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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 264

post #3946 of 14549

I've experienced a slight "falling out of love" with mine recently too. I've actually been in hot pursuit of a Bassier Dynamic 'phone  to supplement it. Doesn't mean I'm going to get rid of them, it just means the "honeymoon" is over and they aren't going to be my end all 'phone for all Genres. I wish they were, but clearly someone like me (and a lot of you) need more than one headphone to be fully happy. So far I haven't found one that can do it all. I just ordered the Th-900, which is supposed to be like an "HE500 on Steroids", so I guess we'll see.... 

 

I will say that my HE500s did seem to respond well to having a more powerful amp connected to them. I was using them with a DACmini for awhile and simply couldn't get the full sound I was looking for. Not to mention volume levels. Hooked them up to my m903 and the Bass tightened up, got stronger and I feel the whole soundstage became less distant sounding, and more coherent. These are fairly inefficient 'phones compared to others (85 dB compared to 115 dB for the DJ's as an example) and they responded well to a more powerful Amp for me. 


Edited by bareyb - 3/24/13 at 3:17pm
post #3947 of 14549
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terja View Post

Right now I have the HE-500 attached to a 12watts @ 38ohms amp. The integrated I am using has peak power meters and I am consistently drawing above 1 watt when music is playing, with full passages drawing between 5 to 10 watts. The SQ I am getting has none of the characteristics that may be described as lacking, bloated, bloomy, etc. Instead I am getting what I'll describe as tight, full-bodied music with everything simply there. I can zero in on the fine details in this full body wave as well as the more prominent aspects.

 

 

So you're telling me that a headphone with a manufacturer recommended power requirement of 1 watt, will actually require up to 10 watts to perform optimally?

 

Good to know. If I ever decide to buy a HE-6 (8 watt amp recommended), I should probably just find a wall socket that accepts 1/4 inch connectors, since the actual power draw may be 10x more than advertised.

post #3948 of 14549
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anda View Post

Care to share the name of that amp? You got me a little interested smily_headphones1.gif

 

I deliberately left the details out, but you could probably read between the lines. I am using a 55-watt per channel Kenwood KA-405 integrated amp with the HE-500 hooked up to it's speaker taps via a 4-pin XLR cable. This is a fairly easy way to get the required power that I feel this headphone requires without spending a whole lot more for a stand-alone headphone amp with similar power specs. At those rates I have done a fair bit of experimentation and the Kenwood is one of my favorite HE-500 amps. I also love the way the headphone behaves with my tube amp hooked via speaker posts (Musical Paradise MP-301 MK2) - sublime is a word I would use. I built a resistor box to hook up to the tube amp speaker taps to protect the transformer. For the solid state Kenwood it's a direct connection.

 

(edited to correctly identify amp)


Edited by Terja - 3/24/13 at 3:53pm
post #3949 of 14549
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terja View Post

 

I deliberately left the details out, but you could probably read between the lines. I am using a 55-watt per channel Kenwood KA-305 integrated amp with the HE-500 hooked up to it's speaker taps via a 4-pin XLR cable. This is a fairly easy way to get the required power that I feel this headphone requires without spending a whole lot more for a stand-alone headphone amp with similar power specs. At those rates I have done a fair bit of experimentation and the Kenwood is one of my favorite HE-500 amps. I also love the way the headphone behaves with my tube amp hooked via speaker posts (Musical Paradise MP-301 MK2) - sublime is a word I would use. I built a resistor box to hook up to the tube amp speaker taps to protect the transformer. For the solid state Kenwood it's a direct connection.

Do you get any background Hum when the volume is down?  I've heard that can be a problem with directly connecting. 

post #3950 of 14549

Looks great! KA-405 has power meters and 55W/8ohm. The KA-305 is 'only' 40W/8ohm:

 

post #3951 of 14549
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

^^Say What^^

 

I disagree with you on all accounts.  You say the Emotiva (a speaker amp now) can't drive the HE500s to is best.  That amp is way overkill if anything.  Much more than what it needs.  To be honest.  All I ever see talking about those 337 and 339 amps is you.  Not saying they'er bad or anything because I haven't heard them.  If those amps was all that and all that "WELL KNOWN" as you put it they would be on every ones recommend list - "and they're not"  So that means they're not so well known.

 

The HE-500s are a very forgiving headphone.  It doesn't take much to get to sound good.  Yes a good amp is needed for it to sound it's best.  but to say the emotiva can't get them there is dead wrong.  Also to say the 337 and 339 can get them to sound better that the Emotiva without a side by side comparison is also wrong.

