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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 735

post #11011 of 22510
Originally Posted by maarek99 View Post


Now this is just retarded. You can't introduce even ordered harmonic distortion that tubes have through EQ. Do you even think these things through?


And yes, there has been studies that corraborated that even ordered harmonic distortion is more pleasant to the ears (which tube-amps have a lot) vs odd ordered harmonic distortion (solid states).


Regarding the EQ stuff...There is absolutely NO WAY I can make the Onkyo A-5VL stereo amp sound like the Asus Essence STX soundcard. I've tried but it's just not possible. And they are both solid states. The differences are somewhere else than in the FR.


Just thought I'd point out that while this is true, tube amps tend to have a higher percentage of THD (in the area of 0.1 - 0.2%) and solid states have a much lower percentage (0.005 - 0.01%). This is why many who like that warm sound go for tubes and solid state is attributed more toward "accuracy". So really it just comes down to personal preference and what you are looking to get out of your setup.

post #11012 of 22510
I just hope that when it was stated that the o2 would be better than just ok, that is true? Now I am very much questioning if my decision to put these two together was a decision I spent enough time with???
post #11013 of 22510

Actually, it seems we are paying big bucks for coloration (besides the looks, fancy material and brand name). Just my 2c smile.gif

post #11014 of 22510
Originally Posted by muxamed View Post

Actually, it seems we are paying big bucks for coloration (besides the looks, fancy material and brand name). Just my 2c smile.gif


Indeed, however for those individuals that gain more enjoyment from the type of coloration that these amps provide, the cost is of no consequence. Again, it all comes down to personal preference. smile.gif

post #11015 of 22510
Originally Posted by SunshineReggae View Post

The idea of the 650 'scaling with better gear' is an absurd myth. Like any headphones or speakers, all it needs from an amp are proper measurements and sufficient power. The 02 delivers both. There is no magic involved.



Have you tried it for yourself??


I have.  You don't believe in magic?biggrin.gif

post #11016 of 22510
Originally Posted by preproman View Post



Have you tried it for yourself??


I have.  You don't believe in magic?biggrin.gif


Lend him your B22 Prep, I bet he will change his perception biggrin.gif

post #11017 of 22510

Not to stray too far off topic, but as an HD-650 owner shopping for an amp, I'd like to air out the amp debate a little. I'm aware that the objective vs. subjective debate over amps is age-old, and I haven't fully resolved my understanding of it, but I've got sufficient knowledge to offer some observations and solicit comments here in the spirit of supporting the HD-650.


So it seems a critical impasse is whether there there is any discernible amplifier impact on the listening experience that transcends measurement. It sounds plausible that the listening experience could be different with amps that measure the same without having to resort to belief in magic. So even if the objectivists are right on this, it's a tough point to prove, double-blind ABX notwithstanding. 


That said, it's quite questionable to spend more than a baseline amount on a device that has a fundamentally simple function, to amplify a signal while minimizing noise and distortion. The O2 adherents claim to have reached the end game here. Where I think they overstep their position is characterizing any other implementations as some sinister conspiracy to defraud audio enthusiasts. 


I like to think that someone spending $750 or more on a headphone amp has a pretty keen idea of what he's getting and what he's not. And although the fundamental purpose and design goal of an amp is simple, there are complex and sundry ways to accomplish this, and its hard to believe that these differences will not correspond with different listening experiences. 


I tend to agree with the objectivists that seeking a desirable sound signature is better accomplished with an equalizer than with amp or tube selection. So, for me, I'll be looking to minimize my investment on an amp with maximum neutrality, such as it is, but not because I believe that they're all equal or that differences in listening experience are negligible. 


Another thing that gets subjugated in amp debates are other features and attributes beyond the sound. Things like preamp outs are pretty obvious and non-mystical features that are worth paying for if desired. Fit and finish are worth something, too. So is service, including support, warranty, and delivery. These actually become more important the more you believe that amps are otherwise the same. 


A more nuanced reason to choose one amp over another is appreciation for the design. For example, Schiit's Valhalla tends to get passed over in the HD-650 community. But one thing that caught my eye about Valhalla is that it's designed in such a way that it delivers its most efficient power into 300Ω. That's certainly a notable quality for an HD-650 owner that can distinguish it from other choices, "tube sound" aside. Similarly, Schiit's Lyr uses tubes as a means to an end—to "allow us to use a single stage to deliver huge voltage swing at low distortion without feedback," rather than to present a particular sonic signature per se. Although, Schiit obviously acknowledges tube-rolling as a means of altering the sound, and chose a tube implementation over others because of superior, but arguably subjective, sonic performance. Not that this is all about Schiit, but it's a popular line of amps for HD-650 and the company is fairly forthcoming about it's design choices.


