Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee Review & Measurements
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Shane D

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Nice comparison.

Although I do have a Schiit Loki, I tend to avoid EQ with my headphones. I bought the Loki for my 2 channel system in a challenging room (hardwood floor, not much on the walls, no plants, limited window coverings) where EQ helps re-introduce some bass and moderate the amount of treble. Just modest adjustments until I hear a more satisfying sound in my living room. I have experimented EQ'ing my headphones and there can be some good results provided that the EQ isn't overdone. Generally I prefer to listen to them as is.

Modding headphones in my eyes is bastardizing the headphone entirely. I have 2 pairs of the HD58X so I decided to give the popular "remove back foam and cover the magnet with a specific felt" mod to hear how it sounds. Although there was an increase in clarity in the treble, the headphone sounded a bit off kilter and unnatural. The mod also reduced the bass which was disappointing because I think the HD58X bass is totally satisfying just the way it is. Comparing the 2 HD58X's made it very clear to me that I preferred the non-modded pair. I kept telling myself that "if it ain't broke don't to fix it". The experiment was interesting however I defer to the expertise of the Sennheiser engineers to design and tune their headphones. If I'm not mistaken they were trying to tune the HD58X to resemble the sound of the original HD580 but with a bit more bass. I never heard the original HD580 but I think the HD58X is a pretty darn good sounding headphone, especially for the price.

But hey, that's me and my perspective on the subject. I understand that there is a huge MOD SQUAD out there and if that makes them happy then go for it. Ultimately whatever makes your ears and mind happy, that's all that matters.

Happy listening!

I also do not believe in modding. If you don't like the sound, sell them and get another set. That is why I have been hopping from amp to amp and headphone to headphone looking for that magic sound. Provided that the amp or 'phone is close to what I like, the Loki can take it the extra way to a win. I have always found that EQing made a mess of things. Too many options combined with me not knowing what I am doing always ended badly.

After four years in the hobby and a few thousand dollars spent on products that I don't like, I am finally starting to get a feel for what I do like. I think now was the perfect time for me to discover the Loki. Now I will just spend the next several months fine tuning. I have been on a huge buying bender for the last 9 months: 5 amps, 1 DAC, lots of cables, opamps, tubes and 4 sets of headphones. All of this while unemployed. Yikes!! Time to just calm down and enjoy the music. And get rid of some stuff.:ksc75smile:


Shane D
 
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Just picked up a pair of Dekoni's fenestrated sheepskin pads for my HD58X.
If you find the HD58X to be "edgy" in the lower treble (akin to the Focal Utopia haha, although they're on a different level otherwise), these pads seem to smooth out this area for me while still retaining the rest of the frequency response (i.e. the bass extension, sweet but not overly warm mids). Still retains its "freshness" relative to the HD650/HD6XX. Technical performance (i.e. resolution, detail retrieval, staging) don't seem to be affected.

Sidenote:
  • I see there's still discussion about the driver in the HD58X. The truth is, it seems like the speculation about what or where it's derived from is getting a little farfetched, and I don't there's ever going to be closure on that topic. Best to assume it's just its own thing (why not?).
  • Also, the build quality on the HD58X doesn't feel inferior to the other HD6-- series, maybe it's just the lower price playing tricks on people, because they genuinely feel the same to hold and that's a good thing. None of them are of a DT1990 build quality, but these will still last.
  • Further, I actually consider the HD650/HD6XX to be the "laidback" sibling, the HD600 to be the "neutral"/serious (everyone has a different definition of that) sibling, and the HD660S and HD58X as the younger, wilder, more "fun" siblings. Obviously we're all going to have a favourite child haha.
 
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tolis626

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Nice comparison.

Although I do have a Schiit Loki, I tend to avoid EQ with my headphones. I bought the Loki for my 2 channel system in a challenging room (hardwood floor, not much on the walls, no plants, limited window coverings) where EQ helps re-introduce some bass and moderate the amount of treble. Just modest adjustments until I hear a more satisfying sound in my living room. I have experimented EQ'ing my headphones and there can be some good results provided that the EQ isn't overdone. Generally I prefer to listen to them as is.

