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Wow! Sennheiser HD 540 Reference are so good. - Page 13

post #181 of 898
Quote:
Originally Posted by moriez View Post
 

Got it at €130 which I deem reasonable when compared to HD-600/650 prices and performance.

 

Assuming the HD 600 are reasonably priced, which they aren't....

 

I keep going on about this as a sanity check, but while I haven't heard the HD 540, I have the HD 530, which I've seen people describe both as (a) better than the HD 540 and (b) identical to the HD 540. So I assume the HD 530 aren't much worse than the HD 540, in any case. I got them for 25 euros, which is about high-ish average for this model, and that's about what I'd reasonably pay for the sound. They do sound nice, and I like the timbre, but their problem is that they don't have the refinement you get in a planar magnetic of the same price and vintage - though some amount of modding is required. Even going up to 130, the Stax SR-5 go for about that much - you get electrostat sound that needs no modding and would be a better choice over the HD 530.  Heck, you'll get a few pairs of the Sennheiser Unipolar stats for that money, and while they need lots of modding, they blow the HD 530 out of the water.

 

People will pay 100+ for these Senns if they want to, and I've indeed not heard the HD 540 specifically, but...

post #182 of 898

Lol, yeah. Not even sure if the 600 is reasonably priced for what it does. Interesting. Never gave that whole subject much thought. Or did I? I'd like to hear it again but from memory the 540 is a lot more my cup. Though, I may be heavily stung by the flavour of the month stinger. That also explains why I spend €130 on this new pair. A devil on both shoulders :evil::evil: It's lucky and unlucky at the same time. They might have turned up at a local online market for like €40 sooner or later but the want now is strong. Going by the pictures it's condition is what made it a no brainer for me. You probably won't find another one like that every day. Absolutely pristine looking and the original pads are even more important now that I have heard three different types.

 

Ah, preferences preferences.

 

By the way, is anyone into The Black Keys? El Camino sounds freakin awesome with this headphone from the Yulong. Track 07 Sister makes me shine like so -> :beyersmile: 


Edited by moriez - 3/31/14 at 4:41am
post #183 of 898
IMO, an immaculate HD540II is a bargain for €130..... or you can spend hundreds more for coloured sound... You pay your money and make your choice. I paid £170 GBP for an immaculate HD540II and I had no regrets. I reckon HD540II from Graham Slee amplification is more than capable of matching planar magnetic performance.
post #184 of 898
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post

 

[...] while I haven't heard the HD 540, I have the HD 530, which I've seen people describe both as (a) better than the HD 540 and (b) identical to the HD 540. So I assume the HD 530 aren't much worse than the HD 540 [...]

 

[...] Heck, you'll get a few pairs of the Sennheiser Unipolar stats for that money, and while they need lots of modding, they blow the HD 530 out of the water.

 

i've not heard 530 yet, but i own Ref I 600 ohms, Ref II, Ovation I and Ovation II.

the four 540/60 i own sound completely different (i hate this expression, but it's kinda "night and day" imo)

the different 5xx Senns do NOT have the same FR/signature/presentation/etc.

and i highly doubt 530 and 540-600 ohms do sound the same (of course, my guess is that fully open 540-600 ohms is significantly superior to semi-closed 530).

 

anyway, i'm pretty sure nobody has stated in this thread that 540/60 Sennheisers sound better than modern or vintage stats or semi-stats.

the point is that 540/60 do sound MUCH BETTER than a lot of modern way more expensive DYNAMIC headphones.

it's that simple.

and btw, i'm dying to try out an Unipolar, but i have zero DIY skills.


Edited by Hairspray - 3/31/14 at 1:05pm
post #185 of 898

In my opinion, my HD540II is the closest I've heard to a headphone with no signature of its own. THAT is what I have been searching a very long time for. Honesty without signature or as close as I could get to it. Headphones like the HD650 are just a joke; anyone who thinks that these are high fidelity headphones haven't got any idea..... Optimised HD540II through an entirely Graham Slee signal/amplification chain with plenty of "burn-in" would match/exceed even the best electrostatic earspeakers, perhaps even be more enjoyable.

post #186 of 898

Anyone have any experience replacing the contact springs in the HD540 II? Can it be done? I know Tyll made a video about replacing the springs on the HD600, but I can't even figure out how to open the HD540 II driver enclosure, much less figure out which contact springs it needs or how to replace them.

post #187 of 898
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairspray View Post
 

 

i've not heard 530 yet, but i own Ref I 600 ohms, Ref II, Ovation I and Ovation II.

the four 540/60 i own sound completely different (i hate this expression, but it's kinda "night and day" imo)

the different 5xx Senns do NOT have the same FR/signature/presentation/etc.

and i highly doubt 530 and 540-600 ohms do sound the same (of course, my guess is that fully open 540-600 ohms is significantly superior to semi-closed 530).

