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Amps that can drive the HiFiMan HE-6 planar headphones - Page 102

post #1516 of 3211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent One View Post

 

There's a few of you I think of as front-runners. My wallet admires all of you. wink.gif

My walllet cries a lot.

jokes apart, i have spent less Money than what one might thinkwink.gif

post #1517 of 3211
Quote:
Originally Posted by gjc11028 View Post
real rich sound with lots of detail -- I think at the attack is not as pronounced as I would like. The amp emphasizes the back end of the notes but sounds a little flat on the front side of notes.

 

The F3 I had had similar sound.  While fast, clean and fully textured, the result was fairly flat, laid back and dead sounding given the price tag.  Still want to hear a J2 some day, but not running out to find one based on where the F3 fell sonically.

post #1518 of 3211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

The F3 I had had similar sound.  While fast, clean and fully textured, the result was fairly flat, laid back and dead sounding given the price tag.  Still want to hear a J2 some day, but not running out to find one based on where the F3 fell sonically.
I always had an issue listening to the F1J but couldn't put my finger on it. I think you just have. Flat. No supple feel to the soundstage.
post #1519 of 3211

Impressions that I agree with about the F1.

 

Far from flat.  Much like the GS-X mk2 and maybe even more so.  It just tells the truth.  What ever your DAC is doing that's what the amp is telling you.  He can not tell a lie.  

 

All First Watt amps don't sound the same.

 

 

The F1 is super clean and dynamic. If your source is lean, your music will be lean. If your source is rich, your music will be rich. It is the real truth machine, with nothing taken out and nothing added. Ruthlessly revealing.

The F2 adds some 2nd harmonic to this. On lean source material this sounds better than the F1. It is putting a little color in your music, and on dry material it is a pleasant addition. Some like that additional color, some do not. Your choice.

The F3 sounds has a very light touch of sweetness. Sounds more like a great tube amp than any solid state amp I have heard, except that it has the same basic tonal characteristics from highs to lows - something most tube amps dream about.

The F4 sounds like a cross between the F1 and the F3. Cleaner than the F2, a touch of sweetness, but the truth is still front and center. I have not heard this amp in my system (yet), so my thoughts about this may change. It is a very exciting product.


Edited by preproman - 7/19/13 at 6:41am
post #1520 of 3211
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

Impressions that I agree with about the F1.

 

Far from flat.  Much like the GS-X mk2 and maybe even more so.  It just tells the truth.  What ever your DAC is doing that's what the amp is telling you.  He can not tell a lie.  

 

All First Watt amps don't sound the same.

 

 

The F1 is super clean and dynamic. If your source is lean, your music will be lean. If your source is rich, your music will be rich. It is the real truth machine, with nothing taken out and nothing added. Ruthlessly revealing.

The F2 adds some 2nd harmonic to this. On lean source material this sounds better than the F1. It is putting a little color in your music, and on dry material it is a pleasant addition. Some like that additional color, some do not. Your choice.

The F3 sounds has a very light touch of sweetness. Sounds more like a great tube amp than any solid state amp I have heard, except that it has the same basic tonal characteristics from highs to lows - something most tube amps dream about.

The F4 sounds like a cross between the F1 and the F3. Cleaner than the F2, a touch of sweetness, but the truth is still front and center. I have not heard this amp in my system (yet), so my thoughts about this may change. It is a very exciting product.

 

i admire the first watt stuff very much.  part of the reason that i did not pursue another amp after the m2 is that i believe that they all are different.  i was worry that the f1 and the j2 are a bit leaner than i would like.  i had other options in house, but if i did not i would have tried a J2 i think. 

post #1521 of 3211

As stated earlier in this thread, the First Watt will likely be pretty revealing about your chain.  You can use an amp to solve for the sound you're looking for, but I tend to look for culprits upstream.

 

I don't use resistors with my J2+HE6.  I use the volume control on my Placette Active to manage the volume.  I generally have had poor experiences with DAC volume control.

 

I would not recommend thinking of 'is a amp+HE6 good enough to compare to the SR009'.  The sound signatures are so different between the two it's not a really good apples to apples comparison.

