The Sennheiser Orpheus 2? A First Look At The Sennheiser HE-1 (The New Orpheus)
May 13, 2017 at 1:35 AM Post #2,146 of 2,838

Mambosenior

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Dropping in to let you know I did a write up of my sessions with the HE 1 here, if anyone is interested :)

SENNHEISER HE 1 REVIEW
http://www.headphoneer.com/sennheiser-he-1-review/
The whole comparison is useless. You got your page views.

Excellent review, Ardilla! I appreciated your dedication and thoughtful comparisons using a variety of music.

I had totally given up on the HD 650 as being, well, blah, but you have encouraged me to go revisit the "smoothie king."

This whole audio endeavor—after 40+ years of spending large sums of money in the chase for the ultimate boner—resembles a revolving door that has no exit. I am confident that those individuals who decide to spend the 50k on the HE 1 will only make their door turn a bit slower...but only for a little while.

Again, thank you for your post.
 
May 13, 2017 at 3:49 PM Post #2,149 of 2,838

ardilla

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Thanks guys!

Excellent review, Ardilla! I appreciated your dedication and thoughtful comparisons using a variety of music.

I had totally given up on the HD 650 as being, well, blah, but you have encouraged me to go revisit the "smoothie king."

This whole audio endeavor—after 40+ years of spending large sums of money in the chase for the ultimate boner—resembles a revolving door that has no exit. I am confident that those individuals who decide to spend the 50k on the HE 1 will only make their door turn a bit slower...but only for a little while.

Again, thank you for your post.

I agree with you, Mambosenior. The most interesting part of statement products like the HE 1 (for most people) is how it sheds a light on the qualities of more affordable headphones. Sure, the HE 1 is super great, but it can also make you appreciate certain aspects of "lesser" headphones. With regards to the revolving door feeling - I have accepted that a long time ago - there is no "end game" setup for me. Trying new combinations or revisiting old ones is to much fun to give it up. Even the HE 1 probably wouldn't keep that urge away forever, I agree.
:)
 
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May 14, 2017 at 11:29 AM Post #2,150 of 2,838

Ali-Pacha

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At last I've listened to them :D
Quiet environment, massive Accuphase DP-560 as a source (more than good enough I think), and a large choice of regular CDs...meaning good recordings as well as average / bad ones. Good point, not only audiophile / female vocals mandatory.

No revolution from my point of view (keep in mind I'm a 009 + BHSE + Yggdrasil owner), but they're really a righteous piece of gear. Especially compared to the extremely disappointing (to my ears) Shangri-La setup two stands away
Compared to my Stax setup, a bit more soundstage, frequency response more even (no 1-2 khz Stax coquetry), a bit less punch and less speed. Splitting hairs here. Details are not that impressive, HD800/HE60 (and even milos' HE90 clones) are more "details whore" where HE-1 are smoother.

Three so-to-speak downsides :
- they're still e-stat. You won't find ortho tactility (Abyss, HE-6) or e-dyn punch (typically Utopia). Sennheiser's guy told me some disliked them, I think that's one of the reason why
- something cold in their perfectness. Old HE90 were mellower, and 009 are more foot-tapping
- amplifier has not a lot of gain, you cross noon very easily with the volume knob.

As (almost) always, Sennheiser has achieved a very solid / serious product. Are they worth 50k ? No good answer for me. My own setup shows a bit more than 13k when new (cost me a bit less than 11k, thanks japanese prices for 009 and a bargain on my used Yggy), so...let's say we're all fully into audiophile's madness as we crossed the HD600 + Objective2 border a long time ago !

Ali
 
May 14, 2017 at 12:30 PM Post #2,151 of 2,838

ToroFiestaSol

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A review comparing the HE-1 to a Stax SR-009 with an ultimate Stax Mafia DIY amplifier is useless to anybody who haven't heard either and just want to get an impression they can relate to - so it all depends on who you are writing for.

The new Orpheus is considered/sold as "the best of the world", and the best of the world has to be better than any system in existence, available or not in a hifi store. What's the point on spending 50k if you can do a "non hifi shop move" and get a DIY T2, a Metrum Adagio and a Stax Omega at half of the price and get a better system...then it's not the best of the world.
We want to know how good it is, that's all.
 
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May 14, 2017 at 12:34 PM Post #2,152 of 2,838

Whitigir

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Excellent review, Ardilla! I appreciated your dedication and thoughtful comparisons using a variety of music.

