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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 452

post #6766 of 36885

I guess so...it sounds like I'd be a bit torn as well...thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenthumb View Post

 

I think I prefer the signature of the HD650 as it engages me more with the music, makes my head bob and toes tap without being fatiguing.  The soundstage is a bit larger with the HD650 but vocals seem closer to me.

 

The overall quality would go to the HE-500, it sounds more refined with better instrument separation and a bit deeper bass extension.  The HE-500 sounds more neutral to my ears and as a result is less engaging in it's presentation.  There is some high frequency with the HE-500 on certain songs that bother me also, with the HD650 it doesn't bother me.  Vocals sound like they are a bit further back on the HE-500, like the person is singing across the room from me.

 

I really thought there would be a much larger difference between these cans but I guess this is where diminishing returns start kicking in.

post #6767 of 36885

Definitely will post my impressions.

Just finished listening to Hotel California and Rumours 24/96 from HDTracks.. can't wait to hear it on the Lyr.

Right now I'm rockin' with the HD650 & the EP dance version of Stereo Love.. though I prefer dance music with the HE400's.  That may all change.

I'm really excited to take it to the next levelL3000.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtaylor991 View Post

I'd love to hear your impressions!!

post #6768 of 36885
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtaylor991 View Post

 

Hmm well if I kept the 650s then I'd want a brighter tube amp (or hybrid too I guess) to tame the rolled off highs in the 650s. I just want to upgrade the soundstage and overall detail of them, and I think my amp is the weakest in the chain (if I keep the 650s). I'd like to try tubes again as I'd feel ignorant to avoid them - I had a DarkVoice 337 with my DLIII and the 650s were tolerable but the change in SS moving to my Audio-gd Compass made them SO much better, as in the treble was much more apparent, the DV was so dark in comparison if my memory serves me right, and soundstage was better (because I didn't have to fiddle with two volume knobs), so it looks like it'd need to be a brighter one if I got a tube amp. You say that the Lyr is also intentionally colored along with the Asgard but for the Lyr you mentioned that it retains detail (while omitting that from the Asgard description)...is this to say the Lyr is the more detailed of the two? Do you think the Lyr would be a good upgrade from my Compass seeing as it is of similar price (kinda)? I guess not so much, but the Lyr is $450 and the Compass is around $200-$300 but it's an amp/DAC combo, so considering that the Lyr may very well be a step up quality-wise. I think I'd like to go a bit further than that as I just feel like there's more to get out of the 650s, but maybe I can try the Lyr (assuming you think it'd be a good upgrade) and if I don't get much more, return it or just upgrade cans (or both). Someday I want to try balanced. Do you guys think there is more to get out of my 650s with a better amp? PS Audio DLIII DAC (can run balanced FYI)>Audio-gd Compass amp-only (bypassing the DAC in super mode)>650s (stock cable). I'd like to try balanced someday too.

 

Probably not more detailed.  I meant that Lyr, being hybrid, is likely to retain more detail than your average OTL tube amp because it is half SS (the current side.)  Asgard is presumably the most detailed since it is all SS.  It's not an absolute but the general rule of thumb is SS for accurate detail, tube for smooth euphonics, hybrid for a little of both.  That said there are very detailed tube amps out there...

 

Compass being a Chinese import has a good scale of economy, but when you're buying a combo-unit, obviously some of the money is going to both.  I haven't used a Compass personally so I can't qualify its HD650 performance versus Lyr beyond saying that someone in the HE-400 threads had a Compass and was looking to upgrade to an NFB12 while avoiding paying for a Lyr.  So far he still hasn't decided to pull the trigger yet though, so I don't even have third party comparisons for you smily_headphones1.gif

 

If ever a headphone was an argument for a better amp/dac/cable/tube/furniture (Tilpo wink_face.gif) other than HD800, it's HD650.  No other headphone other than HD800 seems to be as famous for it's amazing scalability with equipment upgrades.  Back in the day (you know back when HD650, DT880, K70x were the top-tier flagships and money couldn't buy a better headphone under $10k, people were building $10k rigs around HD650.   Still today, if you believe Headfonia and the like beyond the usual grain of salt, HD650 on a $2000 amp can still surpass some of the $1k flagshihps.   Of course buying $2k-10k in equipment to support a $500 headphone is silly when $1500 or $2k will buy a top tier headphone, but you get the idea.  Equipment upgrades tend to benefit HD650 more than most other headphones. 

