Sennheiser headphone cable upgrades...
Jan 15, 2009 at 10:59 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

usf09

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Posts
367
Likes
12
I was wondering what sort of improvement one could really expect from a Senn. HD650 cable upgrade, like the $425 ALO Audio Cryo cable? If I buy the HD650s I can get them for $320, and I'm just wondering will I really notice a difference in more than doubling the cost? I'll most probably be using a Cambridge DacMagic with a Head-Direct EF1 or RSA P51 Mustang/SR-71A...I'm coming from Bose Triports which I bought before finding this site and before trying my friend's Sennheiser HD212 Pros which easily sound better...
 
Jan 16, 2009 at 12:04 AM Post #2 of 6

Uncle Erik

Uncle Exotic
Joined
Mar 18, 2006
Posts
22,597
Likes
498
$425?

I have the Cardas and Blue Dragon cables on my Senns. Haven't really noticed a difference, though the cables are nicely made. Think of it more like putting chrome trim on your car's engine. Maybe the chrome will help with heat dissipation (or whatever) but it'll still be the same engine as it was before.

If you have a spare $400, put that into a desktop amp, turntable or another pair of headphones. Those will give you real, tangible benefits. They're not just dress up.

If you're curious if cable tweaks make a difference, experiment by yourself. Here's one you can try: buy a second HD-650 cable from Sennheiser for $12. Take it to the cryo facility in your city and have them cryo it for $2-$5. They might do it for free if you ask nice. Cryo doesn't cost hundreds, it's actually pocket change. After you cryo the $12 cable, switch back and forth between it and the stock one. If you hear a difference, you saved over $400. If not, you'll have a spare cable. You can also use the connectors on the spare cable to build your own cable of your choice. Good quality wire runs a few dollars a foot and, again, you can have it cryoed for the same cost as a Big Mac. There are plenty of build guides and information on making cables in the DIY Forum. You don't really need any special tools or education to build cables, either. Then, for 10% (or less) of the cost, you can hear for yourself whether cables make a difference.
 
Jan 16, 2009 at 12:05 AM Post #3 of 6

Pale Rider

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Posts
1,065
Likes
275
Location
NorCal, USA
ALO makes some great cables; I have an iMod LOD to RCA that I use with my Lunch Box and M Cubed and an LOD to 3.5 for my Nano into my Mustang. But I also blanched a bit at these prices for my Senn 600. I ended up getting an alternative from a forum member who also lists on ebay. If you look there, you will find him. He does phenomenal work.

P.S. Uncle Erik is right. Building cables is not hard; I think what you're paying for with some of the vendors is loving craftmanship, excellent materials, and--frankly--panache. FWIW, my Senn replacement improve detail and reduce smearing [perhaps reductiion of the infamous Senn veil], but I would not be willing to part with that much money for that specific item.
 
Jan 16, 2009 at 2:28 AM Post #4 of 6

my.self

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Posts
796
Likes
11
i dont think paying more than double for a cable will be worth the money. in my opinion, i dont think theres a tremendous difference between stock cables and aftermarket cables. i believe there are some, but not enough to justify the money u pay for them. but everyones different, so who knows. thats just me.
 
Jan 16, 2009 at 2:34 AM Post #5 of 6

csroc

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Posts
689
Likes
0
I certainly wouldn't advocate spending that kind of money to replace the cables. If you can try them yourself then that would be a great way to decide. If ALO has a good return policy then you can always put the money out front just to give it a go and see for yourself even if you have no intention of keeping such a ludicrously overpriced piece of wire.
 
Jan 17, 2009 at 10:29 AM Post #6 of 6

KevM2

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Posts
414
Likes
10
Changing the headphone cables and interconnects did a good deal to improve my sound. The combination pretty much removed the "Sennheiser Veil."

I'm using the EF-1 along with the HD600s. The HD600 is cabled with Equinox. Try out one of the higher quality cables from a vendor that has a 30 day return policy... They can make a huge difference.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top