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From Senn HD 555 to Hifiman HE400... not impressed - Page 4

post #46 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Docks View Post


Whats the output impedance of the device you are feeding your cans with?


When selecting an amp try use something with a very low output impedance (lower than 1 ohm). This will increase sub bass output and damping factor (better control).

post #47 of 98

It might by just a bit, but it's the whole electrical damping factor is overhyped considerably, especially with planar magnetics and their dead flat impedance curves.  You could power them with a  near 0 impedance O2 or very high impedance and sloppy OTL Tube amp, and they'd still sound find.

 

I still say OP is a basshead and doesn't know it.

post #48 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

It might by just a bit, but it's the whole electrical damping factor is overhyped considerably, especially with planar magnetics and their dead flat impedance curves.  You could power them with a  near 0 impedance O2 or very high impedance and sloppy OTL Tube amp, and they'd still sound find.

 

I still say OP is a basshead and doesn't know it.


I agree about the overhype thing, however i disagree in this case with regards to it not mattering. I believe there is a few db of bass to be lost with the OP's setup.

Rule of thumb is 8x impedance of can to output amp impedance.

 

His output impedance is 24ohms and HE500 is 35 (yes its flat). When you start to consider things like voltage drop and that his damping is 35/24 = ~1.45 I would strongly looking into a lower output impedance fiio or o2 amp.

 

TMRaven also has a point about the basshead thing, I prefer a bit of extra bass in my headphones as well, perhaps have a second pair of cans with a bass hump for specific types of music?


Edited by Docks - 12/9/12 at 12:53pm
post #49 of 98
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

It might by just a bit, but it's the whole electrical damping factor is overhyped considerably, especially with planar magnetics and their dead flat impedance curves.  You could power them with a  near 0 impedance O2 or very high impedance and sloppy OTL Tube amp, and they'd still sound find.

 

I still say OP is a basshead and doesn't know it.

I like bass, my era of clubbing came from the days of tiesto and armin days so long lead ups and massive bass drops were the highlight of my night.

 

 

 

Ok so a bit of an update for anyone that cares, ive normalised the volume on all my tracks, done a bit more tweaking and listening and ive decided that i will keep them. I dont know if its just me getting used to the cans or theyre starting to burn in but SLOWLY im started to like them... not love them.

 

Ive had a few pm's from a few people trying to assist me in the whole situation which i REALLY appreciate and after a lot of thought ive come to realise that my perception of the whole industry was a bit off. My idea was that $400 is a lot of money, research of the HE 400 revealed FLAWLESS results, some even being mixed, one saying that the treble was its strong point, others saying the bass was its strong point... so surely i would get headphones that would be MORE than enough for myself.. especially someone that previously had a $150 set (good headphones btw). But after all this research, tweaking and listening..... ive learnt that the industry wouldnt thrive if there was a $400 set that was completely flawless with only MINOR variations to give it its own character.

 

Unless you're prepared to spend $1000-1500 on a good set you're just not going to get something that is flawless. Im just following this up because i know that alot of the notes i read were on people that had went from the 555's to other headphones. I read a thread on another forum that was about a simliar guy that went from 555's to denon 2k's and absolutely LOVED them, i was just hoping i would have the same reaction but NOT TO WORRY. Im very happy with what i have, its just not the jump that i thought it would be. Honestly if i had about 10-20% more bass i would be so satisfied, this thread wouldnt even exist.

 

The way i see it, instead of me having what compares to a 1000 watt rms sub blairing setting up car alarms every street i go down, ive got a real nice pair of 10"s, quick response, nice thump but isn't going to give you that car rattling bass that everybody wants as their first sub.

 

Im going to consider everyones advice which again im very thankful for, play with the levels a bit more (research WTF is going on first) then follow up after a few months or so for anyone that was simliar to myself and that is interested in buying a new set.

post #50 of 98

Nice, that you actually round of this thread, only few take their time to do so, whilst they really should.

I would advice you to go find a proper guide on equalizing here on head-fi, and use the 2 hours it take to do it properly the first time. Also, beware of your volume level. Too high volume degrades the experience by drowning out the bass and treble, and it will in time damage your hearing permanently.

post #51 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by aiacuone View Post

Quote:

I like bass, my era of clubbing came from the days of tiesto and armin days so long lead ups and massive bass drops were the highlight of my night.

 

 

 

Ok so a bit of an update for anyone that cares, ive normalised the volume on all my tracks, done a bit more tweaking and listening and ive decided that i will keep them. I dont know if its just me getting used to the cans or theyre starting to burn in but SLOWLY im started to like them... not love them.

