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post #5986 of 37369
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeptic View Post


     Quote:


You couldn't have picked a better handle to post under with this question.   

 

To keep things fair and balanced - here's the counter-point to the view stated by the cable evangelicals:

 

If improvements from 3rd party headphone cables could be quantified (and this assumes they make any difference at all), these differences would show up in software like diffmaker (free at: http://www.libinst.com/Audio%20DiffMaker.htm ).  We've batted this topic around in this thread for years now due to the number of folks shilling "must-have" aftermarket cables for the HD650's.  Not a one of them has ever posted a single measurement demonstrating resulting audible differences.  

 

The HD650's are great headphones, but they are not, by today's standards, reference grade when compared to the available TOTL options.  No amp, dac or cable, or combination thereof, is going to make a conventional dynamic driver perform like a stat or like the patented ring drivers in the HD800's.   

 


I absolutely agree with this, Skeptic.  I'm sure my question may have been misleading, but I am someone who believes cables do not make a difference.  I am just curious how others who do believe this (since the HD650's are one of the most popular headphones for aftermarket cabels) report their experience.  Are they hearing a sound twice as good as before?  50% better?  In this case, Phoebe reported more than a 40% improvement in sound quality.

 

My new HD650's are coming in tomorrow and I do not plan on ever replacing the cable on them.


Edited by fallingreason - 3/8/12 at 3:39pm
post #5987 of 37369

I wrote that the stock cable is very roughly about 70 percent of the sound quality of the Moon Audio Blue Dragon cable. This means that I think that the Moon Audio Blue Dragon cables improve sound quality by about 30 percent. It is next to impossible to quantify sound quality to a percentage, but I was asked a question so I decided to reply in kind to the best of my abilities.  You should audition the stock cable and try an aftermarket cable of your choosing to see if it is worth the extra money or not. I think that everything makes a difference in a high end audio system including cables be it power cords, interconnects, headphone cables, or speaker cables.

post #5988 of 37369

Actually, if the stock cable is 70% of the Moon Audio, then you would be going from 0.7 to 1.0.  An increase of 0.3 from 0.7.  0.3/0.7 = 0.428.  So , by saying the stock cable is 70% of the Moon Audio, you are indeed saying it is a ~ 43% increase in sound quality.

 

I had a very nice custom silver Double Helix cable for my HD600's as well as the stock cable and I heard almost no difference between the two with the Headroom Micro DAC/AMP.  I think the most important thing for cables is that your terminations are soldered and you are not using adapters. 

 

I was curious what impressions of the Blue Dragon are because I believe 6Moons published a review which compared all three Moon Audio cables for the HD650 and said the Silver and Black Dragon cables were significantly better than the Blue Dragon for the HD650.

 

I think each component does matter, but only to a certain extent.  Yes you should have shielded cables.  Yes the plugs should make secure connections.  I do use all Ultralink Matrix-2 series Canadian cables for all of my gear but I have not paid more than $30 for a cable.  I primarily bought them because they looked well made and they look really nice.

 

Anyway, I didn't want to incite another aftermarket cable debate, but just want to see what type of claims are being made by those fairly new to the HD650.

post #5989 of 37369

I have the Black Dragon with my HD650's.  I don't think I can put a number on smoother overall response, better dynamics, tighter bass and the harshness smoothed over in the highs.  Is it night an day.. no way.. is it noticeable on music I really know and love, yes.

 

Let's put in in perspective here.. if I did a blind test when I purchased them and was told one pair was $200 more, would I have picked them out without knowing the music well.  Nope, but I love them anyway!

 

I think you really need to spend time with your system and once you get to the sound you like (source, dec, amp), add the cable and then decide.  I'm a believer in cables but I do think the prices are outrageous.

My 2 cents Canadian worth :)


Edited by MickeyVee - 3/8/12 at 5:26pm
post #5990 of 37369

Thanks for the clarification fr!  Sounds like we're on the same page or thereabouts.

post #5991 of 37369

I think I may give the HD-650 a third try in the future. Why? Disliked the HD-600 and it bores me to death. Tried it with a Double Helix cable and absolutely love it. Generally I never felt cable upgrades made more than a 5% improvement, but this makes me think otherwise. Some may think it's nonsense for a stupid cable to make me like a headphone, but I had this happen. Weird, I know.

 

I also recabled my HD-598 and it was a step under my K601 until I recabled it with even cheap wire. The HD-600 now isn't a bore fest and it's even better for gaming.

 

I did make two cables for the HD-650 in the past and never realized at the time they were making it TOO warm. I used Mogami and Canare. Well, duh, that's not what I wanted.

 

I think if I wanted the HD-650 to be more to my liking I'd find a cable that removes some of it's warmth (ALO SXC might work) and makes it more detailed and clearer. Regular Double Helix wire might be ok.

 

I just read a post where someone couldn't hear a difference between stock and DH silver cables with their Micro Amp. That's a shock, because even with the copper DH the difference is bigger than any other recable. This is with the HD-600 and Micro Amp though. With Q701 recables there's not a big difference at all.

 

I've got a much better DAC now, so maybe the HD-650 will improve even further. Not sure if the HRT MSII is a good match for the HD-650. Hope so.

