Nor-Cal Feb 11/2012 Impressions Thread
Feb 18, 2012 at 6:00 PM Post #211 of 345

yfei

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Thanks CEE TEE - good little summary there! I'm surprised you could even keep track of who did what, and who is who, after all the PMs you must have had flying to and fro. 
 
Thanks again for all your efforts!


Thanks for sharing your rigs! I can compare velocity v800 vs Anedio vs Yulong D18 on one table!
 
Feb 18, 2012 at 10:00 PM Post #213 of 345

ssrock64

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Any chance that we can have those portable amp straps shipped throughout the states? I love the look.
 
Feb 19, 2012 at 12:07 AM Post #214 of 345

SanJoseCanJunkie

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Do any South Bay Head-fiers have a pair of HE-500s who'd be willing to have a little mini-meet?  I am seriously considering selling my RS1i and HE5 if the HE-500's are as good as I hear they are, but I'm not sure I want to wait another year to hear...
 
Feb 19, 2012 at 12:30 AM Post #215 of 345

CEE TEE

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Quote:
Jude where are you? :p


Jude was throwing his own meet today!  We got the HeadDirect gear on Saturday at 3:40pm.  
frown.gif

 
I had to ship the HE-6/HE-400/EF-6 out right away on Monday to Jude to show in Michigan today...
 
(So we might have to wait a little longer for Jude's impressions.)
 
Feb 19, 2012 at 1:02 AM Post #216 of 345

DarknightDK

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Quote:
Quote:
 
I had to ship the HE-6/HE-400/EF-6 out right away on Monday to Jude to show in Michigan today...
 
(So we might have to wait a little longer for Jude's impressions.)


More impressions of the new EF-6 amp would be welcomed. I wonder how it compares to other top tier amps (i.e. Dark Star, LF, etc) in driving orthos.
 
 
Feb 19, 2012 at 3:33 AM Post #217 of 345

bmoura

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Quote:
More impressions of the new EF-6 amp would be welcomed. I wonder how it compares to other top tier amps (i.e. Dark Star, LF, etc) in driving orthos.
 


I'd be interested in that comparison as well.  Would have been nice to hear it at the SF Bay Area Meet, but we were able to listen to so much top end gear, we made out fine.
 
 
Feb 19, 2012 at 6:07 PM Post #218 of 345

olsonc84

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Quote:
Do any South Bay Head-fiers have a pair of HE-500s who'd be willing to have a little mini-meet?  I am seriously considering selling my RS1i and HE5 if the HE-500's are as good as I hear they are, but I'm not sure I want to wait another year to hear...



I am East Bay, but I will have the HE-500s this week or next. 
 
Feb 19, 2012 at 6:16 PM Post #219 of 345

olsonc84

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Quote:
Thanks to CEE TEE for another great show. With my iPhone > Pure i-20 > Schiit Lyr > AKG K702, I was ostensibly (with notable exceptions) one of the few representatives of budget-fi at the meet. My own selfish reason for bringing my gear was to find an upgrade for the K702’s, and the meet was the perfect place to try as many cans as possible on my own system. For allowing me to do that, I have to thank Purrin, Sachu, calaf, Wiatrob, FrankCooter, bobcn and Questhate for letting me borrow their headphones. For those interested, here are my impressions/opinions.
 
System: iPhone > Pure i-20 transport/DAC > Schiit Lyr
 
Playlist: I chose a standard playlist that I used with every headphone. The songs were chosen to represent areas where the K702 is weak (guitar rock, metal, and bass in general), areas where the K702 is strong (acoustic, vocals, and binaural) and songs I like and have listened to a thousand times.
 
  • Smashing Pumpkins- Thru the eyes of Ruby: a powerful wall of guitars that sounds that should envelop you in a warm blanket of awesomeness but sounds meh on the K702’s.
  • Vladimir Ashkenazy- Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3: one of my favorites. Sounds a little cold on the K702’s.
  • Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra- The River: binaural recording the sounds scary good with the AKG’s.
  • Pink Floyd- Shine on You Crazy Diamond: another favorite of mine that sounds OK on the K702’s.
  • Kylesa- Spiral Shadow: Metal song with plenty of grinding guitars and booming bass drums.
  • Tori Amos- Cornflake Girl: Beautiful song that I know well, but Tori’s vocals can become grating if there’s too much treble emphasis.
  • Punch Brothers- Don’t Need No: Alt bluegrass at its finest. A perfect match for the K702’s.
 