 

However if there's something you dislike about HD650, an equipment upgrade won't change the sound signature.  It'll just improve upon the sound.  Moving from a Headroom Micro to the Lyr + Bifrost I noticed significant improvement.  Adding the Silver Dragon cable was the finishing touch bringing HD650 much closer to "perfect headphone" than I thought possible.  HD650's sound can be refined extremely well with accessories.  But if you're looking for it to be changed,  you probably want a different headphone.

 

This will sound crazy from someone who just bought a Silver Dragon cable, but don't bother with balanced, it's a waste of money.  Sure, some will sing the prasies of it, much like the cable debate.  Though most of those praises are the cable upgrade they had to get to go balanced, IMO.  The nature of balanced can't do much for a signal.  The idea in audiophile terms of balanced is to get rid of common ground/return through the whole chain.  The idea of balanced in real terms is to send the signal twice over long cable runs and difference it on the other side.  A 4 conductor cable is a good idea to keep common ground away from most of the path.  RCA connects between DAC and amp, though unbalanced, also keep common ground away.  The only possibility of common drain interferance is inside the amp/dac and at the TRS jack.  A properly designed amp/dac wouldn't have an issue, so you're dealing almost exclusively with avoiding the shortcomings of common ground at the TRS jack.  The short answer is: The audiophile stated purpose of balanced would easily be solved by putting unbalanced RCA or banana plug jacks, or dual mono TS jacks on the headphones, without the need for balanced amping, assuming the single point of common drain were a real problem to start with.  The real purpose of balanced amping, in addition to isolating common drain, is phase inverted repeated signaling to handle signal degredation over 25+ft runs in pro audio.  Basically if you send it twice, at inverted phase, then join them together, the odds of losing the same peak on both transmission lines is very low. If you have a 30ft headphone cable, buy balanced.  If you have a 15ft headphone cable, don't.  Speaker power amps, that's another matter for large room in-wall runs crossing power lines...go balanced.

 

So I'm now a cable believer and a balanced doubter.  Enemeies everywhere biggrin.gif

 

For me, again, comparing to Headroom,  not AudioGD, Lyr opened up the sound considerably.  Bifrost refined the detail (versus my EMU-0404 and the Pure i1).  The Silver cable added just a little "oomph" without destroying the laid back feel of HD650.

 

What none of these upgrades will do for HD650 is add consdierably more bass slam or sub-base presence, significant treble sparkle, or improve the dynamics (loud to soft.)  For those changes, you want new headphones. 

 

On the other hand the gear upgrades may play well with other headphones too.  You mentioned LCD-2 and HD800.  HD800 is said to be no less picky about gear than HD650, and given its resolution capabilities I'm sure it's even more picky.  And Lyr was designed around LCD-2 (and HD650, and K702, actually.)

 

Untill you're sitting on a Mark Levinson, there's always more to get out of HD650.  The question is only what kind of changes you're looking for and would it be cheaper to buy higher end headphones than new source gear, despite that new source gear will work with those too.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtaylor991 View Post

Also, if I were to upgrade cans it'd have to be HD800, HE-500, and LCD-2 for candidates (possibly in that order, I couldn't decide right this minute but that's what I'd pick if I had to right now).

 

If you're planning on HD800, you really ought to upgrade your source now and enjoy it with HD650 before you take the plunge on HD800, unless you really want a sound signature change.  A number of HD800 owners like the Lyr with their 800's, provided one buys the right tubes for it.  They'd prefer better yet, but it's "good enough".  HE-500 will probably do well either way, as would LCD-2, but there's always more to squeeze out of those, just like HD650.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenthumb View Post

 

I've had the HD650 and HE-500 for the past two weeks and still can't decide which to keep.  At first I liked the HD650 more, then the HE-500 more, and now I'm kinda split between the two.

 

I know exactly how you feel, I'm the same way with HD650 and HE-400 (from most reports, it's very similar to HE-500, just voiced with a more "u" shape and some technical differences.  I liken HE-400 vs 500 to HD600 vs 650.) )

 

Honestly, no one could pry either one of them away from me, I like them dead equally in different areas now. I liked HE-400 better first, then with the cable change HD650 better, then the pleather to velour pad change on HE-400.  Now they're completely even. Even were I to get LCD-3 tomorrow, 650's staying right where it is, and probably so is HE-400.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenthumb View Post

 

I think I prefer the signature of the HD650 as it engages me more with the music, makes my head bob and toes tap without being fatiguing.  The soundstage is a bit larger with the HD650 but vocals seem closer to me.

