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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 509

post #7621 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumelman8 View Post


Last question. Will I actually notice a big difference in sound quality compared to what I have now? I currently just plug my grado's into my MacBook Pro. Will I notice any difference?

Should be a pretty noticeable difference, a mac book's internal amp is of a low quality. Best to get a DAC as well if that amp doesn't have one inbuilt. Mac Book's sound quality wouldn't compare to a good dac+amp with the Grado.

post #7622 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumelman8 View Post

Last question. Will I actually notice a big difference in sound quality compared to what I have now? I currently just plug my grado's into my MacBook Pro. Will I notice any difference?

Or a vintage speaker amp. My vintage pioneer stereo amp I bought at a garage sale for $20 drives the HE500s excellent. Loads of power and so dynamic.

Also something else to try, I'm currently running my HE500s via speaker taps off the Topping TP60s for about $200. I can't imagine headphone amps would sound better without spending over. $1k.
post #7623 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjapirate9901 View Post
 

Well my vote goes to the Ember based on it's ability to quickly and easily roll tubes and change output impedance. Honestly, sound wise, I'm sure they would both sound pretty damn similar (I find that the differences between amps aren't as big as people make them out to be).

My wallet likes this!

post #7624 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumelman8 View Post


Last question. Will I actually notice a big difference in sound quality compared to what I have now? I currently just plug my grado's into my MacBook Pro. Will I notice any difference?

 

Yes, with a DAC/Amp setup you should see quite an improvement in performance, but the HE-500 will scale much higher with the setup.

post #7625 of 18030

I'm running my HE-500 off my $20 Parts Express Lepai amp, and it drives it very well (AND has tone control).

 

My HifimeDIY DAC and Lepai sound so good, i've gotten rid of my $340+ upgraded Audio-GD NFB 11.32 because I feel I no longer need it. This combo punches WELL above its price point of around $70.

 

My new 100w x2 Lepai amp is on its way too. It might be even better for ~$120 ($99 for chinese oem model on ebay).

post #7626 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhazard View Post
 

I'm running my HE-500 off my $20 Parts Express Lepai amp, and it drives it very well (AND has tone control).

 

My HifimeDIY DAC and Lepai sound so good, i've gotten rid of my $340+ upgraded Audio-GD NFB 11.32 because I feel I no longer need it. This combo punches WELL above its price point of around $70.

 

My new 100w x2 Lepai amp is on its way too. It might be even better for ~$120 ($99 for chinese oem model on ebay).

 

I love it when I find contentment with less priced gear that leaves a smile on my face, that's all that matters :)

post #7627 of 18030
Would be quite neat to get one of those lepai amps and sell my x-can. Are they obtainable in eu?
post #7628 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post

Yes, with a DAC/Amp setup you should see quite an improvement in performance, but the HE-500 will scale much higher with the setup.
For my budget would this get the best sound quality possible?
post #7629 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post

Yes, with a DAC/Amp setup you should see quite an improvement in performance, but the HE-500 will scale much higher with the setup.

Would this setup with the modi and yulong A100 sound better than the he 500 with the compass 2 9018?
post #7630 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumelman8 View Post


For my budget would this get the best sound quality possible?

 

IMO yes.

post #7631 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post

IMO yes.

I have no idea how you can recommend the a100 which uses the same dac chip and has one third of the compass 2's output power for use with the HE500 when multiple headfi users have stated many times the HE500 scales well with more power.
post #7632 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanPluck View Post


I have no idea how you can recommend the a100 which uses the same dac chip and has one third of the compass 2's output power for use with the HE500 when multiple headfi users have stated many times the HE500 scales well with more power.

 

The A100 is an amp, i think you're mistaken for the D100...

post #7633 of 18030
Ah yes type-o.

Still, the modi and the a100 will not get near the compass 2. The compass has a better dac and nearly 3 times the power of the a100.
post #7634 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanPluck View Post

Ah yes type-o.

Still, the modi and the a100 will not get near the compass 2. The compass has a better dac and nearly 3 times the power of the a100.

 

Let's evaluate some things here:

 

First is the power requirements for the HE-500, courtesy of this thread

Manufacturer Model S@1V [dB SPL] Z [Ω] Voltage [V] Current [mA] Power [mW] Gain [dB] Notes
Hifiman HE-500 102 34 2.512 73.879 185.576 2  
 

 

The output power to reach 102dB SPL (very loud) is only 185.576mW for HE-500. Both amps have way more than enough headroom.

 

Compass 2:

Output level: Headphone output : 11V RMS  

Output Power: 2000mW / 50 ohm

 

Yulong A100:

Output level: Headphone output: VPP:20V

Output Power: 343mW / 50 ohm

 

S/N Ratios:

are similar between the two, but i would speculate that the Compass 2 is worse because the DAC is built-in with amp, which is never good, and it doesn't state if it's with both DAC/Amp or either.

 

THD+N:

Yulong A100: 1KHZ, <=0.0007%

Compass 2: Not specified, again not a good sign.

 

In general, the A100 uses a higher quality power supply, transistors and OP amps.

 

Modi AKM4396 vs. Compass Dual wm8741:

 

Modi:

Analog Summing, Active Filtering: Based on AD8616 with precision thin-film resistors and film caps.

Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz, +/-0.1dB

Maximum Output: 1.5V RMS

THD: <0.003%, 20Hz-20KHz, at max output

IMD: <0.004%, CCIR

S/N: >100dB, referenced to 1.5VRMS, unweighted
Crosstalk: -80dB, 20-20kHz
 
Compass 2:
20Hz - 20KHz (-0.2DB , DAC + amp  )
Missing alot of specs...
 
Summary:
The Compass 2 most likely has the better DAC, but when it's in the same box as the amp, it's compromised. If he decides to upgrade later on, it more convenient to have separates. The compass 2 is more versatile, but why pay for those options if you don't need to? Modi DAC has 5-year warranty. Compass 2 is one year, and you pay shipping overseas. Yulong is one year, shipping reimbursed.
 
Both are certainly great choices, but the Compass 2 isn't necessarily better, especially since much of the specs are a complete mystery. 
post #7635 of 18030

I'm quite shocked that someone such as yourself who clearly has some very nice kit has got sucked in by the power = volume camp. Power required to achieve volume is an almost worthless calculation. HIFIMAN recommend a MINIMUM OF 1 Watt for the HE500 and that is straight from Fang himself.  Running the HE500 on 343mV ( probably closer to 450-550 with an impedance of 38ish) is criminal, its like having a Porsche with a Lada engine in it.  

 

Most specifications are next to meaningless to as the designers can use clever mechanisms to lower a certain published specification while butchering non-public specs.  My example being using large amounts of negative feedback to reduce THD but degrade the sound quality, which was the rage in the 1980’s. 

 

Fair point about the two box solution being more flexible upgrade wise, completely fair point.  

 

Either way, it honestly makes very little difference to me as im very happy with my set-up.  I would just hate to see someone who has read so much good about the HE500 to end up being disappointed.

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