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Sennheiser HD518 HD558 HD598 Appreciation Thread - Page 30

post #436 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelahess View Post

I just finished breaking in the 518's I ordered for my wife. They sound IDENTICAL to my 598's.

I've had a half dozen people listen to both including my kids who have excellent hearing range compared to me. Only one person thought the highs were ever so slightly clearer with the 598's. Mind you those are a much nicer set to touch. The materials are better, but not enough to warrant the price difference.

I'm not upset i bought the 598's by any measure but others should be aware of the distinct lack of sonic differences in these headphones.

Both work great without an amp, but both do sound fuller with one. It's a noticeable but small difference.

I very highly suspect the 558 sound identical as well since they use the same drivers from everything I've heard. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

And yes, sound stage is no wider on the 598's.

I've spent 10 years in a past life doing SQ car audio, talking nothing under $5k installs here. I have no illusions something costing more will make it better. I don't judge based on cost or "expected results."

And I can assure you, an expensive USB cable is 100% a waste of money. wink.gif

The HD598 has significantly wider soundstage, and is more crisp and airy while the HD518 has a fuller bass and more muddy highs but overall the smoothest sound. I remember that when i switched the HD518 for the 558 i was quite stunned at the amount of difference and refinement. The HD558 has a less airy sound, more impactful bass smaller soundstage (though still wide) than the HD598 which has a wider sound, lighter tap on the bass and more focus on the upper mids. Overall i'd say the HD518 has a significant drop in performance due to it's semi open and poorly ventilated construction and much stiffer earpads.

(but with the modded HD558 that I have with the inner lining, foam, grill cloth and also the silver ring taken out, it is 100% the performance to the HD598. I am confident enough to say that after having done A/B tests.)

also: Well I know of someone who says that his USB cable made a difference;)


Edited by streetdragon - 10/23/13 at 11:10pm
post #437 of 614

So which are the best for dance / trance music and Korean pop out of 518, 558 and 598? Sick of uncomfortable headphones. I'm just looking for the best for my music and the most comfortable.


Edited by Mackem - 10/24/13 at 4:49pm
post #438 of 614
Between these three, we really arent talking about different sound. Sure, there are differences between them, but its not like comparing a Grado vs. Audeze.

Buy the one that best fits your budget.
post #439 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

Between these three, we really arent talking about different sound. Sure, there are differences between them, but its not like comparing a Grado vs. Audeze.

Buy the one that best fits your budget.

Yep, they are pretty close. Maybe the 558's are housed in better cups and are closer to the 598's sound at a moderate price. Do the 558 easy black rubber strip removal mod and they get almost too close to tell the difference.

post #440 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

Yep, they are pretty close. Maybe the 558's are housed in better cups and are closer to the 598's sound at a moderate price. Do the 558 easy black rubber strip removal mod and they get almost too close to tell the difference.

 

Plus remove the outside and inside mesh, your ears will be saying "Honey, please shut the window, i'm gettin' cold from all that AIR!". It also made them more transparent and and made the high's brighter (obviously)... some people might not like that though, the outside mesh isn't really reversible so tread lightly. 

 

I'm now thinking if i should remove the white mesh that covers the driver, but i'm pretty happy with the 558's.. there is potential for improvement (there always is!), but removing that white material might just ruin them. 

 

Jesus, the sennheiser engineers are shaking their heads in disappointment at this fool. lmao


Edited by joshwalnut - 10/24/13 at 7:59pm
post #441 of 614
I'll ignore your a/b comparison if you ignore mine. smily_headphones1.gif Aren't opinions great?!
post #442 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelahess View Post

I'll ignore your a/b comparison if you ignore mine. smily_headphones1.gif Aren't opinions great?!

 

I trust your opinion on USB cables... same as with the HDMI cables.

 

I only ever listened to the 558's, one thing i do know though, is that the drivers in the 5X8 series are sensitive to damping and housing (mods). So i don't think your opinion is accurate if we're talking stock. I'm sure you could make the 518 sound the same as the 558/598, because after all they do share the same drivers. My stock 558's sound nothing like my modded 558's and i didn't touch the drivers, but then again i'm recalling from memory. 

 

Streetdragon a/b/c'd the sh*t out of the 5x8 series lineup so imma go with his opinion! Whatcha gonna doooo abooot it?!?! :D :p 


Edited by joshwalnut - 10/24/13 at 9:05pm
post #443 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelahess View Post

I'll ignore your a/b comparison if you ignore mine. smily_headphones1.gif Aren't opinions great?!
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshwalnut View Post
 

 

I trust your opinion on USB cables... same as with the HDMI cables.

