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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 710

post #10636 of 17583

LOL so now EQ is this amazing new thing that can make mid-range headphones sound high-end. 

post #10637 of 17583
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

Everybody is pragmatic enough, they'll find the combination of hardware, mods, and whatever else they can to arrive at their most preferred sound. Why do hd800 users dwell on source chains many, many times more expensive than the headphone itself? Why is the t50rp so vigerously modded for better sound? People recognize potential.

Ad700, when eq'd for a bassier sound that's more neutral, turns into a blob of mud. It's warm sounding alright, but nowhere as controlled as he400. The midrange is too diffused and ill-focused compared to higher quality offerings. Eq can't fix these things, only substantial modding or better drivers.

Sorry I mentioned the AD700. You've obviously fixated on that and have gotten distracted. The rest of your post here is marvelous though. Perceived value and the HD800 example both get at what I was wondering about. Another example can be found in the vintage receiver thread that I follow. People thrill at finding some garden variety Kenwood at $100 only to spend $500 to have it restored. You can't tell me that the end result is sonically better than a $600 modern amp, but to each their own I guess.
post #10638 of 17583
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCabDaddy View Post


"better?" Several months into this hobby, I no longer know the meaning of the word. What I do know is there are a number of models at the price point and below that would not require such an extreme high frequency notch/slope as applied by the original poster of this thread branch.

Resolution pretty much. The amount of detail and realism of the sound. Atleast imo.

post #10639 of 17583
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCabDaddy View Post

Sorry I mentioned the AD700. You've obviously fixated on that and have gotten distracted. The rest of your post here is marvelous though. Perceived value and the HD800 example both get at what I was wondering about. Another example can be found in the vintage receiver thread that I follow. People thrill at finding some garden variety Kenwood at $100 only to spend $500 to have it restored. You can't tell me that the end result is sonically better than a $600 modern amp, but to each their own I guess.

Well there's no doubt an enthusiast approach to it in some cases, but I would like to think that everybody is trying to pursue their most desired sound. I'm not in the right to judge everybody's sanity in the hobby, but the only reason I still have an he400 with mild treble eq is because its the best I've heard and willing to spend on so far. If a drastically eq'd and modified he400 is the best someone else has heard, then more power to them for keeping it.
post #10640 of 17583
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marleybob217 View Post

Resolution pretty much. The amount of detail and realism of the sound. Atleast imo.

Realism highly depend on sound signature. Resolution also (kinda) depend on sound signature. For example the HE-400 treble is detailed, but it stops there. I find them almost unable to display small nuances in the treble due to the spikes overshadowing.

post #10641 of 17583
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

Well there's no doubt an enthusiast approach to it in some cases, but I would like to think that everybody is trying to pursue their most desired sound. I'm not in the right to judge everybody's sanity in the hobby, but the only reason I still have an he400 with mild treble eq is because its the best I've heard and willing to spend on so far. If a drastically eq'd and modified he400 is the best someone else has heard, then more power to them for keeping it.

Agreed but I think there is also a frog in a slowly boiling pan of water aspect to it for some not unlike myself: For me, the 400 is my most expensive headphone purchase to date. Then to rationalize the expense and perhaps to mask what may for me have been a purchasing mistake, I went into a frenzy to come up with an "acceptable" sound which thankfully I did. But in so doing, I've likely devalued my purchase as my 400 is now far from pristine. In hindsight would I have been as well off to cut my losses immediately and try one of a number of $300-400 alternatives? Likely.
post #10642 of 17583
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

Well there's no doubt an enthusiast approach to it in some cases, but I would like to think that everybody is trying to pursue their most desired sound. I'm not in the right to judge everybody's sanity in the hobby, but the only reason I still have an he400 with mild treble eq is because its the best I've heard and willing to spend on so far. If a drastically eq'd and modified he400 is the best someone else has heard, then more power to them for keeping it.

Agreed but I think there is also a frog in a slowly boiling pan of water aspect to it for some not unlike myself: For me, the 400 is my most expensive headphone purchase to date. Then to rationalize the expense and perhaps to mask what may for me have been a purchasing mistake, I went into a frenzy to come up with an "acceptable" sound which thankfully I did. But in so doing, I've likely devalued my purchase as my 400 is now far from pristine. In hindsight would I have been as well off to cut my losses immediately and try one of a number of $300-400 alternatives? Likely.
post #10643 of 17583
I wouldn't settle for acceptable, at least not if you don't think it's better sounding than what you think you can get ad700 to sound like. Then again you might be in for a rude awakening of acceptable sounding high end cans as well. The hobby is plagued with diminishing returns that are more diminishing than I feel they should be.
post #10644 of 17583
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

Realism highly depend on sound signature. Resolution also (kinda) depend on sound signature. For example the HE-400 treble is detailed, but it stops there. I find them almost unable to display small nuances in the treble due to the spikes overshadowing.

Exactly, which in my post before that I explained that these little quirks can be somewhat cured with mods such as using different pads or equalizing.

post #10645 of 17583
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

Realism highly depend on sound signature. Resolution also (kinda) depend on sound signature. For example the HE-400 treble is detailed, but it stops there. I find them almost unable to display small nuances in the treble due to the spikes overshadowing.

