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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 264

post #3946 of 36888

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by caracara08 View Post

but people seem to get the hd650 and underamp them.  at first i thought they were good with a 120$ amp but after a little while, i was looking for more.  now that i have a very expensive amp, the hd650 truly shines as a reference headphone. yes the signature might not be for everyone but they sound amazing. 


Absolutely!  Many, if not most, never hear the real HD650's for that reason - they're underamped. 

 

And... it is a little known fact... that with the proper source and amp the "new version" HD650's (and HD580/600's) can sound as good as the HifiMan and Stax phones. 
 

 


Edited by Gradofan2 - 8/2/11 at 7:53am
post #3947 of 36888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2 View Post

 


Absolutely!  Many, if not most, never hear the real HD650's for that reason - they're underamped. 

 

And... it is a little known fact... that with the proper source and amp the "new version" HD650's (and HD580/600's) can sound as good as the HifiMan and Stax phones. 
 

 


yes Zana Deux SE agrees with u.

 

post #3948 of 36888
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

I started researching audiophile headphones a month ago and finally chose the HD 598. Turns out they weren't a good match with my amp (flabby bass I suspect was due to an impedance mismatch). I decided to order the HD 650 because it is 300 ohm vs. 50 ohm. When the 650's arrived, I listened to them both side-by-side extensively to decide which one's I would keep.

 

The hands down winner was the HD 650.

 

They sound different, but for me, there is nothing the 598 does that the 650 doesn't do better. The 598 has more prominent/brighter treble, so if you like your music bright, that might be a consideration, but to me, the smoother more refined 650 is the (much) better headphone (although I will admit that the 598 is more comfortable to wear being lighter and having less clamping force).

 

They are both fine-sounding headphones. If the 598's had matched up better with my amp, I would have kept them and been perfectly happy. That said, I definitely would not keep them both. I am a one headphone kind of guy and I think both the 598 and 650 are well suited to all types of music and movies. 


I'm looking for some advice/opinions on my HD650 enjoyment.

 

I've had some time to settle into my 650's and am not completely happy with them right now.

 

My intent was to use them exclusively with my "casual" 2-channel system which consists of 7 year-old entry-level Pioneer universal disc player (DVD, CD, SACD), Pioneer turntable, and 25 year-old Carver Receiver. All analog-only - I have no plans to stream digital on this system.

 

I started with the HD598's but found the bass much too flabby and uncontrolled, which I attributed to inadequate dampening due to an impedance mismatch with my receiver. The 650's improved the situation tremendously, but I still feel the bass is a little loose on some recordings and the treble is a little more recessed. I suspect that maybe the headphone stage of my receiver is not as robust as I once hoped/believed (I was initially under the impression that higher quality vintage amps had decent headphone stages designed for higher impedance headphones). Doing more reading in the forums, I am beginning to think that a dedicated headphone amp wired through the tape monitor loop via RCA cables would solve my problem and let me hear the 650's as the were intended.

 

I am hesitating to purchase a dedicated headphone amp however because, in listening to my 650's on my home theater AVR (Pioneer Elite SC-25), the bass has no flab whatsoever and the treble sounds just right. I actually think they sound pretty good through my AVR - that is until out of curiosity, I tried plugging my 650's straight into my iPod Classic. My AVR sounds basically the same as the iPod (maybe I detect a hint more air/space around instruments with the AVR, but the difference is very subtle). This makes me wonder if I simply don't have the hearing/experience to hear subtle nuances and I would be disappointed with a dedicated headphone amp upstairs.

 

So, here are my questions:

 

1. Do you think my Carver Receiver headphone stage is simply inadequate as I suspect? Could it also be that the headphone stage is fine, but the sound signature of the Carver is bass heavy/treble recessed? If it is the sound signature I'm hearing and not a problem with amplification, will a headphone amp hooked in to the tape monitor loop bypass this signature and give me a "pure" signal through the headphone amp to the 650's?

