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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 184

post #2746 of 37385

Hello, a question for you guys.

 

I recently ordered the PRO 2500's instead of the HD650's as I heard they were more lively, had a bit more oomph, more bass than the Senn's. 

So I wanted to get your views on this if possible, ideally from people who have heard both but even if you've heard just one :)

 

And also I could only afford the Fiio e7 and e9 combo as amps and I heard the Ultrasone's were easier to power so that's another reason I went with them.

 

Not sure if I made the right decision so would like some people's views!

post #2747 of 37385
Do you have the Pro 2500 yet? You'll have a lot better idea of whether you made a good choice after spending 20-30 hours listening and getting used to the Ultrasones.

Remember, the question isn't "Is there something better I could have gotten". Because unless you spend thousands of dollars there's always something "better" out there. The question is whether the setup you do have gives you satisfaction or not.
post #2748 of 37385
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post

Do you have the Pro 2500 yet? You'll have a lot better idea of whether you made a good choice after spending 20-30 hours listening and getting used to the Ultrasones.

Remember, the question isn't "Is there something better I could have gotten". Because unless you spend thousands of dollars there's always something "better" out there. The question is whether the setup you do have gives you satisfaction or not.


Hmm fair enough, thanks for the reply.

 

See the problem is this is my first ever purchase... The only thing I can compare them to when they arrive is a pair of Sennheiser CX400 II's, which are some earphones that cost around £20-60...

 

My setup is basically either my iPhone or Computer, with the Fiio e7 and e9 as amps. Not sure how that will sound as I'm so new to the whole audiophile thing but I'll see how I get on I suppioe.

post #2749 of 37385


You're probably right, but at this moment I'm not willing to pay over $500 for a desktop amp just for one headphone. Of course a good amp is always a good investment, but I'm not that serious enough about audio to justify a new amp purchase over say $500. My Asgard drives my HD-650 with ease and I've heard it has good synergy with this headphone. I honestly have never loved a headphone enough to make me want to buy a new amp, but maybe someday! I have a hard enough time convincing myself to buy a $350 headphone!

 

You didn't do this at all, but it seems whenever I don't love a headphone people want to pick on my poor cheap Asgard etysmile.gif I imagine the magical amp that will increase the soundstage of my HD-650 will cost a small fortune. Well, maybe not. I guess I'm just happy that my Asgard drives my HD-650 very well and even better than my old K602 and K702. Strangely the only headphone it doesn't seem to like is the Sextett. That seems even more power hungry than the K601!

 

For only $200 I can't say enough good things about the Asgard. It seems to drive everything quite well, but it's not a perfect match for 600 ohm headphones, but it all depends on my source/dac.

 

So what's a better amp than the Asgard for the HD-650 that's under $500? Perhaps the Matrix M-Stage? Maybe the only thing that will offer a huge difference is too expensive for my budget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post




Good read. Thanks for sharing.

 

Judging by your DAC/amp though, I don't think you've heard the true potential of the 650s yet!

 



 

post #2750 of 37385
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post

Remember, the question isn't "Is there something better I could have gotten". Because unless you spend thousands of dollars there's always something "better" out there. The question is whether the setup you do have gives you satisfaction or not.



Haven't you heard? The setup you do have never gives satisfaction so long as there's something better out there. biggrin.gif

post #2751 of 37385

Quote:

Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post


You're probably right, but at this moment I'm not willing to pay over $500 for a desktop amp just for one headphone. Of course a good amp is always a good investment, but I'm not that serious enough about audio to justify a new amp purchase over say $500. My Asgard drives my HD-650 with ease and I've heard it has good synergy with this headphone. I honestly have never loved a headphone enough to make me want to buy a new amp, but maybe someday! I have a hard enough time convincing myself to buy a $350 headphone!

 

You didn't do this at all, but it seems whenever I don't love a headphone people want to pick on my poor cheap Asgard etysmile.gif I imagine the magical amp that will increase the soundstage of my HD-650 will cost a small fortune. Well, maybe not. I guess I'm just happy that my Asgard drives my HD-650 very well and even better than my old K602 and K702. Strangely the only headphone it doesn't seem to like is the Sextett. That seems even more power hungry than the K601!

 

For only $200 I can't say enough good things about the Asgard. It seems to drive everything quite well, but it's not a perfect match for 600 ohm headphones, but it all depends on my source/dac.

 

So what's a better amp than the Asgard for the HD-650 that's under $500? Perhaps the Matrix M-Stage? Maybe the only thing that will offer a huge difference is too expensive for my budget.


