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Fidelio X1 vs. HD600 Early Comparisons

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I should preface this by saying I am not a seasoned audiophile, so bear with my naivety. 

Also, I have yet to receive my Aune T1 amp, which is underway. So I will update this later. For now, however, I thought a few provisional results are interesting:

I am using my ipod touch 4 and my ASUS G73Sw laptop for this. The Fidelios are being ran through the v-moda 80 cable, which clears up a lot of muffled distortion compared to the original cabled, I found.

With this in mind here are my impressions:

- It is generally said that the Fidelios are relatively easy to amp, while the Sennheiser's are quite difficult to amp. You would expect this from the 300ohm vs. 30ohm difference. However, I have found this to be quite false.

Both headphones perform to a very similar level from these sources, without an amp/DAC. Yes, the Fidelios can gather about 15% more volume in the ipod, but they are both very, very close in resolution.

 

- Everything that has been said about these cans so far in comparison seems to ring true. The mids of the HD600 are more prominent, while the bass is less punchy, if tighter. I find the soundstage to be fairly comparable, although the clarity of the 600's is damn impressive. I find the 600s to have better resolution overall, less boomy bass, more prominent vocals.

- I also have the 650 cable. And I must say that the difference between the cables is pretty much suspiciously similar to the difference often attributed to the headphones themselves. With the 650 cable you get more bass, a smoother presentation, but more rolled off highs, and more forward mids. While the 600 cable makes them a bit airier, clearer, and brighter. With the Hd600 cable the Senns are surprisingly as bright, if not brighter than the Fidelios. Whether this is a result of no amping, is open.

It makes one wonder how much of the differences attributed to these cans are due to the cabling. 

I expect substantial improvements from the Sennheiser's with an amp, since that seems to be the agreement. 

This has really confused me about the Fidelios. Either they need amping, just like the Senns, and will improve accordingly, or else they are just not in the same league. I have found that the Fidelios generally do not reach very high volumes from these sources, even if it is sufficient for most music (I have to use the boost in both Foobar and itunes).


I tested both with a variety of music:

- Bear in Heaven -  Cool Light / Kiss me Crazy

- The Smashing Pumpkins - Zero

- Ben Monder - Elysium
- Antony and the Johnsons - Her Eyes Are Underneath the Ground

- Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Zero

- Yeasayer - ONE

- John Coltrane - Solar


So far, I am enjoying the Hd600s more but they are very similar cans. Amping should hopefully make the differences more apparent.
 

post #2 of 15

My fresh impressions also confirm that X1 do need amping to perform to their best, despite them being 30 Ohm. I even use +10dB gain with my Aune T1 and it makes sound more accurate and tighter. Although, X1 do not need strong/special amp. I tried it with ELE EL-D02 DAC also (recapped with ELNA SilmicII`s), which has amp built onto and it sounded pretty good. Imo, what X1 asks for is DAC or Tube amp with slightly smoothed highs and raised/extended/foward mids.

 

About X1 stock cable - It`s quite bad one. I measured 2.4 Ohm impedance on that cable and that is way too high. Replaced it with 3-metre Van Damme Pro Grade Classic XKE Pro-patch + Neutrik jacks that measures 0.9Ohm. With new cable sound got tinybit cleaner and tighter. 

 

Atm, I`m still littlebit confused with X1. It has great large and deep soundstage (with certain tube it`s awesome), tight punchy bass and clear highs with little sparkle. Mids section is neutral but not recessed. What confuses me is the resolution and clarity sometimes but that might come from tube. I mean it has great shaped imaging and separation is also great but somewhy... I don`t know, maybe I`m just used with my modded HD-681 more foward imaging at center point of soundstage. Still too little time on my X1 and they need more burn-in. Memory foam pads also need to settle properly. Probably will make custom pads that take my small ears closer to elements (which makes everything littlebit more foward and clearer). Also thinking about modding that back-grill and try out different wood/semi-open configurations in future but we`ll see.

 

Looking foward for more impressions about HD-600 vs. X1. Might get HD-600 in future (or HD-650).

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoiL View Post
 

My fresh impressions also confirm that X1 do need amping to perform to their best, despite them being 30 Ohm. I even use +10dB gain with my Aune T1 and it makes sound more accurate and tighter. Although, X1 do not need strong/special amp. I tried it with ELE EL-D02 DAC also (recapped with ELNA SilmicII`s), which has amp built onto and it sounded pretty good. Imo, what X1 asks for is DAC or Tube amp with slightly smoothed highs and raised/extended/foward mids.

 

About X1 stock cable - It`s quite bad one. I measured 2.4 Ohm impedance on that cable and that is way too high. Replaced it with 3-metre Van Damme Pro Grade Classic XKE Pro-patch + Neutrik jacks that measures 0.9Ohm. With new cable sound got tinybit cleaner and tighter. 

 

Atm, I`m still littlebit confused with X1. It has great large and deep soundstage (with certain tube it`s awesome), tight punchy bass and clear highs with little sparkle. Mids section is neutral but not recessed. What confuses me is the resolution and clarity sometimes but that might come from tube. I mean it has great shaped imaging and separation is also great but somewhy... I don`t know, maybe I`m just used with my modded HD-681 more foward imaging at center point of soundstage. Still too little time on my X1 and they need more burn-in. Memory foam pads also need to settle properly. Probably will make custom pads that take my small ears closer to elements (which makes everything littlebit more foward and clearer). Also thinking about modding that back-grill and try out different wood/semi-open configurations in future but we`ll see.

