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Who here tried the Sennheiser Orpheus?

post #1 of 220
Thread Starter 
God, headphones system for 16K$...
If this doesn't sound good, then I don't know what does.
How many were made? I saw some data that says less than 100 systems.
post #2 of 220
If the idea of $16k headphone systems surprises you then you're probably in the wrong forum.

300 systems were made, with more individual headsets floating around. It took a good while for Sennheiser to sell them IIRC and they were actually losing money on each system sold so $16k doesn't tell the whole story. There are plenty of folks here that own the system and plenty more that have heard it. I spent a decent amount of time with one at a meet and it did sound great, not the last word in technical accuracy though very detailed but it was very euphonic and musical sounding with a velvety midrange, surprisingly powerful bass, massively large though somewhat diffuse soundstage with great soundstage height, great speed and supremely effortless presentation. There are headphones that are more technically accurate IMO but the HE90/HEV90 system is as musically euphonic as they come while still having a very high degree of accuracy. Now whether that's worth $16k to you when you can get similar results for less with other headphones, I don't know, but if you like the HE90 presentation above all then nothing else will do.

Do a search and you will find a ton of info.
post #3 of 220
I suggest you search for "HE90" and start reading. LOTS of posts around...
There were afaik some 3-400 system made, with a few more 'phones (HE90) than amplifiers (HEV90). The last ones back in 2005.
post #4 of 220
The HE90/HEV90 setup is superb.
post #5 of 220
Since last time I have had the pleasure to audition a Sennheiser Orpheus system.
A really stunning system indeed! The price tag do not fit everyone though...
post #6 of 220
I tried it in 1994.
Not exactly mind blowing, but very good. If I were to spend so much money however, I would buy something other. Still, I would love to try one now with a SACD or DVD-Audio reference recording.
post #7 of 220
As I recall the original price was more like 10K more than a decade ago. For that you got phones, headphone amp and a DAC and it was pretty much state-of-the-art then.

Periodically someone tries to peddle one for this amount or more. The phones are probably still worth getting but there has been a lot of progress in DAC's and amps since these came out so unless you are a collector you would do better with something else.

Since then the Stax 007 system came out, originally for US $7,000 and that was just for an amp and phones. The price of these has since come down but a new 007 is still about $2K. Their amp is about $1200-1500. You can now buy "super amps" for these phones like the BHSE for up to $5K. That would leave you with $3k and up to get the best darn DAC there is. Does anyone even sell one at that price? Mine have been about $1,200 new but I buy used for half the price.
post #8 of 220
As I recall, the retail never deviated from $16k BUT they took a long time to sell and there were deals available. I passed on a new one for $9K in the late 90's. THat was a mistake but I simple had no need for headphones then or even an interest in them!



Quote:
Originally Posted by edstrelow View Post
As I recall the original price was more like 10K more than a decade ago. For that you got phones, headphone amp and a DAC and it was pretty much state-of-the-art then.

Periodically someone tries to peddle one for this amount or more. The phones are probably still worth getting but there has been a lot of progress in DAC's and amps since these came out so unless you are a collector you would do better with something else.

Since then the Stax 007 system came out, originally for US $7,000 and that was just for an amp and phones. The price of these has since come down but a new 007 is still about $2K. Their amp is about $1200-1500. You can now buy "super amps" for these phones like the BHSE for up to $5K. That would leave you with $3k and up to get the best darn DAC there is. Does anyone even sell one at that price? Mine have been about $1,200 new but I buy used for half the price.
post #9 of 220
the HE90/HEV90 is great. it's certainly not cheap but if you have the budget, it is definitely worth seeking out.
post #10 of 220
I listen to my Orpheus almost every night, usually choosing one SACD, often classical.

Within five minutes you are in another world. There is nothing like this IMHO, not speakers (I have maggies), not Stax (I have 007a with Spritzer mod) ... it is like hypnosis. Euphonics is the correct term, as others have posted.

Violin concertos so searing they bring tears to my eyes. Opera so intense I shiver.

I listen with the lights off, the little l.e.d.'s on various pieces of equipment sparkle like stars in the sky.

This has been a very tense year. Without Orpheus I would be a drunk or druggie; it is my escape from reality.

When I bought the thing, my wife told me I could no longer buy a new car. Ever. She means it, and she controls the checkbook. My 2002 Toyota drops plastic pieces all over the road, is beat to hell, and very few of its systems work as intended. But I drive it with a smile.
post #11 of 220
I've been meaning to try it sometime. Perhaps I'll get lucky at a meet.
post #12 of 220
I've heard them twice - I still drool into my coffee thinking about them.
post #13 of 220
Heard them for an hour. Had a chance to purchase the entire system for about $7500cad but had to pass since the sound signature wasn't to my taste. I must say they loook absolutely beautiful in real life.
post #14 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by wavoman View Post
I listen to my Orpheus almost every night, usually choosing one SACD, often classical.

Within five minutes you are in another world. There is nothing like this IMHO, not speakers (I have maggies), not Stax (I have 007a with Spritzer mod) ... it is like hypnosis. Euphonics is the correct term, as others have posted.

Violin concertos so searing they bring tears to my eyes. Opera so intense I shiver.

I listen with the lights off, the little l.e.d.'s on various pieces of equipment sparkle like stars in the sky.

This has been a very tense year. Without Orpheus I would be a drunk or druggie; it is my escape from reality.

When I bought the thing, my wife told me I could no longer buy a new car. Ever. She means it, and she controls the checkbook. My 2002 Toyota drops plastic pieces all over the road, is beat to hell, and very few of its systems work as intended. But I drive it with a smile.
This is about the best promo for a piece of kit I've read in a long long time. This hobby is summed up right there. It's about the joy and passion of listening to music and if a $16k headphone system is that ticket to nirvana, and it is financially feasible, then go for it. I know I would.
post #15 of 220
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