 

The overall quality would go to the HE-500, it sounds more refined with better instrument separation and a bit deeper bass extension.  The HE-500 sounds more neutral to my ears and as a result is less engaging in it's presentation.  There is some high frequency with the HE-500 on certain songs that bother me also, with the HD650 it doesn't bother me.  Vocals sound like they are a bit further back on the HE-500, like the person is singing across the room from me.

 

I really thought there would be a much larger difference between these cans but I guess this is where diminishing returns start kicking in.

 

Most of your comparison applies to HE-400 as well, accouting for the different signature.  HE-400 is the more engaging, head-bopping of the two with it's "almost fun" curve, but HD650 is the less fatiguing and with the bigger soundstage. 

 

HE-400 has probably the best technical quality in the transiets, and ddefinitely better separation (though by design HD650 is supposed to integrate to the whole, not separate), and HE-400 has slightly less extension than HE-500, but more slam/presence/extension by far than HD650. 

 

For me, probably more than 500 there is no way one could choose between them.  It's absolutely the point of diminishing returns.  HD650 was the LCD-2, HD800 of its era (without the price tag)....it's hard to get too far beyond that, or at least ultra costly to do so.  And still, nothing other than HE-500 really has tried to immitate its sound. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post

Wow.. all this talks of amps and orthos.. love it!

Just purchased a gently used Schiit Lyr and the seller has the original GE tubes and some matched Russian NOS tubes also with less than 100 hours on each set.  Been drooling over it ever since I heard the HD650s (and LCD2's) with a couple of tube amps last summer.  Just blew me away. Good thing is that the sale is within Canada so no taxes, duties, exchange and whatever the government can suck out of us.  I already have some decent tubes for it so I can't wait for it to arrive (hopefully it will be here by Friday).  Really looking forward to hearing the HD650's and HE400's out of a decent amp.  Plus I'll have 4 sets of tubes to roll.

 

Congrats on the Lyr! I know you've been waiting for one for a while, glad you finally got a nice deal on one!  I suspect you're going to like it quite a bit, so I'm looking forward to seeing your comments on it.  I think you'll see a whole new side to HD650 and HE-400 both. Especially HD650 though.  HE-400 changes character vs. SS amps, but HD650 changes both character and quality. 

 

As you can tell from my other comments, I've really been enjoying that Silver Dragon....it really was the finishing touch to firmly secure HD650 as the main staple of my rig, or at least equal in head-time with HE-400.  And it doesn't change the character of the headpone too much.  It makes the upper mids a little more forward, but the treble is still laid back along with the overall relaxed sound.  I can't say how it compares to your Black, though, obviously.

 

I'm jealous that you've already got some tube rolling ready to go.  I'm just taking a look into that area since the GE's keep getting squealy on me (for $10, I should expect that wink.gif).  A nice matched low-noise set of something would do me well.  I'm playing in the tube rolling thread at the moment.  The GE's are pretty decent, but I've had to swap out a few to get a good quiet set. And I know there's better!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post

Definitely will post my impressions.

Just finished listening to Hotel California and Rumours 24/96 from HDTracks.. can't wait to hear it on the Lyr.

Right now I'm rockin' with the HD650 & the EP dance version of Stereo Love.. though I prefer dance music with the HE400's.  That may all change.

I'm really excited to take it to the next levelL3000.gif

 

Just as a precaution, when you get it, especially since it's used, be sure not to plug headphones in until AFTER the realy clicks (and unplug the headphones before you turn it off.)  It has a relay to protect it if you don't, but you never know.  And when you plug in for the first few times, plug in some older sacrificial headphones just to make sure there's no loud pops wink.gif  I had one of the lucky ones with a defect of some sort (I stll have to send it back to get it fixed....it's still usable despite the defect that produces a pop sound when you plug it in.  I couldn't bear to be without it for too long during servicing biggrin.gif)

post #6769 of 36885
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post

Wow.. all this talks of amps and orthos.. love it!

