A tale of HD-414 pads...
Mar 14, 2006 at 1:22 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

fewtch

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I received my Sennheiser HD-414 yellow pads today, and immediately tried them out on my Koss Portapro2s. The original plan was to use them on top of the stock pads, and that's the first thing I tried. Sounded pretty good, but my first thought was "why would I listen to these over my other headphones?" There was just something missing.

So I decided to try them without the stock pads. The highs were definitely a bit too bright/tinny for my tastes.

At this point, I decided just to retain the portability of the Portapro2s, and put a pair of stock pads back on. Then I thought "why not?" and dragged out my pair of KTX-PRO1 that had been sitting in a drawer practically since I bought them.

I've never liked the sound of the KTX-PRO1s. They're supposed to have the newer Koss titanium drivers, and I thought maybe that's why but since I had these HD-414 pads I figured what do I have to lose.

First thing I tried was on top of the stock pads on these too. Naah... sounded too muffled. So as a last resort, I ripped the stock pads off, put the HD-414 pads on and listened.

At this point my jaw dropped to the floor, I could not believe what I was hearing.
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Nicely balanced bass/treble and sweet mids... if someone asked me how much these cost with a blindfold on, I would have to say they're $200 headphones! To put this in perspective, the KTX-PRO1 cost $13.99 new from Amazon.com, and the pads cost $5 shipped. So for less than $20 I got my new rock headphones! I am now done considering buying a pair of cans for rock, because these are it. The only problem is comfort, they are worse than Grados because of the way they sit on my ears (the top of the pads press against the top of my ears) but I think I can get used to it for this level of sound quality. Yippee!
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P.S. this post is basically free of hyperbole, the cans really do sound that good to my ears. Bass is still slightly on the weighty side, but I could listen to jazz/classical with these cans no problem. They still have more of a "fun" sound compared to say DT880s or HD580s, but could easily function as serious headphones for those who can't afford the pricier models. Unlike the Portapro2s with stock pads, I don't hear any muddiness in the bass at all, the highs are crystal clear/delicate and mids are really sweet and warm sounding. The cans somehow picked up a nice airy soundstage with these pads as well. It's the Koss 60-ohm sound without most of the usual problems.

For those who want to try this, Sennheiser probably has the HD-414 pads back in stock since they sent mine (there was a delay of a couple weeks). And BTW, excuse the dirty floor, needs to be hit with a vacuum cleaner
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Mar 14, 2006 at 2:04 AM Post #3 of 11

kramer5150

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The stock Pro1 pads are the culprit. conjested, muddy and obliterate any upper midrange / treble clarity.

Heres mine
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I use them for gaming and sleeping.
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Mar 14, 2006 at 2:07 AM Post #4 of 11

fewtch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kramer5150
The stock Pro1 pads are the culprit. conjested, muddy and obliterate any upper midrange / treble clarity.


Yup, I didn't realize that before but I do now
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. Not planning to cut holes in mine tho, cuz I think the treble is pretty much perfectly balanced as it is. Seems to me they'd be a bit ear piercing with holes in the pads, and prone to causing sonic fatigue... but you seem a bit immune to that given how much you like pad mods
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Too bad about the cheap cable... I'm not much of a modder though and would be almost sure to ruin the headphones if I tried recabling them. They sound good with the stock cable though, which comes as a surprise... it's the cheapest cable I've ever seen on a pair of cans.

Edit -- listening to one of my favorite jazz CDs at the moment, it's just amazing how the HD414 pads have transformed these headphones. It's been awhile since I've owned Grado SR60s, but I don't remember them sounding this good. In particular, soundstage-wise these are definitely better than Grados.
 
Mar 14, 2006 at 2:17 AM Post #5 of 11

kramer5150

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fewtch
Yup, I didn't realize that before but I do now
smily_headphones1.gif
. Not planning to cut holes in mine tho, cuz I think the treble is pretty much perfectly balanced as it is. Seems to me they'd be a bit ear piercing with holes in the pads, and prone to causing sonic fatigue... but you seem a bit immune to that given how much you like pad mods
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Too bad about the cheap cable... I'm not much of a modder though and would be almost sure to ruin the headphones if I tried recabling them. They sound good with the stock cable though, which comes as a surprise... it's the cheapest cable I've ever seen on a pair of cans.

Edit -- listening to one of my favorite jazz CDs at the moment, it's just amazing how the HD414 pads have transformed these headphones. It's been awhile since I've owned Grado SR60s, but I don't remember them sounding this good.




LOL... if you look closely at the driver its not the titanium driver, its the more mellow, less harsh KSC35 driver
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... which un-modded is too bassy for my tastes. Yeah the cheap cable is actually pretty decent.

Garrett
 
Mar 14, 2006 at 2:21 AM Post #6 of 11

fewtch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kramer5150
LOL... if you look closely at the driver its not the titanium driver, its the more mellow, less harsh KSC35 driver
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...



Huh? How come the word "Titanium" is printed on the legs attached to the earcups?
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I'm not disagreeing with you, just wondering why... well whatever drivers they are, this is the best I've heard Koss 60 ohm drivers sounding. Glad I rescued these cans from the drawer they were in.
 
Mar 14, 2006 at 2:29 AM Post #7 of 11

kramer5150

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fewtch
Huh? How come the word "Titanium" is printed on the legs attached to the earcups?
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I'm not disagreeing with you, just wondering why...




I swapped drivers with the sporta you see in that pic. So the sporta has the Ti driver from the KTX and the KTX has the clear sporta driver.

The Ti Pro1 driver is better in a portable environment because its more aggressive and helps to overcome ambient noise.

The non-ti sporta driver is better as a non-portable because its a little smoother, while the hole mods gives it just a little more air to the treble.

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Mar 14, 2006 at 2:38 AM Post #8 of 11

fewtch

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Oh ok, gotcha.
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So far I'm not thinking the Titanium driver is harsh or aggressive sounding, but could be because my ears are used to the DT880, which is a bit treble emphasized. Or could be the OPA627s in my amp.
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I'm obviously getting some good synergy, and the dual stacked buffers help a LOT with 60 ohm cans. I should plug these into my Go-Vibe and compare.
 
Mar 14, 2006 at 5:09 PM Post #9 of 11

mektarus

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I'm using the KSC75 drivers on the Sportapro headband with modded 414 pads over modded Rat Shack pads through a Total Airhead and 75ohm adapter and these sound incredible. Such an overachiever. Perfectly satisfying.
 

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