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Senn HD600/650 fans on the HD800 - owners only! - Page 4

post #46 of 88
vcoheda


Thanks for the comparison between the Balanced HD600, HD650 and HD800.

Would it be fair to say the Balanced HD650 is no slouch in its own right and Balanced HD800 is only slightly better running them on the same balanced amp???
post #47 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by pabbi1 View Post
Phones: hd600, hd650, he60, and hd800
Source: Azur 840c
Amp: Balanced Bijou
Cables: Balanced APS v3 hd6x0 and balanced APS v3 hd800


The difference?

Percussion: Kick drum has lower, clearer response, where the timbre difference between all the drums in the kit (kick drum, mounted toms, floor tom and snare) are all easily distinguishable, not 'just a drum' over either hd6x0. The cymbals have the proper ZZZzzzzzzzzz decay, and other things like rattles, congas, and yes even cowbell sound more distinct. Xylephone has a very nice shimmer as well.

Strings: I have noticed on guitar more depth in the soundboard, and more distinct string noise, both hitting frets and from fingers sliding along before chording. Compressed chords (Soundgarden, Janes Addiction, Tool) all seem do have more depth and better balanced overtones, and not just a shallow nod at overtones as the hd6x0. Oh, and listening to all the overdubbed layers is quite revealing, especially when there are 3 or 4 layers like in jane's Addiction 'Stop', where the PRS (Paul Reed Smith) guitar shows a signature of it's own, unlike a strat or LP. Harpsichord is just cutting, like they do in person - kinda eerie, oh and with it's additional mechanical noises. Piano again has more resonance from the soundboard, not just the strings, and much more pronounced key / pedal noise, like in person up close, but maybe not at the back of the hall, or mic'd.

Reverb: here is a real distinct win for the hd800 - you can get the rolling texture of reverb, not just _some_ ebb and flow, but the roll of the wave. Oh, and you can feel the reverb... actual vibrating of the earpads, not unlike bass you can fee from a subwoofer, albeit just around your ears.

Vocals: More crisp and enunciated, where lyrics are more legible, and presented in a way you can understand the words - in almost all cases. A clear step up from both hd6x0 presentations.

Bass: Ripped, taught, and with impact, at least on my rig. Hd600 is taught, but not ripped, and with lesser impact, but at a detriment to other instruments, depending on the recording, where this is especially true with The Who, almost across the board. The hd800 balanced this out quite well.

Balance: All things in better proportion - not flat (whatever that means), but NOTHING is presented in preference at the expense of others.

Weakness: that is the real story - hd650 has a bass hump, hd600 is a little bass shy, hd600 a little grainy on the high frequencies, and the hd650 silky right in the middle. The hd800 is balanced, and does nothing poorly - it truly strives to do everything well, and leaves no note behind.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pabbi1 View Post
That is an excellent question, but, with the hd800, it is severely sapping my motivation to finish the new Blue Hawaii derivative for the he60. That, I feel, is the real measure of the issue - does it make me give up other things?

To wit: The hd600 & hd650 have been stored in a new case (an aluminum wine carrying case, perfect for 2 pair of hd6x0, and assorted cables), put aside, probably to be relegated to amp-build test phones, or sent to a relative overseas. They are all but dead to me, though having served well over the years.

We will see if the he60 meets a similar fate.

