Amps that can drive the HiFiMan HE-6 planar headphones
Jan 30, 2018 at 1:09 AM Post #5,236 of 6,055
Finally my HE-6 have some power!

They sound great with a Glenn 300B (8 watts), but I was cranking the volume a lot on that amp. Now with a 50 watt amp connected directly to the speaker taps I'm getting some real power. Currently connected to the 8 ohm tap, but I might also try the 16 ohm tap. I'd describe the sound as punchy and detailed.

This MC250 is in absolutely superb condition, and amazingly has a totally black background even with my preamp set to the max. I have the gain on the amp set to the 3 o clock position, which is about 3/4 of the way. With the preamp at 40 (out of 100) the sound is good and loud. It's got me thinking about other amps now.... I wouldn't mind a little more bass and warmth.

PS - the amp will be moved to a proper shelf soon :)


I'm in awe, that is otherworldly setup. Congrats. Does it sound as good as it looks?
 
Jan 30, 2018 at 1:17 PM Post #5,237 of 6,055
It does indeed sound good - but also has me wondering what the HE-6 will now sound like through a newer tube amp (see a few pages back where the HE-6 are hooked up to a newer mighty McIntosh tube amp).

I'm going to speak with Glenn and see if he'll build me a 25 watt amp specifically for the HE-6. I jest (sorta). If I had the funds I'd probably go for it. This would be the best of both worlds, but probably a little overkill as it's only really necessary for the HE-6.
 
Jan 30, 2018 at 2:20 PM Post #5,238 of 6,055
make sure you do the math on how much power things deliver into a certain Ohm. My HE6 was not amazing out of my Fisher 500C, which is a fantastic amp. I thought it would be, but it was good at best. bass was not controlled. I used to think that one should just get a nice low powered vintage amp and use it for the he6. not the case. I am currently running mine out of a Sansui x901. lots of power, and no problems. and no treble fatigue.
 
Mar 8, 2018 at 6:35 PM Post #5,239 of 6,055
Mar 8, 2018 at 11:41 PM Post #5,240 of 6,055
Does it not pair well with the Enigma or Code-X?
 
Mar 8, 2018 at 11:42 PM Post #5,241 of 6,055
It does indeed sound good - but also has me wondering what the HE-6 will now sound like through a newer tube amp (see a few pages back where the HE-6 are hooked up to a newer mighty McIntosh tube amp).

I'm going to speak with Glenn and see if he'll build me a 25 watt amp specifically for the HE-6. I jest (sorta). If I had the funds I'd probably go for it. This would be the best of both worlds, but probably a little overkill as it's only really necessary for the HE-6.

What are the specs on that amp?

I'm loving my HE6 with Apex Teton as a preamp and the Pass Labs XA25 as a power amp. You probably don't have to spend that much to get magical sound, but really- that shows you how much power these babies need.
 
Mar 12, 2018 at 12:55 PM Post #5,242 of 6,055
Does it not pair well with the Enigma or Code-X?

Those need much less power so the Crimson I have is sufficient. The HE-6 however, shine with the J2.
 
Mar 12, 2018 at 1:02 PM Post #5,243 of 6,055
Does it not pair well with the Enigma or Code-X?
I run many headphones off my J2 with excellent results. The only issue I have is the noise I get from my tube preamp with more sensitive headphones, like the Audeze LCD-3, Fostex TH-900, and Mr Speakers Aeon flow. I'm using the Schiit Freya as my preamp. I don't have this issue If I'm using my Musical Fidelity M6si as the preamp.

I think you will get excellent results with the Enigma and Code-X. They just don't need that much power.
 
Mar 13, 2018 at 1:50 PM Post #5,244 of 6,055
Thanks. I use my code-x with all my power amps and they do pretty great so I was surprised that a J2 would be sold and the Crimson kept, that's all.

But I do see how the Crimson could be more versatile.
 
Apr 8, 2018 at 12:22 AM Post #5,245 of 6,055
Does anyone have an opinion in what characteristics of a speaker amp make it work well with the HE-6?

I'm getting an HE-6 shipped to me at the moment. I'm guessing my Woo WA-7 won't have the power to get the best out of them. I also have a Marantz PM5005 integrated amplifier which I plan on using to drive the HE-6 out of speaker taps. It puts ito 40W per channel into eight ohms.
 
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Apr 8, 2018 at 2:04 AM Post #5,246 of 6,055
Does anyone have an opinion in what characteristics of a speaker amp make it with well with the HE-6?

I'm getting an HE-6 shipped to me at the moment. I'm guessing my Woo WA-7 won't have the power to get the best out of them. I also have a Marantz PM5005 integrated amplifier which I plan on using to drive the HE-6 out of speaker taps. It puts ito 40W per channel into eight ohms.

Benchmark AHB2.
 
Apr 8, 2018 at 4:47 AM Post #5,248 of 6,055
Does anyone have an opinion in what characteristics of a speaker amp make it work well with the HE-6?
I'm getting an HE-6 shipped to me at the moment. I'm guessing my Woo WA-7 won't have the power to get the best out of them. I also have a Marantz PM5005 integrated amplifier which I plan on using to drive the HE-6 out of speaker taps. It puts ito 40W per channel into eight ohms.
Regarding sound characteristics for best synergy with HE-6, it depends partly on your preferences and what genres you listen to mostly: You could for instance prefer a tight, punchy and strong bass or an open, airy soundstage. A 40W speaker amp will be powerful enough even for unhealthy loud listening levels no matter what genre.

Many prefer class A speakers for a warmer mid-range, but some have used the First Watt F1J and raved about its sound even though it is supposed to be more clean sounding than warm. However, since HE-6 is super transparent and highly resolving, you want high end transparency and resolution from both your amp and DAC. Otherwise you will hear the limitations from the boxes and (wrongly) fault HE-6.

If you put on (real or protein) leather pads with memory foam (Brainwavz HM5 angled or ZMF Ori for instance) and seal the pads to the cups, much is done. You can also do the "Blu-Tack mod" which seals the driver to the cup. If these two mods are done, I doubt anyone will complain about the amp "not driving" HE-6.
 
Apr 8, 2018 at 4:57 AM Post #5,249 of 6,055
Connected to vintage receiver (Marantz 2226B)'s speaker tabs, sound is rich, and sibilance is tamed well. But as that receiver is not the last word in terms of resolutions (its not that bad too), modern amplifier will expose the last micro-details better, I think. The power (2x26W) is more than enough, the level over 10 o'clock is unhealthy loud.
 
Apr 8, 2018 at 5:46 AM Post #5,250 of 6,055
Thanks all! Will try it out and see.

Slightly off-topic. I'm probably going to leave mine as stock if possible. My suspicion is that headphone will be one of the more collectable pairs long-term.
 

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