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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 581

post #8701 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadcykler View Post
 


I've heard mine using a vintage Kenwood receiver speaker connections and there is no difference to my ears between that and the EF5 which is the primary amp I use. I really don't get why people think something that puts out more WPC will sound better. No matter the power available, the headphones can only use so much before they start to distort or get fried. Using some people's logic, a darTZeel monoblock should sound so good you'd have a spontaneous orgasm.

 

So, you tried your vintage receiver that can probably be bought for $50, "and there is no difference" between it and your $499 EF5 tube amp? Sounds like you unintentionally just made a case for other people's "logic", and found a bargain. 


Edited by bhazard - 10/19/13 at 9:44pm
post #8702 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan7000 View Post


How do you like it on the WA7?

I got mixed impression about the WA7 driving HE500.  At the recent CA meet, I tried my HE500 on WarrenChi's WA7.  For some reasons, it took the volume knob all the way to around 3, 4pm for normal listening level.  Maybe, laptop's or player's volumes were down or something because other WA7 owners with HE500 are saying they don't pass 12 o'clock.  Regarding the sound, I think everything was very balanced, smooth mid, clear sparkling treble, bass was just a very tiny tad light for my preference.  My akg Q701 was great on the WA7 though.

post #8703 of 18030

I would like to hear a scientific explanation to how power translates to better sound quality out of the HE-500. I know the HE-500 is less sensitive than most other headphones especially dynamic ones, and the lower the sensitivity, the more power is needed to drive the headphone to the same level of volume. I also know that when you overdrive an amp, clipping happens and that creates distortions, which sounds bad to our ears, especially hard clipping from solid state amps. That said I don't know any specific formula to calculate how much power is needed to drive a specific sensitivity rating to a specific decibel level without clipping. And I doubt 1 watt from an amp like the WA7 is underpowered in the sense that it would cause clipping when driven to a normal listening level. Even my O2 amp that only gives like 600 mW to the HE-500 doesn't clip when driven to 80 dB. Therefore, I doubt clipping is a real issue here at normal listening levels. Also remember decibel is logarithmic which mean it takes 10 times the power to get from 80 dB to 90 dB and 100 times the power to 100 dB, so it's likely clipping will come quickly even if you increase the decibels linearly. However, when going to a more powerful speaker amp, I do notice a significant increase in bass impact. If anyone is more knowledgeable on this subject, please correct me if I'm wrong here: since bass is the longest wavelength in sound, it requires more power since the drivers are displacing a farther distance to create the sound. This in turn creates a punchier and impactful bass when given more power. I think this where pro-speaker amp people say that the HE-500 benefits from speaker amps and more power. That said, I don't think the WA7 and other headphones amps are "underpowered" for the HE-500, just would not give as much of a bass impact as amps that deliver more power. And whether you like that bass impact is a personal preference.

 

On a side note, ever since I got into speaker amps, I've been reading up a lot on various AV and speaker forums, and the discussions there seemed to be more knowledgeable and centered on the technical side of amps in terms of electrical engineering concepts than conversations here :p. No intention of offense here if any is taken, but I believe it's more out of necessity than anything else. I think it's because with speakers the problem of power is much more relevant than headphones. When they talk underdriven, they mean it doesn't reach a comfortable listening level without clipping, whereas we're talking about it doesn't deliver more bass, which is a subjective thing. So if anyone with a background on the technical side of things with amping and power could speak up, it'd be much appreciated.

 

I personally have enjoyed these past few weeks of learning more on the technical, electrical engineering side of things. Before getting into speaker amps, I didn't know the difference between Class-A, Class-AB, Class-T, etc. or push-pull vs. single-ended. So in that respect, I admire the HE-500 for being more speaker-like than other headphones I've used.


Edited by Sonido - 10/20/13 at 6:35am
post #8704 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

You can make any amp work with headphones. The main concern with tube speaker amp is protecting its transformers. You would need the HE adapter box or DIY your resistors to the binding posts. Then you also need to figure out if the SET amp could provide enough juice into your load. Most SET amps are flea power and may or may not work well, but the only way to know is to try it out! Preproman uses a First Watt F4 for his HE-6, and that is only 10wpc (beefy class A), so a SET amp certainly is a good possibility for the HE-500.

 

EDIT: Bottlehead makes a SET amp called the S.E.X., perhaps you can try asking for feedback in the threads here, or shoot them an email.

Thanks brunk

post #8705 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post
 

It's all about reserve power. On emotiva, I never went past 10 o clock with HE-500. Amps are much more linear in performance when they aren't being driven to the max. This is why with speaker amps you can listen at a low volume and yet still get great bass. It's easier on the ears for sure. With O2, you'd have to turn it up a bit to get the bass, but then the treble would sometimes get out of control. You shouldn't have to cheat on your ears' safety. EVER.

