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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 152

post #2266 of 19567
Quote:
Originally Posted by attenuated 3db  

 

... 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.



Here's my take. Cables can make a difference, but only some, invariably silver, and not necessarily the ones most mentioned. I remember a thread in which a guy said he listened extensively to 10 popular cables and only two made any noticeable difference. One was the Headphile Blacksilver and the other I can't remember, but it was dearer. According to him the expensive cables like Zu Mobius, Cardas etc made no difference, which would explain why there are so many skeptics as these are the cables most people buy first to try. Even the Headphonia test you cite remarks that the Blacksilver made the most difference. Conclusion? Don't have a conclusion as to what you should do, but I do believe the Blacksilver is the one all skeptics should try.  

post #2267 of 19567

I also believe cables make a difference, at least with the HD650's.  I upgraded mine to the Blue Dragon V3 and I couldn't believe how much more laid back they were.  Created a very neutral sound IMO.

post #2268 of 19567

Quote:

Originally Posted by kjoh View Post

I also believe cables make a difference, at least with the HD650's.  I upgraded mine to the Blue Dragon V3 and I couldn't believe how much more laid back they were.  Created a very neutral sound IMO.


Quote:

Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

 Even the Headphonia test you cite remarks that the Blacksilver made the most difference. Conclusion? Don't have a conclusion as to what you should do, but I do believe the Blacksilver is the one all skeptics should try.  


Let me clarify: I am not a cable "skeptic," in the way I usually see the term employed here on Head-Fi.  Thirty years ago, I worked for two high-end audio dealers that sold Mark Levinson, Krell, Audio Research and Conrad Johnson electronics, and all of the speaker brands you would expect with those brands: Quad, Magnepan, Martin-Logan, Dayton-Wright, etc.  I have personally heard too many occasions when it was clear that a speaker cable (I didn't mess with headphones much at those dealers, but the amplifier-to-transducer connection is identical, and arguably even more important with headphones) made a significant, if not large, effect in how a speaker sounded. Heck, it's arguably no different in importance from the quality of the wire employed in internal component point-to-point wiring or the quality of a PCB trace.

 

But rather than say a cable sounded "better," our lead service technician, who had worked at NASA, would just say, it "sounds different," and reserve judgement on the whole "better-worse" thing for extended listening and A/B tests.  I remember when Kimber Cable first came along, how excited I was to read some product literature that actually explained how cables could make such a sonic difference in scientific terms that were reasonable to me.  OTOH, when I worked at the second dealer, I saw the profit margins on Audioquest cables, and it was obvious from their dealer and recommended retail prices that they were in the snake oil business, like extended warranties.

 

The problem is living in a remote, non-urban area, I have no dealer to audition any kind of equipment with, including cables.  And while I can do a lot of on-line research to guide purchase decisions on components, the cable reviews are totally subjective, from my perspective.  The Headphonia comparison I cited said that a Sennheiser DIY cable made of CAT-6 ethernet cable sounded better than the standard cable.  OK, I believe it.   So, at some point, if I don't feel up to soldering the little Cardas connectors myself and messing with the hot glue and heat-shrink tubing, I will ask Head-Fi-er Lil Knight to make me some cables, but I'm not in as much hurry to do it now as I was a few weeks ago.  I just have to decide on wire, and right now, I lean toward Mogami Neglex 2534, simply because I get almost as strong a signal from four other neighbor's WiFi networks as I do from my own. The hyper-expensive cryo-silver boutique cables I've seen don't seem to address RFI and EMI rejection in a quantifiable manner; it's one of the chief concerns of professional musicians performing live music.  Just IMHO, of course, and YMMV.

post #2269 of 19567

hmm.

 

I have damn good hearing and with my E7+E9, I need the dial set between 11 and 1 depending on the song to get the volume level I want.

 

If 9 o'clock satisfies you for an HD650 -- a notoriously hard to drive can -- you'd probably leave the dial at 7 for a Denon can.  barely even on.

post #2270 of 19567
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjoh View Post

I also believe cables make a difference, at least with the HD650's.  I upgraded mine to the Blue Dragon V3 and I couldn't believe how much more laid back they were.  Created a very neutral sound IMO.



it's interesting to me that you'd want them *more* laid back.  they're very mello and laid back as stock.

post #2271 of 19567

 If noise rejection is your primary consideration you need to go balanced. And audiophile cables often have little or no shielding, so pay attention to having a good shield, and grounding the shield on ONLY one end...

post #2272 of 19567
OMG, running my stock 650s with the Burson 160D. Only rarely have I heard this much detail, with no glare, grain or sibilance. Y

In fact, I am not sure I have ever heard audio like this, and I have been in high end for quite a while.

