Synopsis of HiFiMan HE1000 Headphone Impressions from CS

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by purr1n, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    For discussion of HE-1000. Any OT posts or posts from people who aren't on the HE-1000 beta will be deleted.

    Sorrodje thought it would be a good idea if we could have a little corner to ourselves to bounce thoughts off each other. See what aspects we agree on and what we find different and the causes of those differences. A private area away where random people who don't have anything to do with the beta can't add their 2 cents is kind of the idea. Less noise. More signal.


    [Marv: Posts from CS have been combined or condensed. I didn't realize that this very informative thread from many HEK users was buried away somewhere. Some noise has been eliminated.]
     
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  2. Lojay

    Lojay Friend

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    The HE1000 is here. I had a couple of hours with them today and I like what I am hearing.

    Out of the EC445/Yggdrasil, the HE1000 sounds like a modded HD800* in terms of tonality, imaging and spacious soundstage, with more flesh and body, more tactility (ie has HE6's balls) and with a more forward midrange. Think of it as a HD800/HE6 hybrid.

    This is one versatile headphone. A genre master. Unlike the HD800, which sounds best with acoustic and instruments, the HE1000 does instruments just as good as vocals.

    If that is not good enough, the comfort on this thing is supreme. Think huge HD600 velour pads that do not clamp on your face, think a featherlight headphone that exerts no force on your head. I always wanted a headphone that makes everything sound good (ie the HE6) but feels great on the head (ie the HD800). The HE1000 does that but delivers even more in the ways I have described.

    The drawbacks:

    1. Not the last word on resolution. On a quick AB, the modded HD800* and SR009 seem to have more resolution in terms of "plankton" or microdetail. But I do not think I am missing much. There is more perceived detail than the HE6 though, as the HE1000 sounds more expansive and images better, giving out more pin point spatial cues.

    2. I do not feel that I am "there". There is something unnatural about the treble and forward midrange. The modded HD800* wins in terms of naturalness and ultimate transparency on the best live recordings. As some have noted, there is indeed some treble glare or treble splash (think unmodded HE6) and this draws away from realism. Recordings still sound like recordings, ie slightly artificial.

    It is too early to draw any conclusions but I thought I should share my views with fellow pirates asap. I hope burn in solves the treble issues. As a whole, for those with a wider range of recordings and who are not on a pure audiophile music diet, the HE1000 will serve as an excellent complement to the HD800. The latter is really for the special "holy shit" moments with the top 10% of my music collection in terms of recording quality but I really hope, as my initial views suggest, the HE1000 lets me enjoy 90% of my music no matter how good or poor the recording is.

    *If you are wondering, my HD800 has foam on trapezoid with rug liner, no dust cover, and no foam ring. I am using the SAA Endorphin TRS cable / Cardas Clear XLR cable.

    This is fucking shocking. If the HD800 is the most amp/DAC picky headphone on the block, the HE1000 is the opposite.

    Since the HE1000 comes with a 1/8" jack I plugged it into my PC's onboard audio-out (Realtek ALC892) to burn the HE1000 in. Curiosity truly kills the cat, as I put the HE1000 on my head I realise I am getting a substantial percentage of the performance of the Yggdrasil/EC 445. I am not kidding. The onboard soundcard is capable of driving the HE1000s to a decent volume levels and the level of detail, bass and separation is very good.

    It may sound ridiculous to even compare this with my Yggdrasil/EC 445 rig but the only real shortcomings are the obvious compression of dynamics and soundstage, lack of smoothness, slight digital artifacts and, hence, lack of absolute "realism".

    This is very different from my experience with the HD800, which took me years to extract its best performance. The HD800 sounds crap if fed with crap. With such a humble source and amp as an onboard soundcard, I am getting listenable (but certainly not top notch) performance with the HE1000.

    That's a closer battle, but I felt my modded HE6 had less precise imaging and less stage depth compared to the HD800, and was less resolving. So live recordings sounded better on the HD800. That's a very general observation as I haven't tried the HE6 on anything better than the WA5.

    Perhaps I could compare other more obvious traits of the HE6/HE1000. The HE1000 has less bass heft compared to the HE6 but it's close. The HE1000 has a wider and deeper soundstage, almost HD800esque.
     
