CD3000 vs HD600
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Sovkiller

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Does anybody had made a review of these two babies, comparing one with the other, or does anybody that own both can explain in details the differences between them in sound quality, soundstage, etc...other than one is close and the other is open air please...
 
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Gergor

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What a coincidence! I was just thinking about the same question.

I'm planning on setting up a system for office use. First I have Corda+HD600 in mind, then I've read comment about CD3000 unamped is pretty good (I love F1, but being completely open, it's not ideal for office use). My 3rd choice is ATH-A100Ti (well, may be too flashy to use it in office...
)

I'd like to hear from those who have experience with these headphones. Thanks.
 
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dougli

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These 2 phones are quite different. I currently use the HD600 with a modified HA-1. I have listened to the CD3000 once, out of an pretty good amp, but I've forgotten which one. I recall the 3000 being thin and bright. Its sound was unpleasant to me. Also, it's debatable whether or not it actually fits any definition of a closed phone. The 600 sound is shifted downward by comparison. Highs are not its strong point, although I personally don't find anything lacking there, even though I use the stock cable. I would say it has a richer overall sound, but not as forward as the 3000. The 600 sound can also be easily changed/improved by the use of aftermarket cables. I haven't heard of anyone experimenting with making alternative cables for the 3000.
 
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andrzejpw

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A lot of the negative sentaments about the cd3000 come from listening to it at the WOH tour(not all, mind you). At the WOH tour, the cd3000 were connected to a headroom home amplifier. It's very possible that this wasn't a match made in heaven. I find it hard to believe that there was so much praise before, from people who had spent lots of time with the phones, and so much hate from practically all of the people who heard the phones on the tour. My guess is, properly amped, the cd3000 might be fine headphones. Unfortunatly, a lot of us haven't had that experience.
 
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Hirsch

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The CD3000 is far more system dependent than the HD-600, IMO. It's difficult to get the HD-600 to sound really bad, but rather easy to do with CD3000. However, when the CD3000 clicks, it's got a sense of presence and detail that the HD-600 can't touch. It's also got superb low end extension.

The potential to hear the CD3000 sing was at the Headroom Tour, but alas, it wasn't plugged into the EAR HP4, and so went unheard. Other amps I've got that drive the CD3000 well include the X-Can v2 and Berning MicroZOTL.

Cables are also critical. IMO the CD3K was bright and unlistenable with the Melos SHA-1, but when I switched from Silver Lace to Outlaw PCA, the shrillness went away. Weird, and I have no explanation. I usually prefer the Silver Lace.
 
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Sovkiller

Proved that despite its huge size the CD3000 can be shoved down one's throat.
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I PMed some of he hifiers who owned a pair of CD3000 and being known as a very active members, and very precise and consice in his (or hers) reviews and articles, for my pleasure one of them answered me, and I'm waiting for the answer of another of them, I found this comment so interesting and profesional written about this nice headphones that I would like to share it with the forum, I will keept the name as it was a PM and is not good practice to share a private message in the forum, but please notes like that one, deserves to be posted here, sorry... and even when I was not given the chance of heard it, I agree in many points so here it goes:

"...........The CD3000 is a very different headphone than the HD-600. I don't know the MG Head, so I'd be careful if it has any issue driving low impedance headphones (many OTL tube amps don't drive low impedance cans well, or even at all). The CD3000 has an impedance of around 32-40 ohms (somewhere in there). I simply don't know if the MG Head has impedance issues. Nick Dangerous might be a good person to ask on that one.
The CD3000 is a more forward headphone than the HD-6000. It's also brighter. In some amps, it can sound overly bright. It's got loads of detail, great highs, good midrange, and very deep extended bass. Soundstage is very good. The detailing can pinpoint instruments precisely.
It's also utterly merciless, and will respond poorly to any weakness in your system, and sound crappy unless everything is compatible. Most of the negative remarks I've seen about the CD3000 seemed to be reflections of the system they were being used in, rather than about the headphone. The amp and interconnects are critical. It sounded awful with the Melos SHA-1, for example, but when I shifted from Silver Lace to Outlaw interconnects, there was a lot of improvement. Odd, because in most cases the improvement goes the other way.
Depending on system, the CD3000 may be an upgrade over HD-600, perhaps a very significant one. Depending on preferance though, it could be a sideways move, and if it disagrees with your system, could even be a downgrade. With a tube amp that may not handle low impedance headphones well, I'd be cautious (ignore this if the MG Head is set up to drive low impedance cans. I just don't know the amp). It's absolutely spectacular with tube amps designed for low impedance cans (ZOTL, EAR HP4). I have a particular fondness for this headphone with the Musical Fidelity X-Can v2/X-PSU. It's not as accurate as many, but bass is deep and extended, and the combo is a lot of fun to listen to........."

sorry but I can't leave this review in my mailbox it was short and precise this is an small example of how to write a review without offending anybody and in a very professional and gentle way....I saw many offenses here to people who preffer this or that to another item......thanks man!!!
 