Just purchased a gently used Schiit Lyr and the seller has the original GE tubes and some matched Russian NOS tubes also with less than 100 hours on each set.  Been drooling over it ever since I heard the HD650s (and LCD2's) with a couple of tube amps last summer.  Just blew me away. Good thing is that the sale is within Canada so no taxes, duties, exchange and whatever the government can suck out of us.  I already have some decent tubes for it so I can't wait for it to arrive (hopefully it will be here by Friday).  Really looking forward to hearing the HD650's and HE400's out of a decent amp.  Plus I'll have 4 sets of tubes to roll.

congrats, i originally got the lyr for the hd650 too. :)

post #6770 of 36885
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post

Wow.. all this talks of amps and orthos.. love it!

Just purchased a gently used Schiit Lyr and the seller has the original GE tubes and some matched Russian NOS tubes also with less than 100 hours on each set.  Been drooling over it ever since I heard the HD650s (and LCD2's) with a couple of tube amps last summer.  Just blew me away. Good thing is that the sale is within Canada so no taxes, duties, exchange and whatever the government can suck out of us.  I already have some decent tubes for it so I can't wait for it to arrive (hopefully it will be here by Friday).  Really looking forward to hearing the HD650's and HE400's out of a decent amp.  Plus I'll have 4 sets of tubes to roll.

 

Congrations! +1. I also got it for my HD650. Can't wait for my Toxic Cable OCC SPC Copper (Silver plated copper) to arrive.

post #6771 of 36885
Quote:
Originally Posted by weitn View Post

 

Congrations! +1. I also got it for my HD650. Can't wait for my Toxic Cable OCC SPC Copper (Silver plated copper) to arrive.

 

+2, HD650 is why I originally bought it as well!  Then I bought K702 because I was looking for something dry and analytical (and always had an itch for it because it K701 came out right at the time I was buying my 650s originally and looked so sleek), and because the Lyr is known to drive it well.   Then ended up trying to "upgrade" with HE-400 and the Denons while my HD650's were broken.  Then ended up deciding I couldn't live without HD650, got them fixed, and now I have a 4-headphone collection biggrin.gif  But ended up finding two other great cans in the process. 

 

And now I just got pointed to some slightly used Mullards for my Lyr.  Not as nice as your Lorenz, MickeyVee, but still better than I hoped to walk away with! I'm hoping they're less prone to squealing than the GEs.

 

Cables, amps, and tubes.  This is why HD650 is so fun!

 

By the way, MickeyVee, I doubt HD650 will ever be a better choice for electronic/dance than HE-400 or Denon.  It's just not that kind of sub-bass champion.

post #6772 of 36885
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

Cables, amps, and tubes.  This is why HD650 is so fun!

 

By the way, MickeyVee, I doubt HD650 will ever be a better choice for electronic/dance than HE-400 or Denon.  It's just not that kind of sub-bass champion.

 

It's a roller-coaster ride so if you're into that, the HD650s will be a lot of fun. :)

 

As for being a good choice for electronic music, I'm shaking and moving to Infected Mushroom tunes... should check it out. They CAN move you, especially on electronic/dubstep/dance music...

post #6773 of 36885
Quote:
Originally Posted by twizzleraddict View Post

It's a roller-coaster ride so if you're into that, the HD650s will be a lot of fun. smily_headphones1.gif

As for being a good choice for electronic music, I'm shaking and moving to Infected Mushroom tunes... should check it out. They CAN move you, especially on electronic/dubstep/dance music...
Infected Mushroom... been ages since I listened to that, don't even have it on my HDD anymore. But now I suddenly remembered how awesome they were, so I''m going to listen to them again soon. Thanks for reminding me wink.gif



What in my opinion sounds just ridiculously amazing is the opening notes of the album Fragile by Yes. It sounds pretty good on most systems, but with the HD650 I just can't help but get goosebumps.
post #6774 of 36885

If it's rule of thumb for SS for more accurate detail, then that sounds like my path. I think now I understand what I meant when I was describing my sound signature preferences: that's for headphones, and that's why I appreciate the 650s I guess. I just want everything presented the way it is supposed to detail and soundstage wise, and I like the sound to be musical and natural, but like I just said not at the loss of accuracy, detail, or soundstage. I wouldn't object to trying a tube amp that has great clarity, accuracy, detail, soundstage etc. though as I do like the aesthetics (of tubes) :)

 

So, I guess I wanna look for a neutral/accurate, detailed, and well staged (good soundstage) amp that would drive those cans well (HD800, LCD-2, HE-500), and I'll do my bit of coloration I described when I pick just which flagship I want to use. Yes, I know I will probably need to leave out the HE-6, I remember seeing someone say it didn't exactly have great bass (quantity or extension, either way not willing to jump through the hoops of trying to drive it etc. to be let down, y'know?) anyway, unless someone objects. I do feel ignorant in saying that though, as I could simply do more research. For now though...

