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Hifiman HE-4 Impressions Thread - Page 166

post #2476 of 3208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

Did I mention to you Ron than the 990 pads do break in? After like 100 hours or so when the pad starts to form to the shape of your head xD it does get a little warmer mids, and a touch more sub bass, but ofc they will always be "beyer bright" 

 

and gawd are they un forgiving, I have an EDM HQ playlist on my pc. I forgot why I did, then I listened to my mp3s [none of them are transcodes...] and eww some of them you can hear the artifacts from the poor vinyl to digital transfer job [I used to use a shifty Russian site to buy my music... or rather buy my EDM] >.>

 

I think that I will definitely revisit them in the upcoming days... For now, I am set on old Hifiman velour pads :-) Gonna compare more with the new velours and Beyer velours.

 

Btw, FocusPad-A are on the way to me... I have a feeling that I will like them more than the FocusPad production pads. Those are just meh.

post #2477 of 3208

Just received my HE-4 a few hours ago. Sounds like I should have purchased the pleather pads, but I guess I will do that in the near future anyway. Brief impressions are: Very interesting soundstage. I feel as though the music is played out like the shape of a U, but the radius is out in front of me and the two linear lines are parallel to my ears/sides of my head. Very different to my LCD-2 (which I no longer own). They sound very open and airy, in comparison to the LCD-2, which almost sounded like a closed headphone. The treble is immensely different to the LCD-2 rev 2.2. Sometimes it sounds absolutely amazing, but other times it just doesn't sound right. Almost as if there is a vast gap between the bass and mids to the treble itself. The flow of frequency to frequency is completely different to what I am used to. Vocals definitely sound better to me compared to the LCD-2. This is due to the treble properties of the HE-4, imo. There seems to be much more detail retrieved from tracks with the HE-4 as far as vocals are concerned. 

 

The most impressive part of the HE-4? The way I can so easily pin-point the locations of particular sounds (especially different drums being hit from the likes of Iron Maiden). 

 

So far what I would like to change in my setup using the HE-4: More warmth, fuller mids and a more uniform soundstage. All of these may not be possible, however (especially the soundstage). Note I am using the MKVI+ single ended as I am using a turntable (previously used balanced LCD-2 with the computer + DAC). 


Edited by stang - 7/11/14 at 3:39am
post #2478 of 3208
Quote:
Originally Posted by stang View Post
 

Just received my HE-4 a few hours ago. Sounds like I should have purchased the pleather pads, but I guess I will do that in the near future anyway. Brief impressions are: Very interesting soundstage. I feel as though the music is played out like the shape of a U, but the radius is out in front of me and the two linear lines are parallel to my ears/sides of my head. Very different to my LCD-2 (which I no longer own). They sound very open and airy, in comparison to the LCD-2, which almost sounded like a closed headphone. The treble is immensely different to the LCD-2 rev 2.2. Sometimes it sounds absolutely amazing, but other times it just doesn't sound right. Almost as if there is a vast gap between the bass and mids to the treble itself. The flow of frequency to frequency is completely different to what I am used to. Vocals definitely sound better to me compared to the LCD-2. This is due to the treble properties of the HE-4, imo. There seems to be much more detail retrieved from tracks with the HE-4 as far as vocals are concerned. 

 

The most impressive part of the HE-4? The way I can so easily pin-point the locations of particular sounds (especially different drums being hit from the likes of Iron Maiden). 

 

So far what I would like to change in my setup using the HE-4: More warmth, fuller mids and a more uniform soundstage. All of these may not be possible, however (especially the soundstage). Note I am using the MKVI+ single ended as I am using a turntable (previously used balanced LCD-2 with the computer + DAC). 

 

You need Hifiman pleather pads + possibly some felt... See the HE-4 modification guide in my signature.

post #2479 of 3208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron12 View Post
 

 

You need Hifiman pleather pads + possibly some felt... See the HE-4 modification guide in my signature.

