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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 777

post #11641 of 18450
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

For the moment, I would rather enjoy two, or sometimes three redface.gif
, sets of very nice mid-fi cans. It gives me a diversity of products that do different things. The most obvious is open and closed sets. You can cater to your mood with a colored and fun pair and have a pair that are more neutral. 

Ultimately I'd consider going with one flagship model and sell off the rest. I have a special affection for the sound signature of the lcd2. I could make it my one pair of headphones based on the sound signature. The problem is that they are just too darn heavy to be my everyday pair. Based on comfortable flagships: the he6, lcd series and even the he500, 5le are too heavy for a single everyday hp for me. The he400 is the max weight that I'm comfortable with. 

The only hp that really appeals to me as a flagship that I'd like to own is the he60, which is now out of production. The last possible option would be a Stax setup. Wait, the Stax has a perfect weight and comfort level with an other worldly sound signature. Now if I only had about $3500. 

the he-5le is lighter than he-500. should be about he-400 weight
post #11642 of 18450
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

Why is the production stage irrelevant?

Also, assuming they're using a pair of speakers in a well-treated room that are room corrected through EQ to sound as flat as possible, wouldn't EQ'ing your own pair of headphones to be as flat as possible be more along the lines of 'hearing what was intended?'

Good point well made and judging by the sound quality of countless albums in their final mastering, I don't particularly like hearing what was intended! The HE-400s have certainly given me more insight into the quality of recordings than any other headphone I've heard. I must add, the well produced material really shines through though.
Edited by amigomatt - 7/26/13 at 8:31am
post #11643 of 18450
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenshinhimura View Post

it is brighter. i loved the he-500 but i always felt it was a little too polite. with the he-5le i feel the guitar now. as far as i can see, the he-500 has a bit better bass though.

This is partially why I'd be interested in the HE-4 one day, but on it's own the HE-500 has been satisfying for everything I listen to.  I feel like the HE-4/HE-5LE would be a bit too bright and revealing though, but that sounds like it would complement the HE-500s signature well.  I'd probably pick the HE-4 over similarly priced/tuned dynamics, but I've still got alot left to hear.

post #11644 of 18450
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

For the moment, I would rather enjoy two, or sometimes three redface.gif, sets of very nice mid-fi cans. It gives me a diversity of products that do different things. The most obvious is open and closed sets. You can cater to your mood with a colored and fun pair and have a pair that are more neutral. 

 

Ultimately I'd consider going with one flagship model and sell off the rest. I have a special affection for the sound signature of the lcd2. I could make it my one pair of headphones based on the sound signature. The problem is that they are just too darn heavy to be my everyday pair. Based on comfortable flagships: the he6, lcd series and even the he500, 5le are too heavy for a single everyday hp for me. The he400 is the max weight that I'm comfortable with. 

 

The only hp that really appeals to me as a flagship that I'd like to own is the he60, which is now out of production. The last possible option would be a Stax setup. Wait, the Stax has a perfect weight and comfort level with an other worldly sound signature. Now if I only had about $3500. 

I have to say, being one of the lucky ones to get to audition an HE60 along side a SR-007 MKI and SR-009, that it is easily one of the best headphones ever to grace my ears.  The owner apparently bought them 5 years prior for about $5k on a whim....and never even listened to them UNTIL THAT DAY!  He never had a proper amp to run them, he just knew how special they were and the investment was justified.  The pads were in need of repair, but man...they sounded really impressive regardless on a BHSE.  Stats are super light weight too, and very comfortable...ideal weight, really.  Apparently if you find a used pair, Sennheiser will refurbish them to 'like new' condition for a very reasonable price. cool.gif Personally, I think I liked the SR-007 MKI signature better though.  It's all too rich for my blood...fortunately I'm content with my HiFiMans tongue.gif

post #11645 of 18450

I see a lot of talk here in this thread about EQing the 400's. I'm using mine in my office and here I use a computer (only FLAC and Wav files) and J.River as the source out to my DAC. Anyone here using the EQ built into the J.River Media Center?

 

I've been looking for the adjustments users are making but I haven't found them here yet. If someone could point me in the direction of what EQ settings are being used I'd be very interested in trying it out. 

 

I'm very pleased with the HE-400's but I'm curious to hear what others are gettig them to sound like with their EQ adjustments.

 

Thanks!


Edited by KLJTech - 7/26/13 at 9:55am
post #11646 of 18450

Here is mine.

post #11647 of 18450
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

 

Well what I am saying is fact so I do not need to use IMHO.

 

I don't think it is irrelevant tbh, because people who refuse to use EQ probably think that there has not been any applied before the music was released or something.

Really? That really came out of your brain, through your fingers, into the keyboard and on onto this board?

post #11648 of 18450

Look,  nothing any of you EQ guys says is going to change my mind.  I am a purist and that is it.  You will keep EQ'ing and be happy, I will NEVER use EQ and be happy and the planet will still spin.  I won't argue about his anymore.  It's a waste of everyone's time.  I asked one question about where is the EQ on the really good HiFi gear? and all I get is excuses and ridiculous reasons why it's the right thing to do.  Fine.  I guess there are "headphone enthusiasts" and then there are "audiophiles" tongue.gif

post #11649 of 18450
If I
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLJTech View Post

I see a lot of talk here in this thread about EQing the 400's. I'm using mine in my office and here I use a computer (only FLAC and Wav files) and J.River as the source out to my DAC. Anyone here using the EQ built into the J.River Media Center?

I've been looking for the adjustments users are making but I haven't found them here yet. If someone could point me in the direction of what EQ settings are being used I'd be very interested in trying it out. 


