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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 185

post #2761 of 36844
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspeakers View Post

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

 

This couldn't be further from the truth (my experience is the exact opposite). I'm specifically referring to integrated amps, but 70s/80s high-end receivers (which can be found for little money on the used market) were awesome sounding as well. Many of them sound better than most head amps under a grand. I don't want to go too far off-topic, so I'll just refer you to this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/537704/calling-all-vintage-integrated-receiver-owners

 

(I'm not denying your impressions of your own Onkyo though, I haven't heard that particular one).
 

 

post #2762 of 36844
The last few years models of Onkyo A/V receivers (for home theater) sound pretty much as mrspeakers describes. I've got two, the one in current use which is a couple years old and its predecessor from 5-6 years back.

With 50-ohm impedance 'phones like the HD595 they produce a bloated, muddy mess of anything with much lower-mid/upper-bass content. A higher impedance HD650 sounds pretty decent from the headphone jack of either receiver although the bass is not particularly well controlled and there's a bit of glare or harshness on females vocals and so forth. But works OK unless you're comparing it to a decent headphone amp.
post #2763 of 36844



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by olor1n View Post

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.



Could you expand on this a little? Right now it doesn't make much sense to me.

 

post #2764 of 36844

I simply meant that people crying out for a bigger soundstage than what the HD650 actually provides would perhaps find a compromise in some of its strengths. The textures (namely in rock where distorted guitars have a great enveloping quality) would be pushed back, and I believe the lush accurate mids I'm sure we all enjoy would seem more hollow and distant.

 

For gaming, I don't find the HD650's soundstage too claustrophobic. This is because I use the Astro MixAmp which employs the Dolby Headphones decoder. The effect is a simulated 5.1 experience, where the highs are accentuated and soundstage is artificially expanded. For gaming, its practical and highlights positional audio cues. For music, it kills what makes the HD650 great.

 

When I had my upocc copper cable one of the most obvious improvements for me was the widening of the soundstage. It wasn't massive, but it was there. I've held off on introducing that into this discussion as those looking for a bigger soundstage seem to be asking for something beyond the HD650's bounds.

 

Edit: Happy SP? ;-)


Edited by olor1n - 3/21/11 at 7:23am
post #2765 of 36844



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post

The last few years models of Onkyo A/V receivers (for home theater) sound pretty much as mrspeakers describes. I've got two, the one in current use which is a couple years old and its predecessor from 5-6 years back.

With 50-ohm impedance 'phones like the HD595 they produce a bloated, muddy mess of anything with much lower-mid/upper-bass content. A higher impedance HD650 sounds pretty decent from the headphone jack of either receiver although the bass is not particularly well controlled and there's a bit of glare or harshness on females vocals and so forth. But works OK unless you're comparing it to a decent headphone amp.


I'm not sure how this relates, but it's been established that Onkyo uses a high quality head amp in its higher end receivers rather than driving the HP jack from a resistor. The quality of this head amp has been commented on a couple of times (I can vouch for it myself, in my 9555 integrated), and a couple of years ago there was a thread where it was favourably compared to an $800 dedicated amp. It's based on the NE5532 op amp, possibly biased into Class A, with a discrete output stage, and is a relatively elaborate design of its kind. Trouble is, there's no way of knowing in what models it's used. I read a comment recently from someone expressing surprise at how good the HP jack of his Onkyo receiver was, but that receiver had a retail of over $3500.    
 

 


Edited by pp312 - 3/21/11 at 6:35am
post #2766 of 36844
The older of our Onkyo HT receivers cost about $400-$500 a few years back IIRC and the newer one no more than $400 or so. Definitely not high-end at all.
post #2767 of 36844
Quote:
Originally Posted by olor1n View Post

I simply meant that people crying out for a bigger soundstage than what the HD650 actually provides would perhaps find a compromise in some of its strengths. The textures (namely in rock where distorted guitars have a great enveloping quality) would be pushed back, and I believe the lush mids I'm sure we all enjoy would seem more hollow and distant.

 

For gaming, I don't find the HD650's soundstage too claustrophobic. This is because I use the Astro MixAmp which employs the Dolby Headphones decoder. The effect is a simulated 5.1 experience, where the highs are accentuated and soundstage is artificially expanded. For gaming, its practical and highlights positional audio cues. For music, it kills what makes the HD650 great.

