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RayF
17240
Mar 13, 2018
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HEY!!! Everyone who already has their 6XXs, from this, or a previous drop, please do me a favor listen to this and tell me how it sounds and what you think:
Mar 13, 2018
ael00
3
Mar 13, 2018
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Mine is en route, will update when it gets here. Will give it a try fo shure.
Mar 13, 2018
Oakbing
87
Mar 13, 2018
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Gave it a listen on my Jot (DAC Module) + CA Andromeda, here's some thoughts on the overall performance:
Does it have the vibe of a live? Given how the song is recorded you can tell that the singer's voice is going straight into the microphone in front of him. It feels like the singer is singing into your face, with you being the microphone. It's got a pretty livey feel, things are not as controlled as it is in a recording studio. The voice is nice and thick, the Jot is known to be pretty aggressive and powerful in presentation, so there's no worries in that regard. Your favorite singer won't sound like an anemic person croaking out his last words.
In terms of staging, I notice that the Jot has a wider stage horizontally, and a thinner one in front and behind you. This could also be due to the way the stage was set up for the live, but overall I felt the presence of the crowd from the sides a lot wider than the ones behind me (Well basically in front of the singer since the microphone's pointed towards him).
I listened to this song once on low gain and once on high gain, my general thoughts are on low gain there's slightly less dynamics than at high gain, but given my Andromeda gets a bit too loud for the office setting I keep it at low gain most of the time. Sound-stage is also slightly wider on the high gain setting in all directions, so when you get a less "efficient" headphone like the 6XX you'll definitely want to flip that high gain switch to get the most out of your Jotunheim.
Now around the part between 3:20 to about 3:50 ish is when he does that guitar solo, in this portion you can hear the reverberation of the strings, the ones he let loose, the ones he stop right away, every pluck can be heard. Now, with the Andromeda, which is pretty mid forward and a little sibilant on the highs, I felt the the sharp highs the Jot reproduces which makes it a hair's width apart from being too stressful for my ears, however this will likely not be a problem for a slightly mid/treble recessed headphone like the HD6XX. In fact it will likely pair very well, with the amp help bringing back a little bit of what the HD6XX is missing. But yeah, the Jot's really good at picking out the details, though I would not say it's the best in that regard, it's definitely efficient enough to make sure you're not missing out on anything you're meant to hear.
So yeah, overall, going to try to imagine how the HD6XX will sound paired with my Jotunheim, whilst resting my head upon the lap of my favorite concubine... ahhhh... such is life...
Where is the shipment email... curses...
Mar 13, 2018
Heefty
1356
Mar 14, 2018
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Topping D30 -> Custom Pete Millett Butte -> HD 6XX
Not sure if you're looking for comments on the recording or the headphones so I'll try to accommodate both.
I love the sound of an acoustic guitar with brand new strings! It never gets old.
There's not much in the way of imaging to comment on in this track since it's a guy with singing with his guitar. It's all front and center.
Dynamics are fantastic.
The body slaps are a little subdued; beyond what I would expect even. Probably not a mic capable of catching that in the recording. It almost sounds like you're catching an echo off the wall behind him in the vocal mic.
Fingers working the wrapped strings seems to be missing some bite. It's a little smoother than real life. The zing of the strings vibrating against the frets is also a little smoother than real life. That's the "Sennheiser Veil" in action.
Overall, it's quite engaging, but the Senn's are definitely not perfect for reproducing it (nor is anything else for that matter...). My AKGs (which have their own set of faults for this recording) show that the missing high end detail on the finger slides/frets is present in the recording, it just doesn't come out on the Senns. I still like the track much better overall on the Senns though.
Mar 14, 2018
RayF
17240
Mar 14, 2018
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Very nice evaluation--I could hear each note in my mind as you described them! As for the 6XXs, we're getting closer everyday--mine are still in NJ as of this AM, but I expect them to be on a truck or train by this evening (can't expect they'll go by air with SmartPost, but it's possible). The Jotunheim still won't ship until the 28th, but I just found out I'll be on the other side of country at that point (business thing) so getting all the pieces and me in the same place at the same time, is further down the road than ever! But as they say: "good things come to those who wait..." And lord knows, we have waited!
