Most of you following the HE-6 thread already know that I have endlessly tinker'd with associated components and now the HE-6 itself to get the best possible sound out of it. Since it's going be a work in progress, I have reserved some posts below to update and give impressions on equipment I have used to get there and my thoughts on it. If you have any thing positive to add to what makes a marked difference to help improve the sound of the HE-6, feel free to PM me with the info (or post it) and I might just update my posts with it so that all the info is available in a concise manner in the first few posts.
Since this thread is about MAXMIZING THE SOUND OUT OF THE HE-6 please stick to the positive attributes that will help attain that goal for HE-6 current owners and those contemplating buying one. If you have owned a HE-6 and were not happy with the sound and have moved on, I can safely say, IMHO, that it was because of the choice of amplification and source components including cables. For that very reason, I would like to avoid endless discussions why the HE-6 does not sound good. The HE-6 is just about the most transparent and clean sounding headphones out there, comparable to a great degree in this respect with the Stax electrostatics and is more apt to show the weaknesses in the audio chain, warts and all. This means that if are using an IPod as a source, MP3s as material or a marginal CD player or an amp with a weak power supply and not enough RMS power (most common); it could be the reason(s) why your HE-6 lacks bass, the treble is forward/tilted and too bright - the most common complaints.
A little bit of background- I have been an audiophile since I was a teenager and have been involved with High End Audio as onetime a part owner of 3 high end boutique stores in Ontario which carried products like Stax, Threshold, Audio Research, Meridian, Wright Electrostatics, Linn, PSB, Harbeth etc.and also as a distributor that introduced some top tier high end products in Canada.
Some of the more notable audio equipment I have owned personally and was in my system for more than 6 months; besides that I had access to a lot of other equipment like the HE90.
AMPS/PRE: ML-1 and ML-2, Marantz 4400, McIntosh 2105, Ampzilla, Stax DA-300, Bedini Strelioff 200, TVA-1 and M-200 (200 watt mono tube amps), Krell KMA160/Krell KBL, Audible Illusions, Classe CAV-150, Butler Audio 2250, Proceed HPA, AVP and AMP3.
SOURCE: Ariston RD-11, JA Mitchell, Linn LP12, Panasonic SP-10 Mk2, Koetsu Black, Dynavector Ruby, Breuer Dynamic tonearm, Esoteric P1 and D1, Wadia 2000 system, Metrum
SPEAKERS: Braun Active Bi-amped, Ohm F, Dayton Wright Electrostatics, Accoustat, Snell Type A, Apogee Duetta Sigs, Legacy Focus and Sigs III.
HEADPHONES/HP AMPS: Stax Lamda and SR-007s, HE60/70, K340, K701, CD3000, L3000, W5000, HD650, SE535, T1, HE-6, Wheatfield HA-1 and HA-2 , SRPP DIY amp , SRM-007t and the 717, Rudistor Dual Mono, Egmont, HeadCode, Marantz PM-84D, Yamaha CA-1010, Pathos Classic MK3
I like the finer things in life but with an eye for value and not the obvious. I chose an AP Annuel to wear on my wrist over a Patek Philippe (read Rolex for non watch buffs), I drive a BMW 650i but prefer the 2008 535i overall that I had a few years ago. It kind of gives you an idea.
For me the Hifiman's flagship product, the HE-6 falls in the above category and at $1399 is the winner in its price range and undoubtedly the best in price/performance ratio when bought used for about $800 which is a freaking bargain.
When I bought the HE-6, on first listen it sounded a BIT anemic in bass and had a slightly recessed midrange. But from the get go I always thought the treble was way above par, one of the best, and is one of HE-6's strong points. As my SRPP (K1000) amp could not properly drive the HE-6, I went looking for a solution, so the following posts underline my journey with the HE-6................................
The beginning- My HE-6 (sans the cable) bought used for $800 with 2-3 hours of use.
Edited by gurus - 6/17/12 at 12:11am