 

All is IMHO..biggrin.gif

All i have to say to this...try another higher end amp then ur integrated emotiva..ur amp has lots of power as it drives the he500 with its loudspeaker outs..but no way it will be able to drive the he500 to its limits..maybe its loud..thats right..but reading some reviews bout the emotiva tells me that amp..allthough a bargain for its price..has lots of shortcomings..many of which ur glueing onto the wonderfull he500..for the price. Of what the emotiva sells foru cant possibly believe its in same league of the likes of burson 160d, musical fidely, violectric v200, bottlehead crack, woo audio wa7, or my 337. ( with the tubes i have ofcourse) or even another bargain..the shiit lyr..i tried all of these amps on a meet last year..except for the wa7.. And only the v200 came close concerning synergy with the he500 ..ofcourse there are better amps with the he500..i am waiting for the quote fir one..a one of a kind amp/dac..built by an amp manufacturer who isknown fir its over 20.000usd worth of mono blocks..so yeah..the 337 is not the holy grail for the he500..but if u invest in good tubes and good cables (also powercables..as standard ones are rubbish!) it will give amps even more expensive a run for their money till 1000 usd mark...

 

i consider u as a valuable member of headfi and we share lots of opinions on other threads..soi respect ur opinions..but pls..just once..try it for this crazy ass dutchman.do me a favor...try a 339 or 337 with the tubes (skylab adviced sames tubes) i have..i am almost sure the missing thingies u are now experiencing with ur he500 will maybe be less..ofcourse the 337 is not the holy grail for the he500..but i believe u have to spend much much more to better the synergy with the he500....and ur right..darkvoice is not  wellknown...but other then on headfi i never ever heard of emotiva or blue circle audio (the ones i want them to make me that special amp/dac) also..sothat point is a bit..well..

i think if u dont try at least a 337 a v200 or a woo audio wa 7 or wa6 or even a shiit lyr,or yulong a18(a8 is coming!)..or others....then u cant say the emotiva drives it to the limit..if u wanna be completely objective...imho ofcourse

but lets say we both have different opinions..u believe in driving a headphone with power is driving the he500 to its limits..and in that ur right..i belive that the he500 needs quality to be driven properly to its limits...we both are right..only our priciples are different..and thats human..some like bass and they buy denons..other like soundstage and they buy akg 701 and other like detail so they buy hd800..and i can go on..so as i. Said..we are all different..peace!

bout ur last line..ur right a bit..but i will probably be listeing to a emotiva at the next meeting in london..i hope one takes one with him..but honestly...it has to sound outrageous good to siund better then my 337..as i said i tried many amps already..and only a few were better sounding or same league..the 337 is a bargain..just as the emotiva is..its not perfect..but what it does for the money..and the easy way to modify it(339) makes it a dangerous outsiderbiggrin.gif


Edited by hifimanrookie - 3/24/13 at 3:42pm
post #3952 of 14549
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post

I still think its all about the quality of amping and sources...and i dont believe the emotiva pushes the he500 to the limit...i think if u use a WELLKNOWN better pair like the 337 with the right tubes u wont have any shortcomings..at least not the ones people are talking about here..and hearing what amps u guys are using i am not surprised..try the thread of 337 or 339 or the v200 threads..and even any he500 review! and then tell me if they also find the same shortcomings as u guys are stating here...as the answer is a total no...yes its not a perfect phone..the he6 or lcd 3 is better..but all agree it has not faults either! so pls invest first in a very good amp..not being a emotiva or lyr (although hedrives the he500 very well..but not as good as a 337/339 or a v200) or any 'budget' amp...am not saying u need to invest in a multi 1000 amp to get the he500 sound on his best..but it needs quality and good pairing amping..and those dont come cheap..but for 800 usd ( icl.good tubes) u get a sound u wont easily forget on ur he500...and pls pls pls..for gods sake.upgrade the obnoxious standard silverplated cable the he500 is delivered with..get urself a quality litz 2 copper cable like the toxic cables black widow 22awg as i have now..

 

and if u did that all..then come back to the thread stating same thing...he500 is very sensitive to right amping and right cabling i found out after testing several amps (7) and cables (4)..and ieven found out that after changing the two powercords for 2 high grade Aura power cables the sound got even more conherent and more detaily..last step was putting herbie's audiolab tenderfoot under the amp and babyfeet my hm602..last step to music heaven...try it out guys..its worth it..the he500 is the best deal u can have on headphone brands...but only if u let it shine through the right components! Synergy is keyword here as i said esrlier here on this thread..and people who sctually got a 337 or 339 agree with me totally..u haveto invest at least the price of the he500 into amping or even more..yes ur wallet will hate u..but ur ears will love u...imho ofcourse!

