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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 937

post #14041 of 25590
Quote:
Originally Posted by joebobbilly View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post
 

Well, my one caveat with this headphone has been fixed, seriously. I have an aftermarket cable with me right now, and the soundstage has gone up by atleast 30%. YAY!


If you went balanced... then I'm not surprised. If that was just a single ended cable and you got that much improvement... then you HAVE to try balanced :wink_face:

It is SE. I'm using a 3 Pin adapter to 1/4 inch.

post #14042 of 25590
Quote:
Originally Posted by joebobbilly View Post
 


If you went balanced... then I'm not surprised. If that was just a single ended cable and you got that much improvement... then you HAVE to try balanced :wink_face:

 

Agreed 100%...

post #14043 of 25590
Quote:
Originally Posted by joebobbilly View Post
 


If you went balanced... then I'm not surprised. If that was just a single ended cable and you got that much improvement... then you HAVE to try balanced :wink_face:

 

I've have all SE amps and have never tried balanced. Too many people I trust tell me that it's just not that much difference, especially when you account for volume matching. Don't flame me I'm just asking what kind of difference there is. :ph34r:

post #14044 of 25590

So, you're sceptical about the benefits of balanced topologies? Based on sensible impressions on its benefit over se, yet you're asking someone to elaborate on the benefits of a cable "upgrade"? A $500 cable, that yields a soundstage increase of at least 30%? That the poster didn't purchase, but granted the luxury of (presumably) a free trial? Ugh... hmmm.

post #14045 of 25590
Quote:
Originally Posted by olor1n View Post
 

So, you're sceptical about the benefits of balanced topologies? Based on sensible impressions on its benefit over se, yet you're asking someone to elaborate on the benefits of a cable "upgrade"? A $500 cable, that yields a soundstage increase of at least 30%? That the poster didn't purchase, but granted the luxury of (presumably) a free trial? Ugh... hmmm.

Everything seems to have improved. Anyways, we should get back on topic!;)

post #14046 of 25590
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post
 

 

I've have all SE amps and have never tried balanced. Too many people I trust tell me that it's just not that much difference, especially when you account for volume matching. Don't flame me I'm just asking what kind of difference there is. :ph34r:


I cannot comment on other headphones... only for the HD650 that I've personally tried. In this case, trying the Lyr vs the Mjolnir... both with A/B comparison and even longer listening (recently swapped my friend lately for Lyr + Uberfrost... we wanted to try out each other's stacks) I can safely say the key difference is soundstage. Especially orchestral pieces, they just have so much more separation and a sense of the room acoustics. Much better sense of depth and width... higher ceiling. Lyr is a bit more closed and intimate... and of course with the warmer tubes my friend has... a very nice warmth/colour to more smoother jazz or vocal pieces. Even feeding my E09K with Gungnir, the soundstage was not the same... sound signature was similar to Mojo/Gun, but it lacked the soundstage again (and of course dynamics/headroom and more black background simply cause Mojo is a very clean beast).

 

If you get the chance definitely try it out for yourself Matt. Before, I had always heard that balanced goes well for the HD650 but I was skeptical, until I listened to the HD600 balanced at the Toronto head-fi meet... it was an extremely wonderful surprise :biggrin: I still get warm fuzzies thinking bout how that rig sounded. The clean background, separation and holographic soundstage! (the movie soundtrack "own my own" from Les Mis... I felt like I was in the rain)

post #14047 of 25590
Quote:
Originally Posted by joebobbilly View Post
 


I cannot comment on other headphones... only for the HD650 that I've personally tried. In this case, trying the Lyr vs the Mjolnir... both with A/B comparison and even longer listening (recently swapped my friend lately for Lyr + Uberfrost... we wanted to try out each other's stacks) I can safely say the key difference is soundstage. Especially orchestral pieces, they just have so much more separation and a sense of the room acoustics. Much better sense of depth and width... higher ceiling. Lyr is a bit more closed and intimate... and of course with the warmer tubes my friend has... a very nice warmth/colour to more smoother jazz or vocal pieces. Even feeding my E09K with Gungnir, the soundstage was not the same... sound signature was similar to Mojo/Gun, but it lacked the soundstage again (and of course dynamics/headroom and more black background simply cause Mojo is a very clean beast).

 

If you get the chance definitely try it out for yourself Matt. Before, I had always heard that balanced goes well for the HD650 but I was skeptical, until I listened to the HD600 balanced at the Toronto head-fi meet... it was an extremely wonderful surprise :biggrin: I still get warm fuzzies thinking bout how that rig sounded. The clean background, separation and holographic soundstage! (the movie soundtrack "own my own" from Les Mis... I felt like I was in the rain)

 

Thanks for sharing!

 

Could you also share a quick comparison of the HD650 vs. K702 Annies?


