News: Drop ZEN CAN Signature 6XX?

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by purr1n, Jul 3, 2020.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    It's an inline opamp based analog EQ. That's extra crap, not necessarily good crap, in the signal chain. While I can't be exact at this time, the Zen CAN approach to the HD6XX is a light touch that lifts the sub and low bass, and nudges up the lower highs. I tend to prefer the light touch approach because of the difficulty in getting exact headphone measurements. Really, all the HD650 needs is deeper lows and being just a touch less laid-back in the highs. (I was actually relieved when I saw the EQ curve for the ZEN CAN because I always worry about heavy-handed anal-retentive EQ. EQ can only do so much.)

    Also, not really in the same spirit. It's an extra fricking box in between the source and amp; and additional modules are going to cost. Better off with a inline digital EQ like the DEQ2496 where we can store dozens of headphone profiles, all customizable, for a hundred bucks more. Actually less because any new profiles would be free.

    Or just Zen Can with HD6XX and not worry about it, which I believe is the point.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
  2. Metro

    Metro Friend

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    Which headphone should they have chosen instead? They have to sell enough of these to make it worthwhile.
     
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    They should have chosen the Focal Utopia. ;)
     
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    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
  4. Melvillian

    Melvillian Friend

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    This can be used as a pre right? If the EQ works well, could be interesting to use with higher end amps
     
  5. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

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    They do have a balanced out but going by Drop history it may be simple pass thru. But I do hope it is pre out
     
  6. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

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    No wonder since it is done in collaboration with drop so they have chosen the headphone that is most popular, within budget and has sold maximum Unit in drop
     
  7. Forza AudioWorks

    Forza AudioWorks MOT: Forza AudioWorks

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    Not this time around. Analog EQ for 6XX and most likely other Senns 600/650 too, at least to a degree.
     
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  8. Joe Bloggs

    Joe Bloggs Acquaintance

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    It is a pre out, but not with the EQ. As stated on Drop, the EQ is done as part and parcel of the amplification process itself for maximum fidelity, so won't be available in a pre out.
     
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  9. RobS

    RobS RobS? More like RobDiarrhea.

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    Allow me to gush like a fanboi: There is no greater headphone. It has stood the test of time for what the past 17 years? It's longevity is a testament to its excellence.

    Its funny I've notice that when people move onto speakers and purge their headphone inventory the only one that remains, or gets any use, is the HD650.

    Anyone who is dissatisfied with them either ain't running a tube amp (I wince when I see them hooked to solid state amps) or they care too much about bass or their source sucks or in love with some kind of treble fuckery that makes your ears bleed. Yggdrasil and HD650 is like the tea to a biscuit, the nori to a sushi, the cheese to a mac, the peanut butter to a jelly. I can't imagine having one without the other, both are in perfect harmony that resolves recordings like a motherfucker.

    Anyway nerd luv aside, I am genuinely curious and skeptical about this Zen Signature. Skeptical cause it ain't tubes so it may not show what those headphones are capable of. But an active EQ like that is really interesting. I have not been able to mod the HD650 to my liking, it kind of ruins what makes them special for me (maybe JAR will change my mind) so if this device can help stock HD650s I will definitely be buying one when it comes out. Thanks for bringing this product to attention.
     
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  10. Ryanr1987

    Ryanr1987 Facebook Friend

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    Massdrop has been putting out great stuff the past few years but I dunno, got a bad feeling, guess there's one way to find out.

    I always consider the HD650 the GOAT, it scales, can compete in any era, it will still be around in collections 10 years from now, I'm one that can only see improvements being a small % in dynamic drivers as there's really only so much you can do. Many try to emulate it, but fail. I'm with the poster above, I rarely like the HD650 from SS, the Asgard 2 and maybe the 3 is the only I've tolerated so far.

    This could be either a cash grab, or a great budget option for HD650/XX owners. I still think chances are that many who own a 6XX will have at least a Modi/SDAC and Mag/Atom and will be better off saving up for a higher end amp, at least a used Blues Mini/Zds jnr or Crack and Speedball for that great fun sound or for Ultimate resolve try snag a Super 7 or Sonnet.
     
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  11. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Man Drop needs to hire me to do better product shots lol
     
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  12. murphythecat

    murphythecat Self Imposed Exile

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    @iFi audio, do you guys have any plans to do amps for more classic headphones like LCD-2, HD 800, HE-6?
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
  13. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    I would have a bit of interest in this only because this is the only set of cans that I plan on having in my estate. So I guess I would be buying it for my son?
     
  14. Joe Bloggs

    Joe Bloggs Acquaintance

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    Not sure about those exact models, but depending on the response to this one, I don't think this will be the first headamp-tailored-for-X we'll be building :)
     
  15. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: Upscale Audio; recovering HFM addict

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    Too bad no amount of EQ to the sub region will fix the inherent high bass distortion of the 650/6xx drivers. Higher quantity doesn't mean the quality will improve. Amp stage is likely still more important to SQ. No need to fix the tone of something that's already so near-perfect for all purpose use.

    I see why the 650/6xx is a good platform for a proof-of-concept amp like this since they're everywhere, and $250 doesn't seem ridiculous for a headphone that costs $220 to order from Drop, but the EQ would probably give more 'gains' in terms of SQ if targeted at a headphone that needs it more. A mild 2k boost and a slight broad lift in the midbass would 'fix' the tone of almost all HFMs, for example. Or maybe an upper-mid lift for Audezes.
     
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  16. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    I agree. Why not use Sonarworks + a different amp? Niche for sure.
     
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  17. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    The 6xx is actually the headphone that, out of all I have tried, is improved the most by Sonarworks.
     
  18. Joe Bloggs

    Joe Bloggs Acquaintance

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    Just an update here, the EQ curve for the ZEN CAN Signature 6XX as applied to the HD6XX is as follows:
     
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  19. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    SW profile application does a lot for its tonality I agee, but the bass distortion has it hitting like potato fluff! Then again, I readily admit my choice in music is largely to blame too, haha.
     
  20. Joe Bloggs

    Joe Bloggs Acquaintance

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    Well, on one camp you have those who swear by tube amps for the HD6xx only, on the other camp you have people who are just fine with DSP. One of the philosophies of the iFi ZEN CAN (etc.) is that, well, it would be lovely to take the EQ and processing you want with you everywhere, not just on your VST enabled computer, but also your smartphone, your SACD player, even your record player (none of them amenable to Sonarworks unless you are willing to lug a computer with you everywhere and use the line in to that...)
     
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