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My experiences with W5000 and HD650 - Page 4

post #46 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoloNamek View Post
There are two dips in the HD650's treble response; they are a part of the headphone's diffuse-field equalization. They are supposed, nay, need to be there.
Just because they have "diffuse field equalization" doesn't mean they got it right. Each manufacturer is going to have a different implementation of it. This is why an AKG K 240 DF doesn't sound like a HD 650, and why a DT 990 doesn't sound like either. All three are DF-equalized, yet none sound even remotely similar. The bottom line is, a significant drop in response will yield a lack of perceived musical information in this area. It's beyond me why they chose to suck out the presence band, but it's very noticeable.
post #47 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by humanflyz View Post

1) HD650s:
This is what it always comes down to whenever someone, anyone, for that matter, makes a claim that the HD650s are not the be-all end-all in headphones. Every time someone even makes a remote criticism against the HD650s, people come out of the woodworks to say that the person making the claim is not getting the "right" synergy; that the person needs the right cables, amps, power cords, source, etc in order for the HD650s to shine.

Well that's just missing the point: if someone doesn't like the HD650s to begin with, no amount of ancillary equipment will change the BASIC sound signature. Everyone knows that no headphone is perfect, but what separates one person's preference from another's is each individual's tolerance for compromises or deficiencies in any given transducer, speakers or headphones.
The reason why at least this 650 user went out of the woodworks was the comment that the HD650s are unnaturally slow. Now if someone doesn't like the HD650, that's fine. There's plenty of other headphones around that they can settle on. There is no end all, be all, because of our ears and music preferences. But as a 650 user, I have to debate some of the issues raised (by various people) as I don't hear them: whether its my ears or setup. Yes, I'm biased towards the HD650 and against many AKGs....that's my preference. Maybe the biggest weakness in the HD650 that a person might find is the stereo image. It's definitely the typical headphone L/R headphone stereo image. I personally accept it because the headphone's tonality seems well balanced: I can switch from punk to a Mozart symphony and still be engaged with the HD650. Can't say that happens with a Grado, or my k501. Now some of it is system synergy: I did build my system primarily just for Sennheisers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by humanflyz View Post
3) HD650s and brightness:

The real question is: how far are you willing to go? If 90% of my recordings are revealed to be horribly mastered, and only 10% are of good quality, will I create a system that will make those 90% tolerable, but at the expense of limiting the highest potential of the 10%? That's a personal judgment, and I don't really care how someone goes about doing it. But for me, it is not something that I would do. I would rather have 90% of my music to be revealed to me as having horrible recording quality, instead of giving up the highest potential of the 10%. At least that's what I would do in my critical-listening/reference system.

This is where I'm going to argue again. You're implying that the HD650 is not transparent enough to reveal the flaws of a recording. I'm sorry, but one of the reasons why I pick SACDs first is so that I do get a more faithful recording. The HD650s may not be as bright as a Grado or AKG, but they still are very revealing of a recording. There are many CDs that I listen to with them that I can hear problems in the mastering with the 650s (one classical CD I have, you can actually hear a faint feedback from the recording equipment they were using: another one, you can hear another session going on in the next room). The 650s may not accentuate as much of a tape hiss as a Grado: but they are really intollerable of compressed music. A lot of the new rock CDs I've gotten can sound nicer on my 325i just because of the comprimised resolution the music has, from the rock band telling the sound engineer "Turn it up man!!!" If a CD is too hot on the 650, well it's just too boring (it no longer has the extension that I like the 650s for). But if it's mixed right and not hot, take the new Shinns album that I've been listening to, there's plenty of impact and PRAT. More impact then my 325i, and as much speed actually.


So getting back to a person's preference. I do have a belief that most people choose a headphone based on how it handles the upper mid frequencies. This is where "detail" is most evident. Now of headphones I've listened to, Grado and AKGs tend to have more emphasis there. Sennheisers, Beyers, and to some extent ATs have less of it. Maybe it's based on how much detail your ears like: for me I still can hear plenty of detail on the 650, yet it seems well balanced for the extended treble and bass that it has. I suppose other people like more detail there. For whatever reason, they find AKGs or Grados better balanced then. Just because one headphone has more of something does not mean the other headphone is completely lacking of it, though. And this has been the main reason why I've been insisting on defending the HD650. To my ears, preference, system, etc...I like the HD650s because they have enough detail, yet the most extension I've heard out of a headphone (in both bass and treble). Yes, I know I'm a HD650 fanboy.....there may not be a cure for me not seeing as many flaws in it as the AKG fans But I guess at the end of the day, there's enough Sennheiser fanboys, AKG fanboys, Grado fanboys, and Beyer fanboys, that we can balance one another out.

