Amps that can drive the HiFiMan HE-6 planar headphones
Jan 14, 2015 at 6:54 AM Post #3,646 of 5,703

preproman

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Ha ha ha ...
 
beerchug.gif

 
Those were some interesting conversations we had last year.  At the end of the day and what it all boils down to is:  "Try it for yourself"  Let your "own" ears do the talking.  Not like all the hype surrounding the new Schitt products - "The amp is this"  "The DAC is that"  Maybe so, but I'll decide for myself.  After all, each one of us have different listening priorities.  
 
Nelson Pass is one of my favorites as well - I'm aiming for the INT-150 or the INT-30 - They are still to much right now.  I'm keeping my eyes on them though.  I never got into Vintage Receivers although some do have a really nice colorful sound.  
 
Jan 14, 2015 at 3:00 PM Post #3,648 of 5,703

NZtechfreak

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Nelson Pass is one of my favorites as well - I'm aiming for the INT-150 or the INT-30 - They are still to much right now.  I'm keeping my eyes on them though.  I never got into Vintage Receivers although some do have a really nice colorful sound.  


Man, I came pretty close to snagging an INT-150 last year. Would love to pick one up, but opportunities are even more limited here in NZ.
 
Jan 14, 2015 at 5:35 PM Post #3,650 of 5,703

Clemmaster

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Would it be safe to use my sennheiser hd800 hooked up to a naim nait 5i integrated(50watt) with speaker taps? Would this damage my headphones?

 
Shouldn't, as long as you start with volume control at the lowest.
 
Funny you mention the Naim: I recently got a Naim UnitiQute just for fun and it's actually pretty good with the HE-6 (speaker taps). It's by no means reference sound, but it's pretty darn fun with Rock and fast paced music. No harshness or brightness to be found here.
I think the DAC was the weak link, but the DLNA player is super convenient and overall operation very pleasant.
 
Whoever is considering a easy to use and fun sounding gear might give those a look. The UnitiQute 2 has a better DAC, supposedly.
 
Jan 14, 2015 at 8:24 PM Post #3,651 of 5,703

gjc11028

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Add my voice to the chorus singing the praise of speaker amps for the HE-6.  It took me some time to come to this conclusion and in the beginning I thought it nonsense that a headphone could benefit from all that extra juice.  Preproman here convinced me to forget my XLS-sheet and give it a try, which I did.  He (and others) are right, I was wrong, simple as that.

Maybe there are headphone amps that have what it takes (some of the Ray Samuels maybe) but I haven't heard one yet and I'm totally convinced that bang/buck a speaker amp is a better value proposition.  Personally I like the FirstWatt family, not just for the sound but also from a technical point of view; they're very straightforward, no-gimmick beautiful designs.  But there are others, all the info is in this thread.  I also like my vintage receiver but if you want to go down that road, research it well as in many cases they'll require maintenance (cleaning, recapping,....) that increases costs and some have components that are simply no longer obtainable.  Prepare to deal with that if you go down the vintage road.

Congrats. I doubt I will ever own a headphone amp again. a bit contrary to the focus on power, tonight I hooked up my 300b set speaker amp in place of the 150 watt blue circle. the set has pretty good transformers and it is quite enjoyable. A bit different in presentation, with voices a little more forward, with fabulous sepwration. I would not use this for big complex symphonies, but for jazz and quartets and such it is pretty compelling. Thought I would put in good word for tube options because most of the discussion here focuses on solid state options.
 
Jan 14, 2015 at 9:36 PM Post #3,652 of 5,703

erikfreedom

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c'ant wait to hear hifiman ef-1000 amp. with 8 watts pure class a se and balanced, i think this time it is gonna be mighty fine with he-6.
 
Jan 14, 2015 at 9:45 PM Post #3,653 of 5,703

TonyNewman

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  c'ant wait to hear hifiman ef-1000 amp. with 8 watts pure class a se and balanced, i think this time it is gonna be mighty fine with he-6.

 
I am not sure that HiFiMan have a great track record in amp design and build. The EF6 is not a great unit.
 
EF1000 might be fantastic, but the EF6 is not a great base to build on.
 
Jan 14, 2015 at 9:54 PM Post #3,654 of 5,703

erikfreedom

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they d'ont have a great track record with amps because they never took the time to design a serious headamp. soon enough we will know how the ef-1000 perform. i have great confidence in this product.  it has very good specs. and looks to be a very serious design with separate power supply, tubes, and balanced and se outputs and the capacity to drive speakers with 50 watts of pure class a juice or 150 watts in class ab. c'ant wait to hear the comments of those who will be able to attend the mini meet with dr fang this week.
 
