Originally Posted by preproman
I saw that you rank them HE-6 > HE-5LE> HE-500. I just recently got the HE-500. I was impressed with them on my headphone amps. My question to you is - What amp did you use during you testing? My experience is that the HE-6 is very limiting when on any of my headphone amps this is where IMO the HE-500 will come very close if not equal it in performance.
Putting the HE-6 on the right amp will distance it by a good margin IMHO.
I used the KMF solid state-an excellent amp, the Fitz-improved Bada PH-12--a hybrid, the Linn Intek--from both the headphone out and the speaker taps, the Denon AVR-1905--from both the headphone out and the speaker taps, and the Qinpu 1.0A-X--speaker taps only.
Even with the over achieving KMF: an amp that really didn't have ample drive for the HE-6, but actually drove the HE-500 quite well, it was apparent that the level of detail retrieval with the 6 easily out-pointed the 500, as well as the HE-6's 3-dimensionality and overall size of the soundstage. I will concede, however, that the overall "gestalt" due to more optimal matching might favor the 500, but to me it still was not enough to demonstrate that the 500 were the 6's "equal".
My impressions of the 500 running from the speaker taps of various integrated amp was that they tended to sound a bit "hot", sharp and over driven, while the HE-6, by contrast, just seem to relax and take on an unflappable ease to their presentation; they come alive in another dimension of sound reproduction. : )
I do agree with you that with more suitable amping, the HE-6 out-performs the HE-500 even more, winning by "yards"--with better amping, instead of by "feet"--with less that sufficient amping.
Edited by pataburd - 10/7/12 at 1:40pm