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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 202

post #3016 of 36851
Perhaps I'm parsing your comments wrong, tdockweiler, but it sounds like your impression bottom lines to brighter=better.
post #3017 of 36851
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post

Perhaps I'm parsing your comments wrong, tdockweiler, but it sounds like your impression bottom lines to brighter=better.


He did seem to like the HD600's more than the HD650's for a while there.  And I think the 600's are brighter than the 650's.
 

 

post #3018 of 36851

Quote:

Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

Well I had an interesting night. I've found something really disturbing about my HD-650 and swapping between various amps. It's a real shocker for me.

 

First thing I did was get out an old favorite, the Total Airhead. I wanted to see if it could drive the HD-650. It does with ease. When it's going over-voltage it will yell at you with it's blinking red light. When I had the K701 and OLD HD-600 years ago, it would constantly do this. I couldn't put the volume very high when I connected the old HD-600 to it. Someone at Headfonia suggested that the HD-650 could possibly be easier to drive than the old versions and they're maybe right. I used the Airhead for over an hour and it didn't blink the red light once. I could crank it super loud. I was really baffled by this. What the heck?!

 

It gets worse..one thing I noticed is that on the Airhead the mids were the most forward sounding compared to the Asgard and E9. In terms of sound clarity for the HD-650 I'd rank from best to worst as Airhead > E9 > Asgard. Yes, you got that right! Everything was so crystal clear on the Airhead. Then the Airhead offered the largest soundstage. The E9 was a very close second. Nearly the same size. They were so similar it was hard to tell.

 

If the Airhead wasn't "bad" enough, the terrible thing also offered the most treble! It almost made my silver screened HD-650 kind of bright.

 

I'm listening to the Airhead + HD-650 and it's like a whole other headphone. The E9 is far, far more neutral though, but the sound is less clear, but almost impossible to tell. I'm loving the more forward sounding mids on the HD-650. I always got this impression on my DJ100 when I felt it had perfect synergy with my Airhead!

 

Anyone use Headroom's full sized amps with the HD-650? Maybe they sound very similar. HD-650  just sounds so good out of this tiny Airhead. Never would have thought this and it actually has very good bass. Not lacking in any areas so far.

 

Yesterday I was complaining how on my HD-650 and E9 this Cyril Morin soundtrack (Valley of Flowers) sounded like a muffled mess on the HD-650 (and not the K702) and now it sounds far better and it's now more clear.

 

EDIT:

 

Can't get over how much brighter these are with the Airhead. Not in a negative way because I like it. I finally got the red light to blink and it was only during a very bass heavy song. This Airhead is holding up well! The mids now feel almost as forward sounding as the HD-598 mids. I think it's safe to say the Airhead isn't a neutral amp. Maybe I should get the Headroom Micro Amp (not the battery powered one) and try it out. I'm now almost impressed with the HD-650, but not quite...yet.

 

 

A bit of treble can go a long way.
 

 

post #3019 of 36851
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Brown View Post




He did seem to like the HD600's more than the HD650's for a while there.  And I think the 600's are brighter than the 650's.
 

 


Brightness or lack of with the HD650's is related to your amp your DAC ( source equipment) and your cables. The HD650 has always been viewed as a veiled headphone I myself do not get that much veil with my setup and actually prefer the 650's to my LCD-2's on some music..
post #3020 of 36851
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrScary View Post



Brightness or lack of with the HD650's is related to your amp your DAC ( source equipment) and your cables. The HD650 has always been viewed as a veiled headphone I myself do not get that much veil with my setup and actually prefer the 650's to my LCD-2's on some music..
 


x2

 

post #3021 of 36851


Yes, that's wrong. Like another poster said, a tiny bit of extra brightness does help a lot.

 

On the E9 and Asgard the HD-650 is KIND OF dark, but with the E9 even less so.

 

I have no problems with both dark and brighter sounding headphones. I think it's safe to say I do prefer a brighter sounding headphone.