 

Ive had a few pm's from a few people trying to assist me in the whole situation which i REALLY appreciate and after a lot of thought ive come to realise that my perception of the whole industry was a bit off. My idea was that $400 is a lot of money, research of the HE 400 revealed FLAWLESS results, some even being mixed, one saying that the treble was its strong point, others saying the bass was its strong point... so surely i would get headphones that would be MORE than enough for myself.. especially someone that previously had a $150 set (good headphones btw). But after all this research, tweaking and listening..... ive learnt that the industry wouldnt thrive if there was a $400 set that was completely flawless with only MINOR variations to give it its own character.

 

Unless you're prepared to spend $1000-1500 on a good set you're just not going to get something that is flawless. Im just following this up because i know that alot of the notes i read were on people that had went from the 555's to other headphones. I read a thread on another forum that was about a simliar guy that went from 555's to denon 2k's and absolutely LOVED them, i was just hoping i would have the same reaction but NOT TO WORRY. Im very happy with what i have, its just not the jump that i thought it would be. Honestly if i had about 10-20% more bass i would be so satisfied, this thread wouldnt even exist.

 

The way i see it, instead of me having what compares to a 1000 watt rms sub blairing setting up car alarms every street i go down, ive got a real nice pair of 10"s, quick response, nice thump but isn't going to give you that car rattling bass that everybody wants as their first sub.

 

Im going to consider everyones advice which again im very thankful for, play with the levels a bit more (research WTF is going on first) then follow up after a few months or so for anyone that was simliar to myself and that is interested in buying a new set.

 

I'd say the cheapest headphone that is close to flawless is HE-500. That is only $700. Just don't expect end-of-the-line resolution out of them. They are certainly more resolving than HE-400 though.

post #52 of 98

Also, maybe look at the re-grilling mod?

post #53 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

Also, maybe look at the re-grilling mod?

 

I pioneered the HE400 regrilling mod and no, it does not have any "equalization" effect toward HE400's innate sound signature. All that the regrilling mod does is it makes the sound more open and cleaner. If OP does not appreciate HE400's sound signature then any subtle improvement on refining the SQ is pointless.


Edited by jerg - 12/10/12 at 12:53am
post #54 of 98

If you don't notice the difference, this probably isn't the hobby for you. Some people just don't have the ears for it. The HE-400 is leagues ahead of the HD555, the difference should be huge and obvious, and the HE-400 should be impressing you very much.

 

Additionally I'd say you'll need more power than a lowly E17. I don't know much about Pioneer's amps but how old is it? If it's an old vintage receiver you're not gonna get a refined sound out of it.

 

I'd suggest a FiiO D03k and a Schiit Asgard as a home rig for the HE-400. Orthos need a high current amp and the Asgard will provide that. The D03k is an optical DAC that performs very well considering its small pricetag. My friend uses it and says it makes all the difference in the world. 

post #55 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

If you don't notice the difference, this probably isn't the hobby for you. Some people just don't have the ears for it. The HE-400 is leagues ahead of the HD555, the difference should be huge and obvious, and the HE-400 should be impressing you very much.

 

Additionally I'd say you'll need more power than a lowly E17. I don't know much about Pioneer's amps but how old is it? If it's an old vintage receiver you're not gonna get a refined sound out of it.

 

I'd suggest a FiiO D03k and a Schiit Asgard as a home rig for the HE-400. Orthos need a high current amp and the Asgard will provide that. The D03k is an optical DAC that performs very well considering its small pricetag. My friend uses it and says it makes all the difference in the world. 

Jesus let's stop with this condescending talk. What makes the E17 "lowly"? Its price? Every human intuition is valuable... if the OP doesn't find the difference "huge and obvious", that's saying something that we can learn from. Who knows... maybe the HE-400 is "leagues ahead" in terms of price, but not performance.

 

Anyways here are some issues here:

1) High expectation - simply put TC, your high expectations may have led to an under-appreciation of what the HE-400 can really do. 

2) Music taste - the HE-400 is clearly the superior phone in bass performance. If you listen to non-bassy songs, obviously the difference between a HE-400 and HD555 will be much less apparent. 

