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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 609

post #9121 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post

Get the one with the ESS DAC and better transformer.

 



Thanks Brunk

Will ESS be overly bright with the HE-500? The NFB 28 has an option to make it sound little warmer, but even that apparently is not a match for the brighter warmer WM8741. If the ESS9018 is neutral, it would only mean I have to live with HE-500's native sound signature. If it adds to the brightness, there could be a problem. Anyone heard these with the HE-500?
Edited by VTV - 11/6/13 at 7:44am
post #9122 of 18011

The Audio-GD unit gives you some nice options down the line, I think that is perhaps its greatest strength along with good neutral sound quality.

 

DACs I've used that I found bright with the HE-500:

Audiolab M-DAC (ESS9018) (Big, bold and brash)

PS Audio NuWave DAC (PCM1798) (Too neutral perhaps)

 

Not bright:

Vivere DAC (ESS9018) (The Vivere is a locally designed DAC which has a smooth and musical presentation and a wide soundstage)

Audioquest Dragonfly (ESS9023)

 

If you don't like the sound signature on the Audio-GD you can always later hook it up to an external amplifier which gives you options to match it to a warmer sounding unit in the future.

 

FWIW, I looked long and hard at the NFB-28, but settled on a Resonessence Concero with the Emotiva Mini-X as it seems it will be difficult to find a better amplifier for the HE-500 at below $1000. I should be receiving my Concero DAC early next week and am hopeful it will be a good match. Getting the NFB-28 would have resulted in having to purchase a balanced cable at $150. Its one thing I don't like about the balanced Audio-GD designs as I've heard so many people mention that they sound better balanced compared to unbalanced. As my stereo system is still unbalanced it limits the NFB-28's usefulness to me to some extent. The single ended SA series also appear to have a number of fans in this thread and should be warmer sounding.


Edited by daerron - 11/6/13 at 5:14am
post #9123 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlxx View Post

Anyone here ever upgraded from the HE400 to the HE500 and regretted it?
Basically its the recessed mids and the tizz that is bugging me about the HE400 which the HE500 doesn't have. It kinda scares me though, that they need jergulors or they too don't sound quite right. It would be the easiest option without costing an arm and a leg. The doubt I have is that maybe they are too similar and I should go straight to the LCD3 and stop messing around.
Have you heard the LCD's? If so, maybe it is best to go for your endgame. If not, the LCD's are not better than the 500 IMHO. They have a more closed and intimate sound when compared to the 500, which I don't prefer. The 500 on the right amp (probably with Jergulors) would be an endgame for me.
post #9124 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan7000 View Post

Have you heard the LCD's? If so, maybe it is best to go for your endgame. If not, the LCD's are not better than the 500 IMHO. They have a more closed and intimate sound when compared to the 500, which I don't prefer. The 500 on the right amp (probably with Jergulors) would be an endgame for me.

Over the course of the last year I've tried the Grado SR325, PS500, Beyerdynamic T1, Audeze LCD-2 and the Fostex TH-600. They all have their merits but they've all ended up disappointing me in one way or another. Obviously not everyone will agree but I think the HE-500 are better all round headphones than all of the above. They're also the best value. I'm curious about the HE-6 but for now I'm hanging on to my HE-500 and waiting to see what Hifiman do next.
Edited by Tony1110 - 11/6/13 at 7:07am
post #9125 of 18011
Just curious what amp will bring out the best from HE500? My rigs consist of Musical Fidelity Xray V3 cd player, Audiolab Mdac, Hifiman EF5/Musical Fidelity A3.2 speaker amp, HE500. I've been trying to love my LCD2r2 but I really can't stand the treble shy. I'm considering Vio V200, Bottlehead SEX and WA6SE. Any suggestion will be appreciated guys! Thanks
post #9126 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by wewewho77 View Post

