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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 879

post #13171 of 14165

The HE-500s have been with me a long time and that is through hearing pretty much every other planar there is(albeit briefly) alpha dogs, mad dogs, lcd2.2,3,X. HE-5LE. The 500s are still my favorite, though I have been wondering about upgrading to an LCDX or HE-6 or HE-560, the 560 being the most likely candidate. The 500s do so many things well, and they make me smile the same way I smile when I listen to the symphony live. Comfort can be improved with better pads, also the sonics can be modified that way to your tastes, as well as modding the cans is easy. To have a can that is just as good with rock as classical with a mostly neutral balance is what truly impresses me about the 500s. 

 

Unrelated, has anyone heard a current amplifier with the 500s/he-6? Something like the First Watt f1 or f4? Or for that matter what the maximum power handling of the 500 is? The F1 seems like it would be underpowered and the F4 in SE would be fine but in dual balanced mode with two would be too much at 100W at 8ohms. Granted such a setup would cost $4400 to have haha, just curious as it could always be used for a speaker setup as well. 

post #13172 of 14165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultramus View Post
 

The HE-500s have been with me a long time and that is through hearing pretty much every other planar there is(albeit briefly) alpha dogs, mad dogs, lcd2.2,3,X. HE-5LE. The 500s are still my favorite, though I have been wondering about upgrading to an LCDX or HE-6 or HE-560, the 560 being the most likely candidate. The 500s do so many things well, and they make me smile the same way I smile when I listen to the symphony live. Comfort can be improved with better pads, also the sonics can be modified that way to your tastes, as well as modding the cans is easy. To have a can that is just as good with rock as classical with a mostly neutral balance is what truly impresses me about the 500s. 

 

Unrelated, has anyone heard a current amplifier with the 500s/he-6? Something like the First Watt f1 or f4? Or for that matter what the maximum power handling of the 500 is? The F1 seems like it would be underpowered and the F4 in SE would be fine but in dual balanced mode with two would be too much at 100W at 8 Ohms. Granted such a setup would cost $4400 to have haha, just curious as it could always be used for a speaker setup as well. 

At one time Hifiman recommended 1W for the HE-500's, currently they say, "Customers can use regular headphone amplifiers to drive HE-500."

100W at 8 Ohms is usually far less at 38 Ohms as per the HE-500's. The HE-500's are not as power hungry as some make them out to be. A good clean amp that can 1 or 2 Watts at 38 Ohms is just fine. There are many bargain amps that are spec'd for distortion at low power levels and when the heat get's turned up can be dissapointing.

If you have  a good 1W amp I doubt that you will turn the volume knob past 12 o'clock for long, unless you're not concerned about the health of your hearing. This is not an HE-6, I don't see the point of going past 2W. Having headroom that will never be required is not necessary.

What will a current amplifier bring to the table? If you already have an amp that produces distortion below human percpetion, has a flat FR, good DR and sounds good to you, what else can you ask for?

post #13173 of 14165
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

At one time Hifiman recommended 1W for the HE-500's, currently they say, "Customers can use regular headphone amplifiers to drive HE-500."

100W at 8 Ohms is usually far less at 38 Ohms as per the HE-500's. The HE-500's are not as power hungry as some make them out to be. A good clean amp that can 1 or 2 Watts at 38 Ohms is just fine. There are many bargain amps that are spec'd for distortion at low power levels and when the heat get's turned up can be dissapointing.

If you have  a good 1W amp I doubt that you will turn the volume knob past 12 o'clock for long, unless you're not concerned about the health of your hearing. This is not an HE-6, I don't see the point of going past 2W. Having headroom that will never be required is not necessary.

What will a current amplifier bring to the table? If you already have an amp that produces distortion below human percpetion, has a flat FR, good DR and sounds good to you, what else can you ask for?

Good points, as it stands the Mjolnir is giving me more power than I could make use of and sounds really good doing it, I'm just thinking about setting up a 2 channel speaker setup using the preouts from the MJ and the thought crossed my mind. Man I really want to see a serious comparison between he-6/500/560, the 560 needs to hurry up and come out so such a thing is possible, as of right now I'm really lusting after an HE-6

post #13174 of 14165

Looks like O2 could output about 500-600mW at 38ohms. If 1W is optimal for HE-500, then in theory I could get only 3dB queiter than that with O2, because double power equals to double sound intensity, which is 3dB difference.

