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Why should I upgrade? (rambling)

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  1. MacDEF Contributor
    Quote:

    Xander, from my experience, the HD600 sounds that way on a lot of amps (Including the Max). They sound good with classical, but that's the only music I'd ever risk using them for. As soon as I used them with rock, it was all over. the bass overpowered everything, and I hated them.



    How do we explain the fact that a bunch of people feel the HD600 have "no" bass, while a bunch feel that the bass is "overpowering?" [​IMG]

    I really do believe that the vastly differing opinions on the HD600 (and I am including the 580 here) are a testament to their neutrality and power needs.

    Most other high-end headphones have been characterized as having a "signature" sound, even if slight. If you ask someone about a Grado PS headphone, you get a pretty good consensus about what it sounds like. If you ask about a Grado RS, AKG 501, Sony 3000, Ety, Stax, etc., the responses generall fall along a discrete spectrum -- you'll get different opinions, and different characterizations of the sound, but a reasonable person could see how those different opinions arose out of similar experiences.

    On the other hand, the HD600 generate, by far, the most wide-ranging descriptions of any headphone. Some say their treble is dark, others bright. Some say they're lacking in detail, some claim their detail is near-electrostatic. Some claim they have the most fabulous midrange of any headphone, while others claim the midrange is thick or grainy. Some say the bass is muddy, confused, boomy, and lacking in extension, while others say it's tight, fast, and very deep.

    How else to explain this wide disparity other than a) the HD600 need very good power; and b) the HD600 reveal the source and amp? In my experiences, there isn't a single other headphone that is so dependent upon the system in which it is placed.

    Personally, I can assure Neruda that neither the HD600 nor the Max sound "muddy and thick" when matched with a good source [​IMG]
     
  2. Neruda
    Quote:

    Originally posted by MacDEF
    How do we explain the fact that a bunch of people feel the HD600 have "no" bass, while a bunch feel that the bass is "overpowering?" [​IMG]

    Personally, I can assure Neruda that neither the HD600 nor the Max sound "muddy and thick" when matched with a good source [​IMG]



    Is a $6,000 Krell a good enough source?

    As for the bass thing, I don't know what to tell ya. I haven't heard anyone say that there's NO bass, but I don't doubt that people have said that before.
     
  3. Braver
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Neruda

    Is a $6,000 Krell a good enough source?



    I'd say pricing has absolutely nothing to do with system synergy.
     
  4. Neruda
    thank you for that. Are you saying that you think the Krell is a bad player? Tyll was consistently calling that player his "baby." I'd say it's probably pretty good. [​IMG]
     
  5. Braver
    dude, I don't even have a clue about what cdp were talking about here [​IMG] Krell is a good brand tho, bet it's a damn fine player! specially if Tyll thinks so [​IMG]

    so, I didn't say it a bad player, but it seems to me, when it come to system synergy (which seems to play a pretty big role when it comes to the HD600), "good" has very little to do with it. you can put all sorts of "good" stuff behind it and still don't get the synergy. as an example I'd say the Grado 325 counts as "good" and the X-Can V2 as well. I wouldn't pair em if my life depended on it tho!
     
  6. Tim D
    Who cares...seriously you can think your headphones are the greatest and have system synergy, but unless you pay for someones plane ticket to come over and listen it doesn't matter if you tell them that they haven't heard it in an "ideal" situation.

    And even if you do...OMG there is still the possibility they won't like your system...OH NOoooooooooooooo! Actually who cares. Hehe I wouldn't let you guys touch my Ety's anyways...

    Why is there a silly assumption that people don't vary, but audio equipment really really really do.
     
  7. MacDEF Contributor
    Quote:

    Is a $6,000 Krell a good enough source?



    Maybe, maybe not -- sure it's expensive, and sure it's one of the "better" sources on the market, but that doesn't mean much on its own. The sound it produces depends on the whole system. I can make a Krell sound worse than a $1,000 CD player if I use the wrong amp, ICs, etc. That was part of my point -- system synergy is important, and because the HD600 are so neutral, they'll show you any shortcomings or system mismatches. Logically, the fact that so many people have so many *different* impressions of it means that it is showing them differences in the systems driving them.

    Quote:

    As for the bass thing, I don't know what to tell ya. I haven't heard anyone say that there's NO bass, but I don't doubt that people have said that before.



    Well, maybe not "no" [​IMG] but a few people have criticized the HD600 as lacking in bass. But from a logical point of view, if the HD600 can produce deep, tight, accurate bass on *a* system, that means it can produce deep, tight, accurate bass.



    TimD wrote:
    Quote:

    Who cares...seriously you can think your headphones are the greatest and have system synergy, but unless you pay for someones plane ticket to come over and listen it doesn't matter if you tell them that they haven't heard it in an "ideal" situation.



    Tim, I couldn't really care less if other people like my headphones (any of them!) [​IMG] But as a researcher, I have an anal-retentive side that strives for accurate description. And I'm fascinated by the WIDE spectrum of qualitative descriptions of the "signature" sound of the HD600/580. I'm basically trying to figure out why this particular headphone is unique in that way.

