well...they used offer HE-4/EF5 combo deal which only costs $250 to get the additional EF5. I am not sure if the deal is still available. For $250, it's a no brainer.
The mids is sweeter and richer when pairing HE-500 with EF5. this is no surprise since EF5 is a very sweet sounding amp. However, as much as i love my EF5 overall i am afraid that Lyr is still better. It gives HE-500 much better synergy.
another benefit of getting a Lyr is that you will eventually want to get the mighty HE-6. With a LYR uou will have no need to upgrade your amp, at least intially. Trust me that will happen unless you quit head-fi immediately. :-)
To make things more complicated Schiit is going to release two new balanced amps in the next seven or eight months. Although i haven't heard myself, several ppl i trust praised HE-500 when being driven by HM-801 with the new balanced amp module. Now i am very curious how well the HE-500 sounds with a fully balanced amp. :-)
Lyr is also cheaper. Makes me wonder why one would choose the EF5 over it if not only for the good looks.
Hey, blankdisk, since you have the Lyr and EF5, could you give me a quick comparison between the two amps when paired with your HE-500?
Obviously the HE-6 will favor the Lyr, but I'm curious to know if there are significant advantages of using either amp with the more efficient HE-500.
There is a high probability that I will have a Lyr this Christmas. And, heck, why not a Bifrost as well while I'm at it?