 

If I will feel that O2 is not sufficient, how much would I have to spend on transparent solid-state amp that could power these (and maybe also even more power hungry headphones like HE-6)? I could chain it with my O2 to reuse ODAC.

post #13175 of 14165
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

At one time Hifiman recommended 1W for the HE-500's, currently they say, "Customers can use regular headphone amplifiers to drive HE-500."

100W at 8 Ohms is usually far less at 38 Ohms as per the HE-500's. The HE-500's are not as power hungry as some make them out to be. A good clean amp that can 1 or 2 Watts at 38 Ohms is just fine. There are many bargain amps that are spec'd for distortion at low power levels and when the heat get's turned up can be dissapointing.

If you have  a good 1W amp I doubt that you will turn the volume knob past 12 o'clock for long, unless you're not concerned about the health of your hearing. This is not an HE-6, I don't see the point of going past 2W. Having headroom that will never be required is not necessary.

What will a current amplifier bring to the table? If you already have an amp that produces distortion below human percpetion, has a flat FR, good DR and sounds good to you, what else can you ask for?

+1 on the points made here except that I believe a clean 1 W output should be the minimum as the 500 do respond very well to extra power on tap.  If you're going the speaker amp route then indeed it's very important to go for a comparatively low power model using low gain and a low noise floor.  

 

About the FirstWatt amps:  I had long discussions about the FirstWatt family of amps in the 'amps that drive the HE-6' thread, which is mandatory reading for anyone considering doing this imo.  My purpose was primarily to get an amplifier that would get the max. out of my HE-6.  Conclusion after mailing with Mark at Reno Hifi, people on the HE-6 thread who've tried many speaker amps and with Nelson Pass himself (he does personally respond to mails) etc:

 

- Unanimity that at least the F1-J, F5 will drive the HE-6 (and hence certainly the 500) sufficiently.  Don't be fooled by the apparent low output of the F1/F1-J, it has a unique operating principle and the standard power downscaling with higher impedance loads doesn't apply.  Everyone's happy with their F5.

- The F3 seems a bit iffy:  both Reno Hifi and Nelson Pass are convinced these will sound good.  A couple of no-bs and experienced members have heard the amp with their 6 and -under extreme conditions- managed to drive it into clipping.  Also, it somehow seems to make the sound too thin.  Otoh, one of the same members who complained about this and owns a Stax 9 swears that in terms of detail resolution he never heard the likes of it and that it made the HE-6 really sound like his Stax setup.  And another user of the F3 is perfectly happy.  I had one on order at the time and -with much regret- I cancelled the order as the amp would have to be shipped to Europe, cost me a tidy sum in import duty and taxes and would be a royal pain to ship back if I didn't like it.  Note that official production of new F3's seems to have come to an end, the circuit details will probably be released soon, with boards becoming available.

- I seriously considered the F4 but as was mentioned, it's a current buffer.  Mark at RenoHifi was not certain it would work well with the HE-6.  Nelson Pass thought yes but added that -due to its design- you'll need a good pre amp with decent gain to make it work.

 

In the end I ordered a diy F5-build, constructed in an oversized chassis which enables easy swapping out of the boards so that I can transform it at low cost from F5 to any other F-series amp for which the design of the boards is out in the open.  We'll see.  Still feel a tinge of regret regarding the F3 though but I just needed to be sure.

 

Whatever brand you get (Audio-GD gets a lot of praise), take your time.  I'm also curious about the HE-560 but want to read actual use reports and audition it myself.  I don't take it for granted that it'll beat the 500 let alone the 6 in the sound department.  But it'll be easier to drive than the 6, that's for sure.

 

Edited to add:  just to show that it's all very relative:  I currently drive the 6 and the 500 from my V200 (2.7 W into 50 Ohm) headphone amp.  The 500 sounds magnificent out of it, the 6 very good.  But last week in Japan I had the opportunity to connect my 6 to some high quality (and higher price) speaker amps and it's true that you need more power to squeeze the last extra bit out of them.  But we're talking icing on the cake territory here.  I can also personally guarantee you that the 500 sound glorious out of my second hand purchased DV 337 tube amp with TS 5998 and 6SJ7 tubes, it's a dual mono design with an approx. 1.5 WPC output.  Cost me about 430 USD or so without the tubes and I've never heard the 500 sound better yet, on any amp at any price point.