 

Honestly, for you I'd recommend getting a Lyr. Keep it simple and easy. It's plug and play and you need no fancy cables. Also, easy on the desk space. Also, it works well with the LCD-2 if you go down that road...but then again, so does Emotiva:tongue_smile: 

 

Agree fully with you there.

 

I don't think the Emotiva Mini-X is a magical amp or anything, but its greatest strength in my view is the good and even balanced sound when listening at low volumes. I always felt with my other headphone amplifiers that I had to turn the volume up a notch for the music to sound balanced, especially in the bass where the Mini-X retains bass and impact. So the Mini-X is easy on the ear.

I am not sure how the power thing equates to improvements in sound quality. I can only assume that when utilising so little power of the Mini-X that the amp must operate in an optimal SNR and THD window regardless of the load the headphone places on it.

 

And I don't think Mini-X owners in any way are trying to dis normal headphone amplifiers. If you have an amplifier that meets the manufacturers recommendations then you know that the headphone is being properly utilised. Afaik, the Woo Audio WA7 fully meets this spec as does amps like the Burson Soloist, so if you have these enjoy them and don't worry whether your money was wisely spent. One thing is for certain the Mini-X is a bulky bugger!


Edited by daerron - 10/20/13 at 2:10am
post #8706 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan7000 View Post


How do you like it on the WA7?

I find it very relaxing can't fault the sound great amp all round, expensive  but so is the He500

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhazard View Post
 

 

Other people will go back to their $20 Lepai and $169 Emotiva amps, and not feel the need to defend their purchase out of insecurity.

No defence I REALLY don't care you are free to plug you're He500 into anything you like

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post


........... And for reference the WA7 and other underpowered amps would be like a Toyota Camry.

Just sayin I think Lotus Elise would be closer

post #8707 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post

I would like to hear a scientific explanation to how power translates to better sound quality out of the HE-500. I know the HE-500 is less sensitive than most other headphones especially dynamic ones, and the lower the sensitivity, the more power is needed to drive the headphone to the same level of volume. I also know that when you overdrive an amp, clipping happens and that creates distortions, which sounds bad to our ears, especially hard clipping from solid state amps. That said I don't know any specific formula to calculate how much power is needed to drive a specific sensitivity rating to a specific decibel level without clipping. And I doubt 1 watt from an amp like the WA7 is underpowered in the sense that it would cause clipping when driven to a normal listening level. Even my O2 amp that only gives like 600 mW to the HE-500 doesn't clip when driven to 80 dB. Therefore, I doubt clipping is a real issue here at normal listening levels. Also remember decibel is logarithmic which mean it takes twice the power to get from 80 dB to 90 dB and 4 times the power to 100 dB, so it's likely clipping will come quickly even if you increase the decibels linearly. However, when going to a more powerful speaker amp, I do notice a significant increase in bass impact. If anyone is more knowledgeable on this subject, please correct me if I'm wrong here: since bass is the longest wavelength in sound, it requires more power since the drivers are displacing a farther distance to create the sound. This in turn creates a punchier and impactful bass when given more power. I think this where pro-speaker amp people say that the HE-500 benefits from speaker amps and more power. That said, I don't think the WA7 and other headphones amps are "underpowered" for the HE-500, just would not give as much of a bass impact as amps that deliver more power. And whether you like that bass impact is a personal preference.

On a side note, ever since I got into speaker amps, I've been reading up a lot on various AV and speaker forums, and the discussions there seemed to be more knowledgeable and centered on the technical side of amps in terms of electrical engineering concepts than conversations here tongue.gif . No intention of offense here if any is taken, but I believe it's more out of necessity than anything else. I think it's because with speakers the problem of power is much more relevant than headphones. When they talk underdriven, they mean it doesn't reach a comfortable listening level without clipping, whereas we're talking about it doesn't deliver more bass, which is a subjective thing. So if anyone with a background on the technical side of things with amping and power could speak up, it'd be much appreciated.

I personally have enjoyed these past few weeks of learning more on the technical, electrical engineering side of things. Before getting into speaker amps, I didn't know the difference between Class-A, Class-AB, Class-T, etc. or push-pull vs. single-ended. So in that respect, I admire the HE-500 for being more speaker-like than other headphones I've used.
Let's see. First, 10 dB equals 10 times more power.
Else, clipping isn't the only kind of distortion. As an amplifier is pushed more and more the distortion will rise slowly until it starts to clip where the distortion will sky-rocket. On an easy load the distortion will be lower than on a more demanding load. Bass doesn't require more energy per se to reach some number of dB compared to higher frequencies.
You can indeed calculate sound pressure of a headphone at a given number of watts. The sensitivity of HE-500 is 89 db/mW. All you do is say power*sensitivity and you'd have your sound pressure. For example 1watt * 89 dB/mW would equal 119 dB as 1 watt is 1000 times more than 1 mW which in term equals 30dB as 10 dB equals 10 times more power and we have 1000 times more power.
Edited by davidsh - 10/20/13 at 6:02am
post #8708 of 18030

