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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 73

post #1081 of 17758

I'm such a knucklehead. For the last two weeks, I've been enjoying my he400s, smug in the knowledge that I knew exactly what these headphones were capable of. Boy, was I ever wrong. I had no idea whatsoever what these bad boys were capable of, until, quite on impulse,  I pulled out an old Kenwood receiver that my brother gave me approximately 20years ago. There it was, in my closet, swathed and cradled by a sleeping bad--dusty, neglected, and all but forgotten. Long story short, that receiver has just improved the he400's bass response two fold. Don't get me wrong: the bass sounded absolutely fantastic  before, but now, well, it sounds out of this word! I can't believe the impact! I just can't. I would swear, under the penalty of death, that the bass now has more impact than my D2000s, while, of course, retaining all of its characteristic texture and tightness. I really had no idea that bass could sound so punchy, so deep and so controlled--all at the same time!  Of course, being who I am, this discovery only makes me more curious about the he500. And that's just because, when you get right down to it, I'm somewhat of a  "vocal-fiend" (to coin a really stupid word). I just  love slightly forward vocals, and the he400 still leaves me  wanting more from the ladies (and this is my only complaint with these headphones.) If I'm not mistaken, I think the he500 excels with vocals of both genders. Boy, the more I think about it, the more certain I become: I should own both of those headphones.

post #1082 of 17758
Thread Starter 

I wouldn't do it tbh. I've already been down that road. The he500 is a very good hp but...

 

1. It's a good bit heavier than the he400 and not that comfortable for long sessions. 

 

2. It's build around the mids IMO. You will need a good amp to get those good mids. Most people like the lyr. 

 

The he400 is a better all around hp to me. And as you've found out it does some impressive things with the bass. biggrin.gif I guess you are using the headphone jack. Some have found even better results with speaker taps. 

 

If you are really about the vocals, you should hear the hd650 on layer. I have not heard better. 

post #1083 of 17758

I appreciate that Matt. I dub thee protector of my poor beleaguered wallet and champion of good sense. When you say the he500 is built around the mids, are you implying that they lack the he400's amazing bass response? if that's the case, I would never be satisfied with the he500. I love a lush vibrant midrange that accentuates vocals, but I learned with the hd595 that a great midrange is simply not enough. I love my bass too. Also, would you say that the he500, signature wise, sounds like the P5? They are definitely built around the mids. I auditioned those a while back, in fact, and they were so mid-centric that they somehow sounded gooey to me? I didn't like it at all. Thanks again. 

post #1084 of 17758
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

2. It's build around the mids IMO. You will need a good amp to get those good mids. Most people like the lyr. 

 

The he400 is a better all around hp to me. And as you've found out it does some impressive things with the bass. biggrin.gif I guess you are using the headphone jack. Some have found even better results with speaker taps. 

 

A vintage Kenwood receiver may well be a good amp for the purpose.  Depending on how the HP jack is wired it may be the main speaker amp behind some resistors.  Any decent receiver is wired that way and a vintage one almost certainly is.  Depending on the wattage an amp like that would be a popular choice to drive HE-6, and would probably do very well with both HE-400 and HE-500 as well.  Those receivers with a resistored power amp can put out a good amount of power!  One of Lyr's strengths with both HE-650 and HE-400 is the power.  650 because of the high impedance, and 400 because of the relatively large current supply.  A good receiver can do the same...it's just bigger, heavier, and without tubey goodness wink.gif

post #1085 of 17758
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madmollusk View Post

I appreciate that Matt. I dub thee protector of my poor beleaguered wallet and champion of good sense. When you say the he500 is built around the mids, are you implying that they lack the he400's amazing bass response? if that's the case, I would never be satisfied with the he500. I love a lush vibrant midrange that accentuates vocals, but I learned with the hd595 that a great midrange is simply not enough. I love my bass too. Also, would you say that the he500, signature wise, sounds like the P5? They are definitely built around the mids. I auditioned those a while back, in fact, and they were so mid-centric that they somehow sounded gooey to me? I didn't like it at all. Thanks again. 

 

What's the wattage on that Kenwood?  You like HE-400 bass, but want a lusher midrange, and upgrades all around....you may be a candidate for HE-6 right out of the binding posts!