AND, I am building not one but two new amps, to see which is more worthy to serve the hd800.
pabbi1, thanks for these most interesting impressions. Would be great to hear how the (Blue Hawaii driven) HE60 compares to the HD800.
post #48 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMahler View Post
I don't think the HD800 makes the HD600 and HD650s obsolete. There has been more premium headphones than the HD600s/650s for years. I understand the association between the 3 is that they are all Sennheiser. The only way I see the HD600/650 becoming obsolete is if the price were to come down a significant amount on the hd800. Even then,I could honestly see some people still prefer the 650s and 600s to the 800s. It would not be a common choice, but the laid back sound may be preferable for some people and some genres.
Well,i'm one of those people who really likes the laidback,smooth,natural and polite sound signature of the hd 600/650(some call it veil).At times i feel i would like the tremble in the hd 600 to be just a little(but very little,not by much)smoother.
But it doesn't bother me.But if the 800 has a little more tremble/sibilance then i might don't like it.
Anyway,when i try it,i will give my impressions!
post #49 of 88
Hehe,sorry,i actualy did start an HD800 vs AKG K1000,but no one posted there
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpelg View Post
I feel that by "talking around" what you all are hearing from the HD800's, without a lot of the hype of recent months, and with real time on your own home systems, we are coming closer to what is really happening with these new cans.Thanks for the impressions Dave. Reading such tempered words describing the HD6xx's, like "nice", "good", "decent", "average", "not much weight", "not much impact", "not much...texture", "a little hard", is refreshing & revealing at the same time.LOL- trudat! Audio designers can develop products from a singular viewpoint, with a reference at the top & less-expensive versions down the line. Or they can address a variety of "truths", in hopes of capturing different markets, customer preferences, etc. One of the things I was hoping to glean from my original post was to see what Sennheiser has done with the HD800. It seems that they have either changed their "reference point" (maybe changed designers?), or feel the need to address difference tastes.Hey, start your own thread. We're all stocked up here!

(actually, I'd be interested in such a thread also. Maybe include the K70x too?)
post #50 of 88
Great thread! My 650's w/cardas cable have been by far my favorite headphones that I've owned. I'm going to audition the 800's sometime, but it is great to read all of these direct comparisons. Plus I don't have to work through the 80+ pages in the main appreciation/impressions thread to to get the info I need. Keep those impressions flowing.
post #51 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by pearljam5000 View Post
Hehe,sorry,i actualy did start an HD800 vs AKG K1000,but no one posted there
Take a look at the High-end Audio Forum (Summit-Fi)

> Can someone do a Sennheiser HD800 vs AKG K1000 review?
post #52 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by cafe zeenuts View Post
vcoheda

Thanks for the comparison between the Balanced HD600, HD650 and HD800.

Would it be fair to say the Balanced HD650 is no slouch in its own right and Balanced HD800 is only slightly better running them on the same balanced amp???
i thought the 650 held up surprisingly well against the 800. the 600 was certainly a notch or two below both in terms of overall performance, but that is also most likely due to the presence of piano in the tracks, which i felt the 600 was quite poor at reproducing.

regarding the 800, i think it definitely improves across the board when running balanced as opposed to single ended.
post #53 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post
i thought the 650 held up surprisingly well against the 800. the 600 was certainly a notch or two below both in terms of overall performance, but that is also most likely due to the presence of piano in the tracks, which i felt the 600 was quite poor at reproducing.

regarding the 800, i think it definitely improves across the board when running balanced as opposed to single ended.
vcoheda, I've just realized that you have the HE60, too. May I ask you for some comparative impressions regarding HD800 and HE60? I do appreciate the baby Orpheus as one of the cans with the most accurate tone colors and imaging and I just wonder how the HD800 does in this regard. Thanks!
post #54 of 88
^^ i wrote a comparison of HD800 (single ended) v. HE60/HEV70 in the appreciation thread. look there. the conclusion was HD800 winner hands down. of course i was using the HEV70 and not a BH or something along those lines to drive the HE60, so things could be different.
post #55 of 88
Thanx for the x-reference. Sounds promising.
post #56 of 88
Thank you,i didn't know it moved!
Quote:
Originally Posted by bordins View Post
post #57 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpelg View Post
It is impressions like these that are the most perplexing to me. I mean, you are going along blissfully listening to the the HD6xx's, thinking "Of all the headphones I've heard, these sound the best to me. The most like 'music' should sound."

Then, you hear the HD800's - a headphone that by just about all counts sounds quite different, and you now think "Those are the most like music should sound. I can't be bothered to listen to those old HD6xx's any more."

How does one's reference in music reproduction change so drastically, so quickly?
Good question, jpelg. For me, it's all in the revelation. For example, I wouldn't know how bad my old pair of glasses was until I tried on a new pair with upgraded specs (no pun intended). Once I try the new, I'd have trouble returning to the old pair. The HD800 is like that. It reveals my favorite music to me in ways that the HD650 can't. I "see" things clearly that were simply not there or vague with the 650.

