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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 98

post #1456 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by plin View Post

I didn't know that such a version of the cable existed!

Me neither. My HE-4 came with a thinner black cable but I don't know its brand as its sleeved. I have a Canare speaker cable that HE-500 originally got shipped with and maybe the thinner Canare cable is the non speaker type.

post #1457 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by plin View Post

July 2011, must be one of the very first batches, canare cable and no pleather pads, isn't it?

 

 

not sure about it being part of the first batch, but it came with the thick/rigid canare cable

and no extra pleather pads.and i paid for the full $899 amount. sounds very good actually

with my vintage sansui amps via the speaker output and even the headphone plug output

which has a 300+ ohms impedance (less electrical dampening). i've no idea what it's

intended sound is suppose to be like. i email dr. fang couple of days ago to inquire into this

but no replies so far.

 

i used an alligator clip for my dmm; also measured my grados at 32/32 ohms and my lcd2

at 50/50 ohms, which are close to manufacturers specs.


Edited by takezo - 6/18/12 at 6:55am
post #1458 of 18030

Not a huge surprise that the impedance varies that much :( Fang has already stated they've had many problems with their QA and they have been working to improve it.  Didn't they just hire some new QA manager? Anyway with all the cable variations and broken cables as well to be had, not the biggest surprise that the  drivers are not  well matched.  As long as they own up to it when they make the mistake I guess it's alright.  At least they are trying to improve.  It is unfortunate for the price of the HE-500 all the inconsistencies it's been through.

post #1459 of 18030

I re-measured several times to make sure I wasn't getting any fluke results. It always came out the same. 56.5/61.

 

My original cable was very stiff, but it had a 3.5mm connector. And yeah, I paid the full $899 for it. This was a couple months before the pleather pads came out.


Edited by Rebel975 - 6/18/12 at 8:20am
post #1460 of 18030

It's a Canare quad microphone cable L-4E5AT. The termination at the plug looks like the new silver cables that Hifiman finally went with not like the original HE-500 cable plugs. This is actually a very good cable and I always wondered how people were finding it bulky until I realized they maybe different cables. If Hifiman sleeved the silver cable like this one we would have a very winning combination. I have long since re-sleeved my silver cable with expandable teflon tube sleeve, it just looked vulnerable and fragile if it got caught by something, but sound-wise I find the silver cable fantastic. Here is a picture of the Canare cable though not a very good one:

 

he500cable_canare_l-4e5at.jpg

 

P.S. Mine came with the two pleather pads so it came after the early models which only had one pleather pad. (added text)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terja View Post

I got mine in December 2011 and it came with a black canare cable terminated 3.5mm. It's not the thick canare that some complained about not being flexible. This one is quite flexible. I have since obtained the silver cable and I prefer it to the canare. The silver is a little brighter and more detailed (my preference). Haven't measured impedance on the phones yet.
 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by plin View Post

I didn't know that such a version of the cable existed!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by .Sup View Post

Me neither. My HE-4 came with a thinner black cable but I don't know its brand as its sleeved. I have a Canare speaker cable that HE-500 originally got shipped with and maybe the thinner Canare cable is the non speaker type.


Edited by Terja - 6/18/12 at 9:16am
post #1461 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terja View Post

It's a Canare quad microphone cable L-4E5AT. The termination at the plug looks like the new silver cables that Hifiman finally went with not like the original HE-500 cable plugs. This is actually a very good cable and I always wondered how people were finding it bulky until I realized they maybe different cables. If Hifiman sleeved the silver cable like this one we would have a very winning combination. I have long since re-sleeved my silver cable with expandable teflon tube sleeve, it just looked vulnerable and fragile if it got caught by something, but sound-wise I find the silver cable fantastic. Here is a picture of the Canare cable though not a very good one:

 

he500cable_canare_l-4e5at.jpg

 

P.S. Mine came with the two pleather pads so it came after the early models which only had one pleather pad. (added text)

 

That's the identical cable as what HE-400s are being shipped with, looks like HFM is standardizing their cables?

post #1462 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llloyd View Post

Not a huge surprise that the impedance varies that much :( Fang has already stated they've had many problems with their QA and they have been working to improve it.  Didn't they just hire some new QA manager? Anyway with all the cable variations and broken cables as well to be had, not the biggest surprise that the  drivers are not  well matched.  As long as they own up to it when they make the mistake I guess it's alright.  At least they are trying to improve.  It is unfortunate for the price of the HE-500 all the inconsistencies it's been through.

 

 

I am sorry but I disagree on this. Do HifiMan accept returns based on measured impedance? I haven’t realise that!
 
But let us look in QA issues. QA issues are emerging when controlling something that needs to be qualified by a human, e.g. how well the cable is soldered to the connectors. Of course, a simple pass/fail test should be performed for every cable, and all the cables should work OK when leave the factory. But if QA is not good enough then some soldered joints that are not robust would pass the human QA test and will eventually fail. This was a problem in some HE-500 cables and, also, in some early HE-400 wire connections inside the headphone (please, correct me if I am wrong here, I do not really follow HE-400 threads).
 
But the big impedance variation problem is not a human controlling problem. It is, firstly, a manufacturing deviation problem (high tolerances in a procedure) AND absence of a simple test verification method. The manufacturer should have include a simple pass/fail test to control the impedance variation. But he didn’t. Why he didn’t? 
 