Edited by pdrm360 - 10/16/13 at 2:03pm
post #14048 of 25590
Quote:
Originally Posted by joebobbilly View Post
 


I cannot comment on other headphones... only for the HD650 that I've personally tried. In this case, trying the Lyr vs the Mjolnir... both with A/B comparison and even longer listening (recently swapped my friend lately for Lyr + Uberfrost... we wanted to try out each other's stacks) I can safely say the key difference is soundstage. Especially orchestral pieces, they just have so much more separation and a sense of the room acoustics. Much better sense of depth and width... higher ceiling. Lyr is a bit more closed and intimate... and of course with the warmer tubes my friend has... a very nice warmth/colour to more smoother jazz or vocal pieces. Even feeding my E09K with Gungnir, the soundstage was not the same... sound signature was similar to Mojo/Gun, but it lacked the soundstage again (and of course dynamics/headroom and more black background simply cause Mojo is a very clean beast).

 

If you get the chance definitely try it out for yourself Matt. Before, I had always heard that balanced goes well for the HD650 but I was skeptical, until I listened to the HD600 balanced at the Toronto head-fi meet... it was an extremely wonderful surprise :biggrin: I still get warm fuzzies thinking bout how that rig sounded. The clean background, separation and holographic soundstage! (the movie soundtrack "own my own" from Les Mis... I felt like I was in the rain)

 

I appreciate your thoughts and impressions here. Since soundstage seems to be the most substantial improvement, I'll likely pass on this one. SS just isn't high on my list. I love the intimate sound of the lyr and the ability to roll the tubes. 

post #14049 of 25590
Quote:
Originally Posted by joebobbilly View Post
 


I cannot comment on other headphones... only for the HD650 that I've personally tried. In this case, trying the Lyr vs the Mjolnir... both with A/B comparison and even longer listening (recently swapped my friend lately for Lyr + Uberfrost... we wanted to try out each other's stacks) I can safely say the key difference is soundstage. Especially orchestral pieces, they just have so much more separation and a sense of the room acoustics. Much better sense of depth and width... higher ceiling. Lyr is a bit more closed and intimate... and of course with the warmer tubes my friend has... a very nice warmth/colour to more smoother jazz or vocal pieces. Even feeding my E09K with Gungnir, the soundstage was not the same... sound signature was similar to Mojo/Gun, but it lacked the soundstage again (and of course dynamics/headroom and more black background simply cause Mojo is a very clean beast).

 

If you get the chance definitely try it out for yourself Matt. Before, I had always heard that balanced goes well for the HD650 but I was skeptical, until I listened to the HD600 balanced at the Toronto head-fi meet... it was an extremely wonderful surprise :biggrin: I still get warm fuzzies thinking bout how that rig sounded. The clean background, separation and holographic soundstage! (the movie soundtrack "own my own" from Les Mis... I felt like I was in the rain)

 

I swapped my Lyr (Russian 6N1P tubes from Schiit) / Uberfrost with joebobbilly, and I echo the same findings regarding the Mjolnir/Gungnir. I've also been using it with my HD650, and also my HE500. The HD650 scales up a lot better going balanced than the HE500 imo. The sound stage is clearly the biggest difference for me too. It did take a bit to get used to the absolutely zero crosstalk between the channels, especially with some older tracks and live tracks that put all the instruments on one side. But aside from that, it didn't  take a lot of effort to notice the difference for me. 

 

The next thing probably from my stack to his stack was the background noise, but that's obvious given the Lyr is tube vs the Mjolnir which is SS... 

 

Just picked up some Amperex Orange Globes 6DJ8 and Matsu 6922 tubes, time to play around with them tonight!

post #14050 of 25590
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by joebobbilly View Post
 


I cannot comment on other headphones... only for the HD650 that I've personally tried. In this case, trying the Lyr vs the Mjolnir... both with A/B comparison and even longer listening (recently swapped my friend lately for Lyr + Uberfrost... we wanted to try out each other's stacks) I can safely say the key difference is soundstage. Especially orchestral pieces, they just have so much more separation and a sense of the room acoustics. Much better sense of depth and width... higher ceiling. Lyr is a bit more closed and intimate... and of course with the warmer tubes my friend has... a very nice warmth/colour to more smoother jazz or vocal pieces. Even feeding my E09K with Gungnir, the soundstage was not the same... sound signature was similar to Mojo/Gun, but it lacked the soundstage again (and of course dynamics/headroom and more black background simply cause Mojo is a very clean beast).