 

So, any ideas? I'd like it to cost about $1k because if I buy something cheaper, although still a great upgrade from what I have now, I'll be killing myself wondering "what if..." But, I am open to an amp that would be on par with those though (and confirmed by multiple reviews, or the ones in existence so I can feel confident) (only maybe though). Plus, the cost ratio to my DAC would be a lot better. These reasons (mainly the former) are why I was turned off of the Lyr.

I wouldn't mind even a DAC/Amp combo like the Burson HA-160DS (or the just-noticed-by-me HA-160 Headamp which would work as long as my DAC [PS Audio DLIII] is better than the former's integrated one) as this will probably be on my desk in my bedroom for a while, but only as this doesn't mean a significantly lower quality sound (or otherwise?).

 

So, I'd like it to drive those headphones mentioned above well, and in a neutral/transparent way with good detail, accuracy, soundstage etc. and I'll do my coloring with the actual headphones. Good idea?

 

BTW, thanks guys for all your help. I hope someday I can find a way to give back to the community. It may be some years before I have my dream 6-figure IT job when I'm in my 20s (14 now) and can afford to buy and try equipment to review at-will, but I will eventually, assuming I can pick up on writing good reviews. If not, I'll find a way :)

post #6775 of 36885

Ok hd650 lovers, I have a question or two.  I'm loaded and ready to order a new headphone, DAC/AMP tonight.  I just want some final questions answered first before I pull the trigger.

 

My last phones were 595's.  I absolutely loved them.  They could've done with a little more bass, but other than that, I loved them.

 

If I loved the 595's... will I like the 650's?  Assuming I buy a decent DAC/AMP to drive them with?  I have temporary M50's and though they're great for the price and a great fill-in, and have good bass that i've been missing out on with the 595's, they just aren't as comfy (due to clamping force, cushion material, and weight), and don't have that open airy sound that the 595's had.

 

I asked in the advice thread and people suggested headphones other than the 650's for me, such as the 880's and such.

 

I just LOVE sennheisher comfort and open sound.  So.... will I be happy with a 650 if I'm coming from a 595 and loved them a lot? (I know that's a somewhat relative quesiton as everyone has a different taste, but i'm talking in respect to how they compare to the 595's)

post #6776 of 36885

I wish I went Toxic.. seems amazing for the price and I do have a thing for ViaBlue plugs.  I only learned of the a couple of days after I ordered my Q cable.. no regrets though.  For now, I'm happy with the Black Dragon on the HD650s and the Q on the HE400s. (I ended up putting a ViaBlue mini plug on the Q cable.. lovely)

 

I have a DLIII in my main AV system and may give it a try with the Lyr but will initially start out  Matrix Mini-i as the DAC.  Being the cable fiend that I am, I have a  set of Signal Cable silver ICs to go between the Matrix and the Lyr (same ICs that I have in my main system).  They have great A/V cables at really decent prices.

 

I'm pretty much going to do all my initial listening with the stock GE tubes and the HD650s and run through my gamut of music.  I am a detail fiend as I really like the complexity and layering of Enigma's music, have a lot of retro 80s dance music (I DJ'd in the 80s so I'm a fined for 70s rock, 80s & 90s dance). Add in a little Dead Can Dance, Patricia Barber, AC/DC, Doors, Van Morrison, Dire Straits, Supertramp, Norah Jones and New Order, I should get a really good feel for it.

 

I'm torn now.. it's road bike season and I'm pretty much out on the bike whenever the weather is good.  Listening will be for relaxing and chilling.  Anyway, I'll post my Lyr/HD650 impressions.

 

Yes, I'll heed the turn on Lyr, plug in.. unplug and turn off Lyr recommendation.  Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by weitn View Post

 

Congrations! +1. I also got it for my HD650. Can't wait for my Toxic Cable OCC SPC Copper (Silver plated copper) to arrive.


