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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 330

post #4936 of 36888

The D100 is known for being a better DAC than an amp, ditto for the NFB-12 -- why not a real amp?

post #4937 of 36888

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hughkk View Post

comparing LD MKIII to bottlehead crack+speed ball,

are there big difference between two?

 

I am rubbish at DIY.


I haven't heard the LD, but milosz wrote an A/B post comparing the crack and LD mkIII near the bottom of this page: http://www.head-fi.org/t/521988/amp-a-b-comparisons/30#   

 

In making your decision, as far as DIY skills go, keep in mind that the stock crack really is an absolute beginner friendly project.  It's point to point (no circuit boards) with extremely detailed, step by step, photo illustrated, instructions.  It is the paint by numbers of headphone kits.  It was the first kit I ever put together, and I had a great time with it.  

 

The speedball upgrade takes a little more know how, but 15 minutes on youtube watching videos on "through hole" soldering (forming solder bridges and then flowing your solder from the opposite side of the lead from the tip of your iron) is all you really need to get that done with ease as well.

 

 

post #4938 of 36888

Because whenever I ask for a real amp, everyone always suggests tubes. I don't want tubes, period. I don't want to have to replace them, and even if they lasted 20 years I don't want to have the feeling that every day it will sound very slightly different. I want solid state, consistent performance.

 

Also, I hope the NFB12 DAC is good enough for "real amps"? But if the NFB12 amp is so powerful, then why do I need to upgrade at all?

 

The NFB12 works just great to run my Shure SRH940, and I hear a vast improvement across the spectrum with the SRH940 out of the NFB12 versus a macbook, even though the SRH940 is low impedance. Counter intuitively though, my HD650 doesn't seem to have much of the veil lifted when I amp it versus straight out of a macbook! Bass improves vastly of course... but not really much improvement to treble that I can hear.

 

Normally I'd just conclude that the HD650 has mediocre treble, but with all the hype surrounding it I thought it might be the NFB12 failing to power it or something.


Edited by ac500 - 11/18/11 at 5:52pm
post #4939 of 36888
Quote:
Originally Posted by ac500 View Post

Because whenever I ask for a real amp, everyone always suggests tubes. I don't want tubes, period. I don't want to have to replace them, and even if they lasted 20 years I don't want to have the feeling that every day it will sound very slightly different. I want solid state, consistent performance.



Violectric V200 or V100?

post #4940 of 36888

Budget <=$400, and even then it's a stretch. If I had $1000 I'd get an LCD2 or T1 or HD800.

 

Hmm actually for $400, plus $300 plus $200 if I sold my current headphones, I could get an LCD-2 O.o

 

Or wait until a bit until I can justify $1400 from my budget for a HD800.


Edited by ac500 - 11/18/11 at 6:00pm
post #4941 of 36888

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ac500 View Post

Because whenever I ask for a real amp, everyone always suggests tubes. I don't want tubes, period. I don't want to have to replace them, and even if they lasted 20 years I don't want to have the feeling that every day it will sound very slightly different. I want solid state, consistent performance.

 

Also, I hope the NFB12 DAC is good enough for "real amps"? But if the NFB12 amp is so powerful, then why do I need to upgrade at all?

 

The NFB12 works just great to run my Shure SRH940, and I hear a vast improvement across the spectrum with the SRH940 out of the NFB12 versus a macbook, even though the SRH940 is low impedance. Counter intuitively though, my HD650 doesn't seem to have much of the veil lifted when I amp it versus straight out of a macbook! Bass improves vastly of course... but not really much improvement to treble that I can hear.

 

Normally I'd just conclude that the HD650 has mediocre treble, but with all the hype surrounding it I thought it might be the NFB12 failing to power it or something.

 

Don't let that defer you. That is a huge misconception. Tube amps really require no maintenance at all and will not sound different the next day. Sure you get a few faulty tubes every once in a while but just swap them out. The euphonic benefits outweigh the cost IMO.

