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If the HD650s scale so well, when is it time to give up on them?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

Just wondering. On the one hand I'm reading about how well the 650s scale, how the sky's virtually the limit with after-market cables and multi-thousand dollar balanced amps, and on the other I'm reading about people moving on up from their 650s to HD800s and LCD-2s. So I'm wondering: have all the people trading up got the most out of their 650s, have they scaled them as far as they'll go, or are they just not interested in going the extra mile? And just how far will the 650 scale anyway? Could a 650 with all the bells and whistles rival an LCD-2 (apparently the nearest in tonal balance)? As a happy 650 owner who nevertheless has glanced with curiousity at the LCD-2, I'm interested in others' experiences.

 

My 650 is standard but for a Headphile Blacksilver cable.    

post #2 of 36

Hmm, I'd like to see this one answered too.  I think you'd get a lot more replies in summit-fi.

post #3 of 36
Thread Starter 

What's that?

post #4 of 36

It all depends on you.

 

After leaving headphones and audio completely behind a few years back, I returned to head-fi about 6 weeks ago for the purpose of researching a basic system. Feeding off the long lost positive energy here at the forums, that goal grew to a dream of building two separate systems based on dynamic headphones, and one Stax Omega system. 

 

Today with three headphones in my possession, I now see that that is not what I want in audio--not in the past and not today. I feel overwhelmed with three headphones. What I desire is one highly refined headphone system, which will become upon completion a reliable tool that will move into a passive roll in the enjoyment of music. 

 

Of course with one system and at my own discretion and pleasure, I will most likely explore as needed and to whatever degree, the effects of all of the links within the audio component chain including all wire connectors. 

 

Other lessons relearned:

1) eventually a killer Stax system will have to be built, compared, and accepted or rejected.

2) I am still a speaker guy, and headphones will later be moved to their place on the sidelines

post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigmode View Post

Today with three headphones in my possession, I now see that that is not what I want in audio--not in the past and not today. I feel overwhelmed with three headphones. What I desire is one highly refined headphone system, which will become upon completion a reliable tool that will move into a passive roll in the enjoyment of music. 

 

 

Interesting comments, well expressed. Personally I've never understood this need to have several headphones for different purposes; to me it betrays dissatisfaction. I have the 650, and if I find something decidedly better the 650 will go. But your comment about passive role is pertinent, if by that you mean you shouldn't be aware of the headphone but only of the music.

This is possible most of the time with the 650; it rarely draws attention to itself. Some posters here seem to believe that their headphones should be exciting, when of course they should be as unexciting, as uncoloured, as possible.

 

In any case you seem to be a man of discrimination. I hope you find the phones--or speakers--to satisfy you   

post #6 of 36

 

Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

What's that?


Summit-fi, as in Forums > Summit-fi (Hi-end Audio) > High End Audio Forum..

post #7 of 36

IMO the HD650's do not scale as well as people will have you believe.

 

1. Firsty after market cables do not make much difference. I have had Equinox and Silver Dragon v2 cables and neither   made a big difference to the sound, The SD more than the Equinox though.

 

2. ANY headphone will scale with better equipment just like any car would go faster with a bigger more powerful engine.

The HD650's are not unique in that regard.

I upgraded from the Solo SRG to Woo6se and then added the Audio-gd Roc using the same source. The Woo and the Roc are FAR better amps than the Solo but neither did much for the HD650's. The Woo was better but the Senn's were still well below the ALO-780's and K701's. Unfortunately I never got to hear then balanced on the Roc but they would of needed to show a MASSIVE improvement to be worth keeping.

 

 

Could the HD650's rival the LCD-2's IMO probably not. You could pay,say $10000 to get a system designed for the Senn's and only the Senns, that makes the Senn's sound very good but you could probably do that with $2000 to get the LCD-2's to sound at least as good as the Senn's and know it can be improved in the future whereas the first system would need a complete overall if the Senns were sold!

 

post #8 of 36

IMO the HD650's do not scale as well as people will have you believe.

 

1. Firsty after market cables do not make much difference. I have had Equinox and Silver Dragon v2 cables and neither   made a big difference to the sound, The SD more than the Equinox though.

 

2. ANY headphone will scale with better equipment just like any car would go faster with a bigger more powerful engine.

The HD650's are not unique in that regard.

I upgraded from the Solo SRG to Woo6se and then added the Audio-gd Roc using the same source. The Woo and the Roc are FAR better amps than the Solo but neither did much for the HD650's. The Woo was better but the Senn's were still well below the ALO-780's and K701's. Unfortunately I never got to hear then balanced on the Roc but they would of needed to show a MASSIVE improvement to be worth keeping.

 

 

Could the HD650's rival the LCD-2's IMO probably not. You could pay,say $10000 to get a system designed for the Senn's and only the Senns, that makes the Senn's sound very good but you could probably do that with $2000 to get the LCD-2's to sound at least as good as the Senn's and know it can be improved in the future whereas the first system would need a complete overall if the Senns were sold!

