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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 441

post #6601 of 17623

If there's one thing i'll never spend a cent on it, it's cables.

 

I'm yet to find a cable that makes any significant changes to the sound.


Edited by Okamoto - 1/30/13 at 1:05pm
post #6602 of 17623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Okamoto View Post

If there's one thing i'll never spend a cent on it, it's cables.

I'm yet to find a cable that makes any significant changes to the sound.

I'm not a firm believer in that they change the sound either. That's why when I was looking to buy one it had to be inexpensive cause all I wanted was a cable that was more flexible.
post #6603 of 17623
Quote:
Originally Posted by merkil View Post


I'm not a firm believer in that they change the sound either. That's why when I was looking to buy one it had to be inexpensive cause all I wanted was a cable that was more flexible.

Inexpensive headphone cable? Those exist?

 

The cheapest one I could find for hifiman headphone's was $100. And I didn't like their style.

post #6604 of 17623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Okamoto View Post

If there's one thing i'll never spend a cent on it, it's cables.

 

I'm yet to find a cable that makes any significant changes to the sound.

 

While cables are purely subjective, Matt has made a good point, though.  If one wanted to add a bit more sizzle to a darker-sounding headphone, a silver cable would "nudge" the sound enough to open it up a bit.   But, silver is pricey.  To get a single strand of the Teflon-coated 99.9997% silver, it was $4.00 a liner foot the last time I checked, over a year ago.  Plus, silver prices are not going anywhere but up.

 

I did have some experience with a silver cable a bit over a year ago.  It was a silver cable on a custom pair of Grado SR-325i headphones in woody cups.  Being that the Grado signature can already have some tingle at the upper frequencies, the silver cable wasn't really a good pairing, as it moved things a bit too far over the top.  As a preference, I'm a copper guy.

 

Edit: Speaking of custom cables, I have some braiding in the loom at the moment.  I'm creating a 7" pair of custom RCA interconnects for the span between the DAC and the amp.

 

 


Edited by wje - 1/30/13 at 1:25pm
post #6605 of 17623
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

 

I was thinking the same thing.  Where's MLE when you need him?

 

 

 

At the stated price of $149.00, though, I'd really consider giving someone like Brian of BTG cable (a MOT of the forum here) a shake at building such a cable for you.  You'll get a better cable that wasn't mass-produced and a potential for higher quality, while still remaining in the same price league - as long as you don't get too crazy on choosing some upper-tier wires.

 

Brian is now working with/for Q Audio btw...

post #6606 of 17623
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

 

The Fischer Audio version of the pleater pads had two variants.  The Fostex T50 thread has covered the variations a bit.  The ideal pleater pad would be their first variant, because it was slightly thicker and featured a stiffer inner ring - just like the picture of your hybrid pads demonstrate.  The option of their velour pads having that piece in there was probably to keep the detail in the Brainwavz HM5 headphones alive and not have the upper frequencies get fully absorbed by the velour.

 

Someday ... I should teach you how to use a "home made" sewing stick made from a popsicle stick and a leather sewing needle can be used for sewing great lock stitch seams in leather and pleather.  It's quite a simple process and the seams are perfect.  This is what I used to build my sewn-on headband for my HE-400s.

Interesting.  I've been working by hand with a leather needle and thimble.  Though lambskin leather is thin and fairly easy to work with, I used heavy thread which is double stranded, and it frequently got twisted at the seams.  Final result is a little sloppy (IMO), but it's only a prototype at this stage and it serves it's purpose.  I plan on fully documenting the measurements and process next go around, but I'd definitely be interested crafting a sewing stick and to hear any pointers you may have!

post #6607 of 17623
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaver316 View Post

 

Soundstage doubled? Doesn't sound very likely..

Okay i admit..not doubled biggrin.gif But i meant to say with standard cable everything was on one line..with the new cables igot more layers..u could place the instruments better and around the artist..its more airy also..more around u..to my ears anyway

post #6608 of 17623
Quote:
Originally Posted by modulor View Post

Interesting.  I've been working by hand with a leather needle and thimble.  Though lambskin leather is thin and fairly easy to work with, I used heavy thread which is double stranded, and it frequently got twisted at the seams.  Final result is a little sloppy (IMO), but it's only a prototype at this stage and it serves it's purpose.  I plan on fully documenting the measurements and process next go around, but I'd definitely be interested crafting a sewing stick and to hear any pointers you may have!

