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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 862

post #12916 of 16541
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

I'd consider cma800 a candidate for cheap end game amping, but don't take my word for it, just seems like a good value and intrigueing product. Was kinda tempted a while ago.
I just read the review of project 86 about it..(they already have a new model out with a R behind it) especially the real dual mono possibility caught my eye with dual 3pin xlr! Looks good to me..but i still have to read real life experiences of that..but nonetheless...sounds interesting! Never heard of that brand before though.. But hey..never ever heard about BC also before skylark wrote an ecstatic review about their low budget sbh headphone amp a while back and see what happened biggrin.gif
post #12917 of 16541
Is there really such a thing as not end game quality? For many, the Lyr is end game, and so is the HE500. If a person desires no more than Beats, then this is end game quality for them. And on and on with regards to diminishing returns and expensive headphones.
Edited by Zuckfun - 3/6/14 at 2:24pm
post #12918 of 16541
The he-500s are end game in that list, there is tradeoffs going to lcd3, hd800, or sr007. It's a fact the he6 is also not clearly superior in all facets to the 500, it is at the level where preferences come into play and not so much technical ability
post #12919 of 16541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultramus View Post

The he-500s are end game in that list, there is tradeoffs going to lcd3, hd800, or sr007. It's a fact the he6 is also not clearly superior in all facets to the 500, it is at the level where preferences come into play and not so much technical ability
Am sorry to say it..but i had a he500 for almost 2 years with all the mods possible and with one of the better affordable amps to drive it..and just now..now that i got myself a code-x i found out the he500 is no endgame and that there are better headphones out there in every way.. Never knew that before i actually sold everything i had and got myself a code-x and drove it with a simple 39eur usb amp..but I have to admit honestly....i was completely stunned that this combo could be better sounding then my earlier rig of a modified 337 and a modded he500 worth 1500usd.... And this is of a guy who swore on the combo he500/337! I went through fire to defend that... So u can imagine how hard it was for me to understand and believe the situation i am in now... It totally changed my mind that an amp is most important part in ur rig..and that the he500 is indeed endgame material..i was wrong on both accounts..have been using this usb amp since 4weeks now..and with the code-x i hear things i missed on the he500... Cant wait to upgrade the little amp to the new one that is now stuck in dutch customs since 2 days... I hate those guys!!!! mad.gif
Edited by hifimanrookie - 3/6/14 at 2:52pm
post #12920 of 16541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuckfun View Post

So far, considering these 4 amps for the HE500:
Vioelectric V200
Audio-GD SA-31e
Project Ember
Burson Soloist
Or just be happy with the Lyr. The Lyr is great, but I consider the HE500's to be end game quality, and am not convinced the Lyr is an end game amp. Then again, not sure if all the above mentioned amps can be considered this either. The search continues...

There's no such thing as 'end game' in this hobby, something your wallet will find out over time....

 

The 500 are imo good cans if you like a headphone that's a little on the warm side with a slightly forward middle, absolutely glorious midrange, among the best there is imo.  If you listen to vocal, smal classic ensemble,jazz or blues you can't go wrong.  Only real drawback for me is that it doesn't bring ultimate clarity compared with cans like the HE-6 or HD-800, both of which I also own.  And it requires a reasonably powerful amp. For the amps you listed, I own the V200 and have auditioned the Burson conductor, not the soloist.  Sound-wise the soloist might work very well with the 500, with more neutral/analytical phones I found the Burson amps a bit too analytical/bordering on harsh.  But chef te power on the soloist, I don't know about that.

 

I own the V200, it's certainly powerful enough and a good amp but a little bit on the warm side (not overly so, don't worry) and not extremely resolving. That last aspect is its only defect to my ears.  For the Vio you should know that they will be bringing out new (and more expensive) models that will overtake the 200 (it's an ageing design).  So whatever you do, don't purchase one new now, some used ones in very good condition and at a lower price are/will be hitting the market.  I heard an ember just once so not really enough to say anything about it but didn't really like it then.  Also heard the Schiit and I know the brand has lots of followers/fans but I'm not one of them.  Some of the audio-yd amps get very good reviews and are attractively priced but haven't heard them, certainly powerful enough for the 500.

 

Good luck!

 

Hope this helps a little.

post #12921 of 16541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post

There's no such thing as 'end game' in this hobby, something your wallet will find out over time....

The 500 are imo good cans if you like a headphone that's a little on the warm side with a slightly forward middle, absolutely glorious midrange, among the best there is imo.  If you listen to vocal, smal classic ensemble,jazz or blues you can't go wrong.  Only real drawback for me is that it doesn't bring ultimate clarity compared with cans like the HE-6 or HD-800, both of which I also own.  And it requires a reasonably powerful amp. For the amps you listed, I own the V200 and have auditioned the Burson conductor, not the soloist.  Sound-wise the soloist might work very well with the 500, with more neutral/analytical phones I found the Burson amps a bit too analytical/bordering on harsh.  But chef te power on the soloist, I don't know about that.