 

I actually find that with ALL my amps the HD-650 is brighter than the HD-600 to MY ears. This seems to go against what most people on the forums say. My HD-600 also seems to tame brightly recorded music. My HD-650 does this almost never or much less.

 

Of course swapping the default HD-600 cable for the HD-650 cable (on the HD-600) makes them totally different to me.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post

Perhaps I'm parsing your comments wrong, tdockweiler, but it sounds like your impression bottom lines to brighter=better.


 

post #3022 of 36851

Quote:

Originally Posted by olor1n View Post

Wading through a lot of info at the moment but hoping someone here has had experience with the following amps and can comment on their synergy with the HD650 -

 

- WooAudio 2/6/6-SE

- Darkvoice 337

 

Which amp would present best bang for buck? Also particularly interested to know how the Lyr stacks up against these options when paired with the HD650.


I personally would take any of those other amps over the Lyr.  There are some headphones that benefit from 6Ws of power and there are others that don't, like the 650s.  

 

OTOH, I'd take a Lyr over any of the other amps for LCD2s or 5-LEs anyday.  Bang for buck for the Lyr is enormous, but only with planars.  For planars there are speaker amps that might even do better than the Lyr at the same price point but that's a different topic altogether.  For most non-planars, the Lyr is a very average amp.

 

I've read the WA2 has a more euphonic tube sound than the 6 or 6-SE, both of which are known as more neutral tube amps.  Most people seem to love the WA2 + HD800 pairing, but with the 650s, it might be too much of a good thing (tonally).  While the WA2s OTL design might be a good match for the 650s, I would take the 6-SE so you don't miss the detail resolution and dynamics of the SS amp you're used to by now.  As I mentioned in my PM to you, unless you plan on keeping the 6 stock, go with the 6-SE because even a stock WA6-SE will outperform a fully upgraded WA6 at about the same cost.  I think Jack would agree too, his words to me were, "there is no comparison."  (When asked about fully upgraded WA6 vs. WA6-SE.)

 

Speaking of costs, I recently realized an HE-5LE rig would cost just about the same as a WA6-SE/WA2 + K701 (or HD650) rig.  Though those two headphones are much cheaper than a 5-LE, you can drive the 5-LE for cheaper.  Your doors are opened because of cheap but supposedly excellent speaker amps and the Lyr.  Read up on the 5-LE, many veteran head-fi'ers have found it to be a full step above the HD650s (and K701s).  Luckily, I'll be able to try a pair from a variety of amps on May 7th so I'll find out then how it compares to both 650s and 701s then.

 


Edited by sphinxvc - 4/25/11 at 10:55am
post #3023 of 36851


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Brown View Post




He did seem to like the HD600's more than the HD650's for a while there.  And I think the 600's are brighter than the 650's.
 

 



It's weird how much my likes and dislikes come down to amp synergy. I never would have believed this in the past. I also now believe headphones can vary in sound between pairs of the same model!

 

When I had my HD-650 I liked many things about it and felt it was a keeper, but I didn't like it much out of my Asgard. The Asgard seemed to have PERFECT synergy with the HD-600, but a little less so with the HD-650. Still good with the Asgard though, but I had a few issues with that combination.

 

I got the E9 and it made me go from my like of the K702 to loving it. Seriously! I still can't like it as my main headphone unless it's for specific genres. It's detail, clarity and soundstage is addicting. It's on my head non-stop for gaming.

 

The E9 is why I gave the HD-650 another try and I'm glad I did. It sounded MUCH more neutral than it did before and I liked that. It didn't color the sound as much as the Asgard did, but the sound wasn't as engaging.

 

Here's the funny thing... if I paired the HD-650 and HD-600 up with the Asgard, I'd prefer the HD-600! Once you pair the HD-650 up with a different amp (like the E9 or better) I'd pick the HD-650. There is 2-3 things about the HD-650 I like over the HD-600. Mostly how the HD-650 does female vocals, it's treble and how much more clear the sound is with a good amp. On some music it was so impossible to tell the difference between how clear each headphone was. It took some acoustic music to tell the difference and the difference was quite subtle.

