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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 957

post #14341 of 17707
Another thing is that my STX has a 10ohm impedance and the HE400 are around 40ohms I think.... This would be a damping factor of 1:4.... Although I am not sure how much this can have an effect on planar / ortho.... Usually people say 1:8 or as much as 1:20 with dynamics...
post #14342 of 17707

I saw a post from Steve Eddy (I think) somewhere saying that damping factor makes no difference for orthos because their impedance is entirely resistive and they have a flat impedance curve. I'll post it if I can find it. 

post #14343 of 17707
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post

I saw a post from Steve Eddy (I think) somewhere saying that damping factor makes no difference for orthos because their impedance is entirely resistive and they have a flat impedance curve. I'll post it if I can find it. 


 



Ah that makes sense, I think it might be that some songs just have badly recorded midbass that is boomy on any headphones.
post #14344 of 17707

hello to all..... I am the very pleased  owner of a pair of he 400..... Very extraordinari headphones for the price...... I amped them with the aune t1 tube amp/ dac but the sound is to bright for me...... I discovered that the Hifimediy dac was a marvellous dac that civilized the sauvage tizz in the high of the he 400...... this dac cost 57 dollars .. i am very pleased by the result.....

post #14345 of 17707
Quote:
Originally Posted by richard51 View Post
 

hello to all..... I am the very pleased  owner of a pair of he 400..... Very extraordinari headphones for the price...... I amped them with the aune t1 tube amp/ dac but the sound is to bright for me...... I discovered that the Hifimediy dac was a marvellous dac that civilized the sauvage tizz in the high of the he 400...... this dac cost 57 dollars .. i am very pleased by the result.....

nice find bro, i am also a new owner and very satisfied with everything i hear from HE400. I dont even find them sibilant maybe  because im used to vsonic IEMs which are known to be sibilant. I'll grab Hifimediy dac right away:D

post #14346 of 17707
Quote:
Originally Posted by airomjosh View Post
 

nice find bro, i am also a new owner and very satisfied with everything i hear from HE400. I dont even find them sibilant maybe  because im used to vsonic IEMs which are known to be sibilant. I'll grab Hifimediy dac right away:D


Please brother communicate your impression of this dac here..... I want to know if your impression are like mine.... thanks

post #14347 of 17707
Quote:
Originally Posted by airomjosh View Post
 

nice find bro, i am also a new owner and very satisfied with everything i hear from HE400. I dont even find them sibilant maybe  because im used to vsonic IEMs which are known to be sibilant. I'll grab Hifimediy dac right away:D


The new U2 DAC is better from HifimeDIY with internal clock vs the Sabre original, less metallic/jittery and their USB isolator is not that expensive to add to the chain. A truly great budget DAC.


Edited by Lohb - 11/13/13 at 11:30pm
post #14348 of 17707
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

Another thing is that my STX has a 10ohm impedance and the HE400 are around 40ohms I think.... This would be a damping factor of 1:4.... Although I am not sure how much this can have an effect on planar / ortho.... Usually people say 1:8 or as much as 1:20 with dynamics...

I belive Planars dont have any problems with that (i remmber reading something about it), but id suggest you make sure yourself.

post #14349 of 17707
Quote:
Originally Posted by catspaw View Post

I belive Planars dont have any problems with that (i remmber reading something about it), but id suggest you make sure yourself.

 



I had a quick search for it and it said it is less important than with dynamics... Still I might give an amp a try with the HE400 when I have some spare cash.... Interested to hear about on the HE400 with a good amp, even though people say you do not need one... Must make some difference?
post #14350 of 17707
Quote:
Originally Posted by MunkyNutz View Post
 


The new U2 DAC is better from HifimeDIY with internal clock vs the Sabre original, less metallic/jittery and their USB isolator is not that expensive to add to the chain. A truly great budget DAC.

Are you referring to HA Info U2 DAC?

post #14351 of 17707
Quote:
Originally Posted by airomjosh View Post
 

Are you referring to HA Info U2 DAC?


Not sure what you meant by 'HA Info' but it was this one I was referring to... http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=123

post #14352 of 17707
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by catspaw View Post
 

I belive Planars dont have any problems with that (i remmber reading something about it), but id suggest you make sure yourself.

I had a quick search for it and it said it is less important than with dynamics... Still I might give an amp a try with the HE400 when I have some spare cash.... Interested to hear about on the HE400 with a good amp, even though people say you do not need one... Must make some difference?

I use an O2 amp, in part because it specifies the kind of low-output impedance that should allow it to drive even an 8 Ohm speaker without a problem. Therefore, no questions about whether or not the "damping" will be good or bad.

 

I'll just comment that, without question, the O2 was an upgrade to the Realtek audio chipset in my laptop (which is no piece of crap). However that chipset had more noise and less power than the O2. It also did not command the HE-400s like the new amp does. So, I have to assume that a very low output impedance is still important even when using Orthos.

 

In terms of quality, the O2 no question is an improvement over the laptop itself. Bass was definitely improved and overall clarity and performance scaled up with the HE-400. It took awhile for my ears to adjust to the 'black' noise floor of the O2, but there is no real going back. The most interesting change however, was the way the amp improved the sound of my Senn HD-595s. Those had always sounded good, but the amp upgrade really made it obvious that they were competitive with the HE-400 (to my ears anyway). They are 80-90% as good as the HE-400s, but they lack a lot of the extension and added bass texture of the orthos. Particularly when listening to live music, the HD-595s could not render the crowd clapping and cheering or instrument separation like the HE-400s. But how close they came with a better amp was a learning moment for me.

