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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 956

post #14326 of 16541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llloyd View Post

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.
Thanks! Am glad somebody else thinks a bit like me and expresses it... wink.gif
But one point..the code-x is actually a woody he5... biggrin.gif
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 biggrin.gif
Edited by hifimanrookie - 8/5/14 at 10:11am
post #14327 of 16541
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post


Thanks! Am glad somebody else thinks a bit like me and expresses it... wink.gif
But one point..the code-x is actually a woody he5... biggrin.gif
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 biggrin.gif

 

Well I first learned about darkvoice through head-fi, but it was always said, until I heard you singing its praises in this thread, that it should only be used for phones such as the HD-600/HD-800 and the like.. phones 300-600ohm.  I remember back maybe 2 or 3 years ago people saying it sounded particularly bad with the LCD/HE series phones.

 

This was before planars really took off the way it is now so it was much more popular for OTL headphone amps due to sennheiser setting the trend of high impedence headphones. LCD2/HE-500 was still considered end game for some users, but it wasn't particularly easy to find information about amplifier setups for only a few hundred USD.

post #14328 of 16541
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post

Get a grip dude and tone it down. Not everyone needs an amp without a power switch and mythical powers. Perhaps you have too much skin in the game to be objective. In any case, you shouldn't faux cuss by substituting periods for characters.
dude..am not overstepping qnything..at most i am makin fond of myself saying that last line..
And mr..i am NOT the one actin like a brand groupie here..so u pls tone it down..its agai u insulting me that i am not objective a.because i have to much skin..what the heck does that mean anyway?? I was just saying my opinion..i even agreed with ur question for gods sake...i can ask u whethee ur objective or not..ur always talking bout one certain brand and accusin me for the same thing ur doing..take a chill pill dude..not everyone has ur figures based opinion..relax..
As i said in my post.audio gd (yes..they sell affordable stuff too!) Answered the right way...MY OPINION..not a rule or law...u urself are the best idea basher i even came across..ever..so let us be genteman and let me say what i want..am not bashing their products..just what that dude said...many of us on headfi dont have a big budget to spend..so shiit is perfect for them....for the rest....as i said..not for me...audio gd would be my choice ...no matter that u think shiit is best u can ge.t..i still would buy audio gd..lolz

So chill dude, am maybe even more objective then u think. As i try everything out without prejeduces...u on other hand hqve ur rules ready of what is right and not..ur not even willing to be open to other stuff...like cables etc.. oh well we all are different

Once again..nothing personal..and u should know that by now..
And mythical powers??? U would eat ur words if u would hear my rig..And whats wrong not having a switch...u should know..as the techician u say u are that an amp on current all the time sounds best...and Hello..u sound like that boy nextdoor being jealous of what others has..ur soooooo insulting dude...why is that? Did i kill ur cat or something? Geesh.
Some people are to much..even if i dont mention qnything of what i have they use it to insult me..dont understand this..i must be to simpleminded i guess to understand why u act like this...
Let us go back ontopic so the people get real and valuable info about the he500.

Having 'too much skin in the game' means (in this case) that you are biased and don't see the big picture because you are too deep in the whole audio thing.. Or something like that.

 

I think you are both objective in your own understandings by the way.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post

Because at 32 Ohms it has 1/2 the power of the Magni. IMO The HE-500 does well with a clean 1 W,the Vali can deliver 650 mW at 32 Ohms, which means a little less at 38 Ohms.

Back in January, I emailed Schiit about this and the below is my question, followed by Nick's answer. If you do the math from the HE-500's specs, 1W takes you a smidge under 120 dB SPL. Amongst my pile of Schiit I have a Vali and honestly, it does more than a decent job. My Asgard does an excellent job.

email with Schiit

  • Can the Vali adequately drive the Hifiman HE-500s, powerwise?
  • In our opinion, yes, but it is definitely at the limit of what it can do. If you really want to get to head banging levels, you’ll need more power.

IMO Headbanging = earsplitting
I Do understand ur question..its a very important one...but am at a loss about the answer of shiit....dont they want to be taken serious about their sound quality of their products or just the amount of power their products pumps out?

Their answer should be: it can drive them ok..but if u want the best (better) sound experience out of ur phone u need to get a better model in our range (example...)....
I Dont want to mock this brand..but that sales peep definitely doesnt have the heart on the right place for audio...more about sales and the technical kind of audio...sorry..but thats my opinion..if any other brand should answered me that way i would immediately scratch them of my list...

