HateDis650 (oh God the dark side please don’t)

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by rhythmdevils, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Unfortunately I have tried out some of the amps you listed (SW51 and Gilmore lite each for more than 3 weeks). LP hasn't been tested extensively with 650 as it screened at earlier stages. I might be very rare one who thought sw51 just ok with 6x0 (both 6xx and 600). They paired good. But not as magical as hyped.

    Among I tried I liked Erish the best. Not very exclusively good tho.

    But I do agree with the idea of synergy. I just couldn't just find aha moment in the sub-1k range I tried.
     
  2. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    If I were building a system around the 650/6XX today I’d get an early production Jot 1. That was by far the best amp I’d heard the 650 with that didn’t cost an arm and a leg.
     
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  3. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    This is really a wonderful statement (although his and my intentions may not necessarily align). And that's what I've been thinking about the foundation of $$-$$$ headphone realm. Maybe the crux of this hobby in general.

    The takeaway is hd6x0 showed what mass-produced textbook (or scientific or solid 7 or whatever) recipe should/could sound. Then the next step is how to leverage with unusual or experimental designs to minimize perceived loss in core criteria and to bring something more engaging to the table. I feel like those who say 6x0 meh or not that good IN THIS FORUM already deeply understand their own weird preference, as speaking so loudly when most don't think needs a lot of bravery.

    Just an aside. Nowadays I don't think anything else (garbage excluded) less tonally cohesive than 6x0. Likely either my tonal perception could be weird or I define cohesiveness differently. But listening with 6xx helps me to understand what OTHERS think the best tonal cohesiveness.
     
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  4. hifiandrun

    hifiandrun Almost "Made"

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    This is great to know. I believe that mine is an early production Jot 1. Which will have the better synergy, Jot 1 + original HD650 or Jot 1 + HD650 KISS, without consideration of DAC pairing? I can (and seems I will) swap DAC once in a while. Much appreciated.
     
  5. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Frankly I remembered the synergy being excellent with both, but I prefer a KISS modded 650 over an unmodded 650, provided the mods are done well.
     
  6. Raimei Templar

    Raimei Templar Friend

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    For me the main issue with the whole 6xx line is the earpads. They flatten fairly quickly and when they do the FR gets impacted significantly. I actually like the stock fresh earpads 650, it is a little too intense in high Mids for me but otherwise sounds very good, one of the best stock FRs. However that wonderful sound only lasts for a couple of months, then it gets warmer, darker and duller sounding as the pads compress leading it to the infamous veil.

    I am not sure if it is just my head somehow making pads compress faster or what but I would need to replace the pads at least once a year to keep it sounding great which is not ideal. I wish someone could come up with earpads for it that didn't kill the sound and lasted longer, would make it a much easier headphone to love.

    I actually much prefer the 650/660s over the hd600 because the hd600 is even more aggressive in upper Mids, that 3k region is rough for me! The 660s was my favorite of the line overall (with new pads) but I think it gets killed even harder by the earpads as it gets dull and yet keeps the mid treble spike.
     
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  7. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    upload_2021-4-19_18-2-5.png

    ^not my current mod, but try pad risers! A few dental cotton rolls smushed under the back lip of the pad (not all the way around) can help maintain firmness and distance. I think the mild angling may help with center imaging as well.

    I prefer the sound of my most broken in pads with this tweak, even over fresh pads.
     
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  8. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    Everyone has a preference. For the price and with the right gear the HD6## is super solid. No one ever said that with better gear the HD6## will out perform an Utopia or an VO.

    Dunno, not like these are high three figure/four figure headphones to begin with. Flaws (basic IMO) they will have, but on a high level it isn't a big deal.
     
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  9. CEE TEE

    CEE TEE Free Agent

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    @rhythmdevils Okay, I've been meaning to put together a wagon-full of stuff...and drop off to you.

    On-Topic: Marv-Modded HD650, stock HD6XX, stock HD600 + early ZDT Jr.

    Off-Topic: I can also drop off a bunch of other stuff for you to listen to and play with if the timing is OK next week.