 

BTW how does a Cardas cable compare to the Double Helix cables for the HD-650? I guess it would all come down to preference. I don't want the HD-650 any more bassy or warmer than it already is. I guess silver would be perfect for me. Maybe silver plated copper..

post #5992 of 37369

My understanding is that the Cardas headphone replacement cable sounds similar to the Cardas Golden Reference Power and Interconnects which is to say that it adds warmth to the tonal balance and it makes the bass stronger with tighter, punchier, and adds slam while it makes the mid range smoother, creamy, and adds resolution and detail while adding sparkle and clarity to the treble. I really do want to try out the Cardas cable, but it is expensive. I think that the Moon Audio Blue Dragon cable is pretty good, but I also think that the Cardas cable will sound much better in my high end audio system because I already have so much Cardas cabling. I think that I will wind up getting the Cardas cable and I will sell or trade the Moon Audio Blue Dragon cable.

post #5993 of 37369

I sure do love the HD650's but for some odd reason, i'm just not getting that bass oomph/punch that everyone's talking about. I recently bought a pair and i'm not too sure if its because the pair i bought is "fake" or the power its getting is not enough. I'm currently only using a basic e7/e9 set up for my laptop and i'm sure its capable in powering it just fine.
- i ordered the pair on ebay
http://www.ebay.com/itm/300625897956?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

or am i just used to closed headphones?
i compared the 650's with the Q701's i own, and i do feel a bit of warmth -


Edited by Sniperbombers - 3/9/12 at 12:26am
post #5994 of 37369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniperbombers View Post

I sure do love the HD650's but for some odd reason, i'm just not getting that bass oomph that everyone's talking about. I recently bought a pair and i'm not too sure if its because the pair i bought is "fake" or the power its getting is not enough. I'm currently only using a basic e7/e9 set up for my laptop and i'm sure its capable in powering it just fine.
- i ordered the pair on ebay
http://www.ebay.com/itm/300625897956?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649


I haven't heard of fake HD650's, perhaps you're used to listening to headphones with more bass than the HD650? I think my HD681 has more bass, though not as deep, than my HD650. However, the HD650 bass can vary depending on the amp. 

 


Edited by ZorgDK - 3/9/12 at 3:05am
post #5995 of 37369

There is no counterfeit HD650, i think you should improve your system more. 

post #5996 of 37369
Quote:
Originally Posted by the fool View Post

There is no counterfeit HD650, i think you should improve your system more. 


May I ask on what basis you made this suggestion?

Getting a better source and amplifier might marginally improve some aspects of sound quality, but it will certainly not change the amount of bass. Frequency response is usually altered very little by amps and sources. If it is altered, then there is something seriously wrong with them (imo). Since this is not the case with the FiiO E7/E9 combo I can think of no reason why improving his system will give him more bass.

The HD650's simply are not basshead headphones.
post #5997 of 37369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilpo View Post


May I ask on what basis you made this suggestion?
Getting a better source and amplifier might marginally improve some aspects of sound quality, but it will certainly not change the amount of bass. Frequency response is usually altered very little by amps and sources. If it is altered, then there is something seriously wrong with them (imo). Since this is not the case with the FiiO E7/E9 combo I can think of no reason why improving his system will give him more bass.
The HD650's simply are not basshead headphones.


They're not basshead headphones, I agree. In fact I remember when I first got them, and I had my friend listen to them, he thought they sounded bass light.  

 

But the amount of bass on the HD650 does vary on the 3 amps I have at hand. 

 

 

 

 


Edited by ZorgDK - 3/9/12 at 3:05am
post #5998 of 37369

I also use the HD650 with the E7/E9 combo, and if anything, I find that it sometimes has too much bass. Of course, YMMV.

post #5999 of 37369
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZorgDK View Post


They're not basshead headphones, I agree. In fact I remember when I first got them, and I had my friend listen to them, he thought they sounded bass light.  

 

But the amount of bass on the HD650 does vary on the 3 amps I have at hand. 

 

 

 

 

We agree to dissagree in that case. On my four amps I can't hear a diffrence between amount/presence of bass.
post #6000 of 37369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilpo View Post


We agree to dissagree in that case. On my four amps I can't hear a diffrence between amount/presence of bass.


 

Between my Headroom Micro Amp and my Lyr there's nothing even closely similar about the sound of the HD650's.  This is no doubt easily explainable (and measurable) by the fact the one is SS and doubtfully has a high voltage swing (but has high current) (and a relatively high output impedance) while the other has a tube section for the voltage with a very high voltage swing (and a very low output impedance.) 

 

I agree though that both had a similar amount of quality and quantity of the sub-bass and both have fooled me into thinking I accidentally had my source running to the big 12" Velodyne subwoofer still (I actually thought the floor was vibrating from the bass...trained response to hearing a certain frequency....meaning the HD650s were outputting similar bass response, to my ears, as my well calibrated sub.  I don't call that "bass light" in any way, on either amp unless you're used to a poorly calibrated subwoofer that makes its presence much too known and isn't integrated well with the speakers.  People somehow got used to way more bass than reality suggests is needed!

 

The biggest changes between the amps are separation, detail, a brighter high-end, and a mid-bass that doesn't bloom into the mids.  My AVR sounds similar(ish) to my Micro Amp.

 

By contrast my K702's on the Lyr actually have deeper sub-bass, but have more of a dipp in the upper sub-bass.  The result is a "cleaner", "tighter" bass that surprises me with its depth, but doesn't remind me of the signature of my real sub at all.  One could argue it sounds like an even better sub, but with slightly too low a crossover for speaker matching. 

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