 

If you get the chance definitely try it out for yourself Matt. Before, I had always heard that balanced goes well for the HD650 but I was skeptical, until I listened to the HD600 balanced at the Toronto head-fi meet... it was an extremely wonderful surprise :biggrin: I still get warm fuzzies thinking bout how that rig sounded. The clean background, separation and holographic soundstage! (the movie soundtrack "own my own" from Les Mis... I felt like I was in the rain)

 

I appreciate your thoughts and impressions here. Since soundstage seems to be the most substantial improvement, I'll likely pass on this one. SS just isn't high on my list. I love the intimate sound of the lyr and the ability to roll the tubes. 

You really should get Crack since you love tube rolling
post #14051 of 25590

Post edited to reflect a 15-25% increase in soundstage.

post #14052 of 25590
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post
 

Post edited to reflect a 15-25% increase in soundstage.

 

LOL I get stupid impressions like this too and I believe you. I actually used an ALO SXC cable on my Q701 and it made everything sound too distant as if the soundstage was too huge. What? How?! Stock cable for me.

 

I have one of those DHC cables for my HD-650 but I had it made from someone on here in exchange for a used headphone. I still use stock for some reason. Actually I use an HD-600 cable on my HD-650, but there is not much of a difference.

I actually believe the HD-600 cable is better (lower capacitance too), but I won't go there.

 

When I got rid of my HRT MSII and switched to an ODAC/Modi I instantly couldn't hear an ounce of difference between cables unless it was high capacitance wire.

 

 

If I cared about cables now I would make an HD-650 cable with ALO SXC (bulk DIY) or any silver plated copper. Whatever is cheapest. $250 for a 1" Ipod LOD cable makes me sick. Must be hard to run a cable company and stay alive..or not. I wouldn't know.

 

I think the only reason I hear a difference is because of the cables capacitance rating and a combination of all my gear and the headphones.

 

I still wish someone would try to make an HD-650 cable with Monoprice Cat 6 :biggrin:

 

Best cable I ever bought was a Cardas 6' mini to mini cable for $30. Worth every penny! I also like Monoprice and Mogami W2893.

 

FYI for anyone that cares, I never heard more than a 2-3% difference with any cable. Biggest change was when I recabled my 598 with Mogami.


Edited by tdockweiler - 10/16/13 at 5:43pm
post #14053 of 25590
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdrm360 View Post
 

 

Thanks for sharing!

 

Could you also share a quick comparison of the HD650 vs. K702 Annies?

 

Hmmm for the purposes of being fair... I will only compare them single-ended. The HD650 balanced are a different thing altogether... and I have not had opportunity to try the Annies balanced (yet... they may get modded in a year or so? :ph34r:)

 

Fit/Comfort, Design

 

Now I have a very VERY big head but I find both headphones to be very comfortable. I'm sure most of you reading here are extremely familiar with our beloved HD 650s. So I will move on. The Annies of course have the signature AKG headband that self-adjusts with the elastic cords. This headband design is actually very well implemented and convenient for when you share with other people to listen... no need to fiddle with adjustments, just stick them on and they will be the right size. The Annie clamp lighter than the 650s so I had no issue there, no need to stretch them. As well, the Annies earcups are a very very marshmellowy like memory foam... a complete joy to wear :o they are super soft and comfy and will mold to your head to provide a semi-seal. But if you're in a hot room/summer then I could imagine it getting too warm (I'm in Canada though... so no problem ;)). Overall build quality is very nice with good sturdy fit and finish... the Annies headband is genuine leather, and the gunmetal titan finish with blue trim is gorgeous! Detachable cable is also well made with a good plug... the mini-XLR goes in with a very satisfying click (not as scary as the first time i had to pull the HD650 connectors)... sadly, the XLR is 3-pin... not 4-pin, meaning it will require modification before it can go balanced. :(

 

Treble:

 

The Annies win out here... quite easily as a whole. The detailing, shine and shimmer are definitely more well defined here. Cymbals have more sparkle, violins have more bite, acoustic guitars have more of the live (yourself playing) sound... which I like as a humble acoustic guitar player. So for albums like Eric Clapton's Unplugged... I generally will prefer the Annies over the HD 650. Trebles in the Annies are not particularly harsh, and only in some more treble happy songs/albums will I find them fatiguing. The HD650 of course as all others here agree... have a nicely rolled off treble allowing for some seriously nice easy listening and as I'm treble sensitive, I generally appreciate this. However, the HD650 are not "lacking" treble... it can still be pretty bright for some songs, but just much more forgiving so sometimes it can seem to have less "shimmer/sparkle" than brighter cans.

 

Bottom Line: Annies have better treble overall

 

 

Mids:

 

Interestingly, it is here that I find the Annies to share some character that is reminiscent of the HD650s. The mids could be considered fairly neutral with just a slight tint to the darker side (compared to the brighter Q701). The sound is well balanced in this region... vocals have superb detailing and tone, piano keys have a good life-like timbre. Overall smooth transitions and relatively more forward sound with the vocals.  The HD650 has slightly smoother mids, sound is slightly brought back, and you don't get as much of that clarity in the micro-detail that the Annies show... it's not to say that the detail isn't there... it's just not demanding your attention like the Annies... you have to subtly look for them (like coffee or wine tasting). 