Jan 15, 2015 at 12:28 AM Post #3,655 of 5,703

TonyNewman

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  they d'ont have a great track record with amps because they never took the time to design a serious headamp. soon enough we will know how the ef-1000 perform. i have great confidence in this product.  it has very good specs. and looks to be a very serious design with separate power supply, tubes, and balanced and se outputs and the capacity to drive speakers with 50 watts of pure class a juice or 150 watts in class ab. c'ant wait to hear the comments of those who will be able to attend the mini meet with dr fang this week.

 
I doubt HiFiMan would suggest that they weren't serious about the EF6.
 
The EF6 has great specs - and it isn't a great headphone amp (YMMV on that - it left me very unimpressed).
 
It is certainly possible for HiFiMan to produce a stunning amp in the EF1000 - we won't know for a while.
 
Great amps usually come from a company with a history of producing great amps. It's not impossible for a company to have a sudden step change in quality, but it is perhaps unusual.
 
I have recently ordered a Simaudio 430HA amp. I have never heard this amp and there is very little review information available at the moment. I took this risk largely because I have experience with other products from Simaudio and they have a 30 year history of making great amps and preamps. I would never, ever take this leap with a HiFiMan amp. Perhaps with a HiFiMan headphone, but not an amp.
 
Jan 15, 2015 at 3:06 AM Post #3,656 of 5,703

NZtechfreak

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Just looked up the Simaudio amp, now that is interesting! One of their speaker amps has one of the highest recommendations with the HE-6 in this thread. Be very interested in your thoughts when it appears.
 
Jan 15, 2015 at 3:10 AM Post #3,657 of 5,703

TonyNewman

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Just looked up the Simaudio amp, now that is interesting! One of their speaker amps has one of the highest recommendations with the HE-6 in this thread. Be very interested in your thoughts when it appears.

 
Some impressions are already starting to appear in the 430HA thread - link below:
 
Link.
 
Amp sounds like a winner - which is what I would expect from Simaudio.
 
Jan 15, 2015 at 12:07 PM Post #3,658 of 5,703

Timestretch

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So my friend just got his HE-6 setup finished:  
  
Modi 2 uber dac, Schiit Lyr amp, HE-6 headphone. He's new to audio so I helped him out with plugging things in, and gave it a try when he had it setup.  
  
Man, compared to my D75A amplifier, the level of volume you can get from the lyr, there is just no contest. I remember having a Lyr a long time ago; I don't remember it being so soft. Speaker amps are definitely ideal for the HE-6. The only headphone output you should use is either from a speaker tap adapter, or from an amplifier like mine or most vintage amps where the headphone connector is straight up with the speaker taps (no resistor stuff between).  
  
The effortless volume you can get is huge.   
  
Don't get me wrong, the Lyr isn't bad, but if you have $300 for a used amp you can do so much better just by picking up a D75A or some other quality speaker amp used on ebay. for cheaper than a Lyr, too.   
  
Lyr - soft smooth mellow sound, probably mostly because you have to turn it up to 12 oclock on the volume knob to even approach a listenable level.  
D75A - preamp at 10pm and it's already getting very loud super clear/full/crisp. And no distortion even way higher than that, although your ears can't really take it unless you like flirting with hearing damage. 
 
Jan 15, 2015 at 1:05 PM Post #3,659 of 5,703

Xdaggersoul

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  So my friend just got his HE-6 setup finished:  
  
Modi 2 uber dac, Schiit Lyr amp, HE-6 headphone. He's new to audio so I helped him out with plugging things in, and gave it a try when he had it setup.  
  
Man, compared to my D75A amplifier, the level of volume you can get from the lyr, there is just no contest. I remember having a Lyr a long time ago; I don't remember it being so soft. Speaker amps are definitely ideal for the HE-6. The only headphone output you should use is either from a speaker tap adapter, or from an amplifier like mine or most vintage amps where the headphone connector is straight up with the speaker taps (no resistor stuff between).  
  
The effortless volume you can get is huge.   
  
Don't get me wrong, the Lyr isn't bad, but if you have $300 for a used amp you can do so much better just by picking up a D75A or some other quality speaker amp used on ebay. for cheaper than a Lyr, too.   
  
Lyr - soft smooth mellow sound, probably mostly because you have to turn it up to 12 oclock on the volume knob to even approach a listenable level.  
D75A - preamp at 10pm and it's already getting very loud super clear/full/crisp. And no distortion even way higher than that, although your ears can't really take it unless you like flirting with hearing damage. 

I guess the lyr doesnt voice well with the HE6.
 

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