Modding headphones in my eyes is bastardizing the headphone entirely. I have 2 pairs of the HD58X so I decided to give the popular "remove back foam and cover the magnet with a specific felt" mod to hear how it sounds. Although there was an increase in clarity in the treble, the headphone sounded a bit off kilter and unnatural. The mod also reduced the bass which was disappointing because I think the HD58X bass is totally satisfying just the way it is. Comparing the 2 HD58X's made it very clear to me that I preferred the non-modded pair. I kept telling myself that "if it ain't broke don't to fix it". The experiment was interesting however I defer to the expertise of the Sennheiser engineers to design and tune their headphones. If I'm not mistaken they were trying to tune the HD58X to resemble the sound of the original HD580 but with a bit more bass. I never heard the original HD580 but I think the HD58X is a pretty darn good sounding headphone, especially for the price.

But hey, that's me and my perspective on the subject. I understand that there is a huge MOD SQUAD out there and if that makes them happy then go for it. Ultimately whatever makes your ears and mind happy, that's all that matters.

Happy listening!
See, I agree and disagree with your statements. On one hand I agree for headphones like the Sennheiser HD600 series, where every mod seems to deteriorate the sound in some way. Sennheiser has done a terrific job tuning the crap out of these drivers. So I agree with you. Then on the other hand, you have headphones like the T50rp from Fostex. The consensus is that, if you don't mod your T50s, you're probably wasting your time, especially when they can become something like the Argons. So there I have to disagree with you. If "bastardizing" a headphone means turning it into something completely different and, arguably, better (ie T50rp to Argon mod), then I'm all for it. So it's on a case by case basis.

I for one have enjoyed my modded MSR7 like I have few things in this life. I've done too much to these poor things to get them to sound how I want, but damn was it worth it. But I also haven't touched my 58x apart from changing the cable to a nicer, shorter one. Also worth it. I'm still undecided about the MSR7b, I like them the way they are now, otherwise stock but wearing sheepskin HM5 pads. Hmmm...
 
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Just picked up a pair of Dekoni's fenestrated sheepskin pads for my HD58X.
Thanks for the review. I still have heard a consensus that every pad but stock will deplete the sound stage and make them closed in even more. I tried several non-fenestrated leather pads and this was the case.
 
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Shane D

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HD58X Burson.jpg test list.jpg I did a few hours of testing this morning using different set-ups. I had a test list from a while ago. It is 18 songs long, featuring various artists with an emphasis on Florence and the Machine. I focus on her because I know the music well and it has strong vocals and noticable bass. I will post a pic of the playlist.
Both are fed by a Sony DAP (ZX-300) through an SMSL SU-8 DAC

This first part is totally unrelated to this thread, but very important to me and I thought somebody might something out of it:
1) Liquid Carbon X to HE4XX. I am loving this amp more every day. I didn't know what to expect from it and I am pleasantly surprised. It sounded funny to me at first: Noisy or bright? But, it is getting better every day. I had written the HE4XX's off long ago, but they sound amazing on this amp. Low gain at about 12:00. Very full, clear sound and lots of bass.

2) Schiit Loki to Burson Fun-Classic to HD58X. Kind of underwhelming sound. Nice, but more like a 7.5/8. Then I turn on the EQ and it jumps to a 9/9.5 depending on the song. I add bass and midrange (pic attached) and drop the volume to about 9:00. Burson doesn't have a gain switch. The sound is AWESOME. By far the cheapest headphones in the house and they are just blowing me away. I realize that part of this is the "shiny new toy syndrome", but the vocals sound great and the bass is kickin'. After I was finished listening I decided to go do the dishes. I was liking the sound so much that I unhooked the DAP from the DAC and just plugged my 58's into my DAP. Had to go to High Gain (85 out of 120). They sounded great but I know that a balanced cable from the 4.4mm port would put them over the top. But, I also know that DAP EQing is a far cry from the Loki magic.

I wondered out loud on another forum if I would get anything out of such a cheap headphone where I owned several much more expensive pairs. Some said yes, another said I was a snob and a showoff bringing up the expensive 'phones. This person making that last comment then felt the need to mention that he had 3K to 6K headphones??

I decided to take a chance and I am glad that I did. They are not perfect, but with a couple of tweaks they are a ton of fun to listen to. I know that comfort is a personal thing, but I should add this: While I never liked the HD6XX sound I did LOVE the comfort. I have a huge noggin, but they fit perfectly. As do the HD58X. I really like the velour pads except for the really hot, sweaty days like now. I should probably also mention that I will be 59 in a few weeks so that probably shades how I hear things.

