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Yes another HD590 vs HD600 question - Page 9

post #121 of 159
Script,

I'm having a lot of trouble with my computer so this response may be spread over several posts. Sorry for that.

Otherwise thanks for checking in. Another professional, too. Great! The more the better.

I'll answer all of your comments but since you do this professionally I can't help but go right to the most damning comment you make in your entire post.

BTW, your post is really well written and very clear. Much better than I have been doing, I'm afraid to say.

Now to the damning part, "as much as I love 600's, I've never found them to be terribly realistic". Ouch!!! Thats pretty tuff stuff from a guy who actually likes them and from a studio professional that's an important observation. I think that was also my first complaint about these headphones very early on in this thread. The instruments don't sound real on the 600's at all.

I'm going to check them against stuff I've just recorded recently in a professinal studio but I think you and I both know what the answer will be.
I'm getting the Cardas and the Equinox cables this week so maybe after testing them with the cables swapped that will be enough to make me think
the 600's are really the headphones that their fans claim.

I would like to piont out once again that no one seems to notice how much additional help the 600's seem to need to work at their best.

We'll talk tomorrow. I've got a lot to go ever with you.

Thanks for dropping in.





Best
Brian
post #122 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by bkelly
I would like to piont out once again that no one seems to notice how much additional help the 600's seem to need to work at their best.
I think most of the people who own the HD 600 and are realistic about their flaws will freely admit that if you don't have a good amp and a good source, you're better off spending your money on something else. Even then the HD 600 have flaws, which have been discussed ad nauseum here on Head-Fi: a midbass hump and a slight recession in the upper mid/treble.

Beyond that, an upgrade to the Cardas cable provides a dramatic transformation in the HD 600. The things they do well they do better, and the things they don't do as well improve dramatically.

I don't think people try to duck these issues; I state them quite frequently, and many times have tried to steer people away from getting the HD 600 if they aren't willing to do the things necessary to bring out them best in them.

But you've raised an interesting topic here. Some people may point to this situation and call it a flaw in the HD 600. I would agree that they're somewhat flawed in their stock formation. But the thing is that to improve how they sound, the headphones themselves never change: you're just improving everything connected to them. Some headphones reach a plateau and don't get any better no matter how much you improve everything else. One of the things that I really love about the HD 600 is that the better everything else gets, the better they sound, which is IMO a sign of a good headphone. Every time I've upgraded something in my system, the HD 600 have easily resolved the improvements; I can't say the same about many other headphones I've ownd.

Sure it takes a lot to get the most out of the HD 600... that's a very fair criticism. But the flip side of it is that once you do those things, you're rewarded with one of the best headphones on the market. Despite your impressions, I have a lot of experience in audio, music, live performance, and even some studio work, so I'm not just blowing smoke here The setup I have here (SACD->Max->Cardas Cable->HD 600) provides me with some of the most realistic and amazing sound I've ever heard (and a few of the "better" systems I've heard also used the HD 600). I'm curious to hear your impressions on the Cardas cable upgrade once you've received it. That said, while a lot of people love the Melos/HD 600 combo, the only time I've heard the HD 600 at their best in the areas you describe them as lacking (subtle details) is with great solid state amps.
post #123 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by bkelly
The one that does bug me is the upper mid recession. No one other than you has ever pointed this out that I know of and I'll add that it sounds grainy in this area too.
Ever heard the `HD600 is dark and veiled` mantra around here? That's the `veiled` part of it.
post #124 of 159
MacDEF,

Both the Cardas and the Equinox cables should arrive this weekl and I will test them on the 600's. I've been reading more about this upgrade recently and it sounds like it may be a very significant improvement on these phones. It would be great for me if they did make a significant difference because both of these phones are likeble to me and if either one of them pulled ahead significantly I'd be satisfied.

I put it an Equinox on my 590's and I liked the result but it wasn't what I'd call dramatic. Cleaner sounding which makes them sound a little more organized and it calms them down a bit with a nicer more defined bass.

In the meantime I am ttrying to do a deal on a pair of Grado RS-1's jsut to see what is up with them.

Keep in touch.
post #125 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by bifcake
Now, to clarify things to the Nth degree:
a) There is a risk with any decision or purchase.
Your claim was that there was MORE risk with DIY than with commercial amplifiers. No one has ever argued that there is NO risk.

Quote:
b) Whereas manufacturers other than than headroom don't offer return policies, they're available at retail locations where you can sample them.
Many people in Dallas sampled the META42 locally this weekend. It's as easy to find one locally as an MG Head. Or did you think Walmart stocked the Headmaster?

