Sennheiser HD650 & Massdrop HD6XX Impressions Thread
Jul 2, 2020 at 10:25 AM Post #43,486 of 46,554
The power requirements for the HD6 series have always been way more important over paper than via human ears. I think most of this stems from folks with some electrical engineering skills who also happen to own a spectrogram and an oscilloscope. They see how much the voltage swings in the bass and naturally deduce that you need X amount of juice in order to get these things to sing...properly.
That's a more generous opinion than my own. I'd assume that these sorts of opinions are held by people that have little knowledge of engineering/physics/psychoacoustics/measurements/etc., but just enough to appear smart to people with even less knowledge.
Now there is definitely some truth to that...from a scientific viewpoint, sure....but we are also dealing with human beings and our ears are about the easiest to trick. I’ve been to a lot of different blindtests and I can tell you that most people cannot tell the difference between a dedicated powerful headphone amplifier and a mere iPad...especially when they can’t see when what is playing:)
You're kind of contradicting yourself, but I think I understand what you're talking about. You're saying that it matters objectively, but then under objective tests that people can't hear the difference. I think some of the problem is that it's not just a matter of physics or engineering, but also of human physiology and psychology. This is the problem of "better" measurements that fall outside the threshold of human hearing. People see a graph or numbers that appear to be "better," but don't realize that those numbers and differences are so small that they can't be heard by humans, or, at the very least, can't be heard by humans outside of a lab.
 
Jul 2, 2020 at 10:38 AM Post #43,487 of 46,554
I often tend to say many things all at once and as a result also often come off slightly contradictive. That is the point though hah!:p
But yes I am very much in the ‘measurements camp’ when I purchase new gear (frequency response, distortion numbers, impedance matching, power requirements) but then again also firmly planted in the real world. If distortion numbers on my old Rotel cd player are way below the audibility of human hearing, then I am fairly uninterested in boxes that are twice, thrice or ten times as inaudible. The same can be said of my Magni Heresy which will power all and anything I care to throw at it. It is incredibly clean distortion-wise but then again happens to sound like my old V200. I mostly bought it because I dig it’s Sith-like colour scheme.
The most interesting part of the puzzle to all of this seems to be our minds. That is the main thing I’ve come away with during the last couple of years listening to stuff blind:)
 
Jul 2, 2020 at 11:09 AM Post #43,488 of 46,554
I often tend to say many things all at once and as a result also often come off slightly contradictive. That is the point though hah!:p
But yes I am very much in the ‘measurements camp’ when I purchase new gear (frequency response, distortion numbers, impedance matching, power requirements) but then again also firmly planted in the real world. If distortion numbers on my old Rotel cd player are way below the audibility of human hearing, then I am fairly uninterested in boxes that are twice, thrice or ten times as inaudible. The same can be said of my Magni Heresy which will power all and anything I care to throw at it. It is incredibly clean distortion-wise but then again happens to sound like my old V200. I mostly bought it because I dig it’s Sith-like colour scheme.
The most interesting part of the puzzle to all of this seems to be our minds. That is the main thing I’ve come away with during the last couple of years listening to stuff blind:)
I don't think I really fall neatly into either the measurements/objectivist or the completely subjectivist camp. Yes, measurements can tell you whether or not a piece of gear is audibly transparent, but they don't tell you that poor measurements can also sound pleasing. People love vinyl and tubes, but they don't measure well. My li'l old DFR doesn't measure particularly well, but it sounded more than fine to my ears. My Bottlehead setup's measurements are probably laughably bad, but I love listening to it... Except with the HD 650! With those headphones it sounds like a muddy mess!

Also, it's kinda funny that the Star Wars villains are way cooler than the good guys. Darth Vader is cool as hell. You'd buy an amp that looks like Darth Vader. Han Solo is a swindling scoundrel that definitely and without a question shoots first, but he's charming as hell and he gets the ladies. Luke Skywalker is a whiny little goody-goody that nobody wants to be for Halloween.
 
Jul 2, 2020 at 3:33 PM Post #43,489 of 46,554
I don't think I really fall neatly into either the measurements/objectivist or the completely subjectivist camp. Yes, measurements can tell you whether or not a piece of gear is audibly transparent, but they don't tell you that poor measurements can also sound pleasing. People love vinyl and tubes, but they don't measure well. My li'l old DFR doesn't measure particularly well, but it sounded more than fine to my ears. My Bottlehead setup's measurements are probably laughably bad, but I love listening to it... Except with the HD 650! With those headphones it sounds like a muddy mess!

Also, it's kinda funny that the Star Wars villains are way cooler than the good guys. Darth Vader is cool as hell. You'd buy an amp that looks like Darth Vader. Han Solo is a swindling scoundrel that definitely and without a question shoots first, but he's charming as hell and he gets the ladies. Luke Skywalker is a whiny little goody-goody that nobody wants to be for Halloween.
Actually, you can measure everything up to your brain and ear. That's the reason even if you have the measurements you need to know how those measurements will relate to your experience (only by listening), but that's only with transducers. With source and amplification equipment, measurements tell you everything you need to know.
 
