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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 108

post #1606 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loevhagen View Post

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synergy - it defines pretty good what I mean.

 

Yeah, no, not really.  By that definiton any headphone and any amplifier are synergetic because the headphone cannot amplify the signal on its own.  Not only that every headphone and every amplifier create a unique sound of their own so they all have synergy, do they not.  Therefore I think it would be hard by that definiton to make the claim that one chain of components has better synergy than another unless you are stating some kind of goal that you are working towards in terms of a final balance or sound.

 

Basically all you have to say is that you think the components pair well rather than making such cryptic statements.  It's just easier and less misleading if you just speak in a straight forward manner.

post #1607 of 18029

People, even myself, use the word to synergy to quickly describe how two components sound together.  It isn't every descriptive in audio world.  In pharmacokinetics when we use the word synergy it carries a lot meaning because it actually describes a mathematical relationship/effect/interaction between two drugs.

 

I do think there is a place for the world in the audio world but you are right, it is cryptic.  It's a quick statement when someone doesn't have time to write a long response.  I wouldn't necessary have a long argument over the word in a thread.  Maybe in a review the person would have time to elaborate.  The word is not in our audio glossary.  http://www.integracoustics.com/MUG/MUG/bbs/stereophile_audio-glossary.html

 

 

However, can synergy in audio have to do with output impedances of our devices such as impedances and the impedance of our headphones?  For example, if the amp has an output impedance that isn't at least 5 times greater than that of the headphone the results are a sound that is not ideal.  This is at least what I've read from various threads.  You guys can correct me.

 

I have experienced this myself when using certain amps with certain headphones.  The resulting sound was just bad, lack of transparency, unfocused, flabby bass,  All descriptive words but we all have to trust our ears.  In a quick post I would have said that the components did not synergize well.  In a longer post one would have to get more detailed.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Llloyd View Post

 

Yeah, no, not really.  By that definiton any headphone and any amplifier are synergetic because the headphone cannot amplify the signal on its own.  Not only that every headphone and every amplifier create a unique sound of their own so they all have synergy, do they not.  Therefore I think it would be hard by that definiton to make the claim that one chain of components has better synergy than another unless you are stating some kind of goal that you are working towards in terms of a final balance or sound.

 

Basically all you have to say is that you think the components pair well rather than making such cryptic statements.  It's just easier and less misleading if you just speak in a straight forward manner.


Edited by WNBC - 7/1/12 at 9:50am
post #1608 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loevhagen View Post

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synergy - it defines pretty good what I mean.

What I was wondering is whether you tried the HE-500 and Sunrise with a cheaper DAC or embedded DAC (in CD player or other source) and how it sounded. If the Sunrise really augments (more than other amps) the characteristics of components upstream, then maybe your nice V800 DAC was responsible for much of that nirvana.

I've used the HE-500's with EF-5, NFB-12, and out of a vintage Yamaha CR-220 receiver (both HP out and via speaker taps). My source would either be the NFB-12 DAC or RCA outs directly from a SACD player - I just can't see spending a lot of bucks on a new DAC at this point. Just trying to figure out if Sunrise would give me much more SQ-wise than what I have now. Given that it's still a somewhat less known amp, I'll probably not be able to listen before I buy. And, yes, I know it's a hard question because everyone hears differently and no one likely has my same components, but it never hurts to ask. rolleyes.gif
post #1609 of 18029

Tried the HE-500 and Sunrise with Hegel HD10 (dac) and Rega DAC. The Sunrise´s sound signature shines through on both these and also the V800 from Violectric. The Sunrise sounded best with the Hegel HD10 comparted to the Rega DAC, but with the V800 - the sound stepped up another level.

 

If the Sunrise had sounded more "lean", maybe the Rega DAC would have had a better synergy with the rest of the chain. I loved the Rega - but liked the HD10 better for long listening sessions. 

 

Tried the V800 on a stereoamp with the HE-6 today - but after 1 hour I reverted back to the Sunrise, V800 and HE-500. 

 

So - yeah - the Sunrise is a very good amp. 


Edited by Loevhagen - 7/1/12 at 1:20pm
post #1610 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by WNBC View Post

People, even myself, use the word to synergy to quickly describe how two components sound together.  It isn't every descriptive in audio world.  In pharmacokinetics when we use the word synergy it carries a lot meaning because it actually describes a mathematical relationship/effect/interaction between two drugs.

 

I do think there is a place for the world in the audio world but you are right, it is cryptic.  It's a quick statement when someone doesn't have time to write a long response.  I wouldn't necessary have a long argument over the word in a thread.  Maybe in a review the person would have time to elaborate.  The word is not in our audio glossary.  http://www.integracoustics.com/MUG/MUG/bbs/stereophile_audio-glossary.html

 

However, can synergy in audio have to do with output impedances of our devices such as impedances and the impedance of our headphones?  For example, if the amp has an output impedance that isn't at least 5 times greater than that of the headphone the results are a sound that is not ideal.  This is at least what I've read from various threads.  You guys can correct me.

