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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 430

post #6436 of 14536

update on my try-out with a speaker amp... i borrowed a 'diy cable' to connect it to my onkyo amp from a friend who does same thing as the emotiva guys....

 

for speaker amp guys with a bad ticker.....its best u dont read this..biggrin.gif

 

 

well...guys ..u wont like what i will be saying now....especially not the speaker amp loyalists...but i just didnt feel it...i tried taps and from headphone out...but none gave me that shiver!

 

yes..it was more powerful! and yes fuller...but that sweet midrange of my humble 337 or the soundstage that looks like going miles outside my head (a bit overexagerated)..that velvet treble only tube amps can provide..and the way it portrate voices .my onkyo just couldnt cut it...and if its my mind bugging me while listening.....so be it...but sorry...

 

on the lower quality tracks (mp3 until 320) sometimes my onkyo sounded better..probably because its more forgiving as its less detaily...or that it has HUGE more power.... and so overpowers the treble and midrange a bit...dont know...but on high quality lossless tracks i have...no competition...but its also possible it has to do with my source...my excellent hm602 on its line out to dual rca in to my amp..with its vintage philips digital to audio chip inside..maybe it was not a good match with my amp...dont know....

 

but guys..and u can shoot me now...i would never ever change my Tube amp for a speakeramp (maybe ones that are expensive are better in driving the he500?)...

 

imho u miss so much out if u dont try a good one..(yes i know..they cost ya!)...the dedicated higher quality headphone amps are more expensive then some speakeramps for a reason..i know that now...u have to invest a few bucks to even get a decent one...am not selling my amp again...am just saying listening to my onkyo (which sounds out of this world on my AV rig by the way) didnt gave me the pleasure my simple 1.5W. amp gives me....

 

u get a kind of magic (especially mine) in ur music....something u probably wont ever get with a (budget) speaker amp  (they have to cut corners somewhere to keep the price low..thats how it works))..ofcourse not all headphone amps are built the same and some are certainly completely useless (even expensive ones) on a he500...i know that..that also goes up for many other headphones...a hd800 as an example is a total misfire with the 337 (thats why the amp was on sale..the owner just bought a hd800..lucky me)...

 

soooo my personal advice...dont choose blindly for speaker amp A or B or headphone amp B or C....go out with ur headphone to any quality shop u can find..track down the amps and sit down and listen to them as long as they let u...or u can visit meets of headfi all over the world..like the one in coming oktober in london.gs1000.gif..to get to try ur headphone out with many different amps/dacs/cables/sources....as only by listening u can decide..whether with ur brain (as some believe wink.gif) or with ur ears...which amp/soource/dac is the right one for u...only then u can be sure ..or maybe 90% sure that u will enjoy it....or u just buy 10 of them (i wish i could do that!)...get a long holiday...and try them out for two weeks and sell the lesser ones... beerchug.gif

 

now i am going to hide for the next 2 weeks or so eek.gif
 


Edited by hifimanrookie - 7/23/13 at 2:32pm
post #6437 of 14536

I've read somewhere that you doesn't necessarily need much power to drive these these headphones, just an amp which can deliver the current quickly. Maybe all this speaker amp to drive a ortho talk is overstated?


Edited by Okamoto - 7/23/13 at 2:42pm
post #6438 of 14536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Okamoto View Post

I've read somewhere that you doesn't necessarily need much power to drive these these headphones, just an amp which can deliver the current quickly. Maybe all this speaker amp to drive a ortho talk is overstated?

 

Not with the HE-6, which was why originally a lot of people used it with. Then it somehow bled into use with HE-500's.

post #6439 of 14536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

 

Not with the HE-6, which was why originally a lot of people used it with. Then it somehow bled into use with HE-500's.

 

+1

post #6440 of 14536
Quote:
Originally Posted by modulor View Post

Good to know biggrin.gif it will be a serious consideration, as it certainly appears to be an excellent value and I'm all for that - I think assembly and finding/making a case for it would be no problem either.  The option to make it balanced could also be very useful down the road.  The fact that it's easily upgradeable and modular design is a huge plus in my book.

Tremendous value at stock form and DIY. Still a very good value if you buy everything assembled. Maxxed out? I dunno - the trannies are expensive - and with added dac board you're looking at m51/hilo ballpark.

 

If you want a diy dac that can be upgraded/tweaked over and over - better to go with the TPA Buffalo imo

post #6441 of 14536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

 

Not with the HE-6, which was why originally a lot of people used it with. Then it somehow bled into use with HE-500's.


with the he6 u NEED at least 5watts (8 watts is better i read) and enough current to drive them...as they are very hard to drive...

 

but as far i know thats the only headphone who needs it except for the staxes ofcourse..they need a dedicated amp also)...

 

and no..again..i repeat...a speaker amp is not obligatory...