 

50 Watts can't push the HE-500 to its limit!!!!!????? Whaaaat, now dat **** cray! - Even the E10 and O2 can make the HE-500 sound damn good. Emotiva on the other hand is just an overkill and I don't have to go past 9 o clock on that with either planars.  

 

Emotiva is a pretty damn good amp for both headphones and speakers. It's stats for its price is pretty sweet and subjectively hearing it, there is no problem with the amp whatsoever with LCD-2, bookshelf and tower speakers. Even the HE-500 is quite good with it, except for those flaws in HE-500. By manipulating only fixed variables, I deduced it to HE-500 and not the Emotiva. Also, have you heard the HE-500 through the Emotiva before or are you just speculating if the Emotiva is a subpar amp?

 

Well known better pair amp ------- A lot of people here find the Emotiva to work quite good with many headphones. On this thread as well as the Emotiva thread, the only person who I've seen the recommend the 33X is you, over and over again. Not that there's anything wrong with that. On the other hand many users have found Emotiva to work nicely with their planars. I think preproman tried his Emotiva with HE-6, HE-500, LCD-2 and a whole bunch of other phones and they all sounded good with them. I am quite sure the amp itself is fine.

 

Regarding cables, I have tried the stock cables, Norse Audio copper cables as well as Headphone Lounge Silver cables for both my LCD-2 and HE-500. Overall, they really don't make much of a difference. I've noticed that as long as the cables are decent enough and past a certain threshold, they really don't offer much to offer in sonic improvement. I think people want to hear the differences in cables considering how much they have dropped in them. I remember you spending about well over $800 on cables - now if that was me, I'd probably start to hallucinate and say that cables made a difference to.

 

As long as your happy, that's what counts in the end. Me on the other hand, I've spent around $400 ish on cables. However, I have a completely different mindset when going in to try different equipment. I also work in a psychoacoustician lab at university so I know about the biases and expectations that come with this type of investment. When trying new things, I don't go in expecting any certain things - I just observe them as they are. Sure, I'll still have some biases but I've still learned to control them a lot better on average than most people - and in this sense I'm speaking on a pure mathematical level by conducting psychometric curves on many experiments. Also, while I try to be objective, it doesn't mean I am a robot and just looking at numbers LOL. I still enjoy the music and that's what I am here for. On the other hand, it's still good to keep a good dose of skepticism around. That's why I praise whatever I like to be good and criticize what I think is somewhat problematic. 


I don't make stuff up to be all butterflies and soaked in rainbows. I take my time and after careful observation over a long time, do I come to any sort of conclusion. Even in my reviews and PMs, when people ask for my impressions, I usually tell them to wait a bit so I can be sure that I'm commenting over the equipment and not my emotions. So the problems and shortcoming I found with HE-500, I have carefully found over a period of months.

 

I don't want people to think that HE-500 is bad or anything. I still find it to be the best all rounder I've heard for music. It's just that over time there are certain flaws in them that I've noticed and would like other members to know. Who knows, maybe the developers of Hifiman are following this, and they might take some advice and fix it in future generations biggrin.gif

 

Additionally, to be on the side of HE-500, I've been recently to listening a lot on Funktion One Resolution speakers, so that may cause my judgement to be slightly harder. These speakers are my definition of what perfection should be aimed towards. The HE-500 and LCD-2 fall below that for sure. No, this isn't a case of being a speaker kind of guy or anything. I still think headphones have a long way to go before coming close to that, particularly these planars in this price range. Although for the most part, I'm quite certain that the flaws I noticed are a bit there. When going from LCD-2 after weeks to HE-500, it's quite noticeable. Although when listening to HE-500 for a while, these problems go away and you become quite immersed in them. So the brain adjusting in helps a lot here.

 

Also, the signature of HE-500 has remained mostly the same with whichever amp I've tried it with. I've tried the Asgard, Fiio E10, Fiio E11, JDS Labs O2, Emotiva, Mjolnir and Lyr. Overall, with more power, the HE-500 gets more separation, better transients, overall faster bass response (attack and decay). With Mjolnir and Emotiva, the HE-500 was really good in particular and with them both while excellent, the flaws in the centerstage relative to its other facets started to show. Now, if the Mjolnir is bad too, then please let me know.

 

Again I want to stress, that in absolute terms it's not too bad, it's just relatively speaking to other headphones and even HE-500's other attributes. It's centerstage performance is not on par with how well it does imaging near the sides.  

 

"IMHO of course" - LOL thank you for clarifying that! Here I was starting to wonder whether Jesus Christ had hacked your account and started posting his opinions instead biggrin.gif

 

Nonetheless, thanks for the suggestions rookie. beerchug.gif

post #3953 of 14549
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

 

So you're telling me that a headphone with a manufacturer recommended power requirement of 1 watt, will actually require up to 10 watts to perform optimally?

