I just got me a pair of Hifiman HE500, and coming from a pair of modified t50rp's my first impressions are the treble's a little shrill, and somewhat overpowers the rest of the frequency range, actually it's pretty annoying, will this change after burn in? But I have to say on a good note, the bass is really well textured; well layered is a better word. I would praise the mids, if it weren't for the shrillness of the treble. I could say the treble's a little too sparkly; a dip at 5000-6000 hz decreases the intimacy of the treble making the vocals sound very smooth and very unaggressive, and a peak at 10k boost overall resolution but makes everything sound thin and grainy.I guess Fang Bian was trying to aim for a more resolute and natural sound; and it would've succeeded if not for the the major boost at 10K. Please tell these cans get smoother with burn in, I've got about 20 hours on them so far.
Ah, you're going through exactly the process I went through just a couple of weeks ago :)
You mentioned in another post that you're using a JDS O2? That was one of the first amps I tried and I heard exactly what you're hearing (you can read my OMGWTF meltdown post somewhere in this thread).
Since then, I've been listening to and burning in my 500s for more than 120 hours. This hasn't changed the sound at all through the O2.
About 20 hours in, I went out and bought a Lake People G109, which has done a heck of a lot to improve the quality of the bass and has done something to control the treble. But even with the 109 I'm finding it's still all just a bit too shrill.
I've also listened to them through an Audio-Gd SA31SE, which, for me, is somewhere in between the O2 and the 109 in terms of sound quality. Basically, I'm finding that, no matter what the amp, in order to get the amount of bass I like I need to crank up the volume to the point where the treble moves from shrill to piercing.
Unfortunately, I can't/won't buy an Emotiva and I've got no interest in valve amps, which means that my 500s are probably going up for sale.
I really hope your experience with your 500s is a lot more positive than mine. If you do find some way of controlling the treble (or you just get used to it), I think they are very, very, very good phones. The bass is truly lovely.
Edited by Stonephace - 1/17/14 at 12:56pm