The Old and Mighty HD580

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by ultrabike, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    Got BillP's modded 580, I've been waiting for these to pop up for a while so I can grab them.
    These have the HE60 pads and honestly they ruin the sound quite a bit. Mids and upper bass is way too bloated, barrel sounding springs to mind. With fresh HD650 pads and coin modded front foam they're much more balanced and quite a rival for the HD650.

    Listening side by side on the same DIY cable on the Stellaris/Pavane I can hear the HD580 is much more balanced across the frequency than my modded 650s. Bass reaches lower and has mild to moderate better control, no mid bass emphasis to speak of, high end is more sparkly while retaining the same amount of detail but not in as relaxed of a manner, but less aggressive than the JAR650.
    Mids don't have quite the smoothness and presence of the HD650 and the only downside but it's a worthy trade off for this kind of neutrality. They're 2nd or 3rd(LCD4) on mids of what I've listened to but I've never heard a more balanced headphone than this one. Been listening all day and I can't take them off. The Verite sound off by comparisons with an exaggerated mid range and seriously rolled off high end.
    In an old IF article Tyll said these are slightly grainy but I don't hear any sort of grain, might by that I've got HD650 grills instead of the plastic ones and a better setup.What is with old senns putting to shame modern headphones?
     
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  2. svperstar

    svperstar Acquaintance

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    Hearing the HD580 from the Gilmore Lite was an amazing experience. When I finally heard the HD650 ti was 90% the same so I wasn't wowed nearly as much.
     
  3. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    Got lucky on ebay and got a great condition HD580 under 100£ shipped.
    [​IMG]

    These have black interior as opposed to my BillP modded silver ones. The headband is matt grey compared to my all black one.
    [​IMG]

    Using the Stellaris single ended to compare both side by side.

    Stock:
    I'm not kidding, these are shit. No sparkle to speak of, tone is vintage radio, everything is mushed together. It's shocking how bad they are actually.

    HD650 cable:
    Somewhat better but not really, it doesn't alleviate any of it's flaws. A HD58X is superior in every way.

    HD650 cable and grills:
    Now they opened up. Soundstage increased significantly, there's separation, the plasticity tone somewhat went away. Sparkle still isn't anywhere close to me pair and overall quite dark. Very similar to a stock HD650 without the mid bass bump and the enhanced vocals. Nothing is seriously wrong as before and are listenable.

    Added coin mod:
    Welcomed improvement, high end opened up nicely. Still thicker sounding than I'd like. Grain is present. Tone is still not where it should be.

    Replaced HD650 cable with one of my DIY ones:
    Improvement across the board. Withing reaching distance of its potential. Even with the same cable as my modded pair, high end doesn't have the same finesse or extension. Microdetail is not where it needs to be. Significantly darker with a veil. Grain is gone however.

    Replaced stock pads with HE60 ones:
    Getting closer, imaging, precision and separation have improved. I'd say they're now 87% of my reference. A veil is still present.
    At this point I'd almost be willing to recommend them for someone getting into the hobby but not to seasoned veteran.

    Removed back foam:
    Quite horrible, bommy sound. I never liked just the foam removed without dynamat

    With dynamat:
    What is it about dynamat that removes veils and adds focus to the high end? I was almost worried since these drivers seem to be an older version they are inherent veiled but opened up nicely.
    At this point they're 96% percent perfect. Tone, extension, dynamics are there. There's still something I feel that blocks the effortlessness my pair has. It's subtle but there.

    Removed front driver plastic driver protection:
    There it is, as I know and love it. Why would this have such an impact is beyond me but it has. Now the headphone is transformed from the lowest of the lows to top of the food chain competing against TOTL stuff provided the setup has good synergy.
    The HD650 sounds frankly fantastic in its stock form on the Stellaris, mods do improve it but it doesn't need fixing. HD580 however is reborn and mods are mandatory.

    With stock cable
    There is no doubt the upgraded cables makes a difference. Edges are fuzzier on stock, dynamics and separation take a step back. Stock still sounds good as it doesn't take away from the essence the modded HD580 but it's a bottleneck. Still if one doesn't like it modded with the stock cable it's unlikely a cable upgrade would make it a keeper.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    As far as headphones go, if I could go back it time when I started I'd keep my bottlehead crack, get one of these, mod it and wait patiently for the DNA Stellaris and MySphere to be built.

    I still need to evaluate this pair, it might be the mods especially dynamat is not 100% identical but my original pair sound just so slightly airier. Could be the different driver screen, could be just variation.

    Anyone in the UK care to take these for a spin? I'd like to know I'm not crazy or tone deaf.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  4. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    I would definitely be curious, I've not heard any of the HD5xx/6xx family. Newly acquired Slants are very good in the mids, stage width and overall neutral tonality, so I can use those as reference.
     
  5. svperstar

    svperstar Acquaintance

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    I haven't been listening to the 580s in a few years. Decided to get a new headband and new cups, good as new:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    Not one of these bastards sound the same, each has its distinct subtle flavour.
    [​IMG]
    More on the way.
     
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  7. Magnetostatic_Tubephile

    Magnetostatic_Tubephile Friend

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    Reminds me of times when I had three MDR-MA900 in house. None of them sounded the same.

