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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 449

post #6721 of 36836
Quote:
Originally Posted by xueyunfei View Post

want hd650...wink_face.gif
biggrin.gif


What headphones do you own now?
post #6722 of 36836

For some reason, my humble HD650/E7/E9 combo always scream for my ear time. Not the best combination compared to what other folks here have but I'm in agreement that the headphone itself have the most effect on sound signature. On the other had, I've been wanting to try some other combination with the HD650 (if finances allow) and hear for myself what others have experience with their different setup.

post #6723 of 36836

I too love my HD650.  Got over 500 hours on them so far and loving every second of them.  Sad part now is that I'm looking for another can that would be the "opposite" of what the senn sound is...i'm thinking k702 or something like that... no matter what I listen with though, coming back to the HD650 is always like coming home....warm, cozy...perfect IMHO.

post #6724 of 36836

How can I take the grill off? Im absolutely scared of breaking the headphone. Is there a picture/video tutorial on how to take the grill off? I just want to see if there is anything that needs to be cleaned on my 650s. I haven't cleaned them behind the grills.

post #6725 of 36836

Put a spoon right on the edge of the cup and pop off. You should have to tilt the cup outwards to find it. Do NOT try to take out the metal grille all alone like I did, there should be a black

border around it that clicks back on afterwards. Pop off where circled in red, NOT blue (the metal grille alone). Got it? Good luck. I just want someone to learn from my mistakes. redface.gif


.650s remove grille.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by serious7 View Post

How can I take the grill off? Im absolutely scared of breaking the headphone. Is there a picture/video tutorial on how to take the grill off? I just want to see if there is anything that needs to be cleaned on my 650s. I haven't cleaned them behind the grills.

post #6726 of 36836
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdufour View Post

I too love my HD650.  Got over 500 hours on them so far and loving every second of them.  Sad part now is that I'm looking for another can that would be the "opposite" of what the senn sound is...i'm thinking k702 or something like that... no matter what I listen with though, coming back to the HD650 is always like coming home....warm, cozy...perfect IMHO. 

I would say it depends on the particular aspects of the 650 you would like to find an opposite for.  Personally, when I was looking for a complement to the 650s, I went for a Grado.  

 

I definitely agree that coming back to the 650s always feels like a return to home.  Other headphones are interesting and I enjoy listening to them, but the 650 has become the standard in my head.

post #6727 of 36836
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdufour View Post

I too love my HD650.  Got over 500 hours on them so far and loving every second of them.  Sad part now is that I'm looking for another can that would be the "opposite" of what the senn sound is...i'm thinking k702 or something like that... no matter what I listen with though, coming back to the HD650 is always like coming home....warm, cozy...perfect IMHO.

I find the Beyer DT880 to be quite different - brighter highs, more subdued (less impact/weight) lows, more airy, quite detailed/analytical. I prefer the HD650 for most music, but DT880/600 is quite good in a different way.
post #6728 of 36836
Quote:
Originally Posted by B-Dawk20 View Post

I've never heard the soundstage described as narrow before...


Neither have I...in fact I find the sound-stage is one of the attributes I love about the HD650s. While I enjoyed them with the DV337 I prefer them balanced...even with a modest amp like the LD MKVII+

post #6729 of 36836

Well now that I have proper amplification (a single volume knob is what I mean) from my Audio-gd Compass I like the soundstage a lot better, but I think it could be a lot bigger. Maybe I'm asking too much from headphones in general, or the amp. My DLIII is downstairs and I'm USB straight into the Compass for both DAC and Amp for now but I don't think the DLIII was a whole lot better on soundstage size. But still, it might be the soundstage technology of headphones in general and I'm expecting too much having heard my stereo; or the amp, as it probably isn't up to par with my DAC and/or headphones at $200-$300 used (discontinued model) and a $800 retail (got it for about $500 on ebay) DAC combined with $350 headphones that scale up with a better system.

