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Limitations of HD-600 bass

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
OK, now that I have your attention

As some of you know, I have been a vocal proponent of the quality of the bass response of the HD-600. I feel that driven with a good amp (OK, I'm spoiled with a Max), they have bass response that is as good as anything I've heard.

I mentioned in another thread that I recently got Monk's "Straight, No Chaser" on SACD. It's really an amazing recording/remaster. Parts of it are so different that it can show the weaknesses of various headphones.

For the first time, I heard a piece where the HD-600s were somehow lacking in the extreme low bass. About 2/3 of the way through the title track, there is an extended section with just upright bass and piano, followed by a section with just upright bass and drum kit. The HD-600s sound wonderful, but when I listen *very* carefully during those two sections, something just isn't right -- the bass just isn't as "defined" as it feel it should be. When I switch to the Sony MDR-V6/7506, which have some of the most accurate bass of any headphones, I have to admit the bass response improves. Driven by my Max, the V6 provide better very-low-frequency definition than the HD-600s. In addition, the drums sound a bit too dark on the HD-600s -- the snares and cymbals just didn't have the right "hit" -- while the V6/7506 sound extremely lifelike. During the upright/drum section, I actually enjoy the V6s more than the HD-600s

That said, the V6 are (to my ears) almost unlistenable during the rest of the album -- they're simply too bright and give me a headache. The HD-600s blow them out of the water.

I have never heard the above phenomenon on any piece before. I still feel it the HD-600s have some of the best bass of any headphone, but now I do concede that there are a few pieces with *very* low bass where they aren't as good as they could be. And to be quite honest, since this is the only piece I've experienced this on, it's probably not something I should worry too much about

On the other hand, I am curious whether or not there is a set of headphones out there that provide the deep bass response of the V6 with the otherwise unbeatable (to me) sound of the HD-600
post #2 of 31
This is PURE speculation.....but the only can I think of of with bass and a slightly HD600-ish sound is the Beyer 770.

Only cuz tomcat is always harping about them.......
post #3 of 31
<mumblemumble> Philips HP890 <mumblemumble> very deep bass <mumble> surprisingly good headphone for the price <mumblemumble> millenniumhandandshrimp! ))

Ok, I have to admit that reading Terry Pratchett's stuff can be dangerous, but actually the Philips HP890 is really good in the bass department, too.

Greetings from SF!

Manfred / lini
post #4 of 31
I bet your Senn HD600 do not have red/blue jaspis cable. This produces much deeper bass than stock cable, this is a mandatory
upgrade for Senn 580/600 owners.
post #5 of 31
coolvij, you beat me to it.

MacDEF, might I recommend you look into the Beyer line. I have both the old 770's and the HD600's, and I've heard that the new 770's are a big improvement over the old, which is exactly what I would want, other than the HD600's.

Whatever happened to that Beyer thread. There was this one person who was going to get like all 4 or something (770, 990, 831, 931)...

post #6 of 31
I think you should get you some cd3000's my man. Should solve your problem in the lows and startle you with their clarity. Of course, they're "brighter" than the 600s (not in a bad way, though).

post #7 of 31
nah, what you need is a pair of etys. then you can plug in BOTH the etys and the v6 to your max. put on the etys and put the v6 over em.

post #8 of 31

BTW, lini is right about the Philips HP 890. It's far better than their absurdly shrill HP 910. It's still rather bright and probably fatiguing in the long run, but it has pretty good bass. And a very airy soundstage. Don't get me wrong: I still prefer my Beyers (those 770/990Pros, now, those are musical headphones ), but this nicely dynamic yet spacious Philips might be a good choice for people that are torn between Grado and Sennheiser sound, I guess.
post #9 of 31
Some people have indicated that the Bass with headroom products lacks punch. It *might* be the amp... Kevin Gilmore says that even the blockhead sounds a little reigned in. He says this may be the result of DC coupling. I have no idea what dc-coupling means but there you have it.
post #10 of 31
Originally posted by ai0tron
Some people have indicated that the Bass with headroom products lacks punch. It *might* be the amp... Kevin Gilmore says that even the blockhead sounds a little reigned in. He says this may be the result of DC coupling. I have no idea what dc-coupling means but there you have it.
I also have a Max, and the bass certainly doesn't lack punch -- in fact, it's one of my favorite things about it. I haven't heard the BlockHead yet, so I can't comment on it.
post #11 of 31
what's the difference in the bass of the HD-600 with the Red cables compare to the stock? also what's the difference in the sound of the blue cables vs the reds?

post #12 of 31
Macdef: I told you so!

