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Which Summit-Fi Headphone For Me? - Page 5

post #61 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltucker305 View Post

Thank you for the input.  I will look into the Hifiman 400 and 500.  I have just one more to throw into mix.  Have you or anyone else heard the new Denon music maniac line?  If good this could give me on the go as well as a step up in audio.

 

The initial reports of the new Denons seems favorable, though they've only been available for what, a week? One thing to keep in mind from the favorable reports is that these were the Denon fans who were practically waiting in line to get them, so most of them wanted  to like it except for a few.   I'd really give it more time for the more critical head-fiers to get a chance to audition it.  If you were looking for a closed can it looks like it may turn out to be a good choice, at least the 7100.  The D600 sounds a bit too bass heavy for my liking from the initial reports.  But it's all very early. 

 

They're intriguing as a closed can, but if you're going to get one good can and don't need it to be closed, I would stick with open cans, personally. That comes down to preference though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reddragon View Post


Please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the solo only a dac and not an amp?

You're right, I was thinking of the HP-P1, though that may have ONLY an apple input. It does have an analog input to use it as an amp-only though without the DAC. 

post #62 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

(you're always a great read IEM, I new this thread would be long.. biggrin.gif)

 

Just my 2 cents,

 

Buy the HE500's. Sell the 650's and K702's. Buy a high quality dac. Keep the Lyr.

 

The HE500's are a high-end 650, I'm sure you will apreciate them, they are really transparent to quality sources and these are most important when you get to this stage. You have more than enough power with the Lyr and so matching the phones with a good dac imo would be a better option than going all out on a super phone and feeding them a mid-fi (for look of a better word) source. HE6's will need a summit-fi source otherwise you won't get that extra 10% (diminishing returns..) I'm sure the same will be for the LCD3's.

 

I've got some LCD2's in the post and will post some impressions soon to compare.     

 

Thanks! :) Already ordered HE-6 and the amp!

 

I'll never sell HD650...K702, maybe, but they don't hold value enough to bother, and a flat can can be handy.  HD650, not a chance! bigsmile_face.gif

 

Bifrost is already quite a good DAC.  Sure there's a bit better out there, a bit more soundstage, a bit more fine resolution, but all in all, it's a heck of a DAC.  If I do upgrade it'll be another Mike Moffat design, so I want to see what next year's statement DAC looks like before looking anywhere else.  But Bifrost can hold its own against some of the big dogs just fine.  There's always DAC1, too.  But I'm not in too big a hurry for an upgrade on that yet, and certainly not before seeing what Mike's statement piece will bring and at what price point.  People are using Bifrost to feed speaker rigs that are a lot more costly than HE-6 and an integrated! wink.gif  Bifrost's weakest link is really the power supply. And the USB, but I'm not using USB, I'm using the coax S/PDIF which Shiit makes no secret of being much better than the USB portion wink_face.gif

 

If HE-6 is as good as I'm hoping, I won't be buying more cans after this, so I can spend that can money on a DAC a year or so down the line if I need it.

 

However the LCD-2 comparison should be useful for everyone, so I'll look forward to reading it!

post #63 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

Thanks! :) Already ordered HE-6 and the amp!

 

I'll never sell HD650...K702, maybe, but they don't hold value enough to bother, and a flat can can be handy.  HD650, not a chance! bigsmile_face.gif

 

Bifrost is already quite a good DAC.  Sure there's a bit better out there, a bit more soundstage, a bit more fine resolution, but all in all, it's a heck of a DAC.  If I do upgrade it'll be another Mike Moffat design, so I want to see what next year's statement DAC looks like before looking anywhere else.  But Bifrost can hold its own against some of the big dogs just fine.  There's always DAC1, too.  But I'm not in too big a hurry for an upgrade on that yet, and certainly not before seeing what Mike's statement piece will bring and at what price point.  People are using Bifrost to feed speaker rigs that are a lot more costly than HE-6 and an integrated! wink.gif  Bifrost's weakest link is really the power supply. And the USB, but I'm not using USB, I'm using the coax S/PDIF which Shiit makes no secret of being much better than the USB portion wink_face.gif

 

If HE-6 is as good as I'm hoping, I won't be buying more cans after this, so I can spend that can money on a DAC a year or so down the line if I need it.

 

However the LCD-2 comparison should be useful for everyone, so I'll look forward to reading it!

