Sennheiser HE1 (New Orpheus) @ Hong Kong AV Show 2016 Impressions

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by HitmanFluffy, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    The HE90/HEV90 is indeed the best I've heard as well. The HE60 is very close. This is also coming from someone that does not like any Stax headphone over an HD600.

    $15K and even $8k is much more than I'm willing to pay for a headphone system though.
     
  2. gepardcv

    gepardcv Almost "Made"

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    Is that so? I have heard an HE60 recently, and though I found it lovely overall (and would buy one given the opportunity and a decent price), it was really bass-light. It’d be disappointing if the HE90 has the same drawback.
     
  3. Zhanming057

    Zhanming057 Friend

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    Are you comparing to other electrostats or TOTL cans in general?

    The HE90 isn't an exception to the general problem of Estats not being able to deliver enough bass energy and not delivering bass energy quickly enough. My impression of the HE90 is that something like the Abyss Phi or LCD4 has not only more bass but also much better defined bass, although the midrange and treble is still competitive with high end electrostat systems.

    For $15k I would personally go with a Stax setup (009S+BHSE would be one example) but the HE90 will still be competitive to that setup. That said, I wouldn't want to hold onto a set if only because of the difficulty keeping them alive and the potential repair costs involved. It's the same problem as the k1000 but much worse, because if you blow a driver you're out $10k instead of $1,500.
     
  4. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    I did not feel the HE60 or the HE90 were bass-light. Probably the cans you heard were a bit loose on your head and failed to provide proper seal. Probably this was due to an old or an over stretched headband. Any stat requires seal for bass. The Koss and Stax Lambdas are the worse at this for me. The Omegas are better, but nowhere near the Sennheiser electrostats.

    To be honest, I find Stax products disappointing. Stax should modify their square and round cups. Seal is needed for the light membrane to deliver bass (small volume drive). I have had issues getting proper seal with the square and round cup.

    EDIT: Anyhow. I've heard all these cans. I know Stax has a strong following by some. They did not do it for me. I found them weird. The 009 is a little bright and maybe lean. The 007 I like better but it's still a little weird. I find the HE60 and 90 pretty good. And that's my honest opinion. I'm just a data point. Maybe I'm deaf.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  5. gepardcv

    gepardcv Almost "Made"

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    While I don’t expect a bass monster (e.g., Abyss, HE6, Meze Empyrean), I do expect a headphone to not cut off the low pitches of organ pedal notes. The 007 and 009 both do a fine job here. The HE60 I heard did not. I’ll be sure to pay more attention to the seal if I ever get a chance to hear one again, though!
     
  6. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    I'd chime in and say HE90 to my ears is somewhere between SR-007 and 009 in bass heft.

    It won't rattle your skull but what is there is just about enough IMO.

    Definitely not for dance music or EDM but I'll echo the same sentiments as above: it is easily the best headphone I have heard.

    Yeah, T2 (particularly, @3X0's) sounded a bit thin and light with it but something else like HEV90 essentially turned it into something like a super HD650/600.

    Not sure what @Serious was on about soundstage because it sounded big, nice and spacious enough for me. Some HD800s sound like they push the mids too far back. It certainly sounds more "grand" than, say, the Focal headphones, and definitely more than HD600/650.

    Tonality was to die for. I highly doubt it's just because it measures well. Someone at Sennheiser really listened to the thing and tuned it by ears.

    HE1 to my ears is just like... the culmination of what Axel Grell would want in a headphone. I don't think it has anything on the HE90.
     
  7. 3X0

    3X0 Friend

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    I don't think it's a small coincidence that many folks that used to own $$$$$ headphone systems (including many senior members) no longer have them.
    HE60 has punchy midbass but rolls off aggressively in the sub-bass. Additionally if the driver o-rings are snapped the overall response will suffer significantly.
    I think that evaluation is consistent with the HE60 -- I wouldn't expect it to do justice to those very low registers.

    @gepardcv presuming your tastes haven't shifted much since late-2013 I think you'd do better with an SR-Omega than HE90 -- particularly since you're amenable to Stax (a lot of folks, myself excluded, are off-put by the 1KHz Stax emphasis among other things) and IMHO the SR-Omega's bass response is superior to what can be managed by the other Staxen.

    Two qualities shared by the HE90 and SR-Omega (not sure about the HE1) that separate them from most other modern offerings are the expansive, diffuse headstages but this does come at the expense of imaging precision. One should really weigh whether this is worth it compared to the relative fragility (SR-Ω), maintenance costs (HE90) and unreasonable cost of entry (both).
     