 

a speaker amp is a more budget friendly solution though.and thats perfect....as getting a 5-8w strong high quality headphone amp is very expensive.....if u dont want to spend at least 1000-1500usd (or more) on an amp..then the easiest way to drive a he6 would be a budget speakeramp...

 

 

but still...it makes me wonder why u buy such an uber expensive headphone in the first place and then drive it with an amp not costing more 1/5? of the worth to drive it..and why does this not happen among stax owners?..they are more open to spend good money on a quality amp to drive their special headphones..

 

why dont people act like that on he500/he6 headphones?..ever wondered about that?...does it have to do with budget?..is is because ALL staxes are expensive..and elite kind of thingie? and so attract other kind of buyers? are the hifiman models more attractive to the more budget minded consumer (not all ofcourse..for me it was my first step into the higher end headfi)? and so they invest less in the rest of their rigs? questions..questions..questions...biggrin.gif

 

..buy hey....thats me thinking outloud....wink.gif


Edited by hifimanrookie - 7/23/13 at 3:17pm
post #6442 of 14536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Okamoto View Post

I've read somewhere that you doesn't necessarily need much power to drive these these headphones, just an amp which can deliver the current quickly. Maybe all this speaker amp to drive a ortho talk is overstated?

 

Not with the HE-6, which was why originally a lot of people used it with. Then it somehow bled into use with HE-500's.

 

The reason it bled over was that the performance on the high end speaker amps excel passed headphone amplifiers. Headphone units are such a rare and niche market there isn't a whole heck of a lot of competition. The speaker amp market is pretty heavily saturated and you can get a lot more bang / buck over there. 

post #6443 of 14536
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

 

The reason it bled over was that the performance on the high end speaker amps excel passed headphone amplifiers. Headphone units are such a rare and niche market there isn't a whole heck of a lot of competition. The speaker amp market is pretty heavily saturated and you can get a lot more bang / buck over there. 

 

Exactly. High end quality speaker amps any day for me. I'm talking about $2k here at the least. Recently got to try the HE-500's with some McIntosh, it was a treat. Even the PM8004 is better than the Emotiva. Emotiva is just a casual amp. Plus it doubles back greatly for speakers. This is for the Hifiman's so far, which I've noticed to get better with power. Now the Audeze's are more trickier in finding a good amp.

post #6444 of 14536
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

 

The reason it bled over was that the performance on the high end speaker amps excel passed headphone amplifiers. Headphone units are such a rare and niche market there isn't a whole heck of a lot of competition. The speaker amp market is pretty heavily saturated and you can get a lot more bang / buck over there. 


high end speaker amps? ur talking about 2000usd plus amps right? as buying such an amp to just drive a headphone is a bit overkill i guess.. i just searched the net for headphone amps..to see if the market is a rare as u say it is..with my first google check i found this:

 

http://pricespy.co.nz/category.php?k=602

 

thats at least 100 headphone amps!..in just one search..as far i know some premium usb dac brands do also have a headphone amp of some sort in their assortment..and yes ..most of them can be expensive...as its a nice market...speaker amps are sold many more times then a headphone amp...but u cant just say the performance of the higher end speaker amps surpass the premium headphone amps...i happen to have an amp on order that originally is based on a speaker amp the NSL....(and not costing 19.500 usd as the NSL)..for the rest its much the same....so as i wanted to say with this.....i believe many (better) headphone amps are based on speaker amps..sort of....but only modified for headphones...so thats probably harder to produce..am not a technician...so if someone can explain difference between a headphone amp and a speaker amp.other then the connectors and power.pls do..as i cant find any.. beerchug.gif

 

but i also have to agree...i once listened to a vintage mcintosh,a krell and a luxman amp also..they sounded absolutely wonderful....but those amps need good speakers to sound on their best..not some headphone..no matter how expensive the headphones are!!redface.gif


Edited by hifimanrookie - 7/23/13 at 3:43pm
post #6445 of 14536

@Hifimanrookie Argh, many questions... Stax first: They need a special amplfier, and there aren't that many to chooe from. Simple as that, if you want power and enough of it, you gotta pay for it. Proper Stat amps are expensive.. Also, there is the fact that Stax in general has charged more for the amp than the headphone throughout history. That is when you buy a typical Stax system and don't go for the cheapest one available... So there are more expensive amps on the market compared to the actual headspeakers, I guess.

 

You seem to talk about how you can always hear the differences on high quality files. Must say I am sceptical. You should try for yourself and see how hard differentiating something as simple as 128 kbit/s ogg or aac can be.

 

Anywayz, speaker amps are made to deliver a hell of a lot of current compared to many headphone amps. Most speakers have an impedance around 2-8 ohms, and you need amps that can deliver enough current into those bastards. They are even way more insensitive than headphones. Else, I guess the difference between speaker and headphone amps are minor...