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dougli

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Since some people have said that the World of Headphones tour setup for the CD3000 was not optimum, I just wanted to say that is where I heard them for the first and only time. So then as for my opinion on these cans - nevermind.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by Sovkiller
I will keept the name as it was a PM and is not good practice to share a private message in the forum


It's not too hard to figure out who it is just from the components the person mentioned.
 
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andrzejpw

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Quote:

but when I shifted from Silver Lace to Outlaw interconnects, there was a lot of improvement.


hmmm

Quote:

but when I switched from Silver Lace to Outlaw PCA, the shrillness went away.


boo yeah! Rocket science.
 
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joelongwood

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I first heard the CD3000s at the Headroom booth at the Stereophile Show in NYC, Spring 2001. I was very impressed, and I knew they would be in my future. However, when I got them a few months later, they didn't bowl me over as they had previously. They sounded a bit shrill and bright, but the soundstage was very impressive. It wasn't until I paired them with the Earmax Pro, that I fully appreciated what these 'phones have to offer. Deep, taut bass, glorioous mids, and smooth, extended highs. There is no shrillness whatsover with this combo. Paired with the Sugden, however, the sound, to my ears, is downright awful! I would have to concur with Hirsch that these 'phones are very system dependent. The best I've heard out of them is the Earmax pro and Cardas Cross cables. These are some very revealing headphones.
 
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Hirsch

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Quote:

Originally posted by Vertigo-1
It's not too hard to figure out who it is just from the components the person mentioned.


Who was it?


For the record, if someone asks me a general question about audio equipment via PM, I have no objection to my response being posted if the person feels it would be useful to the group.
 
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Sovkiller

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Thanks hirsch, sometimes people do not like his personal comments posted in public, as I respect, I do not posted as yours, of course who knows your huge and expensive arsenal, will definitlly conclude that were you, but this is not the point, who wrote it or not, the point is that it was honest, detailed and very objective, and yes it was not only useful to all of us, or at least to me and the new members, it was for me at least conclusive in what I'm going to do, unless someone had heard them paired with an MGHead (OTL or not) and asure me that it was a good match, I will not go for it, is very expensive just to try...and I only have the MGHead for now....and I do not like a surprise at this cost...by the way 339 in eBay.....
 
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Calanctus

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joelongwood,

Thanks for your very useful comments on the CD 3000 thru the Earmax Pro. How would you contrast it to the HD 600 through the same amplifier? Which do you prefer?
 
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joelongwood

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Quote:

Originally posted by Calanctus
joelongwood,

Thanks for your very useful comments on the CD 3000 thru the Earmax Pro. How would you contrast it to the HD 600 through the same amplifier? Which do you prefer?


Calanctus,
I much prefer the sound of the CD3000s for the music I listen to. The brightness they exhibit with other amps I own is tamed considerably and the midrange fills out nicely with the EMP.However, if you are a fan of classical or large orchestral pieces, and like a full, lush sound then the Earmax Pro/Senn HD-600 is a hard combo to beat.
Just as an aside, the HD-600s are the first pair of headphones that I've parted with. I traded them to a fellow Head-Fier who did a 40 hour burn-in. I've never been a firm believer in burn-in, as most of the 'phones I've purchased have been used. But the Senns were purchased new and I listened to them for probably about 5 hours total. They basically sat in their box unused for the year or so I had them. Today I had the opportunity to listen to them again, after burn-in. I can tell you they were not what I remember.......they sounded much more open and alive than I recall. Through the Earmax they sound very lush and full, but through the Sugden, they exhibited more detail, airiness, and quickness. Very different sound from each amp.
Anyway, I think I'm now a believer in burn-in......at least for headphones. I'm still kind of a sceptic regarding burn-in for electronic components. But I'm open to change.
Sorry to stray off topic.
 
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markl

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Ask and ye shall recieve.
This is a review I did a while back copied from the permanent section above. I have since gone on to try the W2002 and the Sony R10, and those adventures are documented up there as well.

Face off: Senn HD600 with Clou Cable Blue vs. Sony CD3000 (long).

Intro:
Yeah, it's a long review, but I feel there is insufficient information on these boards about the CD3000s. I really had no sense of what to expect. Therefore, a long yet thorough review should be a forgivable offense and may actually help someone.


Associated Equipment:
Source: Denon DVM3000 DVD Changer
Amp: Berning MicroZOTL with NOS tubes

Musical Taste:
"Rock"-- some alternative rock, some classic rock, some punk, some electronic, some 60's soul music.

