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Is It Really Worth 'Upgrading' Sennheiser HD 580/600/650 Cables? - Page 5

post #61 of 241

For durability yes, for sound no

post #62 of 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoetheArachnid View Post

I don't think I could ever spend MORE on a cable than I did on the headphone itself. I mean, you're paying as much again and not even for an upgrade to the bit that actually makes the noise. If I ever do get into cables, I will always go DIY. Looking at prices the other day, I could easily knock up a silver interconnect for ~£30, whereas the cheapest commercial ones I've seen are around the $200 mark.

 

Mind you, having laid down $400 for a cable, I'd probably want it to sound better so much that it would... Placebo FTW.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricolage View Post

For durability yes, for sound no


I'm a very critical person. The only reliable test for me is blind test.

 

PS: This thread can really help http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/152950/sennheiser-hd650-cable-shootout-stock-zu-equinox-and-grace-five-two

post #63 of 241

In answer to the OP's question:

 

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

 

I think in all likelihood, no.

 

In another "cable" thread I became very quickly labelled "anti-cable" because I was writing about auto-suggestion.

 

I don't dispute that changing cables can make a difference to sound just as changing any other component will also do so.

 

However I think the reported changes are often simply the result of auto-suggestion.

 

You will read people writing lengthy descriptions of the influence of certain cables and even prescribing different cables for different situations.

 

These lengthy descriptions are often simply the reports of auto-suggestion.

 

The impact of auto-suggestion when listening to hi fi stuff is absolutely huge and massively underestimated by most people.

 

Auto-suggestion impacts on all equipment listening of course, it is just that in the area of cables, I think it is at its most vivid.

 

An interesting thing about cable retailers is that often they will describe the effects that certain cables will supposedly have on sound.

 

"The orange one will warm up the mid-range"

 

"The purple one will fill out the bass"

 

"The green one will smooth out the treble".

 

So the consumer pays often a very high price for the colour they want, plug it in and of course immediately they hear the result! They didn't think cables had much influence, but boy, now they've tried it and, yes, they got the purple one and their bass is really filled out!

 

I think a blind listening test will very quickly reveal the truth of this.

post #64 of 241



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post

In answer to the OP's question:

 

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

 

I think in all likelihood, no.

 

In another "cable" thread I became very quickly labelled "anti-cable" because I was writing about auto-suggestion.

 

I don't dispute that changing cables can make a difference to sound just as changing any other component will also do so.

 

However I think the reported changes are often simply the result of auto-suggestion.

 

You will read people writing lengthy descriptions of the influence of certain cables and even prescribing different cables for different situations.

 

These lengthy descriptions are often simply the reports of auto-suggestion.

 

The impact of auto-suggestion when listening to hi fi stuff is absolutely huge and massively underestimated by most people.

 

Auto-suggestion impacts on all equipment listening of course, it is just that in the area of cables, I think it is at its most vivid.

 

An interesting thing about cable retailers is that often they will describe the effects that certain cables will supposedly have on sound.

 

"The orange one will warm up the mid-range"

 

"The purple one will fill out the bass"

 

"The green one will smooth out the treble".

 

So the consumer pays often a very high price for the colour they want, plug it in and of course immediately they hear the result! They didn't think cables had much influence, but boy, now they've tried it and, yes, they got the purple one and their bass is really filled out!

 

I think a blind listening test will very quickly reveal the truth of this.



Man, no auto-suggestion. Blind test. Come to visit Prague - it is really beautiful city. We can make a deal: if you are right, I pay your ticket back to the England... If not, you will have a nice vacation and learn something new. ;-)

post #65 of 241

You should change your nick to anti-Patrick. Patrick is famous head-fi cable guru, did not you know?

post #66 of 241

While I was searching for informations I really hate comment which tells nothing. Only few comments are really helpful - not b*llsh*t like "well, I have not listened... but my friend's grandpa's dog did and ..." ;-)  


Edited by spagetka - 9/8/10 at 6:19am
post #67 of 241

I was at a friend's place yesterday and a couple of us were hanging out and one guy was listening to a couple of aftermarket cables for a headphone.  The two cables were identical except one had been made with a new, high zoot, lead free solder that contained gold, silver, and the usual complement of other stuff.  The other cable was built using a more popular, lower cost, lead free solder.

 

After one guy had listened to the two cables, he handed the cans to me, indicating which cable was the "new" one, and I proceeded to listen.  I listened for about 15 minutes, going back and forth, and actually liked the sound of what I thought was the "old" cable better.  The imaging seemed more open and extended, the HF seemed smoother.  The new cable, seemed to have a hotter high end that, while not sibilant, didn't seen to be as transparent, effortless, and smooth, rather, almost hard and glassy.

 

When I was telling my friend who built the cables what I had heard, he corrected me and showed me I had the cables mixed up and the one I liked better was actually the newer one using the fancy solder.  Three out of three of us that day were all hearing the same things in the same cables without knowing who was listening to what, except the guy who built the cables in the first place.

 

I can say without a doubt, that cables do make a substantial difference in sound as long as the rest of one's system, including the source, is resolving enough in the first place, and even silly stuff like the solder used, can make subtle differences.  If, on the other hand, you can't hear any differences between one cable and another, don't worry about it.  Save your money and enjoy the music, but don't disparage those who pursue that last few percent of sonic improvement, and deem it worthwhile.

post #68 of 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by kostalex View Post

You should change your nick to anti-Patrick. Patrick is famous head-fi cable guru, did not you know?


