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post #3346 of 6599
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

I wish I could give the HE-500 better marks. It's had such good reviews; even Tyll Hertsens seemed to prefer it to the LCD-2 (Rev1). It just lacks magic to me. If anything it's made me appreciate just how good my phone is, which I guess I knew but which only a comparison to an equally respected phone can legitimize. I won't even pine for the Rev 2 now; I have a feeling the Rev2 would lose some of the Rev1s special magic. I'm sitting pat.

 

Actually, if you read the comments of that comparison, Tyll says he personally prefers the LCD-2 Rev 1s to the HE-500s, but that he could see the HE-500s appealing to a larger audience.

 

Often I get the upgrade itch but every time I put on the LCD-2s I'm reminded just how special they really are.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by korzena View Post

Thanks!

GE tubes ordered.

What about the DAC (up to $500, no USB needed)? Would you recommend me some specific DAC with a big (but not artificially expanded) soundstage? Would Schiit Bifrost work well in this regard?

 

 

Bifrost aims at neutrality/anonymity, ie providing no sound at all, similar to (though obviously not as effective as) the highly rated Violectric V800. You'll probably find it a big upgrade, especially with the Lyr paired with the right tubes. Alot of people like the analytical/detailed sounding ESS Sabre DACs with the LCD-2s as well, like the M-DAC or any of Audio-GDs offerings, which may be worth looking into also. 

post #3347 of 6599
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkbeat View Post

 

Actually, if you read the comments of that comparison, Tyll says he personally prefers the LCD-2 Rev 1s to the HE-500s, but that he could see the HE-500s appealing to a larger audience.

 

 

 

Having just re-read that comparison, I see that it was Tyll who said that the HE-500 sounded more like a recording and LCD-2 more like live music. To me that's a pretty big statement, and perhaps just a little confusing given that he singles the HE-500 out for special praise in the Conclusion.  

post #3348 of 6599
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

 

Having just re-read that comparison, I see that it was Tyll who said that the HE-500 sounded more like a recording and LCD-2 more like live music. To me that's a pretty big statement, and perhaps just a little confusing given that he singles the HE-500 out for special praise in the Conclusion.  

Both have great detail, it's just the presentation difference that makes these two appeal to different people. "Live music" tends to equate to a slightly more pushed-back treble, while an ideal "audiophile headphone" sound would be closer to neutral in terms of treble level relative to the rest of the frequency response. Now in theory the perfect headphone voicing would be something compromising via being smack dead in between the two, and even Tyll (in his LCD2 video review I believe) states that.

post #3349 of 6599
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

 

 

No, it won't. It arrived today and I've just been listening. I expected a mental adjustment and was prepared to give it every chance, but sadly it didn't meet minimum requirements to be a competitor to the LCD-2. Indeed I'd say the current prices here in OZ (LCD=$1180, HE500=$712) well reflects the respective sound quality of these phones.

 

Where to start? I read somewhere recently, a user review, that the HE500 sounds like a recording whereas the LCD sounds like the real thing. To my ears this is spot-on. The HE-500 has none of that sense of real instruments with timbre and sheen that the LCD has. It sounds like a good mid-price phone, like an HD650 with a little more treble in the right places, a little more bite and less bloat. A nice phone, something you could perhaps happily live with...so long as you weren't a regular concert goer and hadn't heard the LCD-2 (either version). Maybe it depends what you're used to and what your idea of good sound is, but if your criterion is live music the LCD is miles ahead.   

 

To add insult to injury the HE-500 is considerably less comfortable despite being less bulky. It just grips too hard and doesn't seem to quite encircle my ears. It's also less efficient. I had to turn the volume way up by comparison, which surprised me. I'd got the impression they were more or less equal.

 

I wish I could give the HE-500 better marks. It's had such good reviews; even Tyll Hertsens seemed to prefer it to the LCD-2 (Rev1). It just lacks magic to me. If anything it's made me appreciate just how good my phone is, which I guess I knew but which only a comparison to an equally respected phone can legitimize. I won't even pine for the Rev 2 now; I have a feeling the Rev2 would lose some of the Rev1s special magic. I'm sitting pat.

Are you using the Velour pads? To me the pleather makes them sound like the m50's. Nice and punchy but muddied up and compressed. Also do you know how many hour's are on them?

 

Oh well , least you've given them ago. But remember a headphone that wow's you on first listen is never a keeper... wink_face.gif

 

I personally think they are as good as the LCD2's but its more of a flavour thing. The HE500's do have the upper hand from the mids up and thats not just because they are peakier. The treble response is the best I've ever heard. It's sharp and detailed without any hardness and I've never heard any sibilants with any music genre I've tried, from old classical and Jazz recordings to modern electronic music; And considering that they do have a bit of a peak thats really something special.