 

When I had my upocc copper cable one of the most obvious improvements for me was the widening of the soundstage. It wasn't massive, but it was there. I've held off on introducing that into this discussion as those looking for a bigger soundstage seem to be asking for something beyond the HD650's bounds.


I agree with your observations.  But I think the whole idea of the HD650 having "lush" mids is quite silly to me...accurate is the word I would use.

 

I'll take a moment to introduce the concept of musical scales...there is a treble clef and a bass cleff.  The note that falls right in the middle of the musical scale is "middle C"...found smack bang in the middle of a typical 88 key piano.  This is the center of the midrange...in a musicians sense.  It is measured at 260 hz.

 

In other words the average tune...the center of tonal balance (like center of gravity in physics) is located far from treble and very close to bass.

 

Could it be that when one mentions an "organic" or "natural" or "musical" presentation, it really means "neutral".  So when one starts using such terminologies to describe the K701 or HD800 I will have my concrete evidence that the HRTF theory is indisputable...in my mind anyway.

 

Food for thought.

 


Edited by SP Wild - 3/21/11 at 7:19am
post #2768 of 36844

^ Semantics. But thanks for that little music "lesson". wink.gif

post #2769 of 36844

@SP Wild

 

In the rig I currently have neither phone stands out much.  It's how they improve on their weaknesses at the immediate next level that's made me choose to go forward with the K701s.  I personally don't find the K701s or the HD800s bright, just detailed at the top-end, whereas I did find the HE-6 and the T1 bright, uncomfortably so.  So it's a delicate thing.  I agree, it's just about HRTF compatibility.  I think you've heard a bit of what I heard with the WA6SE in your Ming Da tube amp and the K701s...I've read that little review.  And from what I've read of the WA6-SE, I would think it's just a bit more neutral and dynamic but overall the same presentation [as the Ming Da].  Would you call the K701 mids "accurate" with your Ming Da?

 

@Olor1n

 

I'd say whether guitars or vocals are pushed back into the soundstage depends on the recording.  For example, I always find Pearl Jam vocals on the Ten album to be pushed further back than the guitar, regardless of phone, that's is just how it's recorded.  As far as accurate mids sounding hollow that'd be the K701s flaw on my system.  Throw a WA6-SE into the mix, and the mids are just as lush and soulful, if not more, than the 650s.  

 


Edited by sphinxvc - 3/21/11 at 8:57am
post #2770 of 36844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post



 

This couldn't be further from the truth (my experience is the exact opposite). I'm specifically referring to integrated amps, but 70s/80s high-end receivers (which can be found for little money on the used market) were awesome sounding as well. Many of them sound better than most head amps under a grand. I don't want to go too far off-topic, so I'll just refer you to this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/537704/calling-all-vintage-integrated-receiver-owners

 

(I'm not denying your impressions of your own Onkyo though, I haven't heard that particular one).
 

 


I didn't say it was "truth," I said it was how they sounded to me.  YMMV, as may your opinion.  But I was actually getting in started in high end when these came out, and they sounded bad to me then, and worse now.  What you hear is what you hear...  That's why there's more than one type of solution available on the market.

post #2771 of 36844

So I've got myself a pair of HD650s and a Zero DAC with an OPA-earth HDAM, and, well, i love them. But I find myself more and more willing to open my wallet, so I'm just wondering what you guys think is a logical next step. Tubes? is a cable upgrade really worth it?

post #2772 of 36844
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

@SP Wild

 

In the rig I currently have neither phone stands out much.  It's how they improve on their weaknesses at the immediate next level that's made me choose to go forward with the K701s.  I personally don't find the K701s or the HD800s bright, just detailed at the top-end, whereas I did find the HE-6 and the T1 bright, uncomfortably so.  So it's a delicate thing.  I agree, it's just about HRTF compatibility.  I think you've heard a bit of what I heard with the WA6SE in your Ming Da tube amp and the K701s...I've read that little review.  And from what I've read of the WA6-SE, I would think it's just a bit more neutral and dynamic but overall the same presentation [as the Ming Da].  Would you call the K701 mids "accurate" with your Ming Da?

