Over the last couple months I've setup an audio system to use with my Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones. They're my first “audiophile” headphones and I really really enjoy them. My audio chain consists of Foobar WASAPI → X-Fi Titanium (non-HD) → Audio-GD NFB-3.1 (Via Optical SPDIF) → Schiit Lyr → headphones. This was all based on info I found from stalking this forum for months ;).
The Schiit Lyr is a wonderful amp and really makes the HD 650 shine, but there are some worrying issues during start-up of the amp. As per documentation provided by the amp, there is no audio for 20 or so seconds while the amp warms-up. What's not said though is after that 20 seconds, a very loud “pop” will be played thru the headphones (This happens no matter what position the volume pot is in), after which there will be a constant static “hiss” on the left channel, and no sound at all on the right channel. No music will play thru the amp after this, until you unplug the headphones and plug them back in. Being worried that the “pop” may damage my headphone's drivers, I always unplug my headphones after turning off the amp to avoid the issue, although I do occasionally forget.
Well, I forgot today.
The genre of music I mainly listen to is Dubstep, Drum n Bass and EDM, so generally there's a lot of bass emphasis in a lot of song of those genres. After listening to a few songs, I noticed that there is some type of problem on the right channel. In some bass heavy songs, there would be a very noticeable echo to the bass beat that is being played, while in some other songs there would be a hiss or buzz in the background. The “buzzing” is still there even after swapping the channels, both at the amp and the cables connecting the headphones. I tried playing the headphones from another source (iPhone), and the problem is still there!
Concluding that there is a problem with the right driver, I started taking apart the headphone. I did not take out the driver itself, but as far as I can see (from my very unqualified eyes) there didn’t seem to be any damage to the drivers. But you could definitely hear the sound difference. I always listen to music below the 12 o'clock position, most of the time I have the volume at 10:30.
On bass-light songs there doesn’t seem to be any issues at all, they still sound fantastic, but considering I listen to electro music a lot I can hear the defect quite often. What should I do? Do you guys think it's possible to fix this? Or should I try to claim warranty? (Which would be a huge issue because I bought these from AccessoryJack.com and I live in the UK, hello custom charges!).
Sorry for the wall of text, but I'm just very disappointed at the state of my setup, after having spend so little time (about three weeks) with it only to have it break down like that. In either case, maybe Schiit was right. The Lyr really can "make magic smoke" come out of your headphones!