Quote:
c) There ARE greater risks with DIY amps for reasons mentioned above. They're manageable, but they're there none the less
You listed exactly one reason above--and it was invalid. You're trying to use this as a third reason. I'm still counting only one and it was dismissed. If you're going to list things, please provide content in each point.

Quote:
d) Another risk that I forgot to mention is that the DIY guys may become victims of their own success. They may simply get overwhelmed by the sheer number of orders and support calls to the point where their turn around time is very, very long.
I waited two and a half months for the Sugden Headmaster to arrive after having sent a full payment via money order to a reputable company. I've gotten much better communication from EVERY DIYer I've dealth with personally. Again, if you'd like to state some of your own experiences with the DIYers on HeadFi, maybe you can make a point.

Quote:
e) I never said commercially available amps were better than custom built meta. Therefore, your violin analogy is misplaced.
The analogy was in regards to customer service and repoir. It's far easier to establish and maintain this with an individual than with a corporation. This really isn't complex.

Quote:
I certainly hope that I've made my position abundantly clear. If you're still purplexed with regard to what I'm saying, I'm afraid I will not be able to clarify it any further than I already have.
In regards to your inability, I have no doubt.
post #126 of 159
bkelly
I concur with a lot of what MacDef has said here about the HD600 although I've typically chosen less kind words to describe it. The HD600 to me is very problematic. First, the headphone is high impedance and difficult to drive. Not only does this make it clip on some amps but it makes it sound thin on others. Then there's the fact that its stock cable sucks. There's then the problematic areas in its frequency response. Some people say that the stock cable is the cause of that while others (like me) say that the Cardas cable simply provides an EQ-like matching effect that compensates for those areas.

Now, let's say you have the HD600 and the Cardas cable and the perfect amplifier that is good at driving high impedance headphones with high currency--and the amplifier sounds good. Then you're left with a somewhat revealing headphone that can tell you just how bad your source component sounds. But let's go a step further and say that your source is wonderful and all of your cables and power related issues are also in check. Then what?

Then you still don't have a flat headphone. You still have a rather peaky headphone that still has some symptoms of those problem areas. Now--a lot of people still like the way this sounds, especially compared to other headphones--but that doesn't mean its pefect. If you're looking for a perfectly flat headphone for mixing albums, the HD600 is certainly not for you. But lucky for you, I can also now affirm for you that the W2002 was not either and skipping it may have been a good choice. For flat and neutral headphones--there are Grado HP-1000s and there are Stax. But the reality is that most people would rather have the HD600, the Sony R10 and the Orpheus which don't even pretend to be those things. Flat and neutral simply isn't a perogrative for the average person. Bear that in mind when you read people's opinions here.

Still, I'm confused about why you would think the HD590 was approaching flat or neutral. But... I tell you what. I'll make you this recommendation. If you like what the HD590 does for you and want a better version of it without spending a lot of money, consider getting hold of the Beyerdynamic DT931 with a 120ohm adapter.
post #127 of 159
Script,

Let me go over the Grado thing again. The most important point I want to make is that the original comment was not made by me but by an employee of a dealer here who handles both brands. He raved about the Grados and said that the Sennheisers were "old news' or something like that. At the time I didn't even own the 590's. In fact, it was the day I went to the Headroom Tour becasue I left the store and went to the Headroom show from there.

What he said to prove his point that the Grados were superior was that a lot of the local engineers were using the Grados. He didn't say whether or not it was for their personal use or professional and at the time I didn't really care one way or the other. I listened to the 60 series and the 125's and left the store. I liked both of them and left it at that. I thought I would listen to others at the Tour show and if I heard something better I would just buy what ever that was.

I could ask the guy again to clarify it and maybe I will but one thing I am sure of is that no one is using the Grados to track with because just to look at them I don't think the earpads isolate enough to keep from bleeding into the mikes. I could see where you might use them in mixing as another source to reference with but that would be about it. In the studio I am recording in now they have everything you can think of but mostly AKG's and Fosgates and not a single Sennheiser or Grado is in sight.

So, that's that story. If I find out any different I will let you know.

I've been wanting to explain the differences between what a professinal may want in a headphone as opposed to what an audiophile might accept but you have already done it pretty well. It's not true in every case but your comment that, "An audiophile is an epicurean looking for a particular beautiful sound". I would have sad an idealized sound since one that is what I think most audiophiles are looking for and I think a modern recording is an idealized reproduction to begin with.

