Hifiman HE1000 Planar Dynamic Headphone
Aug 26, 2015 at 11:32 AM Post #5,731 of 10,232

doctorjazz

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And, as I've noted before, balanced Pono and HEK are a great combo! On vacation, left the HEK home, miss it.
 
Aug 26, 2015 at 6:05 PM Post #5,733 of 10,232

immtbiker

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  Dream combo ?  Only +25.000 $  
biggrin.gif

 


The Nagra products look like an EZ-Bake oven…but do not be fooled. They are incredible components. Same thing with the Crayon CHA-1. Wowey, wow, wow, wow!
 
 


Look at the inners of this $10.5K headphone amp:
 

 
Aug 26, 2015 at 6:38 PM Post #5,734 of 10,232

saidentary

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The Nagra products look like an EZ-Bake oven…but do not be fooled. They are incredible components.

What is it the warrants or even justifies a price tag of 25,000 dollars for a headphone amplifier?  This is more than a rhetorical question, and I'm NOT just talking about Nagra products.  I'd like to know the answer(s) to this question as it relates to high end headphone audio in general. 
Some possible reasons:
1) SOUND QUALITY
     - It's truly the best product out there in terms of sound quality, and this is the consensus of the vast majority of the
       knowledgeable headphone audiophiles.  This level of sonic excellence can ONLY be had at this price. 
                           OR
     -It's a special and unique sonic signature that a small minority of headphone audiophiles crave.  Only this product at this
       price gives this sonic signature, so this group of people will pay it.
2) BUILD QUALITY/COST OF PARTS (hypothetical example: made of solid platinum using a 3-D printer)
3) SPECIAL PROPRIETARY TECHNOLOGY RELATED TO #1
4) SOME PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS (but they still have money)
5) OTHER.
 
Thoughts?
 
Aug 26, 2015 at 6:51 PM Post #5,735 of 10,232

isquirrel

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The dave looks ridiculous. Guarantee you're paying at least 30% for aesthetics lol.


+1 on that, might be different in person though
 
Aug 26, 2015 at 7:27 PM Post #5,736 of 10,232

JaZZ

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Aug 26, 2015 at 11:34 PM Post #5,737 of 10,232

saidentary

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  What is it the warrants or even justifies a price tag of 25,000 dollars for a headphone amplifier?  This is more than a rhetorical question, and I'm NOT just talking about Nagra products.  I'd like to know the answer(s) to this question as it relates to high end headphone audio in general. 
Some possible reasons:
1) SOUND QUALITY
     - It's truly the best product out there in terms of sound quality, and this is the consensus of the vast majority of the
       knowledgeable headphone audiophiles.  This level of sonic excellence can ONLY be had at this price. 
                           OR
     -It's a special and unique sonic signature that a small minority of headphone audiophiles crave.  Only this product at this
       price gives this sonic signature, so this group of people will pay it.
2) BUILD QUALITY/COST OF PARTS (hypothetical example: made of solid platinum using a 3-D printer)
3) SPECIAL PROPRIETARY TECHNOLOGY RELATED TO #1
4) SOME PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS (but they still have money)
5) OTHER.
 
Thoughts?


Anyone?
 
Aug 27, 2015 at 12:11 AM Post #5,738 of 10,232

doctorjazz

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Beats me, but they're not the only ones with such expensive gear. $30,000+ preamps have been out there for a while, and, I'm no electronics expert, but seems to me a preamp and a headphone amp are fairly similar (some headphone amps add an extra input and market themselves that way). DACS at least MAY use propriety software, you can try to justify cost on R&D. But, does the Da Vinci cost anywhere in the vicinity of $30,000 to make? Half that? Prices seen to escalate to what the market will bear. Sometimes I think high prices are used to prove how good a component is (a manufacturer may say to himself, "if I charge $1000 for this, people will think it is ordinary. If I put thick, engraved casing on this and charge $5k, they'll take it more seriously. Of course, there are lots of sharp listeners out there, so great sound is a must to pull this off. And I don't mean to imply every manufacturer does this, but I'm sure it goes on). Happened in high end, took longer in the headphone world, but, as interest grew, so did opportunity.
 
Aug 27, 2015 at 12:31 AM Post #5,739 of 10,232

n99127

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It's probably based on that old engineering adage. If you want something that's 90% accurate, it'll cost you a dollar. If you want something 99% accurate, that's $100 dollars. If you want something 99.99% accurate, that's $10,000 dollars. If you want something 99.9999% accurate, that's $1 million dollars.
 
The more perfection you want, the more expensive things get.
 
Aug 27, 2015 at 12:42 AM Post #5,740 of 10,232

paulchiu

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Anyone?

 
You really have to listen to one.  Find one of the ten US Nagra dealers and schedule an hour with the Nagra HD DAC or any of the 20 or so DACs out there from 20K to 150K.
 
The very best DACs will sound identical to being there, at the time of the recorded session.  Often, you can hear more things or old things a lot differently.  You will recognize that the noise disappeared, there are more space between instruments and even the parting of the singer's lips.  Besides the technical details of the sound, you can feel the music.  Even with headphones, the difference between an uber class DAC and a really good DAC can be heard.  You need not have a trained set of ears.
 
When you get the appointment, bring good an bad files and a comfortable set of headphones.  
 
I was very much like you.  I thought my Chord Hugo at $2300 was the beast.  I never expected the Nagra HD DAC head amp to beat it in anyway.
After the first 30 seconds, I was blown away.  It was not just the quietness or the increase of details.  The performance just seemed to be there, real and in my head.  It was truly a live performance.  Nothing I experienced with the Nagra HD DAC seemed like a recording.
 
