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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 318

post #4756 of 16721
^ yup
post #4757 of 16721
Quote:
Originally Posted by GREQ View Post

I've been seriously entertaining the thought of getting the O2 for my HE-500 because of all the love I've read about it, and recommendations given.

But I've read some believe it's simply not powerful enough to truly deliver the goods.

 

Could you guys give a short list of the powerful amps that do the HE-500 justice?  From what I've read, anything around 2W is what people recommend (sorry if this sounds noobish, I know nothing about electrical engineering, all those numbers hurt my brain)

Ideally I'm looking at a similar budget, but I did buy the HE-500, so I'm probably willing to increase my budget in future by a few hundred [insert currency].

 

The O2 for acoustical stuff is great. For bass heavy music, mostly not. Also, the cleanest, unhindered vocals I have ever heard were from the O2. Every subtle change in pitch comes out in the O2. Overall, would I recommend it for the planars like HE-500 or LCD-2...not so much, especially considering that you can get speaker amps around that price.

 

Although if you have any sensitive headphones like Denon's or IEM's, then the O2 is absolutely worth it. It even makes something like the D2000 much faster for example. Definitely recommended for transparency. For this price point, you might want to consider the O2 in the future for different purposes.

 

Having said that, Lyr is pretty good, although why spend that much when you can get a speaker amp for less or even the same that can be doubled effectively as a speaker and headphone amp. 

 

Regarding the power output. 1 Watt is considered the bare minimum technically. Give this a quick read: http://support.audeze.com/entries/20866002-Selecting-an-amp- 

 

Simple, easy read and can also apply to HE-500 given the similarities.

post #4758 of 16721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

 

The O2 for acoustical stuff is great. For bass heavy music, mostly not. 

Would you say that a coloured amp would be better for bass heavy music, or does the HE-500 just need a beefier amp to help the bass 'sing' properly?

post #4759 of 16721
Quote:
Originally Posted by GREQ View Post

Would you say that a coloured amp would be better for bass heavy music, or does the HE-500 just need a beefier amp to help the bass 'sing' properly?

Doesn't need to be heavily coloured, any amp that is "warmer than neutral" will accentuate the bass enough for it to sing.

post #4760 of 16721
Quote:
Having said that, Lyr is pretty good, although why spend that much when you can get a speaker amp for less or even the same that can be doubled effectively as a speaker and headphone amp. 

 

Emotiva a-100 with speaker cables.  There's a huge thread on that.  

 

There's also a little Fiio e12 that on paper should have enough juice.  But I might be wrong on that one.

 

A used Lyr should do well.  

post #4761 of 16721
Quote:
Originally Posted by GREQ View Post

Would you say that a coloured amp would be better for bass heavy music, or does the HE-500 just need a beefier amp to help the bass 'sing' properly?

 

Not too coloured with the HE-500 as they are fairly neutral all around, so changing a certain aspect can mess up the sound they are intended for. Although if you are one of those sensitive people to treble, then supposedly you can switch over to pleathers or get a darker amp. With speaker amps from Emotiva and Marantz, I have noticed that the planars get better treble extension.

 

Regarding bass, I primarily listen to electronic music, so I would say bass is fairly important as well. Even with O2 on really good recordings, the bass was phenomenal with the O2, sometimes even better than O2 on the same recording. Like almost all of Bassnectar's albums sounded better on O2 than Emotiva. However, this for some reason only happened with few albums, and on most of the days, the O2 would be crap. 

 

Before that, I used the E10 for some time, which surprisingly provided some good thump.

 

With increasingly power (assuming a neutral amp and consistent distortion specs), I have noticed you don't necessarily always get more bass quantity, but you do get more bass control and extension and also a better bass-mid-treble ratio. It sounds more fuller with better separation. I did a long review on the Emotiva thread comparing the O2 and Emotiva...you can use that to get somewhat of an idea where I stand with the Emotiva.

 

All in all, if I had to recommend you an amp, it'd be the Emotiva at the price point. It's around $200 and works great with LCD-2, HE-500 as well as my tower speakers, so win-win. I've heard others say they found almost no difference between the Emotiva and Lyr. So again why spend more, when you can get that for less, as well as double back for speakers.

