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post #16 of 66
i've never tried any of them.....maybe someday.
post #17 of 66
an upgraded cable = an upgraded belief that the sound quality is better.
No one will spend $100 on an upgraded cable and then not believe it hasn't made an improvement. The difference is minimal in my mind.
post #18 of 66
Thread Starter 
acg, i'd like to believe that. that would mean one less thing i'd have to spend my money on to improve my system.

HOWEVER, all these opinions are useless unless there has been some blind A/B ing. while i admit there are some flaws to A/B ing, it is still a hell of a lot more dependable than trusting someone who just recently bought their brand new cable and can't wait to hear the difference.

because if you're looking for a difference, you'll find it.
post #19 of 66
Actually, blind testing is nearly impossible for headphone replacement cables.
For one, the cables all look different. And even if the test subjects are blindfolded, there is the issue of weight difference; the stock cable is without doubt the lightest. In order to do a blind test, you have to use weights to balance the cables out, but then you would also have to worry about keeping the cables from touching the person, since even slight contact on the clothes can give away the nature of a cable. The Zu cable for instance is covered with techflex, which is hard and microphonic. But if you bend the cables so that they do not touch the subjects, there is the issue of torsional force. The cables are flexible to varying degrees, so more inflexible cables would put more strain on the headphone cup in the direction it's bent in... And so on.
IMO, at least for Sennheiser phones, the effect of swapping cables definitely exists, and is not subtle. At some point, I think, the perceived difference becomes too great to attribute to placebo alone.
post #20 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by boodi
yes , they can .
Example is the Zu Cable : comparing the ZU (from whatever source ) and the stock cable ( linked to the same source ) is really like having two different set of cans for me.
The Zu can make your cans sound as crap , becuase it gives the openest sound you can have on hd650 , so it reveals quite any flaw from the source/gear setup .
The Zu make the hd650 VERY upfront , while the stock keep the hd650 veiled in comparison .
The Zu is not only overkill for any low/mid budget gear , it can be a wrong step in upgrading the system .

-------------------------------
It seems there's been a "repl. cable tour" lastly here , many had occasion to receive many (if not all) the sennheiser aftermarket cables for .

Boodi's exactly right! Anyone who cannot hear the clear difference between a stock HD650 cable and Zu Mobius needs to replace either their source, amp or hobby!
In my system (see sig) the Zu and stock cables were like night and day. I currently use the Cardas v2 cable after returning the Zu Mobius (though for the next couple of weeks I'll be stuck with my stock cable since Boodi is auditioning my Cardas cable).

My system is very detailed and the Zu was just too much for me to actually enjoy the music. The experience was fun but fatiguing and not at all satisfactory; it gave me raw details but too raw for my liking... The stock cable, OTOT, is not detailed enough, IMO, and it feels like too much of the signal and detail is held back and not allowed to reach the headphones. The soundstage, for me is too far away, as well and there is zero warmth to the sound and a weak bass in comparison to the Cardas and Zu.
The Cardas cable is more relaxed than the Zu with the soundstage falling somewhere between the Zu and the stock cable, but perhaps just a wee bit far away for my liking, hence the experimentation with other cable.
The Cardas seems to sit me a couple of meters away from the vocalist, whereas the Zu will put the vocalist's mouth and all the instruments right by my ears!
The stock cable has me sitting 4 or 5 meters away and the details and instrument separation are not at all what the aftermarket cables offer.

