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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 332

post #4966 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by M-13 View Post

If everything was simply about getting things loud enough. I think we can all just get the Fiio E11 or even the E5 and call it a day. I believe almost all headphones will get "loud" with lots of tiny little amps or even an ipod. It takes some experience to realize it just doesn't sound right or that volume doesn't equal drive necessarily. I know analogies are pretty useless, but I always tell people I can hit 60mph using a 35 horse power engine in my car, but I would rather have 450 horses under the hood, it just feels different even at the same speed.

 

Edit: I would hold off on the opinions about power needs until your Emotiva comes in. I bet you'll be singing a different tune once you hook up that bad boy.wink.gif

 

Agreed. Using your analogy, 60 mph on a 35 horsepower will barely have any control and can only deliver at certain peaks/times. Having the extra juice in reserve, you definitely notice so much more control. Even at low volumes with Emotiva you can get decent bass.

 

@jsaliga Although I'd even give the Emotiva some time to burn and also for you to get used to the Emotiva sound.

post #4967 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsaliga View Post

 

Well I own a WA2 and am currently using it with my HE-500s, and I don't agree that it can't drive the HE-500s and produce satisfying sound.  On my WA2 the highest I can go on the volume knob before it becomes painfully loud is 1 O'clock.  Someone else might have a different experience.  I'm using Tungsol 7236 power tubes, NOS Amperex Bugle Boy drive tubes, and NOS Tung Sol 6X4 black gate rectifier tubes.

 

My point is that I think it would be wrong to discourage people who own a WA2 from buying the HE-500s, or try to convince them a new amp absolutely must be part of the deal.  I think it will depend on what music you like and how loud you listen.  I think the WA2 can get plenty loud with the HE-500, but if you have no regard for your hearing and want ear bleed levels then there are probably better amps for the HE-500.  I can get the HE-500s to distort on the WA2, but it happens well past the point of what I consider a comfortable and safe listening volume.  

 

Having said that, if I did not own a headphone amp and wanted to buy one for the HE-500 I would probably get the WA6SE instead of the WA2 (if all I needed was a headphone amp).  The Emotiva Mini-x seems to be a good, inexpensive Solid State alternative.  I have ordered one and will be trying it next week to compare with my WA2.  It should be interesting.

 

--Jerome

 

 

you also have an older WA2 with the 6X4 tubes. the newer one is EZ80. mine cannot drive HE-500 at all, clips way too easily. seems people getting the newer WA2 have also had trouble with low impedance. its just not optimal. 

 

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by khaine1711 View Post

The WA2 is an OTL design (high voltage, low current), is not an ideal match with the He-500; or any current hungry phones for that matter (K701 comes to mind). I think the WA2 put out ~400mW at max volume (slightly higher if you use 5998/7236 tube) - may need to crank the volume knob really high. Even then it may still clips/distorts tongue_smile.gif

+1

 

i also find that the less dynamic and less bassy/complex the track is, the easier for it to be be driven, but still distorts. also the more powerful tubes seem to work less effectively at driving low impedance. (too much voltage not enough  current?)


Edited by Dubstep Girl - 5/17/13 at 3:06pm
post #4968 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by M-13 View Post

If everything was simply about getting things loud enough. I think we can all just get the Fiio E11 or even the E5 and call it a day. I believe almost all headphones will get "loud" with lots of tiny little amps or even an ipod. It takes some experience to realize it just doesn't sound right or that volume doesn't equal drive necessarily. I know analogies are pretty useless, but I always tell people I can hit 60mph using a 35 horse power engine in my car, but I would rather have 450 horses under the hood, it just feels different even at the same speed.

 

Edit: I would hold off on the opinions about power needs until your Emotiva comes in. I bet you'll be singing a different tune once you hook up that bad boy.wink.gif

 

The problem however, is there are too many people with no experience with the HE-500 and the WA2 specifically commenting about it...and too few people commenting who have direct experience.  I almost didn't buy the HE-500s because of all the comments about the WA2...until I found a post from Skylab (someone I trust) who used the HE-500 with the WA2 and found them to be a good pairing.  In fact, I bought the HE-400s first because they were more efficient and I was led to believe they were a better match for my WA2.  That was a mistake, because I thought the HE-400s were terrible headphones.

 

Having said that, I don't think the WA2 is the last word on amps for the HE-500.  However, regardless of what the Emotiva brings to the table my opinion about the WA2 and HE-500 isn't going to change.  And people who haven't heard the pairing simply aren't qualified to comment on how it sounds.

