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Wow! Sennheiser HD 540 Reference are so good. - Page 28

post #406 of 1362

I have taken on-board what you have said about possibilities with EQ, vid. Corrective EQ algorithms are a method for enhancing speaker performance and accuracy in a less-than-ideal environment so I'm sure that precise EQ facilities could enhance the performance of some headphone transducers. There are performance restrictions associated with a transducer's physical design and driver characteristics though.


Edited by o0CosmoMemory0o - 5/31/14 at 12:41pm
post #407 of 1362

One of my favorite set of pictures to show EQ doubters was that of the waveform of a test signal containing sharp transients. The first picture of the waveform, as recorded off a pair of headphones, showed that the phones were unable to keep up with the quick transients, getting them all blurred. For the second picture, proper EQ was applied, and now the same phones were able to reproduce the transients with absolute precision. Thus, whether the driver had gotten better or not, the end result was that the phones' ability to resolve detail had increased dramatically with EQ.

 

I hoped someone would've pointed out some error of logic in that set of pictures or the method behind it, but no one did. I'm not sure if people in general had even registered what they'd seen. More often than not, a person would maintain that EQ can't make headphones more resolving, see the pictures, then simply restate verbatim that EQ can't make headphones more resolving.

 

Not related to EQ, I was once working on a mod for some planar magnetics where the idea was to cover the driver with a thin sheet of plastic - like what's done with electrostats but never with planars - to protect the driver from dust. There was a guy in the thread where I was posting about this who speculated that plastic right in front of the driver would ruin the sound. I did the mod, listened to it, and found the sound unaffected. The guy maintained that the sound would be ruined. I took measurements - before and after - that showed the sound virtually unaffected by the mod. Having seen the measurements, the guy repeated that the mod wouldn't work because it would ruin the sound. I don't think he ever tried it.

 

In the same way, the beliefs of the guy with the HD 800 will always override your views that the HD 540 is a better headphone, no matter how many comparisons you do.

post #408 of 1362
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post
 

 

The irony here is that no one in this thread was willing to accept what I said about EQ even when given evidence to back it up. This is what happens, too, when you tell a person who likes his HD 800 or would like to have one that this 30-year-old headphone that sells for 50 euros is better. Doesn't matter how many comparisons you do - you should save yourself the bother - your views aren't grounded like theirs.

 

These are some things to look at instead:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belief_bias

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semmelweis_reflex

 

I can appreciate your frustration when faced with the fact that most listeners are seemingly unwilling to accept the importance of response graph analysis and the usefulness of properly applied EQ.

 

However, I can also relate to o0CosmoMemory0o's assertion that he does not need to look at graphs in order to fully appreciate the HD540's exceptional audio qualities or indeed to confidently state that even in comparison to the overly engineered- and overpriced- HD800, it holds its own and it may even better the latter in some respects.

 

Our ears are excellent analysis tools and as an owner and user of Two pairs of the HD540, I can certainly appreciate and support his views!

 

Best, 

 

Leonel


Edited by rocksteady65 - 6/1/14 at 5:14am
post #409 of 1362
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocksteady65 View Post

 

I can appreciate your frustration when faced with the fact that most listeners are seemingly unwilling to accept the importance of response graph analysis and the usefulness of properly applied EQ. However, I can also relate to o0CosmoMemory0o's assertion that he dos not need to look at graphs in order to fully appreciate the HD540's exceptional audio qualities or indeed to confidently state that even in comparison to the overly engineered- and overpriced- HD800, it holds its own and it may even better the latter in some respects. Our ears are excellent analysis tools and as an owner and user of Two pairs of the HD540, I can certainly appreciate and support his views!

 

Two separate things, though, appreciating audio quality and finding out what gives rise to that quality. The latter is of use when choosing new headphones and also when discussing headphones online. If it's the case, as it is, that frequency response is a notable constituent of sound quality, and if you can show that there are important similarities between the HD 540 and the HD 800 in frequency response, you strengthen your argument that the HD 540 is in the same class as the HD 800.

post #410 of 1362
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post
 

 

Two separate things, though, appreciating audio quality and finding out what gives rise to that quality. The latter is of use when choosing new headphones and also when discussing headphones online. If it's the case, as it is, that frequency response is a notable constituent of sound quality, and if you can show that there are important similarities between the HD 540 and the HD 800 in frequency response, you strengthen your argument that the HD 540 is in the same class as the HD 800.

 

 

Those are excellent points, I couldn't possibly disagree. I believe there are published response graphs for the HD540, but I cannot recall where I have seen them. Ideally, I would like to see a side by side set of Graphs for the two models. Have you come across such comparison?

 

Best.

post #411 of 1362

en.goldenears.net has measurements and subjective grading for the HD 540 and HD 800.

post #412 of 1362
I respect that both models are excellent. I am simply happy to inform others that incredible results are possible at affordable prices.
post #413 of 1362

Remember your enthusiasm when I told you about the incredible possibilities of EQ. That's how people tend to feel when told about any old headphone and how good it performs. And it's the problem with vintage - you get good sound quality for little money but you don't really get to belong.

post #414 of 1362
Can the HD540 II be run balanced? Which xlr cables would match a HD540 II? Thx:)
Edited by TominJapan - 6/1/14 at 8:29pm
post #415 of 1362

A source for parts other than the cable for the HD 540 II would be very useful, but I can't imagine how they would have any spare parts left unless they saved a lot of them. I would imagine the machines for making the parts are long gone by now.