 

For gaming/movies I think I'd prefer the HD-600 on any amp easily though. I wish I could keep both, but I just bought the K601! I do think the HD-600 is less picky about amps maybe.

 

This has been such a huge learning experience. I always heard there's no magical amp synergy that can transform a headphone, but I think it's quite possible! Dealing with amp synergy is kind of a new annoyance I have to deal with.

post #3024 of 36851

I personally preferred the HE-6 over the HE-5 (never heard the HE-5LE)...and I prefer the (recabled) HD650 over the HE-6 (all things considered...comfort, sound, build quality).


 

post #3025 of 36851

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

I personally preferred the HE-6 over the HE-5 (never heard the HE-5LE)...and I prefer the (recabled) HD650 over the HE-6 (all things considered...comfort, sound, build quality).

 

 

The 5LE is supposed to be a different animal than the HE-5, neutral instead of treble heavy.  I personally find that the presence of treble is what adds that sense of air that's so critical to separation and vocals, and I think that's why the LCD-2s and the HD-650s aren't for me.  Did you prefer your recabled HD650s to the LCD2s also?  

 

I found the HE-6 uncomfortably bright, so in that sense I prefer the HD650s to them too.


Edited by sphinxvc - 4/25/11 at 11:30am
post #3026 of 36851

The HE-5LE is a smoother, bassier version of the HE-5 yes. That doesn't appeal to me too much. I personally didn't find the HE-6 bright...they had less treble than the HD800 (but more than the LCD-2). The HE-6 were good but a bit underpowered in my setup at the time (it has changed since). Still, the recabled HD650s sounded just as good to me if not better for some music while the HE-6 took the lead on other tracks. I posted a comparison earlier in this thread somewhere. The main reason I sold the HE-6 was because of its terrible comfort...same as the LCD-2. I know some people can wear them without discomfort but I can't go for more than 30-40 minutes without my scalp feeling the pressure.

 

The LCD-2 I've only heard at meets, so I'm not in a position to compare them to the HD650. They felt a bit closed-in to me in comparison, but very similar to the HD650 otherwise with better speed and maybe detail. Both orthos I feel paint a larger wall of sound than the 650...though their soundstage isn't as *deep* or layered as the dynamics I've owned. I think I prefer the LCD-2 over the HE-6 a bit (from what I've heard of the LCD-2).


Edited by Shahrose - 4/25/11 at 11:49am
post #3027 of 36851

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

The HE-5LE is a smoother, bassier version of the HE-5 yes. That doesn't appeal to me too much. I personally didn't find the HE-6 bright...they had less treble than the HD800 (but more than the LCD-2). The HE-6 were good but a bit underpowered in my setup at the time (it has changed since). Still, the recabled HD650s sounded just as good to me if not better for some music while the HE-6 took the lead on other tracks. I posted a comparison earlier in this thread somewhere. The main reason I sold the HE-6 was because of its terrible comfort...same as the LCD-2. I know some people can wear them without discomfort but I can't go for more than 30-40 minutes without my scalp feeling the pressure.

 

The LCD-2 I've only heard at meets, so I'm not in a position to compare them to the HD650. They felt a bit closed-in to me in comparison, but very similar to the HD650 otherwise with better speed and maybe detail. Both orthos I feel paint a larger wall of sound than the 650...though their soundstage isn't as *deep* or layered as the dynamics I've owned. I think I prefer the LCD-2 over the HE-6 a bit (from what I've heard of the LCD-2).

 

Comfort, like the right amount of top-end, is something you just can't compromise on.  I think the HE-6 and T1s just rubbed me the wrong way.  I found both uncomfortably brighter than the HD800s, maybe both emphasize a particular frequency that I happen to be particularly sensitive to?  Thankfully, neither the K701s nor the HD800s aggravate that sensitivity, albiet only with tubes.  (I did try the others on tubes as well.)

