The Leben CS300XS drives them well from the headphone out, and very well from the speaker outs.
The Decware Mini-Torii drives them very well.
As an update to my Virtue 2.2/HE-6 setup, I have added a Static Headroom. This was marketed by Headroom to provide their (well-implemented) crossfeed system to users of electrostatic phones. It has proven to be effective in providing a subtle, but very real, improvement in the sense of realism that I hear with not only the HE6, but my K340's as well. By their design, my K1000's provide a natural crossfeed, so the Static is not need when I am using them.
I am considering adding a tube buffer to my 2.2. While a tube buffer is not a Virtue option for the 2.2 as it is for the Sensation, I am probably going to try the Decware Zbox.
Being able to tube roll to further tweak the sound of my 2.2 should prove to be very interesting as the tube buffer option is a very popular one for the Virtue Sensation.
I've added a few amps to my original thread-starter post, if you haven't looked at that post, go up to post #1 in this thread and have a look. In particular I found the sound from a clone of a First Watt F3 to sound very good.
I know that the production HE-6 (unlike the prototype) is supposed to play nicely with powerful headphone amps, but I was curious if those people who have tried still get superior results driving a production HE-6 using a speaker amplifier than their headphone amplifiers?
Well, the absolute best results I have had personally with the HE-6 is driving it from the speaker outs of my Leben CS300XS. I can't make universal proclamations based on that, but that does provide quite clearly the best sound for the HE-6 that I have heard, given the amps I have. My two tube speaker amps, the Leben and the Decware Mini-Torii, work best with the HE-6.
People need to start recognizing the Audio GD c-2 SA already-it puts out 6 WATTS into 50 ohms. I got mine for $368 shipped. Too bad I don't have an HE-6 anymore to test it out with though. For comparison's sake, I never go past 9 o'clock on the dial with my k702's---and that's with the low gain setting. (Low gain is +4 dB and high is +13dB).
I received my HE-6 yesterday and of course it still has some serious burning in to go...
My first amp to try was a modded Doge 6210 tube headphone amp and that seems to work well in terms of volume and sound.
Reading the above posts, I was interested how the HE-6 would sound out of the speaker outputs of my Cayin A-88T.
Having no 4-pin-XLR-to-speaker-terminals connection available I briefly tried (with some reluctance) to connect the HE-6 to the TR2 box that I use for my Taket H2.
Surprisingly, the sound of the HE-6 / TR2 combo is very good, and the required volume setting is nearly the same as for my Taket headphone.
Is this a great solution, or will the TR2 do any harm to the HE6? As the TR2 is a dedicated box, made specially for the Taket H2, I am reluctant to take for granted that this is the solution for my HE-6.
(Taket's manual warns against using the TR2 for non-Taket headphones as things could blow up.)
So I would welcome some advice from the forum before I use this combination for any length of time...
I am very happy with my Taket and look forward to comparing it with a broken-in HE-6. I am planning to post some more impressions over the next few weeks.
I'm going to take a stab at it here and say, no, you are not supposed to use this headphone with your current system. Your current system is an electrostatic amp. The voltage and current operating parameters are not the same as for the HE-6. You could do damage to both.
I also asked Takei san who designed the Taket. Just now he sent me his response:
Thank you very much for patronizing H2.
Hifiman HE-6's impedance is 50ohms and impedance of TR2(input) is 8-12ohms.
It is almost same you continue to use H2 withTR2 by your tube amp.
So I think there is no problem to use combination.
However, I am sorry it is not a guaranteed of Hifiman HE-6 connected to the speaker terminals of your tube amp.
I am not technical enough to confirm or challenge this.
The Taket TR2 manual says:
Impedance of the first side: 12-16 Ohms
Impedance of the second side: 7kOhms
Maximum permissible power: 10W + 10W
Before Takei san's reply I was worried about the 7kOhms, but apparently that is the impedance on the output (connecting to the speaker outputs of the amp).
... further listening done:
(1) Doge 6210 tube headphone amp => HE-6
(2) Cayin At-88 tube speaker amp => Taket TR2 => HE-6
(1) Holistic warm sound, no shrillness whatsoever, but lacking detail; mediocre soundstage: there is a gap in the middle and voices and instruments do not have a fixed position.
(2) Very detailed, hint of shrillness; very good soundstage: no gap, and precise placements of voices and instruments.
Given the fact that the HE-6 have only 15 hours on them, I will continue with the second setup, and hope that the slightly shrill highs will improve over time...
I'm having good results with an X-Can v8p and the HP jack and speaker taps on the Cary Sli-80 Signature in triode -- phenomenal sound via the latter, but the v8 is surprisingly good at 1/6 of the price.
I have just received my iBasso PB2 balanced portable amp, and I can say that it is capable of driving the HE-6 with authority. I have experienced no clipping at volume levels far higher than I normally listen. Bass, both quality and quantity is accurate and tight and is the equal of many desktop amps that I have heard.
If portability is desired along with the ability to drive even the most challenging, the new PB2 is worthy of consideration.