What I am looking for in a playback sytem (including headphones) is "reality". The more cold-blooded the better. When I listen to a new recording the first thing I am going to try and decipher is how it was put together. Modern recording technology is an art unto itself and even taken by itself can be very creative. It's this creativity I want to hear as a listener. At the same time, as you point out, in the studio I have even less use for and idealized representation of what is on the recording. For me I need the facts and I feel the same as you that the 600's, at least in stock form, have an unrealistic presentation to them. maybe with cable upgrades it's different. I don't know, yet, but I will soon.

I'm not surprised that Sennheiser has made the claim that they are suitable or even used for "mastering engineering". It's a lie, but I sometimes get the feeling that fans of this model believe that sort of stuff.

I am going to try the two top after-market cables for this phone this week. I'll let you know if it wakes them up enough for pro use. People who have made the upgrade claim big improvements from this modification so I'm hoping for the best.

Anyhow, I've got stuff I need to work on so I'll stop here and return to it tomorrow night.

Any questions, just fire away.





Best
Brian
post #128 of 159
I will not insert myself in this long-winded debate other than to say,I just don't get why people choose to defend headphones.It's fun to read and all,but is really repetative and silly.I would love to see one of these threads go without a post from macdef.I don't think he has the willpower.LOL!!!I admire Brian for his single-minded zeal and his willingness to offer his opinions based on actual listening experience rather than assumption(not talking about you mac).I also admire that you guys have kept things civil.

Brian,

I think the reason you think the differences between the stock cabled 590 and equinox cabled 590 are subtle is because you have become accustomed to the equinox sound.switch back to the stock cable for a day or two and then try the equinox again.i thought the differences were anything but subtle.

BTW,the Equinox,Cardas and a special bonus of the Clou Red Jaspis have been sent to you.I'm dying to hear what you think of the three cables.
post #129 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Tuberoller
I will not insert myself in this long-winded debate other than to say,I just don't get why people choose to defend headphones.It's fun to read and all,but is really repetative and silly.I would love to see one of these threads go without a post from macdef.I don't think he has the willpower.LOL!!!
LOL, Tube.

But... if by "defend" you mean "defend because I have an emotional attachment to them" or "defend because I own them," then I've never done that, believe it or not. If you mean "disagree when I feel someone is mischaracterizing or presenting as truth what is not necessarily so," then I plead guilty (and I've thus "defended" many, many headphones here on Head-Fi ).

Just so you have a better idea where I'm coming from on this topic: Despite the fact that (outside of this thread LOL) kelly and I disagree on a lot of issues, I think the one thing we both agree on is that we prefer that fact be fact, and opinion be opinion, and neither should be represented as the other (of course what is fact and what is opinion is an entirely different issue LOL). This is important on Head-Fi, IMO, because so many people use Head-Fi as a resource for learning. Thus when someone says that a certain headphone has xyz characteristics, and those characteristics are either an opinion, or only true in certain circumstances, I think it's good to point out that it may not hold true for everyone or in every circumstance. Some people call this "defending" products. I think it's just that I'm trying to be as accurate as possible. If I was just an HD 600 freak, as so many people seem to have mistakenly pegged me, I wouldn't defend the arch enemy of the HD 600, the K 501 Yet you'll find that I've often defended them, as well (and I've criticized both where I felt it was appropriate!).

Anyways, I took your message in good humor; I just wanted to give a bit of background on why I tend to respond in threads like this
post #130 of 159
Kelly,

With regards to my explanations and your arguments, I have come to the conclusion that not unlike Scott Evil, you just don't get it.
post #131 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by MacDEF


LOL, Tube.

But... if by "defend" you mean "defend because I have an emotional attachment to them" or "defend because I own them," then I've never done that, believe it or not. If you mean "disagree when I feel someone is mischaracterizing or presenting as truth what is not necessarily so," then I plead guilty (and I've thus "defended" many, many headphones here on Head-Fi ).

Just so you have a better idea where I'm coming from on this topic: Despite the fact that (outside of this thread LOL) kelly and I disagree on a lot of issues, I think the one thing we both agree on is that we prefer that fact be fact, and opinion be opinion, and neither should be represented as the other (of course what is fact and what is opinion is an entirely different issue LOL). This is important on Head-Fi, IMO, because so many people use Head-Fi as a resource for learning. Thus when someone says that a certain headphone has xyz characteristics, and those characteristics are either an opinion, or only true in certain circumstances, I think it's good to point out that it may not hold true for everyone or in every circumstance. Some people call this "defending" products. I think it's just that I'm trying to be as accurate as possible. If I was just an HD 600 freak, as so many people seem to have mistakenly pegged me, I wouldn't defend the arch enemy of the HD 600, the K 501 Yet you'll find that I've often defended them, as well (and I've criticized both where I felt it was appropriate!).