Congrats on ordering the HE6's I think you've made a great choice. I really wanted them to begin with but my amps were not up to task. Still I'm very happy with the HE500's. Got the lcd2's on my head as I type this (came todaytongue.gif) but it's too early to post accurate impressions. Gonna wait at least a week of constantly burning them in and then I'll do a comparision.  

 

Keep us updated with the hifiman's

post #64 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

115dB sounds like what I'd consider a normal "way too loud" peak volume for any speaker/headphone if you crank the volume all the way to the top.  Of course, who cranks the volume all the way to the top? blink.gif  It sounds just about right ot keep the knob somewhere near the 12:00 sweet spot.  Beyond that is when some amplifiers are more prone to drive into distortion depending on amp design.  I.E. I'm not sure on that particular amp at what point you cross the +0.0dB threshold from the preamp and start overdriving the poweramp.   On my Denon AVR for example I think that +0.0dB threshold is somewhere around 70% and is the max recommended setting.  Beyond that you're overdriving the poweramp and could cause distortion or clipping.  So you want the max rating to be well in advance of the average knob position, and 115dB (real output) seems as good as any place to do it.  Of course on this amp that may not apply, of course, and the Denon is a much higher wpc amp.

 

I also think there may be some important variables (I'm not sure what ones but I get the feeling there are some) not being factored into your "by the book" numbers.  By your numbers, which look right, sound like they would blow transducers.  However I noticed grokit pointing out some info from Fang regarding the "HE-Adapter" (safety capacitor box for HE-6, sold seperately, for speaker taps which nobody seems to like.)  Apparently according to Fang, you don't even need the capacitor protection for them when under 70wpc to 90wpc (the number apparently changed a few times.) That's in the link that was posted above for the "what amps" thread.

 

So by Fang's specs, this amp is remarkably underpowered in terms of the ability to blow out transducers...the HE-6 should be able to take 40-60% more power than the max of that amp before you need to worry about the transducers (or all the time for OTL tubes.)  It sounds very wrong....but is intriguing all the more since it comes from the mfr.  Obvously worrying about your ears is a different matter, but it makes me wonder if there's another factor, namely that speaker amps aren't designed to drive 53ohm loads, and thus loose efficiency in horrible ways when driving HE-6, meaning you're not really getting that 6800mw going in.  That's one possible theory anyway. Point is, Fang's numbers seem a lot more power hungry than the straight calculations would suggest which implies a hidden variable that throws off how the numbers really work.  And there are people running these on much more powerful amps than 45mw, though it may be merely coincidence that really high end quality amps happen to also be really powerful amps.  I would suspect that the closer you get to that 70wpc threshold that marks the lowest floor of where you can actually blow a transducer, the more the volume dial accurately represents the full scale from pianissimo to magic smoke of the headphone biggrin.gif  I do suspect it has more to do with quality of amplification than overall power though in terms of how well it works, same as always.

 

HD650, K702, HE-400 all have the volume knob of the 6W Lyr down at 7:00 - 9:00 with my Squeezebox locked at 100%.  Sounds great! biggrin.gif

 

 

If grokit is right, it's nowhere near the need for the HE-Adapter box.   Supposedly that info comes from Fang.  Though personally I wouldn't tempt fate with something much bigger.  And if the volume is down that box is kind of pointless short of an amp malfunction.  Lyr is WAY more powerful than nearly all headphones other than HE-6 (for which it doesn't seem to be seen as enough power for), and more than capable of blowing them, but it works just fine with even the sensitive Denons so long as the volume is down.  (Denons pick up a lot of noise from it though.  Different issue.)

 

I think obob is just pointing out that, by the numbers, 45wpc is overkill for HE-6 based on max volume.  But I don't think that takes into account other factors.  Supposedly Lyr gets more than loud enough, but has a hard time driving the low end despite that planars should be linear in impedance.  Maybe not in current though? That's a big diaphragm and some very big magnets.Ironically Fang's amp for them doesn't get much love either...

Alrighty, so for eg. the PM6004's 45w in 8ohm / 70w in 4ohm,  the HE-adapter isn't needed. Then I would need a special speaker cable to attach to the xlr part of the HE-6 cable. Anyone have an idea where to buy that? 

 

 I hate the noise from Lyr on ease to run cans too, that's one thing that sounds good about the Mjolner I think, that you can use all phones on it. 

post #65 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltucker305 View Post

Thank you for the input.  I will look into the Hifiman 400 and 500.  I have just one more to throw into mix.  Have you or anyone else heard the new Denon music maniac line?  If good this could give me on the go as well as a step up in audio.

