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Sennheiser HD650 Cable Shootout: Stock, Zu, Equinox and Grace Five Two - Page 2

post #16 of 147
Yes, Voltron has very graciously lended me his Equinox so that I can get a sense of that this cable is all about. I will probably also get some sort of a mini write up going of my GF2 vs the Equinox on my cable. However, right now I am in a Euphoric stage for both cables.

However things that come immediately apparent to me is the warm of the Equinox. I love how it presents the music, especially noting the violin in it's solo portion In Four Seasons Spring which I can find a bit harsh at times (ringing in my ears) in the stock and GF2. For me, if there was a cable that is more natural sounding this would probahly be it, as this is what I come to expect from my music.

That said in regards to the harshness, for me it's worth it to note that I do have a forward sounding amp IMO (RSA Hornet), but I do plan to get another amp (MPX3 near maxxed and/or another portable). In my mind, the prsentation of the Equinox is a good pairing to counteract that. That said I do feel that in the future I'd love to add an all copper cable to my line up, in the near future, be it the Equinox or a custom commisioned cable that is similar to the Equinox.
post #17 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltron
My Equinox is currently on loan to PFKMan23 to return the favor of his loaner GraceFiveTwo, but I would be willing to send that cable on a little European tour if there is interest. You, Patu, and saint.panda all have expressed the same interest. We might be able to get someone to loan a GraceFiveTwo and send them around together. I have read somewhere about similar Head-Fi product testing tours. If any of you are interested, get in touch through PM to get that going. I would like to hear all of your impressions after trying out these alternatives.
That sounds very interesting. Inform me if you're about to do this.
post #18 of 147
Voltron - I read your review with great interest. Thanks for taking the time to write and post it. I use Equinox cables on my 650s and 600s, but, I have to say that the exposed white portion of this cable is quite microphonic. It's generally not an issue when listening to music, but, should the white wires brush against your collar or something like a zipper or button on your clothing, you will hear it.
post #19 of 147
Simply fantastic review, Voltron. This should be moved upstairs to the permanent section. Nice job!
post #20 of 147
Thanks for the review! Your experiences are similar to mine regarding the Prehead and Zu and stock cables, and I appreciate that you don't denounce the stock cable, which is common. However, I don't experience the negative aspects of the Zu cable as strongly as you, which could be explained by that I use the HD650 with foam pads, or that the only upgrade cables I have heard are Zu and Meier Audio. It certainly makes it tempting to try the Equinox.
post #21 of 147
Voltron,


This is an excellent review and I appreciate your past correspondences on the subject. Outstanding.

Best,
iDesign
post #22 of 147
Great review

I may not be able to resist the Equinox any further

Just ordered the Aria amp with tech+link ICs from Meier to start me off. What would be better to upgrade first? Would an IC upgrade (either X1 or UR6) be better or upgrading my HD650 cable to Equinox?
post #23 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by practitioner
Just ordered the Aria amp with tech+link ICs from Meier to start me off. What would be better to upgrade first? Would an IC upgrade (either X1 or UR6) be better or upgrading my HD650 cable to Equinox?
IME the headphone cable has greater impact than the ICs (maybe because it's longer?). And BTW: congrats on the Aria!
.
post #24 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ
IME the headphone cable has greater impact than the ICs (maybe because it's longer?). And BTW: congrats on the Aria!
.
I lean towards that opinion too. However, I am not sure one can treat IC and phone cable changes in the same category. IME, a headphone cable change does have a profound (relatively) effect on the over all reproduction. An IC, can also make a major difference, but in a rather incremental and cumulative way: It is easy to tell exactly what has changed in the sound. A headphone cable change, on the other hand, can be much trickier due to apparently synergy issues. It seems to me that a headphone cable really has the last word in the cable chain of a system. Not just physically. As an example, most of my tube rolling, I had to re-evaluate after I started to use different headphone cables. One would think that the changes such cable introduce would be consistent, but that was not always the case IME: The tubes didn't change properties if I changed IC's.