Anyways, I took your message in good humor; I just wanted to give a bit of background on why I tend to respond in threads like this
I understand exactly where you are coming from and know that your intentions are good.I really don't have a problem with what you do at all.I just think you don't have the willpower to ignore one of these threads or a post of this type within a thread.You can't tell me that you don't enjoy posting some of the remarks that you do.I know you derive great joy from this debate.I enjoy reading it(sometimes) and when things are kept civil I have actually learned a few things.Mac,you know I am kidding and you should not take offense to anything I'm saying but I challenge you to ignore the next post or thread that deals with HD600 or K 501 versus whatever or any post post dealing with HD600 issues.Not all of them but the very next thread.This will convince us all that you really can "quit whenever you want to".Just so we all know that we are not dealing with a fanatic.C,mon Mac,I know you can do it,you have my unwavering support.
post #132 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Tuberoller
BTW,the Equinox,Cardas and a special bonus of the Clou Red Jaspis have been sent to you.I'm dying to hear what you think of the three cables.
How exactly did I miss out on that deal?

About those cables: No, I'm not literally dying to hear what Brian thinks, but I'll be taking extra echinacea until I do. (Maintenance, really. I'm sure you understand.)
post #133 of 159
Tuberoller,

Glad you checked in. I'll stand behind my comments that the 590 with Equinox upgrade is a sublte improvement. I don't mean that it is an insignificant one though. I think the best way to say it is that the Equinox is not a fix for the 590 in the sense that it will add visceral impact to the bass or liquid smooth highs to the top end or something like that. To me the Equinox had more of a total approach effect on the 590's making them cleaner, more organized sounding and somewhat more pleasant to listen to in a manner not unlike the 600's, but just not to that degree. The sound steps back a little bit and you can look at it sonically like a picture rather than just having the scenery fly by you like it would in a race car.

The best way I can put it is that if you basically liked the 590 to begin with but just want to generally improve them then the Equinox is the answer. If, however, you weren't all that happy with the overall sound of the 590's to begin with the Equinox will probably not improve them enough to make you happy with them.

What is interesting is that people who have made the cable upgrade on the 600's seem to feel like the difference is much more dramatic than what I experienced on the 590's and basically fixes the inherent faults in these phones. I am waiting to hear that.

Anyhow, I really think that is a fair description of what I hear. I'd love to hear what you have to say about the upgrade.

MacDEF,

That goes double for me. I have absolutley no emotional attachments to the 590's and, in truth, I think they are ugly to look at. I do however think that some of the criticisms of them are unjust and appreciation for them is way overdue.

I think when it comes to these headphones there are several outside influences going on here. "Markl" pointed to one of the first and that is that conditioning plays a large part in whether an audiophile will accept a product. By conditioning I mean this: when the young audiophiles starts down this road he is generally a guy that already loves his record collection and has a good deal of mony wrapped up in his playback system. One day he meets a guy who is a seasoned audiophile who starts telling him he is all wrong (an audiophile magazine can do the same) that the brightness the young novice is accustomed to is not more detail but some kind of audio fakery and that what he really needs is more, warmth, a sense of spaciousnesss, more inner detail and blah de blah de blah. Soon the young audiophile novice goes over to the experienced audiophiles house and there in his living room is the stereo of all stereo systems in the novices eye with many clear improvements over the novices system and so the young novice is now totally hooked and willing to listen to anything the expert says. At this point the young novice is so enthralled that he will likely try and replicate the experienced audiophiles system.

Now the young audiophile knows that everyting at Circuit City is bad and that everything at Circuit City has a bright sound in comparison with his mentors system so bright is bad and should be avoided at all costs. So, forever and ever, bright is bad in the young audiophiles mind.

Later on he puts on a set of 590's and they sound brighter than his revered 600's (funny, that's the same model his mentor uses) and so he puts them down and tells everyone they are Circuiit City quality. I come along with no such bias what-so-ever because as a profesional this is not the way I learned to hear high quality audio and, so, when I put the 590's on I go, yeah, there brighter than the 600's all right but this is a long way from low-fii, Circuit City quality and in an effort to see that these phones are treated fairly I would argue that the 590's are serious "contender" for the same degree of reverence that the 600's now enjoy. For different reasons, of course.

