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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 151

post #2251 of 36847
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Strummer View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SP Wild View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by LAmitchell View Post

i almost gave up on building a decent head-fi setup.

 

i'm so glad i stuck with it: i finally have the sound that i have been craving for years.

 

i love my hd650 and i love reading all the great info on head-fi.

 

smile_phones.gif


I know what you mean.  Its very rare for headphones to be able to deliver the sort of sonics that the HD650 is capable of.  I have recently balanced my stock cable and using the Audio GD Phoenix...the HD650 can scale to have a massive soundstage and pinsharp imaging with very good speed!



That scalability is what keeps the 650 as one of my favorite headphones, it makes them a proposition of great value. It is one of those cans that can convince you that amps do make a difference, now I don't know if there is something inherently better in having them balanced, but a balanced 650 with say a beta22 is a very very good rig.

 

I think they are in a tier behind the SOTA right now (HD800, LCD-2, etc), but in no way they are mid-fi like I have read in other threads lately. I think that may be because since they are now a lot cheaper than the average flagship, people use them in less than ideal situations (which doesn't necessarily require huge amounts of money, but some time to research what goes well with them) and don't hear their full potential.


I feel like a lone voice trying to convey this to others on this forum. Simply stating this view will have you pegged as a shill for expensive gear when all you are trying to get across is how revealing the HD650 is, and any deficiencies in your chain will be shown without remorse.

 

It's fine to prefer the exaggerated bass and treble presentation found in other cans but to pigeon hole the HD650 as slow, boring and veiled simply highlights how far one is from glimpsing the HD650's potential. It's a real shame actually, because this view then gets perpetuated by even less knowledgeable members (apparently first hand experience isn't required anymore before commenting on such a hotly debated topic) and the HD650 is brought to the gutter as laid back or boring.

 

I just don't understand how these people can claim those qualities are inherent in the HD650 when they're not to be found on my headphone through my setup. I refuse to believe an amp and dac could be good enough to lift an inherently slow and boring headphone to one that's lush, engaging and authoritative. To me it seems logical if the headphone itself was technically capable in the first place, but that it requires the right components to truly shine.

post #2252 of 36847

Well, I'm not sure you even need a rig as good as yours. I just use a Marantz PM5003 integrated and my 650 is nothing like slow and boring.

post #2253 of 36847

Try listening to the HD650 from a Meier Concerto.... SLOW and BORING with a flat soundstage are the very last words I would use describing that combination.

post #2254 of 36847

Since this thread is all about the 650 I thought this could be the best place to ask.  I'm planning on getting the HD 650 and using a e7/e9 Fiio combo to amp them.  My question would that amp/dac combo be enough to make them truely shine? Also what cable do you guys recommend that really improves the OVERALL sound quality of the cans?  Not just giving them a warmer sound but to create an improvement in overall quality.  I like to have headphones that can work with all types of music so a pair of cans with that can be buffed up a little in each department is good in my book.  I've heard of a lot of different brands for the cables, but I hardly know which of them is a better choice.  People have told me Zu Mobius, Cardeas, Equinox, Silver Dragon, and etc.

post #2255 of 36847

The WM8740 dac found in the E7 isn't really that transparent. After hearing a better dac (it's big brother the WM8741) I actually found it congested and lacking in the natural tones I was getting out of my other gear. I imagine a cable can only do so much and it may perhaps be wiser to look at "better" components first (not necessarily more expensive), before sinking funds into that cable.

post #2256 of 36847

I'm currently using them on the E7/E9 combo and I feel it's adequate on higher gain, I haven't tried out any other amps to compare it to but I'm sure there are better options. It's still quite dark in presentation, in a slightly warm way, I can't quite explain it. Using stock cables as well. Being a poor college student, at the moment, I'm quite content with it at the moment.

post #2257 of 36847

I think they're brilliant. After listening to them at a friend's house a couple of years ago I told myself that I would never go down the HD650 route, because I preferred the sounds of my more analytical (and I wanted to avoid that kind of talk :p) CD3000 and AKG K701 to them. We both had similar setups and listened to the same type of music. Now, after having listened to them again recently on a completely different setup, I feel as though they are the only headphones I need. They really handle everything I throw at them. I just love the bass they have. It's exactly what I was looking for.

 

So yeah, definitely recommended and loved. <3

post #2258 of 36847

On the verge of purchasing the HD650, but I have a question.  There has been some discussion already of the Fiio E7/E9 combination and how it pairs with these headphones... I've also PM'd another person that's used this setup.  But I figure just a little more research never hurts!

I am pretty confident, based on my reading, that the E9 would be a good amplifier for my needs.  Opinions seem to be mixed on the E7 as a DAC.  So my question is -- for the < $250 price-point (E7/E9 is potentially all the way down to $200), is there a superior Amp and DAC setup available? 

My main requirements are: the DAC must take USB input (having Toslink as well is nice, but not required).  In the case of a combined DAC/Amp unit, the unit must be able to accept a signal from a 3.5mm line-in (i.e. bypass the internal DAC).  And, of course, it should sound great with the HD650. :-) 

post #2259 of 36847

At that price range I'd recommend the Audio GD NFB-12 which has dual WM8741 - or the Audio GD Sparrow.  They don't have that same dac compromise.  Of course, with these entry-level units all you get is a very satisfying taste of what the 650s have to offer & a hungry urge to upgrade, so it's good gear to begin with but then they might become inadequate quite fast depending on how well you can control your curiosity.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #2260 of 36847

Thanks for the suggestion.  I must have been confused about pricing on the NFB-12... I thought it was more like $350!  I'll take a closer look at that.