Amazing. I may well be up all night...
post #2273 of 19567

I do like the sound sig the blue dragon gives, but yeah...they are almost a bit too laid back for my tastesmile_phones.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajreynol View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by kjoh View Post

I also believe cables make a difference, at least with the HD650's.  I upgraded mine to the Blue Dragon V3 and I couldn't believe how much more laid back they were.  Created a very neutral sound IMO.



it's interesting to me that you'd want them *more* laid back.  they're very mello and laid back as stock.

post #2274 of 19567



If anyone needs to make their phones more laid back, just hang a capacitor across the inputs and save $200... :Dg. Just poking. While some swear to epicnchanges in tone I don't believe most cables do anything, certainly there is little real science in many of the claims and sometimes they do bad things (like rolloff highs due to high capacitance in the cable). .


With a good amp on the 650 I only hear harshness when my source material is at lossy bit rates...

 

post #2275 of 19567

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrspeakers View Post

With a good amp on the 650 I only hear harshness when my source material is at lossy bit rates...


I got out of selling high-end audio in 1982, just as Sony and Phillips introduced the Compact Disc standard, so I sold a lot of Linn-Sondek, Rega, Sota, Thorens and a few Goldmund turntables.  Our selling proposition was the theory of "Loss of Information," i.e., detail not extracted from the vinyl record groove, or poorly extracted, could never be recovered or corrected for by components further down the musical reproduction chain.  Tonearms, phono cartridges and preamps were enormously important and the next place to spend a major portion of your overall system funds, power amplifiers were next in importance, and speakers last, although most visible and the thing that most people considered they really "heard" and attributed all sonic attributes for the entire system to.  But they were easy to upgrade later if the components ahead of them were top-notch.

 

I think the same thing applies in the digital audio world.  I don't have a Burson 160, just Maverick Audio entry-level gear, so before spending several hundred dollars on Senn 650 cables, it makes more sense to me to get a jitter-reducing, galvanically isolated USB transport (Teralink X2 and AduM 4160 dongle on the way), then a better DAC (the promotionally priced Audio-gd NFB-3 has my eye), then maybe a Schiit Valhalla, and then maybe an aftermarket headphone cable.  And of course, well recorded lossless source music files, whatever the sampling rate.  At least that way I am not trying to compensate for irrecoverable loss of musical fidelity earlier in my reproduction chain by something at the very end of it, that is not really an active component, just a connection between them.  Make sense?   Cables matter, just proportionally speaking, not as much as components themselves, particularly the head-of-the-chain ones. 

post #2276 of 19567

How come those headphones are rated #4 on the website (Over-ear section), outstripping cans twice its price?! How can it be so good and so "cheap"?

post #2277 of 19567

Quote:

Originally Posted by Camomille View Post

How come those headphones are rated #4 on the website (Over-ear section), outstripping cans twice its price?! How can it be so good and so "cheap"?


If it makes you feel better MRP is $650.

 

Edit:  I just took a look at your other thread; I'll echo what everyone else has told you - these are not portable headphones.  

post #2278 of 19567
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camomille View Post

How come those headphones are rated #4 on the website (Over-ear section), outstripping cans twice its price?! How can it be so good and so "cheap"?


I... uh, I don't even know where to begin.
post #2279 of 19567

I will let you guys find out if the aftermarket cable makes a difference on low end setup for the HD650, last night just order the Headphile Blacksilver cable from Larry.  My setup as now is Fiio E7+E9, I know most people recommend cable as the last upgrade and probably minimal difference but I want to test out the theory myself since the Fiio E7+E9 serving me well at the moment.  The cable will be here around mid-February if you guys can wait for my impression smily_headphones1.gif.

post #2280 of 19567

Just got my headphones but my NuForce Icon HD doesn't arrive until tomorrow. I'm playing them straight from my computer, and at full volume they barely reach a "kind of loud" volume, and everything seems a bit muddy. This will give me a good chance to see the effects of proper amplification when my setup is complete.

 

As for the fit, the clamping isn't as bad as I remember (at least from the HD555). I've always had a problem with my right ear touching drivers or on some part of the inside of cups that made that ear hurt (e.g., with the AD700), but the cups seem deep enough that they either don't touch or barely touch, and they feel very comfortable. I'm sure the clamping will lessen with time. I'm thinking about wearing glasses full-time again instead of contacts, and so far I feel OK with my glasses. It'll probably also get better as the pads soften up a bit.

 

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