Aug 27, 2015 at 12:45 AM Post #5,741 of 10,232

paulchiu

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BTW, if anyone's interested in the Nagra HD DAC with the really great head amp section for a HE1000, please visit this thread.
http://www.head-fi.org/t/730313/new-nagra-hd-dac/135#post_11863411
 
Aug 27, 2015 at 1:14 AM Post #5,742 of 10,232

saidentary

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You really have to listen to one.  Find one of the ten US Nagra dealers and schedule an hour with the Nagra HD DAC or any of the 20 or so DACs out there from 20K to 150K.
 
I was very much like you.  I thought my Chord Hugo at $2300 was the beast.  I never expected the Nagra HD DAC head amp to beat it in anyway. After the first 30 seconds, I was blown away.  It was not just the quietness or the increase of details.  The performance just seemed to be there, real and in my head.  It was truly a live performance.  Nothing I experienced with the Nagra HD DAC seemed like a recording.

I agree very strongly that one has to LISTEN for oneself before judging. Also, if someone hears something magical (and that has happened for me 4 times as an audiophile) and they can afford to buy it, then I'm happy for them. 
 
  It's probably based on that old engineering adage. If you want something that's 90% accurate, it'll cost you a dollar. If you want something 99% accurate, that's $100 dollars. If you want something 99.99% accurate, that's $10,000 dollars. If you want something 99.9999% accurate, that's $1 million dollars.
 
The more perfection you want, the more expensive things get.

 
Fair enough.  If performance is at least partially related to with price, then it's a different calculus.  Still, I'm left wondering how closely the (curve that would be generated by tracing the the steeply increasing) real world audiophile price points truly represent(s) an asymptotic approach toward "perfection."  I often wonder whether the reality is more closely reflected (in the vast majority of high end audio pricing structures) by this notion:
 
Beats me, but they're not the only ones with such expensive gear. .................... Prices seen to escalate to what the market will bear. Sometimes I think high prices are used to prove how good a component is (a manufacturer may say to himself, "if I charge $1000 for this, people will think it is ordinary. If I put thick, engraved casing on this and charge $5k, they'll take it more seriously. Of course, there are lots of sharp listeners out there, so great sound is a must to pull this off. And I don't mean to imply every manufacturer does this, but I'm sure it goes on). Happened in high end, took longer in the headphone world, but, as interest grew, so did opportunity.

This is a known phenomenon that's been tested under controlled conditions, as referred to in this Audiogon thread.
 
Aug 27, 2015 at 3:06 AM Post #5,743 of 10,232

n99127

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  I agree very strongly that one has to LISTEN for oneself before judging. Also, if someone hears something magical (and that has happened for me 4 times as an audiophile) and they can afford to buy it, then I'm happy for them. 
 
 
Fair enough.  If performance is at least partially related to with price, then it's a different calculus.  Still, I'm left wondering how closely the (curve that would be generated by tracing the the steeply increasing) real world audiophile price points truly represent(s) an asymptotic approach toward "perfection."  I often wonder whether the reality is more closely reflected (in the vast majority of high end audio pricing structures) by this notion:
 
This is a known phenomenon that's been tested under controlled conditions, as referred to in this Audiogon thread.

 
Well, it's probably not surprising that many audio companies would probably do what doctorjazz is saying. After all, the minute improvements that we're paying thousands for are extremely difficult to detect, and it's pretty easy to convince yourself (or someone else) that those minute differences exist even when they do not.
 
The difficulty is probably also compounded by the fact that music is inherently psychological and emotional to start with. We can always talk about scientific concepts such as distortion, quality of power, and other things, but ultimately, I think that many of us are basing our decisions on what sounds better, and since everyone is different and reacts to different factors differently, it's really hard to gauge what exactly makes better audio equipment better. In essence, I'm saying that even if, for example, an AK380 is not actually better (or significantly) better than say, a Sony ZX2, in terms of sound we might think it's better for a variety of other factors.
 
Whether or not that's a good thing...I'll leave that to others to decide.
 
Aug 27, 2015 at 5:01 AM Post #5,744 of 10,232

LouisArmstrong

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Anyone tried HE1000 with the Goldmund headphone amp?
 
Aug 27, 2015 at 5:26 AM Post #5,745 of 10,232

wink

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Quote:paulchiu
 
 
Anyone?

 
You really have to listen to one.  Find one of the ten US Nagra dealers and schedule an hour with the Nagra HD DAC or any of the 20 or so DACs out there from 20K to 150K.
 
The very best DACs will sound identical to being there, at the time of the recorded session.  Often, you can hear more things or old things a lot differently.  You will recognize that the noise disappeared, there are more space between instruments and even the parting of the singer's lips.  Besides the technical details of the sound, you can feel the music.  Even with headphones, the difference between an uber class DAC and a really good DAC can be heard.  You need not have a trained set of ears.
 
When you get the appointment, bring good an bad files and a comfortable set of headphones.  
 
I was very much like you.  I thought my Chord Hugo at $2300 was the beast.  I never expected the Nagra HD DAC head amp to beat it in anyway.
After the first 30 seconds, I was blown away.  It was not just the quietness or the increase of details.  The performance just seemed to be there, real and in my head.  It was truly a live performance.  Nothing I experienced with the Nagra HD DAC seemed like a recording.

And,     Then.......    he swapped out the Beats for a HD800, and now....   wow - just WOW...!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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