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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 797

post #11941 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimzerz View Post

It has to do with that giant a** transformer that is sitting right in front of your face. You're saying we are all imagining that? LOL


well about that transformer...the size doesnt mean anything what it pumps out..its the way its built.....i was checking their more upscale models and saw that their Emotiva XPA-3 3-Channel Power Amplifier pumps out 600watts total! and came across this very honest review of an owner who had it for 3 years....it showed me a lot about that BIGGER is not always better..and if u read the last line on this very eyeopening review it confirms me what i always said that quality in sound comes with a price and using his words: 'It turns out that there is no free lunch'.

 

i totally quote the owner here..and remember i am now quoting someone who has one of their medium upper scale models (799usd)..so it for sure will be a ground rule for their lower range models also!

 

here it goes:

 

Everyone is excited to get a new component, but after the excitement fades, what are you left with? How does the amp perform and how's the sound quality? It is a step up from the amps in a receiver, but is that saying much? Let's start from the beginning.

 

As far as options go, like turn on options, ground lift, gain knob or pass through of signal, it's pretty limited, but it is at the lower end of the price spectrum. You do get XLR vs RCA inputs and 12 volt trigger plus you can turn off some of the LED display, which glows a too bright blue. It is well built, however, and the looks, though somewhat bland, are clean.

 

The design reveals more. The transformer is a smallish 850va for 600 watts of output. It only has 6 output devices per channel(other brands have 12 for 200-250 watts), and only 60,000 micro farads total (check the farads total on my little weakish headphone amp downstairs..lolz)

 

But the bottom line is, how does it sound? You can compare stats and specs all day long, but it's the sound that counts. I ran this amp for 3 years and became very familiar with it, listening mostly to music with Paradigm Signature S6 speakers. The amp, while decent for the money, showed its limitations with music. With some recordings I had sibilance issues that wouldn't go away. I also have an Emotiva XDA-1 used as a preamp and their ERC-1 cd player. I tried swapping out the XDA-1 for a denon AVR used as pre. I tried running the amp with just an Oppo 95 as source with volume. I couldn't remove the sibilance until I removed the XPA-3.

 

I suspect that Emotiva's house sound, which they say is very flat, can create issues with some speakers. When I replaced the amp the sibilance was gone and I also noticed a better soundstage and more accurate bass, both things that I didn't realize I was missing until I put the new amp in. I'd say the XPA line of amps is okay for home theater only, where sibilance is not as much an issue. But for those with extended highs or brighter speakers, this amp would not work at all.

 

Now, which design is superior? The one that achieves rated power without increased THD, of course. And which one costs more to build? These are areas where Emotiva has cut corners to build more cheaply, and that's fine. But for some owners These XPA amps can produce sibilance and harshness at elevated volume levels. It's probably why their XPR line has bigger power supplies among other things. Lower gain too.

 

It turns out that there is no free lunch.

 

END QUOTE

 

and now the piece of resistance...the figures of my eenie weenie weak amp of only 5,28Wpc per channel into 50ohm (compared to the mighty emotiva with 2x50w into 8ohm?) and comparedto the above 600!! watts monster of emotiva i just quoted about..

 

my new amp with only 5,28watts into 50ohm (see huge external powersupply) will have at least 400,000uF capacity (for a headphone amp!) (dont yet know how much more..but hope to know soon)

and u wont believe this but the NSL (of which my little amp is totally based on, but only has more power and is a speakeramp), with only 28Wpc into 8ohm, pumps out more than 2,000,000uF (or two 2 Farads) of power-supply capacitance..i am guessing that will give u some headroom :veryevil: a transformer pumping out that much costs a fortune!

 

my point is..again..power is not holy..but its also true that if u NEVER heard a very good amp (see the part of the quote i marked) u will always think ur amp is the best there is... quality in sound comes with a price...ALWAYS..as high quality capacitators or high end handwounded transformers as an example costs huge amounts of money! u wont find those in budget amps and so u miss out..even without u knowing...BUT..only money wont give u bliss..u have to spend ur money wisely to get that balance in ur rig..if possible let it built to the specs so all work in balance with each other...pumping 10000'sends of dollars into a rig not knowing how they will sound together is redicilus...best case scenario is getting a custommade headphone, custommade cables and a custommade amp/dac to go with it..but i also know not many can do that...but i happen to know a person who put 200euro aside of his low paid surveillance night job salary every month for almost 10 years and now has a speaker rig that give u shivers down ur spine if u listen to it..okay last part of the money he got with a better paid job he found afterwards. :D

 

.its al about priorities in life sometimes..u cant ever say one amp is the best...best is custommade (by a good builder..like BC or Glenn if u want a perfect sounding handbuilt tube amp)..PERIOD!..if u have the money for it..thats the only way u will get the max of ur he500 or any other higher end phone...as only then u will have the amp that will complement ur phone to the max...