 

Although if you wanted to spend more around $500, I'd look at Marantz products. I've tried the Marantz PM6004 (45 Watts at 8 ohms), and I liked it more than Emotiva with headphones simply due to the added transparency. You can typically find good deals on those as well and save anywhere from $100-$200, used or even new at times. I only tried it out once and found it to work well. I don't live with it so can't really comment as I think you need at least a month to really get a handle on an any equipment. 

 

For planars, I'd try out the Emotiva first with its price. Overall good bass and you'll get good soundstage. I've had it for 5 months, and for that price, I am very happy with it. Although would I say, in terms of ultimate sonic capability to bring the planars to sound their best, is the Emotiva there? Nope. Is it enjoyable? Yup biggrin.gif (and your wallet will thank you)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Contrails View Post

 

Emotiva a-100 with speaker cables.  There's a huge thread on that.  

 

There's also a little Fiio e12 that on paper should have enough juice.  But I might be wrong on that one.

 

A used Lyr should do well.  

 

I would love to try a E12 sometime. Although, even within Fiio products, having more power doesn't always mean better sound. For example, running LCD-2 and HE-500 out of E10 vs E11 (has more power) on high gain, I found the E10 to sound a lot better.

 

Having said that, I might pick up a Fiio A1 Speaker Amp (14W per channel) and goes for $69 to see how that thing handles the planars...for science, of course.

 

Also, would agree on the Emotiva Mini amp. Have it and like it (although more with speakers).

post #4762 of 16721

@Zoom25

I actually stumbled on the Emotiva thread a couple of days ago, but I read elsewhere on the interwebz (can't find the source at the mo') that high watt amps can damage headphones over an extended period of time - is that just a load of BS?

 

Going down the Emotiva road sounds like a lot of fun, but naturally I'm worried about accidentally turning the volume past 8 o' clock and blowing my headphones (which is a very real threat with a 3 year old running about the house) - also the costs go up due to needing new cables and I would need to import it from the US, so that's another $50-100 (cables and tax).... *deep lengthy sigh*

 

Considering I listen to almost any music (from classical to metal and electronic) I might just start with an O2 and see what happens; as you say the O2 is good with acoustic stuff which my music library is predominantly comprised of.

post #4763 of 16721
Quote:
Originally Posted by GREQ View Post

@Zoom25

I actually stumbled on the Emotiva thread a couple of days ago, but I read elsewhere on the interwebz (can't find the source at the mo') that high watt amps can damage headphones over an extended period of time - is that just a load of BS?

 

Going down the Emotiva road sounds like a lot of fun, but naturally I'm worried about accidentally turning the volume past 8 o' clock and blowing my headphones (which is a very real threat with a 3 year old running about the house) - also the costs go up due to needing new cables and I would need to import it from the US, so that's another $50-100 (cables and tax).... *deep lengthy sigh*

 

Considering I listen to almost any music (from classical to metal and electronic) I might just start with an O2 and see what happens; as you say the O2 is good with acoustic stuff which my music library is predominantly comprised of.

 

Only if you pump enough watts to damage the phones in the first place. By that logic many class D amp would be throw in the bin (think 700WPC max rating). Also you don't need to fixate on the Emotiva, it's not like it is the king of budget amp or anything. We in Europe got plenty of epic speaker amps to play with bigsmile_face.gif'

 

 

400

 

Pic related, the Emotiva went back shortly =p, and the T-amp cost less than the thing to boot! I do think however, US folk got a good bargain if they can grab the thing for sale @ 175 bucks though (comparing to new stuff)


Edited by khaine1711 - 5/8/13 at 7:11am
post #4764 of 16721

Has anyone tried He 500 with woo WA7 ? I would like you to know if the amp is capable of driving the He 500. tongue.gif

post #4765 of 16721
Quote:
We in Europe got plenty of epic speaker amps to play with

 

Marantz or Pioneer pumping 50 watts max, 8 ohms is what I remember reading from the speaker amp thread.  And speaker cables for He500 is about $150 from BTG audio I think. 

