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Wow! Sennheiser HD 540 Reference are so good. - Page 7

post #91 of 799

Lol!

post #92 of 799

Hmmm... To my ears, HD540II improves on the HD540I performance. I hear it every time. The HD540I has less bass extension than the II therefore the treble is little more forward, giving the impression of more detail when actually this is not the case. The HD540 and HD560 models both give a neutral playback but are very subtly different in forwardness of treble and bass. I actually have two pairs of HD540 Reference I that I want to sell. £150 for one. They are very good but because of my HD540II, I have no use for them now.

post #93 of 799
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by o0CosmoMemory0o View Post
 

Hmmm... To my ears, HD540II improves on the HD540I performance. I hear it every time. The HD540I has less bass extension than the II therefore the treble is little more forward, giving the impression of more detail when actually this is not the case. The HD540 and HD560 models both give a neutral playback but are very subtly different in forwardness of treble and bass. I actually have two pairs of HD540 Reference I that I want to sell. £150 for one. They are very good but because of my HD540II, I have no use for them now.


lol, i guess we will never agree on the Ref I vs. Ref II debate... ;)

although i have to admit that Ref I's bass is it's weak point, it is superior to Ref II in every other aspect imo :D 


Edited by Hairspray - 2/17/14 at 1:27pm
post #94 of 799

We don't need to. :bigsmile_face:

 

I simply feel that HD540I, HD540II, (probably HD560I), HD560II, HD250I and HD250II are all excellent headphones for both the audio professional (the real professional) and for music lovers. If a headphone user cannot appreciate any of these models then clearly high-fidelity reproduction is not their goal.

post #95 of 799
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by o0CosmoMemory0o View Post
 

We don't need to. :bigsmile_face:

 

I simply feel that HD540I, HD540II, (probably HD560I), HD560II, HD250I and HD250II are all excellent headphones for both the audio professional (the real professional) and for music lovers. If a headphone user cannot appreciate any of these models then clearly high-fidelity reproduction is not their goal.

 

I'm listening right now with "Ovation I" to the brand new "Sun Kil Moon" (acoustic folk), and damn... those headphones are massively resolving.

You should give them a try, they really sound different (more like an AKG).

In the end, i love all four of them.

post #96 of 799
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairspray View Post
 

hahaha, français..? grenoble? on n'est pas loin, suis à Genève.

pour 50 euros tu risques pas grand chose de toutes façons...

mais l'Ovation II a selon moi une signature plus équilibrée, une spatialisation très largement supérieure (mais je crois que tout dépend surtout de l'état de fraîcheur du casque, si son ex-propriétaire était soigneux, etc.), c'est comme avec les voitures d'occasion, etc.

 

Ouep, pas loin c'est clair!

 

Effectivement pour 50 euros ca vaut le coup. Ils ont l'air en bon état.

post #97 of 799
Having used the HD-540 (300 Ohm version "I") as my main headphones for almost 25 years (other than "mobile" headphones like the nice Sennheiser PX-100 and not so nice PX-200, quite good Technics EAH-T15 and some in-ears as well as the decent HD-480's I had before these 540's), I though I owed it to myself to check out how much technology has progressed in the last 30 years since the HD-540 was designed.

So I packed the HD-540's and some favourite CD's in by backpack, and headed out to try some of the competition...

The first place had Hifiman and some Beyers, so I spent an hour or so comparing my Sennheisers to the Hifiman HE-300 and 400 as well as to the Beyer T90. The Hifimen did just not fit my head very well, and were quickly discarded due to the discomfort. What little I listened to on them was "OK" but nothing more, in my opinion. The HE-400 showed me that the sibilance issue I have noticed with the HD-540's seems to be more related to the recordings than being an issue with the headphones as such.
The T90 is almost as comfortable as my velour-padded HD-540, and the general sound signature is somewhat similar, except that the T90 bass response is much stronger (but not disturbingly so), and there appears to be some sort of treble spike which makes recorder "leaks"/overtones (the sound thereof, that is) a bit uncomfortable. As I mainly listen to classical music of the "smaller format" the relative lack of bass on the HD-540 does not bother me, and as both the comfort was better and the treble smoother on the HD-540's, I declared myself happy with what I have, thanked the dealer, and left. The amp used b.t.w. was some smaller Burson.