 

Anyone here have any impressions on the WA22 and 650s? I could try balanced, I doubt it could be worse (balanced or the amp upgrade) than what I have now, or is that too overkill either for 650s in general or as an upgrade from a $300 or so amp? I read this one really good comparison of the WA2 and WA6SE and both times I've read it with a couple months in between I remember finding that the WA6-SE fit my needs better for sound signature. I wanted to tame the 650s rolled off highs and general warmness a bit with a bit more highs and less warmth vs. compliment them with the WA2. Does this sound like those two respective amps, or shall I research more?

 

Review/Comparison by baka1969 I got these conclusions from:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/555749/sibling-rivalry-the-woo-wa2-vs-the-woo-wa6se-review-posted-update-6-3-2011

 

Digital-Pride, if you're still in here, I went back and noticed that I don't think I ever responded to you back in December, my bad!! My budget now is probably <$2k if I can help myself to work all summer and not do any big purchases. I think the DLIII is a good enough DAC for now, but if you really think I need a DAC upgrade too, then that would need to be included in that $2k. I'd like to keep a balanced cable in that $2k budget as well. If you find a killer setup that exceeds my budget allotment, feel free to toss it my way as I could save even longer :)

I'd like to keep in mind that I might get some other headphones in the future as well. HD800s, LCD-2s, or HE-500s, and sometime I wanna try Thunderpants and a nice set of Grados, but don't focus my setup on those, I'd like to look at those three possible upgrade paths and my 650s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellenback View Post


Neither have I...in fact I find the sound-stage is one of the attributes I love about the HD650s. While I enjoyed them with the DV337 I prefer them balanced...even with a modest amp like the LD MKVII+

post #6730 of 36836
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtaylor991 View Post

Well now that I have proper amplification (a single volume knob is what I mean) from my Audio-gd Compass I like the soundstage a lot better, but I think it could be a lot bigger. Maybe I'm asking too much from headphones in general, or the amp. My DLIII is downstairs and I'm USB straight into the Compass for both DAC and Amp for now but I don't think the DLIII was a whole lot better on soundstage size. But still, it might be the soundstage technology of headphones in general and I'm expecting too much having heard my stereo; or the amp, as it probably isn't up to par with my DAC and/or headphones at $200-$300 used (discontinued model) and a $800 retail (got it for about $500 on ebay) DAC combined with $350 headphones that scale up with a better system.

 

Anyone here have any impressions on the WA22 and 650s? I could try balanced, I doubt it could be worse (balanced or the amp upgrade) than what I have now, or is that too overkill either for 650s in general or as an upgrade from a $300 or so amp? I read this one really good comparison of the WA2 and WA6SE and both times I've read it with a couple months in between I remember finding that the WA6-SE fit my needs better for sound signature. I wanted to tame the 650s rolled off highs and general warmness a bit with a bit more highs and less warmth vs. compliment them with the WA2. Does this sound like those two respective amps, or shall I research more?

 

Review/Comparison by baka1969 I got these conclusions from:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/555749/sibling-rivalry-the-woo-wa2-vs-the-woo-wa6se-review-posted-update-6-3-2011

 

Digital-Pride, if you're still in here, I went back and noticed that I don't think I ever responded to you back in December, my bad!! My budget now is probably <$2k if I can help myself to work all summer and not do any big purchases. I think the DLIII is a good enough DAC for now, but if you really think I need a DAC upgrade too, then that would need to be included in that $2k. I'd like to keep a balanced cable in that $2k budget as well. If you find a killer setup that exceeds my budget allotment, feel free to toss it my way as I could save even longer :)

I'd like to keep in mind that I might get some other headphones in the future as well. HD800s, LCD-2s, or HE-500s, and sometime I wanna try Thunderpants and a nice set of Grados, but don't focus my setup on those, I'd like to look at those three possible upgrade paths and my 650s.

 

It's overkill, and then some.  Some newbies (irrespective of their post count and title) will tell you that it's a good idea, but what you are looking for will only come incrementally by adding a WA22 or super DAC to an HD650 set up.  If you are looking for grand sound stage, you cannot do better than an HD800.  Just spend the rest on a high Z amp.  The DLIII is a great DAC, and it takes hard, hard work to find a better one at it's price range.

post #6731 of 36836
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilpo View Post


Imo the HD650's are actually fairly neutral. Not perfect, but that's true for every headphone.
I'm starting on my Stax journey in a week or so, I hope they get me to the right sound signature.

