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Solid State or Tube Amp for HE-500? - Page 2

post #16 of 27

Do you mean between the HE-5LE and the HE-500? Well, the HE-500 is quite a bit heavier, and in my experience is better in almost every way to the HE-5LE. Is the difference huge? No. But it is noticeable. 

post #17 of 27

Thanks for your post and insight.  The HDP, an excellent DAC, doesn't have the power to really open the HE-500s.

I'm listening to the HE-500s through an Audio-Gd Fun and I'm still missing depth and detail unless I turn the volume over 1 oclock.

Do you have any experience with the bitfrost-Lyr combo driving the HE-500's.

Thanks for your time,


post #18 of 27
I have used both the Lyr and the Objective O2 with the HE-500s. I don't have the most educated ears but there really wasn't much difference between the two in my opinion. A song here and there may sound a bit better (More full or lush, a little deeper bass) with the Lyr, then another would sound more realistic or lifelike with the O2. I found the same with the W3000ANV I got this week. I have come to the conclusion I like the W3000ANV with the O2 and will probably be selling my Lyr and HE-500s here soon. I really tried to hear the difference but it just wasn't there for me. A couple times when I was switching back and forth I thought I had heard a difference that matched some of the descriptions I've read here on the forums but then open my eyes and realize I forgot what amp I was listening to. I downloaded the demo recordings from Nuforce ( http://www.nuforce.com/hp/media/Nuforce%20Demo1/index.php )and spent hours going back and forth, trying to "Educate" my ears and I came back to the same conclusion, not enough difference to warrant rating one higher than the other. As someone else mentioned, maybe it was because the Lyr is a hybrid, not a true tube amp. On the other hand, the pride of ownership or look/appeal of the Schiit product vs. the JDS Labs is another discussion.
post #19 of 27

I wouldn't characterize the HE5-LE or HE-500 bright - in fact, I consider the HE-500 to be a touch dark (though not warm).  I would personally recommend an SS or SS-like tube amp for both headphones.  The HE5-LE would need more power from it's amp, while a 6-watt amp for the HE-500 sounds like "ridiculous speed" to me; I have a <2w max WA6-SE, and it is way more power than necessary for the HE-500's.


As for the HE5-LE v HE-500, unfortunately I have not heard them compared at the same time, but my impression owning the HE-500 (and having listening to the HE5-LE a number of times) is that they are more equivalent in their capabilities than one being superior to the other.

Edited by SanJoseCanJunkie - 5/21/12 at 12:52am
post #20 of 27

I was asking about a solid state amp that would compliment the HE-500s.  I appreciate the love you have for the W3000's

as they look and feel beautiful.

I have never heard the O2.  However,  I have years of listening  experience with the HE-500s 

and a long history of AT cans, including the w5000s, the AD900 and the AD2000.  In concept and practice, the differences 

between closed cans (like the W3000) and open planar cans like the HE-500, are substantial and striking, principally

in soundstage and detail and instrument placement.  I'm very skeptical  that there is no discernible difference between

the Lyr and O2 through the HE-500's.  I would love to hear that comparison for myself at a meet sometime.

As for  "the pride of ownership or look/appeal of the Schiit product vs. the JDS Labs is another discussion...".?

I'm looking for an amp that pairs well with my HEs, not a desktop bling box.  

On a final note, JDS Labs' cMoy bb, it is the best sounding can o' mints I have ever owned. 

Thanks for sharing,


post #21 of 27

It would be really difficult for my humble ears to say there is no difference between the HE-5LE and the He-500s.

The weight difference is noticeable, the soundstage openness, and the lushness in the middle is noticeably better 

on the HE 500's.  JMHO.  This can change with a different amp/pre/source config, but the HE-500s are very warm, deep and rich by comparison, using just a Huforce HDP.

post #22 of 27

My HE 5LE + Schiit Lyr = heaven, that's headphone heaven regular heaven is not in my future

post #23 of 27

There are many here that would be better able to describe the differences, but for me the O2 held its' own against the Lyr.  As you state there are definite differences in the HE-500s versus the 3000ANV, but between the amps, on the same headphone, there wasn't that much difference to me, and I honestly can't say one was "Better" than the other.  That's the point I was trying to make, but again some of this could be attributed to uneducated ears!

post #24 of 27

What DAC are you using on your Lyr to HE 5LE, if any?  I read about many happy users with their Lyrs and abundant power.

Do you find the Lyr noisy at higher levels?

Thanks for your time

post #25 of 27
Originally Posted by SanJoseCanJunkie View Post

I wouldn't characterize the HE5-LE or HE-500 bright - in fact, I consider the HE-500 to be a touch dark (though not warm).  I would personally recommend an SS or SS-like tube amp for both headphones.  


I had the same experience with the HE-500.

post #26 of 27

There are no noise issues with my LYR

post #27 of 27
Originally Posted by Il Mostro View Post

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.
I have noticed that you are also using the Cyber 20 to drive the HE-500s. Do you have any specific recommendations regarding tubes? I am currently using a Mullard CV4003 as a driver and 1967 vintage Russian Philips EL84s. Interconnect from the CD player (Opera Consonance CD 2.3 Reference) is Nordost Blue Heaven, and I am using the stock silver headphone cable. Ideally, I would like to increase treble "attack" a little, and was thinking along the lines of using a brighter NOS driver tube (Telefunken, perhaps?).
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