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do sennheiser employees use aftermarket cables for their senn phones? - Page 4

post #46 of 66
sugarkang...

...please don't take this as an offense! But it's not a good thing to be biased and at the same time allege the very same or at least heavy subjectivity to other people. (BTW: have you even noticed that «your» Sennheiser employee wasn't denying sonic differences with replacement cables?) An indiscreet question: How did you come to the decision for the HD 650? Was it based on reviews from other people, possibly even Head-Fiers? If so: how come that you could have the necessary confidence in their opinion, knowing that they haven't done any blind (comparative) tests with their headphones? And how come that you're so rigorous when it comes to cables?

The reason why no blind tests have been done in both cases: They're simply not necessary. Nobody who's had the opportunity to test different headphones and replacement cables has felt the need to verify the experienced results by means of blind tests because the results were so clear.

post #47 of 66
Thread Starter 
jazz: i came to the decision to buy the hd650 from hearing it at the sennheiser store. i bought both the 595 and the 650 and i have heard both. i will keep the one i think is better for my music preferences after many hours of listening. the only thing i bought without hearing is the MEIER CORDA HA-2. i will be testing that against a NAD headphone out. that amp is coming with the HD650.

yes, i'm biased. everyone is. the audioholics site is the main reason that i'm particularly biased against cables. all of the data / testing on the audioholics site seems weightier than headfi opinions. i said "seems" but i don't know. is audioholics right? do i know for certain? they could have screwed up the tests. i don't know.

however, i have not found claims, scientifically to refute the ones found at audioholics. if in a blind A/B, people chose the better cable, then that would certainly make audioholics wrong (at least for me) and i would also buy the better cable and this discussion would be moot (for me).

some of you have already heard the difference in cables, and feel that the upgrade was worth the money. i would love to hear stock vs. aftermarket. unfortunately, i'm across the pacific so i'm out of the reach of most headfi meets.

the sennheiser employee is someone that i'd put in bracket 2, whereas general headfi opinions i'd put in bracket 3. (see above post)
headfi opinions are not so much useless, as they are difficult to use.
i don't know any headfiers. that's one problem. if i knew someone who had similar tastes in music, similar tastes in headphones and heard things the similarly to the way i heard them, then that opinion would count for a lot!
it seems that some of you guys know other headfiers like that. due to my distance, i don't know anyone like that.

a headfier in the region told me about a store locally that lets you test out gear. i'll see if they've got 650 cables. if they do, then i'll go and test out my phones. it'll be a couple of weeks, and if the store allows for it, i'll post my findings.

the reason for all of this fuss over cables is that they are between 150-200 bucks. that's not the kind of money that i can fork over on a whim. that's money that requires research.
post #48 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarkang
i wanted to be sure beyond a reasonable doubt that cables wouldn't make a difference. that would mean blind A/B ing, and since no one here has done that, the fact that a sennheiser employee, who owns all kinds of senn models, does not use any aftermarket cables is a clear endorser of NOT upgrading cables. that man's opinion is worth a hundred times more than any head-fiers opinion (to me, maybe not you).
So a Sennheiser employee, who as a stakeholder in the Sennheiser company has a fiduciary interest in you not thinking that stock Senns are deficient in some way, and who also has a pride issue with thinking that his companies products are solid in every way, is credible despite the fact that you don't even know what he did for sennheiser. A former sennheiser engineer (James Serdechney) manufactures replacement cables and his opinion is worth nothing.

You had your mind made up before you posted this thread, so why post it? If someone says they did a/b tests you will just question the methodology.
post #49 of 66
Quote:
The reason why no blind tests have been done in both cases: They're simply not necessary. Nobody who's had the opportunity to test different headphones and replacement cables has felt the need to verify the experienced results by means of blind tests because the results were so clear.
If the results were so clear, then why not prove it once and for all. Why is everyone afraid of a DBT or even a SBT?

A blind test was done here
and the results were not so clear, but people still spend thousands of dollars on CD players and claim they are so much better.
post #50 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarkang

i want to know if buying cables would be an audible performance benefit for ME, regardless of what anyone else thinks.
Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't the best way to determine this is to try the cables for yourself? You can obtain virtually every popular aftermarket headphone cable for the HD650's on the web with a 30-day return period. If you do that, you won't need to care what some Sennheiser employee says, or what we say.
post #51 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by meat01
but people still spend thousands of dollars on CD players and claim they are so much better.
You're not suggesting that all CD players sound the same, are you?
post #52 of 66
No, but there are definitely diminishing returns
post #53 of 66
I'm rather stunned to see people here take actual objectivity a bit more seriously around these parts -- even if some people on both sides of the arguement haven't exactly done the best job of supporting themselves. I'd like to think there's merit to both sides of the arguement, based on personal (yet unscientific experience).

I'm about to be on my *third* pair of stock cables in two years due to such heavy abuse that I wear 'em out and one channel begins to drop (I wear 'em almost all the time. The pads are ruined, for sure!) for my HD-600. What occured to me when I swapped cables is that I've sort have forgotten what they were supposed to sound like when I bought them originally. I'm not going to fling a bunch of flashy words around, but they certainly were more.. efficient and likely louder enough that I was picking up on a difference immediately -- which isn't surprising due to the fact I've worn the former pairs out and thus the cycle continues.

Really, I've considered an aftermarket cable at this point just to avoid this semi-yearly $20~ hidden subscription my headphones have seemingly come with. So, this leads me to desiring a controlled ABX test between *new* stock cables and the current line of cables out there so perhaps I could better select a cable for myself -- I'm willing to believe that there very well could be a small percentage of quality difference given the episodes I've had replacing with just stock cables. But failing that, I'd likely just buy a pair of aftermarket cables on build quality alone which is the most logical action to take even if you don't believe in cable voodoo -- since I can assure you, the stock 600 cables *do* have a relatively short lifespan under heavy use.