As I said earlier, big impedance variations means big variations in an important manufacturing process which, I believe, is affecting SQ. But, this SQ variation cannot be easily spotted from his customers, because it is not as huge as a broken cable. One must compare his HE-500 with other’s HE-500 to spot the difference. So, probably, the manufacturer has chosen to keep every headphone driver membrane, even if it’s impedance varied considerably, to save some money.
But this is not a cheap headphone, isn’t it? 
 
Of course, it is common that manufacturers tolerate ‘flaws’ as long as their customers do not realize them. Look all the fuzz about the ‘veiled’ LCD-3s. Hey, probably even Sennheiser do this. But that’s what the power of internet gives to the average Joe: knowledge and comparison. 
 
Maybe I am just too harsh on HifiMan. I really enjoy my HE-500, I think it is one of the best headphones around. But I am disappointed that such an expensive headphone has such big impedance deviation. I do not think it would be too expensive to correct it (but I am not an expert here, so if someone knows better, please correct me if I am wrong). 
 
Some will say that impedance variation does not affect SQ much. I do not think so. It does affect it, and probably way more than a cable change ;-)
post #1463 of 18030

@plin: Just to make sure I'm following you, are you suggesting that as your sample deviates further from the rated 38 ohms that it's sound quality degrades? Would it be normal for a 38 ohm headphone to measure at 56.5 and 61 ohms? Would a HD800 (300 ohm) actually measure 300 ohms?

 

As you said, I need another HE-500 to compare mine to.


Edited by Rebel975 - 6/18/12 at 1:09pm
post #1464 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebel975 View Post

@plin: Just to make sure I'm following you, are you suggesting that as your sample deviates further from the rated 38 ohms that it's sound quality degrades? Would it be normal for a 38 ohm headphone to measure at 56.5 and 61 ohms? Would a HD800 (300 ohm) actually measure 300 ohms?

 

As you said, I need another HE-500 to compare mine to.

 

Probably yes. I have already auditioned a fellow headfier's HE-500 which has almost half mine's impedance (48 Ohm). Both I and he found his HE-500 SQ poorer. The difference was easily spotted (in the first few minutes) by both of us. The sound was harsher (more distortion perhaps) and, if I judged correctly by our small audition, there were more energy in the mid-high frequency region. Please keep in mind that we had to level match them firstly because of the significant efficiency difference which is a direct result of different impedance.
 
His headphone was a newer version than mine (silver cable and he bought it 6 months after mine - we did change the cable just to make sure that this was not the case). I could understand if the difference was reverse, sometimes older versions have poorer SQ because the manufacturers always strive to improve their products.
 
Of course, one single audition does not really prove anything. That's why I invite anyone who can find two significantly different (in impedance) HE-500s to repeat this test. (by signicantly different I mean at least 30% difference in impedance - which is more than 1 dB difference in efficiency - you will have to level match them)
 
Every other headphone, as far as I know - and please correct me if I am wrong here - have very tight resistance tolerance, if you measure DC resistance you will find it almost the same from piece to piece. Please keep in mind though, that only orthos have DC resistance equal to impedance, so only in orthos their impedance can be easily verified by measuring their DC resistance and comparing it to their nominal value. If an ortho has a nominal impedance value of XXX, the measured DC resistance with a voltmeter should be very closely matched with XXX. In normal dynamic headphones this is not always the case (although I have measured two different HD-650s and found almost exactly 300 Ohm DC resistance).  I do not think that it is normal for a 38 ohm orthodynamic headphone to measure at 56.5 or 61 or 25 Ohms!
 
So, for me it is unacceptable that this high-end headphone has such high variations in measured resistance. It may lead to unacceptable SQ differences. It surely leads to substantial efficiency deviations!

Edited by plin - 6/18/12 at 2:50pm
post #1465 of 18030

it's interesting that headdirect lowered the price of the he500 from $899 to $699 late last year. perhaps they did

this as a magnanimous gesture or decided to change the manufacturing protocol (cutting corners in design and

fabrication) and/or materials used. i can't help to wonder if this is part of the reason for the variance in sound

quality some have experienced in comparing these units. of course, this is pure speculation on my part.

post #1466 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by takezo View Post

it's interesting that headdirect lowered the price of the he500 from $899 to $699 late last year. perhaps they did

this as a magnanimous gesture or decided to change the manufacturing protocol (cutting corners in design and

fabrication) and/or materials used. i can't help to wonder if this is part of the reason for the variance in sound

quality some have experienced in comparing these units. of course, this is pure speculation on my part.

probably the materials they are using now aren't as expensive as before. HE-6 has a gold-plated driver which is, partly, why its so much more expensive than HE-500. 

post #1467 of 18030

I guess I'll shoot Head-Direct an email and see what they think.

post #1468 of 18030

I dont like this thread... Makes it scary for me to buy HE-500...

post #1469 of 18030

My HE-500's sound so good even though I have 56.5/61 ohms. I'll be really surprised if I find out that my pair are subpar sound quality wise.

post #1470 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prydazor View Post

I dont like this thread... Makes it scary for me to buy HE-500...

That's the excitement of the Chinese rocket ride. You can get a damn good product or you can get a pretty good product that falls apart. Crap shoot that, and for the price, a risky prospect that shouldn't be. I'll say I got nothing but positive experiences from Fang and Co. They replaced my HE-6 and let me keep the cable and pads when I blew a hole in a driver under warranty. My fault. They let me use a new pair of 500s for three weeks while production caught up on the 6s.

If those drivers are that far out, I'd say their QC is suspect. I measured my drivers at 41.5 x 42.1 ohm through the cable so that's not bad though the spec. says 50.
Edited by Happy Camper - 6/18/12 at 4:02pm
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