You should make it to a meet.  Buying amps based on reviews is as hard as trying to buy a pair of prescription glasses based off of reviews.  I don't think I'll ever pay big bucks for an amp again without auditioning it first.  I happened to get lucky on my FUN, it drives the 650s quite well.  I've never heard the Asgard so I can't comment on how it compares to the FUN.  The other thing is all cans are so finicky with amps.  The most expensive amps seem do very well with most cans but still not all.  The lesser ones can be a hit or miss with any given can so it's even more important you audition it first.


Edited by sphinxvc - 3/20/11 at 6:10pm
post #2752 of 37385
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellomoto170 View Post

Hello, a question for you guys.

 

I recently ordered the PRO 2500's instead of the HD650's as I heard they were more lively, had a bit more oomph, more bass than the Senn's. 

So I wanted to get your views on this if possible, ideally from people who have heard both but even if you've heard just one :)

 

And also I could only afford the Fiio e7 and e9 combo as amps and I heard the Ultrasone's were easier to power so that's another reason I went with them.

 

Not sure if I made the right decision so would like some people's views!


Since you asked for an opinion, I'll honestly say that the PRO750 I owned and the PRO2500 I heard were not even in the same league as the HD650 (or DT990 for that matter). The Ultrasones will always have a metallic tone in the treble with occasional harshness. The strength of the PRO2500/750 lies in their bass, which is deep and forceful (though not the most controlled). Soundstage was just OK. However, they were fairly resolving, and did pick out details well-enough. Anyways, I sold mine in favour of Beyers, which later got sold in favour of the Senns and other cans.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

 

For only $200 I can't say enough good things about the Asgard. It seems to drive everything quite well, but it's not a perfect match for 600 ohm headphones, but it all depends on my source/dac.

 

So what's a better amp than the Asgard for the HD-650 that's under $500? Perhaps the Matrix M-Stage? Maybe the only thing that will offer a huge difference is too expensive for my budget.

 

If you're willing to spend up to $500, I would get a vintage integrated amp (Pioneer, Sansui etc) without a second thought. My Pioneer A-447 sounds better as a headphone amp than all of the amps I've owned or heard (with the exception of the $1100 GS-1, which focuses on transparency).

 

You can find Pioneer integrated amps locally (70s/80s models...the best kind) for far less than $500 if you bargain. Just make sure the condition is OK. The Asgard sounds like a matchbox-sized portable amp compared to the vintage gear I'm referring to.

 

I've found that it's not worth getting dedicated headphone amps below a certain price. There are better options out there for the money, as I've just outlined.
 

 


Edited by Shahrose - 3/20/11 at 6:42pm
post #2753 of 37385

Personally I never liked the sound of the 70s/80s Japanese receivers, they had a very solid-state hardness to them.  More importantly, to me, is that you do need to attend to the output impedance of the receiver you chose, as some have op amps, but I believe the majority have a 200-340 ohm series resistor hanging off the main amp out. 

 

The high series resistor will almost certainly cause a rise of 1-3dB in the bass region of a phone with a high impedance, maybe even greater effect on those with low impedance, which will add a warmer color, if that's what you want.  Before taking this path, it'd be a good idea to compare to what you're using or considering in dedicated phone gear to see if this fits your needs and tastes.

 

Personally, I tried to run my JH16s off the output of my Onkyo (320ohm, if I recall) and the effect was really awful and bloated sounding, to me.  The 650's were a better match, but still sounded like they'd eaten a bit too much pasta and beer the night before....

 

beerchug.gif

post #2754 of 37385

Wonder how well my Onkyo receiver drives my HD-650. Probably not any better than my Asgard, but maybe i'll be surprised. It's a fairly good one, but it's a few years old. One of the first that could decode TrueHD. I think it only cost me $400 though.

post #2755 of 37385
Quote:
Originally Posted by brasewel View Post

I am going to have to agree with sphinxvc on his assessment of the HD650. Sphinxvc, another fellow head-fier and myself ABed the 650s with a ton of amps (Meier Concerto, Schiit Lyr, Woo Audio WA22, Woo Audio 6, Headroom Buda and more) and were totally unimpressed at how muddy and closed it sounded. We were comparing the 650s to AKG 701, LA2000, HD 800 and T1 and the 650s were inferior in every aspect. In addition they were also the least comfortable of the lot. I'm glad I got to hear them at the meet since I had considered purchasing a pair.



