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Yes another HD590 vs HD600 question

post #1 of 159
Thread Starter 
Ok, I know this has been beat to death from the hundreds of posts, but bear with me!

I found this site after wanting to upgrade the cheap headphones that came with my Nomad Jukebox 3. And of course, the Pandora's Box has been opened. I now HAVE to get some good headphones - I am weak!

The primary purpose of the phones will be to listen to music (rock, jazz, and some classical) in my home office and occasionally from my Pioneer Elite receive in the family room. Right now, I just have the JB3 in the office. I have a Yamaha VX870 receive sitting in my closet (replaced it with the Pioneer receiver a few years ago). I am thinking (or should I say hoping) that this will suffice to drive the headphones until I can pick up a headphone amp.

I am really debating between the 590s and the 600s. Since I can get the 590s for about $100 less than the 600s, would it be worth it to get the 590s and a better cable (such as an Equinox cable) for roughly the same price as the 600s? I like the better comfort and the cable going into one ear MUCH better on the 590s than the 600s. I also like the fact that the 590s are easier to drive (possibly used on the JB3 without an amp when puttering around the house).

I have listened to both, though not side by side. They definitely have different characteristics and sound far better than anything else I have. To my still learning ears, I like the detail of the 590s but the 600s sure are smooth. I'm not sure which I like better (if so, it would be a no-brainer on what to get). I didn't get the opportunity to listen to either for great lengths of time so I didn't experience any fatigue like some of the reviews claim about the 590s. Would a better cable help out with that?

Decisions, decisions.

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 159
I'm not exactly the expert around here, but I DO have the 580s and the 600s although not the 590s. I've had them before, but I just don't find them as good quality as the other two (although I agree with you that the single-ended cable is a bonus).

I'd definitely say go with the 600s as they're a much better headphone generally (IMHO), but you WILL need a dedicated headphone amp with them I believe... you'll never get the full potential (or even close to it) with running them off the standard headphone socket on any source. Forget the cables for now, just go for a good amp - there are plenty of threads around on how to get a kit/fully made one... I use a Rega Ear amp with mine, but that was before I found out about this forum and the kit amps you can get...

Happy listening whatever you go with
post #3 of 159
I also vote for the HD600 if you plan on getting a head amp someday. The HD590 certainly aren't the worst headphones but I like the HD580/600 much better. I personally find the HD600 quite comfortable, not as nice and soft as the HD590 though. If you're thinking about going to the trouble of upgrading cables for the HD590 in the future, you might as well get the HD600 now in my opinion.

Listening without an dedicated amp the HD590 would be a much better choice. Don't forget that the are many other phones that sound good and can be run directly from receiver without an amp. Although you're pretty much doomed to get at least one amp if you stay on these boards for any length of time. "Welcome to Head-Fi, sorry about your wallet" as the cliché goes.

For portable use you might consider getting a pair of the Koss KSC35 phones for $30 or less. They're a lot more practical and comfortable than full size cans for puttering around the house in, and no amp required.

If cost is the nagging issue you can find HD600s for around $240 if you shop around and even less if you buy from some European vendors. They're a good deal at that price.

There are other phones to consider that might be more comfortable than the HD600 and have excellent sound quality. I'm sure others could recommend some. How about the Beyer 931? Good luck!
post #4 of 159
Why am I confused on two issues. One how do you get a replacement cable for the 590s that have one cord? The replacement cable has two cords. And two How can you compair the 590 to the 600? If I were you I would get either the 580s that you can get a replacement cable for or the koss-35s that need no amp.
post #5 of 159
The replacement cable for the HD580/HD600 will NOT fit the HD590. There IS a version of the Equinox cable for the HD490/HD495/HD500/HD570/HD575/HD590, and a different version of the Equinox cable for the HD580/HD600.
post #6 of 159
Here's a simple answer for you:

Get the 580's, they sound just like the 600's and get an amp. The entire combo will cost you about as much as 590 w/cable replacement or 600's without.
post #7 of 159
I agree with Bifcake, just getting the HD600s alone, and running them off of a portable would be a dissapointing experience...