 

Bottom Line: I'd consider this a tie between the two... it's quite close IMHO

 

Mid Bass:

 

Now all of you KNOW I had to make a separate section for this :D. This is where ALL THE MAGIC HAPPENS!!! Truly, the region that makes the HD650 sing... providing that ultra buttery sound that gently floats you up in a euphonious wave of chocolate sounds. Have yet to hear any other headphone perform quite like the HD650s in this region... yes you may criticize and say this region is coloured... and you would not be wrong! But it is coloured oh so lusciously!!! Some hate the HD650s because of this... but for many others... it's simply one word: LOVE. Now... before I completely forget what I am doing here, back to the Annies: They actually do have some characteristic warmth in this region too which is why some others here in the forum will agree with me that the Annies do remind us of the HD 650. However, they certainly do not quite reach the level of colouration that is found in the Senns... the Annies are a bit more controlled... providing some smooth lubrication to the sound but not quite the richness of the HD650s. Some may actually prefer this if they find the HD650s too overly smooth (no real such thing in my book tho :tongue:).

 

Bottom Line: Do I even need to tell you??? :rolleyes:

 

Bass:

 

Here is where some may be deceived by initial A/B comparisons for the Annies and HD650. Depending on the track/music it is easy to say that the HD650 wins out for bass... mostly because it's just more obvious and easy to notice. BUT, if you test a variety of tracks and pay attention, then something quickly becomes apparent. Both cans are very capable of bass... but they do it slightly differently. The HD650 have a nice enveloping full sounding bass... it is well textured and has generous quantity without being boomy, but can be considered "slow" depending on the music/preferences. The Annies on the other hand, seem to have a less enveloping bass with that warmth that wraps around you... rather, it seems to have better lower extension with a nice visceral punch. So it's quick and snappy with good tight control and will come and go when needed... not staying long to hang out and chill. One way I like to see it... is the Annie delivers bass like a quick jab to the body... whereas the HD650 is more like a swinging haymaker.... more weight overall... but not as quick and controlled.

 

Bottom Line: A matter of preference IMO... HD650 has a bit more quantity and enveloping warmth... Annies have tighter lower punch

 

Soundstage: (again I must remind you it's through single ended... balanced HD650 is a different level and easily trumps HD650+Annies running SE)

 

The HD650s image fairly well... but overall the soundstage is a bit smaller, and the instruments can seem a bit more crowded together. Here the Annies win out with a greater sense of air... better precision imaging and a very wide soundstage. Oddly enough though, the Annies have a wide soundstage but not a very deep one (I had heard how these had amazing soundstage and had thought they would provide more depth).

 

Bottom Line: Annies win out with a wider soundstage, greater sense of air to the sound and more precise imaging.

 

Conclusion:

 

All in all, I really like the Annie because it's similar enough to the HD650 that it doens't wander far from my tastes, but yet it is lively enough with it's own character to complement the Senns well. If someone destroyed my beloved Senns and got rid of the rest of them (I would hunt them down KILL them later) the Annies would likely be my next candidate to live with after. All in all the Annie is a very solid headphone that I am proud to own.

 

Haha, I guess this wasn't so quick, hope this helps :popcorn:

post #14054 of 25590

Thanks for the awesome comparison, this makes me want to try the Annies :D

 

I would really be curious to see someone compare the Annies with the HD700...very curious indeed...

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by joebobbilly View Post
 
post #14055 of 25590

FYI if anyone is curious, for me it's:

 

Modded Q701 > HD-650 > Annie

 

If you like the HD-650 you'll probably love the modded Q701. Or maybe not.

 

Still don't have a clue why I like the HD-650 but not the Annie.

The Annie I heard had all the air sucked out of it. Sounded way too dark and congested. Guess I have bad luck.

 

My modded Q701 is now about as full sounding as my HD-650. Low bass presence is about the same. Maybe a tiny bit better. Neither have any large mid-bass hump or low mids that are too forward.

 

People say the Annie is a mix of the HD-650 and the Q701, but for me it's actually the modded Q701.

 

Modded Q701 is so much better than the Annie IMO.

 

BTW when I switch between tracks on the HD-650 and modded Q701 there isn't a dramatic difference. Obviously Q701 has a little more treble and is more airy sounding.

 

HD-650 isn't going anywhere though!

 

Don't forget that you can put Annie pads on the Q701 and switch between two different sounding headphones.


Edited by tdockweiler - 10/16/13 at 6:50pm
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