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Sennheiser HD 598 Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by Headstar, Feb 22, 2011.
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  1. notfitforpublic

    Well... Hybrid tube amp. I certainly wouldn't classify it as a straight tube amp. Never heard the Magni, and my experience with the O2 is limited to a single listening session., so grain of salt needed. Most reviews and Head-fier's say the differences are pretty minimal. For the ultra picky, apparently the Magni is a touch brighter.
  2. amnesiac75
    The vali and the magni sounded pretty close to each other but always found the vali just a bit better with the hd 598 and hd 650. The Asgard 2 sounded better than both of those amps with the hd 598 and a few other headphones I've owned. Asgard 2 is $250 and solid state and I know that's not cheap but I would recommend to anyone to skip the entry level and start there the volume pot is much better and no wall wart to deal with.
    I heard this too - IIRC the modi 2 has a separate power cable so power isn't fed through the USB which is what apparently caused a lot of the issues?
    Also I checked my 598s authenticity and they're legit :)
  4. Frosty3258

    I w old also be interested in a blind test of the two. Especially with the 598 I have a sneaking suspension they would be nearly indistinguishable.
  5. notfitforpublic

    Modi 2 Uber has the separate power cord. Modi 2 is still USB powered. Listening to the Modi 2 now, straight USB power, no issues at all.
  6. mikoss
    I ordered both as I'm curious myself. Will share impressions later.

    edit: Without derailing the thread, there has been a group of experienced people who extensively compiled a review of DACs who suggested the Wyrd+M2U sounds very good. I plan on saving for a much more expensive DAC myself, but in the meantime, I trust their opinions enough to go this cheap route... skipping the midrange priced DACs. Optical is only as good as the source, so using your sound cards optical output probably won't give you great results. Buying a USB-optical converter adds more $ into the mix, especially considering higher quality ones tend to be >$1000 (eg. Off-Ramp 5). As for why it may sound better, perhaps jitter reduction, perhaps something else, or perhaps it doesn't sound better. I will give an opinion myself after I try it, if anyone is interested. I own the original Modi and think it sounds just ok.
    Ah right okay thanks, I never had any issues with my original Modi when I had it if I'm honest.
  8. TsukiNick

    Wouldn't it just be better to get the Optical Modi, cheaper than going with the Uber and you get AC power and a perfect non-galvanized connection.
  9. notfitforpublic

    Yes and no. I believe optical bit and sample rate is limited by the medium, USB can handle higher bit/sample rates. With optical, your PC still does most of the heavy lifting while the USB version will take most of the work load off the PC.
    The upsides you mentioned, however, are completely correct.
  10. Bansaku
    Not trying to be defensive about Optical (or trying to influence against USB), just giving everyone some food for thought.
    Three things to consider about optical.
    First, it's been a standard for give or take 30 years now. The technology is, for lack of better words, solid; Tried, tested, and true, it's been the standard in the industry. The signal is pure, free of any EMI/RFI from the other equipment, mainly your PC. USB, Async or not, has problems. Not necessarily 'jitter', but if you look at the roadmap you see how USB is connected to not only the chipset of the motherboard, but the power is also shared by the PSU/Battery with all the other components. Long storey short, it can be a real pain in the ass to get a 'clean' sound. Recently though, motherboard manufacturers have addressed the Audiophile community and now include a completely isolated and shielded gold-plated USB connection just for DACs. I personally use an isolated USB bus attached to a powered USB hub.
    Second, most PCs easily handle sample-rates from 22KHz-192KHz with everything in between via the Optical out. Macs however, unfortunately top out at 96KHz (which is why I prefer USB).
    Third, in terms of PC workload, my old PowerMac G4 (Digital Audio) at a whomping 733MHz could easily handle HD audio out via TosLink, taking up about 2% of the CPU. With today's CPUs workload is moot.
    notfitforpublic likes this.
  11. notfitforpublic

    Thanks for the clarification @Bansaku . Mac user myself and forgot the limitation was hardware based by Apple.
  12. TsukiNick
    I don't think playing back audio is a very resource intensive task, the difference in performance is pretty much nil.
  13. Krutsch
    Right there with you, buddy. Optical is awesome if you have a good transmitter and receiver chipsets, which as you note above are commonplace now. I've been playing with a Wyred4Sound Remedy Reclocker from an Apple Airport Express for Airplay playback of TIDAL from my iPad Mini. Sounds very good with no noise or grunge, at all.
    By the way, the newest MacBook Retina models will do 192/24 from their optical outs - Apple was quiet about this, but it's there. Don't know about iMac and/or Mac Mini models.
  14. Davidtech
    Do you guys think I'd be making any compromises buying only a schiit fulla to be used straight to my 598's ?
  15. TsukiNick

    No, but it would limit you if you buy really really really really hard to drive cans later on.

    It'd be a great little setup with the HD598s.
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