 

I haven't heard them, but I'm gonna try to hear them as soon as they get to the local hifi-store around here. I recently had a good long listen to the Denon AD5000, I was very impressed with that, very nice sound with good tonality. Quality stuff. The new design seems pretty cool too, especially the D7100.

post #66 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

Congrats on ordering the HE6's I think you've made a great choice. I really wanted them to begin with but my amps were not up to task. Still I'm very happy with the HE500's. Got the lcd2's on my head as I type this (came todaytongue.gif) but it's too early to post accurate impressions. Gonna wait at least a week of constantly burning them in and then I'll do a comparision.  

 

Keep us updated with the hifiman's

 

Congrats on the LCD-2's and I'll certainly keep everyone updated on the HE-6 experience when the arrive.  Looks like they won't arrive until next week at the moment (boo!) I love my HE-400's as well.  one reason I kept looking away from HE-6 was I thought it would be fun for my summit rig to look and feel different from my daily cans, but in the end, I knew I liked with HFM does, so why not.  Seems Fang's won my fandom from Sennheiser after all!   Lots of fun, though...you don't build a new summit rig every day! biggrin.gif  The waiting's a killer though!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZorgDK View Post

Alrighty, so for eg. the PM6004's 45w in 8ohm / 70w in 4ohm,  the HE-adapter isn't needed. Then I would need a special speaker cable to attach to the xlr part of the HE-6 cable. Anyone have an idea where to buy that? 

 

 I hate the noise from Lyr on ease to run cans too, that's one thing that sounds good about the Mjolner I think, that you can use all phones on it. 

 

If grokit's report of Fang's statements are accurate (and there's no reason to believe they're not), then correct the adapter isn't needed even at full power.  But even if it's not, the adapter shouldn't be needed any more than one is needed for HD650 on Lyr, just be careful with the volume and there's no issue.  And it seems a lot of early adopters of the adapter thought it ruined the SQ anyway, so they run bare even on bigger amps.  I suspect the adapter was designed more for big OTL tube users with esoteric speaker rigs and for dedicated power amps where it's harder to avoid throwing too much power.

 

The special cable...anyone that makes custom cables can make one.  I'm getting a Black Dragon one from Moon along with the cans, but any of the known custom cable vendors should be able to make the adapter cable.  Toxic may be cheaper, and probably Chris_Himself on the forums can whip up something a little less exotic on the cheap.  I just asked Drew when it's shipping and he says my cables are being made today (tsk, tsk, Drew, what happened to that one day turn-around? :) )

 

Yeah, Lyr noise is a pain for those handful of easy to drive cans...Denon, Fostex, most Sonys, cheaper Senns, etc. It's the price one pays for all that power into most orthos other than HE-6 though biggrin.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZorgDK View Post

 

I haven't heard them, but I'm gonna try to hear them as soon as they get to the local hifi-store around here. I recently had a good long listen to the Denon AD5000, I was very impressed with that, very nice sound with good tonality. Quality stuff. The new design seems pretty cool too, especially the D7100.

 

The headphone hamburger? blink.gif  It's kind of hideous, though I admit, it's growing on me.  Still there's some design wierdness about it like the headband that expands from the top center rather than the cups.  Still initial reports show it sounds good and feels comfy so that's what matters.  And I can accept the overcharging since it's closed, and that's always pricy.  But it does seem to be a v-shape still, not that TH900 isn't.  So it's certainly a preference thing. For jazz & classical fans, v-curves really suck (though it can be good for solists.)

post #67 of 178
After input from here and research this is the setup I am looking at

HE-400
Ray Samuels SR-71B balanced amp
6 moon balanced cable

Do you think this would be a good setup? A big step up from the HD25-1 an fiio setup or I just wasting money and there are cheaper better options for the price

By the way. This head-fi is a great site and appreciate all the info I receive. Thanks again.
post #68 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltucker305 View Post

After input from here and research this is the setup I am looking at
HE-400
Ray Samuels SR-71B balanced amp
6 moon balanced cable
Do you think this would be a good setup? A big step up from the HD25-1 an fiio setup or I just wasting money and there are cheaper better options for the price
By the way. This head-fi is a great site and appreciate all the info I receive. Thanks again.