Edited by Xenophon - 3/23/14 at 3:59pm
post #13176 of 14165
Quote:
Originally Posted by ieee754 View Post
 

Looks like O2 could output about 500-600mW at 38ohms. If 1W is optimal for HE-500, then in theory I could get only 3dB queiter than that with O2, because double power equals to double sound intensity, which is 3dB difference.

 

If I will feel that O2 is not sufficient, how much would I have to spend on transparent solid-state amp that could power these (and maybe also even more power hungry headphones like HE-6)? I could chain it with my O2 to reuse ODAC.

Your reasoning is correct but it's not just as simple as volume output.  You can get the 500 and even the 6 louder than what your ears can take with an O2.  But quality won't be good.  Every amp is a compromise and pricing is all across the board, as is sound preference.  Set yourself a budget and then audition, audition, audition is the best advice I can give.  For some people a low end Emotiva will be 'good enough', others end up with a >10k DAC/amp combo.  Diminishing returns apply fiercely and it will primarily be your finances that determine how much those last couple % are worth.

post #13177 of 14165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultramus View Post

The HE-500s have been with me a long time and that is through hearing pretty much every other planar there is(albeit briefly) alpha dogs, mad dogs, lcd2.2,3,X. HE-5LE. The 500s are still my favorite, though I have been wondering about upgrading to an LCDX or HE-6 or HE-560, the 560 being the most likely candidate. The 500s do so many things well, and they make me smile the same way I smile when I listen to the symphony live. Comfort can be improved with better pads, also the sonics can be modified that way to your tastes, as well as modding the cans is easy. To have a can that is just as good with rock as classical with a mostly neutral balance is what truly impresses me about the 500s. 

Unrelated, has anyone heard a current amplifier with the 500s/he-6? Something like the First Watt f1 or f4? Or for that matter what the maximum power handling of the 500 is? The F1 seems like it would be underpowered and the F4 in SE would be fine but in dual balanced mode with two would be too much at 100W at 8ohms. Granted such a setup would cost $4400 to have haha, just curious as it could always be used for a speaker setup as well. 
I believe my friend xenophon has experience with a firstwatt amp and his he500 and his he6.. Ask him. wink.gif

Oops..i saw he already did..AND I agree WITH HIM on That the 337 he has makes the he500 sound glorious..not a word of that is lied upon..sometimes i think about the beautiful glow of those 4 tubes at night, sticking out between those 2 huge powersupply bulges, glowing softly..while the music in ur ears take u to another place..u almost automatically close ur eyes....yes..xenophon made a deal of the century buying that amp for the price he did...

But am also glad he appreciate it as it should...as i did once... The others who were doubtful...u missed out on a very unique buy..damn..i am talking as if its mine..u see..that amp still has that impact on me...for the he500 i never heard a better amp..with the tubes xenophon also has...

But am curious how the firstwatt will do with the he6... So keep me informed buddy...and still interested in a cup of coffee on neutral grounds? Lolz

Am now watching 'need for speed' the movie..damn..as if i am again playing the game..lolz. Cool movie if ur into hyper cars..or just raw speed!
Edited by hifimanrookie - 3/23/14 at 4:35pm
post #13178 of 14165
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post


I believe my friend xenophon has experience with a firstwatt amp and his he500 and his he6.. Ask him. wink.gif

Oops..i saw he already did..AND I agree WITH HIM on That the 337 he has makes the he500 sound glorious..not a word of that is lied upon..sometimes i think about the beautiful glow of those 4 tubes at night, sticking out between those 2 huge powersupply bulges, glowing softly..while the music in ur ears take u to another place..u almost automatically close ur eyes....yes..xenophon made a deal of the century buying that amp for the price he did...

But am also glad he appreciate it as it should...as i did once... The others who were doubtful...u missed out on a very unique buy..damn..i am talking as if its mine..u see..that amp still has that impact on me...for the he500 i never heard a better amp..with the tubes xenophon also has...

But am curious how the firstwatt will do with the he6... So keep me informed buddy...and still interested in a cup of coffee on neutral grounds? Lolz

Am now watching 'need for speed' the movie..damn..as if i am again playing the game..lolz. Cool movie if ur into hyper cars..or just raw speed!

