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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 564

post #8446 of 19189

I hope this is the appropriate place to post this as I've been using/appreciating the 650s for years now. I used to spend more time around the forum and I still drop in to check for any groundbreaking news (or the possible sale of something I'm considering).

 

I'm fortunate in that I have a friend (he's a head-fi member) who can afford to buy and experiment with much more expensive gear than I can. Because of him I've been able to spend some time with the LC2, T1 and other high end phones along with some great amps, both SS and tube, balanced and unbalanced.

 

After having spent time with this higher end gear I've come to the conclusion that with properly driven HD650s there are very few reasons to upgrade even if I had more funds. I liked the LC2s a lot but they were uncomfortable for longer periods, the T1s were also great but I found them a bit too bright and (dare I say) a bit thin sounding.

 

Maybe I've just become accustomed to the sound of the 650s (balanced ->Matrix Mimi-i -> LD MK-Vll+). But when I spend time comparing much higher priced gear, I come away wondering why people spend so much more for what I consider to be very small improvements in some areas. Other aspects of some of the high end cans aren't as pleasing to me as the 650s. It's not that I can't hear or appreciate subtle differences, it's that I just don't find that the very considerable added expense creates a more enjoyable music listening experience.

 

I suppose if I was filthy rich I'd buy some Sony R10s which I heard at a Toronto meet as I haven't heard anything as exceptional since. The thing is, they were being played through an amp that cost at least as much as these $5,000 (if you're lucky) headphones! Even if I had that kind of cash I wonder if I'd really end up enjoying the music I love any more than I do at present. I guess I'm going to have to win a lottery to find out...just sayin' wink.gif

post #8447 of 19189

+1 to that!

post #8448 of 19189

+2 biggrin.gif

post #8449 of 19189

Nice thought Hellenback,at least to us belonging to the working class,hehe.

post #8450 of 19189
Very well said Hellenback.
post #8451 of 19189

Alright, so the HD650 is looking to be the front runner for what my next purchase will be.  I do have one question though, how does this compare to the HE-500?  I've read that the HE-500 is an upgrade, but I'm a bit concerned about the comfort issue along with verifying the claims that they sound similar.

 

I'll be using the O2/ODAC combo if that's relevant.

 

So is it worth saving  up my money for the 500s or should I just pick up a pair of HD650s?

post #8452 of 19189
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

If you have Toslink, then you can go straight to the stock Bifrost (or any DAC) without a USB module.  Toslink carries digital audio signal, as does Coax.  DACs like Bifrost convert that digital signal to standard analog audio to pump into an amp. Soundcards can either output digital audio or also contain a DAC to convert to analog.....though a soundcard by nature is in a noisy environment, so typically the analog output is questionable.  But there are certainly plenty of pro audio soundcards meant for recording/production that are highly respectable.

For consumer level, I'd say using a soundcard for the S/PDIF (Toslink/Coax) output to an external DAC is the best route.  USB can be kind of...nasty.  Folks with laptops don't get that option most of the time, thus USB exists.

Alright, thanks biggrin.gif

So reading all these helpful responses. It should be like this right? -

HD650->Valhalla->Bifrost->Soundcard Toslink Output

Also does the sound affect in any way if I connected it like this -

HD650->Valhalla->Bifrost->Motherboard Toslink Output

P.S. I'm really new to this tongue.gif
post #8453 of 19189
Quote:
Originally Posted by avengernoonzz View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

If you have Toslink, then you can go straight to the stock Bifrost (or any DAC) without a USB module.  Toslink carries digital audio signal, as does Coax.  DACs like Bifrost convert that digital signal to standard analog audio to pump into an amp. Soundcards can either output digital audio or also contain a DAC to convert to analog.....though a soundcard by nature is in a noisy environment, so typically the analog output is questionable.  But there are certainly plenty of pro audio soundcards meant for recording/production that are highly respectable.

For consumer level, I'd say using a soundcard for the S/PDIF (Toslink/Coax) output to an external DAC is the best route.  USB can be kind of...nasty.  Folks with laptops don't get that option most of the time, thus USB exists.

Alright, thanks biggrin.gif

So reading all these helpful responses. It should be like this right? -

HD650->Valhalla->Bifrost->Soundcard Toslink Output

Also does the sound affect in any way if I connected it like this -

HD650->Valhalla->Bifrost->Motherboard Toslink Output

P.S. I'm really new to this tongue.gif

Yes, try both optical (toslink spdif) outputs and see what sounds best. Your soundcard may have a coaxial spdif output as well for comparison. There's no need for the USB option on the Bifrost unless you want to have it available for other gear.
post #8454 of 19189
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtaylor991 View Post


That electronic interference still comes over too. It's also just a binary stream for the soundcard so it too wouldn't be affected by electrical noise by your logic. It's not about the 0s and 1s changing (I don't think that's physically possible from just electrical noise) but the interference creates unwanted noise in the audio. USB still has an electrical connection between the computer and the DAC while pure digital doesn't. USB has that wire that carries electricity too so it's not 100% digital.

