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My impressions of HE-6 vs HD800 vs Stax SR-007 - Page 4

post #46 of 290
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardgedee View Post

visualguy: Thanks for your review; it reflects some of my impressions comparing the HD800 to the HE-6. Although in my case, the HE-6 became my go-to phones, because they're more compatible with my listening preferences and home setup.

 

You should check out the discussion in milosz' A/B amp comparison thread if you haven't already, as it's informative and relevant to some of the things being discussed here.



Thanks for pointing out that thread - I didn't know about it. Very similar to my experience comparing amps. At most subtle differences between solid state amps (I've never owned any tube amps.) This is why I sold most of my amps. I realized that I could just use the DAC1 headphones amp and enjoy a sound that was as good or better than what I got with any of my other amps. Fortunately, the DAC1 does a great job even with the HE-6. Still, I'm going to check if the balanced Beta 22 and GS-X change my mind about amps by driving the HE-6 and/or HD800 better.

post #47 of 290

Thanks for the review. How did the 95 compare to your other DACs?

post #48 of 290
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oqvist View Post

Thanks for the review. How did the 95 compare to your other DACs?



The BDP-95 DAC is excellent - certainly audiophile level. I compared it to the DAC1 by comparing the XLR analog outs of the 95 to going digital from the 95 to the DAC1 and using the XLR analog outs of the DAC1. I felt that the DAC1 was slightly more detailed, slightly clearer, and a little more forward. However, this wasn't a scientific test - I'm not sure the volume was 100% matched. Still, I felt that the DAC1 was better, even if only slightly. Anyway, I'm perfectly happy listening to the XLR analog outs of the 95.

 

I didn't compare the 95 directly to my Marantz players, but since I like the Marantz players (even on Redbook) slightly better than the DAC1, I would conclude that I would like them better than the 95 as well, but again, you're really talking about subtle stuff here. The 95 is unbelievable value for the money - awesome BD/SACD/CD player with excellent analog audio.

 

post #49 of 290
Quote:
Originally Posted by visualguy View Post

 

I've owned one along with a KGSS amp for the last 3 years.

Opps, my mistake then.
 

post #50 of 290
Quote:
Originally Posted by visualguy View Post
  1. The HE-6 is powered well by the headphones amp in the Benchmark DAC1 HDR which I use as my source. A comfortable listening level is achieved with the pot at the 12 o'clock position. This is with the internal jumpers set to 0dB of attenuation for the headphones amp. The DAC1 amp can provide 250mA of current, which seems sufficient. My Gilmore Lite, on the other hand, doesn't do very well with the HE-6. It can reach high volume, but it doesn't sound as good as the DAC1 with the HE-6 (the Gilmore Lite is lower power)


Thanks for mentioning this, didn't occur to me to try this, I didn't know the DAC1 even had jumpers for this.

 

As you mention, I set it up at 0dB and the HE-6 cans are sounding great. Nothing else I have can really drive them, waiting for the Schiit Lyr, considering Decware after reading the praise with the HE-6, and also the Hifi MAN EF-6 when it comes out.

 

But for now, I'm in pretty good shape with the DAC1. Just have to remember not to plug any other cans into it!

 

-- Gordie

post #51 of 290
Quote:
Originally Posted by visualguy View Post
 A bigger problem for me is that I tend to listen to headphones too loud - I have to keep reminding myself to lower the volume. Unfortunately, headphones sound seems to degrade more at lower volume than speaker sound. I don't tend to crank up the volume on the speakers quite as much. I'm quite concerned about hearing damage when listening to headphones, but it feels like less of a problem when listening to speakers.


I'm curious about this comment.  What kind of degredation are you experiencing, for example?  You must be listening incredibly loudly.
 

post #52 of 290

 visualguy, What I like most about your thoughts on the 3 Headphones you have or are comparing is that you give your honest opinion about each "one" without the usual TRASH TALKING or BAD MOUTHING any of the Three..That's refreshing here at this site........Keep that level of respect of the equipment you review, we need more straight shooting guys like YOU!!!!   Thank You... Now onto what I heard, 1st hand when listening to Happy Camper's HE-6's......."AS he explains below"....... I have the HD-800s and a Custom Tube amp (Chris Ivan Audio) made for the HD-800's, but can drive most headphones that have been at our local meets.....But when HC hooked his new HE-6's to the Amp he's talking about, the 40 wpc Single Ended "speaker amp" it was like "HOLY Sh--!    What a total difference in the depth of the bass all the way through to the upper frequencies.......They are one of the best Headphones out there today IMO, with the right amp!..........Do I want to sell my HD-800's and buy a pr. of the HE-6's, NO! Would I kick them out of my headphone system for "making me tap my toes to much" Hell no!  So in closing, I can not imagine the HE-6s with out being powered by a high quality TUBE Amp..........But remember I've been an "ALL TUBE" Equipment guy (except for sources) for 18yrs of my 58yrs of being into HI-FI....Can't wait to read your thoughts on your new STAX CANS......Once again visualguy, Thanks for your honest thoughts on 3 of the best HD-phones out today without adding "that" model "B" sounds like CRAP........ETC.ETC.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

I use a 40wpc SET and have attenuated the signal 20 db.

