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got my HD580 - impressions and questions!!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hey All,

So finally tonight I received my HD580's from amazon.com at the marvelous price of $125. I only got to listen to them for half an hour though because my roomate is going to bed and I don't want to keep him up. But here's some food for thought:

I) Impressions:

Talk about bass, and pretty decent bass. Coming from the K501's this was sort of like a smack in the face (where was all this before?). There's definitely a lot of it and it extends down deep (well compared to the K501's at least). Probably because it isn't burned in though, it's a little muddied.

I also finally understand the "veil" concept. The highs are definitely there but there's no emphasis on them. I also now understand the 3-blob soundstage. And while not apparent on everything I do get that impression on some songs. Oh yeah and the clamp force wasn't so bad, though I can see myself getting annoyed after an hour.

Detail isn't as great as the K501's but there's definitely a good amount of it. Instrument separation is better in my opinion. In Karajan's rendition of Tchaik 4, 4th mvt (one of my faves) I definitely get a better sense of the different sections of the orchestra, and finally a greater presence of the cello and bass sections. Better depth to the soundstage but not as wide as that of the K501's.

That being said though, I have to say that on the whole, I currently still like my K501's better for classical, jazz, and female vocals (the same thing the choir has been preaching), especially for smaller combos. However, the HD580's are the better power cans, relaxers, all-rounders, rock, movie, and I'm assuming gaming cans. Going back to classical, even though the orchestral symphonic stuff sounds great on the HD580 with better separation and bass extension, I feel the K501 reproduces the naturalness of the acoustics and the emotion, as well as putting a lot of electricity in the air, if that makes any sense, while still being a giant open sound. I do however prefer Sinatra on the HD580's, but Diana Krall on the K501's.

They complement each other so well.

Which gets me to my next category:

II) Question(s):

So what headphone combines my favorite aspects of these two guys? That's under $400. I love the mids, highs, air, punchiness/tightness of the bass, wideness of the soundtage, cleanliness, and details of the K501's but the bass extension and quantity, instument separation, depthness of the soundstage, and applicability (meaning all-rounder, movie, games, etc.) of the HD580's. It'd be cool if they were closed though I really don't care.

Gear: FLAC > Macbook Pro digital out/M-Audio Transit > BJC/Glass Toslink (I own both but am using the BJC because it's spdif specs) > Entech 203.2 (with ideally a Lavry DA10 in a year) > BJC LC1 (with ideally DiMarzio M-Path in half a year) > GoVibe V5 w/24v Elpac (with ideally a Heed CanAmp in half a year)

Sound: lot's of classical/soundtracks (big and small), jazz/vocal/big band/broadway, oldies, fair amount of rock (mostly classic), and some pop/techno/etc. - i do watch a lot of movies and play games semi-often

Based on the freq graphs I've seen, I think I'd ideally like something that sounds like the freq graph of the K601 looks like. But seeing as how freq graphs count for almost nothing, who knows. Some possible options: K601, K701, DT880, DT990, but I am of course open (and asking!) for other options.

So yeah - based on all that - can any of you guys recommend something that'd fit what I'm going after?

Thanks!

-Keith
post #2 of 15
Throw frequency graphs out the window. Because if you look at the FRG of what I'm going to suggest, you're going to ask how's it different then the HD580. Well it's very different then the HD580 and my favorite can for symphonies. It's the HD595. I notice you have a Sony MDR-7506. Well the HD595 is kinda like that in tonality, but offers a soundstage and the Sennheiser bass response (which since it's brighter, the bass won't sound flabby if you're on a system that doesn't do well with Senns). Listening to Karajan's Holtz gives me goosebumps on my system. While the 595 employs almost the same drivers as the 580, it's a lower impedance/easier to drive can. The drivers are also angled toward your ears, so it makes the sound brighter and more forward. The soundstage is slightly smaller then the HD580. So it's more suitable for a general rock can as well.