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  3. Negura

    Negura Friend

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    14 hours in:

    1. Sound stage
    Strength. Mostly really digging it. Very open, large and transparent sound stage, albeit more upfront than with some other headphones. Expensive ticket holders' sound stage with very little parallel in presentation to other headphones I've heard or own.
    I don't think I can describe the stage as speaker-like because they don't image like speakers and there is limited stage depth. But the HE1000s are the first headphones that cause me to look bewildered at the HD800s sound stage when I switch over.
    I think the HE1000s really highlight the HD800s letterbox sound format. That by the way happens too when I switch over from the speaker rig to the HD800s. Takes a while to get over the small toy sound feel of the HD800s.
    I cannot think of any other headphones that can do this, but these can. I guess big drivers are paying off here.

    2. DR
    Perhaps a result of the combination of understated detail, mostly tonally correct response and lack of effort producing big sound, this can produce big DR casually. Need to spend more time to assess full DR range.

    3. Detail
    Undecided/Deserves further consideration. For the first few hours I was really concerned about the levels of macro and micro detail. Either the headphones opened up in resolution or I opened to them or both.
    In some ways these headphones are like the opposite of the HD800s. If the HD800s could be seen as detail forward, almost necessarily wanting to show all the little garbage there is, like a socially autistic kid,
    the HE1000s can even come across as overly polite. However, I rather think the macro detail is actually mostly there somewhere between the HE-6s and HD800s right now. They also seem to have that trait that some Audeze have, in making a lot of recordings sound good, but while being more technically competent. To make a comparison to DACs these almost sound like one of the good "R2Rs".
    (Or is it that they allow me to hear more of the Yggdrasil?! Need to dissect further)

    4. Textures
    Strength. This is one of the areas where it's at. The textures are just very realistic and insatiable.

    5. Tonal balance
    I would have to really nitpick to flaw these. I see it more as one of the strength areas. So I won't comment much at this, because they are very good tonally, better than the slightly high-mids/treble focused 009s, treble peaky/brighter HD800s or warm Audeze. I also have to consider this within the context of my system. The EC2A3MK4 probably has a very suitable tonality for these. On the solid state amp they shift a bit further towards neutrally bright, but nowhere near say the HD800s/009s.

    6. Genre master
    Strength. In Hifiman fashion these seem to excel with any genre. Nothing was too much and no genre I felt was delivered with too little. And I listen to pretty much everything from classical to black metal, from EMD to acoustic or just whatever batshit weird world folk music, when in mood.

    7. Transparency
    Hell yeah. They really do get out of the way, or at least seem to allow me to hear more of my source(s) than others.
    The missus factor: She said if she wasn't physically feeling the headphones, she would not think this is headphones she is hearing.

    8. Euphonic?!!
    I am of the perspective I would rather not prefer headphones featuring this trait, because it implies some added colouration that's not originating from the source. Too soon for me to decide if the HE1000s feature here. I'm interested to hear what others think though.

    9. Transients
    Definitely planar. Less visceral and articulated than the HE-6s. I am a bit of transients viscerality addict. The HE-6s are still kings, but this is probably a number two. They are satisfying.

    Main concerns or unclear:
    - Sound stage depth. Sometimes can seem too upfront. I think this can be mitigated a little bit by positioning the headphones more forward. I have a feeling more angled pads could further help the soundstage depth.
    - Detail. See above. This is a love/hate thing. In some ways I love I can just enjoy music in such an effortless way without worrying about detail. So contrasting to the HD800s, for example. Then perhaps maybe I would like the detail to be a bit more forward.
    - Articulation. It's good, but my personal bias is I really hope burn-in will improve this area. My HE-6s benefitted some time on their diaphragms for this to improve.

    These headphones may continue to settle in, so big grain of salt with this.

    The other headphones I have at the moment:
    - open grills/no foam/velour HE-6s (main headphones)
    - no dust covers/rug liner HD800s (acoustic/classical/when well rested/niche headphones)
    - LCD-3Fs (not sure why I still have these; they are "fun"/particular mood headphones)
    (still fresh in memory but now sold - SR-009/KGSSHV)
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I got mine. Considering specs and that Lojay said it was really good from miscellaneous source, I'm currently listening to music with the HE1000 from my Ibasso Dzero mkII ( I tried an O2 too but it didn't improve anything). Very first impressions are : I hope it will improve with a proper rig [​IMG]

    My quick notes (don't read that if you want reliable impressions) . i just put that on paper to remember those impressions later when I'll have more listening time and I'll write the final review [​IMG] . i'm not a noob so I know my feelings can drastically change later ( better gear, burn in, my mood, wheater or whatsoever you want) .