That Ray Samuels piece is technically probably overkill for the HE-400, but on the other hand, the Samuels is a very nice piece and you should never need another amp again no matter what headphones you may ever want to buy (short of HE-6 anyway....and I'm not sure, it may work well with those as well.) j

If you get the HE-400 be sure to order a set of velour pads for $15 or so with it. Best upgrade for HE-400 ever, it's a near unanimous opinion. I did also do a cable upgrade on mine and it does make a diference but not a huge difference. I'm glad I did it, but it's not essetial, the stock cable is decent. However if you've budgeted for it I wouldn't recommend against a Blue Dragon...it tames some of the ringg on the solitary treble peak.

I doubt anyone would be dissappointed in that rig. The only choice really to make is if the sound signature of HE-400 or HE-500 appeals more to you. They're a little different, but supposedly similar enough that if you have one you don't need the other. HE-500 is supposedly a hair smoother and warmer (more mids centric) ; HE-400 may not be as smooth but it's more tonally balanced. Preference (and $300) difference :P
post #69 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

If HE-6 is as good as I'm hoping, I won't be buying more cans after this, so I can spend that can money on a DAC a year or so down the line if I need it.

I'm pretty sure I said I would be done after buying my first high end headphone, the HD800 and since then I have bought 3 HD800, 2 LCD-2 Rev 1, 2 W3000ANV, DT800, 2 T50RP and another AD2000. I sold some off before you think I'm more crazy than I really am. The point is never say never :P.
post #70 of 178
Can you recommend another amp to pair with the HE-400
post #71 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by MomijiTMO View Post

I'm pretty sure I said I would be done after buying my first high end headphone, the HD800 and since then I have bought 3 HD800, 2 LCD-2 Rev 1, 2 W3000ANV, DT800, 2 T50RP and another AD2000. I sold some off before you think I'm more crazy than I really am. The point is never say never :P.



I have seen a lot of people with tons of high end headphones and gears but why do you have duplicate gears?
post #72 of 178
Because no 2 headphones sound the same. There is such thing as driver variation. I got 2 W3ks because they won't be up for sale next year...
post #73 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZorgDK View Post

Why would you get hearing damage from using a speaker amp if you are listening at the same volume level as you would from a  headphone amp? I assume there's enough play on the dial on the speaker amp to get the right volume.

115 dB will cause hearing damage - as per OSHA and CCOHS guidelines and data - there is nothing at all that prevents use of something like the PM6004 (and I was going to suggest the PM8004 myself, but they're both good).

Linky:
http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=standards&p_id=9735
http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/phys_agents/noise_auditory.html

None of the above is meant to be harsh/malicious - I think my post was simply misunderstood. smily_headphones1.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

115dB sounds like what I'd consider a normal "way too loud" peak volume for any speaker/headphone if you crank the volume all the way to the top. 

It's enough to damage your hearing PDQ. Dolby specifies peaks (note PEAKS) should be around 105 dB on the topside, assuming 85 dB is your "average" - I think that's too high for all day use, so I'd knock another 10 dB off the top. Anyone who wants to listen to triple digit SPLs is nuts.
Quote:
Of course, who cranks the volume all the way to the top? blink.gif   It sounds just about right ot keep the knob somewhere near the 12:00 sweet spot.  Beyond that is when some amplifiers are more prone to drive into distortion depending on amp design.  I.E. I'm not sure on that particular amp at what point you cross the +0.0dB threshold from the preamp and start overdriving the poweramp.  

No, not really.

Quote:
On my Denon AVR for example I think that +0.0dB threshold is somewhere around 70% and is the max recommended setting.

If it's been designed in the last 3-4 years and has Audyssey, 0.0 dB actually floats relative to the calibration. If it's older than that (say, ~2000) 0 dB represents an uncalibrated reference level. If it's much older (say, 1995), 0 dB is probably full open, and generally there is no gain to be had beyond it. Digital gain is always nasty, but it only exists on digital preamps - on a conventional receiver/amplifier (like the Yamaha IA I have upstairs) you can run it all the way up to 11 with no problems.
Quote:
  Beyond that you're overdriving the poweramp and could cause distortion or clipping. 

