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HD 650 - My thoughts and dilemmas

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Greetings folks :)

 

So here is the rundown in a nutshell:

 

I am running FLAC/MP3-320kbps > Foobar2K (WASAPI 24 bit) > Xonar Essence STX > Sennheiser HD 650.

 

I burned my 650's in for about 120 hours of pink noise slightly above listening level.

 

My initial thoughts on the 650 (no burn, using both High Gain and Extra High Gain) was that they were cold and a bit distant persay..so I figured I would give them their proper burn in and re-evaluate.

 

After doing my proper burn-in, my initial assessment is pretty similar..I still find them cold and distant when using Hi-Fi setting on the STX software (basically meaning there is no special effects, no equalizer).

 

In general, I would just write this off as one of two things, first being that these cans don't have the sound signature I am looking for, or second that they are not being amped properly or the source is too poor..but here is where the wrench in the works comes in..

 

When I set my Xonar software to the Dance EQ pre-set, the cans sound just as I want them..warm, punchier treble and highs..just the way I want it..so that opens up a whole 'nother can of worms for me in wondering what exactly the problem is for my particular situation..

 

Is it acceptable to just use the equalizer, get the sound I want, and move on?  Or is this a problem that needs to be rectified through some other means?

 

I am to understand that if you can't use the cans on "Hi-Fi" beign unequalized and all, that there is something wrong, be it that it is not properly amped, sourced, or the sound signature of those cans are not for you..I am just not sure which one of those options it is for me.

 

I would appreciate any insight here as I quest to find the right setup for these cans :)

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 20

Equalizer presets are not evil.

 

If they solve your problem, just leave the card set to dance and enjoy your music.

post #3 of 20

i agree, EQ can be a good thing if used correctly. don't make huge crazy moves with it and you'll most likely be fine.

 

a different amp/dac combo might be another solution though, but the EQ is free, other amps and DAC's aren't.

 

my HeadRoom amp/DAC definitely makes my HD650 sound warm and bassy. their crossfeed circuit is known to do that and i like it. i do also use the brightness switch though to add some more to the upper mids and treble as well.

post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blahblahblahh View Post

Greetings folks :)

 

So here is the rundown in a nutshell:

 

I am running FLAC/MP3-320kbps > Foobar2K (WASAPI 24 bit) > Xonar Essence STX > Sennheiser HD 650.

 

I burned my 650's in for about 120 hours of pink noise slightly above listening level.

 

My initial thoughts on the 650 (no burn, using both High Gain and Extra High Gain) was that they were cold and a bit distant persay..so I figured I would give them their proper burn in and re-evaluate.

 

After doing my proper burn-in, my initial assessment is pretty similar..I still find them cold and distant when using Hi-Fi setting on the STX software (basically meaning there is no special effects, no equalizer).

 

In general, I would just write this off as one of two things, first being that these cans don't have the sound signature I am looking for, or second that they are not being amped properly or the source is too poor..but here is where the wrench in the works comes in..

 

When I set my Xonar software to the Dance EQ pre-set, the cans sound just as I want them..warm, punchier treble and highs..just the way I want it..so that opens up a whole 'nother can of worms for me in wondering what exactly the problem is for my particular situation..

 

Is it acceptable to just use the equalizer, get the sound I want, and move on?  Or is this a problem that needs to be rectified through some other means?

 

I am to understand that if you can't use the cans on "Hi-Fi" beign unequalized and all, that there is something wrong, be it that it is not properly amped, sourced, or the sound signature of those cans are not for you..I am just not sure which one of those options it is for me.

 

I would appreciate any insight here as I quest to find the right setup for these cans :)

 

Thanks!



I would strongly recommend a full sized desktop amp. The HD650s worked very well with both tubes and SS amps. What would your budget be?

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

I would be reluctant to name a min/max budget, for me it's more about what gets it done cheapest..I had been contemplating trying out a Musiland Monitor 02 + Little Dot MK III combo, but I wanted to make this thread first to get some opinions on EQ as well as what could be the issue in my particular situation.

 

I would say that I have a tentative max budget of $300, which is about what I was looking at for the Musiland + Little Dot..but it is flexible as I said..I am a get it done type of guy :P

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Blahblahblahh View Post

Greetings folks :)

 

So here is the rundown in a nutshell:

 

I am running FLAC/MP3-320kbps > Foobar2K (WASAPI 24 bit) > Xonar Essence STX > Sennheiser HD 650.

 

I burned my 650's in for about 120 hours of pink noise slightly above listening level.

