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Review: Audeze LCD-2 (r1 & r2), HiFiMan HE-6, Stax SR-507, Stax OII MKI/BHSE, et al - Page 5

post #61 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by moodyrn View Post




I also listened to a pair of he-6 on a beta at a meet. I thought they were bass lite and sounded a little thin. I think it's a power issue. The owner said he uses a speaker amp at home with his he-6. So I guess he also doesn't think the beta is a good match. These things are very picky about amp matching. I know many have thought on paper their amp should be able to drive the he-6, but it just wasn''t the case. This makes them a very strange headphone indeed. I think they actually need more power than the k1000. But once you have the right amp on them, they can produce magic. Great review though.

 


Theoretically, the B22 should be plenty of power for the HE-6 since my amp can drive them with ease with 6.5W.  I get much more bass and no thin sound (my DAC and amp are supposed to be neutral, arguably a bit bright too).

 

Every other amp I have tried this on (ROC, Lyr, Burson 160D) do not make the HE-6 have less bass than an HD800 or sound thin.  It must be an issue with the pairing...

 

post #62 of 83
Thread Starter 

I noticed that this review lacked some info & backstory that I thought would be relevant to add:

 

I mentioned that the OII/BHSE (which I'll call my electrostatic setup) is my reference for all acoustic types of music, and that it simultaneously sits alongside a dynamic setup in my system (now just the AD2K and JH13 with the GS-X, as I recently sold the LCD-2). I should've also added that I consider the source component an essential part of the total system, and the one I use is a large contributor to what I hear - as the OII/BHSE will only sound as good as what a source feeds it. I acquired the Plinius CD-101 CDP in March 2008 and haven't changed it since because to me it was absolutely the best that I heard and it met my sonic preferences the most out of everything else that I was able to compare it against - which include the dCS P8i, Bel Canto CD-1, North Star Design Sapphire, Accuphase DP-500, Cary 306 SACD Pro, and Classe CDP-202. I've also specifically "tuned" my system for treble & speed, among other sonic preferences, with the Plinius CDP and Analysis Plus Silver Oval ICs (I've owned several different ICs over the years).

 

What I mean to say is that no one can simply achieve a great system with just the OII/BHSE - the source component also needs to be considered as a highly essential part of the system. And for the OII/BHSE, I do not recommend skimping on cost (for the source). The phrase "brutally revealing" is often mentioned on Head-Fi but it definitely applies to the OII/BHSE - this means it's brutally revealing of any inadequacies from the source. Anyone who's seriously considering buying the OII/BHSE should factor in a really good source as well.

 

And I didn't really say it before (in this thread at least) but the OII/BHSE is probably the single most amazing thing I've ever heard in all of my experience on Head-Fi so far. The "excellent" classification I gave it in the review doesn't really do it justice. True, IMO the Qualia 010 does beat the OII MKI in some areas (and the Qualia doesn't require an expensive high-voltage amp to shine either). But the technicalities miss the big picture and it's the big picture where the OII takes over and words literally cannot describe what it's capable of achieving. I honestly believe none of the usual superlatives ("amazing", "awesome", "fantastic", "incredible", etc) come close to describing the OII's capability. Yes, it really is that good to me. Approximately $6.5K (plus source) might sound really expensive to some people, but I definitely think that whoever can afford to shell out that much would be hugely rewarded.

 

I'm personally really glad that I made the investment and that I have many years ahead of me to continue to enjoy it. smile.gif


Edited by Asr - 4/25/11 at 1:33am
post #63 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post




Theoretically, the B22 should be plenty of power for the HE-6 since my amp can drive them with ease with 6.5W.  I get much more bass and no thin sound (my DAC and amp are supposed to be neutral, arguably a bit bright too).

 

Every other amp I have tried this on (ROC, Lyr, Burson 160D) do not make the HE-6 have less bass than an HD800 or sound thin.  It must be an issue with the pairing...

 



Yeah it's definitely a synergy problem. Every other can I plugged into it sounded lovely.

post #64 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

I noticed that this review lacked some info & backstory that I thought would be relevant to add:

...............

I'm personally really glad that I made the investment and that I have many years ahead of me to continue to enjoy it. smile.gif


Asr, you should included that addendum in the OP as well. Good intro.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moodyrn View Post


Yeah it's definitely a synergy problem. Every other can I plugged into it sounded lovely.



The Beta has more than enough power for the HE-6 and has all the other technical merits demanded by these cans. I've used amps with a LOT less power that gave the HE-6 tremendous bass.

 

What's more, this has happened with more than 1-2 Betas...so it seems to be a design incompatibility rather than one lousy build. I don't know how to explain it.

post #65 of 83

Hey Asr,

 

Thanks for sharing your experiences, I'm curious how you went about auditioning the sources? I want to do some auditioning soon and wonder about how I should go about it; take gear into a hifi shop, or borrow a cd player for a few days?? I know of a few places that have good cd players, but don't know anyone working there, and I feel a bit unsure about how to go about it.

 

cheers

post #66 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ymv View Post
Thanks for sharing your experiences, I'm curious how you went about auditioning the sources? I want to do some auditioning soon and wonder about how I should go about it; take gear into a hifi shop, or borrow a cd player for a few days?? I know of a few places that have good cd players, but don't know anyone working there, and I feel a bit unsure about how to go about it.