Mar 14, 2018
Oakbing
87
Mar 14, 2018
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Indeed we have. Mine's arriving at the office on Monday, currently searching for a monitor riser or some sort of shelf to accommodate the new addition to my desk.
Mar 14, 2018
RayF
17240
Mar 14, 2018
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Thanks for the feedback--my 6XXs are on the way and I'm looking forward listening to that track when they arrive. I'm with you on the sound of the strings; especially during that amazing solo! I'd like to know what guitar he was playing, I'll have to do some research. So far I've been listening to that track on a pair of JBL Series 3 powered monitors. Eventually, the headphones and the speakers will be paired with a Jotunheim. I wonder which version I'll ultimately prefer, speakers or headphones? I'll let you know...
Mar 14, 2018
mindhead1
489
Mar 17, 2018
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Got my 6xx today. Been listening to them for a couple of hours. So far I like it, which is a sign that I'll like them more in a few days. As for the track I listened through an Aune X1s 10th Anniversary Edition and a Topping NX4 and it sounds great. Very detailed, rich and full without any distortion. Both DAC/Amp 6xx combos did the track justice.
The X1s is a strange beast to me. The 6xx sound good with it and I listen comfortably between 12-3. Other HPs I've recently used with the X1s haven't fared so well. Neither the HE400i (returned b/c of broken headband) and the Mayflower T50RP MkIII (returned b/c they were to bright for me) sounded good via the X1s. The 400i sounded great with my Topping NX4. The Mayflower were slightly more tolerable with the NX4, but not worth the actual pain they were causing my ears. It may have something to do with the fact that they are planars. IDK. My non-planar headphones (SR80, K550 and m100) all pair well with the X1s.
Also, the NX4 holds up well against the X1s at half the price and a fraction of the size of the X1s it drives the 6xx well. I'm listening comfortable between 11 & 1 on High Gain. While I like the X1s a lot if I had to choose between the 2 I'd keep the NX4. Powers everything well, is portable and sounds great.
Also, thanks for turning me on to this Nils Lofgren album. I'm familiar with his E Street Band and Dire Straits work but never listened to his solo stuff.
Mar 17, 2018
RayF
17240
Mar 17, 2018
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Well first--congrats on receiving your 6XXs, that's an achievement on it's own! Mine are somewhere off the cost of Iowa (maybe!).
I can see you've had a ton of experience with a variety of headphones, and you obviously know what your like--so you giving the 6XXs a thumbs up, is a relief. I also see you have a lot of variables in your system's sound equation. I'll have three sources and a couple of cable options and I'm very curious to see how they all sound (Jotonheim, if it ever ships, OPPO HA-2, and direct connections to phone, and a couple of computers). Hoping it's the Jot is the clear winner, otherwise I spent a lot of dough for nothing ;- )
Worst part now is I have to leave town (business) for several weeks, right before it all arrives! Guess I'll have something to look forward too when I do get back.
As for Nils, agree completely. I'd picked up one his first solo albums a (very) long time ago and wasn't all that impressed. I think he got better with age--and that stellar track (and recording) is the first thing I'm going to cue up, and soon as I get everything plugged in. It's going to be a while, but I'll get back to you on it!
Mar 17, 2018
MeDotOrg
1
Mar 17, 2018
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Got my 6xx today as well. Still not ripe (broken in). Initial impressions are that they are somewhat unforgiving to poorly recorded music, but this may change after break-in. Listen to a well recorded piece of music (in my instance 'So What' by Miles Davis' Kind of Blue) and they are already highly rewarding. Looking forward to how they sound in a month.
Mar 17, 2018
Oakbing
87
Mar 21, 2018
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So got around listening to this live, amongst some other songs I used to test, and here's my opinion on the HD6XX overall, paired with a Schiit Jotunheim on high gain vs a CA Andromeda on low gain. I try to keep the two at about the same volume according to my ears but I'm not a robot so it's not perfectly balanced. (This is pre-burn in impressions, so maybe in another 80 hours some of these things may change.)