 

Thank you. It's very helpful. I believe I came across it a little while back when I was looking into the HE-4. I will definitely order some pleather earpads ASAP and look into the felt mod. 

post #2480 of 3208
Quote:
Originally Posted by stang View Post
 

 

Thank you. It's very helpful. I believe I came across it a little while back when I was looking into the HE-4. I will definitely order some pleather earpads ASAP and look into the felt mod. 

 

Just buy the pleather pads and try them on...

 

If you find them too squashy and/or shallow, you could pull out the gray-coloured rings inserted inside the pleather pads and insert them inside the pads in a bit different way => it will make them angled and more tough. It's a point 5) in my guide (w/ description and pics).

 

If you find the mids still a bit recessed or voices too unnatural, try to insert one felt circle of appr. 6.7cm diameter and 2mm thickness inside or underneath each pad (sound will be slightly different each time, you need to decide what sounds better to you). In case you would find the sound too closed-in that way (with the felt circles inserted), perforate the circles similarly to how I accomplished that. It's a point 4) in my guide (again w/ description and pics).

 

Feel free to ask anyway... I could modify the guide to be more clear if needed then!


Edited by Ron12 - 7/11/14 at 4:14am
post #2481 of 3208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron12 View Post
 

 

Just buy the pleather pads and try them on...

 

If you find them too squashy and/or shallow, you could pull out the gray-coloured rings inserted inside the pleather pads and insert them inside the pads in a bit different way => it will make them angled and more tough. It's a point 5) in my guide (w/ description and pics).

 

If you find the mids still a bit recessed or voices too unnatural, try to insert one felt circle of appr. 6.7cm diameter and 2mm thickness inside or underneath each pad (sound will be slightly different each time, you need to decide what sounds better to you). In case you would find the sound too closed-in that way (with the felt circles inserted), perforate the circles similarly to how I accomplished that. It's a point 4) in my guide (again w/ description and pics).

 

Feel free to ask anyway... I could modify the guide to be more clear if needed then!

 

Cheers for that :) I will see what suitable materials I have lying around the house and give them a go tomorrow. Should be fun :smile:

post #2482 of 3208
Quote:
Originally Posted by stang View Post
 

 

Cheers for that :) I will see what suitable materials I have lying around the house and give them a go tomorrow. Should be fun :smile:

 

Try the felt even with the velour pads... It helps as well.

 

Btw, those old Hifiman velour pads are lovely!

post #2483 of 3208

Ah, pad-rolling is much more fun than tube-rolling!

 

My favourite two pads at the moment are Beyer velours and Hifiman old-style velours... Though in side by side comparison, I right now prefer the Beyer's. It's impressive how much 'live' HE-4 sound with them... It's really like being at a concert/gig, the level of transparency is really high and all the other pads tried so far cannot compete here (they all make you feel like listening to headphones, Beyer somewhat almost not). I am not sure about burn-in but my brain definitely enjoys them more and more. HE-4 with them remind me a lot of HD800s... Less mature HD800s but with deeper bass and more exciting sound.

 

I don't know why I didn't like the Beyer pads that much... Maybe some sort of a brain burn-in or what.


Edited by Ron12 - 7/11/14 at 10:25am
post #2484 of 3208

Anyone wanna give a set of very like new Q701 angled velour pads a try? I don't have the time to mod and attach a HF ring at the moment. I'd let it go for $33 shipped and paypaled which is $2 less than the $35 new without shipping.

All you'd need to get it to work is attach the HF ring via glue or doublesided tape to the bottom of the pads since it does not have a flap to slide the rings into. It does have a plastic ring underneath that makes it easy to attach to.


Edited by Soundsgoodtome - 7/11/14 at 2:53pm
post #2485 of 3208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post
 

Anyone wanna give a set of very like new Q701 angled velour pads a try? I don't have the time to mod and attach a HF ring at the moment. I'd let it go for $33 shipped and paypaled which is $2 less than the $35 new without shipping.