 



Ya got me there with the Ming Da and K701 pairing...since I sold that amp, i never enjoyed the K701 as much as I did with that amp...the mids were as accurate as I could relate from a reality point of view as there are instances where in the audience, I have heard mids like so.  Once again you sway me to the HRTF argument with your perception of the T1 VS HD800.  The T1 to me had no treble peaks whatsoever and was darker in the treble extension than even the HD650s to my ears, although overall a tad less full in the mids...the HD800 ultimately had full mids like the HD650...but a treble that was far too bright for me. 

 

The K701 always lacked enough bass to support the midrange properly to my ears.  It is less detailed in the treble than the HD650, less extended...overall less transparent.  But it makes up for it by providing an expansive out of head experience...albeit aided by a slight upper mid emphasis.  The treble appears less grained and flawed compared to the HD650, by virtue of rolling off very early.  Its bass seems to go lower and tighter...due to, as in the treble, an early roll off and low bass volume.  Yet somehow...with the right amp, that presentation is quite engaging at low levels.

 

But then again at low levels, the PX100 is more detailed and transparent than either K701 and HD650 to my ears.

 

Nevertheless if your HRTF is not compatible with a headphones balance, it doesn't matter how transparent it really is.  Which always explain how a new HD800 owner might prefer his old HD650, or a new LCD2 owner might prefer his old K701s.

 

I have always preferred the top end of the K701 over the HD650.  But I am of a very firm belief that the HD650 is a shade sharper in every frequency, including the trebles...which some have rightfully complained about.

 

Both my 4 pin balanced stock cabled K701 and HD650 is going to market as I am done with both these outdated offerings...my newly acquired HF2 Grados sealed both their fates.  evil_smiley.gif


Edited by SP Wild - 3/21/11 at 10:06am
post #2773 of 36844
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspeakers View Post




I didn't say it was "truth," I said it was how they sounded to me.  YMMV, as may your opinion.  But I was actually getting in started in high end when these came out, and they sounded bad to me then, and worse now.  What you hear is what you hear...  That's why there's more than one type of solution available on the market.


I mainly take issue with how you generalized all "Japanese receivers from the 70s and 80s" (and that's a huge list) sound a particular way. That isn't even a matter of opinion, it's just false. What's more, the high-end amps from that era I've owned or heard didn't sound even close to what you've described. There are many owners who can corroborate my findings in the thread I linked to earlier. If a particular model(s) sounded that way to you, that's fine, but don't generalize it to a whole class/range of amps.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SP Wild View Post

1) The T1 to me had no treble peaks whatsoever and was darker in the treble extension than even the HD650s to my ears, although overall a tad less full in the mids...the HD800 ultimately had full mids like the HD650...but a treble that was far too bright for me. 

 

2) But then again at low levels, the PX100 is more detailed and transparent than either K701 and HD650 to my ears.

 

3) Nevertheless if your HRTF is not compatible with a headphones balance, it doesn't matter how transparent it really is.  Which always explain how a new HD800 owner might prefer his old HD650, or a new LCD2 owner might prefer his old K701s.

 

4) Both my 4 pin balanced stock cabled K701 and HD650 is going to market as I am done with both these outdated offerings...my newly acquired HF2 Grados sealed both their fates.  evil_smiley.gif


1) Just goes to show how much hearing can vary. Objectively, the 650s have significantly less treble energy than the T1s *and* the T1s have a large peak at 8500Hz that is absent from the 650s. The HD800s also have a smaller peak than the T1s, but it's in a different area (to which you may be more sensitive).

 

2) HRTF can cause differences, but the PX100 more detailed and transparent? Many others around me and I have heard the PX100 (I own 2) compared to other cans in various setups. Our assessment has been strongly contrary to yours. The PX100 are even less detailed and more rolled-off in the highs than a pair of KSC-75. Transparency is the ability of a component to discern between signals. Do the PX100 change as much from changing gear as the 2 cans you've mentioned? HRTF isn't a major factor here. I don't think you're using the right term in "transparency", otherwise you're wrong. I also find it very hard to believe you would hear more detail (especially in the treble) with the PX100, as that's actually one of its weaknesses if anything.

 

3) I agree.

 

4) The funny thing is, the "outdated" 650 and probably the K701 are both more technically proficient than the HF2. I know some folks who have a preference for the up-front, textured and involving Grado sound, so I can see why one would like them over circumaural cans. Actually, perhaps you're one of those who prefers the surpra-aural sound? I say this because you like the PX100 and HF2 over some great circumaural ones.

