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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 650

post #9736 of 16155

Just got the Hegel HD20 DAC that I am borrowing from a store where I live. I use it with a WA6-SE and the HE-500, and damn.. Sounds pretty sick now, this setup is great, although I don't think I'll be buying the Hegel H20 though, can't afford it atm :P


Edited by Xtri - 12/7/13 at 12:28pm
post #9737 of 16155

Is it possible to build a resistor right into the cable for an HE-500 going straight into an 80W + 80W @ 8 ohms speaker amp?

post #9738 of 16155

Sure.  I'd work out the value with an external resistor before hacking into the cable, though...

post #9739 of 16155

After many more days, including a whole weekend of listening to the Quickie + Emotiva with the HE-500, I think I have a better understanding of the soundstaging. I don't know what the universal definition of soundstage width vs. depth is, but for this discussion, I'm defining width as the up/down + front/back plane (yz plane), and depth as the axis from ear to ear (x-axis). Refer to the image below and imagine the headphones upright for reference:

 

I found the Emotiva with HE-500 pairing to have always had great width (yz plane), but it wasn't that great in the depth (x-axis). The instruments never felt it was coming from too far away. With the Quickie, I found the benefit to mainly come from soundstage depth. The width, which already been great, is about the same, but the depth really becomes something else. When I mentioned the doubling of soundstage in one of my earlier posts, I meant it as doubling of the soundstage depth. You really start to hear the subtleties of distance sounds, and with the added transparency, I think that's what really gives this sense of much better depth. As far as percentages, it's really hard to quantify exact percentages when it comes to soundstage for me. To me, since the I found the Emotiva pairing to have a relatively shallow (lacking of depth) soundstage, it's especially hard to put a percentage on this. It's like saying I doubled my money, when all I had was a dollar to begin with. Percentages rely entirely on the base value, and since the base soundstage depth on the Emotiva + HE-500 wasn't great to me, it makes any percentage statements a bad definition to go by. It could truly be quintupling the soundstage depth for all I know. All I can say it helps the depth immensely. It goes from from one of the more two dimensional headphones I've heard to one of the best in depth and three dimensionality. Another thing that probably skews the sense of the weakness in depth with Emotiva alone is the ratio of width to depth. Like I said, I found the width great, and when compared to the depth, it makes it sound more two dimensional. Think of a flat box shape.

 

Keep in mind this comparison has been between the Quickie with Emotiva vs. the Emotiva alone. If you have a different amp, it's quite possible you don't suffer the shallow soundstaging I find with the Emotiva alone. YMMV.

 

One other thing to note is if you asked me to give one word to describe the soundstaging of the Quickie + Emotiva, it would be coherent. What this means is that I find the ratio of width to depth, and the level of separation of instruments to be very well synced, and on a very natural and realistic level. Two weeks ago, my friend brought his HD800 over during the Thanksgiving holiday, and I tried it out extensively, paired with the Bottlehead Crack. I've heard all kinds of things about the soundstage of the HD800, but frankly, I wasn't all too impressed. From memory, I recall it to be spacious indeed, but it lacked the level of coherency what I'm hearing with the Quickie + Emotiva + HE-500. Especially with livelier genres, I found the HD800 to be lifeless at times, and the soundstage to have a sense of artificiality, where it stretched out the separation of instruments more so that what is natural, leaving pockets of empty space in between instruments that did not need to be there. This is akin to placing your 2-channel speakers too far apart in respect with where you're listening from. I think the perfect sense of spacing would be where all instruments have their own space and are not competing for space with one another, but at the same time borders one another leaving no unneeded space in between. Maybe it's the pairing with the Crack, but the HD800 definitely pales in comparison to what I'm hearing from the HE-500 in terms of soundstage coherency in my opinion.

post #9740 of 16155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
  Pretty long post :-) (Click to show)

