Need input on HD590 from HD580/600/570 users
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fredpb

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I am considering replacing my bedroom system phones, currently HD570's. They are driven by a new Headroom Little with Premium module. I listen mainly to classical or some jazz.

How do the HD590's sound compared to the HD570's or HD580/600's? Especially those driven by solid state amps (and especially again, Little amp, Creek, Supreme, or similar).

How hard are the 590's to drive? A Little must provide plenty of power.

Any comments would be appreciated.

Fred
 
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LTUCCI1924

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fredpb
HI: I would go with the 580s. These are great cans and dont need real highend stuff to sound great. The 600 do need highend stuff to sound great. There is a mode to do to the 580s to make them sound even better. I dont know about the 590s but the 580s and 600 are world aclamed for their sound.
 
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bkelly

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I can't believe you asked. If you look around on this website you will see that I strongly favor the 590's over the 580/600, especially for the reasons you mention. Unlike the other two the 590 sounds great right out of the box. People say they sound bright but, in my opinion, they are really just more dynamic. I also think they really shine on jazz and classical music and I say that as a professional jazz musician, too. I've owned both the 590 and the 600 and no matter what I did in the way of changing cables I could never fall in love with the 600's To me they are too tame sounding.

On the other hand the 590's have thhe extra presence needed to really bring accoustic music to life while the 580 and 600 are quit a bit more polite.

You should really try all of these first since they are noticeably different and each probably has it's own audience.

Also try the Grados. They sound great, are easy to drive and sonically it could be argued that they are somewhere in between the 590 sound and the 580/600. Ultimately, I would put them closer to the 590 than the 580/600, though.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy whatever selection you finally decide on. selection.
 
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Eagle_Driver

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I own the HD590, and only listened to the HD580 and HD600 at the WOH tour. Honestly, on anything that's (for Headroom amps) at least a Cosmic amp or an amp with the Premium or Reference modules (which are way too expensive for my overall budget), the 580 and 600 sound so much smoother and more refined than the 590 (which is a bit too bright). On lesser equipment (such as my TAH), the 590 sounds less bright (but still somewhat so) - but the 580 and 600 IMHO would sound a bit murky and laid-back.

And yet another thing that I noticed since I began listening to my HD590 on a regular basis: Unlike my Etymotic ER-4S, which tends to reveal how craptastic my sources sound, my HD590 reveals how craptacular my recordings really sound! I can notice nearly ALL the hiss and recording-oversaturation the CDs made from '60s master tapes had been suffering from!
Now I know which phrase I will put into EVERY one of my HD590 reviews: "Crappy recordings will sound even crappier."
 
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slindeman

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I own the HD570s, and in my opinion the HD590 are a small step up from them. The sound characteristics are very similar, the HD590 having more details, better separation, but with the same kind of frequency response. When I first tried them I was surprised how much they sounded like my HD570.

Paired with any non-portable amp, or a good portable amp like META42 or Cosmic, I think the HD580 and HD600 are in a different league than HD570 and HD590. I dislike HD570/HD590 with all music, although they don't ruin jazz or classical as much as they do rock, pop, and electronica. Their main downfall is a recessed midrange and some harshness.

The HD600 with the Premium Headroom module is a wonderful combination, one of the best. Jazz and classical are so involving, so breathtaking out of the HD600. I do like HD570 for TV/Movies, and for gaming where the comfort is unbeatable. For music I would take even the Koss KSC-35 over the HD570.
 
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kelly

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I'd almost wonder if the HD590 might be well suited to the BASIC Little since the Little is a little rolled off and the 590 is a little bright. And the Basic Little (afaic) isn't enough to drive the HD580/600 well.

But you have a Premium Little... which to me, sounds closer to flat so I'd think you'd probably rather find a cheap used 580.

but that's me
 
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MacDEF

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I'm with Kelly
 
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fredpb

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I have HD600's and 570's. I really don't want 580's because like the 600's, they are hard to drive, and don't have much low freq bass response.

