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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. Ultramus
    On the topic of pads, was at a meet yesterday and both other hifiman owners(500&4) preferred my LA pads over jerg/stock respectively, I put them on years ago when I more or less hated the stock pads. They are definitely thicker and more angled than stock or jerg, I always uses them for comfort, but have no complaints sonically, I personally like the brightness of leather over velour, though nice velour is very comfy, I'm tempted emulate the focus a with the velour I have laying around.
  2. shayson1357
    Hello guys [​IMG]
    just wondering if it's a good idea to get the he-500 along with a magni amp(no dac yet, source would be the pc..... I know, I know, noise and crackles and sh**) I'll get a dac after a month once I have enough funds..... would the he-500 sound so horrible I'd think it's broken or would it be driven well but not optimally ?
    I currently have 600 dollars to spend on audio, and the he-500+magni would cost me 625$ shipped(an extra $25 aren't an issue).... how far up the hifi ladder would this setup get me considering that's I'm coming from a sony XB-900 driven off of my realtek ALC892 on-board ?
    PS. might get the audio-gd NFB-28 amp/dac later on(probably a year later), so would the difference between the AGD amp/dac and magni/modi stack be worth the substantial difference in price when paired with the He-500( it's 4X pricier [​IMG] ).
    any suggestions would be appreciated.
    I know these might sound like silly questions to you but please bare with me as I'm somewhat new to this stuff [​IMG]
  3. Greeink
    Long time lurker. Finally got my hands on some HE-500s.. And most recently picked up some of the FocusA pads, however the stitching between the velour and pleather isn't as neat as I was expecting.

    If I'm not mistaken Head Direct does indeed specify this.. but I'm debating to ask for an exchange or refund.

  4. Liu Junyuan

    I have never owned a Magni (I use the Lyr), but I would say go for it if you can afford it. I have read from some posters here that the Magni drives this headphone quite admirably. I am in your situation in terms of DACs. I have been using a Modi with intentions to upgrade for a half year now and have been really impressed with its results. I would definitely upgrade from the Magni later, but it seems a worthy investment for the short-term.
  5. PastaChief
    I have a HE-500 and magni. In my opinion, the magni will be good enough for what you're looking for. The sound is good and you'll notice an improvement over your current setup. With that being said, the headphones transition really well to a better amp/source. You won't be disappointed at all with the sound through a magni, but you will definitely notice an improvement with a better amp. I can't speak for the amp you're looking at getting in the future, but maybe someone else on this site has tried it? Either way I would say it's a fairly safe bet.
  6. Llloyd
    Not sure what other kind of budget gear there is, but a magni/modi or similar gear would be the bare minimum if you're going for a purchase such as the HE-500. I think that is the way to do it because you already have a world class headphone. It'll be easy to decide how much you want to get out of it once you get used to the sound.  The 500 has a pleasing signature no matter what you plug it in to fortunately.
  7. davidsh
    The 500 + Magni will have you hovering somewhere between hi-fi and mid-fi, generally surpassing the likes of k7xx, hd6x0 and dt880.
    I'm sure it's a fine amp for he-500, often times that sort of stuff is quite exaggerated here at HF
  8. Tuneslover
    I was going to buy the Schiit Lyr2, not sure why except that I own the Schiit Bifrost and Schiit Magni, however I was uncertain about a tube "signature" as I really enjoy a neutral and transparent sound. A fellow forum person recommended the Lake People G109S solid state German amp. After reading the Headfonia review I was smitten and decided to go for it. I now have about 200 hours on the amp and my Grado SR80's and Shure SRH840's sound amazing! However my HiFiMan HE500's (with 250 hours on them) sounded a bit too "recessed" on the standard 0 gain setting...switched it to +6dB and they came alive...WOW! Terrific detail, unrestrained, no etchiness...just smooth as silk "like you're there" musical bliss. Nicely balanced sound from top to bottom. If it's on the recording, you hear it in proper measure, no trumped accentuation anywhere. Neutral and transparent? You bet!!
  9. headphonatic
    If you're willing to throw away the possibility of powering headphones other than the he-500 and the he-6, I suggest the Topping TP60 for a cheap and effective fix.

    You can get a DAC on the way.
  10. jamato8 Contributor
    I think the Lyr does a great job with the 500 or 560. Finding the right tubes isn't hard. I use the Siemens 6922 and have liked these tubes for years. I remember when you could buy them for 10 dollars each, well that was then but they last a long time and are worth the money. I have over a hundred different NOS Amperex 6DJ8 types and don't lack for variety. But to the point the Lyr or Lyr 2 should be great. 
  11. shayson1357
    1-------How would the topping you mentioned be any different from the magni that I'm thinking of getting?
    2-------how would I even connect the headphone to it [​IMG] ?
    3-------would connecting the he-500s to it pose a risk of doing ANY damage to the headphones ? (besides swinging the knob to the right like a madman [​IMG] )
    4-------how much of a noise floor does it have ? (this is coming from a person who's used his on-board realtek with cheap headphones all his life and knows what radio-like noise and interference  mean [​IMG] )
    5-------you said you suggest this amp as a cheap and effective fix, but how would the more expensive SS and tube amps(say in the 700$ --1000$ range) differ, what would they offer to to make such a leap in price worthwhile ?
    Thank you for being responsive [​IMG]
  12. davidsh
    There's a risk of noise floor, though probably fairly low. I have destroyed an HE-500 on a 125 watt emotiva power amp by the way. I am the only one who has done that to my knowledge.
    Some think the difference between good SS amps are negligible or non existent, others think it is huge. According to science at least, the difference will generally be negligible, same goes with well designed DACs. Pick your poison but beware that our hearing, or rather memory, is very unreliable and it is very easy to fool oneself to think there's a difference.
    roadcykler likes this.
  13. Foresight
    Hows the new pads on the He500 compared to jergpads.
  14. ThurstonX
    Mine just arrived.  I haven't had a chance to put them on yet, but just holding them up to my head they seem softer/more cushioned than the jergpads, which use the stock pleather's foam.  The velour does seem to be better quality than the stock velours that came with my HE-500s, but it would be hard to use cheaper velour than those.  Being used to the much stiffer foam of the AKG Q701 pads (which use nice velour), I'm curious to hear the Focus pads.  They're definitely not as deep/roomy as the Q701 pads, and they compress more due to the foam used.  May have to give them a little boost with one of those HFM foam rings that come with the pleathers.
    Being 6' 5" with a commensurate head, I was a little worried about the size of the openings, but at first blush they seem to fit around my ears pretty well.  We'll see once they're actually on the cans.
    More to come...
  15. StanD
    Looking at your avatar, I'd have thought you weren't that tall.
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