 

However, I really could use some new contact springs, original earpads, and some new plastic discs that have the paper/cloth baffle on them.

post #416 of 1362

At the Graham Slee Roadshow, the cable expert John Cadman explained to me that balanced cables are only required for very long speaker runs, typically those over 5 metres so are not necessary for headphones (no audible improvement). Although I'm sure it is possible to wire the HD540II balanced if you wish.

 

I have been trying to decide whether any aspect of the HD540II could be improved with precise EQ facilities... Some users may like to raise the low bass region fractionally although I think that with full amplification, the bass is at a natural level. I have recently found that with just an inner cloth in the earcups, the treble is fatiguing when I briefly tried them at quite high volume. At higher volume, the treble is a bit more prominent. I shall try putting foam discs behind the cloth to see what happens.


Edited by o0CosmoMemory0o - 6/2/14 at 12:35am
post #417 of 1362
Thanks CosmoMemory, if there is no improvement I better stick to single ended then. Receiving my HD540 II shortly, could you recommend/ direct me to another thread regarding a good amp in the $500-$1k range? considering the similarities between HD540 and HD800 HP could one state that any amp cherished for HD800 would be equally good for a HD540 II? Would make the selction easier smily_headphones1.gif I currently only have an integrated TEAC AI-501 that might lack sufficient juice to power the HD540ii.
Thanks:)
post #418 of 1362

I use Graham Slee amplification equipment, for its exceptional purity and realistic tonality. I unfortunately did not have enough listening time at the Roadshow to evaluate the HD800 thoroughly enough to be satisfied and I feel a need to buy a HD800 for several months of critical listening against my reference HD540. I wish to make some altered velour pads for my HD540II that give more empty space inside the earcups, to see if I can imitate the HD800 stereo image size.

 

I am still learning and I still need more listening experience before my views are completely reliable. 

post #419 of 1362
Quote:
Originally Posted by TominJapan View Post

Thanks CosmoMemory, if there is no improvement I better stick to single ended then. Receiving my HD540 II shortly, could you recommend/ direct me to another thread regarding a good amp in the $500-$1k range? considering the similarities between HD540 and HD800 HP could one state that any amp cherished for HD800 would be equally good for a HD540 II? Would make the selction easier smily_headphones1.gif I currently only have an integrated TEAC AI-501 that might lack sufficient juice to power the HD540ii.
Thanks:)


Honestly I think a $1k amp is overkill; I just use my O2 amp (with ODAC) and it works as well as I would want it to. Noise is inaudible, frequency response seems flat, volume can get more than loud enough with no clipping, and it cost much less than $500.

post #420 of 1362
Quote:
Originally Posted by o0CosmoMemory0o View Post
 

Right, I'm back from the Graham Slee Roadshow. I did compare my HD540II to their HD800 through the Bitzie DAC/amp and from the Solo ULDE. The HD540II and HD800 are pretty much neck and neck. They are very close indeed. My initial conclusions have been that the HD800 is slightly more spatial than my HD540II, probably due to more empty space within the HD800 earcups. It wasn't a huge difference but it was noticeable. They are both very neutral headphones IMO and the frequency balance between them was pretty much on par. For me, the HD540II sounds more natural whilst the HD800 was more spatial. I did not have enough listening time however to make entirely valid conclusions so these are just my initial impressions. Both seem great.

 

I compared both to the LCD-2 and they both beat it IMO. I was very underwhelmed with the LCD-2. The construction of it is big and heavy and it seemed to have some bass elevation too. The bass isn't boomy or unpleasant but the sound seemed less transparent to my ears. Slightly thickened up and covering up nuance definition. Those are my initial impressions. I liked the Denon D7000 much more than the LCD-2 and the Denons are a sealed headphone. The Denons, IMO, had a tad more bass than what I would consider neutral but they are still very well balanced and I think I may prefer them to the Sennheiser HD250II. Not sure...

 

I did have one of my HD560 Ovation II headphones at the event too. They certainly held their own as well; very neutral. HD600 and HD650 were there too (not mine) but I had a brief listen to both. First time I'd heard the HD650 but they're nothing impressive IMO. Not enough clarity.

 

Lovely to finally hear your impressions about the HD800 and LCD2 against the 540. Agree about the LCD. Except for it's aesthetics I'm not quite understanding their popularity really. Maybe on another occasion with a different setup I will get it. The HD800, if it's that close to the 540 I must say that I'm now even a little more interested in hearing it. What can you say about comfort between the two? Heavier no doubt but that does not have to be a bad thing.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by o0CosmoMemory0o View Post

John Willit, a former employee of Sennheiser involved in the production of the HD250, was also at the event. He looked at me in disgust when I said that the HD540II and HD800 are extremely close in performance. Apparently HD800 is in a class of its own?? Oh well... I can't be bothered to argue. Anyway, I spoke to him about a lack of spare parts for the HD540II and he has given me a Sennheiser contact to get in touch with about it.

 

Haha. Well, who knows what's the reason behind his facial expression. Maybe he just twitched ;) Do keep us posted about the spare parts part.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by vid View Post

 

The irony here is that no one in this thread was willing to accept what I said about EQ even when given evidence to back it up. This is what happens, too, when you tell a person who likes his HD 800 or would like to have one that this 30-year-old headphone that sells for 50 euros is better. Doesn't matter how many comparisons you do - you should save yourself the bother - your views aren't grounded like theirs.

 

These are some things to look at instead:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belief_bias

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semmelweis_reflex

 

A great reminder for everyone visiting Head-Fi. Invaluable.


Edited by moriez - 6/3/14 at 1:16am
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