 

2. Re: my AVR/iPod experiment...what is the typical quality of the headphone stages found in "higher-end" modern home theater AVR's (such as my Elite SC-25)? Is the fact that it resembles the output of my iPod so closely indicative of an afterthought PC board, or would you say that my ears simply aren't well trained at detecting the differences? I suspect it's a little of both since music from the AVR is bitstreamed from my Oppo BluRay player via HDMI and converted with the AVR's internal Wolfson 8740 DAC, which is no doubt a higher quality stream than the headphone output of my iPod.

 

3. What would you do in my situation? Replace the Carver with another integrated receiver with a known high quality headphone stage (if one exists)? Add a headphone amp to the tape monitor loop? Sell the 650's and buy a headphone that is less demanding to drive but with a higher dampening factor to be more compatible with the Carver?

 

4. Keep the 650's. Let them burn-in a little more and just turn down the bass a smidge when I listen to music than sounds a little loose in the bass?

 

I realize that it's hard to give advice on a setup you have never listened to, but I appreciate any thoughts you experienced head-fiers might have. I didn't intend to embark on a quest for (my) perfect headphone sound, but I am a lifelong audio enthusiast and I want to be happy with the sound. If I can tighten up (not necessarily reduce) the bass, I think I can stop analyzing my music and start enjoying it. I've never had this much difficulty with loudspeakers - but I'm definitely finding headphones to be more difficult to nail down (because they're more revealing?).

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts! 

 

post #3949 of 36888
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

I'm looking for some advice/opinions on my HD650 enjoyment.

 

I've had some time to settle into my 650's and am not completely happy with them right now.

 

My intent was to use them exclusively with my "casual" 2-channel system which consists of 7 year-old entry-level Pioneer universal disc player (DVD, CD, SACD), Pioneer turntable, and 25 year-old Carver Receiver. All analog-only - I have no plans to stream digital on this system.

 

I started with the HD598's but found the bass much too flabby and uncontrolled, which I attributed to inadequate dampening due to an impedance mismatch with my receiver. The 650's improved the situation tremendously, but I still feel the bass is a little loose on some recordings and the treble is a little more recessed. I suspect that maybe the headphone stage of my receiver is not as robust as I once hoped/believed (I was initially under the impression that higher quality vintage amps had decent headphone stages designed for higher impedance headphones). Doing more reading in the forums, I am beginning to think that a dedicated headphone amp wired through the tape monitor loop via RCA cables would solve my problem and let me hear the 650's as the were intended.

 

I am hesitating to purchase a dedicated headphone amp however because, in listening to my 650's on my home theater AVR (Pioneer Elite SC-25), the bass has no flab whatsoever and the treble sounds just right. I actually think they sound pretty good through my AVR - that is until out of curiosity, I tried plugging my 650's straight into my iPod Classic. My AVR sounds basically the same as the iPod (maybe I detect a hint more air/space around instruments with the AVR, but the difference is very subtle). This makes me wonder if I simply don't have the hearing/experience to hear subtle nuances and I would be disappointed with a dedicated headphone amp upstairs.

 

So, here are my questions:

 

1. Do you think my Carver Receiver headphone stage is simply inadequate as I suspect? Could it also be that the headphone stage is fine, but the sound signature of the Carver is bass heavy/treble recessed? If it is the sound signature I'm hearing and not a problem with amplification, will a headphone amp hooked in to the tape monitor loop bypass this signature and give me a "pure" signal through the headphone amp to the 650's?

 

2. Re: my AVR/iPod experiment...what is the typical quality of the headphone stages found in "higher-end" modern home theater AVR's (such as my Elite SC-25)? Is the fact that it resembles the output of my iPod so closely indicative of an afterthought PC board, or would you say that my ears simply aren't well trained at detecting the differences? I suspect it's a little of both since music from the AVR is bitstreamed from my Oppo BluRay player via HDMI and converted with the AVR's internal Wolfson 8740 DAC, which is no doubt a higher quality stream than the headphone output of my iPod.