Jul 2, 2020 at 5:04 PM Post #43,490 of 46,554
Actually, you can measure everything up to your brain and ear. That's the reason even if you have the measurements you need to know how those measurements will relate to your experience (only by listening), but that's only with transducers. With source and amplification equipment, measurements tell you everything you need to know.
You're right, of course. But it seems as though most measurements you see are just a pissing match to see which product has the most inaudible improvements. Jitter measured in attoseconds? Uh, okay. If you say so, Sony. I rarely see measurements that center around human hearing, perception, and enjoyment. I guess you could argue that's what the Harman Curve is, but I'll admit that I don't even fully understand that (not that I've tried very hard). I don't think I've ever seen a measurement for a tube amp or anything related to vinyl, nor any clear explanation as to how their measurements relate to perception and enjoyment. I know that certain kinds of harmonic distortion can sound euphonic, but I don't know which kinds or how much, nor much of anything else about it. I also don't know or understand what the thresholds of human hearing are, plus it seems like there's not really a concensus about it.

I feel like I'm not being very clear, perhaps. I think what I mean is that I realize that every aspect of a piece of gear and our hearing can be measured, but a) the measurements that actually matter aren't necessarily the ones that are focused on, and b) I (and most people, I'd assume) wouldn't know what to do with those measurements if I saw them.
At some point I just throw up my hands, come to the conclusion that most measurements are just hoopla and over-hyped, and realize that I don't care so long as I like how something sounds. It probably helps that I'm not very picky in that regard.

Gah. I feel like my thoughts are clear in my head but then come out all garbled.

Also? Holy _<'(, using Head-Fi on Android is a _<'(>!& pain in the _<'(>!& ∆$$. No wonder I can't get my thoughts together. UUUGGGHHH.

EDIT: HD 650! Now this post isn't off topic.
 
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Jul 2, 2020 at 5:54 PM Post #43,491 of 46,554
You're right, of course. But it seems as though most measurements you see are just a pissing match to see which product has the most inaudible improvements. Jitter measured in attoseconds? Uh, okay. If you say so, Sony. I rarely see measurements that center around human hearing, perception, and enjoyment. I guess you could argue that's what the Harman Curve is, but I'll admit that I don't even fully understand that (not that I've tried very hard). I don't think I've ever seen a measurement for a tube amp or anything related to vinyl, nor any clear explanation as to how their measurements relate to perception and enjoyment. I know that certain kinds of harmonic distortion can sound euphonic, but I don't know which kinds or how much, nor much of anything else about it. I also don't know or understand what the thresholds of human hearing are, plus it seems like there's not really a concensus about it.

I feel like I'm not being very clear, perhaps. I think what I mean is that I realize that every aspect of a piece of gear and our hearing can be measured, but a) the measurements that actually matter aren't necessarily the ones that are focused on, and b) I (and most people, I'd assume) wouldn't know what to do with those measurements if I saw them.
At some point I just throw up my hands, come to the conclusion that most measurements are just hoopla and over-hyped, and realize that I don't care so long as I like how something sounds. It probably helps that I'm not very picky in that regard.

Gah. I feel like my thoughts are clear in my head but then come out all garbled.

Also? Holy _<'(, using Head-Fi on Android is a _<'(>!& pain in the _<'(>!& ∆$$. No wonder I can't get my thoughts together. UUUGGGHHH.

EDIT: HD 650! Now this post isn't off topic.
Even euphoric distortion can be different from person to person.

But I think in general when people say ''euphoric sound'', they mean slightly emphasized bass response. full lower mids, smooth upper-mids and treble, and an intimate soundstage.
 
Jul 2, 2020 at 6:01 PM Post #43,492 of 46,554
So I finally broke in and ordered replacement pads for my HD600 a couple days ago. The old pads got so bad that the foam has worn all the way through and the pads themselves are almost completely flat.

Looking at the drivers themselves to check for debris, I noticed one of them has a hair stuck to it! Is there any safe way to get it unstuck from the driver?
 
Jul 6, 2020 at 9:09 PM Post #43,493 of 46,554
Listened to the Shure 1540 pads on my HD650 for a few days now.

These retain the stock sound the best BY FAR of other pads I've tried (Dekoni Elite Velour, Yaxi HD650 pads).

How did I fit them? I took the pad rings out of the Yaxi pads (they're not glued on like the Dekonis), and fitted them in the Shure pads. But you can buy cheap fake HD 650 pads on aliexpress or ebay, and get the rings out of those pads.
 
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Jul 8, 2020 at 3:27 AM Post #43,500 of 46,554
I don't think I really fall neatly into either the measurements/objectivist or the completely subjectivist camp. Yes, measurements can tell you whether or not a piece of gear is audibly transparent, but they don't tell you that poor measurements can also sound pleasing. People love vinyl and tubes, but they don't measure well. My li'l old DFR doesn't measure particularly well, but it sounded more than fine to my ears. My Bottlehead setup's measurements are probably laughably bad, but I love listening to it... Except with the HD 650! With those headphones it sounds like a muddy mess!

Also, it's kinda funny that the Star Wars villains are way cooler than the good guys. Darth Vader is cool as hell. You'd buy an amp that looks like Darth Vader. Han Solo is a swindling scoundrel that definitely and without a question shoots first, but he's charming as hell and he gets the ladies. Luke Skywalker is a whiny little goody-goody that nobody wants to be for Halloween.
Yeah..the only good guy amp off of Star Wars I’d ever consider purchasing would be some kind of Obi Wan thang..preferably dressed in a robe with a lightsaber sticking out the top:-D
After having attended the first couple of blindtests I quickly came to my senses. If I can’t hear a difference between boxes blind, well then I am not interested. Seeing folks going absolutely ape-feaces because they can’t distinguish between a Chord Dave and an iPhone 6 also made the penny drop..but I guess all of this remains utterly absurd to folks who’ve never tried listening to gear blind.
I have a couple of friends with the old 600 + BHC combo which they absolutely adore. I can dig it, occasionally, but much prefer an amp with lower output impedance.
 

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