Point is, if we're willing to accept that no amp is perfect, and that trade-offs are made at any given price point, and that different applications call for different design priorities, and that implementation differences affect the listening experience, then it's not an outrageous fallacy to choose something other than the O2 or its equivalent. 


I tend to take a very budget-oriented view of hi-fi spending (which is not to say low price is the top priority), so I'm quite sympathetic to the objective view on amps, but I do often find objective commentary tediously absolutist, even belligerent. Not that every subjective opinion has merit, or that they don't indulge in their own dubious righteousness. Think, "your observations are meaningless without an ABX test" and "I trust my ears more than the spec sheet," respectively. I think these common, opposing statements are equally misleading in practical implementation. I think you can make a good purchase decision primarily on paper, reserving listening "tests" for confirmation between a final contender or two. 


So for me, I have my eye on the Asgard 2 as an outboard amp upgrade, while I make do with my DAC's integrated amp in the meantime. The A2 has a good manufacturer reputation, specs, features, fit & finish, and price. Were it not for the preamp out, I'd probably just get the Magni (take that, $144 O2 fans). I personally don't see a favorable return on investment to spend 3x that of A2 for the nuances afforded by, say, Lyr or Bottlehead Crack. Particularly when playing a supporting role for a $400 set of headphones, but also because amplification seems like a less critical component for sonic contribution than, say, a DAC, and certainly transducers. Put another way, given a $250 amp that suits the HD-650 and the rest of the system, I'd put the next $500 towards a transducer upgrade. Turns out I already have my eye on a set of studio monitors for that investment in my desktop rig. We'll see how long I last after all that before sniffing around for an upgrade. 


Not that the HD-650 won't scale in performance to accommodate the premium amps, as is famously purported on this thread. I just think it makes more sense to allocate the budget differently. Note that this assumes HD-650 as the sole set of transducers. Obviously if you're running different headphones, especially with different needs afforded by a versatile premium amplifier, then this brings the head-fi budget back into line. I think that last point is pretty critical for newer HD-650-only owning head-fiers considering a premium amp, that a lot of the owners of premium amps have other headphones beyond HD-650, or plans to get them, which helps justify the investment, and that you're not otherwise leaving a big helping of HD-650 performance on the table by not running a $750 amp. Perhaps this assuages the concerns of some of the objectivists worried about new head-fiers getting fleeced. 

post #11018 of 22510

Although this is a long winded somewhat epic post, I agree with pretty much all of it. Nice post!! 

post #11019 of 22510
Originally Posted by SunshineReggae View Post

There is coloration and there is 'the tube sound'. Coloration of the sound is nothing that can't be done with an EQ. In fact, if you want to find the perfect and exact sound signature as you put it, the best way to go about it is in fact learning how to use an EQ (and trying out different headphones). But if you want to try your luck with tubes, good luck. In my past, I once spent more than fifty bucks rolling some tubes only to find out I might as well have thrown my money in a river. YMMV.
As for the tube sound, there has yet to be done any kind of controlled testing that proves it actually exists in a way that is audible to human beings.
oh wow, fifty bucks
post #11020 of 22510

Aerocraft67, I think you will find that there are satisfied HD650 owners with a very wide array of amps. (Price, Tube, SS, etc) This speaks to the significant flexibility and sound quality of the HD650's. Clearly, a well designed amp will provide a nice pairing with the Senn's. However, assessing amp capabilities exclusively through specs will not give you the full picture. On the other hand, there is a very real "Law of diminishing returns" part to the discussion as well.


For my part, I have found a happy pairing with a tube setup from Decware. The CSP2+ is a wonderful companion to the HD650. The Bottlehead Crack is another excellent pairing. You can always spend more. Should you with a $500 pair of HP's? That is a question you must decide for yourself. 


The best part of the HD650's seem to be that they will give you your money's worth beyond what you will typically find at that level level of HP.


Happy listening!



post #11021 of 22510

Originally Posted by Aerocraft67 View Post


I personally don't see a favorable return on investment to spend 3x that of A2 for the nuances afforded by, say, Lyr or Bottlehead Crack. 


I kind of lumped these together, but $450 for the Lyr is not 3x A2 (I may have been commingling it with Mjolnir), and also does not constitute an unreasonable expenditure for HD-650 by my own estimation, although it would be the top end.

Edited by Aerocraft67 - 2/24/13 at 12:25pm
post #11022 of 22510

That was way to much for me..  


In 1 paragraph - what was said?biggrin.gif

post #11023 of 22510

He wants a cost benefit analysis for amps with the 650's.....tongue.gif

post #11024 of 22510
Originally Posted by longbowbbs View Post

He wants a cost benefit analysis for amps with the 650's.....



O - thanksbiggrin.gif

post #11025 of 22510

I'm more of a HD600 fan. evil_smiley.gif

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