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Sennheiser HD 598 Impressions Thread - Page 224

post #3346 of 4796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garraty View Post
 

Also, has anyone tried the Audio Dragonfly thumb drive amp/DAC with the HD 598's? I've heard they produce tremendous sound for such a little thing, and on Amazon they're currently priced for around $100! A steal to be sure, but I would like to know how they perform with these.

I use the Dragonfly with the HD 598 and my laptop and desktop.  It sounds very good.  (Today, I listened to Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue" in full with the HD 598 through the Dragonfly, and it sounded better than ever.) I would say that, of all my headphones, the HD 598 is the one that improves the most when paired to the Dragonfly with respect to being used off the laptop and desktop headphone socket directly, with the possible exception of the TDK BA200 IEMs, for which the big improvement is that the Dragonfly is much quieter.  I am still trying to compare the Dragonfly to using my NAD 3130 socket.  I feel that the bass is more controlled (less bloated) with the Dragonfly, but maybe I am just being swayed by the recent discussion in this thread about the effect of high impedance phone sockets! Note that the Dragonfly has very low output impedance (see http://www.stereophile.com/content/audioquest-dragonfly-usb-da-converter-measurements).

 

On the matter of output impedance, NAD service confirmed that the NAD 3130 phone socket impedance is 220 Ohm (just as for the NAD C320BEE).  Also, a post in the thread at  http://www.head-fi.org/t/624407/nad-3130-headphone-section states that the headphone circuit for the NAD 3130 is simply a 220 Ohm resistor in series.

post #3347 of 4796
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcoGV View Post
 

I use the Dragonfly with the HD 598 and my laptop and desktop.  It sounds very good.  (Today, I listened to Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue" in full with the HD 598 through the Dragonfly, and it sounded better than ever.) I would say that, of all my headphones, the HD 598 is the one that improves the most when paired to the Dragonfly with respect to being used off the laptop and desktop headphone socket directly, with the possible exception of the TDK BA200 IEMs, for which the big improvement is that the Dragonfly is much quieter.  I am still trying to compare the Dragonfly to using my NAD 3130 socket.  I feel that the bass is more controlled (less bloated) with the Dragonfly, but maybe I am just being swayed by the recent discussion in this thread about the effect of high impedance phone sockets! Note that the Dragonfly has very low output impedance (see http://www.stereophile.com/content/audioquest-dragonfly-usb-da-converter-measurements).

 

On the matter of output impedance, NAD service confirmed that the NAD 3130 phone socket impedance is 220 Ohm (just as for the NAD C320BEE).  Also, a post in the thread at  http://www.head-fi.org/t/624407/nad-3130-headphone-section states that the headphone circuit for the NAD 3130 is simply a 220 Ohm resistor in series.

I'd skip the headphone jack when using the HD59x8 series. In fact I'd skip it with dynamic cans altogether as this would negate any damping from the amp.

post #3348 of 4796

I have a pair of HD598's for sale in the forums but the headband picked up some of the stain from my stand and I would love to get it off them without causing damage for the sale. They are in new condition except for the stain. The headphone stand is made of wood and stained a rosenut color. The beige leather picked up the stain color for some reason. Anyone have a idea on how to get it off without damaging the leather? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.


Edited by CADCAM - 2/6/14 at 4:57am
post #3349 of 4796

Did you try soap and water?

 

Rubbing alcohol?

 

I almost want to suggest acetone, but I'm not sure if that will damage the leather or not.

This may help: http://www.ehow.com/how_5453697_clean-leather-acetone.html

post #3350 of 4796
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

I'd skip the headphone jack when using the HD59x8 series. In fact I'd skip it with dynamic cans altogether as this would negate any damping from the amp.

But doesn't the Dragonfly act as an amp as well? It can be used only as a DAC, but it is both and you cannot put the jack into the amp. Would it be better to get a larger non-USB solid state amp instead? I'm looking to get an amp that works well with the HD 598's in that they help the sound, particularly the bass, extending it lower and giving it more power in the sub-bass especially yet not lose any control. I was planning to get the FiiO E17/E18, the O2 or the Dragonfly 1/1.2, but as of late, I'm still currently undecided.