 

I totally disagree.  The HD650 are far from neutral.  Senn's own marketing material when they came out were about how modern audiophiles (modern of a decade ago that is) prefer colored, weightier sound, and HD650 built on HD600 to deliver that, blah, blah.  HD650 is fairly flat, yes, but not neutral.  They're pretty dark, with heavily rolled treble and bass, I suspect some FR compression, a midbass hump, and a slightly elevated mids for a fairly warm sound.   They're one of the more colored cans that don't have a "fun" sound around.  "Colored in a neutral way" I suppose you could say.  They're reference, but colored reference.

 

K702 and HD800 are probably the two most dead-neutral headphones around.  Neutral tends to sound cold and lifeless.  Kind of boring.  Great for editing, analysis, or observation, but generally less fun for listening.  I love my K702 as well, but they do sit last in the lineup at the moment for that reason.  D5k is probably more neutral than HD650 as well, but the sparkle and sub-bass catches my attention first. HD600 would be much closer to neutral than HD650. 

 

What HD650 has, however, is an amazing life-like timbre.  I have not yet seen a headphone, any headphone, not even planars that do hand drums and snares with the lifeline texture and snap that HD650 does. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post

Umm. there is no such thing as listening unamped.  Even if you plug the HD650 into a laptop or iPod, there is still some sort of amp.. though the amp may be worth $2.

 

There is no such thing as dead neutral unless you're listing to a live unplugged session.

 

+1 to that first line.  The word "unapmed" is thrown around much too often to refer to not using a dedicated amplifier.  Headphones don't work without some kind of amping.  Even ramping up to line level before being fed to a pre-amp is amplification at a lower level.  The question is never in any instance "amping versus unamped" performance but "really low power, cheap, low quality embedded amp with high output impedance verus high power high quality dedicated amp with low output impedance."

 

Of course, all too often even with a dedicated amp people plug it into the shoddy amp first anyway rather than bypassing it. Meaning they're just amplifying the low quality distorted signal out of the first amplifier.  But thats why we're here to show folks the True Path to Headphone Enlightenment wink.gif

 

You can get incrementally closers to dead-neutral depending on gear.  My idea of "as close to dead neutral as it gets" would be K702, HD800, maybe HD600, or Ety E4 IEMs, running on an O2 or a Phonitor.  I don't think modern speakers get more neutral than that.  The best test is a binaural recording.  Binaurals sound proper on neutral cans since the mics captured all the color intendedi n the end result.  It sounds wrong on a colored can because you're adding color on top of the intended color.  Studio recordings should be colorless at recording so the playback chain/room treatment adds the appropriate coloration to re-create a live room.   For that reason I groan when anyone talks about why adding coloration to your HPs via tubes, etc is a bad thing.  Most recordings EXPECT the coloration to occur on the playback side via the room and the gear.  For headphones we're limited to pads, amps, and pre-colored cans, etc.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by olor1n View Post

 

Perhaps you're referring only to Schiit amps, but the Bifrost is less coloured to my ears and certainly more detailed and transparent than the Audio-GD components (FUN and NFB-10SE) I've owned in the past. The Bifrost is a very good foundation for an HD650 setup imo.

 

Agreed.  Bifrost is either dead-neutral or just bright of neutral IMO.  What is warm and drippy through Bifrost + Lyr is flat, neutral, and analytical through Bifrost + O2.  Bifrost is adding no coloration I'm aware of and can be considered a safely neutral amp.  Any neutrality I credit to O2 is courtesy of Bifrost.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by olor1n View Post

 

I remember when this thread was mainly about the enjoyment people derived from the HD650. The joy of new owners, the wisdom of weathered veterans and the occasional newbie about to experience a revelation. Now it seems like every second post is from someone peddling something...

 

btw, I have a DHC Molecule cable listed in the FS section if anyone is interested. wink.gif

 

You have the stealth of a ninja warrior wink.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin Morrow View Post

 

Same here. I'm planning on getting the HD800 in the future, but IMHO, the bass will never be as good as the HD650.

