Sennheiser HD650 & Massdrop HD6XX Impressions Thread
Apr 1, 2013 at 5:59 PM Post #11,656 of 45,351

yokken

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My Lyr provides an enjoyable amount of midbass slam. A demo song would be Sin City from the album Cruel Summer. The bass in the beginning of that song makes my HD650s rumble. It's awesome.
 
Apr 1, 2013 at 7:07 PM Post #11,657 of 45,351

Hellenback

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Quote:
 
I own both and I think the 650's are just the better all rounder IMO. I guess it's kind of a boring qualification but that's not the case at all. It encompasses quite a lot of things.
The greatest asset of the 600's is the incredibly natural sound. It's really something special and the 650 doesn't quite have that, but in return, it has a very enjoyable, smooth and polished sound with great treble that invites you to listen for hours on end. The 650 is less fatiguing than the 600's; the 600's aren't necessarily fatiguing but I find every so often that their treble is stronger than I like.
The 650's have a more neutral sound - everything, from bass up to treble, sounds integrated and uniform. The only exception is the subbass, which I guess could be considered the 6x0's only (pseudo)weakness. On the 600, I sometimes feel the midbass is just a little less than I'd like (though by no means weak) and the treble seems to stand out just a tiny bit for me. Very, very, rarely do I experience issues like that with the 650. I always enjoy the rich mids, I always appreciate the bass and the treble is never too much or too little.
 
The reason I call the 650's the better all rounder is because eventually, I always end up going back to them. I might periodically use the 600 because I love the natural sound. But ultimately, the 650's (to my ears) perfect frequency response always wins me over.
 
Ofcourse, this is all assuming an amp that doesn't mismatch impedance and has little to no deviations on its frequency response (+/- 1 db). I could easily see a speaker amp providing the 650's with an unwanted mid-bass hump.

 
After owning both I'd have to say I agree with this evaluation wholeheartedly. The 650s just seem to be easier to listen to for extended periods with all types of music. When I owned both and needed to decide which to keep (due to financial constraints) I just couldn't sell the 650s.
 
Apr 2, 2013 at 10:09 AM Post #11,660 of 45,351

Nirmalanow

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I will mention again the great synergy of the HD650 with the new iCAN amp. You can shape the sound with the X-Bass sub-bass boost, and also give the higher frequencies a bit more sparkle and widen the soundstage with the 3D effect. The result is a great sound from top to bottom. I have tried several other headphones with this amp and nothing else has sounded better than the HD650.
http://www.head-fi.org/t/654405/ican-amp-review-a-new-amp-that-gives-you-more-more-bass-more-soundstage-and-more-detail
 
Apr 2, 2013 at 10:55 AM Post #11,661 of 45,351

SunshineReggae

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Quote:
 
I think its easy to amp and not get a good bass slam. Its tougher to get the bass slam it is capable of. But not as tough as people say...


But this is compartmentalization of the idea of the 650's being hard to drive:
"Are they hard to drive?"
"No"
"But how easy is it to get bass slam out of them?"
"Pretty tough"
"Oh so they're hard to drive?"
...
 
There is no magic about the lower range frequency response. It's rather safe to say the HD650 has inherent strong midbass. Any competent amp will bring that out just as much as it will bring out the rest of the 650's properties. In fact, it's my experience that if anything, it's all too easy for an amp with high output impedance to provide the 650s with too much midbass. Ofcourse, there's always the issue of identifying exactly when bass is strong (i.e. has 'slam') and when it isn't.
The reality is that technically, something like a fiio E9 has no reason to not make the HD650's lower frequencies sound (close to) as good as referential. Anything beyond that is... subjective, and you may well feel the bloated bass coming from a speaker amp with great output impedance to be the right amount of 'slam'.
 
This myth of the HD650's being hard to drive exists on the same level as OTL tube amps being the best solution for them (while in reality, the only thing in particular those OTL designs commonly have going for them is that there's basically no question about them providing the 300 ohm hd650's with enough current and voltage, which is something most decent solid state amps can do just as easily). Just more audiophile nonsense on the pile.
 
Apr 2, 2013 at 11:10 AM Post #11,662 of 45,351

MattTCG

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I think that there is a bit of misunderstanding here. There is a big difference between "hard to drive" and "scales well with better amps." I've always been of the second opinion. I think that the 650 sounds pretty good out of the e09 but sounds much better across the spectrum with the lyr and other better amps. 
 
I've never said the 650 is hard to drive...
size]

 
Apr 2, 2013 at 11:41 AM Post #11,663 of 45,351

teofilrocks

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I'm ready to take the plunge with the HD650, just sold my HE400. What I'm really going for is Beyer-level comfort but without sacrificing low-end warmth and vocal/guitar mids. I have the DT770LE, which is surprisingly balanced sounding (really, a balanced 770, crazy right?) but not enough bass impact. Hope the HD650 gets close in sound and especially comfort.
 