After many more days, including a whole weekend of listening to the Quickie + Emotiva with the HE-500, I think I have a better understanding of the soundstaging. I don't know what the universal definition of soundstage width vs. depth is, but for this discussion, I'm defining width as the up/down + front/back plane (yz plane), and depth as the axis from ear to ear (x-axis). Refer to the image below and imagine the headphones upright for reference:

 

I found the Emotiva with HE-500 pairing to have always had great width (yz plane), but it wasn't that great in the depth (x-axis). The instruments never felt it was coming from too far away. With the Quickie, I found the benefit to mainly come from soundstage depth. The width, which already been great, is about the same, but the depth really becomes something else. When I mentioned the doubling of soundstage in one of my earlier posts, I meant it as doubling of the soundstage depth. You really start to hear the subtleties of distance sounds, and with the added transparency, I think that's what really gives this sense of much better depth. As far as percentages, it's really hard to quantify exact percentages when it comes to soundstage for me. To me, since the I found the Emotiva pairing to have a relatively shallow (lacking of depth) soundstage, it's especially hard to put a percentage on this. It's like saying I doubled my money, when all I had was a dollar to begin with. Percentages rely entirely on the base value, and since the base soundstage depth on the Emotiva + HE-500 wasn't great to me, it makes any percentage statements a bad definition to go by. It could truly be quintupling the soundstage depth for all I know. All I can say it helps the depth immensely. It goes from from one of the more two dimensional headphones I've heard to one of the best in depth and three dimensionality. Another thing that probably skews the sense of the weakness in depth with Emotiva alone is the ratio of width to depth. Like I said, I found the width great, and when compared to the depth, it makes it sound more two dimensional. Think of a flat box shape.

 

Keep in mind this comparison has been between the Quickie with Emotiva vs. the Emotiva alone. If you have a different amp, it's quite possible you don't suffer the shallow soundstaging I find with the Emotiva alone. YMMV.

 

One other thing to note is if you asked me to give one word to describe the soundstaging of the Quickie + Emotiva, it would be coherent. What this means is that I find the ratio of width to depth, and the level of separation of instruments to be very well synced, and on a very natural and realistic level. Two weeks ago, my friend brought his HD800 over during the Thanksgiving holiday, and I tried it out extensively, paired with the Bottlehead Crack. I've heard all kinds of things about the soundstage of the HD800, but frankly, I wasn't all too impressed. From memory, I recall it to be spacious indeed, but it lacked the level of coherency what I'm hearing with the Quickie + Emotiva + HE-500. Especially with livelier genres, I found the HD800 to be lifeless at times, and the soundstage to have a sense of artificiality, where it stretched out the separation of instruments more so that what is natural, leaving pockets of empty space in between instruments that did not need to be there. This is akin to placing your 2-channel speakers too far apart in respect with where you're listening from. I think the perfect sense of spacing would be where all instruments have their own space and are not competing for space with one another, but at the same time borders one another leaving no unneeded space in between. Maybe it's the pairing with the Crack, but the HD800 definitely pales in comparison to what I'm hearing from the HE-500 in terms of soundstage coherency in my opinion.

You know what? I am ordering the Emotiva. God, how I hate paying double the price for something, but ohh well.. Here's my definition of soundstage, which I found to be more logical. There's two parts of it. There's the soundstage and then there's the headstage. Headstage is the actual perceived size of the stage in your head (this is fairly objective IMO), with depth being front to back, width being left to right and height being bottom to top.

Then, there's the soundstage, which I see as something more individual and complex. Within the headstage the soundstage kinda unfolds.

For example some 'phones are very airy and spread out. That doesn't necessarily correspond to a large headstage in my opinion, which the Stax lambdas are an example of. Then there's for example also the perceived size/grandness of the music, which tend to be a trait of higher end headphones. I find the imaging to be part of the soundstage as well. On the other hand soundstage and headstage seem to be correlated, as a wide headstage without much depth tend to result in a sound that seems spread out and the channels might seem pretty seperated (k701).

