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onthebeach

HIFIMAN HE 400-S

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Those Focus pads are nice alright. They feel way more comfortable and SQ is much improved.

Next in line is the new cable. Should be ready soonish :)

I'm getting a bit of dropout when I move around on the right channel. I'm hoping the new cable may help this issue as well. The original cable is really stiff and doesn't hang well at all. Hopefully it is the reason for the dropout.

 

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Huh, weird, no drop outs experienced here. Still, the cable is a bit stiff, eh. New cables for us both :) Ought to be fun. Loving the HE-400S with the new Magni 3 amp, cracker combo with loads of power. 

 The pads are indeed way more comfortable, even though there is a little more pressure on the side of my head with them. Probably sealing better. 

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Massdrop HE-4xx $245aud plus postage. If you wanted the 400s at the right price you may want to jump on this before expiry date. 

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Nice deal.

Loving my new Focus pads and cable. No more drop outs with new cable. Feels good too. Nice and light. Much better when on the go as the original cable was just too stiff and not locking in properly so causing dropouts...pita. I also like the wooden divider touch and the red plug in for RHS .Makes it visually quick and easy to put on cans the right way. Very happy. I just need to consider a portable amp now...maybe.

Edited by onthebeach

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On 02/12/2017 at 3:22 PM, onthebeach said:

Nice deal.

Loving my new Focus pads and cable. No more drop outs with new cable. Feels good too. Nice and light. Much better when on the go as the original cable was just too stiff and not locking in properly so causing dropouts...pita. I also like the wooden divider touch and the red plug in for RHS .Makes it visually quick and easy to put on cans the right way. Very happy. I just need to consider a portable amp now...maybe.

You oughta hear those cans with the Questyle QP1R,  especially with the Focus pads! Brilliant. The HE400S with the new cable as well though seems to suit the Magni 3 amp even better, adding a level of transparency overall that is really satisfying, particularly in the bass and a truly open midrange that leaves voices sounding just so natural. 

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How does the Questyle sound in comparison to A&K?

More power than my Jr I would say which obviously would help with hard to drive cans.

I'm never stationary when I'm listening to my A&K Jr with the 400S so maybe i'm better off thinking about upgrading my player eventually to one that drives the cans better instead of an amp. The Magni 3 is too big. I need something small to slip in my pocket .  

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Actually, the QP1R may on paper have less power than the AKJ, it's the way it uses the power that is so impressive as a pure class A drive. The only review I've seen that loosely compares the two rated the QP1R as a superior sounding device, though it's circular wheel access system is shall we say a little quirky in use :) Very touchy and especially with my big fingers! Other than that, I have found it a sonic marvel, I sold a $3500 hybrid CD player because the QP1R is the better source, as lovely as the TRI CD4SE was. The purity of the QP1R's sound and it's sheer rhythmic integrity, something I have always greatly prized with any bit of kit, is fabulous. It's also very neutral in balance and not as etched as quite a few of the other often more expensive DAPs. It's also exquisitely built. The new QP2R has improved the selector wheel apparently, while losing one of the micro SD card slots to make way for the extra electronics of a balanced output. The QP1R has plenty of output for the HE400S, I use it on High Gain mode and lose no quality even at 50 out of 60 on the volume scale. Best bit of kit I've ever bought, as a whole. 

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Hey Lightstream nice info. Thanks for that. I did read somewhere that the wheel on the QP1Ris a pita. Weird that something like that passes through the design stage on such a quality unit in all other ways.

But its all about the SQ in the end. The interface and design are just extra positives or negatives I guess. If the new model has improved on the design I'll have to seriously consider it. Does it play AIFF? I'm presuming it plays WAV. I'll look into it.

I'm heading out of the country for a couple of weeks next March so I might get one before I go and get the GST back at the airport.

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Yes, it plays virtually everything,  WAV, AIFF you name it. The new model does lose a micro SD slot though, easy enough to remedy I s'pose with the new large capacity cards. Balanced operation though might be an upgrade for some folks and worth the trade off. I'm not bothered at this time,  so I won't be trading in my QP1R any time soon. It makes an excellent source using the coax digital out into the Valhalla 2 amp, or optical out into my DAC and main  system amp. Damn I love it .... as much as love can be inferred upon a piece of electronics 😀

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If I get one I cant imagine using it for anything other than mobile headphone listening...but you never know.

Maybe I should keep an eye out for a run out of the older model even with a clunky wheel. If a good deal came up it may be worth it. Who sells them?

 

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Oops,  sorry, my bad, it was Tivoli Hifi in Melbourne!  Express post over night,  great service. 

