Amps that can drive the HiFiMan HE-6 planar headphones
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So what do you guys think about signal to noise ratio of the power amps? In my experience, I always noticed a high noise floor when trying amps from the speaker taps.

Anyone find one with a super low noise ratio rating & powerful as well?
Regarding vintage power amps (Spec 2@250wpc) there was dead silence in the background - this paired with a Spec 1 preamp.
 
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So what do you guys think about signal to noise ratio of the power amps? In my experience, I always noticed a high noise floor when trying amps from the speaker taps.

Anyone find one with a super low noise ratio rating & powerful as well?
It depends on the amp. Most of my amps exhibited no noise with the HE-6. Some of the tube pres / SS amp combos I tried were unlistenable with the HE-6. It usually had to do with the tube pre though. In fact I don't think I had a solid state amp that was noisy enough to ruin the listening experience. I had a Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II that was dead silent with the HE-6 from the taps. YMMV
 
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...I have a Emotiva Bas X and an Audio GD R2R 11
Hi. Can you describe how the HE-6 sounds directly from R2R 11? I have an opportunity to try them, but I have only R2R 11 so thinking if it will be worth it...
 
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Is it bad for the health of a power amp to have the headphones disconnected from the speaker tap-to-XLR adapter while the amp is on? I'm using a 25wpc First Watt J2 (which I'm loving to death, connected to the Susvara).
 
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Hi. Can you describe how the HE-6 sounds directly from R2R 11? I have an opportunity to try them, but I have only R2R 11 so thinking if it will be worth it...
I don't think that's a viable option. I had a chance to try many amps a few weeks ago and i would say schiit jorty and liquid carbon 'worked' but plenty of mid tier headphones would out preform the he-6 on these mid tier (but good value) stacks. I would say entry level for an he-6 is more like ican black label or liquid platinum; with this much power he-6 is comparable, depending on taste, to pretty much anything out there. I haven't heard all that many super high-end rigs, but IMO he-6 at its best is on par with the very best (009-thunderbolt or utopia-dave). that's just from brief impression though so take it with a grain of salt.

If you hear an he-6 someone else has and love it, the Audio-gd precision 3 is a good option. Its 70 watts at 8 ohms scales to about the same power into 50 ohms as my NOS11, which does a damn good job. decent deal for 425$, otherwise something like emotive, or buying vintage. of those 3 options I would defiantly go with precision 3 if i already had audio-gd gear.

Is it bad for the health of a power amp to have the headphones disconnected from the speaker tap-to-XLR adapter while the amp is on? I'm using a 25wpc First Watt J2 (which I'm loving to death, connected to the Susvara).
I hear so much great stuff about j2, had you tried super amps other then wa33? how did they compare?

I'm very interested in this question. I'm pretty sure unplugging directly from speaker taps would be a concern, but the adapter has a resistor network and i suspect the amps output still sees a load from this. I also understand J2 preforms extremely well with higher impedance loads and people MUCH prefer plugging directly into the speaker taps. Please someone jump into to clarify, but as I understand the adapter is needed for pretty much all tube amps for stability reasons. However most solid state output stages aren't affected nearly as much.
 
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I'm using a 25wpc First Watt J2 (which I'm loving to death, connected to the Susvara).
I hear so much great stuff about j2, had you tried super amps other then wa33? how did they compare?
In the Susvara thread, I wrote down thoughts on the GS-X mk2, the WA33 (as well as the 'vintage' Bryston 2B-LP) here, and impressions on the First Watt J2 here.

Since then, it's only grown on me more. I've always thought I had a bias towards a warmer, fuller, and more 'harmonic' (tubey) sound. The J2 is actually the opposite of that to me, and yet I'm enjoying it the most. It has strong dynamics and a light touch, is fast and resolving and decays fast, has articulate, authoritative bass that is actually more neutral than warm. And just clear, really clear. Also, responds very well to EQ. I'd have to assume people find the same qualities in the J2 on the HE-6.

And, I'm liking it with just a lil Schiit Sys volume control over using either the GS-X mk2 or the WA33 as a preamp.
 
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Hey guys, I'm considering getting a schiit vidar to go with my he 6. I can use my topping D50 as both dac/preamp, but am wondering if that would be a sort of bottleneck compared to a standalone unit. Should I be concerned? I tried finding info on the preamp fucntionality of the topping D50 but came up with nothing, Amir on ASR didn't test it's preamp function unless I somehow scrolled past it.


Also happy new year :)
 
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It depends on the amp. Most of my amps exhibited no noise with the HE-6. Some of the tube pres / SS amp combos I tried were unlistenable with the HE-6. It usually had to do with the tube pre though. In fact I don't think I had a solid state amp that was noisy enough to ruin the listening experience. I had a Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II that was dead silent with the HE-6 from the taps. YMMV
Curious on your driving the HE6 off the Cronus Magnum speaker taps - did you attach any resistors across the speaker taps or was it a direct connection ?
 
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Has anyone seen any feedback of using Chord TT2 with the HE-6 yet?
 
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In this hobby, it goes without saying to have such expectation to some degree, but I also expect audiophiles to have a general common preference on what sounds best as well (if comparing to outside the niche audiophile domain).
Can't agree. People with lots of live acoustic music experience hear things a lot differently than someone who has only heard electrified music. Then there is music preference which divides. Then sensitivity to upper mids and highs. Age/loud music degeneration too.

I'd say 40% of the many people I've known who claim to be/or spend money like an audiophile actually have opinions that tallied generally with mine. That includes people I sold equipment too, as well as friends.

As for amps for the HE-6. The Vidar should work well, the new Schiit amps forthcoming should be great.

Any 'classic' that's 30 or more years old should be recapped totally, and checked for power supply fitness. Even something as pedestrian as an Onkyo 7022 (mid/late 70's integrated) might do well. The Class A Yamahas should be great - on the amp side try Threshold Stasis 3, Lots of Class AB amps (Bryston, Classe, Hafler, PS Audio, Adcom etc should do well). My ultimate choice would be an X Series Pass followed by the Krell KSA series, or an ARC FPB. Note those last choices are amps capable of running top quality speakers as well. i'm a transistor guy, so pardon the lack of tubes listed.
 
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Has anyone seen any feedback of using Chord TT2 with the HE-6 yet?
I spent several minutes with my Code-6 and Jude's TT M-scalar stack and ZMFestivus last month, did a very very good job. With out any time or means to compare I cant say how much of that was the extremely good DAC vs how well the amp section got the job done. I think its safe too it drove them at-least as well as my NOS 11
 
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I prefer tube speaker amp over solid state listening to HE-6. My favorite tubes are the old US made GE Electronic 6550A and the old Tung-Sol 6550. I don't like the sound of the reissues from Russia or China. And they are not as reliable too.

If GE and/or Tung-Sol (US) could make KT120s today I bet they would sound awesome.
 
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