1. This video: (Youtube Quality) As I had expected, the soundstage of the 6XX is quite good, even on a more horizontal (soundstage) amp like the Jot. Compared to the CA Andromeda, which also has a pretty wide soundstage for an iem, the 6XX is even wider, making the live sound much... livelier. In this regard I'll give it to the 6XX for wider soundstage.
The guitar sounds quite good, not as sharp as the Andromeda, but is not as shrouded as I had feared. In fact it's actually pretty clear coming out of the Jot. For a live recording, I think the 6XX did well. Now, for the Andromeda, as I had previously mentioned before the guitar is quite forward, but is still within the acceptable range. So depending on preferences one might like the 6XX more than the Andromeda, for not being as in your face about it.
However, when the vocals came in, boy, it really took another pair of headphone that is "good" to make me re-appreciate what my Andromeda is capable of. When I first listened to the 6XX I thought the vocal was pretty good, I did not really think it was much different than my Andromeda, and then I put on my Andromeda to listen to the recording again. ...Well, rainbows and unicorns.
To me, vocals sounds so much more intimate on the Andromeda than the 6XX, while the 6XX is not bad by any means. In my opinion, if the 6XX is a well made sculpture of a fair maiden, then the Andromeda is that fair maiden given life, crawling like a cat upon your body, her warm body pressed against yours, her sultry, beseeching voice next to your ear, sending chills down down your spine, a wild, steamy night under the silver moonlight... Ahem... Anyway, what I mean to say is the way voices are reproduced from the Andromeda holds more life than that of the 6XX, it's the difference between oh I'm listening to a recording vs oh you mean this is a recording and not the singer singing into my ears?!
Overall verdict: 6XX has a better stage presence for lives, has a less aggressive approach when it comes to strings/ guitars, but lacks depth and life in vocals compared to the CA Andromeda when paired with the Schiit Jotunheim. However, given the price difference of the two it's not a huge surprise.
2. Thriller- Wanna be Startin' Somethin' (CD Quality FLAC, 16/44) Bass is much more punchy and lively on the 6XX, vocals, mid/highs are better/ more lively on the Andromeda. (Andromeda's base is supple enough, but a bit on the dry side if you're really into those omphin' bass sounds) I feel the 6XX isn't so much shrouded as it just doesn't have as much energy up in the mid/highs, the clarity is still quite excellent, it just lacks an amount of depth that makes the vocal come alive. However, again, if the 6XX is the first pair of "audiophile" headphones it should be quite an amazing experience compared to the regular $10/$20 stuff. Compared to my Grados SR80E, which is about $100 ish, it's got a much better mid/high presence and a much cleaner bass that is still punchy.
3. Your Lie in April- Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso (CD Quality FLAC, 16/44) A violin/ piano duo, even if it's from an anime soundtrack album, I still really like this version and listen to it quite often. In this recording, I feel the dynamics of the 6XX is slightly lacking behind that of the Andromeda, the points of which the violin reaches its climax and dips back down sounds more exciting on the Andromeda than the 6XX. The 6XX does a good job reproducing the recording, but the slight lack of dynamics (even on high gain which boggles my mind) compared to the Andromeda makes me feel much less excited when listening to this piece I have heard possibly a few hundred times already on my Andromeda.
It's the difference between a gentle, conservative, but loving wife and a wild, passionate, fearless... uh... cat... yeah... cat! That's totally where I was going with that... Well, I suppose it's up to personal preference which one you would prefer. I personally like the wild one, but hey, I'm sure there's people out there that prefer a more relaxed, warm cradle.
4. Your Lie in April- Piano Sonata No. 14 (Moonlight Sonata) Movement No. 3 (CD Quality FLAC, 16/44) A piano piece this time, again, same problem as the above, not as dynamic, not as exciting, your preference will determine which one you prefer.
5. Melody Gardot- Your Heart is as Black as Night (MP3 Quality 320) I thought I'd give MP3 a try as well since I had a little bit of time, overall opinion, without repeating myself too much, is that the 6XX sounds more spacious, the Andromeda more intimate. Vocals can't tell as much difference, maybe due to the recording.
