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Amps that can drive the HiFiMan HE-6 planar headphones - Page 234

post #3496 of 3508
The F1J is in the house and I can confirm it sounds beautiful,full bodies, plays loud and I cant believe a 15 watts at 8 ohm amp sounds this good with the HE6 , it equals or best the odyssey stratos but not by much . It is dead quiet also. I used a Sophia electric el34 amp before and it sounds so good up to about moderate levels but lacks when u listen loud.
post #3497 of 3508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin_Time View Post
 

If your listening habit is similar to mine--I listen to pop, jazz and classical music at a moderate to moderately high volume with occasional excursion into the ear-bleeding level--you are 99% there with the WA5 and the K1K output.

 

In terms of musicality across the audible range (clarity, focus, microdynamics, smooth midrange, sweet high and realistic soundstage--for headphones, that is) it is tough to beat the WA5/HE-6 combo.

...

 

Thank you - exactly what I was hoping someone could contribute - much appreciated :beerchug:

 

Good to know I'm 99% there with the WA5 - my listening is pretty much covered in the above, with the exception that I am very careful with the gain knob. I already have some hearing damage and don't want to make it any worse.

 

I am finding the musicality of the WA5 with good tubes quite stunning with either the HE6 or HD800. Both match wonderfully well to the WA5.

 

Now I know that there isn't that much more to be had from the HE6 - at least not from more power alone. Just have to work these babies into my budget somehow. Might have to sell some body parts...

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

The price for the Takatsuki TA-274B is per tube, not per pair. Yikes :eek:

post #3498 of 3508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin_Time View Post
 

I FULLY CONCUR WITH YOUR ASSESSMENT,


Too often, owners of the HE-6 become obsessed with more power to feed the hungry beast.

While I agree that the HE-6 needs--no, demands--a lot of power, we should not forget that these are high-resolution headphones that also require very high-quality amps to sound their best.

As Nelson Pass and Dick Olsher made abundantly clear decades ago, the quality of the first watt--OK, the first few watts for the HE-6--is crucial. The point was driven home with the following statement (and I paraphrase): I don't care what the amp sounds like at 500 watts, if it sounds like crap at the first watt.

My experience with the HE-6 tends to support that statement.

The best sound I heard through the HE-6 was with excellent tube headphone amps with moderate powers (less than 10 watts into 50 ohms) like the Woo WA5 (K1K output), and great SS amps like the HeadAmp GS-X Mk2 or the Bakoon HPA-21--though this latter could use a beefier power supply.

I also had good results with moderately-powered (vintage) but well-designed speaker amps such the Pass Aleph 2 (SS 100-watt, Class-A), and Conrad-Johson MV75 (Tube, 75-watt), all loaded to 8 ohms across the speaker binding posts.

A higher-powered SS speaker amps I tried successfully was the Threshold Stasis S300 (150 watts x 2), which operated mostly in class A thanks to Nelson Pass's sliding-bias trick. Surprisingly the mass-produced Harman Kardon HK775 (SS 135-watt monoblocks) using Dr. Matti Otala superb designs, also fared very well with the HE-6. This latter amp can be had for a song--OK, for less than $200 hundred dollars on ebay. Replace the electrolytic caps, a few resistors in the hot pre-driver/driver areas and fix a few solder joints, and you are good to go for another 25 years if you do not have a bias drift, a notorious problem with the HK 775.

Generally, I had much better results with moderately-powered tube amps and class-A speaker amps (~ 25-100 watts) than with highly-powered class AB speaker amps with several hundred watts of power.

In a nut shell, the quality of the sound of the amp at a few watts is just as important as its power reserve. It is best to have both for the HE-6.


True it doesn't need that much power, but I'm giving it A LOT of quality power anyway on my FPB-300cx. 300wpc of extremely clean power with almost imperceptible noise floor. Plus a whole system with ACSS/CAST gives it a much cleaner sound.

post #3499 of 3508
Quote:
Originally Posted by screwdriver View Post

The F1J is in the house and I can confirm it sounds beautiful,full bodies, plays loud and I cant believe a 15 watts at 8 ohm amp sounds this good with the HE6 , it equals or best the odyssey stratos but not by much . It is dead quiet also. I used a Sophia electric el34 amp before and it sounds so good up to about moderate levels but lacks when u listen loud.


Congratulations, I was also wowed by the F1, stimulates me to finish my build even quicker.  Its design makes it extremely quiet and it has lots of juice on tap, despite its seemingly lowish power.  Can't be compared to other amps, really, design wise it's apples/oranges.  How would you compare the sound vs the Stratos (never heard the Odyssey amps but they seem very well built and at a very reasonable price)?

post #3500 of 3508
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post
 


True it doesn't need that much power, but I'm giving it A LOT of quality power anyway on my FPB-300cx. 300wpc of extremely clean power with almost imperceptible noise floor. Plus a whole system with ACSS/CAST gives it a much cleaner sound.

