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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 21

post #301 of 17700
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post

I've got the Black Dragon on my HD650's and really enjoy it. It opened them up a bit across the range but they've ben on for so long that I really don't remember what the stock cable was like.  I did have the HD25's with the Silver Dragon IEM v1 and it was really nice.  Tried the silver on the HD650's and it was awful. Lost all bass impact and sounded very hollow.

For the HE-400, I wanted to go a different route and went with the Q cable.  This cable is so light you don't even know it's there.  I really disliked the feel of the stock HE-400 cable.  Again, it opened the HE-400 up across the range and made the sound fuller.  Just my opinion.  Is it worth the $$, probably not.  If I were to do it again, I'd probably go Toxic for half the price.  All in all, I'm pleased with the cables but its a lot of bucks for a bit of improvement.

I'm liking what I've bee reading about the Lyr in driving both the HD650 & HE400. That will probably be my next purchase.

BTW.. between this thread (thanks for the great review Matt!) and hearing the LCD-2, I decided to sell off my HD25 & Silver Dragon to get the HE400. No looking back, I love the HE400.

Edit: just ordered the velour pads.. looking forwards to trying them.

Thanks for the info on your experience with cables....you may have set my HD650 decision to Black instead of Silver (once I get my replacement drivers...)   That sounds more the direction I'm looking for (I'm uncertain that I'd ever like silver on any headphone....)  Nor do I want my HD650s to stop being HD650s by turning them into Beyers wink.gif

 

I'd probably stick with Dragon for the HE400s.  I am astounded at the Q Cables pricing, and dislike a little of their snaky rhetoric.   Not that ALL cable vendors aren't selling some level of snake oil, but at least with Moon, there's pretty much a "here it is, take it or leave it" approach rather than endless self promotion and shaky pseuo-science justifications!  But honestly, despite disliking the feel, to me the HE-400 sounds great just as they are, I'd be almost afraid of ruining the magic with either velour or a new cable!

 

HE-400 is indeed pretty special.  LCD-2 is the only other headphone at this point that really interests me.  I get tempted by the "perfection" that is HD800, but I think the treble would drive me off the deep end.  The weight of LCD-2 concerns me, and the $1k pricetag ($1500 for HD800?  Sheesh), is frightening compared to a collection of different cans with different sounds.  I'm not sure I could get myself to pay full price for them considering every time I listen to HE-400 on Lyr I always think to myself "what could LCD-2 do for music that this can't do?" Despite the lectures of "headphone x is superior"  that mentality always holds for me until I put them back on my head, and then I'm still left wondering what exactly "better" means.  There are no issues I wish to correct, other than maybe weight or soundstage.  And LCD2 won't help the first and will marginally help the second.  It's all too easy to get sucked into "this headphone is technologically superior so I want it."  I won't dispute Audeze's build superiority though.   And the HiFiMan soundstage could be EASILY fixed with some deep angled cups if they ever make them.

 

Be sure to report back on your experience with velour.   And also how easy/difficult it is to install them. I still can't get a feel for how to go about a pad change.  I'm still not sure I'd change...the pleather is so darn comfy!

 

By the way, your comment earlier about having heard the LCD2 and finding that they're far better and worth that price, once you're up to the $1k level (plus HE-400 and HE-500), it's all subjective.  There are people that prefer HE-500 to LCD-2, most consider them equals.  There are some, thus that prefer HE-400 to HE-500 for the sound signature, such as Matt (though it sounds like that opinion may be changing?)   So if a $700 can is equal to the 1k can, some prefer it more, and some prefer the $400 can to the $700 can, is the LCD-2 really worth $600 more? Probably not.  If they were all the same price, the opinions would probably be evenly split, or maybe only a slightly smaller portion picking 400.  I still stand by the opinion that HE-400 is a hard to categorize because it costs less than HD650, but has more in common with HE-500 & LCD-2 than it does with HD650 in terms of performance.  It's what the HD700 should have been, for less money.  The only thing that keeps HD650 in the game at those prices  is that its sound signature is entirely unique and you can't get get it anywhere else.

post #302 of 17700

Very nice IEMCrazy, definitely some very good things in there to think about. Especially since I am pondering over almost every headphone you mentioned for my next purchase. 