Edited by MickeyVee - 5/23/12 at 6:40pm
post #6777 of 36885

Hi bleudeciel16,

 

There are plenty of comparisons between these 2 products on Head-fi. Here's one (albeit an old one) which I like:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/220131/hd595-vs-hd-650#post_2663689

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Hunter View Post

I own both and the difference is everything but small
The HD650 takes everything the HD595 does, and does it better.

The 595 is flatter, with less impact/dynamics, less bass, more treble, more "hollow" sounding and there is definitely a grain in the mids. It's a good can but it is easily outperformed by the 650

The HD650 has more detail, more bass quantity/extension, more dynamics and impact, better treble definition/resolution/extension, fuller sounding mids, no "hollow" feeling, no grain in the mids and a blacker background.
I also find it more involving than the HD595, which I now find a little boring/uninvolving. We're on another league in respect to the HD595's performance.

I amp them with a Ray Samuels "M" Hornet which is really very good at driving both of them.

A cheap basic amp like a cmoy or ibasso is enough to drive the 595 but the 650 needs more serious amps to perform well.
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bleudeciel16 View Post

Ok hd650 lovers, I have a question or two.  I'm loaded and ready to order a new headphone, DAC/AMP tonight.  I just want some final questions answered first before I pull the trigger.

 

My last phones were 595's.  I absolutely loved them.  They could've done with a little more bass, but other than that, I loved them.

 

If I loved the 595's... will I like the 650's?  Assuming I buy a decent DAC/AMP to drive them with?  I have temporary M50's and though they're great for the price and a great fill-in, and have good bass that i've been missing out on with the 595's, they just aren't as comfy (due to clamping force, cushion material, and weight), and don't have that open airy sound that the 595's had.

 

I asked in the advice thread and people suggested headphones other than the 650's for me, such as the 880's and such.

 

I just LOVE sennheisher comfort and open sound.  So.... will I be happy with a 650 if I'm coming from a 595 and loved them a lot? (I know that's a somewhat relative quesiton as everyone has a different taste, but i'm talking in respect to how they compare to the 595's)

post #6778 of 36885
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosmadi Mahmood View Post

Hi bleudeciel16,

 

There are plenty of comparisons between these 2 products on Head-fi. Here's one (albeit an old one) which I like:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/220131/hd595-vs-hd-650#post_2663689

 

 

 

Thanks for the reply!  I've read so many threads from searching that my eyes are hurting.  I keep reading things that contradict so it's been really hard to know who to believe lol.

 

I'm pretty sold on the HD650.

 

Now for an amp/dac.  Schiit seems like they have some good products that would fit my bill.

 

Since the 650's seem to be slightly darker and slower sound than the average headphone in that price range, wouldn't a tube amp amplify those qualities more?  making a solid state amp a better choice?  i was thinking the bifrost dac and either the asgard or lyr.

 

so... anyone here have experience with schiit amps on the 650 and have a recommendation? lyr vs asgard?

post #6779 of 36885
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilpo View Post


Infected Mushroom... been ages since I listened to that, don't even have it on my HDD anymore. But now I suddenly remembered how awesome they were, so I''m going to listen to them again soon. Thanks for reminding me wink.gif
What in my opinion sounds just ridiculously amazing is the opening notes of the album Fragile by Yes. It sounds pretty good on most systems, but with the HD650 I just can't help but get goosebumps.

 

I don't have "Fragile", but I agree, HD650 presents Yes in a very special way L3000.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtaylor991 View Post

If it's rule of thumb for SS for more accurate detail, then that sounds like my path. I think now I understand what I meant when I was describing my sound signature preferences: that's for headphones, and that's why I appreciate the 650s I guess. I just want everything presented the way it is supposed to detail and soundstage wise, and I like the sound to be musical and natural, but like I just said not at the loss of accuracy, detail, or soundstage. I wouldn't object to trying a tube amp that has great clarity, accuracy, detail, soundstage etc. though as I do like the aesthetics (of tubes) :)

 

If you get an opportunity to audition a tube or hybrid amp, it may be wise to do so.  It can be very difficult to picture the sound without hearing it.  The primary difference in tubes is the addition of second order harmonic distortion, which can be euphonically pleasing. By nature of being analog, they can also accent or smooth the mids, they can reduce treble, and generally "warm the signature", but that can depend on the tubes.  Tube amps, and especially hybrids can still be exceptionally clear.   SS is more "stark" in presentation.  It has sharp detail and fast transients.  Tubes/hybrids will adjust that a little, but for many it is still highly detailed with more of an organic tone.  Tube pending.

