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Sennheiser HD 598 Impressions Thread - Page 249

post #3721 of 6874

I like the Magni and the HRT Microstreamer with the HD598 but I prefer the micro.

post #3722 of 6874

Micro USB DACs seem really attractive to me, any more thoughts on for example: Arcam rPAC; CEntrance DACport; AQ DragonFly v1.2; Meridian Explorer; HRT MicroStreamer; Audioengine D3 ? And what they respectively bring to the sound of the HD 598 ? Thanks !


Edited by periofab - 6/12/14 at 2:21pm
post #3723 of 6874
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolpep View Post
 

 

 The Audioengine D3 is also a very good partner for the HD598 if you want to have a DAC/Amp and don't spend the world....

 

I personally was looking into the D1 (I like the port options) to pair with my HD598 but recently have become somewhat hesitant. My Yamaha receiver uses an AK4588 DAC similar to the AKM4396 used by the D1/D3 and sounds fantastic paired with the HD598; compared to my iPods (Classic, Touch 5th gen. and a 20GB Wolfson 5th gen. iPod), my Xonar U3 (hey, it's very capable), and of course onboard ALC898, my Yamaha receiver adds so much extension to the bass. If the D1/D3 sounds at least as good as my receiver then it is something I will consider.


Edited by Bansaku - 6/12/14 at 5:52pm
post #3724 of 6874
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bansaku View Post

My Yamaha receiver adds so much extension to the bass.

This probably has nothing to do with the DAC. The bass extension you are hearing is most likely caused by the high output impedance of your Yamaha's headphone jack.
Edited by palmfish - 6/12/14 at 8:02pm
post #3725 of 6874
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post


This probably has nothing to do with the DAC. The bass extension you are hearing is most likely caused by the high output impedance of your Yamaha's headphone jack.

I actually came to that conclusion while listening to some Diana Krall - Live in Paris 24/96. I don't know why but it just came to me while I was mesmerized by the deep bass extension I was hearing with the stand-up bass. I am thinking I am going to get the D1, and do an A/B test, as well as hooking up the D1 to the discreet inputs via RCA.

post #3726 of 6874
I tested a bunch of modern AVRs a couple years ago in my search for one with a low output impedance. Yamaha, Sony, Denon, Pioneer, Onkyo, NAD, Marantz, integra, etc.

Pioneer was the only company with low output impedance headphone jacks. I ended up buying a VSX-1122 and it drives all of my headphones beautifully - from my 35 ohm Grados to my 300 ohm Sennheisers.
Edited by palmfish - 6/12/14 at 8:22pm
post #3727 of 6874
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

I tested a bunch of modern AVRs a couple years ago in my search for one with a low output impedance. Yamaha, Sony, Denon, Pioneer, Onkyo, NAD, Marantz, integra, etc.

Pioneer was the only company with low output impedance headphone jacks. I ended up buying a VSX-1122 and it drives all of my headphones beautifully - from my 35 ohm Grados to my 300 ohm Sennheisers.

 

Oh very nice to know that, so hopefully VSX-1021 has the same implementation as well. Getting a 598 today, and hearty to see this.

post #3728 of 6874
I tried several Pioneers up and down the line and they all were good to go.
post #3729 of 6874

Howdy y'all, I'm demoing a pair (just got them today shoutout to Saoshyant for letting me borrow his, super nice guy! :beerchug:), and thought I'd post some brief impressions. I'll hopefully get more detailed impressions later, this is after about an hour or two with them. Check my signature/profile for more info on what I'm used to. My LCD-2.2F's are out for a while, so I can't really do side by side comparisons. I will compare them against X1's occasionally just as a reference. I'll try them with some gaming tomorrow, hopefully.

 

Looks: I love the styling, it's a fun, bold move by Sennheiser. I only wish the tan was a little more textured (without looking dirty). They're pretty comfortable, pads could be a tad squishier, headband doesn't form to my head the best, but they're light and you soon forget they're on your head.

 

Amping: Easy! From my Asus Xonar DGX to my AGD NFB-28, you get better extension on both ends, imaging, more natural mids, and the soundstage almost becomes too big so that the center image is lost (but this amp seems to do that quite a bit more than any other I've tried... though the layering is top-notch). I think these get more from a good DAC than the amp section. Something clean and low power would probably be killer, I'd like to try an ODAC/O2 with these. They scale up better than expected! The Phillips X1's don't do that as much, those actually synergize pretty well with the DGX to the point where the extra hassle of using an external DAC/amp almost isn't worth it.