    After looking at the various comments made about them (good, bad, whatever) over the past few months, and the systems in the profiles of many of those commentators, it appears to me that power requirements and system synergy are the biggest differences. That can't really be said about differences in opinons about other headphones. People either love or hate Grados, but most agree that they have a "forward" presentation and a couple slight bumps in frequency response that are responsible for that sound (more or less on different models). People may not all like/dislike AKG 501, but they all agree that the 501 has a wide soundstage (some think it's great, others think it's "artificial" -- but it's a consensus that it has a big soundstage). Some people don't like the bass on Etys, or the fit, but almost everyone (with one notable exception [​IMG] ) agrees that they are amazingly accurate, musical headphones. Etc., etc. But you can't find that sort of consensus on the Senns. I'm trying to postulate a logical argument why [​IMG]
     
  8. Tim D
    Ok I haven't taken the time to do much research since I don't care anymore, but IMO there are quite a few people that just don't always take to Sennheisser sound in a great variety of setups from a little setup to a maxxed one so to speak.

    Likewise there have been people who fell in love with Sennheiser sound from the start out of portables or receivers for some freak reason.

    IMO, each and every headphone I've ever heard have some
    "signature" characteristics. I think the idea of uncolored sound is a myth...sometimes the more uncolored a headphone is, the easier it can be to pick out slight imperfections. You can always notice stains more easily on a white colorless background than on a colored one. And IMO I wish I could say there was a headphone I've heard that is 100% colorless and stainless.

    And lets just say that you believe to have found a system for which is completely colorless and stainless, and putting on the headphones is like entering your own private venue. Well finally who is to say someone else will feel the same way. For all we know they might see things you don't see...like ummm infrared on the white stainless paper LOL.

    If we made a visual analogy...it would be people bragging about whose inkblots were more accurate or neutral.
     
  9. MacDEF Contributor
    Tim, I agree with you about the futility of "defining" what is "good."

    However...

    Quote:

    but IMO there are quite a few people that just don't always take to Sennheisser sound in a great variety of setups from a little setup to a maxxed one so to speak.

    Likewise there have been people who fell in love with Sennheiser sound from the start out of portables or receivers for some freak reason.

    IMO, each and every headphone I've ever heard have some
    "signature" characteristics.



    Yes, I agree that there is a "Sennheiser sound" that is different from the "Grado sound," etc. The one description often used to different between Senns and Grados is that Senns are "more laid back," while Grados are "more forward."

    *However,* that's not what I'm getting at. What I'm trying to get at here are the widely different descriptions of the Senns I described earlier. That doesn't really happen with any other headphone.
     
  10. Tim D
    I think there are widely differing commentaries on ANY headphone...Senns get a lot because they have so much exposure as being one of the first affordable headphones someone should get to be introduced into a hi-end headphone system.

    Theres just as much controversy you can get on Senn sound. Likewise, very few people give Tomcat much complaint or debate about his Beyer appraisals since they haven't heard the phones much or just aren't vocalizing it. On the otherhand if he comments on Senn sound...than there will be debate.

    Ety's don't get much variance since it is a very hit and miss headphone for people. And the people that miss probably just sell or return it without looking back or being able to cite what was wrong since it was a "miss" situation.

    I bet if Grado actually LOWERED their prices for their flagship headphone models...there would actually be MORE discussion and controversy. The people that obviously are willing to pay more for the flagship do so because they LIKE the sound and the flagship Grado model is obviously worth it for them. People buy Senns because it is a flagship model that has more down-to-earth pricing that is much more accessible.

    High degree of variance is one thing...but so is high accessibility and reporting.
     
  11. MacDEF Contributor
    Quote:

    I think there are widely differing commentaries on ANY headphone...Senns get a lot because they have so much exposure as being one of the first affordable headphones someone should get to be introduced into a hi-end headphone system.
    [snip]
    I bet if Grado actually LOWERED their prices for their flagship headphone models...there would actually be MORE discussion and controversy... [snip]... High degree of variance is one thing...but so is high accessibility and reporting.



    Tim, I have to disagree on this. There are *plenty* of people here who have heard Grados, and on very different equipment. Likewise, there are many reviews around the web, in magazines, etc. They are fairly homogeneous in their descriptions. In fact, I would argue that in the U.S., Grados are actually more well known as the brand people should go to for "entry level hifi." The HD-600 aren't really that popular in terms of sales -- I'll bet there are just as many people on Head-Fi who have Grado 225 and above as there are HD580 and HD600 owners (trying to compare similar price ranges). So, especially here on Head-Fi, I don't think exposure/accessibility are the key variables.

    Again, it's not just that people differ. It's *how* they differ. People generally agree on the "Grado sound," but they disagree on whether they like it or on matters of degree. Some will say they're "bright" while others will say they're not. But you don't hear anyone saying "Grados are lacking in treble and detail." On the other hand, no one seems to agree on the HD600 sound, other than the "laid back" comment I mentioned. Some say they are too bright, while others say they are dark. Some say they are grainy, while other say they are extremely smooth. Some say they have bloated, shallow bass, while other say they have tight, extended bass.

    We seem to be disagreeing on whether or not Senns have a more varied set of descriptions. After reading reviews and forums for a few years, I personally think it's pretty clear they do, and I don't really buy the argument that it's because not enough people have heard other cans, especially in a community like this.
     
  12. Spareribs
    It’s a great question.

    If you are happy with the sound, there is no need to upgrade. Budget gear is so good these days.

    Also, if you do want to upgrade, don’t rush. I plan on upgrading some items on my vinyl rig but probably won’t happen until about 4 years in the future. In the mean time, spend your money on some good Scotch whiskey.
     
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