 

I always end up with mixed feelings on HD800.  Or any of the flagships.  The Head-Fi compulsion to always buy the newest best to gets in ones head, and yet every time I listen to my current headphone coloection I still can't answer the question of what more enjoyment I expect such an upgrade to buy at those price points.  More detail?  I'm hearing tons of detail.  Any more would be unrealisitc (compared to sitting in the audience of a live unamped performance) gluttony.  More neutralty?  I spent so much time building my preferred coloration only to reset it to be more neutral?  Bigger soundstage?  Ok...got me there, that's desirable.  I'm sure I won't be able to hold out the urge to upgrade to something better for the sake of upgrading forever, no matter how illogical  tongue.gif

 

Bass, though....  HD650 has terrible bass by design.  It rolls off a good portion of the bass.   I have HD650, K702, D5k, HE-400, AD700.  The HD650 is the most anemic of all of them except maybe AD700 in the bass department, and the graphs prove it.  It's not a flaw however, but a design intended to focus on the mids and reduce fatiguing by rolling off the highs and lows.  The midbass hump compensates by creating an enhanced perception of bass.  HD800 shows much more linear sub-bass extension.  That's not really one of the ways it's "better" so much as being a product of its different intended sound signature.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilpo View Post

Overall I'm also of the opinion that amplification and DAC's don't have such a large impact on the overall sound. Back when I still had my Little Dot MKIV I would AB between the NFB-12 back and forth, and while there were some differences they weren't exactly huge.
In my opinion and experience the headphones/speakers have the greatest effect on sound signature, and I'd like to keep it that way. beyersmile.png

 

I'm not sure amp & dac have a huge impact on sound signature so much as they have an impact on the sound itself.  They dynamics, resolution, grain, transient response, etc is all limited and altered by the source signal no matter what the driver can do. Yes, tubes will add some distortion and color, as can various voicings on source gear.  But I think when it comes to signal chain it's less about signature/color than it is other attributes.

 

So your impression can be maintained.  It won't change your sound signature, only your sound evil_smiley.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hdufour View Post

I too love my HD650.  Got over 500 hours on them so far and loving every second of them.  Sad part now is that I'm looking for another can that would be the "opposite" of what the senn sound is...i'm thinking k702 or something like that... no matter what I listen with though, coming back to the HD650 is always like coming home....warm, cozy...perfect IMHO.

 

Nothing wrong with complimentary headphones.  It's a slippery slope.   I did the same after almost 2k hours on mine.  Ended up with K702...then HE-400....then D5000.  Now I have to draw straws for which to listen to biggrin.gif   K702 is a great complimeent for something totally opposite.  Where HD650 is warm, refined, sweet, non-fatiguing, K702 is somewhat cold, dry, thin, and hyper-detailed.  The catch is it can get fatiguing.  But it's a great polar opposite of most headphones.  Just be sure to have an amp that can crank fair power into it...it has the power profile of an ortho!  Well amped, though, it's a very nice, very different headphone with a huge soundstage.  

 

But HD650 is, indeed, coming home.  I missed it the month and a half without them!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by serious7 View Post

How can I take the grill off? Im absolutely scared of breaking the headphone. Is there a picture/video tutorial on how to take the grill off? I just want to see if there is anything that needs to be cleaned on my 650s. I haven't cleaned them behind the grills.

 

The picture provided to you is excellent.  You remove the whole surround, not just the metal grille.  It doesn't snap on or anything, it just slides off from a friction fitting like a dust cap.  A spoon is a great utility to use to prevent marring. All that said, I don't think there's anything to clean behind the grille, any dirt should be behind the pad if any.  Mine don't have a spot on them and I've had them for 5.5 years. (new drivers now, but the old pods were spotless.)   Unless you store them grille side up, I wouldn't worry about dirt in the back but there's no harm in popping the grille if paranoia compells you.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmj2587 View Post

I would say it depends on the particular aspects of the 650 you would like to find an opposite for.  Personally, when I was looking for a complement to the 650s, I went for a Grado.  

 

I definitely agree that coming back to the 650s always feels like a return to home.  Other headphones are interesting and I enjoy listening to them, but the 650 has become the standard in my head.