Overall, I am still quite pleased with the headphones, once the burn in passes I suppose it'll sound better, though this has made me appreciate my Andromeda more.
OH, and by the way, XLR does nothing for me besides making things a little louder, it seems Schiit really wasn't bullschiiting us when they said SE and XLR sounds the same, just different output power.
Mar 21, 2018
RayF
17240
Mar 21, 2018
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That was an excellent review--maybe it's time to hire an agent and turn pro? Just a thought--hell, you may like you day job!
I suppose I should be disappointed in some way that the 6XXs didn't completely blow you away, but since you were comparing them to a very expensive (and apparently rather sexy) pair of IEMs, it's sounds like the Senheisers didn't win the match, but certainly went the distance?
I'm guessing the first comparison I make (with my QC35s) should at least result in a TKO, unless somebody throws the towel in, and stops the fight during first round? I could see that happening--if the QC35s have their ANC on, they might not hear the 6XXs coming for them ;- )
The match up I'm really looking forward to (since I've already placed a $170 bet) will be the square-off (ear-off?) between 6XXs and the Hifiman 4XXs. We shall have to see...
Heard from the FedEx man today: my 6XXs should arrive two days after I leave town. Also heard from Schitt today: the Jot will join them around the same time. I'll be gone two or three weeks, and those two will be sitting around waiting for me, for a change! While I'm out, I'll be following the conversations here, but may not be able to comment until I get back.
Mean time, thanks for the great review and all the previous inspiration!
Mar 21, 2018
Oakbing
87
Mar 22, 2018
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There's still hope, for mine's not quite burned in yet. Maybe some more life will come into it once the burn-in is complete, but I am quite sure that the Andromeda and 6XX was made with different sound signatures in mind, I would say that for a $200 headphone to get quite close in many things with something that's about 6 times its price, that's quite an achievement already in itself.
Mar 22, 2018
Oakbing
87
Mar 22, 2018
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Haha, I just hold a boring office dayjob, it would be interesting to write reviews for a living, but with a harem to support I will have to hold onto something a bit more stable xD. Would be interesting to do this as a side job though, though I'll have to brush up those pulitzer prize writing skills if I want to stand out in the crowd XD.
Mar 22, 2018
RayF
17240
Mar 23, 2018
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I was shocked to learn how much some of the reviewers on Youtube actually make in a year--and most of them started part-time. Using you harem as a studio, I'm sure you'd generate quite a following ;- )
By the way, got my 6XXs and Balanced Cable today--couple hours after I'd left the house for my road trip. Won't be back for 2 or 3 weeks. More then...
Mar 23, 2018
Oakbing
87
Mar 29, 2018
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Listened to the 6XX some more on my Jotunheim, I think mine had burned in properly at somewhere around the 12 hour mark (I just let it play my 6 day long playlist while I sleep), and just some thoughts on it now that it's burned in.
The lifelessness I described has alleviated for the most part, it may be due to the burn in or simply because I got a better understanding of the 6xx's sound signature now to make a less "biased" evaluation on it, however it did go from not being able to give me chills to sometimes able to give me chills, so I suppose a change definitely happened. Soundstage and overall ability to recreate that realistic atmosphere (like when you listen to JASMR or something, when they're licking your ears... mmm) is quite amazing, even on the Jotunheim with stock DAC module which isn't the best at wide soundstages, which is a plus.
Now, the vocals (or the mids) are more recessed than my Andromeda as I had previously pointed out, I personally prefer a more intimate relationship with vocals, but if you like a gentler experience with vocals then the 6XX will definitely be what you'd prefer. That being said it's not all that recessed with the Jot, at least the 1st gen Dac Module, so instead of calling it a problem I'd say it's more just the way it sounds, and there are people who prefer this slightly more relaxed sound signature (for example my mother preferred the 6XX over my Andromeda on a relatively soft-spoken song, while I'm the other way around. The song is Wainneddo no kokoro from Koji Tamaki's Best Harvest album for those interested. He's old as heck now but he's gotten even better, lol!).