Lets just not get in an endless loop with that absurd question: "what's the most neutral headphone"
post #48 of 59
good right up mike.


points:
1. yes, the HD650 does cover all kinds of detail. while the more one goes up the ladder the less detail is covered up, it still covers.
2. if one doesn't initially like the HD650, then one cannot like it. the massive setups that people have for this can are a result of people finding their sound and then taking it to the extreme.
3. i've never had problems with treble, nor am i convinced that treble HAS to sound harsh, like so many benchmark and K1000 insist, what i'm against is greatly rolled off treble in dacs.
post #49 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by granodemostasa View Post
1. yes, the HD650 does cover all kinds of detail. while the more one goes up the ladder the less detail is covered up, it still covers.
2. if one doesn't initially like the HD650, then one cannot like it. the massive setups that people have for this can are a result of people finding their sound and then taking it to the extreme.
3. i've never had problems with treble, nor am i convinced that treble HAS to sound harsh, like so many benchmark and K1000 insist, what i'm against is greatly rolled off treble in dacs.
No one is trying to convert people who don't like the HD650. But looks like I'm gonna have to continue to insist about the HD650 not covering up detail. Now when it's not properly amped, sure, the upper mid range will be too soft and muddy. But as my post mentioned.....I find the HD650 actually more revealing of CDs that are poorly mastered: extension is way diminished. The 325i is better with such CDs because of its extra emphasis in detail. I can't be sensitive to treble since the 325i is my favorite Grado. I like it's hyper-detail for various hard rock. But when properly sourced/amped, the HD650 has an unbelievable depth and tonality that I have yet to hear on another headphone: even on other setups.

*edit* also your comment about DACs rolling off treble. I noticed my Benchmark was actually effected by what transport it has. It's got some really fine resolution in both treble and bass using my Music Hall: I can hear a difference going from it to a Sony SCD-CE595 I have and USB from my computer. I also don't think the HD650 is compensating for too much treble on my DAC, as the SR325i is my secondary headphone for rock.
post #50 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by aphex944 View Post
Just because they have "diffuse field equalization" doesn't mean they got it right. Each manufacturer is going to have a different implementation of it. This is why an AKG K 240 DF doesn't sound like a HD 650, and why a DT 990 doesn't sound like either. All three are DF-equalized, yet none sound even remotely similar. The bottom line is, a significant drop in response will yield a lack of perceived musical information in this area. It's beyond me why they chose to suck out the presence band, but it's very noticeable.
Perhaps that is your perception, but it is not mine.

By the way, here is the official explanation of the two valleys in the HD650's response:

Quote:
...In addition to being made of a different material, the 650's diaphragms are constructed differently -- it's a membrane of variable thickness that has been tuned by ear. Not only by ear -- Sennheiser has comprehensive test and measurement facilities -- but engineer Axel Grell found that when the 'phones measured flat, they sounded harsh. So he very carefully tuned the response to have notches at 5kHz and 16kHz. These notches, speculates headphone maker-designer Tyll Hertsens, of HeadRoom, mimic the ridge notches of the concha -- the largest and deepest concavity of the external ear, or pinna -- which help you determine the azimuth and elevation of sounds.
In other words, when it measured flat, it didn't sound flat, hence the notches.
post #51 of 59
Quote:
In other words, when it measured flat, it didn't sound flat, hence the notches.
And again everyones ears are different. For some, those dips are just right, but for others its utter crap and sounds like something vital is recessed and they enjoy headphone without those dips cuz it sounds just right for them.
post #52 of 59
Sadly, that is true. I am glad that for me, they are just right.
post #53 of 59
Thread Starter 
@Daverose:

Again, I'm speaking in relative terms here. On an absolute level, no, the HD650s are not muddy. They do reveal the flaws in a recording, but just not on the same level as other high-end headphones I've heard (like the O2s, Orpheus, R10s, K1000s, GS1000s etc). I'm not saying that the HD650s cover up the flaws, because they don't, but they don't reveal it to the same extent as the cans I've listed. And in truth I don't expect them to because they are not designed to be cost-no-object/no-compromise statement product.

So it's not really a knock on the HD650s for me to say that they are not as revealing as the best. You might disagree, but I'm just telling you what my own ears tell me. So to me, the HD650s occupy a position in the overall hierarchy of headphones in which good recordings can still sound really really good, but compared to the best of the best, the potentials in an excellent recording are not being fully shown. And the reverse is just as true: all the flaws in the recordings aren't revealed to the same extent.