    Afterwards, just hold onto the Marv-Modded HD650 if you like. There are public graphs of this pair and the 6XX/600 are enough for me to keep as reference. Lemme know...
     
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  10. spoony

    spoony Spooky

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    Is your current mod documented somewhere? My pads are flat and I don't want to buy more.
     
  11. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    Senn mods are a continual WIP as you can imagine. And I don't always suggest doing what I have on mine, always in a state of flux and some mods may do nothing or more harm than good unless balanced with other mods.

    Right now on my HD600 I have rear spider removal, torn vent paper on the rear of the drivers, stacked double magnets per side (secondary magnets scalped from 6xx drivers), sushi mod atop the magnets, extreme mass loading with dynamat (rear) and tungsten putty (front under the pads), a few cuts of microfiber cloth over certain parts of the baffle (black silkscreen), no front foam, pad risers like pictured above, cut out the central driver brace, and a few perforations on the pads I did by hand with a leather hole punch. I very much enjoy how it sounds. I was not so much a fan of the stock black screen HD600.

    I'll post some pics and measurements in the next few days if you're interested...

    edit - found a pic on my phone of the rear:
    IMG_20210326_172531.jpg
     
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    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
  12. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    @E_Schaaf Do you have before/after measurements of inner side hole punched pads? And/or before after impressions?

    Next level velour pads: hybrid velour. Velour outside, inner-side chamber is perforated velour.
     
  13. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    cool about stacking the magnets. How big of a difference did that alone create? I could imagine it being a good thing or possibly overdriving the drivers causing new resonance and flex.

    Meticulous work with the dynamat! I know how long that takes. I’m kind of skeptical about all these mass loading HD6x0 mods. I just don’t see that helping their timbre issues which is my main problem with them.
     
  14. spoony

    spoony Spooky

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    Thanks for the breakdown! Yeah, probably a bunch of people beside myself interested here. I've yet to try a 'sushi mod', is that a roll of felt filled with polyester fiber, or is that natural fiber?
     
  15. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    Stacking magnets with a 3D printed cage but with damping tuning in front of the driver instead of mass loading is what I tried and had reasonable success.

    I'm now using a stock HD650 as my main with the stock cable. I've had this same pair for over 4 years now and despite many attempts to get rid of it, it always came back with a vengeance.
    I want to say this is the most hard to drive headphone of all, the typical veiled midbass heavy dark signature I find is true on lower tier gear. I'm not sure what makes it wake up, it's definitely not power but somehow quality and upstream gear all the way to transport are very audible. Actually most of my milestones in the audio journey were marked by the HD650.
    1. Selling Eikon, LCD4 and OG Abyss and buying Stellaris for HD650
    2. HD650 performance with Apex Teton
    3. Selling Uptopia, Verite O and C, HD800SDR hardwired and second Abyss, keeping 650
    4. Modding Stellaris and commissioning a custom Woo WA5 to step up HD650 performance
    5. Selling Stellaris and going the DIY route as I felt the headphone had more to offer
    6. Rockna Wavedream Signature + Net unlocking the depth, soundstage and low end HD650 is capable of
    7. Building the craziest parafeed amp and being rewarded with the finest, cleanest high end I've experienced.

    I'm in process of building the ultimate headphone amp and it's because of these buggers, the HD650 constantly asked for more and with every upgrade they delivered. The prototype PX4 amp adds crazy room acoustics and hard hitting low end putting the D8K to shame, for my liking IMHO.

    Going through all the headphones two are indeed superior, Susvara and Abyss 1266TC. Susvara has a crazy large stage and vast realism, TC may be the only hp to have a superior midrange. Both of these headphone worth £10K have build issues and I'm not sure they'll survive 10 years but I'm sure the HD650 will. Even so I'd say they're at most 40% better purely for enjoyment and the only who can offer a complement. Desert island single setup, rockna stack with an AVC DIY amp and stock HD650. I am trying to find where the scaling stops or if I run out of upgrades first.
     