They also need at very least 2 watts banged into them to compete against the LCD2's in regards to dynamics and authority, otherwise they indeed soundlike a slightly better 650 (which is no bad thing either ;).

 

Cheers popcorn.gif

post #3350 of 6599

Quote:
Originally Posted by AiDee View Post

My rev 1 - pretty sure it is rev 1 - starts 531 though...

 

Bought May 2011 direct from Audez'e; f-plot dated 6 May.

 

Mine is most certainly a Rev.1 and it starts 569.  So there is that for reference.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Sneis View Post

FWIW The pair I have is rev 1 and the grill says Audio Research Labs across the top and this pair originally shipped with plastic sharp corner L and R blocks aka it was one of the first batches of LCD-2.

 

Same.  Mine have been flawless from the start.  *knock on the wood cups* 

post #3351 of 6599

Thanks!

I hope the GE tubes for my Schiit Lyr and a new DAC will increase the soundstage size in my LCD2. At the moment I am not really satisfied with listening to my favourite soundtracks (Tron, Dark Knight, Inception:)) from LCD2. I enjoy these soundtracks much more listening from my IEMs (Westone 3) that seem to have much more spacious sound than LCD2 at the moment.


Has anybody compared Bifrost to DLIII or other DACs?

Please recommend a good DAC (preferably $400-$500, max $750) that will be a good partner for LCD2s and will be able to 'improve' their soundstage size, esp. soundstage width as depth seem to be OK.
 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darkbeat View Post

 

Actually, if you read the comments of that comparison, Tyll says he personally prefers the LCD-2 Rev 1s to the HE-500s, but that he could see the HE-500s appealing to a larger audience.

 

Often I get the upgrade itch but every time I put on the LCD-2s I'm reminded just how special they really are.

 

 

Bifrost aims at neutrality/anonymity, ie providing no sound at all, similar to (though obviously not as effective as) the highly rated Violectric V800. You'll probably find it a big upgrade, especially with the Lyr paired with the right tubes. Alot of people like the analytical/detailed sounding ESS Sabre DACs with the LCD-2s as well, like the M-DAC or any of Audio-GDs offerings, which may be worth looking into also. 


Edited by korzena - 10/26/12 at 10:06am
post #3352 of 6599

I haven't owned the HE-500 in over a year. But I agree that they are darn heavy. Especially if you are sensitive in the scalp area like me, I found the headband to be really uncomfortable, even with stretching (the LCD-2's headband is a lot better.) 

 

That said, I'm wearing LCD-2's, so lol. As I said in another thread, it really just depends on the shape of your head. I will say, even though the LCD-2's don't give me headaches, they are far from comfortable (at least for me). I listen to them, because I love the sound signature. And they aren't so uncomfortable they bother me. But if I had to criticize the LCD-2's, the clamp can get a bit ridiculous at times.  

 

Then again, I have weird shaped head, where my chin/jaw is quite tiny - but the top of my head is quite big. So the ear pads sit right where the jaw line connects under the ear (if I raise the pads 1 notch higher, they are too high). So that pressure of the jaw under the ear isn't the best feeling. But hey, I feel the more you listen to the LCD's, either your head gets used to the fit, or the pads loosen up a bit. 

 

THE THINGS I do for headphones. :P

 

To this day, I think the HD-800 were the most comfortable headphones I've ever worn. It's just a shame my ears didn't like the sound signature. My ears are so sensitive to treble and highs, that I never know when something is going to burn them. In the case of the HD-800, they didn't take to them. But man were they comfortable.  Since we are talking about other cans. I was thinking of getting some electrostat cans. I know the electrostats are more fast, and with clear instrument separation. Would you guys say they are more like the HD-800, in regards to the treble/highs? Maybe my ears wouldn't take to them either. 


Edited by satanigatan - 10/26/12 at 10:04am
post #3353 of 6599
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

Are you using the Velour pads? To me the pleather makes them sound like the m50's. Nice and punchy but muddied up and compressed. Also do you know how many hour's are on them?

 

Oh well , least you've given them ago. But remember a headphone that wow's you on first listen is never a keeper... wink_face.gif

 

I personally think they are as good as the LCD2's but its more of a flavour thing. The HE500's do have the upper hand from the mids up and thats not just because they are peakier. The treble response is the best I've ever heard. It's sharp and detailed without any hardness and I've never heard any sibilants with any music genre I've tried, from old classical and Jazz recordings to modern electronic music; And considering that they do have a bit of a peak thats really something special.