I had totally given up on the HD 650 as being, well, blah, but you have encouraged me to go revisit the "smoothie king."

This whole audio endeavor—after 40+ years of spending large sums of money in the chase for the ultimate boner—resembles a revolving door that has no exit. I am confident that those individuals who decide to spend the 50k on the HE 1 will only make their door turn a bit slower...but only for a little while.

Again, thank you for your post.
What the review said about the 009 and 007 was a lack of what setup it comes from ? Stax amps ? Understandable, but Kg amps ? and you think they lack bass ? ....lol...This myth keeps on and on...hell, my SR009 out of Grounded Grid can leave Utopia and Ta-zh1es in the dirt in bass and dynamic alone.

The new Orpheus is considered/sold as ""the best of the world", and the best of the world has to be better than any system in existence, available or not in a hifi store. What's the point on spending 50k if you can do a "non hifi shop move" and get a DIY T2, a Metrum Adagio and a Stax Omega at half of the price and get a better system...then it's not the best of the world.
We want to know how good it is, that's all.

Stax with KG amps are another level. On top of that, you can customize your chains, and not to have to stick with the same chains like He-1. :D , I root for Stax and KG
 
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May 14, 2017 at 12:43 PM Post #2,153 of 2,838

ToroFiestaSol

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Stax with KG amps are another level. On top of that, you can customize your chains, and not to have to stick with the same chains like He-1. :D , I root for Stax and KG

Don't forget the Orpheus internal DAC, a small board based on the ESS Sabre 9018, now discontinued and replaced by ESS 9018s and the new flagship ESS 9038. We all know how bad Sabre DACs sound compared to good and well implemented R2R, and if the HE-1 is the best in transparency, then it have to sound worse than a great Stax setup with a better DAC, it's just logic, transparent transducer + lackluster source= lacklouster sound.
I have a KGSSHV Mini and the 007 and agree with you, is night and day compared to Stax amps.
 
May 14, 2017 at 2:42 PM Post #2,154 of 2,838

JimL11

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Don't forget the Orpheus internal DAC, a small board based on the ESS Sabre 9018, now discontinued and replaced by ESS 9018s and the new flagship ESS 9038. We all know how bad Sabre DACs sound compared to good and well implemented R2R, and if the HE-1 is the best in transparency, then it have to sound worse than a great Stax setup with a better DAC, it's just logic, transparent transducer + lackluster source= lacklouster sound.
I have a KGSSHV Mini and the 007 and agree with you, is night and day compared to Stax amps.

Yeah, given how DACs are evolving, it makes more sense to me for Sennheiser to have a slot for the DAC so the user can upgrade/update as new developments warrant. Sounds like currently, you have to send the whole, heavy thing back to Sennheiser if they improve the DAC.
 
May 14, 2017 at 5:47 PM Post #2,155 of 2,838

astrostar59

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I would not use the internal DAC if I bought the HE-1 (which is hypothetical due to the price). But I do think the review by Ali-Pacha sounds an accord with me, more so than the review earlier in this thread using the 007t as a comparison. IMO I would want to know how the HE-1 sounds compared to the best alternatives, and in this case IMO it means a KG DIY amp or the BHSE. If that is not to everyones liking that is too bad. The same applies for example, if we compare the Wilson Alexandria with a Kef Q350 because more people have the Kef speaker. It doesn't make sense. You have to compare the HE-1 with the nearest / best / comparable HP and amp available. That means the 009 in my book, and a KG amp. True KG amps are DIY, but they are quite unusual as there are many builders and owners of the various designs, and plenty of those (knowledgable) owners are on this forum.
Anyway, keep the reviews coming guys, I aim to quench my thirst and hear it myself soon.
 
May 14, 2017 at 6:44 PM Post #2,156 of 2,838

ardilla

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I would not use the internal DAC if I bought the HE-1 (which is hypothetical due to the price). But I do think the review by Ali-Pacha sounds an accord with me, more so than the review earlier in this thread using the 007t as a comparison. IMO I would want to know how the HE-1 sounds compared to the best alternatives, and in this case IMO it means a KG DIY amp or the BHSE. If that is not to everyones liking that is too bad. The same applies for example, if we compare the Wilson Alexandria with a Kef Q350 because more people have the Kef speaker. It doesn't make sense. You have to compare the HE-1 with the nearest / best / comparable HP and amp available. That means the 009 in my book, and a KG amp. True KG amps are DIY, but they are quite unusual as there are many builders and owners of the various designs, and plenty of those (knowledgable) owners are on this forum.
Anyway, keep the reviews coming guys, I aim to quench my thirst and hear it myself soon.

