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Wow! Sennheiser HD 540 Reference are so good. - Page 40

post #586 of 756
Quote:
Originally Posted by daltonlanny View Post
 

Has anyone ever compared the Sennheiser HD 540 Reference I or Reference II to the old AKG K340 2-way, electrostatic/dynamic headphone?

If so, how did they compare sonically?

What about the old Beyerdynamic DT 880 S, with the plastic earcups and plastic grilles?

 

I compared the DT 990 from the same era as the DT 880 S to the HD 530. They're about equal but different-sounding, so get the DT as well.

 

I owned the K 340 but didn't compare it the against the HD 530. I think it's safe to extrapolate, though, and to the HD 540 as well, and say that the K 340 have better treble but poorer resolution.

post #587 of 756
Originally Posted by o0CosmoMemory0o View Post

K1000 is here and I will try them out in a little while.

 

One of the challenges comparing the K1000 to any other headphone is that it needs different amplification, which inherently adds another major variable.

 

In that regards, you might find my lengthy write-up in this old thread interesting, comparing a K1000 system against an HD580 system. (When I say "old thread", I mean old thread: 2003.)

http://www.head-fi.org/t/36830/review-akg-k1000-sophia-baby-tube-amp-vs-hd580-sugden-headmaster

(The photos are long gone, but all the text should still be intact.)

post #588 of 756
Thanks. I am using a K1000 from Graham Slee Proprius monoblock amplifiers and the sound is incredible. It beats everything else I've heard so far; the HD800 just doesn't compare. HD540II lacks some bass impact compared to HD800 and K1000.
post #589 of 756

I have been comparing a HD540II with a HD800 (serial number is above 30000) through my DAC/amp quite extensively over the past few days. Here is what I think so far:

 

1. Both are equal on tonal accuracy and realistic instrument timbre. Both have exceptional neutrality and are not harsh in the treble at all IMO.

 

2. HD800 has more bass weight than HD540II so the low frequencies are more audible (better extension). Low end of the HD540II is at a lower level but is still very good.

 

3. HD800 has a larger stereo image size than the HD540II. Performance feels bigger whilst still feeling natural. HD540II provides a slightly smaller stereo image, IMO.

 

4. The tiniest of micro details such as low level hiss and background noise are very slightly more audible on the HD800 than the HD540II. You have to turn the volume up further and listen more carefully to hear this low level noise on the HD540II

 

5. The HD540II has a purer sound than the HD800. The HD800 seems slightly out of focus (sonically blurred in comparison) and I don't know why this is. Dare I say the word "veil"? .... I think that this word sums it up. The HD800 probably requires a very specific (skewed) driving configuration in order to give the same crystal clear purity of the HD540II.

 

6. Both sound spacious but neither image like speakers. (Even my K1000 does not image exactly like speakers)

 

7. HD540II has a simpler, more lightweight and comfortable construction than the HD800. Although both are modular.

 

 

Point 2,3 and 4 are the result of larger size drivers in the HD800, in my opinion. In some areas, the HD800 is an improvement on the HD540 and in other areas, it is equivalent or inferior. HD800 is physically over-engineered, adding unnecessary weight and expense IMO. It is too expensive for what it provides; I predict that it needs a certain type of amplification in order for the transducers to excel and this should not be the case for a device of this price. A larger driver could be used in the HD540 design to provide the sonic improvements that the HD800 demonstrates are possible.

 

I would choose the HD540II over the HD800 overall but the HD800 has allowed me to recognize the main weakness of the HD540 design; the smaller driver size... Oh well, at least it's crystal clear... =)

post #590 of 756
Quote:
Originally Posted by o0CosmoMemory0o View Post

I have been comparing a HD540II with a HD800 (serial number is above 30000) through my DAC/amp quite extensively over the past few days. Here is what I think so far:

1. Both are equal on tonal accuracy and realistic instrument timbre. Both have exceptional neutrality and are not harsh in the treble at all IMO.

2. HD800 has more bass weight than HD540II so the low frequencies are more audible (better extension). Low end of the HD540II is at a lower level but is still very good.

3. HD800 has a larger stereo image size than the HD540II. Performance feels bigger whilst still feeling natural. HD540II provides a slightly smaller stereo image, IMO.

4. The tiniest of micro details such as low level hiss and background noise are very slightly more audible on the HD800 than the HD540II. You have to turn the volume up further and listen more carefully to hear this low level noise on the HD540II

5. The HD540II has a purer sound than the HD800. The HD800 seems slightly out of focus (sonically blurred in comparison) and I don't know why this is. Dare I say the word "veil"? .... I think that this word sums it up. The HD800 probably requires a very specific (skewed) driving configuration in order to give the same crystal clear purity of the HD540II.