 

Better to collect them all ;)

post #1522 of 3211
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoupRKnowva View Post

There's a Pass Labs XA 30.5 that would probably drive them beautifully up on audiogon right now :P

http://app.audiogon.com/listings/solid-state-passs-labs-xa30-5-excellent-2013-07-15-amplifiers-76107-fort-worth-tx

Heard them on my friend's amp.. it sounds very fast, very impactful but lol i'm going to be honest, it sucks. Compared to the F3 I had and the emotiva a-100 the f3 was far better at amping the he-6's than the pass labs

post #1523 of 3211
Quote:
Originally Posted by azynneo View Post

Heard them on my friend's amp.. it sounds very fast, very impactful but lol i'm going to be honest, it sucks. Compared to the F3 I had and the emotiva a-100 the f3 was far better at amping the he-6's than the pass labs
Curious, did you listen to be pass through an adapter or without? I am thinking at the moment that my more powerful amp sounds more coherent with some reistance but the less powerful better without. There is a bit of trial and error here I think to getting each amp to sound iits best.
post #1524 of 3211
Quote:
Originally Posted by gjc11028 View Post


Curious, did you listen to be pass through an adapter or without? I am thinking at the moment that my more powerful amp sounds more coherent with some reistance but the less powerful better without. There is a bit of trial and error here I think to getting each amp to sound iits best.

we didn't use any resistors and the pre-amp was an LG, it had quite a bit of gain but that's less of the problem here.

post #1525 of 3211
Thanks.
post #1526 of 3211

Hey guys, been wondering if there are budget friendly (as in under $1000, preferably $700) amplifiers that could maximize the HE-6 to a good level? Is the Bottlehead S.E.X powerful enough since it says that it can drive the K1000?

I heard that even the Mjollnir is only adequate to run these.

 

Also I am probably not looking forward to powering these with speaker amps since they need a little bit tinkering where I haven't got the experience.

 

Sorry if this question have been posted before...

 

Cheers,

post #1527 of 3211

In this vein, the new Studio Six seems to drive the HE600 very very well. I've made note of that in the start of what I hope will be a rolling Studio Six Impressions thread.

post #1528 of 3211

for guys on a humbler budget, i recommend the Cambridge 340A, or the variants around this model. 

the he6 was producing v strong imaging on this amp paired with cabledyne powercords.

post #1529 of 3211
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteZero View Post

Hey guys, been wondering if there are budget friendly (as in under $1000, preferably $700) amplifiers that could maximize the HE-6 to a good level? Is the Bottlehead S.E.X powerful enough since it says that it can drive the K1000?

I heard that even the Mjollnir is only adequate to run these.

 

Also I am probably not looking forward to powering these with speaker amps since they need a little bit tinkering where I haven't got the experience.

 

Sorry if this question have been posted before...

 

Cheers,

If you drive HE-6 from a solid state amp, you need no tinkering with resistors. Included in the HE-6 set you get a female 4XLR to TRS plug adapter cable. Just cut off the TRS (stereo-jack) plug and use the female 4XLR and the rest of the cable to connect to a speaker amp. That's it: your speaker-to-female 4XLR adapter.

 

However, if you want to use a traditional headphone amp, then there isn't many to choose from, and those that are powerful enough, are not cheap. Burson Soloist and Violectric HPA V200 are about US$1000, are headphone amps and drives it very well. I have the Soloist myself and I have read at Headfonia that the V200 also drives it very well. They aledgly have quite different sound signatures.

 

This is a quote from the Headfonia review of Burson Soloist:

Quote:

I think the first headphone I tried the Soloist with was the Hifiman HE-500. After discovering that the Soloist drove it easily, I proceeded to the HE-6. This time it’s a bit harder, but it was doable in medium gain, with the volume knob almost maxxed out. Just for the record I always prefer having the volume knob close to or fully open, and as long as the amplifier doesn’t have a high noise floor, and is able to supply the current without distorting, it always yield a more open sound. Surprisingly the high gain setting didn’t really add that much loudness on the HE-6, and so it was simply a matter of preference if you want to go with the high or medium gain with the HE-6. A while ago I wrote on this post that I mostly prefer my amps on low gain. Not the Soloist. While the same low gain = lower noise floor theory applies to the Soloist, the low gain didn’t quite have the forwardness that made the Soloist a lot of fun to listen to.

 

The Soloist definitely had what it take to drive the HE-6. Not only does the amplifier’s rated 4 Watts output sufficient for the HE-6, it also had a better synergy than my $3,500 RSA Dark Star amplifier. You all know how I am always for full bass and midrange body, and the Soloist comes with that sort of coloration. Driving the HE-6, it colors the HE-6 to be more Sennheiser HD650-like, boosting the low end body of the HE-6 to very musical levels. On the other hand the Dark Star gives a more spacious soundstage, but it doesn’t add body to the bass and mids the way the Soloist did.

