HE440i + Magni VS HE560 + Vali? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-02-2019, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
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HE440i + Magni VS HE560 + Vali?

Right now I use DT770s for music as I love the low end, and HD598s for gaming as the sound-stage is good for directional sound.

After going through a TON of headsets in the past couple years, I wanted low end like the DT770s in an open headset with a decent sound-stage for gaming, I was suggested the HE440i, and after just a couple hours, this is definitely the best sounding headset I have used, at least for my preferred sound signature and music type (EDM mostly).

Out of the box the low end is good, but running a slight EQ to boost the low end while lowering a couple high end spikes really makes this the best headset for my tastes.


The low end is more than good enough on the Hifis while having a good enough sound-stage for in-game directional fire. Basically I wouldn't have to run 2 headsets.

Now I was debating making the 200ish $ leap to the HE560 (+150$) and the Vali (+50$). I spend a ton of time listening to music and if the jump is quality is worth the price then I will gladly pay it... plus i'd have 2 sets to sell almost breaking even.

Or just upgrading the Magni to Vali?


Opinions?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-02-2019, 06:49 PM
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Me again. The 400i 500 and 560 have very similar performance, I don't know that you'd notice a difference. If you want to improve the soundstage take off the rear grills(just google hifiman grill mod for ideas) and/or try a pad mod, the dekoni velours would be best but you may find you want to eq the subbass up more, which is ok since the drivers have low distortion in that region, or anything pleather/leather angled and deeper than the stock pads will improve the size of the soundstage. Velour will smooth treble, leather may increase reflections.

Switching pads is easy, theres a mounting ring that pads slide onto easily.

As far as amps go, tube amps add distortion and may not be the best for gaming. You can get substantially better performance out of the modi magni stack by throwing a schiit eitr or used uptone iso regen in front of the modi. Which will result in increased clarity, better imaging and localization in games, etc.
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post #3 of 15 Old 01-02-2019, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bdht View Post
Me again. The 400i 500 and 560 have very similar performance, I don't know that you'd notice a difference. If you want to improve the soundstage take off the rear grills(just google hifiman grill mod for ideas) and/or try a pad mod, the dekoni velours would be best but you may find you want to eq the subbass up more, which is ok since the drivers have low distortion in that region, or anything pleather/leather angled and deeper than the stock pads will improve the size of the soundstage. Velour will smooth treble, leather may increase reflections.

Switching pads is easy, theres a mounting ring that pads slide onto easily.

As far as amps go, tube amps add distortion and may not be the best for gaming. You can get substantially better performance out of the modi magni stack by throwing a schiit eitr or used uptone iso regen in front of the modi. Which will result in increased clarity, better imaging and localization in games, etc.
Thank you for the detailed response!

I am looking at the eitr right now, although sound sometimes is hard to put into word, how would you best describe the sound improvement with this setup?

As for the 560, I looked around and apparently its more of a "colder" sound which I am not too fond of.
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-02-2019, 08:20 PM
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Thank you for the detailed response!

I am looking at the eitr right now, although sound sometimes is hard to put into word, how would you best describe the sound improvement with this setup?

As for the 560, I looked around and apparently its more of a "colder" sound which I am not too fond of.
You're welcome. The conditioning typically improves detail and clarity, resulting in better staging and imaging. I personally really like using conditoning devices and use these on the power side as well: https://www.radwell.com/en-US/Buy/SCHNEIDER%20ELECTRIC/SQUARE%20D/91092-12

Are you using a computer? For music and gaming? What are you using for EQ?
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-02-2019, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
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You're welcome. The conditioning typically improves detail and clarity, resulting in better staging and imaging. I personally really like using conditoning devices and use these on the power side as well: https://www.radwell.com/en-US/Buy/SC...E%20D/91092-12

Are you using a computer? For music and gaming? What are you using for EQ?
PC for both gaming and Music, I just use the chrome EQ or Winamp EQ (lol gotta love the oldschool player)

Was thinking of getting a Loki to run a global EQ but I dont really need to EQ anything outside of the 2 above. Would be nice to have a little more low end in games, but its not that bad. I know I can use equalizer APO but that seems complicated for nothing.
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-02-2019, 08:41 PM
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I know I can use equalizer APO but that seems complicated for nothing.
Once you know how to use it it's the best option, being a high resolution parametric equalizer and allowing you to eq the exact frequency you want. As well as being global and working with every program.

Crash course, get rid of all the stock filters, hit the green plus and go to parametric filters.

