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Hifiman HE-500 amp under $600? - Page 5

post #61 of 86
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post

Oops sorry..Try the matrix quattro or the matrix m-stage..both excellent amps for under 400. Shiit lyr ( allthough i found it sounded a bit muddy on my he500).


+1 on that. I've compared the Lyr and Mjölnir on a meet with an HE-500. Although booth sounded nice, resolution (e. g. instrument separation) and tonal balance was better on the Mjölnir. The Lyr sounded warm, mid centered and a little "blurred" in comparison.

post #62 of 86
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post

Oops sorry..Try the matrix quattro or the matrix m-stage..both excellent amps for under 400. Shiit lyr ( allthough i found it sounded a bit muddy on my he500). Before i had my 337 i used my matrix to burn in the he500 for 2 weeks..with gain on 10db he did very well! Better then a darkvoice 3322 with mullard tubes in it! And that for i think 299 usd with the opa627 mod i had on mine already installed..u can get the matrix at tamaudio.com.
Ps..the first matrix amp is even balanced!

With a $400 budget I wouldn't  go for the M-Stage. I have it, it is definitely a big bang for your buck BUT it is too weak to drive the HE-500. I think it would be more suited to the (somewhat) less hungry HE-400s.


I would go for a >1Wpc amp (the M-Stage is 200mWpc IIRC) like the audio-gd C2.2.


Though I never had a chance to hear it, the compass-2 seems to be a very good DAC/Amp combo that has plenty of power to drive planars and lots of customization possibilities.

post #63 of 86
Actually, the M-Stage is 400mw into 60 ohms. It may not be able to put out gobs of current, but it sounds great driving my HE-500s. For less than $300, I think it's a strong contender for a budget ortho amp.
post #64 of 86

I would go for the O2+ODAC combo from JDS Labs. It has enough power to get them loud and it is one of, if not the best measured amp on the market. Plus it will only cost you approx. $300 so you can save the rest of your money.

post #65 of 86
Originally Posted by WestLander View Post

Actually, the M-Stage is 400mw into 60 ohms. It may not be able to put out gobs of current, but it sounds great driving my HE-500s. For less than $300, I think it's a strong contender for a budget ortho amp.

+1 yeah i know its not strongest amp around..but damn..on gain 10 is drove the he500 i have pretty well..maybe its because mine had the mod from tam audio..class a biassed and the opa627? .okay..my 337 did a much better job..but its almost three times the price..but i was happy driving the he500 with my mstage..
Edited by hifimanrookie - 11/20/12 at 12:40pm
post #66 of 86

I use the Schiit Asgard with my He 500s and it drives them really nicely.

post #67 of 86

When I get my Project Sunrise 2 amp I will give some feedback on IMHO how they do with HE-500.

post #68 of 86
Originally Posted by conquerator2 View Post

Hi guys so I was looking for a desktop amp under $600 (with shipping to Czech republic) 
for the HE-500 (and additionally also for

I recently bought an Erzetich Bacillus Tilia Amp from Erzetich Audio in Slowakia.
It drives my HD650 perfectly. imo this is a very good ,refined powerfull amp, which would
drive a He-500 without problem. It costs 435 Euro. The sound is very detailed transparant, slightly warm, smooth. It pales my other amps
I am intending to buy a He-500 in the near future.

They also sell a perfidus amp which is even more powerfull and more agressive.
Also very attractive I think.
post #69 of 86

I have Erzetich Bacillus and really satisfied with it. Clear and precise sound. More than worth its price.


Now I am thinking of purchasing also Perfidus for my studio.

post #70 of 86

Hello guys, I'm totally new to Hi-Fi products and such. I'm currently using a pair of Audio Technica M50's for recording my personal music, as well as listening to my favorite stuff. I'm planning on ordering a pair of He-500's in the next couple weeks, based on my preference of warm headphones, with punchy bass. My main problem is that I don't feel like my M50's are clear enough in the mids as well as having sharper high's than I'd prefer, which is why I started my investigation into better cans. If I'm going to pay the price for a nice pair of headphones, I want some that won't need up-grading or replacing in years to come. That being said, I can move on to my real questions.


I want to know what sort of amp I should get to couple with a pair of He-500's. Is it worth it for me to save money and get something pricier than my current budget (200-300)? Or will I be satisfied in the long run with something like an Emotiva.


Second, I have a pair of Harmon Kardon IME's that I would like to have a Hi-Fi portable music player to listen with. My budget for a player is similar to the He-500 amp. 


Now, I'd appreciate any advice I can get, but I would really love to be able to have a full conversation with someone so that I can get all my questions and curiosities answered. My email is sbdines@att.net if anybody would be willing to inform a newbie like me! 


