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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 401

post #6001 of 36831

I have a deal set to proceed next Tuesday to acquire a used Cardas headphone replacement cable with the gray jacket for my Sennheiser HD-650 headphones. If all goes well, then I should expect to receive delivery of my Cardas headphone replacement cable by the end of next week. I have Cardas Golden Reference Power and Cardas Golden Reference Interconnects. This should be a very close match in terms of sound performance.

post #6002 of 36831
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post


 

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.) 

You have it the wrong way around. Tubes in many cases have high output impedance, and often high voltages. For this reason they are often coupled to a transformer to reduce the voltage and output impedance, making them more suitable to headphone loads.
SS amps usually have a low output impedance, even without negative feedback. They do not necessarily have lower voltages.
Also, the Lyr is a hybrid amp. Furthermore neither Headroom nor Schiit specify the output impedance of the devices, so without measuring it there is no way of knowing which is lower. That, and also the fact that the output impedance will only really affect frequency response of an HD 650 if it is in the range of 200-1000 ohm or so (very high!). Output impedance is almost always below 10ohm, except for some OTL tube amps.

The difference in sound is not necessarily caused by the different typologies either.
Edited by Tilpo - 3/9/12 at 7:37am
post #6003 of 36831

@ Zorg / The Fool / Tilpo - thanks for thoughts and suggestions. 
Assuming that dac amplifications  on the bass frequency can change drastically if i changed my set up, i guess i have to invest and see.
- Thanks also for believing that their are no counterfits out there as of this moment for the HD650's.

its just personally i found it weird how the Q701 seems to be able to give a bigger thump than the 650s.

post #6004 of 36831

From my experience, headphones with low impedance drivers are more capable of producing that bass "slam" effect.  Denons, AKGs, Ultrasones... all low impedance cans.  Senns and some others on the other hand have very stiff high resistance drivers seem to put out a much more smooth and controlled sounding tone. 

 

I'm not an electrical engineer but it seems to make intuitive sense...  Someone correct me if this is totally incorrect.

post #6005 of 36831
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniperbombers View Post

@ Zorg / The Fool / Tilpo - thanks for thoughts and suggestions. 
Assuming that dac amplifications  on the bass frequency can change drastically if i changed my set up, i guess i have to invest and see.
- Thanks also for believing that their are no counterfits out there as of this moment for the HD650's.

its just personally i found it weird how the Q701 seems to be able to give a bigger thump than the 650s.

They can't change drastically. It just doesn't make any sense.
'Thump', or bass impact is dependent on the frequency response of the system. Amplifiers and DAC's should have very little effect on frequency response. That is, changes in frequency response due to the amplifier or DAC are usually a very bad sign. As far as I know this is not the case with the E7/E9, so I don't see a reason to upgrade on the basis of wanting to increase bass thump.

And it's actually not weird at all that you find the Q701 having a bigger thump than the 650s. According to Tyll Hertsen's measurement of the HD 650 and the Q701, both their frequency response and 30Hz square wave response is very similar. According to the measurements their bass impact should be very similar. Feeling one has more than the other is most likely caused by psychological factors, such as bias and improper volume matching. This is unavoidable, and will always happen when comparing audio non-double blind.
post #6006 of 36831
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.

 

I disagree to agree on that. ;)  No seriously, for me the difference in bass on the HD650 amp to amp isn't big, but the Lyr in particular adds some extra bass, of that I'm sure. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoebeFairchild View Post

I have a deal set to proceed next Tuesday to acquire a used Cardas headphone replacement cable with the gray jacket for my Sennheiser HD-650 headphones. If all goes well, then I should expect to receive delivery of my Cardas headphone replacement cable by the end of next week. I have Cardas Golden Reference Power and Cardas Golden Reference Interconnects. This should be a very close match in terms of sound performance.

 

Sounds good. :) Be prepared to be impressed or disappointed.... I noticed a difference in sound to the better when I switched cable on mine. However the cable recently stopped working in the right channel, so I'm back to the stock cable. I guess I could repair it, but I honestly don't miss it. The stock is fine for me again... (it was made out of Kimber speaker cable)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fallingreason View Post

From my experience, headphones with low impedance drivers are more capable of producing that bass "slam" effect.  Denons, AKGs, Ultrasones... all low impedance cans.  Senns and some others on the other hand have very stiff high resistance drivers seem to put out a much more smooth and controlled sounding tone. 

 

I'm not an electrical engineer but it seems to make intuitive sense...  Someone correct me if this is totally incorrect.

 

That's my experience too...

 

Also, most cheaper headphones I've heard, including my Superlux HD681, has that boomy sound where the bass bleeds into the mid range. I think it takes some time to get used to the more natural balance in the HD650. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniperbombers View Post

@ Zorg / The Fool / Tilpo - thanks for thoughts and suggestions. 
Assuming that dac amplifications  on the bass frequency can change drastically if i changed my set up, i guess i have to invest and see.
- Thanks also for believing that their are no counterfits out there as of this moment for the HD650's.

its just personally i found it weird how the Q701 seems to be able to give a bigger thump than the 650s.