Impressions-
 
HE-500: Good bass and clarity. Much more enclosed soundstage than the K702’s. They do everything well, but there’s no wow factor. I want to be excited about my headphones. There were no goose bump moments with these cans.
 
T1: Much like the HE-500’s they did a lot of things well, but were not terribly exciting. Better soundstage than the HE-500’s, but not as good as the K702’s.  More mid emphasis than the HE-500, and less bass extension.
 
HD 800 (Anax mod): Listening to the K702’s for the last year has turned me into a soundstage junkie, and these were the only cans that really fed my addiction. They were very spacious and incredibly detailed (revealing). They had more bass than the K702’s, but not by a lot. However, even with the Anax mod, there were parts of some songs where the treble made me wince. This was especially noticeable with Tori Amos and the banjo from Punch Brothers. On the right system, the HD 800’s sound spectacular and do not have this problem. They sounded particularly good on the TTVJ Pinnacle, FrankCooter/Ironbut’s tape system, and the Balancing Act.
 
LCD-3 (TP mod): “Musical” would be the best word to describe these. Larger soundstage than the HE-500’s and similar to T1 (maybe a smidge smaller). The soundstage didn’t sound enclosed, it sounded intimate. Every song was completely engaging. The bass was outstanding, but the overall tone was a little on the warm side. Of course, these sounded better (much much better) on Frank’s system.
 
LCD-2: Same magic as the LCD-3’s, but slightly less. Everything the LCD-3’s did well, these did well, but to a marginally lesser extent. Enjoyed listening to all my tracks. Not as revealing as some of the others, this is good thing to a certain extent, given my system. It is hard to justify paying $1000 more for the LCD-3’s when these do nearly as good a job.  
 
Magnum (V4): Surprisingly nice. Airy and detailed with great mids. Enjoyed the Smashing Pumpkins track with these. If you can get around the Grado comfort issues, these are a great lower cost option. I can’t get around the Grado comfort issues.  
 
HE-6: I know that the Lyr is supposed to be able to handle the HE-6’s, but I had to crank it up all the way for the Rachmaninov track. Maybe there’s not enough juice coming out of my DAC.
 
Thunderpants!: Need more power.
 
Shure 1840: I listened to these, but not on my system. They are not in the same league as these other headphones. They lack musicality, whatever that may mean. I just didn’t want to keep listening to them.
 
Of course, these are just one person’s opinions about how these headphones sound on his system with his music.  YMMV. Thanks again to everyone!


I agree with your impression of the Lyr. It seemed like it had to be going close to full. Best of the sub $1k amps I found was the Bottlehead S.E.X. 2.1. It powered it easily and very cleanly. 
 
 
Feb 20, 2012 at 12:55 AM Post #220 of 345

gogators

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The HE500 sound is more similar to dynamic phones or more LCDish, I do not think they are better than HE5 LE.
Highly recommend the Lyr + HE6 combo if you are into the hifiman sound. 
 
Quote:
Do any South Bay Head-fiers have a pair of HE-500s who'd be willing to have a little mini-meet?  I am seriously considering selling my RS1i and HE5 if the HE-500's are as good as I hear they are, but I'm not sure I want to wait another year to hear...



 
 
Feb 20, 2012 at 4:49 AM Post #222 of 345

SanJoseCanJunkie

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The sad bit is that a trip to Berkeley and back would cost me about the same in diesel than return shipping on them would if I went ahead and ordered them Fang or Headroom.  Crazy!
 
Of course, if we each then wrote up separate comparisons between the HE5, HE6, HE-400 and HE-500 on both your custom tube amp and my WA6SE, then it may be of value to the community.
 
Quote:
I am East Bay, but I will have the HE-500s this week or next. 