 

I can't afford the luxury of buying all these headphones for longer auditions (just like I can't afford to give each a perfectly synergistic set-up for each audition).  Meet impressions are my only option, so I try to listen critically when given the chance.  All that said though, I think first impressions are pretty good ones, you find out most of what a headphone's about the moment you don them.  Plus you get to try them with a variety of amps, that's a luxury you don't have at home (unless you're that rich, I guess.)

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

Both orthos I feel paint a larger wall of sound than the 650...though their soundstage isn't as *deep* or layered as the dynamics I've owned. 

 

This bit I strongly agree with.

 

post #3028 of 36851
Quote:
Originally Posted by olor1n View Post

Wading through a lot of info at the moment but hoping someone here has had experience with the following amps and can comment on their synergy with the HD650 -

 

- WooAudio 2/6/6-SE

- Darkvoice 337

 

Which amp would present best bang for buck? Also particularly interested to know how the Lyr stacks up against these options when paired with the HD650.


I can't comment on the Darkvoice, but the Woo models have a pretty different flavor between the 2 and the 6/ 6-SE.  The WA2 is a high powered OTL amp, with a full, smooth sounding yet highly resolved sound signature (measures ultra-low THD).  The transformer-coupled WA6 / 6-SE are faster and more dynamic, but they measure a bit higher in THD if you compare the numbers on Woo's site.  All three sound great with HD650's, but my personal preference runs towards the WA2.  Many describe the WA2 as warm and the 6/6-SE as more like solid-state.  I would say the WA2 sounds somehow more natural to me.    

 

With respect to recommendations for a best bang for the buck tube amp option though - I would point you towards a diy "Crack" kit from Bottlehead.  It is as beginner friendly as they come (the paint by number of point to point wire tube amps), and after you throw in a couple of nos tubes, it sounds simply superb with Sennheisers and Beyers. 

 

post #3029 of 36851
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

Quote:

 

Comfort, like the right amount of top-end, is something you just can't compromise on.  I think the HE-6 and T1s just rubbed me the wrong way.  I found both uncomfortably brighter than the HD800s, maybe both emphasize a particular frequency that I happen to be particularly sensitive to?  Thankfully, neither the K701s nor the HD800s aggravate that sensitivity, albiet only with tubes.  (I did try the others on tubes as well.)

 

I can't afford the luxury of buying all these headphones for longer auditions (just like I can't afford to give each a perfectly synergistic set-up for each audition).  Meet impressions are my only option, so I try to listen critically when given the chance.  All that said though, I think first impressions are pretty good ones, you find out most of what a headphone's about the moment you don them.  Plus you get to try them with a variety of amps, that's a luxury you don't have at home (unless you're that rich, I guess.)

 

 

I feel a lot of your impressions may change after owning these cans and trying with different setups. I don't really trust meet impressions (even my own sometimes) anymore. Experience changes a lot of things.

 

Also, you're certainly right that you could be sensitive to different portions of the treble range. I'm fine with the HD800s but the Beyer spike causes problems for me (DT990)...while some others find the opposite.

post #3030 of 36851

I hate the HD-650! Kidding of course.Thanks to this picky headphone I've now purchased a third desktop amp. Once I find the right one I'll sell off the rest.

I've got a trial and won't say which one I got until I try it out and can post impressions. I think it will be good for both my HD-650 and K702. It also has two inputs which is really nice to have.

 

It's really annoying how I love the HD-650 the most with a stupid portable amp! For $100, that Airhead is quite powerful. I think it's my favorite under $100 amp.

Just can't drive the K702 very well, but what portable can? normal_smile%20.gif

 

I always thought the K702 was picky about amps, but I think the HD-650 might be worst..at least to sound great.

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