 

It's not the fault of the NFB-12, there is a reason why HD650 are considered "dark headphones". Your only solution is to either use EQ, try a silver cable, and/or go balanced. I prefer the latter 2.


Edited by SemiAudiophile - 11/18/11 at 6:06pm
post #4942 of 36888
Quote:
Originally Posted by ac500 View Post

Budget <=$500, and even then it's a stretch. If I had $1000 I'd get an LCD2 or T1 or HD800.


Yulong D100 / HDP imo

post #4943 of 36888
Quote:
Originally Posted by ac500 View Post

Budget <=$500, and even then it's a stretch. If I had $1000 I'd get an LCD2 or T1 or HD800.


 

Dang, you guys pay more than us Aussies for Violectric ~ totally weird.

 

Hmmm, that rules out Burson too.

 

Audio GD NFB-5 looks like a good piece of kit for the money.

 

post #4944 of 36888
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeptic View Post

From a design standpoint - as relatively efficient, high impedance cans, the HD650's pair beautifully with OTL tube amps - a topology that generally delivers ample voltage swing but not a lot of current.  Inefficient low impedance headphones, by contrast, need lots of current - which is easy to get out of solid state and/or hybrid designs.  This is why you don't want to try and drive planars, or even K701's for that matter, out of *most* OTL tube amps.  

 

Based on the time I've spent lurking on head-fi over the past several years, my sense has been that the majority seem to prefer sennheisers via tubes, but I've never counted.  Certainly, there are plenty of satisfied listeners on both sides of the aisle.  A well designed amp from either camp should get the job done, but if you have a chance to attend a meet and do some listening for yourself, I'd strongly encourage you to do so.     

 

Hughkk: with a budget of $350 - I'll definitely join twinster and captouch in recommending the crack.  I've been to CanJam and listened to a huge number of amps, and it is definitely the best value with the HD650's and 800's that I'm aware of.  If you have a chance, take a look at the comments/excerpts on the BH site from numerous head-fiers, as well as highly respected pros like Tyll and Steve Gutenberg: http://www.bottlehead.com/store.php?crn=224&rn=442&action=show_detail


This. Is. Why. I. Love. My. Vallhalla. And. More. Than. Likely. Will. Love. The. WA6. When. It. Arrives.

 

post #4945 of 36888

>  there is a reason why HD650 are considered "dark headphones". Your only solution is to either use EQ, try a silver cable, and/or go balanced. I prefer the latter 2.

 

I'm talking about actual quality of treble, not quantity. I've equalized my HD650s, but the mids and treble quality are still blurry compared to my SRH940s.

 

Also how does going balanced help? Having two isolated amplifiers doesn't seem like it would really change much? Maybe I don't understand what balanced is.

post #4946 of 36888
Quote:
Originally Posted by ac500 View Post

>  there is a reason why HD650 are considered "dark headphones". Your only solution is to either use EQ, try a silver cable, and/or go balanced. I prefer the latter 2.

 

I'm talking about actual quality of treble, not quantity. I've equalized my HD650s, but the mids and treble quality are still blurry compared to my SRH940s.

 

Also how does going balanced help? Having two isolated amplifiers doesn't seem like it would really change much? Maybe I don't understand what balanced is.



 

What is Balanced Headphone Drive?

Balanced Headphone Drive is a scheme that uses two wires to deliver equal and opposite audio signals to each side of the driver coil.

When properly done a significant increase of audio performance is heard due to the doubling of slew rate and power; the reduction of some distortion

components; and virtual elimination of crosstalk at the headphones due to the common ground.

 

It does not completely change a headphone's signature in my experience but it is worthwhile if you're onto a headphone that you already love.

 

Bal&unbal.jpg

post #4947 of 36888

Quote:
Originally Posted by ac500 View Post

 I want solid state, consistent performance.

