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Amps that can drive the HiFiMan HE-6 planar headphones - Page 65

post #961 of 3298

I have a nice ADA 150 wpc speaker Amp sitting in my garage. I wonder if I could adapt that somehow... It'd be nice to get some use out of the old girl... 


Edited by bareyb - 3/5/13 at 11:06pm
post #962 of 3298

I thought ada did guitar stuff, not hifi. Are talking about some other brand?

In any case, hook ity up and let us know!

post #963 of 3298

Has anyone tried the http://www.audionotekits.com/he6headamp.html ,  first alll tube amp desined for the HE6.  Plus it has an transformer that has been optimized for 50 ohm's and high efficiency.

post #964 of 3298
Quote:
Originally Posted by catfish View Post

Has anyone tried the http://www.audionotekits.com/he6headamp.html ,  first alll tube amp desined for the HE6.  Plus it has an transformer that has been optimized for 50 ohm's and high efficiency.

 

 

Would also like to know if any of these has gone out in the wild..

post #965 of 3298
Quote:
Originally Posted by catfish View Post

Has anyone tried the http://www.audionotekits.com/he6headamp.html ,  first alll tube amp desined for the HE6.  Plus it has an transformer that has been optimized for 50 ohm's and high efficiency.

looks interesting. But why did they make it 1/4 inch jack output? Why not balanced? Still I wonder how it would measure up against other HP amps that are advertised to drive HE6 -- Stratus, WA5, etc.

 

Thanks for sharing catfish!

post #966 of 3298
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cante Ista View Post

looks interesting. But why did they make it 1/4 inch jack output? Why not balanced? Still I wonder how it would measure up against other HP amps that are advertised to drive HE6 -- Stratus, WA5, etc.

 

Thanks for sharing catfish!

scratch that! I missed the reference to the speaker output

post #967 of 3298
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cante Ista View Post

I thought ada did guitar stuff, not hifi. Are talking about some other brand?

In any case, hook ity up and let us know!

ADA is Pro Audio gear for Home Theater. Back in the day it was Home Theater Magazine Editor's choice.  It's actually got SIX channels of 150 watts. It's a beast. I'll have to get someone to school me on how to hook these up. Do people REALLY just directly connect a headphone jack to the Speaker outs? Do you have to "step down" the power somehow first? Seems like you could blow up your headphones pretty easily... tongue.gif


Edited by bareyb - 3/6/13 at 10:56am
post #968 of 3298
Quote:
Originally Posted by bareyb View Post

ADA is Pro Audio gear for Home Theater. Back in the day it was Home Theater Magazine Editor's choice.  It's actually got SIX channels of 150 watts. It's a beast. I'll have to get someone to school me on how to hook these up. Do people REALLY just directly connect a headphone jack to the Speaker outs? Do you have to "step down" the power somehow first? Seems like you could blow up your headphones pretty easily... tongue.gif


I have heard that it is not that easy to blow these headphones up (relatively speaking). Some have mentioned going direct off speaker taps from 120 WPC amps. I assume caution in such circumstances is paramount. Of you can use the HE adapter, as has been suggested many times, but that unfortuantley degrades the sound.

post #969 of 3298
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cante Ista View Post

I finally got around to writing the review. I have had the HE-6 for three months now and the F3 for about a month and a half. I have listened to them almost daily and thought that I should try to write up my impressions.  My source is MacMini which serves only as a music server with Amarra. That is connected to my NAD m51 DAC, which is then routed to the F3. The F3 is not a clone. It is the original thing I got used and then refurbished by Mr Pass. I have not modded the amp during the referb process  but I am extremely happy with its performance and I am not sure how much more performance I could squeeze out out of it. This is my first attempt at a review, so I would appreciate constructive criticism. High-fives are also welcome.

 

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

HE 6 on the F3 has a very immediate presentation -- like you are sitting in the front row. The sounds are delivered with pinpoint accuracy. The focus is needle sharp. I think this is in part because every frequency is presented in a very clean and transparent fashion. I think clean is a good way to describe what’s going on here from top to bottom. What I love about the HE-6 and what sets it apart from many other headphones I have heard is how precise and detailed it is. Let’s start with the bass is. This is my favorite type of bass presentation. You just hear the notes, on the same level with all other frequencies -- noting added, nothing subtracted, nothing lacking! Just perfect! When I put on some IDM (i.e. apex twin, autechre or aufgang) and beat driven ambient music (i.e. pantha du prince or some shpongle, tripswitch), there is a very solid bass impact. Electronic music (I include hip-hop here) can contain some very low bass and the HE-6 on F3 delivers it. When some read this they may think I am talking about the “I can almost feel it in my chest type of bass”. But that is not exactly how this sounds.  It is rather brains than brawn. Lots of bass detail and low low low extension, but it is a headphone set up after all. I think that if you’d increased the bass impact you would lose all of the articulation, and, like I said before, this is the type of bass that draws me to the HE-6.  The beauty of this set up though is that all that bass is happening without taking anything away from other frequencies. The bass stands on its own, among other sounds or musicians on the stage, easily discernable from everything else, providing the basis on which the tracks stand.