 

One or two days after the amplifier arrived, my local headphile friends wanted to audition the amp so I took it to the Jaben store and all of us auditioned the Soloist and we A-Bed it to the Burson HA-160D which belongs to a friend of mine. They were just as excited about the Soloist as I did, mostly because of the same reason: they’ve never heard the HE-6 with this sort of a bass and midrange body. Not only does the Soloist add bass body, but it also adds a stronger impact than the HA-160D does. I think we can give credit to the 4 WPC output for that impact.

In terms of sound signature, the Soloist had the thickest body out of the trio of amplifiers. The RSA Dark Star and the HA-160D were more linear, with the Dark Star being more spacious while the HA-160D having a more forward sound and a better PRaT. I enjoyed the fact that the Soloist not only adds body to the HE-6, but also that it relaxes the treble more than the HA-160D and the Dark Star. Comparing the Soloist to the HA-160D is like comparing the Sennheiser HD650 to the HD600.

 

(...)

 

With the Hifiman HE-500 and the HE-6, I think the Soloist is my number one amp for those headphones now. I also had the chance to pair the Soloist with Mr. Speakers’ Mad Dog headphone and the two pair very well. A friend of mine who owns a recording studio and is a music engineer was impressed to hear his Mad Dog headphone being transformed by the Soloist.

I don’t really have the habit of driving IEMs with desktop amps, even more 4 watts amplifiers. For those of you who do, the Soloist is among the quietest desktop amp I’ve auditioned and had absolutely no noise issue with sensitive IEMs.

 

- and here a quote from the Burson versus Violectric review:

 

Quote:

Going back between the Burson and the Violectric, I really can’t decide which is the ultimate amp for the Hifiman HE-500/HE-6 and the LCD-2/LCD-3. The same house sound comparison applies here, and if I’m looking for lush and smooth, the Vio is the choice where the Burson is the choice if I want PRaT and punch. With a relatively all rounder headphone like the HE-500 and the LCD-2, there is no “which is the better amp for so and so headphone” here. Depending on the song being played, it could be the Vio or it could be the Burson. Again, going back to the lush vs PRaT adjectives. The general rule of thumb seems to be that if you listen to a lot of fast-paced Rock, Electronic, then the Burson is the one to go for. While Jazz and Classical tend to be better on the Vio. Some headphones like the Sennheiser HD650, or Audio Technica’s W-series are inherently slow and generally sounds better with slow paced music and it would be easier to make a recommendation for the Violectric for these headphones, while inherently fast headphones like the Beyerdynamic T1, T5P, and Grados naturally should be more ideal pairings for the Burson. However I’m not saying that you can’t use certain headphones with one amp or the other, as the two solid state amps are quite well rounded performers capable of driving anything from sensitive IEMs to Hifiman HE-6s.

 

I do have a soft spot for the Violectric’s smooth sound, as my preference lies in smooth tube sound and the Sennheiser house sound. However with fast paced Rock it’s quite undeniable that the blurring of bass notes with the Violectric combo makes me go back to the Burson every single time, even with a fast headphone like the Hifiman HE-6 and the Beyerdynamic T1. The Beyer T1 is an extremely fast headphone not only in transients but also pace, and in its case I find going with the faster Burson amp a lot more coherent than trying to “balance” the sound with the slower paced Violectric.

 

Both amps work well with either planars but with the HE-6 I need to make a special note to the benefits of a balanced source for the V200. With an unbalanced source, the V200 is slightly underpowered and light footed but once I switch to the balanced connection (using the same V800 DAC), low end body and dynamics are improved (though slightly less refined than on single ended connection) and the V800/V200 pairing proves to be the best HE-6 set up I’ve heard to date.

 

Note that Conductor is a Soloist amp with built-in DAC.

 

http://www.headfonia.com/burson-vs-violectric-conductor-vs-v200v800/

http://www.headfonia.com/less-blockage-more-music-burson-soloist/

http://www.headfonia.com/violectric-v200-the-german-solid-state/  (Note that in this review HE-6 is not used, but in the above Violectric - Burson comparison, it is)


Edited by LarsHP - 7/30/13 at 8:37am
post #1530 of 3211
@ AbsoluteZero. As stated earlier, I can vouch that the Icon Audio HP8 powers the HE-6 easily on a budget....
Edited by SpudHarris - 7/30/13 at 9:20am
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