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Wow! Sennheiser HD 540 Reference are so good.

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by hairspray, Jun 29, 2013.
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  1. dakanao
    And how is the sound signature right now with those Brainwavz?
    You mean these cloth pads?

  2. lantian
    Yes exactly these, cut the top open and put some new memory foam in them, so far for my ears no pads have come even close to how these sound. done this to two of my golds. Otherwise velours are not bad either, don't buy other brainwavz pleather or hybrid pads(most atrocious thing to ever be put on my phones), they destroy treble and air, and immersion of these headphones. These pads have the feel like they are not there and they sound like that aswell.
  3. lantian
    Also wanted to let everyone know that Monolith Liquid Spark pairs incredibly well with the 600ohm golds. It is a fantastic little amp that once a gain made me question my own theory of them needing immense amounts of power. With this little amp they have their body and depth and height. My magni 3 doesn't even come close to what liquid spark can do, which lets admit it with the 600ohm golds sounded bad, not even close to good pairing. Vocals are incredible with this thing, clarity is also far superior, layering. It sounds nice and pleasant , unlike magni 3 that was sharp and harsh. With superior depth and body. Would love to give more details but it still is in the process of burning in. What surprised me the most is that despite having less power than magni 3 it has more of it in practice atleast for these cans and can take full control of the transducers.
    sennsay likes this.
  4. sennsay
    I'm happy you've found an amp that let's you get the best from your Golds. I must say that my Ref1s (as I run them-in my sig) have nary a trace of harshness or edge and have wonderful depth and tremendous imaging and fine detail within a wide, deep, noiseless and vertically expansive soundstage. And that's with a Mimby and Magni 3, linked with ultra silent pure silver ICs. Almost always with the QP1R as source. Female vocals such as Lorde and Ricki Lee Jones are 3D organic flesh and blood, so natural that any thought of 'hifi' never enters my mind. The only way my Ref1s show any edge and vocal thinness is with truly horrible recordings - which isn't their fault and even then it's easy to hear that it was caused by electronic means, their essential humanity remains - or I go back to using them with the stock steel cables .... very VERY briefly! ... and just as a sample of how far they have come with pleather pads, correct inners and Mogami cable. As a whole, edgy, sharp and thin has no place with them. At 600 ohms they are easy to drive even from my recently restored 40 year old Akai AM-2600 amplifier, much easier than the 22 ohm HE400S! No edge or sharpness there either from the Ref1s, just their innate organic and fantastically tuneful aliveness, as always. I seem to have found the perfect match of cable, pads and inner foams with them, musically adept gems.
    I even tried the Magni with some much cheaper, though still well made, cables the other night and although a touch of smear and grain was introduced, along with less inter-spacial silence, there was still no thin edginess, I wondered if there might be. The Magni 3 needs a good DAC in front of it, I think, not so much to smooth it out, as I find it to be a generally very even amplifier in my experience, but to let it shine as it is so capable of being.
    Still, that's really neither here or there for you now :) You have your wonderful match in the Liquid Spark.
    lantian likes this.
  5. lantian
    Thanks. I guess magni just didn't pair well with rest of the chain. I know it wasn't the Fiio that introduced the harshness as I had a chance to plug it's line in to a reference Marantz amp and so showcase speakers(don't remember the model or make, wasn't paying attention to that) they had at my local HIFI store and it had no traces of any harshness or anything other than music. I was considering buying a speaker amp for them for quite some time, in the end liquid spark came out and I decided to try it out. Best decision I made. Vocals have never sounded so real.
    I also use mogami as all my interconnects and headphone cables, so far I would say that mogami have no sound, at least that's how they appear for me. Thank you for that recommendation.
    sennsay likes this.
  6. sennsay
    True, mismatches just can't be picked sometimes. Ah yes, the Mogami cable certainly has a supreme neutrality, 'no sound' describes it well. I'm in the process of making a set for my HE400S, already have Mogami cable on the Sony MDR-1Rs on my head right at this moment and have considered making Mogami ICs from the stuff for ages ... haven't quite got there yet. The Slinkylinks pure silver ICs I use between Mimby and Magni 3 are used elsewhere on occasions when I want to hear exactly what an item sounds like in it's purest form, barring any incompatibility from the air-dielectric unshielded cable, never an issue with the Schiit stack, only utter silence and incredibly pure sound in space being the result. I will be fascinated to hear if the Mogami as ICs might change anything. They certainly seem to be an open and extremely uncoloured pathway.
    lantian likes this.
  7. lantian
    Do try them as IC's, I really like these cables. Wheter or not they will be better than your existing ones I can not say, though if you try do let us know about your results.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  8. dakanao
    How do I put new memory foam in them? And which memory foam exactly?

    I'm just wondering, since these pads were bass light on my regular HD 540 Reference
  9. BucketInABucket
    So I remember why I used the sheepskin pads now; the smaller ones I had touched my ears and were uncomfortable as heck.
  10. dakanao
    How do you find the sound signature with the Sheepskin pads?
  11. BucketInABucket
    Effortless and natural, in short! Lacking in bass extension of course but that's nothing new. Should mention I'm running it out of a Project Ember with a CV4003, I believe?
  12. dakanao
    Do you find them lacking in midbass/upperbass quantity with those pads?
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  13. sennsay
    I agree with the Brainwavz comments, my experience exactly, truly horrible with both the HD540 Ref1s and the HD6XX. Dead sound. All over-warm wooly bass and squashed mids and treble. The pleather pads I've been using for some time now will only get replaced with more of the same when I need them. They are amazingly linear and extended, midrange with the Schiit stack is fabulous, as previously mentioned, the only thing the velour/cloth stock (original) pads had over anything since is stunning comfort. The pleather pads are only a little less so, yet do far more to make up for that. The DT990 velour pads are ok with the Ref1s, but lose out on that lovely linear and extended bottom end, they are comfy enough though.
    The Ref1s and pleather pads I'm using sound so natural that I'm not bothered to explore further at this time and they sound like that with a wide range of equipment, revealing effortlessly any variances in electronics and presentation, while maintaining their supreme ability to allow music to flow and sound organically alive.
    Truly, a Reference, not only for their time, but also in so many ways today that are missing from many cans from this era in such a complete manner, or close to it, short only of modern references very many times their price.

    Yes, lantian, once we have moved house next week, I will be ordering some more Mogami cable to make up some interconnects! I am fascinated to hear how they perform in that area ...... and I have just had the thought that they would likely make fabulous arm cables from a turntable, where their utterly silent background to a musical signal is paramount!
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
    lantian likes this.
  14. lantian
    Cut the outer top part open or just rip it open, You can then proceed to replacing the old foams with the new ones. to put it back together I jus sew it back together, I guess glue could work as well.
  15. jon parker
    So...THE BIG QUESTION IS . . .

    Have any of you good folks found an IEM that sounds the 'same' or close to the HD 540?
    I recently bought the Pinnacle P1 and they remind me very much of the 540! o_0 - Perhaps not technically when you listen with your audiophile ears, but the airy 3d soundstage . . .
    Which as Im sure you can appreciate is quite a find.
    To be able to travel with a small in ear IEM#s that have similar qualities to the 540. What could be better ? :)

    Anyway, please let me know if you yourselves have found any IEM's that would make a 540 traveler happy :)
    lantian likes this.
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