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HifiMAN HE-5LE v. HE-500 - Page 2

post #16 of 127
Thread Starter 

Just a late nite snack.  The Sylvania 6SN7GTB has been replaced with the Sylvania VT-231.

 

The HE-500 sound more silky, streamlined and even across the board.  Bass textures are truly exceptional during a reprise of The Carpenters' "Top of the World".  The way either of these two Hifi"MEN" respond to tube changes . . . truly a tube-roller's dream! 

 

Finishing the day with The Essential Simon and Garfunkel, SONY Legacy, 2003, "Scarborough Fair" over the 5LE.  Big soundstage with drums upper right, guitar 1 wide left, guitar 2 wide lower right (crossfeed off).  The HE-500 continue to grow on me with clean, clear bass thrust in a fine rendition of "Baby Driver".

 

"'nough said!"


Edited by pataburd - 7/27/12 at 10:19am
post #17 of 127

a review on the go! i can't even keep up! have you tried either of them with different Amps? i personally preferred the EF5 with Hifiman electrostatics, minus the HE-6

post #18 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by planx View Post

a review on the go! i can't even keep up! have you tried either of them with different Amps? i personally preferred the EF5 with Hifiman electrostatics, minus the HE-6

 

HiFiMan makes electrostatics?  :/  I think you mean Planar Magnetics or Orthodynamics...but why the EF5?  

post #19 of 127
Thread Starter 

Besides the Fitz-improved Bada PH-12, as mentioned earlier, I've run the 5LE directly from the speaker taps of the 50 WPC AMC XIA, the 50 WPC Linn Intek and 100 WPC Qinpu X-1.0A (all integrated amps).  I've also run the HE-500 from the Linn, speaker taps and the 1/4" headphone out, and the 5LE from the Linn's headphone out, as well.

 

The Bada (with lots of internal improvements--including Ven Haus V-Caps, thanks to Fitz's dedicated work) is proving a very noteworthy match for both the 5LE and the 500; the best matches I've had for this amp, ever.  The Bada's specifications denote 1W output at 47 ohms, which may be conservative.  HfM recommends 2W at about 40 ohms (I think) for the 5LE, but the Bada sounds very good with either of these headphones.

 

The only other headphone amp on hand is a custom-built solid state KMF.  I may give that a go later, although I doubt whether it can adequately manage the 5LE.


Edited by pataburd - 7/15/12 at 5:09am
post #20 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post

Besides the Fitz-improved Bada PH-12, as mentioned earlier, I've run the 5LE directly from the speaker taps of the 50 WPC AMC XIA, the 50 WPC Linn Intek and 100 WPC Qinpu X-1.0A (all integrated amps).  I've also run the HE-500 from the Linn, speaker taps and the 1/4" headphone out, and the 5LE from the Linn's headphone out, as well.

 

The Bada (with lots of internal improvements--including Ven Haus V-Caps, thanks to Fitz's dedicated work) is proving a very noteworthy match for both the 5LE and the 500; the best matches I've had for this amp, ever.  The Bada's specifications denote 1W output at 47 ohms, which may be conservative.  HfM recommends 2W at about 40 ohms (I think) for the 5LE, but the Bada sounds very good with either of these headphones.

 

The only other headphone amp on hand is a custom-built solid state KMF.  I may give that a go later, although I doubt whether it can adequately manage the 5LE.

 

 

Have you heard the HE-6 at all to compare these to?  It's good to know that the 5LE and the 500 have different sound sigs.  The next question how does the 400 compare.  Is the 400 the best bang for the buck?

post #21 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by disastermouse View Post

HiFiMan makes electrostatics?  :/  I think you mean Planar Magnetics or Orthodynamics...but why the EF5?  

My bad, I mean to say orthodynamic. It was late last night! And why not the EF5? They were designed to match Hifiman orthos, according to Hifiman and they actually match very well, minus the HE-6.
post #22 of 127
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

Have you heard the HE-6 at all to compare these to?  It's good to know that the 5LE and the 500 have different sound sigs.  The next question how does the 400 compare.  Is the 400 the best bang for the buck?

