How you like those HE-4s?
O wow - OK thanks. I think I'll pass on them..
It does well for a headphone amp. It's very close to the little dot in terms of power to the HE-6, and clarity, however, not quite to the same level as the little dot in terms of smoothness. It might top the little dot in terms of detail though. Not up to the level of a speaker amp, but getting close. I'd say on the higher end of headphone amps I've heard with the HE-6. If you want a good all around amp, that you can use with just about any headphone (really like the T1 with it) with lots of functionality (I literally have all 3 RCA inputs hooked up to different sources) you can't beat this. If you are looking for something to pair the HE-6 with, I think speaker amps provide a better value.
Off the top of my head:
The soloist is a 'musical' amp for sure. It's a little smoother, got that fun speedy sound. It sounds open, but not in the same open the 10SE has. The soloist is a very intimate and close open with the instruments spreading around. It's a little smoother, and just as detailed as the 10SE.
The 10SE has a very open sound. It's open and spread out. The singer is set back a few steps and then the instruments around. It has a very detailed sound. It's certainly not as musical as the soloist. It definitely has the Audio-gd sound signature. The only thing it may have on the soloist is bass detail and bass clarity.
This may not be a fair comparison though, we are comparing a $1000 amp to a $700 DAC/AMP combo, but those are my thoughts.
It's definitely got power behind it. Normal listening for me was about 12oclock with the HE-6. It just lacked the treble clarity that the HE-6 gets with speaker taps. It can handle any other headphone very easily.
HE-500s were very sibilant with the Burson. It lacked a sense of smoothness and sounded overly harsh with mid/fast paced music. The synergy just wasn't there, and I would experience listening fatigue shortly after having them on. When I first got the HE-500s, this is the reason I disliked them. A little off topic, but I had the same issue with the LCD-2 when I initially got them.
When I used a different input for the DAC, it sounded better, but there was still much room for improvement.
With the V200, they sound like a completely different pair of headphones, hands down (both HE-500 and LCD-2). They gain the musical mids that they lack with the Burson, become silky smooth so that you can listen for longer periods of time, and instruments no longer mesh together poorly to create a loud blob of incomprehensible sound.
These are my experiences with the Burson and the planar magnetics.
I feel none the wiser.