No, not really. The signal and load are what determine this. For example if I feed a signal at -50 dB into an IA and run it up to 10, it doesn't matter - it won't clip. I can also push it into clipping with the volume on the lowest setting by driving the input stage too hot. Distortion rises as power output increases, which is determined by the load relative to the output voltage (which is what you're controlling with the volume dial).
Quote:
So you want the max rating to be well in advance of the average knob position

Not really. The knob position means nothing in terms of output power, it just reflects attenuation and on consumer gear is arbitrary and non-referenced. But basically all you're doing is adjusting output V, and that will translate into output power relative to the load and so on. Half on the dial doesn't mean you're getting half of the available power.
Quote:
I also think there may be some important variables (I'm not sure what ones but I get the feeling there are some) not being factored into your "by the book" numbers.  By your numbers, which look right, sound like they would blow transducers. 

Variables such as what? Yes, you could absolutely blow the transducers up with this amplifier - I'm not aware of any headphone that can take a ~10W input and live to tell about it.
Quote:
However I noticed grokit pointing out some info from Fang regarding the "HE-Adapter" (safety capacitor box for HE-6, sold seperately, for speaker taps which nobody seems to like.)  Apparently according to Fang, you don't even need the capacitor protection for them when under 70wpc to 90wpc (the number apparently changed a few times.) That's in the link that was posted above for the "what amps" thread.

The HE-Adapter is not a capacitor, at least not if I'm understanding their publications correctly. There is no "safety cap" that you could use here either - it's a series of resistors (you can build the thing yourself in an afternoon) to drop voltage and current. If you want to protect the cans you'd want PPTCs and fuses among other things - a really cheap (and very effective) implementation of this is used by Bose for their speakers, and I believe it was originally sourced from Tyco (who makes said PPTCs), involving an automotive lightbulb and a reasonably high value PPTC. It protects the tweeters (which have the least power handling) from overloading - that's what the "active speaker protection" they talk about is. I'm not aware of anyone else who does this though; shame.
Quote:
Obvously worrying about your ears is a different matter, but it makes me wonder if there's another factor, namely that speaker amps aren't designed to drive 53ohm loads, and thus loose efficiency in horrible ways when driving HE-6, meaning you're not really getting that 6800mw going in.  That's one possible theory anyway. Point is, Fang's numbers seem a lot more power hungry than the straight calculations would suggest which implies a hidden variable that throws off how the numbers really work. 

They're inefficient inasmuch as they're loading a higher resistance, but it's all dictated by Ohm's Law. I'm not sure what magical hidden variables you're worrying about - are we to believe that you disagree with all published specs, measurements, Ohm's Law, etc in relation to this set-up? Or what? (I'm confused).
Quote:
And there are people running these on much more powerful amps than 45mw, though it may be merely coincidence that really high end quality amps happen to also be really powerful amps.  I would suspect that the closer you get to that 70wpc threshold that marks the lowest floor of where you can actually blow a transducer

45W to 70W is an inconsequential jump, it's less than 3 dB of gain (which means it's not something you will hear and it's not worth figuring how much gain it actually represents) - both can blow apart any headphone I'm aware of.
Quote:
  I do suspect it has more to do with quality of amplification than overall power though in terms of how well it works, same as always.

To an extent, yes. You want an amplifier with good channel matching, a low noise floor, etc - screw any of those up and it's not fun.
Quote:
HD650, K702, HE-400 all have the volume knob of the 6W Lyr down at 7:00 - 9:00 with my Squeezebox locked at 100%.  Sounds great! biggrin.gif  

So the question is, 6W into what? And then how hot is your source, and what's Lyr's sensitivity? And then what's Znom of the load, and so on, and then you can figure out how much power it's actually giving up. Dollar says it's under 10 mW.
Quote:
If grokit is right, it's nowhere near the need for the HE-Adapter box.   Supposedly that info comes from Fang.  Though personally I wouldn't tempt fate with something much bigger.  And if the volume is down that box is kind of pointless short of an amp malfunction.  Lyr is WAY more powerful than nearly all headphones other than HE-6 (for which it doesn't seem to be seen as enough power for), and more than capable of blowing them, but it works just fine with even the sensitive Denons so long as the volume is down.  (Denons pick up a lot of noise from it though.  Different issue.)