3) Misconception of price - Honestly, price in the headphone industry is largely determined by the materials used, rather than by performance of the headphones themselves. Can anyone reasonably argue that the T1 is worth the price when compared to a DT880? And other times, prices are set depending on marketing strategy. 

post #56 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Voldemort View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

If you don't notice the difference, this probably isn't the hobby for you. Some people just don't have the ears for it. The HE-400 is leagues ahead of the HD555, the difference should be huge and obvious, and the HE-400 should be impressing you very much.

 

Additionally I'd say you'll need more power than a lowly E17. I don't know much about Pioneer's amps but how old is it? If it's an old vintage receiver you're not gonna get a refined sound out of it.

 

I'd suggest a FiiO D03k and a Schiit Asgard as a home rig for the HE-400. Orthos need a high current amp and the Asgard will provide that. The D03k is an optical DAC that performs very well considering its small pricetag. My friend uses it and says it makes all the difference in the world. 

Jesus let's stop with this condescending talk. What makes the E17 "lowly"? Its price? Every human intuition is valuable... if the OP doesn't find the difference "huge and obvious", that's saying something that we can learn from. Who knows... maybe the HE-400 is "leagues ahead" in terms of price, but not performance.

 

Anyways here are some issues here:

1) High expectation - simply put TC, your high expectations may have led to an under-appreciation of what the HE-400 can really do. 

2) Music taste - the HE-400 is clearly the superior phone in bass performance. If you listen to non-bassy songs, obviously the difference between a HE-400 and HD555 will be much less apparent. 

3) Misconception of price - Honestly, price in the headphone industry is largely determined by the materials used, rather than by performance of the headphones themselves. Can anyone reasonably argue that the T1 is worth the price when compared to a DT880? And other times, prices are set depending on marketing strategy. 

The thing that makes the E17 "lowly" is that it only outputs about 250 mW into 16 ohms (Same as the $60 E7). The E17 is an absolutely wonderful device but the point is the amp section is not very powerful, and orthodynamics are HARD to drive. You want more than what the E17 can push. Orthodynamics don't sound their best without a good high current home amp. Portable amplifiers simply cannot get all the performance out of them.

 

The Fostex T50RP is plently loud out of an iPhone or other portable device, but doesn't sound worth a ****, especially when compared to how it sounds out of an Asgard. Orthos are a different technology; despite the fact that their specifications imply they don't need an amp, they really, truly do. 

 

Additionally, I was NOT being condescending in any way. I was stating facts. This hobby is not for everyone, not by any means. Watch it.


Edited by takato14 - 12/22/12 at 6:37pm
post #57 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

The thing that makes the E17 "lowly" is that it only outputs about 250 mW into 16 ohms (Same as the $60 E7). The E17 is an absolutely wonderful device but the point is the amp section is not very powerful, and orthodynamics are HARD to drive. You want more than what the E17 can push. Orthodynamics don't sound their best without a good high current home amp. Portable amplifiers simply cannot get all the performance out of them.

 

The Fostex T50RP is plently loud out of an iPhone or other portable device, but doesn't sound worth a ****, especially when compared to how it sounds out of an Asgard. Orthos are a different technology; despite the fact that their specifications imply they don't need an amp, they really, truly do. 

 

Additionally, I was NOT being condescending in any way. I was stating facts. This hobby is not for everyone, not by any means. Watch it.

The idea that "some people don't have the ears for it" implies that these people are largely oblivious to the things that audiophiles like us hear. I honestly do not think this is the case. Some people like us are trained to hear music, meaning they are able to discern certain details or organize sound (ex: into bass, midrange, treble). But this doesn't necessarily mean others don't have the ears for it.... they hear it but don't think about it. Often, non-audiophiles have a better sense of the overall sound because they are not so focused on picking out certain aspects of the sound like we do - an organized perception of music. And even if we consider the fact that some people do have better hearing extension wise (ex: someone can hear above 22khtz), the person doesn't actually become more qualified to measure the HD555 vs HE-400. A lot of it just happens to be placebo... of course we'd expect a $400 headphone to sound downright superior. And yet in this hobby, this is rarely the case. Most of the time, no matter how much money you spend, you're going to get pros and cons out of headphones you purchase. It's all about matching preferences. This is why your comment sounded condescending, even if it wasn't meant to be condescending. 

 

Please define power... if you increase the power delivered to the headphones, that will make them sound louder. If you switch from one amp to another that is capable of higher output power levels, you are also changing things unrelated to power. If you switch amps but do not change the volume, then you are not increasing power (delivered). For instance, if you're delivering 10 mW to headphones with one amp - capable of 100 mW output into that headphone - and 10 mW to headphones with another amp (capable of 4W output into that headphone), that is not increasing the power. You usually don't need amplifiers that can output levels far above that which is actually being used, unless we want to listen to something like the HE-6 at high listening volume. 

