Well, I've owned the AGD Compass, Maverick d1, e10 and LIttle Dot mk1+. There was a slight difference here with the Compass sounding best. But we're talking about $235 shipped for the nfb12 and about $139 shipped on the e17-that's what I paid anyway. I really like AGD products and to my ears, there might be a 5% difference in sound quality across the spectrum. Now the AGD will get much louder but the e17 gets as loud as I listen and for about $100 less.
I am without a desktop amp for the first time in quite a while. And honestly I'm not missing it that much.
Really dark...no not really dark. There is somewhat of a juxtaposition with this hp. The he400 is crystal clear while having a dark syrupy presentation. I just love it. It's one of the best sounding hp I've ever owned.
I would give up on the he500...actually I did give up on them. I had the lyr and the he500. I actually prefer the sound signature of the he400. The bass has more texture and impact than the 500. Now the 500 has some beautifully textured and natural mids. Really nice!! If that is your thing, then go for it. I love the he400 for the planar sound with some bass to it.