Shane D

PS: Now I will stop my daily posting of my impressions.:grin:
 
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Thanks for the review. I still have heard a consensus that every pad but stock will deplete the sound stage and make them closed in even more. I tried several non-fenestrated leather pads and this was the case.
I've found the opposite to be true with the Dekoni hybrids, both with these and my AKGs. But YMMV.
 
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DavidA

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I did a few hours of testing this morning using different set-ups. I had a test list from a while ago. It is 18 songs long, featuring various artists with an emphasis on Florence and the Machine. I focus on her because I know the music well and it has strong vocals and noticable bass. I will post a pic of the playlist.
Both are fed by a Sony DAP (ZX-300) through an SMSL SU-8 DAC

This first part is totally unrelated to this thread, but very important to me and I thought somebody might something out of it:
1) Liquid Carbon X to HE4XX. I am loving this amp more every day. I didn't know what to expect from it and I am pleasantly surprised. It sounded funny to me at first: Noisy or bright? But, it is getting better every day. I had written the HE4XX's off long ago, but they sound amazing on this amp. Low gain at about 12:00. Very full, clear sound and lots of bass.

2) Schiit Loki to Burson Fun-Classic to HD58X. Kind of underwhelming sound. Nice, but more like a 7.5/8. Then I turn on the EQ and it jumps to a 9/9.5 depending on the song. I add bass and midrange (pic attached) and drop the volume to about 9:00. Burson doesn't have a gain switch. The sound is AWESOME. By far the cheapest headphones in the house and they are just blowing me away. I realize that part of this is the "shiny new toy syndrome", but the vocals sound great and the bass is kickin'. After I was finished listening I decided to go do the dishes. I was liking the sound so much that I unhooked the DAP from the DAC and just plugged my 58's into my DAP. Had to go to High Gain (85 out of 120). They sounded great but I know that a balanced cable from the 4.4mm port would put them over the top. But, I also know that DAP EQing is a far cry from the Loki magic.

I wondered out loud on another forum if I would get anything out of such a cheap headphone where I owned several much more expensive pairs. Some said yes, another said I was a snob and a showoff bringing up the expensive 'phones. This person making that last comment then felt the need to mention that he had 3K to 6K headphones??

I decided to take a chance and I am glad that I did. They are not perfect, but with a couple of tweaks they are a ton of fun to listen to. I know that comfort is a personal thing, but I should add this: While I never liked the HD6XX sound I did LOVE the comfort. I have a huge noggin, but they fit perfectly. As do the HD58X. I really like the velour pads except for the really hot, sweaty days like now. I should probably also mention that I will be 59 in a few weeks so that probably shades how I hear things.

Shane D

PS: Now I will stop my daily posting of my impressions.:grin:
Looks like you are finding that some amp/headphone pairing just work better than others which is pretty much what I've noticed but I think I have been a bit more fortunate to have quite a number of good friends who are into high end audio so I've gotten to play with some gear that I'd never be able to afford. With that said as much as I like my HD58X I'm wondering if I should try another to see if the grain that I notice on mine is normal or mine are just a bad pair. Unlike you I don't use EQ (or hardware equalizer) but its mainly due to my setup that prevents me from using EQ (one source (PC) to 2-3 DACs (Bimby, Uber and UD301) to 4-5 amps (BH Crack, Lyr2, Ember, Asgard2 and Sony ES HT receiver).
 
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Shane D

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Looks like you are finding that some amp/headphone pairing just work better than others which is pretty much what I've noticed but I think I have been a bit more fortunate to have quite a number of good friends who are into high end audio so I've gotten to play with some gear that I'd never be able to afford. With that said as much as I like my HD58X I'm wondering if I should try another to see if the grain that I notice on mine is normal or mine are just a bad pair. Unlike you I don't use EQ (or hardware equalizer) but its mainly due to my setup that prevents me from using EQ (one source (PC) to 2-3 DACs (Bimby, Uber and UD301) to 4-5 amps (BH Crack, Lyr2, Ember, Asgard2 and Sony ES HT receiver).
That is a lot of different gear. Do you find yourself using a different set up for each headphone?