 

Matt may be the protector of the wallet and champion of good sense.  I accept the role of being the opposite of that evil_smiley.gif

post #1086 of 17758

It has 2 channels and 200 watts. I'm  not sure if that's considered powerful.  Hmmm, the He-6, you say? Whoa, dude! Those bad boys are as expensive as my Hd800s! I can only go the plus $1000 dollar route once. It's sad that the  hd800 doesn't get more head-time with me though; they are just too detailed and analytical and consequently not musical enough, imho. I keep them only because I plan to buy a proper amp for them one day, but I'm reluctant to spend 2 grand on an amp, when I'm not even sure if I really want to keep the hd800s. I no doubt need a great headphone amp anyway, so I'll pull the trigger soon (my little dot mkiii is a joke when  it comes to power); boy, I have to say: this hobby sure punishes half-measures. 


Edited by Madmollusk - 10/17/12 at 8:23am
post #1087 of 17758

You plugged the HE-400 directly to the speaker taps of the Kenwood?  The Little Dot should be plenty powerful enough for phones like HD800, it pushes a tremendous amount of voltage.

post #1088 of 17758
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

You plugged the HE-400 directly to the speaker taps of the Kenwood?  The Little Dot should be plenty powerful enough for phones like HD800, it pushes a tremendous amount of voltage.

Oh, no, I'm not brave enough to try that. Sigh, if the Little Dot iii has enough power for the hd800, then I can only conclude that the hd800 is simply not my cup of tea. With that said, I really love other Sennheiser headphones--namely: the hd580 and hd650

post #1089 of 17758

I'm with you on that.  I think they took a step backwards from HD650 when they made the HD800.

post #1090 of 17758
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madmollusk View Post

It has 2 channels and 200 watts. I'm  not sure if that's considered powerful.  Hmmm, the He-6, you say? Whoa, dude! Those bad boys are as expensive as my Hd800s! I can only go the plus $1000 dollar route once. It's sad that the  hd800 doesn't get more head-time with me though; they are just too detailed and analytical and consequently not musical enough, imho. I keep them only because I plan to buy a proper amp for them one day, but I'm reluctant to spend 2 grand on an amp, when I'm not even sure if I really want to keep the hd800s. I no doubt need a great headphone amp anyway, so I'll pull the trigger soon (my little dot mkiii is a joke when  it comes to power); boy, I have to say: this hobby sure punishes half-measures. 

 

Sounds like a good HE-6 amp to me! evil_smiley.gif  200W @8ohm = something like 25w @50ohm....so you'd get to use 1/4 the volume dial...maybe. :)   Yep, they're definitely "flagship zone" and the big turnoff for folks is that receivers and power amps is the norm...very few headphone amps run them biggrin.gif  Not many people want to run a 20lb 17x5x14" "headphone amp."  Since you're already doing it, I figured I'd toss it out there.  HD800 should sound great on that receiver's headphone jack as well though!  No need to go crazy on it.  It sounds great out of my integrated's HP out, but I have other noise/gain issues going on there.  HD800 is a lot more sensitive than HE-400, but it also has a lot higher impedance so the difference isn't as extreme as it appears.

 

Of course there's better than that receiver....but I bet the receiver's better than the LD in almost every way but the tubes!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madmollusk View Post

Oh, no, I'm not brave enough to try that. Sigh, if the Little Dot iii has enough power for the hd800, then I can only conclude that the hd800 is simply not my cup of tea. With that said, I really love other Sennheiser headphones--namely: the hd580 and hd650

 

He said it had enough power for HD800, he didn't say that it had the best distortion, noise, and speed characteristics to sound good with HD800 biggrin.gif   That said, my personal feeling is out of the box, HD800 is deplorable sounding, and it positively needs to be EQ'd.  But if EQ'd it can sound quite nice even on modest equipment like HP jacks on receivers like yours, or Lyr, etc.   But it's not nearly as "plug & play" as something like HE-400 is that just sounds good without effort biggrin.gif

post #1091 of 17758
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

He said it had enough power for HD800, he didn't say that it had the best distortion, noise, and speed characteristics to sound good with HD800 biggrin.gif   That said, my personal feeling is out of the box, HD800 is deplorable sounding, and it positively needs to be EQ'd.  But if EQ'd it can sound quite nice even on modest equipment like HP jacks on receivers like yours, or Lyr, etc.   But it's not nearly as "plug & play" as something like HE-400 is that just sounds good without effort biggrin.gif

 

Ok, I'll take the bait here: i have a pretty cheap Behringer graphic equalizer with only 10 bands; seems like both the he400 and Hd800 could use some quality equalizing (quality being the operative word here). The Behringer I own doesn't give me precise control of the frequencies I want to modify and furthermore it introduces queer resonances into the audio chain along with some clipping. Can you recommend a quality equalizer that will work with the average receiver via rca? Something that costs around 250 USD or thereabouts would be great. 


