(fairly long) Utter disappointment with Senn HD595, please help…
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ajt976

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So, today I went to a local hi-fi shop that stocks some of the Sennheiser and Grado lines (they are getting out of the Head-fi biz) expecting to walk out with a good idea of what my next set of headphones is going to be...I was gravely mistaken. Here’s their listening set-up: they had a little Denon DM50S CD changer hooked up to a Musical Fidelity X-cans V3 amplifier. I popped in a couple of my favorite cd’s (alt. rock, Metallica, and some jazz) and the gf and I sat in for an hour listening session.

The first can I grabbed, the one I’ve been looking at buying for a Grado compliment, was the HD595. I was really excited, I’ve spent the past week and a half reading up on the 595’s looking over the entire spectrum of posts (advocates and haters alike), also downloading the PDF on a re-cable from Sennheiser. I REALLY wanted to like these headphones, and from what I read, I thought I should have enjoyed them. So, here goes right??? I had to stop partway through the first track to check the model number on the side of the can. “Can this sound really be coming from the HD595?” I asked myself. I really didn't like the HD555's I heard earlier this week in another store, and I really didn't like these any better. I was expecting SO much more from this pair of phones. The bass was pretty good, but the mids and highs really killed me. There wasn’t any impact, the sound just kind of “oozed” from the drivers into my ears. The guitar in my tracks seemed to be muffled and covered up; the vocals were unclear and foggy. I threw in some Arturo Sandoval and was even more disappointed. Being a jazz trumpet player myself, I wasn’t expecting the screaming lead trumpet to be so subdued; it sounded more like a ballad on flugelhorn up a couple octaves than a spicy Latin jazz chart. My 225’s killed the HD595’s even in jazz. I don’t know what’s wrong. Could it be the source/amp? They sounded pretty good with my 225’s and the RS-2’s I listened to. Am I forever in love with the detail and impact provided by my beloved Grado’s, will I never be satisfied with anything else?

I come here to ask you all this…what’s next? I’d really like to get a good compliment for my SR225’s, head-fier’s please help me! These can’s will be fed by an AV-710(probably upgrade that as well
)-->PIMETA. This is what I’m looking for: I’d like a can that can be worn for several hours and excels in comfort, more so than the Grado’s. This is one area that the 595 had down pat; they were VERY comfortable, like velvety pillows gently surrounding my ears. So, something circum-aural is definitely a bonus. I’d really like something nice for jazz and classical, but the real thing I’d like to accomplish is getting something accurate that has the detail I’ve grown so fond of. I need something that can be driven by my portable Pimeta. Budget will probably be sub $250, but if you can really convince me of something better I can wait a month or two and get something more.

Please give me your thoughtful input. I'm guessing that Sennheiser headphones(2xx-595s) just aren't my cup 'o tea, unless you all think I should try the 600s. Maybe Beyer or AKG or Audio Technica? Hell I don't know, should I just add another Grado to my collection and accept the fact that this is what I truely enjoy and NOTHING else? You tell me!!!


Thanks in advance for all your help,
Andrew
 
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Andrea

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You probably heard the 595 without extending the headband enough for the drivers to be somewhat 'centered' on your ears, which will make them sound "opaque". It's a rather common 'mistake' with the 555/595, due to the 'oval' design and the large earpads so that much 'movement' is possible particularly vertically -- try listening after extending the headband so that the cans fit more "low" ... next, but not 'decisive', the 555/595 need burn in to shine.
 
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ajt976

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrea
You probably heard the 595 without extending the headband enough for the drivers to be somewhat 'centered' on your ears, which will make them sound "opaque". It's a rather common 'mistake' with the 555/595, due to the 'oval' design and the large earpads so that much 'movement' is possible particularly vertically -- try listening after extending the headband so that the cans fit more "low" ... next, but not 'decisive', the 555/595 need burn in to shine.