Thanks for taking the time to read my post.   

post #71 of 86
Love the lyr upgraded tubes and bifrost uber hit the spot for me plenty of sound stage and power
post #72 of 86
You really should try EF5 before deciding anything.
post #73 of 86
Originally Posted by AdamFrandsen View Post

For future readers:


I now own both a Burson Soloist and the HifiMan EF-5. I used to have the HE-400, which I ran from the EF-5 through a MusicStreamer II DAC, very fine sounding. I now upgraded to the HE-500 and a Lab Brick USB HUB, and the difference in sound between running the MusicStreamer II directly from the computers USB and the Lab brick is night and day!! I am actually starting to regret having bought the Burson now since the EF-5 sounds so freaking awesome with me HE-500s. I do get a larger soundstage with the Soloist and slightly ore detail, but a much brighter sound and less power and warmth. The EF-5 drives the HE-500s a little better in my opinion. I use the UD384 DAC + UPower with the Soloist, and it definitely has more clarity than the MusicStreamer, and having tried all combinations now I am still unsure which one I prefer. But, for $399!! the EF-5 is amazing with these headphones! I use a Mullard CV4003 / 12AU7 Vintage New Old Stock Platinum Grade Cryogenically Treated (U.K. org. version) tube with the EF-5 - fantastic sounding compared to the other tubes I have tried so far.

I'm getting HE-500 soon and looked at the EF-5 combination too.  Do you have any thoughts on La Figaro 339?  

post #74 of 86
Originally Posted by vc1187 View Post

La Figaro 339.  Not a popular amp yet, but it does wonders for the HE500 and it also makes the HA-160D sound pitiful in comparison.


If only people understood it for its true value...

Looks like you moved to diff amp & cans?  I'm looking at HE-500's, what did you thinks of the  La Figaro 339 combo??  Any thought's on DV 336se w/HE-500?

Edited by SwanSong - 11/7/13 at 12:20pm
post #75 of 86
Originally Posted by vc1187 View Post

No problem Luke, I understand.

I own the 3 headphones that I own for a reason.  I like each and every one of them depending on the mood I'm in.  

On a late night, where I want my music to be slow and seductive, yet still hit a deep bass, I listen to the HD650 with the La Figaro setup listed above (TS 5998 & RCA 5693)

On a normal day, where I'm not overly excited, but not looking to fall asleep any time soon, I listen to the HE-500 with the same La Figaro setup.  This also happens to be my favorite combination, due to its versatile nature as well as the type of music I prefer.

When I'm getting ready to go to the gym and I need to get pumped up, I listen to fast paced music, which works best with the LCD-2 and V200 combo.  The LCD-2 with the La Figaro setup did not sound good to my ears.  It was listenable with the stock tubes that the La Figaro came with, but it's just so good with the V200.


The HD650 and HE-500 are pretty awesome with the V200 as well, but I prefer the smoother presentation that the La Figaro has to offer for these two headphones, as they are already super smooth by nature.


I've stated this before on another headphone site, but I always see the headphones I own like this:

LCD-2: The Crowd Pleaser headphones.  Anyone that comes to your place will most likely be amused by the sound these provide (as well as the unique looks).

HE-500: The typical 'hi-fi' sound.  Warm, smooth, with a deep, strong bass.  Easy to listen to for countless amounts of hours, though it make take a while for these to feel comfortable to you.

HD650: The HD650 is like that ex-gf that you have fond memories of, and on somedays want to hook up with, but on others you fantasize about someone more exciting. 


Long ago, I paired the HD650 with the Burson HA-160D.  It was very musical to my ears, though the decay of notes seemed unnaturally short due to the articulation and clarity of the amplifier.  I got the LCD-2 next.  Within a week paired with the HA-160D... I sold them.  I felt like the LCD-2 was overhyped, as I preferred the sound of my HD650 over it when paired with the Burson.  Later, I got the HE-500, which sounded more dreadful than the LCD-2 did on the Burson.   I felt like voices were overly harsh, and instruments sounded unnaturally sharp, to the point it was ear-piercing even at mid-volume settings.  At this point I thought maybe I just wasn't cut out for planar magnetic headphones.  This is when I decided to give them another try and switch amps, and hence got the LF339.  After this, I absolutely loved the HE-500.  I also decided to give the LCD-2s another chance and I'm glad I did. 


I use the HRT MSII+ with both of my setups.  I find that it is leaps and bounds better than the HA-160D DAC.   Not only is it more resolving, but everything just sounds less flat. I did some testing before I sold the HA-160D.


I hope you can draw some conclusions about the headphone and amp pairing that would work best with your preferred sound signature from this post!

 The La Figaro 339 w/ HE-500 for jazz/fusion/ballad R&B music?  I'm looking for dark smokey village vanguard type sound.  Don't want exaggerated soundstage just true to life soundstage.

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