From HD 650 to HD 600 with poor amplification?
Jul 4, 2008 at 10:50 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

Stanley

New Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 8, 2005
Posts
38
Likes
0
Location
Czech republic
Hello,

I'm a newbie here a I need an advice. I just bought new HD650. I use them with my Total Bithead DAC/amp. My music preferences are oriented to rock, especially art/progressive rock.

For 2 years I used HD595 with my bithead and it sounds OK. After first listening to HD650 I see that it's a big step up. Everything sounds better on them even with the bithead.

In last few days I read some posts on this web site, where people wrote that buying HD650 for portable amp is a horrible choice or if you don't want to spend money for very expensive amp it is a mistake to buy them. Many posts said that for OK amplification HD600 sounds much better and it's a better choice for all kinds of music.

So what you advice me in my situation to be the best next step. Give back HD650 for HD600 to get better overall sound or stay with them? I haven't got a chance to try them anywhere.

I'm going to buy a bit better DAC/amp in price range up to 200 bucks (probably E-MU 0404 USB), but I don't know if HD600 is still the better choice for my music preferences.

Thanks
 
Jul 4, 2008 at 10:55 AM Post #2 of 13

Zorander

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 14, 2004
Posts
5,491
Likes
25
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stanley /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hello,

I'm a newbie here a I need an advice. I just bought new HD650. I use them with my Total Bithead DAC/amp. My music preferences are oriented to rock, especially art/progressive rock.

For 2 years I used HD595 with my bithead and it sounds OK. After first listening to HD650 I see that it's a big step up. Everything sounds better on them even with the bithead.

In last few days I read some posts on this web site, where people wrote that buying HD650 for portable amp is a horrible choice or if you don't want to spend money for very expensive amp it is a mistake to buy them. Many posts said that for OK amplification HD600 sounds much better and it's a better choice for all kinds of music.

So what you advice me in my situation to be the best next step. Give back HD650 for HD600 to get better overall sound or stay with them? I haven't got a chance to try them anywhere.

I'm going to buy a bit better DAC/amp in price range up to 200 bucks (probably E-MU 0404 USB), but I don't know if HD600 is still the better choice for my music preferences.

Thanks



Sounds like you are happy with them already. Why listen to others when you have found the answer yourself?
 
Jul 4, 2008 at 11:24 AM Post #3 of 13

Covenant

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 2, 2005
Posts
2,773
Likes
58
HD650 tends to be bassier than HD600, so with a preference for rock you may find you'll prefer the 650 even with your Bithead.

That said, I've always preferred the HD600 to the HD650, most likely because I've never heard either balanced or out of any top-notch systems. I find HD600 to be more balanced, forgiving of mediocre amps/sources, musical, and natural, wheras the HD650 always seemed slightly wrong or unbalanced and muddy in comparison.

But ultimately, its not about what me or anyone else thinks about them, its about your own enjoyment. If you're happy with the HD650's, good for you. Or if you're just curious about the difference, buy a HD600, try them both, and resell the one you dont like. They both still sell quite well on the used market.
 
Jul 4, 2008 at 12:00 PM Post #4 of 13

Stanley

New Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 8, 2005
Posts
38
Likes
0
Location
Czech republic
I haven't got comparison so that's why I'm asking for that. I will probably stay with them, but I hope that once I'll compare them with HD 600. I'm very curious about the difference.

And what about the amplification...? Do you think that E-MU 0404 USB is a good choice for HD 650 and upgrade from the Bithead in this price range?? Have you got any other tips for DAC/Amp?
 
Jul 4, 2008 at 2:24 PM Post #5 of 13

alitomr

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Posts
539
Likes
19
I bought and sold the HD650 and it was underamped too, but with the headstage Lyrix. I sold them and I know that it is likely that I will get them back some day sooner than later. They sound amazing, but there was something aboiut their presentation that I didnt like: the vocals sounded as if they were coming from another room. That is not muddiness IN ANY WAY IMHO. The sound was there with all its detail, but I couldnt stop being bothered by that. As the days passed I got used to it but i felt the need to keep trying new things, received a good offer and sold them.


If you are happy with the sound, as it sounds you are...then why bother trying new cans? What kind of "upgrade" are you looking for? What would you want different in the HD650?? For me, it was the vocals. If i had the same level of details in all the frequencies of the HD650, but with more upfront vocals, the HD650 would be the perfect cans for me. The HD600 are brighter and are obviously better with portables. If not better they at least are not THAT unforgiving as the HD650, which tend to make bad recordings and lossy music sound like total crap. But be careful, if you like the weight of the HD650 MOST cans will sound dull and thin. I am using now my HD555 while i received my recently purchased TFP, and I can only tell you that Im not satisfied with their sound. The HD650 is a hard thing to replace once you like it because there is something unique about them.