 

Good to know. If I ever decide to buy a HE-6 (8 watt amp recommended), I should probably just find a wall socket that accepts 1/4 inch connectors, since the actual power draw may be 10x more than advertised.

 

I know you're being facetious but here is something to consider. I have a Yamaha HP-2 orthodynamic headphone from approx 1979 and the power input specs say 3 watts to 10 watts [See attached picture]. When hooked up to the same amp as the HE-500 via speaker taps I can tell that the HP-2 is drawing the correctly rated amount of power for the same volume (about 2 watts and above with peaks getting to 10 watts or just above). Ain't gonna argue with the good doctor, but it is doubtful that orthodynamic headphones have become that much more proficient that input requirements are now much lower (300mw to 1watt - by some claims). I take Dr. Fang's 1 watt as the minimum. It's just that he didn't specify a maximum and has basically left it to the user to figure that out, which is unfortunate. The Yamaha HP-1-2 specs are at least clear by specifying a minimum and maximum. There should be a similar standard for the current crop of orthos.

 

post #3954 of 14549
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anda View Post

Looks great! KA-405 has power meters and 55W/8ohm. The KA-305 is 'only' 40W/8ohm:

 

 

Sorry - typo: I have the KA-405. Will take a picture soon. Thanks for the correction.

post #3955 of 14549

Y'all need to chill and make some jergpads.popcorn.gif

post #3956 of 14549
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

 

 

So you're telling me that a headphone with a manufacturer recommended power requirement of 1 watt, will actually require up to 10 watts to perform optimally?

 

Good to know. If I ever decide to buy a HE-6 (8 watt amp recommended), I should probably just find a wall socket that accepts 1/4 inch connectors, since the actual power draw may be 10x more than advertised.

 

The reason why most people get speaker amps is not actually for the power, but rather the quality. By quality, I also mean headroom. 1 Watts purely can reach you to the 120 dB peaks. However, having an amp that only does 1 W at full output will have distortions. So having a multi watt amp just means you'll have an amp that can deliver 1 W without stressing at all. Audeze explains this quite nicely:

 

http://support.audeze.com/entries/20866002-Selecting-an-amp-

 

This can also be applied to HE-500 since they are relatively similar in power requirements.

post #3957 of 14549
Quote:
Originally Posted by bareyb View Post

Do you get any background Hum when the volume is down?  I've heard that can be a problem with directly connecting. 


Yeah that can be a pita; but the Kenwood KA-405 is one of the best I've come across in that regard. With music paused you really have to strain to hear anything. Another almost zero-hiss amp I've tried is a Proton AM-200 - it is stunningly quiet. The worst was probably a Hitachi HA-330 - it is practically unuseable for hooking up headphones via its speaker posts. My tube amp gives a very slight hum when music is paused but it is not distracting. You raise a very good point and that is one of the qualities I look for when trying the HE-500 via speaker taps.

post #3958 of 14549

Oh yeah, I forgot. The KA-405 has one of the very best headphone out synergies with the Sennheiser HD-650 I've tried. Lol, sometimes I have to stop and ask myself which headphone I'm listening to now, thinking it's the HE-500 only to find it's the HD-650 via the headphone out. This is probably true of a lot of vintage amps whose headphone outs where made prior to that 'curse' of proper amping - the IEM. I think manufacturers are worried that some audiophoo will plug in an IEM and suddenly find themselves in headphone heaven with St. Peter not so happy and wagging his glorious finger!! Most recent headphone outs are power dampened with resistors.

post #3959 of 14549
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post

All i have to say to this...try another higher end amp then ur integrated emotiva..ur amp has lots of power as it drives the he500 with its loudspeaker outs..but no way it will be able to drive the he500 to its limits..maybe its loud..thats right..but reading some reviews bout the emotiva tells me that amp..allthough a bargain for its price..has lots of shortcomings..many of which ur glueing onto the wonderfull he500..for the price. Of what the emotiva sells foru cant possibly believe its in same league of the likes of burson 160d, musical fidely, violectric v200, bottlehead crack, woo audio wa7, or my 337. ( with the tubes i have ofcourse) or even another bargain..the shiit lyr..i tried all of these amps on a meet last year..except for the wa7.. And only the v200 came close concerning synergy with the he500 ..ofcourse there are better amps with the he500..i am waiting for the quote fir one..a one of a kind amp/dac..built by an amp manufacturer who isknown fir its over 20.000usd worth of mono blocks..so yeah..the 337 is not the holy grail for the he500..but if u invest in good tubes and good cables (also powercables..as standard ones are rubbish!) it will give amps even more expensive a run for their money till 1000 usd mark...

