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Oh dear, I've been shopping again

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hot on the heels of the X-Cans V2 that i bought on Wednesday... Today, I've bought some Sennheiser HD580s

These are a LOT cleaner sounding than my old Senn HD565s... and they seem to partner well with the X-Cans... The Bass is phenomenal with this setup... deep and impacting, but with mids and treble that fit deliciously (is that a Hi-Fi word?? lol) on top

One (age old) question that I have though... should I have waited until i got paid again, to get the HD600s, or... with my system as it is... are these absoloute barn-storming headphones?
post #2 of 25
Hey Duncan

I'm not expecting an immeadiate answer as you'll probably want some time to settle in your Xcans v2 and you HD580's, but do tell how you feel the HD580's compare to your CD1700's. I'd also be interested to know what sort of difference you found between your old QED amp and the Xcans.

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

Heres my best shot at a review for you

Ok... I'll try a review of reviews...

All sourced by my Marantz CD63se....

First off... HD565 vs HD580

This was done on my QED MB45 (handy... has two outputs) and, well... the HD565s just don't have it... they sound very tinny, and congested compared to the HD580s, also there bass is weaker, less substantial... I can't believe that the HD565s were my favourites, and so well reviewed by hi-fi press for so long, they sound dismal in comparison...

Winner : HD580

HD580 vs CD1700

Hmm... this is a matter of personal preference I feel.. The CD1700s sound meatier... more in your face in the midrange area... and are also duller in the treble area (not sure if this is a good, or bad thing yet... the HD580s seem to "Zing" a shade too much at the moment... will i get used to this... thats the question) Basswise, the HD580s seem to lay the law down... more authorative... deeper

Winner : None... matter of personal opinion, and musical taste

QED MB45 vs X-Cans V2

The QED is cheap and cheerful in comparison to the X-Cans... it has all the fundamentals... solid bass, sparkly treble (not that good a match with the HD580) but a decided lack of midrange...

Also, especially with the CD1700s, the QED hisses like anything... its not enough to disturb the music, but, when there is a quiet passage, it is definetly there, makes the CD sound more like Cassette... although, this isn't (obviously) noticeable on the Senns

With the X-Cans, you can just hear the faintest trace of hiss at low volumes (and... mine, like many others at minimum volume still plays music from the left channel)... but this unit is so much more musical than the QED... A sound that you can fall in love with... EXCEPT... the bottom octave of bass seems to distort on the Sonys (although interestingly hasn't as yet on the HD580s... could be an impedance thing?!)

Winner : X-Cans V2

Its all a matter of budget as to which setup is best... none is "amazingly bad"... just gets better the further up you get

Bargain basement : HD565 & QED MB45 - Treble that you don't normally expect from "mid-fi" along with a quite substantial (although congested) bass and midrange
Total Cost $250

Mid range : HD580 / CD1700 & QED MB45 - much the same as with the HD565s but a lot more definition, with the added midrange of the CD1700s making for a good vocal listen (if you can handle the hiss)
Total Cost $400 (HD580) or $270 (CD1700)

Upper range : HD580 / CD1700 & X-Cans V2 - This is a much more neutral sounding... not such savage treble, smoother, deeper bass, and pristine, perfect (imo) midrange with the HD580s... maybe a bit too syrupy with the CD1700s but, there smoothness in the treble area takes the edge away from the HD580s which can singe your eardrums if you are a bit too keen with the volume control
Total Cost $500 (HD580) or $370 (CD1700)

One interesting thing that has slightly annoyed me... The Senn HD580s seemed slightly dull out of the right channel, I was about to send them straight back, but i decided to swap the driver housing (NOT the backs) over with my HD565s and... voila... the sound is equal as it should be, and the HD565s are now dull on the right hand side... obviously a defect in the moulding of that part....
post #4 of 25
Ok Duncan thanks a bunch mate!

I also have the 565 and you may have persuaded me to go out in a couple of weeks time and get a couple of pairs to have a listen to! I admit that when I bought my 565's they were getting so many rave reviews that I just went out and handed my cash over and didnt do any auditions of any other headphones being a newbie to audio at the time I didn't think that they could sound any different and any differences would surely be marginal! I'll probably be checking out (if the shop sells them not been in in ages ) Grado sr80's and Senn's 580's and 600's. Though having just bought the xcansv2 and x-psu and a GBA and a stack of games I may have to wait for a couple of months. Mind you I am reasonably happy with the sound at the mo and unlike some on here i unfortunately do not have a bottomless pit of a bank balance
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

Glad to be of help... I think?!

I'll try and help you a little here...

Grado SR-80... they are almost like a sideways step from where you are now, to me (auditioned some a little while ago) there wasn't that big a difference to warrant the £120 price tag...

HD600... The ultimate beasties... but... I know for a fact that my source isn't good enough to show them off at there best... and I have been rest assured by the shop that i bought the HD580s from that there is only a minimal difference between the two... the HD600s being arier, and aimed more at classical music listeners (and... well... how many shops do you know that turn more money away... even if i didn't really have it to hand )

Subjectively though David, if YOU are happy with the sound of the HD565s, don't assume that because i'm slating them, that they are bad... they ARE still good... but, just sound a bit muddled compared to the HD580s... You WOULD notice a difference... but, can you warrant spending £200 like me?? (unless you have a Richer Sounds near you, where you can get them for £50?!)
post #6 of 25
Hey Duncan, glad you like your new phones. I love mine. One question though, what do you mean when you say "swap the driver housing"? Thanks.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hmm... How to explain...

