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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 93

post #1381 of 36831

It would seem that the first step for me would be to get a DAC, possibly the very respectable Headroom version.

post #1382 of 36831



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HariBhushan View Post

@ midoo

 

I was looking to purchase a Woo Audio 6 in the future. But do you think it's a worthwhile upgrade from my current Woo Audio 3 stock?

 

Would the Rectifier tube (Sophia Princess) be the only thing needed when purchasing the wa6  or would i also have to change the front 2 driver tubes as well?


the driver tubes(front) do indeed change the sound but subtly.they can make the presentation a bit more brighter but the biggest difference is sophia.before sophia the wa6 was pretty muddy and bad but i got the sophia in the same time so i rolled it and couldnt be any happier.if you noticed,90% of headfiers having wa6 have hd650 because of the incredible synergy.

regarding wa3,i honestly dont know.i asked jack before i purchased my wa6 about if the wa3 would be better than wa6 considering i am a studet and take a long time to collect money,and he told me that the wa3 is very nice with hd650 but if i can afford wa6,then i should do it because it is an upgrade.

email jack about the wa3 and wa6 and he will help you more and he is very honest about his products and not looking for collecting $$ on the expense of his customers.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aimlink View Post


How can I be sad if you're happy with where you're going.  I hope you enjoy the JH13's and that they live up to your expectations.  


they better slaughter anything i heard and by a big margin or i will be the one who slaughter them
 

post #1383 of 36831
Quote:
Originally Posted by midoo1990 View Post



 


the driver tubes(front) do indeed change the sound but subtly.they can make the presentation a bit more brighter but the biggest difference is sophia.before sophia the wa6 was pretty muddy and bad but i got the sophia in the same time so i rolled it and couldnt be any happier.if you noticed,90% of headfiers having wa6 have hd650 because of the incredible synergy.

regarding wa3,i honestly dont know.i asked jack before i purchased my wa6 about if the wa3 would be better than wa6 considering i am a studet and take a long time to collect money,and he told me that the wa3 is very nice with hd650 but if i can afford wa6,then i should do it because it is an upgrade.

email jack about the wa3 and wa6 and he will help you more and he is very honest about his products and not looking for collecting $$ on the expense of his customers.


 



 

thanks for your help. When i went to the Woo Audio website, they didn't show any other drive tubes(front) besides the replacement that already comes with the stock.

but I'm guessing those tubes still exist, right? but as you said... they probably won't change the sound characteristics too much since the Sophia Princess is the only worthy of purchasing.

 

So would it be wise to buy a wA6 brand new or wait and see if i can snag a used one? I think ima enjoy my wa3 for a little longer since I've only had it for about a year. But I think there will be enormous change when i go from stock wa3 to wa6+S.P. 

 

ohh... and I'm not a Senn 650 user btw. I'm from team Beyerdynamic, but i was just randomly browsing this thread till i found someone with a Woo Audio comment, and i thought... heh, what a good time for me to chim in xD 
 

post #1384 of 36831
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimlink    

But then, with all that I've said about the HD800's, when I switch back to the HD650's and lock into their signature, I can see why some would actually prefer them to the HD800's. :)  It's not always about detail retrieval.  I find the HD800's to be the superior can, no doubt, but for overall enjoyment, I'm finding it difficult to determine which I prefer.  Going from the HD800's to the HD650's requires more acclimatization than going from the HD650's to the HD800's.  On this basis I tend to believe that my natural preference rests more with the HD800's.  Can't be sure yet though and do wonder why I need to declare a preference to myself or anyone else.  



Well, here in Oz the 800 is four times the price of the 650. If you're not finding a massive, overwhelming preference for the 800, it has to say a lot for the 650. I'm interested however that you're not hearing harshness in the 800 even directly switching from the 650--that too says a lot.

 

Unfortunately I'll never buy a pair even if my rich Uncle dies; it's all too late now, and tinnitus is setting in. But I've been into headphones since 1970, I'll probably be interested in headphone development till the day I die, and I do love to read comparison descriptions. :) 

post #1385 of 36831
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

Well, here in Oz the 800 is four times the price of the 650. If you're not finding a massive, overwhelming preference for the 800, it has to say a lot for the 650. I'm interested however that you're not hearing harshness in the 800 even directly switching from the 650--that too says a lot.