 

Here's a picture of my equipment.  It's actually a sewing Awl, but I call it a sewing stick.  I use Schmetz leather sewing needles and a dab of super glue to attach the needle to the stick and let it dry.  Then, all I do is perform lock stitches using a single piece of thread.  There is a good clip of using a sewing awl at the Speedy Stitcher Web site.  I did buy that sewing awl from REI for about $13.00, but it is designed for sewing heavier goods - gear bags, sails, outside umbrellas, etc.  I was reading through some leather forums and noticed how an individual created a sewing awl with a BIC pen, a leather needle and a spot of super glue.  The benefit of using the popsicle / craft sticks is that I can use a Sharpie and write the needle size on the wooden stick for reference as I have a few different sizes that I use.  Also,  Walmart has the upholstery thread by Coats and Clark.  It is very good - heavy duty thread that holds together and is a dream to work with.  

 

 

 

post #6609 of 17623
Quote:
Well, finally got my HE-400 from Moon Audio (gladly recommended!) and have been listening to them with the velour pads. 

I just gotta say I'm really impressed with these cans, coming from Sennheisers IE8 the first thing I noticed was how clear and natural the mids sounded. I've been reading a lot about the higher mids emphasis but have yet to find a song where this particular trait stands out enough as to bother me. I'm also amazed at how nicely the bass is reproduced, it doesn't have as much quantity as the IE8's (probably because the HE400 lack the eq bump @ 100Hz ) but it definetly is very tight and delivers efforrtlessly when the record calls for a deep bass. Regarding instrument sepparation, which was my favorite characteristic of the Senns, I can say that the HE blows them out of the water. It has this amazing clarity and separation to each instrument plus an airy feeling that the IE8's just couldnt produce.



I'm currently driving them with a Fiio E17 with Bass at +2 and Treble at -2 and have the feeling that, even though the Fiio is doing a great job driving them, I could get a little more out of these HP with a better amp.


Finally, I would like to recommend a few albums which sound nothing short of amazing with these cans:
    - Beck - [2009] Sea Change (MFSL Ultradisc): This is a hell of an album.
    - PinkFloyd - TSOTM (Black Triangle Edition - De-emphasized) : This one is easy to guess smily_headphones1.gif
    - Dan Reeder - [2010] This New Century : This album really surprised me, the recording quality is superb and it is quite fun to listen to.
    - Alice In Chains - [1996] MTV Unplugged: One of the best live albums I've ever heard, it is a must listen.
    - Patricia Barber - [1999] Companion [MFSL]: Such great detail and quality around this recording.
    - Paco de Lucía - [1987] Siroco: If you like Flamenco guitar, this is the album to hear.

Coming from the IE80 myself I agree with most of what you've mentioned. Instrument separation is a clear step up, and bass extends way deeper.

Dark side of the Moon and Alice in Chains do indeed sound awesome on the HE400, but then again I've yet to find anything that doesn't play well on these cans.
Edited by beaver316 - 1/30/13 at 1:54pm
post #6610 of 17623
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

 

While cables are purely subjective, Matt has made a good point, though.  If one wanted to add a bit more sizzle to a darker-sounding headphone, a silver cable would "nudge" the sound enough to open it up a bit.   But, silver is pricey.  To get a single strand of the Teflon-coated 99.9997% silver, it was $4.00 a liner foot the last time I checked, over a year ago.  Plus, silver prices are not going anywhere but up.

 

I did have some experience with a silver cable a bit over a year ago.  It was a silver cable on a custom pair of Grado SR-325i headphones in woody cups.  Being that the Grado signature can already have some tingle at the upper frequencies, the silver cable wasn't really a good pairing, as it moved things a bit too far over the top.  As a preference, I'm a copper guy.

 

Edit: Speaking of custom cables, I have some braiding in the loom at the moment.  I'm creating a 7" pair of custom RCA interconnects for the span between the DAC and the amp.

 

 


Well, good thing i don't need the HE-400's any brighter.