As for the amps, a lot of people say the HD600 CANT be driven properly by portable amps, but a lot of those are now saying the predator makes them sound great. I see a Predator and a HD650 in my future...or maybe im lucky and the Lyrix and the TFP makes me happy for a couple years as the HD555 ALONE did.
 
Jul 4, 2008 at 3:45 PM Post #6 of 13

Enthusia

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Posts
612
Likes
13
Quote:

Originally Posted by alitomr /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I bought and sold the HD650 and it was underamped too, but with the headstage Lyrix. I sold them and I know that it is likely that I will get them back some day sooner than later. They sound amazing, but there was something aboiut their presentation that I didnt like: the vocals sounded as if they were coming from another room. That is not muddiness IN ANY WAY IMHO. The sound was there with all its detail, but I couldnt stop being bothered by that. As the days passed I got used to it but i felt the need to keep trying new things, received a good offer and sold them.


If you are happy with the sound, as it sounds you are...then why bother trying new cans? What kind of "upgrade" are you looking for? What would you want different in the HD650?? For me, it was the vocals. If i had the same level of details in all the frequencies of the HD650, but with more upfront vocals, the HD650 would be the perfect cans for me. The HD600 are brighter and are obviously better with portables. If not better they at least are not THAT unforgiving as the HD650, which tend to make bad recordings and lossy music sound like total crap. But be careful, if you like the weight of the HD650 MOST cans will sound dull and thin. I am using now my HD555 while i received my recently purchased TFP, and I can only tell you that Im not satisfied with their sound. The HD650 is a hard thing to replace once you like it because there is something unique about them.

As for the amps, a lot of people say the HD600 CANT be driven properly by portable amps, but a lot of those are now saying the predator makes them sound great. I see a Predator and a HD650 in my future...or maybe im lucky and the Lyrix and the TFP makes me happy for a couple years as the HD555 ALONE did.



Wow, it sounds like we have totally opposite taste in music, I love how the Sennheisers make the vocals seem like they are coming out of another room, the soundstage is very nice. As for that you seem to be just like my friend, he prefers the grados over any sennheiser anyday. He loves the upfront presentation and likes how he can hear the music as if he is right next to the singer.
 
Jul 4, 2008 at 5:48 PM Post #7 of 13

Uncle Erik

Uncle Exotic
Joined
Mar 18, 2006
Posts
22,597
Likes
501
You don't have to spend a lot of money on a desktop amp. A couple bargains are the PreSonus HP4 (about $100) and the Eddie Current Lunchbox II for $225. Both do good things with the HD-650.

You might also be able to find a vintage receiver locally that will drive them well. Take your Senns and hit the thrift stores, junk shops, garage sales, etc. You should be able to find a good one under $50, maybe much less. A receiver will also give you a FM section and a phono stage. FM is better than you might think - a $10 DIY antenna will get you great sound. Vinyl isn't so bad, either.
 
Jul 4, 2008 at 5:50 PM Post #8 of 13

windrider

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Posts
175
Likes
0
hd650 to hd600 is exactly what i did because i did not intend to buy a top notch amp/source at that time ( i was intending to stop at the zero amp/dac), and from what i have heard of the hd600 through a short audition at a a local store, i knew i was going to get better sound for less money with the hd600 if i wasn't going to get a high end amp/source.

without a phenomenal amp/source, unless you like your rock songs DARK, or you're unless quite the basshead, the hd600 is better than the hd650 imo. If you could live with hd595 bass i think the hd600s bass should be at the very least sufficient, if not better than hd595 bass. On the other hand, hd600 has abit more aggression and treble without being harsh, and this makes rock sound ALOT better than the hd650s do to me. Rock sounds too "tame", or somehow "lacks energy and excitement" with hd650s with their rolled off highs to me.

I kinda shot myself in the end though cos i decided to get an expensive amp after all (darkvoice 332). I'm quite sure my source still wont be able to bring out the best of hd650 though so its still some money saved...

All things considered i dont regret my choice. After getting the hd600s, i got the chance to hear a pair of ZU recabled hd650s out of a DA100, Corda aria, and while it sounded MUCH better than out of the zero dac/amp directly, some aspects of it still bothered me: the mids were too far "behind" the huge bass on some songs (even though it was VERY good bass, very well defined, with punch and extends low). The highs still sounded rolled off though it was much better than running them out of the zero. The mids were absolutely AMAZING, SMOOTH, FULL OF DETAIL and VERY NATURAL, almost LIFELIKE. But nevertheless the 2 flaws mentioned above still bothered me quite abit. And considering the cost of that system, i definitely wouldnt want to venture there or beyond, in the near future at least.

