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HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by jigf, May 21, 2010.
  1. JamieMcC
    That is pretty much exactly my experience with jfetts as well. The  6W Nelson Pass class A,  ACA uses them it also has a similar signature a clean, detailed presentation that is combined with a sweetness in the midrange and a sense of presence of a good Sets tube amp. Something most midfi solid state struggles with unless you have deep pockets. Tried perhaps a dozen other amps with the HE6 myself but keep going back to the ACA paired with the HE6, it makes for a very engaging combination. 
    The ACA is pretty inexpensive as well its possibly to put a nice one together for under $150 in parts
  2. taxiq
    How fortuitous!   Yesterday reading comments by proman (forgive sp) made early in this thread,  I was stirred to consider reactivating my Firstwatt J3 which had long been a ritired casualty of the format wars early in the millennium (curse you red Sony).   In preparation for the amps return from the bottom of a rear closet to the audio field, the necessary cables were ordered earlier today though with some trepidation and concern for the ventures success.  And now, this evening when I return to thread for insight into the likelihood of success to allay my concerns .  .  . I find immediate confirmation!   From no other then a perfectly named "Fearless1".   And with the words made famous by none other than Jason Stoddard: "end game."  I now look forward with great eagerness for delivery which now can not come quick enough. 
    Thanks for your post guy, owe you one.
  3. jelt2359 Contributor

    So you had a first watt amp just sitting around and didn't use it??

    Sigh. I wish more speaker fellas found out about this. My dealer was just saying that I have a top notch speaker system now, save for the speakers. Those who already have these speaker components have it so easy...
  4. Fearless1

    I sent Preproman a slew of PMs before my purchase (great guy, knows his stuff).

    Buckle up, your in for a treat! Follow up with your impressions!
  5. taxiq
  6. taxiq
    Yes.  But back then I was into DYI'g horn speakers before pursuing a dead end in a Tact kit and lost interest when they were unable to decode 24/96 PCM .  .  . a casualty of the format wars of the period.  Only returned recently, after a long convalescence when my interest was peaked by personal, hi-def players. 
    Don't feel too bad about not having a closet full off components.  Many have been obsoleted.  Example, am breaking in a Yggy and 500 hours into burn in, it walks circles around an old MSB Platinum DAC that cost twice as much back then (and is back in the closet) and in its day was an over performing was a plain box choice much as the Yggy is today. n .   And the Genelec monitors? They with the Yggy  out perform what cost many times more just a few years ago.  How much?  They give me goose bumps on the top of my head and the only systems that ever did that were in the high end room of a high end dealer.   What I am really looking forward to is exploring just how  far your head gear has come.  This is entirely unknown to me, but I'm guessing that its going to good, as I write this and look at those old Senn HD 570's on my listening table and pick up the 600's and prepare to ask whether I should pop for the HE 6's.
    Please excuse the ramblings of an old fart.
  7. taxiq
    Are you saying the HE-6's are a good match with a First Watt 3.5/8.5 amp? 
    Would you suggest a purchase?
  8. jelt2359 Contributor
    The way to think about the HE6, amplification requirements wise at least, really is that they're speakers. So this is awful for headphone owners (no, that portable amp isn't gonna cut it) but awesome for those who already have a good 2ch setup. Most of this thread has been headphone owners trying out speaker amps, rather than speaker owners chiming in with their amp setups. In that context we've mostly "discovered" that the quality of the speaker amp matters as much as the quantity of power on tap (not a surprise, surely?). Krell and Pass Labs have generally been spoken of as the end gamers of choice, with the First Watt and Audio-Gd Master 10 (not 9) being good "I could live with that" options as a cheaper price. I imagine if this thread had been on a speaker forum you'd be getting talk of many more high voltage amps as well as separates, but apart from one or two elder statesmen here who've really tried to optimise their HE6 setup, most of us didn't get into the game of trying to roll multiple amp setups for this single one headphone.

    Hence also my wish that more 2ch owners would get in on this- us HE6 owners would learn so much more along the way too!
  9. Mshenay Contributor
    Oh do you guys know if any one is making Wood Driver Houseings for the HE 6? I have a pair for my HE 4 [a little banged up sadly]
    I'm thinking I might just bite the bullet an give the HE6 a try, as much as I love the HE 4 I know the 6 is the next logical step, even if my Amp's not up to snuff it might be a fun project to undertake 
  10. taxiq
    What it sounds like is the HE-6 is where electrostats and planars where in the nineties.    Great transducers if you could afford the amps to drive them.  The choices where few.  I you run across one there was a physics guy in California who did business as BEL, Brown Electronic Labs.   Google bel amplifiers and you will see the BEL 1001 amp (ignore the Bel Canto which was merely good).   They could drive ML Monoliths (as mono blocks) and largest Manapans (A20's) and do it at less than half the cost of Krells.   However, you're right in that what is hurting HE-6's is that amp demanded is just beyond the ordinary for cans.   Which was the limitation of the panel transducers.
  11. jelt2359 Contributor
    No comparison. If you have a proper amp for the HE6, bite that bullet.
    As for wooden housings, try these guys: http://enigmaticaudio.com/about/contact/ I have a modded HE-5 that has wood in it. They even tuned the drivers for that one, and gave it a new name. Realllly nice. I really like how clean the treble is on that one!
  12. Mshenay Contributor
    exactly, my NFB10ES2 runs out of head room with my HE 4 on Classical as it is [like 1/100 songs] I think I'm going to go for a Closed Back first, then go for Broke an get a very Heavy Modded He 6 [like my HE 4] along with a Master 11
  13. Fearless1

    Why heavy modded? Leave well enough alone. Grill mod(10minutes). Blue-tac mod( if your ambitious enough) and some vegan pads and you will be amazed.

    Without any mods the 6 blows the doors off of the 4. I love the 4, but going back to it after the 6 shows you where it is in the lineup.
  14. Jozurr
    I've been using the Parasound Halo A21 (250wpc in 8 ohms) power amp with the Parasound Halo P 3 Pre-amp. The setup sounds extremely good and the combo can be had for under $2000 if you buy it used. The separation, imaging, sound stage and bass slam on this amp is just simply amazing every time I listen to the headphones. The highs are well rounded, which I believe is a result of the high wattage and current on taps. I was using vintage amps with the HE-6 before, but this setup is on a different level. 
  15. Tobes

    I hate to be an iconoclast, but after playing around with the grill mod on my HE6, I wasn't  able to get an acceptable balance with the stock and Focus pads.
    Initially I was impressed with the increased bass and presence/detail - but longer term, to my ears, this comes at the expense of top to bottom balance.
    Stock velours were too bright and focus pad seemed to drain life out of the music.
    During my experiments I kept referring back to my HD600's as a benchmark - the grill modded HE6 just didn't sound right to me - I kept thinking, these just aren't killing the HD600 as usually happens.
    Maybe the Vegan pads would magically transform the sound, but frankly I'm not encouraged enough to try them.
    I put back the stock grills/padding with stock velour pads......and breathed a sigh of relief.

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