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Wow! Sennheiser HD 540 Reference are so good. - Page 34

post #496 of 1362
I can't help but feel that the HD540 deserved the name "Reference" though.
post #497 of 1362
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post
 

To be fair, the naming system probably does more harm than good as far as the consumer is concerned.

 

I personally think that it didn't do them any harm in the past. Speaking for myself, it may have been -just maybe- a factor in my purchase of the HD540 shortly after it was released. :rolleyes:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by o0CosmoMemory0o
 
I can't help but feel that the HD540 deserved the name "Reference" though.

 

Absolutely. No contest there.

post #498 of 1362

The name for sure helps distinguish the model from "normal" ones, but then that might be misleading if there isn't much actual difference between the named and the unnamed model. For example, you can quip that the HD 600 didn't deserve to be named, which is fair enough, yet the HD 600 is in fact a carbon copy of the deserving-of-name HD 580 (and even more of a carbon copy of the anniversary HD 580, or "Jubilee"). In other words, the naming convention acts as a metaphor that's subtle enough to slip by without being questioned and with which perception can be skewed.

post #499 of 1362
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post
 

The name for sure helps distinguish the model from "normal" ones, but then that might be misleading if there isn't much actual difference between the named and the unnamed model. For example, you can quip that the HD 600 didn't deserve to be named, which is fair enough, yet the HD 600 is in fact a carbon copy of the deserving-of-name HD 580 (and even more of a carbon copy of the anniversary HD 580, or "Jubilee"). In other words, the naming convention acts as a metaphor that's subtle enough to slip by without being questioned and with which perception can be skewed.

 

Hi Vid. To the best of my knowledge, there never was a "normal" unnamed version of the HD540 or the HD560 for that matter. I was a fairly early adopter of both and I have never come across any other version. Perhaps- just perhaps- the very first HD540s may have been unnamed, but I have never seen any evidence of that.

 

Perhaps my quip over the HD600 was somewhat unfair but to be honest it was mostly directed at the HD650, which I have found to be deeply mediocre. I have said it before, and I reiterate my opinion. I have also listened to the HD600, but this was a loaner from a friend, and it had been fitted with aftermarket Silver cables- Cardas, I believe- and I wasn't at all impressed with what I heard. I suspect that the Silver cables may have done it more harm than good, though...

 

Otherwise, you make some good points.

 

Best.


Edited by rocksteady65 - 6/13/14 at 12:03pm
post #500 of 1362

Oh no! Not silver...

 

Nothing much wrong with the treble level on the HD600, from what I remember hearing. It's the elevated upper bass level that is responsible for its sonic shortcomings IMO. Even though the treble response could perhaps be slightly further extended, it's at quite a natural level and silver will probably only add distortion. =/

post #501 of 1362
Quote:
Originally Posted by o0CosmoMemory0o View Post
 

Oh no! Not silver...

 

Nothing much wrong with the treble level on the HD600, from what I remember hearing. It's the elevated upper bass level that is responsible for its sonic shortcomings IMO. Even though the treble response could perhaps be slightly further extended, it's at quite a natural level and silver will probably only add distortion. =/

 

Hmm, elevated upper-bass response? Aren't you thinking of the HD650? That would make more sense to me. I have certainly not heard any emphasis on that region when I've listened to the HD600. Then again, the Silver cabling may have skewed the frequency response somewhat, and as you are suggesting, maybe adding distortion on the upper frequencies. Actually, that was probably the area where I have enjoyed it less... :rolleyes:

post #502 of 1362

Back in 2012, I bought a HD600 new from Amazon UK and used it for about one year. It was my first jump into true high fidelity headphone reproduction. I felt that they were completely neutral at first but after speaking with an experienced audio engineer and listening to lots of genres of music, the upper bass emphasis on the HD600 became quite apparent. Drums and beats are emphasized; if you turn the volume up quite high, drums kick your ears in or the double bass of an orchestra is over pronounced. It became so obvious when I compared them with the Sennheiser HD250. I listen to Japanese video game music such as the Okami soundtrack and the HD600 could not convincingly reproduce the complex tonality of several Japanese instruments in the tracks. The HD250 however conveyed their tonal qualities precisely with realistic dynamic transition IMO. I don't like the lower midrange of the HD250 though, which is the reason that I went searching for an "open-HD250" in the first place and discovered the HD540.