 

every other amp has its shortcomings..even the expensive excellent sounding ones of cavalli etc..(by the way..dont know if the owner of cavalli actually does custom builts also..)

 

peace!


Edited by hifimanrookie - 2/12/14 at 7:56am
post #11942 of 18011

It's a combination of size and quality ;)

post #11943 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimzerz View Post
 

It's a combination of size and quality ;)

+1 i agree with u my friend! but u forget one big factor u forgot to include in ur conclusion: balance between ur components

now thats the best thing i heard about the relation: quality in sound vs. (sensible) spending money for a long while here ;) 


Edited by hifimanrookie - 2/12/14 at 8:07am
post #11944 of 18011

I am quite keen to try my headphones with the Marantz PM6005 next. Looks like a very neat amplifier and then I will use my Concero as a USB->SPDIF converter or as a source depending on the quality of DAC in the unit. Its going to cost less than importing a Violectric V200 which would be my favourite pick. I'm currently trying to find a distributor with stock so I can take my HE-500s along. Earlier in the year I wanted to check out the Rega Brio-R, but I've read here on Head-fi that is wasn't a particularly good match with Hifiman headphones.

 

@hifimanrookie go read Jason's thread on how Schiit Audio was started. I am really enjoying his insights into the workings of the audio industry. Cutting out the distribution and retail chain results in enormous cost savings. Its the reason why Emotiva can sell their equipment at the prices that they do. The XPA line was designed to give a boost to home theatres. If you look at the gain and output you'll notice that they are tailor made to work with AVRs. As such they aren't a particularly great match with normal pre-amplifiers and most AVRs aren't hooked up to serious high end gear. The Gen 2 series aim to remedy this somewhat with a lower gain setup and lower noise. Again I think it's wonderful that a audio manufacturer is out there making amps that sounds great and that everybody thats passionate about audio can afford. The XSP-1 pre-amp looks particularly interesting.

 

The past weekend I listened to a spectacular speaker setup consisting of Tannoy Kingdoms with some of the worlds best preamps thrown in, Audio Research, Mark Levinson, Halcro etc., hooked up to a monster Krell 600W power amplifier. In the end one of the cheapest preamps in the bundle ended up in most people's top three, which is a local DIY design and cost a fifth of the price of the nearest preamp. Again cost is not necessarily equal to sound quality. Its one of the reasons why audio DIY is one of the most popular categories out there. There is incredible value to be found in audio DIY due to how badly skewed the general audio value chain is.


Edited by daerron - 2/12/14 at 9:11am
post #11945 of 18011

Anyone have any general impressions of how the ear cups/fit compare to some of the higher end Bayers? (T90, T5, T1 etc.). 

post #11946 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by moz View Post
 

Anyone have any general impressions of how the ear cups/fit compare to some of the higher end Bayers? (T90, T5, T1 etc.). 


well..for me the velours cups on my mmx300 (beyer) are most comfortable ones i ever tried on (and dont gather as much dust as the velours of hifiman do!)...no hifiman pad came even close..or any other pad for that matter.. not even the custom ones i have on my code-x.

 

@daerron  i agree with u on the pricing..thats also why BC also doesnt have a big seller network...in europe they dont even have one!...only a very few in the states and canada...thats why, no matter how much they cost in hard cash, they are good value for money of u see whats put into them and if u compare them to other more mass-produced higher-end brands

 

and yeah i once read the story of Shiit..and i respect what they are doing...but because of taking out a seller network they actually do the opposite of what they try to do for us poor Europeans..as we europeans are punished with HUGE extra costs for customs and taxes on top of the high postage costs we pay for..

 

but i have to be honest here...when i contacted them when i was in the market for a new amp/dac and showed interest about the mjolnir&gungnir combo last year, they  offered me a nice discount to counter the huge costs of what i just mentioned...and thats a nice gesture!!! i always appreciate it when a seller thinks WITH the customer..it shows they are honest in what they do..and are fair to their customers!

 

but in the end the 'SHIIT WAY' (or emotiva way for that matter) is in general only good for US based customers pricewise...for us europeans doing business with a company who doesnt have a seller (representative/importer) in europe is expensive to say the least (and for the southern states in europe its even more risky because of damage during transport and the 'oopsie lost it' attititude of some of the southern european forwarders/customs...