    WARNING : Take this as personal notes of those very imperfect first moments - Don't flame me for using a Cheap dac/amp.Not final impressions . Just some personal notes that will help later when i'll have more and more time of listening with a proper rig and compared directly to other headphones. I don't really trust in burn in for planars but who knows ?

    - Sounds good. Nothing immediately bothersome nothing immediately impressive - no wow effect. balanced.
    - soft / smooth - maybe a bit too polite. Lack of excitement. everything sounds under sharpened. easy to listen to. I'm not sucked in the music.
    - slighty warm - good FR - cohesive sounding - natural ? non fatiguing , forgiving ? relax but not slow. easy to listen to. boring ?
    - a bit too dark for my tastes - Considering the SR009 is my reference in term of neutral FR , I think this HE1000 is a notch or two on the warm/dark side. aka opened and more airy LCD3 ? maybe not so much.. need more comparison.
    - Makes me think a bit to the SR007 mkII I heard once ? Reminds me maybe a bit my Lambda NB but with more weight/body ?? definitely not SR009 or HD800. complementary headphone for SR009 or HD800 ?
    - not as visceral with raw energy than HE-6. more polite but more refined. RATM (HE-6) vs Queen (HE-1000) vs Pink floyd (HD800)
    - something grattling in the treble (not metallic ... sshshsh .. not zzzz or ssss but more shhh .. 7 khz ? .. Maybe I'm wrong.. ). bothersome as soon as I listen to cymbals. seems to disappear after an hour of listening ( brain burn in ) ??
    - Does not tame sibilance but does not throw it my face.
    - Indeed something a bit forward in the mids ( Gregory porter and some voices tend to be slightly shouty... nothing bothersome like some Stax Lambda... ) . I don't feel those mids are as euphonic as what I heard from the HE-6 (stock-unmodded)
    - Hi hat and cymbals sounds a bit weird - (less after brain burn in )
    - Precise and clean bass but maybe a lack of attack . Not bass heavy . bass are not offensive ( compared to what I remember from the Out-of-the-the-world bass of the Abyss) . Bass seems to have more quality and texture than the Stock HE-6. Very good and clean low extension
    - sounds are not delineated enough.
    - lack of attack for drums.
    - Overall lack of bite ? corner are rounded. sounds are not delineated enough. mellifluous?
    - Sounds "good" from a Clip Zip . as "good" as with the Dzero mkII.
    - Nothing remarkable for soundstage thus far. conservative ? no wow effect but nothing seems lacking. a bit forward with lack of depth maybe.
    - Resolution ? Even silence or ambiances seems to have body. Sound message is rounded but not simplified. Seems resolution is there?
    - Not a game changer ?

    - Comfortable, slightly heavy, Hard to adjust , good package but not luxurious, the headphone is nicer IRL than in pics. handmade ? a bit vintage looking. Nice. Happy to see that old connectors are gone. Nice Mini jack. power cords are well made maybe not luxury enough for a 3000$ headphone ? need to compare with what the SR009 and the Abyss offer.

    Remember the warning please : maybe those impressions will change drastically later. Take this as personal notes.

    I will bring that HE1000 at home tomorrow, lest music play at work during 24hours and then plug it in the Audio-GD HE-9 + Totaldac I currently have at home. I'll avoid to do A/B comparison during next days in order to wash my brain from HD800 and let the HE1000 grow on me. My reference is the HD800 . The bunch of headphone I consider at the top of my personal list are SR009, Abyss, HD800 , Jury's is still out for the HE-6 . IF I should sell my HD800 , my downgrade would be a HD600. I'm reviewer for Tellementnomade.org. I'm french.
     
  5. Negura

    Negura Friend

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    Haha - your first impressions of these much resemble my first thoughts. On first listen from cold, they were not what I expected them to sound at all. The descriptions read elsewhere left me with the impression these were going to sound like some sort of planar SR009s with bass. Not at all so far. You can ask 'lojay' privately for some spice what my first thoughts were. I gave the headphones a few more hours and I have "warmed-up" (no pun intended) to their sound.

    I've not noticed much change in the course of today so far.
    Looking for more:
    - sound stage depth (further angled pads?). Someone try angling the pads further and tell me what you think with where the soundstage is going...
    - transients articulation (these are getting 24/7 time hoping this will improve). A bit too polite.
    - not a deal breaker, but more details won't hurt. I think the point above is part of the reason why the details are not highlighted enough.

    I have also noticed the cymbals bullet time (this is an obvious exaggeration), but I don't think it's that much of a deal. It doesn't really distract me, and I personally see higher priorities than this.

