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More HD600 questions

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm pretty close to picking up a pair of HD600s, but I have three questions that I would like answered before I make the final call.

1. How laid-back/dark sounding are they? Compared to a pair of Grado SR325s for instance? I'm looking for something non-fatiguing, so this is pretty important.

2. What is their main strength? I'm guessing midrange.

3. Will they fare ok with all kinds of music, or is it a case of them being "made" for classical or whatever?

Auditioning is hard, mainly since I won't be able to get a pair home and auditioning in a store really says nothing IMO. Let me state again that I'm looking for something that can be used for longer periods without any risk of fatigue. Now, are the HD600s it?
post #2 of 12
1. they're laidback and smooth. if there's no punch in the recording, you won't be getting any either.

2. indeed midrange is damn good, smoothness and naturalness too.

3. depends on taste. IMO, Senn goes with everything. rock is great, jazz is great, construction feels good. all good

weaknesses are the way better value of the 580. it's only a tiny difference in the treble, only noticed with the right piece of music.

yes the 600 are "it". the 580 as well.

just go for it man. I got the headphone only a few steps down from the 600. it's great. only thing stopping me from a straight 6 hours are hot ears (and the fear of damage to my hearing of course. take breaks between albums guys!)
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Let me state again that I'm looking for something that can be used for longer periods without any risk of fatigue. Now, are the HD600s it?
Yes IMO. I have it and HD580, lying on the floor with the light off and I can fall asleep listening to them, they are so comfy and easy on the ears.
post #4 of 12

I own both

I own both the Grado SR325's and the Senn HD600's.

With that in mind here are my thoughts on the Senns:

1) The Senn's are laid back and smmooooth. No trace of harshness or sibilance. However, they
are not dark.

2) Neutrality and natural (nearly to a fault).

3) They sound great for all kinds of music. The
only possible exception is heavy metal. I listened to Metallica (and Justice for all) with them and they seemed to lack punch and bite. They
sounded good, but something didn't seem quite right.

4) These headphones are definately non-fatiguing.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comments, sounds good so far. The only problem is the lack of aptitude for heavy metal that bwithers speaks of. I'm actually listening to Metallica as I'm writing this (Master of Puppets, yeah!), and the lack of punch could be troublesome. But I guess that's the price one has to pay for a non-fatiguing sound, eh?
post #6 of 12
mcbiff, exactly right, IMO. If you want a headphone that's going to give you all the bite and punch of Metallica, you're not going to get "non-fatiguing" cans.

For everything else you describe, you'll love the 580/600.
post #7 of 12
Hey mcbiff...I don't know the answer but I'd love to find out. I'll wager that you've got a sweet headbanging SS amp too...so if it can't make these bathroom marble cans get down and headbang, than there isn't too many other amps out there that will do it besides maybe Aphearheds crazy 600 amp, or the Blockhead.

Right now I think the Ety's fit the bill for me in being accurate and musical while still being able to get down and dirty with less refined music unlike my Beyers DT931 (yet). But I'd love to see your evaluation of HD600's to see if you can bang with them or not. I like a lot of the music you do anyhow...

As for Justice for All...it still does sound good on my Grados or Ety's...but overall that recording has some real issues (sterility) that makes it far less enjoyable than Master or Ride. I mean even headbangers have complained about the way it was recorded if that means anything to any of you.
post #8 of 12
McBiff:

The HD 600s are claimed to be designed for the classical recording engineer...indeed if it can do classical music right then it does everything right. That may very well mean that certain rock recording will sound more laid back...a term that is incorrect. The term used for the HD600 should be neutral...to which other headphones are not. If a Grado produces more bass in a rock recording...it may indeed be more enjoyable, but the same headphone will punch up the lower ocatves of a piano, vocals and everything else...which can be tiresome...especially if you know the headphone is blowing it. Headphones are not intelligent creatures that can determine when to add that extra bass...The 580s and 600s give you pretty much what they are being fed...feed them well and you should be very happy.

The advantage of neutral headphones is that if you want a little adjusting of certain frequencies you can control them will tertiary devices(Tube Rolling etc). If a can is permanantly voiced with a midrange bass hump...you're stuck with it all the time and no tube or EQ is going to fix it.

I have heard dozens and dozens of cans under 1k...they all pale in comparison in Comfort level, neutrality, and long term listening fatigue...The only one around the same price comparable is the RS1(though I have not heard AKG or similar priced KOSS). The RS1 is twice as much...and Arguably no better...different yes...better no.

I also agree that the 580 is a better value...but the 600 is still a better can...noticeable at both frequency extremes...the question is whether a 10% improvement is worth 30%-50% more money? Only you can determine that.
post #9 of 12
IMHO, the HD600 do sound great for Metal too. I listen primarily to Metal on my HD600. But i guess partnering is what we are talking about here. Partner it with the right CDP, Amp and I/C i dont think it will be a problem.

Just go for it mcbiff.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by MacDEF
mcbiff, exactly right, IMO. If you want a headphone that's going to give you all the bite and punch of Metallica, you're not going to get "non-fatiguing" cans.