 

You really do have to power them with a speaker amp to see what they can do. I've used some pretty good headphone amps and they were flat, fuzzy soundstage, polite. Put some juice in their kiester and they do compare well.

 

Read the HE-6 thread and you'll see some big time home amps with typical dynamic headphones be laid to waste. Strangely a portable does a decent job with them though.


AMEN TO THAT HC!!!!, duke
 

post #53 of 290
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9pintube View Post

 visualguy, What I like most about your thoughts on the 3 Headphones you have or are comparing is that you give your honest opinion about each "one" without the usual TRASH TALKING or BAD MOUTHING any of the Three..That's refreshing here at this site........Keep that level of respect of the equipment you review, we need more straight shooting guys like YOU!!!!   Thank You... Now onto what I heard, 1st hand when listening to Happy Camper's HE-6's......."AS he explains below"....... I have the HD-800s and a Custom Tube amp (Chris Ivan Audio) made for the HD-800's, but can drive most headphones that have been at our local meets.....But when HC hooked his new HE-6's to the Amp he's talking about, the 40 wpc Single Ended "speaker amp" it was like "HOLY Sh--!    What a total difference in the depth of the bass all the way through to the upper frequencies.......They are one of the best Headphones out there today IMO, with the right amp!..........Do I want to sell my HD-800's and buy a pr. of the HE-6's, NO! Would I kick them out of my headphone system for "making me tap my toes to much" Hell no!  So in closing, I can not imagine the HE-6s with out being powered by a high quality TUBE Amp..........But remember I've been an "ALL TUBE" Equipment guy (except for sources) for 18yrs of my 58yrs of being into HI-FI....Can't wait to read your thoughts on your new STAX CANS......Once again visualguy, Thanks for your honest thoughts on 3 of the best HD-phones out today without adding "that" model "B" sounds like CRAP........ETC.ETC.  

 


AMEN TO THAT HC!!!!, duke
 


I'm using a 10wpc tube amp on my HE-6 and it sounds really good to my ears.

post #54 of 290

Quote:

Originally Posted by wuwhere View Post


I'm using a 10wpc tube amp on my HE-6 and it sounds really good to my ears.

wuwhere,
I bet it does, If I may ask, what tubes does your 10 watter use?? And for the other HE-6 owners who might be looking for "The Right Amp" that these Headphones really need, Is your amp all tube or a hybrid, ETC.ETC...... I'm assuming your using the "speaker terminals",right?smily_headphones1.gif  

post #55 of 290

I've been skipping over this thread and just read through it for the first time today. I'm glad I did. Great posts visualguy, I'm looking forward to more of your impressions.

post #56 of 290
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Driftwood View Post

I've been skipping over this thread and just read through it for the first time today. I'm glad I did. Great posts visualguy, I'm looking forward to more of your impressions.



Thanks for the good feedback!

 

I just spent some time listening to the HE-6 and HD800 on the new Grace m903. The m903 headphones amp is powerful-enough to drive the HE-6. With the default trim of 0dB, it powers them fine with the volume at 85-95. If you set the trim to +9.5dB, you get more volume headroom, but it's not really necessary.

 

The m903 sounds very similar to the DAC1 (both as a DAC and as a headphones amp).

 

My impressions of the relative merits of the HE-6, HD800, and SR-007 haven't changed as a result of using the m903. They all sounded the same as when I was using the DAC1. The SR-007 is driven by a KGSS using the m903 as a DAC, and the HE-6 and HD800 use the m903 as both a DAC and a headphones amp.

 

As before, the SR-007 sounded better than the HE-6 and HD800. The HE-6 and HD800 both have noticeable weaknesses when compared to the SR-007, and no significant strengths, so the choice there is easy - the difference isn't subtle - you hear it right away without having to strain to hear a difference.

 

The choice between the HD800 and HE-6 boils down to what you like. The HD800 has more air and soundstage, it's more detailed, and it sounds somewhat more natural on acoustic instruments. The HE-6 has more bass impact and in general a fuller and lusher sound than the HD800 - it's quite pleasant to listen to it. However, you get the best of both worlds (maybe not quite the soundstage of the HD800) with the SR-007 and more. Once I put the SR-007 on after listening to the other ones, the first thought that crosses my mind is why am I bothering with the other two...

