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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 1136

post #17026 of 26684
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderking31 View Post

My little dot mk3 makes a difference on my hd650 too! If your using a tube amp like me, try to find a driver tube that will suit your liking. I personally prefer my telefunken 6ak5w tubes, but will settle also with my Siemens 6ak5w tubes also. But the two sound totally different to each other, even though there the same class tube smily_headphones1.gif
I just got a pair of Siemens 6AK5W tubes and they're blowing my mind compared to my Sylvania gold brand 5654 tubes. How do the Telefunken 6AK5W compare to the Siemens?
post #17027 of 26684

The default tubes aren't good ?

post #17028 of 26684
I wouldn't call them bad, there are just better options you can buy. I recommend the Little Dot MK III tube roller thread.
post #17029 of 26684
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anavel0 View Post

I just got a pair of Siemens 6AK5W tubes and they're blowing my mind compared to my Sylvania gold brand 5654 tubes. How do the Telefunken 6AK5W compare to the Siemens?
the Siemens are epic...the telefunken's are OUT OF THIS WORLD EPIC! take the Siemens, and add better bass, better treble extension, better soundstage, etc, and you have what's called the telefunken 6ak5w....
Go to www.tubemuseum.org and look up 6ak5w.....they're the rarest, and in such a condition, it'll blow your mind! I bought 2 pairs from them! Good luck, Coury smily_headphones1.gif
post #17030 of 26684
This may not be exactly the best thread for this but it pertains to the HD650's so here goes.

I've been looking at cable options for these cans and keep seeing the option of "balanced" cables. Obviously I'd need an amp with the same facility but putting that to one side - What do balanced cables bring to the party?
post #17031 of 26684
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorrofox View Post

This may not be exactly the best thread for this but it pertains to the HD650's so here goes.

I've been looking at cable options for these cans and keep seeing the option of "balanced" cables. Obviously I'd need an amp with the same facility but putting that to one side - What do balanced cables bring to the party?

You will need also a DAC that is capable of balanced output, to fully enjoy "balanced" sound. Apart from my failings to understand what people mean by "push/pull configurations", balanced set-ups are supposedly the top of the crop in terms of noise reduction / isolation from interference. Some claim to have found their haven of sound through balanced set-ups, whereas others have said it doesn't make a single difference at all.

 

What I do know, is that Sennheiser's balanced cables are overpriced for what it is, and you may be better off re-terminating a replacement HD650 cable with a 4 pin XLR end.

post #17032 of 26684
Thanks for the explanation. I think my ODAC/O2 is safe for now. I'd just be interested to hear how much better the 650's can be. To be honest I only really listen to the Senn's, all the rest are gathering dust.
post #17033 of 26684
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacobLee89 View Post
 

You will need also a DAC that is capable of balanced output, to fully enjoy "balanced" sound. Apart from my failings to understand what people mean by "push/pull configurations", balanced set-ups are supposedly the top of the crop in terms of noise reduction / isolation from interference. Some claim to have found their haven of sound through balanced set-ups, whereas others have said it doesn't make a single difference at all.

 

What I do know, is that Sennheiser's balanced cables are overpriced for what it is, and you may be better off re-terminating a replacement HD650 cable with a 4 pin XLR end.

 

Push pull means that there's 2 transistors working, one NPN and the other PNP. The NPN works on the positive part of the signal and the PNP works on the negative part.

 


Edited by Aldem - 4/22/14 at 12:53pm
post #17034 of 26684

USG and I were discussing the balanced issue about 2 weeks ago.  To recap, some very well respected audio designers have published articles etc. refuting the proposition that "balanced" (really, we are talking about push-pull or bridged topologies) are the best way to amp headphones.  I've pared down one of my prior posts below to try and concisely summarize this:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by skeptic View Post

......

I had read [Benchmark engineer] Elias Gwinn's debate with AMB on the balanced issue a while back and found Gwinn's position very persuasive.  (http://www.amb.org/forum/benchmark-engineer-on-balanced-v-unbalanced-headphone-amps-t326.html) .... with the exception of Pass Lab's recently expired SuSy patent, it seems like there is a lot of truth backing up the argument that balanced amps have more cons than pros. To recap: unless you need the extra power to drive an inefficient transducer, push-pull or, alternatively, bridged amps generally add noise and distortion (excluding, in push-pulls, common mode distortion - which is really only relevant to long cable runs).  They also raise output impedance/reducing damping (theoretically bad but which may or may not be to the tastes of the user at issue).  Most notably, they cost about twice as much to build.  On the flip side, you get double the voltage and double the slew rate, but the latter is believed by most to be inaudible in the context of any competent amplifier.   