Low shelf, raises or lowers everything below the selected frequency, great for an even boost to sub bass at say 70-90hz.

Peaking filters can be widened or narrowed with the q factor, so say 2-6khz is to high, you would set the peaking filter to 4khz, -5db or w.e, and the qfactor lower(1-2) to cover all the frequency range.

High shelf is the opposite of the low shelf if you want to say roll off over 10khz.

I found 2-6khz a bit high on the 400i, and a smaller notch at 9khz as well, -2db with a q factor of 3.

That being said, since your gaming Id suggest giving this program a try: https://fongaudio.com/out-of-your-head-software/

The gamer preset can be used for a week and then is $25 by itself, the rest of the program is more though.

When using that program, really flatten out the headphones eq though, like -10db 2-6khz and -5db at 9khz. I can give a more accurate eq if you end up liking it. I use the program 100% of the time when I'm at a computer, its incredible headphone surround and works great with music as well. Amazing soundstage.

Back to the schiit stack. Do you have everything including the computer on a surge strip?

Last edited by bdht; 01-02-2019 at 08:53 PM.
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-02-2019, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Once you know how to use it it's the best option, being a high resolution parametric equalizer and allowing you to eq the exact frequency you want. As well as being global and working with every program.

Crash course, get rid of all the stock filters, hit the green plus and go to parametric filters.

Low shelf, raises or lowers everything below the selected frequency, great for an even boost to sub bass at say 70-90hz.

Peaking filters can be widened or narrowed with the q factor, so say 2-6khz is to high, you would set the peaking filter to 4khz, -5db or w.e, and the qfactor lower(1-2) to cover all the frequency range.

High shelf is the opposite of the low shelf if you want to say roll off over 10khz.

I found 2-6khz a bit high on the 400i, and a smaller notch at 9khz as well, -2db with a q factor of 3.

That being said, since your gaming Id suggest giving this program a try: https://fongaudio.com/out-of-your-head-software/

The gamer preset can be used for a week and then is $25 by itself, the rest of the program is more though.

When using that program, really flatten out the headphones eq though, like -10db 2-6khz and -5db at 9khz. I can give a more accurate eq if you end up liking it. I use the program 100% of the time when I'm at a computer, its incredible headphone surround and works great with music as well. Amazing soundstage.

Back to the schiit stack. Do you have everything including the computer on a surge strip?
Honestly, I dont really care what my games sound like, sure I wouldnt mind a little more OOMPH from the explosions but its minor, my main focus is the music.

Thanks for all the advice, I will go ahead and grab APO and if you dont mind prive msg you on setting it up properly to my liking.
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-02-2019, 09:25 PM
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Honestly, I dont really care what my games sound like, sure I wouldnt mind a little more OOMPH from the explosions but its minor, my main focus is the music.

Thanks for all the advice, I will go ahead and grab APO and if you dont mind prive msg you on setting it up properly to my liking.
Sounds good, happy to help.
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-05-2019, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Sounds good, happy to help.
Thank for all the Advice, really enjoying the HE400i, and the addition of the Eitr does make a clear difference.

I wont say the low end is as good as the DT770s, but the soundstage and overall sound quality is night and day while having a much better low end then my now-for-sale HD598s.

The only thing the kinda sucks, and then again I am guessing any sensitive headset would the the same (though I did not have such issues with the 770s or 598s), is that a lot of slower song on my YouTube playlist now sound like they have interference in low points, something like "On the Nature of Daylight" has bad background noise especially at the beginning, I went ahead and got Spotify and there is 0 noise on there, so I am guessing its a YouTube music quality issue. Hans Zimmer - Mountains is another good exemple but there its the heavy rolling bass towards the end that sounds off on Youtube, no such issue on Spotify.

Anyways, I redid my playlist on Spotify, everything sounds just amazing now.
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-05-2019, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Marshall160 View Post
Thank for all the Advice, really enjoying the HE400i, and the addition of the Eitr does make a clear difference.

I wont say the low end is as good as the DT770s, but the soundstage and overall sound quality is night and day while having a much better low end then my now-for-sale HD598s.

The only thing the kinda sucks, and then again I am guessing any sensitive headset would the the same (though I did not have such issues with the 770s or 598s), is that a lot of slower song on my YouTube playlist now sound like they have interference in low points, something like "On the Nature of Daylight" has bad background noise especially at the beginning, I went ahead and got Spotify and there is 0 noise on there, so I am guessing its a YouTube music quality issue. Hans Zimmer - Mountains is another good exemple but there its the heavy rolling bass towards the end that sounds off on Youtube, no such issue on Spotify.

