Sennheiser HD650 Love (Appreciation Thread)

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by purr1n, Sep 27, 2015.

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  1. Baten

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    Imo, the HeadAmp Pico Power is a darn good portable for HD6xx. It's just pricy at full price, second hand or back when it was on massdrop was a good deal.
     
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  2. HockeyFan12

    HockeyFan12 Rando

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    What amp are you using?

    I'm planning to use either a Sound Devices MixPre-D or MixPre 3 Mk II for some audio work and might pick up a pair of HD6XX from Massdrop. The amps on these interfaces are VERY powerful with a really "dynamic" sound but I can't find the output impedance on them.
     
  3. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    After all these years, is there a true successor to the HD650 that doesn't fuck with its timbre but improves its technicalities while retaining plankton retrieval abilities?
     
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  4. tommytakis

    tommytakis Friend

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    JAR modded sennheisers are probably the closest thing you’re looking for. basically the same headphone with better grip/control, dynamics, while maintaining timbre and plankton. I think Marv mentioned that JAR650 managed to pull off slightly better bass extension as well

    650 successor = 650 modded lol

    zmfs (aeolus and auteur if you want similar sound) are worth checking out but the house sound is definitely not for everyone
     
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  5. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    No, JAR is a sidegrade, even if sharper sounding it doesn't improve technicalities and does sacrifice the signature HD650 sound for a more aggressive one.

    HD650 upgrade is to scale it further.
    The closest headphone I've heard and consider a true upgrade is MySphere 3.2 with a high impedance output transformer(not OTL).
     
  6. Pharmaboy

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    I've heard a stock HD650 at length IMS; own a fully updated JAR650 (= extensive mods of HD650 by Jupiter Audio Research); heard a loaner Aeolus IMS for several months; and will soon purchase my own Aeolus (ltd wood).

    A few conclusions based on all of that:
    1. If you seek an alternative to the HD650 platform the Aeolus (w/the right pads) comes closest to matching the HD650 sound profile of headphones I've heard.
      • Except no headphone does more than approximate the HD650 sound, which IMO is rather unique. People tend to focus on tonality & voicing, but I also find the intimate/focused soundstage to be singular. It's not something I've heard in other HPs, even the Aeolus
    2. If you seek an HD650 successor and don't mind it looking like a stock HD650, the JAR650 is the clear choice. I've praised its sound, here & elsewhere. There's nothing really special about the physical frame, pads, etc of the HD650--but there's a lot that's special about the sound of my JAR650. Let's just say the sound far outpaces the physical design.
    3. Money is of course a factor; a used Aeolus is double the price of a JAR650, and a new one is triple or more. Then again, the Aeolus is bigger, heavier, more robust, far more handsome, and has real wood earcups. Plus the soundstaging is wider/deeper than the HD650 or JAR650.
     
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  7. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Is this based on the actual final mod, or the original tour pair? (Yeah, I know, it sucks that a change was made later on, but it was based on user feedback AFAIK.)

    Assuming the true, final mod, it's not true that it's necessarily sharper and more aggressive. By default it can be, but the end user can just as easily run it without rear foam and/or a smaller or no hole cutout on the front foam.

    I think most people are looking for a more incisive, cleaner, more controlled version of the HD650. The JAR mods help with this to some extent and, like any other HD650, can have the rear and front damping tweaked to the end user's tastes.

    I think it's fine to debate the value of the mods compared to a good DIY mod, but calling it a sidegrade for the reasons you listed doesn't seem totally accurate to me.
     
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  8. tommytakis

    tommytakis Friend

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    I'm specifically answering to how @msommers phrased his question:

    check (since it's basically the same headphone)

    -retains plankton retrieval abilities - check
    -slightly better bass extension
    - improved clarity, focus, macro-dynamics

    I can see that the slightly more aggressive tone might not be for everyone, but I personally find it to be livelier sounding than stock and I would say the overall tonality is more similar than different to stock 650. When you put on the JAR, you still feel like you're listening to HD6x0, but I think it's a welcome change if you want minor, macro-level improvements to its inherent abilities. I haven't heard the Mysphere so I can't comment on its sonic qualities, but I think JAR is a safer recommendation to people try to audition rather than Mysphere which is significantly more expensive.
     
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  9. Baten

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    Great info. Some claim the Auteur stays closer to the HD650's timbre. Have you had the chance to compare both HD650, Aeolus and Auteur?
     
  10. Hands

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    @msommers To better answer your question, if you go back to the previous page, I know myself and others already sort of touched on this.

    There is no true HD650 successor. You can get close with some headphones, but it's never quite the same. That said, the "never quite the same" element might actually be a benefit to some. You might not find an HD650 successor, but instead something you like even better. And there will always be trade offs. Just how it is.

    But, you know, HD650 is a competent headphone, can be changed an appreciable amount with different/better gear, and it's pretty darn cheap itself. Trying to find a successor could cause more pain than it's worth!
     
  11. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Aeolus is good if you want a sort of HD650 + Japanese hybrid sort of sound. It can be pretty bassy, but the sound overall is vivid and lively. It's not as smooth through the mids and treble as the HD650, but not too far off. Can have some sharpness/ringing that may bother listeners. Pads are a big variable too.

    The first Auteur I had was bassier than the Sennheisers too, but cleaner and better extended to the point of this not always being immediately apparent. But it did sound a bit more tipped up in the treble than the HD650, so I found it a wee bit bright at the time.