    Ok. Only because you asked, my first thought with these was: If these, sound wide, don't improve drastically with break-in, I am returning for refund.

    I have to admit - I love the big drivers in both comfort and sound presentation. Tonight however I am less convinced by the sound quality than yesterday around the same time. I did commit the mistake of listening to speakers to get a fresh taste of reference sound. Usually it's the sound stage presentation that puts me off headphones. The HE-1000s have much less of this problem. Actually they are quite satisfying at this. It's the technicality to speakers: articulation, detail, clarity. This is also an issue the HE-1000s seem to have vs the HD800s and HE-6s.

    The initial impression as I said in a previous posting, was also a result of a severe expectations mismatch. I did not expect them to sound like that, as they did at first hear. That's not necessarily good or bad and I don't want another pair of an existing headphones. I wouldn't mind the HE90 at 3k though.
    Thankfully the headphones settled a bit since then.
     
  6. Lojay

    Lojay Friend

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    My first impressions were :

    1. Good separation
    2. A very unsophisticated sort of sound
    3. Where is the microdetail?

    Unfortunately I got a serious bout of headache now and can't use any headphones. I'm afraid I have to be MIA for the moment...
     
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    At first glance, and not so surprisingly, things improve *significantly* with a proper rig. I will add more substantial impressions after a few days but this headphone is undoubtly a very very good sounding one. Definitely one of the very best headphone I heard. No doubt now I have more adequate conditions of listening. I really struggled during my listening session to identify one really serious flaw.

    Although the headphone improved drastically with a true desktop rig, some of my very first impressions keep some relevance. More to come later.

    [​IMG] to Hifiman .
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
  8. Negura

    Negura Friend

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    Update: Based on some "they can't be that bad" blind hope, I kind of figured these transducers needed a bit of a shake and I now have 60 hours on them playing music non-stop. The RWAK100 took over the night shift, to save a penny or so on tubes. A nice 80-85dB average listening level keeps the living room well alive at night. Yes they do leak a lot. =)

    I like where what I am hearing is going.

    - Transient Response. I have expressed slight concern, over less than 99 times, with the transient response. The good news: Last 24 hours seem to have brought about some changes. This obviously spreads into a lot of other sound impressions.
    *Rodrigo and Gabriela, Peter Ratzenbeck and a lot of Stockfisch acoustic work are prime examples here. Day one, not very convincing. Guitar plucks were soft, under sharpened, a bit hazy (?) and sort of nice for background listening. Clear sign to me the attack was wanting. I personally am not at all after "nice" when we have things like the modded HD800s, modded HE-6s, Abyss and others out there.

    - Bass. The bass attack is now less soft and less slightly limp. Well controlled, impactful and more adequate quantity and hitting lower (?) It was fun listening to Infected Mushroom and Shpongle for this test. I forgot to mention after listening to speakers last night, apparently to an insensitive level to the rest of the family as it was made very clear to me today, I found the bass was kind of lacking in the HE1000s, as mentioned. Tonight I am not allowed to test the bass vs speakers. Only headphones. [​IMG]
    - Clarity. The HE-1000 sound more open, but not so sure more clear than the modded HE-6s. They do perceptively sound less clear than the HD800s and speakers.
    - Detail. Not HD800s or speakers level. Good, but still wanting.
    - Colouration(?) Still sounding a notch or two on the warm side. I want to get rid of the warmness and I'm blaming the pads right now. I have some felt and double sided tape in a box that are whispering to me.
    - Yeah the good stuff is still there, but who cares about that, right. One noteworthy mention:
    - Some may or may not have been surprised when I mentioned how good I think the sound stage presentation (and I guess DR) is with the HE-1000s. One recording I watched live a 3-4 times in total in the same venue as the recording: The Phantom Of The Opera At The Royal Albert Hall
    Track: Think Of Me. Unless on heavy doses of sedatives, at approx 1 minute that experience should send more than a few shivers down the spine and it should sound BIG.
    I don't think many headphones reproduce the scale of this correctly. Speakers do. Very well done on the HE-1000s.

    I may add some more impressions if I don't fall asleep.

    1) Imo - Yes and Yes to both. I was not at all prepared for how these sounded, and while with the HD800 and SR009 I noticed exactly 0 burn-in (highlight on notice - I wasn't too fussed to check properly overtime, but at the same time some stuff is just obvious), with the HE-6s it was obvious to me the viscerality was not there, before it arrived. My pair of HE-6s is relatively new so this experience was not too distant.

