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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 138

post #2056 of 17711

It's come to my understanding that amps can still sound vastly different, even when all of them measure perfectly flat from 20-20k on a frequency response chart, and all have similar distortion characteristics.  Don't ask me why, but there's other factors involved.

 

This isn't the first time I've heard someone say the O2's bass is rolled off or sounded too thin for them.  Yet at the same time, the epitome of subjective reviewers at Headfonia loved the HE-400 with O2, despite disliking the O2's sound in general.  I'm sure 90% of it boils down to personal preference, MLE giving his own perfect example.  Whitecrow has also said he didn't think the Lyr did anything better on the HE-400 compared to a LDMKII, the likes of which I had and ever so slightly preferred the O2 over.

 

As for the HE-400 sounding better over time, 100% it's brain burn-in.  It can be such a dramatically different signature than most other headphones, and if you'e coming off something with the slightest hint of brightness or thin-ness, the HE-400 can easily sound muffled upon first listen.  It definitely did for me, and I was coming from an HD650!  It only took me an hour or two to adjust, and the HE-400 quickly became my neutral again.


Edited by TMRaven - 11/7/12 at 4:20pm
post #2057 of 17711

While we're still talking about amps here, has anyone tried pairing with this amp? http://www.head-fi.org/t/319231/millett-starving-student-hybrid-amp

Theoretically, it should be good with the HE-400

post #2058 of 17711

Hey I'm back on the HE-400s again! Sounding ridiculously good on my Marantz CD5003 and Hifiman EF5 with some Miles Davis! As TMRaven said, almost every amp sounds different. I like the sound of the EF5 and that's exactly why I chose it over the Lyr. I like how it sounds mild and warm; really soothing signature. I have no intention of Tube rolling as the Stock RCA performs well and I'm considering getting a new OPAMP. I'm planning on eventually getting a DHC OCC Copper/Silver hybrid cable for the HE-400 and afterwards I want to ditch my beloved HE-400 for my new love, the HE-500. I always wanted the HE-500, but the HE-400 was too good of a deal...

post #2059 of 17711
Quote:
Originally Posted by planx View Post

Hey I'm back on the HE-400s again! Sounding ridiculously good on my Marantz CD5003 and Hifiman EF5 with some Miles Davis! As TMRaven said, almost every amp sounds different. I like the sound of the EF5 and that's exactly why I chose it over the Lyr. I like how it sounds mild and warm; really soothing signature. I have no intention of Tube rolling as the Stock RCA performs well and I'm considering getting a new OPAMP. I'm planning on eventually getting a DHC OCC Copper/Silver hybrid cable for the HE-400 and afterwards I want to ditch my beloved HE-400 for my new love, the HE-500. I always wanted the HE-500, but the HE-400 was too good of a deal...

 

 

Do you know if Double Helix Cables are willing to terminate the OCC to banana plugs? They seem to have reasonable (well, apart from that Spore) prices, and seem to be a good contender between BTG's cables. I know they had some there at the last meet, but honestly, I tried not to pay too much attention to the cables there. They look to be a bit more flexible than the BTGs, that's for sure.

 

Planning to step up to the HE-6, I only got to hear them once, but they seem to be the logical place to upgrade too. That HE-500 treble, though...can see why you're ditching the 400's. 

post #2060 of 17711
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post

 

 

Do you know if Double Helix Cables are willing to terminate the OCC to banana plugs? They seem to have reasonable (well, apart from that Spore) prices, and seem to be a good contender between BTG's cables. I know they had some there at the last meet, but honestly, I tried not to pay too much attention to the cables there. They look to be a bit more flexible than the BTGs, that's for sure.

 

Planning to step up to the HE-6, I only got to hear them once, but they seem to be the logical place to upgrade too. That HE-500 treble, though...can see why you're ditching the 400's. 

 

Hmm... Not TOO sure if Peter will do it, but I see why you want to do it. For the HE-6 right? Speaker taps? With DHC, you get what you pay for, and surprisingly more than what you pay for IMO. Peter is VERY talented and his creations are considered works of art IMO. For instance, I was the first CUSTOMER to buy the DHC Symbiote SE (check out the first picture of the Symbiote SE on his site. That's my exact cable! Black and clear with a right angled Oyaide gold jack!). I'm not going to debate with anyone about cables because chances are I'm going to stir up a lot of arguments, but I am a believer in cables. Check out my impressions on the DHC appreciation thread if you're curious. Also, this might stir up an argument so please refrain from arguing, BTG doesn't use OCC copper while DHC does.