post #303 of 17700

Yeah, i didn't buy into the Q justifications nor cared one way or another, just wanted to try something different.  The pricing between the Q and Black Dragon was only $10 for the same length. Just like the flexibility and not fighting the cable when I'm listening lying down. The stock HE400 cable is pretty good though and am not sure that it's really worth changing.  The velour pads are cheap enough ($10 + shipping) that it's worth a try.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

I'd probably stick with Dragon for the HE400s.  I am astounded at the Q Cables pricing, and dislike a little of their snaky rhetoric.   Not that ALL cable vendors aren't selling some level of snake oil, but at least with Moon, there's pretty much a "here it is, take it or leave it" approach rather than endless self promotion and shaky pseuo-science justifications!  But honestly, despite disliking the feel, to me the HE-400 sounds great just as they are, I'd be almost afraid of ruining the magic with either velour or a new cable!

 

post #304 of 17700
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post

Yeah, i didn't buy into the Q justifications nor cared one way or another, just wanted to try something different.  The pricing between the Q and Black Dragon was only $10 for the same length. Just like the flexibility and not fighting the cable when I'm listening lying down. The stock HE400 cable is pretty good though and am not sure that it's really worth changing.  The velour pads are cheap enough ($10 + shipping) that it's worth a try.

 

You're right, I was looking at the pricing for stereo interconnects (in pairs) that were $300 for 3ft! rolleyes.gif   For $100 a foot, that stuff better make breakfast.

 

I agree about the stock HE400 cable....it's balanced mic cable so I imagine it's about as accurate as you can get.   On the other hand my opinion of cables is that, it's not that a better cable delivers more sound for more money, it's that an inferior cable delivers more sound for more money.  Dead-perfect cable is dirt-cheap and can be sourced anywhere (Belden, Canare, etc. (In fact many exotic cables use Belden cables inside).  I think what we're buying with "designer" cables is very specific flaws that interfere with the music in ways we find desirable, much like how tubes interfere with music in ways we find desirable.   Connectors, solders, configurations/gauges that add/reduce capacitance, resistance, impedance (at the connectors) etc in ways that is technically less perfect than the cheap stuff, and thus does things we may like to the signal.  That's my take on copper vs. copper.  Silver's a whole different thing.  We audiophiles are an odd bunch: "You mean it's a piece of copper that's so badly oxidized that it distorts all frequencies above 5khz?  I'll give you $1k for it!, it should pair well with my leftover 1930's technology transistors that massacre everything from 10Hz to 800Hz that I paid $400 for!" biggrin.gif  On paper it all sounds so backwards until you actually listen to it tongue.gif

 

The pads are cheap enough to try so long as their easy to change and so long as changing them doesn't loosen the already loose tolerances of the pads and how they sit on the frame.  But I suspect trying them will be one of those "maybe I like this better, maybe I don't" things I'd end up debating forever, so it's probably best I don't keep them around.  There's a lot the pleather's do right in terms of feel and sound!  They were sold, originally, as an upgrade to the velour after all...

post #305 of 17700

Head Direct customer service has been great. I described my issue to them (the weather imbalance issue, and the disparity of impedances in L and R channels), and they promised that if my issue is recurring any more, they'll replace the drivers with a pair with matching impedance.

post #306 of 17700
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Head Direct customer service has been great. I described my issue to them (the weather imbalance issue, and the disparity of impedances in L and R channels), and they promised that if my issue is recurring any more, they'll replace the drivers with a pair with matching impedance.

 

Yes, Head Direct customer service is nice - very pleasant, actually.  However, where the need for concern comes in is if you experience the issue again and decide to have yours swapped out, you'll have to keep in mind some of the turn-around times that have been posted here, as well as mine.  It's the turn-around time component of customer service that needs to be improved upon.