    2) Gear:

    SOTM SMS-100 LAN streamer with 9V linear reg PSU (to avoid PC bsh*t). Y split USB cable powered out of either the SOTM or linear regulated 5V power brick (to avoid power crap).
    Yggdrasil (and less so Theta Gen V)
    Audioquest SKY RCA (the real deal, non-fakes)
    Atlas Hypersymmetric XLR
    Acrolink XLR
    Eddie Current 2A3MK4 (EML solids, Amperex 5842/WE 417A)
    DIY Acrolink + Furutech + ieGO pure silver power cables

    Transducers:
    no dustcovers/ruglined HD800s
    no grills/foam/velour HE-6
    no grills/foam LCD-3Fs (not really used that much)
    PMC IB2i speakers (w. Tellurium Q ultra black)

    some of the recordings: Stockfisch recordings (many), Dali 3CDs, R&G, Muddy Waters (DR15-20 wtf), Dire Straits, The Phantom Of The Opera At The Royal Albert Hall (because I went to the live performance at least 3 times in the exact same venue), Amadine Beyer - I Quattro Stagioni (LINN), Verdi - La Traviata [2CD] (Netrebko, Hampson) (DR 14-17 on some tracks), Infected Mushroom/Shpongle/Gotan Project for burn-in and bass
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I assume no treble brightness issues? (That's my feeling based on knowing exactly how your chain sounds like, and calibrating to my experience of the HE-1000 at the Bay Area meet.) It seems people on HF are making a big deal about small things or taking them out of context.

    Also, I assume bass quality... tighter, faster, clearer, and more heft than HE-6? (I want to confirm that your pair was similar or same to the one I heard.) I also wonder if that pair at the Bay Area meet was properly broken in or not. I can see the diaphragm not loosening up yet being a cause for lack of microdetail. Will wait for Sorro to chime in later on this.

    Haha, I have to live through you since the US units have not shipped yet. I want to say what I heard might have been the best overall headphone I have heard yet, edging out the modded-Abyss, but since I don't have one, I really can't say that yet.
     
  10. Lojay

    Lojay Friend

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    No treble brightness issues at all. I also have a solid state class A speaker amp and I will not admit if I listened or not to the HE1000s on that. Compared to the Eddie Current the speaker amp is very slightly more neutral towards brighter, like half a notch. Still no treble brightness. That's with recordings I trust, of course.

    I have other priorities I am after, before I get down to the treble again. If anything I found these polite sounding headphones out of the box. There may have been a bit of over-extended treble, but that is not something that bothered me. My personal bias is at 5-7k where the HD800s can be nasty - that puts me off when it's paired with nasty recordings or heavens forbid bright/shitty metal music recordings.

    Oh yes if anyone gives a damn, actually the HE-1000s sound very good with metal. But as I said one impression I've already made is that they are genre masters.
     
  11. Head-Fi Boob

    Head-Fi Boob Rando

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    Hi everyone.
    New changstar member here. Great to be here.
    I was chosen by Hifiman to be one of their beta HE 1000 beta testers.
    I will post some very detailed impressions of the beta Hifiman HE1000, after I receive them and burn them in good.
    Will be using a single-ended Beta 22 amp with Sigma 22 power supply, Gustard H10, and a Harman Kardon HK 3490 stereo receiver.
    Will be using a Marantz CD 6004 cd player, and a Oppo BDP-95 universal disc player as sources.
    Will be comparing them to my grill modded HE-6 and HE-500.
    Still waiting on their arrival.

    Your impressions don't sound real encouraging.
    Might be a good thing though...it will save me alot of money if these don't work out for me. Lol
    Maybe the drivers are just too big, and it hurts their speed and detail?
    Even if the diaphragm is a nanometer thick, the sheer size of the driver, coupled with the weight of the traces could possibly hurt its overall performance?
    I am going to give them their best shot though, and see what happens .
    It's going to be tough for the HE 1000 to match the grill modded HE6 in certain areas such as speed, detail, and clarity, especially in the top-end, imho. I may turn out wrong though...
     
  12. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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  13. Negura

    Negura Friend

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    I think the bass I am hearing today is indeed better than the HE-6s.
    - better heft - check
    - faster, tighter - check
    - more resolved - check

    At the same time, and also because of the above, the bass seems better integrated in the full spectrum than on the HE-6s.
     
  14. Lojay

    Lojay Friend

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    1) Yes. More of physical burn-in in my case because of my headaches I have only listened to the HE1000 sporadically since my initial session with them (for about 3-4 hours). When I had a brief listen yesterday I felt that the treble unnaturalness became less of an issue.

