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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 159

post #2371 of 36846

 

"No, you're not crazy! I think, too, that HD-650 are way too bright! "

 

 

Probably given our different hearing there is no absolute "too bright" or "too dull". However, for any sort of meaningful discourse we have to have a measuring stick, and that is always going to be other headphones. The 650 may be too bright for some, but it's anything but bright compared to phones like the K702 and DT880, and of course any Grado. However, the exception may be if there happens to be, say, a resonance between the 650 cups and your ears that disappears with some other phone. Unlikely but possible. Or an out-of-band resonance in FR that your bat ears are picking up. Worthwhile trying something like the K702 to see. I found I couldn't listen to it as there was a metallic colouration like someone hitting an anvil, but since no one's ever mentioned it I have to assume it's peculiar to me. That could be the case with you and the 650s.  

post #2372 of 36846

 

Quote:

I simplified a bit, but FYI, I have designed amps, listened to hundreds of them, and experimented with output impedance and speaker design interactions many times.  What I said is correct, though perhaps I over-simplified.  In audio engineering there are always twists that make the issue more complex.  



I don't completely buy it. The Wooaudio amplifiers tend to have a low/high output impedance switch and with the hd650 people tend to like the high output impedance more.

 

And even in this thread there are people that think hd650 is bright so a high output impedance would be perfect for them! So saying an amplifier that has an output impedance of say 220 means bad quality and a headphone amplifier automatically makes it sound perfect is just pushing it. There are loads of very good sounding integrated amps out there.

post #2373 of 36846

Well, I've been on a soapbox about the engineering side of output impedance and am about ready to move on.  The effect of higher output impedance is real, it's clearly documented.   Unless the Z of the phone is totally flat, as the LCD-2 appears to be, increasing Z will create bumps in output power anywhere the impedance of the phone peaks. 

 

The bottom line is that with absolute certainty, increasing impedance will boost bass.  However, it also reduces damping, increases some distortions, and has other side effects.   I did modify my statement to be specific to the HD650, which has a high Z, so the effect is less pronounced than on an IEM or portable headphone of Z between 32 and 50 ohms, for example.  

 

If you happen to want more bass, higher impedance will do it, but you have to be aware there are side effects that may be more subtle, but will be real, and that the shape of the frequency response modifications is precisely determined by the impedance curve, not the frequency response of the driver.  You may get what you want, or not, depending on the amp.  

 

As always, there's no universal answer as to what people prefer, but the engineering is absolutely correct. 

post #2374 of 36846
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspeakers View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

Your first two sentences might sound fine in theory, but practice is a different matter. I've used HD595 and HD650s for years with integrated amps (I'm currently using a Marantz PM5003) with excellent results. I've also listened to dedicated HP amps (LD Mk V, Cute Beyond, MF X-Can 2) and heard no difference whatsoever. The "fat resistor" you speak of isn't so fat (usually 220 ohms), and in my experience is totally innocuous, certainly with high impedance phones like the 650. As for the "cheap Ebay receiver", I was referring to quality brands like Marantz, Rotel and NAD of just a few years vintage, all of which are capable of very fine results. I wonder how many you've tried yourself? 


I simplified a bit, but FYI, I have designed amps, listened to hundreds of them, and experimented with output impedance and speaker design interactions many times.  What I said is correct, though perhaps I over-simplified.  In audio engineering there are always twists that make the issue more complex.  

 

Tom wrote a nice, non-engineer friendly explanation with charts that shows this nicely, for anyone interested.

 

http://www.avguide.com/blog/why-headphone-amps-sound-different-frequency-responseimpedance-issues

 

In slightly longer form: the degree of effect is simply a function of the headphone impedance curve, and the ratio of the output impedance to the headphone impedance.  


The reason is simple: the output circuit is essentially a voltage divider, and as the headphone will have a bump in the bass range, high output impedance on the amp will cause the voltage to vary at the headphone, in the same places the impedance varies.  The power that is delivered follows the function v*v/R (again, a bit of a simplification, as it's really Z not R, but that gets into more complex math).  Since the voltage effect is squared but the impedance effect is linear, the higher the output Z *relative to the headphone*, the greater the effect will be.

 

A high-Z can like a HD650 is less sensitive to output impedance and will be pretty happy on any amp as long as the voltage and current are there. A low Z can will be more sensitive, unless it has a really bumpy impedance curve.  That's why your particular choice of phones is less sensitive to the effect.  But even with my 650, I can and do hear the difference on my Onkyo vs. my Burson, which are 5 and 300+ ohms output impedance, respectively.  On the Onkyo, the 650 sounds muddy.  My JH16s sound dreadful, but that is because they are multiple driver, low Z devices, so the effect is predictably greater.

 

So it's a bit more nuanced than I indicated, but for the majority of phones, which are low impedance, what I said is particularly relevant.  Perhaps this may be why Sennheiser made the 650 Z so high...  It's a less dependent of the amp output Z for frequency power specturm...  Since this is a 650 thread I should have moderated my statement as it's at the far end of the impedance bell curve less effected by this.

 

 

Lastly whether you CARE or personally can perceive this is another issue.  Some people probably really like the bass boost that results, especially if you're a bass head it may be just what you want.  Others, like me, are sensitive to mid-bass and bass specturm changes and object to the effect.  Some people really don't notice 1-3dB changes, but to me, they're glaring.