Well sure, comparing the 50k HE 1 to a SR-009/SRM-007tII setup isn't fair and certainly no help to those looking to weigh equal alternatives. And sure - everyone who have spent a few minutes reading Stax threads around here knows that Stax' own amps are widely regarded as not bringing out the full potential of the SR-007/9. And sure everyone would like to see a SR-009/KG-amp vs HE-1 shootout.

But hey - it hasn't happend!

And seems I wasn't clear enough: The argument I made that the comparison of HE 1 vs SR-009/KG was "useless", I specifically wrote: "...is useless to anybody who haven't heard either and just want to get an impression they can relate to.." in the meaning of "not actually in the market". In other words "just curious about how a 50K headphone sounds like". . I was making a point that some reviews are useless to some people and not to others and vice versa. It doesn't mean I think a "summit-fi" comparison is useless at all. Of course that should be the first thing to do. If you had the opportunity. And it seems like that opportunity is really hard to get... In the mean time some try do do the best of it with what they can get their hands on
:)
 
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May 15, 2017 at 8:14 AM Post #2,157 of 2,838

eddiek997

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"...is useless to anybody who haven't heard either and just want to get an impression they can relate to.." in the meaning of "not actually in the market". In other words "just curious about how a 50K headphone sounds like". .
:)

I am one of these people. I had the opportunity to experience this at CanJam and it illustrated to me what is actually possible. Sure the price is steep. Is it worth it? Thats subjective and only those who have purchased can truly answer that question.

Im tempted myself I must say. I won't pay $50k but I'm sure the price could be negotiated down. Would I part with $35k for this setup? Yes, probably. Would I have buyers remorse? Absolutely; but only when it's sitting Idle and not being listened to.
On my ears i'm certain that I'd be smiling and thinking of money well spent. Especially as it should hold a fairly decent resale value so true cost to own would be moderately low.

And there in lies the biggest factor... cost to own. If you can have the HE1 for two years and only costs maybe $5k in real cost, would you own it? No brainer to me.
 
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May 15, 2017 at 11:00 AM Post #2,158 of 2,838

JimL11

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The new Orpheus is considered/sold as "the best of the world", and the best of the world has to be better than any system in existence, available or not in a hifi store. What's the point on spending 50k if you can do a "non hifi shop move" and get a DIY T2, a Metrum Adagio and a Stax Omega at half of the price and get a better system...then it's not the best of the world.
We want to know how good it is, that's all.

One thing to keep in mind is, that at the BHSE/SR007 or 009, HE-1 level, best is more relative than absolute. Taste, preference, priorities, all weigh into what YOU think is the best. For example, my speakers for the past 30+ years have been the original Quad electrostatics, recently refurbished. Hearing them for the first time was about the only time I've ever been blown away. I've heard speakers that go lower, higher, louder, but haven't heard anything significantly better - for ME. Maybe an eccentric choice, but there it is.

As I posted much earlier in this thread, I had a chance to listen to an HE-1 for about 20 min several months ago, using my material on a USB stick into iTunes and then the HE-1, and honestly, I didn't hear anything I hadn't heard compared to my relatively modest SRX Plus/SR-007 at home. No side-by-side comparison, of course, but the diminishing returns were diminished to the extent that I really couldn't tell, and didn't care. Guess I'm no audiophile!
 
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May 21, 2017 at 8:30 PM Post #2,159 of 2,838

mulder01

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Ohh man, I am gonna be in New York for a few days and wanted to try the HE1 but google's opening hours say it's permanently closed. Is that right? Nowhere to hear the HE1 anymore? Or have they moved it to their other store in New York? @Sennheiser
 
May 25, 2017 at 4:02 AM Post #2,160 of 2,838

JimL11

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Looks like both are "permanently closed" according to their website. When I was there last year shortly after it opened, one of the people manning it said it was temporary, but if they generated a lot of business they might convert it to a permanent store. I'm guessing they didn't have enough sales volume to justify them staying open - not just the HE1 but lots of other models were there on display for audition.
 
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