 
 
Feb 21, 2012 at 11:32 PM Post #225 of 345

Thojo

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Quote:
Thanks to CEE TEE for another great show. With my iPhone > Pure i-20 > Schiit Lyr > AKG K702, I was ostensibly (with notable exceptions) one of the few representatives of budget-fi at the meet. My own selfish reason for bringing my gear was to find an upgrade for the K702’s, and the meet was the perfect place to try as many cans as possible on my own system. For allowing me to do that, I have to thank Purrin, Sachu, calaf, Wiatrob, FrankCooter, bobcn and Questhate for letting me borrow their headphones. For those interested, here are my impressions/opinions.
 
System: iPhone > Pure i-20 transport/DAC > Schiit Lyr
 
Playlist: I chose a standard playlist that I used with every headphone. The songs were chosen to represent areas where the K702 is weak (guitar rock, metal, and bass in general), areas where the K702 is strong (acoustic, vocals, and binaural) and songs I like and have listened to a thousand times.
 
  • Smashing Pumpkins- Thru the eyes of Ruby: a powerful wall of guitars that sounds that should envelop you in a warm blanket of awesomeness but sounds meh on the K702’s.
  • Vladimir Ashkenazy- Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3: one of my favorites. Sounds a little cold on the K702’s.
  • Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra- The River: binaural recording the sounds scary good with the AKG’s.
  • Pink Floyd- Shine on You Crazy Diamond: another favorite of mine that sounds OK on the K702’s.
  • Kylesa- Spiral Shadow: Metal song with plenty of grinding guitars and booming bass drums.
  • Tori Amos- Cornflake Girl: Beautiful song that I know well, but Tori’s vocals can become grating if there’s too much treble emphasis.
  • Punch Brothers- Don’t Need No: Alt bluegrass at its finest. A perfect match for the K702’s.
 
Impressions-
 
HE-500: Good bass and clarity. Much more enclosed soundstage than the K702’s. They do everything well, but there’s no wow factor. I want to be excited about my headphones. There were no goose bump moments with these cans.
 
T1: Much like the HE-500’s they did a lot of things well, but were not terribly exciting. Better soundstage than the HE-500’s, but not as good as the K702’s.  More mid emphasis than the HE-500, and less bass extension.
 
HD 800 (Anax mod): Listening to the K702’s for the last year has turned me into a soundstage junkie, and these were the only cans that really fed my addiction. They were very spacious and incredibly detailed (revealing). They had more bass than the K702’s, but not by a lot. However, even with the Anax mod, there were parts of some songs where the treble made me wince. This was especially noticeable with Tori Amos and the banjo from Punch Brothers. On the right system, the HD 800’s sound spectacular and do not have this problem. They sounded particularly good on the TTVJ Pinnacle, FrankCooter/Ironbut’s tape system, and the Balancing Act.
 
LCD-3 (TP mod): “Musical” would be the best word to describe these. Larger soundstage than the HE-500’s and similar to T1 (maybe a smidge smaller). The soundstage didn’t sound enclosed, it sounded intimate. Every song was completely engaging. The bass was outstanding, but the overall tone was a little on the warm side. Of course, these sounded better (much much better) on Frank’s system.
 
LCD-2: Same magic as the LCD-3’s, but slightly less. Everything the LCD-3’s did well, these did well, but to a marginally lesser extent. Enjoyed listening to all my tracks. Not as revealing as some of the others, this is good thing to a certain extent, given my system. It is hard to justify paying $1000 more for the LCD-3’s when these do nearly as good a job.  
 
Magnum (V4): Surprisingly nice. Airy and detailed with great mids. Enjoyed the Smashing Pumpkins track with these. If you can get around the Grado comfort issues, these are a great lower cost option. I can’t get around the Grado comfort issues.  
 
HE-6: I know that the Lyr is supposed to be able to handle the HE-6’s, but I had to crank it up all the way for the Rachmaninov track. Maybe there’s not enough juice coming out of my DAC.
 
Thunderpants!: Need more power.
 
Shure 1840: I listened to these, but not on my system. They are not in the same league as these other headphones. They lack musicality, whatever that may mean. I just didn’t want to keep listening to them.
 
Of course, these are just one person’s opinions about how these headphones sound on his system with his music.  YMMV. Thanks again to everyone!


I thought I'd let you know that I ended up buying a pair of the K702's after hearing your "budget-fi" set-up!  To my ears, it definitely competed with most of the other high-end gear at the meet.      
 
 

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