Aside from the amp, the dac also plays a part in how much bass you get (IMO). If you really miss more bass presence in your HD650, you could also consider getting another headphone instead of getting new dac and amp. Unless you otherwise really like the HD650 and want to keep it..


Edited by ZorgDK - 3/9/12 at 9:50am
post #6007 of 36831
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilpo View Post


You have it the wrong way around. Tubes in many cases have high output impedance, and often high voltages. For this reason they are often coupled to a transformer to reduce the voltage and output impedance, making them more suitable to headphone loads.
SS amps usually have a low output impedance, even without negative feedback. They do not necessarily have lower voltages.
Also, the Lyr is a hybrid amp. Furthermore neither Headroom nor Schiit specify the output impedance of the devices, so without measuring it there is no way of knowing which is lower. That, and also the fact that the output impedance will only really affect frequency response of an HD 650 if it is in the range of 200-1000 ohm or so (very high!). Output impedance is almost always below 10ohm, except for some OTL tube amps.
The difference in sound is not necessarily caused by the different typologies either.

 

I think we're in agreement on most of that though I may have worded it in a confusing way.   The tubes of the Lyr are providing high voltage.  It also has an SS-like low output impedence because of its SS hybrid section.  I don't know what the output impedance of either unit is, comparatively, however given the nature of the Micro (capable of running on a 9V battery, 3.5mm jack, small circuit layout, etc) to assume that it has higher output impedance than Lyr as well as lower voltage is absolutely an assumption without measurements, but is a logical assumption, and one I would be shocked to find disproved by someone with a setup to test it.  Nor is that a "flaw" in the Micro if true.  Just a difference.
 

I'm making those assumptions in a way that gives the benefit of the doubt to Headroom without more comparison in assuming that the Micro is simply a poor match for the HD650 due to measurable design reasons.   The alternative assumption would be to say that the Micro is a horrible, overpriced amp incapable of perceptibly outperforming the $3 op-amps found on any AV receiver.  Since Headroom has received a fair amount of respect both from customers and critics, I believe the former is the more fair assumption smile_phones.gif

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilpo View Post

And it's actually not weird at all that you find the Q701 having a bigger thump than the 650s. According to Tyll Hertsen's measurement of the HD 650 and the Q701, both their frequency response and 30Hz square wave response is very similar. According to the measurements their bass impact should be very similar. Feeling one has more than the other is most likely caused by psychological factors, such as bias and improper volume matching. This is unavoidable, and will always happen when comparing audio non-double blind.


While I definitely can not compare "thump" or not the bass of the AKG cans absolutely has a different voicing than the HD650, if arguably in a more detached way.   I can see how the presentation differences could easily lead itself to be presented as more or less slam in terms of psychoacustics.  If nothing else it draws more attention to the beginning and end of the bass while the HD650 includes the start within the midbass.  There's a definite dip in the midbass response with AKG  as part of their house sound.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZorgDK View Post


Sounds good. :) Be prepared to be impressed or disappointed.... I noticed a difference in sound to the better when I switched cable on mine. However the cable recently stopped working in the right channel, so I'm back to the stock cable. I guess I could repair it, but I honestly don't miss it. The stock is fine for me again... (it was made out of Kimber speaker cable)

 

That describes my experience almost exactly.  I never really noticed a difference with the Cardas, and when the left channel fritzed out on mine I switched back to stock.  I like the stock cable just fine now.

post #6008 of 36831

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

While I definitely can not compare "thump" or not the bass of the AKG cans absolutely has a different voicing than the HD650, if arguably in a more detached way.   I can see how the presentation differences could easily lead itself to be presented as more or less slam in terms of psychoacustics.  If nothing else it draws more attention to the beginning and end of the bass while the HD650 includes the start within the midbass.  There's a definite dip in the midbass response with AKG  as part of their house sound.

 

 

I think the midbass is a major contributor to this perception, but per the FR graphs, the HD650's actually have less deep bass than several of the other phones mentioned in this discussion.  That is to say, I don't think this is a high impedance vs. low impedance issue - it is simply due to the FR of the specific headphones.

 

Reviving an excerpt from a related comment I made several pages back - as shown on the graph below, the HD650's do roll off a bit at the bottom end of the scale, and this perception will be further emphasized by the 650's midbass hump, which makes its sub-bass sound somewhat recessed by comparison.  

 

For this reason, I find that both my HD800's and DT880's do a better job of bringing out sub-bass than my HD650's.  However, from a big picture standpoint, I still firmly believe the HD650's are better headphones than the 880's (250 ohm), at least to my ears, because: (i) the sound is more coherent; and (ii) they do not have the 880's dreaded small peak at 4khz (which is more problematic than peaks > ~5khz, because it is actually within the fundamental frequency range of several natural instruments). 