They also need at very least 2 watts banged into them to compete against the LCD2's in regards to dynamics and authority, otherwise they indeed soundlike a slightly better 650 (which is no bad thing either ;).

 

Cheers popcorn.gif

 

 

 

+1  good post LB and pretty much spot on with the way I see it as well.  

post #3354 of 6599

Having inter alia the HE-500 and the LCD-2s in the portfolio and using them quite agressive every week, I would agree to some statements and disagree to some. The HE.500 do not need 2W to blossom. I have tried to use the HE-500 the same way as the HE-6, including sveral stereo amps, and one of the best sound signatures acheived is from a little tube amp having approx. 50% - 60% less power than 1W.

 

This just to add som balance to the power hype of the HiFiMANs.


Edited by Loevhagen - 10/26/12 at 12:01pm
post #3355 of 6599
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loevhagen View Post

Having inter alia the HE-500 and the LCD-2s in the portfolio and using them quite agressive every week, I would agree to some statements and disagree to some. The HE.500 do not need 2W to blossom. I have tried to use the HE-500 the same way as the HE-6, including sveral stereo amps, and one of the best sound signatures acheived is from a little tube amp having approx. 50% - 60% less power than 1W.

 

This just to add som balance to the power hype of the HiFiMANs.

I'd agree that they don't need the extra power to sound good, but to compete with the LCD2's (in regards to dynamics and authority especially with bass) on a good amp then I'd say they do need at least 2 watts. Every amp I've paired the HE500's with have sounded great with up to 1.5W; from Xcan v3, Asgard, Little Dot1+ Necosoundlabs V2.1, but the extra power of my cheap but powerful Audio gd c2 (approx 3.5 watts into 32) really opens them up and basically improves their perfomance by quite a noticeable margin. The LCD2's by contrast are much easier to drive and don't benefit that much from more power imo.  

 

I don't want to derail this thread with too much talk on powering the Hifimans, just trying to help out pp312 with his new sidegrade wink_face.gif

Cheers 

post #3356 of 6599

I'll respect that - and just want to add that my experience is that power is de facto less significant than the pre / DAC.

 

HE-500 and this is simply VFM big time. 


Edited by Loevhagen - 10/26/12 at 1:03pm
post #3357 of 6599

So that I understand this. You received your HE-500's TODAY and you've already based your opinion of said Headphone after a measly listening session... after receiving them TODAY?  SERIOUSLY?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

 

 

No, it won't. It arrived today and I've just been listening. I expected a mental adjustment and was prepared to give it every chance, but sadly it didn't meet minimum requirements to be a competitor to the LCD-2. Indeed I'd say the current prices here in OZ (LCD=$1180, HE500=$712) well reflects the respective sound quality of these phones.

 

Where to start? I read somewhere recently, a user review, that the HE500 sounds like a recording whereas the LCD sounds like the real thing. To my ears this is spot-on. The HE-500 has none of that sense of real instruments with timbre and sheen that the LCD has. It sounds like a good mid-price phone, like an HD650 with a little more treble in the right places, a little more bite and less bloat. A nice phone, something you could perhaps happily live with...so long as you weren't a regular concert goer and hadn't heard the LCD-2 (either version). Maybe it depends what you're used to and what your idea of good sound is, but if your criterion is live music the LCD is miles ahead.   

 

To add insult to injury the HE-500 is considerably less comfortable despite being less bulky. It just grips too hard and doesn't seem to quite encircle my ears. It's also less efficient. I had to turn the volume way up by comparison, which surprised me. I'd got the impression they were more or less equal.

 

I wish I could give the HE-500 better marks. It's had such good reviews; even Tyll Hertsens seemed to prefer it to the LCD-2 (Rev1). It just lacks magic to me. If anything it's made me appreciate just how good my phone is, which I guess I knew but which only a comparison to an equally respected phone can legitimize. I won't even pine for the Rev 2 now; I have a feeling the Rev2 would lose some of the Rev1s special magic. I'm sitting pat.

post #3358 of 6599

A whopping 16 hours 2 minutes ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rezolver View Post

So that I understand this. You received your HE-500's TODAY and you've already based your opinion of said Headphone after a measly listening session... after receiving them TODAY?  SERIOUSLY?!

post #3359 of 6599
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

 

 

No, it won't. It arrived today and I've just been listening. I expected a mental adjustment and was prepared to give it every chance, but sadly it didn't meet minimum requirements to be a competitor to the LCD-2. Indeed I'd say the current prices here in OZ (LCD=$1180, HE500=$712) well reflects the respective sound quality of these phones.

