Loaner: Modded HE-5 (ESX5)

Discussion in 'Loaner Programs' started by Vansen, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. Vansen

    Vansen Gear Master (retiring)

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    Up for loan this time around is @E_Schaaf's modded HE-5, known as the ESX5. @E_Schaff is scaling up his modding service for HFM headphones and would like to get some impressions of this prototype configuration. As part of this loaner, he's open to suggestions for improvements, both in terms of sonics and functionality.

    This venture is completely independent from Upscale Audio.

    Loaner Requirements:
    1. Only those with a suitable amplifier can participate. Preferably SS speaker amps. We'll provide a 4-pin XLR cable and adapter so the headphones can be used with banana plugs.

    2. The pads should not be removed from the headphone. There are a few inserts under the pads that may move with disassembly and can affect the sonic performance. There's a lot going on under there and it's a bit meticulous. The materials and placement on this mod are finalized, but they will ship with stronger, more reliable fixture so as to allow pad rolling (which is not easily possible at this time).

    3. Duration 5 days per Friend. Ship UPS or FedEx, signature required, insure to $600. Lower 48 only.

    4. Tentatively limited to seven friends with priority to well-established members.

    @purr1n - SoCal
    @captkirk - Northern CA
    @cskippy - AZ
    @jexby - CO
    @Vtory - Forth Worth, TX
    @famish99 - Austin, TX
    @Ray - LA
     
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    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  2. famish99

    famish99 Friend

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    Put me as a solid maybe. Interested but also dreading moving my speaker amp to my headphone setup.
     
  3. Ray

    Ray Friend

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    Yes please if there’s room. Metairie, Louisiana
     
  4. weicheheck

    weicheheck Acquaintance

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    Not sure if I'm eligible but I would be able to compare it to my lightly modded He 5 le, and heavily modded 4 screw he 6. Would be driven by a First Watt F5
     
  5. Panohm

    Panohm Friend

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    I'm but a contributor who owns the HE-5 Reissues so i'll be eager to read everyone's thoughts on these.
     
  6. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: Upscale Audio; recovering HFM addict

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    Nobody from the Colorado crew? I was sure @jexby or @zerodeefex would want in on this. @cskippy ? Would love to see how they measure on your rig compared to your vast database of HE6 measurements.

    @Vansen , if we can't fill it up by the end of the weekend go ahead and add @Panohm and @weicheheck .Edit - didn't realize @Panohm is in Canada. Please remove. So sorry about that! I'll make it up to you somehow.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  7. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    I would need to borrow a Vidar from @zerodeefex for this loaner idea to fly.
    if so, sure - would love to hear a new mod to hifiman drivers.
     
  8. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: Upscale Audio; recovering HFM addict

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    They still sound good off the Af (I have @BillOhio 's mostly stock unit to test with). Not quite the same as a power amp (and my mods make them a fair bit less efficient) but you'll at least get an idea for the general tone of em. Your call.
     
  9. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    @jexby yeah if you're ever interested in a pair of code-x and don't want to wait for me to cave in and sell you mine, check out this pair and see how you feel, since you already know how the code-x sounds. run them off the AF, or your neighbors solid state amp. before the stratus i was using a jotunheim from marv for them and it was fein.
     
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  10. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Count me in!

    Recently I am eager to (re)visit classic HFMs with being properly modded. Would be a big pleasure to compare different approaches of contemporary planars.

    Fort Worth, TX

    PS. Would have one replica (hood 1969-based) SS amp soon. So can report how it can drive esx5.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  11. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    Alright, because you asked nicely @E_Schaaf.
     
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  12. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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  13. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    I have two. You can borrow one. I never opened the one you borrowed last time.
     
  14. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: Upscale Audio; recovering HFM addict

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    @jexby just do me a favor and don't blow it up like you blew up that HE6, ok? :p
     
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  15. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    Can't ask jexby not to blow it's what he does best
     
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  16. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    yah but ann arbor swallows.
     
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  17. Vansen

    Vansen Gear Master (retiring)

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  18. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    Evan left me the HE5 to hand over to Marv so he can measure before the tour starts.
     
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  19. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Couldn't hear back for a while about this. So is the loaner unit now with Marv? Or somewhere in the middle of the tour?

    We may also need a new thread (separate from existing code-x or he-5 threads) about this product. Maybe @E_Schaaf can put some helpful background info (such as key acoustic decisions in modding) in the first post of the thread! Along with some nice pics lol.
     
  20. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: Upscale Audio; recovering HFM addict

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    Thanks for reminding me about this. Marv had the headphones for a short while and took some measurements for me - a few concerns needed addressing before shipping this out.

    Haven't quite had the time to perfect them with some new methods and materials I've come up with since then, but they'll be finished and shipped by the end of the week. @Vtory I'd be happy to have you on the tour!
     
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