Wow! Sennheiser HD 540 Reference are so good.
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sennsay

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Done.
Thank you :wink:
I was soo nervous during changeing that I forgot how it sounds before. But with this artificial leather i think bass is better but. But that is just on first listening. I will experiment more :wink:
Good job :) Next task will be change that cable for something that will bring you even more joy, either a stock HD600/650 cable or even better, the Mogami from Venus Audio (eBay), links are in recent pages here. I recently popped my original steel cable in my Ref1s (like the cable you have there) and the loss of balance and the gain of that forward upper midband edge returned, less bass definition and weight, as well as noticeable grain throughout the mid and treble. The Mogami cable is utterly grainless and evenly balanced from the very bottom to the very highs, with an enveloping soundstage all around your head. You won't know how truly excellent these cans can be until you do that little job as well!
P.S. I'm a bit Mogami biased (wink). I made up another cable a couple of days ago for the HD250s and when the correct 2.5mm jacks arrive in the mail from eBay, I will be making one for my HifiMAN HE400S as well.
 
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Malfunkt

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So the HD540 continue to impress. One of the finest balanced headphones I've ever listened to. My pads look identical to @kefalo 's HD540. I'm pretty sure these are the original pads, but the material and cushioning is immaculate as is the rest of the headphone.

It's starting to heat up here in Alberta, and these pads and the design of this headphone overall does not get as warm as say the HD800.

Listening to Scriabin - Complete Etudes - Andrei Korobeinikov.
Daniel Barenboim - On My New Piano
Thievery Corporation - Treasures from the Temple

Along with the HD540, I have also become fully engrossed by the HD800. Both bring something excellent to these recordings. On Scriabin, the HD800 edging it out the 540 on some of the most difficult piano passages especially the lower octaves where the 800 reaches lower and has superb control.

On Barenboim, the HD540 picks out every finger strike of the ivory perfectly, as does the 800.

Overall, I would probably reach for the 800 on classical but the 540 can also be preferred for its timbre.

On Thievery Corporation, for those familiar, they have incredible production. Awesome downtempo and live music. And here the HD540 shines. I've noticed for well-recorded classic rock, jazz, funk, hip-hop and soul, the 540 have just the right amount of warmth. Analog sounds rich, drums, snares and hats hit perfect.

The HD800 just sounds a bit 'canned' here. Oh oh! It is lacking a bit of soul ! I'd still groove on the 800, but pick up the 540 and wow. So much smoother, balanced.

This is it right here. This is what separates these two great headphones, and becomes readily apparent with the right material.

 
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sennsay

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So the HD540 continue to impress. One of the finest balanced headphones I've ever listened to. My pads look identical to @kefalo 's HD540. I'm pretty sure these are the original pads, but the material and cushioning is immaculate as is the rest of the headphone.

It's starting to heat up here in Alberta, and these pads and the design of this headphone overall does not get as warm as say the HD800.

Listening to Scriabin - Complete Etudes - Andrei Korobeinikov.
Daniel Barenboim - On My New Piano
Thievery Corporation - Treasures from the Temple

I have also become fully engrossed by the HD800. Both bring something excellent to these recordings. On Scriabin, the HD800 edging it out on some of the most difficult piano passages especially the lower octaves where the 800 reaches lower and has superb control.

On Barenboim, the HD540 picks out every finger strike of the ivory perfectly, as does the 800.

Overall I would probably reach for the 800 on classical.

On Thievery Corporation, for those familiar, they have incredible production. Awesome downtempo and live music. And here the HD540 shines. I've noticed for well-recorded classic rock, jazz, funk, hip-hop and soul, the 540 have just the right amount of warmth. Analog sounds rich, drums, snares and hats hit perfect.

The HD800 just sounds a bit 'canned' here. Oh oh! It is lacking a bit of soul ! I'd still groove on the 800, but pick up the 540 and wow. So much smoother, balanced.

This is it right here. This is what separates these two great headphones, and becomes readily apparent with the right material.

With you totally on the HD540's groooove factor :) AND it does it without boosting the bass or hyping up any other part of the spectrum. It just naturally boogies. You're absolutely right, it has SOUL! Your pads don't look like the original Senn pads for the HD540 that I got a number of years ago from the dudes themselves, maybe they are from one of the other versions. Mine were all cloth covered foam, incredibly comfortable but they did lose some bass energy. I'd be interested to know where your's do come from though, be nice to have another spare set. Meantime, I'll stick to the pleather ones, I just love that very linear bass extension with no peaky boosts anywhere. They really do make the HD250s sound quite boomy and unbalanced in the mid bass, something that is actually annoying me now. You're so right about the piano accuracy too, the tonal scale and natural weight of the instrument is very nice - I was born and bred with the sound of piano and live instruments in the house for many years. Ricki Lee Jones' piano on the live 'Naked Songs' album is sublime and also, amazingly, has depth front to back, I can just about pull out a tape and measure the length :)
 