 

Next in the queue is testing with the balanced Beta 22 and GS-X, but it will still be a while before I get hold of those.

post #57 of 290

I already sold the HE6,after I compared them with the SR007 ,to help fund the Amp. The System was Krell KAV 300i + something sort of WooWEE (better than WooWEE to our ears)+ Arye CX7emp with Cardas golden reference Balanced and 3 Cardas golden reference power cable. The SR007 was perfect with this set up ,it's so perfect that I asked my freind to trade between his O2MKI and my O2MKII . When I listened to the O2MKI ,everything seemed to be perfect. The soundstage was not big,but the image is so precisely and clear to see(hear),HE6 on the other hand,though good imaging capability,but still to my ear far behind the O2MKI. And the big different between O2MKI and HE6 is that ,when you hear O2MKI,the music just flows,it's like ,when I listened to the R10 once ,there's only two headphones(or maybe set ups),that make me feel this way. I used to be very exited,when I heard the ED10 with weiss202.This combination sound amazing ,espacially when you listen to the Vocal,but the R10's and O2MKI's set up win here. To my ear I want to say O2MKI is a level above the HE6. I myself own The HE6 ,LCD2,HD800,O2MKII. I decided to let the HE6 go,but it's not ,because the HE6 are worse than the LCD2 or HD800,for me overall I rank the HE6>LCD2>HD800 (HE6,T1 ,SR007 (A) have a better tonal balance than the LCD2 and HD800 and therefore for me they are not Genre specific),but I sold them because LCD2 and HD800 are quite unique in theirs own ways. Now about the O2MKI,O2MKII and 4070 in this set up.

 

Many people said the O2 lacks dynamic,but I think It's all depend on your set up. I used to here the O2MKI before,compared with the Stax Sigma Pro I love the Sigma pro far more. But for some reasons (you know,I have read much about the SR007 (A) here in Head-fi) I was quite sure the O2 can perform better. then I decided to purchased the O2MKII (the price was good two). After we listened to the set up, I and my freinds have found that O2MKI don't lack anything ,Int amp Krell 150 watt 8 ohm fixed this ,they are just perfect,super tonal balance and transparency.Music just flow easily,it's the big different compared to the Dynamic headphones(I've found when you listen to dynamic headphones,the connection between the bass,mid,treble regions is not perfect like when you listen to Stax)

 

 

 Compared to the 4070,I think 4070 can give more depth to the soundstage,the drum kicks harder impactful,but the tonal balance was not quit ok (HE6 are better than the 4070 in this aspect) ,we think they coulb be fix with some tube amps. Compared O2mkII (not 2.5) to O2mkI ,still the O2mkI won here they sound quite similar,but I think the MKII ain re boosted  some frequency and the sound is not just the same. The perfect tonal balanced is gone,but not so bad they're still O2 Finally before I walked out the door I asked my friend to trade my O2MKII with his MKI,he said OK.The reason is not ,that he prefer the MKII to the MKI,but he want to try to set his system to match the MKII (he said it's some kind of challenge), by the way my O2MKII look far newer than his O2MKI . 27022011090.jpg

 

 

 

 

p.s The Stax Energizer has the Stax out put and the Normal Headphones output,so you can use both stax and normal headphones though this.

 

 

 

P. S2 LCD2,HD800 can be driven with the Home amp too (At home my Intamp is 70-80 watt 8 OHM) .I diY a connector to my home amp (Actually I can use theStax energizer too,but just to show if someone want to use the home amp to drive the Headphones,the Result was good for HD800,but my tube headphone amp paired better with the LCD2)

 

 

 

01032011092.jpg

P.s3 I owned the HE6 for 2-3 months already (the first batch ) .I have tried them with different set up and listen to them many times ,They are really good ,but not as stunning as the O2 or R10


Edited by coolcat - 3/1/11 at 7:31am
post #58 of 290

Thank you for the information Coolcat.  Your enjoyed your impressions on the O2 mk1 and the O2 mk2.

post #59 of 290
Thread Starter 

 

Thanks, Coolcat.

 

It would be nice if there were non-electrostatic headphones that were as good as or better than the Stax SR-007. It's kind of boring that the SR-007 have been better than anything in production for quite a few years now. When the Stax C32 is introduced, the gap will probably be even wider, with even less of a chance for non-electrostatics to catch up.

 

The only reason I see for going with any full-size open headphones other than the SR-007 (or C32) is cost. However, if you buy HD800, T1, HE-6, ED10, etc. with a high-end amp (Beta 22, GS-X, Apache, B-52, etc.), you come pretty close to the price of the SR-007+KGSS. Also, many people buy multiple dynamic headphones and amps because something is always not quite right with any given setup. My advice is to just get the SR-007/KGSS and be done with it. You can then just focus on the music rather than the equipment, and your wallet will thank you in the long run as well - less equipment churn.

 


Edited by visualguy - 3/1/11 at 3:37pm
post #60 of 290

Knowing nothing about Stax I sort of assumed these would be in the same ball park price wise!

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