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Wow, finally got them (HD480 mkII) - Page 4

post #46 of 55
FWIW, replacement drivers for the HD480 II Classic are listed at 100 ohms. Oh, and the AV-710 is not well-suited for lower-impedance cans like these, too small output coupling caps and output current.
post #47 of 55
yea, I'm not expecting to run them direct from the card... I've usually got the famous Wolfson DAC running through an old hi-fi amp... looking forward to the old HD-480s though... auctioned off by a long standing DJ co. Apparently they're in good working order - the included drawer full of brand new spare parts (surely they're worth well over $18 themselves) suggests they've been fondly looked after too... and I kind of like the thought of their long promiscuous studio history - god knows the ears and heads and hairs they've seen - apparently some people have serious phobias about that sort of thing, and wouldn't wear an old set if given them... hmm, better stop now, I'm starting to sound a bit kinky...
post #48 of 55
I had the HD480-II (many) years ago and certainly they were good, but I definitely preferred the AKG K240M due to its more natural and graceful sound. The HD480-II was a little "shouty" in comparison. Thankfully Sennheiser has found the way of naturalness in its more recent generations of headphones.
post #49 of 55
Here's a little EQ that I worked out for the HD420SL, for Shibatch Super Equalizer 0.03 as usual; does it also help the '480?
0 1 2 3 3 4 4 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 3 3 4 3 1 0 1 2 3 3 4 4 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 3 3 4 3 1
post #50 of 55
I really need to pay more attention to this forum. I normally skip this one because you lot go on about all the modern stuff so much, and it doesn't interest me.

Originally Posted by Nigel
Hi Pinkie,

I've not listened to them yet! Only jesting. Well, initial impressions, shut in soundstage, Senn veiled & more so. Badly lacking at frequency extremes. However, they do possess a certain kind of rightness, offering musical communication. Very comfortable. At the moment they don't come close to the HD650's, after all the political ********, dynamic headphone wise does anything? I need more time to suss out these headphones, I've just come in from the public house and I fancy some Yes on the HD480's for some reason. Yes, I know I'm some kind of musical pervert.

Bestest wishes,

Well, I've had mine a fair bit longer thant you've had yours, so maybe mine have had more of a chance to 'burn-in'. But, to my ears, the sound is open and well balanced. They offer a very tidy representation of soundstage - as good as any other headphone I've heard. Bass is clean, sharp and natural - just the right combination of power and grace to offer what should be considered to be 'natural'. Midranges feel especially natural - acoustic music, either with or without vocals, feels like the kind of noise these things were designed to make.

The only downside I've found with the headphones is the treble can begin to feel a little sharp or edgy at higher volumes. But we're talking the kind of volume that when you take the headphones off your head, you sh*t yourself because you had no idea just how loud you were playing them. That hasn't happened to me very much though .

In short, to me they appear to share the same characteristics as the BBC approved studio monitors of the late 60s to early 80s. They are designed for natural and balanced reproduction - if the bass is there, it is portrayed, and portrayed well. Kate Bush on vocals? She'll sound awe-inspiringly alive and real. Her voice will offer the same levels of depth and detail as the day she made art in front of the microphone. An orchestra? Everything feels right. The sound doesn't get muddled, it doesn't get confused. It's just there, and it feels right.

Everything you play through these cans feels right. There are other cans that seem like they offer more detail or transparency, and others that feel more rocky or punchy. But switch to these, then back again, and the other cans will feel artificial. They may appear to be better sounding, but they just don't seem as real.

These need a fair bit of power to drive them properly, and they do get better with use. I usually listen to music through my speakers(especially now I've got a pair of Rogers LS7's ), but I always leave my 480's plugged into my amplifier. They have certainly improved over the months - it's been half a year now, and they never, ever fail to please my ears.

Anyway, you're all missing out. Go find a pair of Rogers or Spendors and you'll find that the musical world is far, far bigger than you can ever see whilst wearing cans.

Any cans.

post #51 of 55
Hi Rich,

Well, my HD480's cost double yours. I'm starting to like them though, decent headphones.

post #52 of 55
There is a good chance that they'll grow on you . There comes a point in audio where people tend to lose interest in pure reproduction, and prefer the colouration of certain headphones or loudspeakers. I find the overall balance between neutrality and energy/attack is just right for me.

