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Do you really hear differences in cables?

post #1 of 810
Thread Starter 
If you exchange you original cable from for example HD580. Are you really sure that you hear the difference? Has anybody really made a real blind test? I am an unbeliever.

Georg

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post #2 of 810
Well in regards to the Senn HD580/600/650, the majority (if not all) notice differences, which appear to be consistent with each cable. Some cables are night and day, some slight. The better the setup, the better the increased perception. I'd consider it valid.
post #3 of 810
I too was skeptical, to say the least. But the difference in the HD-650 with the stock cable and the Zu cable was very strong.

Yes, in some cases, the cable change makes a very significant difference.
post #4 of 810
This isn't a place to argue about it, for sure, but the question isn't whether there's a difference between, say, a Zu and the stock cable... the question is whether there's an improvement.

It's trivial to introduce coloration with a cable, for instance. The critics maintain that the stock cable will successfully deliver the full signal to the headphones, and that any difference in the sound with another cable is actually a decrease in the delivered signal, much the same as you might accomplish with an equalizer.

The critics would say that you're just doing permanent equalization with the aftermarket cable, so is hardly worth the cost.

This may be over- or understating both positions, but that's my impression.
post #5 of 810
1. Depends on your system. If you have no amp and listen to mp3s on a budget soundcard, spending $150 on a *cable* is a total waste. If you have high-quality associated equipment, then yes, differences are definitely detectable.

2. Depends on your ears and how you listen. IMO, detecting cable differences, source differences, amp differences is not some mystical thing only some "special" people can do, it's a simple skill that can be learned by anyone. Anyone willing to take the time to do careful comparisons can come to detect differences over time. People starting out who don't know what to listen for in the first place may get discouraged and claim aftermarket cables are bunk-- they're wrong though, but expensive cables just aren't for everyone. People who listen to headphones as background activity while doing other things will have a hard time hearing differences, they aren't on the level that's obvious like that. If you like to listen with eyes closed, focusing on the music, and doing nothing else, you'll get to know your system better as a baseline and be more sensitive to making relatively subtle changes/upgrades like cable swaps.
post #6 of 810
There is a big difference between a Zu Mobius and stock cable for the Senn hd650. i'm fairly new to the audio game, but noticed this difference immediately when i put in the zu mobius. I know this has become cliche, but "its like night and day."

I strongly prefer the Zu Mobius over the stock.
post #7 of 810
they are people on this forum (Headphoneus Supremus) who don't hear any difference between hd595 and 555 or hd580 and 600 but they hear a HUGE sound improvement after upgrading cables . . . personaly i think that's funny

If there is some noticeable improvement than only with ultra supreme sources and ultra fine amps . . . and the difference will be subtile. Sometimes people have a dirty or even verdigris jack so after cable (jack) change they may realy hear a difference
post #8 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamk
they are people on this forum (Headphoneus Supremus) who don't hear any difference between hd595 and 555 or hd580 and 600 but they hear a HUGE sound improvement after upgrading cables . . . personaly i think that's funny

If there is some noticeable improvement than only with ultra supreme sources and ultra fine amps . . . and the difference will be subtile. Sometimes people have a dirty or even verdigris jack so after cable (jack) change they may realy hear a difference
Not true neccesarily. Headphone Supremus is a fairly meaningless title. It's often just a matter of post spamming. There are probably many people (for example) with 2 posts who are wiser than those with 1000.

But most people CAN hear a difference between those particular phones, even on sub-par equipment. It's just that your ears kinda have to be "trained" sometimes. People often expect a huge difference, when often it's very subtle. Sometimes the differences are noticeable right away. The cable upgrades for the HD family have rarely ever been considered hoaxes. It's similar to that of the Grado family and earpads. Most people don't believe that cutting a hole or changing the pad could make such a drastic difference; until they try it themselves.
post #9 of 810
I'd like to say again not to confuse "difference" and "improvement"...
post #10 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamk
they are people on this forum (Headphoneus Supremus) who don't hear any difference between hd595 and 555 or hd580 and 600 but they hear a HUGE sound improvement after upgrading cables . . . personaly i think that's funny

If there is some noticeable improvement than only with ultra supreme sources and ultra fine amps . . . and the difference will be subtile. Sometimes people have a dirty or even verdigris jack so after cable (jack) change they may realy hear a difference
I disagree the most of things you wrote liamk

To be brief : the zu , the cardas , the headphile cables ( to name some that i've used up to now ) make a very understandable ( if your ears can grab it ) change , this apply to whatever source you use them with.




btw the Zu was so much of an overkill app. on one of my previous sources ( not the Shanling s100mkII ) that i questioned myself if there was anything broken in the cable .

That is :
the Zu make so much the heapdhones open and exposed to the signal that they brought to ears many of the flaws of the source signal; this never happens to my ears when i plug hd650 - std. cable to other sources then the Shanling .

On my ears the Zu and the Stock make the hd650 different cans.
post #11 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodbac
I'd like to say again not to confuse "difference" and "improvement"...
Improvement is in the eye of the beholder.
post #12 of 810
I don't think I'm getting as big a change with aftermarket cable from the Senn HD650 cables as I thought I was with the HD600 cable. However some of Senn's cables actually have characteristics measurable with very basic equipment... you don't need time domain measurement to figure out that the cables are genuinely mucking with the signal.


IC-wise, well... I have my severe doubts. I can't honestly speaking tell a difference worth a damn between my most expensive cable and cheapest cable (47x price differential between the two).
post #13 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodbac
I'd like to say again not to confuse "difference" and "improvement"...
Using the Zu with my HD-650's I noticed it recessed the forward midrange, and opened the highs up a lot. An improvement and a big difference.
post #14 of 810
i always hear of senn cable upgrades. are graddo/alessandro cables okay? why dont i hear of them being upgraded?
post #15 of 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by hugz
i always hear of senn cable upgrades. are graddo/alessandro cables okay? why dont i hear of them being upgraded?
Actually, the big thing lately is the Grado/Alessandro recabling going on at headphile. The only thing stopping me right now is that my SR-200 is so dead stock perfect condition that I'd hate to mod it. Plus, no complaints about the music coming out of it so far!
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