CLASSICAL LOVERS ONLY.... which cable for the HD650s?
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xaipemw

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OK... I know that I have started at least two differerent threads about 3rd-party cables for my Sennheiser HD650's . Sorry about that, but I of course am a fickle person and would like to hear other people's opinions.

This time, a shout out to all classical music lovers out there in Head-Fi, and I know there are a bunch out there! I've been burning in my Zu Mobius cable for around 2 weeks now, and it's really kickin' tail, finally. The bass decided to show up to the party late, but when it did, it made it's presence known!

Yet, of course, the devil on my shoulder keeps popping up and asking if the Zu Mobius is the best aftermarket cable I can have for classical music. After all, I do listen to lots of different sorts of music, but the genre I keep coming back to listen with headphones is certainly classical. I listen to lots of different sorts, from Gould's Bach piano stuff to opera, to string quartets. One thing that I was craving before I had the Mobius was a little better-defined treble--on strings and cymbals, especially. I also loved the detail coming from the HD650's, but knew that I could pull more out of those cans with a different cable.

So here I am, with Zu in hand, Perreaux SXH1 in the other, and my soon-to-be-replaced Sony CDP-211 craptacular CD player, wondering if I indeed made a good choice.

Yes, the Mobius sounds great to me, much better than the stock cable did. But at the same time I can see where some others have stated that the midrange is now the dominant force, where before it was more balanced.

In short, fellow classical music lovers with HD650s out there, talk to me!
 
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Howie

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It's hard to say. Everyone has their own subjective preferences. I don't have any experience with Zu cables but have been happy with my Cardas on my HD600s. I love classical music but I'm no expert as I listen to jazz more but have been getting into more classical music. To me, you should look for the best and most neutral cable (or perhaps just a little bit towards being warm) rather than something that is geared towards classical music.

But from what I have read and from my own experience I think the Cardas cables will make any classical lover happy. I don't know whether it's the best but it delivers pretty good truth of timbre. In other words the Cardas and HD600s reproduce beautiful music together. Not to play with your mind, but if you do find the midrange to be dominant then I don't think that's exactly a good combination with classical music. It would be interesting if you can actually acquire the Cardas cables and make a comparison.
 
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Dan the audioman

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Davidmiya,

Have you heard both the silverdragon and the zu? I am very interested in both of them for when I get my 650's in a few weeks. The only thing i dont like about the silverdragon so far, is the really ugly red color, but i think someone said that it can be replaced with some black techflex, which bumbs the cable up next to the zu.

Why did you favor the silverdragon?

Can you help me out?

Thanks.
Dan
 
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davidmiya

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Quote:

Originally posted by Dan the audioman
Have you heard both the silverdragon and the zu? I am very interested in both of them for when I get my 650's in a few weeks. The only thing i dont like about the silverdragon so far, is the really ugly red color,


No, I haven't heard the Zu Mobius. And really felt I didn't need to hear it because I read that the midrange is pretty "forward." On a tube amp, this might be a bad thing. As for techflex, I actually could care less what my components look like because nobody will ever see them. If you're into colors, then good luck finding an "ideal" cable that is both aestetically pleasing and sounds excellecnt
 
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xaipemw

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If I have time, I'm going to take along my Perreaux SXH1 and my HD650's with my Zu cable and test them out on some of the sources I'm considering purchasing. I shouldn't purchase a source based on a headphone replacement cable, I know... I probably should return the cable and get it again if I discover it was the best.
 
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Sean H

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.
 
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BobMajor

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I've had the Cardas cable for about nine months. I listen almost exclusively to classical music. I'm completely happy with it and my Sennheiser 600 headphones.
I recently borrowed a friend's 650s with the Zu Mobius. I was disappointed with the sound. I guess I've grown accustomed to the slightly brighter presentation of the 600s.
One very important thing about both the Zu Mobius and the Cardas cables is that if you move either one of them the sound stage deteriorates significantly. I've permanently affixed by Cardas so it can't move and the sound is fantastic. I did the same thing with the Zu Mobius for 24 hours and the sound improved tremendously.
I couldn't tell any difference between the Cardas and the Zu Mobius on the 650s. Unfortunately I was too timid to force the Zu cable onto my 600s which I'm much more familiar with. The fit of the Zu cable is incredibly tight at first I hear.
Another important tweak was that when I applied a contact conditioner (such as Caig Pro Gold) to the Zu cable the sound improved significantly. I apply it to all my contacts once a month.
 
