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Sennheiser Dilema

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Ok so I'm an avid vinyl collector and Iooking to upgrade my headphones. I currently own audio technica ath-m50's. I'm thinking of upgrading to sennheiser HD650 or 600. Only use will be listening to my records. Current setup: rega rp1 and vintage Sony str6800-sd. I love all kinds of music but some of my favorites are Radiohead, sigur ros, miles Davis, classical, and everything indie. First, which set of cans would be best for my uses? Second, what's the cheapest headphone amp I can get without short changing the cans???

post #2 of 13

There might(?) be a chance that your Sony receiver can drive 300-Ohm Sennheiser HD600/HD650 headphones.

So maybe try the new (300-Ohm) headphones in the Sony, you can always order a separate headphone amplifier, if the Sony does not work out.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

There might(?) be a chance that your Sony receiver can drive 300-Ohm Sennheiser HD600/HD650 headphones.

So maybe try the new (300-Ohm) headphones in the Sony, you can always order a separate headphone amplifier, if the Sony does not work out.

 

 

Ya I talked to my local audio shop about this specifically and they said it wouldn't give the phones near enough juice, but they could have just been trying to sell me something I didn't need. I'm going to look into this right now. 

post #4 of 13

Hold up. HD600's don't need a lot of juice, despite being 300ohm they play very well off modest amps (most portables drive them pretty decently). I would be genuinely surprised if that was a huge issue for you. Will they sound better out of a high end amp? Of course, but what doesn't?

As for HD600 vs HD650, my vote would be towards the HD600. It sounds like your listening choices are pretty similar to mine, and tend to center around more "laid back" listening. The HD600's have a nice warm-to-neutral sound sig that, in my opinion, really plays well with everything but especially classical and slower indie stuff. The HD650 on the other hand is a little more colored, a little more of a forward/active listen, and a little more peaked in the upper mids that gives the illusion of clarity. If you were looking for something for rock/hip hop, I would say HD650s.

If you want an amp to drive them, you really don't have to go for something big/expensive. I loved them off my Ibasso D10 and ALO Rx mk I the first time I owned the HD600's, but they've also been great off a Bottlehead Crack and Ibasso DX100. In terms of bang for buck, I might look into the entry level Schiit amps. I'd probably stick away from tubes because I've felt they lose a little detail with them.
 

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChavaC View Post

Hold up. HD600's don't need a lot of juice, despite being 300ohm they play very well off modest amps (most portables drive them pretty decently). I would be genuinely surprised if that was a huge issue for you. Will they sound better out of a high end amp? Of course, but what doesn't?

As for HD600 vs HD650, my vote would be towards the HD600. It sounds like your listening choices are pretty similar to mine, and tend to center around more "laid back" listening. The HD600's have a nice warm-to-neutral sound sig that, in my opinion, really plays well with everything but especially classical and slower indie stuff. The HD650 on the other hand is a little more colored, a little more of a forward/active listen, and a little more peaked in the upper mids that gives the illusion of clarity. If you were looking for something for rock/hip hop, I would say HD650s.

If you want an amp to drive them, you really don't have to go for something big/expensive. I loved them off my Ibasso D10 and ALO Rx mk I the first time I owned the HD600's, but they've also been great off a Bottlehead Crack and Ibasso DX100. In terms of bang for buck, I might look into the entry level Schiit amps. I'd probably stick away from tubes because I've felt they lose a little detail with them.
 

Thanks for all the info! So is that one of the differences between the HD600 and HD650? It appears both are listed at 300ohm, but I've heard from virtually everyone that the HD650 NEEDS a decent amp or you're wasting your money. Not so with the HD600? I'd love to be able to plug into my receiver and be blown away. Honestly, I'm already there with my audio technicas. I'm just looking to get to that next level of musical nirvana. 


Edited by TheWhiteRabbit - 8/13/13 at 7:41pm
post #6 of 13

Yep, that has definitely been my experience and I think you'll see it echoed across headfi too. One of my favorite sources/amps for my HD600 is actually my harmon/kardon receiver, which is a little newer but there's a vintage receiver thread on here somewhere with a lot of people who've found success with the Sennheisers on older amps. The HD650 didn't play well with any of my portables except the DX100, which cost twice the price of the headphones. If you're looking for the sound I think you are I think you'll be very happy with the HD600's, they're one of the only head-fi inspired purchases I've made where I felt the sound justified the price.

