Electrostatic headphones.
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Fred00

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Hey, I'm new to this forum and I have a question which I would appreciate if you could answer. I currently own a pair of HD 580s which I'm very satisfied with. However, it would be nice to own a pair of electrostats, and the HE 60/HEV 70 came to my mind.
I would be happy if you could give me some impressions regarding this headphone. How is it compared to the HD 600s (please feel free to compare the HE 60 with other brands as well)?

/Fredrik
 
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kerelybonto

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AndreYew

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Hopefully, I'll have something useful to say when they arrive. I've always been curious about these headphones, but haven't really wanted them until they went out of production. Don't you hate it when that happens?


I'll be comparing it to a stock pair of HD-600s driven by a stepped attenuator HeadRoom Max, which, interestingly, adds up to approximately the same price as the HE60/70 new.

BTW, does anyone do anything to clean used headphones? I've never bought a pair used before, and don't know what, if anything, to do.

--Andre
 
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Fred00

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I look forward to your review Andre...
 
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AndreYew

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I received the Sennheiser HE60/HEV70 combination a few hours ago, and have some initial impressions. I'll start a new thread later for a more complete review. Comparison system is a Rotel RCD-975 CD player driving an Assemblage DAC-2 through an Acurus RL-11 which drives the HEV70, and the HeadRoom Max with stepped attenuators through its dual tape outputs. Comparison headphones are a pair of Sennheiser HD-600. Crossfeed is off, filter off, and gain low on the Max, and levels are only matched by ear, and are probably not very precisely equal.

Cut to the chase: I found myself thinking, "I guess I'll have to retire the Max and HD-600". Comparison of the spectrum:

Bass: HE60 is hollow sounding by comparison to the HD-600's fuller bass, but doesn't sound bass shy. HE60 seems to emphasize the drumhead skin, whereas HD-600 the resonance of the drum.

Mids: Comparable, with the HE60 more open sounding. HD-600 sounds more closed in, with a smaller soundstage. HD-600 sounds smoother and darker, but in a polish-off-the-details way, whereas instrument textures are more defined with HE60.

Highs: More highs from HE60, like shimmers and sparkles from cymbal hits. Less dark than HD-600, but not bright. Hiss is more noticeable, but is separated out from other instruments. Weird.

Soundstage and imaging: As mentioned above, HE60 has a more open soundstage than the HD-600. By comparison, HD-600 sounds closed in, darker. Solidity of images comparable, with the HE60 a bit more solid due to definition by texture, but the HD-600 has solidity in a closed in, denser weight.

Dynamics: the HD600/Max is noticeably more dynamic, with drum hits hitting harder, whereas the HE60/HEV70 takes you a step back from the attack.

The HE60 has not been fatiguing to listen to so far. The headphones sound quite effortless at even high volume levels, so it's easy to turn up the volume too much.

The HEV70 runs rather warm.

The HE60 are lighter then the HD-600, and comparable in size. The drivers are transparent --- you can look right through them.

--Andre

(edit: add comment about hiss, and dynamics)
 
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kerelybonto

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Very interesting. Next step is to try them out on someone's KG electrostatic amp.

Do you have any other electrostats to compare them to?

kerely
 
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AndreYew

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Kerely,

I have a Stax SR-84 with an amp transformer, and that turned me off electrostats (even though I realize it's an electret design) for many years until I heard an Omega II. I wish I had access to a KG amp to try out, but the current setup is far from unlistenable, and actually quite pleasurable. I'm trying to figure out a way to do crossfeed.

--Andre
 
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eric343

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Interesting that you didn't find them bright at all - Todd said they were almost unlistenably so.

Maybe you got lucky and got a good pair... in any case, congratulations!
 
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AndreYew

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Eric,

I've found that the setup is brighter before it warms up. After it's warmed up, perhaps in an hour or so, it's fine.

--Andre
 
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eric343

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Interesting. ZZZ said that of his KGSS, too! I wonder if it's common to solid-state amps?
 
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AndreYew

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Eric,

It doesn't surprise me too much, because the amp is quite warm after a while, and the temperature will affect the electronics. Whether the amp was designed to be listened to fully warmed up or not is another question.

--Andre
 
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