Hifiman HE-6

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Meteora, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

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    I'd still take the ahb2 with a mediocre preamp, rather than keep going on the merry go round of mid-fi purgatory. That can be taken care of later on
     
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Seriously, if in USA, better off with Saga / Vidar (costs much less and better than AHB2 which needs the "right" preamp) -or- going full Krell monster (for only a bit more) than the AHB2. In other words, down or up from the AHB2. Never liked AHB2 (sounded clear precise and resolving, but soulless and flat, lacking microdynamics / immediacy / magic) and thought it was worse than the Vidar with both efficient and inefficient speakers. I'd rather use an old pro Crest or Crown amp that costs $250 and get the deeper the stage with a Saga than AHB2 + any preamp.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
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  3. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

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    One thing is for sure : trying to use the ahb2 in a single ended system doesn't work.
     
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  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I fed it balanced. Still didn't work.
    IMG_20170924_173049.jpg

    Not gonna lead @weicheheck down this autistic audiophile path where an amp needs certain requirements such as balanced, autoformer, transformer, Optimus Prime, so it sounds good.

    Heck, I'd go for a not too used Adcom CFA* series, the Bryston 2B (old school, not recent LP), Vidar, etc. to start out and then move on from there. $2500 total budget, approximately 60/40 split for source and pre/amp. Get an R2R DAC so not too bright / less edge with HE-6.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
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  5. Jozurr

    Jozurr Almost "Made"

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    Can also get an Anthem MCA20 used for $500 which sounds very good for the price.
     
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  6. weicheheck

    weicheheck Acquaintance

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    This isn't something I plan on doing especially since the seller only has one, but based on the requirements for a good amp would getting two of these hypothetically make for a very good amp?

    200W class A single channel with a huge power supply, weighs over 100lbs

    https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649441269-oasis-s200-amplifier/


    I looked for used anthems but none in the US currently, and patience isn't one of my strengths. I found a vidar for $550 I'll likely jump on, then buy the saga new from schiit so I can see for myself how big the difference is within the 15 day return period. If I'm totally underestimating the pre amp impact I'll be happy to pay the premium over used price to learn my lesson.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    #1 Get a solid under $600 amp first. Used preferably. Consensus opinion is that these are great to start out with in context of use with HE-5 or HE-6.

    Bryston 2B
    Anthem MCA*
    Adcom CFA*
    Vidar
    Class AB pro-audio amps from higher lines.

    #2 Then use existing Topping pre/DAC as a stop-gap.

    #3 Get a better DAC. Use a $79-$99 passive volume controller, Mackie, Sys, etc.

    #4 Then consider Saga if you want a deeper more expansive stage. We can talk about other options here later, but this gets really expensive and depends upon amp. Return Saga if it doesn't do anything.

    #5 Run through a few used amps to get an idea what you want / get more reference points. Do this by selling / buying the used high-value stuff. Avoid audiophile products with audiophile pricing for now.
     
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  8. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Non Voting Friend

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    I finally heard the HE-6 semi-properly amped off a Bryston thing. Bass is killer yet there is a disconnect between the bass and midrange that doesn’t sit well. Also when bassist bends strings or slap, it doesn’t sound right at all.

    So take Iron Maiden - The Trooper remastered version. Either the 1998 or 2018 cd (2015 download is more limited for Apple craziness but sounds mostly the same) will do, just not the original as that has no bass at all and sounds like crap on stuff not cars and ghetto blasters despite Steve Hoffman forum and reddit idiots whining about dynamic range. So on the remasters, you got a virtuoso bassist in Steve Harris galloping along with the riffs and on the HE-6 this in itself sounds awesome like it does on big, clean modernish speakers. Then when he bends the strings, it sounds totally off. Harmonics still are totally wrong on the HE-6 even if it’s the best planar headphone. The HD 600 is more right despite the fat distorted bass. The leads and ahhh ahhh ahh ooooh oooh ooh pop out better too cuz those planar mids sound like everyone is playing through a compressor like James Hetfield.