Anyways, I redid my playlist on Spotify, everything sounds just amazing now.
Oo ya the bane of hifi: lofi recordings and compression. Youtube espacially is very compressed. I try to use uncompressed flac all the time.

For the bass, just give it a 3-5db boost below 100hz and see if you like it.

Glad the eitr worked for you, its a great addition to the modi magni combo. If possible, try putting the 3 power supplies(wall warts) from the eitr modi and magni on the same unfiltered(no surge protection) power strip. Then plug that strip into a surge protector. This is a neat little trick I learned, you have a chain between the 3 devices and the surge protection increases impedance between the devices which increases noise generated by leakage currents between the power supplies.
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post #11 of 15 Old 01-09-2019, 06:13 PM
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Late (maybe too late?) to the game on this, but a couple quick points/thoughts:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall160 View Post
Now I was debating making the 200ish $ leap to the HE560 (+150$) and the Vali (+50$). I spend a ton of time listening to music and if the jump is quality is worth the price then I will gladly pay it... plus i'd have 2 sets to sell almost breaking even.

Or just upgrading the Magni to Vali?
I don't own any tube amps, but from everything I've read and heard, they typically are not recommended to be paired with Planar Magnetic headphones. I don't think I'm the right guy to explain why, either technically or what the result is if you go against this conventional wisdom... I believe the other poster mentioned distortion? I think that might be specific to pairing Tubes with Planars maybe? Tubes are *very* popular in some corners of the internet where enthusiasts gather... I just think you're not supposed to plug Planars into them.


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Originally Posted by Marshall160 View Post
The only thing the kinda sucks, and then again I am guessing any sensitive headset would the the same (though I did not have such issues with the 770s or 598s), is that a lot of slower song on my YouTube playlist now sound like they have interference in low points, something like "On the Nature of Daylight" has bad background noise especially at the beginning, I went ahead and got Spotify and there is 0 noise on there, so I am guessing its a YouTube music quality issue. Hans Zimmer - Mountains is another good exemple but there its the heavy rolling bass towards the end that sounds off on Youtube, no such issue on Spotify.

Anyways, I redid my playlist on Spotify, everything sounds just amazing now.
What I've found is that most every person on the internet that so passionately argues that not only can THEY not hear the difference in xyz low-bitrate-lossy codec, but NO ONE CAN, it's "impossible"... it usually means either:
A) They have lower quality gear (bose/beats/etc headphones, soundbars, bluetooth "speakers")
B) they listen almost exclusively to heavily synthetic, loudness-wars-influenced, low-dynamic-range music that doesn't have a lot of the details/nuances in them that can get lost with lower bitrate/poor files, no matter the bitrate (like the ringing of a cymbal or high hat in the room that it was struck in after the initial hit)
C) Both


When you spend the kind of money on "good gear" that's being discussed here, I still think buying CDs and ripping them losslessly to FLAC is cool in a law-of-diminishing-returns-but-real sort of way.

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post #12 of 15 Old 01-10-2019, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Decided to make the stretch to the Sundaras, also tested the HD650 at the same price point but went ahead and returned those. The low end just isint good enough for me, and when running a +3-4db on the low end it just does not sound good at all, like the drivers arent meant to produce that kind of sound, just like I found my HD598s did.

Extremely pleased with the Sundaras, low end is tight and with the appropriate amount of impact, not DT770 impact, but still more than enough. Running a +4 @ 20hz tappering off to + 1 @ 160hz and everything just sounds amazing, the high end is not as harsh as the HE440is which is another huge plus. Also build quality seems alot better, picked them up for 500CDN (375US) putting them only 150$us more expensive than the HE440s, well worth the extra money.
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Try moving that low end eq up to like 150hz +5db with a 33db/octave slope, that will be very similar to the dt770. Or if you want something a little smoother try 130hz 5db fixed slope. You can't hear anything below 25hz, so with your current eq the boost in the audible range is very low. See photo: https://ibb.co/Y8s1TxH
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Decided to make the stretch to the Sundaras, also tested the HD650 at the same price point but went ahead and returned those. The low end just isint good enough for me, and when running a +3-4db on the low end it just does not sound good at all, like the drivers arent meant to produce that kind of sound, just like I found my HD598s did.