All you'd need to get it to work is attach a ring via glue or doublsided tape to the bottom of the pads since it does not have a flap to slide the rings into. It does have a plastic ring underneath that makes it easy to attach to.

 

Good idea... Trying out the K712 Pro pads on the HE-4 right now.

post #2486 of 3208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron12 View Post
 

 

Good idea... Trying out the K712 Pro pads on the HE-4 right now.


Are those the same as the Q701s? Angled and velour? Looking forward to your impressions. I think THurstonX is the only one that's tried that before, he seems to like it quite a bit over other options.


Edited by Soundsgoodtome - 7/11/14 at 2:54pm
post #2487 of 3208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post
 


Are those the same as the Q701s? Angled and velour? Looking forward to your impressions. I think THurstonX is the only one that's tried that before, he seems to like it quite a bit over other options.

 

I updated my HE-4 modification guide (see my signature) with impressions from using different pads on the HE-4... But please take it as a work in progress, will update and correct in upcoming days (not completely finished with any particular type of pads).

 

The pads are velour with memory foam, spacious and very comfortable though not angled. Soundwise, I can definitely hear AKGish flavour => artifically wide soundstage (though I still find it enjoyable) associated with considerable lack of overall coherence... and slightly plastic timbre (though the orthodynamic timbre helps to counter it at least a little bit). Good thing is improved soundstage depth (again in a same way as you know it on x7xx headphones). I don't think HE-4 sounds tonally and especially timbrally completely right with these pads but yet I find the overall sound enjoyable. Bass is somewhat more spread (with some slight reverb effect, subjectively speaking), a little bit less tight and fast... Kind of reminding me of K712 Pro which I have here with me (but the bass is definitely nowhere near as bloated, don't worry!). Mids and treble are lacking in realism and transparency even though they are tonally quite right... the word transparency is important here - HE-4 does sound enjoyable with K712 Pro pads but it's far from a transparent music reproduction. There just always is some plastic AKG veil or how to call it. Though I like the fact that HE-4 sound spacious and quite technical while forgiving enough even with rock/metal with these pads.

 

Overall, I don't really think these pads are suitable as a all-rounder... Maybe if you listen to some specific genre (most probably electronic where lack of realistic timbre is not an issue), they could work excellently... But I cannot imagine listening to various music genres with them without being bothered by the lack of realism/transparency/timbral accuracy in the long term.

 

EDIT: But never say never... I will examine them more for sure in upcoming days.


Edited by Ron12 - 7/11/14 at 3:27pm
post #2488 of 3208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron12 View Post

 

The pads are velour with memory foam, spacious and very comfortable though not angled. Soundwise, I can definitely hear AKGish flavour => artifically wide soundstage (though I still find it enjoyable) associated with considerable lack of overall coherence... and slightly plastic timbre (though the orthodynamic timbre helps to counter it at least a little bit). Good thing is improved soundstage depth (again in a same way as you know it on x7xx headphones). I don't think HE-4 sounds tonally and especially timbrally completely right with these pads but yet I find the overall sound enjoyable. Bass is somewhat more spread (with some slight reverb effect, subjectively speaking), a little bit less tight and fast... Kind of reminding me of K712 Pro which I have here with me (but the bass is definitely nowhere near as bloated, don't worry!). Mids and treble are lacking in realism and transparency even though they are tonally quite right... the word transparency is important here - HE-4 does sound enjoyable with K712 Pro pads but it's far from a transparent music reproduction. There just always is some plastic AKG veil or how to call it. Though I like the fact that HE-4 sound spacious and quite technical while forgiving enough even with rock/metal with these pads.

 

Overall, I don't really think these pads are suitable as a all-rounder... Maybe if you listen to some specific genre (most probably electronic where lack of realistic timbre is not an issue), they could work excellently... But I cannot imagine listening to various music genres with them without being bothered by the lack of realism/transparency/timbral accuracy in the long term.

