HD540 Reference II
HD560 Ovation II
Ref II pad pair cleaned with fresh foam tucked in
A Ref II pad pair with fresh foam sewn in
Sewn clean Ref II pad pair
so i finally managed to get a pair of the 540 Ref II's off of ebay stateside (2 days via USPS~ yes! =). And wow these do indeed sound AMAZING. Now i've got a question in terms of cables. I'm planning to make my whole setup fully balanced, so i'll need to make / buy balanced cables for these at some point.
I read a couple pages back that HD600/650 cables work but sometimes certain company's versions may not fit well. (Cardas being one of them?) Do you guys have any recommendations on which cables/company i should get a balanced cables from?
In the case that i decide to get them custom made instead, if i make them using plugs for the HD 540 Ref II, will they also fit HD600 / 650s? (seeing that vice versa is not necessarily true). Any recommendations would be great! Thanks =)
Glad to read that you finally have a chance to listen to this headphone.
I use a single-ended oxygen-free copper cable with mine and I don't feel that it holds the design back in any way. That's just me though.
Balanced connnectivity uses phase and inverse phase lines to cancel out interference common to both, thus reducing noise and possible EMI. For a headphone, the cable length is actually quite short compared to what lengths may be used for speakers. Balanced configuration is only of any significant benefit when the interconnect lengths are large. I think the headphone cable I use is 3m in length, not really long enough to require balanced transmission. You'd probably need cable lengths much over 5m to probably be able to hear any difference. You'd need a lot of cable area in order to pick up enough EMI to diminish the audio signal audibly. Also, altering cable material and length from the original choice risks also drastically altering the cable capacitance, which itself could affect how the signal propagates through it. I predict that different cable materials could subtly alter the tonality that the drivers present to your ears.
Alternatively, you may experience an improvement in performance. I'm not confident that you will though.
HD600 and HD650 cables use plugs that are thicker than those used on the HD540II. This will likely lead to a less secure fit, unless you sand down the thicker part of the plugs to allow them to be pushed further into the capsule sockets.
Hi all, first post here so bear with me. I've rediscovered my old HD540s (I guess their ref 1 as I bought them about 1982). Joy. However the earpads have disintegrated... scanning a few posts and contacting some suppliers I get that:
1) The HD540 pads and HD250 equivalents are no longer available.
2) That some alternatives can be used...so
Can I get the latest/definitive answer on replacement pads. Can HD560 or HD430 pads be used if modded etc. What options are there for replacements ? I'm in the UK.
I have kept a few pairs of attachment rings for anyone who wishes to modify HD560 pads to use with the HD540.
If you want my honest opinion about using HD250 or HD430 pads with the HD540 headphone, don't use them... Both of these earpad types are designed for use with a closed capsule design and really butcher the HD540 performance, to my ears. If you dissect both of these pad types, you will see that they have thick fabric layers to make them acoustically inert by providing high damping of any sound, to prevent any sound leakage. This confines the dispersion sphere of sound to each ear, greatly reducing the stereo image size.
For best results, use the original pad or a HD540II velvet pad, gut the old foam out carefully, clean the skin thoroughly, put in a new doughnut shaped foam then stitch up. Gives the best result at the lowest price, I think.
I've tried a variety of replacement earpads on the HD540 II (including JMoney leather pads!). IMO the best sounding new pads are the HD560 pads, which can indeed be used on the HD540 if you remove the plastic rings from the back of the HD560 pads and transplant in rings from an existing set of HD540 pads. In this old thread, post #8 shows HD540 and HD560 pads side-by-side, and post #13 shows an HD540 ring transplanted into an HD560 pad, which requires minor modification to cut away some of the flexible plastic on the back of the HD560 pads.
Sennheiser declares the HD430 pads as official replacements for HD540 simply because they're the only ones still available that fit right out of the package, not because they're the ones that sound the best (or even sound most like the original HD540 pads).
Hello HD540 Friends. Here's a question for you. I love using my HD540 Ref Gold (300 ohm). They are old now, like me, but I get lost when I put them on, emerging at least a stolen hour later after being in the music without let or hindrance. One joy at least of living alone and being single, maybe. Anyhow, feeling the need to preserve these beautiful relics of more than 20 years, what might anyone suggest as something I could try, without breaking the bank, and more importantly, not being terribly disappointed. Suggestions on a post card please, to this thread....
The HD600 comes to mind. But it is not quite the same thing.
Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about using the HD540s.
Apart from the earpad they will probably outlast their user (you can try and hunt down a set of HD250 earpads if you intend to keep the originals, there are some stock left here and there)