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Budget Hifiman HE-400 amp

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone, 

 

I am purchasing the HE-400's and I'm looking for an amp to drive them. I heard these headphones are easy to drive so my budget is around $100? Any suggestions? Any feedback would be awesome!!

post #2 of 20

The Schiit Magni is $99.

 

I assume that you are looking for a desktop amp for these large open planar cans.

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hello KG JAG,

 

Thanks for responding. I have just recently ordered the Magni however, i just read an article on Headphonia, which claims, "The Magni’s 1.2watt output is generally overkill for use with the HE400. I would not call the Magni a great match up for this Hifiman headphone, it just lacks the bass quantity to get the job done by itself. However, I would call it an ok amplifier for the Hifiman HE400." Is this true? 

 

Source: http://www.headfonia.com/schitty-magni-and-modi/

post #4 of 20

Fiio E12. I have the HE-400 and the E12, they're a lovely match. It's a portable but can give any similar priced desktop amp a run for its money.

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post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newguy7 View Post
 

Hello KG JAG,

 

Thanks for responding. I have just recently ordered the Magni however, i just read an article on Headphonia, which claims, "The Magni’s 1.2watt output is generally overkill for use with the HE400. ...However, I would call it an ok amplifier for the Hifiman HE400." Is this true? 

 

Source: http://www.headfonia.com/schitty-magni-and-modi/

 

You mean he thinks it's OK for the HE500?

 

The HE400 is on the warmer side of the HiFiMANs, the 500 has more at the upper/treble end of things. I imagine a Magni might be a bit too warm for the 400s.

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post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newguy7 View Post
 

Hello KG JAG,

 

Thanks for responding. I have just recently ordered the Magni however, i just read an article on Headphonia, which claims, "The Magni’s 1.2watt output is generally overkill for use with the HE400. I would not call the Magni a great match up for this Hifiman headphone, it just lacks the bass quantity to get the job done by itself. However, I would call it an ok amplifier for the Hifiman HE400." Is this true? 

 

Source: http://www.headfonia.com/schitty-magni-and-modi/

By this logic, you would listen to the guy at headfonia and order the Objective 2 amp instead.

But this is one man's opinion you're going by, and your taste/preference may differ from his, so it's best to have a listen first and see if you like it.

 

There is no 'truth' when it comes to subjective things like preference in sound.

Also your ears ARE different, and you will hear things slightly differently. 

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hello Greq,

 

I'll take your advice and gee the Magni a listen. My concern is if the Magni being "overkill" is too much. Would it really matter if the Magni is overkill? I'm new to amps so I'm not really  familiar with the subject.

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hello Steve HiFi,

 

How would you say the e12 sounds? Is it more neutral than a Magni amp or does it maintain the balance of the sound from the he-400's?

post #9 of 20

First I'd echo what GREQ said above - one man's meat is another's poison! Personally I love the E12/HE400 combo but you may feel different.

 

However, the E12 is accurate and sharp without being overbearing; I've tried a few of Fiio's amps and although they're all good for the money, the E12 is the one I had to own - this was due in part to the way they are with the HE-400.

 

If anything, I guess the E12 complements the HE400 which is what you want generally. I've not tried the Magni but am familiar with Schiit's other amps such as the Asgard and Lyr - I've tried my HE400 with them too. My feeling is that the E12 reins the HE400 in a little bit and keeps them well behaved - there's a danger of higher frequencies/cymbals/etc being a little uncontrolled for my taste with the Schiits - particularly as this frequency range is boosted by the HE400 design if memory serves.

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post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newguy7 View Post
 

Hello KG JAG,

 

Thanks for responding. I have just recently ordered the Magni however, i just read an article on Headphonia, which claims, "The Magni’s 1.2watt output is generally overkill for use with the HE400. I would not call the Magni a great match up for this Hifiman headphone, it just lacks the bass quantity to get the job done by itself. However, I would call it an ok amplifier for the Hifiman HE400." Is this true? 

 

Source: http://www.headfonia.com/schitty-magni-and-modi/


Here's problem #1 in trying to answer your question.  There have been at least two versions of the HE-400 that have been released.  One, the first I believe, made the HE-400 a very warm headphone--almost into basshead lite territory.  Another I have heard is much more neutral, but the mids are colored and sound just a bit unnatural.

 

I don't believe the $99 Magni is overkill in terms of power.  While the HE-400 might not need all of it, you would not be the first here to be glad, sometime down the road, that you bought just a bit more power than you thought that you needed at the time.

 

All that said--it is best to take your HE-400 and listen to all your best and final options on them.

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 

You are certainly right!! I will go with the Magni and if i don't like the sound, I will go with the E12. Moreover, this may sound like a silly question but can too much amp power harm or affect headphones that don't require such amping?

 

Also, I bought them on amazon brand new a couple days ago, so its going to be interesting to identify what sounds mine will have. 

post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newguy7 View Post
 

You are certainly right!! I will go with the Magni and if i don't like the sound, I will go with the E12. Moreover, this may sound like a silly question but can too much amp power harm or affect headphones that don't require such amping?

 

Also, I bought them on amazon brand new a couple days ago, so its going to be interesting to identify what sounds mine will have. 

 

Too much power or too much peak power into a headphone (or speaker) can damage it.  That's why you always turn your gain way down before you plug in your can.  It's generally more difficult to damage a planar in this way, but you can do so, if you are not careful--even with a lower power amp. 

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks for that!! I didn't even know that! I'll be sure to use the amp with caution :D 

post #14 of 20

hey newguy

i'm also in the same dilemma

what are the amps that you've shortlisted till now

post #15 of 20

I have the HE-400s' and I use a cheap "Little Bear p-1" tube amp that works great. There are variations available under "Bravo" and some other names.  They all look similar with plexiglass over the circuit board and of course it's not portable. I find the highs on the 400's to be a bit too hot sometimes and the p-1 rolls off the highs just enough while still giving that tubey midrange all for about $50 on ebay.

I have a Fiio X-3 that sounds great and will drive the 400's fine but I prefer the sound of the tube amp.

 

Just a note: I assume you've got a good DAC...I found the DAC makes more difference than the amp, that is a very generalized recommendation tho.

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