Headphones out of the closet ;¬)
Apr 1, 2006 at 3:03 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 20

will48

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Hi all, here's a '1st' post for advice.

With a recent house move I've lost my dedicated listening room in the cellar and I've been 'allocated' one of the bedrooms in the new house for the hi-fi. Now being a bit of an insomniac (four in the morning now and still up) I listen to music to the early hours of the morning, so for the first time in many years I've got to consider headphones for late night use. As my current hi-fi has no headphone socket, although I do have a pair of Sennheiser HD540 Reference headphones, I've been researching dedicated amps. Anyway, I've allocated a budget of £200, now I'm considering the Corda Headfive as this seems to represent a very good deal, but this will only leave about £50 out of my budget. So the question is, do I stick with my 540's which must be approaching 18-20 years old (still work fine) or for £50 can I get something much better now? Musical taste is mainly for jazz and vocal stuff, but I do listen to rock, pop, classical so any headphones would need to be good all-rounders. Any advice would be much appreciated.
 
Apr 1, 2006 at 3:09 AM Post #2 of 20

Scotty757

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With that setup you could do a lot worse than an HD-580.
 
Apr 1, 2006 at 5:15 AM Post #4 of 20

jim580

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HD 580.
580smile.gif
 
Apr 1, 2006 at 8:18 AM Post #7 of 20

lini

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Quote:

Originally Posted by will48
So the question is, do I stick with my 540's which must be approaching 18-20 years old (still work fine) or for £50 can I get something much better now? Musical taste is mainly for jazz and vocal stuff, but I do listen to rock, pop, classical so any headphones would need to be good all-rounders. Any advice would be much appreciated.


Actually, iirc (i.e. if I have the right phone in mind), the HD540 Ref. was quite a nice headphone. I don't see a pressing reason to change the phone, if it still works fine and you like its sound. Then again, of course there might be headphones out there (even priceworthy ones) you might like better - but the only way to find out is to try a couple (any chance to go to one of those big consumer electronics stores, maybe?) and see for yourself... However, if you like your Sennheiser, I doubt you'll find anything really better (i.e. not just different) for 50 quid, maybe not even for 100.

Greetings from Hannover!

Manfred / lini

P.S.: If you want a cheapie fun phone recommendation from my side, try the Creative HQ-1300. It's ~ 25 Euro over here. If you can strech your budget by some 15 quid, you could also look into the Beyerdynamic DT440, for example.
 
Apr 1, 2006 at 9:21 AM Post #8 of 20

will48

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lini
Actually, iirc (i.e. if I have the right phone in mind), the HD540 Ref. was quite a nice headphone. I don't see a pressing reason to change the phone, if it still works fine and you like its sound.


When I bought these they were the most expensive (and on audition the best) headphones that Sennheiser produced - but it was a long time ago.

As for all the recommendations for the HD580, am I missing something here(?) these would seem to be about £165 - £190, but I'd have nothing to plug them into given my overall budget of £200 for an amp & perhaps a new set of headphones. I guess I'll just go with the Corda Headfive and in July when it arrives take it around and compare a few more modern sets of phones. Might even have enough cash by then for a set of 580's
 
Apr 1, 2006 at 9:30 AM Post #9 of 20

deez

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come on people...*whimpers* ok, since nobody did it for me....

Welcome to Head-Fi. Sorry about your wallet
biggrin.gif


I just bought a 580 and PIMETA. Guess many of these folks would commend me for it, lol.

In your situation, however, I think the 540s may be just fine. I like to recommend not buying anything until you think what you've got isn't sufficient. Plus, from what I can find the 540s are supposed to be pretty dang good.

Good luck in trying to resist buying 580s after you get your amp though. For that matter, good luck trying to keep from losing your mind completely and buying 650s, a Silver Dragon or some other $300 cable, then a better source, amp, DAC, interconnects, SACDs/DVD-As....hehehheh
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Apr 1, 2006 at 9:36 AM Post #10 of 20

Meyvn

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Quote:

Originally Posted by will48
When I bought these they were the most expensive (and on audition the best) headphones that Sennheiser produced - but it was a long time ago.