 

Now, the kicker is really, how much power do you need? The HD-595s were plenty loud without the amp (and with it I have to reduce system volume by at least a quarter). The HE-400 really needed it. The reason is that high dynamic range recordings, like games, movies, classical music, and the like, need the extra power to hit the volumes I want. Otherwise, I would say that the typical computer probably has enough power to run them just fine for regular music.

 

I am NOT going to preach amp purchases when the majority of headphones out there neither require much power to be driven to ear-damaging levels nor superior specs to sound amazing. I am too poor to be the industries sucker all the time. But there is no debate, in my mind, that the HE-400 will perform their best on a very good amp like the O2. If I were you, I would demo the same group of songs on as many different devices as you can first. Choose something with HDR, something that usually sounds crappy, something you think usually sounds amazing etc. Then play back through the HE-400 on your phone, Mp3 player, Computer, home stereo headphone jacks. When you find the one that sounds best, report back!

 

While 10 Ohm output impedance is not ideal with your soundcard, you are not THAT far out of spec with the HE-400 ('ideal' would be a headphone with roughly 80 ohm impedance or greater). But I've never tried an STX before, so I can't comment on its performance vs. my other equipment. What is your stock audio chipset? It may spec differently, and provide an interesting comparison. Personally, I've preferred my realtek chipsets to the Soundblaster I used to have - much smoother sounding.

post #14353 of 17707
The STX is no doubt better than a laptop onboard soundcard... Actually it is pretty good.... Some "objectivist types" will insist it is all you need to transparently drive headphones (except power hungry ones).... I would be interested to try some other amps with the HE400 though because I know that amps do sound different, even if it is more in tone / character than actual improvements in distortion numbers etc. I think the STX is good for the money, probably better than a fiio and not far off an 02 amp... I know it is possible to get better amps.... It is just a question of if they will actually benefit the HE400 compared to the STX... If anyone has compared the STX to a better external amp then I would be very interested to know if you heard much difference. I think the Schiit Valhalla / Lyr looks pretty sexy I would quite like to try that....
post #14354 of 17707
The STX is no doubt better than a laptop onboard soundcard... Actually it is pretty good.... Some "objectivist types" will insist it is all you need to transparently drive headphones (except power hungry ones).... I would be interested to try some other amps with the HE400 though because I know that amps do sound different, even if it is more in tone / character than actual improvements in distortion numbers etc. I think the STX is good for the money, probably better than a fiio and not far off an 02 amp... I know it is possible to get better amps.... It is just a question of if they will actually benefit the HE400 compared to the STX... If anyone has compared the STX to a better external amp then I would be very interested to know if you heard much difference. I think the Schiit Valhalla / Lyr looks pretty sexy I would quite like to try that....
post #14355 of 17707
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

The STX is no doubt better than a laptop onboard soundcard... Actually it is pretty good.... Some "objectivist types" will insist it is all you need to transparently drive headphones (except power hungry ones).... I would be interested to try some other amps with the HE400 though because I know that amps do sound different, even if it is more in tone / character than actual improvements in distortion numbers etc. I think the STX is good for the money, probably better than a fiio and not far off an 02 amp... I know it is possible to get better amps.... It is just a question of if they will actually benefit the HE400 compared to the STX... If anyone has compared the STX to a better external amp then I would be very interested to know if you heard much difference. I think the Schiit Valhalla / Lyr looks pretty sexy I would quite like to try that....

 

If you are happy with the sound you are getting then just keep it. No reason to upgrade it. We are lucky to have a store here that allows auditioning. I spent 2-3 hours there one day comparing amps & dacs in the less than $1000 region and walked out with an Audio-GD 15.1 amp/dac unit for $295AU (about 15 months ago now).

 

Previously I was using an Audigy 2 (not as good as the STX but still pretty good) and there was a big difference. Mainly in how clean the sound was with dead silent black background and much improved bass and open soundstage. I went there specifically to listen to the Lyr but they didn't have one in stock at the time. I had a listen to the Asgard 1, Burson 160DS, Violectic V200 and a few other Audio-GD amps. All the amps did the job well, you could buy any of them and be really happy. Hard to detect much difference between them except the Asgard 1 sounded a bit more grainy and the V200 was closed in sounding. In the <$1000 area, I couldn't justify getting the more expensive ones, the $295 one I thought sounded almost as good and was a nice and small all in one unit.

 

If I was you and had $300 to spare, I would get the 15.32 or the 11.32 (this has the ESS dac and is more expensive). Can't go wrong and you will never look back. Just the fact that it is all external to the PC there is just zero noise even at full volume and they have plenty of power for a future HE500 etc. The way I have things setup now it is sounding fantastic, 10/10, really can't fault anything. BTW, the Valhalla is no good for orthos. Never heard the Lyr but all say its very good with the right tubes.

 

Initially when I first asked to listen to some amps/dacs, he hooked me up to a Master 7/NFB 6 connected to my HE400 with no EQ. It was like it was transformed into a LCD3. The dynamics and musicality of it was amazing and everything he connected that dac to sounded amazing. One day I will be getting it with the Cavalli Liquid Gold (in my dreams maybe). :D

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