LOL!

 

I didn't know there is a head-fi cable guru called Patrick :)

 

I'm not "anti-cable" but the problem is that if you try to bring some perspective to this cable thing then these cable "gurus" or "faithful" or whatever they might be seem to get really weird and start accusing you of being "anti-cable".

 

I do have a lot of cables and I get on very well with them. They are very useful things!

post #69 of 241

 

 

Quote:
Man, no auto-suggestion. Blind test. Come to visit Prague - it is really beautiful city. We can make a deal: if you are right, I pay your ticket back to the England... If not, you will have a nice vacation and learn something new. ;-)

 

Well every says that Prague is beautiful and I'm sure it is not "auto-suggestion".

 

However it is a bit out of my way.

 

I think that it would be worthwhile to have a look at this A X B test:

 

Power Cords Test

 

This test is extremely well carried out. In it the hugely expensive Nordost Valhalla power cords are compared with the generic power cords that came in the boxes.

 

The system is extremely high resolution and every power cord in the system is swapped.

 

And yet no difference at all is identifiable by the group of attentive (hi fi enthusiast) listeners.

post #70 of 241

Quote of the month. Well said.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post

If, on the other hand, you can't hear any differences between one cable and another, don't worry about it.  Save your money and enjoy the music, but don't disparage those who pursue that last few percent of sonic improvement, and deem it worthwhile.

post #71 of 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post

The two cables were identical except one had been made with a new, high zoot, lead free solder that contained gold, silver, and the usual complement of other stuff.  The other cable was built using a more popular, lower cost, lead free solder.


You are saying that in a blind test you can tell the solder used in a cable?

 

I'm saying I don't believe it.

 

Please note that I'm not "anti-cable" and I'm not saying that all cables sound the same.

 

In a real blind A x B comparison I would be interested to see if you can indeed identify cables solely on the nature of the solder used.

 

Then you write:

 

 

 

Quote:
If, on the other hand, you can't hear any differences between one cable and another, don't worry about it.  Save your money and enjoy the music, but don't disparage those who pursue that last few percent of sonic improvement, and deem it worthwhile.

 

I can honestly say that I cannot hear the difference in cables which are identical except for different solder.

 

But neither can you.

 

I've been listening to music through hi fi's of many different sorts since the 70s.

 

I've seen fads come and go and read many ludicrous claims, trust me.

 

I think preventing people from wasting money on expensive cables that make, probably close to zero difference and certainly don't "improve" fidelity is a fairly good idea.

 

post #72 of 241

Search for his posts/threads, they are very entertaining. BTW, he likes Valhalla especially. Here is the sample from http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/300673/k1000-with-dual-micro-mono-filament-cable-less-contact-with-conductor-more-detail:

 

l_ea5f272d38f0c969d6681ebef6fda18f.jpg
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post

LOL!

 

I didn't know there is a head-fi cable guru called Patrick :)

post #73 of 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by spagetka View Post

While I was searching for informations I really hate comment which tells nothing. Only few comments are really helpful - not b*llsh*t like "well, I have not listened... but my friend's grandpa's dog did and ..." ;-)  


Hi spagetka

 

Before I continue I will write that I am not an "all cables sound the same person". Nor am I "anti-cable".

 

The key problem with assessing hi fi is auto-suggestion.

 

While I believe that cables can sound different I also believe that the reports of cable difference are often a result of auto-suggestion.

 

Okay to the subject which I think you have brought up of actual information about cable differences and how to quantify them scientifically.

 

A good scientific method to quantify perceived cable differences is the blind ABX test.

 

You would think that given the vast amount of money the cable making companies ask for their cables surely they have carried these out?

 

How can a company ask for 1,000 $/£/€ or more for a cable without carrying out this simple enough scientific test to ascertain if it really does represent value for money?

 

And yet, amazingly, for many years now, no such tests have been carried out, at least not in public!

 

Except one...

 

And here it is:

 

Can We Hear Differences Between A/C Power Cords?

 

In this very well carried out test of the Nordost Valhalla power cord a high resolution system has the Valhalla swapped with generic "out of the box" power cords for every components.

 

The panel of attentive listeners are unable to detect any difference.


Edited by p a t r i c k - 9/8/10 at 8:12am
post #74 of 241

;-) Hm, but we are talking about impact of the replacement headphone cable for senn NOT the impact of the power cable.

 

The only difference between no-name and expensive power cord  from my point of view:  DAC1 (hooked up via no-name PC) is hotter after playing let's say 1h or more.

post #75 of 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by kostalex View Post

Search for his posts/threads, they are very entertaining. BTW, he likes Valhalla especially. Here is the sample from http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/300673/k1000-with-dual-micro-mono-filament-cable-less-contact-with-conductor-more-detail:

 

l_ea5f272d38f0c969d6681ebef6fda18f.jpg
 


 


Gosh!

 

That is some cable Patrick has :)

 

I would search his posts but I feel I've spent enough time on this cable thing for now.

 

I find myself writing "I am not anti-cable" and "I do believe that cables sound different" and "however I want to bring some perspective" all the time but in fact the cable voodoo faithfuls just get sort of insulting anyway.

 

So, let them spend 100s or even 1000s of their chosen currency on these absurdities.

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