 

 

Fair enough.  Why not try your hand at an O2 or, if you want aim a little higher, "the wire" (see: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/headphone-systems/179298-wire-ultra-high-performance-headphone-amplifier-pcbs.html ).  DIY amps with measurements like these two should perform as well as any solid state you can buy.  The BOM's for both of them are less than or equal to $100.

 

I actually just ordered the parts for an O2 - although a few are presently back ordered.  Should be fun to compare and contrast with my crack.


Edited by skeptic - 11/18/11 at 10:25pm
post #4948 of 36888

Quote:

Originally Posted by ac500 View Post

Because whenever I ask for a real amp, everyone always suggests tubes. I don't want tubes, period. I don't want to have to replace them, and even if they lasted 20 years I don't want to have the feeling that every day it will sound very slightly different. I want solid state, consistent performance.

 

Also, I hope the NFB12 DAC is good enough for "real amps"? But if the NFB12 amp is so powerful, then why do I need to upgrade at all?

 

The NFB12 works just great to run my Shure SRH940, and I hear a vast improvement across the spectrum with the SRH940 out of the NFB12 versus a macbook, even though the SRH940 is low impedance. Counter intuitively though, my HD650 doesn't seem to have much of the veil lifted when I amp it versus straight out of a macbook! Bass improves vastly of course... but not really much improvement to treble that I can hear.

 

Normally I'd just conclude that the HD650 has mediocre treble, but with all the hype surrounding it I thought it might be the NFB12 failing to power it or something.

 

Yes, the 12's DAC is good enough for real amps.  These low-end solid state units are usually over-performers, as I found out over my time here (and especially when I compared my FUN against a StageDAC and Concerto combo).  I think you might feel better if you heard something more higher-end like the NFB-10SE next to your NFB-12.  However, the treble may still not be to your liking which brings me to:

 

I don't think the word you're looking for is "power / powerful" -- it's synergy.  The NFB-12 is "powerful" enough for HD650s.  My theory for why tubes are preferred with this Senn is because the air (treble) & ambiance some tubes provide cancel out a portion of the laid-back presentation of the HD650s.  BUT remember, no matter what you buy the 650s will retain most of their soul: their signature tonal balance and presentation-style.  They will never be about being able to revel in treble details -- for that you might want to look elsewhere like the K701 (careful synergy-matching required).

 

One can't describe what balanced HD650s sound like on a forum, it's too hard as we all have different reference points and lexicon (case in point above) -- just think of it as slightly raising the performance across the board.  However, don't write it off for that reason: a slight improvement is a big deal here where we agonize over subtleties.

 

Cheers.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin Morrow View Post


This. Is. Why. I. Love. My. Vallhalla. And. More. Than. Likely. Will. Love. The. WA6. When. It. Arrives.


WA6 is not OTL, it is OTC / WA3 is OTL.

 

post #4949 of 36888

Quote:

Originally Posted by skeptic View Post

 

Fair enough.  Why not try your hand at an O2 or, if you want aim a little higher, "the wire" (see: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/headphone-systems/179298-wire-ultra-high-performance-headphone-amplifier-pcbs.html ).  DIY amps with measurements like these two should perform as well as any solid state you can buy.  The BOM's for both of them are less than or equal to $100.

 

I actually just ordered the parts for an O2 - although a few are presently back ordered.  Should be fun to compare and contrast with my crack.


To add to this -- the O2 can be ordered from JDS Labs for $95 (assembled without case or AC adapter).

 

post #4950 of 36888

I guess it's probably just the HD650s then. Anyway I still like the HD650s of course, but out of my NFB12 my SRH940 simply has better treble and mids (quality - I've EQed the 940s to sound dark and the quality of them is still better). The HD650s will always rule as the most comfortable nonfatiguing easy listening headphones though, and for that I don't see myself ever getting rid of them.

 

Maybe some time I'll try another Amp but for now I'll probably stick with the NFB12.

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