger on the EF-5. It should be here by the end of the month.
post #1991 of 3062
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodweb View Post

I pulled the trigger on the EF-5. It should be here by the end of the month.


Alright! Get that ODAC from your buddy and give us an impression. I don't think there's one between the two..

post #1992 of 3062
Quote:
Originally Posted by .Sup View Post

Which vintage NAD do you have scotch?

The NAD 3150
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodweb View Post

I pulled the trigger on the EF-5. It should be here by the end of the month.

Congrats! It's a great match up. Hope you like as much as I do.
Edited by mrscotchguy - 5/4/14 at 7:07pm
post #1993 of 3062
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrscotchguy View Post
Congrats! It's a great match up. Hope you like as much as I do.

 

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post
 


Alright! Get that ODAC from your buddy and give us an impression. I don't think there's one between the two..

Sure!

post #1994 of 3062
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post

Unless you're diving deep on a DAC, get a Modi or Odac. Blind test, audiophiles couldnt tell the difference between a much more expensive dac vs odac. Modi and Odac are suppose to be neck to neck.

There are a few dac/amps out there that can do the he4 justice to full ability and best pairing, so buy a dac and spend on an amp. Schiit Lyr, Project Ember, or EF5 come to mind. If you want solid state with a great dac, look for an Audio-GD and go balanced. Soundstage and bass greatly improves balanced, although this could be the product of the amp/dac design on the Audio-GD.

There's a sketchy Audio-GD in the fs threads for $500. Sketchy because it's advertised as one model but face plate says otherwise, one pic of the inside will easily show what it is though. Balanced cable will run you $80 for a quality one although Mshenay has one fs I believe..

WHAT $80... eww I Sold my 1m Canare for like $35 xD oh well I didn't need it

 

but yea the Audio GD amps are very nice, the AMp/Dac combos are a heck of a deal as well! I think the Compass 2 is selling for about $500 or so dollars wit h shipping, it should have balanced outputs as well. 

 

But I noticed a rather big differenace in my oDac over the ESS Sabre Chips in my AUdio GD NFB 10ES2, in all honestly the oDac is warmer than more ppl think, and Details wise it's not the end all. BUT I'm a 100% firm belive in balanced AMpfliers, I think they offer a cleaner sound over their SE counter parts, they ofc cost me and are not suited for iems but A balanced Amp/Dac combo like the NFB 10ES2 is for me pretty much end game ;3

post #1995 of 3062
And I'm a 100% double blind test believer lol. That's why I'm also getting an SPL meter so my girlfriend can help me test my gear the right way smily_headphones1.gif
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