 

Even if we consider the idea that more pricey amps have a good deal of audible improvement over an E17, it's questionable whether this audible improvement would actually make that big of a difference. TC will probably have the same opinion regarding HD555 vs HE-400. Like I said before, I think the main problem here is that TC isn't listening to genres that would favor HE-400 in favor of HD555. My Mad Dogs absolutely cannot compete with the HD598 when it comes to classical music tracks (very low dynamic range, lacking natural timbre) but for other genres of music such as dubstep or hip hop, its darker presentation (or well neutrality) suits it much better. 

post #58 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Voldemort View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

The thing that makes the E17 "lowly" is that it only outputs about 250 mW into 16 ohms (Same as the $60 E7). The E17 is an absolutely wonderful device but the point is the amp section is not very powerful, and orthodynamics are HARD to drive. You want more than what the E17 can push. Orthodynamics don't sound their best without a good high current home amp. Portable amplifiers simply cannot get all the performance out of them.

 

The Fostex T50RP is plently loud out of an iPhone or other portable device, but doesn't sound worth a ****, especially when compared to how it sounds out of an Asgard. Orthos are a different technology; despite the fact that their specifications imply they don't need an amp, they really, truly do. 

 

Additionally, I was NOT being condescending in any way. I was stating facts. This hobby is not for everyone, not by any means. Watch it.

The idea that "some people don't have the ears for it" implies that these people are largely oblivious to the things that audiophiles like us hear. I honestly do not think this is the case. Some people like us are trained to hear music, meaning they are able to discern certain details or organize sound (ex: into bass, midrange, treble). But this doesn't necessarily mean others don't have the ears for it.... they hear it but don't think about it. Often, non-audiophiles have a better sense of the overall sound because they are not so focused on picking out certain aspects of the sound like we do - an organized perception of music. And even if we consider the fact that some people do have better hearing extension wise (ex: someone can hear above 22khtz), the person doesn't actually become more qualified to measure the HD555 vs HE-400. A lot of it just happens to be placebo... of course we'd expect a $400 headphone to sound downright superior. And yet in this hobby, this is rarely the case. Most of the time, no matter how much money you spend, you're going to get pros and cons out of headphones you purchase. It's all about matching preferences. This is why your comment sounded condescending, even if it wasn't meant to be condescending. 

 

Please define power... if you increase the power delivered to the headphones, that will make them sound louder. If you switch from one amp to another that is capable of higher output power levels, you are also changing things unrelated to power. If you switch amps but do not change the volume, then you are not increasing power (delivered). For instance, if you're delivering 10 mW to headphones with one amp - capable of 100 mW output into that headphone - and 10 mW to headphones with another amp (capable of 4W output into that headphone), that is not increasing the power. You usually don't need amplifiers that can output levels far above that which is actually being used, unless we want to listen to something like the HE-6 at high listening volume. 

 

Even if we consider the idea that more pricey amps have a good deal of audible improvement over an E17, it's questionable whether this audible improvement would actually make that big of a difference. TC will probably have the same opinion regarding HD555 vs HE-400. Like I said before, I think the main problem here is that TC isn't listening to genres that would favor HE-400 in favor of HD555. My Mad Dogs absolutely cannot compete with the HD598 when it comes to classical music tracks (very low dynamic range, lacking natural timbre) but for other genres of music such as dubstep or hip hop, its darker presentation (or well neutrality) suits it much better. 

My ears have been trained; I've been in choir for 8 years. Audiophiles train their ears over time, my ears were already trained when I got into the hobby and they got better with it. At the same time, some people have "golden ears" and are just naturally able to disassemble music and discern every little detail. This isn't something every random person you see on the street can do. Just like not everyone has the ability to play sports well, or the ability to draw well. This is what I was getting at. Reading my previous comments again, I see how it could've been taken the wrong way. I apologize.

 

Voltage and current affect how the headphones function in different ways. As a general rule, orthodynamic headphones scale well on an amp designed around a high-current output. The Asgard is a high-current amp. The E17 and almost all other portable devices are not. This is why orthos won't sound the way they're supposed to out of a device like the E7, and is likely a contributor to the reason the technology was abandoned back in the early 80s (since that was when compact discs and weak portable CD players became very popular).

