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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 950

post #14236 of 15244
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonzeanse View Post
 

What amp would any of you recommend pairing these with? I was thinking about a Bottlehead Crack - or maybe a Bottlehead Quicksand, though I don't think a lot of people have heard it yet, for obvious reasons. Maybe a Little Dot MK III. Realistically, I would probably just pick an Objective2 amp since I want something that doesn't color the sound. But what would a good alternative be if I wanted a more rich, warm sound? Something I could use to toy around with the sound signature?

If you wanted a bottlehead amp, I think the S.E.X. is more what you would be looking for(http://bottlehead.com/s-e-x-2-1-specs/).  The crack is more for high impedance phones.  I'm not sure any of the Little Dot amps are particularly well suited to drive the HE-500, besides maybe the higher end models, I think the LD2 and 3 are both again for higher impedence phones generally.  They're kind of low profile amps so I haven't seen a whole lot of people talking about their synergy.  My experience with the LD amp has been positive but it is for sure not a first choice.

post #14237 of 15244
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

A lot of people who own and use the Asgard 2 will disagree with you as to your claims of that amp. As far as quality power, 100 mW cannot drive an HE-500 past a 109 dB peak without gobs of distortion, that is certainly not quality. That Little Dot MKII at 100 mW at 32 Ohms is not going to be able deliver on an HE-500 no matter how much you or HiFi (yes you gave it a +1) wish it to. That amp is designed for and works for higher impedance cans. How you can make this claim, makes no sense to me. If pairing this pleases you and that's what you want, go for it. I'll pass on this choice. If on the other hand you desire a boutique amp, that's cool.

The Asgard 2 is not one of those cheap amps you try to make some odd point about. You might try using an A/B switch to do proper comparisons, it can be an enlightening experience.

 

And many people have disagreed with me in the past. A lot.  I no longer have my asgard but as I said, when I owned the two amps, I did as close to an a/b comparison as I could with likely an expectation bias in the Asgard's favor.  I found I preferred the little dot amplifier.  It was a little shocking to me that I came to that conclusion.  I'm not saying it was leaps and bounds of a difference.  The difference was small but I found the harmonic distortion of the LD amp provided a sound that was more like music to me and less like a sort of tinny(again, very, very slight and the Asgard sounds overall just fine and very similar to mostly all other ~$200 amps with the he-500), thin sound that overemphasized air.  This is in comparison of course so maybe when compared to a different amp it might sound different since I suppose it's all relative in these sort of listening tests.

 

Now to me that's not what music in the real world has ever sounded like so I sold my Asgard off and kept the little dot for a number of months after while I searched for something to try to get the HE-500 to sound like others were talking about.  I wouldn't refer to the LD mk2 as a quality amplifier, and that's not what I was referring to when I made that statement, you are getting confused.  It's a little amp that has a nice sound and is super cheap. It's overly tubey, even with the mullard ef92's subbed in for the chinese or russian tubes, which adds a little clarity.  When my amp was in the shop once again I used the LD2 and it sounds just fine

 

Also what is this nonsense about 109db.  That's horrifyingly, eardamingingly loud sound.  Maybe I am misunderstanding you, but if the sound starts to distort at 109 and 109 only(I don't know the science behind this), then there shouldn't be a problem right?  I don't know many people that want to damage their hearing after 2 minutes of listening so by that measure the little dot may be fine.  Again I could be wrong here and have misunderstood you.  Either way, the LD amp still sounded more real to me even though everything on head fi told me that it shouldn't.

 

In the end overall I found the asgard to have a thin sound and woolly bass with lacking dynamics. An a/b test would not be required when comparing to either of my current amps (bakoon / decware amplifiers) to show the difference on a well recorded and mastered track.  A cheap amp doesn't really do the phones justice and I will stick to that point if you like the sig and dont want to invest in your system then fine, it's nice to know the phones are the strongest link in your system at the very least, and the 500 has a very pleasing signature.  I best not repeat myself any further though.  It's clear we disagree on this so maybe it's best to let it go.  Feel free to respond if you wish, since I did sort of ask you a question, but I believe I've said all I have to say.

post #14238 of 15244
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonzeanse View Post
 

What amp would any of you recommend pairing these with? I was thinking about a Bottlehead Crack - or maybe a Bottlehead Quicksand, though I don't think a lot of people have heard it yet, for obvious reasons. Maybe a Little Dot MK III. Realistically, I would probably just pick an Objective2 amp since I want something that doesn't color the sound. But what would a good alternative be if I wanted a more rich, warm sound? Something I could use to toy around with the sound signature?

