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HE-500, LCD2, D5000, DT770, SR80, on a speaker amp (Emotiva mini-X A-100) Project - Page 7

post #91 of 3642

Cool man.

 

Glad you like it so far.  Also very good impressions and you're saying the exact same thing I did when I first heard the 6s on a speaker amp.  The sound stage does increase.  Also for me the bass got tighter with more slam.  The tonal balance was also great.  

 

I'm interested to hear how female vocals sound.  Some with a very high pitch voice and someone who signs i the lower octave of the bass region.  At $219 I don't see how this is not one of the best amps period of orthos.  I bet the LCD-2,2s sound absolutely great on this as well.

 

Now it's time to DAC play.  Maybe a tube dac, Some kind some saber dac or a pcm dac.  There's a few lower priced tube dacs that's out there:

 

http://shop.grantfidelity.com/Grant-Fidelity-TubeDAC-11-D-A-Converter.html

 

http://www.mav-audio.com/base/product/tubemagic_d2

 

http://www.amazon.com/MHDT-Labs-Havana-Tube-DAC/dp/B004ZFPJ3Y

post #92 of 3642

Great stuff Malveaux. Might have to try my HE500's on speaker taps at some point. I think the HE500's with a bigger soundstage could be something very special indeed, thats the only thing I would like to add to them as I love their signature as it is. They do have a slightly warm tilt over neutral as you say with a sweet detailed treble. I also thought they were a little too bright with the Asgard aswell. Finding them better with the Audio gd C2.2 with opamp change, its a warm amp with quite a bit air in the soundstage. Though not the most detailed of amps, but I have a preference for warm/laidback over sharp and precise. 

post #93 of 3642

Sounds awesome, thanks for the impressions!

I know this is always a chasing after wind, but what % improvement would you put the Emotiva over the NFB12 using the HE-500? Just curious.

How does Muse sound on this setup?

post #94 of 3642

Thanks for the writeup Mal. Looking forward to your further impressions after more extensive listening.

 

Could you by any chance hook up your HE400s to the same Emotiva setup and see if it has a similar effect (increase in soundstage, warmness, and bass dynamics)?

post #95 of 3642
Thread Starter 

Heya,

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

I'm interested to hear how female vocals sound.  Some with a very high pitch voice and someone who signs i the lower octave of the bass region.

 

Now it's time to DAC play.  Maybe a tube dac, Some kind some saber dac or a pcm dac.  There's a few lower priced tube dacs that's out there:

 

http://shop.grantfidelity.com/Grant-Fidelity-TubeDAC-11-D-A-Converter.html

 

http://www.mav-audio.com/base/product/tubemagic_d2

 

http://www.amazon.com/MHDT-Labs-Havana-Tube-DAC/dp/B004ZFPJ3Y

 

I was listening to quite a bit of Ani Difranco and Tori Amos, very dynamic high-range female vocalists. It gets bright, but not so bright that it cut me in half. Good weight to the voices. As for some tenors, I don't have many, but Ben Harper gets down there and it's a very good, rich, textured voice. Tenor voices sound more realistic to me in general. High pitch voices on all headphones to me sound almost like they can't be recorded properly unless from a distance, it's like they resonate the equipment like the microphone. High pitch from a distance is fantastic. But when they do it up close, it seems to record too loud, even when I use a "dark" headphone (and speakers for that matter), but maybe I'm sensitive to that range of pitch perhaps. Tone, harmonics and resonance are all a big deal to me with vocals. I listen to primarily female vocals in all my music. Finding good recordings is actually difficult, because when I turn it up, they pierce through everything both on my speakers and headphones. Darker headphones seem to be nicer for this. So far, the HE-500 on the Emotiva handles it nicely, I'm not getting shrilled to death, but I'm not left without the emotional cry of a good female vocalist. Again, male tones seem to come across absolutely without effort, great texture and gristle, no blur, and just so realistic.

 

I've actually been looking at the Maverick stuff a while; was going to get their solid state amp since it was decently powerful and also had tube pre-amp. But the tube DAC they have sounds great and the price is a no-brainer. I'll pick one up I think. Any commentary on the TubeMagic from experience? Otherwise, I'm going to attempt to dig up some opinions.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitz View Post

Sounds awesome, thanks for the impressions!