Quite honestly, you could plug them into an RMX5050 if you wanted to, and it'd work fine, as long as you could adequately attenuate the signal down (because 2Vrms on that will get you enough power to travel through time). The overall peak output of the amplifier in a given condition isn't really that relevant beyond figuring your target output goals. I think the PM6004 is a good match for the cans you've picked, as it allows you enough DNR to take your ears apart (and a 70W amp would get you nothing over that), and I like Marantz gear in general. smily_headphones1.gif
Quote:
I think obob is just pointing out that, by the numbers, 45wpc is overkill for HE-6 based on max volume.  But I don't think that takes into account other factors.  Supposedly Lyr gets more than loud enough, but has a hard time driving the low end despite that planars should be linear in impedance.  Maybe not in current though? That's a big diaphragm and some very big magnets.Ironically Fang's amp for them doesn't get much love either...

What do you mean "not in current" - ??? Current is dictated by Ohm's Law and helps to figure power. It's not arbitrary or independent. The user gets to adjust voltage, the load gets to set Z (as impedance aka complex resistance), the source gets to set freq, and that will give you (through Ohm's Law) a given power demand which the amplifier has to be able to deliver as a combination of Vrms output and current delivery; if it can't do one or the other it has a problem. I'm not sure how to address the complaints over the "low end" - are these actually validated, or just subjective claims made after whomever purchased something shinier and more expensive and "compared" (in a non-controlled manner) the two? It's hard to say what's going on without more information. redface.gif


None of the above is meant to attack, just to inform (including you informing me, because I'm confused by some of your statements).
post #74 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MomijiTMO View Post


I'm pretty sure I said I would be done after buying my first high end headphone, the HD800 and since then I have bought 3 HD800, 2 LCD-2 Rev 1, 2 W3000ANV, DT800, 2 T50RP and another AD2000. I sold some off before you think I'm more crazy than I really am. The point is never say never :P.

 

LOL, yeah, that's the beauty of the HE-6, it's the summit-fi-duplicacate-killer.  Since it has a totally different amping path than other summit headphones it forces you to stand with it alone as your summit rig :P  I could get other headphones..but no other summit type headphones since my summit rig will be built around the HE-6 and it's unusual amping needs biggrin.gif

 

Of course the amping needs of HE-6 happen to be compatible with the WEE...and there's always Stax to go with that....oh well....

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ltucker305 View Post

Can you recommend another amp to pair with the HE-400

 

HE-400 will pair nicely with virtually anything!  Are you wanting tubes or SS?  Do you want balanced for future upgrades?  I'm not sure if HE-400 really cares about balanced at all.  It'll reward good amps, but it's pretty low impedance overall, and I'm not sure of the oomph of balancing it will make much difference.  But if you wanted an amp that'll handle any future head-fi whims then there's no harm in thinking ahead. 

 

I happen to personally like my Lyr with the HE-400 and my HD650.  But that's one option of many and isn't exactly a summit-level amp.  Still with some summit-level tubes it can shine quite well.  Mjolnir is Schiit's balanced amp but it's not yet being sold, it's a pending product you can sign up for.  There's a third tier from them coming out next year.

 

Anything Woo is pricy but nice for the most part.  I wouldn't go with ANY OTL-tube amp for HE-400 or any planar, so WA6 for example is a no-no.  Any of the transformer-coupled tube amps from them and hybrid tube amps from anyone will do fine.  And any SS.  OTL tube amp doesn't handle the low impedance of planars well not even the HE-400 (though unlike other planars it'll actually work, but it's not idea.)

 

When it comes to HE-400, pick a price point (alloting or future headphones if you think you'll want more), pick a feature set, pick SS or tube based on preference, and shop around for what appeals to you.  It doesn't require breaking the bank, and I do think it's scalability stops short of the extremes that HD650 can scale to with the crazy-expensive stuff.  HE-400 pairs nicely with almost anything, it doesn't have the crazy "needs moar synergy" issues that Sennheisers have.  It will sound better on a better amp, or cater to preferences more.  It does scale.  But within a given class of "good, better, best" options, it's generally not going to choose one "better" amp over another "better" the way HD650 will.  It'll like them all.

 

I'm convinced HE-400 will go down in history along with HD650, DT880, K701 as one of those all-time classic headphones that becomes an almost default recommendation.  And unlike the others, it's easy to pair it with almost anything.


Edited by IEMCrazy - 8/10/12 at 7:08am
post #75 of 178

I didn't find a drastic difference of the HE-400's quality going from Little Dot MKII OTL to O2 SS amp, the major differences were just sound signature of the tubes vs SS.  So with that in mind, HE-400 is very amp friendly I guess.

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