Originally Posted by vvanrij
Hmm not quite sure if everyone agrees with that. For the price of a fully balanced setup hd650 there are alot of other things you could buy, can dynamic cans really cut it with the top of electrostatics? I'v never been a sennheiser guy, but I have never heard them balanced.
Yes. Or rather, the setup will have different virtues. I have an HD650 that is essentially balanced (running off a push-pull speaker amp) and an O2 setup. The HD650 is better in terms of bass extension, bass impact, and soundstage size, while the O2 is better when it comes to detail, tonal purity, harmonic richness, and speed. At the end of the day I prefer the O2 and I think it is the better setup, but the HD650 is almost on the same level, and is definitely less expensive. Remember, the O2 will not
sound its best off Stax amps. It may still sound fairly good, but you need
expensive boutique amps to get it running to its potential. Which puts it safely above a balanced HD650 price point, provided that you don't splurge on a massively expensive (and most likely massively overpriced) balanced amp (maxed-out SDS-XLR anyone?).
Well, I lie. Sort of. You could cheat and run the O2 off a transfomer box with a beefy speaker amp behind it, and while that won't be as transparent as a good dedicated amp, it will give the O2 enough power to open it up and not sound slow, and while it won't be cheap either it can be a lot cheaper than a dedicated good ES amp. You can guess what I'm doing
Originally Posted by Kuba
If I were to stick to Senns, wouldn't it be a better idea to buy HD 600? I will stay in the "mere mortal territory," as catscratch nicely put it, for a long time, i.e. won't have a killer setup for them. In other words: are HD 600s less demanding or as much demanding as HD 650s but just different sounding?
They are less demanding, but still demanding. I've heard them sound quite nice off SE amps though, namely the Raptor. Interestingly, I don't think the Raptor is all that as an amp, it's massively overpriced and doesn't sound good with most other headphones. But, Ray voices his amps for the HD600, and it sounds quite good with it. You could probably do better though for less money, so you decide.
The HD650, with insufficient power, will sound sluggish and dark. The HD600 with insufficient power will sound grainy and wooly, but will still be relatively neutral.
I still think a good-sounding pair of K340s will be the way to go here. I had one, running off an old $200 tube amp, which sounded simply terrific with PF, Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, and the like. Better than the SR-404 out of the SRM-007t, which is by itself a pretty capable system.