Originally Posted by preproman
Ha - did you miss by chance that big ass IMO? I guess you did, so I'll explain further. In "my" experience I have not heard a "headphone amp" that sounds any where near as good as my F1J with the HE-6, but I've heard other speaker amps that does.
I've tried all the so call amps for the HE-6 excluding the LAu at this point and - Here we go again "IMO" none of them comes close - YMMV. I've also my pair of HE-6s around to different audio shops testing them on many different high end amps and the conclusion still remains. IMO - NO HEADPHONE AMP that I've heard can drive the HE-6 better than a high quality speaker amps.
My amp only puts out 10watts per 8 ohms - so it's not a power thing at all. However, the transformer in my amp is bigger than the majority of all headphone amps in their entirety - so yeas that's what speaker amps brings to the table - big transformers that's able to store the current that's needed in it's reserve - this is where "most" headphone amps fail.
Out of all the speaker amps I"ve tried my HE-6 on - I never got any hums, hiss, or distortion - and that's a hell of a lot of amps.
I'm sure your headphone amps does sound good. lots of them do. That's not what I'm saying at all. I'm talking about compared to..
Have you tried the HE6 with the M9? I owned the HE6 for about 2 years. I tried quite a few headphone amps with the HE6 and none of them were pleasing enough for me to keep them so they were sold. I was skeptical about the M9 being able to drive the HE6 but curious all the same. So I asked my friend, Jose (Musicman59), to bring his HE6 and HD800 over to my place. Jose has quite a lot of experience with the Pass amps driving the HE6 and he currently uses a Threshold T-50 (Nelson Pass design) that puts out 50 wpc Class A at 4 ohms. I think the T-50 amp has a power supply that is atleast as capable as your F1J. When Jose and I heard the HE6 driven balanced out of my M9, we were both surprised. What we heard was the HE6 putting out deep and well defined bass, very liquid midrange, well defined highs but not a hint of brightness. The HE6 had very powerful bass. The soundstage was wide and deep and instruments were well defined.
I called Jose yesterday to confirm what he heard and he told me he thought the HE6 sounded great driven by the M9. So much so that he was considering selling his T-50 and replacing it with the M9. He also told me that at RMAF, he tried his HE6 with the GSX mk 2 and he didn't like it because it sounded lean and bright. The Threshold T-50 is a quality speaker amp designed by Nelson Pass and the the M9 matched it in every way driving the HE6.
Regarding power supplies, take a look at the spec sheet for the M9. Amps with excellent power supplies double down. If your familiiar with speaker amps and power supplies you will know what I mean. Starting from 600 ohms, the M9 pretty much doubles down its power all the way down to 40 ohms Not many headphone amps can make that claim. Why, because they don't have a power supply like the M9. The M9 has plenty of iron, it weighs in at 35lbs. Not your typical headphone amp in any way. BTW, I have a bit of experience with powerful speaker amps and beefy power supplies. I own a McIntosh MC452 in my speaker based system that outputs 450 wpc into 8 ohms and it has a dynamic headroom spec of 1.8 dB. In the past, I've owned a Classe CA400 (400wpc), Counterpoint SA220, Aragon 4004 mk2, Mark Levinson No.383, and B&K M200 monoblocks. Pretty much all of those amps double their power rating from 8 ohms to 4 ohms.