The next dealer had the Beyer T1's on display. The amp was a large Burson (Conductor?) with DAC.
I liked the T1's, the comfort was as good as the T90's but somehow felt like they "breathed" better, which would be odd given that the pads are similar(?), so maybe the first listening room just was warmer.
The T1's sounded very similar to my HD-540. A bit "tighter" bass response than the HD-540's (but more neutral than the T90's). Mids and highs were quite similar, with maybe a tiny bit "nicer" (smoother?) sound from the T1's. I would be happy with the Beyer T1, but side by side, I see no real reason to "upgrade", given that my tastes in music doesn't "require" the tighter bass response.

So in summary:

* Hifiman HE-300/-400 do not fit my head well and are heavy. Sound is "OK", but nothing more (to me).

* T90 is "nice" and decently comfortable, but side by side I rate my HD-540 higher for the music I prefer. For more modern music, many people might prefer the T90's.

* T1 ia good and comfortable. I could/would be happy with them, but my Sennheisers are almost as good soundwise (very close for my music preferences), and slightly more comfortable.

Makes me wonder if the non-original velour pads I use (probably intended for the HD-540 Referece II) might have some detrimental impact on the bass response?

All in all an educational afternoon. :-)

Just to prove a point to myself (that I don t *really* need to upgrade) I need to find a local dealer who carries the HD-800.

Best regards,
Patrik
Edited by Operabuff - 2/18/14 at 10:01am
post #98 of 799
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Operabuff View Post

[...]
So I packed the HD-540's and some favourite CD's in by backpack, and headed out to try some of the competition...
[...]

Makes me wonder if the non-original velour pads I use (probably intended for the HD-540 Referece II) might have some detrimental impact on the bass response?

All in all an educational afternoon. :-)
Just to prove a point to myself (that I don t *really* need to upgrade) I need to find a local dealer who carries the HD-800.
Best regards,
Patrik

 

Very interesting. Thx for sharing your impressions.

I wish I lived in a place like yours (-> "I headed out to try some of the competition.."). :eek:

 

Regarding the earpad, the 540/560 Senns are indeed VERY sensitive to different materials, shapes, design, mods, etc. (not only the bass but also the soundstage/presentation).

post #99 of 799
Quote:
Originally Posted by Operabuff View Post

Makes me wonder if the non-original velour pads I use (probably intended for the HD-540 Referece II) might have some detrimental impact on the bass response?

 

 

They will.  See my earlier post #64 in this thread.  This describes a fully reversible tweak I have done to my HD540 I (older 600Ohm version) with the later velours pads.

 

The velours pads place the drivers closer to the ears than the original pleater/cloth pads did.  This makes the bass sound a bit fuller, but:

 

The older style pad's base was formed from a wider soft plastic ring, giving a smaller opening into the headphone rear cavity and hence higher acoustic resistance for the very lowest bass register.  The newer style velours pads have no significant restriction to speak of into the rear cavity, and the lowest bass register suffers as a result.

 

Placing the described cardboard rings underneath the newer velours pads addresses these effects.  With this modification the bass will sound a little lighter, but actually has lower extension (i.e. the roll-off at the lower end happens at a lower frequency).

 

My preference in order, based on what I own:

 

HD800 (best for excellent recorded material)

HD540 (I, 600Ohm, more forgiving than HD800)

HD650 (dark sound, and best for most modern sibilant pop recordings made by half-deaf sound engineers)

HD560 Ovation II (one of the last models made, my least favourite.  Too bright and not deep enough.  Hurts my ears after 5 mins of wearing).

 

My parents own an older HD560 (one of the first models), which sounds WAY different from mine.  My parent's one sounds great, mine does not!  The 560's I own are my third pair in fact.  Two others were returned to the dealer for an unacceptable difference in treble response between L/R channels.  Sennheiser ultimately informed the dealer

 that my ears were too sensitive to treble mismatches between L/R drivers (the 560's were never factory-matched for L/R response, unlike the HD800 for example). My HD800 has rocksolid spatial positioning, whereas my HD560's are the worst in this aspect.

post #100 of 799

Oh god i didn't know this thread exist. I'm blessed i still got a chance to test this sublime headphones



 



Out of the Centrance M8 it sounds good already but still lacking some power even high gain is used. Then i changed to Marantz 5004 CDP - Bakoon 7511mk2 and the sound was mesmerizing. Very neutral, very linear, AMAZING timbre, yet sounds so natural and so musical to the point it made me lost in the music. I don't know how the Sennheiser Engineers able to made this headphones, it's a bit sad nowadays Sennheiser are moving toward a different sound.



HD540II, truly one of the most important headphones and yet so underrated, it may not displayed ultra detailed, showing ultra clean, ultra precise or ultra trebly sounds which failed to impress some of the people, only me and the owner ( there were 6 of us that time ) that can grasp the point of HD540II



 



This thread is awesome!