 

Looking foward for more impressions about HD-600 vs. X1. Might get HD-600 in future (or HD-650).


Putting the two side by side the HD600 is almost always winning... unamped! The Fidelios are better from the ipod though...

post #4 of 15

Yes, HD-600 should be overall winner from what I`ve read out of reviews and impressions, but... more important question - by how much? Price/performance wise, it`s the main thing that will matter if HD-600 is worth buying as "next level".

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoiL View Post
 

Yes, HD-600 should be overall winner from what I`ve read out of reviews and impressions, but... more important question - by how much? Price/performance wise, it`s the main thing that will matter if HD-600 is worth buying as "next level".

 

Well, it's hard to say at this point since both cans are unamped in my gig. Once my Aune T1 arrives I'll be able to give a better answer. They are both close; no question about it. One would have to be very anal to nitpick at either can or their differences. For $170, the Fidelios X1 are a better buy. But I think the replaceable pads and lighter weight make the 600s overall more enjoyable for me, even now. 

post #6 of 15

Hmm, interesting that You mention weight. I also though that weight is going to be an issue but seriously, X1`s are most comfortable cans I have ever worn on my head. After 1 song, I basically forget I`m wearing them, feeling no weight on my head.

Anyway, waiting for more impressions with Aune T1. I hope You have some good mids-emphasized tubes for T1 and don`t forget to try X1 with +10dB gain (don`t forget to turn vol to 0 at first).

Offtopic: I have Siemens E88CC goldpin and Amperex OG 6DJ8 GAC among many other tubes and my T1 is recapped with ELNA SilmicII`s, so we might have pretty different experience with X1.

 

Btw, cheapest X1 I could find atm was $219.00 @ Amazon. That narrows the gap. But yeah, If someone can get them used or with campaign cheaper, then they are better buy probably. They had it for 150$ some time ago for little period but prices have risen again. 


Edited by CoiL - 4/4/14 at 7:49pm
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoiL View Post

Hmm, interesting that You mention weight. I also though that weight is going to be an issue but seriously, X1`s are most comfortable cans I have ever worn on my head. After 1 song, I basically forget I`m wearing them, feeling no weight on my head.
Anyway, waiting for more impressions with Aune T1. I hope You have some good mids-emphasized tubes for T1 and don`t forget to try X1 with +10dB gain (don`t forget to turn vol to 0 at first).
Offtopic: I have Siemens E88CC goldpin and Amperex OG 6DJ8 GAC among many other tubes and my T1 is recapped with ELNA SilmicII`s, so we might have pretty different experience with X1.

Btw, cheapest X1 I could find atm was $219.00 @ Amazon. That narrows the gap. But yeah, If someone can get them used or with campaign cheaper, then they are better buy probably. They had it for 150$ some time ago for little period but prices have risen again. 

I haven't bought any additional tubes for the Aune. Will the stock tube work fine? I hope so! I will definitely post more impressions once I can test these amped
Edited by krelianx - 4/4/14 at 7:56pm
post #8 of 15

Offtopic: Stock tube is ok sounding but it has ᴧ-shaped/boomerang-shaped soundstage, extended sparkly highs, extended lows which are little loose and mids are little recessed. Of course this is subjective but my Siemens E88CC & Amperex 6DJ8 GAC are another level & much better. 

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Crap, I hate that sound profile. Mids are the most important for me. I've spent already far more than I should. I might just sell the Fidelios after all...

post #10 of 15
they r not on the same level. Maybe you need a beter amp
post #11 of 15

Lets wait for further impressions when he gets his Aune T1 instead that ipod source. He can still compare those cans with 6922EH tube.

 

Offtopic about Aune T1: krelianx, if You want great mids with Aune T1 then first thing to do is change capacitors to ELNA SilmicII`s (quite cheap to do) and if You can afford then Amperex OG 6DJ8 GAC or cheap but good sounding substitute would be GE 6BQ7A with glow-wire under getter (It`s pretty similar to 6DJ8 OG GAC but it has littlebit loose bass but with little smoothed highs, warm, dynamic and musical tube).

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoiL View Post
 

Lets wait for further impressions when he gets his Aune T1 instead that ipod source. He can still compare those cans with 6922EH tube.

 

Offtopic about Aune T1: krelianx, if You want great mids with Aune T1 then first thing to do is change capacitors to ELNA SilmicII`s (quite cheap to do) and if You can afford then Amperex OG 6DJ8 GAC or cheap but good sounding substitute would be GE 6BQ7A with glow-wire under getter (It`s pretty similar to 6DJ8 OG GAC but it has littlebit loose bass but with little smoothed highs, warm, dynamic and musical tube).


I have never owned an amp before; what does replacing the capacitors imply? How many do I need? If a soldering job is required, I am a bit concerned about screwing my unit up!

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by krelianx View Post
 


I have never owned an amp before; what does replacing the capacitors imply? How many do I need? If a soldering job is required, I am a bit concerned about screwing my unit up!

Should I jump on this?

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Amperex-6DJ8-ecc88-Vintage-Tube-orange-globe-label-w-box-/111319652989?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item19eb2b1a7d

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralphoenix View Post

they r not on the same level. Maybe you need a beter amp


Care to be more descriptive?

post #15 of 15

krelinax, lets keep this thread clean from Aune T1 and tubes. You can ask info and help from Aune T1 dedicated thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/633006/aune-t1-usb-tube-dac-amp-discussion-thread-see-first-post-for-faq

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