 

I owned all of the CDPs that I mentioned in post #62 at various points in the past (throughout 2007-09) - buying used on Audiogon made it easy to do. I recommend that others do the same, if time & budget allows, as you can't really get to know a source very well in anything other than in-home, quiet listening conditions. Most audio dealers will let you bring your own equipment into their store, not sure about general policies about borrowing equipment though. For headphone listening you'd need a really quiet (or sound-proofed) room at an audio dealer.

post #67 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

The Beta has more than enough power for the HE-6 and has all the other technical merits demanded by these cans. I've used amps with a LOT less power that gave the HE-6 tremendous bass.

 

What's more, this has happened with more than 1-2 Betas...so it seems to be a design incompatibility rather than one lousy build. I don't know how to explain it.



My two Beta 22 amps (a 4-channel and a 3-channel) drive the HE-6 very well with excellent bass. In fact, this is my favorite non-electrostatic combination.

 

post #68 of 83
I'd imagine the HE-6/B22 synergy would depend on the exact configuration of the B22. Because of the modular design, there are a lot of configurations that could rightfully be called B22s but their power output capabilities can certainly differ quite a bit.
post #69 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by visualguy View Post





My two Beta 22 amps (a 4-channel and a 3-channel) drive the HE-6 very well with excellent bass. In fact, this is my favorite non-electrostatic combination.

 



 

Interesting...good to hear.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

I'd imagine the HE-6/B22 synergy would depend on the exact configuration of the B22. Because of the modular design, there are a lot of configurations that could rightfully be called B22s but their power output capabilities can certainly differ quite a bit.


I agree.

 

post #70 of 83


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

 

I owned all of the CDPs that I mentioned in post #62 at various points in the past (throughout 2007-09) - buying used on Audiogon made it easy to do. I recommend that others do the same, if time & budget allows, as you can't really get to know a source very well in anything other than in-home, quiet listening conditions. Most audio dealers will let you bring your own equipment into their store, not sure about general policies about borrowing equipment though. For headphone listening you'd need a really quiet (or sound-proofed) room at an audio dealer.


Yeah okay, I wasn't planning on making any quick decisions, but the idea of buying gear just to try it out is a bit of a turn off. Audiogon is pretty great though, I'll keep my eyes out for players selling in Australia. cheers mate.

post #71 of 83

This was a great review, thanks for that. I have had the good fortune to own half of these headphones and generally agree with Asr's impressions on them. Like a few others the HE-6 part confuses me, especially in comparison to the HD800's bass and soundstage and I agree that a speaker amp or vintage receiver might be just the ticket for a contrast with that headphone, the lows and mids really come out for me that way. This comparison also confirmed what I had suspected about the GS-X with the LCD-2, that it is a great pairing; it would be great to have that combo compared to the RSA Apache > LCD-2. I really would like to hear an O2 and a HP1000 now more than ever, and a JH13 as well if I liked customs.


Edited by grokit - 5/22/11 at 7:12am
post #72 of 83

Great review. Thank you.  Wish we'd see more comparisons like this. I certainly agree with "source first". I was very lucky to get my 808.2i at 1/3 MSRP, and it was way worthwhile.

 

Your review and your later comments made me want to buy the O2/BH combo. I listen to all classical, but for me the LCD-2 driven well by the Rudi "quad mono" or even the RWA Sig 30.2 doesn't come close to the presence and timbre (and comfort) of the custom-tuned LA7000.  Even after a very courteous exchange for a more sensitive one.

 

 


Edited by budx3385 - 5/22/11 at 2:29pm
post #73 of 83


 - classical & jazz specifically, which I don't listen to at all on the AD2K, because its mid-range makes acoustic instruments sound unnatural.

 

comments like this are invaluable

thanks again


Edited by budx3385 - 5/22/11 at 3:01pm
post #74 of 83

Asr, hats off to you sir, it was wonderful read indeed.

 

From my findings a balanced Beta 22 with a gain of 2 drives the HE-6’s perfectly, bass is superb. Other phones on tap for comparisons to confirm are HD800’s and LCD-2’s.

post #75 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post

I listened to the HE-6 on a B22 today and I somewhat agree what ASR meant when he said there is no bass on the HE-6.  On every other amp I have plugged my HE-6 to, there is plenty of bass, but on the B22 there was close to none.  Not sure why is this, maybe it is not a good pairing abet the tons of power the B22 has?



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by moodyrn View Post




I also listened to a pair of he-6 on a beta at a meet. I thought they were bass lite and sounded a little thin. I think it's a power issue. The owner said he uses a speaker amp at home with his he-6. So I guess he also doesn't think the beta is a good match. These things are very picky about amp matching. I know many have thought on paper their amp should be able to drive the he-6, but it just wasn''t the case. This makes them a very strange headphone indeed. I think they actually need more power than the k1000. But once you have the right amp on them, they can produce magic. Great review though.

 


I found the HE-6s tricky even hooked up to the speaker taps on my Cary SLi-80 Signature and Luxman integrated -- which is an absolute beast. They sounded better than via either's HP out, but still thin and oddly distant, as if some frequencies were being delayed or (improbably) coming from further away. So it goes.

 

An excellent review -- wish I could manage to listen to that Stax setup and hear what your "excellent" sounds like, ASR. Maybe someday.

 

all best,

 

o

 

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