I own the V200, it's certainly powerful enough and a good amp but a little bit on the warm side (not overly so, don't worry) and not extremely resolving. That last aspect is its only defect to my ears.  For the Vio you should know that they will be bringing out new (and more expensive) models that will overtake the 200 (it's an ageing design).  So whatever you do, don't purchase one new now, some used ones in very good condition and at a lower price are/will be hitting the market.  I heard an ember just once so not really enough to say anything about it but didn't really like it then.  Also heard the Schiit and I know the brand has lots of followers/fans but I'm not one of them.  Some of the audio-yd amps get very good reviews and are attractively priced but haven't heard them, certainly powerful enough for the 500.

Good luck!

Hope this helps a little.
Thanks for the insights, very helpful smily_headphones1.gif
post #12922 of 16541
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post


Am sorry to say it..but i had a he500 for almost 2 years with all the mods possible and with one of the better affordable amps to drive it..and just now..now that i got myself a code-x i found out the he500 is no endgame and that there are better headphones out there in every way.. Never knew that before i actually sold everything i had and got myself a code-x and drove it with a simple 39eur usb amp..but I have to admit honestly....i was completely stunned that this combo could be better sounding then my earlier rig of a modified 337 and a modded he500 worth 1500usd.... And this is of a guy who swore on the combo he500/337! I went through fire to defend that... So u can imagine how hard it was for me to understand and believe the situation i am in now... It totally changed my mind that an amp is most important part in ur rig..and that the he500 is indeed endgame material..i was wrong on both accounts..have been using this usb amp since 4weeks now..and with the code-x i hear things i missed on the he500... Cant wait to upgrade the little amp to the new one that is now stuck in dutch customs since 2 days... I hate those guys!!!! mad.gif

Forgive me if I'm extremely skeptical of most of what you say :o I can see the HE-6 and Code-X as being upgrades to the he-500, I would hope that they are, but that doesn't disqualify the 500 from being end-game, to me it has that key aspect of all end-game headphones, and that's the ability to scale with every improvement in the chain, in that sense, you can always attain increased SQ without ever changing headphones, it has an extremely high ceiling. Not sure if you agree with that or not, but I feel that is a defining characteristic to be end game, it has to be good enough that the rest of the chain comes into question, the same way for an HE-6 or HD800 people stop looking at other phones and instead look at DAC/Amp/Cables/Interconnects. It may be Rainier to their Denali, but it's still a peak nonetheless :)

post #12923 of 16541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuckfun View Post

Thanks for the insights, very helpful smily_headphones1.gif
Or just do something no one will expect and buy this:
buy a horrible designed amp estheticwise (looks) but wonderful sounding from the inside out..the blue circle audio SBH..its same price level as the v200..and all who heared it loved it..only that appearance!!...its downright horrible..u wont be buying that amp for its looks..no one will...as its probably the ugliest amp i ever saw..but whats inside...that what counts on that little gem..and its therewhere it hits hard..according to all who had one ( justc heck the reviews here on headfi) Its around 1200usd if i am not mistaken..so its rather affordable..and u can upgrade it any way u want..even later on! no matter how crazy.. tongue.gif
Its up to u and ur wallet...anyway..its always fun to look for the right things..for me that search if half of the fun of any of my purchases.... And sometimes it takes me months to make my decision...or more... Just do ur homework..dont let u be influenced by 'people who know' as some are very biassed towards certain brands... Do as i do...google for brands..and se ifany of them has models in ur price range...check reviews, go into headfi..especialy look for posts that are neutral like the one of xenophon..those posts are generally the most honest ones...or like mines...almost funny to read..but with a base of truth..and make ur. Own decision about it..be aware of the brandlovers saying that brandis the best u can get for the he500... That amp doesnt exist..even if u spend a million on it..and truth to be told..howgood the he500 may be..its not worth it to spend more then 1200usd on a he500 ampwise..better is to upgrade to a better phone... I found that out the hard way! BUT..get the right amp for that other amp! The little usb amp i was teling uabout was horribel with my he400, my he500 and my beyer mmx300..but somehow with the code-x it shines...somehow the code-x pulls all this little can pump out...i know thisamp is byfar not capable to push the code-x to its limits...but thats a task made for something else... wink.gif

My advice...listen to us all...but take everything with a grain of salt...