Highly subjective terms and concepts. I can counter that the HE400 is the LEAST realistic headphone I've owned to date. Fun? Yes. Intoxicating? Yes. Realistic? Nope.

Look, my post wasn't meant as an HE400 bashing one. I've largely made my peace with them and if I consider my present headphone collection as a whole, they have their place. But what I find curious is that certain models, with the HE400 near the top of the list receive an inordinate amount of attention from people trying to make them be what they want. With headphones like the JVC or Somic or Fostex, I kind of get it. It's folks trying to do aural alchemy... Trying to create a silk purse out of a sow's ear as it were. But the HE400 is up at a price point where I would expect something of a finished product not unlike the AKG 701 series or the Beyer 880 or the HD600/650... All headphones with acknowledged shortcomings but ones that I don't read about as being modded nearly so much... Especially with the intent of changing the inherent sound signature.
post #10646 of 17583
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

 

No, it's usually better to EQ down to avoid distortion or clipping. By cutting 7khz and 10 khz regions, you're directly cutting out the hotspots.

 

I understand about distortion and clipping very much but contrary to what others think, I believe EQing downwards to balance sound decreases SQ. It's hard to explain the exact difference but it feels like the hp loses emotion and becomes artificial- especially if you balance every frequency band.

 

The thing is we have a dip in the HE-400 with upper mids. If you decrease just the treble on top of that, our HP would be dulling and boring to say the least...

post #10647 of 17583
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCabDaddy View Post


Highly subjective terms and concepts. I can counter that the HE400 is the LEAST realistic headphone I've owned to date. Fun? Yes. Intoxicating? Yes. Realistic? Nope.

Look, my post wasn't meant as an HE400 bashing one. I've largely made my peace with them and if I consider my present headphone collection as a whole, they have their place. But what I find curious is that certain models, with the HE400 near the top of the list receive an inordinate amount of attention from people trying to make them be what they want. With headphones like the JVC or Somic or Fostex, I kind of get it. It's folks trying to do aural alchemy... Trying to create a silk purse out of a sow's ear as it were. But the HE400 is up at a price point where I would expect something of a finished product not unlike the AKG 701 series or the Beyer 880 or the HD600/650... All headphones with acknowledged shortcomings but ones that I don't read about as being modded nearly so much... Especially with the intent of changing the inherent sound signature.

Least realistic? Wow.

 

I had a look at your set of hps and none of them look better than the HE-400 when it comes to transparency/realism.

 

Even David Mahler mentioned in his massive review thread that despite the obvious coloring in the HE-400, it fares well when it comes to transparency and I personally agree.

 

I had a chance to compare a T1- headphone described quite often as realistic- and a HE400 before and although everything is subjective, apart from the presentation of treble where the T1 was superior by quite a lot, the difference was not that massive.

post #10648 of 17583
Quote:
Originally Posted by jay567 View Post

Least realistic? Wow.

I had a look at your set of hps and none of them look better than the HE-400 when it comes to transparency/realism.

Even David Mahler mentioned in his massive review thread that despite the obvious coloring in the HE-400, it fares well when it comes to transparency and I personally agree.

I had a chance to compare a T1- headphone described quite often as realistic- and a HE400 before and although everything is subjective, apart from the presentation of treble where the T1 was superior by quite a lot, the difference was not that massive.

It was David's opinion and review that largely lead to my purchase of the HE400. But again, HE400 sound quality or sound signature is not the point for me here. As I read this thread, that has already been discussed ad nauseum. My point is the amount of modification people put the HE400 through. What prompted my initial writing was someone doing what I consider a massive EQ tweak to get what they wanted. As I read that I wondered to myself why the person wouldn't simply get another headphone at that point which in turn lead me to reflect on how much modding of the HE400 goes on.
post #10649 of 17583
Oh I'm quite sure people would be 'modding' the crap out of their hd650s and akg701s if they were as easily switchable pads as the hifimans. Hd650 has an advantage-- or disadvantage, in that it changes sound signature much more drasticly than the purely resistive he-400. 'Amp rolling, is such a big deal with the sennheiser phones because everybody is trying to find their preferred sound with them and they know they're responsive to upstream equipment. That's more of a commitment than cutting holes in 20 dollar pads.
post #10650 of 17583
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCabDaddy View Post


It was David's opinion and review that largely lead to my purchase of the HE400. But again, HE400 sound quality or sound signature is not the point for me here. As I read this thread, that has already been discussed ad nauseum. My point is the amount of modification people put the HE400 through. What prompted my initial writing was someone doing what I consider a massive EQ tweak to get what they wanted. As I read that I wondered to myself why the person wouldn't simply get another headphone at that point which in turn lead me to reflect on how much modding of the HE400 goes on.

 

You can EQ/mod frequency fresponse (although I am not the biggest fan of it due to clipping/distortion) but you can't mod/EQ in planar bass/mids. Need I say more...?

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