Have not heard the HE-6.  My initial plan/preferred path of action was leading to the HE-6, but the Bada matches so well with the HE-5LE and the HE-500, that I've begun to rethink/curb/delay that inclination at the moment.  Think I'll just enjoy either or both of these for a while, and wait for deal on the HE-6.  The prospect of hunting down a suitable power amp for the HE-6 interests me, but does not hurry me.

 

Have not heard the HE-400, either.  My take on the HifiMAN headphones is that each might be a "best bang-for-the-buck" in their respective categories.  To me, both the 5LE and the 500 have price to performance ratios that make their cost of admission shockingly affordable.  

post #23 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

Have you heard the HE-6 at all to compare these to?  It's good to know that the 5LE and the 500 have different sound sigs.  The next question how does the 400 compare.  Is the 400 the best bang for the buck?

 

Here's what I've gathered after months of reading about impressions and listening to my own pair of HE-400s:

 

Pros:

 

They (the HE-400s) have a much more robust bass than the HE-500/5LEs, without losing any quality; the HE-500 bass has sometimes been called detailed but a little wooly, HE-400s do bass justice, especially at this pricepoint it's unmatched;

 

they have a specifically tuned treble so that the lower treble (where sibilance typically occurs) is subdued, mid treble is average in level, and upper treble (where all the air / micro-details are) is emphasized - this produces a relatively dark and nonfatiguing yet detailed and airy treble. IMO this is a feat of its own, there are rarely if any other headphones with treble tuned like this.

 

It works well with any, and I do mean any, decent portable or desktop amplification.

 

Cons:

 

Due to the altered and smaller driver tracing size, the mids are less smooth than HE500/5LEs, it is still tonally very good, just not as "perfect" as the big brothers (which have arguably some of the smoothest mids in headphones period)

 

It has a high noise floor and upper order harmonic distortion in the mids, which is probably related to the first con. This means the background is not as "black" as you'd ideally like

 

 

 

 

Personally the disadvantages I mentioned never bothered me in practical application, they just sound perfect for my tastes, period. You could judge based on your own preference whether they or the other cans are right for ya though.

post #24 of 127

I came in here looking for a genuine comparison, but all I got was wasteful superstition and flowery sales pitches :(
 

post #25 of 127
Thread Starter 

Lost my last post.  

 

Have the CBS/Hytron 5692 in now.  Nice compliment for the 500, which seem to be settling in well and sounding more filled in and coherent with this tube.  They sound better each time I don them,

 

The 5LE still have the edge with transparency, overall balance and tonal clarity; the 500 with bass drive, lower midbass resolution and sense of tonal hue.  Both headphones continue to provide an enjoyable listening experience.

 

Will have a short foray with the KMF solid state amp, then go to the speaker taps off the Linn.  I'll probably leave the 500 running from the headphone out on the Denon AVR-1905 before wrapping up and summarizing, hopefully in a few days.

post #26 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Cons:

 

It has a high noise floor and upper order harmonic distortion in the mids, which is probably related to the first con. This means the background is not as "black" as you'd ideally like

 

 

I always thought you get the black background from the amp ie  The GS-1.  Dead silent with real high efficient IME's  So if you put the HE-400s on the GS-1 amp or similar you should get your black background.  What amp are you using when you get the high noise floor?

post #27 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundstige View Post

I came in here looking for a genuine comparison, but all I got was wasteful superstition and flowery sales pitches :(
 

So, how much did you pay for this information?

post #28 of 127

I'm required to pay before I can critique or comment? Who do I make the check out to? Sure is throwing-money-away in here rolleyes.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbophead View Post

So, how much did you pay for this information?

post #29 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundstige View Post

I'm required to pay before I can critique or comment? Who do I make the check out to? Sure is throwing-money-away in here rolleyes.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbophead View Post

So, how much did you pay for this information?

I accept pay pal + 3%.

 

You're welcome.

post #30 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

I always thought you get the black background from the amp ie  The GS-1.  Dead silent with real high efficient IME's  So if you put the HE-400s on the GS-1 amp or similar you should get your black background.  What amp are you using when you get the high noise floor?

 

Like I stated there, subjectively I can't discern it. The cons I listed all originate from purrin's and Tyll's measurements.

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