 

And the other frequencies are also all there. Everything layed out on a black background, coming out and letting you know it is there. This type of detail is very easy to see on electronic music,  which, when at its best (I am not taking about the mass-produced stuff you hear on the radio, which is bad – just like rock and even jazz can be made bad when produced for the lowest common denominator), layers many many sounds to create harmonies – sound upon sound upon sound upon sound. Same thing with orchestral music – every section has its place and instruments can be isolated from all other. Just pop in some Mahler or Beethoven, etc. No other types of music can match the complexity of symphonies overall. In places so much stuff can be happening all at once, and jump around across frequency spectrum, and F3 with the HE-6 don’t have issues.  The HE-6 and F3 rig just resolves these nuances and harmonies beautifully and allows you to see each layer separately but then also jump to a higher (aka more distant) layer of perception and apprehend all of them together as one piece. This for me is the pinnacle of good headphone set up. Having the ability to hear every little nuance separately, but then also have the ability to step back and ‘apprehend’ all those sounds together coherently in time. This is in part because the amp and headphones present a nice 3D stage. They aren’t speakers, but I can definitely see the sound stage and separate different sounds or musicians in space. The sound stage is not as big as HD800, but nothing there is missing. If I remember correctly, I think the sound stage is similar to the one I heard on the SR009 with BHSE and OPPO95. In fact, in my limited experience I think that the HE-6 with the F3 with HE-6 come very close to the electrostatic set up I head at a recent DC meet. It is not the same – for sure. But detail-wise and sound-stage wise, they are definitely comparable. Not the same level, but comparable.  

 

I have read somewhere that the F3 is a tube lover’s solid state amp. I don’t about that that. While with the HE-6  the decay and whatever creates the meat on the bones experience in the bass and midrange is there slightly more than every other SS amp I have heard, I have also heard tube amps that the F3 cannot match in that regard. I also think that it has all the characteristics of a good SS amp, like awesome extension, control, and PRAT. I don’t know that tube lover would abandon tubes for F3 with the HE-6. Please mind my set up here, thou. There are no tubes anywhere in my signal path and perhaps this could be the culprit. Maybe F3 is just really good at amplifying tube preamp sound, etc. Maybe it is because HE-6 is adding/taking away something – I don’t know. While I would not call it tubey, I would also not call it cold and analytical. For SS amp, I think it is on warmer side. So for instance when I listen classical, strings and woodwinds retain a nice smooth presentation and voices are super natural. In fact, on one recording I turned around because I thought someone was with me in the room with me. But the presentation of highs is the kicker for me – the highs are not strident at all! Violins and flutes are smooth and detailed.  I know some have said that HE-6 can have strident highs. I have echo what others have said. This is likely system dependent. I also don’t think it’s all in the power. F3 packs 15WPC, so not gobs of power, but dives the HE-6 effortlessly. Like I already said, it is ALL there, balanced and beautifully laid out for you to enjoy, with no fatigue and no piercing highs.

 

In summary, the biggest strength of the combination of the HE-6 with F3, is the level of detail and its incredibly precise layering. This is accomplished with great bass impact and smooth extended highs. This for me is what good headphone system exceeds at, and this one definitely does so.

 

 

Thank you so much for putting extensive thoughts and observations around the F3 + HE-6 pairing.

 

I've been looking at what would be a cost-effective (ie. <$500) amp offering but every time I read about the better amp pairings, I cringe and want to figure out what I should get with a 3x budget. Looks like the F3 might be a shortlist contender.

post #970 of 3298
Quote:
Originally Posted by twizzleraddict View Post

Thank you so much for putting extensive thoughts and observations around the F3 + HE-6 pairing.

 

I've been looking at what would be a cost-effective (ie. <$500) amp offering but every time I read about the better amp pairings, I cringe and want to figure out what I should get with a 3x budget. Looks like the F3 might be a shortlist contender.


Thanks. I think that F3 is a very nice amp, and the bonus is that you can also use it to drive other phones. I drive the HD800 off it and really like that paring as well. I would consider the F1J. I have not heard it, but Preproman swears by it. That one is more of a current (rather than voltage amp) which, from what I understand, is good to have with the HE6. Still, the F3 is a very nice amp and I am also thinking of getting some nice efficient speakers to pair with it, when I move out of the city into a bigger place where I can have my man-cave. biggrin.gif

post #971 of 3298
Quote:
Originally Posted by bareyb View Post

ADA is Pro Audio gear for Home Theater. Back in the day it was Home Theater Magazine Editor's choice.  It's actually got SIX channels of 150 watts. It's a beast. I'll have to get someone to school me on how to hook these up. Do people REALLY just directly connect a headphone jack to the Speaker outs? Do you have to "step down" the power somehow first? Seems like you could blow up your headphones pretty easily... tongue.gif

 

I believe HiFiMan has recommended using their HE adapter when using the HE-6 with SS amps over 70wpc or with any tubed speaker amps.  Some have of course ignored this with no consequences, but if you want a more conservative recommendation, there it is.

post #972 of 3298
Quote:
Originally Posted by figaro69 View Post


Holy smokes! Looks like a monster from the primeval age. Looks beautiful. What year was this made in? So many tubes!!!

I was told it's something between 1964-1970. But something things have been cleaned up and the transformer has been upgraded; so it's not exactly that old anymore wink_face.gif

post #973 of 3298
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzerdave View Post

 

I believe HiFiMan has recommended using their HE adapter when using the HE-6 with SS amps over 70wpc or with any tubed speaker amps.  Some have of course ignored this with no consequences, but if you want a more conservative recommendation, there it is.

I didn't even know those existed. I'll look into that. Thanks.

 

ETA: Do you have the exact name of the product or a direct link? I can't find it on their website... 


Edited by bareyb - 3/6/13 at 2:23pm
post #974 of 3298
Quote:
Originally Posted by bareyb View Post

I didn't even know those existed. I'll look into that. Thanks.

 

ETA: Do you have the exact name of the product or a direct link? I can't find it on their website... 

 

 

http://www.head-direct.com/Products/?act=detail&id=104

post #975 of 3298
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

http://www.head-direct.com/Products/?act=detail&id=104

 

prepro beat me to it.  I have one and use it from time to time with my tube amps.

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