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HE-500, LCD2, D5000, DT770, SR80, on a speaker amp (Emotiva mini-X A-100) Project - Page 8

post #106 of 3491
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elysian View Post

 

Completely disagreed on this point, and a lot of speaker audiophiles will also disagree with you vehemently.

 

Preamps add some form of coloration (some people prefer the term distortion) to the signal, and there are many people who feel that the preamp is one of the most critical parts of the chain, as the preamp influences the signal that the power amp amplifies.  Consequently, there's a wealth of discussion and literature out there about the affect preamps have on the chain, including synergy and pairing.

 

Most people's bad experiences with preamps is due to cheap preamps degrading the quality of the signal.  Conversely, high-end preamps (like the Placette Active) do an incredible job increasing the transparency of the sound, and letting the music breathe even easier.  Quality preamps do a much better job than DAC volume control, and that includes high-end DACs, and you'll also need to choose between a passive or active preamp based upon your signal and goals.

 

Adding a preamp between my Berkeley and First Watt made a clear impact on my HE6 (toning down the etch and hardness).  Choosing the wrong preamp could easily have an unwanted effect.

 

I think you may have misread my comment (or misread the comment I was replying to.)  I wasn't speaking positively or negatively about preamps, or commenting at all on the coloration qualities a well chosen pre can add (or inflict, depending on the pre biggrin.gif )  I was responding to a post inquiring about if there are any speaker amps with volume controls.  And the answer is: yes, integrateds (if you avoid the ones with cheap pres)  The posed question was if there are amps with volume control without having to go all out on separates with a pre and power, it wasn't a question about the usefulness of pres beerchug.gif

 

Obviously the myriad of pres out there provide their own sound signature, and tube combinations in tube pres compound that.  It's also true that there are some truly excellent integrateds out there that contain a truly excellent pre! And some of them are certainly anything but affordable wink_face.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post


Thanks. Do you like the Blue Dragon? Is it too bright or glare-y?  I'm going to try a Silver Dragon. I usually swear by Black Dragons but since the stock HE500 is silver (and Drew recommends the Silver) I'm going to try it.

 

For the HE-400 the BD sounded much like the stock Canare cable but tamed the runaway treble peaks a bit...they sort of focused more with less ringing.  The Q had a similar effect on the HE-6....they don't have ringing treble to start with but it did add some focus and control to the treble region.  I have a Silver Dragon on the HD650 which I absolutely love (it was a fantastic finishing touch on the 650's!)  I know Drew tends to recommend the silver for the HE-500, and obviously Fang made the change to silver for the stock so I'd say, yeah, go with Drew's suggestion...he knows his products!

post #107 of 3491

Thanks for the comments IEMc. 

I'll let you know what happens.

'love the HE500s by the way. Better than HD800s and LCD3s to me. (God save me, but actually MUCH better overall.) Way underpriced IMHO.


Edited by rgs9200m - 11/8/12 at 10:14am
post #108 of 3491
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

Thanks for the comments IEMc. 

I'll let you know what happens.

'love the HE500s by the way. Better than HD800s and LCD3s to me. (God save me, but actually MUCH better overall.) Way underpriced IMHO.

 

Have you tried a well driven HE-6?

post #109 of 3491
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

Thanks for the comments IEMc. 

I'll let you know what happens.

'love the HE500s by the way. Better than HD800s and LCD3s to me. (God save me, but actually MUCH better overall.) Way underpriced IMHO.

Yeah there's a few peeps on here think the same. It's a flavour thing ofcourse but what a nice flavour!

post #110 of 3491
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

What, if any, aftermarket cables does anyone use with the HE500s (or any Hifiman)? Thanks.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

I've got a Q on my HE-6, and a Blue Dragon (Moon Audio) on my HE-400s.   I may swap the BD out for the HE-6 stock cable just for a balanced connection to use it with Mjolnir though.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post


Thanks. Do you like the Blue Dragon? Is it too bright or glare-y?  I'm going to try a Silver Dragon. I usually swear by Black Dragons but since the stock HE500 is silver (and Drew recommends the Silver) I'm going to try it.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

For the HE-400 the BD sounded much like the stock Canare cable but tamed the runaway treble peaks a bit...they sort of focused more with less ringing.  The Q had a similar effect on the HE-6....they don't have ringing treble to start with but it did add some focus and control to the treble region.  I have a Silver Dragon on the HD650 which I absolutely love (it was a fantastic finishing touch on the 650's!)  I know Drew tends to recommend the silver for the HE-500, and obviously Fang made the change to silver for the stock so I'd say, yeah, go with Drew's suggestion...he knows his products!

 

I too have the Black Dragon on my HD650 and like it a lot. I have been thinking of the Moon Silver Dragon because of this, but also been looking into the Toxic, Q, and Norse Cables.

Why do they all have to be so pretty and good? eek.gifbiggrin.gif 

beerchug.gif


Edited by asmoday - 11/8/12 at 11:57am
post #111 of 3491
Thread Starter 

Heya,

 

Upon further inspection the HE-400 headband (first gen), and my HE-500 headband (first gen) are virtually the same in width. Maybe it was another revision or something, I could have sworn one was less wide. I guess it was my imagination.