My Koss a/200's also trample over the HD-600s in bass, way deeper, and also a little tighter/ more defined. They are also more detailed in the treble, and have a better soundstage. But if you find the V6's bright, then you REALLY should look elsewhere!!! These are probably the brightest headphones ever made, and can only be used with the best 0.1% of recordings and with certain combinations of source equipment/amplification. Anything else will hurt your ears with tons of sibilence (oh yeah, they were quite rare when they were being produced, and now they've pretty much dissapeared)

You may want to look at the A/250s. I've never heard them myself, and supposedly they sound very different in terms of treble resonse (much darker and less defined i'm really surprised that no one here (other than vertigo1 and skippy) has tried them, considering that they're only $80 now (down from $250) That's less than a set of clous, and i'm sure they have better bass!
post #13 of 31
I have not heard every headphone in the world...but I've heard a number from Grado, Sony and Sennheiser...even a Stax from a few years back...and of course the Orpeus.

I also own the HD600. Now putting that one recording aside for the moment, I want to let you know a little trick used by many a speaker manufacturer to increase "so Called" bass. It is not cheap to create true deep bass...for it bags out most amplifiers.

So What they do is exaggerate the mid-bass...it's almost a kind of doubling...which is very pronounced on those boom cars.

When I first listened to the HD600 I noticed that even my Sonys ... which were $200.00 Canadian new had more thump. Ahh, not so. After a little more listening I noticed this speaker trick in the headphones. The 600s didn't produce this artificial bass response...to check I started to use some known disc that have a fairly good bootom end...selections from Patricia Barber, Holy Cole and even Madonna and Sarah McLauchlin's Surfacing Album. The bass was tight and startlingly deep...but doesn't double...The Sony has more perceived bass because the bottom notes blend together in a mess of bass Kinda BLAAH BLAHH BOOOOOOM-BLAAAHH BLAAAAH BOOOOOOM.
A totally unreconisable and incoherent mess. The effect of bass is not only ruined...on Sarah Mclauchlin's Witness...her voice is altered significantly...

The Sennheiser reminds me of What Bryston does for bass on boomy bass speakers....tightens the crap out of them. The 600s have solid, tight deep bass down to 16Hz(which is below human hearing)...not too many people hear below 40Hz BTW.

The problem is...people are so used to inaccurate billowy fake bass...that when they hear the real thing they think it's lacking somehow.

As for that recording...My bet is those other headphones are having too much trouble with it and are doubling...the 600 likely isn't. The RS 1 was a beauty in this department as well.
post #14 of 31
hmm, i haven't heard your SOny's, but I don't think its a fair comparason at all to the Senns. They are 200 CDN, not $600 CDN for the Senns.... the BEST $600 headphone certainly SHOULD have much tighter, deeper, and more detailed bass than a _______ $200 headphone... many sony's (i haven't heard yours) really do have nasty boomy bass, unlike the V6 (which i've heard and have agree with macdef's impressions, though i won't add anything because i don't have them here to do direct comparasons)

I think if you audition cans very briefly or aren't too experienced with good audio equipment, you can be easily be misled into thinking loud midbass= good bass response (look at all those honda civic hatchbacks out there) , but i doubt too many experienced Headfi-zers would fall for that trick...

That said, i still think the bass response on the HD600's leave somthing to be desired. Not that the bass response isn't among the best out there, or that it isn't the most balanced headphone IMO, but ideally, they could use a little better bass... In comparason, the bass on the Koss's sounds an octave lower than the Senns, which would indicate better low bass response... Also, on the senns, the bass seems a bit vague, lacking the detail and speed of the koss's (speed as in detail, resolution, and tightness) In fact, in comparason with the koss's, the Senns have more fluffy midbass and less deep bass!
post #15 of 31
though i haven't done a side by side comparison, i wouldn't be surprised if the A200's did indeed go lower than the hd600's. it's been mentioned before that the A200's and porta pros have similar looking (and sounding) drivers. the porta's go deeeeep. listening to test tones, the porta's even best my 580's in terms of bass extension. (it's a scary thought).

i thought the a250's had an entirely differnt sound, though i must say that my listening conditions were far from ideal.
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