Backstory:
I've compared my beloved HD600s to all the major competitors in their price range with the exception of the K1000 from AKG. Grado RS1 sounded "fake" and colored to me. The ER4S was an excellent phone, but the ergonomics just wouldn't work for me. So, now I have ordered the Sony CD3000 just to satisfy myself that there is no better phone available than the HD600. I've had the Sonys for a little over a week, they have about 70 hrs. of burn-in, and I have logged over 30 hours on them. I've owned the Senns for over a year, and owned the HD580 for years before that.

Review:
If you consider the HD600 and the Grado RS1 to be two opposite ends of the high-end headphone spectrum, the Sony CD3000s are closer in sound to the Senns. Anyone who says "all Sony phones suck", either has a hidden agenda, a bias against Sony, or simply hasn't heard these phones. They are definitely in the same league in terms of performance as the ER4S, RS1, and HD600.

Ergonomics:
Extremely comfortable, but not as snug as the HD600s. I like the clamping action of the Senns. Don't attempt to boogie with the Sonys on-- they'll move about. Not as heavy as they look. Absolutely no isolation whatsoever-- they pass every bit as much noise out as the open HD600s. I do not like the covering on the Sonys cord-- it's flimsy and frail. The earcups are HUGE, so you will look like a total headphone dork (which, let's face it, you are). The large earcups enable the drivers to be set at an angle so the sound approaches your ears more like regular speakers (presumably to assist with imaging). I was able to turn the ZOTL down quite a bit compared to the level of the HD600s.

Soundstage/Imaging:
Much, much "larger" soundstage than the HD600s. You are moved to front row center. The sound is more "immediate" and "faster" than the HD600s. Left to right imaging exceeds that of the HD600s which already did a great job. Electronic effects that drift around make an unbroken line when they move left to right-- it's very realistic with no "hole" in the middle. I've never found a headphone yet that had a compelling sense of "depth", and the Sonys are no worse than any other phone in this respect. Verdict: a slight edge to the Sonys.

Treble:
This is the make-or-break area with any phone for me. If the treble is abrasive, spitty, gritty, or piercing-- I'm gone. Ditto if the sound is stifled, claustrophobic or muffled. I always found that the Senns with a tube amp did the highs better than any other set of phones I've owned. Listening to the Sony's has now made me aware that the Senns are slightly etched and hashy in comparison. The Sonys have an amazing clarity that makes horns, trumpets and female vocals sound just fantastic.
There is a lot more treble energy with the Sonys. In my system with my amp, this sounds clear and smooth, although a touch "sweet" compared to the HD600s. I don't mind the extra "sweetness", but it's a coloration that can be too much with poorly recorded, "tinny"-sounding music. It's fabulous on well-recorded records though, top notch. However, this comes at a price: I notice my ears ring a little after a long session with the Sonys. Verdict: I like the treble on the Sonys on most recordings over the HD600s.

Mids:
Slightly more midrange "presence" than the somewhat "hollow"-sounding Senns (possible hump in the Sony's midrange?). Detail and resolution is equivalent to the Senns, although I would say the Sonys are a bit "warmer" and "richer" sounding than the relatively sterile HD600s. You can't go wrong with the mids of the Sonys-- they're clean and appealing and draw you in to the sound. Verdict: I prefer the Sony's mids over the 600s.

Bass:
Most likely due to the larger drivers, the Sonys have much more kick and punch than the 600s. There is more bass information, but I still question if it really goes as low as the 600s. I don't think it delivers the lowest registers as well as the 600s. Drums, however really come to life on the Sony's. The low bass of electronica albums sounds pretty tight and convincingly deep. Verdict: a draw between the bass of the 600s and the Sonys.

About My Results:
My amp, the ZOTL has a very laid-back character with an incredibly smooth and easy presentation. I wonder how the Sony's would sound with solid-state? Would the sweet highs be a bit too much? Might the sound get a touch brittle and hashy?

Final Remarks:
I never saw the utility of owning more than one set of cans, but I'm leaning toward keeping both phones. I would take the Sony's out to listen to well-recorded modern discs and recently remastered older CDs. It's not so good with older "brittle"-sounding or poorly recorded discs. It may also not perform quite as well as the HD600 on very intense tracks where there are lots of loud instruments playing simultaneously. For those, the Senns seem to work better and keep sound separated and distinct.

Overall, very impressed with the Sony CD3000 and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. In some areas I believe it bests the HD600.

Cheers.

markl

From dhwilken:
"Could you elaborate a bit about the 600s maybe working better w/ complex passages? Are you saying that, though detail and resolution seem to be equal, the 600s are somehow better at instrument separation?"

Because the HD600 puts you at a distance from the music, to my ears, it is better able at adding more and more instruments without the sound "bleeding" together. The HD600 is very controlled and reserved compared to CD3000s. The CD3000 does an awesome job of separating sounds, just not quite as good as the Senns. This is why I say the midrange of the CD3000s is slightly "warmer" than the HD600. However, when there is only one instrument playing, the CD3000s are scary good and fully detailed.

