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HD-540 reference II cables...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I have a pair of Sennheiser HD540 reference II that I bought many years ago to use as my mixing headphones in my studio. The studio is gone for many years, but the headphones are still here..


I always enjoyed the sound of them, but the foam is now crumbled (easy enough to remove/replace), but one channel is cutting in and out whenever I move my head. I'm fairly certain it's the cable... Looking at the connectors, they look exactly the same as the HD580/HD600's. Does anyone know if that would be a direct replacement cable? Thinking about just going ahead and order a Cardas cable (everything else I have is wired with Cardas...).


Or is it just a waste and I should go ahead and get new pair of 'phones?

post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 

Please help... anyone knows if the cable for the 540 is the same as for the 580? The connectors sure looks like it, but I don't know if Sennheiser made connectors that are similar, but not the same...

post #3 of 15

The connector is exactly the same but the black&red plastic covering it is a little different. But it still fits so you can just buy any Sennheiser cable for it (you can still find the original stock cable as well).

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Many thanks padam!


That's what I was hoping for.

post #5 of 15

Depending on the Sennheiser cable that you purchase, you may need to file off some of the plastic around the edges of the connector. The hole for the cable end in the HD540 is smaller than the hole in the newer Sennheiser models. Bigger connectors, like those from Cardas, won't fit without filing away quite a bit of the connector plastic. (I did that on mine using a Dremel tool.)


In addition, the problem you experience may or may not be in the cable. It could also be in the spring-like terminals where the connector makes contact inside the headphone. You might need to fiddle with those terminals. If you disassemble the driver (the parts just snap apart), here's where to look, but BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL NOT TO DAMAGE THE THIN WIRES FROM THE TERMINALS INTO THE DRIVER.


HD540 internal connector.jpg

Edited by Bostonears - 3/19/12 at 1:16pm
post #6 of 15

To add to my prior post, the first picture below shows an original HD540 II connector on the left, and a Cardas connector on the right. The Cardas connector in the first picture has been modified to fit the HD540. The second picture shows unmodified Cardas connectors. Basically, you need to remove a few millimeters of plastic all the way around, extending the narrower section of the plastic further down. (You can sort of see where I did this in the first picture.)


HD540 original cable connector vs. modified Carda connector.JPG


Cardas connectors for Sennheiser.jpg

Edited by Bostonears - 3/19/12 at 1:35pm
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone,


Just need to get a new cable and fire up the Dremel. Nothing like taking the Dremel to some audio gear. rolleyes.gif

post #8 of 15

By the way, the HD540 II responds very well to a cable upgrade. With a good cable, I find the sound quality comparable to the HD580/600. (Haven't compared it to the HD650, so can't say about that one.) Personally, I think the HD540 is much more comfortable to wear (especially in hot weather) compared to the HD580/600, but original HD540 replacement pads are now as scarce as unobtainium.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Fixed the crumbled foam with some acoustic transparent material from Gilford of Maine. Actually improved the sound over the foam!


Still need to get a new cable. I kind of fixed the original cable by heat shrinking some tubing over the area where I had a small cut. Seems to work, but I'm afraid to move my head as that might be enough to cut out the left channel again... yes, definitely time for a new cable.


I agree with you Bostonears, the 540's are very nice head phones. Right now, I'm driving them with the AudioFire from my Mac, but a new Musical Paradise MP-301 MK2 will get here soon enough and will be the headphone amp. Used to drive them directly from a tube headphone amp that I had in my studio many years ago, so I'm very excited about having a good amp to drive them with! Makes a huge difference.

post #10 of 15

I'm aware that this thread is two years old now but just to let you know that the HD250 Linear II OFC cable fits the HD250I, HD250II, HD540I, HD540II and HD560II, as well as several others. It is purchasable from the Sennheiser Spares website for about £19GBP.


The HD540II, in my opinion, is one of the best performing full-size headphones in the world, followed closely by the HD560II. The HD560II is just as fantastic although the HD540II is just out in front, I think. The HD540 Reference I is also very good but it does lack some refinement, which is resolved in its second iteration.


The HD540II/HD560II are true monitor headphones and make the HD600/HD650 seem like a joke, to be completely honest. =/ HD600 is very good but both HD600/HD650 are not accurate enough to be called monitor headphones, IMO. The HD600 has upper bass emphasis and the HD650 is even more frequency skewed... Not good enough. Hi-Fi means High Fidelity, which means 'true-to-the-source'. A HD540II reveals exactly what is on the recording and the relative volume.


Connect a HD540II or a HD560II to a Graham Slee Bitzie DAC or Solo Ultra-Linear DE if you want to hear just how incredible a headphone can sound. :happy_face1:

post #11 of 15

Guys, any special precaution to remove the HD540 II stock cable ? Just pull the tiny plug (not the cable itself of course) and that's it or is it more complex like twist and pull ? Want to change the cable but certainly do not want to damage connections .....BTW Use a  Dremel to shave the  plug of the new cable is a great idea, will give it a try 


post #12 of 15

Nothing complex there Tom. Grip the L/R plugs tightly and as high up toward the headphone as possible and just pull it out. Sometimes a little wiggling is needed.

post #13 of 15

Late question here, but is it hard to change the cable or is it just as simple as plugging in the connectors?

post #14 of 15
Just pull the old one out and plug the new one in. Do pay attention to orientation of left and right
post #15 of 15

Okey, Thanks for the answear

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