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PM-1 vs HE-6 .....

post #1 of 139
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

    Ever since I bought my Taurus I've been intrigued by the HE-6 but never got around to asking my dealer for an audition, particularly after he steered me toward the LCD-X. He is now asking if I'm interested in the PM-1, arguably the latest FOTM at this end of the market, and I told him that I'd like to hear it alongside the new HiFiMan cans - the HE560 - but that led me back to the HE-6. Am I shooting myself in the foot by continuing to ignore the HE-6 (particularly when I have an amp that will drive them) or has the technology moved on ?

 

Thanks

 

estreeter

post #2 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

Hi All,

    Ever since I bought my Taurus I've been intrigued by the HE-6 but never got around to asking my dealer for an audition, particularly after he steered me toward the LCD-X. He is now asking if I'm interested in the PM-1, arguably the latest FOTM at this end of the market, and I told him that I'd like to hear it alongside the new HiFiMan cans - the HE560 - but that led me back to the HE-6. Am I shooting myself in the foot by continuing to ignore the HE-6 (particularly when I have an amp that will drive them) or has the technology moved on ?

Thanks

estreeter
I think the "technology" here is efficiency. The two you mention do not need as much juice but that does not mean they sound better. If there is no cost to trying the he-6, why not? The aesthetics if the oppo sound better, and people seem to think it is good for portable use, but those are different considerations.
post #3 of 139
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback - I guess I figured I already have one demanding headphone in the HD800 but deep down we Head-Fiers are masochists  ;)

post #4 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post
 

Thanks for the feedback - I guess I figured I already have one demanding headphone in the HD800 but deep down we Head-Fiers are masochists  ;)

the he-6 can be pretty special with the right set up so it may be worth the time to give it a listen.  the problem is if you like it, you might start looking for a different amp (like so many in the he-6 thread) and that can be a can be either a pain or fund depending on budget and patience.  

post #5 of 139
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gjc11028 View Post
 

the he-6 can be pretty special with the right set up so it may be worth the time to give it a listen.  the problem is if you like it, you might start looking for a different amp (like so many in the he-6 thread) and that can be a can be either a pain or fund depending on budget and patience.  

 

I'll be able to audition the HE-6 and the PM-1 with a Taurus - if it doesnt sound good with the Taurus in the shop it wont sound good with my Taurus. Easy. 

post #6 of 139

i would guess that HE-6 would be quite stable as long as you give it a amp with lots of wattage.  It's efficiency is one of the lowest so it needs lots of power.  I would suggest go for speaker amps with headphone out first as it's a cheap option(depends on what amp you get of course).  I have a 2 channel Beta 22, and I am quite happy with the results.  

 

Reason why I think HE-6 is stable is because it's impedance is purely resistive or should we say flat.


Edited by SilverEars - 7/4/14 at 12:52pm
post #7 of 139
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

i would guess that HE-6 would be quite stable as long as you give it a amp with lots of wattage.  It's efficiency is one of the lowest so it needs lots of power.  I would suggest go for speaker amps with headphone out first as it's a cheap option(depends on what amp you get of course).  I have a 2 channel Beta 22, and I am quite happy with the results.  

 

Reason why I think HE-6 is stable is because it's impedance is purely resistive or should we say flat.

 

Speaker amps with headphone out ? The headphone out - single-ended or balanced - on my Taurus absolutely cremates the headphone stage on my Marantz PM6005, but I'm assuming you mean the speaker amp gives me the option of using the speaker taps to power the HE-6. Unless I read project86s review of the Taurus completely wrong, the Taurus has more than enough herbs for the HE-6. With 4.5W on tap, this isnt your Aunt May's headphone amp. 

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/spectacularly-transparent-auralic-taurus-mkii

 

 I put it up against at least half a dozen different amps I have here in the $1,000+ category and the TAURUS never once required a disclaimer. It was not outdone by the $1,500 Analog Design Labs Svetlana II single-ended triode amp with the super-permalloy output transformers. It stood its ground against the $1,000 Violectric V200 whose output stage sports eight transistors per channel. The $1,799 SPL Phonitor excelled in whiz-bang adjustability but was no match for the TAURUS in sound quality. The beastly $1,599 HiFiMAN EF-6 and the classic $3,000 Luxman P-1u could not dethrone the TAURUS—I preferred it to either of them in nearly all situations. And that's really they key phrase here—most situations. The TAURUS does a damn fine job across the board. While one amp or another may have a special synergy with a certain headphone, therefore becoming a better match than TAURUS in that one particular scenario, the TAURUS excels with just about everything. Even when it isn't the absolute top choice for a given headphone, you can be sure it's in the running, among the top two or three choices. That's not to call it a "jack of all trades, master of none" type device.... it definitely gets a fair share of first place trophies

 

..