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A little more on the new cables from LPG. Yesterday, my partner and I returned from the beautifulmagnificentutterlysplendid and never to be forgotten Alt-J concert at the River Stage in Brisbane, and a little later in the evening I warmed up the QP1R and jacked in the HE400S with the stock cable to remind myself a little of the wonderful music so fresh in our hearts. Hmm, good, but there's something missing and the bass is lacking in transparency. Vocals took a little work to hear properly, something you usually accept with Joe Newman's singing style. So I decided to try PicoWattson's cables again, which work to great effect with the Magni 3 amp. Wow, what a difference! Previously I had preferred the slightly more .... well ... veiled (!) ... stock cable with the QP1R. Not any more. Whole layers of multi tracking were far more transparent and separated, vocals more easily defined in space and the bass became instantly more open and transparent, focused weight with no bloat or false warmth. Heck, I can even hear the French phrases that Joe Newman loves to use in some tracks so clearly that I can understand what he's saying! All my Alt-J albums have now taken on a whole new level of appreciation. The midrange is a lot more open and 3D and I can hear inflections in voices previously unheard or just plain indistinct. The PicoWattson cable is simply more truthful and combine that with the focus and better bass response of the Focus pads, these HifiMAN HE400S are surely one of the greatest bargains in recent times! 

 

My apologies to both LPG and PicoWattson for mixing the names up!

Edited by Lightstream

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A little more on the new cables from LPG. Yesterday, my partner and I returned from the beautifulmagnificentutterlysplendid and never to be forgotten Alt-J concert at the River Stage in Brisbane, and a little later in the evening I warmed up the QP1R and jacked in the HE400S with the stock cable to remind myself a little of the wonderful music so fresh in our hearts. Hmm, good, but there's something missing and the bass is lacking in transparency. Vocals took a little work to hear properly, something you usually accept with Joe Newman's singing style. So I decided to try LPG's cables again, which work to great effect with the Magni 3 amp. Wow, what a difference! Previously I had preferred the slightly more .... well ... veiled (!) ... stock cable with the QP1R. Not any more. Whole layers of multi tracking were far more transparent and separated, vocals more easily defined in space and the bass became instantly more open and transparent, focused weight with no bloat or false warmth. Heck, I can even hear the French phrases that Joe Newman loves to use in some tracks so clearly that I can understand what he's saying! All my Alt-J albums have now taken on a whole new level of appreciation. The midrange is a lot more open and 3D and I can hear inflections in voices previously unheard or just plain indistinct. The LPG cable is simply more truthful and combine that with the focus and better bass response of the Focus pads, these HifiMAN HE400S are surely one of the greatest bargains in recent times! 
From my A&k jr Im not getting those sort of sonic improvements with Picowatsons cable but certainly waaay prefer it over the stock 400s cable which was rubbish.

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Well that's ok, mate, if and when you upgrade the A&K Jr you'll be ready! The improvements the PicoWattson cable has had with the Magni 3 is like going from a good budget amp to buying two upgrade steps up the path, maybe proving what the guys from Schiit Audio say, that the Magni 3 may really be all most folks will ever need. Personally, I will still likely buy a Ragnarok and Yggdrasil next year :) I love the fact that the 'rok makes an excellent system amp as well.

 

Edited by Lightstream

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21 hours ago, onthebeach said:
On 12/12/2017 at 12:37 PM, Lightstream said:
A little more on the new cables from LPG. Yesterday, my partner and I returned from the beautifulmagnificentutterlysplendid and never to be forgotten Alt-J concert at the River Stage in Brisbane, and a little later in the evening I warmed up the QP1R and jacked in the HE400S with the stock cable to remind myself a little of the wonderful music so fresh in our hearts. Hmm, good, but there's something missing and the bass is lacking in transparency. Vocals took a little work to hear properly, something you usually accept with Joe Newman's singing style. So I decided to try LPG's cables again, which work to great effect with the Magni 3 amp. Wow, what a difference! Previously I had preferred the slightly more .... well ... veiled (!) ... stock cable with the QP1R. Not any more. Whole layers of multi tracking were far more transparent and separated, vocals more easily defined in space and the bass became instantly more open and transparent, focused weight with no bloat or false warmth. Heck, I can even hear the French phrases that Joe Newman loves to use in some tracks so clearly that I can understand what he's saying! All my Alt-J albums have now taken on a whole new level of appreciation. The midrange is a lot more open and 3D and I can hear inflections in voices previously unheard or just plain indistinct. The LPG cable is simply more truthful and combine that with the focus and better bass response of the Focus pads, these HifiMAN HE400S are surely one of the greatest bargains in recent times! 

From my A&k jr Im not getting those sort of sonic improvements with Picowatsons cable but certainly waaay prefer it over the stock 400s cable which was rubbish.

Again, my apologies to both LPG and PicoWattson for the name mix up, probably still high after the alt-J concert!

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Happy holidays everyone, I thought I'd chime in on this thread as I'm loving my HE 4XX from Massdrop. Essentially the 400s with the focus pads and the headband of yore.

 

Super comfy, great bass slam and a good soundstage for sure. They are warm and oh so musical. There is definitely an early treble roll off, can't guess exactly where in the range, but no harsh spikes as such. I've spent time with the 560s on the same amp, and these are close.
I've put a few hours on them off my phone (Nexus 6p) and once I heard them off there plugged them into my Questyle CMA600.

Despite the efficiency they tout about planars and despite the fact they run off phones and other portables, they love power.

I find myself running them hotter on the amp than 300ohm dynamics!

 

They LOVE power.

