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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 796

post #11926 of 19783

While the Xonar DG is a good product in its price range ($30), my experience is that a $100-$150 DAC and a $30-$50 headphone amp sound significantly better than a $30 DAC and a $300 headphone amp.

 

A Schiit Modi for $100 is going to be way better than any internal, simply because the asynchronous connection.

 

Personally, I would rather use an asynchronous DAC and $30 headphones (Senn 201s) than a $30 sound card and $1000 headphones.


Edited by kstuart - 8/4/13 at 6:22pm
post #11927 of 19783

E12 drives HE-400 a lot better than E17, and it's quite cheap.

post #11928 of 19783
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstuart View Post

While the Xonar DG is a good product in its price range ($30), my experience is that a $100-$150 DAC and a $30-$50 headphone amp sound significantly better than a $30 DAC and a $300 headphone amp.

 

A Schiit Modi for $100 is going to be way better than any internal, simply because the asynchronous connection.

 

Personally, I would rather use an asynchronous DAC and $30 headphones (Senn 201s) than a $30 sound card and $1000 headphones.


...

post #11929 of 19783
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstuart View Post

While the Xonar DG is a good product in its price range ($30), my experience is that a $100-$150 DAC and a $30-$50 headphone amp sound significantly better than a $30 DAC and a $300 headphone amp.

 

A Schiit Modi for $100 is going to be way better than any internal, simply because the asynchronous connection.

 

Personally, I would rather use an asynchronous DAC and $30 headphones (Senn 201s) than a $30 sound card and $1000 headphones.

 

********.

post #11930 of 19783

An asynchronous DAC removes most of the jitter that is responsible for the "cold hard" sound of digital that causes people to buy vinyl and turntables in reaction.

 

A $1000 pair of headphones beautifully reproduces the cold hard crappy sound of the $30 DAC.

 

Musical Fidelity makes an asynchronous converter for non-USB connections they call the "V-Link".  This product always gets the same reaction as I posted above, so I just went to the Amazon reviews to find one.  This was posted four days ago, so I did not read it prior to posting the above:

 

" Inserting this between my old iMac and the Benchmark DAC1 was the biggest change/improvement in my audio system since moved to tubed amps almost 15 years ago. Highly recommended. "

 

another reviewer wrote:

 

" What is going on? Internet research yields technobabble about jitter and the need for asynchronous USB data transfer.  Enter the Musical Fidelity V-Link II.  In short...it works....great!
Detail, warmth, air, soundstage, ambience...all improved.  A great buy! "

 

That's for a $129 product that only makes a connection asynchronous.

 

Schiit includes the asynchronous technology in their $99 Modi DAC and HRT in their $149 MS2 DAC.

 

Internal sound cards can't sound as good.


Edited by kstuart - 8/4/13 at 9:13pm
post #11931 of 19783

"air, soundstage, ambience".... ah those old subjectivist chestnuts....

 

Maybe pro audio producers should ditch the soundcards and get async USB dac instead....


Edited by nicholars - 8/4/13 at 9:32pm
post #11932 of 19783

Ur so full of ****.  Even with my 09 iMac's onboard sound, there isn't a drastic difference with the magni/modi. 

 

An HE-400 or Mad Dogs out of an iMac vs a tinny hd201 out of any good dac?  I'd take the better headphones any day of the week.  Your post sounded like one big ad for musical fidelity products.

post #11933 of 19783

So let me get this straight, with regards to the HE-400, DAC FOR DAC,  E17 sucks, Modi, is good, and Xonar STX is best for under $200.

post #11934 of 19783
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omark12 View Post

So let me get this straight, with regards to the HE-400, DAC FOR DAC,  E17 sucks, Modi, is good, and Xonar STX is best for under $200.

 

I have not tried the Modi, but I would say you are getting more for the money with the STX.... I guess the temptation of having a little stack of nice looking boxes with the M/M stack must be strong though :p

post #11935 of 19783
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

"air, soundstage, ambience".... ah those old subjectivist chestnuts....