Andrea, I had this funny feeling you would be the first to reply!!!
One of the guys at the shop I was at did address the centering the driver problem, I don't think that was the problem though. I even went the extra mile to try extending the band in and out to see how it would effect the fit on my rather large head and then note the change in sound. Also, the associate did assure me that this particular headphone had been used for demo purposes for a while now and had at least 300-350 hours on it. Is this sufficient burn in for the HD-595's? I'm really not familiar at all with the Senns. It should be noted that I REALLY wanted to like these cans!!! I tried nearly everything you all have taught me to get a better sound and couldn't for the life of me, that's why I'm so distraught and seeking further advice.
 
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Andrea

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If really everything was alright, then you've been spoiled by your Grados.
Sorry.
 
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spike33

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I'm not familiar with the source/amp you used to test them. I have tried
transit -> pimeta -> 595
It was ok. upgraded to waveterminal u24 soundcard and I was amazed. Right now I'm listening to it with M3 amp and I'm in audio bliss


The sound you described sounds like what I'd hear if I ran it through 120ohm output. Muffled mids and highs. Not the case in my setup. The best quality of the 595s in their forward mids/vocals. So I feel the test was less than ideal, I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy the 595 thru your current setup, and a small soundcard upgrade would give noticeable improvement.
 
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Andrea

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Hi, spike


so have you returned to the 595 ?
 
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spike33

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oh, you can also try akg k501 and beyer dt880, I highly recommend them although they need something more powerful than a pimeta. senn 600 also requires a better amp.
 
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ssingh0

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Quote:

Being a jazz trumpet player myself, I wasn’t expecting the screaming lead trumpet to be so subdued; it sounded more like a ballad on flugelhorn up a couple octaves than a spicy Latin jazz chart. My 225’s killed the HD595’s even in jazz


I made this post some time ago... 225 "kills" and no came up to defend senn when it comes to a specific instrument, etc. Personally I think (sofar) Senn's better for music that's hard to get in front o the real instrument/vocalists (orchestral, pop)

Also when comparing you can't really make a preference from doing a side-by-side demo. Spend at least a month with each.
 
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spike33

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oh no question, sr225 kills hd580 in jazz but imho, 595 and k501 is better for that genre
 
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I would try to the Beyer 880. I think they'd be a good compliment to your grados. They are very comfortable and well balanced. They also have very nice soundstage and headstage. The same can be said for the AKG 501, except that they lack the bass of the 880s (which are no bass monsters).
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by spike33
oh no question, sr225 kills hd580 in jazz but imho, 595 and k501 is better for that genre


Yes, think about AKG.

I don't have the K501 (yet....
), but from what I've read they will give you what you want for clacssical/jazz, they will probably be very comfortable, and should balance out your grados as well. Another option might be the AKG 271s. Both of these fall well within your budget.

If you do still want a Senn, maybe you should puruse the HD580 or 600 (although I know both of those would need a good amp).
 
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Andrea

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Quote:

Originally Posted by gratefulshrink
Yes, think about AKG.

I don't have the K501 (yet....
), but from what I've read they will give you what you want for clacssical/jazz



Yes, they'll excel with clacssical.
 
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hentai

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ajt976
So, today I went to a local hi-fi shop that stocks some of the Sennheiser and Grado lines (they are getting out of the Head-fi biz) expecting to walk out with a good idea of what my next set of headphones is going to be...I was gravely mistaken. Here’s their listening set-up: they had a little Denon DM50S CD changer hooked up to a Musical Fidelity X-cans V3 amplifier. I popped in a couple of my favorite cd’s (alt. rock, Metallica, and some jazz) and the gf and I sat in for an hour listening session.