 

--Jerome


Edited by jsaliga - 5/17/13 at 3:10pm
post #4969 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

 

 

you also have an older WA2 with the 6X4 tubes. the newer one is EZ80. mine cannot drive HE-500 at all, clips way too easily. seems people getting the newer WA2 have also had trouble with low impedance. its just not optimal. 

 

I knew Jack changed rectifier tubes on the WA2 a while back.  I bought mine in 2007 and have been using it as a preamp in my speaker rig ever since. 

 

I would be interested to know which WA2 Skylab was using with his HE-500s.

 

--Jerome

post #4970 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsaliga View Post

 

The problem however, is there are too many people with no experience with the HE-500 and the WA2 specifically commenting about it...and too few people commenting who have direct experience.  I almost didn't buy the HE-500s because of all the comments about the WA2...until I found a post from Skylab (someone I trust) who used the HE-500 with the WA2 and found them to be a good pairing.  In fact, I bought the HE-400s first because they were more efficient and I was led to believe they were a better match for my WA2.  That was a mistake, because I thought the HE-400s were terrible headphones.

 

Having said that, I don't think the WA2 is the last word on amps for the HE-500.  However, regardless of what the Emotiva brings to the table my opinion about the WA2 and HE-500 isn't going to change.  And people who haven't heard the pairing simply aren't qualified to comment on how it sounds.

 

--Jerome

Everything you say is true. I wasn't commenting specifically about the WA2 pairing. I shouldn't I wouldn't comment about gear I'm not familiar with. I just noticed you seem to equate loudness with proper drive, which is what a lot of people seem to do around here. "Why do I need an amp when it get's loud enough for me?" is the typical argument.

 

Anyway. Happy Listening with your HE-500.

 

BTW, Skylab is not the last word on Head-Fi. I know he has a lot of reviews up and looks like the God of Head-Fi to people, but he's really just one man with an opinion. He's often wrong as well. I think Dubstep Girl's opinions count just as much as his, not to mention a lot of other people on Head-Fi.

post #4971 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsaliga View Post

 

Well I own a WA2 and am currently using it with my HE-500s, and I don't agree that it can't drive the HE-500s and produce satisfying sound.  On my WA2 the highest I can go on the volume knob before it becomes painfully loud is 1 O'clock.  Someone else might have a different experience.  I'm using Tungsol 7236 power tubes, NOS Amperex Bugle Boy drive tubes, and NOS Tung Sol 6X4 black gate rectifier tubes.

 

My point is that I think it would be wrong to discourage people who own a WA2 from buying the HE-500s, or try to convince them a new amp absolutely must be part of the deal.  I think it will depend on what music you like and how loud you listen.  I think the WA2 can get plenty loud with the HE-500, but if you have no regard for your hearing and want ear bleed levels then there are probably better amps for the HE-500.  I can get the HE-500s to distort on the WA2, but it happens well past the point of what I consider a comfortable and safe listening volume.  

 

Having said that, if I did not own a headphone amp and wanted to buy one for the HE-500 I would probably get the WA6SE instead of the WA2 (if all I needed was a headphone amp).  The Emotiva Mini-x seems to be a good, inexpensive Solid State alternative.  I have ordered one and will be trying it next week to compare with my WA2.  It should be interesting.

 

--Jerome

I will look forward to your opinion on the emotiva. It would be nice if you could get considerably better results.

post #4972 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsaliga View Post

 

I knew Jack changed rectifier tubes on the WA2 a while back.  I bought mine in 2007 and have been using it as a preamp in my speaker rig ever since. 

 

I would be interested to know which WA2 Skylab was using with his HE-500s.

 

--Jerome

 

seems like the earlier WA2's did a better job. Skylab, macedonianhero, ardilla, you, and a few others all reported excellent reports with low impedance. 

 

however me, and at least a post or 2 in the woo thread, and a thread a few weeks ago (on LCD-2/WA2), reported issues with low impedance. i think theres definitely been some design differences somewhere.

