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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 1010

post #15136 of 18083
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 #15137 of 18083
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 #15138 of 18083

@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 #15139 of 18083
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 #15140 of 18083

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 #15141 of 18083
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

 

"could swivel horizontally"

 

:O

post #15142 of 18083
Thread Starter 

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

post #15143 of 18083
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post
 

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


BTG audio

post #15144 of 18083
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeBop Lives View Post
 


BTG audio

 

I thought he might. Already sent him an email. Anyone here had this done?

post #15145 of 18083
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post

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.

The HE-400 only needs 720mW to get to 120dB. You aren't under-powering them.
post #15146 of 18083
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thujone View Post

The HE-400 only needs 720mW to get to 120dB. You aren't under-powering them.
Actually it's 10w at 25ohm, which will come handy for a future he4 or he6.



The reason I think they may be underpowered is they're not able to reach volume levels of my other phones. Although said volume levels would be above safe listening levels. Is it just the nature of planar magnetic? The sound is thick and luscious as if it is properly amped. I do notice that the leakage gets louder when putting the phoNes down and walking away from it.
Edited by Soundsgoodtome - 12/12/13 at 10:58am
post #15147 of 18083

You could get a decibel meter to check. I find that it's easy to turn up the HE-400 pretty loud without really realizing, since the sound is so effortless. 

I use a speaker amp for the HE-400, but because I'm using 250 ohm resistors on the outputs I only get about 180 mw. Seems like plenty, but I'm going to be buying resistors with a value that gives me 1 W even sometime in the near future and see if that makes any difference. 

post #15148 of 18083
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post

Actually it's 10w at 25ohm, which will come handy for a future he4 or he6.


The reason I think they may be underpowered is they're not able to reach volume levels of my other phones. Although said volume levels would be above safe listening levels. Is it just the nature of planar magnetic? The sound is thick and luscious as if it is properly amped. I do notice that the leakage gets louder when putting the phoNes down and walking away from it.

All I meant was that your original amp was probably sufficient for the HE-400. Glad to hear you got the HE-4 though! Your new amp should do wonders with those puppies.

I think planars just require a lot more power to get to those obscene listening levels. For example, the HE-6 takes 632mW to get to 105dB but it takes 20,000mW (20W) to get to 120dB.
post #15149 of 18083
EDIT: Double post
post #15150 of 18083
Can someone recap what would be good amps (or dac/amp combo) for various price range?

$200
$300
$400
$500
$750
$1000

Thanks!
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