 

Anyway, i just don't think it's justifiable paying $200 on a cable.


Edited by Okamoto - 1/30/13 at 1:57pm
post #6611 of 17623
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

 

I was thinking the same thing.  Where's MLE when you need him?

 

 

Prior to the release of the HifiMAN OCC balanced cable, HifMAN had (or still has) the Canare balanced cable with the black jacket.  It is the cable that they shipped with the HE-6 and the HE-5LE.  I used that cable for about half a year.  It was the cable I used to connect my HE-400s up to speaker taps with. Usually, the Neutrik XLR connectors are placed towards the end of the cable, and one has about a 1.5 foot section of cable between the XLR connector and the 1/4" SET adapter.  The weight of the XLR connectors can be a bit of burden if you are not using the cable strictly as a balanced connector as you have the burden of weight with the connector.  If you are going to  use it for its balanced capabilities, then it will be an ideal cable.

 

At the stated price of $149.00, though, I'd really consider giving someone like Brian of BTG cable (a MOT of the forum here) a shake at building such a cable for you.  You'll get a better cable that wasn't mass-produced and a potential for higher quality, while still remaining in the same price league - as long as you don't get too crazy on choosing some upper-tier wires.


Great info.  Thanks.  I am looking into a balanced cable as I'm getting an amp with a balanced input.  I bought some XLR cables to connect the DAC to it.  Just trying to balance everything in the chain.  I don't really know what I'm getting myself into or what improvement I should expect.  "Balanced" is a new concept to me, but I'm curious to see what it can do.

post #6612 of 17623
Just got the J$ pads. Popped them on the phones and gave some of my reference tracks a spin. Some users on this forum are gonna shun me, but I think these are the best sounding pads yet.

I think it might have something to do with the amount of holes in the pad (is this what you all are calling "damping"?) From a pure logical standpoint, I would suspect that the pads with more holes in them would sound different than the pads with only a few holes. But that's my humble opinion.

Had to cut the screen off the velours (I always hated the velours anyway). Things got a little wayward, like Kansas.

post #6613 of 17623
Quote:
Originally Posted by merkil View Post


I'm not a firm believer in that they change the sound either. That's why when I was looking to buy one it had to be inexpensive cause all I wanted was a cable that was more flexible.

My favorite is reading about people hearing a difference when using different USB cables from their PC to a DAC.biggrin.gif

post #6614 of 17623
Quote:
Originally Posted by RMac View Post

Just got the J$ pads. Popped them on the phones and gave some of my reference tracks a spin. Some users on this forum are gonna shun me, but I think these are the best sounding pads yet.

I think it might have something to do with the amount of holes in the pad (is this what you all are calling "damping"?) From a pure logical standpoint, I would suspect that the pads with more holes in them would sound different than the pads with only a few holes. But that's my humble opinion.

Had to cut the screen off the velours (I always hated the velours anyway). Things got a little wayward, like Kansas.
 

 

Until you use Jerg's method of applying some tape strips to the back of the pad, you still haven't reached their potential.  Yes, there is room for a slight improvement. *

 

 

* - Disclaimer: I did indicate a "slight" improvement which could be the range of 5% to 7%.  Now, before I get MLE-d, I had to specify the approximate percentage of increase because if I had used statements like "life-altering sound improvements" or "jaw-dropping double-digit gains" or "seriously improved resolution, sound-stage and bass thump" a member here would be all over me.  biggrin.gif

post #6615 of 17623
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokeStudent View Post

My favorite is reading about people hearing a difference when using different USB cables from their PC to a DAC.biggrin.gif

 

Ahahahahahhaha. Priceless.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RMac View Post

Just got the J$ pads. Popped them on the phones and gave some of my reference tracks a spin. Some users on this forum are gonna shun me, but I think these are the best sounding pads yet.

I think it might have something to do with the amount of holes in the pad (is this what you all are calling "damping"?) From a pure logical standpoint, I would suspect that the pads with more holes in them would sound different than the pads with only a few holes. But that's my humble opinion.

Had to cut the screen off the velours (I always hated the velours anyway). Things got a little wayward, like Kansas.

 

 

The  J$ Pads are worth every penny. They haven't came off my 400s since I got them!

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