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Could the Oehlbach cable be as good as Cardas, Equinox?

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Could the Oehlbach cable for Sennheiser HD580/600/650s be as good as other well respected (copper) aftermarket cables such as the Cardas and Equinox? A few Head-Fi members own the Oehlbach cable, but, unfortunately few of them seem to have experience with other aftermarket cables. Does anyone have an idea as to how the Oehlbach cable stacks up to the Cardas and Equinox--if not in terms of actual sound then at least in the materials used--like the gauge and quality of the wire used in the cable?
post #2 of 63
I did not find the Equinox cable to be a major upgrade, at least not to the extent that the Zu cable is. Based on that experience. I would venture to think that the Meier cable could compete with the other copper cables, but not against the silvers. Of course give two otherwise extremely similar cables, one copper, one silver, I've always preferred the silver FWIW.
post #3 of 63
I have Oehlbachs and Moon Blue Dragon, and prefer the Moon just for extra instrument separation and detail, but the Oehlbach has a little more pronounced bass. I have also posted pics of stock, oehlback and Moon Blue Dragon


No experience on Cardas or Equinox...
post #4 of 63
I have owned the Equinox and Cardas. I just got the Oehlbach two days ago so I am wating for it to burn in a bit. However, I can say right now that for $55 it is *definitely* a bargain compared to the other cables out there and the build quality is just fine. It's not as fancy looking as the others but it is well made. I think that for the majority of people with mid-fi sources, this is the cable I would recommend. I'm not sure I can justify $200 for a cable. The money I save can buy a nice pair of Grover interconnects, another cable to obsess over getting.
post #5 of 63
I assume by mid-fi you mean "budget hi-fi" rather than "consumer grade" (the latter of which probably wouldn't be worth upgrading the cable for anyway).
post #6 of 63
I received my Oehlbach yesterday. Its far from burnt in, but already I am pleased, as its clearly better sounding than the stock cable. The bass is definitely stronger and the oehlbach cable also seems less edgy than the stock cable. Compared to my now well burnt in diamondback; I still like the diamondback better. The diamonback has a better midrange and currently sounds more open. If the sound opens up once the oehlbach breaks in that will close the gap. However, I dont think the oehlbach is going to be as good as the diamondback in my system; the midrange and rich tone of the diamondback are more to my preferance.
post #7 of 63
Will the Oehlbach's reduce (or completely lift) the 'veil' of the stock HD650's?
post #8 of 63
I dont hear a veil on the 650 even with the stock cable; or atleast what I considered to be the veil on the 580/600. I can say the 650 is more refined sounding with better bass using the oehlbach. I think its a good cable and well worth the money.
post #9 of 63
Originally posted by asdfeproiu9
Will the Oehlbach's reduce (or completely lift) the 'veil' of the stock HD650's?
Thank you for making my day. This is the funniest post I have ever seen.
post #10 of 63
Yes the Oehlbach cable is very much worth it. Distinctly better than the stock cable. No, there ain't no veil. The HD 580s ain't got no veil in my setup. I assume the HD 650s wouldn't have either.


post #11 of 63
Okay, whatever floats your boat. After my switch from the W1000's, the HD650's definitely seem to be covered by something. That's why I'm wondering whether to upgrade the cable now, later, or even which cable. In fact, I'm not even 100% sure I'm going to keep these headphones.

The characteristic sound of the HD650 seems to be almost a polar opposite to the W1000's. Also, it appears to be more of a step sideways rather than a step forward. I suppose I have to give these headphones some more time though.
post #12 of 63
even if the Mier/Oehlbach cable is close to the other more exspensive upgrades, (which from all accounts it seems to be) it is one of the best deals a person can ask for as far as tweaking your system and getting that last 5% to really shine.