post #503 of 1362
Quote:
Originally Posted by o0CosmoMemory0o View Post
 

Back in 2012, I bought a HD600 new from Amazon UK and used it for about one year. It was my first jump into true high fidelity headphone reproduction. I felt that they were completely neutral at first but after speaking with an experienced audio engineer and listening to lots of genres of music, the upper bass emphasis on the HD600 became quite apparent. Drums and beats are emphasized; if you turn the volume up quite high, drums kick your ears in or the double bass of an orchestra is over pronounced. It became so obvious when I compared them with the Sennheiser HD250. I listen to Japanese video game music such as the Okami soundtrack and the HD600 could not convincingly reproduce the complex tonality of several Japanese instruments in the tracks. The HD250 however conveyed their tonal qualities precisely with realistic dynamic transition IMO. I don't like the lower midrange of the HD250 though, which is the reason that I went searching for an "open-HD250" in the first place and discovered the HD540.

 

 

Interesting... Makes me curious to have another listen to the HD600, minus the Silver cabling. I agree that the HD250's lower midrange does not sound as natural as the HD540, but then again, not much else does, does it? And I am happy that you have finally arrived to your aural destination. The HD540 rules! :beerchug:

post #504 of 1362
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG3n5tPXjKg

Try one of my CD reference tracks with the HD540II. Its frequency balance, tonality and dynamics are pretty spot on here, IMO.
post #505 of 1362

Agreed to emphasized bass in the HD600. That's what I heard. Bought one before I ever listened with a 540 and had another one at the same time. Literally amazed at what I first ranked as neutral is in fact not so neutral when comparing the two headphones side by side. Is it a faulty pair or is it because of the older (black) drivers I asked myself? Had to sell that old favourite of mine. It also lacked sparkle in my opinion which the 540 has in abundance. I'm on thin ice here but I'd say the type of sparkle I speak of is from around 8K and up.

 

By the way guys, how would you describe the difference between neutral and linear?

post #506 of 1362

I tend to use the words "neutral" and "linear" interchangeably as I'm not a headphone "buff" by any means. I just try to describe my listening impressions as honestly and clearly as possible without instead writing a short novel of snobbery drivvle that normal rational people don't even understand. I say that something sounds neutral when no frequency region seems to stick out (be elevated) but there may still be dips or decreases in the overall response. I tend to base the word "neutral" more on what is presented to my ears, not what isn't, although this isn't always the case.

 

I think of "Linear" in audio as meaning a straight line with no gradient but I don't like to use the word "flat" otherwise others may think that I am describing a compressed dynamic range. I would describe both HD250 and HD540 as neutral and linear even though the HD250 response dips in the lower midrange and the HD540 response doesn't IMO.

post #507 of 1362

 

A close-up of an "LG300" HD540 Reference II driver assembly, taken with my Samsung Galaxy S3 camera. Notice that the contact wires are as thin as a human hair. This driver's other LG300 counterpart is completely missing both those hair-like wires leading to the terminals (it doesn't work) and the only way I could possibly get it working is by soldering/glueing staples to re-establish the connections, although even if successful, this may affect the driver sound as the circuit resistance would be altered.

post #508 of 1362

My KK300 has a white button on top of the diaphragm. Does anyone happen to know what exactly the different letterings are supposed to mean? LGxxx - KKxxx .. ?

post #509 of 1362

After looking at various Sennheiser HD drivers like 540, 600/650 and 800, they all look equally well made physically so it's clear to me that perhaps the weakest attribute of some of them is their calibration which is why what vid has said about use of equalization to correct mis-calibration may be the solution for many people. Precise frequency alterations in the electronics may allow mis-calibrated drivers to perform better.

post #510 of 1362

Just testing four HD560II headphones before I put them up for sale. The HD560II is a very good headphone. It has the same neutrality and transparency as the HD540II but the stereo imaging of the HD560II is a bit more withdrawn and distant than the HD540. Apart from this though, they're excellent and make the HD600/HD650 seem mediocre.

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