 

HE-400 had bested HD650 for my #1 spot on my head after my HD-650s broke.  HE-400 is still among my favorites for many things.  But now that I have my Silver cable (yes, I'm talking cables....and yes, I notice a difference, however it's to be noted that even when I doubted cables, I believed in silver....changing the base metal with different conductive properties easily measured should produce different results, copper v copper is the more questionable one.)  Anyway, now that I have my silver cable, I really like some of the changes, and I think it, plus ergonomics, was enough to bump my trusty old HD650s back to the #1 spot on my head, with HE-400 a close second.  The only area HE-400 wins now is sheer dynamics which it has a large advantage in.  HD650 is once again the more detailed refined one with the bigger soundstage and more natural timbre. However both may effectively equal in terms of which I prefer, and with cable the HD650 is the more expensive of the two by nearly 100%. It is indeed "home", once again, though!

 

The Denons are still the only choice for anything electronic with a deep sub-bass beat though.  Nothing compares there.  And K702 is still the analytical champ. 

 

With the current setup, my thinking is...."LCD-who?"

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

 

It's overkill, and then some.  Some newbies (irrespective of their post count and title) will tell you that it's a good idea, but what you are looking for will only come incrementally by adding a WA22 or super DAC to an HD650 set up.  If you are looking for grand sound stage, you cannot do better than an HD800.  Just spend the rest on a high Z amp.  The DLIII is a great DAC, and it takes hard, hard work to find a better one at it's price range.

 

I still get amazed by it.  For years I heard nothing but how K70x had way too huge a soundstage.  It was unnaturally large.  Now I hear praise of how HD800 has such a wonderfully huge soundstage.  Which is it, is HD800's soundstage not as big as K70x's, or did K70x not have a big enough soundstage and there was nothing unnatural about it after all? rolleyes.gif


Edited by IEMCrazy - 5/21/12 at 8:06am
post #6732 of 36836
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

I still get amazed by it.  For years I heard nothing but how K70x had way too huge a soundstage.  It was unnaturally large.  Now I hear praise of how HD800 has such a wonderfully huge soundstage.  Which is it, is HD800's soundstage not as big as K70x's, or did K70x not have a big enough soundstage and there was nothing unnatural about it after all? rolleyes.gif

 

There are nuances to everything.  It's one thing to have a large stage, and it's another thing to be inarticulate with it.  The first problem with the K701s in terms of imaging and stage, is that the drivers aren't angled, which means you aren't going to get a coherent, wraparound, forward image.  Instead, it is lateral.  The next problem is that while the 701 sounds "analytical", that is really only the result of a treble-tilted tuning, which can highlight air and create the impression of superb imaging.  That is very, very different from actually having a fast driver.  For example the O2 MKI is a warm phone, but can resolve more details than the K701.  Why?  Because it has a microns-thin driver.  One last thing, the HD800 has an element to it's soundstage that is super-rare.  And that's a vertical axis.  Most phones can do horizontal axis.  Some with angled drivers can do forward and horizontal, ala LCD-2.  But the HD800 can do those two and vertical on top of that, which makes the overall stage more enveloping.  Add a fast driver in that mix and you've got articulate imaging to go along with an enveloping stage.  Hard to ask for more from a headphone.

post #6733 of 36836
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtaylor991 View Post

Put a spoon right on the edge of the cup and pop off. You should have to tilt the cup outwards to find it. Do NOT try to take out the metal grille all alone like I did, there should be a black

border around it that clicks back on afterwards. Pop off where circled in red, NOT blue (the metal grille alone). Got it? Good luck. I just want someone to learn from my mistakes. redface.gif


.650s remove grille.jpg

 

Oh my god. I was thinking of getting it out of the blue area. Thank you so much for that picture. Did you damage your headphones taking it out there?

post #6734 of 36836
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

 

There are nuances to everything.  It's one thing to have a large stage, and it's another thing to be inarticulate with it.  The first problem with the K701s in terms of imaging and stage, is that the drivers aren't angled, which means you aren't going to get a coherent, wraparound, forward image.  Instead, it is lateral.  The next problem is that while the 701 sounds "analytical", that is really only the result of a treble-tilted tuning, which can highlight air and create the impression of superb imaging.  That is very, very different from actually having a fast driver.  For example the O2 MKI is a warm phone, but can resolve more details than the K701.  Why?  Because it has a microns-thin driver.  One last thing, the HD800 has an element to it's soundstage that is super-rare.  And that's a vertical axis.  Most phones can do horizontal axis.  Some with angled drivers can do forward and horizontal, ala LCD-2.  But the HD800 can do those two and vertical on top of that, which makes the overall stage more enveloping.  Add a fast driver in that mix and you've got articulate imaging to go along with an enveloping stage.  Hard to ask for more from a headphone.