    However, I'm not sure if current production units sound the same. That may have been a pre-prod unit. Prod units may be a bit more neutral. This is still something I need to check with Zach on, but I think it's safe to say the Auteur provides a safe haven for a lot of folks that want something "more" than the HD650. Not everyone feels that way, but it seems enough to warrant consideration.
     
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  12. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    We had to skip this class. What a 'Japanese hybrid' is if we may ask?
     
  13. Pharmaboy

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    I heard various Auteurs in show conditions and once IMS, but never compared them to the stock HD650 or JAR650. I wouldn't expect a lot of similarity, though: both the Eikon & Auteur (closed & open implementation of the same driver, respectively) strive for a more neutral sound than the Atticus & Aeolus.

    I did compare my JAR650 to a loaner Aeolus w/Verite pads (described as the most neutral pad option for the Aeolus). I found the voicing to be roughly comparable--relatively similar tonality, slight warmth, a little bassy, treble not exaggerated, etc. But being roughly comparable doesn't mean they sound like twins. There are differences.

    Funny thing about the HD650: I've heard many headphones, but none really match up closely to the HD650 or JAR650. The Aeolus just come closer than most.
     
  14. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

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    The Auteur is more like a romantic take on a HD650 neutral; yes it has better extension on both ends, but it's voiced a bit differently and has noticeable cup reverb (although not to the extent of Verite). Follows after the HD650 in taking the grainy angle vs the plasticky one.

    I like @Hands's analogy on the Aeolus: like an OLED TV with the "naughty settings" turned on. Not necessarily the most "accurate" sound, but fun to look at (and yet not so crazy that you couldn't live with it).

    I think the reason why a lot of people say the Auteur is a successor is because its timbre/tone is similarly inoffensive to most ears and is very resolving. But it doesn't sound like a HD650; the timbres are completely different.

    It should tell you a lot that I still use (and enjoy) my HD6XX regularly.

    Edit: shouldn't have posted when sick. Still missing some marbles. Made one edit to this post. Also seems that I don't quite understand the use of "romantic." I've always thought this to mean engaging to right brain.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
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  15. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    I meant a hybrid sound of the HD650 and a stereotypical Japanese headphone tuning, like a lot of the higher end Sony stuff.
     
  16. Artasia

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    I personally don't hear any likeness between the Auteur and Sennheiser HD650 or HD600 at all. I've owned my Blackwoods since July of 2018 and for the life of me cannot find a resemblance.

    I agree that neither the Auteur, nor the Clear, are "upgrades" to the venerable Sennheisers. I would admit that all of them are highly capable headphones, depending on preferences and chains, etc.

    This doesn't mean you can't find resemblances. It means that you probably shouldn't sell the HD650 or HD600 if they hold a special place in your collection. There is nothing that can replace them.

    To be frank, I don't think there are many, or any, cases in which one can simply skip upward a price-tier and find a qualitative substitution for what one enjoys.

    I wish my dad didn't throw away his original HD580, for which there is no modern replacement.
     
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  17. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Sounds like I should just keep it simple and stick with my SW51+ and HD650 pair in ignorant bliss to what a DNA amp could offer. I just can't for the life of me look at spending $1,500+ USD (+45% to CAD exchange and customs/duty/taxes) on headphones when it is not a clear and obvious step up but rather just different, sorta better, depending on my mood, time of the month etc.
     
  18. Artasia

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    Or just don't expect a straight replacement.

    I also need to say that @ChaChaRealSmooth describes the Auteur differently than I would. This could be because I have the Blackwood. I don't get a "romantic" sense from my Auteur whatsoever, and his perception of cup reverb has been said, by Zach, to be more an effect of less dense woods. However, it sounds more closed-in, sort of semi-closed, in direct comparison to something like the Utopia. The HD650 sounds more romantic to me, if anything.
     
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  19. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    This was a pair I bought from Jar about a year ago not the loaner one, unsure as to the actual tuning but I was told it was final.
    Still, I see JAR more as a complement not as an upgrade, my main gripe was the change in the midrange making it just a bit more grainy and less relaxed. The upside was better extension and increased focus. I'd say it's one of the more successful mods.

    We're part of a very small group that don't particular like the ZMF tuning in relation to the HD650. I've had the Eikon, Atticus and Verite for long demos on my system, great but not enough to keep in the long run compared to HD650. Most people love'm.

    I can't give up the HD650 mainly due to the harmonics in the mid range, very few cans seem to have it for some reason.
     
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  20. Magnetostatic_Tubephile

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    I also dont hear Auteur as 'romantic' with either of the stock pads. The description coming from the official website is much more accurate IMHO:

    Lingering decay for an expansive sound
    neutral sound signature
    present/extended treble


    The decay does not really create something subjectively 'romantic' but rather 'spacious'/'airy'. Something like PMx2, LCD2/LCD3 pre-fazor or older HD650 (black mesh / compressed pads) would be a better pick for 'lush' or 'romantic' sound.

    Auteur with Eikon pads might appeal quite a bit to those who love how current HD650/HD6XX sound. That being said, HD650 is such a specific headphone that pretty much nothing replaces it. If you love it, keep it.

    EDIT: If by 'romantic' someone means 'very resonant / wet', LCD2 rev1 is the closest I heard to that. It resonated a lot due to the wood, kind of smearing/mushing everything together sonically, sounding like a wall of creamy warmth. :) Auteur does not sound like that to me at all (see above).
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
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