 

The generic headband pad I posted fits the same (snug).

 

@Jerg: The HE-400 with taps sounds great, very similar increase in all directions as I experienced with the HE-500. The volume is tighter though to control, have to do micro adjustment with the amp itself. So with another amp, I imagine you'd need a source dial or something. I have to listen at like 8~9 o'clock before it's too much. But sound wise, it's again a great match. The Emotiva seems to just have great synergy with Hifiman orthos (the HE400 on this amp for example is quite bassy).

 

 

More impressions of the HE-500 on the Emotiva mini-X A-100:

 

Listening to two albums right now back to back over and over (largely because I'm just twitterpated with them). Lindsey Stirling (self titled album) which is violin and electronic hybrid house/dance music (amazing stuff, all the emotion of violin and Orthos love some violin to show off with; plus some good beats and some bass lines to get your toes tapping). The Piano Guys, because cello and piano in this way with bass lines is incredible, so much energy, emotion, power. Incredible album. The range is unbelievable.

 

Again, I can't get over how separated everything is on the setup. Every thing has space, there's no blurry lines. I was used to a "smooth" listen on some things, but now even those memories are just memories, as everything seems to just have very distinct points. The sound is just so tight. It doesn't sound flubby or muddy at all (not that it really did before either though). Great separation. Best sound stage I've had out of this ortho. I of course still feel some other dynamic driver headphones have wider sound stages, but this is a lot closer to what I would want, so this is a great increase over my old setups for this ortho (all preference, not speaking super technically here).

 

One thing I've always enjoyed about the HE-500 is how the bass does not creep into the mids or anything, so for example, violin is just slicing right through, and there's great mid and sub bass drops/beats in the background, but they're not taking over, and they're tight, controlled, great texture, but not over the top and not flubby or muddy. Very different from listening to electronic music on my Denons (which I very much enjoy, but that's a bass that is muddy/flubby/slow compared to the HE-500's bass). Bass is very enjoyable on this setup, even though I often tend to crank up the sub-bass both on headphones and on my speaker setups (I run my subs hot... mostly for home theater, but also in lots of music too). But I'm still not reaching for something to crank up the bass on the HE-500. It's there, authoritative, but not taking the show from the mids. I love the separation here. I also love how it's there even at low volume. I noticed definitely on lower powered setups that bass is the first thing missing from the HE-500 when it was under-powered and/or at low volume. Not the case with this particular match. Nice.

 

Treble is really chilling it's just so good with violin with the HE-500. Bright enough to handle violin without sounding dull, but not so bright that you get lobotomized (Ultrasone... ugh). Vocals and instruments like upper range piano, cello and violin are just so natural and eerily realistic with the HE-500 on this setup. Great control, great tonal separation, reverb and harmonics are not tearing everything apart and rattling, and it's not piercing or shrilled.

 

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 11/8/12 at 4:39pm
post #112 of 3491
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

 

Upon further inspection the HE-400 headband (first gen), and my HE-500 headband (first gen) are virtually the same in width. Maybe it was another revision or something, I could have sworn one was less wide. I guess it was my imagination.

 

The generic headband pad I posted fits the same (snug).

 

@Jerg: The HE-400 with taps sounds great, very similar increase in all directions as I experienced with the HE-500. The volume is tighter though to control, have to do micro adjustment with the amp itself. So with another amp, I imagine you'd need a source dial or something. I have to listen at like 8~9 o'clock before it's too much. But sound wise, it's again a great match. The Emotiva seems to just have great synergy with Hifiman orthos (the HE400 on this amp for example is quite bassy).

 

 

Very best,

 

Good to know this is a potential route, thanks for testing it out!

 

Do you notice any change/improvement to the treble, with the HE400s being driven out of them?


Edited by jerg - 11/8/12 at 4:36pm
post #113 of 3491
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

I think you may have misread my comment (or misread the comment I was replying to.)  I wasn't speaking positively or negatively about preamps, or commenting at all on the coloration qualities a well chosen pre can add (or inflict, depending on the pre biggrin.gif )  I was responding to a post inquiring about if there are any speaker amps with volume controls.  And the answer is: yes, integrateds (if you avoid the ones with cheap pres)  The posed question was if there are amps with volume control without having to go all out on separates with a pre and power, it wasn't a question about the usefulness of pres beerchug.gif

 

The most quoted speaker amps with built-in volume control are the Trends TA-10.2SE and the Emotiva mini-X in conjunction with the HE6.  I don't know of anyone who has tried these with their HE500.

 

I'd put a bit of caution into the volume control device (whether DAC, preamp, integrated, or power amp) the use for their headphones, as these devices will impart their own mark onto the sound.

post #114 of 3491
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

 

Good to know this is a potential route, thanks for testing it out!

 

Do you notice any change/improvement to the treble, with the HE400s being driven out of them?