Just curious what amp will bring out the best from HE500? My rigs consist of Musical Fidelity Xray V3 cd player, Audiolab Mdac, Hifiman EF5/Musical Fidelity A3.2 speaker amp, HE500. I've been trying to love my LCD2r2 but I really can't stand the treble shy. I'm considering Vio V200, Bottlehead SEX and WA6SE. Any suggestion will be appreciated guys! Thanks

Speaker amps seem like the current trend at the moment :) 

Have a look at the thread here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/629352/he-500-lcd2-d5000-dt770-sr80-on-a-speaker-amp-emotiva-mini-x-a-100-project/2265#post_9955252

post #9127 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by daerron View Post
 

FWIW, I looked long and hard at the NFB-28, but settled on a Resonessence Concero with the Emotiva Mini-X as it seems it will be difficult to find a better amplifier for the HE-500 at below $1000. I should be receiving my Concero DAC early next week and am hopeful it will be a good match. Getting the NFB-28 would have resulted in having to purchase a balanced cable at $150. Its one thing I don't like about the balanced Audio-GD designs as I've heard so many people mention that they sound better balanced compared to unbalanced. As my stereo system is still unbalanced it limits the NFB-28's usefulness to me to some extent. The single ended SA series also appear to have a number of fans in this thread and should be warmer sounding.

 

Thanks, I intend to run the HE-500 balanced. Like you, I was also put off by paying in excess of $150-200 for a balanced cable. Then I saw the modification kit sold by Audio GD for $30 which allows you to convert the stock cable to balanced. This is also a versatile solution in that the modification allows for using the same cable as balanced or single ended depending on the situation. This is the cheapest solution I have found to go balanced. The instructions for usage of the kit is here

 

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/Phoenix/ModifyEN.htm

 

I am not good at DIY, but I feel I can manage this. Here is the thread I created on some help with this. 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/688812/help-me-to-convert-stock-hifiman-he-500-cable-to-balanced

 

I feel there is no point buying a balanced AMP/DAC for SE usage. So for balanced usage, how do the NFB 28 compares to NFB 10.33?

 

More comments and feedback welcome. Thanks.


Edited by VTV - 11/6/13 at 8:02am
post #9128 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony1110 View Post


Over the course of the last year I've tried the Grado SR325, PS500, Beyerdynamic T1, Audeze LCD-2 and the Fostex TH-600. They all have their merits but they've all ended up disappointing me in one way or another. Obviously not everyone will agree but I think the HE-500 are better all round headphones than all of the above. They're also the best value. I'm curious about the HE-6 but for now I'm hanging on to my HE-500 and waiting to see what Hifiman do next.

It's true that no single headphone will excel in every area or genre. I've said it before, but I still think a TH600, HE500, HD800 combo would be an ultimate trifecta to cover all genres.  If I could choose one on sound alone, I would choose the 500. But as I listen mostly at work and need something light, comfortable, and relatively easy to drive, I went with the TH600.

post #9129 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTV View Post
 

 

Thanks, I intend to run the HE-500 balanced. Like you, I was also put off by paying in excess of $150-200 for a balanced cable. Then I saw the modification kit sold by Audio GD for $30 which allows you to convert the stock cable to balanced. This is also a versatile solution in that the modification allows for using the same cable as balanced or single ended depending on the situation. This is the cheapest solution I have found to go balanced. The instructions for usage of the kit is here

 

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/Phoenix/ModifyEN.htm

 

I am not good at DIY, but I feel I can manage this. Here is the thread I created on some help with this. 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/688812/help-me-to-convert-stock-hifiman-he-500-cable-to-balanced

 

I feel there is no point buying a balanced AMP/DAC for SE usage. So for balanced usage, how do the NFB 28 compares to NFB 10.33?

 

More comments and feedback welcome. Thanks.