I know this is always a chasing after wind, but what % improvement would you put the Emotiva over the NFB12 using the HE-500? Just curious.

How does Muse sound on this setup?

 

Easily in the neighborhood of 25% to 50% depending on how picky you are. But that's completely arbitrary. I can't really make a good estimate because personal preference is more at play here than actual technical 'better' measurement. If you're not picky, then may be 25% better. Why? Because of the mids, crispness, black area, and bass. It all gets better with the Emotiva. It's enough to notice, not just "I think it should so it does". If you're super picky, then you could claim "it's twice as good!" but that's not realistic. But for me, for example, I'm picky to the point where I bought two different Lyr's at different times as I went back and forth on finding a signature sound with my HE-500 that I really wanted to "stick with" for a few years. So pick the higher percentage if you're picky like that. For me, this matches up quite well, scary well, it makes a $450 Schiit stack kind of silly, as this $219 amp does better with the ortho than the Lyr did (at least to my ears). As for the NFB, well, the NFB12 is notoriously not a great amp, it's a good entry unit, but for a more refined headphone like the HE-500, it's just not enough. It has a little hole in the mids I think, seems a touch bright, and it's bass is good, but I don't think it outputs just enough power to truly be an ortho's best friend (even though at low impedance it outputs over 2~3 watts).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Thanks for the writeup Mal. Looking forward to your further impressions after more extensive listening.

 

Could you by any chance hook up your HE400s to the same Emotiva setup and see if it has a similar effect (increase in soundstage, warmness, and bass dynamics)?

 

Dunno if it would be a good idea to hook the HE-400 into a speaker amp of this output nature. The HE-400 is so sensitive compared to the HE-500 & HE-6 that you probably can't adjust the volume knob at all. Just because it's a planar magnetic doesn't mean it can take all the current in the world. I'm a little wary to put the HE-400 up to a 50 watt source. Maybe a 20 watt source. It has less to do with power output for me here though, and more to do with volume adjustment. Micro-adjustment of the volume knob being the difference between silent and too loud would be a problem. I'll have to play around and see if I can keep the source output lower volume or play with a pre-amp to do that. I'll get back to you on this.

 

Very best,

post #96 of 3642

Hi Mai!

 

I will most likely use the HE-5LE with the Emotiva mini.

 

As of now, Im kind of on the fence which one to get,

 

Some claim the HE-5LE will sound better with Emotiva, while others are not sure there will be a difference.

 

It is said, however, that the HE-5LE should in general surpass the HE-500 a little, when driven through the speaker amp soely, meaning not using anything else but the speaker amps.

 

While HE-500 vs HE-5LE on headphone amps, the HE-500 has an edge, a little edge but still :)

 

What do you think?

 

Thanks best regards, Luke

post #97 of 3642
Quote:
Originally Posted by conquerator2 View Post

Hi Mai!

 

I will most likely use the HE-5LE with the Emotiva mini.

 

As of now, Im kind of on the fence which one to get,

 

Some claim the HE-5LE will sound better with Emotiva, while others are not sure there will be a difference.

 

It is said, however, that the HE-5LE should in general surpass the HE-500 a little, when driven through the speaker amp soely, meaning not using anything else but the speaker amps.

 

While HE-500 vs HE-5LE on headphone amps, the HE-500 has an edge, a little edge but still :)

 

What do you think?

 

Thanks best regards, Luke

 

From all the 5LE vs 500 shootouts I've read (quite a few), it seems this is analogous to the Senn HD600 vs 650, where the former is more neutral and analytical, which results in better showcasing of technicalities. It does not mean the latter in these two cases are worse though, in fact it's quite evident that more people prefer them.

 

 

 

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

 

...

 

Dunno if it would be a good idea to hook the HE-400 into a speaker amp of this output nature. The HE-400 is so sensitive compared to the HE-500 & HE-6 that you probably can't adjust the volume knob at all. Just because it's a planar magnetic doesn't mean it can take all the current in the world. I'm a little wary to put the HE-400 up to a 50 watt source. Maybe a 20 watt source. It has less to do with power output for me here though, and more to do with volume adjustment. Micro-adjustment of the volume knob being the difference between silent and too loud would be a problem. I'll have to play around and see if I can keep the source output lower volume or play with a pre-amp to do that. I'll get back to you on this.