Ok... Don't try this at home folks

Basically... I disconnected the cable... unclipped the drive unit from the headband... pulled it in half... removed the little plastic crescent (does that have any purpose other than aesthetics?!) Then... I (carefully) pulled the driver off of ITS housing... did the same on the HD565s... and just swapped the black plastic bits that the drivers clip on to

Don't see why i had to do it... but... if the HD565s are junked no REAL loss i guess
post #8 of 25

Re: Glad to be of help... I think?!

Originally posted by Duncan
I'll try and help you a little here...

(unless you have a Richer Sounds near you, where you can get them for £50?!)
Yep there is one!! But I'll probably leave it for a good while! Too many cds coming out that I want to buy!
post #9 of 25

HD-580 vs HD-600

Although many claim to be able to hear a distinct difference, the truth (as I see it) is that the HD-580 and HD-600 are as similar as any two samples of the SAME model in most headphone manufacturer's lines. I doubt seriously that, under controlled "blind" conditions, most people could reliably tell which was which. Quite a few, who believe they can, prefer the HD-580 to the HD-600. Some measurements have shown a slightly more extended deep bass response on the HD-580, although I'm skeptical about that.

They're really different versions of the same design, with the HD-600 being slightly more "refined" (in theory, at least). I went shopping last year intending to buy the 600, but came home with the 580 instead. I heard (or thought I did) a slight difference, but didn't consider one to be obviously better than the other. I actually like the appearance of the HD-580 better, with the more "shiny/glossy" finish on the HD-600 making it look (to my eyes) like a cheaper, rather than "more deluxe" product. Of course appearance is entirely subjective.

I personally wouldn't pay the difference in the price of these two headphones, they're so VERY similar. And for anyone who says that's because of the "quality of my source components", I would answer that my source components are STUDIO quality (in my studio). These are the same type of "source components" which make the cds you listen to (Stand alone multitrack and internal computer based hard disk recording gear, Sony dat with Super Bit Mapping, various md decks, Dolby S cassette, Otari, Tascam, and Studer/Revox reel to reels, Mackie mixer with phantom power for my condenser mics, various dynamic and condenser mics, etc.

What I would do is go for the 580, spend the price difference on MUSIC, and never look back. There are more expensive 'phones which better the performance of the 580s at least slightly in some ways. But NONE are obviously better in EVERY way than the HD-580. It's among the finest headphones available now regardless of price, and I LOVE mine!
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you for that Mike... At least I can look at my 580s and smile, knowing that i haven't "wasted" an extra £50 on the HD600s

I'm quite worried about the longevity of the CD1700s being in my possesion now... after listening to these HD580s for about 2 hours, just swapped back to the CD1700s and... erm... well... syrupy and dull are two of the nicest words that i can use to describe them

Could it be a matter of source? When i only had my QED the Sonys walked all over my HD565s... so, why all of a sudden the change... is it because tube amps are warmer? making the CD1700s TOO warm?? (I am the first to admit that the QED is a little bit... erm... cold)
post #11 of 25
Excellent review of the different systems, Duncan. Thanks!

And I agree with Mike that there is little difference between the HD 580s and the HD 600s. To my ears, the HD 580s seem a little more neutral/accurate in comparison to the HD 600s, which possess a (slightly) fuller midbass. The HD 600s may be slightly more laid-back in the lower treble, while being subtly more detailed in the high-treble, but this is a definite MAY, as I haven't directly compared the two for a long time.

Any differences are very slight, and you should be very satisfied with your decision to go with the HD 580s. The only advantage to the HD 600s is that they come with a nice little storage box, but if you don't need that, then there's no advantage!
post #12 of 25
I pretty much agree with the other comments here on the 580/600 debate. I think sometimes a hear a slight difference between the two when I'm looking for it, but with the price difference the 580 is a no-brainer. The fact that some people prefer the 580 to the 600 suggests it may well be sample to sample variation. They have the same drivers, but my 580, which is several years older than the 600, plays slightly louder than the 600, and this is the biggest difference in the sound.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the votes of confidence... I now KNOW i made a good investment getting these HD580s

I've been listening to various kinds of music... and i really can't fault the HD580s apart from the fact that they are just a shade too bright on the very top end for my liking... They do not get congested at all, in the same way that the HD565s do... its scarey, I've taken them apart (as mentioned above) and the drivers look IDENTICAL... the only visible differences are that on the 565s the hair thin wire is soldered onto the spring connector, whereas on the 580 driver that wire is mounted onto a brass screw... thats it to my unproffesional eye...

I'm not sure what i wish i had never bought now... the X-Cans the HD580s, both, or neither... but its quite funny how in just the past week my musical taste (tonally speaking) has been so altered

Am I an official Head-Fi'er now... or just an official nutcase??
post #14 of 25
I have a pair of 600's, I got lucky and got them new for $195. My bro just ordered a pair of 580 w/ a DSP for $120. Sweet deals all around. When he gets his pair, I'll ask him to bring it over and we shall both compare. If I or he hear any difference, I'll let you know for sure.

Until then...
post #15 of 25

"Am I an official Head-Fi'er now... or just an official nutcase??"

I think the two may be synonymous.
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