Edited by Madmollusk - 10/17/12 at 1:59pm
post #1092 of 17758
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madmollusk View Post

 

Ok, I'll take the bait here: i have a pretty cheap Behringer graphic equalizer with only 10 bands; seems like both the he400 and Hd800 could use some quality equalizing (quality being the operative word here). The Behringer I own doesn't give me precise control of the frequencies I want to modify and furthermore it introduces queer resonances into the audio chain along with some clipping. Can you recommend a quality equalizer that will work with the average receiver via rca? Something that cost around 250 USD or thereabouts would be great. 

 

Hmm, you're not far off with Behringer.  I'm using the DEQ2496....digital EQ, all the controls you could want.  Some would argue it's not perfect....but IMO it's as transparent as I need it to be with some highly transparent gear.  Complicated piece of gear compared to an analog GEQ of course....but once you take your time to learn it it's easy to use.

 

What are you using for source?  Assuming you have a seperate transport and DAC, the DEQ goes before the DAC via optical or AES, not after it.  You can use it analog via XLR or XLR->RCA cables (it auto switches the voltage), but as an audiophile introducing an A/D->D/A stage again is unacceptable wink_face.gif

 

If you're bent on analog, something like a BBE is probably preferable to Behringer and not much more money.  Though I hate 31-band stereo GEQ's...they're enormous in most cases.  15 band gives a little more control, but 31 band spoils you once you're used to it biggrin.gif

 

Of course if you're using PC as a source, it's kind of a mute point since that's already a digital EQ!

post #1093 of 17758
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

Hmm, you're not far off with Behringer.  I'm using the DEQ2496....digital EQ, all the controls you could want.  Some would argue it's not perfect....but IMO it's as transparent as I need it to be with some highly transparent gear.  Complicated piece of gear compared to an analog GEQ of course....but once you take your time to learn it it's easy to use.

 

What are you using for source?  Assuming you have a seperate transport and DAC, the DEQ goes before the DAC via optical or AES, not after it.  You can use it analog via XLR or XLR->RCA cables (it auto switches the voltage), but as an audiophile introducing an A/D->D/A stage again is unacceptable wink_face.gif

 

If you're bent on analog, something like a BBE is probably preferable to Behringer and not much more money.  Though I hate 31-band stereo GEQ's...they're enormous in most cases.  15 band gives a little more control, but 31 band spoils you once you're used to it biggrin.gif

 

Of course if you're using PC as a source, it's kind of a mute point since that's already a digital EQ!

Yeah, I'm sort of bent on an analog setup, though I admit, I use my pc for my source nowadays, mostly out of convenience. But I plan to integrate an old LP player into the audio chain soon and some other semi-vintage gear, so for that reason analog would be best for me. Well thanks for all the advice: here's to hopping I can manipulate the hd800 into sounding something like the hd650. If I could do that, then I'd be one happy camper indeed. 

beerchug.gif

post #1094 of 17758
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madmollusk View Post

Yeah, I'm sort of bent on an analog setup, though I admit, I use my pc for my source nowadays, mostly out of convenience. But I plan to integrate an old LP player into the audio chain soon and some other semi-vintage gear, so for that reason analog would be best for me. Well thanks for all the advice: here's to hopping I can manipulate the hd800 into sounding something like the hd650. If I could do that, then I'd be one happy camper indeed. 

beerchug.gif

 

Just sell the HD800s, get yourself some HD650s and call it a day. You could sell your HE-400s and with the money from those + the leftover from your HD800s you could buy yourself the HE-6. wink.gif

post #1095 of 17758

I already own the hd650, but I may sell the hd800 all the same, unless of course, I can eq it to my satisfaction. Whoa. Who am I kidding here! I'll never sell the hd800! And you know what? The he400s aren't going anywhere either. And if you people keep tempting me with talk of the He-6, I might just lose it altogether and buy them too (Where's Matt when you need him?). I already suspect that I'm a headphone addict, and if I don't put myself in check soon, I'll no doubt end up homeless, without friends, estranged from all family, with only a suitcase full of headphones to keep me company. biggrin.gif

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