    Why can’t Hifiman take a good can and improve it?
    The HE-5 was warm, compressed euphonic but lofi.
    Then the He-6 is a massive improvement. Then it went downhill.
    HE-500 was warm, had audible midrange distortion (ICK!), compressed crap.
    HE-560 made everything sound like it was brick wall limited to dr 3, clipped to hell, and played back on a phone speaker.
    HE 1000 sounded like phone speakers held six feet from your head by a basketball player with a huge wing span.
    Susvara was combo of HE 560 and HE 1000 lofi crap and more etched treble than the 560 somehow.

    WTF Fang? Why not take HE-6, a big step in the right direction and make it do more than have kick ass basslines? Klaus Heinz made AMT tweeters actually listenable at Adam and HEDD. Somebody needs to make planar drivers that can actually move air, do harmonics right, and kick ass.
     
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  9. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

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    What purrin just said : just go ghetto until you have enough for used high end. Save up the funds, get ready to pounce when opportunity arises.

    If you don't own your house, and/or haven't seen more than a couple countries, put money there instead.
     
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  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    LOL. Stick with traditional dynamics. You ask too much of Fang - this is unreasonable. There were rumors of a Sennheiser planar a while back. I'm sure the German scientists came to the same conclusion as you.
     
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  11. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: Upscale Audio (Thread Judge Code-6 District)

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    I have very few complaints with my HE-6 chain (all bought used and much less expensive than most HE-6 users).

    $100 for Eitr, $400 for M22B DAC (R2R w/ PCM63 chips), a Saga I have on extended loaner but can be found for around $250, $400 for GFA-555 mk1, ~$100 for ZMF pads (Auteur lambskin non-perf being my current favorite) + additional modding materials. That comes out to $1250.

    Haven't heard any of the better-known synergies out there, but I don't really find myself wanting for much more detail or slam.

    Honestly once you have an appropriate amp, the pads will make the biggest difference to the presentation. Get a cheap-ish vintage R2R DAC to tackle the etch and don't think about it too much.
     
  12. JK47

    JK47 The Beer Houdini

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    Here's the official JK47 end game planar setup.
    IMG_1706.jpg
    Dangerous Music Convert 2--> Jensen Iso-Max--> Mitsubishi DA-A10DC re-capped power amp--> JK47 modded Fostex mkIII T20RP cans.

    -Pot on DMC2 controls volume

    -Fostex can vents are fully sealed converting them to a defacto T40RP, exactly 1.5 CVS cotton balls per cup, output converted to mini XLR jack, Dekoni T50RP pads, HD650 inner foam added to help tame treble
    yyyy.jpg

    100W/ch of pure 1980's nostalgia (amp and music) pumped into the Fostex=Game Over!!!
     
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  13. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    ^ @weicheheck, take note. Good advice and sensible outlay.
     
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  14. dubharmonic

    dubharmonic Almost "Made"

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    Is 100+ watts per channel needed only for high volume, or is it needed to sound best at any volume?
     
  15. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    It's a mystery beyond equations. More power = better grip and impact at any volume for HE-6.
     
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  16. DEATHxMACHINE

    DEATHxMACHINE Acquaintance

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    So is there a consensus on what the top amps to run HE6 are?
     
  17. Ray

    Ray Friend

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    Saga/Vidar for around 1K and your around 90-95 percent of what the Uber amps will give you.
     
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  18. DEATHxMACHINE

    DEATHxMACHINE Acquaintance

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    Do you have a recommended DAC?
     
  19. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    Following your logic, would a Vidar (class A 100W in stereo, 400W in mono) that has x10 more power on paper be a better amp for HE-6 than Aegir (class A 10W in stereo, probably 40W in mono) with Continuity output stage?
     
  20. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    After much futzing around, the best preamp I felt was a stupid expensive balanced TVC that now collects dust on my shelf... because better than that I just got a dac with digital volume control. I don't care what people say about losing bits blah blah, it sounded better than with any preamp in the middle.

    I have used literal kilowatt amps with my HE-6. You don't need that much. 100W is more than enough unless you like to headbang at the front row and have already suffered hearing loss. Heck, for most people a [email protected] amp should be sufficient for moderate listening.
     
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