 



 


Edited by Shahrose - 3/21/11 at 10:56am
post #2774 of 36844
I have to admit to very limited exposure to various headphones. A few cheapies, some decent Ety IEM's, Senn HD595 and HD650 and back in the day a fantastic pair of those electrostatic monstrosities with the power supply/amp that I always thought was going to decide at any moment to deliver a dose of ECT to the wearer...

That said, the HD650's treble extension is something unique in my small experience. When you first hear it, there seems to be almost no highs there at all. Rolled off or warm or treble-shy, whatever term you like seems appropriate. But if you pay attention there is perfectly clear information way on up into the far reaches of my middle-aged ears. There are literally overtones and transients audible on the HD650 that I don't hear a hint of on my Etys or the HD595.

Or at least that how it works on my ears. Not sure how the '650 can sound rolled off while still having such wonderfully extended resolution of treble details. My guess is, it's the lack of emphasis in the so-called presence frequencies that both a) makes them sound "warm" and b) leaves room for my ears to pick up on the far upper frequency range. But I'm no expert, I just know what I hear.
post #2775 of 36844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post




I mainly take issue with how you generalized all "Japanese receivers from the 70s and 80s" (and that's a huge list) sound a particular way. That isn't even a matter of opinion, it's just false. What's more, the high-end amps from that era I've owned or heard didn't sound even close to what you've described. There are many owners who can corroborate my findings in the thread I linked to earlier. If a particular model(s) sounded that way to you, that's fine, but don't generalize it to a whole class/range of amps.


 


1) Just goes to show how much hearing can vary. Objectively, the 650s have significantly less treble energy than the T1s *and* the T1s have a large peak at 8500Hz that is absent from the 650s. The HD800s also have a smaller peak than the T1s, but it's in a different area (to which you may be more sensitive).

 

I was freakin out about that one, why I can't hear the massive treble spike in the graphs...that is one reason why I never rule out HRTF.

 

2) HRTF can cause differences, but the PX100 more detailed and transparent? Many others around me and I have heard the PX100 (I own 2) compared to other cans in various setups. Our assessment has been strongly contrary to yours. The PX100 are even less detailed and more rolled-off in the highs than a pair of KSC-75. Transparency is the ability of a component to discern between signals. Do the PX100 change as much from changing gear as the 2 cans you've mentioned? HRTF isn't a major factor here. I don't think you're using the right term in "transparency", otherwise you're wrong. I also find it very hard to believe you would hear more detail (especially in the treble) with the PX100, as that's actually one of its weaknesses if anything.

 

Yes the PX100s do upgrade well with amps and sources...albeit it can never play at anything more than moderate volumes before distortion sets in pretty early on...and yes...I also felt my Portpros are a shade more revealing as well.  Yes the treble is very rolled off...but if we are to assume that varying HRTF means that it is not at all rolled off to others, then I declare that in my setup, the PX100 transducer is slightly quicker.  Bass is a shade tighter, snare drums are snappier and cymbals are more defined, guitar strings are better imaged, overall soundstage isn't very big, but more 3 dimensional and imaging is better.  I recommend anyone to have a pair to try it on their big rigs. 

 

3) I agree.

 

4) The funny thing is, the "outdated" 650 and probably the K701 are both more technically proficient than the HF2. I know some folks who have a preference for the up-front, textured and involving Grado sound, so I can see why one would like them over circumaural cans. Actually, perhaps you're one of those who prefers the surpra-aural sound? I say this because you like the PX100 and HF2 over some great circumaural ones.

 


To my ears, neither is more technically more proficient than the HF2...and not by a very noticeable margin.  The bass on the HF2 is a lot closer to the LCD2 bass than the HD650 in terms of impact, extension and control.  The rest of the frequency response is the same...more definition to all the individual notes and instruments.  Not just a fraction better like the PX100s but much more closer to current flagships than last gen flagships.  Being supra aural probably has a lot to do with why I like the HF2, PX100 and Portapros, driver sits closer to the ear, and there is one less source of cavity resonance, as in the space between the driver and the ear.  Still, I can definitely say the T1/HD800 and LCD2 are much more technically accomplished cans, they are all circum aural.
 


 

 

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