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I was about to upgrade to HD600, but now the HE-400 is $299. What do I do?

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I'm new, but been lurking for quite a while.  I've learned enough here to build my system slowly and enjoy the journey rather than plunking down a wad of cash all at once.  I'm also going thru various ear-training tools to squeeze more enjoyment out of the whole adventure.

 

I started with the EF3/HE-300 combo.  It was only $250 and I couldn't pass that up!

 

I just decided to add a pair of HD-600's as that seems to be a solid reverence point in this whole sordid affair.  I found a near new pair for $250 here locally.  I was just about to buy it, when I read the thread comparing the HE-400 to the HD-600.  Then I checked the price and the HE-400 is now $299 new!  I know it's a close out, but now I'm all confused again.

 

Here's my dilemma.  My next project will be a decent DIY tube amp - _possibly_ a Bottlehead Crack.  

 

Would I be better off with the Senns or a base line planar like the HE-400?

post #2 of 56

HD600 will most likely synergize better with the bottlehead crack.

post #3 of 56

That's a hard one, as the he400 is a quite unique headphone to put it nicely. Pros and cons, right?

 

What do you want from a new setup in the first place?

post #4 of 56

The HE-400 is a fun headphone, with great bass quality to it.

but it is heavy, and has V shaped sound signature to it

 

the HD600 is much more comfortable (almost half the weight), and has more of a real-life sound.

 

2 different headphones altogether.

post #5 of 56
The HE-400s are 32 ohm. Isn't the Bottlehead Crack better suited for much higher impedance headphones?
post #6 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

The HE-400s are 32 ohm. Isn't the Bottlehead Crack better suited for much higher impedance headphones?
He never said he'd only want to make a crack..
post #7 of 56
Thread Starter 

Thanks!  You guys helped clarify my goal:

 

My primary objective is to build my first tube kit.  Bottlehead Crack is just one idea.  Possibly a hybrid amp like the Millet Maxed.

 

The headphone selection is more about stepping up from the HE-300 with tubes in mind.  The Senn HD-600 sounds like a good all around choice.  If, as davidsh saids, the HE-400 is an odd-ball (Low Impedance Planar), then it sounds like a bad idea for me.

 

Again, I'm not looking for a final, ideal pairing.  I looking for ideas that will help me learn and grow.

post #8 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

He never said he'd only want to make a crack..

Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed? He did indicate he was leaning that way. LOL

Not everyone realizes that most tube amps that are not hybrid tube/solid state amps will be a poor impedance match for the HE-400s.
post #9 of 56

The HE-400 isn't an oddball in that it's a low impedance planar, it's an oddball in its soundsiagnture, which is to say it's very linear from bass to midrange, recessed in the upper midrange/lower treble, and a good bit above neutral in the upper treble.  It's a signature that you'll either love or hate.  The HD600 is far more neutral and a safer bet for a blind upgrade, plus the crack+600/650 pairing is well-known. 

post #10 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSound View Post

 

Here's my dilemma.  My next project will be a decent DIY tube amp - _possibly_ a Bottlehead Crack.  

 

Would I be better off with the Senns or a base line planar like the HE-400?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

He never said he'd only want to make a crack..

Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed? He did indicate he was leaning that way. LOL

Not everyone realizes that most tube amps that are not hybrid tube/solid state amps will be a poor impedance match for the HE-400s.

I like to think it makes sense to pick the headphones you want and then the amp. I am fully aware that the crack will be no good for HE-400s, but he never said he'd only consider making a crack, and it isn't like he has bought one already..

Anyway, I think crack + HE-400 is a no go.

 

@SteveSound being on the lookout for good offers, especially on the used market has paid off very well (for me). That's what got me into Stax and Hifiman in the first place, which I definitely don't regret.

post #11 of 56
Thread Starter 

Man I'm glad I asked!  The HE-300/EF3 combo is great at the price ($250) and just about jumped at the discounted HE-400.  But with this advice I'll ignore the HE-400.

 

I'll take your advice on the HD600 + Crack.  Other threads have mentioned the HD600 +_Millett MiniMax is good too.

 

So, the HD600 is the next buy as it can go either way.

 

I'll keep reading about the differences with a pure tube amp and hybrids before the kit purchase.

 

.......

 

This is so much fun.

post #12 of 56

I must say I agree, I have the HE-400 running off an X3/E12 which is a pretty accurate and cool-sounding set up - a good match. A tube amp will give you too much warmth for those headphones.

 

Get the HE-400 and lose the tube amp ;)

 

Only joking, tube amp and HD600 sounds like a good place to me.

Reply
post #13 of 56

Well, the crack will limit your upgrade path, as it'll mainly work with high impedance cans, but I guess you know that by now :)

 

I don't know about the sound, but it's supposedly pretty good. I might want to do some DIY eventually, just need to get me some new cans with end game potential first.

post #14 of 56

I have an HE-500 as well as an HD600. I did not care for the HE-400's sound signature and found the treble not to be to my liking, at all. The HE-500 is a much betterchoise for a Hiiman planar or perhaps the new HE-560 although either is much above what appears to be your price range.. For your price range or perhaps a drop above, I'd go for the HD600, there's a good reason why this is a timeless standard, it sounds great. When I got my HD600, I was willing to spend a lot more but the HD600's won me over with their wonderful sound.

post #15 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

I have an HE-500 as well as an HD600. I did not care for the HE-400's sound signature and found the treble not to be to my liking, at all. The HE-500 is a much betterchoise for a Hiiman planar or perhaps the new HE-560 although either is much above what appears to be your price range.. For your price range or perhaps a drop above, I'd go for the HD600, there's a good reason why this is a timeless standard, it sounds great. When I got my HD600, I was willing to spend a lot more but the HD600's won me over with their wonderful sound.

Thanks for the info StanD.  That is super helpful.

 

RE: price range.  Well, I don't really have limits.  I could (wife not withstanding) drop a few grand and be done with it.  However, where's the fun in that!  I'd much rather work my way up the food chain, building, matching, learning.  So, if all these parts are stepping stones then bang-for-the-buck is the factor.  

 

We'll find the marriage-price-ceiling soon enough.

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