 

Maybe pro audio producers should ditch the soundcards and get async USB dac instead....

If you don't hear air, soundstage and ambience, then it doesn't matter what equipment you use, you might as well buy $30 everything.

 

If the pro audio producers are the same ones who brought us "Loudness Wars" and "Brickwalling" then it wouldn't surprise me if they can't hear anything either.

post #11936 of 19783
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

 

An HE-400 or Mad Dogs out of an iMac vs a tinny hd201 out of any good dac?  I'd take the better headphones any day of the week.

If you put a $10,000 dress on the ugliest girl at school, she is still the ugliest girl at school.

 

If you listen to a crap source out of $1,000 headphones, you are still listening to a crap source.

 

Source matters most.

post #11937 of 19783
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstuart View Post

If you put a $10,000 dress on the ugliest girl at school, she is still the ugliest girl at school.

 

If you listen to a crap source out of $1,000 headphones, you are still listening to a crap source.

 

Source matters most.

For what it's worth, I'd rather see the prettiest girl at school naked than in a $10,000 dress. 

post #11938 of 19783
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstuart View Post

If you put a $10,000 dress on the ugliest girl at school, she is still the ugliest girl at school.

 

If you listen to a crap source out of $1,000 headphones, you are still listening to a crap source.

 

Source matters most.

I'm sorry but that analogy is in bad form.

 

The fact of the matter is in a digital -> DAC -> amplifier -> transducer -> analogue audio chain, the transducer accounts for the vast majority of distortion (deviation from perfect analogue reproduction), amplifier comes in a far second, and DAC comes far, far behind.

 

Sure a poorly integrated DAC implementation is going to add harmonic distortion and colourations which mess with detail extraction / separation and imaging, but good headphones out of any amp that drives them loud enough will still show their true colours in terms of transient speed, general tonal balance, smoothness and extension.

 

A good pair of $1000 headphone will retain a hi-fidelity sound simply due to its driver characteristics, and vice versa for a $30 one (even the best ones).

 

Maybe you're thinking of terrible DACs manufactured from a few decades ago. Most integrated DACs in music devices / cards nowadays are at least passable.

 

 

 

Edit: not to mention, simple sub-$100 (or even most $100-200 headphones for that matter) headphone drivers do not resolve nearly enough to discriminate between DACs save for defective DACs.

 

Heck, even my HE400s are not enough for me to note a considerable improvement going amp only from the laptop onboard DAC, vs amp + discrete DAC. Only my HE500s scale in that manner due to their transparency (with Jergpads + very specific parametric equalizations).


Edited by jerg - 8/4/13 at 11:36pm
post #11939 of 19783
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstuart View Post

If you don't hear air, soundstage and ambience, then it doesn't matter what equipment you use, you might as well buy $30 everything.

 

If the pro audio producers are the same ones who brought us "Loudness Wars" and "Brickwalling" then it wouldn't surprise me if they can't hear anything either.

 

I do hear those things, but they are also very subjective terms which can easily be imagined....

 

Anyway what you said about cheap headphones on a expensive dac vs £1000 headphones on a cheaper dac is so unbelievably absurd that I am not going to discuss this further with you..... Seriously, just think about what you said there...


Edited by nicholars - 8/4/13 at 11:59pm
post #11940 of 19783

Jerg.. Can you tell me as you have owned both the HE400 and HE500....

 

Are the HE500 capable of as much bass impact and quantity as the HE400?

 

I like the better treble and less recessed mids.... overall I am pretty impressed with hifiman... But the HE400 only just about have enough bass for me even with EQ.... I guess I am a bit of a basshead... I would like better mids and treble but the amount of bass impact and quantity on the HE400... I would not want any less...


Edited by nicholars - 8/5/13 at 2:50am
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