Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Amps that can drive the HiFiMan HE-6 planar headphones
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Amps that can drive the HiFiMan HE-6 planar headphones - Page 172

post #2566 of 3230

29dB equals to a voltage gain of 28.2 times the input voltage. In comparison Pass Labs uses 26dB in their XA.5 series which is 20 times the input voltage. That's around 40% more gain, when you compare a Emo to a Pass...

post #2567 of 3230

That's why I said the First Watt line of amps.  They're made for low sensitivity speakers where the Pass Labs amps are made for a more traditional full range speaker.

post #2568 of 3230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anda View Post
 

29dB equals to a voltage gain of 28.2 times the input voltage. In comparison Pass Labs uses 26dB in their XA.5 series which is 20 times the input voltage. That's around 40% more gain, when you compare a Emo to a Pass...

The dB scale was invented so that you don't say it is "40% more gain" because it does not reflect was you hear :D 

post #2569 of 3230
post #2570 of 3230

Some extra information on the suitability of FirstWatt amplifiers to drive the HE-6:

 

Past weekend there has been intense discussion on the HE-6 headphone thread about the suitability of FirstWatt amplifiers to drive the HE-6.  I actually had an F3 on order and as a result of the outcome of the discussion I just cancelled it (note: I ordered at Renohifi and they were great about the process, credited the full amount back to me without any argumentation so I can confirm they definitely stand behind the commitment made on their site).

 

For the sake of completeness of this thread I'm reproducing the gist of what happened, the long and short of it can be found from here onward:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/493214/hifiman-he-6-planar-magnetic-headphone/12465

 

A number of very experienced users drive the HE-6 with either the F1, F1-J or F5 amps of FirstWatt to their full satisfaction. These amps have power outputs into 8 Ohm of respectively 10W for the first two and 25 W for the F5.

 

2 Experienced users met for a mini meet and tried the F2 (5 W) and F3 (15 W) amplifiers.  They reported unsatisfactory results and clipping listening to a test track of classical music.  Initially this caused some confusion:  how was it possible that the F1/F1-J at 10W would perform outstandingly and the F3 run out of steam?

 

Finally the conclusion was that, at least for the F3, the issue was its voltage swing limitation, at 13V maximum.  The F1 family, despite being lower in power can swing significantly more voltage.  It is accepted that any amplifier wishing to drive the HE-6 to its fullest should be able to swing at least 20V into its load.

 

Conclusions from the discussion:

 

Confirmed as suitable for driving the HE-6 are:

F1, F1-J, F5

 

Confirmed as not able to get the best out of the HE-6:

F2, F3 and due to its special construction as a current buffer, the F4 unless you can pair it with a very powerful pre-amp (with the F4 everything depends on the pre-amp voltage gain, the F4 is just a pass-through window providing current).

 

I'm not expressing myself of the suitability of the other FirstWatt amps but do your homework, audition them yourself or at the minimum, get input from people who are actually using them to drive the HE-6 and have experience with various amplifiers.

 

Or how this goes to show that it's not just the power rating of an amp that counts.  Note that neither the F1, F1-J or F5 are currently sold any more under the FirstWatt brand although clones are available, as are DIY kits.

 

Hope this helps potential buyers.  I'm sure all FirstWatt products are terrific amplifiers but we're talking about a highly specialised application here.

 

For me it's back to the drawing board...

post #2571 of 3230
Very well done and I am glad you put it in perspective. .

Al
post #2572 of 3230

Anyone have any input on the suitability of the Lindell AMP-X (Swedish design, assembled in China, they're upfront about it).

 

http://www.lindellaudio.se/index.php/ampx/

 

It's a dual mono design, total power 40W (20Wpc)

 

Specs:

 

Solid-state power amplifier with class-A output stage. Inputs: one pair balanced on XLRs. Maximum output power: 20Wpc into 8 ohms (16dBW), dual toroidal transformers. Frequency response: 10Hz–100kHz, ±1.5dB. Signal/noise ratio: >100dB. THD:0.03% Transistors:  four pairs of complementary Sanken 2SA1695 PNP and 2SC4468 NPN output transistors per channel.  Weight 48 lbs.

 

Runs full class A, power consumption 130 W--> will run hot of course.