Next I'll try the Moon Audio cable and see what that sounds like in my system. Will let ya know!
post #21 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by acg2424
an upgraded cable = an upgraded belief that the sound quality is better.
No one will spend $100 on an upgraded cable and then not believe it hasn't made an improvement. The difference is minimal in my mind.
ACG,
Ever attended a Head-Fi meet?
That's the ideal place to check out cable differences.
Case in Point:
At one show there were a couple amps available with dual outputs (Headroom, RKV, etc...)
There were also several pair of Sennheiser 600's available. It was very easy to plug in a pair of identical headphones, with different cables installed on each and simply switch phones.
The improvements & differences were very clear.
Is a cable worth the money? Well, I'd say if you already spent big bucks on the 600's or 650's and you want that last bit of resolution and / or fine tuning that cables provide, then yes.
post #22 of 66
My roommate worked for Sennheiser for years. He's got almost ever pair of their headphones in his room. I think he usually uses the HD-580s or 600s and never change the cables. FWIW.
post #23 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilS
I doubt you're right. Frankly, I used to think virtually all claims regarding cables were complete baloney, until I was forced to try an aftermarket cable for my HD-600's due to a problem with the stock cable. The difference was obvious. When one has listened to the same track on a CD for about 100 times, you get to know every note and subtlety of the recording, and when something is changed in one's system, and then you listen to that song again, it is pretty easy to tell that it sounds different. But again, this has been debated previously, ad infinitum. I am still skeptical of various cable-related claims, but I have to admit that I am now a believer to some extent, and much more open-minded that I was previously.
Well, I'm sure you experienced what you did because perception is a function Attitude, Beliefs and Expecations (ABE). They are so subtle as to be absolutely uncontrollable through internal controls. They must be controlled by externals, double blind listening, etc. Now, I'm not saying cables can't or won't make cans sound different. Impedence changes alone can do that. But, before I would never accept uncritically a claim that such and such sounded *better* or any other of the ubiquitous audiophile claims, without substantiation of a controlled listening test. Especially when you're talking about spending hundreds of dollars on a cable.
post #24 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd R
ACG,
Ever attended a Head-Fi meet?
That's the ideal place to check out cable differences.
Case in Point:
At one show there were a couple amps available with dual outputs (Headroom, RKV, etc...)
There were also several pair of Sennheiser 600's available. It was very easy to plug in a pair of identical headphones, with different cables installed on each and simply switch phones.
The improvements & differences were very clear.
Is a cable worth the money? Well, I'd say if you already spent big bucks on the 600's or 650's and you want that last bit of resolution and / or fine tuning that cables provide, then yes.
Not unless you're doing double blind listening tests and the equipment (or each output) has been level matched within less than 1db for each set of headphones (including identical phones with different cables). Human beings can easily perceive differences in loudness of right at 1db, and these differences are typically perceived as louder is better. Since each can presents a different load to any given amp, it's loudness would be different. You can't just swap out cans and say you did any kind of significant listening comparison.
post #25 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipodstudio
Boodi's exactly right! Anyone who cannot hear the clear difference between a stock HD650 cable and Zu Mobius needs to replace either their source, amp or hobby!
...or ears

Seriously speaking . We can have extremely different drums ,cochlea and so different sensitivity .
Ears do learn . One can refine a lot his ears capabilities with refined listening .
I feel also that ears' related brain behavior change a lot after a -let's call it - "listening education" and this happen without noticing it .

I wasn't able to tell why ( or even if ! ) a gear was better then another before getting deep into head-fi .

In fact in the very beginning I liked more my portable crap gears then my home gear ( my ears were simply trained to love the particular distortion / combination of gear i had experienced the most )
post #26 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hazmat
My roommate worked for Sennheiser for years. He's got almost ever pair of their headphones in his room. I think he usually uses the HD-580s or 600s and never change the cables. FWIW.
exactly what i needed to know.

has he ever tried replacement cables?
if so, what does he think of them?
post #27 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDaddy
Well, I'm sure you experienced what you did because perception is a function Attitude, Beliefs and Expecations (ABE).
I shall defend to the death your right to that opinion, and your right to voice it. But I am sure you are 100% wrong. I know what I heard. And I heard it notwithstanding that I was extremely skeptical and thought all claims that cables could make a difference were absolute bunk.

And now I understand, I think, why these debates become somewhat polarized. If you haven't heard the difference, you can't believe that anyone who claims to have heard a difference is responding to anything more than ABE. If you have heard it, and heard it clearly, you can't understand why anyone else would doubt what you have heard. Oh well, I guess those of us who now "believe" (and I still have my doubts by the way about lots of cable claims and tweaks), just have to keep telling others what we've heard, so that others will give some thought to trying aftermarket cables, etc. The neat part is that nowadays, you can try virtually all of these things on 30-day return. So if you try an aftermarket cable, and hear nothing, and conclude everyone else is just a schmuck convinced by ABE, you can send it back. If you try it and hear a difference, or are deluded and THINK you hear a difference, then you can keep the cable, as your system will be better or at least it will be to you.
post #28 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDaddy
Not unless you're doing double blind listening tests and the equipment (or each output) has been level matched within less than 1db for each set of headphones (including identical phones with different cables). Human beings can easily perceive differences in loudness of right at 1db, and these differences are typically perceived as louder is better. Since each can presents a different load to any given amp, it's loudness would be different. You can't just swap out cans and say you did any kind of significant listening comparison.
Jeeze..
Just how particular do you want to get?
Identical phones,
Same CD,
Same source,
Same interconnects,
Same amp with a dual output.

We don't need to be sitting in a clean room, with you behind a curtain in your lab coat switching outputs to get a fairly good idea of how a particular cable sounds We're casual around here....relax.
post #29 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarkang
exactly what i needed to know.

has he ever tried replacement cables?
if so, what does he think of them?
When I asked him about it once, he didn't seem terribly excited about it. Not that he didn't think it did anything, but my guess from getting harrassed about it so many times at trade shows, etc.

Sorry I couldn't give you better info....
post #30 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hazmat
he didn't seem terribly excited about it.
that's plenty of information right there.
thanks!
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