 

3. What would you do in my situation? Replace the Carver with another integrated receiver with a known high quality headphone stage (if one exists)? Add a headphone amp to the tape monitor loop? Sell the 650's and buy a headphone that is less demanding to drive but with a higher dampening factor to be more compatible with the Carver?

 

4. Keep the 650's. Let them burn-in a little more and just turn down the bass a smidge when I listen to music than sounds a little loose in the bass?

 

I realize that it's hard to give advice on a setup you have never listened to, but I appreciate any thoughts you experienced head-fiers might have. I didn't intend to embark on a quest for (my) perfect headphone sound, but I am a lifelong audio enthusiast and I want to be happy with the sound. If I can tighten up (not necessarily reduce) the bass, I think I can stop analyzing my music and start enjoying it. I've never had this much difficulty with loudspeakers - but I'm definitely finding headphones to be more difficult to nail down (because they're more revealing?).

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts! 

 

 

Maybe because they're more intimate.  I wouldn't call the HD650s demanding to drive, but they can require quality amplification, I certainly didn't like them out of my home receiver.  You could try picking up a used head-amp on the FS forums here if you want to stick with the HD650s, if it doesn't work out you'll only lose a minimal amount and shipping costs.  If you're willing to look at other headphones take a look at the HD600s.  Many who have been turned off by the HD650s bass have turned to the HD600s.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

My intent was to use them exclusively with my "casual" 2-channel system which consists of 7 year-old entry-level Pioneer universal disc player (DVD, CD, SACD), Pioneer turntable, and 25 year-old Carver Receiver. All analog-only - I have no plans to stream digital on this system.

 

 

FYI, CDs, DVDs and SACDs are all digital, not analog.

 


Edited by sphinxvc - 8/2/11 at 9:22am
post #3950 of 36888
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

 

Maybe because they're more intimate.  I wouldn't call the HD650s demanding to drive, but they can require quality amplification, I certainly didn't like them out of my home receiver.  You could try picking up a used head-amp on the FS forums here if you want to stick with the HD650s, if it doesn't work out you'll only lose a minimal amount and shipping costs.  If you're willing to look at other headphones take a look at the HD600s.  Many who have been turned off by the HD650s bass have turned to the HD600s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


they can be driven by less, but scale VERY well.  i think some ppl jump into the hd650 reading reviews of people who have better gear and fall in love, yet when they get it, its not what they had hoped.  

 

post #3951 of 36888
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post




I'm looking for some advice/opinions on my HD650 enjoyment.

 

I've had some time to settle into my 650's and am not completely happy with them right now.

 

My intent was to use them exclusively with my "casual" 2-channel system which consists of 7 year-old entry-level Pioneer universal disc player (DVD, CD, SACD), Pioneer turntable, and 25 year-old Carver Receiver. All analog-only - I have no plans to stream digital on this system.

 

I started with the HD598's but found the bass much too flabby and uncontrolled, which I attributed to inadequate dampening due to an impedance mismatch with my receiver. The 650's improved the situation tremendously, but I still feel the bass is a little loose on some recordings and the treble is a little more recessed. I suspect that maybe the headphone stage of my receiver is not as robust as I once hoped/believed (I was initially under the impression that higher quality vintage amps had decent headphone stages designed for higher impedance headphones). Doing more reading in the forums, I am beginning to think that a dedicated headphone amp wired through the tape monitor loop via RCA cables would solve my problem and let me hear the 650's as the were intended.

 

I am hesitating to purchase a dedicated headphone amp however because, in listening to my 650's on my home theater AVR (Pioneer Elite SC-25), the bass has no flab whatsoever and the treble sounds just right. I actually think they sound pretty good through my AVR - that is until out of curiosity, I tried plugging my 650's straight into my iPod Classic. My AVR sounds basically the same as the iPod (maybe I detect a hint more air/space around instruments with the AVR, but the difference is very subtle). This makes me wonder if I simply don't have the hearing/experience to hear subtle nuances and I would be disappointed with a dedicated headphone amp upstairs.