 

Bass: My tastes are for bass extension and accurate quality over quantity. Just like my Audeze's. I was expecting these to be a little more bass light than they seem to be. Take something like a super extended planar bass, take away 20% of the great extension, and trade that for a 15% Sennheiser style mid-bass hump. It's pleasant and warm, but something like an acoustic bass that really needs great extension to be killer sounds a little lack-luster. But on a track like "The Swing Of Justice" by Gramatik, these things sound super full. Detail is on par with mids save some sub-bass clarity that really helps on phat bass drum notes. I really want to try the AKG Q701's for their supposed lighter bass but better extension as a comparison. The X1's have the quantity, a little better extension, but they are bloated and slow - and I can't stand that.

 

Mids: They are pretty clear, trumpets can sound a little gritty in the lower registers (more than what is natural), voices are given in a light manner, and upper mids lack excitement. If the upper mids have just 10% more detail, they'd be fixed and thus reference level mids for the mid-fi bracket. Overall though, they are way better than the X1's. I can't really describe it in words, when I find the right ones I'll post them. The X1's sound just really bland and uninviting. It's not that they're cold, they're just a tad warmer, it's just there's really nothing special to note. The only surprise from me on these 598's was the lack of speed. Playing my speed test track "Ride The Sky" by Lightning Bolt, things got a little mixed up and congested, moreso in the lower mids. I expected more speed I guess considering the lighter presentation. So for slower music, there's no problem other than not always depicting decay/echo as well as ideal, and the lack of speed probably only hurts extreme music styles. I think the average Joe would usually not be pushing the speed like I was testing at.

 

Treble: No sibilance. Incredible detail, smooth, and really extended. I think the treble on these is some of the best I've heard - all manufacturers take note! On higher end cans, you can get more of those three main features... plus better decay, stick sound from cymbals, and richer harmonics, but these really do a fantastic job!

 

Soundstage/Imaging: Bigger soundstage, better height, though I think maybe like 10% less depth than X1's... with similar fantastic imaging ability! Not the LCD-2.2 with Fazor good, but when the imaging is coupled with a bigger soundstage, they really do just as good of a job. It's more of apples to oranges though. On my NFB-28, the image gets so spread out though, it sounds a bit unnatural. Remember, my amp tends to do that. Lots of space, clarity, and air.

 

Conclusion (after just one day): I can see why so many people love these! You don't get lost in the music as much as some cans, but man are they pleasant. The combo of a lighter presentation and lighter physical feeling kinda lets them just nearly fade out, and then you're just kinda left with a nice ambient background track for when your attention wanders, and enough detail and warmth for some great listening sessions. For those looking for a light sounding can while still carrying the house sound of Sennheiser (slightly warm, mid-bass hump, smooth treble, (perhaps slightly veiled mids)), these should be on your mind as a super serious option.

 

I'll post more when I can do some side by sides with X1's, my PC163D's, and whatever else I have time to setup and think would be useful. Thoughts, questions, or comments, please post them!

post #3730 of 6874
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodgey4 View Post
 

 Thoughts, questions, or comments, please post them!

 

Great first day impressions, agree with 99% of what you said. Have a great time with further listening.

:beerchug:

post #3731 of 6874

I recently purchased a Marantz CD5004 CD player and find that the headphone out paired with the HD598 is a bit warm for my taste.  I am used to listening with the microStreamer which is very forward and detailed sounding.  I'm thinking of getting a Modi(optical) and either Magni or Vali in an attempt to get back to the sound I like.  Since the HD598 is a fairly warm sounding headphone, I'm thinking the Magni might be better for my needs.  All comments are welcome.  Thanks.

post #3732 of 6874
Have you considered O2? xD
post #3733 of 6874

I'd go for the Magni > Vali for two reasons: First: lower output impedance (~0 vs. 6.5 ohms) which should be better (more controlled bass) for these 50 ohm cans. Second it should be more neutral and perhaps even slightly cold, which I think really could help out these cans to play up their strengths. I haven't heard either though tbh. But that's what I would expect. So I would consider the Magni vs. other options in its range.

post #3734 of 6874
There are also headphones who don't get affected by damping factor. Just a side note smily_headphones1.gif
post #3735 of 6874
Vali has a couple drawbacks - The tubes are somewhat microphonic and you'll hear a faint amount of hiss with IEMs. Assuming neither of these bother you, the Vali's great. It's the cheapest amp that I've listened to that does a remarkably fair job with the HD 800s. For the 598, I'd probably go with the Magni for easy plug and play.
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