Extremely pleased with the Sundaras, low end is tight and with the appropriate amount of impact, not DT770 impact, but still more than enough. Running a +4 @ 20hz tappering off to + 1 @ 160hz and everything just sounds amazing, the high end is not as harsh as the HE440is which is another huge plus. Also build quality seems alot better, picked them up for 500CDN (375US) putting them only 150$us more expensive than the HE440s, well worth the extra money.
Very cool, glad you found something you like.

I do not disagree/am not surprised to hear your input on the HD650. I primarily use my HD-6XX's for jazz/accappella/vocals/singer-songwriter type stuff, maybe 1960's/1970's classic rock like CCR. I definitely prefer other options (primarily my Audeze LCD-2Cs or my Fostex TR-X00's) for hard rock / metal / pop / hip-hop / g-funk etc.

One interesting (to me at least) note, though, I got a 3rd party (periapt) balanced XLR cable for my HD-6XX's for Christmas this year from my wife, and it made a noticable/significant improvement to low end presence. My amp has a lot more power output capability through it's balanced XLR out than it does single-ended; (0.9 watts vs. 0.35 watts @ 300 ohms). And that extra power has resulted in making my 6XX's much more versatile/capable than they were at the lower power level... I'd read elsewhere that the 650/6XX "scales very well" based on the quality of your other gear, but it wasn't until this Christmas that I experienced it for myself. TIFWIW.
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post #15 of 15 Old 01-10-2019, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Try moving that low end eq up to like 150hz +5db with a 33db/octave slope, that will be very similar to the dt770. Or if you want something a little smoother try 130hz 5db fixed slope. You can't hear anything below 25hz, so with your current eq the boost in the audible range is very low. See photo: https://ibb.co/Y8s1TxH
Thanks Ill play around with that tonight! Though I had put +5 db shelf to 140 and I found it to be too overpowering, it would swallow all other sounds. Did you just make the drawing? lol thanks alot man

On the DT770s I raised the mids and killed the highs, resulting in something very similar to the Sundara graph you are showing me.

I would not mind slightly more mid range, how would you go about raising the 950 to 2.9k dip?

https://www.rtings.com/headphones/1-2/graph#589/2031

Though honestly I went ahead and disabled APO, and these things sound amazing without an EQ, so I think I would like just a very slight EQ, a little more low end, and slightly more mids, with an ever so slight high end -db.

Quote:
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Very cool, glad you found something you like.

I do not disagree/am not surprised to hear your input on the HD650. I primarily use my HD-6XX's for jazz/accappella/vocals/singer-songwriter type stuff, maybe 1960's/1970's classic rock like CCR. I definitely prefer other options (primarily my Audeze LCD-2Cs or my Fostex TR-X00's) for hard rock / metal / pop / hip-hop / g-funk etc.

One interesting (to me at least) note, though, I got a 3rd party (periapt) balanced XLR cable for my HD-6XX's for Christmas this year from my wife, and it made a noticable/significant improvement to low end presence. My amp has a lot more power output capability through it's balanced XLR out than it does single-ended; (0.9 watts vs. 0.35 watts @ 300 ohms). And that extra power has resulted in making my 6XX's much more versatile/capable than they were at the lower power level... I'd read elsewhere that the 650/6XX "scales very well" based on the quality of your other gear, but it wasn't until this Christmas that I experienced it for myself. TIFWIW.
Interesting to hear! I feel the whole Senn sound just isint for me or the type of music I listen to, I've had the 558 and the 598 for extended periods of time and feel they both had the same problem, I really enjoyed the mids but always went back to the DTs for music, and now the 650s have basically the same problem areas. I know alot of people swear by them, but they just arent for me!

Oh, and I *almost* made the bigger stretch to a used LCD-2, but paying that much a used pair of cans that I am unsure of liking its really risky!



Honestly the more I listen to these Sundaras the more I love them, I just took off all EQ and they sound just amazing, I had to EQ the crap out of the HE440i to get anything remotely as good sounding as these STOCK. Perhaps that says more about the 440i? Though I still found they sounded great coming from my DT770/HD598 combo.

Really the only thing bad I can say about them is that there is no swivel on the ear cups, making it so you have to place them on your head at a certain angle, I like having my band more towards the back of my skull, but the cups dont seal properly if you do so, the band needs to be dead center on the top of the head. Quite a minor gripe I know, but still worth mentioning.

Last edited by Marshall160; 01-10-2019 at 05:42 PM.
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