High End Audiophile Thread Part 2

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by vbetts, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. SplashDown

    SplashDown Master Guru

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  2. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    UPDATE: sold the DT-990 Pro, ordered the DT-1990 Pro. Felt the soundstage was compressed, and instruments that were quiet were disappearing into the background. Hope the Tesla's fare better.
     
  3. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    Oh yeah, DT1990 are definitely more controlled, clear and punchy sounding. However don't expect soundstage to open up. DT1990 trades clarity and imaging over soundstage.

    If you into soundstage, better invest into HD800. Or poors man HD800, AKG712. Bass is rather lacking though. So depends on what you like.
     
  4. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    [​IMG]

    "Do not underestimate the Power of BeyerDynamic. There will be no other headphones left to stop us this time." - Lord Vader

    [​IMG]

    The soundstage on these isn't as robust as my Sony's, but better than the DT-990, but are quite acceptable [EDIT: Better than acceptable, it's quite good. Nice natural presentation.]. I can see these as studio monitor headphones for editing. Also, soft instruments aren't disappearing to the background either like the DT-990. :D Now I have to retrain my brainz! Breaking them in with the Balanced pads.

    I also invested in a Mini-XLR replacement cable (4') which is more flexible than the stock cables, and easier to use on the desk. I have a habit of pulling my headphones to the floor from the cable entangling with my feet. Neurapathy prevents me from feeling the cable too often.

    EDIT2: After some listening, and getting EQ APO all set up, I compared the Analytic Pads vs the Balanced Pads. The A pads bring the signature sound to be more aligned to the Sony's MDR-SA5000, bright, airy, detailed, and fast, tho not sibilant. If the track you listen to sounds sibilant, it's because it's in the mastering. Don't blame the cans, they are highly revealing, which is the point of studio mastering headphones. :)

    The Balanced pads are more solid, and ventilated, meaning you can move more air and keep it inside the seal. This raises up the lower end, and causes the frequency curve to be more in line with the Harman Curve. I still find it detailed and resolving, just with more timbre and visceral impact. Still, the bass is controlled, and not loose and muddy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
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  5. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    I knew I saw that picture somewhere else.

    (sorting /r/headphones by new >_>)

    Your points are similar to mine in terms of DT1990 performance. I noticed better bass performance by switching from cheap soundcard (Xonar DG) to dedicated dac/amp (Topping A30/D30).
    Since you already got decent hardware, can't think of anything better for it.

    DT1990 does indeed shine with well mastered song! Hard to watch youtube/music with poor mastering, got myself HD600 for it. It makes everything sound just good.
     
  6. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    @sverek Yes, /r/headphones is an evil place. :D My impetus for upgrading was several fold:

    1) The MDR-SA5000 is a very fast, detailed, and airy headphone. It's also pre-Harman Curve, and rolls off on the bass/subbass. Much EQ required. Even after EQ, it's still lean on timbre, compared to the HD-580.

    2) The MDR-SA5000 are my second high-end headphone, the first being the HD-580 Precision. Consider how long both have been out of production. My only other can is a V-Moda Crossfade LP, for use on an iPod. I also have an earlier revision of the Headroom Supreme Portable amp. (D-cells vs AA-cells option for portable power). IIRC I got the HD-580 in early 2000's, and the SA5000 somewhere about 2004-2005? So we're talking about 15+ years without a serious upgrade, mostly due to looking for a set of cans that had elements of both cans, without costing a fortune. :)

    3) As of late, due to my neurapathy in my feet, I often get the SA5000 cable caught in my toes without feeling it, and I would get up and the headphones get yanked to the floor. The SA5000 are known for having delicate wiring in the base of the cans, and soldering required to replace the cable. I do <3 these cans, and so was concerned with maintaining them, especially since they are long out of production. The DT-1990 are very tankish, and I appreciate the mini-XLR connection.

    4) I find the DT-1990 to be what I was looking for: a MDR-SA5000 successor with strengths where the SA5000 were lacking. Strong build quality; the mini-XLR connection won't wimp out on me in 10 years. And the DT-1990 perform very well with any genre, and can be tuned via the pads to your tastes. They also are very close to the Harman Curve in tuning, except in the treble, but you can use them w/o EQ. If the 8K Hz bump is too annoying for you, you can tame it with a passive inline filter, an EQ, or even some screen additions. (I was amused at the paper towel mod, reminds me of using nylon stockings cutouts to replace my back pads on the HD-580.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
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  7. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    Was looking for EQ to play with for DT1990. Found interesting EQ from oratory1990. The difference between other EQs I applied, oratory EQ didn't make DT1990 sound boring.

    It basically keeps the sound interesting, without shutting down details by lowering treble.

    [​IMG]

    It also eliminated most sibilant sound, so I was able to listen to Muse and other musicians who tend to get intimate with mic.
    There big list of EQ here, see if you can find your headphones, might create totally different listening experience.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/oratory1990/wiki/index
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
  8. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    @sverek You discovered the Harman Curve Compensation EQ :) Make sure you use the correct profile for your pads.
     
  9. OnnA

    OnnA Ancient Guru

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  10. Toadstool

    Toadstool Member Guru

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    I was reading another thread and sample rate came up, I'm not sure if this has been posted, it's a great look at sample rate and where the sweetspot is. It's aimed more at recording engineers but I think the findings should still be interesting for general audiophiles.

    lavryengineering.com/pdfs/lavry-sampling-theory.pdf
     

  11. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    @sverek I've switched to using Analytic pads + Oratory1990's EQ settings, with a minor left shelf tweak to 100Hz vs 90. This really deomonstrates what those Tesla drivers can do. :)
     
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  12. mike2299

    mike2299 Member

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  13. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    Bought HD 660 S... One step closer in completing my HD 600 series collection. :D

    It was on sale for 379 € so basically 50 € cheaper than typically.