 

i would love to hear a WA2 that can actually drive all the headphones. i find that with 6AS7G, it can drive them OK. but still struggles on HE-500 and some of the other headphones, also, its still far from optimal.

post #4973 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaine1711 View Post

The WA2 is an OTL design (high voltage, low current), is not an ideal match with the He-500; or any current hungry phones for that matter (K701 comes to mind). I think the WA2 put out ~400mW at max volume (slightly higher if you use 5998/7236 tube) - may need to crank the volume knob really high. Even then it may still clips/distorts tongue_smile.gif

Success! Knew I could start yet another debate about amping tongue_smile.gif

post #4974 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

Success! Knew I could start yet another debate about amping tongue_smile.gif

 

I'll throw in the O2 to add fuel to the fire.very_evil_smiley.gif

post #4975 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

 

I'll throw in the O2 to add fuel to the fire.very_evil_smiley.gif

O2 is the best amp ever created by mankind. It can drive all headphones to good loudness. It gets loud!

post #4976 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by M-13 View Post

Everything you say is true. I wasn't commenting specifically about the WA2 pairing. I shouldn't I wouldn't comment about gear I'm not familiar with. I just noticed you seem to equate loudness with proper drive, which is what a lot of people seem to do around here. "Why do I need an amp when it get's loud enough for me?" is the typical argument.

 

Anyway. Happy Listening with your HE-500.

 

BTW, Skylab is not the last word on Head-Fi. I know he has a lot of reviews up and looks like the God of Head-Fi to people, but he's really just one man with an opinion. He's often wrong as well. I think Dubstep Girl's opinions count just as much as his, not to mention a lot of other people on Head-Fi.

 

Let's see if this helps provide a little perspective.  I'm 54 years old and have been around audio since 1975.  So this isn't my first barbecue and I know what good sound is.  So when I say that the sound is loud enough you should assume that it doesn't sound bad.  No one would want to listen to a loud presentation from an amp that was clipping or had other major issues with the quality of the signal that it is supplying to the transducers.

 

I didn't mean to suggest that you were making statements about how the WA2 and HE-500 sounded, and if that's the way I came off then please accept my apology.  There are, however, a lot of people here who have done little more than parrot what they have read elsewhere.

 

Skylab a God?  That's a new one on me.  Opinions are nothing more than data points.  I will generally value the opinion of three or four people I know and trust over the opinion of several other people that I know nothing about, unless they can make a very persuasive case.   I'm sure at some time or another we have all been wrong as far as giving opinions go.  And as consumers of opinion we are free to accept or reject them as we will.  Regardless of who is right or wrong everyone has to take responsibility for their own decisions, even if their decisions were based on what later turns out to be bad advice.

 

So now I will give you an opinion of mine.  I am currently sipping on a 10 Year Old Longrow 100 proof single malt scotch, and it is a mighty fine whisky indeed. smile.gif  (Of course, I might be wrong so YMMV beyersmile.png )

 

--Jerome

post #4977 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

 

seems like the earlier WA2's did a better job. Skylab, macedonianhero, ardilla, you, and a few others all reported excellent reports with low impedance. 

 

however me, and at least a post or 2 in the woo thread, and a thread a few weeks ago (on LCD-2/WA2), reported issues with low impedance. i think theres definitely been some design differences somewhere.

 

i would love to hear a WA2 that can actually drive all the headphones. i find that with 6AS7G, it can drive them OK. but still struggles on HE-500 and some of the other headphones, also, its still far from optimal.

 

That's a very fair point and I appreciate you bringing it up.

 

I was thinking the same thing, wondering what else is different on the newer WA2 builds.

 

--Jerome

post #4978 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by M-13 View Post

O2 is the best amp ever created by mankind. It can drive all headphones to good loudness. It gets loud!
U guys want fire with the he500? Try the 337/339..very affordable (and just very recently the 339 is upgraded with higher quality capacitators i read on their forum) and until now for the price the best amp I HEARD with my he500 ....to my ears anyway...and some others (but i have to admit i have ts 5998 and ts meshplates for power and driver tubes and thatmakes huge difference in combination with the he500)
post #4979 of 18029
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsaliga View Post

 

That's a very fair point and I appreciate you bringing it up.

 

I was thinking the same thing, wondering what else is different on the newer WA2 builds.

 

--Jerome

...ask and thou shalt receive

 

 

 

bigsmile_face.gif

post #4980 of 18029

Currently using a Black & Decker Toaster to power the HE-500. Using it with custom Norse Bread and Butter cables Silver Edition. The cable sounds very smooth due to the butter I suppose. The amp can sound quite warm, especially when it's turned ON! The amp has two slots built in so you can plug in two breads or two headphones, whatever floats your boat. It's been going good so far, but I plan to upgrade to it's bigger brother: The Black & Decker Toaster Oven 2.0. Current MSRP is $199.99 (bread not included). I heard it's bigger and gives more headroom for the headphone as well as your own head to stick inside. Plenty of space for sure. Worth it IMO.  

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