6. Both sound spacious but neither image like speakers. (Even my K1000 does not image exactly like speakers)

7. HD540II has a simpler, more lightweight and comfortable construction than the HD800. Although both are modular.


Point 2,3 and 4 are the result of larger size drivers in the HD800, in my opinion. In some areas, the HD800 is an improvement on the HD540 and in other areas, it is equivalent or inferior. HD800 is physically over-engineered, adding unnecessary weight and expense IMO. It is too expensive for what it provides; I predict that it needs a certain type of amplification in order for the transducers to excel and this should not be the case for a device of this price. A larger driver could be used in the HD540 design to provide the sonic improvements that the HD800 demonstrates are possible.

I would choose the HD540II over the HD800 overall but the HD800 has allowed me to recognize the main weakness of the HD540 design; the smaller driver size... Oh well, at least it's crystal clear... =)

Very interesting read, and interesting comparison! Great job.
Questions:
On your Sennheiser HD 540 Reference:
Are these comparisons using the original velour pad skins with the HD 560 earpad foam transplanted to them?
Also, are you currently using foam discs, or cloth to cover the drivers?
If you are using cloth, what kind?
Thanks.
post #591 of 756

The HD540II used so far is the one I fixed by putting a KK300 driver with an LG300 driver. Pads are original velour skin containing original foam, not HD560 pad foam. They are moderately firm when worn and have the slightly smaller opening radius. Cable is OFC and inner material inside capsules is just thin cloth. I need to put foam discs inside instead to attenuate higher frequencies a little to give the bass frequencies more relative presence (it will cause me to turn the volume up a bit further).


Edited by o0CosmoMemory0o - 7/17/14 at 8:59am
post #592 of 756
I measure the diameter of a HD540II diaphragm to be about 36mm across, whilst its respective coil has a diameter of about 18mm.

The HD800 apparently has a diaphragm diameter of about 56mm whilst the coil diameter is about 40mm.

So just the HD800 coil alone is larger than the entire HD540II diaphragm... In terms of ability to move air, that is an enormous difference.
post #593 of 756

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6jLJA-DzcU

 

This is one track that I'm using to check musicality of HD800 and HD540II. The HD800 just pales in comparison to HD540II at conveying the emotion and warm quality of the track. It doesn't connect with me emotionally through HD800 like it does through the HD540II. Not sure why but it is the same with many tracks I've tried. HD800 is bland in comparison, even though the bass has more impact and the projected image is larger. Musical emotion, all the way. I will sell the HD800 soon.

post #594 of 756

 

post #595 of 756

I know it's not really correct but the thought of the 540 being ''the poor man's HD800'' keeps coming back to me and wow, that picture! It's a beast in comparison isn't it? For those interested, I'm selling my 540 Gold. She's up in the for sale forum. I'm still in the 540 camp though. Bought a good looking 540 Reference a few days ago. There's only one new observation I've made and that's to do with volume. Usually I listen quite loud but shaving off a little can make the way more beautiful relaxing listening session.

post #596 of 756
Quote:
Originally Posted by o0CosmoMemory0o View Post
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6jLJA-DzcU

 

This is one track that I'm using to check musicality of HD800 and HD540II. The HD800 just pales in comparison to HD540II at conveying the emotion and warm quality of the track. It doesn't connect with me emotionally through HD800 like it does through the HD540II. Not sure why but it is the same with many tracks I've tried. HD800 is bland in comparison, even though the bass has more impact and the projected image is larger. Musical emotion, all the way. I will sell the HD800 soon.

I told you so:L3000: 

 

hd222,hd430,hd540gold,hd560 I are even more musical

post #597 of 756

HD800 has more bass weight/impact, stereo image is bigger and micro-detail is slightly more audible. This is all due to larger driver able to move more air.

 

HD540II sounds more pure/analogue, is more comfortable to wear, has less weight and is therefore more secure on the head. Offers a very respectable performance with slightly less scale and bass impact.

 

 

More comparisons and pictures to come.

post #598 of 756

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some pictures showing variation in the HD540II driver, a disassembly of a broken HD540II driver, the springs which make contact with the HD540II cable plugs and then a size comparison with the Sennheiser HD800.

post #599 of 756

Towards the end I thought you were squeezing the 540 driver into the 800 frame.... leading up to a full driver transplant. 

Oh my silly imagination. 

post #600 of 756

Incidentally, the Sennheiser Unipolar diaphragm is the size of the entire HD 540 driver cage.

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