 

Yes... The HE-500 had the Treble and Mids I'm looking for...

post #2061 of 17711
Quote:
Originally Posted by planx View Post

 

Hmm... Not TOO sure if Peter will do it, but I see why you want to do it. For the HE-6 right? Speaker taps? With DHC, you get what you pay for, and surprisingly more than what you pay for IMO. Peter is VERY talented and his creations are considered works of art IMO. For instance, I was the first CUSTOMER to buy the DHC Symbiote SE (check out the first picture of the Symbiote SE on his site. That's my exact cable! Black and clear with a right angled Oyaide gold jack!). I'm not going to debate with anyone about cables because chances are I'm going to stir up a lot of arguments, but I am a believer in cables. Check out my impressions on the DHC appreciation thread if you're curious. Also, this might stir up an argument so please refrain from arguing, BTG doesn't use OCC copper while DHC does.

 

Yes... The HE-500 had the Treble and Mids I'm looking for...

 

Yeah, definitely liking the price on the Molecule (well, for an aftermarket cable, it's sort of on the low side), it is a bit higher than BTG's Midnight, but the sleeving option looks really appealing, and so does the overall bulk. Not to mention they look fancy as hell. Not a believer in cables, but honestly it doesn't matter if the ergonomics/build surpass the stock stuff (look at the HD800, I'd definitely switch the cables on those). No arguments/flames here! But with BTG, I can get my W4 modded for removable cables, and get a Sunrise cable all in one go...hmm, decisions.

 

If the bass on the HE-500 wasn't so loose, and the mids so thick, I would have easily gotten them over the HE-400. Oh, well, time to pony up for the HE-6...

post #2062 of 17711
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post

 

Yeah, definitely liking the price on the Molecule (well, for an aftermarket cable, it's sort of on the low side), it is a bit higher than BTG's Midnight, but the sleeving option looks really appealing, and so does the overall bulk. Not to mention they look fancy as hell. Not a believer in cables, but honestly it doesn't matter if the ergonomics/build surpass the stock stuff (look at the HD800, I'd definitely switch the cables on those). No arguments/flames here! But with BTG, I can get my W4 modded for removable cables, and get a Sunrise cable all in one go...hmm, decisions.

 

If the bass on the HE-500 wasn't so loose, and the mids so thick, I would have easily gotten them over the HE-400. Oh, well, time to pony up for the HE-6...

 

About to send you an Important PM...

 

Hmm... Call me crazy, but I think an aftermarket cable can possibly fix the loose bass... Possibility, no flame!

post #2063 of 17711
Thread Starter 

I'll put the Q Cable up against the DHC's on both SQ, look and ergonomics. Have a look...

 

 

700

post #2064 of 17711
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

I'll put the Q Cable up against the DHC's on both SQ, look and ergonomics. Have a look...

 

 

700

 

Wow, I've never considered an upgrade cable before--until now. That's a work of art! Just how much does a cable like that cost anyway?

post #2065 of 17711

Well guys, I sent off my HE400s today. Got a tracking number and all that so I know when they get there.

 

I really wanted to love these cans as much as you guys, I really really did... but I just couldn't. I'm happy with my HD650s. Now, to get me one of those Q cables with some earring adapters...

post #2066 of 17711
Quote:
Originally Posted by yokken View Post

Well guys, I sent off my HE400s today. Got a tracking number and all that so I know when they get there.

 

I really wanted to love these cans as much as you guys, I really really did... but I just couldn't. I'm happy with my HD650s. Now, to get me one of those Q cables with some earring adapters...

See ya around!

post #2067 of 17711
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madmollusk View Post

 

Wow, I've never considered an upgrade cable before--until now. That's a work of art! Just how much does a cable like that cost anyway?

