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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 267

post #3991 of 16719
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanlitun View Post

So I have had my HE-500's for about a week now. I ordered them from Head-Direct and it all went very promptly.

 

I must admit I am struggling with them and trying to get a sound that I like. I am running them from a Bifrost/Asgard2 setup and I realize I am probably at the bottom end for what is required to power these.

 

The biggest issue I have is a lack of air and resolution. They have tons of dynamics, for instance listening to the new Depeche Mode album will blow you out of your chair and sounds great.

 

But I find male voices and midrange to be euphonic or unresolved and there is a big lack of air and resonance. For example classical piano sounds thick and thumping as if tonality has been traded for dynamics.

 

So if you have recommendations please post. I imagine many will mention the amp, and the only reason I didn't get the Lyr is that I thought it would be less resolving than the Asgard 2. I haven't compared them so I don't really know. One thing I did recently that was surprising is that I plugged the HE-500's straight into my Xonar Essence STX and I thought it sounded better than through the Asgard even though less dynamic. That was an unexpected surprise.

 

The HE-500 can sound thick sometimes, I think due to its slightly rolled-off treble and the extremely smooth sound of the planar-magnetic drivers. What I did is I used an EQ to boost the 8k-16k range by 1db. I know some are opposed to using EQ but you would be surprised how much of a difference this minor change will make. I find that it sounds like there's a bit more air and detail. YMMV

 

Also I am using the Magni, and while I haven't heard the HE-500 on any other amps it seems to perform well. Sounds great to my ears.

post #3992 of 16719

The Lyr with the stock GE tubes open up the soundstage considerably and add quite a bit more detail to the HE-500 than the original Asgard did. One thing I noticed with the Asgard was that the center soundstage seemed off center one way or another. The Lyr seems to have taken care of that also.  These are early impressions after a few nights with the Lyr (no burn in on the tubes or the amp). I had the Asgard 2 but returned it before my HE-500 arrived.


Edited by Radioking59 - 3/27/13 at 2:43pm
post #3993 of 16719

I went through a couple of different desktop Amps before I found one I liked with my HE500s too. Different strokes for different folks and all. They do seem to need a bit more power than a lot of people led me to believe... I think that perception is finally changing around here now though...

post #3994 of 16719

There's a lot of good amps out there that will extend the treble out on the HE-500s some will make it to sparkly.  I've found the GS-X mk2 and the B22 are great for these..

post #3995 of 16719
I wondered how they'd do on the GSX..........
post #3996 of 16719
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanlitun View Post

So I have had my HE-500's for about a week now. I ordered them from Head-Direct and it all went very promptly.

 

I must admit I am struggling with them and trying to get a sound that I like. I am running them from a Bifrost/Asgard2 setup and I realize I am probably at the bottom end for what is required to power these.

 

The biggest issue I have is a lack of air and resolution. They have tons of dynamics, for instance listening to the new Depeche Mode album will blow you out of your chair and sounds great.

 

But I find male voices and midrange to be euphonic or unresolved and there is a big lack of air and resonance. For example classical piano sounds thick and thumping as if tonality has been traded for dynamics.

 

So if you have recommendations please post. I imagine many will mention the amp, and the only reason I didn't get the Lyr is that I thought it would be less resolving than the Asgard 2. I haven't compared them so I don't really know. One thing I did recently that was surprising is that I plugged the HE-500's straight into my Xonar Essence STX and I thought it sounded better than through the Asgard even though less dynamic. That was an unexpected surprise.

Velour pads, right?

post #3997 of 16719
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdaneel View Post

Why get the Matrix for about $300 when all it does is output a digital signal, when you can get an amazing usb hi speed 2.0 compliant 24/192 DAC like the Micromega MYDAC for under $400?  I'm absolutely loving mine.  It takes up to 24/192 from my Squeezebox Touch and outputs a beautiful analog signal to my Burson Soloist SL or Lyr.

 

If you had a Benchmark DAC1, why would you replace it with a budget DAC? A USB-to-SPDIF converter makes more sense (IMHO).

post #3998 of 16719
I have the asgard2 have no problems sounds great airy smooth Jason at schist said that the asgard2 was as good at powering them as the lyr the difference would be if you prefer tubes
post #3999 of 16719
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Velour pads, right?


popcorn.gif

post #4000 of 16719
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuna47 View Post

I have the asgard2 have no problems sounds great airy smooth Jason at schist said that the asgard2 was as good at powering them as the lyr the difference would be if you prefer tubes

 

Do you have a bifrost as well? I'm thinking upgrading from my Pico to Asgard or Lyr + bifrost for HE-500.

post #4001 of 16719

Some impressions so far, had mine for for about 10 days now and roughly 80 hours use. Coming from a Shure 1840 as my previous headphone, using a magni/modi as my dac and amp.