 

Interesting information on HD800 and with more personally useful comparisons than I hoped to get in a thread I was going to start in a year or two in the summit-fi boards asking about which flagship I would want. biggrin.gif

 

A few minor quibbles though: K70x has angled pads.  I know the argument about angled drivers versus angled pads, but if positioned right it accomplishes much of the same thing.  Any headphone with an angled pad, I place the rear of the pad on the bone just behind the ear lobe to make use of the angle.  Same for AD700 which has both angled drivers and angled pads.  I notice no less depth (horizontal) from K70x than from AD700.

 

Also, the FR graphs don't show treble tilting in K70x.  I won't claim it's not a fatiguing headphone, but it's pretty flat throughout. 

 

However the vertical element you mention intrigues me.  Between the "three" (LCD-2, T1, HD800) I've held that LCD-2 was my eventual upgrade path were I to take one due to the organic sound of planars.  But what you say does intrigue me about HD800.  T1 is another smaller staged possibility since I'm not sure I could get into the cold tonality of the HD800 when coming from HD650 and HE-400 as my favorites though. 

 

However my upgrades are all theoretical at this point.  My current HD650/HE-400 primary pairing has me pretty darned contented.  Other than that type of soundstaging I'm hard pressed to find anything that I want "more" of in a headphone, so I think it's all about stage from here should I ever look elsewhere, and it sounds like HD800 would be the winner there. Though I have no idea when I've heard music at different elevations, live, or from speakers...

 

It'll take a lot to really nudge me to make a move though from what I have now with my 650s.  It's one thing to say "yeah, sure, someday I'll upgrade it and try it" but it's quite another to see $1500.00 in my cart and click buy knowing how far into diminishing returns I'm already standing wink.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by serious7 View Post

 

Oh my god. I was thinking of getting it out of the blue area. Thank you so much for that picture. Did you damage your headphones taking it out there?

 

The metal grille is bonded to that gray/black plastic surround.  It doesn't come apart (that blue circle).   Taking it off with the surround at the red it just slips off like a dust cover....think lens cap.  The spoon is just for leverage, not for force.

 

However, when looking at popping off the grille, keep in mind you're opening the BACK of the housing, and looking at the BACK of the driver mount.  It's enclosed on that side with foam padding plugging the back of the coil and the silver damping screen (or black if yours is old enough) closing it off from the front.  If you want to see if there's dirt at the front of the driver where you can see the actual diaphragm, it's the pad you want to pull off, not the grill.

 

It doesn't matter either way (I just had the thing entirely apart twice in the past two months including popping the pads and grills off, popping the black center section (driver mount) off the headband hinge, and popping the driver pod & housing off the black mount (the part with the silver/black damping screen.)  My old drivers were blown out by an amp malfunction and I took it apart to replace it.  It all just snaps together in minutes.  The nastiest part to put back on is the only part that's considered the standard user-serviceable part: the pads.  I hate that friction fit ring!  Once you've done it a few times its easy.  But you have to mutilate the pad to put it back on, otherwise when you push one side down, the other just pops up like an I Love Lucy sketch.

post #6735 of 36836
Kudos for the long post. Seriously, I respect this, and it deserves appraisal .
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

