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Sennheiser Veil - Page 2

post #16 of 263
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WmAx
1 Sennheiser HD600 + 1 Behringer DEQ2496 + 1 headphone amplifer = Any darn sound that you desire. :-)

-Chris
when you spend $3000 on a digital source or even worse on an analog source you dont want it all to go through a cheap DAC and back to your headphones.
post #17 of 263
I'm curious how folks determine whether there is a veil at all. Just because another set of cans is more forward in the midrange, it doesn't mean that the music is *supposed* to sound that way.

I see a lot of people mentioning that they are using electronic music for auditioning headphones. For the life of me, I don't know how one would be able to tell at all what that kind of sound was supposed to sound like. Music created entirely within digital synthesizers and electric guitars can sound like anything at all. Certainly, there's no way to know exactly what EQ curve the artist was intending.

The only way I know to audition cans is to use a commonly known and easily recognized type of sound... something with a recognizeable pattern of attack and decay and frequency response. I use piano music to judge the punchiness and depth of headphones, and chamber music to determine the flatness of response. For the ability to hold back and let go dynamically when the music calls for it, nothing beats orchestral music. All of these are sounds that I am used to hearing in real life. No recording can precisely match it... but you can tell when one set of cans is closer than another.

Even if you don't normally listen to classical music, I don't see how you can compare the quality of sound without a baseline... All you can do is speak in vague, flowery prose that provides a purely subjective impression. But that doesn't tell *me* anything about how it's going to sound with *my* ears. To me, referring to a "veil" seems to fall into that category.

See ya
Steve
post #18 of 263
So veil is a sound say midrange that sounds distant?

So the bose tri port has a strong veil? i think of the bose as having scouped mids.
post #19 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot
I use piano music to judge the punchiness and depth of headphones, and chamber music to determine the flatness of response. For the ability to hold back and let go dynamically when the music calls for it, nothing beats orchestral music.
Hi Steve, I'm surprised you left out what many considered to be most important, human voices ? At the same time these many complaints here for 'veil' lies on mids / vocals. One mags reviewer (JGH ?) even went far enough as saying when the midrange is right everything else will fall in the right place (certainly not the case with akg 501 =).

Anyway I agree that the bottomline is accurate music reproduction so best way is to compare those recordings with live music. But then again some people may used to listen to amplified live show ... with bass bass bass and treble all over.
post #20 of 263
You're right. The frequencies around 1000 hz are *very* important. I'm kind of a luddite when it comes to recorded sound. I love the flexibility of digital sound, but I especially love the sound of acoustic playback (windup Victrolas). The frequency response of these machines is very limited... at the most between around 70 hz and 8 khz. But the balance of frequencies is so pleasing to the ear, it sounds much better than the same record played with an electronic turntable.

The most important thing I've learned from acoustic reproduction is that there is a lot more to realistic sound than just frequency response, dynamic range and harmonic distortion. There are a bunch of other unmeasurable aspects of sound reproduction that are much more important... These fall under the category of psycho acoustics. One of the most important of these psycho acoustic principles is the importance of achieving a precise balance of midranges right around the range of the human voice. We humans are extremely sensitive to voices. If something is just a little bit off, it really sticks out to us.

I restored a set of Wagnerian opera 78s from 1935 using the Sennheisers. These particular cans allowed me to minutely adjust the midrange in a way that I haven't been able to before. I have some Caruso records that sound amazing on an acoustic gramophone. It's like he's standing in the room with you. I studied them carefully, and came up with some psycho acoustic theories that I applied to my digital transfer. A reviewer who heard my CD said that the voice of the tenor was so present that it made the hair on the back of his neck stand up. I was really happy to read that, because that was *exactly* what I was trying to achieve.

To be perfectly honest, I don't believe a lot of the stuff I read in audiophile magazines. I think that the fixation on numbers representing dynamic range, frequency response and THD is overblown. The average person when presented with high quality recorded sound will not detect any difference between the full range recording and the same recording with everything above 10 khz filtered out. That is a fact. Just about everyone prefers to listen to music with less than a 40 db dynamic range. Certain types of distortion sound *better* to our ears than perfectly clean sound. Audiophiles who cherish tube amps don't like them because they are "clean sound"... They like them because they like the harmonious sound of the *distortion* these amps create. If that's the case, why bother worrying about frequencies above 20 khz, dynamic ranges beyond 70 db and distortion levels below .1%? There are other ways to make music sound good that can make more of a difference than hair splitting like that.