For everything else you describe, you'll love the 580/600.
Sounds reasonable. Though I would like to know whether the Clou Red Jaspis can work to alleviate any of these problems. I've read reports of it improving the bass at least, and that should be helpful.

Quote:
Originally posted by Tim D
Hey mcbiff...I don't know the answer but I'd love to find out. I'll wager that you've got a sweet headbanging SS amp too...so if it can't make these bathroom marble cans get down and headbang, than there isn't too many other amps out there that will do it besides maybe Aphearheds crazy 600 amp, or the Blockhead.

Right now I think the Ety's fit the bill for me in being accurate and musical while still being able to get down and dirty with less refined music unlike my Beyers DT931 (yet). But I'd love to see your evaluation of HD600's to see if you can bang with them or not. I like a lot of the music you do anyhow...

As for Justice for All...it still does sound good on my Grados or Ety's...but overall that recording has some real issues (sterility) that makes it far less enjoyable than Master or Ride. I mean even headbangers have complained about the way it was recorded if that means anything to any of you.
Headbanging SS amp, hmm, well I have the Sugden Headmaster if that qualifies.

So AJFA is badly recorded? That's interesting, maybe the punch isn't all that lacking after all? Could someone try the HD600s with MOP to see?

Be sure that if I get them, I will do a nice write-up of their performance with heavier music. That aspect of the HD600s is sadly pretty undocumented.

Quote:
Originally posted by RGA
McBiff:

The HD 600s are claimed to be designed for the classical recording engineer...indeed if it can do classical music right then it does everything right. That may very well mean that certain rock recording will sound more laid back...a term that is incorrect. The term used for the HD600 should be neutral...to which other headphones are not. If a Grado produces more bass in a rock recording...it may indeed be more enjoyable, but the same headphone will punch up the lower ocatves of a piano, vocals and everything else...which can be tiresome...especially if you know the headphone is blowing it. Headphones are not intelligent creatures that can determine when to add that extra bass...The 580s and 600s give you pretty much what they are being fed...feed them well and you should be very happy.

The advantage of neutral headphones is that if you want a little adjusting of certain frequencies you can control them will tertiary devices(Tube Rolling etc). If a can is permanantly voiced with a midrange bass hump...you're stuck with it all the time and no tube or EQ is going to fix it.

I have heard dozens and dozens of cans under 1k...they all pale in comparison in Comfort level, neutrality, and long term listening fatigue...The only one around the same price comparable is the RS1(though I have not heard AKG or similar priced KOSS). The RS1 is twice as much...and Arguably no better...different yes...better no.

I also agree that the 580 is a better value...but the 600 is still a better can...noticeable at both frequency extremes...the question is whether a 10% improvement is worth 30%-50% more money? Only you can determine that.
I like what you're saying, the part about them putting out what they get in I mean. That should work for me.

About the HD580/600 price/performance ratios, that's not really an issue here. The HD600s are only about $30 more expensive than the HD580s, and I know I would kick myself later if I didn't go all the way and get the HD600s.

Quote:
Originally posted by anders213
IMHO, the HD600 do sound great for Metal too. I listen primarily to Metal on my HD600. But i guess partnering is what we are talking about here. Partner it with the right CDP, Amp and I/C i dont think it will be a problem.

Just go for it mcbiff.
Sounds good.


I think I'm gonna go for it, thanks for all your help.
post #11 of 12
I happen to listen to some metal, and I happen to have HD600s.

Right now I am listening to Orbital, and while it isn't boomy, it has some punchiness to it (Halcyon&on&on is the song), and the highs are a touch harsh (320k mp3, sounds like someone was using Xing to encode it, combined with the harsh treble of my SB Live Platinum).


And Justice For All is one of the worst recorded albums, period.

I have the gold CD (Original master tape) version of Master of Puppets, and the HD600s play it admirably, but they do show the limitations of the recording (No extended highs, slight hiss, overly warm)

That is one annoying thing about these headphones. The song playing now is Cats in the Cradle (Ugly Kid Joe), and it wasn't recorded very well. It sounds boomy, and there is an emphasis on some of the mids, and the lower treble is deemphasixed. Bleh.


The HD600s don't have a single weakness other then their amazing ability to show you how crappy some recordings are. They will play quite loud with an amp (Even my old style airhead works great, although surely they would sound better through a better amp). This means that some recordings will sound sub par, compared to headphones that spice the sound up a bit, but there is nothing like hearing an excellent recording on the HD600s.

Get them, you will be impressed. They are by far the best thing for me to listen to my favorite metal group on - Therion. Then again, Therion is absolute hell on speakers. Operatic vocals, solo and in chorus, guitar, strings, bass, drums, synth, piano, brass, and the HD600s take it. Therion brings out the best and worst in a speaker. Particularly the worst, becuase it has so many insturments that are sensitive to frequency humps (Particularly piano). Now I hope the new CD isn't as distorted as this mp3.
post #12 of 12
I borrowed the Senn 580 for a while .. and they thrist for a good amp... but that should not be a problem for you. I would good ahead with the 600 though, even if the 580 is a bit cheaper.. I kinda felt that the 580s I tried had a slight driver mis-match problem. The 600s are built with a higher tolerance.
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