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HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by jigf, May 21, 2010.
  1. KewlMunky
    As someone mentioned earlier, I'd like to see a more updated list of amps that can properly drive the HE-6 (as in, doesn't have to be to their max because people will always say with a higher end amp you can get 0.000001% more out of them).
  2. ohhgourami
    That 0.000001% so happens to be the difference between sounding really good and sounding almost real.
  3. KewlMunky
    Unless you can find an amp that sounds 0.0000001% better than that one, and so on and so forth.
  4. koiloco
    Yeah, like human ears can hear the 0.000001% difference.  really good vs almost real, my ... you know what. [​IMG]
    I'll be impressed if I could tell 1% difference.
  5. Jozurr

    What me and Oregonian are trying to say is you don't need a list of amps that can drive the HE-6. The headamps hardly can. With Vintage amps, go with any of Pioneer, Fisher, Marantz, Onkyo, Sansui etc with stated power of let's say more than 80-120w per channel in 8ohms. Usually these were released as the higher end models. This will ensure that the vintage amp has plenty of power and a good big power supply for adequate current. See my profile for the ones I have. They all drive the HE-6 extremely well, but I like my Onkyo Integra 817GTR (80wpc) the best due to it being slightly cleaner. The difference between a normal headamp and a vintage amp to drive the HE-6 is huge. The differences between two higher end vintage amps arent that drastic. You just need good clean power and current.
  6. ohhgourami
    Basically I'm trying to tell both of you to keep an open mind.
  7. punit
    But keep in mind that open mind & empty wallet go hand in hand on Head Fi [​IMG]
  8. JamieMcC
    There are certainly plenty of inexpensive amp choices when using speaker amps  I would suggest the quality of those watts has a impact here and look at narrowing the field down further rather than any vintage amp. Personally I would go fore a more modest old school 10-20w Class A amp/receiver every time with my own HE-6 it will still have plenty of power to spare. My little 6w class A amp is glorious with them and I much prefer it over the three other speaker amps I currently have in the house which range from 40-150W and span some 25 years in manufacture.
  9. Clemmaster
    And an empty wallet.
  10. FredrikT92
    Diy made FirstWatt F5 Turbo must be insane with HE-6 tho?
    Class A, high wattage etc D:D:D
  11. KewlMunky
    I wasn't trying to imply people can't notice the difference. All I was trying to say is that unless I get the highest end amp, there will always be a little bit of room to move. Hence why I wanted to know of amps that drive them well, and not necessarily to their absolute fullest.
  12. LarsHP
    I think it's important to remember here that power (ampere & voltage) is just one factor that limits the SQ of HE-6 - and that this is stated by the manufacturer to be minimum 2W in it's load, and when using a speaker amp the maximum recommended power (in 8 Ohms) is 70W. These numbers are of course not the final word, and those who has followed this and the amp thread for a while remember that several people has reported excellent results with an amp like First Watt F1J which according to the designer of that amp, Nelson Pass, will deliver "about 1 Watt" in HE-6's impedance.
    In my experience - and measurements too - there is no difference in terms of bass-mids-treble balance when using underpowered amps compared to powerful ones. However, there is a difference in QUALITY. These differences are notably in bass quality (tightness, punch, slam) as well as transparency and tonality in the mids (warm/lean sounding). Such differences will be found with any headphone or speaker when using different enough amps.
    My 50W class A amp is simply stunningly good with HE-6. "Almost real" is a good way to put it. My Master 6 pre- & headphone amp is very, very good, but not as superb as the power amp (with the M6 as pre-amp). The power amp delivers 8W and the headphone output of M6 yields 7W in HE-6's load. Is the SQ difference because of the one extra Watt? The answer to that is a clear no in my opinion.
    The next thing for me to consider is convenience: Plugging the headphone and speakers in and out of the amp everytime I change. Not being able to listen to anything lower than moderately loud is another. In daily use I almost always use the Master 6.
  13. Tobes
    That's why I use a seperate power amp just for the HE6.[​IMG]
    Both can be connected simultaneously to my Grace DAC/pre - with independent control of both amps (and the Grace headphone out) over 99.5dB range in 0.5 dB steps.
    Why does using your power amp mean listening only at moderately loud settings?
  14. Maconi
    Could always go with the Schiit Ragnarok (100W into 4Ohms, 60W into 8Ohms). Headphone and speaker amp all-in-one. [​IMG] 
  15. KewlMunky
    My emotiva is rated at 80W into 4 Ohms and 50W into 8 Ohms. I listen at about 11 o' clock volume with the HE-6. 

    Could someone explain a bit how an amp can provide proper volume, but still not drive a headphone well? I've experienced it myself when I first had my HE-400. I used a Fiio E12 amp at first and was getting proper volume, but when I got my Magni 2 Uber it was on a whole new level of sound. Maybe the Fiio just didn't have the proper headroom for the peaks?

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