 

Khaine1711, gotta love the metrum in your pic. I have heard a lot of good things about it, but I ended up picking up a m-dac as it was available locally and the metrum with a good usb/spdif was out of my budget.  Sorry about the derailment. 

post #4766 of 16721

Kenwood is pretty nice too. I did try to acquire some Marantz PM 44/64/84 but usually some ebayers just snipe it in the last minute angry_face.gif 

 

post #4767 of 16721

Let me just take the time here to warn you guys waiting to spend your money about head-fi hype.  Remember to ask questions of yourself and trusted community members and do research and ofc try before you buy whenever possible!

post #4768 of 16721
I have the lyr with the he500 and it sounds great has a warm friendly sound great base a good soundstage
post #4769 of 16721
Quote:
Originally Posted by GREQ View Post

@Zoom25

I actually stumbled on the Emotiva thread a couple of days ago, but I read elsewhere on the interwebz (can't find the source at the mo') that high watt amps can damage headphones over an extended period of time - is that just a load of BS?

 

Going down the Emotiva road sounds like a lot of fun, but naturally I'm worried about accidentally turning the volume past 8 o' clock and blowing my headphones (which is a very real threat with a 3 year old running about the house) - also the costs go up due to needing new cables and I would need to import it from the US, so that's another $50-100 (cables and tax).... *deep lengthy sigh*

 

Considering I listen to almost any music (from classical to metal and electronic) I might just start with an O2 and see what happens; as you say the O2 is good with acoustic stuff which my music library is predominantly comprised of.

 

Regarding the power output of amps. Don't go over an amp above 80Watts to keep it safe. The Emotiva is rated at 50W @ 4 ohms. The resting/minimum position of the Emotiva is around 6:30. With LCD-2, I usually keep it at 8:30-9:30 o clock (varying from album to album) and HE-500 typically from 9:00 to 10:00. This might not seem much, but actually having it in my hand and turning it, I actually think you get pretty decent control on the volume for both the planars. A little bit more control with HE-500 than LCD-2. I was also scared at first, that turning the knob suddenly and accidentally too much will blow up my phones. Defintely NO need to worry about that. Given that you don't turn it all the way up and respect it. I have turned the HE-500 once to something between 11:00-12:00 because the recording was mastered with very low levels. Nothing happened, and it was all fine.

 

For me, I always turn on the amp and only then do I plug in the headphones. I make sure that the amp is ON AND turned ALL the way down and only then do I plug in my balanced cable to the banana plugs to female XLR adapter. Having an adapter plugged it all the time makes it easy to swap headphones. Also, I can snap off the balanced cable for the headphone from the adapter before turning off the amp, to avoid the "pop." I do this with all my amps, no matter what the amp manufacturers say.

 

Also leaving in your headphones with the amp on won't damage them. I have at times forgotten and left both planars plugged in for 3-4 days at a time and nothing has happened to it. Also the planar drivers were made to dissipate heat quite effectively.

 

I see you are in Germany, you can contact Emotiva and get a quote from them to see if it fits you. Alternatively, I would also recommend getting a cable set for your HE-500 first, so you can take your HE-500 and the cable set to try them out with as many amps as you see fit locally. For example, Marantz has many offerings around the 40-60W range. All good stuff. I personally have their CD5004. I'm quite sure you can find a place locally there to try out amps. Nothing beats testing it out by yourself.

 

Regarding the O2, it did well with acoustic from what I remember. The vocals were very, very clear. They weren't recessed, but still didn't have the full weight that you might get from a speaker amp. I am one of those people that seemed to enjoy the vocals from both the O2 and the Emotiva. The soundstage while good with O2, isn't going to be as wide as it was with Emotiva.


Edited by Zoom25 - 5/8/13 at 11:33am
post #4770 of 16721

I just bought HE-500 and i must say it's outstanding ! Sold my HD650 to get the Hifiman with no regret.. it outperforms Senns.

For now i have only a Bushmaster from Beresford and it seems to drive them fine and loud enough. 

 

My question is: if i buy a Lyr, how better will be the sound compared to what i get from Bushmaster ?

 

Thanks for reply and sorry for my English :)

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