But if you want the AKG soundstage, then the k701 would be the one to try. Only thing is its soundstage is smaller then the k501....
post #3 of 15
In my experience with most all those same cans and music, I'd suggest the DT-990s ...Their qualitys of energy at both extreme Freqs presents with accentuated bass, with punch, which is a much more deliniated and seperated spectrum, vs that of the overlapping into the mid bass presentation of the 580s, yet can be well controled and well articulated . Very nicely detailed midrange too, only slightly bedimmed by the prominence of their Lfs! Yes the Hfs do sparkle, necessitating both better sources / amplification the latter matched to the can as always!
Again, with less than "better" material played thru less than "better" source hardware and inappropriatly amplified, this can may sound a mess.
However, isn't that always the case; Only more so true IMO with this can.

Caveat: Being both their hfs which can be a bit over the top with some sources (which the DAC upgrade you plan would address),
and their need for proper amplification (which your plan for the Heed would be a perfect fit as the hfs are airy yet relaxed seemingly rolled off, but not really, sorta like tubes).
Oh, they also have a wonderfully wide soundstage to die for with appropriate source material and hardware/amplification.... you must keep them in mind!!!!

Good luck & enjoy the 580s~
post #4 of 15
I am looking for the same thing as the OP, any more thoughts? Thanks
post #5 of 15
I had pretty much the same impression of both the HD580 and K501, so you and I might hear things the same way. I kept the K501 and returned the HD580, although I'm not entirely happy with the K501, either.

There are two phones I know of under $400 that you might consider. One is the DT880 (which I also tried and returned, but would have kept at today's prices). Overall, it sounds like a better HD580. The bass is more extended, tighter, and more natural than the HD580. It has some of the detail, air, and resolution of the K501 although I wouldn't say it betters the K501. It's a good compromise, although keep in mind that it does share the same basic sonic signature with the HD580, including some veil.

The other is the SA5000. It's pretty radically different from all of the above, but there's no doubt that it addresses the shortcomings of the HD580. The bass is incredible, the best I've heard in a headphone, and there's absolutely no veil across the entire frequency range. It's resolving powers match or exceed even the ER4P, far beyond the K501. They have two problems. One is a tonality that can seem artificial at times. Others have also described this if you do a search. The second problem is a terribly microphonic cord. Damn you, Sony. But overall, I find them better in almost every way than any of the above-mentioned headphones. They're also more universally applicable to all types of music.

Caveats: I personally don't care much about soundstage. And there are lots of headphones I've never auditioned, such as the K601 and K701.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
hrmm

when i first came to head-fi, i actually wanted to try the SA5000 more than anything but i never got around to it - i also really wanted to try the DT880 but never got around to that

i didnt really think of going to meets till recently but since im in college i can really only do that in the summer now

and they all seem like great candidates - DT990, K701, SA5000

and in terms of all-roundness i am willing to sacrifice the applicability of the headphone to games and movies because i could always pick up a DT770/80 or an A900 or an HD595 in addition to whatever headphone i end up with in the future

any more thoughts? thanks for what you guys have said so far!
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
hrmm - listening more - i have to say the HD580 is missing some details in areas where the K501 picks them up but there are also where it's the opposite and i hear things with the HD580 that i haven't with the K501

it also is kind of a bummer switching from the HD580 to the K501 right away though starting out on the K501 and then switching or giving myself a few minutes in between switching is better
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kukrisna View Post
hrmm - listening more - i have to say the HD580 is missing some details in areas where the K501 picks them up but there are also where it's the opposite and i hear things with the HD580 that i haven't with the K501
This is why I feel that sometimes we're too quick at suggesting other headphones here at Head-fi. I started off with Sennheiser, and my system upgrades have always complimented my Senns the most. So when I try other house sounds, many sound distant or out of whack from my Senns (actually, the HD580 and HD595s were my first). Case in point, that I found the k501 had too large of a soundstage so that both the treble and bass extensions were missing. The sound was well balanced, but just too distant. I would like to give my k501s another go now that I have a Single Power SLAM, but it appears they've been lost in the mail!!!!

