HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening.
Mar 23, 2015 at 8:19 PM Post #15,917 of 19,622

No_One411

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  Anyone find the HE-500 sounding a bit narrow compared to other planars?

Compared to what? Have you tried the re-grill mod on the HE-500? I found that it helps a little bit. 
 
That said...
 
The HE-500 doesn't have the widest soundstage, ala HD800. However, I never found it inadequate by any means. It's more open sounding than the LCD2Fs that I've heard.
 
It's also a million times (exaggerated a bit here) more open sounding than the vintage planar magnetics. (Yamaha, Fostex, etc), which were all mostly on-ear with terrible padding. 
 
I found it narrow sounding compared to the HE-560 and Abyss, but not suffocatingly so. 
 
Mar 23, 2015 at 9:04 PM Post #15,918 of 19,622

Mach3

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  Compared to what? Have you tried the re-grill mod on the HE-500? I found that it helps a little bit. 
 
That said...
 
The HE-500 doesn't have the widest soundstage, ala HD800. However, I never found it inadequate by any means. It's more open sounding than the LCD2Fs that I've heard.
 
It's also a million times (exaggerated a bit here) more open sounding than the vintage planar magnetics. (Yamaha, Fostex, etc), which were all mostly on-ear with terrible padding. 
 
I found it narrow sounding compared to the HE-560 and Abyss, but not suffocatingly so. 

 
Was comparing to the LCD3f. I will try the grill mod
 
Mar 23, 2015 at 9:06 PM Post #15,919 of 19,622

Tobes

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  Anyone find the HE-500 sounding a bit narrow compared to other planars?

I don't know about other planars, but I found the he500 a bit narrow compared to my Q701's - at least when using my Grace 903 as amp.
The sense of spaciousness and width with the 500's greatly improved when running balanced from the Violectric 281. So I think to some extent this parameter is dependent on the driving hardware - and perhaps the driving method (ie SE vs balanced).
Hypothesising, its quite possible that an easier to drive (more efficient) planar may show advantages in regard to width with a less powerful/capable amp. 
 
Mar 23, 2015 at 9:25 PM Post #15,921 of 19,622

daltonlanny

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The grill mod really helped my HE-500.
When I reinstall the stock grills with their clothes, the soundstage becomes claustrophobic by comparison to it without the stock grills.
 
Mar 23, 2015 at 10:09 PM Post #15,922 of 19,622

skyline315

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jergpads help with soundstage as well.
 
No, it's not huge and airy, but it's also not suffocating.  I find it to be fairly realistic, especially with live music.
 
Mar 23, 2015 at 11:09 PM Post #15,923 of 19,622

BeatsWork

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Yes, they are really comfortable, but as you noted, the bass suffers.  For me it got a bit wooly and one-noted.  That led to an overall lack of energy compared to other pads.  The same thing happened when I tried them on the Fidelio X2s, but even worse due to the X2s signature.  While I'd love to try the angled Alpha pads, they're approaching 3x what I paid for the surprisingly good AKG knockoffs.

 
Trying to get some baseline measurements of HE-500 with HM5 pads for the "Show me the spectrograph" crowd before my Mad Dog Alphas arrive.  Very open to suggestions on how best to test.  I used a high quality but not calibrated USB mic and REW v5.1 - placing the mic inside the earcup and then a heavy book against pad.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Mar 24, 2015 at 11:44 PM Post #15,925 of 19,622

ThurstonX

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  And they're on - no cutting, drilling, stuffing or industrial adhesives involved
 

 

 

 
Man, those are seriously angled.  Love the "PC fan grill" grill mod, too, if that's what that is.  Sure looks like it.
 
Next question is painfully obvious... groan-worthy, even: how do the beats work? 
wink.gif

 
Mar 25, 2015 at 12:19 AM Post #15,926 of 19,622

BeatsWork

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Man, those are seriously angled.  Love the "PC fan grill" grill mod, too, if that's what that is.  Sure looks like it.
 
Next question is painfully obvious... groan-worthy, even: how do the beats work? 
wink.gif

 
Will post full review when I get back from 2 week vacation ...
 
Mar 25, 2015 at 12:28 AM Post #15,927 of 19,622

BeatsWork

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Ahhh, I'm not that cruel.  I never thought I would utter this sentence with a straight face but - "It's as if a veil has been lifted."  I didn't reaIize how much the HM5's smeared the entire range.  Really only had about an hour to listen but so far:
 
  1. Sub-bass is smmooothhhh - Notes that should trail off decay gracefully - I would describe it as round and full.
  2. Mids were the biggest surprise, much clearer articulation and seperation. Not quite "analytic" but heading that direction.
  3. Sound stage - much wider, threw me at 1st but after a couple of songs I love it.
  4. No sweaty ear syndrome after an hour :)
 
And yes that's the PC fan grill mod (easiest mod ever) + Fuzzor Mod + Recable to balanced.
 
Mar 25, 2015 at 1:55 AM Post #15,928 of 19,622

Rockcoon

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Ahhh, I'm not that cruel.  I never thought I would utter this sentence with a straight face but - "It's as if a veil has been lifted."  I didn't reaIize how much the HM5's smeared the entire range.  Really only had about an hour to listen but so far:

  • Sub-bass is smmooothhhh - Notes that should trail off decay gracefully - I would describe it as round and full.
  • Mids were the biggest surprise, much clearer articulation and seperation. Not quite "analytic" but heading that direction.
  • Sound stage - much wider, threw me at 1st but after a couple of songs I love it.
  • No sweaty ear syndrome after an hour :)

And yes that's the PC fan grill mod (easiest mod ever) + Fuzzor Mod + Recable to balanced.


is there any step by step guide exist? And can it be restoret to stock condition in case of what?
 
Mar 25, 2015 at 10:04 AM Post #15,929 of 19,622

BeatsWork

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is there any step by step guide exist? And can it be restoret to stock condition in case of what?

 
There is an entire thread on Fuzzor mod, not sure about grill mod but to answer your question both are fully reversible:
 
  • Gently pop out plastic retaining ring
  • Pop out grill and cloth  (Concensus is that it's safe not to replace cloth)
  • Measure your replacement grill against existing and cut to fit
  • If using PC fan grill you will need to flatten end of wires so that retaining ring will go back on - I happen to have a bench vice which worked great but you could also tap gently with a hammer
  • Install Grill and replace retaining ring
 

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