HD580 and HD590 No difference in sound
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Mr.T

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Ok I suppose if you have a really good amp and source you can tell a difference in sound but I've had the HD-580's (Which I heard two weeks ago for the last time so I can't do a direct comparison switching back and forth) But to me with my Mid-Fi source and amp (Yamaha Receiver and Yamaha CD Player <NO DEDICATED headphone amp>) I cannot recall a sound difference between the HD580 and HD590 with my equipment other than the HD590 seems to leak a little more sound that's about it.. .

Some say the HD590 is brighter but I can really comment on that... Keep in mind before the flames fly the last time I heard the 580's is about two weeks ago so I'm going by memory.

Does it require a awesome source and dedicated headphone amp to tell a substantual (sp?) difference between the 580's and 590's ???
 
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jpelg

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Quote:

Does it require a awesome source and dedicated headphone amp to tell a substantual (sp?) difference between the 580's and 590's ???


To me? No. Most reviews here at Head-Fi reflect my listening experiences. But you have better than that.

You have obviously heard both and have an informed opinion of your own. What is better than that? If you had not, I would make a recommendation based on MY experiences.

Do you want us to convince you to spend more money
?
 
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Joe Bloggs

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At 2 weeks the times you listened to the two phones are too far apart to make any meaningful comparison.
 
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Nick Dangerous

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Agreed. Do a side-by-side A/B and you will hear the difference.

Both are great headphones, but the 580 is capable of reaching a higher level of performance.
 
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Eagle_Driver

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Agreed also with Nick Dangerous. Unamped, both the 580 and the 590 sound about the same - but drive both of them with a good headphone amp, and you'll notice the brightness from the 590. Not excessive, but noticeable nonetheless.
 
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braillediver

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I was just at GoodGuys and they had the HD580's and HD590's running off the same source. I got to compare them side by side, over and over. "Some say the HD590 is brighter" is exactly what I thought. They were being run off of a portable CD player. It was a real nice way to listen and compare them.

This just highlights the value of the “HeadRoom announces their 23-city "World of Headphones Tour". I’m going when they come to Seattle.
 
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kelly

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Mr. T

Even with a two week interval between listening, I'd go as far as to say that if you used your own Yamaha CD player and source with both headphones and do not have a distinctly different impression of the two headphones, this should indicate to you just how bad the equipment driving the headphone is.

If by some twist of bizarre personal preference, you like the 590 better than the 580, I'd buy that. I'd not agree or care much for your opinion, but I'd at least grant you validity. After all, a lot of other people like all kinds of stuff here I think is crap.
But... to say they are the same? This is indicative that your system is not capable of revealing differences that very much are there.

In my experience, Yamaha amplifiers have a very distinct signature/coloration to their sound. I believe I could identify a Yamaha receiver from sound alone in any location--it's not horrible, but it's an obvious coloration that perhaps is more memorable than the difference between the two phones. Of course, I have less experience with the headphone section of Yamaha receivers, so I could be off base here--but that'd be my theory without more information.
 
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Jan Meier

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Dear Mr. T. :)

Why is it so difficult for many people to tell the exact pitch of a tone? Why is it that only very few people are able to say that a certain note is played at the Cis or the E?
The reason is that the capabilities of our "sonic memory" are very limited. Relative changes in pitch are easily recognized but absolute characteristics are much more difficult to remember.

This also applies for the sonic characteristics of headphones. It's easy to distinguish difference in a direct A-B comparison. However, with a larger time-interval only large differences can be recognized.

The differences between the HD580 and the HD590 indeed are rather small and therefore it's not possible to judge from memory. It would have been different if you would have compared a Grado with a Sennheiser. (Grado's have a very forward sound and Sennheisers have a somewhat laid-back sound).

(Actually, the limitations of sonic memory is one of the reasons that I always have to smile when people claim a small modification to an amp to result in much better sound without being able to do a direct A-B comparison. We hear what we want to hear! But that's another story :)

Both HD580 and HD590 are fine headphones. Just enjoy the one you have.

Cheers,

Jan
 
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kelly

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*boggle* Am I the only one who does not think the difference between the 580 and 590 is so small? If we were discussing 580 vs 600, I'd find myself agreeing with Jan. I had to AB to pick out the differences.
 
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Tim D

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I think what matters even more than the equipment is if your ears are trained to notice any differences. A lot of people just really aren't into performance differences, and sound is just sound to them.

In fact the average person who really isn't into audio usually can only pick out two things in audio performance...loudness (i.e. can they play loud without distortion) and bass.

Given some time, with a trained ear that is actively noting strengths and flaws, the differences should become apparent without you forgetting. In fact you can get good enough at noting sonic characteristics that you really don't need to A/B within a 10 second time frame or you will "forget" type of deal (unless your comparison points are incredibly so similar).

Two entirely different headphone models should be one of the largest differences notable(yes Grado vs Senns is even larger, but still the 590 is a different make than the 600 entirely with different design and specs)...not on the same scale of what it takes to note a power supply or cable difference or even DAC difference.

Finally there are reference points...everyone should already *have* a reference point...which are the sounds you hear everyday without amps, speakers, headphones, or sources...realistic are they not? However you can get so used to typical headphone, speaker, or other equipment colorations that you don't use realism as your reference point...and it takes an incredibly good speaker or headphone system to make someone realize..."Wow...it sounds real", and once you get to that point you will be forever spoiled when listening to anything and comparing it to the ultimate reference point in your mind..."Real".

Once you get to that point, you can evaluate one thing and pick out what makes it sound real or not...and remember these points in comparison to something else.
 
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bifcake

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I did an AB comparison of the 580 and 590 phones and there is quite noticeable difference. The 590's do sound brighter and their bass is more accentuated. The 580's sound much more natural and refined. The difference is sort of like that between a California vintage and that of the finer French wines. You can still be very happy with the California wine, but the finer French vintages are just that much smoother, more refined and subtle.
 
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