    2) In my signature, but in more detail:

    DAC/Source: Computer -> Oyaide and Wireworld Platinum USB cables -> Schiit Wyrd -> Schiit Yggdrasil

    Amp: Delta cables RCA -> Eddie Current 445 (EML solid plates, WE 417A NOS)
    Shunyata Ztron Cobra XLR -> KGSSHV (Geoff's build, offboard Sanyo 14mA)

    Headphones: HD800 (no foam ring, with rug liner and foam on trapezoid, SAA Endorphin SE cable)
    Stax SR009 (no mods)

    Recordings: Mahler's 5th (SFO, Michael Tilson Thomas), Air: the Bach Album (Anne Akiko Meyers), Nils Lofgren's Unplugged, Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Concert, Friday Night in San Francisco (HDtracks), Opeth's Blackwater Park, Muddy Waters' Folk Singer (HDtracks version, sorry), Melody Gardot's Baby I'm a Fool, Ed Sheeran's X (lol), Daft Punk's Random Access Memories (HDtracks), Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force

    Power: Shunyata Triton, Shunyata power cables (Ztron Alpha HC, Sigma Analog and Python)

    My HE6 has fallen into disuse as the 445 cannot drive it properly. I used to drive it with the Woo WA5, with Toxic Silver Widow cables, open grill and Audeze Vegan pads. That was a very satisfying combo.

    My other setup, which I intend to bring back to office to demo the HE1000, is as follows: QED Red cables RCA -> Apex Teton (Philips Miniwatt GZ34 / Brimar U52, Tungsol 7236 / GEC 6AS7G brown base / WE 421A, Telefunken 6SN7GT / Tungsol BGRP / Sylvania 6SN7 metal base)

    Negura and I have very similar setups by the way.

    More impressions:
    Out of the box, these sounded "polite", they make anything sound good. They made my onboard soundcard sound listenable.
    I wish I could make HE6 comparisons, but I can't. (*Marv - I really want/need/crave the EC Studio!) Will leave that to Negura.
    I don't think there is a lack of microdetail. It's just that the way it is presented is more hazy/ fuzzy than say the HD800 which focuses on detail.
    I am glad Negura is liking the HE1000 more. In fact I enjoyed the HE1000 out of the box, but there were minor issues that were detracting from realism which I hope will improve upon burn in.
     
  15. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Negura's 2A3x4 with the EML solid-plates will sound warmer and lusher and with better control (more power) than your 4-45 as configured. 4-45 is more neutral and a little bit more resolving. That may be the difference. Might come down to cables or a jerg-esque fuzzor tweak for you. Good to know the HE-1000 can reproduce microdetail. I couldn't tell much at the Bay Area meet under those conditions. Yes, the HD800 does kind of throw things in your face.
     
  16. Negura

    Negura Friend

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    Based on how they sound to me, I want to shift the HE1000s more towards neutrality, as that's where my preference is. At the same time I prefer a grain of warmness to one of brightness over neutral. Speaker amp showed there is headroom that way. I am using the Amperex goldpin 5842, which are the cleanest/most neutral 5842 tubes I have. I would probably look to buy EML mesh plates on the MK4. (*also come handy on the EC Studio. 100% need/want the EC Studio - which I mentioned to Marv way before the sneaky list went up!!!)

    However the first obvious tweaks to me are the Focus-A pads and headphone cables. That would not mess the balance for HD800s and HE-6s.
     
  17. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    1) Brain burn in for sure. I hear the slight treble issue at first and it disappears a few minutes later. Mechanical burn in for planars.. i've yet to find someone will convince me why such a driver should need burn in ( except for quality control)

    2) PC > Xmos USB> SPDIF interface > totaldac > AudioGD HE-9 ( balanced 4 pins XLR output) > HD800 Unmodded Venus Audio copper cable XLR terminated or HE1000 Stock XLR cable ... random RCA and coax cables. ( Forza audioworks currently because I like how they look )

    IMO the HE1000 is a notch on the warm side but definitely not at all in a bad way. the sound is tight, no lush or sirupy here. With the right amp, softness and excess of warmth became smoothness and refinement. Not bright at all but the treble has a slight issue. really slight. hearable sometimes. The only issue that still bother me a bit is the lack of attack. I understand why people compared this HE1000 to the best Stax. it seems they share this kind of non offensive way to attack notes. WARN : I still have to deliberate on this point..i'll compare with a SR009 later . Sometimes it's really enjoyable, I find this effect too gentle/polite. ( For example : I'm currently listen to Jeremy Denk's Goldberg variations and the Piano sounds slightly blurried for me and I have to crank up the volume to be sucked by the music ) .. Can be something related to the Attack/Decay ratio or maybe lack or resolution. or simpler a matter of taste. With the HD800 ( and I swear the HE9 is far from the best HD800 amp I heard . good but not stellar by far .. warm, punchy with great bass impact but dry in the mids and less refined that my Sonett for example. I don't think the HE-9 is so much transparent as well ) , I can focus more on the music.