In other words, the headstage is the 'container' of the soundstage, yet the headstage will and can affect the soundstage.

 

I doubt your HE-500 setup can claim to have more depth than my Stax Sigma :p That 'phone has DEPTH and grandness to the sound.


Edited by davidsh - 12/10/13 at 2:44am
post #9741 of 16155

Emotiva ordered. It was $272.43, and if I am taxed, it'll be $370. Better be worth it, as that is twice the price you lucky bastards pay.

post #9742 of 16155
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

Emotiva ordered. It was $272.43, and if I am taxed, it'll be $370. Better be worth it, as that is twice the price you lucky bastards pay.


Even at $370, for me it will be still very worthy.  IMO, as I've said before that HE500/Emotiva is deadly combo.

post #9743 of 16155
Time will tell if it is that deadly, the competition is steep here (Stax). Well, for now my he-500 is put of function, but hopefully I'll have it up and running some time after Christmas.
post #9744 of 16155
Did you get the MiniX or the UPA-200?
post #9745 of 16155
Mini x for several reasons. The upa didn't work out
post #9746 of 16155
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

Emotiva ordered. It was $272.43, and if I am taxed, it'll be $370. Better be worth it, as that is twice the price you lucky bastards pay.

David,

what model is this Emotiva ? Not the mini-X right ?

 

Edit: Duh, saw your most recent post. Wow, I got it for $ 169 from the company last month !:confused:


Edited by kothganesh - 12/10/13 at 8:12pm
post #9747 of 16155

Anyone remember what was determined the amount of wattage best suited for HE-500? I'm using the HE-Adapter with 10 ohm parallel resistance, so according to this calculator, http://www.dubdubdub.net.nz/resistor.html , With the 50W from the Emotiva MiniX I'm putting 10.42W into my HE-500, and it's sounding great. I'm sure that's more than enough. I've been looking at the Emotiva XPA-1L, which is a monoblock that has the option to run 35W in class A, which is supposedly less distortion than Class AB at the cost of power efficiency, hence the drop from 250W to only 35W. With 35W, the HE-500 would only get 7.29W. I'm sure that's still more than enough, but I don't know if anyone figured out the minimum wattage for it to sound good? Not looking to get that amp any time soon cuz it would set me back $1200 for two even at the current sale price, but I think it's a potentially good upgrade from the MiniX to go class A and balanced. Also for further extensibility, the HE-6 at 50 ohms would only get 5.83W from that amp. Is that enough? This may be part of my potential end game here paired with the balanced BeePre tube preamp since I love the Quickie so much with the MiniX. Add a balanced DAC as well. :D

 

I guess if I upped it to the XPA-1 which puts out 60W in class A, it would give even the HE-6 10W, definitely enough. No point in skimping out at this point. :p

 

Potential endgame for me:

Some balanced DAC (~$1500) -> Bottlehead BeePre ($1200) -> 2 x Emotiva XPA-1 (2 x $1000) -> HE-6 ($1300)

= $6000

 

Funny thing is my current system is like a baby version of exactly that:

 

Some single-ended DAC (~$180) -> Bottlehead Quickie ($100) -> Emotiva MiniX a-100 ($170) -> HE-500 ($700)

= $1150

 

Though I bought the HE-500 on sale for $550.

 

Heh essentially five times the price.

 

This would probably sound pretty good with speakers as well, so it's got versatility.


