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Sennheiser HD 560 Ovation II Review - Page 3

post #31 of 192

I have both the HD 530 and the HD 560.  I believe the difference between the two lies in the housing.  I can see where modifying the HD 530 might add to its clarity.  I see no reason I would want to modify the HD 560.   It already has very sharp-etched clarity.  

post #32 of 192

Making them open-backed reduced bass bloat and made the treble more neutral. Easy to see why Sennheiser chose a fully open back for the HD 600 and experimented with it already on the HD 580 (didn't the engineer want the HD 580 fully open as well but had to make do with the plastic grille?). The drivers themselves are probably very similar.

Edited by vid - 5/10/13 at 5:43am
post #33 of 192

Bass bloat? Well, there are a few comments which I can only explain by some shortcoming in the ancillary equipment. Once again, with a Sennheiser HD 560 I've never noticed any treble graininess, nor bass bloat for that matter, when recording live music with either a Revox or, on one occasion, a Nagra IVS. Obviously, you must take into account its SPL capability, which is necessarily limited compared to real instruments. I may be insistent, but having the real thing before you is, I believe, as tough a test as can be. I'm not saying that this transducer is perfect, I'm just stating that it is so neutral as to be a judge for the other components, including the microphones and, of course, the tape itself: comparing the sound off-tape to the direct input from the microphones is one of the most disheartening experience you can make, as you find that the carrier itself is at bay... Mind you: digital is still worse!

post #34 of 192

I meant to refer to the HD 530. They have some extra energy in the bass, i.e. their frequency response isn't flat down there. By converting them to open-backed it flattens out.

post #35 of 192

I agree with Jefic.  Vid, it would be helpful if you were clear on which model you are discussing.  I believe you have the HD 530.  Yet it sounded to Jefic as if you were discussing the HD 560, where, as he says, "bass bloat" is non-existent.  Even with the HD-530, that's to my mind quite an exaggerated description of a fine headphone only slightly less refined than the HD-560.  


By most accounts, Sennheiser changed its goals starting with the HD 580, continuing with some refinement in the HD 600, and most of all in the HD 650, to make a more powerful bass response for popular music.  The result was the famous Sennheiser veil -- which actually did not exist with the previous generation (540, 530, 560).  With the HD 800, they've come full circle, though clearly with some new capabilities.  For those who don't have an HD 800 budget, the vintage Sennheisers remain a great choice for classical music.   


PS: Sorry -- as I was writing Vid did make the clarification.

post #36 of 192

To me the HD 530 suffered from quite the opposite of a veil, that is, a very bright treble. Not just because the bass wasn't fully extended but because they artificially emphasized the upper range. Getting rid of the cups helps and in my opinion makes the HD 530 a better phone. And indeed able to stand against the K 701 quite easily.

Edited by vid - 5/12/13 at 8:49am
post #37 of 192

Honestly, Vid, I don't sense a bright treble on the HD 530.  The only difference between it and the HD 560 is slightly more focus in the HD 560.  There is an extensive discussion on the German site http://www.hifi-forum.de/viewthread-110-312.html


[Posted in 2004]

 Also konkret: Der HD 540 war seinerzeit, vor etwa 13...15 Jahren, das Spitzenmodell von Sennheiser, sozusagen der Urvater aller nachfolgenden dynamischen Modelle. Typische Sennheiser-Qualität.

Kurze Zeit später kam u.a. der Hd 530 auf den Markt, der mit anderen Membranen und v.a. mit Aluminium-Schwingspulen glänzte und seinen "großen" Bruder sozusagen an den Karren pinkelte. (Ich weiss das deshalb noch so genau, weil ich seinerzeit einen Batzen Kohle in einen guten Kopfhörer investieren sollte und eigentlich dne 540er zu meinem Eigentum machen sollte. Dem Hinweis des Händlers doch einmal den (damels) neuen 530 anzuhören, bin ich gefolgt, mit dem Ergebnis, das ich die Entwicklungsfortschritte deutlich hören konnte und mir infolgedessen - wer ist schon seinem Geld böse? - genau diesen erwarb.

Anschließend kam der 560 ovation, den ich auch ganz nett fand, aber nicht so extrem besser als den 530er. 580, 590, 600 gehen etwa in die gleiche Richtung, haben hörbare, aber keine extremen Detailverbesserungen. 



