I'm looking to get the HE-500 or HE-5LE, but I've heard that their highs can be tiring very quickly, and I heard that Tube amps like the Schiit Lyr are good paired with it. Can anyone give any experience?
Solid State or Tube Amp for HE-500?
Gear mentioned in this thread:
The HE-500 is very natural sounding, it's not overly bright or fatiguing at all.
It is great off solid state or tube. By the way, the Lyr really isn't all that tubey, it's a hybrid, so you're listening to solid state and tube.
Just get something reliable that generates more than 1 watt and go with it. You can do it for $200 or up to whatever you want to spend to achieve that (some 1 watters are the NFB-12.1 (more like 3 watts) and the Asgard (1.3ish watts).
I use both the Asgard & Lyr with my HE500. The Asgard is a touch brighter. The Lyr has more low end warmth.
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I found that my Concerto ran out of gas with the HE-500's. Certainly good to a point, but not optimum. Channel Islands VHP-1/VAC-1 has more grunt, but still not ideal. So much more grip and dynamic headroom with my Opera Audio Consonance (two EL84's and one 12AU7). Although touted as "easier to drive", these need extra juice to sound their best.
NFB-12 is very good. Nice solid state amp and a very good dac IMO. Underpriced and underrated.
It's an excellent value for the money. Decent DAC. Great amplifier. Overall a good package. One of the best power/performance options per dollar you could get.
Edited by Peculier - 5/3/12 at 9:56pm
Ok now NFB-12, or HDP?
I swear nothing beats the HDP, although both of you dudes are probably more experience than I am at this point since I don't post as much anymore so I'm not as in-tune with the market as I used to be.
The HDP is excellent as a DAC, but I wouldn't use it as an amp primarily for something like the HE-500 or any ortho that really needs 1 watt or more to become fully dynamic.