  8. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    That's another one. I hear about quality, but I I have seen many Stax offerings (Omega and Lambda) with broken headband mechanisms and cup swivels. I've seen them break real time in meets. They are very frigile considering the price.

    The HE90 and HE60 felt more solid. But they are out of print and difficult to maintain indeed.

    If @gepardcv is into Stax (I'm obviously not into them), and he wants as good a bass as possible from that brand, I would go for an Omega 007. Skip the Lambdas and forget about the 009.
     
  9. gepardcv

    gepardcv Almost "Made"

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    Thanks, @ultrabike. I already have a 007+Carbon system, which I think sounds excellent with just a touch of PEQ from an ADI-2 DAC. (Probably wouldn't have bothered with the Carbon, but I caught the DIY bug after building a KGST, and had a hard time stopping at just one amp.) I totally don't need any of the three 90s flagship electrostatics, but they're one of the few things which create a "collecting" itch.

    @3X0: Great comment, thank you. I still think back to the time I tried your SR-Omega a few years back; it was fantastic. The one thing that makes me hesitate to look for one, relative to the Sennheisers, is parts availability. It still seems possible to find drivers, headbands, and pads for the HE60 and even the HE90, but not so much for the Omega.
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Nonsense! Sean Olive's Harmon curve says they need +10 db shelf by 50Hz. And add a few more db from 2-8kHz for good measure.
     
  11. netforce

    netforce MOT: Headphones.com

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    HE90 story

    Ray Kimber is a pretty successful man and has an HE90. He comes home from work one day and sees his PS3 in his driveway. Looks up and sees his front door is kicked in.

    He rushes inside and sees his HE90 on a table completely fine. His speakers are fine, and equipment is untouched. His jewelry is fine, all there.

    Only two things were missing from his house. His tv and PS3 which was laying in his driveway. Some tweakers broke into his house, nabbed his tv and PS3, put it in the back of a pickup but didn't close it so the PS3 slid off.

    He now keeps the HE90 at work.
     
  12. n3rdling

    n3rdling Friend

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    It's the GOAT IMO.

    I haven't paid much attention to this stuff the last couple of years, but from what I remember the Harman target was a joke. Basically what the average person would initially prefer: i.e. boosted midbass and upper mids. The average person does the same thing in their new car's EQ. Why would we listen to them? I think the more people evaluate sound systems, the more they realize that midrange reproduction is the single most important attribute...at least if they're music lovers over sine wave lovers. Is the Harman target actually considered the golden standard these days? Kill me now if so.

    The HE60 is a great great HP, basically a very fast and articulate version of the HD600, but that comes with some slight upper mid harshness/bass de-emphasis and underwhelming soundstage. The HE90 has no such obvious weaknesses, especially when paired with an amp like the Aristaeus. Throw any genre at that pairing and you'll get TOTL quality. What makes the HE90 truly great though is the midrange. When paired with the original HEV90, for example, you won't find a better system for a large segment of classical music. It's engrossing. The only other retail HP I've heard that can compete in this regard is the bass light R10 on strings or large orchestral from time to time.

    Regarding the HE60 you heard being bass light, please note that this is very unlikely a pad seal issue and most likely an O-ring deterioration issue. Senn did a great job of making sure their pads sealed to the user's head, and it's unlikely that would ever be an issue. However, Sennheiser used some very cheap parts when making the HE60. The pads/headpad are horrible, as the cheap vinyl flakes apart after a couple hundred uses. The screws are only usable for less than 20 cycles due to deformation. The O-rings used to couple the driver to the cups were made of a plastic that would crack apart after 10-20 years. It is very rare to find an HE60 with original O-rings because they break apart and destroy bass performance.

    Regarding the HE-1, I thought it was a very good HP in my listening sessions. To me the original HE90 easily trounces it. The midrange on the HE90 sets it apart. The HE-1 had nice bass presence/impact for a stat, but the treble was a little hard and the mids were slightly de emphasized. It's a great HP, but the magic of the original was missing if that makes sense.
     
  13. gepardcv

    gepardcv Almost "Made"

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    Thank you, @n3rdling. How are things with the stats you were working on a couple of years back? I missed a few chances to try them, alas.
     
  14. n3rdling

    n3rdling Friend

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    Ya, I noticed you were one of the big aficionados who never got a chance to listen to them! I have most parts ready for production, but I'm held up until I get the Stax 3 pin connector in hand. I should be getting those soon and then I'll be able to finalize the cup and cable design for production. :)
     
  15. gepardcv

    gepardcv Almost "Made"

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    Great news! Very exciting.
     
  16. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    That's a great story. Come to think of it, most burglars want your telly and that's it.
     

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