Shane D
 
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That is a lot of different gear. Do you find yourself using a different set up for each headphone?

Shane D
I have some "favorites" pairings and some that I wouldn't recommend but for me its not finding the "best" pairing, its just that I like the variety I get with different pairings most of the time. The HD58X sounds pretty good on almost anything I've connected them to but there are some amps like a WA22 with stock tubes makes them overly warm to me.
 
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I did a few hours of testing this morning using different set-ups. I had a test list from a while ago. It is 18 songs long, featuring various artists with an emphasis on Florence and the Machine. I focus on her because I know the music well and it has strong vocals and noticable bass. I will post a pic of the playlist.
Both are fed by a Sony DAP (ZX-300) through an SMSL SU-8 DAC

This first part is totally unrelated to this thread, but very important to me and I thought somebody might something out of it:
1) Liquid Carbon X to HE4XX. I am loving this amp more every day. I didn't know what to expect from it and I am pleasantly surprised. It sounded funny to me at first: Noisy or bright? But, it is getting better every day. I had written the HE4XX's off long ago, but they sound amazing on this amp. Low gain at about 12:00. Very full, clear sound and lots of bass.

2) Schiit Loki to Burson Fun-Classic to HD58X. Kind of underwhelming sound. Nice, but more like a 7.5/8. Then I turn on the EQ and it jumps to a 9/9.5 depending on the song. I add bass and midrange (pic attached) and drop the volume to about 9:00. Burson doesn't have a gain switch. The sound is AWESOME. By far the cheapest headphones in the house and they are just blowing me away. I realize that part of this is the "shiny new toy syndrome", but the vocals sound great and the bass is kickin'. After I was finished listening I decided to go do the dishes. I was liking the sound so much that I unhooked the DAP from the DAC and just plugged my 58's into my DAP. Had to go to High Gain (85 out of 120). They sounded great but I know that a balanced cable from the 4.4mm port would put them over the top. But, I also know that DAP EQing is a far cry from the Loki magic.

I wondered out loud on another forum if I would get anything out of such a cheap headphone where I owned several much more expensive pairs. Some said yes, another said I was a snob and a showoff bringing up the expensive 'phones. This person making that last comment then felt the need to mention that he had 3K to 6K headphones??

I decided to take a chance and I am glad that I did. They are not perfect, but with a couple of tweaks they are a ton of fun to listen to. I know that comfort is a personal thing, but I should add this: While I never liked the HD6XX sound I did LOVE the comfort. I have a huge noggin, but they fit perfectly. As do the HD58X. I really like the velour pads except for the really hot, sweaty days like now. I should probably also mention that I will be 59 in a few weeks so that probably shades how I hear things.

Shane D

PS: Now I will stop my daily posting of my impressions.:grin:
Ha you are younger then me by a month lol but astonishingly my hearing is near perfect but my eyesight is crap ...
 
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Shane D

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Ha you are younger then me by a month lol but astonishingly my hearing is near perfect but my eyesight is crap ...
I think my hearing is pretty good, but I started wearing reading glasses in my early 40's.:nerd:

Shane D
 
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I think my hearing is pretty good, but I started wearing reading glasses in my early 40's.:nerd:

Shane D
I was wearing glasses when I was 4 only recently have I given into the fact I need bifocals ...
Still not used to them so I wear driving glasses when I ride my Harley
 
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Ha you are younger then me by a month lol but astonishingly my hearing is near perfect but my eyesight is crap ...
I've only just found out I have a dip around 4khz in my right ear and for a long time I've always thought vocals were slightly panned to the left. Turns out that's not true and they should be centre. It's quite annoying.
 
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Shane D

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I've only just found out I have a dip around 4khz in my right ear and for a long time I've always thought vocals were slightly panned to the left. Turns out that's not true and they should be centre. It's quite annoying.
Did you go for a hearing test? I haven't had one in decades. I see that there are online ones you can take with headphones. I really should try one.

Shane D
 
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I've only just found out I have a dip around 4khz in my right ear and for a long time I've always thought vocals were slightly panned to the left. Turns out that's not true and they should be centre. It's quite annoying.
I had a problem with my right ear about ten years ago and went to my ent and he flushed it and back to normal almost immediately
 
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