Now that i have the hd600s, I'll be able to hear how the hd600s sound out of the darkvoice 332 and compare them to the sound i remember from hd650s with that setup and think about which one i like more. I might even borrow or buy some used hd650s to try out on my home system to see which one i like better. I have a hunch i will still like the hd600s more so i'm not regretting my choice yet.

from what i've seen these few months, used hd600s are alot more difficult to find than hd650s; both on headfi and where i am at. Used hd650s appear alot more so its much easier to buy/sell them when you need to. I think its easier to stick to hd600s then get a set of hd650s to try when you're vaguely confident that your setup can drive them better, then sell them (for little or no loss as long as you dont hold on to them for too long) if you arent happy with them.
 
Jul 4, 2008 at 6:01 PM Post #9 of 13

alavan

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Posts
137
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by windrider /img/forum/go_quote.gif
hd650 to hd600 is exactly what i did because i did not intend to buy a top notch amp/source at that time ( i was intending to stop at the zero amp/dac), and from what i have heard of the hd600 through a short audition at a a local store, i knew i was going to get better sound for less money with the hd600 if i wasn't going to get a high end amp/source.

I kinda shot myself in the end though cos i decided to get an expensive amp after all (darkvoice 332). I'm quite sure my source still wont be able to bring out the best of hd650 though so its still some money saved...

All things considered i dont regret my choice. After getting the hd600s, i got the chance to hear the hd650s out of a DA100, Corda aria, and while it sounded MUCH better than out of the zero dac/amp directly, some aspects of it still bothered me: the mids were too far "behind" the huge bass on some songs (even though it was VERY good bass, very well defined, with punch and extends low). The highs still sounded rolled off though it was much better than running them out of the zero. The mids were absolutely AMAZING, SMOOTH, FULL OF DETAIL and VERY NATURAL, almost LIFELIKE. But nevertheless the 2 flaws mentioned above still bothered me quite abit.

Now that i have the hd600s, I'll be able to hear how the hd600s sound out of the darkvoice 332 and compare them to the sound i remember from hd650s with that setup and think about which one i like more. I might even borrow or buy some used hd650s to try out on my home system to see which one i like better. I have a hunch i will still like the hd600s more so i'm not regretting my choice yet.

2nd hand hd600s are alot more difficult to find than hd650s; both on headfi and where i am at. hd650s appear alot more on the 2nd hand market so its much easier to buy/sell them when you need to. I think its easier to stick to hd600s then get a set of hd650s to try when you're vaguely confident that your setup can drive them better, then sell them if you arent happy with them.



I've never heard a well driven hd650s, they always sound fake to me.
 
Jul 4, 2008 at 6:50 PM Post #10 of 13

jmht

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 13, 2007
Posts
76
Likes
10
The HD650s are funny. I find that people flat out just like them or don't. My buddies couldn't stand them and went the AKG701 route whereas I found the HD650s just incredibly soothing and enjoyable to listen to.

I tried the HD600s at a local meet alongside some 650s there, and I came away pretty happy with the 650s...then again, the amps that were being used there were pretty top end.
 
Jul 5, 2008 at 6:50 AM Post #11 of 13

pp312

Hoping to be taken seriously for once in his life
Joined
Jul 8, 2001
Posts
4,095
Likes
239
Quote:

Originally Posted by jmht /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The HD650s are funny. I find that people flat out just like them or don't. My buddies couldn't stand them and went the AKG701 route whereas I found the HD650s just incredibly soothing and enjoyable to listen to.


I don't know that the 650s are funny; I am convinced that, because of a slightly (and I suspect deliberately--read the Sennheiser description) recessed upper mid/lower treble area, the 650 makes a truly great classical phone but maybe a slightly indifferent rock one. I've owned both 650 and 600 and they're very different; the 600 (and 580) is much more forward, brighter, more incisive.

Personally I can't go past the 650, but then I listen only to classical/orchestral. I do have one or two CDs with vocals but haven't heard anything amiss. Could it be that the 650s are accurately reproducing the acoustic, and that maybe the vocalist was recorded separately? Just a thought.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 6:35 PM Post #12 of 13

Byrnie

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Posts
1,592
Likes
185
Location
Northern VA
Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You don't have to spend a lot of money on a desktop amp. A couple bargains are the PreSonus HP4 (about $100) and the Eddie Current Lunchbox II for $225. Both do good things with the HD-650.

You might also be able to find a vintage receiver locally that will drive them well. Take your Senns and hit the thrift stores, junk shops, garage sales, etc. You should be able to find a good one under $50, maybe much less. A receiver will also give you a FM section and a phono stage. FM is better than you might think - a $10 DIY antenna will get you great sound. Vinyl isn't so bad, either.



I just bought a pair of DT880s and a presonus HP4 amp so I'll let you know.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top