 

My initial thoughts on the 650 (no burn, using both High Gain and Extra High Gain) was that they were cold and a bit distant persay..so I figured I would give them their proper burn in and re-evaluate.

 

After doing my proper burn-in, my initial assessment is pretty similar..I still find them cold and distant when using Hi-Fi setting on the STX software (basically meaning there is no special effects, no equalizer).

 

In general, I would just write this off as one of two things, first being that these cans don't have the sound signature I am looking for, or second that they are not being amped properly or the source is too poor..but here is where the wrench in the works comes in..

 

When I set my Xonar software to the Dance EQ pre-set, the cans sound just as I want them..warm, punchier treble and highs..just the way I want it..so that opens up a whole 'nother can of worms for me in wondering what exactly the problem is for my particular situation..

 

Is it acceptable to just use the equalizer, get the sound I want, and move on?  Or is this a problem that needs to be rectified through some other means?

 

I am to understand that if you can't use the cans on "Hi-Fi" beign unequalized and all, that there is something wrong, be it that it is not properly amped, sourced, or the sound signature of those cans are not for you..I am just not sure which one of those options it is for me.

 

I would appreciate any insight here as I quest to find the right setup for these cans :)

 

Thanks!



I would strongly recommend a full sized desktop amp. The HD650s worked very well with both tubes and SS amps. What would your budget be?

post #6 of 20

The MKIII would be a nice entry choice. The Matrix-M Stage would also do a very good job:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/525553/matrix-m-stage-v2-black

 

I also enjoyed the Headroom Micro Amp or GLite with them. A used GLite would most likely be the best match with the HD650s and they can be had for under $300 used in the F/S forum.

post #7 of 20

i was originally going to settle for a portable headphone amp, something like the Practical Devices XM5, but i took the advice of others on here and bought a full size desktop. yes it was waaaaay more than i wanted to spend and i also could have still went with a cheaper desktop amp and DAC, but i saw the HeadRoom and had to have it. i especially like the crossfeed option because i like crossfeed.

 

also, like i said earlier, HeadRoom's crossfeed adds bass and warmth to the mix, not a ton but its definitely there, so that might be a good option for you.

 

what kind of numbers is the dance EQ you are using adding?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blahblahblahh View Post

I would be reluctant to name a min/max budget, for me it's more about what gets it done cheapest..I had been contemplating trying out a Musiland Monitor 02 + Little Dot MK III combo, but I wanted to make this thread first to get some opinions on EQ as well as what could be the issue in my particular situation.

 

I would say that I have a tentative max budget of $300, which is about what I was looking at for the Musiland + Little Dot..but it is flexible as I said..I am a get it done type of guy :P

 


 

Edited by jasonb - 12/1/10 at 7:27pm
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

This is what the dance pre-set is doing, granted it's not the end all be all of my setup but it does give me the best sound out of all the pre-sets :P  And of course, I am listening to electronica, I forgot to add that, probably relevant :)

 

eq.png
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonb View Post

i was originally going to settle for a portable headphone amp, something like the Practical Devices XM5, but i took the advice of others on here and bought a full size desktop. yes it was waaaaay more than i wanted to spend and i also could have still went with a cheaper desktop amp and DAC, but i saw the HeadRoom and had to have it. i especially like the crossfeed option because i like crossfeed.

 

also, like i said earlier, HeadRoom's crossfeed adds bass and warmth to the mix, not a ton but its definitely there, so that might be a good option for you.

 

what kind of numbers is the dance EQ you are using adding?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blahblahblahh View Post

I would be reluctant to name a min/max budget, for me it's more about what gets it done cheapest..I had been contemplating trying out a Musiland Monitor 02 + Little Dot MK III combo, but I wanted to make this thread first to get some opinions on EQ as well as what could be the issue in my particular situation.

 

I would say that I have a tentative max budget of $300, which is about what I was looking at for the Musiland + Little Dot..but it is flexible as I said..I am a get it done type of guy :P

 


 
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

is the Matrix-M Stage a DAC and Amp in 1 or are you just showing 1 piece of the puzzle?  I am pretty new to the Hi-Fi world so these products elude me a bit :(
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

The MKIII would be a nice entry choice. The Matrix-M Stage would also do a very good job:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/525553/matrix-m-stage-v2-black

 

I also enjoyed the Headroom Micro Amp or GLite with them. A used GLite would most likely be the best match with the HD650s and they can be had for under $300 used in the F/S forum.