Anywho, there is something to be said about sticking with one can and then just asking yourself what you want to improve on. I've found that sources can change sound quality just as much as different headphones can. A lot of us haven't listened to the k501 or HD580 on your particular system, so we can't say with certainty what other headphone will fill that void you're looking for. Though to toot the HD595 again, I've found it's a better all rounder headphone then most.
post #9 of 15
Welcome to the anti-social kukrisna.
lol jk jk
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by reivaj View Post
Welcome to the anti-social kukrisna.
lol jk jk
oh that happened a long time ago - haha
post #11 of 15
I think DT880 would fit here. Perhaps the newer one especially.

I have ordered older DT880 '03 which doesnt differ from new version much except it has eenyweeny bit less bass fullness (or so they say). If all goes well, its here just before christmas. If not, its here after christmas.
post #12 of 15

listen to the finn

the DT880 is excellent, though I would disagree with an earlier post that it is veiled like th HD580. I like Senn phones, but I would disagree completely that their signature is anything like the DT880. I have the HD600 which is probably tonally the most like the 580 of any phone on the market, minus the markup for different build materials and it is compeletely different from the DT880. It is nicely bassy, not maybe as deep or controlled but has a heavier presence great for many types of music, but when I put on the DT880, I just move, it is energetic and the highs while not fatiguing are there pushing upward begging to be followed. No veil, and good price it seems now in the states, I hear. 150-170$ range. Cheers.

P.S. Finn Glogg is possible better than even the nice Svenska glogg
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
the DT880 is excellent, though I would disagree with an earlier post that it is veiled like th HD580. I like Senn phones, but I would disagree completely that their signature is anything like the DT880. I have the HD600 which is probably tonally the most like the 580 of any phone on the market, minus the markup for different build materials and it is compeletely different from the DT880. It is nicely bassy, not maybe as deep or controlled but has a heavier presence great for many types of music, but when I put on the DT880, I just move, it is energetic and the highs while not fatiguing are there pushing upward begging to be followed. No veil, and good price it seems now in the states, I hear. 150-170$ range. Cheers.

P.S. Finn Glogg is possible better than even the nice Svenska glogg
Darn, makes me want to try these even more. I avoided them before because they were sometimes described around here as bit shrill, sibilant and too tame. With that, my natural response is to think these will not be suitable for trance and electronica, which is a lot of what I'm listening to now. HD600 lows may not be the deepest but they're oh so exciting.

Have you tried the Senn's with an upgrade cable? I think they might make them more like the DT880's in terms of the quality of the highs and overall spaciousness while keeping the things you originally like about them. Then again, the value would be much worse
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
yeah i definitely need to get around to trying all these phones one day...
post #15 of 15
Quote:
So what headphone combines my favorite aspects of these two guys? That's under $400. I love the mids, highs, air, punchiness/tightness of the bass, wideness of the soundtage, cleanliness, and details of the K501's but the bass extension and quantity, instument separation, depthness of the soundstage, and applicability (meaning all-rounder, movie, games, etc.) of the HD580's. It'd be cool if they were closed though I really don't care.
Sounds like the ultimate headphone to me

I have both the 501 and 580 as well, and agree that the 580 is an allrounder but have to say that whilst the 580 separates instruments it loses the coherency of the music by doing so. The 501 keeps the music as one entity and you can decide what to focus on; also the tonality of the instruments is better as well as prat speed and dynamics. The 580s sound like speakers with a bad crossover. The 580s are more forgiving and I prefer the overall balance of them. But get a good recording on better than average equipment and the 501s will give you way more than the 580s can dream of. (apart from bass quantity)
Yes the 580s have more bass but the 501's have Quality bass. I wish there was more of it aswell.
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