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  16. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    @tommytakis tried the double mag before I did and might have gotten better results in the bottom end. It's hard to say what the magnet stack alone does because you need to remove the rear spider in order to do this which has other effects on the sound. But when making the singular move to double magnets on top of the other mods that were already there, I noticed improvements in both dynamic liveliness and also a smoother timbre across the spectrum. Better control, less grain, finer gradations. The sushi mod around the magnets is simply adhesive felt stuffed fairly tightly with cotton from a cotton ball. You need the height of the double magnets for this to fit. The mods go hand in hand. Sushi tweak helped to diminish the extra midbass and upper mids after the move to double mag, which was otherwise a bit more forward than I would like in those areas. While my HD600 doesn't have subsonic extension like all of my other cans, I don't audibly hear D3 distortion in the lows like I could with the stock config. It's clean, even if it doesn't rumble. Not a cheap mod though since you need to kill two other senn drivers to do it. Third party magnets might be an option I'm looking into.

    I definitely went overboard with the dynamat and mass loading - diminishing returns kick in very hard going beyond KISS levels of dynamat, but I'm super anal about such stuff so I just went overboard because I figure it wouldn't hurt and I find a heavier feel more satisfying to hold in my hands. And I do get a lot more of a sense of mechanical coupling with the driver venting mods, so the mass loading probably serves a more important function after making that change. You can feel them subtly pounding in the hand at my moderate listening level. They are several dB more efficient after these mods.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
  17. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Would be very interested in this if you ever find something suitable.
     
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  18. Jay

    Jay Facebook Friend

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    After recently re-padding my HD650s, I can confirm this. Additionally, one of the things I noticed immediately was the increased slam and the ability to change volume quickly. Some of my favorite songs (e.g., Pigs by Les Claypool) have passages that start off quiet and then have a large bass and drum slam. With the pads worn out, this slam was dull, but with fresh pads, it is more dramatic.

    I'm not a fan of the $70 it costs to re-pad the ear cups and headband every time, though.
     
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  19. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    TBH, basically what you said. Mods can only do so much. Need nuclear reactor. You won't see my HD6XX (modded or otherwise) near my modest setups by the computer. Instead you will see closed modded Fostex T50RP, Sony MA900, Grado with flat pads. The HD650 is solely used on my nuclear reactor amp, the one with four smokestacks.

    The HD650 appreciation thread was written as a counterpoint during a time when shit modern ortho after shit modern ortho, and only shit modern ortho, most of it overpriced, were released. There seemed to no end to the shit modern ortho phase. (You were there just at the beginning, but you were in a time bubble during the peak of this shit modern ortho craze.) This phase ended after Focal entered the game. Deconstruction of the HD650 is well deserved, although probably unnecessary since its flaws and limitations are well known by just about everybody.
     
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    Last edited: May 11, 2021
  20. robot zombie

    robot zombie Friend

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    @purr1n I'd have to agree, just on a personal level. As much as a love and will still recommend it as one of my favorites (especially for the price,) I know they're flawed every time I put them on. I enjoy some of them, while I accept the rest because they tick so many boxes for me that doing so is intuitive. Bottom line is that it's easier for me to make that jump than it is with pretty much any other headphone, not that they're perfect, or even just SO much better than everything. I just really enjoy them for what they are.

    I do think the discussion is worthwhile in that I think that understanding of it was mostly unspoken, or at least not touched on directly. Also helpful for newcomers who may not know the history, who may buy them thinking they're the only thing worth buying. I don't even know if I'd call them the best introduction anymore. I mean... maybe they're good there, just in that you will learn some things. But will they interest you enough to make you a headphone enthusiast? A few years ago I probably would've said definitely that a used HD650 was the best option for a $500-$1000 setup. I still think they serve very well there. But nowadays that price level accommodates much better to a wider range of sensibilities, to the point where it is simply less true for more people that the HD650 is the best to their sensibilities in that range.

    I think that's only natural. Probably a good sign, honestly. I mean, how long have these things been around? You're telling me in all of this time nobody can do better? That would be horrible.
     
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