If anyone could suggest a good pair of 10' (milspec, heh) cables for the HD-600s, I'd be willing to consider them for that alone, especially if they didn't cost a substantial percentage of what I paid on the phones themselves.

I hope this was polite enough for everyone, as I do admit a slight bit of skepticism on some opinions here on some rather dubious qualities. I recall a thread a while ago of someone claiming improvements in audio quality between WinAMP 3.x and 5.x (which both use the same stock reference decoder -- PROTIP: If you're hearing differences between MP3 decoders, then something is seriously wrong as one is likely doing EQing where it shouldn't [Sonique. Tsk.]) However, that doesn't mean I won't gladly listen to the opinions of those who could judge their construction.
post #54 of 66
Is ABX testing the only way?
I mean, is there any measurements of sorts?

btw ProtoCat, I AM on my third pair of stock cables for my HD600. one time a sennheiser t-shirt came with it
post #55 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.
What exactly is this knowledge based on? How many aftermarket cables have you owned and compared on the 600/650 and for what amount of time? If my system sounds better to me with an aftermarket cable then it is certainly an upgrade. How much time did you spend with your senns stock before you tried other cables? I spent 150.00 on a cardas and didnt think it was an improvement to the HD650 for me. (600 yes 650 no) I have also owned the Equinox, and still own the Zu. I have spent around 7-8 hour listerning session with the Oehlbach (spelling?). I have also spent a lot of time a-bing the Silver Dragon and Zu.
I cant believe anyone who puts the time in to compare these cables can not tell a big difference in sound between them and each other and the stock cable. Wether one or the other is an upgrade thats up to the individual. But the differences are more than minor in most of the cases.
post #56 of 66
When I had the HD600 I asked once to Sennheiser about the benefits of aftermarket cables, and they answered me a brief note, the letter was posted in another thread, IIRC, (protecting the identity of the person, of course)
IIRC they have tried a few of them, even they owned some of them, and the guy who wrote me that letter, one of their executives BTW, still prefer the stock one, but it is true that nothing was said about a final word of Sennheiser about topic, he just implied his preference.......

But they develop the HD600 to get the new HD650, and they replaced the drivers, the color, maybe the mechanical parts, indeed, almost everything but the cable itself, they kept the same "crappy cable". Is this a marketing strategy? Are they fool? Do they have cloth ears?

Now is that really important to you? If you prefer them, are you going to stop using them, because Sennheiser or any representative like it or not, or you will use them anyway right?...period....
post #57 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarkang
and looks like i was right.

i originally started this thread because i started having doubts about my original stance because so many head-fiers seem to swear by cable upgrades. being that i have an hd650 coming, this issue has been a very emotional one for me.

i wanted to be sure beyond a reasonable doubt that cables wouldn't make a difference. that would mean blind A/B ing, and since no one here has done that, the fact that a sennheiser employee, who owns all kinds of senn models, does not use any aftermarket cables is a clear endorser of NOT upgrading cables. that man's opinion is worth a hundred times more than any head-fiers opinion (to me, maybe not you).

so now, i'm back to my original thinking that cables don't matter.

if cables matter to you, or anyone else for that matter, that's fine.
you are free to use your money and i'm not going to persuade you to do otherwise. i wanted an answer FOR ME. to figure out if i would be wasting MY money. i got my answer, and that was the purpose of this thread.

END.
You dont have to worry about wasting your hard earned cash, most of the cable companies have a money back period for you to try the cables out. All the cables I've tried with the 650 have made a difference. Some more than others and all in different areas. Try some if they dont do anything for you...send them back.
post #58 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom hankins
You dont have to worry about wasting your hard earned cash, most of the cable companies have a money back period for you to try the cables out. All the cables I've tried with the 650 have made a difference. Some more than others and all in different areas. Try some if they dont do anything for you...send them back.
They have also a high resale value, in case you get one used, you can recoup your money easily....
post #59 of 66
I have tried out several different aftermarket cables with the 580's and 600's including the clou blue, cardas, zu, equinox and oehlbach (in that order).

They did sound slightly different, the Zu sticking out the most for it's brightness. After listening to all of them one by one I decided quite comfortably on the oehlbach for it's build quality more than anything else. The differences in cables were just too subtle and not worth the price for my system and budget, but build quality at a reasonable price such as the oehlbach (~30$) is a no brainer.

A blind test would certainly be an interesting experiment.
post #60 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarkang
do sennheiser employees use aftermarket cables for their senn phones?
Do Sony employees modify their ES SACD players, or use external DACs with them? I'd be willing to bet the answer would be definitely more "no" than "yes." I've heard modified Sony ES SACD players, and external DACs, and will say (as many will) that improvements with these are not only possible, but commonly achieved.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarkang
....why would sennheiser deliberately cripple the sound of their HD650 with a crap cable?...
Why would an amp manufacturer deliberately cripple an amp by using anything less than Black Gate capacitors? Why would a speaker manufacturer deliberately cripple speakers by not using Nordost or Cardas internal wiring? Why would tube amp manufacturers deliberately cripple tube amps and preamps by not shipping them with the finest NOS tubes? Obviously, the answer is because they're not deliberately crippling these things, but building these components with a target price point as one of the major considerations.

Even Sony's very modest DVP-S500V can be modified for improved sound, and I guess Sony could even offer it up with the same mods that the aftermarket guys perform. I would, however, guess that doing so would mean I wouldn't have been able to buy it for about $150 brand new like I did.

If someone already said in this thread what I said above, I apologize if I missed it.


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