Originally Posted by ninjames
I must be the only person who is totally content with stock pleathers without removing anything. I definitely will never remove the spacer, as I am more scared of dust than the rest of you, it seems.
You're not alone, friend . I haven't removed the fabric backing on my HE-400.. and as I said previously, I enjoyed the sound with the stock pleathers. Prefer the velours, atm.. but the pleathers certainly didn't deliver an obscene sound.. If I didn't have the velours, I wouldn't be angry with the sound... that's for sure. Removing the grill's fabric backing on the HE-500 helped to significantly open up the soundstage and bring forward some treble energy.. I sense such a mod on the HE-400 would yeild the same kind of sound enhancement. Thing is, i don't have any desire to further open the soundstage or increase treble presence.. those two aspects are more than impressive on the HE-400 in stock form. Reducing ringing/resonance by changing the grills is definitely something I'm interested in though. I'm looking into having some very transparent, welded custom grills made, actually.
Tonight I ran the HE-400 with the ODAC+Leckerton UHA-6S MKII.. holy resolution! The ODAC outputs 2 Vrms, so the UHA delivered plenty of volume and dynamics at low gain (+0dB). I was amazed by how clean the HE-400 sounded.. particularly in the treble region.. crisp, brilliant, effortless.. but not fatiguing. Album of choice, one of my favorites, Crystal Method's "Vegas" (2007 re-release). The bass drops, rolling drum breaks, layers and layers of synth work, and cinematic production just came to life. The word "effortless" keeps coming to mind.
The HE-400 sounded quite fantastic with the UHA's built in Cirrus Logic DAC as well. At max volume on low gain, it was around my average listening level.. I had to switch it to high gain if I was in the mood to rock, though. One (of many) thing(s) I appreciate with the UHA is the well implemented low & high gain. I'm typically unhappy with high gain performance on many portable amps (even the O2's high gain sounds a bit rough at times), but the UHA's high gain remains even, clean, controlled, and dynamic.