Oct 9, 20182054 views

Massdrop x Sennheiser HE 0X Electrostatic System

Lets make this happen, a baby Orpheus for the modern audiophile world. We have the Sennheiser HE 1, but no other electrostatic from the company for the audiophile that's looking for the Sennheiser sound at an (way more) accesible price. The system should be based on the HE 60 project, an electrostatic with price-consciousness in mind, as the then HE 90 (Orpheus) was too expensive just as the HE 1 is actually. And just like the 600 series it should have a good build quality but using the famous plastic that Sennheiser is known for, which we still have from the 580 Precision and it is still rock solid. And most importantly, great sound quality paired with an energizer that can deliver (more than) enough power to drive the electrostatic driver. I would suggest the name to be HE 0X (Zero X), as it's a baby HE 1 and an 'X' has always trailed on Massdrop x Sennheiser collaborations. I had previously seen that Will from Collaborations said they had already pitched Sennheiser for the HE X0, which should be a HE 60 revival with a few tweaks. However, it would be very nice to have an energized rival, literally, as the HE 60 was often overlooked since the energizer was the weakest link on the system and a proper energizer should be fundamental on such a project. Finally, I guess it would be nice for it to be positioned over the Massdrop x Koss ESP/95X which has a price tag of $499.99, and it to stay around the $1000 (much better if below) sweet spot mark for the enthusiasts like us that have grabbed the HD 6XX and HD 58X. Such an ideal price could be reached as it was proposed before to use the headband and frame of previous collaborations, and maybe in this case the HD 58X black colorway might suit more the classic black/silver aesthetic in the original proposition. I'm adding a screenshot and image of the info that Will had posted on a comment on the Massdrop x Koss ESP/95X discussion.

And just a little update: We have green light here, thanks again to Will from collaborations! So lets endorse the project so Sennheiser takes it into consideration!
audioaddict, seslan, and 57 others

I am definitely in for this. I love the presentation of my Sennheiser open-back reference headphones. Also, both Koss ESP-950 and the new STAX advanced-lambda presents clean, fresh, and sensitive-touching sounds. A revive of HE 60 could bridge both worlds. It is a product we looking for so long. Sennheiser should not be worried the revived HE 60 would disrupt their higher lineup (HD800, HD800S). The sound of electrostatic headphones are still vast different from HD800 series. The HD800 series holds a lot of benefits and advantages on their own. A lot of us will still keep our HD800(s) and looking for the HE 60. It is a total different kind of animal. And we really want to experience it. A good electrostatic driver unit is sure to be healthy for the circle. Even if the headphone only comes alone with a STAX pro-bias adapter/ending would be sufficient. A good driver unit is not that difficult/expansive to find. Plus, you would probably not planning to take them out for a sightseeing anyway. Once you join the electrostatic world, you would find a 5-pin 580V not that rare, and your investment into a reasonable driver unit would benefit for years.
Bumping this, it needs to get done!
~ $1k pricepoint and STAX PRO bias socket compatible, do it! My modded L300 Limiteds would like a German buddy to hang out with:

