HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone
Apr 15, 2015 at 8:52 PM Post #16,231 of 21,213

pigfatcat

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  The HE-6 really isn't meant for either headphone amps or speaker amps. It stubbornly sits in between like a petulant teenager who wants to play in the big leagues but still wants to get special treatment with kid gloves. It wants more power than a typical headamp can deliver, but wants lower noise floor than what speaker amps typically put out.

I cannot agree more.
 
I have tried HE-6 with a Marantz AV Amp , an Audio Note P-3, a Tripath 2022 T-Amp and a Sansui X11, all from speaker taps . All gives satifactory results, some better than other and the Sansui AU-X11, an 30  odd kg monster, flagship during early 80s, in particular . 
 
I can only say that HE-6 expose the short coming of the vintage amp, compared with low distortion,  low noise , high resolution modern speaker amps. 
 
Apr 17, 2015 at 10:56 PM Post #16,232 of 21,213

marshallmole

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I am now a happy camper of speaker amp for HE-6!
Bought a B&K 125.2 off ebay (which I asked about ~ a week ago) and it arrived today. Right from the start is such a dramatic difference compared to my old LD MKVI (I know, probably a bit underpowered here). The bass is so phenomenal... full bodied, tight and clean, and hits so hard. The mids also seem to gain a lot of weight and a bit of smoothness. Only the treble and highs seem to be relatively unchanged in character.
This is making me wanting to go through all of my music at once...
 
Apr 17, 2015 at 10:58 PM Post #16,233 of 21,213

marshallmole

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Also the amp is utterly silent by itself. But it picked up the noise floor from the LD MKVI (now functioning as a preamp) very strongly--the noise floor is not noticeable when driven by the MKVI itself. I guess this is also an indication of the amp being good at showing details?
In other words I'm constantly switching to my old favorites in spite of a significant noise floor... That should be fixed at some point but right now I don't care
 
Apr 17, 2015 at 11:08 PM Post #16,234 of 21,213

musicinmymind

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  Also the amp is utterly silent by itself. But it picked up the noise floor from the LD MKVI (now functioning as a preamp) very strongly--the noise floor is not noticeable when driven by the MKVI itself. I guess this is also an indication of the amp being good at showing details?
In other words I'm constantly switching to my old favorites in spite of a significant noise floor... That should be fixed at some point but right now I don't care

 
Congrats on you purchase, HE-6 is special with speaker amps...
 
noise floor also means that pre amp has high gain, make sure you unplug HE-6 before you power on/off B&K 125.2 it may blow it up.
 
Apr 17, 2015 at 11:14 PM Post #16,235 of 21,213

marshallmole

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Thank you! The little dot is actually a quite powerful headphone amp by its own standard. So it's probably reasonable to have a pretty high gain and some noise floor. But the speaker amp is really no myth, it is true.
 
Apr 18, 2015 at 3:12 AM Post #16,236 of 21,213

Armaegis

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  Good to know about the D3020.

 
I actually tried the HE-6 with a D3020 today. For the price and form factor, colour me very impressed. I was listening back to back with a Moon Neo 430HA (a 4.3k amp) and honestly, I was initially more impressed with the NAD. Very punchy and lively sound, but a bit of sharpness up top so the overall sound was a bit V shaped. The D3020 doesn't have any analog inputs though, so you're stuck judging the sound as a dac/amp combo.
 
If that's what the Hypex UcD modules sound like though, I'm (even more) interested in hearing the NC modules. I wonder if I can find a NAD M22 to audition.
 
Apr 18, 2015 at 6:58 AM Post #16,237 of 21,213

Happy Camper

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I am now a happy camper of speaker amp for HE-6!
Bought a B&K 125.2 off ebay (which I asked about ~ a week ago) and it arrived today. Right from the start is such a dramatic difference compared to my old LD MKVI (I know, probably a bit underpowered here). The bass is so phenomenal... full bodied, tight and clean, and hits so hard. The mids also seem to gain a lot of weight and a bit of smoothness. Only the treble and highs seem to be relatively unchanged in character.
This is making me wanting to go through all of my music at once...
I'm not surprised by you findings. I'm finding an amp that can handle planar and stats can handle the HE pretty well. My Martin Logans sing on the B&K. I'd sacrifice two channels for the 6 but my little Rotels still keep me happy and the rearranging is discouraging.
 
Apr 18, 2015 at 7:39 AM Post #16,238 of 21,213

preproman

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Thank you! The little dot is actually a quite powerful headphone amp by its own standard. So it's probably reasonable to have a pretty high gain and some noise floor. But the speaker amp is really no myth, it is true.


What musicinmymind said.....   You can try to get a cheap passive preamp to use instead of the LD as a pre.  This way you will only be using the gain from the amp and not the amp and pre (LD) together..  He is a pretty go start..
 
http://luminousaudio.com/axiom2.html
 
Apr 18, 2015 at 10:36 AM Post #16,241 of 21,213

marshallmole

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What musicinmymind said.....   You can try to get a cheap passive preamp to use instead of the LD as a pre.  This way you will only be using the gain from the amp and not the amp and pre (LD) together..  He is a pretty go start..
 
http://luminousaudio.com/axiom2.html


Thank you. This is exactly what I plan to do.
Sadly the balanced version of this has one step higher price. Not that balanced means a lot to me, but now I have only balanced interconnects, and don't really want to spend the time or money to swap them back to SE.
 
Apr 18, 2015 at 10:43 AM Post #16,242 of 21,213

jjshin23

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Thank you. This is exactly what I plan to do.
Sadly the balanced version of this has one step higher price. Not that balanced means a lot to me, but now I have only balanced interconnects, and don't really want to spend the time or money to swap them back to SE.

TC Electronics has a balanced version as well. Here is the link.
http://www.amazon.com/TC-Electronic-Resolution-Computer-Independent-Control/dp/B001PGMNRG/ref=pd_sim_e_8?ie=UTF8&refRID=07E9Q7Z163WFVCGSTR1T
 
Apr 18, 2015 at 11:16 AM Post #16,243 of 21,213

marshallmole

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Thank you. Apparently there are quite several options for balanced passive preamp as well. Emotiva has one, for example. I'd assume the price difference doesn't mean too much, given how passive preamps work, it should just be better quality parts. Correct me if I'm wrong!
 
Apr 18, 2015 at 2:37 PM Post #16,244 of 21,213

heart banger-97

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Hey guys,
Can someone tell me the exact dimensions and weight of he-6's box with he-6 and all of its accessories included?
 
Apr 19, 2015 at 3:11 AM Post #16,245 of 21,213

Timestretch

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Hi all,  
  
I took off the grilles of my HE-6 and pulled out the cotton stuffing behind them and put the grilles back on. It's hard to compare it side by side with stock as it's quite a process to put the cotton back in, but I think it could be an improvement - or at least different.   
  
Does anyone know if there's any potential negative effect of doing this? It seems like a pretty common "mod," but I'm also guessing the stock HE-6 has the cotton there for some reason. 
 

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