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!
I am using my HE-500 with a $99 Schiit Magni and the "obnoxious standard silver plated cable" that it came with. It performs beautifully and with no audible distortions. It can easily drive the headphone to levels that would make your ears bleed and sounds good doing it. You have a preference for tubes and copper cables, whereas I find that would make the HE-500 far too dark for my tastes. My point is that your amp and cable choice is your preference and to tell people that they must spend $800 on an amp to make the HE-500 perform is just nonsense.
IMHO I just can't see spending $1000+ for amp and cables for a $700 headphone.