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= HiFiMAN HE-560 Impressions & Discussion Thread =

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jerg, Mar 25, 2014.
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  1. bagwell359
    I've heard lots of amps - esp tubed with lots of THD, that can sound warm, sweet, or smudgy depending on how much THD they have. Still they do fine with simple frequency response charts. I can recall a number of amps that are flat with almost no THD - such as a Crown IC 150, which are brutal to actually listen to. Then when you consider pre-amps, input impedance, transducers.... the entire area tends not to lend itself to absolute statements IMO.

    I have a Gungnir 1, which sounded when I first heard it like the ARC flagship from about 2002 - all 20k of it, and also faced a number of competitors I put in front of it in 2015. I sold my top notch vinyl playback and a very large vinyl collection because it did so well in demo. It isn't as bright as most DAC's, but still has a huge amount of detail - from pp to fff. It doesn't have the nagging brightness of DAC's with SABRE chips - yet has a wonderful treble. Soundstage and low level details not as good as the Yggy - but that's a $1k more. Gungnir 1 has better bass impact than the Yggy however.

    I've bought equipment since 1974 because it sounds like music (ear educated by fathers Quad ESL's and the BSO) that I could afford at the time. Did you have the Gungnir or Yggy in your home system? How did you compare them to equipment you know?
     
    jim723 and trellus like this.
  2. Draknodd
    Thd is one thing, fr in another and there are a lot of other parameters to consider when evaluating a dac or amp. Not listened to gungir unluckily so can't comment about It.
    This is going OT, there a lot of very neutral amp to drive he560, this is my advice to the guy who asked for help. For sound colorations there are DSP, which I suggest to use when needed.
     
  3. sakujou
    Thanks a ton to everyone for the responses, recommendations and info!

    So I guess I will be ditching the Magni 3 and looking for a better match.

    So overall I should be looking for:

    - warm or neutral amp
    - low distortion
    - lots of power (how can I check this ">7.5V rms and >140mA"? no info of such sort seems to be in the specs sheets of amps)
    - maybe some EQ (in foobar, what range of frequencies would you EQ and by how much to tame those highs just a bit, so that they are not as bright?)

    I will start looking for good deals on some of the recommended amps around here.
    So what about the JDS Labs Atom? The power won't be enough? I am thinking about it because of the low price, but then again - if it won't be a good match, no need to try it and then sell it like the Magni.

    I am looking at Lake People G109 and G103 because they are popular in Europe and there are decent deals on them second hand. @Draknodd, I see you are using this combo with the HE-560. I assume you like it? But does it tame the highs a bit?

    I was thinking about changing my DAC as well (even before I got the HE-560) mostly because of curiousity - can I upgrade my current SMSL M8A and how would a R2R or NOS DAC sound. And now I might aim at one that has a headphone amp as well. Do you guys think any of these might be a good match for the HE-560:

    - Benchmark DAC1 HDR (though it doesn't have DSD support :/ )
    - Yulong SABRE DA8
    - Sabaj D5
    - Questyle CMA 400i
    - Audiolab M-DAC (no DSD again)

    Thanks again to everyone! I really appreciate all the help. :)
     
  4. bagwell359
    Just my 02 cents, but Sabre chips give me a headache. AKM4497's OTOH are nice.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
    XylefMTG likes this.
  5. sakujou
    I have heard that from a few people - Sabre chips being detailed, yet harsh and even thin.

    I have little experience with other DACs, but that is one of the reasons I wanted to try a different DAC as well.

    But to be honest - this SMSL Saber based DAC sounds pretty good to me when paired with my Paradigm Monitor 11v7 speakers (Linn Kolektor preamp + Lyngdorf SDA 2175 power amp). But still - I would love to compare it to a "warmer" DAC or just a different one. Then again - many people say the chip itself doesn't mean much, it's all about the implementation.
     
  6. raoultrifan
    @sakujou, indeed the Atom will definitively drive the HE-560 and for its price is probably the best price/performance ever.

    Sabaj D5 is measuring about perfect, so I see no reasons why not purchasing this combo, especially that it has both RCA & XLR connections.

    My HE-560 sounds as they should sound, on all combos and headamps I have at home: Objective2, PLAY, PLAYMATE, Conductor Virtuoso 2, ASUS Essence One, Matrix HPA-3B. Of course, the discrete design of BURSON and MATRIX amplifiers might be helpful, mostly for ensuring enough power reserve for future headphones.
     
    trellus and Atgm1 like this.
  7. HungryPanda
    I'm using the Sabaj D5, does the job well
     
    trellus likes this.
  8. Draknodd
    Atom Is a bit at the limit, check the top line of lake people, Violectric or a THX789. You buy one of these once and you'll never change It for every kind of headphone you'll buy in the future.

    For DAC just go with an RME ADI-2.

    For EQ as I said I have posted a profile some posts ago, try It!
     
    phthora likes this.
  9. bagwell359
    There are some good implementations of Sabres - lot of people working on them. I was thinking '16 and earlier when there were less. Basic point is get the home and hear for yourself if possible.
     
  10. pauldgroot
    I still really enjoy my Geek Pulse XFI (ESS) with my HE-560.
     
  11. phthora
    Depending upon your price limit, I would look into a JDS Labs Atom with a Topping D50s for about $300-$350. I've heard that pairing driving some Audeze LCDs, and it handled those quite well. The 560 is harder to drive, so be sure to buy from someplace with a forgiving returns policy. Stepping up a level, I would recommend the Monoprice THX or Topping DX7s, both are DAC/amps around $500. Up another level, I'd go with the Massdrop THX and Topping D70 for about $800. Above that, the Benchmark DAC3 HGC for $2200. Or, ultimately what I chose, the Benchmark DAC3-B and Benchmark HPA4 for $4800 plus marriage counseling. :wink:

    I have a Violectric HPA v90, and it does wonderfully. It's actually a better single-ended amp than my Audio-gd 28.38. Both companies are excellent options for planars, as both are, I believe, current amplifiers.
     
  12. thebkt
    When I had my 560's, they responded very well to an R2R DAC. The way R2R smooths the treble worked wonders in taking that edge off. As for pads, I used the ZMF Ori (Perforated leather), which tightened things up overall to my ears.
     
    legcramp likes this.
  13. legcramp
    Same here, got my V1 HE560 w/ a Norne cable from Trevor (great guy with amazing customer service btw). I am thinking of selling my TH900 and selling my LCD3-F because these get picked up the most when I need headphones.
     
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