 

Unfortunately I'll never buy a pair even if my rich Uncle dies; it's all too late now, and tinnitus is setting in. But I've been into headphones since 1970, I'll probably be interested in headphone development till the day I die, and I do love to read comparison descriptions. :) 


If you're one for detail and clarity, then the HD800's are a lot better.  There's a significant amount of detail across the sound spectrum that the HD800's will render and that's not heard with the HD650's.  This isn't at all difficult to discern.  For those who find this important, the HD800's would be a lot better.  It's just that for me, the added detail isn't that important.

 

They both offer a different experience and for this reason, I have no personal regret having purchased the HD800's. Even the Ed8's bring their own flavour of enjoyment to the table and again, I can't say that I enjoy them any less or more than the HD650's and HD800's.  I really enjoy the three of them.

post #1386 of 36831

Enjoying my 650's through a DIY Porta Corda III USB. Next step - building my Gamma 2 

post #1387 of 36831

I've been reading many comments and reviews about how bright the HD800 is.  I've heard several units on many amps and say that, while it isn't necessarily sibilant, all units were too bright to tolerate.  Voices were broken in two: chest and treble.  The HD650 does many things well, perhaps most of all rendering voices as one entity with an illusion of realism.  The HD800 does most everything better save for this intolerable brightness.  

 

I'm convinced that those who accept the brightness are "looking on the bright side" by citing the detail, speed, revealing nature, and intolerance of bad recordings as if those are positives. Until Sennheiser fixes this (and the reported variation among units), I can't see the investment being anything but frustrating -- a top-to-bottom improvement in resolution and soundstage, made useless to me by a painful upper midrange and lower treble.

 

Below is a comparison of the HD800 by subtracting the HD650 response.  Regardless of whether this data is precisely accurate, it does represent what I hear in terms of the frequency response.  The higher bass is welcome, as is the upper treble improvement.  But that lower treble peak is the problem, and a big one.  

 

HD800-HD650.png

post #1388 of 36831
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoney View Post

I've been reading many comments and reviews about how bright the HD800 is.  I've heard several units on many amps and say that, while it isn't necessarily sibilant, all units were too bright to tolerate.  Voices were broken in two: chest and treble.  The HD650 does many things well, perhaps most of all rendering voices as one entity with an illusion of realism.  The HD800 does most everything better save for this intolerable brightness.  

 

I'm convinced that those who accept the brightness are "looking on the bright side" by citing the detail, speed, revealing nature, and intolerance of bad recordings as if those are positives. Until Sennheiser fixes this (and the reported variation among units), I can't see the investment being anything but frustrating -- a top-to-bottom improvement in resolution and soundstage, made useless to me by a painful upper midrange and lower treble.

 

Below is a comparison of the HD800 by subtracting the HD650 response.  Regardless of whether this data is precisely accurate, it does represent what I hear in terms of the frequency response.  The higher bass is welcome, as is the upper treble improvement.  But that lower treble peak is the problem, and a big one.  

 

HD800-HD650.png



I'm not sure I understand what this response graph actually represents, but I get the point.

Your remarks here, and aimlink's above, would certainly have settled the issue for me if I'd ever had thoughts of buying an 800 as I'm very sensitive to brightness and place smoothness and listenability way above detail. So it's the 650 for me from here to...well, eternity I guess, unless Sennheiser comes out with a deluxe version with basically the same sound signature but a little less veil. I could say I'm just glad the 650 exists or I'd have nothing to listen to, or on, but in fact I could quite happily live with the 595 if I had to. For all the flack that phone takes in this forum, I still believe it's one of the best balanced, overall most listenable and satisfying (at least on classical/orchestral) phones out there. Viva Sennheiser.  

post #1389 of 36831

The HD800's are different.  If you're an HD650 user and lover, it'll take a while for you to lock into the HD800 sound.  I wouldn't have grown to understand the HD800's and what they have to offer if I didn't own it and gave it the chance it needed.  I can't overemphasize this enough.  The HD800's have so far, been more and more rewarding with time.  Not the other way around. 

post #1390 of 36831

^^

Agreed. The HD800s are bang on neutral IMO and the HD650s lean towards a more laid back and bassy presentation. If you are used to the latter, then you will have to "unlearn how you listen to music" if you want to become a fan of a balanced and neutral presentation.