In short, the HD 530 (despite its "earlier" number and lower price) was a notable improvement over the HD 540. The HD 560 was, in his view, a slight but only slight improvement over the HD 530.  How much is subjective,and audiophiles famously tend to exaggerate small differences, not to mention paying a great deal for tiny improvements.  I would be very curious to hear from someone who has heard the HD 800 on a good amplifier compare it to the HD 560.  But maybe I would be wise not to know...  

post #38 of 192

On the other hand there are people who say the HD 540 and HD 530 sound much the same, so who knows.


What can be assumed is that if one removes the cups, the HD 530 and HD 560 should sound identical, more or less. In other words, a chance to save money.

post #39 of 192
Originally Posted by wyki View Post

Honestly, Vid, I don't sense a bright treble on the HD 530. 


I wonder, do you own the HD 530 or the 530 II? In your review of the 530 elsewhere, you mention them as being 300 ohms, which would be the 530 II, while mine are the 600-ohm 530. The guy in this thread listened to both the 530 and the 530 II (two of them) and found the former notably brighter, although he wasn't actually aware that they were two different models he heard.


That is, unless there were multiple versions of the non-II 530 alone with different ohms - I maybe recall something like that potentially having been the case, but not sure. Though even in this case, the guy in the above thread would still have found the 600-ohm version noticeably brighter than the 300-ohm one.

Edited by vid - 7/17/13 at 8:43pm
post #40 of 192

My headphones are HD 530; there is no "II" in the marking.  Below that, they say 300 Ohms.


The tonal range is very similar to my HD 560.  The difference is in the housing, which makes the HD 530 sound somewhat richer in the bass but gives the HD 560 greater clarity.  It is not a huge difference.  Both remain excellent headphones for classical music.  (How good they are for other genres I cannot say, because that's what I use them for, along with films.  I don't watch films with thunderous booms, but I imagine these headphones are less than thunderous.)       

post #41 of 192

Interesting. What's the ohms on your HD 560?


The measurements by Golden Ears of the HD 540 show a trend for an exaggerated treble, and they're the 600-ohm version. The eager among us would say there's a pattern.

post #42 of 192

My HD 560 is also 300 Ohms.


I have not heard the HD-540.  However, the HD 530 and HD 560 have a different transducer from the 540. You are the only person I have seen who thinks the HD 530 and HD 560 have exaggerated treble.  Please see the discussion (cited above) on hi-fi.de, which is the best account I know of these headphones.  In addition, the Sennheiser manual describes the HD 560 as "absolutely linear in middle and upper range."  


What the HD 530 and HD 560 do not have is powerful bass.  If you listen to genres that require strong bass, these are the wrong headphones.  When Sennheiser's marketers decided that even luxury headphone buyers were no longer listening primarily to classical music, they redesigned their headphones: that is why the HD 650 is so different from the HD 560.  But then people complained about the "Sennheiser veil" (not present in the HD 560), and some defected to the AKG and Beyerdynamic competition, and so Sennheiser introduced the HD 800.  It is no doubt much more than an HD 560.  It also costs much more and requires (at least according to Head-Fi writers) an expensive tube amp.  The HD 530 and HD 560 certainly require good amplification, but I have not found them to be difficult to match.

post #43 of 192

Wyki, let's not confuse the situation further. First, I've not commented on how the HD 560 sounds (ok, once on how they might sound). Second, the people at the hi-fi.de thread make no mention of which version of 530 (300 or 600 ohms) they're talking about. Third, I'm not the only person who found the 530 bright - you'll see this if you read the forum post I linked to. Fourth, you own the 300-ohm version, which the person on that forum found not to be bright. Fifth, I own the 600-ohm version, which the person on that forum did find very bright.


Thus one has some grounds to propose that the 300 and 600-ohm versions of the HD 530 may not be similar.


I'll also clarify that it's not a lack of bass that makes them bright in my experience. The HD 530 I have emphasize 100 Hz by a few dB, which may or may not be amp-related, but in any case their bass extension is decent below that. However, they emphasize the treble by several dB.

Edited by vid - 7/20/13 at 6:58am
post #44 of 192

Well, since we have different headphones, I take your word for it.  I was not aware of 600 Ohm HD 530s.

post #45 of 192

Hi everybody

If memory serves me right, the HD 530 didn't have that treble hardness that plagued the HD 540. Actually it sounded slightly woolly when compared to both the 540 and 560. I do not remember anything about a change of impedance, but the manufacturer insisted that it was better suited to... hard-sounding rock recordings! Although the headphone amplifier (and all ancillary equipment, by the way) may explain the discrepancies between listening impressions, in any case the transducers were NOT the same as in the 560, which precludes any hope of aping the latter by just stripping the former.

Sorry if this is bad news for some...



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