That statement by itself is neither meant to praise or criticize, but simply to state what my own experiences have been. But I personally value transparency above all else, so in that regard the HD650s do not live up to those headphones which I consider "utterly transparent". That is why I wouldn't use them as MY OWN critical/reference can.
post #54 of 59
I think there is only one way to settle this. A steel cage death match between Daverose and humanflyz. If Daverose wins, then the HD650 is unequivocally the greatest headphone ever made. If not, then he has to admit that it's not a revealing headphone as well as other mentioned faults.

Just kidding. Sorry to interrupt. Really enjoying this discussion.

Please continue.
post #55 of 59
Thread Starter 
Hahaha, I don't want to give out the impression that I'm a HD650s hater, because honestly, I'm not. Why would I have still have them and pair them with a decently-expensive amp if I don't think that they are worth keeping?

I just don't see what the big deal is about criticizing them or compare them against the best of the best that I've personally heard. That doesn't mean they are bad, that just means they are not the best I've heard.
post #56 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by humanflyz View Post
@Daverose:

Again, I'm speaking in relative terms here. On an absolute level, no, the HD650s are not muddy.
And with this, I think we can put this to bed I think we're all in agreement that the 650s have a softer midrange. IMO, that gives it improved treble extension. I find I like its improved resolution for balance. Other headphones have a louder midrange and more apparent detail, but less resolution (to my ears). Just wanted to make a point that the 650s don't hide detail: while yes, there are headphones that are more detailed in that range, that doesn't mean the 650 lacks it (as some people have mentioned and is what got me back on this thread). My comments were only aimed at statements that the 650 can't be revealing. Now since you want more detail humanflyz, I hope you find whatever headphone you're looking for
post #57 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by humanflyz View Post
Hahaha, I don't want to give out the impression that I'm a HD650s hater, because honestly, I'm not. Why would I have still have them and pair them with a decently-expensive amp if I don't think that they are worth keeping?
Well if you do want to hold on to them and get them more detailed....follow my original suggestion from the begining of this old thread: get a good transport as well as a Single Power amp It's not just about the amp: but the synergy of transport: DAC:amp:headphone.

Otherwise, keep up the search!
post #58 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davesrose View Post
Well if you do want to hold on to them and get them more detailed....follow my original suggestion from the begining of this old thread: get a good transport as well as a Single Power amp It's not just about the amp: but the synergy of transport: DAC:amp:headphone.

Otherwise, keep up the search!
Well, technically my search is over. I've already found the headphone+amp combo that gives me practically everything I want. The only thing left to do is to upgrade the source, but that won't be for a long time.

So in my case, the HD650s only serve a secondary/non-reference purpose, and they are great at that. I guess that is what allows me to stay somewhat agnostic about them. I no longer have to worry about finding the "right" headphone anymore, instead I can just sit back and evaluate a headphone for what it is.

Oh yeah, a post-script regarding detail:

Detail, resolution, and musicality need not to be mutually exclusive. A headphone can have gobs of detail but not harshness, and still give REAL resolution while retaining its musicality. The only question is money, because the headphones that are detailed, resolving, and musical are really really expensive. Most mid-level headphone usually makes a compromise between resolution and musicality, so a mid-range headphone that emphasizes detail can sound harsh at times, while a headphone that has less "apparent" detail upon first-listen can still have tremendous resolution.

I think Jon L said it best at one point: some headphones are musical BECAUSE of the immense detail, not DESPITE of it. The only problem is that they are usually pricey.
post #59 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by humanflyz View Post
Well, technically my search is over. I've already found the headphone+amp combo that gives me practically everything I want. The only thing left to do is to upgrade the source, but that won't be for a long time.
I was amazed what a good transport did to my Benchmark: even though the DAC-1 and DA10 are supposed to be impervious to jitter, there is a jump in SQ. Well worth looking into when you do work on source: who knows, you might find the 650 gets that extra detail you want out of it, if it remains your second can.

*edit* Also about your post-script: that's actually a nifty thing about mid-fi headphones. They can have the potential to have resolution and detail when you go up the chain in equipment as well. The k1000 is considered by some to be better then the R10: while the k1000 was $400 a few years ago, and the R10 $10,000....so I think price is not a true guage. It's probably best just to stay focused on one headphone and try to scale it up with source and amp: detail and resolution can be greatly enhanced.

Of course, I haven't listened to the great Orpheus yet......so this is just coming from a perspective of listening to the Earthly headphones ( stats and the k1000). One thing in the 650s favor is that it's a good value for a headphone that has almost limitless potential for upgrade.
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