The downside with the sharper pair of glasses is that you can also see the ugly more clearly too. The HD800 is extremely unforgiving in this respect. I now consider pure junk some of the stuff that was OK with the 650. Along with the beauty, the 800 reveals all the flaws, too.

I've heard others use the word "neutral" with the 800, but I find myself stopping short of that word. I think what they mean is that the 800 doesn't distort -- it doesn't color or enhance the sound in any way. Thus, it's objective or accurate -- or even revealing. It exposes the details in a recording. In this case, "analytical" works as a descriptor, too, since it's a process that we apply to breaking whatever into its tiniest components to see how it ticks.

If I had to describe the 800 sound in touchy-feely terms, I'd say it's sweet like biting into the soft inside of a piece of candy with a hard outer shell. But the BIG BUT is that the candy has to be first rate, first. When I listen to the best recordings of my favorite music, the 800 is pure sweetness. When I listen to less than the best quality recordings, the sweetness factor quickly degenerates.

About whether the 800 makes other cans (such as the 600/650) obsolete -- I agree with those who say no. I think we're still going to need our other cans to get the most out of different kinds of music and, more precisely, different quality of music and varying equipment.

No cans can work optimally with all recordings and all equipment. The 800s are no different. They work best in certain lineups, in specific rigs and combinations, and they work best with certain kinds and qualities of music. But the point is that when it does work well, the result is stunning.

I'm not sure if this analogy is useful, but it's like food. When you first find a dish that you really like, you can't get enough of it. But after a while, you return to a state where the new dish simply becomes one of your "favorite foods." It may remain at the top of the list, and it doesn't lose any of its appeal, but it doesn't replace all the other stuff that you also like.
post #58 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by pabbi1 View Post
Percussion: Kick drum has lower, clearer response, where the timbre difference between all the drums in the kit (kick drum, mounted toms, floor tom and snare) are all easily distinguishable, not 'just a drum' over either hd6x0.
That to me is why the HD6xx will never be a top tier headphone. You can even go use different systems, blanced, single ended, and the timbre will more or less sound the same on the HD6xx's. This is the exact reason I gave up on them.

This is not to say they couldn't sound good this way, but they do not have the bandwidth to recreate all the different textures like the HD800s do and other high end headphones.
post #59 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post
^^ i wrote a comparison of HD800 (single ended) v. HE60/HEV70 in the appreciation thread. look there. the conclusion was HD800 winner hands down. of course i was using the HEV70 and not a BH or something along those lines to drive the HE60, so things could be different.
I think that is a comparison that will be the most telling. I'm hamstrung at the moment, as the BH has a problem (of my causing), and the new BH derivative is still awaiting one last part, so, maybe within a few weeks. The hev70 is just not a fair rendering for the he60, much like the koss 950, whre both shine with better and matching power.

I also agree that the amp will really need to be matched to the hd800 for us to really know what it can do. Again, my pipeline will give me several options over the next 6 months or so, depending on parts, but one new option will be available (again)within a few weeks, so, I still have some questions regarding what is best.
post #60 of 88
Before the first 3 pairs of HD800 arrived in Thailand, I thought that Sennheiser has changed the sound signature of HD650 or HD600. To that feeling, I didn't think about finding one for myself. But when I had a chance to try the "fresh from the box" 10-hours burned in, my feeling started to change. I could feel the signature of Senn, but it was not as strong until I had 5 hours of this can, side by side with my HD650 + SAA Equinox.

I used to believe that HD650+Equinox is my favorite, and very few can can beat it. But I was totally wrong after spendig the first hour of comparison. I have modified Sony PlayStation1 as my player with Earmax SE. Various types of my favorite music (jazz, fusion, bossa) were used, HD800 won in all aspects (transparency, speed, accuracy, details, sound stage, and extensions).

Many HD650 owners said this can will get better with better source or amps. I had a chance to try OMZ DAC/HEADAMP from Bodins (thank you so much, my brother) one evening. HD650 could perform better in all aspects, but HD800 had perform even greater distant than comparing both cans with Earmax SE. HD800 was the winner again.

My own HD800 is now on the way from the U.S. to Thailand! My time with HD650+Equinox will end soon, but I will never forget this pair. To bad that I can't keep both of them together
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