 

I have experienced this myself when using certain amps with certain headphones.  The resulting sound was just bad, lack of transparency, unfocused, flabby bass,  All descriptive words but we all have to trust our ears.  In a quick post I would have said that the components did not synergize well.  In a longer post one would have to get more detailed.

 

 

Yes... that is, moreless, correct.  How well an amp matches a particular set of phones depends on matching their electrical properties.  Among the more important is the output impedence of the amp to the impedence of the phones.  Phones with a low impedence match better with amps with low output impedence, and high current output.  And, in contrast, phones with high impedence match better with amps with higher output impedence and high voltage output.  When phones are not well matched in these regards they will, generally sound bad (e.g.  flabby bass, strident highs, poor transparency, suffer from clipping, etc.).

 

As you note... when you find that "match" between components... it is an "ah ha experience."  For example... one of the most dramatic examples of "turning a sow's ear into a silk purse" is driving Denon phones with the Musical Fidelity XCAN v8 - the flabby bass, strident highs, and clipped waves completely disappear and are replaced with smooth, tight, focused, transparent sound.  The same results with Grados and the XCAN v8.  Both brands of phones have low impedence, and require an amp with low impedence and high current output.  The same amp mates very poorly with Senns, which have higher impedence and require an amp with high voltage output.  Which is interesting... because... the XCAN v3 mates very well with Senns... and not so well with Grados - just the opposite.

 

Of course, the amount of power output, relative to the efficiency of the phones, may be even more critical, but that is not the only attribute which is critical.   

 

And... the properties of the components within the amp, are also important.  For example, various op amps, tubes and caps have distinct sound signatures - TI Burr Brown op amps have a smoother, warmer sound, than Analog Devices op amps, which have a more dynamic sound... and... Mullard tubes have smoother warmer sound, than other tubes... and... Blackgate caps have a more robust sound with deep, tight, solid bass... etc., etc., etc.  

 

And... I won't even go into the "challenge" of matching and rolling cables....

 

All of these properties can be expressed in scientific, electrical and mathematical terms... but... few amongst us have the knowledge and experience, or the patience and will, to dredge through volumes of such data and information to "match" DAC's and amps to phones.  Though, many of us will attempt to match the output impedence and current, or voltage output, of amps with phones, or to roll various op amps and tubes in our amps to "EQ" the sound of our phones and set ups.  Some... will... actually roll the caps and resistors in their amps to refine their sound.  

 

And... attempting to balance all of these variables... I'm sure... has driven some of us "right into the asylum."  

 

So... that's about it... achieving the so-called optimum in the sound of our phones and set ups is a challeging, if not daunting, pursuit, which is "as much art as it is science."


Edited by Gradofan2 - 7/3/12 at 6:17am
post #1611 of 18029

^^^^

Amen to that, brother!

 

Gradofan2, I never listened to any Grados.  How do they compare to the HE-500s?  I see that you used to own the HE-500.   Seems like they should be run very nicely from my Violectric V200.  (Don't worry guys, not selling my HE-500 biggrin.gif)  

post #1612 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by WNBC View Post

^^^^

Amen to that, brother!

 

Gradofan2, I never listened to any Grados.  How do they compare to the HE-500s?  I see that you used to own the HE-500.   Seems like they should be run very nicely from my Violectric V200.  (Don't worry guys, not selling my HE-500 biggrin.gif)  

 

 

Well... my experience with the HE-500's is not "typical" of other's on Headfi - which makes me think, I either had a defective pair, or didn't have an amp that matched them well (see above)... although... I used the HiFiMan EF-5 to drive them, as well as my Millett MiniMax, and my "beast," the WA6 SEm.  Or, perhaps, more burn-in is required, than I had patience for.  Or, perhaps, there are a lot of us who prefer "bassy" phones, with a thick, syrupy sound.  

 

Whatever the reason the ones I had - didn't come close to my other phones, expecially the PS1000's, or PS500's.  They had a thick, syrupy, sound, especially in the upper bass and lower mids, which made them sound like I was listening through oil, or water, or... well... syrup.  And... while overly smooth, their mids and highs had no where near the clarity, detail, texture, timbre, and tone of my Grados.  But, few phones do (if any).  Live music is not "smooth," it has tone, timbre, texture, and ambience and distortion which are subtle but clearlly evident, which makes it sound... well... "real, or live."  The Grados provide that... few others do.

 

Because my initial trial of the HE-500's was so-o-o terrible... I've been reluctant to "give 'em another shot at the title."  