Edited by hifimanrookie - 2/12/14 at 9:38am
post #11947 of 18011

There are some Schiit sellers here in the Netherlands. The charge € for $. So Lyr becomes 449 euro instead of 449$. Still not that bad :-)

post #11948 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Textfeud View Post
 

There are some Schiit sellers here in the Netherlands. The charge € for $. So Lyr becomes 449 euro instead of 449$. Still not that bad :-)

so they get same amount of discount as i got probably :D

post #11949 of 18011

I agree with you, but normally the local dealer adds his own markup which makes goods even more expensive. It quite depends on the networks and incentives offered. Internet direct companies with a dealer in the network can be crazy expensive. For example the cost of the Concero is $600 in the US and the UK its 600GBP, that seems like a bad rip-off to me. Of course it is also a risk to buy stuff blindly and I'm quite sceptical of FOTM (one of the reasons why I don't have any Schiit gear), but fortunately Head-fi does have some very valuable information from users and reviews. I'd still advise people to buy local, Germany have some terrific headphone and amp makers and the UK also has a sizeable audio industry.

 

Unless the distribution network is optimised for internet direct companies e.g. goods are shipped from a factory in China directly to a local subsidiary, then there can be cost savings in having a local network. I'm quite hopeful that this will be the next step in direct internet selling, perhaps this will bring benefits to Europe though I'm not too hopeful of this ever happening in South Africa. Strangely there is some gear that is quite cheap here though. Asus' audio products as well as most Yamaha gear is very competitively priced. The Asus Essence MUSES edition for example costs around $750 locally, I bought my Asus Essence STX for $130 and my Yamaha EPH-100 IEMs for $65. Fortunately in South Africa we can get Vivid Audio speakers, Valve Audio amplification and some very good DIY gear for good prices, but the life of audio enthusiasts are quite tough here.

 

If the Marantz PM6005 ends up sounding no good then I'm going to look into the local DIY route and see if I can get my own custom built head amp. @StanD  doesn't have to worry about it being a visblik, those you only find in the Netherlands and they have harings and palings stuffed in them! :D 


Edited by daerron - 2/12/14 at 10:48am
post #11950 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post
 

so they get same amount of discount as i got probably :D

No clue but they nice thing is that you have warranty with them. 

post #11951 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by daerron View Post

@StanD doesn't have to worry about it being a visblik, those you only find in the Netherlands and they have harings and palings stuffed in them! :D 

thats so true my friend!  very healthy stuff  :beerchug: 

post #11952 of 18011

Hey guys, I recently took ThurstonX's advice on the Q701 pads for the HE-500 and I have to say that I'm glad that I did. At around ~$30 they are cost less than buying jerg pads and the effect is incredible (for me, at least haha).

 

The thing about these pads is that they are angled and are really firm so I get a lot of distance between my ears and the drivers and it results in a much more headspace which then leads to an airer sound which is especially good since I listen to a lot of classical music. Because of the increased headspace, I'm definitely hearing a bigger soundstage and better instrument separation and I feel like I'm hearing more details as well though this probably because of the better instrument separation. These pads aren't perfect and I do feel like they take a way a bit of the intimacy that other pads might give you since it makes the sound stage bigger. I also can't really comment on how they change vocals as I've only had them for about two days and I actually haven't listened to any vocal tracks very carefully with them. I'm not exactly an expert reviewer and I'm just posting what I hear so yeah, thanks to ThurstonX on the cool mod advice. At any rate, if you listen to mostly instrumental and classical music, I think these are the best pads I have heard yet and I have the alpha pads, J$, and jergular pads.

post #11953 of 18011

Where did you get the Q701 pads from, if you don't mind me asking? My google-fu is weak today apparently.

post #11954 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by TooPoor View Post
 

Where did you get the Q701 pads from, if you don't mind me asking? My google-fu is weak today apparently.

 

If you're in the US, the best place to get them is direct from AKG.  Search this thread for Frank Rodriguez.  You should find his contact number, and even the part # to order, though I'm sure he can figure it out from "Q701 pads"  ;-)  If you can't find it, post again or PM me.  Can't look it up right now or I'd post it.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Here ya go:

 

PN: 2458M12020


Frank Rodriguez
Customer Service Administrator
E-mail: frank.rodriguez@harman.com
Phone: 818-920-3279
fax: 818-830-7881


Edited by ThurstonX - 2/12/14 at 12:39pm
post #11955 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Textfeud View Post

There are some Schiit sellers here in the Netherlands. The charge € for $. So Lyr becomes 449 euro instead of 449$. Still not that bad :-)

They also charge £ for $, so anybody in the UK would be better off buying from the Continent. I hope Schiit put a stop to this when they release their statement amp & DAC later on this year.
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