    That being said, the differences were subtle - nothing to obsess about.
     
  8. TomB

    TomB MOT: Beezar

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    I still have mine, minus a few tiny paint flakes in the middle of the headband. I purchased them new at $120 retail. Yes, the Sennheiser MSRP was that low toward the end of their run. They came in a cardboard, plastic blister box with a hanging tab for retail wall pegboard rods. Every once in a while, I pull them out to compare with my 600 and 650/6XX. There's a graininess in the high mids that decreases with the 600 and disappears with the 650. The most obvious physical refinement from one to the other is the change in the back of the cans - from the plastic grill, to a metal one, then a further refined metal screen in the 650.

    The favorite mod when the 580 was still new was to order 600 backs and swap them out - pretty much just turned the phones into the 600. I still love all three, but a comparison among the three quickly results in regular listening with the 650/6XX.
     
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  9. Ti_Leo

    Ti_Leo Acquaintance

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    Ah, Chinese audiophiles are obsessed about the versions of HD580: "black wool screen", "black paper screen", "silver screen" and the nameplates were printed on older versions instead of glued on. I understand the subtle difference among iterations but their descriptions are like older versions of HD580 morphed into HD600 or something. If that's really the case, how about just buying the HD600?
     
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  10. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    yeah, I have what looks like three identical ones of the earlier version, they still don't sound alike. One has suberb depth but dark, one has overall grunt and above levels of slam for senns yet coarse in the high end. The last one has shimmery treble, very airy. Yet it means nothing if you have to play the lottery.
    Plus the Chinese eat shark fin soup so screw them.
     
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  11. Baten

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    Just got a perfectly mint pair from german ebayer. Looks as new, I don't think they were used much :) I've been listening to these over the weekend and well, to summarize, to me they're a bit of a HD600 HD650 crossover. However I'm puzzled that they don't quite have the HD600's air/extension, yet also don't go quite as low as the HD650. They're just.. somewhere in-between. An aside, the housing is a tad lighter than HD600/HD650 which is nice!

    I think I'm gonna have a go at modding these, adding yaxi pads and mass loading them. Perhaps even make them closed-back to have a HD6XX-equivalent for at work :) that would be a fun project.

    As they are, I don't think these hold a candle to my (non coin-mod) kiss-modded HD650M. They have a touch more treble yet there's little added value micro/macro detail-wise. And much more lacking in bass. One would do better to buy a 'new' pair of HD650 (or HD600), imo.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  12. creuzabar

    creuzabar Rando

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    Hello guys! Somewhere here on the site I read the +purr1n say that the Sennheiser HD580 was the member of the hd6xx family that he appreciated most, so I was curious to know which of the interactions/versions/revisions the purr1n has and referred. Because I also read that some people judged the first versions a little better, or more capable than the last 2 versions of the driver of the HD580, unfortunately I still couldn't hear any HD580 to draw my own conclusions, which is why your opinions are so appreciated and important to me.
     
  13. creuzabar

    creuzabar Rando

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    I really got curious about what an HD580 would look like from that purr1n statement, will then be that the older drivers of the HD580 can go further than a kiss HD650? I would love to hear your experienced opinions.
    Because I know only the silver driver HD600 of Ireland and the HD650 of 2019 in the standard form (without any modification), of which I really enjoyed the sound stage a little bigger and more in 3d of the HD650, as well as its treble and medium and its apparent greater sensitivity and and more full-bodied sound even being driven through an lg v20, but the midbass of the HD650 was terrible for my current taste (again, I'm referring only to stock form), I think half the songs I hear do not suit this amount of exacerbated midbass a, while when I go to the HD600 I often feel like there's a bit of bass missing overall, but I can still hear all the tracks with this headphone.
    I'm very curious to hear the performance of the HD650 kiss, one day I will certainly do, but it scares me the possibility that after the mod the headphone gets even more midbass than in stock form (all I don't want), in fact I'd like just a little more bass response than on the HD600, and in that sense the HD580 comes to mind, because I read some reports here and on other sites that it could have more bass than the HD600 and a little less than the HD650, and not having elevated midbass, and if that's true it would be very useful for my current taste , so if you can share your experiences and opinions in that regard I would greatly thank you.

    I still have two doubts about the HD580, you were able to notice sound differences between the first 2 revisions of it (made in Germany and Ireland, the versions with the printed name and not on the board and that has a certain type of ring between the magnet) for the other late review sions that does not have this ring on the magnet and the name is on the elevated board ? There were people who said that the earlier versions were more analytical and more detailed and with greater sound separation than later versions. I was very curious about it, if anyone can confirm... And as for the sound stage, depth and separation, how would the HD580 be compared to the HD650 kiss?
    I'm sorry for so many questions and I've been thanking everyone for the attention!
     
  14. Baten

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    Mass loaded the 580's today. Bass is better. They sound close to stock HD650's now. But really, they still don't quite get to HD650 kiss mod level. Just "better". Right now toying with the idea of making them closed back and working on dampening to make closed back modded sennheiser not sound like utter shite. That'll make for a good quarantaine project lol. Will report back with my findings.
     
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