 

That too, he may just be listening to genres the HE-400 simply doesn't do well. Personally, I'd suggest that he send the HE-400 back, and go for a more neutral/transparent headphone like the HD600. It's better, and he doesn't have to worry about amping either.

post #59 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Voldemort View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

The thing that makes the E17 "lowly" is that it only outputs about 250 mW into 16 ohms (Same as the $60 E7). The E17 is an absolutely wonderful device but the point is the amp section is not very powerful, and orthodynamics are HARD to drive. You want more than what the E17 can push. Orthodynamics don't sound their best without a good high current home amp. Portable amplifiers simply cannot get all the performance out of them.

 

The Fostex T50RP is plently loud out of an iPhone or other portable device, but doesn't sound worth a ****, especially when compared to how it sounds out of an Asgard. Orthos are a different technology; despite the fact that their specifications imply they don't need an amp, they really, truly do. 

 

Additionally, I was NOT being condescending in any way. I was stating facts. This hobby is not for everyone, not by any means. Watch it.

The idea that "some people don't have the ears for it" implies that these people are largely oblivious to the things that audiophiles like us hear. I honestly do not think this is the case. Some people like us are trained to hear music, meaning they are able to discern certain details or organize sound (ex: into bass, midrange, treble). But this doesn't necessarily mean others don't have the ears for it.... they hear it but don't think about it. Often, non-audiophiles have a better sense of the overall sound because they are not so focused on picking out certain aspects of the sound like we do - an organized perception of music. And even if we consider the fact that some people do have better hearing extension wise (ex: someone can hear above 22khtz), the person doesn't actually become more qualified to measure the HD555 vs HE-400. A lot of it just happens to be placebo... of course we'd expect a $400 headphone to sound downright superior. And yet in this hobby, this is rarely the case. Most of the time, no matter how much money you spend, you're going to get pros and cons out of headphones you purchase. It's all about matching preferences. This is why your comment sounded condescending, even if it wasn't meant to be condescending. 

 

Please define power... if you increase the power delivered to the headphones, that will make them sound louder. If you switch from one amp to another that is capable of higher output power levels, you are also changing things unrelated to power. If you switch amps but do not change the volume, then you are not increasing power (delivered). For instance, if you're delivering 10 mW to headphones with one amp - capable of 100 mW output into that headphone - and 10 mW to headphones with another amp (capable of 4W output into that headphone), that is not increasing the power. You usually don't need amplifiers that can output levels far above that which is actually being used, unless we want to listen to something like the HE-6 at high listening volume. 

 

Even if we consider the idea that more pricey amps have a good deal of audible improvement over an E17, it's questionable whether this audible improvement would actually make that big of a difference. TC will probably have the same opinion regarding HD555 vs HE-400. Like I said before, I think the main problem here is that TC isn't listening to genres that would favor HE-400 in favor of HD555. My Mad Dogs absolutely cannot compete with the HD598 when it comes to classical music tracks (very low dynamic range, lacking natural timbre) but for other genres of music such as dubstep or hip hop, its darker presentation (or well neutrality) suits it much better. 

My ears have been trained; I've been in choir for 8 years. Audiophiles train their ears over time, my ears were already trained when I got into the hobby and they got better with it. At the same time, some people have "golden ears" and are just naturally able to disassemble music and discern every little detail. This isn't something every random person you see on the street can do. Just like not everyone has the ability to play sports well, or the ability to draw well. This is what I was getting at. Reading my previous comments again, I see how it could've been taken the wrong way. I apologize.

 

Voltage and current affect how the headphones function in different ways. As a general rule, orthodynamic headphones scale well on an amp designed around a high-current output. The Asgard is a high-current amp. The E17 and almost all other portable devices are not. This is why orthos won't sound the way they're supposed to out of a device like the E7, and is likely a contributor to the reason the technology was abandoned back in the early 80s (since that was when compact discs and weak portable CD players became very popular).

 

That too, he may just be listening to genres the HE-400 simply doesn't do well. Personally, I'd suggest that he send the HE-400 back, and go for a more neutral/transparent headphone like the HD600. It's better, and he doesn't have to worry about amping either.

Doesn't have to worry about amping?? I'd say the HD-600 needs a amp MORE than the HE-400..

post #60 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

Doesn't have to worry about amping?? I'd say the HD-600 needs a amp MORE than the HE-400..

Then why does it sound great out of the Sansa Clip+?

 

People have always said it was hard to drive but it just isn't. The Clip+ can get earsplitting volumes out of it.


Edited by takato14 - 12/23/12 at 11:43pm
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