Sure, $9,000 of pure Class-A power will do the trick!

 

I have always wanted to try my old Jeff Rowland Design Group Model 7 (upgraded) monoblocks at 350 wpc of mostly class-A power with the HE-6.  The high end of the Model 7 is legendary, and so is the mid and the bass with the new modules but the ridiculous weight of these monsters--I think they top the scale at 120 lbs. each--and the excessive heat at the high bias setting have so far stopped me from such foolishness.  But then again, it's winter and perhaps it is time to move them out of storage as my chiropractor needs a nice Christmas vacation.

 

What really stopped me though was the story about how Ray Samuels melted a pair of HE-6 while playing them as speakers at a show with his RSA Dark Star...

 

Could you tell me what you use across the speaker output of the FPB to protect the HE-6?

post #3501 of 3508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin_Time View Post
 

Sure, $9,000 of pure Class-A power will do the trick!

 

I have always wanted to try my old Jeff Rowland Design Group Model 7 (upgraded) monoblocks at 350 wpc of mostly class-A power with the HE-6.  The high end of the Model 7 is legendary, and so is the mid and the bass with the new modules but the ridiculous weight of these monsters--I think they top the scale at 120 lbs. each--and the excessive heat at the high bias setting have so far stopped me from such foolishness.  But then again, it's winter and perhaps it is time to move them out of storage as my chiropractor needs a nice Christmas vacation.

 

What really stopped me though was the story about how Ray Samuels melted a pair of HE-6 while playing them as speakers at a show with his RSA Dark Star...

 

Could you tell me what you use across the speaker output of the FPB to protect the HE-6?


Directly. I only use resistors with amps with high noise floor and/or too much gain.

post #3502 of 3508
Hifiman has a great oh-oh policy. Had to use it a couple times. redface.gif
post #3503 of 3508

For the crazy people around here: https://emotiva.com/products/amplifiers/sa-250

post #3504 of 3508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post
 

For the crazy people around here: https://emotiva.com/products/amplifiers/sa-250

I need that much cash to make a decent power supply for a power amplifier, heck the tubes alone in total would cost more than that..... BUT Emotiva do make solid budget-friendly products so the compromises they make are manageable if you're not after really high end :o .

post #3505 of 3508

 

take VinylSavor's amp that I saw recently as an example of pushing the limit :veryevil:


Edited by shayson1357 - Today at 7:20 am
post #3506 of 3508

I like his designs (but shudder at the price), though I think those mercury rectifiers are just a bit over the top, anything for the glow ;-) .  But you're right that it's an expensive hobby, if you start building stuff then you quickly realise how expensive quality components are (and how many 'high end' products that cost a fortune use rubbish components).  I just ordered some Mundorf supreme Ag/Au in oil caps and am still smarting.  Took a look at Duelund cast but quickly came to the conclusion that a bit less would still be ok :-)

post #3507 of 3508

" if you start building stuff then you quickly realize how expensive quality components are"
sometimes I just make a spreadsheet of components required and their numbers and enter their real world price just to have a rough estimation of how much a(what I considered good but not over the top) power conditioner or power supply would cost, and rarely if ever have I not chuckled when getting the total cost :rolleyes:.... oh, and when you're into DIY or just like to study more on electronics you really start to feel the importance of the power supply, in many cases it's even more important than the amplifier itself since you're actually hearing the power supply after it's output is being modulated into varying frequencies which your transducer reproduces.... and you also start to see the "high end" from the designer's point of view and you see that many ultra-high end stuff aren't ripoffs as most might assume, they just aren't doing what the majority of commercial designers are doing..... which is making painful compromises so their product would sell(and sadly even then many people still consider those expensive) :(

post #3508 of 3508
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayson1357 View Post
 

" if you start building stuff then you quickly realize how expensive quality components are"
sometimes I just make a spreadsheet of components required and their numbers and enter their real world price just to have a rough estimation of how much a(what I considered good but not over the top) power conditioner or power supply would cost, and rarely if ever have I not chuckled when getting the total cost :rolleyes:.... oh, and when you're into DIY or just like to study more on electronics you really start to feel the importance of the power supply, in many cases it's even more important than the amplifier itself since you're actually hearing the power supply after it's output is being modulated into varying frequencies which your transducer reproduces.... and you also start to see the "high end" from the designer's point of view and you see that many ultra-high end stuff aren't ripoffs as most might assume, they just aren't doing what the majority of commercial designers are doing..... which is making painful compromises so their product would sell(and sadly even then many people still consider those expensive) :(

That's usually right after the guys in marketing have decided to shoot the head of engineering to set an example for the rest of his/her staff :D

 

My wife is starting to think I've gone over the edge, am working on a tube amp AND some solid state stuff...basement looks like a bomb has gone off (or if the cops would come-a-calling, probably like if I was busy building one).

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