    Maybe a notch too much bass for me but honestly the tonal balance is close to perfect to my ears. Bass quality is insane . bass don't punch my face like Abyss ones but they're fast, clean. they have a kind of oceanic nature.. bottomless, liquid, transparent, refined . bass are floating around me . I remember audeze's bass as rich.. HE1000 ones are less rich. Bass have some clarity... It's hard to describe in english for me . bass are heftty but stay agile. Bass played by elves. Maybe something slightly too impressive to be realistic/accurate ? WARN : I still have to deliberate on this point - Abyss comparison later. In term of enjoyement, the effect is absolutely breathtaking/ wonderful [​IMG]

    Overally and If I want to sum up my feeling thus far, I should admit i'd never think to keep the HE1000 . but after a few hours of serious listening, my mind changed a bit. [​IMG]

    Another point and I hope Jeff will share this with all the Hifiman team. the HE1000 sound is refined, mature and definitely have a Hi-end nature. More than any of their other products I heard. Hifiman can really be proud of this. it's a great achievement for a somewhat young company. Just my opinion [​IMG]


    I'll list musics I'm using later.

    Currently listening to Perlman's Bach Sonatas & partitas for example...

    Coming from the HE1000 to HD800 : "wow its harsher ... a few minutes later : wow so much emotion and passion in the music.. can't do anything else than listening"
    Coming from HD800 to HE1000 : "mmhhh smoother, beautiful... hmmm maybe a little bit more volume would help?... hmmmm.. sounds sweet.... OK boring. back to HD800 "

    That's very exaggerated but you see the point.

    Other Example : Daft Punk Get lucky.

    HE1000 : I hear the treble issue with hi hat and the "clap" on times 2 and 4 of the measure ( see for example at 3.34 : the Hi Hat crash sounds thin/Zingy for me ) Except the treble issue there's something a bit too clean/polite.
    HD800 : More vivid, i dig into the sound, into the voice . mid bassy nature of the HD800 helps on this music . 3.34 Hi hat crash has more body. Sounds more real for me.

    On Doin' it right from R.A.M : bass rendition is really better ( deeper, cleaner ) with the HE1000 but there's still a scintillating irritating treble issue.


    I'll list some other tracks where I felt the HE1000 beated the HD800 though [​IMG] .
     
  18. Negura

    Negura Friend

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    Daft Punk Get lucky (album version). I'll have a go at this:

    HD800 from HE1000:
    - better clarity
    - better instrument separation and detail
    - comparatively a couple of notches brighter sounding
    - less body
    - vocals have some sibilance (Sssun, SSsome) and edginess. Not very realistic because of this. I had not noticed this on HE1000s.
    - tizzy sounding treble. can be a little bit annoying, marginally.
    - perceptive bass rolloff

    HE1000 from HD800:
    - 1-2 notches warmer sound. Almost tempts me to push the modding further asap to shake more of this off.
    - smooth and effortless sounding
    - sound has better height/width proportion and thus a more realistic scale. a bit more upfront.
    - more believable and natural vocals. Because I noticed the sibilance on the HD800s, I am looking for it now. On the HE1000s is just on the verge of becoming noticeable, but it normally isn't.
    - very very good bass. Having proper bass adds so much value to the track and makes it more engaging.
    - nice PRAT, although on the laidback side

    HE-6 from HD1000:
    - bloody transients. visceral. emanating. transients.
    - very present bass (maybe a bit too present?), but not as tight and resolved as on the HE1000. I prefer the HE1000s bass here.
    - scene is smaller but more proportional than on the HD800s. A bit tiny I'm thinking. Missing the HE1000s scene already.
    - vocals are smoother sounding on the HE-6s, but I miss the HE1000s mids. No sibilance with the HE-6s - same as with the HE1000s here. Better extended and more detailed mids on the HE1000s.

    The scene, vocals, bass nail this song to the HE1000s for me. Laidback, but very transparent and effortless sounding. HE-6s second place.