Problem number two for the 590's on the Head-Fi site is that everyone agrees that the 590's sound pretty good right out of the box. Some 600 fans even admit that in some areas they sound better than the 600's in stock trim. Unfortunatley Head-Fi is not just a headphone user group it's at least equally an amp users group and the word around is that the 590's don't need and amp (actually not entirely true, they do benifit but it doesn't, generally speaking, improve them as much as the 600's). So now your ability to play with amps and wax on endlessly at Head-Fi about the improvements in detail and whatever is diminished and like most of us endlessly playing with your gear is enjoyable to you and, so, you decide you'll just have to have the 600's. In our world the 600's are headphone equivalent of the Barbie Doll -- they need clothes and outfits and cars and everything else you can think of including a boyfriend (that would be the amp in my opinion).

I'm not being critical either! Maybe with enough love and assistance from the owner Barbie can be turned into the First Lady of the doll world and maybe it's the same way with the 600's. What I am saying is that the "dress up' potential of the 600's makes them more attractive than the 590's to the average Head-Fi user. (focus on average).

I also missed this era when they 590's were touted as the replacement for the 580. I can't help but wonder that if the 590's were a replacement for the 580 the 600 fans started worrying that an upgraded version of the 580 (which I am told is what the 600 actually is, technically speaking, with some people claiming they can't even hear a difference between the two) an upgraded version of the 590 would soon replace the beloved 600's. Someone will have to tell me if this is a completely wrong view on this or not but from what I have seen so far I think I might be dead on it. That would also explain the nearly irrational response to this headphone by some people and might help explain why someone like Headroom would publicly and continously refer to them as a "mistake".

I've got to ask you MacDEF and I am definitely not trying to start any trouble with you but if fairness if accuracy is a goal of yours did you at anytime ever say to anyone at Headroom or ever comment on this site that this remark is just their opinion and is not a fact? If you did you are going to become my knew hero. I will grant you the state of "Kubla Can". In other words, you can do no wrong in my book.

I got to run.
post #134 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Tuberoller
I challenge you to ignore the next post or thread that deals with HD600 or K 501 versus whatever or any post post dealing with HD600 issues.Not all of them but the very next thread.This will convince us all that you really can "quit whenever you want to".Just so we all know that we are not dealing with a fanatic.C,mon Mac,I know you can do it,you have my unwavering support.
LOL! Hey, you'd be surprised how many HD 600 threads I have stayed out of over the past few months -- unlike when I used to participate in every single one


Quote:
Originally posted by Tuberoller
That goes double for me. I have absolutley no emotional attachments to the 590's and, in truth, I think they are ugly to look at. I do however think that some of the criticisms of them are unjust and appreciation for them is way overdue.
bkelly, just in case I wasn't clear enough before, I don't think the HD 590 are "bad" headphones. In fact, I think they're very good. My opinions were simply comparing the two (as the thread title requested ). Do I personally think the HD 600 are better? Yes. Do I personally think that the Hd 590 are too bright? Yes. Do I think they are bad or "a mistake?" Not at all. In fact, it's a good thing that Sennheiser's best two headphones have such different sonic signatures, because it means that people with different preferences have valid alternatives in the Sennheiser line.


Quote:
if fairness if accuracy is a goal of yours did you at anytime ever say to anyone at Headroom or ever comment on this site that this remark is just their opinion and is not a fact?
Good question; I don't know if I've said it over the past year in one of my far-too-many posts , but I can tell you that I don't think the HD 590 was a "mistake." Rather, if the HD 590 were supposed to be a "replacement" or an "upgrade" for the HD 580 (which I don't believe they were supposed to be), they were a "failure" They didn't take the HD 580 sound and improve it; rather, they presented a completely different sound. On the other hand, if the HD 590 were intended to be a new model at the high end of the HD line, one that provided a sonic alternative to the HD 580, then they were actually a success, IMO.
post #135 of 159
MacDEF,
While your comments won't qualify for permanent satus as Kubla Can they are good enough for a temporary one. This status should last for a period of one week. However, should you, during this period, say anything with which I cannot agree, the temporary stutus is to be immediately revoked.

On the serious side I appreciate your comments and coming form someone with your status on the Head-Fi site I consider them significant.

I agree and Taphil pointed this out early on; the 590's are more of an altenative than a replacement in my opinion, also.

Talk soon.





Best
Brian
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