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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. sennsay
    I too have used my pleather HD430 pads (they are in great condition, basically new with the headphones from Germany). I found them to be usable, though not as open and extended as the Chinese pleather pads, which are not only more comfortable around my ears but allow the finest aspects of the Ref1s to blossom with the systems I use. It's true (for me) that the very original cloth covered pads are (were!) by far the most deliciously comfortable pads I've ever experienced on the Ref1s, but they allow for nowhere near the qualities the pleather pads bring to the party in my ears, particularly when used in conjunction with the Mogami cable. I will be buying another set of those pleather pads in the new year.
    I am not willing to give up one ounce of that linearly extended bass for a touch more softness around my ears! Just as well there are many options available to cater for tastes and comfort :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
  2. dakanao
    Yeah, definitely agreed on the sound quality of the Chinese pleather pads. If I didn't have tinnitus in my right ear, I would keep them on at all time.

    I found Brainwavz velour XL to also be surprisingly good, however the pleather pads are more bass heavy (which is needed, resulting in neutral bass), more intimate and smoother, which I definitely prefer.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
    sennsay likes this.
  3. Narayan23

    I look forward to your comparisons!
     
    sennsay likes this.
  4. sennsay
    INTERESTING! Those 560 Ovation pads look identical, or very very close, to the original pads that came with my HD540s nearly thirty years ago and certainly the replacements from Sennheiser some 20 years later. I might consider ordering a pair in the new year. AND they come with rings and inners! Cool.
    I too would like to hear some impressions with these pads in particular. They may also fit the HD250 Linear and be another good option .. since I don't like mine with pleather pads.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
  5. myusernameislove
    I got my 4-channel amp (Samson QH4) ready for comparisons. Cables are not identical (minor problem) and pads will be swapped as well, as I do not have 4 pairs of each. Not ideal, yet faster and more reliable way of comparing sound than reconnectimg headphones to one amp and matching their volume. Expecto headphonum comparum next year. Potter.
     
  6. jon parker
    Thanks for the link...Unfortunately I think these are the same as the black Ovation pads - just too bright lighting!
    I have the new Black ovation pads - i do like them but the original light grey pads are like no other
    I did have another set arrive today (only one side working) but they had the original HD 525 pads on which after a quick listen seems good. Need to listen a bit more
     
  7. Narayan23
  8. jon parker

    With all due respect to others, I find them to be crap, same as the Brainwazy ones. Impossible to say really which are 'the best' because we all running different systems that have different sounds
    Also depends on how mature your ears are, what quality your source material is etc etc etc
    Good thing is though, most of the pads can be found cheap enough to buy different types until you find the ones that have the best synergy for you
     
  9. Narayan23
    Which have you found to be the best pads for your taste Jon? TIA.
     
  10. dakanao
    Yeah it's definitely personal preference, that's why I think it's important to tell how the pads sound relative to each other.

    Some might prefer more airy treble and soundstage than others, so they'll find the pleather pads bad for that preference. Some like smoothed off treble and an intimate presentation, in that case you'll love the sound of the pleather pads.

    Other don't like to use them because they're shallower than other recommended pads.
     
    Narayan23 likes this.
  11. jon parker
    Sure thing - might be good to make a list rounding up how people find the different pads and links to them where relevant?
    otherwise we all keep repeating ourselves!

    @Narayan23 - From the POV of looking for the most realistic timbre, balance, natural true-to-life sound Ive yet to find a better pad than the old grey velour Ovation 560 pads. I dont find a huge amount of difference between the other velours. It also depends whether Im listening through a tube amp / solid state / DAP. Over all through the sweetness of the 540 300 ohm which grey velour pads is lovely over all and might just beat all the myriad of configurations :)
     
    Narayan23 likes this.
  12. dakanao
    The official specs also say that the HD 540 Gold and the normal ones are the same weight, but the Golds are definitely heavier. I suspect because of that 24k Gold
     
  13. sennsay
    They look similar, all right, no inners though and as pads go, the eBay versions aren't expensive anyway :)

    I have no issues whatsoever with sound staging and these pads, I have often been aghast at the depth and clarity with well recorded live albums, folks appearing in 3D space seemingly well out in front of me and with sublime clarity, unaffected by other sounds around them. Literally jaw-dropped at times, Ricki Lee Jones' Naked Songs (Live) catching me out a number of times. You could hear a pin drop between some of those dynamic refrains, while the audience holds it's collective breath, a suppressed cough at such a low level I'd missed it sometimes, suspended in a 3D audience I can feel.
     
    Narayan23 likes this.
  14. Mahay
    I had a chance to try my HD540 with the famous microzotl headphone amplifier by LTA at CAF 2018 and wow!!!! Never heard my headphones sounded so good. I think it is the best headphones amp I heard so far.
     
    sennsay likes this.
  15. sennsay
    Well, I had to look that one up :) No wonder you thought so highly of it, it's a David Berning design! His amps are very highly regarded world wide. It looks to be a brilliant amp and it's a great preamp as well ... apparently.
     
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