    Later edit:

    LCD-3Fs after HD1000s:
    - first impression the sound is coming from within a small and dark sounding bubble. Not very open sounding. Yeah yeah every single time with every other decent headphone first few minutes.
    Once past that:
    - actually the modded 3Fs soundstage width is not bad at all. There is depth too.
    - excellent PRAT. very engaging.
    - LCD-3Fs have more articulated transients. Better attack. I prefer this to the HE1000s.
    - very precise treble. No splish splash at all.
    - Less body to vocals than HE1000s (perhaps a more neutral mids presentation?). Not that I was expecting it, but just for a road check, no evident sibilance with the LCD-3Fs on this track.
    - Comparatively tight and resolute bass.

    HE-1000s after LCD-3Fs:
    - Wide open sounding. Actually not much more neutral sounding, but a bit more that way.
    - A very different vocal presentation. More body, richer, more upfront, more personal.
    - perhaps not as detailed as the 3Fs.
    - smoother sounding than Audeze, more laidback and polite. I did not expect this.



    *I didn't remove the HE1000s foam mod
    *HD800s are modded with no dust covers / linear rug. stock cable.
    * LCD-3Fs mod: no grills, no foam
     
  19. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    Interesting to see how we can differ in our impressions there. [​IMG]

    On this track, the HE1000 is not so warmer imo. Darker ( more neutraI is more accurate) indeed but I still prefer the HD800 despite sibilance , brightness and other shortcomings. Mid Bass offers more bounce more "snap" and I hear less this slight tizziness somewhere in the treble . maybe a personal sensibility for this slight tizziness.

    "Doin' it right" uses more lower bass then HE1000 rules still IMO.

    I heard the "Dark Knight rises" Soundtrack last evening. The HE1000 simply destroyed my HD800 although I usually like a lot this soundtrack with the Senn. [​IMG] . We listened to "Christine & the queens" Chaleur humaine with my wife too :



    For this track too , the HE1000 wins easily imo.

    But for Daft Punk's Get Lucky... I'm not as convinced as you [​IMG]
     
  20. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    Disclaimer for external people : the HE1000 is a wonderful headphone, Listening to music with the HE1000 is a wonderful exeperience. Hifiman achieved to propose a great headphone. My final review for Tellementnomade.org will be extremely positive and I can definitely see why some people saw the HE1000 as a candidate for the "World best headphone" status. I didnt plan to keep the HE1000 after the Beta but I'm currently rethink the plan So following feelings are just nit-picking because I'm crazy and I'm still evaluating if I'll keep it or not. I'm not rich enough to put so much money in a headphone without taking the time to evaluate if this Headphone will suit perfectly my tastes... or not. Moreover, I love to share impressions with people I trust even if we disagree. that helps me to learn a lot of things. Changstar is a great place for that.

    About 8 or 9 hours hours of serious listening for me.. I still struggle to get over the soft/undersharpened kind of sound the HE1000 offer.

    Example :



    3.10 Bass solo . Typical Marcus Miller slap bass. lacks something of the typical metallic tone of Marcus Miller. In the intro of the track, the bass tends to sound like a fretless. fluent, continuous with lack of relief.

    Same in the intro here :



    Listened mostly to some Classical today ( Erik Satie, Shubert Strings quartets ) and I always heared this softened/embellished sound. With some of my music the effect is wonderful and addictive but with other ones I wake up and ask myself ' hey fuck ; but it's fake ! ) . the HE100 sounds always wonderful . A bit too wonderful to be true/accurate in my opinion and the softness does not allow a good reproduction of raw energy, bite. YMMV but for me, music does not sound as smooth and pretty IRL. En Français : j'ai l'impression que le HE1000 me présente la musique sur papier glacé ou qu'on a photoshopé la musique pour enlever ce qui pourrait être désagréable. La sensation est luxueuse, comme si j'étais en vacances et que j'étais en train d'assister à un concert dans un fauteuil à l'hôtel Carlton au lieu d'une vraie place dans une vraie salle de spectacle. (Si quelqu'un sait faire une bonne traduction de ça.. frenchbat ? )

    About resolution. Thus far, I don't think anything missing but I don't think the totaldac A1 and the AudioGD HE-9 are the most resolving pieces of gear. The Totaldac resolution is good ( not uber resolving though) but the audio-GD not so much IMO. BTW, with the HE1000 i never felt the music was a bit simplified as I usually feel with all planars I tried.

    I still feel the bass level is a notch too high and add some artificial heft . Need more time and to evaluate this point .

    Work in progress.
     

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