Edited by Garraty - 2/6/14 at 12:53pm
post #3351 of 4796
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

I'd skip the headphone jack when using the HD59x8 series. In fact I'd skip it with dynamic cans altogether as this would negate any damping from the amp.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garraty View Post
 

But doesn't the Dragonfly act as an amp as well? It can be used only as a DAC, but it is both and you cannot put the jack into the amp. Would it be better to get a larger non-USB solid state amp instead? I'm looking to get an amp that works well with the HD 598's in that they help the sound, particularly the bass, extending it lower and giving it more power in the sub-bass especially yet not lose any control. I was planning to get the FiiO E17/E18, the O2 or the Dragonfly 1/1.2, but as of late, I'm still currently undecided.

When I said skip the headphone jack, I was referring to the NAD amp with that big series resistor. The HD5x8 series is very easy to amp and many smartphones/DAPs probably do well without amping this can.

In my collection I have an HD558 (black foam modded) and an E18. They work very well together. I think you might like the E18's bass boost switch.

post #3352 of 4796
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcoGV View Post
 

I use the Dragonfly with the HD 598 and my laptop and desktop.  It sounds very good.  (Today, I listened to Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue" in full with the HD 598 through the Dragonfly, and it sounded better than ever.) I would say that, of all my headphones, the HD 598 is the one that improves the most when paired to the Dragonfly with respect to being used off the laptop and desktop headphone socket directly, with the possible exception of the TDK BA200 IEMs, for which the big improvement is that the Dragonfly is much quieter.  I am still trying to compare the Dragonfly to using my NAD 3130 socket.  I feel that the bass is more controlled (less bloated) with the Dragonfly, but maybe I am just being swayed by the recent discussion in this thread about the effect of high impedance phone sockets! Note that the Dragonfly has very low output impedance.

 

On the matter of output impedance, NAD service confirmed that the NAD 3130 phone socket impedance is 220 Ohm (just as for the NAD C320BEE).  Also, a post in the thread at states that the headphone circuit for the NAD 3130 is simply a 220 Ohm resistor in series.

 

(Note: I took out the URL's as as of this time, I am not able to do so.)

 

Hey MarcoGV,

 

How would you describe the sound of the HD 598's with the Dragonfly, in a more thorough description if possible? Particularly, I would like to know about the bass. I'm not exactly a basshead, but the HD 598's are lacking, more noticeably in the sub-bass. One of the big draw of the Dragonfly for me is its small size and great sound for such a thing. However, if it merely just subtly helps I would buy one of the amps I mentioned previously.

post #3353 of 4796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post

Did you try soap and water?



 



Rubbing alcohol?



 



I almost want to suggest acetone, but I'm not sure if that will damage the leather or not.



This may help: http://www.ehow.com/how_5453697_clean-leather-acetone.html


 




Thanks, I will give it a try.
post #3354 of 4796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garraty View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcoGV View Post
 

I use the Dragonfly with the HD 598 and my laptop and desktop.  It sounds very good.  (Today, I listened to Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue" in full with the HD 598 through the Dragonfly, and it sounded better than ever.) I would say that, of all my headphones, the HD 598 is the one that improves the most when paired to the Dragonfly with respect to being used off the laptop and desktop headphone socket directly, with the possible exception of the TDK BA200 IEMs, for which the big improvement is that the Dragonfly is much quieter.  I am still trying to compare the Dragonfly to using my NAD 3130 socket.  I feel that the bass is more controlled (less bloated) with the Dragonfly, but maybe I am just being swayed by the recent discussion in this thread about the effect of high impedance phone sockets! Note that the Dragonfly has very low output impedance.

 

On the matter of output impedance, NAD service confirmed that the NAD 3130 phone socket impedance is 220 Ohm (just as for the NAD C320BEE).  Also, a post in the thread at states that the headphone circuit for the NAD 3130 is simply a 220 Ohm resistor in series.