Ps..ask xenophon what he uses now with his he500.. Maybe that amp could be ur best bet? Who knows tongue.gif
post #12924 of 16541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultramus View Post

Forgive me if I'm extremely skeptical of most of what you say redface.gif I can see the HE-6 and Code-X as being upgrades to the he-500, I would hope that they are, but that doesn't disqualify the 500 from being end-game, to me it has that key aspect of all end-game headphones, and that's the ability to scale with every improvement in the chain, in that sense, you can always attain increased SQ without ever changing headphones, it has an extremely high ceiling. Not sure if you agree with that or not, but I feel that is a defining characteristic to be end game, it has to be good enough that the rest of the chain comes into question, the same way for an HE-6 or HD800 people stop looking at other phones and instead look at DAC/Amp/Cables/Interconnects. It may be Rainier to their Denali, but it's still a peak nonetheless smily_headphones1.gif
I agree with u..the he500 is a very capable phone..heck..its only phone i defended with my life here in headfi!!! I really loved it..and i still do..if the code-x wouldnt come around i for sure still would have my modulor 2.0 modded jerg grilled he500 with my headband mod... It made everyone in my audio network listen with awe how it sounded..even people who has a good taste in audio stuff and some musicians..they all loved how he sounded...its by far best deal under 1000usd..soundwise...anid i would never ever thought the code-x being so much better... I heard a lcd2.2 and a hd800. On the right amps..and although on certain wellknown aspects they were better i always would choose the he500(with the mods) over both of them if i would use it for hours usage..its a more complete phone compared to those...and more forgiving! It can play everything well..its not perfect in anything..and thats his strenght..he is not bad in anything also...he is good in everykind of music u throw at it...on contrary to other phones who are excellent on only certain music sorts...

All in all..its no endgame phone..but what is? for me the he500 had been endgame phone for 2years... 5 years ago my yy called the hd650 endgame material..and see now...
In th end its all personal...i know people who think a 2000usd headphone is not endgame material...who think speakers have to cost at least same as ur rig together...i can buy a good second :pcar for that money.... tongue.gif

For many the he500 CAN be endgame....
Ps..people owning a he6 or lcd3 do look for better...they start looking into stax territory...sr009 or like some of my friends did..go speaker...
Edited by hifimanrookie - 3/6/14 at 4:06pm
post #12925 of 16541
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post

Ps..ask xenophon what he uses now with his he500.. Maybe that amp could be ur best bet? Who knows tongue.gif
My best bet...wish I knew. Whenever the upgrade bug bites me, I feel like a nomad wandering the desert, hoping to stumble upon great sounding gear. And now starting to wonder if the HE560 would be more worthwhile than a new amp...Sure do love the HE500's though. A new amp vs the HE560...My wallet despises the upgrade fever tongue.gif
post #12926 of 16541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuckfun View Post


My best bet...wish I knew. Whenever the upgrade bug bites me, I feel like a nomad wandering the desert, hoping to stumble upon great sounding gear. And now starting to wonder if the HE560 would be more worthwhile than a new amp...Sure do love the HE500's though. A new amp vs the HE560...My wallet despises the upgrade fever tongue.gif

I bought my Dac/amp for the very reason of preventing myself from buying the 560 when I'm already quite pleased with the 500s, now when the reviews start rolling in I can decide if it's worth going to a 560 or a 6 in the future.

post #12927 of 16541

Oh yeah, my favourite amp with the HE-500...

 

I hadn't gone there because the OP seemed to prefer ss amps...but I REALLY like the 500 with a Darkvoice 337 tube amp which has been heavily customised and which I purchased from hifimanrookie :beerchug:

 

Absolutely glorious pairing, sounds very neutral for tubes and by rolling you can tailor the sound to some extent.  It's no longer on the market but its successor, the DV 339 is and most users agree that it pairs very well with the 500.  Didn't mention it as I haven't heard that model myself and there's one caveat:  my 337 was seriously customised.  I don't know what was done exactly but it's very powerful so not a standard setup/comparison point, which is why I'm a bit hesitant to just unreservedly give a personal recommendation.  But one thing's for sure:  they're chinese but build quality on the Dark Voice (now La Figaro) amps is really supreme and I do not say that lightly.  I really believe that they can compete with tube amps priced 3-4 times higher.  Check them out if tubes potentially interest you, there are a couple of threads.

 

Or as hifimanrookie said, you could look into a custom design or for a (built for you) DIY amp.  For the price of a new V200 you could just about get a DIY First Watt F1-J or F5 clone for instance.  They're speaker amps with very special characteristics but supreme quality and you could drive the 500 straight from them, strange though it might sound.  I have a F5 on rider now, built by one of the members here.  But be sure to do research, it's not for everyone.  

 

OK guys, off to my breakfast buffet now (sitting in a hotel in Japan, gotta make cash for this hobby!

post #12928 of 16541

I use the Bottlehead Mainline with my HE-500s and the pairing comes close to rivalling the T1s in the same setup. Staging and resolution are better on the T1s still, but the HE-500s could easily satisfy me if they were my only can with my current chain (FLAC --> Matrix X-Sabre --> Bottlehead Mainline -->)

post #12929 of 16541

Granted it might be too neutral for most people's taste, the Mjolnir is thus far my favorite. But my preference is for SS, hybrid at most. 

post #12930 of 16541
Heard great things about Mjolnir. Wish my aftermarket cable was balanced...Ragnarok seems intriguing, not sure when it'll be released though. A lot of great ideas here, some interesting ideas to explore further. Just read about the Auralic Taurus MKII...wish I could afford it- seems like a beauty.
Edited by Zuckfun - 3/6/14 at 6:21pm
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