Sennheiser 650: Graham Slee Solo or other?
Apr 24, 2006 at 10:05 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

cribeiro

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Hello,

I have a Cambridge Audio Azur 640C as a source at home (not the v2!), and Sennheiser 650 for "quiet listening". At the moment, I use my Cambridge Audio Azur 640A as a headphone amplifier, and I have to say it sounds good. I have compared my amp to a Corda Aria, and the differences were rather small for my ear, the music was communicating more with the Aria and it was maybe a bit more detailed or present. Hard to say...

So I am really wondering if I should buy a headphone amplifier. I have been looking into this for quite some time, and following the reviews, it looks like the Graham Slee Solo would fit my tastes. I also thought about a valve amp, but now I don't think I would like it combined with the Sennheisers (following descriptions I have read). The senns are already laid back and with a silky midrange, and valves would overemphasize this, I guess.

I am planning to buy this amp depending on my increase of salary, which should happen in few months (and should be considerable, since I am now in trial period). So I might as well consider something a bit more expensive (but by no means over 1000 euro!), and never look back at the amp market :) hopefully!! But that goes beyond my knowledge... I know the ultimate thing is to go balanced, would you have any suggestion here?

My second consideration is the source, which I guess will be the weak link, paired with A Graham Slee Solo and the Sennheiser 650. That would be for Christmas, but I like to think in advance... Separate DAC, or new cd player? Or I might be lucky, and you will tell me I have an excellent source :wink:

Thank you for reading all this... Regards,

Alberto

PS: oh, yes, for my X5L and super.fi 5 pro I am planning to get a PINT (somebody's suggestion here, as far as I remember). I am afraid I am not getting everything this setup can deliver... Am I going in the right way?
 
Apr 25, 2006 at 1:49 AM Post #2 of 6

jagorev

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Are you unhappy with what you have? What, specifically, is wrong with the sound? Because there's no point upgrading just for the sake of it - you already have some fine gear.
 
Apr 25, 2006 at 6:26 AM Post #3 of 6

cribeiro

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Hello Jagorev,

well, I am quite happy with what I have, and it does deliver fine sound. I just want to get the sound as good as my ears can tell. That is why I compared my amp to the Aria. I hoped I could not tell the difference, but I could. Good for my ears, bad for my wallet. Nevertheless, the differences were so small (for my ear), that I would not go for an Aria. Since the Graham Slee Solo has been so praised and works so well with the Senn 650 (to the point that Sennheiser uses it in exhibitions with their Senn 650), I thought that would be my final answer. Of course, I wouldn't invest the money if the differences were again like Aria-Azur.

Additionally, almost everybody claim that a dedicated amp is needed for the 650, and although I have been told that the headphone output of my integrated amp is quite good, I imagined it is not the last word...

What is wrong with the sound? I feel the bass a little bit uncontrolled, missing tightness, and the music is missing some sparkle, it sounds alright but it is not so lively as I would like it to be.

With respect to my portable gear, it is clear that I am not getting the sound right, because I cannot tell the x5l from my cd if I use the azur amp, which is good, but I can hear a big difference when I plug the IEMs directly to the x5l. The sound is just too dull, I can hear every note, but the final result is not vibrating... Sorry I can't describe it better. I just feel the music is not communicating any feeling (EDIT: I feel no feeling?? Isn't that kind of contradictory...? Sorry! But I hope you understand what I mean).

Does this help?
 
Apr 25, 2006 at 4:08 PM Post #4 of 6

Epicurean

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How about a PPA? It is known to work excellent with the HD-650. I've had my HD-650 for 2days now and they are simply an amazing match! The PPA is extremely detailed and may seem a bit bright, which might bring the liveliness you're looking for. I've read that the dynahi works great also, but I think it is more expensive.
 
Apr 25, 2006 at 6:58 PM Post #5 of 6

Yeldarb

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cribeiro said:
What is wrong with the sound? I feel the bass a little bit uncontrolled, missing tightness, and the music is missing some sparkle, it sounds alright but it is not so lively as I would like it to be.

QUOTE]

There are two things that may be amiss with your sound. Firstly the headphone socket good as it may be, is not a dedicated headphone amp and therefore you are compromised in sound quality. Secondly I think the stock cable hold back the HD650s. These two together give you the effect you are hearing.

The solo is a fine match for the HD650s - I had just such a rig a while ago, but in a moment of madness sold it.

I also found the Zu Mobius was a good replacement cable to complement the senn/solo pairing. Unfortunately at the moment, unless you can snag a second hand set, Zu are not producing it at the moment and the V2 version will not be out until this summer.

Cheers

Brad
 
Apr 25, 2006 at 7:00 PM Post #6 of 6

Patrick82

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cribeiro
What is wrong with the sound? I feel the bass a little bit uncontrolled, missing tightness, and the music is missing some sparkle, it sounds alright but it is not so lively as I would like it to be.


Benchmark DAC-1 will tighten up the bass and Graham Slee Solo will improve body.
Sennheiser + DAC1 + Graham Slee Solo is a good match. It has heavy bass and shimmering highs.
 

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