 

Very best,

 

Yeah definitely don't risk damaging your 400's haha; but thanks, maybe it'll be a surprise how much of an improvement or perhaps incompatible downgrade the emotivas will be for them.


Edited by jerg - 11/8/12 at 6:49am
post #98 of 3642
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by conquerator2 View Post

Hi Mai!

 

I will most likely use the HE-5LE with the Emotiva mini.

 

As of now, Im kind of on the fence which one to get,

 

Some claim the HE-5LE will sound better with Emotiva, while others are not sure there will be a difference.

 

It is said, however, that the HE-5LE should in general surpass the HE-500 a little, when driven through the speaker amp soely, meaning not using anything else but the speaker amps.

 

While HE-500 vs HE-5LE on headphone amps, the HE-500 has an edge, a little edge but still :)

 

What do you think?

 

Thanks best regards, Luke

 

Heya,

 

I cannot comment on the HE-5LE, as I don't have it to compare.


Seeing as the HE-5LE is less sensitive, it should perform about the same here, in other words, work fantastic from a speaker amp.

 

As for it's ability to "surpass" well, that's 99.9% personal preference towards something I imagine. If there's a technical "better" involved, we're talking micro-level difference. Even the HE-500 and HE-6 are not that different. So I won't say anything surpasses. For example for some the HE-400 is better than the HE-500 for some people and their tastes. So it's important to differentiate between technical superiority and simply personal preference.

 

Very best,

post #99 of 3642
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Dunno if it would be a good idea to hook the HE-400 into a speaker amp of this output nature. The HE-400 is so sensitive compared to the HE-500 & HE-6 that you probably can't adjust the volume knob at all. Just because it's a planar magnetic doesn't mean it can take all the current in the world. I'm a little wary to put the HE-400 up to a 50 watt source. Maybe a 20 watt source. It has less to do with power output for me here though, and more to do with volume adjustment. Micro-adjustment of the volume knob being the difference between silent and too loud would be a problem. I'll have to play around and see if I can keep the source output lower volume or play with a pre-amp to do that. I'll get back to you on this.

 

Very best,

 

I haven't done so myself yet, but I know wje has done so to good effect.  The volume control was a little tight, but it really depends on what you're using for attenuation.  You may want to chat with him about it if you were interested in giving it a try. 

 

I've yet to do it simply because my HE-6 amp is 140wpc eek.gif

 

BTW, regarding the headband, I've heard before that "older HE-500s have a wider headband"....how wide is yours, and how wide is the HE-400?  I measured both my HE-6 and my Mar/Apr run HE-400's and both seem to be the same, between 1.7-2.0 inches.  Visually it seems the same as your HE-500 in the last headband pic.   Though mine HE-6 band has light creasing in the leather out of the box where it would fold...so maybe not a big deal.  I did order one of those wraps yesterday biggrin.gif


Edited by IEMCrazy - 11/8/12 at 7:02am
post #100 of 3642
Good to see others giving a spin through speaker amp land. I would suggest once your rig is settled and you've lived with it, take some flac files and dac to a A/V store that handles some hi end amps of the same wattage. That way you can check out amp performance through the price ranges without coming out of pocket. I need to refresh my memory but the Sim Moon integrated amps were astonishing with respect to how open a soundstage can get, the accuracy of placement within it and the refinement of the sound. Anything in the signal is brought out and put in place to make an almost 3-d impression. Coming from the mid priced gear, it was quite a revelation to hear delicate and brawn in the same experience. Captivating is the least way of describing it.
post #101 of 3642
Quote:

Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Even the HE-500 and HE-6 are not that different.

 

Very best,

 

The word that is relative.  To me the difference is there in favor of the HE-6.  However, the love for the 500s are there as well while on my balanced M^3.  My speaker amps are 200wpc.  On these there is no contest, The 6s will pull away in performance while the 500s are left at the starting gate with no volume play at all. 

 

If you are able, do as HC requested,  Then you'll see just how different the 500s can be on a much higher quality amp.


Edited by preproman - 11/8/12 at 8:45am
post #102 of 3642

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

post #103 of 3642
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

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

 

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.

post #104 of 3642
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

Integrated amps are what you'd want if you're looking for a volume knob.  Volume is most of what the preamp is

 

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.

post #105 of 3642
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.


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.

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