Regarding upgrade-itis, my hope is once I finally pull the trigger, I can toggle off the "curiosity switch."  I was able to successfully do so after exhaustively researching then purchasing a TV last year... but I must say, reading about headphones/audio sources is even a bit more fun than TVs.  :)

post #2261 of 36847

Get the matrix mini-i 24bit/192kHz Balanced DAC.It has everything you want. I am very happy with it.

post #2262 of 36847

I have an iBasso D12 which does pretty well with the 650s, and for the price it's a steal.  The sound is quick, spacious and pretty natural but I have to say if you can spend the extra $ the DACPort is a step up with these cans.  Partially because it can swing more voltage, but even at low levels the DACPort's resolution is really remarkable for a portable DAC/Amp.  The DACPort makes good quality recordings sound shockingly natural, even pop, though bad recordings are pretty hard to tolerate on the 650, they can sound very shrill to me.

 

For the students and more cost conscious in the crowd, I would strongly recommend moving to at least a DACPort class device before spending money on cables.  Cables *may* make some difference, but for what a fancy set of cables will cost you could materially improve your electronics to make a much bigger difference.   

 

Personally, as an electrical engineer and a speaker designer, my $.02 is cables are the last thing to spend $ on.  I have only heard a few over the years that made a major difference, and in those instances it was because the engineers who designed the cables actually *engineered* them.  IMHO, most cable makers are just making up theories and bogus claims about "crystal alignment" and other shamanistic concepts that are impossible to prove.  They may make a difference, but the burden of proof is on the designer, and the proof is almost always lacking.  Sometimes they may get lucky and change the electrical attributes of the cable in a way that is favorable to a piece of gear, but this is mostly just hit or miss.  

 

I concede the resolution of recent affordable phone and amp/dac gear is really reaching the equivalent of very high-end audio gear, and due to the low voltages and currents, cables may end up playing a more relevant role.  Still I'd be cautious about dumping money into them before the rest of your rig is where you want it as there is so much snake oil in the cable business...  

 

Lastly, there are a few inherent advantages, in theory, to a balanced topology.  Common-mode noise (rfi or other interference) is nulled out, and some other distortion artifacts are reduced.  On the other hand, Class A devices have some really inherent design advantages in reduced distortion.  My $.04 is it's better to be "unbalanced" and get a sweet class A amp because your phones are more easily used in many systems, and you are spared having to buy multiple sets of cables.

post #2263 of 36847
Quote:
Originally Posted by junebug654 View Post

Since this thread is all about the 650 I thought this could be the best place to ask.  I'm planning on getting the HD 650 and using a e7/e9 Fiio combo to amp them.  My question would that amp/dac combo be enough to make them truely shine? Also what cable do you guys recommend that really improves the OVERALL sound quality of the cans?  Not just giving them a warmer sound but to create an improvement in overall quality.  I like to have headphones that can work with all types of music so a pair of cans with that can be buffed up a little in each department is good in my book.  I've heard of a lot of different brands for the cables, but I hardly know which of them is a better choice.  People have told me Zu Mobius, Cardeas, Equinox, Silver Dragon, and etc.



Well, here's another name: Headphile Blacksilver. Rated by at least one experienced listener to be one of only two cables (of the ten he tried) to make a really noticeable difference with the 650 (and the cheapest). Doesn't give a warmer sound, however. A warmer sound is the last thing you need with a 650.

post #2264 of 36847


Quote:

Originally Posted by mrspeakers View Post

 

For the students and more cost conscious in the crowd, I would strongly recommend moving to at least a DACPort class device before spending money on cables.  Cables *may* make some difference, but for what a fancy set of cables will cost you could materially improve your electronics to make a much bigger difference.   

 

Sound advice. <cliche mode:off>  I scoured web forums for comparisons of aftermarket Sennheiser 650 cables, like this one:

 

http://www.headfonia.com/sennheiser-hd-cables-comparison/

 

... vowing to myself that it would be my last upgrade, but then ran across this thread:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/504503/is-it-really-worth-upgrading-sennheiser-hd-580-600-650-cables

 

And it sobered me up.  I am going to save whatever money I might have spent on whatever self-rationalizing cable I might have purchased and devote it to improving some active component further up the ladder in the audio source chain.

post #2265 of 36847

I always confused about when people suggest a good amp for the HD650, they mentioned you need a good amp to drive the HD650.  Now, define the word "drive" because the word "drive" to them probably is different what "drive" to my interpretation.  When I define "drive" I refer to the sound the amp provided such as clarity, more distinct soundstage/bass/treble, details, or overall improved sound.  However, when I see people posting good amp to "drive" the HD650 to loud enough volume it throw me off. 

 

In my opinions maybe is just me, I can't see that any amp won't power the HD650 to loud enough volume without having damage your hearing.  Are we really that bad with our hearing that we need to compete the loudness to enjoying music?  I had my E9 set on 9 o' clock position with Foobar2k at -15dbA for your information.  Sorry for my rant. 

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