I understand what your saying but would take a huge EMI spike to create 5v's, theres probably noise but it should''t be enough to affect a logic circuit otherwise my usb external hard drive would have some serious issues with data errors. The DAC on a internal soundcard would be affected by noise on the analogue side.


Edited by fuzzy1969 - 11/6/12 at 1:03am
post #8455 of 19189

The major problem for USB which also applies to Optical is Jitter and Timing the connection is a serial data stream so 16 bit (word) would need a clock the same for 24 bit audio. This will explain it better than I can.

 

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue43/jitter.htm

post #8456 of 19189
Quote:
Originally Posted by avengernoonzz View Post


Alright, thanks biggrin.gif
So reading all these helpful responses. It should be like this right? -
HD650->Valhalla->Bifrost->Soundcard Toslink Output
Also does the sound affect in any way if I connected it like this -
HD650->Valhalla->Bifrost->Motherboard Toslink Output
P.S. I'm really new to this tongue.gif

The soundcards optical will be better than the onboard, cheap onboard optical output are regarded as pretty bad, worse than usb for jitter.

post #8457 of 19189
Quote:
Originally Posted by imackler View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agaranda View Post

Anybody tried HD650 with ODAC+O2?
S3 DLJ4+Siyah1.7rc1 Earsonics SM3

 

Its problematic unless you don't use high gain. If you use high gain, the O2 can have bass distortion w/ the ODAC. I contacted JDS Labs. They said the designer knows about this and they said that it can be solved by getting a higher powered wall wart. You don't experience this if you listen with low gain. 

Thank you very much.

S3 DLJ4+Siyah1.7rc1 Earsonics SM3
post #8458 of 19189
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hellenback View Post

 

After having spent time with this higher end gear I've come to the conclusion that with properly driven HD650s there are very few reasons to upgrade even if I had more funds. I liked the LC2s a lot but they were uncomfortable for longer periods, the T1s were also great but I found them a bit too bright and (dare I say) a bit thin sounding.

 

 

I agree with everything you're saying, I am adding more to your list, like Ed8 (very nice bass however), the 'in'-famous Ed10, PS1000, sometimes GS-1000 and RS-1 can be nice too

Have you compared to ATH-AD2000?  Just wondering what's your thought comparing the two.

post #8459 of 19189
Quote:
Originally Posted by avengernoonzz View Post


Alright, thanks biggrin.gif
So reading all these helpful responses. It should be like this right? -
HD650->Valhalla->Bifrost->Soundcard Toslink Output
Also does the sound affect in any way if I connected it like this -
HD650->Valhalla->Bifrost->Motherboard Toslink Output
P.S. I'm really new to this tongue.gif

 

You've got it right!  I would try the different outputs and see what you like more, and if the soundcard has coaxial output, give that a try too.  Usually coax tends to be better than optical unless you're running optical through a noisy environment (such as through the PC or across the power supply.)  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzy1969 View Post

The soundcards optical will be better than the onboard, cheap onboard optical output are regarded as pretty bad, worse than usb for jitter.

 

+1, onboard sound is generally lousy. 

 

"Digital is just 1's and 0's" is more myth than anything.  It's true...to a point.  But as fuzzy said, optical (and to a worse degree, USB and to a lesser degree, coax) can suffer jitter.  It can also suffer lost or out of order samples.  The quality and noise elimination of the S/PDIF transmitter (usually lousy on a motherboard) and receiver (excellent on the Bifrost) matters.   The main function of that dedicated sound card should be a good S/PDIF transmitter, so might as well take advantage of it!  Also be sure to set anything in software that's needed for "bit perfect" playback if applicable. 

 

Also, there's no need for $400 cables for digital, but do be sure to get a good quality optical cable if going optical.  The nature of optical and cheap optical cables is the worst part of the transmission.  The cheap stuff has a lot of imperfections.  Imperfections in light transmission can cause ghosting, reflections, etc which can affect both jitter and dropped/out of order samples.  The one feature Bifrost lacks that many high end (Read $1k+ and Gungnir) DACs have is a crystal reclocker (jitter correction.) Don't overspend but don't cheap out either.  Glass is ideally the best (if only because plastics tend to get cloudy over time, thus their jitter and loss rate increases over time), but glass is more expensive, and obviously more fragile.  The best plastic one I know of is from Blue Jeans with Eska fiber.  It's very affordable, very flexible, and great quality. There's other good ones out there, that's just the easiest one to recommend.  C2G makes some nice "cheap" glass cables under the Sonic Impact brand as well. 

 

Or if you have coax out on the sound card...give that a try too!


Edited by IEMCrazy - 11/6/12 at 7:12am
post #8460 of 19189
Great information IEMCrazy.

I must be one of the lucky ones running toslink from the mother-board on my computer. Every DAC I have or had sounded better using it over USB if it had the option. When I got my Bifrost I didn't even consider the USB model because of this. Note I am using Silflex Glass cable so that could be the difference too.
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