I'm very pleased with the HE-400's but I'm curious to hear what others are gettig them to sound like with their EQ adjustments.


Thanks!

If I use EQ I use Jriver, and I only do bass boost. Flat otherwise and normally no EQ

That said, I find the Jriver EQ to be nice sounding
post #11650 of 18450
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmsaxon69 View Post

Look,  nothing any of you EQ guys says is going to change my mind.  I am a purist and that is it.  You will keep EQ'ing and be happy, I will NEVER use EQ and be happy and the planet will still spin.  I won't argue about his anymore.  It's a waste of everyone's time.  I asked one question about where is the EQ on the really good HiFi gear? and all I get is excuses and ridiculous reasons why it's the right thing to do.  Fine.  I guess there are "headphone enthusiasts" and then there are "audiophiles" tongue.gif

 

You won't see EQ on hifi gear because it's just that-- hifi gear.  It's marketed towards people with your mindset.  Look at pro gear.

 

Also, using a digital software EQ instead of a hardware one on your amp or preamp is a better idea in the first place.  The only reason I see not to do that is if you're already too purist and completely skip the computer alltogether, going straight form a vinyl to amp to skip the d/a process.


Edited by TMRaven - 7/26/13 at 12:05pm
post #11651 of 18450
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmsaxon69 View Post

Look,  nothing any of you EQ guys says is going to change my mind.  I am a purist and that is it.  You will keep EQ'ing and be happy, I will NEVER use EQ and be happy and the planet will still spin.  I won't argue about his anymore.  It's a waste of everyone's time.  I asked one question about where is the EQ on the really good HiFi gear? and all I get is excuses and ridiculous reasons why it's the right thing to do.  Fine.  I guess there are "headphone enthusiasts" and then there are "audiophiles" tongue.gif

Such defensiveness. It's not an argument, unless you want to make it so. I see it as an interesting discussion.

 

Before you completely close your mind off to the idea of using EQ, let me offer my input. The reason why high end equipments don't have EQ function, imo, is primarily due to the fact that parametric equalizers at the digital level with a computer software is inexpensive (free, in some cases) and superior to any graphical equalizer that may come with an external DAC, which will invariable bump up the cost of the DAC unit considerably. With a parametric EQ program, much more fine tuning is available. The software I use even comes with a perfectly functional manual sine sweeper, which is a wonderful tool for fine tuning your EQ settings. As such, there is no reason for any high-end equipment to include a graphic EQ, imo.

 

I'm presuming that you've been using a graphic EQ, without the aid of a sine sweeper, and thus, have been having a hard time getting your equalizations just right. It also helps tremendously to have some knowledge of human spectrum of loudness sensitivity with respect to frequencies. This tells your ears how to correlate perceived loudness with actually physical intensity of each specific frequency you hear. The diagram at the bottom of this article is great for that: http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/hearing.html Finally, it helps to brush up on some knowledge of compensation curves. There are a few, and none of them are universally agreed upon, but they're mostly pretty similar to each other.

 

I'm glad you're enjoying your headphones without EQ. Once you have your EQing skill down to a science, I can assure you that you'll be rewarded with sound from your headphones that is much more tonally natural than ever before. I have never ever come across a headphone that I can can't* make sound considerably better with some EQing. Every time I turn off my EQ settings for my HE-400 or RE-400, I start to miss what I was hearing before. Peaks, spikes, valleys, and dips are very apparent to me; and when they're gone, sublime naturalness is all that remains.

 

However, certain properties of headphones cannot be improved with EQ, of course. Things like dynamics, speed, soundstage (except to a degree)*, imaging, reverberation, resolution, etc... This is why, my philosophy and approach towards choosing the ideal headphone is to pick that I can afford with as much of those desired traits as possible. Then, I will tailor its frequency response precisely to my taste.

 

Addendum: I would like to also assert that most (at least 95%) of the peaks and dips in a headphone's FR are not intentionally placed there by their manufacturers. Those flaws are biproducts of the headphones' design and materials implemented. In a sense, they're unavoidable. Same holds true for "ringing," AKA excessive reverberations at certain frequencies. Ringing can't be alleviated with EQ, but FR flaws certainly can be remedied utterly. If manufacturers could have it their way, almost every headphone's FR graphs would look very, very smooth.


Edited by tigon_ridge - 7/26/13 at 12:38pm
post #11652 of 18450
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigon_ridge View Post

This is why, my philosophy and approach towards choosing the ideal headphone is to pick that I can afford with as much of those desired traits as possible. Then, I will tailor its frequency response precisely to my taste.

 

That's some solid advice.

post #11653 of 18450

The reason for that is because tone controls actually do effect the sound quality (a bit) by putting more physical components into the audio chain, an EQ is software so it does not have the same effect.

 

If I purchased some headphones that were actually perfect to my ears then I would not EQ, but I have yet to find any that match this requirement.


Edited by nicholars - 7/26/13 at 1:09pm
post #11654 of 18450

^ +1

post #11655 of 18450
I've always been averse to EQ for apparently purist reasons, but I must admit that even with a good 20 years interest in hifi and sound reproduction, some of the arguments being put forward here are making me reconsider this and give it a try. After all, I EQ a fair bit when producing my own music and tailoring recordings I make, just like every other record that has been through its relevant processes. I just don't like the idea of getting bogged down with the technicalities of it all at the expense of enjoying the music. Also, EQ'ing would only be relevant to when I'm listening through my PC and not my portable rigs/separates hifi setup, so this may introduce more inconsistencies across my listening experiences than I may want. Great discussion though, people.
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