As for all the recommendations for the HD580, am I missing something here(?) these would seem to be about £165 - £190, but I'd have nothing to plug them into given my overall budget of £200 for an amp & perhaps a new set of headphones. I guess I'll just go with the Corda Headfive and in July when it arrives take it around and compare a few more modern sets of phones. Might even have enough cash by then for a set of 580's



Their recommendations were to buy a used pair of 580s here and a used (and significantly cheaper) amp, called a PIMETA. It's a DIY project amp that a lot of people LOVE for the price. If you play your cards right, you could get both a decent amp (PIMETA, or others like it) and the 580s for around 220 pounds, maybe less if you're lucky. However, I'd be careful of any recommendations for new headphones at this point; given the age of your headphones, it's possible that the HD580 has a completely different sound signature which you won't like. It's also possible that the 580's just a linear upgrade to your headphones. The best thing to do, as some others said, is try them out. On a side note, would you consider posting a picture of your 540s? It would be the damn near only decent/hi-res image of that model on the internet (unless it's the gold model, in which case we have pics of it on this very forum).
 
Apr 1, 2006 at 10:01 AM Post #11 of 20

stewtheking

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I would go used. HD580's go for about 70-80 on fleabay (mine cost about £80), and that leaves you 120-130 (all GBP) for an amp to drive them. The firestone audio (head-fi sponsor) amps look pretty slick, and work out at around the £100 mark new.

Happy hunting!

Oh, and welcome to head-fi, sorry about your wallet!!!

EDIT: Just looked at your profile will, and you're in the south west. Stone Audio is a great hi-fi shop in dorchester, where you could listen to a couple of amps/cans, and see what you like. the Pro-Ject Head Box MK II is one that they carry, and retails inside your budget.
 
Apr 1, 2006 at 10:06 AM Post #12 of 20

will48

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Quote:

Originally Posted by deez
come on people...*whimpers* ok, since nobody did it for me....

Welcome to Head-Fi. Sorry about your wallet
biggrin.gif


Good luck in trying to resist buying 580s after you get your amp though. For that matter, good luck trying to keep from losing your mind completely and buying 650s, a Silver Dragon or some other $300 cable, then a better source, amp, DAC, interconnects, SACDs/DVD-As....hehehheh
smily_headphones1.gif



Thanks for the welcome - think I'll be able to resist most of the above - don't do cables (bought a bulk batch of speaker cable and found it was fine for interconnects and mains cable as well
biggrin.gif
. As for DAC's/SACD's/DVD-A's, well I've only ever owned two CD players since the inception of CD's as a format all those years ago
eek.gif
And if it hadn't of worn out, I'd still be using my 1st generation 14bit Philips player
biggrin.gif
 
Apr 1, 2006 at 10:17 AM Post #13 of 20

jagorev

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Quote:

Originally Posted by will48
When I bought these they were the most expensive (and on audition the best) headphones that Sennheiser produced - but it was a long time ago.

As for all the recommendations for the HD580, am I missing something here(?) these would seem to be about £165 - £190, but I'd have nothing to plug them into given my overall budget of £200 for an amp & perhaps a new set of headphones. I guess I'll just go with the Corda Headfive and in July when it arrives take it around and compare a few more modern sets of phones. Might even have enough cash by then for a set of 580's



Whoa. I had no idea the 580 was twice as expensive in UK. It's $169 from Amazon on this side of the pond, which translates to under 100 pounds, right?

You might try ordering from a US dealer who ships international - Headphone.com has 'em for $199.
 
Apr 1, 2006 at 12:12 PM Post #14 of 20

sgrossklass

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Technically the old HD540 (600 ohm) still is a very good headphone, it's just too bright. Some EQ will fix that, but this typically means you have to go through the computer with a decent soundcard. For a dedicated listening setup, I'd rather go the "HD580 with decent amp" route, as suggested. It needn't even be a buffered design by all means for these 300 ohm cans. (And then you'd still have your old 540s as backup cans for the computer.)
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 4:46 AM Post #15 of 20

vagarach

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I noticed the OP wanted to know if for 50 GBP one can get cans that are better than the HD540's (seeing as they are now quite old).

I doubt this is the case, as headphone technology hasn't exactly moved as quickly as, say, microchip technology has.
icon10.gif


I reckon that if you're satisfied with the sound of the HD540's, then a new amp would be a fine addition. If not, then, well, the budget won't work out with the Corda.
580smile.gif
 

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