Now waiting for my Cardas cables to ship! Can't wait to go balanced with these.

I'm already planning my next planar purchase. These were my first.

 

Cheers.

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BI've had mine for a few days and have got about 50 hours on them and the sound is definitely still improving but even as new, quite a nice sound, even with the factory cable.

 

The Cavalli Liquid Carbon drives these well, no surprise there, but hoping the new Passdiy amp will be an improvement as I too think these 'phones will benefit from a higher current source - be interesting to hear them with maybe a Bakoon HPA-21 or the DAO ... 

 

They are quite a bit heavier than the usual 'phones that I'm used to and these needs a spacer under the headband for a comfortable fit but have fitted one of those knitted woolen 'over-bands' and it does the trick quite well 

 

I don't find these as comfortable as either the AKG 701s or the Senn 650s (possibly the extra weight) but I'm sure I'll get used to them - the sound is IMO much better overall - the headamp of choice will be crucial to the overall sound

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22 hours ago, Girish Ramakrishnan said:

Happy holidays everyone, I thought I'd chime in on this thread as I'm loving my HE 4XX from Massdrop. Essentially the 400s with the focus pads and the headband of yore.

 

Super comfy, great bass slam and a good soundstage for sure. They are warm and oh so musical. There is definitely an early treble roll off, can't guess exactly where in the range, but no harsh spikes as such. I've spent time with the 560s on the same amp, and these are close.
I've put a few hours on them off my phone (Nexus 6p) and once I heard them off there plugged them into my Questyle CMA600.

Despite the efficiency they tout about planars and despite the fact they run off phones and other portables, they love power.

I find myself running them hotter on the amp than 300ohm dynamics!

 

They LOVE power.

Now waiting for my Cardas cables to ship! Can't wait to go balanced with these.

I'm already planning my next planar purchase. These were my first.

 

Cheers.

Indeed they love a bit of power, despite the fact that they sound just wonderful with the supposedly measly 42mA Class A output of my Questyle QP1R. They show plenty of benefits with the Magni 3, including front to back depth and lovely layers that are flattened  a little with the QP1R. And, with the new cables from PicoWattson, have gained substantial transparency overall, but especially so from the mid bass on down. The Magni 3 is more than capable of showing up such subtleties. I imagine the CMA600 might sound like the QP1R on steroids in all the best ways :) Balanced, mmm ... I wonder what else might be eked out of these great bargain cans? 

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11 hours ago, jrhill said:

BI've had mine for a few days and have got about 50 hours on them and the sound is definitely still improving but even as new, quite a nice sound, even with the factory cable.

 

The Cavalli Liquid Carbon drives these well, no surprise there, but hoping the new Passdiy amp will be an improvement as I too think these 'phones will benefit from a higher current source - be interesting to hear them with maybe a Bakoon HPA-21 or the DAO ... 

 

They are quite a bit heavier than the usual 'phones that I'm used to and these needs a spacer under the headband for a comfortable fit but have fitted one of those knitted woolen 'over-bands' and it does the trick quite well 

 

I don't find these as comfortable as either the AKG 701s or the Senn 650s (possibly the extra weight) but I'm sure I'll get used to them - the sound is IMO much better overall - the headamp of choice will be crucial to the overall sound

You may find that with a set of Focus pads, they become much more comfortable, I too did not find the stock pads that nice to wear. I admit to preferring them (with the Focus pads) to my HD650s I owned a few years ago. When my new HD6XX cans arrive, I will have already bought a new set of more comfy pads for them that others have mentioned in Head-Fi. 

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Yes, I understand there's a few upgrades for these - I've got a set of Hugh's (pico watson) new long cable being built now and will look at these Focus pads too - Brian mentioned something about using a more widely spaced grill on the outside too

 

Even with these as stock Massdrop units, and as the hours pass, these are quite remarkable 'phones indeed - not sure what effect the higher current amps have on the sound but if I get curious, I can just plug them into the First Watt F6 amp - it runs at 1.5A/channel - the Dao runs about 250mA and the Passdiy is set about 120mA - this might be quite interesting.

 

There is a downside to these - the increased level of transparency, or intelligibility as it's now called, highlights the wide variety of recording qualities of the wide taste in music that I listen to - some of it is 'not so good' (being polite here!) - didn't expect it to be so obvious particularly as I spend a bit of time with the k701s - the Senn 650s with the Japanese cable is a bit bass heavy for me on the Liquid Carbon, and the little "thinksound On2"s are way over the top in the bass (haven't done much time with them) for me.

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The Magni 3 has over 2.5W to 3W available at 22 ohms and has a very smooth and extended bass response, readily showing up the differences between the less revealing and warmer stock cable and Hugh's rather more open and transparent cable. It's quite astonishing to get this level of performance, power and relative versatility from an amp that costs only just over half as much as I paid for my portable Meyer designed Corda 2Move DAC/amp several years ago. The 2Move still gets used from time to time and continues to be an excellent little portable amp, highly rated in it's day. Perfectly useable too with the HE400S, though brilliant with my modded Denon AH-D1000s and Sony MDR-1Rs. 

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