Sennheiser HD650 Love (Appreciation Thread)

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

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  1. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Wait a sec, did you cover the "paper" on the back of the driver too?
     
  2. James Whiting

    James Whiting Facebook Friend

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    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG] Yes and I prefer the result...sound is snappier...more alive! I also just a little while ago added a 1/8" foam wrap, low density charcoal gray open cell from the stuff I used to make a foam doughnut that I did not like, around the grille frame just along its edge...basically top to bottom with maybe a hint just below the base. Still using the felt as the picture illustrates. I tacked the foam down with thinned out butyl rubber from my dymatt extreme. Not pieces of dynamatt. Just the sticky rubber in small squished dots. It was just for experimentation...so wasn't intended to be necessarily permant. Anyway! Wow! It brurnishes the sound...smoothes it without compressing it or smearing in any way. In fact dynamics are just a bit better both macro and micro. Doing the Linn/Naim test...singing, dancing, tapping my feet. Prat improved a bit. Subtle details are more apparent. On U2 live in Paris I can follow the beat of hand claps at the outer edges of the audience. Damnnnnn! Lorenna Mckennit has absolutely no stridence or hardening at all in the highest register she sings. Top to bottom coherence and integration is again improved. But the way these air out in the highs while being butter smooth is hard to describe. I have not heard that before! Soundstage opened up a bit more...images are more focused and solid. Leading edge and trailing edge of notes are more apparent. It may not have improved the speed of these headphones...but its uncanny in that it seems like it has. Damn these are amazing now! Kicking the hell out of my slants. I have never heard any headphone and less than a handful of loudspeakers accomplish as much as these fo now!

    Here is the killer. My Dac is still at Igors waiting for mods. I am running this off of Windows media player still of course using my Paul Pang USB to play my flash drives that I normally use with Jplay in hibernate. Running a 4" cheapie 3.5mm plug to my Neco V5. So my LPS powered Recovery reclocker is not in the loop either.
    I am still running Fidelizer and Process Lasso with windows media player...wow do those still work even in this setup. The sound I am getting now is the best I have
    heard compared to how the Slants sounded with all my stuff in the loop. This can't be happening...kinda ridiculous. Too much fun! Need to go back to listening
    some more!

    [​IMG]
    Happy Listening!
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  3. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    Finally (um) snapped, and snapped off the spider and the foam it contains. This after having only applied damplifier previously. I agree with the view that removing the foam and the spider actually makes the HD650's less fatiguing. The sound is less constrained and some glare and hardness seems to go away. I also added a damplifier donut to the back of the driver, which tightens things up further still. I would definitely recommend the foam+spider removal to anyone who has only done the damping.

    After a couple of weeks listening in this state, however, I thought there were still some weird reflections going on in the treble. There is a little edge I think around 3-5khz which at first sounds amazing, organic, sweet and seductive, but after extended listening seems a little bit uncontrolled and splashy; on recordings that have been through lots of transformers and tape it is certainly too much.

    To fix this up I first tried 1/4" foam cutouts covering the rim around the back of the driver as suggested by @Hands. I found it very hard to get consistent results - seating it one way, there was a huge increase in mid- and low-bass (maybe coupling with the 8 vent holes?); seating it another I could detect no meaningful changes at all.

    What I found did work is the following. In the sample pack I got from Second Skin there is a piece of "Luxury Liner": 1/8" mass loaded vinyl. There is just enough to make cutouts covering the outer rim around the back of both drivers (leaving the silver screen and magnet uncovered). I have stuck these in place with little bits of the butyl backing from the damplifier:

    [​IMG]


    This has an obvious and easily noticeable effect. The vinyl is definitely absorbing a bunch of sound waves, and seemingly without introducing any new reflections of its own. To my ears it removes the slight uncontrolledness and splashiness I was hearing before, but without compromising the freer and more relaxed sound coming from removing the foam and spider. The sound now is very coherent from top to bottom, nothing seems out of place, and nothing seems either over- or underdamped. I have now reached a stage where I can stop futzing around with mods and just get on with listening to the damn things.