 

beerchug.gif



Thanks for the explanation--seriously--though I am familiar with the basic theory from the many threads on this subject. However, my point was that I can't hear the difference and, since my hearing is hardly THAT bad, there must be many others who can't either. Whatever the theory may say, the difference is quite subtle even with lower impedance cans like the 595. Noticeable to golden ears, no doubt, but I'm questioning the advice that one should ALWAYS get a dedicated amp when using quality phones like the 650. This forum is replete with past posts from people testifying that they can hear no difference, and some even bemoan having bought expensive dedicated amps. So it's not the theory I'm questioning, or the fact that your ears may be outraged by mid-bass humps, but the nature of the advice, which is far too one-note, with people who don't understand the theory at all apeing other posters in advising people to spend at least $500 on a dedicated amp. In my view the advice should go something more like this:

 

"A dedicated amp is most likely to give you the best results, particularly in terms of tighter, punchier bass, but if you have an integrated amp or receiver try that first and see what you think. A lot of people aren't sensitive to the slightly looser bass of typical integrateds--some even prefer it--so you might be able to save yourself some money. Always worth a try anyway."

 

It should also be mentioned far more often about high impedance cans being less sensitive to output loading. Personally I'd rank that yet another good reason for going with a 600/650.

 

Incidentally I'm certainly not a bass head. I listen only to classical.

 

    

post #2375 of 36846

Well said.  In the end, people should always try stuff.  

 

I am a "golden ear," I had to become one to design speakers, but this is an important guideline.  Not everyone hears the same things, and more importantly, not everyone cares, or if they hear the difference, not everyone thinks the $ are worth it.  

 

How many times have you given a non-head-fi type a chance to listen to your favorite, awesome track on your best rig to have them say "sounds nice" after 10 seconds and take the phones off?  

 

I just think most people here are smart but not engineers, and I try to share some of the engineering concepts.  I have my preference and priority, but "your mileage may vary."beerchug.gif

post #2376 of 36846


Exactly. I think we've all had that depressing experience. But between the putty ears and the golden ears is an infinity of gradations, and I think it's very difficult to pick where someone is on that scale from the average vague post. It would be nice if everyone who posted here giving "sage" advice actually knew what he was talking about, as you obviously do, rather than just upping his post count and trying to sound like a Headphoneus Supremus or whatever. Until that's the case, I'll continue to challenge casual advice that could cost posters unnecessary $$s, continue to defend the innocent and the downtrodden even at the risk of great personal injury---because I am a Headphoneus Supremus!! gs1000.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspeakers View Post

 

How many times have you given a non-head-fi type a chance to listen to your favorite, awesome track on your best rig to have them say "sounds nice" after 10 seconds and take the phones off?   

 

post #2377 of 36846

HD650's + ambient electronic music = awesomeness.

 

currently enjoying some Solar Fields.

post #2378 of 36846

Currently enjoying Mandalay on them.  Solar Fields is great too, as is Shpongle and Carbon Based Lifeforms.

post #2379 of 36846

hi guys, just wondering if it still worth it to get the HD650 at this point or should i wait? This is because i noticed that the HD595s were updated to the 598s and im just wondering if there will be an update for the HD650s.

post #2380 of 36846
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wartank View Post

hi guys, just wondering if it still worth it to get the HD650 at this point or should i wait? This is because i noticed that the HD595s were updated to the 598s and im just wondering if there will be an update for the HD650s.



the hd800 was the 650 update. 650's are still good cans.  I prefer the 600's though, but thats just my opinion.  Both are good. 

post #2381 of 36846
Quote:
Originally Posted by zlobby View Post


the hd800 was the 650 update.  



 Not sure about that, since they're 4 times the price (at least here in Oz). I think the 800 was intended as an addition rather than update. In any case it's unlikely Sennheiser will fiddle with a winning formula any time soon. The 650 must be their most profitable phone ever.

post #2382 of 36846

i'd say the 800 is another version of the 600. the 600 sound more like the 800 than the 650. a 650 with angled drivers like the 800 would be pretty sweet. 

post #2383 of 36846

That must be why I don't care for them. The 650 seem to stand apart in that regard, having been crafted, or so Sennheiser seem to suggest in their literature, for low listener fatigue above all else.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonb View Post

i'd say the 800 is another version of the 600. the 600 sound more like the 800 than the 650.  

post #2384 of 36846
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

That must be why I don't care for them. The 650 seem to stand apart in that regard, having been crafted, or so Sennheiser seem to suggest in their literature, for low listener fatigue above all else.

 


"With the HD 650, Sennheiser has followed the changes in the listening habits of music-lovers and the way in which they experience sound. In spite of all purism and the highest demands on precise sound reproduction, a slight change in listening behaviour is detec- table. Today many music-lovers want to feel the sound more instead of plainly analysing it. The HD 650 now captivates your sen- ses where you used to be a mere observer. It allows total submersi- on into an ocean of music and lets you completely forget your surroundings."

 

That quote is from the instruction manual. Senn themselves say exactly what you (correctly) post, and I also feel that the 650 is a deviation from Senn's ideal flat frequency response. The warm non-offensive sound is as intentional as it gets (meanwhile the HD600, 800 and HE60 seem to try to achieve that flat Senn diffuse field equalization).

post #2385 of 36846
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

The 650 seem to stand apart in that regard, having been crafted, or so Sennheiser seem to suggest in their literature, for low listener fatigue above all else.
 



That may be true with early adopters of the V1 650, but times have changed a bit. It seems it has, especially with the revised current drivers and along with a greater selection of HQ amps available today, increased it versatilty noticeably. 650s are much more respected today, than in its introduction and its subsequent revision model.

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