EDIT: Does this make sense? I have to admit I am still quite puzzled by the mysterious impact of head-phone cables.
post #25 of 147
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for all the encouraging words, especially considering the sources.

Markl-
Your review style was one of my models, so I truly appreciate your comments.

Glod-
Like JaZZ, I have tried to find all of your very cogent posts about 650 cable options, and they helped me focus my own efforts at comparison. I think you describe the GraceFiveTwo sound about as accurately as it can be described. Its "joyful character" was what I was trying to pinpoint by suggesting it has a little more lively energy and that slight boost in the midrange. I have to say, though, that on a number of occasions I found the Equinox more resolving. One thought after reading your post and thinking about it, however, is that the different character may be part of the reason for that effect. As I said, I do not believe you are losing anything critical to the sound, it was small things mostly.

Jeff Wong-
You know, I have not heard it, but I am going to check it out when I get the Equinox back. With the Zu, the effect is uniform on the length of the cable, so maybe it was more noticeable.

Practitioner-
I agree with JaZZ and think you should try a headphone cable replacement before other ICs. I don't know the Meier cables you reference, but I am sure they are good quality considering the source and I assume they will give your new Aria a good signal to work with. I am quite certain you would hear a bigger improvement by switching to the Equinox or any of the other replacement cables.

Solude-
Curious about your comment regarding the Moon Audio selection given that I have never heard it and didn't say anything about it. Was it because it is made with copper wire like the Equinox?

Anybody and everybody (who reads this far into the thread and this post)-
Speaking of Moon Audio, is there anybody who owns a Blue Dragon v.2 or a Silver Dragon who wants to do a temporary swap for my Zu?
post #26 of 147
Suppose if you don't read the cable forum religiously you might have missed the connection. Long story short, people who have heard both the Blue Dragon v2 and the Equinox consider the BDv2 to be Equinox like but up another notch.

Which is good because I want a 2m run and Equinox in anything other than 3m is a 4-6 week wait
post #27 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude
Suppose if you don't read the cable forum religiously you might have missed the connection. Long story short, people who have heard both the Blue Dragon v2 and the Equinox consider the BDv2 to be Equinox like but up another notch.

Which is good because I want a 2m run and Equinox in anything other than 3m is a 4-6 week wait
Interestingly, there has been comments on differences between the original version of the BD and BDv2 as well, and I am not sure I would prefer the v2 before the v1, based on the reviews. It is about the shape of the frequency response again...
post #28 of 147
I see Voltron mentions the veil regarding HD650 while describing the Zu Mobius. Putting it into terms of stadium seating, if the stock cables were in the 10th row, would any of these cables help change the row position?
post #29 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude
Suppose if you don't read the cable forum religiously you might have missed the connection. Long story short, people who have heard both the Blue Dragon v2 and the Equinox consider the BDv2 to be Equinox like but up another notch.
I can't say I am religious about reading the forum, but I did try to find every 650 cable thread I could find. I looked again last night and I still didn't find such a clearcut consensus that the BDv2 is better than the Equinox. Glod seems to suggest there might even be some who would prefer the BDv1. The idea that BDv2 sounds like Equinox only better makes me want to hear it even more, however, so I might have to post in the FS/FT forum to see if someone will swap one with me.
post #30 of 147
Voltron, excellent comparison. I agree with just about everything you write about the Grace 52. In comparison to the Zu, there was little question in my mind that in terms of overall musicality the G52 was the superior cable. It definitely gets my toes tapping. The Equinox cable was my first Senn replacement cable and it was a good one. I then when down that road of thinking there is something better so I sold the Equinox and moved to the Cardas cable. I eventually sold the HD-650's. I then returned to the 650's about a year later and picked up a zu cable. I was happy until I heard the
G52 at the Tampa meet. A comparison between the two became my mission that day. When it was over, I put the zu up for sale and ordered the G52. I could not be happier with my decision.
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