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Classical musician and music lover trying to decide between HD600/HD650 and amplifier

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello!

 

This is my first post on this forum, even tho I've spent countless hours reading other threads and searching the net for information. It seems to me that this is just the right place to get the help I need. I have a lot of information I have problems prosessing, so I will try to explain my thoughts and plans as well as possible.

 

I started listening to classical music when I was 12. And after this I've put nearly every aspect of my life to music, music is for me a language, a language that speaks to me like no words can. Now ten years later, I am taking a bachelor of preforming music. Even tho I sit in the orchestra 6 hours a day, and practise another 4, I cant get enough music, listening to my ipod on the train, continuing listening when I sit down with my computer.

 

I started with a normal diskman and some ****ty koss portapros, then I went to Ipod classic and sennheiser px100 later px100-ii, I think I will still use my px100-ii's when jogging and beeing mobile, but Ive decided that music is such a big part of my life that I want to invest in something more professional, something that takes me to the sound of the great halls and great orchestras. Sound and acoustics has always taken my attention, listening to different instruments, the great concerthalls of Berlin, Vienna etc. I feel that I have a good knowlage of what good sound is, and how to describe it.

 

The source of my listening has for the most part been itunes where I ripped all my cd's and more in lossless quality, I have a feeling this is like cursing in church, but thats where I got my library. The last year however, I've went on to using spotify and highest avalible quality, if you americans are familiar with that? Anyway, like the title suggests I feel that it's time to step it up a notch.
 

I've always been a fan of sennheiser, and so far my research has led me to the HD600 or HD650. Ofcourse everyone knows that the seemingly godlike HD800's is the way to go, I just cant/wount spend that kind of money just yet. I listen to all kinds of classical music, but mostly big orchestra works by my favourite late-romantic composers, Mahler, Wagner, Bruckner, Shostakovich etc. Im a doublebass player, so I always appreciate a strong and noble bass sound. My sound ideals are above all clarity and detail, looking for a crisp and deep brass/string sound. I love visiting concerthalls where the direct intensity and singing sound is present, and not so much the smoothness, I mean, I want the delicate pianissimo of Mahlers adagios to be as toughing and soft as possible, but I also want the expressivo fortissimo parts to be brutal and evil, and not muted or sanded down in any way. I want my music to sound like a pointy and sharp rock just carved out of the mountain, rather than a smooth roundedged stone that has been worn down on the beach for thousands of years. If you get where Im going with that:)

 

Also I am moving around quite a bit, so concerning amplifier etc, the whole rig should be mobile to a sertain degree. I will be going abroad for an exchangeperiod next year, and plan to only bring my Ipad and use spotify, so I would prefer something working with that, if possible, but Im by all means not bound to that.

 

I feel like I have the philosophy, but I still need the know-how and experience from you gifted people, so please enlighten me!

 

 

 

I appreciate any feedback you may have. Thank you in advance for any reply.

 

Rune.

post #2 of 5

Hello!

 

I'm right now listening Shostakovich - Jazz Suites by the National Symphony of Ukraine through my Beyerdynamic DT990 250Ohm (Using Fiio E07K as DAC/Amp). I strongly recommend this headphones based in what you say. This headphones can be explosive, but also warm and smooth. Strings sound really textured. I love the cello sound, the transparency and detail I find with my DT990 when listening to Mstislav Rostropovich - Bach Cello Suites is impressive.

 

I was after Beyerdynamic DT880 based on what I had read here. I hadn't even considered buying DT990. Most people say DT990 are over bright/sibilant, not neutral, recessed mids, etc. While most people say that DT880 are much more neutral and smooth.
When I had the oportunity I've bought both DT880 and DT990.

Guess what? I preffer DT990. Mids are more textured and detailed, soundstage is bigger and more natural, instrument separation is more notably and bass is fuller and seem to come from a considerable distance insted of coming directly from the speaker.

 

Don't get me wrong, Beyerdynamic DT880 are a great headphones, neutral and smooth, great for sound engineers and better all rounder than DT990 which can be over bright when paired with low quality/compressed recordings. But when we talk about high quality classical recordings, DT990 are fantastic in my opinion, great bass, textured lower-mids and detailed highs, good soundstage and confort.

If you can, give them a try!

 

(Remember that this headphones needs extra amplification, DT990-250ohm impedance graph goes up to 390 Ohm, plugging this headphones directly into an ipod is not a very good idea)

 

Talking about Sennheiser HD600 and HD650, I can only talk from what I have read and from their graphs. Most people tend to say HD600 are the way to go in terms of neutrality, while everyone agree that HD650 have more bass and sound fuller/thicker but have rolled of highs.

 

Here you have some graphs that could help in your decision:

HD800 2013 vs DT990 250Ohm

HD800 2013 vs HD600

 

HD800 2013 vs HD650


Hope you find this useful!

 

Best Luck!

post #3 of 5

Audio-GD NFB-11.32 external DAC/amp, $340 ($250 Euros)+shipping.

$300+ two TXCO upgrades ($20 each), so $340+shipping

(I use the 15.32 model)

 

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1132/NFB11.32EN.htm

post #4 of 5

I enjoyed your post. Based on your preferences in sound and orchestral size, you'll be happiest with HD650. You'll find it a little polite, but it has everything else you want.

 

post #5 of 5

I did have a HD 650 with O2 amplification. Fairly mobile and very nice, with somewhat warmish sound. I did consider it as wonderful for classical music. (I use past tense as now I have stax sr-x 3, which I consider the headphone for classical music, but certainly not fit to your need as it is difficult to move around with it due to the bulk of amplification). I could wholeheartedly recommend HD 650 with O2. As far as differnces concerned to other models: a lot of written on this theme, but while you may spend years of reading, once you do real live comparision, you would know within 10 second, which one would fit better to your own personal need as far as tonal character and comfort concerned. But also,each of these  is a wonderful high level headphone, which is able to provide a very nice sound.  Once you put a headphone on your head as owner, any of them let you to immerse into music. In this sense the tonal differences are more important in the moment of comparison and buying, and not so important in long term use, provided you let yourself enjoy music instead of lamenting on missing bits (which I think the real characteristic of the audiophile addict, who is buying and changing pieces of equipments to achieve an even better imaginary sound). Anyway, if you dont have chance to make a comparison before buying, buy a used one, and if you dont like, you can easily sell without loosing too much. The sell section of head-fi is full of headphones, which were once considered good by their owners. 

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