I'm very happy to report that my 650 definitely doesn't sound muddy anymore. I've owned it for about 6 years. For most of that time, I used it with my receiver and also a Headroom micro amp and the 650 did sound a little dark, but the music was so smooth and unfatiguing (one of the great things about the 650 is that I can listen to them for hours) that I was okay with the set up. However, a couple months ago I purchased a Lehmannaudio Black Cube Linear and the darkness is gone. Just to give one example, last night I was listening to the Bruckner 3rd Symphony on a Tudor SACD and it sparkled. In terms of sonics, the biggest downside I can find to the 650 now is that I would like a larger soundstage, especially for listening to full orchestra. The Lehmann adds depth, the music seems larger (takes up more room), but it didn't widen the soundstage that much.

 

post #2756 of 37385

I respect people's preference for it, but other than its application in gaming or movies, I really can't see any benefit in wanting a concert hall soundstage with the HD650. To me, it would be artificial and detrimental to its lush and enveloping textures.

post #2757 of 37385
Quote:

sphinxvc posted:

 

We all perceive sound differently and so much of this is subjective


I totally agree. We have different needs, too. I go through very long listening sessions (I love Wagner) and really need a headphone that won't tire my hearing out. I find that I can listen to the HD650 for hours and hours with no problem, whereas other phones fatigue my hearing after an hour or two. 
 

 

post #2758 of 37385
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

Quote:


You should make it to a meet.  Buying amps based on reviews is as hard as trying to buy a pair of prescription glasses based off of reviews.  I don't think I'll ever pay big bucks for an amp again without auditioning it first.  I happened to get lucky on my FUN, it drives the 650s quite well.  I've never heard the Asgard so I can't comment on how it compares to the FUN.  The other thing is all cans are so finicky with amps.  The most expensive amps seem do very well with most cans but still not all.  The lesser ones can be a hit or miss with any given can so it's even more important you audition it first.


I guess the HD650s just do not match up to your expectations of how music ought to sound like in your preference.  People who love the HD650 tend to find the K701 and HD800 too bright, which you seem to enjoy more.  No amount of sourcing, amping or cabling can satisfy your desire for more top end response, only an EQ can accomplish that.

 

The HD650 really isn't for everybody, and if it didn't have the mighty Senheisser name behind it, I'd imagined most would prefer a brighter presentation.  For me, personally, I find them excellently balanced and neutral at low and moderately volumes.  But when called on for the true test of pumping real live performance amplitudes, the HD650 leans out a little too much.  Or in other words, not warm enough.

 

For me the K701 is an excellent low volume headphone...but they are never on my head when I truly want reference amplitudes with reference recordings.  Don't forget to carry out evaluations at reference volumes to account for the loudness curve effect.  If then it still sounds wonky, then at least we know it's merely an issue of HRTF compatibility.

 


Edited by SP Wild - 3/21/11 at 1:18am
post #2759 of 37385
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post





I've read that 650's after 2008 have a brighter signature, not sure how much of that is true or not.. Mine are from around 2005. 

 

That's a great amp you have there and If you are hearing a bright side to the 650's then that's probably a good thing, the better the amp with the 650's then the more they come out of themselves. I'm going to get the Graham Slee Solo soon and see what that does for mine.


Yeah, I read that, too, possibly something to do with the metal mesh as opposed to the black silk. I have the black silk and it always sounded a little dark to me. I just assumed that was the 650's "sound signature." It has been a real surprise to hear how different they sound now after I switched amps.
 

 


Edited by Heidegger - 3/21/11 at 11:30am
post #2760 of 37385

Well I would have loved to listen to your setup and see how the 650 responds. I'm guessing they are extremely picky about amps and none of the ones we connected to at the meet helped.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidegger View Post





I'm very happy to report that my 650 definitely doesn't sound muddy anymore. I've owned it for about 6 years. For most of that time, I used it with my receiver and also a Headroom micro amp and the 650 did sound a little dark, but the music was so smooth and unfatiguing (one of the great things about the 650 is that I can listen to them for hours) that I was okay with the set up. However, a couple months ago I purchased a Lehmannaudio Black Cube Linear and the darkness is gone. Just to give one example, last night I was listening to the Bruckner 3rd Symphony on a Tudor SACD and it sparkled. In terms of sonics, the biggest downside I can find to the 650 now is that I would like a larger soundstage, especially for listening to full orchestra. The Lehmann adds depth, the music seems larger (takes up more room), but it didn't widen the soundstage that much.

 


 

 

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