The 570's with the Little splatter the 600's all over the flow when it comes to very low freq response. I want something that reproduces the lows accurately as well as detailed mids and highs. The 580/600's don't do this, even with my Clou Red's and either the MG Head OTL or Premium Little.

I have tried the Grado SR125's, but with the standard Little. They were interesting, with good bass slam but again, no low low freq response, and were a bit bright and sometimes harsh. They went back, and I am going through the long long Headroom refund process on them now.

There is no place to try them out locally.

I was just hoping to get some comparisons between the 590's and the others.
 
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kelly

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fred
I personally believe the Beyerdynamic DT931 to be more worth your time than the 590. The 931 does have good articulate bass though it didn't, in my brief listening anyway, get as low as I'd have liked. The 931 doesn't seem to need the kind of power the HD600 does to truly come into its own despite its having a high impedance rating. If you end up going this route, I'd also try to acquire one of the 120ohm adapters from Jan Meier (whether you buy the headphone from him or not).
 
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fyrfytrhoges

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fred, i own both the 590s and 600s and the little, i have found that the 600s definitely need amplification to be at their best, the 590s on their own do quite well but with the addition of the little can compete imo with the 600s. definitely a different but not necessarily better or worse, just different. but i enjoy both phones just for different reasons, i find the 600s musically more efficient and the 590s better for movies.
 
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Eagle_Driver

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Today I just purchased a pair of the HD600s, and I will strongly disagree with my earlier statement that it needs an expensive amp just to sound good. In fact, they sound GREAT out of anything better than the headphone jack of a gutless portable!


Speaking of where I purchased my new HD600s from, I bought them from The Great Indoors home-furnishing superstore in Lombard, across the street from Yorktown Mall. I had to specifically ask the salesperson in the home audio department of that store for the HD600s; the other corded Sennheisers that are displayed on the sales floor are the following models:
  1. HD400, $39.99
  2. HD470, $59.99
  3. HD490, $69.99
  4. HD500, $99.99
  5. HD570, $149.99
  6. HD590, $249.99
  7. HD265, $199.99
And the price that I paid for my new HD600s? $249.99 (the same price as the HD590s in that store)!!


Right now I'm listening to my NEW HD600s from my TAH amp that's connected to my Sony D-EJ1000 PCDP. I merely had to turn up the TAH's volume control to a slightly higher setting than I had been doing with my HD590s, so I know that the HD600s aren't anywhere near as inefficient as I thought they would be. And they're very comfortable for me to wear, though they put a bit more pressure on the sides of my head than my HD590s.

As for construction, the HD600s are obviously more durable than the HD590s, but the HD590s aren't at all flimsy to begin with. The headband is metal on the HD600s, versus plastic on the HD590s.

And how do the HD600s sound on upscale portable gear? Well, much better than I thought they would sound. I had thought the HD600s would sound a bit murky and laid-back on anything less than an astronomically expensive Class A headphone amp - but instead, they sound very much "together" (coherent), highly accurate, and "black" in between the notes.

Going back to my HD590s, the HD590s are noticeably lacking in comparison! First, some of the notes out of the HD590s blend into one another. And another thing I noticed with my HD590s (compared to my new HD600s): The lower mids predominate the low-end, and the upper mids just aren't there (they're recessed compared to the rest of the audible spectrum). And the highs are a bit bright - and can be harsh at times. And the bass? It just doesn't go down as low as the HD580s and HD600s. NOTE: Keep in mind that I'm comparing both Sennheisers with their stock cables.

As a result, my new HD600s are definitely keepers - and my HD590s (and several of my other full-sized headphones, as well) are going on either the For Sale forum here or on eBay.

My overall ranking for these Sennheiser headphones (with my Etymotic ER-4S canalphones scoring 100%) is:

HD600: 99%
HD590: 83%
HD580: 95%

Randall
 
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fredpb

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Well, I took the plunge!