@Sonido
*Copy to Word*

*CTRL + H "find and replace ... with (space)"*

*Read*

post #13179 of 14165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimzerz View Post

@Sonido


*Copy to Word*
*CTRL + H "find and replace ... with (space)"*
*Read*
At least that's easy to do with ellipses. Line breaks are a whole different beast.
post #13180 of 14165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post


At least that's easy to do with ellipses. Line breaks are a whole different beast.

:deadhorse:

:beerchug:

 

Yup. Now, someone hand me their lcd-2.2 rosewood. Pls. :P

post #13181 of 14165
Xenophon, thanks for the thorough response, I was going to run the f4 from the mjolnir which at 18 gain and 45v seemed enough, though I'll look at the f1 and f3.

So give it to me straight, what advantages does a well driven he6 offer over the 500?

And hifirookie, I'm sure the 337 is amazing but I prefer solid state, your blue circle is more to my taste
post #13182 of 14165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultramus View Post

Xenophon, thanks for the thorough response, I was going to run the f4 from the mjolnir which at 18 gain and 45v seemed enough, though I'll look at the f1 and f3.

So give it to me straight, what advantages does a well driven he6 offer over the 500?

And hifirookie, I'm sure the 337 is amazing but I prefer solid state, your blue circle is more to my taste

No worries..tube is not to everyones taste...but that amp is rather non tubey sounding compared to other tube amps..but its still warmer then a solid state amp wink.gif

Blue circle also has an affordable (around 1200usd) solid state headphone amp to drive a he500 (and can be upgraded for some headroom to spare). wink.gif

And talking about he6.. U guys know there is a code-x on sale right? Because of personal reasons one of the 20 owners is selling his..its a brown woody..not black woody like mine...its said its better then a he6 or lcd3.. And comes close the the soundstage of the hd800... I have one..being driven by my PaG.. And i can tell ya..u have to listen to it to believe it...u will be owning a very rare phone (they are extremely modded NOS he-5's)... I understand he asks 1250usd for it..check the code-x thread for more info..am just trying to help out a fellow headfi'er..
For ideas how it looks..but in brown ofcourse..check my pics... cool.gif
Edited by hifimanrookie - 3/23/14 at 7:10pm
post #13183 of 14165
For that amount of SS amp cash I can't wait to see what Garage1217's upcoming SS amp sounds like... And below $300 perhaps as well?!?
post #13184 of 14165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultramus View Post

Xenophon, thanks for the thorough response, I was going to run the f4 from the mjolnir which at 18 gain and 45v seemed enough, though I'll look at the f1 and f3.

So give it to me straight, what advantages does a well driven he6 offer over the 500?

And hifirookie, I'm sure the 337 is amazing but I prefer solid state, your blue circle is more to my taste

Short and sweet: significantly more clarity, more resolution and a better soundstage. Also perfectly neutral (500 have a slightly advanced midrange and sound a bit on the warm side).

 

Flipside:  absolutely unforgiving regarding source quality (depends also on the amp of course):  Garbage in will get you garbage out any day, the 500 are more forgiving.

 

For the Firstwatt amps:  it'll be torture as he has a -ahem- somewhat verbose writing style but read Srajan Ebraen's reviews of those amps on 6moons.  He is to my knowledge the only reviewer who has heard ALL of them.  The F4 is said to sound a bit soft/mellow, F1 is ruthlessly neutral/energetic, F3 neutral but with a bit of warmth/musicality, F5 supposed to be between those.  Research this very well, especially if you'd decide to go with an F4, this amp seems like the most risky proposition to me (though I'm fascinated by it).  I'd strongly advise you to audition it first with the gear you're going to be using it with or to order one with an option of returning/swapping it out if you don't like it.  I'd never purchase that particular model blind.  All FirstWatt amps are highly specialised tools as I'm sure you're aware of.  Absolutely brilliant but the best knife in the world won't get you anywhere if you come to realise that what you actually need is a spoon.

post #13185 of 14165

Only go for O2 with HE-500 if you're stuck for a little while because of budget. If you're looking for long term satisfaction with O2 + HE-500, don't do it. I used O2 as a stepping stone for a few months before getting Emotiva. Also, Audezes suck as well on O2. Denon's on the other hand are much better suited for O2.

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