It's okay. If people want to be mean and act like only certain amplifiers can sound good, as if there's only one way to do that according to the physical universe. Many of the best sounding amplifiers are original and interesting designs, the taboo that I own is named such because steve decided to go against the conventional idea seen in his paper here. I'm not sure anyone is going to beat down on any of luis' creations here and if they are they clearly do not know anything. He's an extremely skilled artisan who puts out ONLY high quality products. He could have easily done something like the code x he-500 even though the change in sound was not significant just for money purposes, but he has integrity.
So please stop acting as if somehow it's impossible for an amp with lower power than suggested to sound good ever. Clearly that is not the case so if people want to act like that and talk down well then it's just mean and childish. You think an ipod sounds better than a $5k amp? Fine no problem if you listened to them both in a reasonable setting, just don't be a dick about it. This website has always been about opinions and impressions. We share them because we want others to experience the joy of music just as we all do. If it was about specifications there would not exactly be a need for Head-Fi, but hifi audio is a strange thing and human ears are imperfect, thus we have a demand for such a website.
If you're wondering why hifimanrookie has such opinions, well at one point the darkvoice amplifiers were basically considered trash for planar magnetic headphones, the HE-500 included, and would probably still be considered junk if he did not work to build that reputation that with a little bit of tube rolling you can significantly change the sound(something most people agree with, and more often than not do not change the POWER output significantly). Not to mention people still say OTL amplifiers just can't work. Well most of them may sound bad, and there's a general scientific hypothesis behind this, but it's far from proven and will likely never be proven. So please stop acting like what you are saying is written in stone. People have the right to say that something does or doesn't sound good. That's the point of this website and this hobby. If you are going to go out of your way to disagree with them that's fine but if you have not personally listened to a particular piece of gear it's best to stay away from bashing.
A lot of this comes from the misconception that the HE-500 absolutely, without a doubt has to have 1W to sound good. That's just not the case(looking at you project sunrise owners, back me up here). People had to find that out before the asgard, lyr, the soloist, etc. There were few high power budget HP amps to choose from due to the only planars around at that time really being the LCD2 and HE-500(and the monster he-6). Having that watt can give you a piece of mind, but in my mind it's just one check mark on a checklist to good, natural sound. Other budget amps, in my personal opinion sound better than others, surely this is not an outlandish statement. Sometimes that better sound does not meet that power recommendation. 500mw used to be the general consensus for the HE-500 until Dr. Fang came out and said that he recommends 1W. The community stuck to that recommendation which makes sense, but it's also a little illogical after as a community they decided that 500mw was enough to get good sound for most people, most people being the people with lower budget gear.
But one point..the code-x is actually a woody he5...
Luis, (Our beloved LFF) actually did try to modify the he500/he5le, but none of those gave the improvement (very demanding dude!) he was after..it has to do something about the drivers used or something i understand..am not technical..so he decided it was not worth it ..as it would only be to gain money...and he is not like that...thats why i respect brands like that.
Ps..how did u know that about darkvoice amps? There they were considered inferior once? Wow..am impressed! But see how far they came in 2 years time..only wish they would improve communication as that for sure would help to make their well built amps more well-known and appreciated..what they deserve...
Huge Respect for this post.
For the rest..be prepared to get some remarks from the dark side
Edited by hifimanrookie - 8/5/14 at 10:11am