    I probably need to buy discrete DAC too in near future... The problem is when I work at home and use my work laptops, the RealTek absolutely sucks and I can't obviously use my AE-5 with my laptop.

    The DAC in my keyboard is closer to 2Vrms while the laptops is 1Vrms at best. It's cleaner but just doesn't sound right. Has weird metallic clang in highs (probably some kind of distortion, after all it's garbage) and there's not enough power to make the bass sound correct - all that nice rumble and the feel that drivers are moving are gone (no matter how you crank up the volume). Things fall apart once all kicks in. If I'd hook my O2 to either one things would be improved power wise but I can't be arsed to do so (not a fan of constantly plugging in and out stuff behind my computer). I have my eyes on Soncoz LA-QXD1 - would have everything I could hope for at affordable price.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  14. theoneofgod

    theoneofgod Ancient Guru

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    There are tons of in-line DAC/AMPS available nowadays, it might be something to look into. USB powered.
     
  15. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    Just got my HD 660 S. It's the 2019 refresh variant and the plastic parts are noticeably nicer than in the older units. The new moulds they use now are very nice improvement - no seams or rough edges.
     

  16. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    Nice to see the plastic is better.... </sarcasm> Never understood their love for plastic. Even on their hi-end stuff.

    The 660S use the drivers from the HD700, but is tuned like the HD6xx series. Benefits include speed and detail, and hopefully they won't blend instruments together like the earlier drivers.
     
  17. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    Hmm... I'm glad that Sennheiser doesn't seem to have any plans to retire the other HD 600 series headphones. HD 660 S is rather different compared to HD 6XX. Sound stage is different - its a matter of personal preference which you prefer. HD 660 S a bit more around your head style where with HD 650 things are more like in front of you. Imaging is more drastic on HD 660 S. It's hard to say which has wider sound stage - might actually be HD 650 but since the sound stages are different it's a bit hard to compare. HD 660 S is a bit faster but in reality the differences aren't that massive.

    Tuning wise... I find HD 660 S actually rather sibilant and a bit "sharper" (because of speed and that sibilance; HD 650 doesn't lack clarity). HD 650 has a tad more prominent sub bass and it's actually quite a bit brighter headphone than HD 660 S while not being sibilant. To my ear HD 650 is more natural sounding from mids and beyond. No sibilance issues and no obvious slumps or peaks.

    Which one I prefer? HD 6XX. Nothing sound bad with it (or more like everything sound good). HD 660 S works really nicely in some things but in some cases the sibilance raises its head and it hurts the treble detail compared to HD 650 so things get lost in shshshss and things end up sounding sharper and smoother (texture wise) on HD 650. For EDM, trance etc. HD 650 is almost always the more pleasing option, especially with vocal tracks. HD 660 S is more analytical rather than natural (= which I would consider neutral, as in close to what I consider things actually sound like in real life).

    As always you mileage may vary. After all, everyone has different ear shape.

    [​IMG]
    Really like the refreshed design. Also it didn't seem to clamp as much (it was very easy to get to comfortable clamping level with the typical bending). As comfortable and light as before. Makes me want to buy the refreshed HD 650... Also the pads that came with HD 660 S are better than the ones that came with HD 58X and HD 6XX. Clearly different batch, maybe even improved. The ones that came with HD 58X were surprisingly shitty (bought replacement original pads which were much more room).
     
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  18. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    I prefer HD600 the most out of HD600 series line-up. HD650 got a bit too much warmth to my preference. HD660s didn't sound sibilant to me, but sound quality was really bothersome after listening to DT1990. Maybe try some EQ to lower treble of HD660s, helps a lot until your ears get used to it.
     
  19. mikeysg

    mikeysg Ancient Guru

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    I haven't posted in a while as I'd been more focused on my Ryzen build, as well as buying an LG ATMOS soundbar for my XBOX One X + 65" Panasonic TV (and enjoying the heck outta 'em). Finally got down to setting up my iFi Micro iDSD Black Label for my 2nd rig, just fired up the Micro iDSD BL + Grado GS1000i and I'd forgotten how much I enjoy the latter.....the BL isn't a slouch either. Been listening to some piano piece (Yiruma's Kiss the Rain and River Flows in You) as well as some Rod Stewart's many hits. I must say, I still enjoy the nice bass and sparkle on the GS1000i. The Bass Boost and 3D sound on the really adds to the overall presentation of the music (though I don't use 'em much as I prefer my music unenhanced). Will try my GS1000i against my HD600, HE4XX and Dharma D1000 (which are my can on rotation at the moment).
     
  20. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    There isn't much difference in actual warmness between HD 660 S and HD 650 (HD 58X is warmer than both). The perceived detail is quite a bit higher on HD 650 since it's as a whole brighter sounding headphone. The sound texture is smoother (but not exactly less detailed; some things sound sharper instead of "splashier") and sub bass rumbless a bit more. Doesn't seem to matter what I do with the EQ it doesn't really seem to make any real difference. You can't EQ timbre.

    I'll be keeping it for now (got the balanced cable now :D). To be honest though pretty much all of my music collection sounds better to my ear on my HD 6XX though.

    By the way, I'll be repurposing the shell of my HD 58X... That should be interesting.... Any idea what I'm planning to do? :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020

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