One heads up you should probably be aware of is burn in. You'll see a variety of opinions on the matter here but in my experience these phones sounded very rough out of the box, more so than most. On first listen I was already thinking about sending them back. If you buy a new pair give the diaphragm a good 10-20 hours to break in and you'll hear them start to open up.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ya definitely read about burn in, but you got me all excited about these 600's. At $100 cheaper I would have more of a budget for an amp if I felt my receiver wasn't doing it. But ya, I definitely want a pair of headphones that makes you feel like you're immersed in the music and plays great with multi multi multi track recordings. I definitely love music that has a lot going on at once. Albums where you can hear something new on the hundredth time listening to it. Are the 600's good with classic and progressive rock: Pink Floyd, Tool, Zeppelin, etc?
Edited by TheWhiteRabbit - 8/13/13 at 8:10pm
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWhiteRabbit View Post

Ya I talked to my local audio shop about this specifically and they said it wouldn't give the phones near enough juice, but they could have just been trying to sell me something I didn't need. I'm going to look into this right now. 

I'm far from an expert in receivers and know even less about vintage receivers.

But as far as I can tell when you plug headphones into receivers, usually the speaker amplifiers stop driving the speakers and switch over to driving the headphones, so I can not see there being a lack of juice for the headphones.

 

I'm sure there are receivers or amps or pre-amps that come with a separate dedicated headphone amplifier for just driving headphones, but I believe that is fairly rare.

As I would assume it's cheaper to manufacture a receiver that uses the speaker amplifier(s) for driving speakers and the headphone jack.

 

There are some dedicated HD600 & HD650 threads on Head-Fi, might want to ask in them about what is good at driving the HD600/HD650.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Will do. Thanks for the advice. Last night I was set on the HD600, but now I keep hearing if the HD650's are getting enough power they sound incredible. Back to square one. On the other hand if it takes a $1,000 headphone amp to make it sing I think I'll go with the HD600. 

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWhiteRabbit View Post

Will do. Thanks for the advice. Last night I was set on the HD600, but now I keep hearing if the HD650's are getting enough power they sound incredible. Back to square one. On the other hand if it takes a $1,000 headphone amp to make it sing I think I'll go with the HD600. 

The $60 PAV2V headphone amplifier can drive 300-Ohm HD600/HD650s.

From my understanding the HD600/HD650 improve with better amping.

I do think you will do ok using the Sony to drive headphones.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ok after another day of reading the boards I'm leaning back to the HD600. The HD650 has often been described as having a laid back sound. I don't want to be listening from the 10th row. I want to be completely immersed in the music.

Is there a reliable place to get good deals on sennheiser?
Edited by TheWhiteRabbit - 8/14/13 at 3:34pm
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Damnit, but then I see statements like this and I'm back to square one again......
Quote:
Originally Posted by granodemostasa View Post

I would personally keep the HD650 and dump the HR2.


some little things I would like to say according to my perception of things:

1. The HD600 is a more dry sounding headphone, generally it doesn't have the warmth and beauty that the HD650 brings to the table.

2. The HD650 has a type of authority that hits with every note that is simply not replicated by the HD600 or the K701 as well (but still good nevertheless).

3. The HD650 does have a closer soundstage than the K701, the K701 has the soundstage advantage.

4. the K701 seems sanded down with every note, it's when it comes to engaging the listener.

5. the HD650's highs are somewhat soft, in comparison to both the 600 and K701.

6. I do think the HD650 offer enough of an advantage to make the cost justified.

7. I don't know about the HD650 and 600 soundstage differences, they seemed the same to me when I tried them out.

8. At the end of the day, I admire the 600 and K701... and put on the HD650.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWhiteRabbit View Post

Damnit, but then I see statements like this and I'm back to square one again......

Setup for a few dollars less.

 

Audio Technica ATH-AD900X open headphones, $200

Schiit Magni Headphone amplifier, $99

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