HifiMan HE-400 with Dragonfly (not enough bass)
Sep 18, 2013 at 12:30 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 30

Somatic

Headphoneus Supremus
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I would like to get more bass coming out of my HE-400 powered by the DragonFly. I tried using software EQ but it seems that the HE-400 distorts easily (reductive EQ). Do I need more power through another amp such as the LYR to make EQ more effective due to having more headroom? Or should I get a hardware EQ? I am going to purchase some modded pads and do the sub bass mod as well. Any suggestions would be a great help. Thanks.
 
Sep 18, 2013 at 1:37 AM Post #3 of 30
Aren't the stock cables copper already?
 
Sep 18, 2013 at 4:25 AM Post #4 of 30
Yeah - ignore the copper cable thing... not sure if troll or super-noob.
 
What media player are you using?
The EQ in Foobar is decent, and you can get extra EQ plugins that give about 30 bands of EQ.
It might be the media player that's causing the distortion becuase these hifimans simply don't distort at ANY reasonable volume.
 
Other than that, you could get a portable amp with EQ bass boost options. But that makes the dragonfly redundant. 
 
Sep 18, 2013 at 1:51 PM Post #5 of 30
Ya, I figured the first reply was misleading.
 
I'm using Spotify (320kbs) with EQUALIFY (****ty EQ). MacBookAir 2013 > DragonFly > HE-400.
 
I own some Senn HD600s as well and find the sound to be more intimate and raw. The bass might not be as impactful but it goes much lower (SUB BASS). I can feel the rumble in these cans. And they seem to not distort as easily. I guess the low rumble, 70hz down is what i feel is lacking on the HE-400s. 
 
The HE-400 sounds polished and neat. Nice detail but I would like a smoother sound, more analog derived. Would adding a Tube Amp help ... and just use my DragonFly as a DAC/preamp only.
 
My other option is to buy replacement HD650 drivers and replace them with my HD600 to use as my main rig. But I'm sure I would need to get a more powerful amp at this point.
 
Let me know if any of you guys have other advise. Thanks GREQ for your help. I'll see if I can setup a solid VST EQ to my PCs system volume and see if this helps. Seems kind of hard to setup. Thanks.
 
Sep 18, 2013 at 10:56 PM Post #6 of 30
Any more suggestions?
 
Sep 18, 2013 at 11:09 PM Post #7 of 30
  Ya, I figured the first reply was misleading.
 
I'm using Spotify (320kbs) with EQUALIFY (****ty EQ). MacBookAir 2013 > DragonFly > HE-400.
 
I own some Senn HD600s as well and find the sound to be more intimate and raw. The bass might not be as impactful but it goes much lower (SUB BASS). I can feel the rumble in these cans. And they seem to not distort as easily. I guess the low rumble, 70hz down is what i feel is lacking on the HE-400s. 
 
The HE-400 sounds polished and neat. Nice detail but I would like a smoother sound, more analog derived. Would adding a Tube Amp help ... and just use my DragonFly as a DAC/preamp only.
 
My other option is to buy replacement HD650 drivers and replace them with my HD600 to use as my main rig. But I'm sure I would need to get a more powerful amp at this point.
 
Let me know if any of you guys have other advise. Thanks GREQ for your help. I'll see if I can setup a solid VST EQ to my PCs system volume and see if this helps. Seems kind of hard to setup. Thanks.

 
The DF doesn't drive HE-400 to its full potential; the HE-400 needs more juice.  Even it’s easier to drive the HD650 by DF.  For the HE-400 you need an amp with output of ~1W on 35 Ohms.
 
Sep 18, 2013 at 11:44 PM Post #8 of 30
Thanks for getting back to me. I thought the HE-400s were easier to drive than the HD600s thus one of the reasons I wanted to buy them. Thanks for the heads up. I was thinking of buying the Emotiva Mini-x a-100 Stereo Flex Amplifier and connect them to the HE-400? Would this be a cheaper alternative to LYR? I'd like to add some more warmth to the headphones. Please let me know. Thanks
 
Sep 18, 2013 at 11:50 PM Post #9 of 30
HE-400 shouldn't be that hard to drive, and it definitely won't change its sound signature depending on the source equipment like some headphones tend to do-- especially Sennheisers.  You should be able to get a good idea of what the HE-400 sounds like even out of an iPod.  Bass below 70hz should be where the HE-400 shines compared to the HD600 as well.
 
I've never used the Dragonfly but something seems to be wrong.  If you have an iPhone on hand or something and plug in your HE-400 into it, see how you think it sounds.
 
Sep 18, 2013 at 11:50 PM Post #10 of 30
  Thanks for getting back to me. I thought the HE-400s were easier to drive than the HD600s thus one of the reasons I wanted to buy them. Thanks for the heads up. I was thinking of buying the Emotiva Mini-x a-100 Stereo Flex Amplifier and connect them to the HE-400? Would this be a cheaper alternative to LYR? I'd like to add some more warmth to the headphones. Please let me know. Thanks

 
- Schiit Asgard 2
- Matrix M-Stage
 
Sep 19, 2013 at 12:03 AM Post #11 of 30
I don't have a dragonfly, but I can report that my HE-400s clip in the bass at loud (like as loud as I would normally listen, not crazy loud) volumes with my 18v Cmoy. They are supposedly easy to drive, yes, but I'd suspect that the dragonfly isn't giving them enough power. It powered by USB after all, with the inherent voltage limitations. I can't imagine the dragonfly has more juice than a cmoy. My tube amp isn't exactly a monster (Little Dot MK3), it can't even do half a watt, but it never gets close to clipping. I doubt the software EQ is the problem. I can do insane, unreasonable things to the bass using foobar EQ without any clipping. 
 
Sep 19, 2013 at 11:12 AM Post #13 of 30
I don't have a dragonfly, but I've heard it's a stellar DAC but the amp isn't all that great. You might consider investing in a quality standalone amp to pair with the dragonfly. A lot of amps also include bass increase, such as the Headstage arrow and Fiio lineup.
 
Sep 19, 2013 at 11:43 AM Post #14 of 30
The dragonfly already is a headphone amp.
It's never a good idea to double-amplify ever. That's a recipe for distortion and clipping. 
 

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