I'm convinced that the key to good sound is balance... and balance in the midrange around the voice is most important of all.

See ya
Steve
post #21 of 263
I can hear the "veil" when going from SR-225 to HD 650. It's somewhere in the midrange but I think "darker" would be closer to the truth. So basically, I don't hear the veil either.
post #22 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by marios_mar
when you spend $3000 on a digital source or even worse on an analog source you dont want it all to go through a cheap DAC and back to your headphones.
1. If you used a digital source you can feed the digital output directly to the DSP of the DEQ2496. You can feed the digital signal back out to a DAC of your choice. 2. You can pretend that the A-D and D-A of the DEQ2496 is a problem and will contaminate your precious signal.

But if you don't care for a precision sound shaping device to control response and *actually* change things, then that is your right.

-Chris
post #23 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot
The most important thing I've learned from acoustic reproduction is that there is a lot more to realistic sound than just frequency response, dynamic range and harmonic distortion. There are a bunch of other unmeasurable aspects of sound reproduction that are much more important... These fall under the category of psycho acoustics.
Your not being very clear, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. I'll assume you did not mean to imply that their are acoustic phenomena that can not be measured, but that you only meant that their is not an iron clad correlative system to interpret all measured data and the relative changes and how the brain specifically interprets such.

Quote:
The average person when presented with high quality recorded sound will not detect any difference between the full range recording and the same recording with everything above 10 khz filtered out. That is a fact.
Do you have the study reference available that demonstrates such? I am aware of the [1]Plenge-Schone study demonstrating this is true for frequencies >15kHz(though this was done exclusively with audio professionals as subjects-not average off-the-street people), but have never seen such a study demonstrating >10kHz to be useless to 'quality'. It's important to define the specific importance of these frequencies because it is within the 20kHz range of human hearing.

Quote:
Just about everyone prefers to listen to music with less than a 40 db dynamic range.
Reference to the study establishing such? I know that 40dB certainly is [2]not adequate for transparent reproduction, but I have not seen a study on 'preference', which is another issue entirely.
Quote:
Audiophiles who cherish tube amps don't like them because they are "clean sound"... They like them because they like the harmonious sound of the *distortion* these amps create.
Most tube amps do not produce audible levels of harmonic distortion. The most common type of tube amps that produces levels [3]known to be within human noticable differences are some SET tube amplifiers which may produce THD into 3-5% range during normal operation.

Quote:
If that's the case, why bother worrying about frequencies above 20 khz, dynamic ranges beyond 70 db and distortion levels below .1%? There are other ways to make music sound good that can make more of a difference than hair splitting like that.
The 'modern' phonograph transfer to playback process produces levels of THD that are audible[3]. I can only imagine what degree of harmonics are produced by the old phonograph technology to which you refer. I would find it interesting if you have such data available -- just for curiosity's sake.

Quote:
I'm convinced that the key to good sound is balance... and balance in the midrange around the voice is most important of all.
I'll agree.

-Chris

Footnotes

[1] Which Bandwidth Is Necessary for Optimal Sound Transmission?
G. PLENGE, H. JAKUBOWSKI, AND P. SCHONE
JAES, Volume 28 Number 3 pp. 114-119; March 1980

[2] Signal-to-Noise Ratio Requirement for Digital Transmission Systems
Spikofski, Gerhard
AES Preprint: 2196

[3] Just Detectable Distortion Levels
James Moire, F.I.E.E.
Wireless World, Feb. 1981, Pages 32-34 and 38
post #24 of 263
[QUOTE=bigshot] The only way I know to audition cans is to use a commonly known and easily recognized type of sound... something with a recognizeable pattern of attack and decay and frequency response. I use piano music to judge the punchiness and depth of headphones, and chamber music to determine the flatness of response. For the ability to hold back and let go dynamically when the music calls for it, nothing beats orchestral music. All of these are sounds that I am used to hearing in real life. No recording can precisely match it... but you can tell when one set of cans is closer than another.[QUOTE]

Even with live acoustic music, such as a chamber music performance, the frequency balance you hear will depend on your seat in the hall -- in general, the closer the brighter. The top Sennheisers seem to be balanced for a mid-hall (or further back) effect. People often talk about Grados putting you on stage with the performers; their upfront tonal balance helps create that kind of presentation. Listeners who prefer to be on stage will tend to find Senns "veiled."