 

(Note: I took out the URL's as as of this time, I am not able to do so.)

 

Hey MarcoGV,

 

How would you describe the sound of the HD 598's with the Dragonfly, in a more thorough description if possible? Particularly, I would like to know about the bass. I'm not exactly a basshead, but the HD 598's are lacking, more noticeably in the sub-bass. One of the big draw of the Dragonfly for me is its small size and great sound for such a thing. However, if it merely just subtly helps I would buy one of the amps I mentioned previously.


It have just played track 21 (Bass Decade Warble Tones) from the Stereophile Editor's Choice Sampler and Test CD on my laptop with and without the Dragonfly.  I listened to it (only with the Dragonfly) also using the UE6000 and the DT250-250.  Track 21 has 1/3 octave warble tones centered at 200, 160, 100, 80, 63, 50, 40, 31.5, 25, and 20 Hertz.  The good news is that I can hear all of them with the HD 598.  The not-so-good news is that I need to turn the volume up starting at 40Hz (but the big drop is at 31.5Hz) and that I do not notice much of a difference without the Dragonfly.  The bass seems more even on my UE6000, although it hard for me to tell for sure, because the UE6000 is more efficient and I do not know how to equalize levels precisely.  On the other hand, the bass seems to drop off more quickly with the DT250-250. Also, I do not notice any substantial difference in the warble tones with or without the Dragonfly, while using the HD 598.  With music, the Dragonfly seems to capture the dynamic contrast better; for example on track 12 (a Gershwin prelude arranged by Cea), which has very wide dynamic range, the piano and drums really "slam" with the Dragonfly; of course, this may all be a placebo effect.

 

I am sorry that this is an inconclusive report. Maybe someone with better ears can do a better job!

post #3355 of 4796
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

 

 

When I said skip the headphone jack, I was referring to the NAD amp with that big series resistor. The HD5x8 series is very easy to amp and many smartphones/DAPs probably do well without amping this can.

In my collection I have an HD558 (black foam modded) and an E18. They work very well together. I think you might like the E18's bass boost switch.

 

I guess this goes back to my NAD amp headphone jack issue.  Why the heck with NAD design an amp with a headphone jack output of 220ohms?  

 

Anyhow, I did some research today on the Schiit Magni and the JDS Labs O2.  I prefer the Magni.  But one more thing that I am still confused about.  Someone mentioned that the Magni and O2 will be good choices because it has near zero impedance output.  And the Magni reviews says it can drive any headphones between 32ohms to 600ohms.  So why wouldn't all headphone amps designed to be zero impedance?  

post #3356 of 4796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garraty View Post
 

 

(Note: I took out the URL's as as of this time, I am not able to do so.)

 

Hey MarcoGV,

 

How would you describe the sound of the HD 598's with the Dragonfly, in a more thorough description if possible? Particularly, I would like to know about the bass. I'm not exactly a basshead, but the HD 598's are lacking, more noticeably in the sub-bass. One of the big draw of the Dragonfly for me is its small size and great sound for such a thing. However, if it merely just subtly helps I would buy one of the amps I mentioned previously.

 

Regard the DragonFly, keep in mind that they have more than one version.  Apparently, they improved on version 1.0 and now they have 1.2 I think.

 

Another option that I've seen reviews saying that it sounds better than the Dragonfly is the AudioEngine D3.  http://audioengineusa.com/Store/Digital-Audio-Converters/D3-24-Bit-DAC

post #3357 of 4796
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcoGV View Post
 