 

i consider u as a valuable member of headfi and we share lots of opinions on other threads..soi respect ur opinions..but pls..just once..try it for this crazy ass dutchman.do me a favor...try a 339 or 337 with the tubes (skylab adviced sames tubes) i have..i am almost sure the missing thingies u are now experiencing with ur he500 will maybe be less..ofcourse the 337 is not the holy grail for the he500..but i believe u have to spend much much more to better the synergy with the he500....and ur right..darkvoice is not  wellknown...but other then on headfi i never ever heard of emotiva or blue circle audio (the ones i want them to make me that special amp/dac) also..sothat point is a bit..well..

i think if u dont try at least a 337 a v200 or a woo audio wa 7 or wa6 or even a shiit lyr,or yulong a18(a8 is coming!)..or others....then u cant say the emotiva drives it to the limit..if u wanna be completely objective...imho ofcourse

but lets say we both have different opinions..u believe in driving a headphone with power is driving the he500 to its limits..and in that ur right..i belive that the he500 needs quality to be driven properly to its limits...we both are right..only our priciples are different..and thats human..some like bass and they buy denons..other like soundstage and they buy akg 701 and other like detail so they buy hd800..and i can go on..so as i. Said..we are all different..peace!

bout ur last line..ur right a bit..but i will probably be listeing to a emotiva at the next meeting in london..i hope one takes one with him..but honestly...it has to sound outrageous good to siund better then my 337..as i said i tried many amps already..and only a few were better sounding or same league..the 337 is a bargain..just as the emotiva is..its not perfect..but what it does for the money..and the easy way to modify it(339) makes it a dangerous outsiderbiggrin.gif

 

 

Here's a tip.  Emotiva is not a Head fi born product.  They are a speaker amp company.  Take a look at there community:  http://emotivalounge.proboards.com/  Out of all the people that belong to that community, only a fe of them are here on Head fi as well.  Now you show me where these head fi people are saying the 337 and the 339 is the best amp for the 500s.  

 

You're tell me to try another higher end amp besides the Emo.  Why?  I've tried many of amps.  Had them - sold them.  I don't buy "sneak oil" if you know what I mean.  

 

As for cables.  I only buy cables for looks and flexibility.  To be honest "IMHO"  unless you headphones are hardwired directly to the driver.  The only cable you're really hearing is the cable from the driver to the solder point.

 

Just let other people have their own preference instead of telling them they're not doing something right.  

 

Just enjoy the music man.. 

post #3960 of 14549
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

Here's a tip.  Emotiva is not a Head fi born product.  They are a speaker amp company.  Take a look at there community:  http://emotivalounge.proboards.com/  Out of all the people that belong to that community, only a fe of them are here on Head fi as well.  Now you show me where these head fi people are saying the 337 and the 339 is the best amp for the 500s.  

 

You're tell me to try another higher end amp besides the Emo.  Why?  I've tried many of amps.  Had them - sold them.  I don't buy "sneak oil" if you know what I mean.  

 

As for cables.  I only buy cables for looks and flexibility.  To be honest "IMHO"  unless you headphones are hardwired directly to the driver.  The only cable you're really hearing is the cable from the driver to the solder point.

 

Just let other people have their own preference instead of telling them they're not doing something right.  

 

Just enjoy the music man.. 

As requested..with paragraphs for better reading..wink.gif

 

I will never say..or never said they have to do anything then to try other amps..and if u did..and u still believe the emotiva is driving the he500 at its limits while the phone shows those mishaps..then oke..i accept that.

 

.u didnt say u tried other amps..am not the 339 preacher or toxic preacher or mstage preacher or even a he500 preacher..am just very passionate in what i believe and experience in my music..

 

and for me..the he500 doesnt have the things missin u guys say..only maybe the lack of lower bass..the lcd3 is much better in that..

 

let us end this discussion on that..i see on threads that certain brands admirors can be very assertive on threads..me also..as i said..i love mymusic..and the way howit sounds..

 

i myself am waiting for a BIG upgrade in sound hopefully this year as the due time is at least 18 weeks..

 

so i wish u a good night..and if i sounded a bit pushy or wrongly informed..my aplogies..

 

as i said..soon (london meet) i will be hearing an emotiva myself..will be comparing him then with my UNKNOWN 337biggrin.gif..

 

As The way u two replied made me curious how good he must be.will keep u informed when the time comeswink.gif


Edited by hifimanrookie - 3/24/13 at 5:56pm
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