Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Is It Really Worth 'Upgrading' Sennheiser HD 580/600/650 Cables?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is It Really Worth 'Upgrading' Sennheiser HD 580/600/650 Cables?

post #1 of 328
Thread Starter 

As per title really.

 

I'm a cable skeptic. Well, maybe not an outright skeptic, but have a healthy level of snake-oil awareness and a distrust of manufacturer advertising skullduggery. I've spent a lot of money on cables in the past, only to replace them with cheaper manufacturer brands with no detriment to SQ. This is in my main hifi setup I hasten to add which is of a high enough 'end' to warrant high cost cabling in some peoples eyes at least. I do use some decent cabling, just not always mainstream hifi brand stuff.

 

I'd basically like to hear the opinions that people have regarding the changing of stock Senn cables, and if possible the results of any blind testing done. Were the cables really better, or did they make no difference whatsoever? I have access to some nice instrument cable at work (PTFE dielectric, SPOFC, mylar screened etc. etc.), and am considering throwing a set of cables together tomorrow.

 

Is it a case of if I hear a difference it's because I want to hear a difference, or is there really going to be an audible benefit to going with better cables?

 

What say you?

post #2 of 328

No.

 

See sig. If you ever think you should get a cable, let your ears decide FIRST at a meet or something. Oh, and try asking around in the DIY forum, where values are better, the people there are always helpful and I'm sure you could get someone to build one. I'm not sure what you mean by throw one together, if you mean you can build one yourself, great! Even though I don't in expensive cable, well-built reasonably priced cables are definitely a plus to me.

post #3 of 328
No.

I owned both the HD-600 and HD-650. Along the way, I picked up a Cardas and a Blue Dragon cable. I used both on both cans as well as swapped around the stock cables. There was no difference between the four cables. I have some test equipment, too, and was not able to measure any difference.

If you want to roll your own cable, go for it. There's nothing wrong with experimentation and it would be a good experience to build one. If you find no difference, I'm sure someone would buy it from you.
post #4 of 328

all the cables sound different, never too late to find out.

post #5 of 328

The cable sound different, but its something that instruments may not be able to measure,its one of those things,different does not mean better,there are trade offs.

post #6 of 328

Here we go again...

 

post #7 of 328

What say you?

 

 

What say I?  So far, I've changed out the computer power supply unit to compliment the new ASUS STX sound card.  Both changes made a difference.

 

I changed out the power supply cord and it made a big difference..... in that it sucked the life out of the music and I went back to my cheap azzzz computer power supply cord.

 

Currently, I'm awaiting the arrival of some custom made Double Helix Cables for my HD-650.

 

Is it a case of if I hear a difference it's because I want to hear a difference, or is there really going to be an audible benefit to going with better cables?

 

What do you care how you get there?

 

Time will tell if the new cables ordered will make a good, bad or neutral difference.  But I will know in a few days as I was e-mailed images of the new cables today.  Oh, looky, a picture.

 

get-attachment.aspx.jpg


Edited by beeman458 - 7/28/10 at 10:32pm
post #8 of 328
Thread Starter 

:D

 

Ok guys, I think I get the picture. I don't need experience building up cables - have plenty of that already soldering up concentric 16-pin connectors and various hifi interconnects in the past.

 

As it seems that there's a ~50/50 split, I think I'll save time by not doing anything, and saying this before the thread gets out of hand.

 

It seems that there are some in this thread already that share my rationale, and I think that I will only come to the same conclusions as them about cable rolling making an imperceptible difference to the sound. That's not to say that others are wrong though, far from it. Horses for courses and all that boat-floatery stuff.

post #9 of 328

Well, if rolling cables doesn't float your boat, there's always OpAmp rolling.

 

And remember kiddies, OpAmp rolling has the scientific community's seal of approval.  Personally, I'm an EQ kind of guy.

 


Edited by beeman458 - 7/29/10 at 8:18am
post #10 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by beeman458 View Post

Well, if rolling cables doesn't float your boat, there's always OpAmp rolling.


Or tube rolling. Fun to the max...

post #11 of 328

What's your source/amp? I'd start there first.

post #12 of 328

Buy from a place w/ a return policy.  Ignore all their claims as to a "burnin period."  (if you want to believe in it, be my guest)  Figure out if you like it, and if you don't, immediately return item.  Best case your mind will think it sounds better and you'll be happier, worst case you lost out on shipping costs.

 

I bought balanced protector cables and a interconnect from Moon Audio; the protector connection I kept, the interconnect I returned in favor of a more solidly built Monoprice cable.  YMMV.

post #13 of 328

I'm firmly in the camp that says headphone cables do indeed make a difference.

 

However:

-  The magnitude of the changes is typically overstated by manufacturers, reviewers, owners, etc.. Expect subtle changes, not dramatic ones.

-  The price of a cable is not necessarily a good indicator of the change in sound. I've DIYed some headphone cables of my own at dirt cheap prices with off-the-shelf wire that sounded much better than stock cable.

-  The changes you hear from different cables may be dependent on the amp you're using. That is, with a given headphone, a new cable may sound good with one amp, but not so good with another amp. And the better your amp (and upstream source), the more likely you are to be able to hear changes in cables.

-  A change in sound quality is not always for the better, particularly if you're dealing with a top-of-the-line headphone that already has a decent stock cable.

 

On that last point, the stock cable of the Sennheiser HD580/600/650 is relatively low grade, so it should be easy to replace (aftermarket or DIY) with one that will improve the sound. At least in theory. In practice, it wasn't that easy. Over the years, I've tried three different cables with both HD580 and 650 phones, including Cardas, Clou, and Equinox. The Clou had little effect that I could hear. The Cardas sounded different, but not necessarily better than stock (a lateral change). The Equinox was the only one that clearly sounded better than the stock cable with my amplifiers.

 

At least with the Sennheiser cable connectors, it's easy to A-B cables by swapping them in a matter of seconds. With phones that are hardwired, it's much more difficult to assess the impact of cable changes.

post #14 of 328

If the cable costs as much as headphone, I wouldnt get it.

post #15 of 328

I don't know, but the price some charge for cables is ridiculous.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Is It Really Worth 'Upgrading' Sennheiser HD 580/600/650 Cables?