This debate reminds me of the moving coil/moving magnet cartridge divide. Many moving coils have a rising high end that gives the impression (accurate or not) of greater detail and resolution.
post #25 of 263
I am a little confused about what I am reading here. The 650 was created to improve on the 600's, and people say that the veil has been lifted. But there are replies here that say that Head-Fier's are hearing a slight veil in their 650's in certain frequencies. I have the 600's for 3 years now, and have listened to the 650's for hours, and what I hear is two headphones with slightly different approaches to sound reproduction. I used to own the RS-1's and the ATH W-1000's, and I still own a pair of R-10's, and I say that the HD600's are a great headphone with great sound, with no veil, especially for $225 IMHO. The only thing that I don't like, is the vise-grip headband that come on the 650's.
If you are hearing what is being called veil, it can be cheaply fixed by adding a quality aftermarket cable.
post #26 of 263
Veil?

The "veil effect" is an illusion created by imaging sounds and voices at a natural distance from the listener. Go hear a chamber group play in a small recital hall and it will also be "veiled" there, too.

Basically the higher end sennheiser phones don't emphasize the higher frequencies (6+khz) and have a liquid neutral midrange all the way to the bass. Depending on what model you have, the entire frequency spectrum may be completely neutral (the HD650s are the closest to modeling live performances because they build on the 600s midrange with better highs and vastly better lows).

Some people call grado headphones "bright, harsh, and fatiguing" and others call sennheiser headphones "veiled." I think it's just a matter of opinion more than real scientific reasoning.

Cheers,
Geek
post #27 of 263
so what is it about the hd650 that makes people say theres less of a veil?
post #28 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by marios_mar
when you spend $3000 on a digital source or even worse on an analog source you dont want it all to go through a cheap DAC and back to your headphones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WmAx
1. If you used a digital source you can feed the digital output directly to the DSP of the DEQ2496. You can feed the digital signal back out to a DAC of your choice. 2. You can pretend that the A-D and D-A of the DEQ2496 is a problem and will contaminate your precious signal.

But if you don't care for a precision sound shaping device to control response and *actually* change things, then that is your right.
marios_mar is right, and I had the same idea. I'm going to buy a $4000 universal player -- the McCormack UDP-1. I have auditioned it at home during 2 days, and it really makes a difference to my now source, which isn't bad itself. Leading the precious digital signal from the UDP-1's (very good sounding) transport into the Behringer and delegating D/A conversion to the latter is a horror scenario. The UDP-1 has no digital inputs, so to use the DEQ2496 only in the digital domain, which would be the only reasonable solution, isn't an option.

I've never heard the HD 600 veil. Someone brought up this characterization some time ago and now it's enthusiastically repeated. I can imagine it could mean the slight mat coloration introduced by the foam pads -- a normal phenomenon and just a finally more accurate alternative to the multiple reflections between driver and ear when they're removed, but that's up to personal taste. I don't think equalization does the trick in this case. Or at least creating optimal synergy by using high-quality cables and matching electronics promises better success. I highly recommend the (upcoming) HA-2 MkII or of course a Prehead MkII for the use with the HD 600. The best amp(s) I've heard with it so far. It will certainly leave no veil!

post #29 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ
marios_mar is right, and I had the same idea.

....Leading the precious digital signal from the UDP-1's (very good sounding) transport into the Behringer and delegating D/A conversion to the latter is a horror scenario.
Your unsubstantiated fears(comically, resulting in prevention of really useful technologies) keep me entertained. Keep it up.

-Chris
post #30 of 263

What veiled sounds like IMO

This is what veil means to me...

Imagine listening to a very clear pair of loudspeakers but with a thin curtain between the speakers and your listening position, so its not quite muffled, but not quite crystal clear, and you get veiled, IMHO.
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