Jpelg, you have over 7000 posts. How can you compare these?
I couldn't compare a ford escort/fusion to a BMW 5 series...wouldn't do it...why would you want to and what would you hope to accomplish?
Again, yes the 800 wins in all categories X2 and for the purpose of the OP...
You wouldn't take a piece of art by Michael angelo and decide to cover it with yellow to "improve" it ....no, hope not....would you take a piece of fine literature and add a chapter to "improve" it...no, I wouldn't. If Jpelg put out an original cd, it is HIS form of expression, he oversaw/approved the mix, decided where it would be recorded so that the acoustics of the studio, church, venue would be reflected in the art, the emotion he expresses is carefully honed by the artist to form a collective body of work that is a song. I listen to jpelg's expression as he intends me to hear it and this is my goal in listening and working to achieve this.
Think about it. You're a long-time HD600/HD650 listener. You like the Senn sound but realize that is has shortcomings. Along comes the HD800 with all of the hoopla associated with it, and supposedly it's in an entirely different league (and priced accordingly), but you haven't yet had a chance to hear these new wonders with your own two ears.
Yet, you've been around long enough to have a healthy does of skepticism, and rightfully so! You've seen a lot of "best ever" proclamations about new headphones--only to later see these same FOTM headphones becoming #1 on the "best sellers" list in the used market at Head-Fi. So now here you are again, having read a lot of the hype, and are now actually thinking about plopping down $1,400 for another pair of headphones that you really don't need as such.
Makes perfect sense to me that you would run a reality check up the flag pole and start a thread that asks for opinions of similarly situated folks who: 1) enjoy the Senn HD600/HD650 sound--no opinions from haters allowed, 2) actually own a pair of HD800--no opinions from those who have done 5-10 minute HD800 auditions under meet conditions, and 3) have actually taken the time to compare them side by side in detail--no opinions based on muscle memory.
We need more threads like this around here. Let's not just take everyone's word that the HD800s are "great" (hey, I think they are too) and "worth it" (again, I think they are, but that's not the point). Let's actually sit down and listen, take notes, and then provide meaningful comparisons against the old benchmarks. This is exactly what we need at Head-Fi.
I'm glad that jpelg phrased his queries with these important provisos. Taking myself as an example, I have a pair of HD600, but I doubt that I've listened to them for more than 5 minutes in the past 5 years. I also have a pair of HD650, and I've listened to them a lot more; probably about 10 minutes in the past 3 years (not counting every time Ray Samuels has forced me to sit down and listen to his latest contraption with his HD650s at the various meets I've attended). Plus, I'm not in Cayman at the moment, where my HD600s and HD650s are, not to mention my reference amps and sources.
My point is that I really shouldn't be expressing much of an opinion about the "differences" between the HD800 and HD600/HD650 because to do so could only cloud the judgment of those who are on the fence about whether to buy a pair of HD800 (at a quite considerable cost, let's not forget).
My gut instinct, based on muscle memory of headphones that I quite like but am no longer very familiar with, is that YES!!!, the HD800 walks all over them. But I can't really say this for sure. Chances are my opinion would be very similar to yours. I just don't see what's wrong with jpelg having asked the question. It's such an obvious question, if you think about it. Maybe even too obvious, and that's why nobody else has had the guts to ask it.
I don't know, maybe I'm missing something. Maybe you guys are good pals, and you've just giving him a hard time. Or maybe you didn't mean it the way that I took it, and are just trying to express your excitement about the HD800 by saying, "What HD600? What HD650? Fuggetaboutit! You need to get a pair of HD800!!!" Fair enough, I agree with that, but please don't shoot the guy who thinks twice before making a purchase decision, or simply would like to know what people with relevant experience have to say about the differences.