Cardas vs. Zu...What I heard.
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Dave

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I listened to the Cardas first for quite awhile until the Zu Mobius showed up. I've been listening to the Zu exclusively since it came. Two weeks to be exact. I've been finding it lacking and I just switched back to the Cardas and I'm really astounded at how much better it sounds to me. I don't think I even want to swap cables again. I think I'll just send the Zu Mobius back and get my refund. The Zu made my Senn's sound like my old Grado 325's and that just wasn't what I was looking for. They shoved the emphasis into the upper mids directly at the expense of the bass. They were unbalanced and sort of empty sounding and harsh on some recordings. There was a loss of fluidity, atmospherics and naturalness that immediately returned when I swapped back to the Cardas. There was no loss of detail with the Cardas at all. I thought they had a more honest, clean sound and did justice to the entire spectrum. To me the bass seems more real, alive and integrated. But that's just me. The Mobius definitely wins the beauty contest though, but I couldn't care less about that.
 
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zeplin

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Dave,
aren't they brilliant when adding that "right " aftermarket cable?! i myself had no idea that a simple change in a headphone cable could change the sound so drastically for the better. and that's also the beauty of having the option to change around and fool with many, various types of aftermarket cables with the Senns. i could see how if one wasn't aiming to make the Senns a little more upfront, that the Zu's wouldn't be ideal in that situation. however, i can't understand what you've observed about the bass??? since the Zu's tend to extend the frequencies a lot more on both sides of the spectrum, the bass of course applies to this as well and is extended into the beyond. maybe it's your particular system synergy? i actually found the complete opposite; the bass came out in full throttle compared to the stock cables. it became about 3 times more accurate with incredible texture, and went about twice as deep. but again, that is the beauty of having so many decisions to chose from, further supporting the fact that we all hear differently. i'm glad you've found the perfect mate for your 650's though. when you find that special combo, fitting for your personal tastes, it is truely a magical experience. now just sit back and enjoy...i have a feeling we won't be seeing as much of you from now on
congrats!

man, we really need a HD650 smiley.
 
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ServinginEcuador

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Quote:

Originally posted by Dave
I don't think I even want to swap cables again.


Congrats on finding the sound that you were looking for. Far too often the bug to "change for change's sake" sets in, and we make changes to an already impressive system. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes not. It's good to know you found what you like and can send back the Zu for a refund with nothing lost but the shipping.
 
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ipodstudio

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Dave, is the Zu properly burned in? I bought the Cardas myself, but I read that the Zu bass opened late in the burn in process for some. I really don't have the experience to comment, just passing on info I read elsewhere.
 
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Dave

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Zeplin, I'm glad you mentioned synergy because I'm a firm believer that system synergy isn't emphasized enough when comparing individual equipment changes. In my system the Cardas is so much fuller than the Zu to me that i'd be surprised if anyone who listened to my setup didn't agree to some extent. Though I acknowledge that it's certainly possible. Plus I think my source is the sonic opposite of yours. Mine's known for being to some, a bit dry and forward. Possibly not as good a match for silver as your source. Just a guess on my part as to why our results may be different.

ipodstudio, I'd heard that they take a long break in but after quite a few hours I began to feel they were not going at all in the direction that I "needed" them to. And frankly, when I went back to the Cardas I was so "where I wanted to be" I didn't think the Zu would ever get me there.
 
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zeplin

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that's probably it right there. my dumb ass didn't even think of looking at your profile to see what source is being used in your setup
duh!!
i'm glad you've found a match made in heaven as that's where you think you are (or whatever afterlife you believe in) when you match the 650's up with the right cable


i'm now curious as to what your particular system sounds like with the Cardas being the perfect match for your source! i've always heard nothing but great things about carda cables. Tyll from headroom stands by that brand and he and i have very similar tastes in certain sonic characteristics (this is what i got from him at the last Sac town meet). anyways, happy listening man; continue to enjoy!!
 
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doug zdanivsky

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Hmmm.. And here I'd been lead to believe that the cables made up only the last 10% of any and all improvements one might make to a set-up..

But if mere cables can have such drastic effects to the sonic signiture of a set of headphones...
 
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Dave

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Yeah, Zeplin when I demoed the Planet 2000 I was using the Zotl and 600's. I didn't care for that synergy at all but the Planet would probably sound better in my system than my current source which I would like to upgrade sometime in the next year or so. I personally like the senn's with solid state mostly with some noteable exceptions of course.

Doug, I guess that last 10% can get pretty significant under the right conditions.
 
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gswpete

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Quote:

Originally posted by zeplin
man, we really need a HD650 smiley.


Just use this one
 
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gswpete

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Compared to the stock cable, the Zu is definately on the bright side.

I'd like to give the Cardas and Equinox a try also and see which one works the best for me.
 
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zeplin

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Quote:

Hmmm.. And here I'd been lead to believe that the cables made up only the last 10% of any and all improvements one might make to a set-up..


i guess it all depends on your perception of things, but imo, i think 10% is a pretty big number considering that the only thing being changed is a simple cable upgrade. cables are not very complicated and it would seem wierd to any outsider that a simple cable could even make a 10% difference or change in the overall sound. but by george, if they can help extend certain parts of the frequencies to the extent that one would be lead to believe the source or amp has changed in some instances, then that 10% is well worth the money in my mind (for both the Oehlbachs, Zu's, or Cardas).

Dave,
if you definitely forsee in the near future an upgrade of your source, then maybe you should hold off on getting an aftermarket cable. like you've obviously observed, the wrong cable paired with the wrong source or amp can lead to some very undesireable effects.

gswpete,
hey now, where did you find that smiley, and is there any way i can get it from you? have i been overlooking an HD650 smiley this whole time? though it is a very nice looking smiley if you ask me.
 
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ipodstudio

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Quote:

Originally posted by Dave
ipodstudio, I'd heard that they take a long break in but after quite a few hours I began to feel they were not going at all in the direction that I "needed" them to. And frankly, when I went back to the Cardas I was so "where I wanted to be" I didn't think the Zu would ever get me there.


Dave, it was just that the person in the thread said his Zu was way out on the bass and then it "suddenly opened up" one evening whilst he was listening and he had exactly what he'd been after. Who was, that? Anyone recognise that thread from what I've said so far?
I'll post the link if I can find it.
 
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ipodstudio

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Dave, found it!! HERE it is!


The message I was thinking of was this one by xaipemw:

Quote:

OK... i have had my HD650's and Zu setup burning in for about a week and a half now, and finally... things are starting to look better. And the better part is coming from, yeah, I know, I can't believe it either... my iPod! Unamped, too. Which is bothering me to no end...

Basically, I have to turn my iPod's volume up to around 90% for the Senn's to sound good, but they actually sound quite remarkable considering their high impedance. This further underscores my need to get a better source to match up with my system. My source is by FAR the weakest link right now.

The bass that was missing is almost there now, I think just 24 more hours or so of burn-in will get it to where people have told me it's supposed to be. I'm excited, because I was worried for a while that my purchase wasn't justified. But, now, I'm starting to hear what the whole fuss was about.


 
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doug zdanivsky

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Well, I've decided to split the difference and go with the Oehlbachs. Not the best, not stock..

It'll be interesting to see if I notice an improvement, and what kind of improvement..
 
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gswpete

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Hey zeplin, I have attached a zip containing a few smileys that have not been used on headfi yet. Maybe you can find your own host and link em' whenever you need them or maybe you can have jude add them to the smiley list
 
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