 

If you want a purely neutral SS amp in all its analytical glory, and don't mind dealing with 1/8" jacks and a mid-tier volume pot, a JDS assembled O2 would set you back a whopping $150 or so and would give you all the SS neutrality you could dream off.  If you want even more perfect analytical glory, you could go big with something meant for studio use like SPL gear (Phonitor, Auditor.)  If you want to go mid-way, $1k-1.6k, a Benchmark DAC1 will give you a pretty much top-tier neutral DAC and a headphone amp approximately the same or slightly better than the O2. 

 

If you want something not flat and neutral, then you can look into exotics, colored equipment, and things with tubes.  Tubes are more expensive over the long haul because you get into tube purchases, and if you really like it exotic, as I'm learning, some of that stuff costs some serious money for a consumable item.  But even the cheap stuff can be pleasing.  

 

My advice would be, if you've got $1k to play with for an amp, either dump it on a DAC1 and be done with it, you'll have something you know measures well in both areas.  If you want to experiment, buy an O2.  It's cheap and gives you a taste of neutral. From there you can choose your direction based on desired coloration.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyVee View Post

I wish I went Toxic.. seems amazing for the price and I do have a thing for ViaBlue plugs.  I only learned of the a couple of days after I ordered my Q cable.. no regrets though.  For now, I'm happy with the Black Dragon on the HD650s and the Q on the HE400s. (I ended up putting a ViaBlue mini plug on the Q cable.. lovely)

 

I'm pretty much going to do all my initial listening with the stock GE tubes and the HD650s and run through my gamut of music.  I am a detail fiend as I really like the complexity and layering of Enigma's music, have a lot of retro 80s dance music (I DJ'd in the 80s so I'm a fined for 70s rock, 80s & 90s dance). Add in a little Dead Can Dance, Patricia Barber, AC/DC, Doors, Van Morrison, Dire Straits, Supertramp, Norah Jones and New Order, I should get a really good feel for it.

 

I'm torn now.. it's road bike season and I'm pretty much out on the bike whenever the weather is good.  Listening will be for relaxing and chilling.  Anyway, I'll post my Lyr/HD650 impressions.

 

Yes, I'll heed the turn on Lyr, plug in.. unplug and turn off Lyr recommendation.  Thanks!

 

ViaBlue?  And what's so wrong with the Furutech on your Black? biggrin.gif   They may be huge, but Lyr has face space to spare, and the Furutech plug looks great plugged in.  It's a bit of bling, but I happen to love the humungous plug.  It feels great in hand plugging and unplugging to, you never don't have an easy grip on it (which is the point.)  I also love the insulated interior, it's the only plug that doesn't heat up and doesn't warm the cable behind it when it's been plugged in Lyr for hours.  The only problem is the way Moon does the strain relief with the heat-shrink the thing hangs a good 4 inches out of the front of the amp, taking up half the 5' cord length tongue.gif

 

I still love that my SD is the same graphite color as the HD650s.  It's silly, but nothing looks more luxurious than opening the Senn hinge case and seeing the HD650 with a color-matching cord encircling it with the big Furutech sitting in the cord well at the bottom.  Very stately.  Though so is the satin gold & soft braid of Toxic I suppose. They do make some pretty stuff.

 

What DAC are you using?  For Enigma especially, few things reveal your DAC more.   I used to love Enigma stuff on speakers.  When I started listening to it on IEMs I started doubting the recording quality.  When I pulled out the 650's and tried it when I got Lyr (using the Pure I20 iPod dock as a DAC) I was convinced the recording quality was bad and stopped listening.  When I got the Bifrost and tried it again, I was amazed.  The recording quality is excellent, it just somehow has all the wrong frequencies that will play on a poor DAC's flaws. I think they just assumed everyone listening to it would have good hi-fi gear.  They're German, after all.... bigsmile_face.gif

 

Norah Jones sounds great on anything, but HD650 is the king for female vocals, IMO.  HE-400 just doesn't have the same presence for it. 