 

anyway, i'm pretty sure nobody has stated in this thread that 540/60 Sennheisers sound better than modern or vintage stats or semi-stats.

the point is that 540/60 do sound MUCH BETTER than a lot of modern way more expensive DYNAMIC headphones.

it's that simple.

and btw, i'm dying to try out an Unipolar, but i have zero DIY skills.

 

As I said, if the HD 530 are semi-closed, then the HD 540 must be semi-closed, and if the HD 540 are fully open, then the HD 530 must be fully open - their cup construction looks identical, except that the HD 540 driver is sort of built into the circular frame where the HD 530 have the HD 560/580 style lollipop driver. I believe you that there are different-sounding versions of the 540 and 560, just like there are different-sounding versions of the HD 530. Look it up and you'll find people with bright versions and people with dull versions. My HD 530 measure almost identical to the HD 540 Gold measured by Golden Ears, i.e., these two sound signatures are probably related, and it's not a surprise to me that some find these two models to sound the same.

 

The problem with justifying a high price by saying that the HD 600 are expensive is that you've made the choice to look high rather than low. My modded Yamahas - which cost 15 euros and weren't particularly cheap at that price - are likewise better than the HD 600, and the HD 540 would again need to be quite a bit better than those Yamahas to justify their price at 130 euros. Of course, with the HD 540, you can save time by not having to mod too much, you might fancy a larger soundstage as the Yamahas are tiny in that regard, or you might just like the HD 540 signature more (or you might like dynamic headphones over planars in general). I'd say the Yamahas are mainly for people looking for a very smooth midrange, which might be different from - or not enough for - the desires of the HD 540 folk. Don't get the Unipolar unless you're prepared to mod, by the way, as they sound terrible stock - unlistenable.

 

And about the HD 540 having no signature of their own as Cosmo said above. There's tons of variation between people in ear anatomy which skews the frequency response, meaning that what you hear as "no signature" will be a very obvious signature for someone else. So "no signature" is kind of a dangerous thing to say - it's not a constant that some model of headphone is in possession of.


Edited by vid - 4/1/14 at 1:24am
post #188 of 898

I just listened to my HD540I drivers with HD540II velour earpads, inner cloth and HD250II cable. Compared to the HD540II, my (300 Ohm, I think) HD540I is less natural in all areas. The HD540I drivers are not perfectly matched in output, upsetting the spatiality, the bass has less presence/impact and the overall impression was a duller experience which was more apparent the further I raised the volume. I will substitute in the drivers of my second 300 Ohm HD540I and see if anything improves. I won't be getting my hopes up...

post #189 of 898

HD 540 and HD 530 I are semi-open because  their earpiece are open, but the pads are closed.:wink:

 

This is original pad HD 540 I (as you see he is closed)

 

This is pad HD 530 (also closed)

post #190 of 898
Thread Starter 

I guess I'm the only one (?) to prefer (by a huge margin) my Ref I (600 ohms) to my Ref II (especially imaging, soundstage and timbre).

 

So, I'm wondering if anyone has had the chance to compare "Ref I - 300 ohms" to "Ref I - 600 ohms" (side by side, not "by memory").

 

Would that explain it or should i call an ear doctor and stop posting on these forums? :D 


Edited by Hairspray - 4/1/14 at 12:26pm
post #191 of 898
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aulait View Post
 

HD 540 and HD 530 I are semi-open because  their earpiece are open, but the pads are closed.:wink:

 

"Open-back", "closed-back", semi-open, semi-closed or whatever...

Imo, the same amount of air cannot pass throught such different earcups designs (not only the design but also the material are completely different)?

 

540

 

530

post #192 of 898

Hairspray.

I just listened to my HD540I  with earpads HD 250 and 2 foam discs over the drivers (original ref I gold). I prefer original pads HD 540 I (DIY - renovated) : Wink:

 

 

 

Face to face:D

 


Edited by Aulait - 4/1/14 at 1:56pm
post #193 of 898
Thread Starter 

540 Ref I 600 ohms? or 300 ohms?

anyhow, at first, everything sounds more distant (especially vocals) with the 250 pads but give them a few hours... and you will (maybe) appreciate the more realistic soundstage/imaging.

 

It reminds me of the difference between "bass port modded" AKG Q701 (more distance, less intimacy, mids seem at first recessed), but in the end offering a more realistic instruments positionning Vs. regular Q701 (more intimacy, etc.). -> ask Tdockweiler...

i call this the Grado symptom, lol :p

post #194 of 898
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairspray View Post
 

I guess I'm the only one (?) to prefer (by a huge margin) my Ref I (600 ohms) to my Ref II (especially imaging, soundstage and timbre).

 

So, I'm wondering if anyone has had the chance to compare "Ref I - 300 ohms" to "Ref I - 600 ohms" (side by side, not "by memory").

 

Would that explain it or should i call an ear doctor and stop posting on these forums? :D 

I have the HD 540 I  300 Ohms and 540 I 600 Ohms.. 600 Ohm version is much better!

post #195 of 898
Thread Starter 

beautiful CD player btw... :eek:

Marantz?

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