From Vka:
"Well, you get a larger soundstage at the expense of an artificial one. What I mean mean by that is the sound tend to echo and reverberate in a way. "

I agree with Ross that there is no echo effect detectable to my ears. I remeber reading about this in another review, so i was looking for it.

"I don't agree with your sweetness though as I find the HD-600 treble sweeter although it has less of it.
To me, the CD-3000 sounds articulate although a bit in the dry side. If you want sweet treble, I suggest trying out the
Grado HP-1 and RS-1 as they have some of the sweetest treble period. "

Don't have the Grados to compare with, but to me, the top end of the Sonys is "sweeter" than the 600s. I would say the Sonys sweetness approaches the line where it might bother some people (including me), so maybe that's why the Grados always sounded "fake" to me!

"I disgree here strongly as I find the mid in the Sony to be its weak spot. It is by no mean warm at all. In fact the reason I say this is because the CD-3000 mid is overpowered by its strong treble and bass. even with my warm DCT-1, I still find the
CD-3000 a bit dry for my taste. Didn't have the magic midrange of the HP-1 "

Again, no HP1 (and no DCT-1, damn the luck!) to compare with. I am only comparing to HD600 which has a "scooped out" midrange. Compared to the HD600, the Sonys definitely provide "more" midrange to my ears.

"I would like to add that although there is more bass information, the bass is by no means accurate. What I hear is that the bass reverberate all over the place due to the closed chracteristic of the phone. There is MORE bass because the sound tend to stay longer. "

I've tried, but I just don't hear those reverberations. Either way, drums sound awesome (Thump! Thwak!). More realistic than the HD600s for drums. Bass notes and electronic synth bass notes aren't as "tight" and controlled as they are with the 600s though. There is more warmth with the Sonys, so it's a trade-off.

Ross,
Congrats on the Earmax Pro. I used to own one which I sold to pay for my ZOTL. Check my profile and you'll see all the amps I've owned-- the Earmax Pro is my favorite. I sold it because it had trouble driving anything other than the Senns (which it did BEAUTIFULLY). No idea how it will react to the load presented by the Sonys, but good luck! BTW: get a pair of Sylvania Gold Brand 12AT7s (from Upscale Audio) to replace the stock tubes. These tubes are OUTSTANDING in the Earmax Pro, and will give you a bass experience that will rip your head off! Best headphone bass ever, period (and I ain't no dum-bass, either).

BenG:
"Phones that try to emphasize certain frequencies the most usually sound the worst and become the most tiring after long listening sessions."

I want to emphasize that my comments about the Sonys treble is relative to the somewhat recessed (can we all agree on that?) HD600. The Sonys have more energy than the Senns, but they aren't yet to the range where this would bother the average person. Again, as pointed out by others in this thread, it is the treble that just may seduce some people. No, its not tiring or fatiguing to me.

Tomcat:
"There seems to be consensus about the considerable "treble energy" of the Sony's. markl mentions it in his review, and Ross has mentioned it in his initial review at HeadWize. I think this is true and I have my problems with it."

There was another thread about the importance of source with Sonys high-end phones. I agree. My CDP (a nice Denon DVD player, actually) is very precise, flat and mellow with no digital "hash". It is not a "crispy" metallic sounding machine. Furthermore, the ZOTL is similarly even, clear, and relaxed. In my review, I questioned whether a solid state amp would suit the Sonys. For example, I bet the Sugden Headmaster (based on the reviews) would be a BAD combination with the CD3000s. I would go tubed with these cans, but I would go tubed in general, so I'm biased. I think a good source and good source material (again noted in the review) are also crucial to getting the best out of these phones. Bad, tinny recording won't sound good on the Sonys.

markl

Just a quick follow up for completeness sake. My esteem for these phones contiues to grow the more I listen.

The CD3000s have officially replaced the HD600 as my weapon of choice. I think my mental "break-in" period with the CD3000 is over. This is an addicting sound that just gets more enjoyable.

When I trade back and forth between them, I just can't believe how "muffled" and distant the HD600 sounds. I start lusting for the Sonys again after a few minutes with the 600s and off they go! I'm getting where I prefer the Sonys on almost any recording, good or bad. It does much better on many more CDs in my collection than the HD600. I would say they are good all-around phones for almost any musical style.

I think I can confirm that you will need a good source with these. It's quite a revealing phone with unmatched palpability. If you're feeding them doo-doo, they're gonna give you the clearest picture of doo-doo you've ever seen. You've just got to hear good, full-range modern recordings on these phones! Pretty amazing.

If anyone is considering the CD3000s I recommend the ZOTL as an amp. Great combination-- synergy!

markl
 
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