 

Some of these cable guys are truly artist at their craft and I'd certainly consider Steve Eddy of Q in that category. The price will vary based on the cable composition, length, type et cetera. I got a 6.5 foot cable in dark chocolate sheathed in French silk for about two bills. It's a good bit of money no doubt, but I love it. It's incredibly light weight and lies where ever I put it with nary a tangle ever. There are earring adapters for the he400 and hd650. 

post #2068 of 17711
Quote:
Originally Posted by planx View Post

 

About to send you an Important PM...

 

Hmm... Call me crazy, but I think an aftermarket cable can possibly fix the loose bass... Possibility, no flame!

 

I'd give a kidney or two if they can pull out some HE-400 impact and tightness...Alas, such is the life of a cable agnostic...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

I'll put the Q Cable up against the DHC's on both SQ, look and ergonomics. Have a look...

 

 

700

 

Oh, the colors would match the LCD-2 well (well, those are for the LCD-2s, so). How much were they again? I can't find a price quote on their site for some reason.

post #2069 of 17711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madmollusk View Post

Hey, now, be fair!  I've never made an explicit statement about the O2, nor did I ever imply that I disliked it. I have no opinion about that amp whatsoever: you see, I've never heard it, so how could I have an opinion about it.

I am lost myself. I think my original comment went to IEMCrazy and somehow, getting mixed into the conversation, I went after you when I meant IEMCrazy. So I guess I am the crazy one. Sorry for the confusion, and sorry to IEM if I was way off base. I just made the mistake of thinking I could convince someone that it makes more sense to focus on phones' than other equipment, other things being equal.

 

BTW great post - I really appreciate and respect your perspective on audio. To the problem of eliminating variables in a double-blind test, that is what stat regression is for - presumably you can estimate the impact of one factor against "all other known factors". Then again you might want to "test" people's bias by showing them 4 amps with 4 different cases, ranging from plain to super-high-quality. With the exact same internals, you then ask them which sound they like best. You've polluted the test, because people are now "forced" to rank, so perhaps they all go with the best looking one. I would be surprised if many responded "they all sound the same." But you also let them in on a little secret afterward - you really will pay more for a look sometimes. It would be hard to do double-blind tests with headphones because they have different shapes / sizes / weight / comfort, and a respondent has a good chance of being familiar with the look and feel of a given model. I think the HE's would've flunked my ears in a blind test - primarily because I am used to a "sennheiser" presentation. How would we account for that? The basic point is that people (consumers in this case), are conditioned to look for, and identify differences constantly. We are also given s*** information. Those of us here, that obviously love music to the point of investing $1,000s in equipment / phones, should get the best information as well as the best products! It is frustrating (to me) that so much is left to subjective impression - because I don't trust myself to always "know with my ears".

 

Case in point? The more I listen to the HE-400s, the more I like them. The HD595 now seriously sound like s*** - but its not their fault. My ears have "adjusted" to the new presentation. The 400s were lean, not they are borderline too powerful for me. But I don't call that "burn-in" - I think its my brain screwing with me again.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

I somewhat agree with Mateo. SS amps tend to sound very same-y. You can get an E9 vs something likd the SA-31, and the differences are slight. Its when you test SS vs. Tube or hybrid amps that the difference is more noticeable due to the coloration of the tubes. Easy to spot the difference there.
These people who are comparing the O2 to an amp with tubes shouldnt be comparing performance. Youre just biased to the tube sound.
So don't knock the O2 if youre not comparing it to another SS amp.

Thanks for your support! I keep forgetting that in this crowd, their is a wicked diversity of equipment and listening experience. I am sure that tube amps have their amazing properties. There wouldn't be a market for em' if people didn't like em'. I suppose I was being defensive of my own gear, or at least trying to remind people that, if anything, audio would be a lot less aggravating if there was a more consistent standard to the listening experience!

 

That said, I know I am just as guilty, if not more, of buying other stuff just for the sake of it - I like audio to the point that I WANT to screw with my sound (so far every 3-5 years). Without you guys, I'd have never heard of the HE-400, or the Objective 2. So thanks to all of you.

post #2070 of 17711
Thread Starter 

They were $200 with adapters. It's really a gorgeous cable...looks much better in person. But I love the slight tweaks to the sound signature also. Plus the flexibility to use it easily with other hp's. Slips right into the lcd's of course. 

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