I pulled off the Clous from my HD600's and did some long listening with the HD600's and my bedroom setup, and did some comparisons with the HD570's. So I used the HD600's with standard cable, approximating the HD580's.

Occassionally, classical music puts out tight very low end bass. The HD570s' were great in that respect, but the HD600's tolerable, if not rolled off.

But, I love Viktoria Mullova's Paganini Violin Concerto #1. I played that and the HD600's shined! When it comes to mid range and true upper detail, the HD600's are magic. The HD570's are ok, but just are too tame in the midrange and lack the detail of the HD600's. The difference is obvious.

The HD600's are a joy to listen too. The HD570's are just nice headphones.

Soooooooooooooooo.........

I found a deal on eBay for new HD580's, at ordered them!

Really can't afford them. But hell, cardiac patients don't care about credit cards! That's mean, but what the heck.
 
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bkelly

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Eagle_Driver,

Your comparative comments about the differences between the 590's and 600's sound backwards. The mid-bass hump in the 600's is a commonly criticized fault of the 600's not the 590's and it's the same with the upper-mids recession, another well known shortcoming of the 600's not the 590. As far as some of the notes blending together on the 590's in my opinion some of the notes are so subdued on the 600's they are approaching inaudible. And, as far as brightness goes what about the rolled off top-end on the 600's.

I own both of these phones and the 590's are clearly easier to drive than the 600's. At least through my Melos SHA-1. I've also tried every cable I know of on the 600's to no avail. They are just to tame to be acceptable. I wouldn't argue that the 600's actually sound bad, they don't, they are clearly a quality headphone but my biggest problem with them is that they are nowhere near as accurate as they should be and what you hear out of them is sort oof an audiophile vision of what music sounds like rather than what music ACTUALLY sounds like. "scrypt' another studio musician on this sight is exactly right when he desciribes the 600's as being "not terribly realistic". I just listened to and album I recorded recently and the 600's portrayal of the mix was way off and I mean way off. Unfortunatley I cannot check this mix with the 590's yet since they are in route back from Sennheiser for repair but I know what the result will be. They are quite a bit more accurate than the 600's. I don't have any doubt about that.

Your comments on the build quality are right on. The 600's are built to a higher standard, I think. I just talked with the guy who rebuilt my 590's for me at Sennheser and he said the 590's were built with comfort as one of its design parameters and as a result the are built noticeably lighter than the 600's.

Anyhow, if you truly favor the 600's that's fine. Have great time ewith them.

After fooling with this stuff pretty hard over the past few months I am begining to think that there at least three audio groups when it comes to headphones; those that like the subdued, refined sound of something like the HD600 and those that prefer a liverly more dramatic approach like the Grados present or the HD590. The third group would be people like me who need as much accuracy as possible and so far in the accuracy department the 590 is the hands down winner in my opinion.

 
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MacDEF

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Quote:

Originally posted by bkelly
After fooling with this stuff pretty hard over the past few months I am begining to think that there at least three audio groups when it comes to headphones; those that like the subdued, refined sound of something like the HD600 and those that prefer a liverly more dramatic approach like the Grados present or the HD590. The third group would be people like me who need as much accuracy as possible and so far in the accuracy department the 590 is the hands down winner in my opinion.


bkelly, you know we disagree on this
but for the record, I want my headphones to sound as much like an actual performance of the music as possible. While my HD 600 (using Cardas cabes and driven from a Max) are missing a *slight* amount of ultra-crisp detail present in some live performances (depending on the venue), they are in my experiences much closer to a real, live performance than the HD 590. At their worst (the HD 600, that is), I hear all the detail clearly, but I'm missing the headache-inducing grit that comes from some bad venues


Not saying you're wrong -- just pointing out that other people may have a different view on which is "more real."
 
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Eagle_Driver

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Okay, bkelly, so I did compare a practically new, not-broken-in-enough pair of HD600's to a pretty-well-used pair of HD590's.
 
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