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xaipemw

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Quote:

Originally posted by BobMajor

One very important thing about both the Zu Mobius and the Cardas cables is that if you move either one of them the sound stage deteriorates significantly. I've permanently affixed by Cardas so it can't move and the sound is fantastic. I did the same thing with the Zu Mobius for 24 hours and the sound improved tremendously.


I'm sorry.. are you saying that I shouldn't physically move my headphones?
That seems unrealistic, if indeed I am understanding you correctly. How would you do this? I mean, headphones by their nature stay on your head...lol... do you sit in one position only when you listen to headphones? I don't mean to be obnoxious.. I simply want to understand this.
 
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Hirsch

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Quote:

Originally posted by Dan the audioman
Have you heard both the silverdragon and the zu?


I have owned the Clou Red, Cardas, Zu Mobius, Silver Dragon, and have some listening experience with the Equinox. The Silver Dragon is the standout, IMO. It's ability to reproduce the inner detail is the best I've heard in a cable for Sennheisers. I'm using it with an HD-600, and am seriously impressed. It's still breaking in, and I'll write more once it's at full performance. I'm gonna have to get another HD-650 after hearing this cable
 
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Howie

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So from what Hirsch and davidmiya said, the Silver Dragon is the detail champ (is it also the smoothest sounding?). So the question is whether that's what you want xaipemw. If I have to generalize, most classical music lovers would prefer a darker rather than a brighter sound. I personally find that my headphone setup often leans towards being bright and analytical (I personally think it's just the way headphones are) that I find ways to soften the presentation such as through the use of cables and powerconditioning. So if you're like me you might want something with less detail. I don't know if the Cardas actually gives you a fuller sound as I don't have anything besides the stock cable to compare it with but even with the Cardas cables I often have to dial down the volume cause the loud passages (trumpets blowing as hard as they can?) are often too loud and edgy for my tastes. But I actually don't prefer a rolled off sound as my stereo system borders on being ruthlessly revealing. Plus I play saxophone and flute to boot so high frequencies is my thing.
 
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xaipemw

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Quote:

Originally posted by Howie
So the question is whether that's what you want xaipemw. If I have to generalize, most classical music lovers would prefer a darker rather than a brighter sound.


Howie, that's a really good question: what exactly do I want? And the answer is that I'm not sure. It's one of those things where I won't know what I want until I see/hear/experience it. I actually do like the stock Sennheiser sound quite a bit, but I know that it could be better given a higher-quality cable. I have been told that both the Cardas and the Equinox seem to have a "truer Senn" sound than the Silver Dragon and the Zu do. I'm going to listen to the Zu a lot in the next few days, and I'm going to switch back to the stock cable and see which one I really prefer. At this point, I'm thinking that I almost prefer the stock cable, crazy as that sounds.
 
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xaipemw

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Quote:

Originally posted by davidmiya
As for techflex, I actually could care less what my components look like because nobody will ever see them.


LOL... David, I just re-read your posting. Do you hide your audio equipment when friends or family come over?
 
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Dan the audioman

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Quote:

Originally posted by Hirsch
[size=xx-small]I have owned the Clou Red, Cardas, Zu Mobius, Silver Dragon, and have some listening experience with the Equinox. The Silver Dragon is the standout, IMO. It's ability to reproduce the inner detail is the best I've heard in a cable for Sennheisers. I'm using it with an HD-600, and am seriously impressed. It's still breaking in, and I'll write more once it's at full performance. I'm gonna have to get another HD-650 after hearing this cable
[/size]


Hirsh,

What amp and source did you use? Have you tried the silverdragons with a gilmore?...and possibly a NAD c542?

Your help is greatly appreciated.
 
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