If I calculate correctly (Ohm's law) the above translates to a maximum voltage of 17.88V and current of 2.23 A based on 40W power into the HE-6 50 Ohm..  

 

It's intended for small passive recording studio monitors according to the designer, should feature good resolution and be very neutral.

 

Oh yeah, priced at about 1800 USD.

 

Any insights as to its suitability for the HE-6, anyone?  I'm currently considering various options, this one looks interesting and the company's in the EU which would mean lower shipping costs and no import duties and additional taxes for me.  Other stuff on the table would be a DIY F5 clone, Audio-GD master 9 or Krell kav 400xi.  The Krell guys are killing me because they don't sell over the net, only via distributors and for various reasons that's very impractical for me.


Edited by Xenophon - 3/3/14 at 5:26pm
post #2573 of 3230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
 

Some extra information on the suitability of FirstWatt amplifiers to drive the HE-6:

 

Past weekend there has been intense discussion on the HE-6 headphone thread about the suitability of FirstWatt amplifiers to drive the HE-6.  I actually had an F3 on order and as a result of the outcome of the discussion I just cancelled it (note: I ordered at Renohifi and they were great about the process, credited the full amount back to me without any argumentation so I can confirm they definitely stand behind the commitment made on their site).

 

For the sake of completeness of this thread I'm reproducing the gist of what happened, the long and short of it can be found from here onward:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/493214/hifiman-he-6-planar-magnetic-headphone/12465

 

A number of very experienced users drive the HE-6 with either the F1, F1-J or F5 amps of FirstWatt to their full satisfaction. These amps have power outputs into 8 Ohm of respectively 10W for the first two and 25 W for the F5.

 

2 Experienced users met for a mini meet and tried the F2 (5 W) and F3 (15 W) amplifiers.  They reported unsatisfactory results and clipping listening to a test track of classical music.  Initially this caused some confusion:  how was it possible that the F1/F1-J at 10W would perform outstandingly and the F3 run out of steam?

 

Finally the conclusion was that, at least for the F3, the issue was its voltage swing limitation, at 13V maximum.  The F1 family, despite being lower in power can swing significantly more voltage.  It is accepted that any amplifier wishing to drive the HE-6 to its fullest should be able to swing at least 20V into its load.

 

Conclusions from the discussion:

 

Confirmed as suitable for driving the HE-6 are:

F1, F1-J, F5

 

Confirmed as not able to get the best out of the HE-6:

F2, F3 and due to its special construction as a current buffer, the F4 unless you can pair it with a very powerful pre-amp (with the F4 everything depends on the pre-amp voltage gain, the F4 is just a pass-through window providing current).

 

I'm not expressing myself of the suitability of the other FirstWatt amps but do your homework, audition them yourself or at the minimum, get input from people who are actually using them to drive the HE-6 and have experience with various amplifiers.

 

Or how this goes to show that it's not just the power rating of an amp that counts.  Note that neither the F1, F1-J or F5 are currently sold any more under the FirstWatt brand although clones are available, as are DIY kits.

 

Hope this helps potential buyers.  I'm sure all FirstWatt products are terrific amplifiers but we're talking about a highly specialised application here.

 

For me it's back to the drawing board...

The two experience users were Al and I and the amps were First Watt J2 and F3.

post #2574 of 3230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
 

Anyone have any input on the suitability of the Lindell AMP-X (Swedish design, assembled in China, they're upfront about it).

 

http://www.lindellaudio.se/index.php/ampx/

 

It's a dual mono design, total power 40W (20Wpc)

 

Specs:

 

Solid-state power amplifier with class-A output stage. Inputs: one pair balanced on XLRs. Maximum output power: 20Wpc into 8 ohms (16dBW), dual toroidal transformers. Frequency response: 10Hz–100kHz, ±1.5dB. Signal/noise ratio: >100dB. THD:0.03% Transistors:  four pairs of complementary Sanken 2SA1695 PNP and 2SC4468 NPN output transistors per channel.  Weight 48 lbs.

 

Runs full class A, power consumption 130 W--> will run hot of course.

If I calculate correctly (Ohm's law) the above translates to a maximum voltage of 17.88V and current of 2.23 A based on 40W power into the HE-6 50 Ohm..  