 

I only ever listened to the 558's, one thing i do know though, is that the drivers in the 5X8 series are sensitive to damping and housing (mods). So i don't think your opinion is accurate if we're talking stock. I'm sure you could make the 518 sound the same as the 558/598, because after all they do share the same drivers. My stock 558's sound nothing like my modded 558's and i didn't touch the drivers, but then again i'm recalling from memory. 

 

Streetdragon a/b/c'd the sh*t out of the 5x8 series lineup so imma go with his opinion! Whatcha gonna doooo abooot it?!?! :D :p 

USB cables are not my opinion. They belong to dan.gheorghe. (thread starter of Audiophile by accident: The Unexpected journey. if you want to ask about USB, ask him.) I have no say in USB cables for the schiit storm they bring along.
Opinions are great, because they are not always true and can be ignored, it's up to the viewer to decide which opinion to place credit in.:rolleyes:
I've visited the shop selling the trio and auditioned them on over 15 separate occasions and under various circumstances alongside with my modded one and under various amp settings, stages of burn in and earpad break in.
And yes, I was kinda disagreeing with your statements there.

post #444 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by streetdragon View Post
 

[SNIP]

also: Well I know of someone who says that his USB cable made a difference;)

Was he abducted by aliens? :biggrin:

post #445 of 614
Yep, got all that. My wallet has been feeling a little beat down from all the WA3 tubes and mods. With the c4s mod and high transconductance tubes the match is better with the 558, but still not optimum. 558 impedance, being above 50 and with that additional big peak at 100hz is not as flabby as many on an OTL amp. You're right, 558 is easy to drive and even the unmodded WA3 is better than my ipod out....it goes louder than I need and sounds great. What I meant by oomph is bass transients without overly distorting. It's not hard to clip the OTL and when it happens it's noticeable. High impedance phones is definitely the way to go with the OTL setup (assuming I stay OTL) and I like the Senn sound....so 600, 650, 800 is probably the next direction for me, but my wallet is suggesting I'm approaching the point of diminishing returns. The other way to address my oomph problem would be to go for more power, and probably SS as well. I've been eyeing the violectric...but like the OTL sound so much. The 558 is such an outstanding value it's hard to move up without making an exponential expense. smily_headphones1.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post

Impedance is not a guarantee of better sound or oomph. The impedance of the amp should as a rule of thumb be 1/8 of the impedance of the cans, or even less, to get good damping. You need to get cans that sound good and an amp that can drive it properly. Higher impedance cans need a higher signal voltage, again you need an amp that can supply that. The 558's are easy to drive. So what do you mean by more oomph? Warning, these adventures can drain your wallet. normal_smile%20.gif

Edited by GrindingThud - 10/25/13 at 5:56am
post #446 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrindingThud View Post

Yep, got all that. My wallet has been feeling a little beat down from all the WA3 tubes and mods. With the c4s mod and high transconductance tubes the match is better with the 558, but still not optimum. 558 impedance, being above 50 and with that additional big peak at 100hz is not as flabby as many on an OTL amp. You're right, 558 is easy to drive and even the unmodded WA3 is better than my ipod out....it goes louder than I need and sounds great. What I meant by oomph is bass transients without overly distorting. It's not hard to clip the OTL and when it happens it's noticeable. High impedance phones is definitely the way to go with the OTL setup (assuming I stay OTL) and I like the Senn sound....so 600, 650, 800 is probably the next direction for me, but my wallet is suggesting I'm approaching the point of diminishing returns. The other way to address my oomph problem would be to go for more power, and probably SS as well. I've been eyeing the violectric...but like the OTL sound so much. The 558 is such an outstanding value it's hard to move up without making an exponential expense. smily_headphones1.gif

If you like the sound signature of the 558, you would probably prefer the 600 over the 650. Since your wallet is feeling beat down, the 800's will incinerate it.