Ah, yes I remember now when I was shopping for pads. The K712 pro pads are quite different from the Q701 pads. Memory foam creates a better seal around the ear, changing the sound. Not being angled as well probably takes away from the possibility of better imaging as you would with an angled Q701 pad. The Qs pad is stiffer in the padding as they're not memory foam so it maintains it shape better I presume.


Again if anyone wants to try like-new Q701 pads. $33 shipped.

post #2489 of 3208

Updated my HE-4 modification guide with short impressions of different types of pads... http://www.head-fi.org/t/522157/hifiman-he-4-impressions-thread/2295#post_10632960. Of course, I will correct or update content if needed.

 

Btw, I am gonna examine the 3 highlighted pads tomorrow in-depth...


Edited by Ron12 - 7/11/14 at 4:50pm
post #2490 of 3208

STAR FELT MOD:

 

Important note: With older (or maybe even recent) version of HE-4, there may be no star felt present underneath grills... If you can see a foam circle there instead, remove it and you're done (unless you want to try steps 2 and 3). If there is nothing placed in between grill and driver in order to attenuate (materials like foam or felt), leave it as is and you're done as well (unless you want to try steps 2 and 3).

 

If you want to try the modified star felt mod (steps 2 and 3) and have no star felt present inside your HE-4, purchase a double-sided tape and roughly 1mm thick felt of A4 format... and proceed to step 2.

 

 

1) Remove the star felt:

 

Big thanks to Soundsgoodtome for the description (slightly modified by me):

 

You'll have to take off the pads from the driver, which exposes screws. You take out all the screws and separate the cup from the driver. Not completely as there's the cable but enough to remove the felt without damaging it (hint: it helps to put the headphones on the table when you split the driver and cup instead of holding it). The felt is on there by sticky tack completely around the edges and also the center ring where the spikes are. If you do it carefully you'll be able to remove the felt without ripping it (or without damaging the sticky tack) and thus being able to reverse the mod should come time to go back to stock form.

 

 

This is how the star felt that needs to be removed/modified looks like:

 

 

 

2) Modify the star felt:

 

This step is quite simple. Cut the spikes of the felt (that forms a star)... and you'll get a ring-shaped felt. However, you also need to make the felt slightly smaller in outer diameter to fit inside the cups without the need to deconstruct the headphone ever again (as you had to do in Step 1). So simply measure the inner diameter of HE-4 cups and trim the felt to optimal state (you can observe how big the outer diameter of the felt should be on the image "After the step 3 (finished modification)").

 

 

3) Put the modified felt in place:

 

This final step is easy to perform - just put the modified felt inside as seen in the image "After the step 3 (finished modification)" below. It will hold in place well due to double-sided tape that is still present on the ring (from the stock state). If you cannot manage to insert it inside safely (or there is simply no double-sided tape left on the felt), just use additional double-sided tape in order to attach it tightly.

 

 

After the step 1:

 

 

After the step 3 (finished modification):

 

 

 

Effect on the sound:

 

Removing the star felt makes treble tiny little bit smoother, vocals better integrated with the rest of spectrum and PRIMARILY improves on a sense of openness, imaging and separation. Sound is more airy and therefore you get less black background though it is a very welcome change, it really opens the headphone up. Slightly increased level of leakage and decreased isolation may be expected.

 

Modifying and inserting the star felt back (in a ring-shaped form) makes the headphone even more natural-sounding. It is the best compromise of effortlessly open, airy and wide sound of no-felt and well-damped sound of a stock state (w/ star felt) with better black background. Vocals are the best I have ever heard on this headphone, treble is smoother.

 

Recommended to pair this modification with Pad felt and grill/DIY dust cover mods.

 

 

PART OF THE HIFIMAN HE-4 MODIFICATION AND PAD-ROLLING GUIDE


Edited by Ron12 - 8/16/14 at 1:12pm
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