 

There is no doubt to me that the HD800s do everything better and are in a whole new league (and this is from a former and very happy HD650 owner).

post #1391 of 36831


Quote:

Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

^^

Agreed. The HD800s are bang on neutral IMO and the HD650s lean towards a more laid back and bassy presentation. If you are used to the latter, then you will have to "unlearn how you listen to music" if you want to become a fan of a balanced and neutral presentation.

 

There is no doubt to me that the HD800s do everything better and are in a whole new league (and this is from a former and very happy HD650 owner).


The great thing I'm discovering is that, like another language, I haven't unlearned the HD650's style and approach, so once I have it on, I quickly lock into it's signature style and enjoy.... still.  I can't say the same for the K702's. The HD800's have just about killed all interest I had in it.

post #1392 of 36831

So I ordered the HD800s and got them a couple of days ago... is there something wrong or strange that I'm still preferring my 650s?

post #1393 of 36831

I don't buy it.  This brightness is well beyond the kind of difference where "locking into" it's virtues could make a difference.  I've been in the audio-comparison business long enough, and base it on live music first and foremost, that I know my limitations -- what degree of difference I should allow for perhaps taste or short-term perceptions or biases.  

 

I forgot to mention -- look at the graph above.  It is not just the 8-dB narrowish peak compared to the HD650, but the midrange suckout that is very broad and 4dB deep, very audible.  It is these two features (compared to the response of the HD650 which is smooth, even if a little dark) that show what I mean about a thin, bright vocal region. 

 

Keep in mind, I have heard many other headphones; and I don't think of HD650 as "right," just possessing a set of tradeoffs that leave me wanting more and enjoying it at length.  (I like the recent HD650 production, not the old bassy, dark kind. I removed the opaque foam and use a Cardas cable.)  

 

With the several HD800 units I heard (let's hope they aren't all that way), there was no doubt: intolerable, narrow-band brightness that ruined voices and made certain treble material more painful than justified by how the recordings sound on very high-end systems.   

 

Other than that, I loved them and can certainly understand why some might choose to live with it.  But I'm too attached to how live and well-recorded voices sound to put up with it.  Worse still are recordings with bright condenser mics or less-than-flattering mastering.  

 

There are very many reviews that cite the same thing, in words that are too similar to be differences in taste or ancilliary equipment.  There are also a vast number of people who put up with bright headphones for the sake of detail... I just can't get with that attitude.  So it doesn't bother me at all if half the listeners find the HD800 worth the tradeoff. 

 

Here are two headphones regarded as smooth, at least in the vocal region -- the AKG K701 (perhaps a bit bright by reputation) and HD650 (perhaps a bit dark by reputation). Now look at the red curve -- the HD800 -- and note the midrange depression and lower-treble peak (a range of about 9dB, very audible given the width of the features and the fast transition between the two).  If the K701 is slightly bright or at least airy, as the chart might confirm, then the HD800 is about 7dB more bright, if you compare midrange to lower treble.  Of the units I heard, that data fits pretty well. 

 

HD650_800_AKG701.png


Edited by Stoney - 5/30/10 at 12:32am
post #1394 of 36831

Interesting post, Stoney. Controversial, but precise and unequivocal. Personally I find the 650 so natural in terms of tonal balance compared to what I hear in the concert hall, that if the 800 is considerable brighter, it's not going to match live music anymore, at least as heard from a typical and realistic distance.  Surely that must follow, or am I missing something?

 

Concerning the response graphs, Headroom's description of the ideal graph (under "About Headphone Measurements") certainly seems more to match the 650 more than the 800. I quote:

 

"A "natural sounding" headphone should be slightly higher in the bass (about 3 or 4 dB) between 40Hz and 500Hz. This compensates for the fact that headphones don't give you the physical punch or 'impact' that the sound waves from a room speaker have; so a slight compensation for increased bass response is needed for natural sound.

Headphones also need to be rolled-off in the highs to compensate for the drivers being so close to the ear; a gently sloping flat line from 1kHz to about 8-10dB down at 20kHz is about right."