Ofcourse i know that their biggest sales is not to audiophiles, but to the more moderate (until 600usd budget ampwise) customer who likes to listen to their nowadays music (mp3 etc) the loudest they can bear, with the hardest hitting bass and highest power per dollar, as thats considered good nowadays, thats their core market..and i respect that..but for me..nah..not for me..i prefer audio gd in that case..from them.i got the right answer to same question when i had the he500..last year...oh welll..i am one of the few who actually care about quality of sound instead of power figures, no matter the price..always did and always will. wink.gif I am a stubborn m..therf..cker biggrin.gif

He asked whether the Vali could drive HE-500 powerwise. Actually he didn't ask about sound quality, besides the bullet point might only be part of their email exchange.

 

And who ever said power is the only thing that matters? I guess we can mention power without being accused of only caring about power, not sound quality. Power is just something you want enough of, period (imo). And enough power can be anything from 100mW to 2-4W depending on listener (how loud), scenario, and how much distortion there is at rated wattage etc.

 

Besides, to me schiit is not just about power.


Edited by davidsh - 8/5/14 at 12:19pm
post #14329 of 16541
My best amp for HE-500 is the one that puts 300Mw into 30 ohms. Thats a third of a Watt. I also have vintage amps that output several watts through headphone socket.
post #14330 of 16541

For all HE-500 owners, did you encounter any issues with your headphones?

 

I'm asking this because I'm considering the HE-560, but their warranty is rather short compared to Sennheiser 2 years and Audeze 3 years. Then again, it wouldn't be too much of an issue if their durability happens to on par with their price :D 


Edited by Kyno - 8/5/14 at 12:22pm
post #14331 of 16541
Colour on cimbals washed out and some screws got rusty.
post #14332 of 16541
Oh and cable broke but I fixed that.
post #14333 of 16541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyno View Post

For all HE-500 owners, did you encounter any issues with your headphones?

I'm asking this because I'm considering the HE-560, but their warranty is rather short compared to Sennheiser 2 years and Audeze 3 years. Then again, it wouldn't be too much of an issue if their durability happens to on par with their price biggrin.gif  
I had a he300 for 2 yrs..using daily..a he400 used daily for 4months (sold as didnt like the agressive soundsignature) and then 2.5years a he500 and now since january the code-x (modded he5) , all used daily..and never had any issues..but have to admit i am extremely careful with my headphones..had a hm602 media player also..5 yrs..never let me down..only batt died quickly at a certain moment.. wink.gif..
On the he500 one screw on the hinches got loose...but screwed it back on..easy fix.
Edited by hifimanrookie - 8/5/14 at 12:41pm
post #14334 of 16541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyno View Post
 

For all HE-500 owners, did you encounter any issues with your headphones?

 

I'm asking this because I'm considering the HE-560, but their warranty is rather short compared to Sennheiser 2 years and Audeze 3 years. Then again, it wouldn't be too much of an issue if their durability happens to on par with their price :D 

 

Just recently, and after only a few months of ownership (purchased new from HiFiMAN) the left driver lost at least half its output (so, noticeably quieter than the right).  It was not quite four months old.  I managed to convince them to let me upgrade to the HE-560s.  Very different cans, but in the end I'm glad I did.  It would be nice to have both, though.

 

Other than the driver, I was very happy with my HE-500s quality-wise.

post #14335 of 16541
Never had problems except when I killed both drivers with a 125 watt emotiva power amp.
The German distributor replaced it.
Owned for some 2 years
post #14336 of 16541
Quote:
Originally Posted by .Sup View Post

My best amp for HE-500 is the one that puts 300Mw into 30 ohms. Thats a third of a Watt. I also have vintage amps that output several watts through headphone socket.

The HE-500 is rated for 38 Ohms, A potential problem is that 300 mW will only get you to 113.8 dB SPL which of course is too loud for an average listening level, however, this will limit the headroom for transients when listening at more reasonable levels. One risks getting distortion due to clipping and Intermodulation on peaks which becomes inescapable when there is not enough headroom. I've heard this on cases of not having enough headroom and it isn't pretty.