Each to their own though. Just enjoy them, spend some time with them, you'll just appreciate their qualities more and more .

post #53 of 55
Well chaps, I received the old HD480s. Thought you might be interested in my humble impressions. Looks like they're mk.1s alright (can anyone confirm this?) They look identical to this pair from the warzone archive:
with the model id. running vertically up the headband. No "classic" or "II" anywhere to be seen. I'd say the suggested 70 ohm odd impedence is about right. My old cd walkman and flash mp3 player drive them perfectly adequately (this surprised me a lot) - only a little quieter at the same volume settings than my 32ohm Philips HP890s. They're in good shape. It's clear enough they've had a decade or more of life from the numerous tiny scratches on the rear of the cups. However the earpads look and feel spanking new (though there's a pleasant faint nostalgic cigarette scent to the whole set) and I also received a second obviously new pair of pads, as well as two 3 metre cables, and an adapter socket/plug for larger headphone sockets (this slots seamlessly and artfully onto the smaller plug - it's a lot more stylish than the jack seen fitted to the set in the photo). The headband padding is in miraculously perfect condition - the material feels like crepe - how the hell has it lasted all this time? They are lightweight and comfortable (a lot lighter than, but not as comfortable as the massive circumaural HP890s, but then I do tend to suffer from "red ear fever" with supraaural phones). These are obviously durable little cans. I like the sturdy minimal design - eg. simple swivelling/sliding plastic rail setup for earcup adjustment - very '80s looking cups - those grilled arches somehow remind me of old Marantz gold facia amps, tuners, eqs...
Oh, and the sound? At present I can only compare them to my HP890s - to which I prefer the HD480s... infinitely. ("Well, of course" I hear you say, but the HP890s have or had a remarkably robust fanclub in the mid-price range - can't imagine why - they always disappointed me. Their "gigantic" soundstage to me just means everything sounds recessed and tubular. The HD480s sounded right from the moment I put them on. You know the feeling (I hope you do), "this is what I want...etc". They certainly have stronger punchier bass than the HP890s - like big ball bearings bouncing on marble - better defined highs too I thought, but it was when I put on some Schubert lieder that I really noticed the difference - timbre/tone/enunciation, etc was much crisper and more intimate than the Philips, and really, intimacy is what I want from headphones - I want the music to enter me, and, correspondingly, to get inside the music (thus my problem with the "recessed, tubular" soundstage of the HP890s). Actually, they're good for everything, computer, hifi, portable, TV. What can I say, I paid $18US... I'm laughing and weeping...
post #54 of 55
I put mine on last night and fell in love with them again. What are the differences between the 480 and the 480II?

Looking over that Warzone site, I've just realised the difference between supraaural and circumaural(this isn't related to the above question, btw!) - I'd always though it would be some spectacular difference in chassis design, with one focussing the soundwaves and being generally far nicer. "Supra" is pretty super, after all...

Then, I realised what nonsense it is. Back in 1993/1994, I bought a pair of HD-440II's[I was *so* cool(to myself) / sad(to others) at school]. The foam pads didn't go around the edge, the edge was plastic. With the 480's, the foam goes all around the edge.

Wish I hadn't thrown out the 440II's now. The cable was all breaking up near the headphone plugs, and I didn't think that £10 or so on a cable was worth it. So I binned them, in 2001. They were a nice sounding set, if anyone stumbles across a pair cheap enough .

post #55 of 55

Anyone tried modding these cans? They have the paper filter in front of the drivers as well.


HD480 driver front.jpg


HD480 driver back.jpg


It was only on later models that Sennheiser removed the paper in front of the driver's central dome.




I wouldn't be surprised if treble response improves if this paper is removed. Only thing is what happens to the bass when air loading is changed. The cup is relatively open.


HD480 cup inside.jpg


It really is one compact, fine sounding and stylish can. One of my favourites when it was introduced, but it was only later (about 20 years or so) that I actually got my hands on one.


Sennheiser HD480 A.jpg

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