 

You don't say what system you have but I feel confident in telling you that the LCD-2's are a massive improvement on the HD650's

 

Basically LCD-2's have:

1. Far more speed,detail and clarity.

2. Deeper,tighter more powerful bass.

3. More extended and less recessed (though still slightly recessed) treble.

4. More musical.

5. Much better vocals.

6. More 3 dimentional.

post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by pigmode View Post

Today with three headphones in my possession, I now see that that is not what I want in audio--not in the past and not today. I feel overwhelmed with three headphones. What I desire is one highly refined headphone system, which will become upon completion a reliable tool that will move into a passive roll in the enjoyment of music. 

 

 

Interesting comments, well expressed. Personally I've never understood this need to have several headphones for different purposes; to me it betrays dissatisfaction. I have the 650, and if I find something decidedly better the 650 will go. But your comment about passive role is pertinent, if by that you mean you shouldn't be aware of the headphone but only of the music.

This is possible most of the time with the 650; it rarely draws attention to itself. Some posters here seem to believe that their headphones should be exciting, when of course they should be as unexciting, as uncoloured, as possible.

 

In any case you seem to be a man of discrimination. I hope you find the phones--or speakers--to satisfy you   

 

My HD650 was purchased on impulse. I'd come to realise that the constant analyses of my headphones (MS-1i and M50) was detracting from my enjoyment of the music. When I first listened to the HD650 I wasn't physically bowled over like I was when I heard the MS-1i for the first time. What I found instead was total engagement in the music. The HD650's characteristics weren't immediately obvious, as critical analysis took a back seat to the warmth, texture and energy of Exile on Main St. Jagger had never sounded so close in my limited experience with "mid/hi-fi", and the music bristled with emotion and I was enveloped.

 

What occurred was exactly why I'm now convinced I'd made the right choice with the HD650. It's far from perfect and I can now understand the description of a veil, but it's unobtrusive and for me there's no detraction from my enjoyment of the music. Exactly what I was after.


Edited by olor1n - 12/17/10 at 4:06am
post #10 of 36
Thread Starter 

It's funny how we all hear differently. Your comments are appreciated but somewhat undermined by the fact that I absolutely hated the K702; I couldn't abide it for more than five minutes at a time. Under no circumstances, with any combination of amp, could I ever hear the 701/2 as superior to the 650--but that may have as much to do with my choice of music as anything else. This I guess is why there's such a spread of headphone choices--we all hear differently, we all listen for different things, have different expectations and like different music.

 

Incidentally I'm happy to accept that the LCD-2 is superior to the 650. But I won't be buying it for other, more practical reasons.    

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeljames View Post

IMO the HD650's do not scale as well as people will have you believe.

 

I upgraded from the Solo SRG to Woo6se and then added the Audio-gd Roc using the same source. The Woo and the Roc are FAR better amps than the Solo but neither did much for the HD650's. The Woo was better but the Senn's were still well below the ALO-780's and K701's.  

post #11 of 36

There's more than 1000 pages in the Orthodynamic thread.  How many reasons do you want, or did you just start this thread in an attempt to reconcile your experience with the different opinions and experience of others, many of which were band members, playing with an acoustic band everyday in some point in their life and using that as a reference benchmark when supporting their choice. 

 

If you're happy with the HD650s, you can leave it at that.  They are one of the few cans out there that does more right than wrong.  You're not missing on anything...except that there are cans out there that, from my experience, come real close to the real thing, unfortunately, the HD650 is not one of them.  I think there is only two options for upgrades in your case.  One of them is the STAX O2s


Edited by SP Wild - 12/17/10 at 6:00am
post #12 of 36

 

Rage dump!

post #13 of 36

I personally think that a recabled HD650 (preferably silver) with a synergistic transport/DAC/amp can compete with the best headphones in their stock form. IME, you have to spend a lot more money to improve the sound of an optimized HD650 setup.

post #14 of 36

Second!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

I personally think that a recabled HD650 (preferably silver) with a synergistic transport/DAC/amp can compete with the best headphones in their stock form. IME, you have to spend a lot more money to improve the sound of an optimized HD650 setup.

post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by pigmode View Post

Today with three headphones in my possession, I now see that that is not what I want in audio--not in the past and not today. I feel overwhelmed with three headphones. What I desire is one highly refined headphone system, which will become upon completion a reliable tool that will move into a passive roll in the enjoyment of music. 

 

 

Interesting comments, well expressed. Personally I've never understood this need to have several headphones for different purposes; to me it betrays dissatisfaction. I have the 650, and if I find something decidedly better the 650 will go. But your comment about passive role is pertinent, if by that you mean you shouldn't be aware of the headphone but only of the music.

This is possible most of the time with the 650; it rarely draws attention to itself. Some posters here seem to believe that their headphones should be exciting, when of course they should be as unexciting, as uncoloured, as possible.

 

In any case you seem to be a man of discrimination. I hope you find the phones--or speakers--to satisfy you   


 

 

 

My use of the term passive is more along the lines of a goal or a metaphor, as I am in fact (as are many other head-fiers) an equipment freak. For myself, I have a tendency to get carried away with the equipment, and every now and then need to enforce a level of moderation. Personally I tend to enjoy music both analytically and intuitively, moving freely from one side to the other. 

 

As for your satisfaction with the senn 650, the existence of higher levels of equipment has no bearing. If you're happy, that's all that matters.

 

 

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