 

And for the plug-in turn-off, it's always wise!  95% of the time it's pointless paranoia, but two of us with the same symptoms (from the same January batch of Lyrs) blew HD650s on a broken one.  Thus, at least for your first week or two, the suggestion to use sacrificial headphones when you first plug in after power-on.  If you don't get any very loud "pop" noises in the headphones when plugging in after power-on for a week or two, you can be assured you have no defect.  My second one has no such issue, and I trust it completely. I still have to send my first one back....but not just yet.  I'm too addicted.  And for the past few days it hasn't been exhibiting the symptom again (it does that now and again) so I have to wait until it does to send it out anyway. )

 

I imagine the "problem" units could probably counted on one's fingers and all seem to be from the December-January batch.  My guess (though I won't know for sure till I send it in) is some bad box of caps or transformer chokes.  So safety first,  just until you feel confident that it's not from the lot of bad ones. Your 650s will thank you wink.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bleudeciel16 View Post

 

Since the 650's seem to be slightly darker and slower sound than the average headphone in that price range, wouldn't a tube amp amplify those qualities more?  making a solid state amp a better choice?  i was thinking the bifrost dac and either the asgard or lyr.

 

so... anyone here have experience with schiit amps on the 650 and have a recommendation? lyr vs asgard?

Myth.  Darker, yes, but not slow.  There was discussion about that elsewhere once, and it turns out HD650 is actually scary-fast.  There's a psychoacoustic perception that it's slow due to the dark sound and the lack of treble sparkle.  The brain just hears it as slow as a result, when in fact the actual performance is quite fast.  I think that's part of the magic of HD650 is that it plays on psychoacoustics in several ways, so the brain always gets this "what I think I'm hearing isn't what I'm actually hearing" sense playing with it.

 

Some folks swear by OTL tubes for HD650.  Some swear by brightening it with SS.  We talked about that a few pages ago, and it's far from unanimous.   But if you're down to deciding between Lyr and Asgard, you'll never forgive yourself if you don't go with Lyr unless you hate the idea of maintaining tubes wink.gif  I haven't compared it to Asgard specifically (though Jason at Schiit did tell me he preferred Lyr for 650 and found it to be more dynamic.)  But compared to my other SS amp, Lyr is quite special with HD650 (and HE-400) at least for my preferences.   Bifrost is a great neutral DAC that'll work with anything nicely.  But if only for aesthetics, it makes sense to get the pairing.  It's an elegant (and great sounding!) solution.  Bifrost does my neutral O2 SS amp justice as well, but other than for my Denons the combo may be a bit too neutral for my liking. For the D5k I really like that neutral setup.

 

Edit: Yay, my 500th post was in the HD650 thread.  I was hoping for that, HD650 has always been my head-fi home L3000.gif


Edited by IEMCrazy - 5/24/12 at 10:36am
post #6780 of 36885
Myth.  Darker, yes, but not slow.  There was discussion about that elsewhere once, and it turns out HD650 is actually scary-fast.  There's a psychoacoustic perception that it's slow due to the dark sound and the lack of treble sparkle.  The brain just hears it as slow as a result, when in fact the actual performance is quite fast.  I think that's part of the magic of HD650 is that it plays on psychoacoustics in several ways, so the brain always gets this "what I think I'm hearing isn't what I'm actually hearing" sense playing with it.

 

Some folks swear by OTL tubes for HD650.  Some swear by brightening it with SS.  We talked about that a few pages ago, and it's far from unanimous.   But if you're down to deciding between Lyr and Asgard, you'll never forgive yourself if you don't go with Lyr unless you hate the idea of maintaining tubes wink.gif  I haven't compared it to Asgard specifically (though Jason at Schiit did tell me he preferred Lyr for 650 and found it to be more dynamic.)  But compared to my other SS amp, Lyr is quite special with HD650 (and HE-400) at least for my preferences.   Bifrost is a great neutral DAC that'll work with anything nicely.  But if only for aesthetics, it makes sense to get the pairing.  It's an elegant (and great sounding!) solution.  Bifrost does my neutral O2 SS amp justice as well, but other than for my Denons the combo may be a bit too neutral for my liking. For the D5k I really like that neutral setup.

 

Wow! Thanks for taking the time to do such a detailed responce!

 

The only issue I have with getting the Lyr is that it's nearly double the price of the asgard, and the fact that I would end up needing to deal with tubes.  But if you think the asgard will be suitable, I think I'm going to make the purchase today.  Thanks for the help!

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