Regarding bias, the original HE-60 had a 540v bias, where the HE-90 is 500v. All Stax are 580v, so if the amp is good enough, the Blue Hawaiis etc of the world won't be needed. That said, I did use my HE-60 with Blue Hawaii, Liquid Lightning, and eXStata, so the same bias will work ok with Stax (580v) amps, and sound REALLY great with them. I don't think a low volt bias (280v or so) would excite anyone, and doubt Senn would consider that as they have not ever been in that neighborhood, AFAIK. But those amps are also $3k plus, so not really the objective here, even if the HE-60 will scale perfectly.
So Massdrop wants to make this happen? Cool. Such a headphone BETTER be Stax pro-bias compatible though, so we can use actual good amps with it.
I would get these, I have always wanted a baby orpheous
I am consideing HiFiMan Edition XX to replace my HE4XX. If HE0X happens to appear around 1000$, then I am abandoing the upgrade from HE4XX for the time being. Please confirm it before new year. It will be the New Year Gift for us.
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Great..much appreciated!! Thanx for replying ... How is the build quality ?? Is there any problem which u faced for these headphones..?? These would be my first headphones..., I have considered others like dt990 pro, meze classics , hd5xx , .. but i think he4xx is pretty good deal among these... !!.. please suggest ...
HD58x is a great option, if you want dynamic driver. Build quality of HE4xx is quite good. I find it bit more comfortable than my HE400i.
Can someone explain in simple terms what's the difference between an energizer and an amp? Why energizer with electrostatics? Do you ever use both together? Thanks!
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@caguilar91 said it pretty well but I well add some history to the discussion. Stax first used the term energizer for a low cost unit(s) they produced that required the addition of a speaker amp. They referred to their "all-in-one" units as driver units. The energizer name stuck around despite it not quite being 100% true to its origins.
Cool details. Thanks!
As a price-conscious audio enthusiast, I would seriously consider it assuming it's priced within reason and feature set (in particular, the energizer better be great -- unlike the gimpy one it was decided to include with the Koss).
I am in. Just so help shorten the path, Alex Cavalli developed a DIY amp specifically as a low cost mid range electrostatic amp that would fit the bill here. I used it with my HE60 for many years. It can be SS or tube, using 6S4A, an old TV tube, that a bunch of these tubes are (or were) available. A little history here, but many were built and used for about $300 and could likely be built at scale for that today. just not sure of the form factor though I built most in 11" x 11" SUN external drive cases. Maybe AC can finally get paid for a design that many built and served VERY well. Perhaps new design ideas can also be employed to make this reasonable, but it won't be with a wall wart like the HEV-70. https://www.head-fi.org/threads/exstata-diy-electrostatic-amp-for-intermediate-diyers.447950/
i'm in, i'm a senny guy not a koss guy, put these out and i WILL buy them.....maybe 3 sets/kits of them if the first set as good as i hope....i have family members and freinds that i would put on something like this for thier home audio setups.
If they do make this happen, make a rock solid energizer in a CTH / THX AAA Chassis so nobody has to hunt for anything, just perfect out of the box and most of us buy multiple stuff here so it will look great in the stack.
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Just thinking about it gets the juices going. Wheeew!
I think it would take a bit bigger top box for the torroid transformer and balance of the PSU, along with a HV umbilical moving +/- 400v, but I'm not sure on heat dissipation with SMT technology. NOT a fan of the STAX/Koss brick energizer concepts at all. Just my .02
Will buy, just give us enough heads up so we can share the launch and save the funds.
would buy
I'm only saving up money for HD-800s and amp/dac to go with it... if this was less than 1k id jump on this instead.
They were targeted at $700 when released, with inflation that would put them somewhere around 1300-1400 bucks in today's money, not out of the ballpark to drop 300-400 bucks off MSRP with a MD collaboration. They do tend to sell around $2K on the used market so that may influence price structure.
I'd be down.
I am a Sennheiser First kind of guy, owning a couple of 6xx, one 58x, a couple of Momentums (including the over ear wireless), and a few others (a couple of px100IIi, 4.40, 598), my 10 yr old son has a pair of Urbanite on ear, and a vintage pair of 420SL. Now to excite me I would love to see a Massdrop collaboration of either the HD800S or this Massdrop HE60 Baby Orpheus collaboration project. I would be very motivated to buy such a headphone if the price is under my psycho limit of 500$ ...(or maybe I would be open to revise my mental limit if such a great product is made available by Massdrop and Sennheiser).
Please make this happen, MD!
I would be in for this immediately if the price was in the range being discussed.
I'd definitely consider joining a HE-0X drop if it can hit at or below the $1,000 dollar mark. Electrostatics are gaining my interest, and constitute the only trump card over my current equipment.
Yeah, it would really awesome for MD to be able to make this happen since electrostats are generally in the "untouchable" price category for most people.
Would be interested in a revived HE-60... as long as a good STAX compatible adapter is an option for it. Have no interest in any base Sennheiser energizer for it - would be nice to have option of either a STAX compatible adapter or Sennheiser energizer.
now if only Sennheiser would ship the MD collabs to more than a handful of countries...
A sub $1000 Sennheiser electro phone + energizer (nevermind that some think it us underpowered) is something I'd click on join drop without thinking.
Alas, i just searched fs he60 on head-fi and I saw a second hand set for $2,500!
If the massdrop edition it turns out to be <$1,000, I'd really be impressed with Massdrop's negotiation skills.
Then again, Massdrop already sold over $11M worth of HE6XX in a relativelt short amount of time so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Originally, the HE 60 were priced at around $700, and lived beside the HD 650 which were priced at around $500. However not many were produced and soon they were being sold for a lot more than their original price. Now prices are over $2000 for some used HE 60 with their HEV 70 energizer. Now considering inflation and the $700 pricetag in 2005, to date price would be close to $1000.
I'm very curious about the HE 60. Some people swear by it, others say it's terrible. I know knowledgeable people on both sides so I don't know what to think.
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And well, mostly the energizer was criticized the most, with many saying that with cables for Stax and other better energizers they would sound incredibly good. Some saying very close to the Orpheus and well, some going to the extent to say that they even surpassed the Orpheus. Finally, the idea on this project is mostly to get a better energizer to make them truly shine, since it's better to have more power (and so headroom) than it to be just right (without headroom) or simply underpowered. Also, the Sennheiser sound is found across their products, starting with the original HD 580s to the HD 6, 7 and 8 hundred series; tweaks here, there, more bass, more highs, a slight peak here, a dip there, better imaging, soundstage, detail, etc. as you go up, but mostly a sound signature that's Sennheiser (Thanks Axel Grell)!
Right, if they do a Massdrop one it better be Stax Pro bias compatible out of the box.
I have so many headphones and amps and DACs now that I really think I am done buying anything audio related for at least a few years. My one exception would be if Massdrop did a Senn. electrostatic collaboration for $1000 or less. Id go in for one of those.
It would be nice to have it in EU without the customs attached to it. That is the only thing holding me back buying all theses stuff I want on MS. Because of that, I purchased an original HD600 at almost the price of the H6XX from an EU dealer. But I'm currently registered on the KOSS drop, this will be my first drop, if the post/customs/tax things work out for me, I'll be interested in buying the HE 0X too.
Would you at least consider an all-in price for EU customer, all prepaid? Chinese do this for high priced product and it work well. Each time a product has to go to customs, you lose a month on the delivery.
My money is ready for this!
So is mine!