 

It's intended for small passive recording studio monitors according to the designer, should feature good resolution and be very neutral.

 

Oh yeah, priced at about 1800 USD.

 

Any insights as to its suitability for the HE-6, anyone?  I'm currently considering various options, this one looks interesting and the company's in the EU which would mean lower shipping costs and no import duties and additional taxes for me.  Other stuff on the table would be a DIY F5 clone, Audio-GD master 9 or Krell kav 400xi.  The Krell guys are killing me because they don't sell over the net, only via distributors and for various reasons that's very impractical for me.

First off (no pun intended) nice summary of the First Watt discussions.  I think you captured the essentials very well.

 

I concur with your voltage calculation of just shy of 18 V.  Assuming that this represents the peak voltage at or near clipping, that should yield 5.3 W delivered to a 60 ohm pair of HE-6's.  

 

If it were me looking at an $1800 amplifier, I'd shy away from it.  If you want to crank the classical and not clip that deep percussion, 18 V peak may not be enough headroom.  Remember my 20 V peak recommendation is based on my experience with my HE-6's.  Observations of ~35 V peak into an HE-6 have been recently reported.  

post #2575 of 3230

35V will produce 127dB in a typical HE-6. That's enough for instantaneous hearing damage, even from a short transient spike. Just how much "dynamic range" do you guys needs? :blink:

post #2576 of 3230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post
 

35V will produce 127dB in a typical HE-6. That's enough for instantaneous hearing damage, even from a short transient spike. Just how much "dynamic range" do you guys needs? :blink:

 

Actually, my suppressed 9mm Glock will hit 126 dB briefly, and it's no louder than a pump-up air rifle. (instead of 150-155 dB un-suppressed which can cause hearing damage, while my suppressed .22LR will hit about 119dB at peak)

 

You can probably tolerate 127 dB for a few seconds before damage occurs.

 

post #2577 of 3230

Yeah, maybe 4 seconds if we're generous. So that's not "instant"... but I still wouldn't risk it with headphones (nor guns for that matter, but at least I can wear earplugs when I go shooting).

post #2578 of 3230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post

 

Any insights as to its suitability for the HE-6, anyone?  I'm currently considering various options, this one looks interesting and the company's in the EU which would mean lower shipping costs and no import duties and additional taxes for me.  Other stuff on the table would be a DIY F5 clone, Audio-GD master 9 or Krell kav 400xi.  The Krell guys are killing me because they don't sell over the net, only via distributors and for various reasons that's very impractical for me.

 

What are you going to use as preamp? Master 9 could be a nice start and if you decide to add a power amp later, you would have a very nice preamp.
For something more powerful some of the Vincent offerings might be interesting: http://www.vincent-tac.de/

post #2579 of 3230

Thanks to potterma and Anda for the info!

 

In the beginning I'll just use my DAC to work as a pre-amp,  it has variable pre gain from -3 to +15 dB in 3 dB increments + a volume control so should work.  Will eventually get a good preamp but want to get the amp aspect right.  Another member pm'ed me saying that the Master 9 was not bad but also not ideal with the HE-6.  I'll take a look at the Vincent amps but will heed the warning about the min. 20V voltage swing into 50 Ohm.

 

OT to the gun lovers:  I'm partial to the Heckler and Koch USP in 9 mm but almost fell off my chair reading that an American favours this cal.  Favourite  is .338 Lapua magnum but obviously not in a handgun and with good hearing protection (long range target shooting).

post #2580 of 3230

Take a look at these.  I have not heard them with the HE-6 but I've heard them with speaker.  Exceptional.  The Odyssey Cyclops is a good place to start - Also the "Stratos".  "Gary in MD" in the Speaker amp for headphones thread has one and use it with his LCD-3 - he loves it.  That thread has a lot of info in it.

 

http://odysseyaudio.com/products-cyclops.html

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/649107/speaker-amps-for-headphones

 

Also - look at the Audio-GD Master-3 / Master-1 combo - It may cost a little more, but in my experience the Master-3 is great with the HE-6.  "For the HE-6" I would go with the Master-3 over the Master-9 any day..

 

Just more stuff for you to consider... 


Edited by preproman - 3/4/14 at 2:09am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: High-end Audio Forum
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Amps that can drive the HiFiMan HE-6 planar headphones