    I should be clear that this last step with the vinyl is very much just a tuning preference. I went back and forth several times umming and aahing over whether I preferred it with the vinyl or without. The sound with the vinyl is slightly less "exciting", but for me it seems more realistic. Maybe others with qualms about having done the foam+spider removal could find this a useful step.

    EDIT: Luxury Liner, not Luxury Liner Pro
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
  4. Ryu

    Ryu Friend

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    Oh boy here we go. My unskilled hands have attempted the dynamat mod without any of the proper tools. I used a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the spider cage and I don't own an exacto knife so I had to use scissors and a very sharp knife to cut the circles out. As you can tell from the pictures I really suck at DIY stuff that requires precision. So glad I am not a brain surgeon. Overall the mod sounds very impressive. I really enjoy the tightness of the bass now and the mids sound just as resolving. The treble is just slightly less fatiguing then it was before (it wasn't even that fatiguing before).

    Edit: Noticed that my driver is different then @Garns. Is this some conspiracy or..? Hope I don't have to get new drivers if this is something serious!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  5. Case

    Case Anxious Head (Formerly Wilson)

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    @Ryu - way to go!
     
  6. Ryu

    Ryu Friend

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    Hey! Finally got back around to this. Where can I get something like this?
     
  7. James Whiting

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    Garns...interesting that you used the luxury liner! I am trying merrino wool felt tommorrow...since I like what the acrylic felt does but I think wool will sound a bit better.

    Hands suggested leaving at least 1/4" around the magnet gap with the damplifier ring. I found that this resulted in slightly smoother more relaxed sound than pushing the damplifier right up to the edge of the gap. I also put a ring of felt over the damplifier pro as well...just in case. Not really sure as I did all the felt at the same time!

    You can see my previous photo as to how it looks!

    Anyway excellent job and happy listening.
     
  8. BrettMatthews

    BrettMatthews Friend

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  9. Ryu

    Ryu Friend

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  10. BrettMatthews

    BrettMatthews Friend

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    You can buy balanced cables but this would be an easy first journey into DIY cables. This will be much cheaper too, $10 in parts (plus soldering equipment if you don't have any) vs probably a good $100 for a half decent cable.
     
  11. JoshMorr

    JoshMorr Friend

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    When switching to balanced cables, I bought the ZY Cables from amazon (LINK). This is the least expensive balanced cable I know of ($75), so I bought it and like it. If you dont plan on using single ended jack anymore, might as well cut of the end and convert to XLR. I didn't do any audiophoolery research into cryogenic treated copper vs silver comparisons, just thought this was a well build cable that sounds just like the stock HD650 cable. If someone would send me a CARDAS clear or another expensive cable I would be happy to try and disprove theory that cables make very little changes to these headphones.

    PS - I found this 1/4" male jack to female XLR adapter useful as well, no more switching headphone cables if moving to single ended amp.

    Edit: added link to 1/4" adapter
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  12. Ryu

    Ryu Friend

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    Link to the one you would recommend?
    I don't want it to seem like I am asking to get spoonfed. It's just that there are so many of these things on the market with little to no description and I have no idea how to tell a good one from a bad one. Hope this clears things up.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  13. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    I got a balanced cable for the 650s made up by Dyson Audio (LINK) for ~$50. Mogami cable, solid construction. Can recommend if you don't want to DIY.
     
  14. neogeosnk

    neogeosnk Friend

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    Highly recommend Dyson Audio.. I liked his cables more than bluejean/Chinese and others.
     
  15. Ryu

    Ryu Friend

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    Looks like they don't have a 4 pin XLR terminated cable in stock at the moment. I sent them an email and hopefully they get back to me soon. Will keep you guys updated.
     
  16. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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  17. Ryu

    Ryu Friend

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  18. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    That's a 3-pin XLR. You can't go unbalanced to balanced with headphones.

    Edit: It's "balanced" 1/4th, but that's for pro audio usage (monitors).
     
  19. Ryu

    Ryu Friend

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    Good eye. I missed that when I first looked at it. Does a 4-pin version of this adapter exist and/or worth it over getting a cable made?
     
  20. SoupRKnowva

    SoupRKnowva Official SBAF South Korean Ambassador

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    Gonna need to snag some of these for when my Jotunheim shows up. Can't imagine getting a set of stock cables modded would be much cheaper
     

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