 

Does that sound more like the 650 or 800?

post #1395 of 36831

Hey folks,

 

I'm a little late to the party, but I made it. ;)

 

I have the good fortune of living close to Ken Wall of ALO Audio/32 Ohm Audio fame, and his wonderful store, 32 Ohm Audio. On Saturday, I cruised in to audition top-tier cans. My goal was to give a few of the cans I'd heard good things about (or generated healthy debates) an objective and relaxed audition. The listening room wasn't ideal, but it was good enough. I had to turn down some amps after a couple of DJs breezed through, but no biggie, and I imagine the environment was still better than a meet. I brought my Arrow HE12 and Clip+ with some FLACs of Porcupine Tree and Opeth. To my ears and preference, the first few tracks on PT's In Absentia and Deadwing hit all the sonic nuggets I enjoy and expect to sound amazing, and Opeth's Watershed is just plain beautiful, wicked and complex - a challenge for any dynamic driver.

 

First of all, Ken and Curtis were very cool, welcoming and generous. Ken even brought in a pair of re-cabled RS1s from home. Speaking of generous, so was my wife for being gracious about me ditching the family, but I only had a couple of hours. I auditioned the following:

 

  • Grado RS2 (stock cable)
  • Grado RS1 (re-cable)
  • AKG 701
  • AKG 702
  • Beyerdynamic T1
  • Sennheiser HD650 (stock cable)
  • Sennheiser HD650 (re-cable)

 

This isn't a comparison thread so I'll boil things down to what I chose and why. OK, I didn't want to like the HD650s. Silly I know, but they are so popular and I don't care for the look. But it's not about looks is it? I wanted to like the beautiful mahogany Grados, but it wasn't meant to be. The HD650s sounded just right to me. Balanced, detailed, good instrument separation, well-defined highs, tight and controlled bass, sweet mids - all attributes most everyone looks for.

 

A quick few words on what some of the other cans didn't do for me.

 

  • AKGs: too bright, uncomfortable.
  • T1: surprisingly sibilant (I couldn't stand it!)
  • RS2: I liked these. However, not enough high end definition (even though they were bright... so weird) and I didn't care for the on-the-ear design.
  • RS1: Not enough low end punch, and the ditto what I said about the RS2s. Oh, and IMO, not a good price/performance value and $600+.

 

The 650s with the re-cable were my favorite. I did my darndest to keep my hands away from the Clip's EQ and Arrow's enhancements for the duration of the audition, but I did take mental notes of when I felt myself wanting to reach for certain controls. Bass boost for the RS1, EQ upper KHz for the T1s, etc. Due to the efficiency and ohm differences I did have to mess around a bit with the gain and impedance settings. One common thing I noticed about the re-cabled Grados and Sennheisers is they were easier to drive than the stock cabled phones. This was a counterintuitive phenomenon to me, because Ken uses some heavy gauge cables! Gorgeous re-cables by the way if you haven't seen them. The 650s were the only phones that sounded "right" and balanced to me driven flat from my source gear. Perhaps I felt a twitch to reach for the BASS I setting with the stock cabled 650s, but that's it. The re-cabled 650s definitely extend the bass, punch out the mids a bit, and strangely, were easier for the Arrow to drive.

 

What a wonderful headphone. Porcupine Tree's drums have never sounded so good to me. The 650s separated every percussion element and detailed the cymbals. I may have detected some rolloff but decay was good and it didn't distract (which isn't necessarily a bad thing and can actually be a sign of hearing things in a recording one hasn't heard before) or, arguably, more importantly detract from the experience. I don't know how long each of the cans had burned in, but in particular, there were ride cymbal parts that the Grados just couldn't handle. Muffled, rolled... no, chopped off highs is more like it and I had to strain to hear the drum separation, especially the lower elements. The 650s put everything in its rightful place in the space around my head. No straining, squinting, adjusting or brow furrowing. The two opening tracks of Watershed are especially rough on phones. The two tracks blends together in progressive concept style, and they are Yen to Yang. Track one being a folk song duet and track two a skull crushing monster. The 650s said, "bring it on." Instead of a muddy sonic mess, I enjoyed a swirling cacophony of madness (an *ahem* good thing).

 

I'll have the funds in a couple of weeks. I asked Curtis to set aside a pair of 650s for me, and when Ken returns from Can Jam he'll build me a cable with a mini plug. Thanks for reading. 

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