my impression of the W1000's compared to the HD650 is that what you hear with the W1000 is a slightly exaggerated sound that often times too bright, especially with acoustical instruments. the highs are simply not realistic and therefore make the Senns sound "less exciting." but, imo, this means that the Senns are actually closer to reality, but still with that warm, rich characteristic Sennheiser sound. the 650's also are almost completely free from that nasty thing called reverb where the driver housing along with other elements affect the separation and decay of the musical notes, especially the extremely fast, hard hitting notes wherein the W1000's simply mush them all together. again, imo, the W1000's and CD3000 (i see them roughly in the same family...not exactly alike, but similar in a lot of ways) have that nasal-like over-exaggerated-bright sound that i personally really disslike. i say you're making the right move in giving the Senn650's a good month to see wether you end up liking the that type of sound. if you don't end up liking them, at least you'll be able to say you tried in addition to having good judgement when comparing and contrasting other phones to it.

for an example...
at first, i hated my "stale" ety's with a passion. they were good but also lacked a lot. after about a month of an open minded appraoch (not forcing myself to like them), they grew on me like no other headphone has ever done. now, i hold them as high as and equal to my beloved HD650's!

anyways, i just thought i'd help you draw from another person's experience in going from one sound characteristic to its opposite. it's a big move to make, but if you end up liking it more in the end, it is surely worth it.
post #13 of 63
I got my Oehlbach cable earlier in the week, as well as my new Senn 650s. I also have two pairs of Senn 600s and two Cardas cables (a 10ft and 20ft).

The 650s, the Oehlbach cable and the standard cable (on a pair of 600s) were all left to run in continuously for 3 days from a tuner at high volume.

I have been listening to the various headphones and cables critically during the last day.

The result is that the Oehlbach cable is not a giant killer. In fact, I'm not even sure it's a midget killer. First of all, against the Cardas cable, the Cardas clearly blows it into the weeds. The Cardas has extended highs and lows, a natural midrange, and a liquid and sweet sound. By comparison the Oehlbach cable sounds dull and flat, with clearly limited high frequencies; the sound is a little grainy compared to the Cardas, and doesn't have the sweetness or liquidity of the Cardas. In fact the difference between two sets of 600s with one using the Cardas and the other using the Oehlbach cable was bigger than the difference between the 600s and 650s. I would take the 600s/Cardas over the 650/Oehlbach any day. (Fortunately I own both!)

The more interesting comparison was between the 650 stock cable and the Oehlbach cable. Here I don't think it was such a clear-cut distinction. The Oehlbach clearly has a fuller, more substantial sound, but it loses a little in the highs compared to the stock cable and the sound feels as if it is compressed or restricted in some way. My feeling is that some may prefer the stock cable (at least on the 650s) compared to the Oehlbach, and I think I am probably one of those people.

The conclusion was that the Oehlbach was a bit of a disappointment (especially after I thought so highly of the mini to mini interconnect which Jan ships with the Porta Corda), but it's not very expensive so worth an experiment. I haven't heard the Zu or other cables (apart from the red and blue Clous, which I don't rate) so the Cardas reaffirms its position for me as the best Sennheiser cable.
post #14 of 63
Thanks for the impressions, Ross. I appreciate your honest opinion however I would see where the sound of the Oehlbach is after about 150-200 hours, it may open up more. 72 hours of signal is a fair amount of time for a cables dielectric to become conditioned but I've seen many cables take far more hours to break in and this may or may not be the case with the Oehlbach. Double the amount of break in the cable has seen or more and report back again if you have a minute, we'd appreciate it. Thanks.
post #15 of 63
very interesting! if anything, your impressions further prove that the differences between the two headphones alone (600/650) are pretty noticable and for the most part, are worth the upgrade. for those that think the HD580/600 are lacking that little bit of sound you wish to have, the 650's are the definite answer. also ross, if you think the cardas help extend the highs and lows, just wait until you hear what the Zu's can do with the 650's. the highs sparkle so much that you wonder how how the 650's manage to extend the highs without them sounding sibilant or harsh! the Zu cable also further texturizes the bass notes like no other. when you get the chance to try out the Zu's, don't let that chance pass you up...unless you would like to save your wallet some grief...they are very pricey, but well worth it, IMHO.
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › Could the Oehlbach cable be as good as Cardas, Equinox?