|Originally posted by shivohum
In his review of the Sennheiser hD600, Wes Phillips claims that "female singers" and "solo instruments" "tended to sound a tad distant throughout their lower ranges. ... In fact, wide-ranging instruments such as piano ... sounded slightly bigger and warmer than life in their lowest registers (a seductive additive coloration) and then sounded slightly less present throughout the midrange and presence region, before popping into sharp relief for their upper octaves and overtones."
Judge, do you agree with this observation? And if so, do any of these cables correct the situation?
Sorry I missed this one initially, shivohum.
While the HD-600s are laid back, I haven't experienced what Wes is describing with the vocalists, but I do understand what he means with the piano. The lowest notes of piano can indeed be mildly emphasized with the HD-600s. As much as I love what they do, I don't think I would ever argue that the HD-600s are perfectly neutral (especially after buying the Etymotic ER-4S's). But its their lushness-and-detail combination that makes them so ultimately inviting to me. To answer your question about correcting the situation -- the Cardas does do a lot for this, particularly with piano music. One of the CD's I was going to mention was Hamelin's playing of Godowski's studies on Chopin's Etudes (Hyperion CDA67411/2), which can bring this particular tonal quality out of the HD-600s. By improving bass control, the Cardas cable was the best at bringing the HD-600s closer to neutral in this regard. I left mention of this CD out because, well, look how long the review is already! And I also wanted to stick with music that might be more familiar to more people.
Maybe the best way to put it is that if you think your HD-600s could use a mild attitude adjustment, and maybe even some tonal tweaking, the Cardas is likely the best choice in my opinion. This describes me. I love pretty much everything about the stock HD-600s, but as a recent Etymotic buyer, I wanted to squeeze more neutrality and detail out of them without over-changing them.
Based on my time with it, the Equinox seems perfect for those who feel like they might not want to change a thing about the stock HD-600s, but also want to explore a higher level of performance along the lines of what they're already used to tonally. Though the Equinox does more than this, it's truer to the original chesty tonal balance of stock HD-600s than the Cardas, which takes them significantly further down the road to neutrality. Even with the Cardas cable, the HD-600s don't become Etymotic ER-4S's, but, then again, I don't want them to be. I own both, and the HD-600s are still my favorites.