 

In other news ... and, slightly off-topic as far as HifiMAN goes.  I've been searching for a pair of headphones to tweak, play with, experience another sound signature, etc.  About a month back, I went through the horrific process of ordering the Brainwavz HM5 headphones which proved to be hollow-sounding and really not worth the cost, but they did include some great accessories.  However, this morning, I received a Best Buy coupon for 20% off any mobile phone accessory as a follow-up to my mobile phone purchase from them - even though I never have purchased a mobile phone from them.  Well, at lunch time, I ran over to the store with the coupon and picked up the Philips "Uptown" headphones.  With the coupon, it was only $119 + tax for the pair.  I'm finishing up my work day and don't have my regular music player at work, but just the ol' Dell and the AC97 audio.  But, with Foobar and WASAPI installed, along with a few free various .MP3 files downloaded from Amazon at lower bit rates to play around with.  I'm finding out these headphones have a very balanced sound to them and can't wait until later to test them further from home.

 

While in the store, I tried the Klipsch, the Philips O'Neil (from last year), the Rocketfish noise-canceling headphone with Wolfson technology and the Uptowns.  The Klipsch Image One was also going to be on my targeted list, but the Uptowns really had the edge over on them - or, at least with the demo box that they were connected to.  These headphones have only been in the market for a few weeks now, but I'm sure we'll see some reviews coming along soon.  Tyll had just received the Downtowns a few weeks back, so he reviewed those.  The Downtowns were also set up on the listening station, but the Uptowns simply sounded better.  I'm not sure exactly which headphone I'd take to pit against the Uptowns, but suspect something possibly like the Grado HF-2 for a side-by-side sound comparison.  I guess the point I'm trying to make is that finally we're getting some great sounds from more portable cans, along with being closed off for privacy and travel that sound pretty awesome.

post #307 of 17700
Thread Starter 

The uptown looks somewhat interesting. I'd be interested in hearing more once you've got them home to test...

post #308 of 17700

Great review, just read the whole thread, i received the entire HiFiMAN collection few weeks ago and have been really enjoying them.

http://www.toxic-cables.co.uk                  PREPARE TO BE INTOXICATED

 

 

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post #309 of 17700
Thread Starter 

You have the whole series? How many? You might need to compose your own review and share your thoughts for others. 

 

Welcome to the club!!

post #310 of 17700
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

You have the whole series? How many? You might need to compose your own review and share your thoughts for others. 

 

Welcome to the club!!

6, these include the discontinued HE5-le and HE-5. Unfortunately as a HiFiMAN dealer i am not allowed to post actual impressions/reviews of them, i bought one of each for myself.

http://www.toxic-cables.co.uk                  PREPARE TO BE INTOXICATED

 

 

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post #311 of 17700
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabelmeister View Post

6, these include the discontinued HE5-le and HE-5. Unfortunately as a HiFiMAN dealer i am not allowed to post actual impressions/reviews of them, i bought one of each for myself.

 

Has the HE5-LE been discontinued?  I still see it available for sale @ $699.  Maybe, HifiMAN is keeping it listed until the stock is depleted.

post #312 of 17700
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

 

Has the HE5-LE been discontinued?  I still see it available for sale @ $699.  Maybe, HifiMAN is keeping it listed until the stock is depleted.

That's what i was told by my supplier.

http://www.toxic-cables.co.uk                  PREPARE TO BE INTOXICATED

 

 

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post #313 of 17700
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabelmeister View Post

That's what i was told by my supplier.

 

Good to know...thanks

post #314 of 17700
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabelmeister View Post

That's what i was told by my supplier.

 

Any news of a possible replacement? tongue_smile.gif


Edited by BrainFood - 5/8/12 at 7:41am
post #315 of 17700
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

 

Has the HE5-LE been discontinued?  I still see it available for sale @ $699.  Maybe, HifiMAN is keeping it listed until the stock is depleted.

 

I doubt it's any secret that it's discontinued, even though they didn't make an official announcement.  Once HE-500 moved into HE5-LE's price point it was pretty much a given.  Of course they're still good cans and will be sold until they're gone, but I doubt they've been making new ones in 2012, maybe even before.  Same for HE-4, I'm sure they haven't made new ones for a while.

 

HE-6 is the only thing of the first wave yet to be obsoleted....I imagine if Fang has anything new for CES2013 it will be an HE-600 to replace it, probably at $900 or $999.  Though we could all hope for an HE550 that costs the same as HE-400 biggrin.gif

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