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Malfunkt

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With you totally on the HD540's groooove factor :) AND it does it without boosting the bass or hyping up any other part of the spectrum. It just naturally boogies. You're absolutely right, it has SOUL! Your pads don't look like the original Senn pads for the HD540 that I got a number of years ago from the dudes themselves, maybe they are from one of the other versions. Mine were all cloth covered foam, incredibly comfortable but they did lose some bass energy. I'd be interested to know where your's do come from though, be nice to have another spare set. Meantime, I'll stick to the pleather ones, I just love that very linear bass extension with no peaky boosts anywhere. They really do make the HD250s sound quite boomy and unbalanced in the mid bass, something that is actually annoying me now. You're so right about the piano accuracy too, the tonal scale and natural weight of the instrument is very nice - I was born and bred with the sound of piano and live instruments in the house for many years. Ricki Lee Jones' piano on the live 'Naked Songs' album is sublime and also, amazingly, has depth front to back, I can just about pull out a tape and measure the length :)
Hey Sennsay, pads as far as I know were issued with the second iteration of the Rev 1 (after the classic headband). But yes, you are absolutely right, nothing is hyped.

Going to be doing a big Sennheiser photoshoot for our Head-fi meet. Looking forward to posting the results. I know for many there they will not have heard the 540 and 250s.
 
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sennsay

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Hey Sennsay, pads as far as I know were issued with the second iteration of the Rev 1 (after the classic headband). But yes, you are absolutely right, nothing is hyped.

Going to be doing a big Sennheiser photoshoot for our Head-fi meet. Looking forward to posting the results. I know for many there they will not have heard the 540 and 250s.
Cool! Hope it goes down really well for you. Gee, they look better pads than what Sennheiser gave me for mine all those years ago ....... :)

I just had to take a listen to The Thievery Corporation, great stuff. I'd heard of them but never listened in before.

More P.S. Listening to the above music via the 'little' Corda 2Move from the lappy. Used three different headphones - no point in using the 600 ohm jobbies - so it was down to the Denons, Sony MDR-1R and HD250s. Sony's are supremely clear but mid forward, rhythmic; Denons good but with reduced transparency in the mids; HD250s with the 430's pleather pads (I thought they were going to be good and initially was pleased with them, but that mid bass resonance does not make me happy) but I decided to take them off and use the Beyer DT880 velour pads. Good move, much better balanced, terrific mids and treble and smoothly into the bass which no longer seems like a detached higher plateau, better integration. Still a little too strong in that mid bass area at times, but maybe I'm asking too much from closed cans with bass reflex ports! These things are surprisingly good with the 2Move. Next trick was to remove the HD6xx cable and replace it with the new 5' Mogami cable I made two days ago, brilliant! Immediately the sound stage opens out and all music seems freer and more natural, out of the head and cans, naturally expressive too. The HD250s have narrowly again missed a flight to a new home :) By far the best now of all cans with the Corda 2Move, bass punchily taut, warm but much more in balance. I may just keep them for use in this system.
 
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Which cable do you recomend me.
I am very suprised with sound quality after pads replacement.with original one there were to much treble. Now I removed foam and put artificial pads leather and I like thise sound much more.
I have original cable. Steel one.
I want to replace it with copper one.
I have one cable, I bought it on ebay. But I do not think that it is for HD540.
On originals, metal conectors are flat. This one on the photo are round one.
If i try to put it with force I think I will crash it.

 
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dakanao

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I was thinking about this. i find the HD250 is 'one of those' headphones that offers different sonic characteristics with different albums. I love the sound on all of them but sometimes you get a wonderfully smooth very balanced almost identical 540 ref type sound with a little lift in the background of say the low E note of a strummed acoustic
Sometimes you notice the low end more. I have never found them boombastic but that will of course be dependent on source, pads etc etc
Its never a dull ride with them
I do find though the 540's almost always give the same blissful sweet performance - They are much more consistent in their sonic characteristic
You just never know - I finally bought a high end portable headphone amp a while back for my travelling kit - from the venerable neco soundlabs - The new mini amp - twin opamp with OPA627's
I paired it with my bland sounding Cowon X9 and holy moly - both the Cowon and the 540's sound super sweet - The best either of them have sounded yet !! o_0
(if you don't know neco - He is one of if not THE best portable headphone amp maker!! - http://www.necosoundlab.com/page20.html)
Would the Neco Soundlabs be good enough to drive the 540?

I'm looking for a portable USB amp/DAC only (formed like the Geek Out for example) because I'll use them with my laptop while laying down on my bed, the Little Dot 1+ is a bit too big
 
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sennsay

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P5174900.jpg
Which cable do you recomend me.
I am very suprised with sound quality after pads replacement.with original one there were to much treble. Now I removed foam and put artificial pads leather and I like thise sound much more.
I have original cable. Steel one.
I want to replace it with copper one.
I have one cable, I bought it on ebay. But I do not think that it is for HD540.
On originals, metal conectors are flat. This one on the photo are round one.
If i try to put it with force I think I will crash it.

