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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 1009

post #15121 of 19971
Quote:
Originally Posted by catspaw View Post
 

Im positive not all units come out the same on HE-400 and LCD-2 so its possible your measurements dissagree with others. 

The only part im really interested in is transparency... seems like a huge improvment over the HE-400.

I wouldn't say its HUGE improvement, but a large step up. The transparency is one of the three wow factors for the LCD-2 for me. The other two being the mids and the bass. 

post #15122 of 19971
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post
 

 

Interesting impressions thanks because I am interested in the LCD-2, although I am not sure about the efficiency bit, I pretty sure that the HE400 are more efficient than both the HD650 and LCD-2. Darker and less sparkly than the HD650 though hmmm. HD650 was a bit too dark already!

fixed the efficiency bit, but yeah i'm not too sure about the treble of hd650 vs lcd2. I didn't find 650 too dark personally. LCD-2 is certainly quite a bit darker than he-400, although the upper midrange has way more presence on the LCD-2 than 400

post #15123 of 19971
Quote:
Originally Posted by nabwong View Post


This is strange for me because I've always thought the hd650 has a darker presentation than the he400. But maybe I should think in terms on distance. Or perhaps the speed of the he400 gives a brighter impression.

There actually seems to be *sparkle* on LCD-2, as in high freq. extension, albeit quieter than 400

post #15124 of 19971
Thread Starter 

^^ I would agree with the inconsistency from Audeze still. The lcd2 that I got a few weeks ago was nothing like the one I auditioned. While I appreciate the graph they send, my ears don't lie. It was unquestionably  bass light. 

post #15125 of 19971
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post
 

 

Maybe you hear the HD650 as brighter because you notice that lump in the midrange which is not there on the HE400. I would say the HD650 are "thinner" sounding but not brighter. HE400 have more meat on the bones whereas HD650 can sound a bit thin (with EQ).

 

No no, that's what I'm trying to say. I DON'T hear the hd650 as brighter. The he400 definitely possesses more sparkle for me (more with velours than pleathers) along with a more extended low end.

 

I don't know if I feel that the hd650 are thinner but they're definitely farther sounding. 

 

Yes, the he400 has more meat (core) to the sound. 

post #15126 of 19971

While I'm satisfied with my new HE-400s, I have to admit that past the 200$ mark the diminishing returns really kick in. While I do think these are humongous improvement from the Sennheiser HD598s, they arent twice the headphone. I think I might have reached the absolute maximum I'm dropping into headphones.

 

For EQ, I ever so slightly bumped 50 - 100hz range upwards, lowered the ear piercing peak at 1,2kHz by 4db and also again at around 14kHz. Otherwise the range is quite good.

post #15127 of 19971

Sometimes I wonder on this diminishing returns as well. Then I look at the equipment and say...well maybe my built-in amp isn't providing enough juice, even at 900MW @32ohm. This is after all a planar magnetic. I'm quite certain the the D100s DAC is more than capable of reaching the HE400 on its sound potential but doubting on the amp. So.... I upgrade.

I will have in my possession very soon a balanced cable and about 4000MW of power through an Audio-GD NFB10-SE. There will be no doubt now if I am underpowering these planar magnetics... so we shall see. Head-fi is an expensive place to roam around.


Edited by Soundsgoodtome - 12/11/13 at 3:28pm
post #15128 of 19971

I recently upgraded my DAC from the HRT Music Streamer II, my first DAC, to the Resonessence Concero. I'm not going to argue that it was clearly "worth the money" (in fact, I felt a bit guilty about it first, considering that it was my most expensive audio purchase to date), but I most definitely hear a difference between in it and my old DAC. The tricky thing is that part of the difference is just a different presentation that's not necessarily better or worse, and the other part of the difference is where the improvement lies. 

The HE-400 clearly shows the differences between the DACs, and it shows that the Concero is better. I hear more separation between different layers of sound, so complex passages never get muddled. The single most distinct difference in absolute quality that I hear more low-level details -- I hear new ones on some of favorite songs, and the ones I already knew about appear earlier and stick around longer -- the fade to black is more fleshed out. I'm not sure if this was really worth the $500 used that I spent, but the point is that the HE-400 is resolving enough to show me the difference. 

 

IMO, the difference I heard between the two DACs was about the same order of magnitude as the difference I heard when changing amps from the Little Dot MKIII to the Emotiva Mini-X. On the one hand, this is the difference between an OTL tube amp and an SS speaker amp, which is about as big as it gets. On the other hand, the amp upgrade cost considerably less than the DAC upgrade. It gets more complicated than that though -- I think the amp change was mostly a difference in presentation with relatively less difference in absolute quality (separation, details, bass definition, etc.), while the difference between the DACs consisted of relatively more difference in absolute quality. Both undoubtedly gave me a difference in presentation. The HRT is much riper in the bass and harsher in the highs than the Concero, which is interesting -- even though the Concero puts less emphasis on the bass, especially the midbass, its presentation comes off less bright in a way, because it is so much more polite. Perhaps cleaner is a better description. 