I'm a fan of the Lyr 2, well I own one so I guessI have to be :beyersmile:.  After trying out the woo wa7 and a couple burson hp amps the Lyr 2 sounded best to me.  Plus you can definitely play around with the sound signature of this amp with all the different tubes you can roll with it.  It has it's own tube rolling thread that you can check out.   

post #14239 of 15244
Crack does not sound good with HE series headphones. It sounds lifeless, dull.
post #14240 of 15244
As far my personal experiences go and as far its told here on headfi...ur best affordable! choice for a hybrid/full tube headphone amp for a he500 (and probably the he560) is the lyr (2) and the sisters darkvoice 337/lafigaro 339.. They are wellknown to be affordable and pairing really well with he500... Onky problem u could get is getting the tubes..as some are getting really expensive..in my modded 337 i had tubes in it almost same worth of the amp itself..but thats whats the fun of tube amps is all about..u can tune ur sound..to a certain extent ofcourse..and before u know it u spend a little fortune on tubes..i was rather humble with my 9 matched pairs wink.gif
post #14241 of 15244
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayson1357 View Post
 

tubes are love
tubes are life :biggrin:
BTW,how does your Philips compare to the he-500 if you've tried it before ?

Sounds pretty similar. The HE-500s are definitely more detailed and close to natural. The HE-500s sound far more neutral and the Fidelio X1s have a more warm sound. The HE-500s are far more detailed and flat-sounding. As much as I love the X1s, I can't really give it any points above the HE-500s. Everything about HiFiMAN's outing just sounded better. The only advantages the Fidelio X1 have, really, are power consumption and price. The treble is cleaner, the bass is tighter, and the mids are far more forward. I love both headphones, but the HE-500s do far more to appeal to me.

post #14242 of 15244
109 dB is loud but not incredibly loud in short peaks. When tube amps clip they usually sound much more pleasant than SS amps clipping.
post #14243 of 15244

The Darkvoice 337 is 1W and should do well with an HE-500 but maybe not an HE-6, unless you listen and low volume. I know that Hifi loves this baby.

 

The Lafigaro 339 is just over 0.6 W so I wouldn't expect much headroom with an HE-500, definitely not for an HE-6. Might go well with an HD600 or other high impedance headphones.

 

I looked up the power levels at shenzhenaudio.com and only mentioned the HE-6 in context of previous post.

post #14244 of 15244
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

109 dB is loud but not incredibly loud in short peaks. When tube amps clip they usually sound much more pleasant than SS amps clipping.

True, but I wouldn't want any clipping, unless when playing lead guitar but not when listening to music playback. I think I'd want an amp that can put out around 120 dB SPL with my headphones. I wouldn't listen at such an average level, but for peaks and headroom, that would be nice. dB's are logarithmic so the difference in power can be large.

post #14245 of 15244

why not just use a speaker amp with a really low noise floor :evil:

post #14246 of 15244
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayson1357 View Post
 

why not just use a speaker amp with a really low noise floor :evil:

One could do that, just make sure that it has enough wattage at 38 Ohms. Most are rated at 8 or 4 Ohms. Most good SS headphone amps have great noise specs, it may cost more to get a speaker amp that that can match that. One should always do their homework before tapping their wallet.

post #14247 of 15244
Hfmrookie's 337 was modded heavily, though. And perhaps the power it outputs depend on the tubes too, it is full tube after all.
post #14248 of 15244
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

Hfmrookie's 337 was modded heavily, though. And perhaps the power it outputs depend on the tubes too, it is full tube after all.

It's an OTL amp so there are probably limits as to how much you can output. Looks like it has a separate power transformer for each channel and is built well. Yo Hifi, was it modded to use different tubes?

post #14249 of 15244
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

Hfmrookie's 337 was modded heavily,

Yeah we know, we read it at least 2000 times in this thread.

post #14250 of 15244

I just received my HE500 two days ago, and coming from Ultrasone PRO900 and Q701, these are incredible. Matter the fact, I'll be listening to 2am or during my lunch breaks lol, addictive.

While I do not have any great amp right now (gonna buy me something tho), I am hearing a strong peak at 1khz sharp. It may be due to the poopy amp I have (some $100 no brand thing I got few years ago).

I do have NuForce DAC3, but, no cable to try it on. Anyway, about that 1khz spike, I am by no means audiophile like some ppl here, but on the other side I'm a music producer and I trust my ears are pretty accurate. Anybody else experienced something similar? I just think it is due to bad amp.. but I could be wrong.

I do have UAD Apollo unit also I could test it on, but that is nowhere close to me right now, in few weeks perhaps.

 

Woo WA-7 looks sexy :)

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