I remember when SS just came out. I was working after school hours as a technician when in high school. Since I was the only one in the shop that understood how transistors worked, I got to fix all of the SS gear. Other than the high end stuff, so many were badly designed class B amps with little closed loop feedback, which sounded awful. Modern designs are first rate, if you have enough headroom and don't clip, you're as good as gold, assuming you bought a good amp. Junk is available in all types of amps.

post #447 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by streetdragon View Post
 

The HD598 has significantly wider soundstage, and is more crisp and airy while the HD518 has a fuller bass and more muddy highs but overall the smoothest sound. I remember that when i switched the HD518 for the 558 i was quite stunned at the amount of difference and refinement. The HD558 has a less airy sound, more impactful bass smaller soundstage (though still wide) than the HD598 which has a wider sound, lighter tap on the bass and more focus on the upper mids. Overall i'd say the HD518 has a significant drop in performance due to it's semi open and poorly ventilated construction and much stiffer earpads.

(but with the modded HD558 that I have with the inner lining, foam, grill cloth and also the silver ring taken out, it is 100% the performance to the HD598. I am confident enough to say that after having done A/B tests.)

also: Well I know of someone who says that his USB cable made a difference;)

 

I wish to know specific improvement HD598 bring over HD518. is it timber and soundstage or does it bring out more detail especially in mids and low?

 

I was torn between two and had to get HD518 after some delivery mishaps and order cancellations, as they were easy to get. overall i am really happy with them.

post #448 of 614

ADGTron has the HD 558 refurbs again at Amazon for $112.00

post #449 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post
 

ADGTron has the HD 558 refurbs again at Amazon for $112.00

$129.54 New, sold by Amazon.

post #450 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post
 


Not unless it's a really crappy amp or DAC.

 

If it is causing any coloration, it's usually very minor. I know that the Fiio E10 is especially bad with HD-598/DJ100 and most Sennheisers (to my ears).

tdockweiler, I agree with you on that. Also wanted to quote you from another thread, so I could help people looking for a suitable DAC for their HD558/HD598. I had to do a lot of searching to come across your suggestion.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post
 

For the 598 I would suggest just something like the Fiio E17. Can be found for around $109.

 

IMO Magni/Modi is overkill for the 598.

 

BTW I also felt the 598 sounded amazing with even a $30 Creative X-Fi Go Pro. It's an amp/dac found at any Best Buy. It even has pretty good measurements.

 

For me the the 598 doesn't improve/change much with a good amp unlike the HD-600/650.

 

Big THUMBS UP for suggesting the Creative X-Fi Go Pro for the Sennheiser HD598. The Caveat- I listen only to Pandora and MP3's. 

 

I have a modded Sennheiser HD 558 and tried the Fiio E10 after  Mikes review @ Headfonia and hated it. The Bass was present but the E10 definitely made it sound more bright. It seemed way too jarring for my ears. In fact i doubted my hearing what with all the rave reviews for the E10.

 

Then as a chance read came across your suggestion and found it for $17 on ebay , so decided to give it a shot.

 

I absolutely love it!! The Bass is so much more pronounced and the treble and mids get a slight tweak as well.

 

Im no audiophile and its hard to describe exactly how it sound in words. But like tdockweiler says it does not take away anything for the HD 558 and in no way sounds harsh. Maybe the treble might be a tad bit more than it needs to be but thats all. Its pleasant and does not sound harsh in anyway.

 

I listen to hip-hop and POP on pandora and some 192 - 320kbps mp3s as well and could'nt be happier.

 

Of course my only comparisons here are with the Fiio E10 and a Nuforce Icon HDP that i had a couple of years ago and eventually sold. I ended up selling the E10 as well, could not take the Harshness. So to summarize

 

HD558+ Nuforce Icon HDP + Macbook Air vs HD558 + Macbook Air - Hardly noticed any difference.

HD558+ Nuforce Icon HDP + Dell XPS 15 =  HD558 + Macbook Air WITHOUT a dac.

HD558 + Fiio E10 + Dell XPS 15 = Harsh

HD558 + Creative Xfi Go Pro + Dell XPS 15 = LOVE IT!!

 

After using the HD558 with the $400 Nuforce Icon HDP and the $70 Fiio E10, the Creative X-Fi Go Pro for $17 is fantastic value here and I am shocked that a $17 device can actually sound good.  Major law of diminishing returns here. Cant compare the xfi go pro with the Nuforce Icon HDP because it has been 2 years since I listened to the ICON HDP and I no longer have the Macbook Air.

 

In my opinion this is a definite must buy for the  HD558 / HD598 if like me you listen to pandora and mp3s!

 

Hope this helps anyone looking for comparisons. 

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