I have a bit of good news to post today. After several years if fence sitting I am now an HD650 owner.
I drove to the PO this morning and picked it up and once back home, I fired up my amp and let it warm up for 10 minutes or so. I kind of like a full 20 minutes of warm up but I couldn't wait. I adjusted the tension springs to fit my melon and put in disc one of The Wall, I think by Goodbye Blue Sky the Little Dot was fully warmed up. Disc 1 was followed by disc 2. This is the first time in a long time I've listened to The Wall in it's entirety, all in one sitting.
I've heard the 650s on a couple of occasion and having owned, and loved, the 580s for a while the 650 was hardly a new experience for me. I try to be fairly frugal with headphone gear and it was somewhat tough to talk myself into this purchase, but I'm glad I did.
From the Little Dot MKIVse, these headphones are as nice as I expected them to be and it still kind of surprises me that a headphone with such laid-back treble can still have so much resolution. Many folks seem to equate bright with detailed, but this headphone proves that isn't so.
These CSD waterfall plots show that the HD650's drivers are plenty quick.
The decision to go ahead and get these was made shortly after the recent Austin meet when I heard them being driven by a Bottlehead Crack. As fine an amp as the Crack is, what ultimately I have in mind is a balanced solid state arrangement.
Up until now the source for my home rig has been a quite good but sort of old-school disc player. I really want to go ahead and move to a PC based source so that I'll have instant access to my entire media library. I have a neat little netbook that I have dedicated for the task of a music server but I'll need a good DAC to go ahead and make the transition. I figure while I'm at it I may as well follow through with my solid state amp plan at the same time.
What I'm looking at is a Audio-gd NFB-28. It has pretty much every thing I am wanting all in one unit. An ES9018 DAC chip, fully balanced solid state headphone amp, it can pull pre-amp duty at the same time, and has a nice remote as an option, but comes with a cheap one. I'd spend the $50 for the upgrade remote. Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.
I found the 1704 chip in my dac works best with every headphone I have. A remote is a no brainer for future pre-amp duties...we are nearing the space age, not stone age.
The HD650 has excellent inert cup properties - that is all that might tell me, if anything at all.
The circuit design of the MJ is about as good as it gets. They compare this to the Bryston often - but the Bryston circuit is very ordinary. Have not heard either, If I had to pick by circuit design alone, I'd go with the MJ - no brainer.
Yes it is already well beyond the capabilities of the HD650 - any good solid state amp will be beyond as well. The crack works better for the HD650 because tubes are slower than solid state. The speed of the HD650 synchronises better with the speed of tubes.
The HD650 is very neutral...you need to keep up with the pro-audio scene.
All well designed amps are neutral - this cannot be argued, whether it is perceived as warm or bright is a whole different issue. A neutral headphone would sound very similar when plugged to any well design amp. The same with DACs - any reasonable one is neutral, and a neutral amp will not show exaggerated differences to dacs.
If a headphone sounds almost the same out of good amps - it is doing its job - telling the truth that they all are neutral. Hard to match headphones is a clear indication of significant stray from neutral.
This should be obvious and I am not sure why it is not.
Edited by SP Wild - 1/29/14 at 9:47am