 

Where to start? I read somewhere recently, a user review, that the HE500 sounds like a recording whereas the LCD sounds like the real thing. To my ears this is spot-on. The HE-500 has none of that sense of real instruments with timbre and sheen that the LCD has. It sounds like a good mid-price phone, like an HD650 with a little more treble in the right places, a little more bite and less bloat. A nice phone, something you could perhaps happily live with...so long as you weren't a regular concert goer and hadn't heard the LCD-2 (either version). Maybe it depends what you're used to and what your idea of good sound is, but if your criterion is live music the LCD is miles ahead.   

 

To add insult to injury the HE-500 is considerably less comfortable despite being less bulky. It just grips too hard and doesn't seem to quite encircle my ears. It's also less efficient. I had to turn the volume way up by comparison, which surprised me. I'd got the impression they were more or less equal.

 

I wish I could give the HE-500 better marks. It's had such good reviews; even Tyll Hertsens seemed to prefer it to the LCD-2 (Rev1). It just lacks magic to me. If anything it's made me appreciate just how good my phone is, which I guess I knew but which only a comparison to an equally respected phone can legitimize. I won't even pine for the Rev 2 now; I have a feeling the Rev2 would lose some of the Rev1s special magic. I'm sitting pat.

I don't consider myself a particularly experienced Head-Fi'er (let alone an expert one), but there are a few things with this post that I'd like to point out.
You can't really say 'No, it won't', since it's your opinion and I guarantee there are others that would contradict you.  These kinds of concrete statements should be relegated to things that Head-Fi'ers can treat as empirical or factual knowledge, e.g. the K1000 is hard to drive and the Beats are the devil.
Unless you have some pretty amazing test material or you're a professional - neither of which I can deny - I can't imagine a day being long enough to really make concrete opinions about the sound unless the headphone is just that extreme (e.g., Stax SR-009 or the devil's headphones/Beats)
I've never read the LCD-2s being rated over most other headphones for comfort.  That's not wrong, I just find it strange.  The LCD-2s aren't really something I would ever recommend based on comfort.
I was also always under the impression that the LCD series is Tyll's favorite.  I certainly love the LCD-2.
What source/amp and test material were you using to make these conclusions?

post #3360 of 6599

First up, just to answer everyone at once, yes, I have rushed to judgement, and in fact my opinion has somewhat ameliorated since then, but I deliberately didn't alter the original post (being in OZ my posts appear during the night for USA)  because I wanted an honest first opinion to stand and because I thought it would stimulate discussion, as it has. Good.

 

The HE-500s are used, so I don't know what hours they have on them They're the newer type with silver lead and leather pads, so may not be too old, but I doubt they need burning in. I wouldn't mind hearing the HE-500 with velour pads, but it may be a futile exercise for reasons I'll get to...

 

Dagothur, my "No, it won't" was to myself, not meant as a general statement that the HE-500 would not do for everyone. I should explain that I listen to orchestral/symphonic music exclusively, so things like transient response, detail and even bass slam are not as important to me as they might be to someone into more modern forms. My priority is evenness of response, orchestral timbre and generally low listener fatigue (which I must say is a feature of both phones here).

 

Rezolver, I'm not sure how you came up with your 16 hours, 2 minutes, but you give me too much credit. I certainly didn't listen to them for that long. tongue.gif

 

Anyway, now that I've sufficiently stirred the pot, let's get down to tin tacks. After further listening, as I say, my opinion has somewhat softened. I can now see the HE-500 having considerable appeal to modern music folk. They can even make orchestral music sound more exciting than the LCD-2 on occasion, and without too much cost. There's an odd nasally colouration that intrudes at times, and I was once or twice aware of a sort of nullity, a flat area in the upper midrange that robs some instruments (castanet, say) of bite and definition, but this was rare and probably helped with lack of listener fatigue on poor material. One oddity: I find the LCD has a wider and broader soundstage. This was one area where I was expecting the HE-500 to excell, but I found it to have a sort of pinched quality that kept the sounstage from expanding. My ears maybe?

 

I could go into further detail on sound quality but as of right now my main beef with the HE-500 is comfort: I just don't find those earpads big enough, and the edges of my ears are getting pinched. The clamping is also rather extreme, though that may lessen (the LCD is much kinder, but I seem to recall that that clamped rather harder initially). To live with these I'd have to do something about comfort or sound quality would be irrelevant.

 

So to sum up, I'm going to provisionally apologise to all HE-500 fans for overly hasty judgement. I'll tuck my ears in and continue listening because I want to get a handle on these cans and give them a fair go. It's rare in any phone to have this much excitement and definition combined with such low listener fatigue, so they deserve credit for that at the very least. I do wish someone could come up with an ortho that wasn't quite so damn heavy though. God, my neck... 

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