 

So, here are my questions:

 

1. Do you think my Carver Receiver headphone stage is simply inadequate as I suspect? Could it also be that the headphone stage is fine, but the sound signature of the Carver is bass heavy/treble recessed? If it is the sound signature I'm hearing and not a problem with amplification, will a headphone amp hooked in to the tape monitor loop bypass this signature and give me a "pure" signal through the headphone amp to the 650's?

 

2. Re: my AVR/iPod experiment...what is the typical quality of the headphone stages found in "higher-end" modern home theater AVR's (such as my Elite SC-25)? Is the fact that it resembles the output of my iPod so closely indicative of an afterthought PC board, or would you say that my ears simply aren't well trained at detecting the differences? I suspect it's a little of both since music from the AVR is bitstreamed from my Oppo BluRay player via HDMI and converted with the AVR's internal Wolfson 8740 DAC, which is no doubt a higher quality stream than the headphone output of my iPod.

 

3. What would you do in my situation? Replace the Carver with another integrated receiver with a known high quality headphone stage (if one exists)? Add a headphone amp to the tape monitor loop? Sell the 650's and buy a headphone that is less demanding to drive but with a higher dampening factor to be more compatible with the Carver?

 

4. Keep the 650's. Let them burn-in a little more and just turn down the bass a smidge when I listen to music than sounds a little loose in the bass?

 

I realize that it's hard to give advice on a setup you have never listened to, but I appreciate any thoughts you experienced head-fiers might have. I didn't intend to embark on a quest for (my) perfect headphone sound, but I am a lifelong audio enthusiast and I want to be happy with the sound. If I can tighten up (not necessarily reduce) the bass, I think I can stop analyzing my music and start enjoying it. I've never had this much difficulty with loudspeakers - but I'm definitely finding headphones to be more difficult to nail down (because they're more revealing?).

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts! 

 


I didn't take the time to review all of the above... but... if you must keep your Carver for use with your other systems, then get a Millett MiniMax ($200-400), and run some RCA interconnects from the Carver loop out to the MiniMax, and driver your HD650's with the MiniMax. 

 

I don't know whether you have an unamplified loop out, or one that has minimal amplification, which is unaffected by the POT on the Carver, but that is likely the most practical option. 

 

But... first... make sure you have the "new version" HD650's... if not... then sell them and get some.  The "old version" is too slow, and too veiled. 
 

 

post #3952 of 36888

Just bought a set of HD650s to match with my HDP. I'm hoping this set will hold me over for a few years.

post #3953 of 36888

"New version" HD-650s? What now? I have a set I got in... Uh, well, they had just come down from the $500+ price to the mid $400s, 2005-2006ish. I love them to pieces (not literally, they've held up quite well over the years, bit of flaking on the headband paint which is slightly less awesome than I would expect for the price paid, but they do sound amazing). What's this business about a new version?

post #3954 of 36888
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotJeffBuckley View Post

"New version" HD-650s? What now? I have a set I got in... Uh, well, they had just come down from the $500+ price to the mid $400s, 2005-2006ish. I love them to pieces (not literally, they've held up quite well over the years, bit of flaking on the headband paint which is slightly less awesome than I would expect for the price paid, but they do sound amazing). What's this business about a new version?



this apparent return to headfi sounds like its gonna be expensive for u lol.  they updated the drivers in like 09? im not sure when, but its less "veiled" as people term it.  

