Originally Posted by saxelrod92
I had the he-560 for two weeks, and now have the primes (granted only a couple hours so far, just arrived today). and I have to say the previous statement comparing them definitely feels very accurate. to me. the he-560 definitely has the winning edge when it comes to wood instruments, esp string ones, and its a bit smoother (although with the prime it comes with tuning dots, so technically it can be smoothed out a bit too from stock), but otherwise the he-560 to me was a bit closer to an hd800 without the brightness or sibilance in overall sound. like a more neutral hd800, having all te positive traits of being like that, and the negative like thinner sound, slight, very slight brightness, punchy but not so full sound.
the prime on the other hand is much more like taking an audeze headphone and trying to make it sound perfectly neutral. its much more full sounding than the he-560, more bass, sharper treble in stock config (can cause slight sibilance, but again only been 2 hours so far, and theres tuning dots to help), mids are pretty close to each other though. but the primes definitely have the better soundstage and imaging, by far. the he-560 had slightly larger width, but it had pretty sub par depth to me, and wasnt really 3d holographic. The primes honestly remind me of how the hd800 sounded on my system for soundstage, obv the hd800 still wins hands down, but out of the he-560, lcd-2, primes, and hd800, the primes come second in soundstage, then he-560, then lcd-2. I have no clue what magic has been done to the driver to create this, but it pulls it off, and is somehow even more isolating than the alpha dogs.
Ultimately for me, I gave up on the he-560 mainly for comfort (ear pads just too small for me ears), and for the slightly bright/thinner sound than I would like. The primes hit that sweet spot for me much better though, just in a different flavor. so its purely personal preference. think of the primes as a super neutral and detailed audeze, and he-560 as a neutral hd800. as a rough idea of what they're trying to sound like.
Well, this almost makes me think of 2 things...
1) More sibilance and less brightness suggests that the Prime has a high frequency peak lower than the HE-560. I'm thinking the 560 is already a bit shy of ideal equal-contour loudness curve (at least for me), so any less than that would just be undue coloration. But I may be wrong on that. Either way, that sounds like a big negative to me.
2) Fuller sound and "deeper" bass suggests more sustained bass, which means decay is not happening as fast at bass frequencies, and thus the Prime actually has more bass distortion than the HE-560. This may not be a negative per se, as I'd pretty much like that. However, I'd also say it's not accurate, and can sometimes cause bass to blur. The emphasis at higher frequencies in order to "sharpen" the sound and imaging is probably to counteract the loss in bass definition and precision.
That's without looking at the Prime's frequency response graph, but... I'd think that if I were to compare the HE-560 and the Prime side by side, then those would be the things I would notice.
More to the point... I'd argue that if the HE-560 was played out of a dark system... (dark DAC, dark amp), then it would probably edge out the Prime, and still provide an effortless, sibilance-free listen. This is exactly what I did to my HE-560 setup. On the other hand, since the headphone doesn't have much excess bass distortion, I could get exactly the right bass body by tuning the analog signal, and it was still tight and extended. I'd argue that this is the better way to get more bass body.
Well, to each his own, I guess. But at least now I know it's not just me thinking the HE-560 sounded like an HD800 without the brightness. But a modded HE-560 sounds more like an SR-009 without the brightness... IMO, and that should be a good thing.