If one only listens to highly compressed music, which may be the case for some folks, it may be enough. I suspect this is not the case for most of us.

Many believe the HE-500 needs more than 2 Watts, I don't agree with that, I think 1W of clean power is the sweet spot. I think many can get along with 750 mW if they don't listen at the louder side of normal..

post #14337 of 16541
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

Never had problems except when I killed both drivers with a 125 watt emotiva power amp.
The German distributor replaced it.
Owned for some 2 years

Ouch, there must have been a very loud moment before things went silent. Did you accidentally turn it up all the way while listening to Jimi Hendrix? I like that German distributor, considering what happened and the timespan, that was really nice of them to replace it,

post #14338 of 16541
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by .Sup View Post

My best amp for HE-500 is the one that puts 300Mw into 30 ohms. Thats a third of a Watt. I also have vintage amps that output several watts through headphone socket.

The HE-500 is rated for 38 Ohms, A potential problem is that 300 mW will only get you to 113.8 dB SPL which of course is too loud for an average listening level, however, this will limit the headroom for transients when listening at more reasonable levels. One risks getting distortion due to clipping and Intermodulation on peaks which becomes inescapable when there is not enough headroom. I've heard this on cases of not having enough headroom and it isn't pretty.

If one only listens to highly compressed music, which may be the case for some folks, it may be enough. I suspect this is not the case for most of us.

Many believe the HE-500 needs more than 2 Watts, I don't agree with that, I think 1W of clean power is the sweet spot. I think many can get along with 750 mW if they don't listen at the louder side of normal..

 

The reason people go on about specifying overkill specs for amps is that many designers attempt to ensure that their designs are performing at their most linear at the power outputs that they will actually be used. Many amps go from Class A to Class AB as the power output increases. Some specs only list the Class A output, while some list a higher Class AB output. So on the other end of things, it was easiest to say "get an amp with at least 2W output" even though this was a gross over-simplification. Now that planars are common and many Head-Fi-focussed companies cater for them, there are amps with even only 0.5W that are very good with planars and quite a few fantastic amps with 1W of output.

 

So, basically, it isn't the numbers as such, but the design intent of the amp. I recommend chatting to someone like Steve Eddy (or any other amp designer) who can explain it better than I can. Jason Stoddard also wrote about it to some degree in the Schiit Happened thread IIRC.

post #14339 of 16541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

The reason people go on about specifying overkill specs for amps is that many designers attempt to ensure that their designs are performing at their most linear at the power outputs that they will actually be used. Many amps go from Class A to Class AB as the power output increases. Some specs only list the Class A output, while some list a higher Class AB output. So on the other end of things, it was easiest to say "get an amp with at least 2W output" even though this was a gross over-simplification. Now that planars are common and many Head-Fi-focussed companies cater for them, there are amps with even only 0.5W that are very good with planars and quite a few fantastic amps with 1W of output.

 

So, basically, it isn't the numbers as such, but the design intent of the amp. I recommend chatting to someone like Steve Eddy (or any other amp designer) who can explain it better than I can. Jason Stoddard also wrote about it to some degree in the Schiit Happened thread IIRC.

In any case to listen at a certain volume level on a specific set of headphones one will need enough power based upon its sensitivity/efficiency to achieve that and enough headroom to avoid clipping/distortion. Of course the amp has to be free of distortion, static and dynamic under all listening conditions. IMO going to higher power levels brings nothing to the table, go too high and one risks hurting their ears and/or damaging their headphones. When an amp cannot deliver enough power for a specific set of headphones at the desired listening levels, the result will be clipping or some form of undesirable transient distortion.

The reason I said, "specific set of headphones" is that what's enough for the HE-500 will probably not be enough for the HE-6's. What's required for an HE-6 is probably overkill for most other headphones.

In the case of 1W, one probably doesn't need an amp to transition into AB mode if it is a well executed Class A design. Achieving a Flat FR is easy. These days achieving a low THD is not that hard for a competent engineer, although many make measurements under conditions ideal for their design or not at higher power levels where it may rise, One almost never sees TIMD specs, something that sounds awful.

I give Jason Stoddard a lot of credit for the Asgard 2, pure Class A with extremely low distortion by linear design, not by negative feedback. The thing is a steal.

post #14340 of 16541

@StanD: It is easy to say this stuff, it is much harder to do it. ;) 

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