 

Heya,

 

I noticed nearly the same trend as I did with the HE-500. Sound stage/separation was improved, speed was better, bass had authority, treble is not increased, still on the dark side of things (Hifiman wise at least). Great warm signature, bassy, great mids, relaxed treble. I find I like a little more treble myself, but not too much more. Guess that's why I prefer the HE-500. I do however sometimes wish it had more sub-bass naturally without equalization, but thank goodness it can equalize that up a few db without a problem and it's suddenly exactly what I want to hear during some electronic sessions. One thing that really stands out with Hifimans it seems with a speaker amp (or at least this one perhaps) is the texture of things, the detail and separation of tone is astonishing, it's not a blurred mess, kind of like hearing each fiber on the bow being used across the wires of a violin/cello, or hearing smoke in the bar. Love it.

 

 

 

Quote:
I don't know of anyone who has tried these with their HE500.

 

You do now. basshead.gif

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 11/8/12 at 4:53pm
post #115 of 3491
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Heya,

 

I noticed nearly the same trend as I did with the HE-500. Sound stage/separation was improved, speed was better, bass had authority, treble is not increased, still on the dark side of things (Hifiman wise at least). Great warm signature, bassy, great mids, relaxed treble. I find I like a little more treble myself, but not too much more. Guess that's why I prefer the HE-500. I do however sometimes wish it had more sub-bass naturally without equalization, but thank goodness it can equalize that up a few db without a problem and it's suddenly exactly what I want to hear during some electronic sessions. One thing that really stands out with Hifimans it seems with a speaker amp (or at least this one perhaps) is the texture of things, the detail and separation of tone is astonishing, it's not a blurred mess, kind of like hearing each fiber on the bow being used across the wires of a violin/cello, or hearing smoke in the bar. Love it.

 

 

 

 

You do now. basshead.gif

 

Very best,

 

Hm, do you by any chance have the rev1 HE400s (black plastic drivers)? The later revision HE400s have plenty (maybe a bit too much even) mid~upper treble. That was the reason I asked about the treble, as I was hoping your new-found setup is able to smooth out, maybe de-emphasize the treble slightly in terms of levels.

post #116 of 3491
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

 

Hm, do you by any chance have the rev1 HE400s (black plastic drivers)? The later revision HE400s have plenty (maybe a bit too much even) mid~upper treble. That was the reason I asked about the treble, as I was hoping your new-found setup is able to smooth out, maybe de-emphasize the treble slightly in terms of levels.

 

Heya,


First gen (rev 1) HE400's. Even had the driver issue that had to be fixed. Bleh. Still a great headphone. I read about the latest revision HE400 having weird treble issues that was recalled/fixed. My pair are one of the first batches that went out, so definitely not the case here.

 

I find the HE-400 slightly dark actually, but that's just my ears maybe. It's not a bright headphone so it doesn't sound emphasized to me (treble wise). The mids and mid-bass however are more forward sounding in volume compared to treble & sub-bass. The overall listen is a very smooth listen to me though, not quite as dull and boring as the HD650, but not as bright as the HE500 (or several headphones much brighter like Beyers, Ultrasones & Denons).

 

I'm actually surprised your Fiio's are not rolling the treble down enough for you (assuming that's your goal? Maybe I misunderstood). I found Fiio's (E11 & E10 at least) to drop treble faster, made my Denons sound way less bright for example. And the HE400 on a Fiio E10 was a pretty dark mixture actually. Definitely not a bright setup.

 

 

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 11/8/12 at 5:02pm
post #117 of 3491

The amp is a bit bigger than I expected but looks a bit larger than my dac which isn't too bad. It has a nice look to it although that ring of led looks really bright. As for the fan I believe it is off unless the amp gets really hot.

post #118 of 3491
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Heya,

 

I noticed nearly the same trend as I did with the HE-500. Sound stage/separation was improved, speed was better, bass had authority, treble is not increased, still on the dark side of things (Hifiman wise at least). Great warm signature, bassy, great mids, relaxed treble. I find I like a little more treble myself, but not too much more. Guess that's why I prefer the HE-500. I do however sometimes wish it had more sub-bass naturally without equalization, but thank goodness it can equalize that up a few db without a problem and it's suddenly exactly what I want to hear during some electronic sessions. One thing that really stands out with Hifimans it seems with a speaker amp (or at least this one perhaps) is the texture of things, the detail and separation of tone is astonishing, it's not a blurred mess, kind of like hearing each fiber on the bow being used across the wires of a violin/cello, or hearing smoke in the bar. Love it.

 

 

 

 

You do now. basshead.gif

 

Very best,

 

 

This is where the HE-5LEs step in..IMO

post #119 of 3491
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

This is where the HE-5LEs step in..IMO

 

Hrm,

 

Interesting.

 

I need to get my hands on the HE-5LE and HE-6 to see between the three which really steals my heart.

 

Very best,

post #120 of 3491
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Hrm,

 

Interesting.

 

I need to get my hands on the HE-5LE and HE-6 to see between the three which really steals my heart.

 

Very best,

 

 

You now have an amp that can properly compare all three.  Although the HE-6 and HE-5LE will still be able to scale more than the 500s.

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