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Sennheiser HD540 question

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'm new to this forum and just bought a used pair of HD540 Reference headphones to try and see if I like cans. They sound pretty good, if not a bit thin in the mids and slightly shrill in the highs (but I obviously need to run them in more). I noticed that the 540s have the two detachable cord system like the newer 580/600/650s do -- does anyone know if the plug size is identical to those? I may want to try an upgraded headphone cord, so I thought I'd ask. If the cord for the 540s is not compatible with the 580/600/650 series, does anyone make upgraded cables for older Sennheiser cans, or am I stuck with the stock cord?

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 25
It is not the same cable. You could always buy wire and diy the cables using the old connecters. Replacements for 540 are available here if you goof.
post #3 of 25
You need some stronger amplification stat!
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info, as I was just about to try and buy a Cardas upgrade cable for a 600, thinking it would fit. As for amplification, I'm currently using the headphone circuit of a Parasound P/LD-2000 preamp (high-current, low-noise circuit which actually sounds pretty good), which is the preamp for my main stereo rig, although I'll probably upgrade to a standalone when I upgrade my cans as well.....;-)
post #5 of 25
I had a pair of HD540, and when I replaced my HD600 cable with a HD650 cable I shifted the old HD600 cable onto the HD540. Yes it fits.

I did not try the HD650 cable on the HD540, the pins would fit but the plastic might need a tiny bit shaved off to fit.

And yes, those baby's are 600 ohms.
post #6 of 25
^ Thank you for correcting me. Sorry OP, every site i found selling the cables said they were not compatable.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks NiceCans, so it looks like I can pursue a Cardas cable upgrade, which is good. I did some poking around this forum and it sounds like the 540 Golds are a well-regarded pair of cans, wish those were the ones I had!

Someone who owns a pair of 600s told me that the most cost-effective upgrade would be to upgrade the cable to the 650 cable -- is this true? What's the difference (if any) b/w the cable for the 600 and 650 -- thicker gauge, six-nines copper? ;-)
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by pugs4life View Post
Someone who owns a pair of 600s told me that the most cost-effective upgrade would be to upgrade the cable to the 650 cable -- is this true? What's the difference (if any) b/w the cable for the 600 and 650 -- thicker gauge, six-nines copper? ;-)
The HD-650 stock cable is thicker and more durable. It should also have the better conductors (i.e. thicker diameter). Also if your amp uses a 1/4" jack, the HD-600 cable will require you to use an adapter which is not ideal. The HD-650 cable uses 1/4" plug so you do not need an adapter in the signal path.

Cheers!
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info, Zorander -- yes, my (pre)amp uses a 1/4" jack, and I didn't know that the 600 cable requires an adapter. I'll probably order the 650 cable and hopefully be able to shave the sides down (carefully) to fit my 540s.
post #10 of 25
If you wait about a week I will be able to tell you if the 650 works in the 540s. Have some 580s with the 650 cable coming and some 540 reference IIs on the way.
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'd be happy to wait, CareyB. Let me know if it works, then maybe I'll upgrade as well. Thanks!
post #12 of 25
I have a HD530 and a HD650. In my opinion the plugs are different atleast in size and form. HD530 is almost identical to HD540.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_villain View Post
I have a HD530 and a HD650. In my opinion the plugs are different atleast in size and form. HD530 is almost identical to HD540.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiceCans View Post
I had a pair of HD540, and when I replaced my HD600 cable with a HD650 cable I shifted the old HD600 cable onto the HD540. Yes it fits.
Now don't go make me track them down and post a pic
(insert humor here)


(The only visible difference was that the HD540 cable ends had flat metal pins instead of the round ones on the HD600 and HD650. The spacing is the same and the holes do accept the round pins without forcing them. The plastic surrounding the pins fits into the HD540's socket with no interference what-so-ever.)
post #14 of 25
I am very dubious about whether an HD540 merits a cable upgrade. The 540 is a long way from the 580. Even the 560 and 540 gold were easily outperformed by the contemporary top dynamic offerings from Beyer, AKG, and MB. Magazine reviews at the time tended to agree on this, and in a big comparison I did for this forum (search titles with "European"), I came to agree. Firmly. Moreover, used prices for something like a DT990 or K400 which will easily trounce the Senns are comparable to prices for an HD540, so I strongly recommend making that kind of switch before investing in better cables for a mediocre headphone.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input, facelvega. If (big if, though) I stay within the Senn range, however (i.e., 600, 650), then I can always use the 650 cable with those, or as a spare.
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