The first can I grabbed, the one I’ve been looking at buying for a Grado compliment, was the HD595. I was really excited, I’ve spent the past week and a half reading up on the 595’s looking over the entire spectrum of posts (advocates and haters alike), also downloading the PDF on a re-cable from Sennheiser. I REALLY wanted to like these headphones, and from what I read, I thought I should have enjoyed them. So, here goes right??? I had to stop partway through the first track to check the model number on the side of the can. “Can this sound really be coming from the HD595?” I asked myself. I really didn't like the HD555's I heard earlier this week in another store, and I really didn't like these any better. I was expecting SO much more from this pair of phones. The bass was pretty good, but the mids and highs really killed me. There wasn’t any impact, the sound just kind of “oozed” from the drivers into my ears. The guitar in my tracks seemed to be muffled and covered up; the vocals were unclear and foggy. I threw in some Arturo Sandoval and was even more disappointed. Being a jazz trumpet player myself, I wasn’t expecting the screaming lead trumpet to be so subdued; it sounded more like a ballad on flugelhorn up a couple octaves than a spicy Latin jazz chart. My 225’s killed the HD595’s even in jazz. I don’t know what’s wrong. Could it be the source/amp? They sounded pretty good with my 225’s and the RS-2’s I listened to. Am I forever in love with the detail and impact provided by my beloved Grado’s, will I never be satisfied with anything else?

I come here to ask you all this…what’s next? I’d really like to get a good compliment for my SR225’s, head-fier’s please help me! These can’s will be fed by an AV-710(probably upgrade that as well
)-->PIMETA. This is what I’m looking for: I’d like a can that can be worn for several hours and excels in comfort, more so than the Grado’s. This is one area that the 595 had down pat; they were VERY comfortable, like velvety pillows gently surrounding my ears. So, something circum-aural is definitely a bonus. I’d really like something nice for jazz and classical, but the real thing I’d like to accomplish is getting something accurate that has the detail I’ve grown so fond of. I need something that can be driven by my portable Pimeta. Budget will probably be sub $250, but if you can really convince me of something better I can wait a month or two and get something more.

Please give me your thoughtful input. I'm guessing that Sennheiser headphones(2xx-595s) just aren't my cup 'o tea, unless you all think I should try the 600s. Maybe Beyer or AKG or Audio Technica? Hell I don't know, should I just add another Grado to my collection and accept the fact that this is what I truely enjoy and NOTHING else? You tell me!!!


Thanks in advance for all your help,
Andrew



Yes, andrea is the hd595/hd650/PX100 promoter.

Hd595 is less impactful than sr225 but tone wise i prefer hd595 , somehow more natural. if you read my post , hd595 sounds better in call of ktulu than sr225 but sr225 doesn't sound bad just that it has no sound stage , but for aggressive tracks like fight fire with fire, sr225 rules. When i 1st put on hd595 , one thing makes me feel better than sr225 is its tone of the vocal, then i switch to sr225 then find it sound clearer , then i switch back to hd595 , vocal sounds more correct but less impactful. if you find hd595 no impact , then hd600 puts u to sleep and its very sleep inducing coz of its smooth vocal. Heavy metal will never works in senn headphones imho
 
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I just tried the 595's at the chicago meet for the first time, and while I wouldn't say that they were bad, I think they sounded far too bland. They weren't nearly as boring as K501's, but I wouldn't want to spend much time with them.
What really impressed me were the HD600's with the cardas cable. With both my HD25, and the Stealth, they sounded incredible. My SR325 woodies were more fun, but I'll be getting a pair to compliment them.
The 600's definately require a great amp, though. The 595's didn't seem to improve much going from the gilmore lite and headroom desktop to the HD25, but the 600's did, dramatically.
 
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ajt976

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So, correct me if I'm wrong but I gather the general consensus is that maybe the 595's just weren't from me. DT880 and K501 do come up a bit (as I would have figured) but they also require a good amp to drive them. These were the cans that I figured I should try next, but tell me, out of the two which will have greater detail? I do like some bass, but not overpowering.

hentai, thanks (for the second time) for your thoughts on the Metallica tracks, I've found them very helpful.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ssingh0
Also when comparing you can't really make a preference from doing a side-by-side demo. Spend at least a month with each.


I wish I could have done this but I was nervous after demo'ing at the store; I would have liked to walk out with a pair yesterday, but really I was afraid to after what I heard. Thats why I'm here now.


Thanks for all your help guys, I really appreciate it. Please keep the suggestions coming. I'm noticing that a source/amp upgrade might be more suitable, should I start looking there before I buy another can?
 
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