 

I don't have the technical background necessary to fully appreciate the why of it, but if you look at Pass Lab's technical summary article, you will note that Pass essentially agrees with the Benchmark guys in so far as suggesting that the 3 traditional balanced approaches either perform worse than, or at best, equal to, ordinary 2 channel single ended designs.  https://passlabs.com/articles/super-symmetric-amplification  SuSy amps, as discussed in the link, are evidently a different matter.  [But there aren't any commercial SuSy headphone amps currently on the market.]

post #17035 of 26684
It seems to me sometimes, as a layman, that a lot of things are done in HiFi because they can be, not necessarily because they should be. I'll rule out balanced then, for the time being.

Could I ask you guys then what you think I would upgrade next? I'm pretty set with the Sennheiser's for the foreseeable future but it would be good to know what could be done with either the DAC or the amp. Or both. I'm currently using the ODAC/O2 and can't say as I have any particular complaints. I aways hear people saying that the 650's "scale well".
post #17036 of 26684
Bottlehead Crack could easily be your end game amp and even can handle HD800 and T1 if you decide to upgrade
post #17037 of 26684
I'm looking at the one on the fs thread but it's going to fetch more than I could afford. I'm not sure I'm confident enough to build from the kit.
post #17038 of 26684
If you could stretch your budget and get it you will never regret it if not better save until you can instead of getting something in between

Sent from my LG-V500 using Tapatalk
post #17039 of 26684

Got the modi/vali combo today, but I was not blown away - maybe I am too heavy :D

 

I am not saying the modi/vali combo is bad when paired with my hd650. It is still a good value with nice sound. It's just I didn't experience significant improvement from my old set up. I was using iMac as my dac and Sony CMT-BX20i Micro Hi-Fi Shelf System (it has a T-Amp inside, I believe) as my amp. Songs used (all lossless - ape, flac, or wav):

 

Hotel California - Eagles

Unbreak my Heart - Toni Braxton

Without You - Mariah Carey

Autumn Leaves - Eva Cassidy

Thunder and Lightning Polka - Johann Strauss II

Radetzky March OP228 - Johann Strauss Sr.

 

Set up:

Lossless songs -> VOX -> iMac -> Sony CMT-BX20i -> HD650

Lossless songs -> VOX -> Modi -> Vali -> HD650

 

I thought the modi/vali combo would blow me away, as I thought my Sony bookshelf system was not so professional :p. But it was not the case. The modi/vali combo has a little bit better clarity and a little bit larger sound stage, but not by much. The tubes inside the vali did help smooth the treble a little bit - it's obvious when listening to the Thunder and Lightning Polka. But the bass from modi/vali is not so punchy as mac/sony when listening to Hotel California and Unbreak my Heart. I feel I still prefer the bass from my mac/sony combo. Therefore, I feel the improvement is not significant, possibly because the mac is not too bad as a dac and the t-amp inside Sony is also not too bad as an amp.

 

So I will save the surprise for my next upgrade :D. BTW, this is by no means a review or comparison. It's just what I felt. :) 

 

 

 

 

 

======================================================================

Updates after couple of days:

 

Although not love at first sight, I find myself gradually fall in love with this beautiful modi/vali stack. :D

 

The sound is crystal clear. Excellent instrument separation and soundstage. The highs are very nice, no harshness, i can wear my hd650s hours and hours without listening fatigue - i think tubes contribute a lot here. The subs are solid and controlled, although not so punchy as I expected, it is not bad at all (still hoping vali 2 could be a little bit punchier). The most amazing thing is the mids, buttery smooth, resulting in fantastic vocals, male or female - i was so touched by the vocals in Smile from Nat King Cole and Autumn Leaves from Eva Cassidy. :L3000: 


Edited by cddc - 4/25/14 at 10:36pm
post #17040 of 26684
Let them burn-in for 48 hours before creating any opinions
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