Edited by Gradofan2 - 7/3/12 at 10:12am
post #1613 of 18029

I think your experience with the HE-500 highlights the importance of the amp and headphone pair.  Your experience is different than mine.  The HE-500 is definitely not a bassy or lush headphone.  The clarity and transparency of the HE-500 has never given me an opinion of "listening through oil or syrup".  So this could just be my rig.  Things even got better when I added the Decware Zbox tube buffer in line with the V200, esp. in areas of imaging and soundstage.  My Pioneer SX-737 is more capable in terms of bring out the lower midrange and bass out of the HE-500.  It's never going to be a bass monster with heavy impact and super extension, but good enough for my listening habits.  

 

Now, I'm intrigued to hear these Grados.  They appear to be a good contrast to the HE-500.  Head-fi strikes again.      

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2 View Post

 

Well... my experience with the HE-500's is not "typical" of other's on Headfi - which makes me think, I either had a defective pair, or didn't have an amp that matched them well (see above)... although... I used the HiFiMan EF-5 to drive them, as well as my "beast," the WA6 SEm.  Or, perhaps, more burn-in is required, than I had patience for.  Or, perhaps, there are a lot of us who prefer "bassy" phones, with a thick, syrupy sound.  

 

Whatever the reason the ones I had - didn't come close to my other phones, expecially the PS1000's, or PS500's.  They had a thick, syrupy, sound, especially in the upper bass and lower mids, which made them sound like I was listening through oil, or water, or... well... syrup.  And... while overly smooth, their mids and highs were had no where near the clarity, detail, texture, timbre, and tone of my Grados.  But, few phones do (if any).  

 

Because my initial trial of the HE-500's was so-o-o terrible... I've been reluctant to "give 'em another shot at the title."  

post #1614 of 18029
Duplicate deleted...

Edited by Gradofan2 - 7/3/12 at 10:13am
post #1615 of 18029

What is everyone's thoughts on an M3 from YBM Audio? I am thinking of getting one made.

post #1616 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2 View Post

 

 

Well... my experience with the HE-500's is not "typical" of other's on Headfi - which makes me think, I either had a defective pair, or didn't have an amp that matched them well (see above)... although... I used the HiFiMan EF-5 to drive them, as well as my Millett MiniMax, and my "beast," the WA6 SEm.  Or, perhaps, more burn-in is required, than I had patience for.  Or, perhaps, there are a lot of us who prefer "bassy" phones, with a thick, syrupy sound.  

 

Whatever the reason the ones I had - didn't come close to my other phones, expecially the PS1000's, or PS500's.  They had a thick, syrupy, sound, especially in the upper bass and lower mids, which made them sound like I was listening through oil, or water, or... well... syrup.  And... while overly smooth, their mids and highs had no where near the clarity, detail, texture, timbre, and tone of my Grados.  But, few phones do (if any).  Live music is not "smooth," it has tone, timbre, texture, and ambience and distortion which are subtle but clearlly evident, which makes it sound... well... "real, or live."  The Grados provide that... few others do.

 

Because my initial trial of the HE-500's was so-o-o terrible... I've been reluctant to "give 'em another shot at the title."  

 

When i listened with the HE-500 on the V200 i found it to be too smooth and warm as well, but with the Phoenix, it is balanced allot better. I think it was a case of a smooth dac and a warm/smooth amp being overkill. With the Phoenix it sounds more neutral and more details come through though the down side is that it is less forgiving of bad recordings. Something similiar might have happened in your case. Did you use the Marantz with it? They are known for being quite warm, maybe that was the problem.

post #1617 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by WNBC View Post

I think your experience with the HE-500 highlights the importance of the amp and headphone pair.  Your experience is different than mine.  

 

Probably it just highlights HE-500 variance. A headphone that has such wide discrepancy (over + - 50%) in such basic things like its DC resistance is pretty sure that will vary significantly from pair to pair. 

Now, I love my HE-500, but I am not sure I will equally love any pair of it. wink_face.gif

post #1618 of 18029

Maybe you would love my pair better because it is graduated top of the HE-500 class tongue.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by plin View Post

Now, I love my HE-500, but I am not sure I will equally love any pair of it. wink_face.gif

post #1619 of 18029
Measured my HE-500 and R / L measures 45,9 / 46,3 ohm. Not quite the 38 ohm specification, but it is more important that the R / L are within each other. So, I'm happy.
Edited by Loevhagen - 7/3/12 at 1:07pm
post #1620 of 18029

While my HE-500 are closely matched (~53.3 & 53.5 ohms), it falls fairly far out side of the +/- 25% impedance tolerance range (which Fang referred to in another thread).  How would this impact the intended sound of the HE-500?

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