 

 

General question: How does output impedance of an amp affect fullsize speakers?

post #6446 of 14536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Okamoto View Post


The problem is not quantity. It's quality: HE-400s bass seems cleaner and more texturized. I have no problem with HE-500s bass quantity at all.

 

 


Now that you mention, I remember someone saying that. Guess I'm not alone on this.

Yes, I was talking about bass quality improvement when running the HE500 of speaker amps.

I believe that the recommended pwr for HE500 from hifiman is a minimum 1watt into 38Ohms.  I've read this in multiple threads here and on other forums.  I guess, if your amp come close to that or have more then you are already set and don't really have to entertain the idea of speaker amps.  For myself, I am watching couple vintage Sansui, pioneer amps on ebay and locally.

 

@hifimanrookie, I know you really love your 337 by now.  wink.gif No need for you to compare it with anything else, really.  I just that hope your new coming amp will turn out well for you and you will be honest enough to share your experience/impression even in the case it doesn't turn out to be what you had hoped for.  I personally have known many people who won't admit that their purchases were bad in many other hobbies/circles in which I've involved over the years.  Also IMO, not always because of $$$$ as a constrain but the desire to experience different equipments and the "process", people like myself tend to start from the bottom and enjoy the upward journey to learn and appreciate the entire spectrum.  Some might start at the top and look down on the rest without really knowing that they might have missed something in between.  I choose not to do so.  Last but not least, there's nothing wrong with buying a $700 headphones and run it off a $50 - 100 amp if you are happy with what you are hearing.  This hobby is by far one of the most subjective hobbies I've encountered. 


Edited by koiloco - 7/23/13 at 4:15pm
post #6447 of 14536
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

 

General question: How does output impedance of an amp affect fullsize speakers?

It depends on the speaker, and the amp.

 

Generally speaking, don't use speakers with a lower impedance than the speaker tap (i.e. no 4 ohm speaker on 8 ohm tap). Doing the opposite is called light loading - you might or might not like the effect.

post #6448 of 14536
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

 

The reason it bled over was that the performance on the high end speaker amps excel passed headphone amplifiers. Headphone units are such a rare and niche market there isn't a whole heck of a lot of competition. The speaker amp market is pretty heavily saturated and you can get a lot more bang / buck over there. 


high end speaker amps? ur talking about 2000usd plus amps right? as buying such an amp to just drive a headphone is a bit overkill i guess.. i just searched the net for headphone amps..to see if the market is a rare as u say it is..with my first google check i found this:

 

http://pricespy.co.nz/category.php?k=602

 

thats at least 100 headphone amps!..in just one search..as far i know some premium usb dac brands do also have a headphone amp of some sort in their assortment..and yes ..most of them can be expensive...as its a nice market...speaker amps are sold many more times then a headphone amp...but u cant just say the performance of the higher end speaker amps surpass the premium headphone amps...i happen to have an amp on order that originally is based on a speaker amp the NSL....(and not costing 19.500 usd as the NSL)..for the rest its much the same....so as i wanted to say with this.....i believe many (better) headphone amps are based on speaker amps..sort of....but only modified for headphones...so thats probably harder to produce..am not a technician...so if someone can explain difference between a headphone amp and a speaker amp.other then the connectors and power.pls do..as i cant find any.. beerchug.gif

 

but i also have to agree...i once listened to a vintage mcintosh,a krell and a luxman amp also..they sounded absolutely wonderful....but those amps need good speakers to sound on their best..not some headphone..no matter how expensive the headphones are!!redface.gif

 

It seems like you're out to make a point more than learn and figure things out. 

 

The speaker amplifier market has been around for arguably 40 years now. Dedicated headphone amplifiers? Certainly not there. The audiophile market is not in headphones. The largest portion of it rests in speakers and speaker amplifiers. This is a fact. I'm not talking about main steam Harman and Denon speaker amplifiers. I'm talking about botique manufacturers that are fighting for competition. These units are tried, tested and perfected. 

 

Also, testing the HE-500 with an Onkyo receiver is a pretty bad test. Why test a mid range headphone amplifier with a bottom end speaker amplifier? 

post #6449 of 14536
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

 

It seems like you're out to make a point more than learn and figure things out. 

 

The speaker amplifier market has been around for arguably 40 years now. Dedicated headphone amplifiers? Certainly not there. The audiophile market is not in headphones. The largest portion of it rests in speakers and speaker amplifiers. This is a fact. I'm not talking about main steam Harman and Denon speaker amplifiers. I'm talking about botique manufacturers that are fighting for competition. These units are tried, tested and perfected. 

 

Also, testing the HE-500 with an Onkyo receiver is a pretty bad test. Why test a mid range headphone amplifier with a bottom end speaker amplifier? 

+1

post #6450 of 14536

I don't want to start a discussion here, but it was Tyll who said he doesn't buy the thought that HE-6 needs atleast 5W to be driven properly. Many people may not care about his opinions, but I do. He has enough experience in the "game" and I tend to trust him.

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