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

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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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
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  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.
     

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