It have just played track 21 (Bass Decade Warble Tones) from the Stereophile Editor's Choice Sampler and Test CD on my laptop with and without the Dragonfly.  I listened to it (only with the Dragonfly) also using the UE6000 and the DT250-250.  Track 21 has 1/3 octave warble tones centered at 200, 160, 100, 80, 63, 50, 40, 31.5, 25, and 20 Hertz.  The good news is that I can hear all of them with the HD 598.  The not-so-good news is that I need to turn the volume up starting at 40Hz (but the big drop is at 31.5Hz) and that I do not notice much of a difference without the Dragonfly.  The bass seems more even on my UE6000, although it hard for me to tell for sure, because the UE6000 is more efficient and I do not know how to equalize levels precisely.  On the other hand, the bass seems to drop off more quickly with the DT250-250. Also, I do not notice any substantial difference in the warble tones with or without the Dragonfly, while using the HD 598.  With music, the Dragonfly seems to capture the dynamic contrast better; for example on track 12 (a Gershwin prelude arranged by Cea), which has very wide dynamic range, the piano and drums really "slam" with the Dragonfly; of course, this may all be a placebo effect.

 

I am sorry that this is an inconclusive report. Maybe someone with better ears can do a better job!

 

Hah, that is perfectly fine. :D I am still confused, however regarding the Dragonfly. As an amp, how does it work? I've looked around in threads and reviews and there's little mention of it except in the name. If the main effect of it is a DAC, I am baffled. After all, amps are usually more important even for such an easy-driven can like this. Yet still, I am primarily using my laptop's soundcard for music (Windows) so the question still remains if I should get the Dragonfly, regardless whether or not it has an amp. And if this is all placebo- ah well, there's always that chance. 

post #3358 of 4796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Centropolis View Post
 

 

I guess this goes back to my NAD amp headphone jack issue.  Why the heck with NAD design an amp with a headphone jack output of 220ohms?  

 

Anyhow, I did some research today on the Schiit Magni and the JDS Labs O2.  I prefer the Magni.  But one more thing that I am still confused about.  Someone mentioned that the Magni and O2 will be good choices because it has near zero impedance output.  And the Magni reviews says it can drive any headphones between 32ohms to 600ohms.  So why wouldn't all headphone amps designed to be zero impedance?  

The Magni can probably drive cans far less than 32 Ohms as it's output impedance is less than 0.1 Ohms. In the case of the Magni and many amps with large amounts of negative feedback in their design, you get such low impedances. I have an Asgard 2 which has an output impedance spec's at less than 2 Ohms but has no feedback at the high gain switch setting and a small amount at low gain. In the case of the Asgard it's low distortion is achieved by very careful design.

Some amps have a high impedance because they are intended for high impedance cans and by design cannot deliver high amounts of current required by low impedance cans but instead can deliver a higher Vp-p. This can be seen in some OTL tube amps, like the popular Bottlehead Crack which is 120 Ohms.

The there are hybrid amps like the Schiit Vali and Lyr. Tubes at the input and Solid State at the output for low impedance, no output transformer and low output impedance + lots of drive current.

There was an old spec that stated the use of a 120 Ohm series resistor for headphone jacks. Nobody that wears their hat straight would consider that a good thing. 220 Ohms, that's just off the charts nutty.

post #3359 of 4796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Centropolis View Post

I guess this goes back to my NAD amp headphone jack issue.  Why the heck with NAD design an amp with a headphone jack output of 220ohms?  

Its mostly because, up until just a few years ago, audiophile headphones were a tiny niche market that nobody paid much attention to. Now that headphones are all the rage, you find that manufacturers are paying attention and lowering the output impedance of their headphone jacks. The 326BEE for example is rated at 68 ohms, which is low enough for the high end Sennheisers and Beyers.
post #3360 of 4796
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post


Its mostly because, up until just a few years ago, audiophile headphones were a tiny niche market that nobody paid much attention to. Now that headphones are all the rage, you find that manufacturers are paying attention and lowering the output impedance of their headphone jacks. The 326BEE for example is rated at 68 ohms, which is low enough for the high end Sennheisers and Beyers.

 

Thanks for the info!  See, if I knew this before purchasing the used C320......I should have spent more on something newer because now I have to buy a headphone amp.....which means the cost savings I got from buying an older model is now irrelevant.  :(

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