 

350x280px-LL-fcf967eb_772670551280.png

post #6009 of 36831
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post


 

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. 


You don't like the Micro Amp with the HD-650? Is it the portable or the desktop version you have? I bet it'd be a better match for the HD-600. I like that combination.

I actually had the Asgard last year and prefer the HD-650 with the Micro Amp. The Micro Amp also seems to play well with BOTH the HD-650 and K702 unlike the Asgard.

 

I think my favorite headphones for the Micro are the Q701, HD-600 and the K601. D2000 is pretty nice too, but I don't like it's signature.

 

If you don't mind, what did the Lyr improve for you with the HD-650 over the Micro Amp? I imagine there's going to be a larger soundstage, less forward sounding mids and possibly more treble? Tiny differences though.

I think it's been said before that the soundstage from the Micro Amp isn't massive, which is a plus for me. I do love the bass of the Micro Amp. Seems to do something special for the Q701. Doesn't bloat the bass though or anything.

 

Actually, I too have found that ALL my big headphones sound much different when changing amps. I think the Micro Amp is the only amp I liked the HD-650 with. Haven't tried the Lyr or M-Stage yet though.

 

Lyr has been on my radar, but I just wasn't a fan of the Asgard at all. My Micro Amp never seems to dislike many headphones.

 

 

 


Edited by tdockweiler - 3/9/12 at 11:44am
post #6010 of 36831

I snuck a deal in to borrow a pair of HD650 from my local hi-fi shop for a week!  Will listen to them thoroughly and post a comparison and review between them and D2000.  Listening with HRT Music Streamer II Dac (neutral baring on bright dac supposedly) with Little Dot MKII amp with Military Mullard EF95s (supposedly warm with rolled off treble)

 

 

My initial and most shocking impression:  These are infamous for their veiled sound and lack of treble?  I'm not seeing it at all.  I think I'm using the older black grilled version as well.

 

Other thoughts.  The bass loses a lot of impact in comparison but also has no mid-bass bloat.  The bass takes a nose dive at 45hz.  The Denons are good to 30hz.


Edited by TMRaven - 3/9/12 at 1:41pm
post #6011 of 36831

Quote:

Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

I snuck a deal in to borrow a pair of HD650 from my local hi-fi shop for a week!  Will listen to them thoroughly and post a comparison and review between them and D2000.  Listening with HRT Music Streamer II Dac (neutral baring on bright dac supposedly) with Little Dot MKII amp with Military Mullard EF95s (supposedly warm with rolled off treble)

 

 

My initial and most shocking impression:  These are infamous for their veiled sound and lack of treble?  I'm not seeing it at all.  I think I'm using the older black grilled version as well.

 

Other thoughts.  The bass loses a lot of impact in comparison but also has no mid-bass bloat.  The bass takes a nose dive at 45hz.  The Denons are good to 30hz.



I have a BNIB pair of 650's waiting for me when I get home in a few hours!  I will be doing comparisons with my D5000's and post my impressions.

post #6012 of 36831

It'll be fun to compare the comparisons.

post #6013 of 36831
Quote:
Originally Posted by fallingreason View Post

From my experience, headphones with low impedance drivers are more capable of producing that bass "slam" effect.  Denons, AKGs, Ultrasones... all low impedance cans.  Senns and some others on the other hand have very stiff high resistance drivers seem to put out a much more smooth and controlled sounding tone. 

 

I'm not an electrical engineer but it seems to make intuitive sense...  Someone correct me if this is totally incorrect.


Actually, it doesn't make sense. smily_headphones1.gif

 

Grados and Audio Technicas tends to be bass lIght and they are low impedance

 

Some Beyerdynamic and known to be bassy phones and they go as high as 600 ohms.

 

And AKG's impedance is on the low side.

 

Electrically, frequency response has little to do impedance. Efficiency on the other hand, can reduce dynamic on less capable amplifiers and perceptionally reduce bass as humans hearing aren't very sensitive in that region.

post #6014 of 36831
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilpo View Post


They can't change drastically. It just doesn't make any sense.
'Thump', or bass impact is dependent on the frequency response of the system. Amplifiers and DAC's should have very little effect on frequency response. That is, changes in frequency response due to the amplifier or DAC are usually a very bad sign.



I am not saying those are the cause, but what you said are incorrect. smily_headphones1.gif

 

Analog stages has a great impact on frequency response. Cheaper SET amps tend to be rolled off at both ends, they are technically bad but there are plenty of fans. If DACs and amps have identical frequency response then they all would have the same sound signature, but we know that is not true. smily_headphones1.gif However on the grand scheme of things, they are indeed similar.

post #6015 of 36831

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.


I get audibly more bass out of my NFB-12 headphone out compared to my Crack or EF5.  This is using the NFB-12 DAC as input into these other amps, so the DAC is the same, but the bass amount is different as a function of the amp only.  Similarly, the NFB-12 seems to attenuate the highs, while the Crack and EF5 don't.  So based on my experience, amps do/can affect the frequency response.

 

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