Those connectors are fine, kefalo, they are the newer type found on all the new replacement cables for Sennheiser cans that use those cables, HD540/560/600/650/6xx etc. They do sometimes need the area just below the pins to be trimmed very slightly so that the pins push right into the sockets properly and stay there. Most of us have had to do some thinning of our new connectors. Just don't take too much, trim a little bit and pop them back into the capsules and see if they'll stay there with a gentle tug, if not trim a touch more. I've uploaded a pic of a cable I made some time ago for my Ref1s - Mogami cable, an early job, still works and sounds perfect though :) my latest version is a bit more pro. Notice how I've had to trim away a fair bit from the plug, compared to the new ones either side. Actually, in this case I trimmed a bit much and although they work just fine, I'd prefer a tighter fit.
You could of course just buy a set of Mogami cable (or other cable of your choice) from Venus Audio on eBay :) I make my own, but the Venus Audio ones look very nicely made and others here have bought them. Magnificent sound quality!
Looking at my pics, there is NO need to trim the part of the plug that goes into the capsule socket (as in the first pic!), only about 1mm-1.5mm from the wider base, about half way to the little notch in the side of the plastic body of the plug is plenty. This is only needed because the notch on the side of the metal pins themselves are larger than the the stock Senn pins and need a touch more length to lock into the contacts inside the capsules, as you can see in the close-up shot (2nd pic).
The OEM plugs have slightly different pin shapes compared to the Senn versions and this is what causes the necessary modifications, stock Senn plug is on the left - with the pointy pins :)


P5174900.jpg P5174906.jpg
 
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sennsay

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pcstepblack480.jpg
Would the Neco Soundlabs be good enough to drive the 540?

I'm looking for a portable USB amp/DAC only (formed like the Geek Out for example) because I'll use them with my laptop while laying down on my bed, the Little Dot 1+ is a bit too big
I still get great results from my 11 year old Meier Audio Corda 2Move DAC/amp (It comes with me whenever I go traveling), they no longer make this model but do have the Corda PCStep which has a similar DAC built in and upgraded volume control. It runs my 300 ohm Senn HD250s remarkably well, even if the vol is set to around 2-4 o'clock, surprisingly clean sound and rhythmic SQ. I wouldn't use it with 600 ohm cans though. It has adjustable gain (2 steps) and can run up to 15V with a power pack, or use a 9V battery. Both the 2Move and PCStep are very solidly made and extremely reliable! I also use an Audioquest Jitterbug and get a very clean signal. A Schiit Audio Eitr would also be excellent, from what I hear.


http://www.meier-audio.homepage.t-online.de
 
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Would the Neco Soundlabs be good enough to drive the 540?

I'm looking for a portable USB amp/DAC only (formed like the Geek Out for example) because I'll use them with my laptop while laying down on my bed, the Little Dot 1+ is a bit too big
Sonically the Necolabs & HD 540 suite each other very well (with the upgraded OPamp) - They both seem to have a similar 'sweetness' of sound which is heart meltingingly good
You can drive them at full volume on the low gain setting BUT it is uncomfortably loud
It is only sold as a 'mini' headphone amp all be it a powerful and superbly implemented amp (I own the more powerful dual Burr Brown Version 2 amp of his as well)
Also it isn't a DAC
Its a bit odd as an amp as it is essentially a perfect super portable travelling like full audiophile sounding amp
Anyway, its sounds really really nice
 
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GU1DO

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If a 540 is sounding 'thin' then there is something very wrong somewhere in the audio chain!
the only thing that is a little tricky is finding the right pads as the original pads that were made for them do not exist anymore
You can still find new replacement velour pads for the Ovation II - not cheap at around $40 and they dont clip in but 4 double loops of
electrical tape on the bottom of the pads holds them in perfectly!

Please let us know how you find the 660's and the 540's when you get them. Be interesting to hear your thoughts on the differences
i got my first vintage Sennheiser the HD424 beside my newly acquired HD660S , and to my ears the 424 is more enjoyable headphone , i can't believe how Sennheiser fuged up its sound quality ,, really i am speechless ,, the HD424 is so musical, alive, and imaging is crazy good specially for 60's - 80's music ,

the 660 has more engulfing 3D experience but i feel it add to the sound (artificial flavor) the engineer never intended to be there , i don't know how to explain it, the HD424 sound more truthful to sound mix. ,,,,, never thought that headphones were that good at that time.

also i want to stress that these headphones are very amp dependent and not any amp will do it right , luckily i have good inventory to try and test with.

i dont think i will keep the 660 although its a nice headphone but for modern music there are a lot of alternatives.

coming on the way :
HD 410 (drivers only)
HD 420SL
HD 424X
HD 424 (with white drivers)
HD 430
HD 540 Reference 1&2 (to see if i like the 500 line)

i am officially Sennheiser fanboy :)
 
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What portable dac/AMP combo sounds great with this headphone?

I honestly have the feeling they sound better straight out of my laptop jack, than the Geek Out 450.. Is that maybe because the laptops headphone jack has a way higher output impedance?
Finally, someone said that. With high power output, they seem a little too clinical sounding. I use Matrix Mini-i. The sound is kinda sweeter out of my PC jack.
 
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GU1DO

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hi all ,,
i got my 540 but i am looking for new pads ,,
does the 560 pads work on the 540 ?

any alternatives ?
 
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