post #3955 of 36888

Did that happen to correspond with the retirement of the HD-580? Could just be a different binning since they used to use the same driver for the HD-580s and HD-600 but with closer tolerances on the HD-600; with the discarding of the HD-580, maybe they wanted to just run one driver manufacturing process for the high end (but non-800) HDs and it didn't make sense to keep popping out HD-580 drivers. I'm not about to run out and replace my beloved HD-650s, which do not sound veiled to my ears, haha. But, yes, returning to the hobby has been expensive - but that's alright, what's money about, it's more fun to use than it is to look at as a number in my bank account in my experience. We get very little time on earth, if we're lucky we can enjoy some fine things. beyersmile.png

post #3956 of 36888
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

 

Maybe because they're more intimate.  I wouldn't call the HD650s demanding to drive, but they can require quality amplification, I certainly didn't like them out of my home receiver.  You could try picking up a used head-amp on the FS forums here if you want to stick with the HD650s, if it doesn't work out you'll only lose a minimal amount and shipping costs.  If you're willing to look at other headphones take a look at the HD600s.  Many who have been turned off by the HD650s bass have turned to the HD600s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FYI, CDs, DVDs and SACDs are all digital, not analog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do like the overall laid back HD650 sound character and am considering trying the HD600 to stay in the family and maybe get a little leaner bass. I will probably also try an affordable headphone amp just to see the difference.

 

BTW, I know that CDs, DVDs and SACDs are digital sources, but the output of the player and the entire audio chain is analog. That's what I meant. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2 View Post




I didn't take the time to review all of the above... but... if you must keep your Carver for use with your other systems, then get a Millett MiniMax ($200-400), and run some RCA interconnects from the Carver loop out to the MiniMax, and driver your HD650's with the MiniMax. 

 

I don't know whether you have an unamplified loop out, or one that has minimal amplification, which is unaffected by the POT on the Carver, but that is likely the most practical option. 

 

But... first... make sure you have the "new version" HD650's... if not... then sell them and get some.  The "old version" is too slow, and too veiled. 
 

 



I will definitely check out the MiniMax. I've also been reading about the Matrix M-Stage and Shiit Asgard.

 

Yes, they are the new version (silver).



Quote:
Originally Posted by caracara08 View Post



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


they can be driven by less, but scale VERY well.  i think some ppl jump into the hd650 reading reviews of people who have better gear and fall in love, yet when they get it, its not what they had hoped.

 

I suppose I somewhat fell victim to this, although my original belief was that the headphone section of my receiver had good amplification and would drive them well.

 

Looks like I'm just going to have to experiment and see what works for me.

 

Maybe the HD600 will sound less bloated. Maybe a headphone amp will tighten up the bass. Maybe I'll go back to the HD598 paired with an affordable tube amp (LD Mk III) for a similar total investment.

 

Thank you all for the replies, I appreciate the advice and I'll keep you posted.

 



 


Edited by palmfish - 8/2/11 at 2:55pm
post #3957 of 36888

You sure the "new version" are silver? Mine are silver and they aren't any newer than, ah... 2006 at the latest.

post #3958 of 36888

Quote:

Originally Posted by palmfish View Post                                                                  Maybe the HD600 will sound less bloated. 

 

Definitely, however, they are not as laid back.  But for the most part, the family sound remains.


Edited by sphinxvc - 8/2/11 at 3:00pm
post #3959 of 36888

The difference visually is the one with the updated drivers have silver diaphragms instead of black.  Here are a few pictures to better illustrate that point:

sennheiser_hd580oldnew_1.jpg

sennheiser_hd580oldnew_2.jpg

sennheiser_hd650oldnew_2.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #3960 of 36888

I don't think that's the diaphragm. The diaphragm (and driver as a whole) is much smaller, and not shaped like that, to my knowledge. That would be a massive driver. Not saying it's 100% a cosmetic difference, just that what you're pointing out there is part of the overall enclosure, not part of the speaker itself...

 

Did Sennheiser comment on the difference? Why would they update the HD-580, after discontinuing them? o.O


Edited by NotJeffBuckley - 8/2/11 at 3:44pm
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