TL;DR -- IME, diminishing returns doesn't mean that you stop hearing differences between gear. They are still readily apparent; they just cost more. The HE-400 can show you the differences between amps and DACs.  

post #15129 of 19971
Quote:
Originally Posted by Latuman View Post
 

While I'm satisfied with my new HE-400s, I have to admit that past the 200$ mark the diminishing returns really kick in. While I do think these are humongous improvement from the Sennheiser HD598s, they arent twice the headphone. I think I might have reached the absolute maximum I'm dropping into headphones.

 

For EQ, I ever so slightly bumped 50 - 100hz range upwards, lowered the ear piercing peak at 1,2kHz by 4db and also again at around 14kHz. Otherwise the range is quite good.

I'm glad that some people at head-fi are aware of the concept of diminishing returns... too many people here just jump towards the latest & great (& most expensive) gear when a more budget-oriented set-up can produce very similar sound w/o killing your wallet.

post #15130 of 19971
I use the term "diminishing returns" a lot as well. But value is perhaps a better term, since it doesn't offend those that spend the big bucks as much. My experience has been that there are great performance gains going from $10-$50-$100-$200 headphones, but the need to spend even more is getting harder to realize. $400 for headphones is a bit of a stretch of sanity. Luckily, I fell in love with the HE-400s but I won't forget that, with a good amp and DAC even my cheaper $200 phones are extremely competitive. Higher end phones seem to be teaching my ears at this point - any real performance gains are far less readily apparent during casual first listens.

That said I would still tell someone to spend $1,000 on headphones (or any set of speakers) long before I would command them to spend an equivalent amount on electronics. While there are differences in electronics that can be worthwhile (not just on the performance side but on the features side), there is no doubt that a bigger budget for speakers creates more lasting value.

Then again I am a weirdo that would rather have the andrew jones 5.1 system than many that cost 4 times more (screw aesthetics, I watch movies in the dark and they seem to have spent the money where it counts on those). I just love it when a cheap product can wipe the floor with more expensive stuff. That was like JL audio subs when they were a young company. I would love to see how the andrew jones system stacks up to the JBL studio series I bought almost ten years ago (bookshelfs and center channel alone were about $750 retail).

Anyway, the HE-400 are an amazing value and I am lucky I had this forum and several other good sources to guide me to them!
Edited by MrMateoHead - 12/11/13 at 5:15pm
post #15131 of 19971

@MrMateoHead,

 

HE400 @$300 during black friday was a steal & I am really happy that I pulled the trigger on that purchase. I have mine paired w/ the $60 Bravo V3 tube amp, and it's performing quite well. Maybe thinking about upgrading or getting a DAC in the future, but I'm happy w/ my set-up for now. I feel like a decent entry-level amp+DAC will run you around $200, so you might as well get $200+ headphones to pair w/ em lol

 

what kind of set-up do you have w/ your HE400s?


Edited by money4me247 - 12/11/13 at 5:41pm
post #15132 of 19971
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

@MrMateoHead,

 

HE400 @$300 during black friday was a steal & I am really happy that I pulled the trigger on that purchase. I have mine paired w/ the $60 Bravo V3 tube amp, and it's performing quite well. Maybe thinking about upgrading or getting a DAC in the future, but I'm happy w/ my set-up for now. I feel like a decent entry-level amp+DAC will run you around $200, so you might as well get $200+ headphones to pair w/ em lol

 

what kind of set-up do you have w/ your HE400s?


I used a laptop initially - with a realtek HD setup that was much better than an old Soundblaster X-Fi and/or Via chipset that I had. By better I mean, just an all around more "neutral" sound with great detail and very minimal noise. It covered all my listening needs except for high dynamic range recordings (movies, games, some music).

 

When I decided I could use more power, I opted for the JDS O2 amp and separate ODAC - was the best combo I could find with a budget set at around $200 (actual total was about $320, now can be had for about $280). I didn't really NEED the ODAC, but having used it for some time now I do think it is worth it - having a totally black background for the first time ever has been very cool. The O2 amp is awesome and worked great with the realtek chipset but really does a little better with the 2V source that is the ODAC. The HE-400 also scaled with the purchases, so that was a big plus (better all-around sound and more volume than I can stand 90% of the time). Still hard to imagine I spent that much on a 1/2 watt amp (as good as it is), when a couple years ago I bought a 300 watt Alpine Class D to replace one that had blown up in my car for about $150.

 

Since I originally made my purchases a few very good high-value amps have come out or I have discovered others but I am very satisfied with what I have - maybe after a few years I'll get bored and look for some new phones'. But I really think planars are where its at, and I would probably want them again. When and if Hifiman producers an HE-400 successor, then I am sure I will be temped. The planars seem to be getting better with every generation.

post #15133 of 19971

was searching for jmoney pads and found my way here.  anyone know if they are still available and where to get them?

or any other angled pads for that matter.

also any graphs on the 400 with the velour pads?

would the audeze velour pads work with them

post #15134 of 19971
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

 

"could swivel horizontally"

 

:O

post #15135 of 19971
Thread Starter 

Anyone know someone doing a mod to convert the cup connectors to mini xlr?

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