I totally disagree.  The HD650 are far from neutral.  Senn's own marketing material when they came out were about how modern audiophiles (modern of a decade ago that is) prefer colored, weightier sound, and HD650 built on HD600 to deliver that, blah, blah.  HD650 is fairly flat, yes, but not neutral.  They're pretty dark, with heavily rolled treble and bass, I suspect some FR compression, a midbass hump, and a slightly elevated mids for a fairly warm sound.   They're one of the more colored cans that don't have a "fun" sound around.  "Colored in a neutral way" I suppose you could say.  They're reference, but colored reference.
I maybe forgot to mention it this time, but I used a crooked definition of neutral. I believe the have a very natural feel to them, but I've never actually gone to live concerts and have no idea what 'accurate/neutral' sounds like, so my personal definition of the term is sort of based around what my HD650's sound like. I know it's not neutral, but it's a sound signature I absolutely love, and hence I compare other gear to it's sound signature; essentially becoming a personal definition of neutral in the absence of something better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

K702 and HD800 are probably the two most dead-neutral headphones around.  Neutral tends to sound cold and lifeless.  Kind of boring.  Great for editing, analysis, or observation, but generally less fun for listening.  I love my K702 as well, but they do sit last in the lineup at the moment for that reason.  D5k is probably more neutral than HD650 as well, but the sparkle and sub-bass catches my attention first. HD600 would be much closer to neutral than HD650. 
While I have never heard the cans you have mentioned (except for the HD800, briefly), I disagree with the notion of neutral sounding cold and lifeless. A good rig should sound like real life - which is by no means dull or lifeless. Although there is a basic problem with headphones regarding reaching neutrality; headphones will always sound different and from speakers, tonally or otherwise. Speakers come closer something sounding like a concert because of the different natures of the sound source.
Relevant article:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/564465/misconception-of-neutral-accurate


Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

+1 to that first line.  The word "unapmed" is thrown around much too often to refer to not using a dedicated amplifier.  Headphones don't work without some kind of amping.  Even ramping up to line level before being fed to a pre-amp is amplification at a lower level.  The question is never in any instance "amping versus unamped" performance but "really low power, cheap, low quality embedded amp with high output impedance verus high power high quality dedicated amp with low output impedance."

Of course, all too often even with a dedicated amp people plug it into the shoddy amp first anyway rather than bypassing it. Meaning they're just amplifying the low quality distorted signal out of the first amplifier.  But thats why we're here to show folks the True Path to Headphone Enlightenment wink.gif
I actually completely agree with the fact that my use of 'unamped' in that post was incorrect. But, it's convenient to say 'unamped' when you mean directly run from a mobo/DAP without any dedicated amplifier. At first I was just like you in this regard, but eventually I started using the term too, since it makes it easier to converse with the people who use the term as well.
And besides, when you say 'unamped' the meaning is completely obvious, and not really viable to misinterpretation, so what's the problem?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

You can get incrementally closers to dead-neutral depending on gear.  My idea of "as close to dead neutral as it gets" would be K702, HD800, maybe HD600, or Ety E4 IEMs, running on an O2 or a Phonitor.  I don't think modern speakers get more neutral than that.  The best test is a binaural recording.  Binaurals sound proper on neutral cans since the mics captured all the color intendedi n the end result.  It sounds wrong on a colored can because you're adding color on top of the intended color.  Studio recordings should be colorless at recording so the playback chain/room treatment adds the appropriate coloration to re-create a live room.   For that reason I groan when anyone talks about why adding coloration to your HPs via tubes, etc is a bad thing.  Most recordings EXPECT the coloration to occur on the playback side via the room and the gear.  For headphones we're limited to pads, amps, and pre-colored cans, etc.
In my opinion and experience the amp and DAC do not influence the sound that much, and if you want them to influence the sound then you should expect buying a product that is expensive, and technically defect in terms of performance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

I'm not sure amp & dac have a huge impact on sound signature so much as they have an impact on the sound itself.  They dynamics, resolution, grain, transient response, etc is all limited and altered by the source signal no matter what the driver can do. Yes, tubes will add some distortion and color, as can various voicings on source gear.  But I think when it comes to signal chain it's less about signature/color than it is other attributes

So your impression can be maintained.  It won't change your sound signature, only your sound evil_smiley.gif
Huh? I don't understand what you mean.
What to you mean with 'on the sound itself'?

With sound signature I was referring to the audible charactertics of sound. If it does not have an effect on this, then it does not have an audible effect at all. (except for things like gain and power).
Edited by Tilpo - 5/21/12 at 11:06am
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