HD600+intimacy
Nov 1, 2008 at 7:03 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

djchaz

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I just received a pair of Sennheiser HD600s in the mail today and they sound good but don't have the level of intimacy I was expecting.

I recently got back from Japan and listened to some AKG k701s there and they seemed to have much more of an effect on me (as far as the sense of "being there.") The only thing I'm using with the HD600s is an Audio Technica AT-HA20 amp, no dac, and my laptop as a source.

I'm going to try to do the whole burn-in process to see if these phones progress, but if I decided to buy a DAC would this increase the detail of my headphones? I've been considered buying the Corda Cantate and abandoning my Audio Technica amp altogether.

Kind of a stupid question, but I just don't have much experience with this stuff.

Thanks,
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 9:58 AM Post #3 of 15

Caution

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yea, at least give them a good source and amplification
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and the HD600s generally don't change much at all with burn in (see sig)
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 10:30 AM Post #4 of 15

Jaska

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Is your laptop a Mac by any chance? If so, consider an Apogee Duet. One of my favorite pairings of all time is the Duet + HD580 (quite similar to HD600).
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 11:44 AM Post #5 of 15

Cool_Torpedo

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Although previous posters have a point about your source and amp not being the best to feed the HD600, I wonder what's your take about "intimacy" and why do you think the 701 do sound more intimate for you than the HD600. Maybe you're looking for something the HD600 won't provide whatever source and amp you feed them.
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 12:31 PM Post #8 of 15

apatN

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I don't think you can say anything about the sq until you get some better gear. It's the same here with my DT880s. I like the sound a lot but know my X-FI is holding it back.
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 12:46 PM Post #9 of 15

Jaska

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Quote:

Originally Posted by apatN /img/forum/go_quote.gif
my X-FI is holding it back.


Are you sure it has nothing to do with the 30kg of gold around your neck
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?
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 3:35 PM Post #11 of 15

djchaz

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Thanks for the responses, guys. Before I judge the HD600s any further I'm going to get a better amp/dac to better assess them.

Quote:

Your using one of the worst sources and one of the worst amps to drive the high impedance HD600s, they never had a chance.


I now realize that and I feel like an idiot, haha. I'm going to find a worthwhile system for my Senns soon.

Quote:

Is your laptop a Mac by any chance? If so, consider an Apogee Duet. One of my favorite pairings of all time is the Duet + HD580 (quite similar to HD600).


As of now I'm using a Dell Inspiron to listen to music.

Quote:

Although previous posters have a point about your source and amp not being the best to feed the HD600, I wonder what's your take about "intimacy" and why do you think the 701 do sound more intimate for you than the HD600. Maybe you're looking for something the HD600 won't provide whatever source and amp you feed them.


When I tried both phones out in Japan I think I perceived the AKGs to be slightly more detailed in my opinion and I still don't know if this is the sound I'm looking for. I want to properly amp/dac these Senns before I do anything else and then if they still sound different than I expected I might try out some other phones like some AKGs.

Ok, so on this note, since I want to properly power these phones, do you think something like the Zero Dac and a Little Dot amp would suffice or something more integrated like the Meier Cantate? I would be planning on using the USB out on an integrated amp or a separate USB converter like the Xitel MD-Port DG2 if I purchased the Zero Dac (which I don't know if there is a difference amongst the two.)

I hope this isn't another question where I'm going to end up looking like an idiot again.
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 7:10 PM Post #13 of 15

Cool_Torpedo

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If for intimacy you take the detail presentation, then I kind of agree, the 701s are more "intimate" than the HD600 for their presenting detail in a more obvious way. They're also more spacious and "airy" when burnt in enough.
Both are resolutive cans and the better quality is your source, amp, etc. the better they will sound. IMHO the K701 are a bit more finicky about matching components, and also more difficult to drive. Good cans nonetheless.

Regarding your question, I'm quite sure that the Meier is capable enough to drive the HD600. For my short experience with a Little Dot mkIII, I'd stay as far away as possible from that thing. I do not even think this is worth its low price. I don't know other LD products, but were I to judge for that one, I wouldn't have the slightest interest.
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 7:29 PM Post #14 of 15

djchaz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Cool_Torpedo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If for intimacy you take the detail presentation, then I kind of agree, the 701s are more "intimate" than the HD600 for their presenting detail in a more obvious way. They're also more spacious and "airy" when burnt in enough.
Both are resolutive cans and the better quality is your source, amp, etc. the better they will sound. IMHO the K701 are a bit more finicky about matching components, and also more difficult to drive. Good cans nonetheless.

Regarding your question, I'm quite sure that the Meier is capable enough to drive the HD600. For my short experience with a Little Dot mkIII, I'd stay as far away as possible from that thing. I do not even think this is worth its low price. I don't know other LD products, but were I to judge for that one, I wouldn't have the slightest interest.



Thanks for your opinion. I was just looking at your profile and saw that you like jazz; I'm a part-time jazz musician and also love jazz (Keith Jarrett, Joshua Redman, Coltrane, Tom Harrell, etc.) and I guess I'm looking for a setup that would compliment mainly jazz, but also genres like post-rock, classical, and some electronica/hip-hop. I've been thinking about getting the Zero dac system but I don't know what amp would compliment it. Any thoughts?
Also, which pair of cans do you usually use when listening to jazz? Just curious.
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 8:34 PM Post #15 of 15

Cool_Torpedo

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I'm sorry but I've never listened to the Zero DAC, so I don't know what kind of amplification would be "the best" to get good results using the HD600. Good neutral and clean sources deserve amps like that. Meier, Headamp, Headroom, Ray Samuels, Rudistor, Heed, Graham Slee... all build good amps fitting different budgets and showing slight sound differences for different tastes and goals.

Were I looking for a one box solution to drive the HD600 using the PC as music library, I'd look at the Headamp Pico with USB DAC. I don't know it but for my experience with the Gilmore Reference, it should be a great one box solution. Probably a Meier Cantate with USB DAC were a good solution too.

Regarding my favorite cans for jazz listening... it depends largely on my moods and the kind of jazz I want to listen to. For vocal jazz without any doubts my favorite is the R10 bass light. For classic jazz trios to quintets, it depends, sometimes I look for the R10 bass heavy, the MD5000 or the Senns, even the PS-1 are great. For big band stuff the DX1000 fare quite well, but probably the R10 can resolve complex layers of instruments like no others. The PS-1 give a lovely rhythmic drive to any music that is very enjoyable with swing and hardbop, without spoiling right timbre like other Grados do...

In current production I'd say that the HD600 come as close to "right" with almost anything as it gets, but I can understand that their "distant" sound doesn't appeal to everyone. In this case probably the MD5000 could be a nice alternative. Not as neutral but equally proficient with most music.
 

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