Originally Posted by jerg
I listen to AKFG and Gazette too, among a few other Japanese musicians/bands. They perform exceptionally well for Japanese rock. If I gotta nitpick, then for certain Jpop / Jballad they are a bit too lean for my taste, since these recordings tend to be slightly recessed in the mids, and IMO need a more "lush" headphone to equalize that difference perfectly. On the other hand, it is hard to find lush cans that have the bass kick and extension of these, not to mention the realism in the mids and non-fatiguing yet non-recessed treble (important point, since many female Japanese vocals tend to be a bit harsher than others).
Interesting you'd say that. I'm guessing you have a different view of JPop than the Japanese. Audio Technica's cans are voiced with the classic Japanese speaker voicing. That is, they're all in the high end, lean, clear, and not full at all, with clean but often non-present bass.
Originally Posted by MattTCG
I'd like to hear what amp/dac is being used by those who own the he400.
For me, Schiit Lyr & Bifrost fed by S/PDIF coax for a Squeezebox Touch. Beautiful combination so far. I'm fond of the stock GE's with all my cans, but I'm having some reliability issues with them making me reconsider a venture into the tube rolling thread to see what may have better reliability but still be neutral and clear. I've had two pairs of those tubes falter with less than 400 hours use despite the 5,000 hour rating, and both became very microphonic sooner than that. They're cheap (for tubes) so it's not a crisis, but it's irritating buying 2-3 to get one good one. Even if doing so is still cheaper than half of the more famous tubes out there for a single set.
It's funny, I started looking at orthos mostly because I had an amp designed for crazy ortho power delivery, so "why not?" And I end up buying the only ortho that doesn't need that power Like the HE-400, the Lyr & Bifrost rarely dissappoints. The fact that with the right tubes it's popular with HD800 owners says something. That's the pickiest can on the planet. Well, when it blew apart my HD650s it dissappointed, but that's a different matter (and it's a matter that I'm starting to discover may have been more tube related than amp related, but I need to conduct some experiments first.) I still wouldn't trade my Lyr for anything under $1000 And Bifrost via S/PDIF anyway, is quite a clean DAC, especially for the money. The combo is very neutral, or slightly bright of neutral, which is a fantastic match to the dark HE-400. It was designed strongly with LCD-2 in mind....so it's a great pair for dark cans.
I have a Headroom Micro around, but I haven't tried HE-400 on them yet. I was never pleased with it for HD650, also dark, but I've heard it's good for K702. I do suspect Headrooms are a better match for inefficient low-impedence headphones more than high-impedence 650s. HE-400 may be efficient compared to HE-6, but they're still fairly inefficient headphones. Moreso than K702 which is relatively inefficient on its own.
Originally Posted by Aaron1006
What he said ^ xD. These two are my only 'phones currently and not looking for anything else as far as full sized goes!
Originally Posted by jerg
Ditto on the second part...seriously I get an overwhelming feeling of not-needing-to-upgrade every time I listen to em. That is not good news for the hobby, I didn't spend enough money to warrant that feeling yet!!!
+2, both. That's exactly what I've been thinking. I keep thinking maybe, someday, I'll add HE-500 to see what the buzz is about, maybe I'll have to....maybe I'll...maybe....no.....no these are perfect.
I'm curious about the others, but I have a hard time thinking about paying 2-3x more for a headphone I'd use 70% less often! My K702 are already collecting dust (but I'd never ditch them), and my HD650s, I'm almost thinking of not buying replacement drivers for. I can't imagine often using them. I may still do it, but these are just so addicting. I think I would use these 70-80% of the time and switch out only for something different. Unlike other headphones I can't swap these out and say "for this type of recording I have to use the other headphones". I've yet to find a genre they don't render better overall than both 650 and 702. Previously I'd use 650 when I had something more vocal or percussion/bass filled (chill, worldbeat, jazz vocals) , and K702 for classical, live jazz, etc. Now...this is my first choise across the board, and the other two are only for if I want a different presentation overall.
I agree entirely, the biggest feeling is the feeling of not needing an upgrade. Not finding expected faults or irritants. Maybe these really are the upraditis cure. We think of upgrades, put them on, then think of not needing an upgrade.
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Originally Posted by MattTCG
Well, I decided to parse down my collection as I like to keep only two pair of hp's on my desk and one pair of cheapies that I can take outside and such. Never thought I'd do it but I sold my beloved and most comfortable Beyer dt990. I always appreciated the sound signature and comfort. But after listening to the he400's non stop for about two weeks, the Beyer was just a let down tbh. They will ship out on Monday and I'll miss the comfort.
The issue with comfort mostly goes away after about 5 minutes of listening to the he400. I'm thinking of trying a new cable with it. Not sure though. I hear the silver cables may make the high's too bright. Ordering the Senheiser headband though. Will report back on that.
I'm still working on the comfort thing. One thing is certain, the headband needs to be stretched, loosened, and shaped. I'm working on that, and it does wonders both for comfort and for sound (less pressure means the foam compresses less which means the drivers sit a hair farther from the ear: more sparkle, wider stage, and dare I say, a little lower reach as well, at the expense of a slightly drier midrange!) The only trouble is the metal band always wants to mold back to its old shape, so when I pick it up again it's compressing again. And I don't want to actually weaken the metal by trying to stretch it too often...it takes a good bit of abuse to try to shape it so I'm not too fond of re-trying.
I'm thinking leaving it stretched over a wider object for a few days instead of hanging it from the stand may train the metal better. Once thats done I'm thinking they may become one of the most comfortable cans in the collection if the early stretching results are any indication.
Originally Posted by wje
Actually, the EF-2A doesn't do quite as well with the HE-400s at bringing out their potential. However, do keep in mind, the EF-2A was also developed earlier than the ortho headphones from HifiMAN. Though, against the HifiMAN's suggestion, the HE series of planar headphones sound best when used off of speaker taps from an amp or receiver. The HE-400 and HE-500 headphones should not be connected to the taps, due to their better efficiency. However, if one is careful, this should not be a concern at all. Nothing like living on the edge for the best sound possible.
I can see it for HE4, 5, 6. But even then, and especially with 400 & 500, if an AVR has better amplification performance than your headphone amp, I think it's time to invest in a better headphone amp My AVR is nice, but my Lyr runs circles around it in terms of total performance (obviously, not for total power.) That's a lot of attenuation to be applying to the gain to get it down to <2W output.