 

Music used: light female pop-rock, male hard rock, neo-classical/heavy/power/speed metal, power ballads, Golden- Age Classic hip-hop and K-POP

 

In short why I wanted HE-500:

 

  • to account for better bass presentation, I wasn't really sure whether or not the Shures is giving me the full presentation of a rock/metal band because I do feel it lacks a little bass feeling as it was my first real good headphone
  • I was intrigued by the planar magnetic tech
  • possibly giving a better neutral sound signature

 

What I have experienced so far:

 

  • very cool bass, not overly bassy but good enough for a good feeling(note: a basshead at all) from the boom bap, works excellent for hip-hop because of this. I don't really feel any drastic improvements for rock/metal, I just hear the sub-bass a little better which does give a better, fuller prensentation...success
  • mids are a little weird, hard to explain overall. I was on the leather pads for a bit as I felt them to be really comfy in the  first try. Tried the velours, vocals didn't change much as they weren't as engaging and I agree as highlighted below.
  • the changing of pads really does make a difference in terms of airyness, not sure about improving the soundstage but it did took away a cave-like feeling with the leather ones
  • treble was nothing special imo, maybe it's even more neutral than the Shures? The difference isn't too drastic but I just didn't feel guitars(neo-classical and power metal) are as good on the HE-500 than the Shures. It just seems like the HE-500's treble doesn't compliment's the midrange as well as the Shures such as the instances of strong vocals along with quick-heavy guitar riffs(forgive me, I am terrible at explaining things as eloquently as others).

 

Overall, I like it.

 

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by Sanlitun View Post

So I have had my HE-500's for about a week now. I ordered them from Head-Direct and it all went very promptly.

 

I must admit I am struggling with them and trying to get a sound that I like. I am running them from a Bifrost/Asgard2 setup and I realize I am probably at the bottom end for what is required to power these.

 

The biggest issue I have is a lack of air and resolution. They have tons of dynamics, for instance listening to the new Depeche Mode album will blow you out of your chair and sounds great.

 

But I find male voices and midrange to be euphonic or unresolved and there is a big lack of air and resonance. For example classical piano sounds thick and thumping as if tonality has been traded for dynamics.

 

So if you have recommendations please post. I imagine many will mention the amp, and the only reason I didn't get the Lyr is that I thought it would be less resolving than the Asgard 2. I haven't compared them so I don't really know. One thing I did recently that was surprising is that I plugged the HE-500's straight into my Xonar Essence STX and I thought it sounded better than through the Asgard even though less dynamic. That was an unexpected surprise.

Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Quote:

 

Velour pads, right?

post #4002 of 16719

i find small differences with the velour/pleather, neither is perfect, so i just keep the pleather on cause they're more comfortable.

post #4003 of 16719
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanlitun View Post

So I have had my HE-500's for about a week now. I ordered them from Head-Direct and it all went very promptly.

 

I must admit I am struggling with them and trying to get a sound that I like. I am running them from a Bifrost/Asgard2 setup and I realize I am probably at the bottom end for what is required to power these.

 

The biggest issue I have is a lack of air and resolution. They have tons of dynamics, for instance listening to the new Depeche Mode album will blow you out of your chair and sounds great.

 

But I find male voices and midrange to be euphonic or unresolved and there is a big lack of air and resonance. For example classical piano sounds thick and thumping as if tonality has been traded for dynamics.

 

So if you have recommendations please post. I imagine many will mention the amp, and the only reason I didn't get the Lyr is that I thought it would be less resolving than the Asgard 2. I haven't compared them so I don't really know. One thing I did recently that was surprising is that I plugged the HE-500's straight into my Xonar Essence STX and I thought it sounded better than through the Asgard even though less dynamic. That was an unexpected surprise.

 

The lyr to my understanding is more detailed than the Asgard.  I found the asgard to be pretty low on the amplifier resolution scale.  The asgard however can have a touch of air.  I dont find the HE-500 extremely airy to begin with tho.  I would not suggest the lyr for the HE-500 contrary to most ppls suggestions.  I think you can do better for the money if you look around a little bit.  If you wanted a tube amp I'd suggest the bottlehead S.E.X. over the lyr any day.  There are a ton of other options unforunately but in the 500 range I feel that's what I would go with if I had to pick.  Obviously it's best to look around and spend more time with your own gear to try to see what it is about what the asgard is doing to the HE-500 that you want more or less of.

post #4004 of 16719
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanlitun View Post

So I have had my HE-500's for about a week now. I ordered them from Head-Direct and it all went very promptly.

 

I must admit I am struggling with them and trying to get a sound that I like. I am running them from a Bifrost/Asgard2 setup and I realize I am probably at the bottom end for what is required to power these.

 

The biggest issue I have is a lack of air and resolution. They have tons of dynamics, for instance listening to the new Depeche Mode album will blow you out of your chair and sounds great.

 

But I find male voices and midrange to be euphonic or unresolved and there is a big lack of air and resonance. For example classical piano sounds thick and thumping as if tonality has been traded for dynamics.

 

So if you have recommendations please post. I imagine many will mention the amp, and the only reason I didn't get the Lyr is that I thought it would be less resolving than the Asgard 2. I haven't compared them so I don't really know. One thing I did recently that was surprising is that I plugged the HE-500's straight into my Xonar Essence STX and I thought it sounded better than through the Asgard even though less dynamic. That was an unexpected surprise.

 

I suggest you change your source/amp for something more lively or get yourself a pair of 5LEs ;)

post #4005 of 16719

Changing the pads for me made a significant difference, as it helped to fill out the too loose fit for my small head.  I had to create a makeshift headband pad out of a blue crip rag folded multiple times over placed under the headband and secured with safety pins for a more secure fit.  Switching to velours brought out better, tighter bass impact and toned down the treble.

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