 

 

HiFiMAN HE-6
Next I switched things up to the HiFiMAN HE-6 which is a headphone I've really struggled to enjoy. On the one hand I appreciate its resolution and clarity. On the other hand, I find it somewhat bright and at times downright unnatural. Part of the problem is the extremely low sensitivity—I'm not necessarily on board with the folks who demand huge monoblock speaker amps for the HE-6, but I will admit it needs a beefy (headphone) amp to do it justice. The TAURUS clearly seems up to the task.

 

This is the first time I felt the HE-6 worthy of being called a true flagship headphone. Up until now the best I had heard it perform was from the Violectric V200. In that scenario I felt like HE-6 and the less expensive HE-500 were different but roughly equal in performance. The TAURUS is the first amp I've heard allowing HE-6 to clearly surpass the more affordable sibling. They have most of the precision of the HD800 with more solidity and "punch" all around. Soundstage takes a considerable hit; this is the most expansive I've heard a planar magnetic design sound, yet it still falls short of the HD800 by a significant margin. That's just the character of the headphones and TAURUS isn't a miracle worker. Still, large orchestral works were satisfyingly grand in terms of space and scale, so I can't complain much.

 

The HE-500 doesn't seem to improve much when mated with the TAURUS—apparently the V200 already takes it about as far as it will go. But with the TAURUS in play, HE-6 has superior midrange articulation, better deep bass impact, and just sounds more effortless in general. Is it worth the price difference? That's subjective. For me, the answer has always been "no". Until now. I can totally see building a system around the HE-6 now that I've heard what it can really do.

 

I like the HE-6 a lot with both outputs. My contact at AURALiC says they prefer the BAL option, and I agree it sounds mighty good. Yet more often than not I find myself gravitating towards the STD output. I suppose this is one of those cases that comes down to individual preference. I'm glad HiFiMAN chose to include a balanced cable as well as the adapter for single ended use. It's win-win.

post #8 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

 

 

4.5W is chump change.  :o  Look into speaker amps.  Headphones amps just overpriced for power output you get.

post #9 of 139
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

4.5W is chump change.  :o  Look into speaker amps.  Headphones amps just overpriced for power output you get.

 

I know there 1kW monos out there - I didn't come to this hobby yesterday - but you really don't get it if you think that's the main game for an amp designer.  How would that explain the prices some are prepared to pay for flea watt tube amps with less than 2W on tap ? I know tube amps aren't the same as solid-state, but on paper those amps are 'worthless' by your gauge. 

 

If you want to buy the Objective-2 and call it a day - more power to you - but please don't try to tell those of us who've owned the O2 and the Taurus which is better VFM. I'd buy another Taurus without blinking. 

post #10 of 139

For sure, it's your dough.  Just buy your favorite over price stuff and keep hunting.  I'm fine where I'm at.  :o 

post #11 of 139
Thread Starter 

And that's great, but do you have anything on-topic to add ? If, for example, you are able to drive the HE-6 from the O2 I'm happy to hear about your experience - if not, you're time may be better spent elsewhere. Class wars - and we've all been there - are strongly discouraged on Head-Fi particularly in this forum. If you think I'm someone with money to burn, you're sadly mistaken, but again that just leads us down the class war path - this is a thread about the HE-6 and PM-1 headphones. 

post #12 of 139

I have a Beta 22.  :o  You're reading what is not there.

post #13 of 139
Thread Starter 

Great - assuming you built it from a kit and didn't have to pay someone to do it for you, you've got outstanding VFM. Have you heard it with the HE-6 ? 

post #14 of 139

Yes, I have the HE-6 and I personally prefer it over the HD800.  I don't like the treble on the HD800 and the tonality.  Also, certain music doesn't sound right with it.  It is true what lots of other say when they compare the two, the HE-6 is more musical of the two.  

 

I know better than drive an inefficient planar with O2.  I've A/B'd LCD2 and HE-6 using O2 and Beta 22.  Beta 22 is noticeably better at driving those cans.

post #15 of 139
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback - looking forward to auditioning the HE-6. 

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