Originally Posted by Hairspray
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