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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening.

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jamato8, Apr 26, 2011.
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  1. hifimanrookie

    I think u cant compare them..the 5le is more for classical music as the he500 is more of a all rounder.and much easier to drive..with.fuller sound...so its just a matter of taste...the he6 however is indeed a step up.
    But thats how i experienced it..for the price for me there is only one..a he500 with velour pads..until they come up with a he600 or something. :p
  2. Happy Camper
    The 500s on a http://primaluna-usa.com/product-main/prologue-premium/prem-int would be a sweet combo IMO, shared with a pair of monitors.


  3. preproman
    These are great finds..   Very interesting.  
  4. Ckaz
    Hey guys,
    I've decided that I'd like to make the HE-500 my next pair of headphones, and I'm seeking help in deciding how to power them. I'm going to need an amp/dac combo and I'm pretty set on getting a tube amp. Does anybody know of any tube amp/dac units that pair well with HE-500? The Schiit Lyr + Bifrost looks appealing but is going to be too expensive since they are separate components and I need to buy my amp and DAC at the same time.
    The reason I need the amp and dac combo is because the 500's are going to be used as a bedside setup, using my iPod as a source. Using an LOD I can bypass the internal amp and dac of the iPod, but unfortunately I can't bypass one and not the other. So in order to get my feet off the ground, I'm going to need to have an amp/dac from the beginning.
    Budget is obviously tight, but right now any recommendations will do as I'm really just looking to see what my options are.
  5. Happy Camper
    put out a budget cause we'd be told it's too expensive until re reach it.
  6. Ckaz
    Fair enough. $400-$500 is my hard limit, but $200-$300 is the sweet spot. Basically I'm looking to do the HE-500's for as cheap as possible. Coming from an unamped pair of Denon d5000's I know the 500's on their own will be improvement enough in the beginning, I just need something (preferably tube driven) that can provide basic power requirements to start me out. Upgrades can and will come later.
    I know the logical route would be to go with an SS amp/dac combo because there are more options that can be had for cheaper, but I'd really like to see if I can swing a tube rig. Been wanting to go with tubes forever, and it will likely be a long while after the initial headphone purchase that I'll be able to afford an upgrade such as the Lyr.
    The model from which I'm drawing my inspiration is the HiFiMan EF2, but I heard it isn't quite enough for powering the 500's? Please correct me if I'm wrong
  7. dleblanc343
    Not only is it not adequate for feeding the HE-500's, but even worse imo is the synergy between the both. Unless you really want dark sound, I wouldn't say this is an ideal pairing.
  8. mrarroyo Contributor
    Find an used 1970's receiver from Marantz/Pioneer/Technics/etc in the 20-35 wpc range. and use the 1/4" headphone out or the speaker outputs to drive your cans.
  9. CJG888

    A LOD will not bypass the iPod's internal DAC. A bit perfect digital dock such as the Pure i20 or Onkyo ND-S1 will, however. Add to this a good DAC/amp combination (I haven't heard it myself, but I suspect the Audio-GD NFB-11.32 may meet your requirements), and you should be on the right track.
  10. Zoom25
    I would also recommend the O2 amp. Works very nicely with the HE-500. You can get a ODAC+O2 combo for under $300. I don't have the ODAC, but I heard great things about it. For me it was between Asgard, Lyr, O2, some models from Audio GD and V200. Although I was a bit tight on cash at that time and decided to get the O2 temporarily. This thing is amazing for its price and If I were to get another amp, it would only be for getting different flavours. The O2 on low gain easily powers the HE-500. I don't really go past 12 o clock on it.
  11. Terja
    Hey Ckaz, since you're in Canada, I would definitely check out Musical Paradise for the tube amp. Since you're thinking of using an iPod as source why not simply run a line-out cable from the iPod zif connector to the amp using an RCA cable. You can also use a simple iPod dock for a more aesthetic look and keep your iPod charged at the same time. You do not need a dac for this set-up. My tube amp is the Musical Paradise MP-301 MK2. There is an updated version though; check out the Musical Paradise site. Good luck!
  12. Happy Camper
    Just a thought but put your budget into the amp now and just use your pod/lod. Then, save for a decent dac to feed it when ready. DACs are cheap relatively. Cheap amps will compromise ya in tube amps so you need to spend a bit for enough power supply to maintain current to the panels. Otherwise, stay with an SS amp. For better value, a mid fi low wattage speaker amp is the ticket.
  13. Ckaz
    Really glad to hear that I'll only need to buy an amp because that will free up my budget and options quite a bit.
    From what I've gathered, using the he-500's out of speaker terminals is the best route to go. The Emotiva x-100 driven from speaker terminals is reported to sound better than the Lyr, but I find that confusing since the Lyr is a tube amp and the Emotiva an SS.
    Since I'm after a tube sound, it seems like the MP-301 is the best option as it too was reported to sound better than the Lyr when used out of speaker terminals. That being said, I also read that resistors are required when using the speaker terminals of the MP-301. I'm already tentative to use the speaker terminals due to the cable equipment needed to make it work, so this would be another added complication that I don't want to deal with if I don't have to. I'm also worried because this means I won't be able to use the amp with any other headphones in the future for fear of overpowering them. That bothers me a bit because I like to try and keep future proofing in mind as much as possible.
    So, my questions are as follows..
    What equipment is needed to run headphones out of speaker terminals?
    Will I need additional equipment if I decide to run the HE-500's out of the MP-301 MK3?
    Is the MP-301 the right choice for me? Or is it more trouble than its worth since its only compatible with HE-500's. For instance, I plan to get the amp before the headphones and during that interim might want to use it with my Denon D5000's.
  14. Terja
    Hey Ckaz, if you're going to be running the HE-500 via speaker taps with any tube amp, you definitely need resistors in place. This is to protect the tube amp transformers and something Gary the designer from Musical Paradise stressed. With that said, that is precisely how I am running my HE-500 with the MP-301 (with resistors in place via speaker taps), And yes! having tried both with the HE-500, the MP-301 knocks the Lyr out of the water when using speaker taps (sorry to all Lyr believers).
    It's not that hard to use the HE-500 with speaker amps. First though, you will need to convert the HE-500 cable to XLR (or simply buy the HE-6 cable). Buy a male and female XLR connectors and re-solder the cable. There are threads in the forum on how to do that (for example, this post: http://www.head-fi.org/t/551345/hifiman-he-500-he-as-in-high-end-please-post-your-impressions-loan-pair-for-uk-pg-28/1830#post_8647296). The cut off end of the cable will have to run through a resistor box of some sort, with say 10 watt/8 ohm resistors wired in parallel across each channel's active and ground post; one resistor per channel. Another option is to simply wire the resistors directly across the  negative and positive speaker posts.
    Hope that helps.
    P.S. The MP-301 MK3 has a headphone out so you can use your Denon's in the meantime, while you complete your project. Cheers!
    (edited to fix link / clarification)
  15. Andolink
    I'm not at all familiar with tube amps being a SS guy all my life, but doesn't the MP-301 MK3's output impedance 
    Output impedance


    violate the 8/1 ratio recommended for proper damping of the HE-500?  
    Just curious...
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