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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. jon parker
    @myusernameislove - All audio chains contain different components. I would say with the HD540 you have achieved greatness at that end!
    Personally though I would look to the beginning of the chain because the source will effect everything going forward. Personally I began by finding a powerful DAP that I loved the sound signature of. I found this and have been happy ever since with the iBasso DX80
    The DX80 plays even 600 ohm with ease and has a particularly nice synergy with the 300 ohm HD 540.
    Once you have a 'perfect' source you can then add amps for when you want a different flavour to your sound. Out of the line out of my DX80 I can happily play through a nice tube amp or an even more powerful headphone amp with different DAC chips for another type of sound :)
    Tube amps are great as each tube make can sound quite different to the rest
  2. dakanao
    I'm wondering if these pads will be better than the oval counterpart of them?

  3. BucketInABucket
  4. dakanao
    Can you remember the sound difference between the normal ones and sheepskin version?
  5. BucketInABucket
    My amp is dead at the moment so I can't compare
  6. dakanao
    Alright, so you used to non-xl, round pu-pleather (non-sheepskin) before the XL round Sheepskin, if I'm correct?
  7. BucketInABucket
    Yup, switched purely for comfort reasons
  8. dakanao
    Do you perhaps remember the sound differences from memory, or not?
  9. dakanao
    I have some old AKG K540 velour pads laying around. They're just slightly smaller than the original pads, and a bit less deep. Gonna change them next on the HD 540 Gold to see how they'll sound with them
  10. BucketInABucket
    I don't sorry, will compare when my new tube/tube socket (whichever is broke) arrives
  11. 2002tiiguy
    I just acquired a set of ref II's
    A. Anyone have any recommendations for a balanced cable?
    B. I have an intermittent issue with the connection on the left ear, anyone have this happen before? If so, anyone repair this?
  12. myusernameislove
    5D9C39E4-4543-47CE-B3A8-0F89712FFF42.jpeg C4E6C0CC-C8DB-4285-8317-34BA5B5F69D7.jpeg
    Regarding pads, I am slowly getting this sorted out. Few more months and best pads will be found:). Brainwavz pleather pads have thicker pleather wrap, therefore the overal sound changes into less natural sound (someoone said it kills them) but the amount of bass increases (though it is more soft) and clarity of treble decreases. Tonality goes lower (more lower frequencies) and sound is more meatier with them. So you see, thick pleather pads sound both considerably better with bass light headphones (especially with HD560 reference 1 that has brighter tonality), but also considerably worse in terms of natural sounding characteristics. Then there are those cheap chinese pleather pads from ebay whose material looks like the material from stock HD265 pads. It is pleather but it is much softer pleather, and these pads are also less thick. These pads add less bass and do not alter the sound by changing it to meatier and duller sound. They are very good option for keeping sound characteristics while making the sound a little more bass heavy and bass tighter and more clear and less soft then velour pads. Then there are original HD430 pleather pads from Thomann. Their sound is probabably very similar to cheap chinese ebay pleather pads, because they have similar height and the pleather is similarily slim. I will need to compare both. Modern pleather pads from other manufacturers are again mostly made from thick pleather wrap, so they will probably sound similarily to Brainwavz pads. Then there is perforated pleather - yet to be tested. Then there are hybrid pads, but as you know, original Hd540 Reference 1 pads are hybrid in opposite direction. Current hybrid pads have pleather sides and soft circles, while original pads had cotton sides and pleather circles. I will need to test at least one hybrid. Then there are velour pads of different thickness (some of them have thin pleather bottom circle, some of them are completely velourish). My experience is that velour makes the sound too soft and untight and warm, and that it does not suit well this generation of Sennheiser headphones. Last option is original cotton pads: some models had cotton pads that were hybrids (pleather circle) once, before the pleather circle got ripped off. Their sound is currently too bright thanks to worse condition of inner foams and absence of pleather ring, but some magic can be done with them stuffing them with wool or inner foam from any set of new pads. But they still will sound too bright. Someoone prefers it, someone will prefer soft pleather pads (including me). These cotton pads have a slim plastic ribbon inside two foam pieces, which adds tightness to the bass in the same way pleather does it. If you mod your original cotton pads, use 2 plastic ribbons instead - one in between the 2 foam rings , as it was done by Sennheiser, and one more ribbon ring below the outer side, where pleather ring used to be. Then you will get closest to the original experience.

    Summary: thick pleather wrap adds soft bass and sound body but alters sound signature. Thin pleather wrap adds tiny bit of bass and tightens the bass and adds clarity. Velour sounds less clear and more warm and soft. Hybrid pads and perforated thick pleather pads will need to be tested. Cotton pads need to be modded but they still may sound too bright.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
  13. dakanao
    Yeah, I prefer the sound of the chinese pleather pads the most over the current velour pads I've tried, because they're smooth in the upper end, vocal forward and add needed bass, to make them neutral in quantity.

    The only reason I don't want to use them, is because my right ear gets fatigued by them because of their shallow depth.

    So I'm basically looking for that kind of sound, with deeper, preferably velour pads
    myusernameislove likes this.
  14. myusernameislove
    thumbnails added
  15. dakanao
    Have you heard the Brainwavz velours, or other brand velour pads with the 540?

    Also, can you tell me which pad sounds the closest to the chinese pleather ones, but is deeper?
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