My metaphor on cars is just about bass impact. The WA7 sounds fine in other ranges. I do notice that bass impact and bass presentation really affects how visceral instruments sound. For example in an acoustic guitar strum, the bass really carries the body of the sound after the strum that determines how three dimensional and realistic the sound is. This effect is more apparent through speaker amps, and especially with the Baby Sophia.

post #8709 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
 

I would like to hear a scientific explanation to how power translates to better sound quality out of the HE-500. I know the HE-500 is less sensitive than most other headphones especially dynamic ones, and the lower the sensitivity, the more power is needed to drive the headphone to the same level of volume. I also know that when you overdrive an amp, clipping happens and that creates distortions, which sounds bad to our ears, especially hard clipping from solid state amps. That said I don't know any specific formula to calculate how much power is needed to drive a specific sensitivity rating to a specific decibel level without clipping. And I doubt 1 watt from an amp like the WA7 is underpowered in the sense that it would cause clipping when driven to a normal listening level. Even my O2 amp that only gives like 600 mW to the HE-500 doesn't clip when driven to 80 dB. Therefore, I doubt clipping is a real issue here at normal listening levels. Also remember decibel is logarithmic which mean it takes twice the power to get from 80 dB to 90 dB and 4 times the power to 100 dB, so it's likely clipping will come quickly even if you increase the decibels linearly. However, when going to a more powerful speaker amp, I do notice a significant increase in bass impact. If anyone is more knowledgeable on this subject, please correct me if I'm wrong here: since bass is the longest wavelength in sound, it requires more power since the drivers are displacing a farther distance to create the sound. This in turn creates a punchier and impactful bass when given more power. I think this where pro-speaker amp people say that the HE-500 benefits from speaker amps and more power.

 

Yes this is why I was saying earlier that someone that was saying the Schiit magni (I think it was?) "drives the HE500 easily but lacks bass impact" is a bit of a contradiction.... I would think this would show that the Magni is actually not powering the HE500 properly because lack of bass impact and control is the most obvious thing you notice when an amp is not good enough for the headphones...


Edited by nicholars - 10/20/13 at 5:54am
post #8710 of 18030

My post is now edited. Feel free to correct me or ask questions as I have no deeper knowledge in sound/electronics whatever.

post #8711 of 18030
So if 1 watt allows for 119 dB from HE-500, that's more than enough, but what THD standard is that metric? And for a lower distortion level like 0.1% THD, what is the sensitivity rating in dB/mW for the HE-500? Is there a formula to calculate the dB/mW rating at a given distortion level? I think of we can answer these questions, we're a lot closer to figuring out exactly how much power is needed to drive the HE-500 to a comfortable listening level, at least from a technical standpoint.
post #8712 of 18030
You can't calculate that, it depends on the amplifier, and is individual.
You can measure an amplifier, though,
Edited by davidsh - 10/20/13 at 7:11am
post #8713 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

You can't calculate that, it depends on the amplifier, and is individual.
You can measure an amplifier, though,

 

For example my NAD 326 bee speaker amplifier is 50WPC RMS but compared to the one I had before 315 bee rated at 40WPC RMS it sounds like it is easily twice as powerful as the 315 bee because has more dynamic power etc.

post #8714 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post

So if 1 watt allows for 119 dB from HE-500, that's more than enough, but what THD standard is that metric? And for a lower distortion level like 0.1% THD, what is the sensitivity rating in dB/mW for the HE-500? Is there a formula to calculate the dB/mW rating at a given distortion level? I think of we can answer these questions, we're a lot closer to figuring out exactly how much power is needed to drive the HE-500 to a comfortable listening level, at least from a technical standpoint.
Guys, guys, guys..i said many times..power is not all for the he500! I had a 337 with a puny 1watt biggrin.gif and it slapped much stronger amps with the he500 soundwise... And its a tube amp..the horror!! It had thunderous lows and swet velvetly highs..and volume never got over the 21:00 o'clock.. U can calculate the watts needed for any phone..but its nuts to do that!!! Just connect the he500 to ur amp and try it out..thats only way to find out if its right for ur headphone... No calculation of watts or delivering multimullion watts (on paper) can do that... As i said..a good headphone amp doent need to cost ya a kidney...
And the saying that bass and basssiganture in music isthe reference of whether music sounds good or not..well i dont agree with that..for me its more important to have a wonderfull midrange and puncjy bass and velvet high then only thunderous bass.because if the bass is to dominant the sound balance gets off..imho ofcourse!!
Edited by hifimanrookie - 10/20/13 at 8:12am
post #8715 of 18030

Anyone tried hooking up the HE500 to some Krell amplification ? :D

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