If money is tight, and these are the kind of headphones you'd want, then the HD580s with a portable amp (presuming your player has a line out??) is the way to go... this would push you to about the same cost as the HD600s, but would push you a couple of levels ahead of them in terms of clarity and punch

Else, if money is good... get the HD600s, a replacement cable (Cardas, Equinox or Clou Red Jaspis) and a killer portable amp (META42, Porta-Corda, one of the Headroom Airhead range) and things should then sound pretty darned good... but this could be up to about $350 more than you've currently got budgeted
post #8 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Duncan

I agree with Bifcake, just getting the HD600s alone, and running them off of a portable would be a dissapointing experience...

If money is tight, and these are the kind of headphones you'd want, then the HD580s with a portable amp (presuming your player has a line out??) is the way to go... this would push you to about the same cost as the HD600s, but would push you a couple of levels ahead of them in terms of clarity and punch

NO WAY running the 580 or 600 directly from a portable source(perhaps???only one of the old SONYs or PANAs people here are talking about...or IPOD?) I also agree with Bifcake and Duncan that 580+amp is the best way to go - The difference between 580 and 600 is very small and amp impact could be great compared to receiver source(depending on the receiver) and essential to portable use...anyway 590+cable would not make much sense to me because there would be not enough difference in sound to be worth the $100+ cost difference for the cable...)
post #9 of 159
I bought the HD590 for the office when all I had was the TAH amp, and I was not disappointed in the results. I especially liked the single cable attachment. However, once I moved up on the amp scale and I added the HD600, I've never gone back to the HD590. I know it is a matter of my personal taste, but with the proper amp the HD600 is light years ahead of the HD590. While the NJB3 will drive the HD600 sound wise, you need to add an amp to experience their true beauty. Without a sufficient dedicated amp, you will get a lot more out of the NJB3/HD590 combination.
post #10 of 159
When I compared the Grado RS-1, Grado SR325, Senn HD600, Senn HD590, and my W100 at a local Hi-Fi shop yesterday, I thought that the HD590's were clearly the worst of the bunch. To me, they sounded tinny and artificial especially with the W100 and RS-1 beside it. The HD590's may stand up alright on their own, but with top notch cans around them, they seem to fall short. Just my opinion.
post #11 of 159
The HD590 has worn out on me. Today I tried it - and the mids aren't coherent enough, and the highs are a bit too bright. However, I found the HD600 a bit too dark for my liking, and the Grado SR-325 way too bright for me. (And all this is relative to my Etys.)

Oh, well... "High-end" full-size cans probably aren't for me. Which headphones would be best for me in that situation? (I definitely don't want to spend even $300 on another pair.)
post #12 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Eagle_Driver

Oh, well... "High-end" full-size cans probably aren't for me. Which headphones would be best for me in that situation? (I definitely don't want to spend even $300 on another pair.)
HP-1000!!
post #13 of 159
Eagle_Driver
HI:
The koss-35 are amazeing and when you use a portable amp wow.
post #14 of 159
Well, well. With all this HD590 bashing, I had to participate. The HD590 are truly good... they are just... misunderstood. :-)
post #15 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by beowulf
Well, well. With all this HD590 bashing, I had to participate. The HD590 are truly good... they are just... misunderstood. :-)
I sort of understand what you mean, in a very convoluted way. The 590's are fun phones. They got that extra kick in the lows and brightness in the highs, so you get that 'wow' factor when you first listen to them. I bet they're really good with low-mid-fi systems. They make up for the deficiencies of the lo-fi components. If 600's and 580's are fine wine, the 590's are a wine cooler. It's tasty, it's fun, it gives you a buzz. It's just not class or refinement.
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