Apr 2, 2013 at 12:06 PM Post #11,664 of 45,351

Ohnoitztotoro

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Quote:
I think that there is a bit of misunderstanding here. There is a big difference between "hard to drive" and "scales well with better amps." I've always been of the second opinion. I think that the 650 sounds pretty good out of the e09 but sounds much better across the spectrum with the lyr and other better amps. 
 
I've never said the 650 is hard to drive...
size]

I will agree too. When I first bought the HD650 I was expecting that thing to be impossible to drive from the way everyone described it. These headphones actually sounded great off the little dot amp. I figured if the HD650 sounded fine then every other headphone should be easy enough to drive too. Not quite the case lol.  With better amps though, they can sound amazing. Sometimes its a little misleading because these headphones aren't all that tough to drive at all. I guess its the world trying to persuade everyone into spending even more money D: 
 
Apr 2, 2013 at 12:34 PM Post #11,665 of 45,351

cyh03176

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Quote:
I will agree too. When I first bought the HD650 I was expecting that thing to be impossible to drive from the way everyone described it. These headphones actually sounded great off the little dot amp. I figured if the HD650 sounded fine then every other headphone should be easy enough to drive too. Not quite the case lol.  With better amps though, they can sound amazing. Sometimes its a little misleading because these headphones aren't all that tough to drive at all. I guess its the world trying to persuade everyone into spending even more money D: 

i forgot who said this but
 
buy an amp>no obvious improvement>can't return>persuade others to spend more money like myself
 
Apr 2, 2013 at 1:13 PM Post #11,666 of 45,351

EraserXIV

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It's not difficult to drive in terms of getting enough volume, and they sound great out of any standard solid-state. But they do scale up very well. A proper tube amp will bring it scarily close to an end-game rig. I dabbled in more affordable solid-states for 2 years because I was skeptical of the claim, how much better could it really get? I could have saved myself a lot of time and money if I just took the plunge earlier. However, I feel that any point beyond this is on a portion of the diminishing returns curve that I don't want to venture into.
 
I guess the question people need to ask themselves is: At which point of the diminishing returns curve do they want to stop? I feel like I hit a sweet spot for myself, the sweet spot for someone else may be entirely different.
 
Apr 2, 2013 at 1:21 PM Post #11,668 of 45,351

wolfetan44

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What amp do you have Eraser? I'm catching a bit of the upgradeitis and the Bottlehead Crack is very enticing and looks like fun to build (even though I have zero DIY experience)

He has the Crack with Speedball, its in his signature
size]

 
Apr 2, 2013 at 1:31 PM Post #11,669 of 45,351

EraserXIV

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Quote:
What amp do you have Eraser? I'm catching a bit of the upgradeitis and the Bottlehead Crack is very enticing and looks like fun to build (even though I have zero DIY experience)

 
Quote:
He has the Crack with Speedball, its in his signature
size]

 
Yes I have a Crack with Speedball. It's really up there in terms of price/performance ratio, but you do need to dedicate some time to build it which may or may not be an option for some people. Luckily, I bought mine prebuilt, but after looking at the manual, it is VERY well written and if you can follow directions it should be no problem. Just take your time and if you ever need help, the bottlehead forums are full of helpful people.
 
Once you get a tube amp though, you open the world of tube rolling which is another monster in itself 
size]

 
Apr 2, 2013 at 1:52 PM Post #11,670 of 45,351

jazzerdave

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Quote:
I think that there is a bit of misunderstanding here. There is a big difference between "hard to drive" and "scales well with better amps." I've always been of the second opinion. I think that the 650 sounds pretty good out of the e09 but sounds much better across the spectrum with the lyr and other better amps. 
 
I've never said the 650 is hard to drive...
size]


 
The HD650 can be hard to drive, but it's not abnormally so.  It's simply a reactive load.  Most of the headphones you'll find with impedance ratings of < 60Ω are also fairly non-reactive (they're rated at say 32Ω @1kHz but are withing an ohm or two all the way through the spectrum).  There are a few higher impedance headphones that are also relatively non-reactive, but the Sennheisers and higher impedance Beyers tend to have wacky impedance curves (usually having rather drastic increases in impedance in the mid-bass and above 10kHz).  Transformer coupled tube amps will not react well to this.  Amps with SS output stages will react well enough. Though, some will lose power in places.  Most OTL tube amps are significantly less affected by higher impedance or uneven impedance curves making them a common suggestion.  Essentially, OTL amps are easier to predict how they'll sound with headphones like this without looking at their measurements.  For planar headphones or other flat impedance curves (like the Denon D2K/5K/7K's), you don't really need to know how the amp reacts to changes in impedance, but for headphones like the HD650's or Beyer DT880 600Ω's, the sound can be harder to predict without a well matched amp.
 

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