 

Yup, that certainly is the cheapest way to go balanced. Headphones which have two separate wires going to L/R earcups are "balanced", but terminated to single ended. all you need to do is change the 1/4" termination to a 4 pin XLR, or two 3 pin XLRs, and bam, you got a balanced cable. =) Done this many times, and is definitely the cheapest, and very easy if you can use a soldering iron. Even if you can't, its a good way to learn!

post #9130 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTV View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

Get the one with the ESS DAC and better transformer.

 



Thanks Brunk

Will ESS be overly bright with the HE-500? The NFB 28 has an option to make it sound little warmer, but even that apparently is not a match for the brighter warmer WM8741. If the ESS9018 is neutral, it would only mean I have to live with HE-500's native sound signature. If it adds to the brightness, there could be a problem. Anyone heard these with the HE-500?

The ESS 9018 is the overall much better DAC. The reason you see a preference over it is that the Wolfson chips are well, colored. Which also makes it it's biggest downfall. Here is a very long video about sigma-delta dacs along with very easy to understand explanations why the recent ESS chips are overall better. If you would like to tame a brightness that you don't like, talk to Jerg about his recommendations towards a fix as he seems the resident HE-500 expert.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ngyu View Post
 

 

Yup, that certainly is the cheapest way to go balanced. Headphones which have two separate wires going to L/R earcups are "balanced", but terminated to single ended. all you need to do is change the 1/4" termination to a 4 pin XLR, or two 3 pin XLRs, and bam, you got a balanced cable. =) Done this many times, and is definitely the cheapest, and very easy if you can use a soldering iron. Even if you can't, its a good way to learn!

big +1 here, i have myself as well.

post #9131 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by ngyu View Post
 

 

Yup, that certainly is the cheapest way to go balanced. Headphones which have two separate wires going to L/R earcups are "balanced", but terminated to single ended. all you need to do is change the 1/4" termination to a 4 pin XLR, or two 3 pin XLRs, and bam, you got a balanced cable. =) Done this many times, and is definitely the cheapest, and very easy if you can use a soldering iron. Even if you can't, its a good way to learn!

I can't believe I forgot about Neutrik connectors. I use them all the time! You don't even have to solder, there are screw down versions available, and they are like $3 each from parts express.

post #9132 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan7000 View Post


Have you heard the LCD's? If so, maybe it is best to go for your endgame. If not, the LCD's are not better than the 500 IMHO. They have a more closed and intimate sound when compared to the 500, which I don't prefer. The 500 on the right amp (probably with Jergulors) would be an endgame for me.

 

I have listened to the LCD2/3/X/HD800, I liked them all but liked the 3 best and then the HD800. I also do really like the HE400 mainly because of the killer bass. I have an Audio-GD 15.1 so was thinking it would work OK with the HE500 but with the LCD3 I would probably need something a lot better. I have never heard any other Hifiman other than my HE400. I would say I would like the HE500 for sure but if I am going to still want to upgrade again to the LCD3 then it just might be easier to do it straight away. I think I will wait to see what the OPPO PM-1 is like (that looks very nice) and if its not so good, I am leaning towards getting the HE500 at this stage. Thanks for the feedback guys!

post #9133 of 18011
It seems as if the Sabre DAC chips are all the rage these days. The Yulong DA8 DAC that I'm getting in a few days has (I think) a EOS9018, or something like that? I'll check...
post #9134 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin Morrow View Post

It seems as if the Sabre DAC chips are all the rage these days. The Yulong DA8 DAC that I'm getting in a few days has (I think) a EOS9018, or something like that? I'll check...

Correct, the DA8 has the ESS9018 and Yulong has taken great attention to detail in the overall design of his product. It's currently my digital reference.

post #9135 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

Correct, the DA8 has the ESS9018 and Yulong has taken great attention to detail in the overall design of his product. It's currently my digital reference.

 

Wait, so have you heard it with the HE-500? I'm going to be using the balanced out with that as my all in one DAC/Headphone Amp to hopefully replace my HA-160DS.

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