 

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blahblahblahh View Post

is the Matrix-M Stage a DAC and Amp in 1 or are you just showing 1 piece of the puzzle?  I am pretty new to the Hi-Fi world so these products elude me a bit :(
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

The MKIII would be a nice entry choice. The Matrix-M Stage would also do a very good job:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/525553/matrix-m-stage-v2-black

 

I also enjoyed the Headroom Micro Amp or GLite with them. A used GLite would most likely be the best match with the HD650s and they can be had for under $300 used in the F/S forum.


 


It's just an amp. All of the ones I listed are amps only. I recommend getting the amp first, then the dac later. smile.gif Unless you want to spend some more $$$ right now. very_evil_smiley.gif

post #11 of 20

the bass doesn't look like a huge increase, but the treble is increased quite a bit. looks like about 10db at 8 and 16k. a 10db increase is huge. also cutting at 250hz and 500hz shouldn't make them sound warmer, warmth is in that frequency area.

 

if i had to guess i'd say the crossfeed on my headroom amp is adding maybe 3db from about 200hz or so downward and gently peaking somewhere at the very bottom. the crossfeed makes it seem warmer and a bit bassier, but it's not a bloated mid bass kinda sound, the increase seems to be extended all the way down.seems like a slight house curve at the bottom.

 

headrooms brightness switch if i had to guess is adding maybe the same 3db or so at the top end, starting somewhere in the middle of the mid-range and upwards. it adds more to the snare, guitars and definitely to the cymbals as well.

 

neither is as big of an increase as your dance eq, but it's definitely going to change it so sound more the way it seems you want it to sound.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blahblahblahh View Post

This is what the dance pre-set is doing, granted it's not the end all be all of my setup but it does give me the best sound out of all the pre-sets :P  And of course, I am listening to electronica, I forgot to add that, probably relevant :)

 

eq.png
 

post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Welp for me it's more about quality..if I need an amp that is going to take up my max budget then I have no problem getting that and a DAC later..based on your recommendation I can assume that you think an amp is a bigger upgrade than a new DAC right now?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Blahblahblahh View Post

is the Matrix-M Stage a DAC and Amp in 1 or are you just showing 1 piece of the puzzle?  I am pretty new to the Hi-Fi world so these products elude me a bit :(
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

The MKIII would be a nice entry choice. The Matrix-M Stage would also do a very good job:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/525553/matrix-m-stage-v2-black

 

I also enjoyed the Headroom Micro Amp or GLite with them. A used GLite would most likely be the best match with the HD650s and they can be had for under $300 used in the F/S forum.


 


It's just an amp. All of the ones I listed are amps only. I recommend getting the amp first, then the dac later. smile.gif Unless you want to spend some more $$$ right now. very_evil_smiley.gif

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blahblahblahh View Post

Welp for me it's more about quality..if I need an amp that is going to take up my max budget then I have no problem getting that and a DAC later..based on your recommendation I can assume that you think an amp is a bigger upgrade than a new DAC right now?

 

Yes, an amp will make more of an impact with your HD650s. I recommend maximizing that purchase first and worry about a better DAC down the road.
 

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/525551/headamp-gilmore-lite

Is this the G-Lite you were talking about?  You think this is the best budget amp for the 650?  Does it matter that I prefer a lot of treble and a warmish sound, as shown by the Dance preference  on the EQ?  I am not sure if amps provide specific sound signatures or not, which is why I ask.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Blahblahblahh View Post

Welp for me it's more about quality..if I need an amp that is going to take up my max budget then I have no problem getting that and a DAC later..based on your recommendation I can assume that you think an amp is a bigger upgrade than a new DAC right now?

 

Yes, an amp will make more of an impact with your HD650s. I recommend maximizing that purchase first and worry about a better DAC down the road.
 

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blahblahblahh View Post

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/525551/headamp-gilmore-lite

 

Is this the G-Lite you were talking about?  You think this is the best budget amp for the 650?  Does it matter that I prefer a lot of treble and a warmish sound, as shown by the Dance preference  on the EQ?  I am not sure if amps provide specific sound signatures or not, which is why I ask.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Blahblahblahh View Post

Welp for me it's more about quality..if I need an amp that is going to take up my max budget then I have no problem getting that and a DAC later..based on your recommendation I can assume that you think an amp is a bigger upgrade than a new DAC right now?

 

Yes, an amp will make more of an impact with your HD650s. I recommend maximizing that purchase first and worry about a better DAC down the road.
 


 

 

Yes, that's the amp. It's quite balanced and should help with the recessed treble on the HD650s and tighten up the bass a bit too.

 

If you like really warm and lush, then a tube amp would be ideal.
 

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