 



 



A little off topic : how do you know your HD580 was made in germany, by looking the "Made in .... " in headband? Does it sounds different than the Ireland made one? thanks


Edited by punks15 - 2/21/14 at 4:45pm
post #101 of 799

From the HD540 flagship to the Sennheiser Orpheous to the Sennheiser HD 800 (didn't include the other flagships of senn.) I wish sennheiser would make the HD1000 in the 10 years, or try to make another electrostat. People can dream right?

post #102 of 799

HD540 Reference II, under best conditions, is the best performing headphone I've ever heard; absolutely no BS here. Out of all the headphones that I've ever used, if I had to choose only one model for personal use, it would be the HD540II, without hesitation. This is a very important headphone, which is why I have bought several of them. An exceptional product of sound engineering, suitable for use by the real audio professional. Sennheiser, I salute you for this one.

 

The HD560II headphones that I have used are not bright at all, IMO. The HD560II sounds very much like the HD540II but has a (slightly) reduced soundstage in comparison. This smaller stereo field is due to the shape of the HD560II earpad fixtures, IMO. The bass response of the HD560II also seems to be fractionally higher than that of the HD540II, probably because the HD560II shell design is not as open as the HD540II.

 

I have not used the Sennheiser HD800 but if I were to compare the HD540II with the HD800, directly next to each other through the dual outputs on my Graham Slee Bitzie USB DAC, I predict that they would have equal resolution, the HD800 would project a superior (more frontal/directional) stereo image than the HD540II whilst the HD540II would have better, more analogue musicality so would be a better choice for the vinyl enthusiast.

post #103 of 799
Thread Starter 

Seems like all 540-560s don't sound the same.

Since those models are "old", it probably depends on how well they were treated and maintained?

Or issues with the consistency of the production quality?

For some reason, I prefer my 540 I (I bought them new from a shop in the late eighties) over my 540 II (I bought them used on ebay).

My 560 I is very bright, but my 560 II isn't at all.

Etc.

Also, my 540 I is harder to drive than my 540 II.

If I'm not wrong, there were two versions of the 540 I: 300 and 600 ohms.

I suspect that my 540 I is the 600 ohms version, but I don't have a multimeter to check their impedance.

Would that possibly explain the perceived sound quality and signatures differences? (especially timbre and soundstage/imaging)


Edited by Hairspray - 2/22/14 at 10:32am
post #104 of 799
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2leftears View Post

They will.  See my earlier post #64 in this thread.  This describes a fully reversible tweak I have done to my HD540 I (older 600Ohm version) with the later velours pads.

The velours pads place the drivers closer to the ears than the original pleater/cloth pads did.  This makes the bass sound a bit fuller, but:

The older style pad's base was formed from a wider soft plastic ring, giving a smaller opening into the headphone rear cavity and hence higher acoustic resistance for the very lowest bass register.  The newer style velours pads have no significant restriction to speak of into the rear cavity, and the lowest bass register suffers as a result.

Placing the described cardboard rings underneath the newer velours pads addresses these effects.  With this modification the bass will sound a little lighter, but actually has lower extension (i.e. the roll-off at the lower end happens at a lower frequency)..

The above description does not match my original pads or the velour pads I now use.

I've used the following pads:
* Original fabric-sided (pleather against the head).
* HD-250 pleather.
* HD-540 (according to the tag on the bag) velour.
All are the same height, and all use the same plastic retaining ring (equally open). Possibly the original pads "carry" the earcaps a tiny bit further from the ear due to the rectangular section as opposed to the semi-rounded section on the others, but the extended/"unloaded" height is the same on all the above pads.

The HD-560 pads I've seen (pictured) have a "baffle ring" like you describe, but my original pads did not.

Best regards,
Patrik
Edited by Operabuff - 2/22/14 at 12:15pm
post #105 of 799
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairspray View Post

If I'm not wrong, there were two versions of the 540 I: 300 and 600 ohms.
I suspect that my 540 I is the 600 ohms version, but I don't have a multimeter to check their impedance.
Would that possibly explain the perceived sound quality and signatures differences? (especially timbre and soundstage/imaging)

My 1991 vintage (purchased new that year, don't know the manufacturing year) 300 Ohm model are clearly marked "300 Ohm" om the upper section of the earcups, behind the headband. The original 600 Ohm version might be unmarked?

What shape/profile is your headband? I've seen ridged (along the centerline) and smooth, and I suspect the ridged version might be older?

Best regards,
Patrik
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