Edited by Sonido - 12/10/13 at 10:09pm
post #9748 of 16155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
 

Anyone remember what was determined the amount of wattage best suited for HE-500? I'm using the HE-Adapter with 10 ohm parallel resistance, so according to this calculator, http://www.dubdubdub.net.nz/resistor.html , With the 50W from the Emotiva MiniX I'm putting 10.42W into my HE-500, and it's sounding great. I'm sure that's more than enough. I've been looking at the Emotiva XPA-1L, which is a monoblock that has the option to run 35W in class A, which is supposedly less distortion than Class AB at the cost of power efficiency, hence the drop from 250W to only 35W. With 35W, the HE-500 would only get 7.29W. I'm sure that's still more than enough, but I don't know if anyone figured out the minimum wattage for it to sound good? Not looking to get that amp any time soon cuz it would set me back $1200 for two even at the current sale price, but I think it's a potentially good upgrade from the MiniX to go class A and balanced. Also for further extensibility, the HE-6 at 50 ohms would only get 5.83W from that amp. Is that enough? This may be part of my potential end game here paired with the balanced BeePre tube preamp since I love the Quickie so much with the MiniX. Add a balanced DAC as well. :D

 

I guess if I upped it to the XPA-1 which puts out 60W in class A, it would give even the HE-6 10W, definitely enough. No point in skimping out at this point. :p

 

Potential endgame for me:

Some balanced DAC (~$1500) -> Bottlehead BeePre ($1200) -> 2 x Emotiva XPA-1 (2 x $1000) -> HE-6 ($1300)

= $6000

 

Funny thing is my current system is like a baby version of exactly that:

 

Some single-ended DAC (~$180) -> Bottlehead Quickie ($100) -> Emotiva MiniX a-100 ($170) -> HE-500 ($700)

= $1150

 

Though I bought the HE-500 on sale for $550.

 

Heh essentially five times the price.

 

This would probably sound pretty good with speakers as well, so it's got versatility.

With the HE-Adapter for the HE-500, you're maybe getting a watt with that amp. Are you using it to attenuate hiss? If there's no hiss, then you should just connect it straight to the speaker jacks man! There's a problem with your upgrade path. Emotiva XPA series has way, way too much gain. I own 2x XPA-5s and tried others, same issue. You should really get a First Watt amp, either DIY or from Reno Hifi or AudioGon. For a balanced Pre, get a passive Khozmo box. Having an active pre is virtually needless and will most likely have excessive gain issues since you get 2x voltage anyway from XLR. I think it's like $400 and will be utterly transparent. For the balanced DAC, well, you can't go wrong with the versatility of the DA8, or a refurb Anedio.

:beerchug: 

post #9749 of 16155
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

With the HE-Adapter for the HE-500, you're maybe getting a watt with that amp. Are you using it to attenuate hiss? If there's no hiss, then you should just connect it straight to the speaker jacks man! There's a problem with your upgrade path. Emotiva XPA series has way, way too much gain. I own 2x XPA-5s and tried others, same issue. You should really get a First Watt amp, either DIY or from Reno Hifi or AudioGon. For a balanced Pre, get a passive Khozmo box. Having an active pre is virtually needless and will most likely have excessive gain issues since you get 2x voltage anyway from XLR. I think it's like $400 and will be utterly transparent. For the balanced DAC, well, you can't go wrong with the versatility of the DA8, or a refurb Anedio.

:beerchug: 

Hiss starts after 12 o'clock without preamp. With preamp, it's more of a hum, which starts after 10 o'clock. The Quickie prefers higher than the 10k ohms input impedance of the MiniX, so that makes sense. 10k ohms is really the minimal acceptable range for the Quickie according to people on the Bottlehead forums. I have the Emotiva set to 9 o'clock.

post #9750 of 16155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
 

Hiss starts after 12 o'clock without preamp. With preamp, it's more of a hum, which starts after 10 o'clock. The Quickie prefers higher than the 10k ohms input impedance of the MiniX, so that makes sense. 10k ohms is really the minimal acceptable range for the Quickie according to people on the Bottlehead forums. I have the Emotiva set to 9 o'clock.

Yeah with such a low input impedance, you could benefit from an active pre. Yeah, so you still get hiss pretty early on then. That's my beef with Emotiva -cheap watts with too high gain = recipe for noise.

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