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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. Liu Junyuan

    Yeah, I understand there must be better amps than the Lyr. Would it be right to call that a budget amp? Then what would that make a magni? It seems more like mid-tierish, but I know that amps can indeed get very pricey (not to say that price alway leads to better performance).
  2. hifimanrookie
    With budget i dont mean it negatively..i mean in the way as affordable..its indeed mid tier as the other amps i mentioned (337/339).
    Magni is more low tier..still a very good amp i understand for the price. (Never heard one though)

    And ur right about: more expensive doesnt nessesary mean better :wink: but some are better sounding (and thats also a very subjective area)then others...in the end its all about how they make u feel..if they make u feel good when u listen to music...then u should stick to them..as thats whats music listening is all about..making the owners happy..no matter how bad or how good the measurements are. If ur ears say more more MORE..then u have the right rig for u... :wink:
  3. .Sup
    I tried HE-500 with the new hybrid pads and it almost made me sell the headphones. It sounded like the pads were literally filled with mud as the sound was very muddy, weird.
  4. Ultramus
    As far as amps, I consider myself fairly bias free and empirical in how I rate things, and the ef2a sounded inferior to the Mjolnir through the same dac, the Asgard didn't impress me when I heard it, though neither did the liquid gold. I know that analog circuits can be tricky, but I think the Mjolnir and similar are pretty much as good as it gets. I really can't see myself being able to distinguish it from a cavalli, phonitor, bryston, at least not repeatedly. The BC HiFi has I'm sure is high quality, but again put it next to the MJ and any difference will be less than the resolution of my brain will allow.

    What baffles me is that we don't have someone taking a scope and getting hard numbers on everything, irrefutable proof of which amps are enough and which suck.I could tell a difference between a magni and the MJ, but not between the MJ and something equally competent so I stopped, to me it's the hard cap of performance, I would be amazed if anything could sound significantly better to be immediately noticeable, I agree with Stan, anything further it is all in our heads.
  5. davidsh
    We have hard numbers, or at least good estimates.
  6. StanD
    This is also one of those emotionally charged topics. Apparently, when it comes to audio, there are many. [​IMG]
  7. hifimanrookie
    Just To give an example on ur post and a question to u: do u actually believe that a mjolnir with a he500 will be just as good (or better) as a sr007 (midrange stax) with A midrange stax amp? I choose this as an believable example as almost no one believes my amp sounds (almost) just as good with my code-x :D

    Btw..I also heard here on headfi that some respected headfi'ers were not to impressed of the cavalli liquid gold either:wink:..so thats not news to me. :wink:

    But my friend..if u love ur mjolnir (which was on my shortlist to buy last year!!!) then stick to it..its a very goid amp.
  8. Ultramus
    I've only briefly heard the 007 through a kghsv(sp?) And an 009 through a cavalli Electra, I thought they sounded good if not too polite but again, that wasn't ideal listening environment. But yes, I think the stax are at the point where you are better off with speakers, which again, I think that is where I will go next, the MJ&NFB+he-500 is at that stage where I am convinced that significant improvement can only be made with multiple drivers, you need a woofer, midrange, and tweeter with a well designed crossover, there is simply a limit to what a single driver can do, and I think current totl headphones are pushing that. There is only so much excursion and diaphragm size you can cram onto your noggin.

    Maybe your setup would change my mind, who knows.
  9. daerron
    Multiple drivers and crossovers also have their own pros and cons. I think the easy gains have been made with large single headphone drivers and subsequent innovation will produce less pronounced improvements across the board as we are already seeing, but I don't think it renders single drivers obsolete. As far as I can tell both Audeze and Hifiman are experimenting a lot with different drivers and personally I think its great the Hifiman have moved on to thinner diaphragms to make single magnet assemblies worthwhile. The improvement in comfort will take them into mainstream territory and I think they will have lots of success with the HE-400i.
    I'd also rather have a good speaker setup than going the Stax route. Currently have a very decent set of bookshelf speakers with a single 12" sealed subwoofer and I'm looking forward to adding another sub  in the future rather than spending more money on my headphone rig. It has taken nearly 3-4 times the budget to get the speaker setup to exceed the HE-500 with my modest Concero DAC and Mini-X though and in Head-Fi territory would bring you into TOTL equipment.
  10. thug behram

    Which cable is this?
  11. Llloyd
    Looks like the old canare cable they used to offer
  12. thug behram
    How does it compare to the successors?
  13. Llloyd
    If I might chime in on the previous discussion since I was responded to a few pages back but have been busy. My experience with the Asgard is that it was very flat and lifeless in comparison to my current setup and many other evolutions.  I actually found that my little dot mk2 amp, an amp that nobody would recommend for the HE-500 sounded better to my ears than the asgard after living with both for a very extended period.  That was when I was new to audio and thought that there is no way the asgard could be worse than my little dot.  Now the little dot is not that great of an amp(compared to all HP amps in the world), but I found it very interesting that I preferred the sound over a 100 something mw amp over the ~1W of the asgard.  The bifrost was my source at that time.
    It's at that point I realized what my friend hifimanrookie is trying to point out(which you ignored), that the spec sheet doesn't really tell you the whole story.  I wouldn't really say that the asgard sounds bad and I'm not really trying to discredit it, it's fine for the money but it really doesn't do the HE-500 justice(my original point).
    It seems strange to me that you've said to have spent a lot of time with really high end amplifiers and did not think much of them other than a fancy case.  Your conclusion was the asgard was just as good as any amp out there? Not sure many, or any audio enthusiasts will agree with you on that one.
    All of the things you state, FR, Power, whatever really doesn't tell the story of how an amplifier sounds.  If power was the whole story we wouldn't have such a wide array of voicings that all these boutique manufacturers offer.  We would have one design and that would be it.
    But that isn't the whole story.  The specs can give us some valuable information and the asgard provides adequate power, when people talk about quality power, it's really about having enough power and whatever it is audio designers do to have such amazing transperancy(something graphs aren't going to tell you) in their product.  
    So the general rule for anyone I would be advising would be this.  Good sound first, and then worry about having enough power.  All power and no transperancy really the power is not going to do anything.  Am I wrong on this?  I'll restate that if it was as simple as supplying enough power then why do super cheap amplifiers that have ridiculous power sound so bad?
    I'm applying this to people shopping in the under $1k usd range as once you get around that price it's much easier to find the power and quality design all in one place.  I think the lyr is a great buy and does much more justice to the he-500 than the asgard to be sure.
  14. hifimanrookie
    +1 yep..i agree and ur right..that was exactly i also was trying to say on my post :wink:
  15. Llloyd
    As far as i know it's sturdier, which is something the newer stock silver cable, no idea if they've changed it since, does not offer.  I pretty much loathe the hifiman cable system all together but the silver cable is by far the worst, shoddiest cable that hifiman had to replace multiple times for me.  I now use an aftermarket cable that cost me too much but it's worth the non breakage.  Lots of people complained about the canare's stiffness. I never personally used it.
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