Bass as always is good and full, got the punch yet not powerful enough to drown you in it, done just right. No new comments regarding this part.
Treble... I've honestly got no constructive comments on this one as most of the time it's the recording's problem if anything, so unless someone can suggest me a very well recorded, treble heavy song/ music I can't make much comments in that area. For example, if I listen to MJ's songs most of the time I feel the treble is too harsh, be it on 6XX or Andromeda, on any source I listen to, which leads me to think it's the recording's issue not my headphones/ IEM.
Has it gotten closer to my Andromeda? I would say given the way they're both set up now, yes. I'm running my Andromeda out of a Cowon P1, which is a good piece of gear, but I feel don't do the Andromeda enough justice as the DAP's sound signature is a bit on the lean side, which isn't a great combination with the Andromeda. Jot has a lot more meat and power so naturally sounds are much meatier on the 6XX's end, but as the 0.1 output impedance messes with the Andromeda's frequency response, and making it darker/ bassier than intended, I don't really have a perfect solution yet for the Andromeda at the moment.
I am looking for a new DAP but at the same time I feel DAPs are just not able to compete with a good external amp/dac, but finding an amp/dac that's ideally 2.0 output impedance AND is at least as good or better than my Jot for less than $500 is kind of hard... (Heck even finding a 2.0 output impedance amp whether good or bad is already a trial in itself.)
Mar 29, 2018
RayF
17240
Mar 30, 2018
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Another good review/report and especially good news to hear things have improved with burn in. Speaking of the burn in, you say you left them playing while you slept (good idea), but at what volume? Or does volume make much difference in that scenario? I'm still a week away from home, but I'm told everything is waiting there for me. Looking forward to getting it all set up so I can give it a listen. More then!
Mar 30, 2018
Oakbing
87
Apr 2, 2018
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Apologies for the late reply on this one, I was away for a while and haven't really been looking at my emails or notifications. Anyways, in regards to burn-in, I just leave them at the volume I would normally listen to them at, and have them play through the night. I don't think it's necessary to crank it all the way up, just make sure you got a good balance of songs in that playlist that will cover the bass/mid/highs. Alternatively you can play sound files that are "specific" to burn-ins but I never try those and I like to burn in my headphones in a more natural way.
Apr 2, 2018
RayF
17240
Apr 3, 2018
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Not late at all--I arrived home (for one night only) yesterday and had just enough time to unpack and and hook everything up for a quick listen! Interesting experience; I connected the Jotunheim to my iMac, via the USB cable (not provided, but damn lucky I found the right one in my cable stash), then connected the JBL LSR30Xs to the Jot with a new set of XLR cables, and then plugged in the 6XXs, hoping for Nirvana--and got noting! I mean nothing from the headphones--the speakers sounded wonderful. But what was up with the headphones?! Turns out, the only way they would work (and they did work very well), was when I turned OFF the powered monitors. Try as I might, I couldn't find a way to "switch" between headphones and speakers from the Jotunheim's control panel. Not the end of the world, but it is a minor inconvenience to have to get up and turn off each JBL every time I want to listen with headphones. Any ideas?
Apr 3, 2018
Oakbing
87
Apr 3, 2018
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I'm running it off windows myself so I'm not sure if Macs has the option to switch between playback devices... Quite odd how it works only either or. I think in the front panel there's 2 switches, one for gain and one for input I believe, mine's flicked on the top for USB input, maybe you can try that and see if it can solve your problem.
Apr 3, 2018
RayF
17240
Apr 4, 2018
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I'd hoped there was a switch for that as well but there are only two--one for input source and the other for gain. It would have been nice if they designed it so the speakers cut out when the headphones are connected but maybe there's a reason they chose not to? I'll give them a call later in the week and ask about it.
Apr 4, 2018
Oakbing
87
Apr 4, 2018
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Yeah for some reason sound comes out of both ports when u plug them in.
Apr 4, 2018
RayF
17240
Apr 4, 2018
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A mistake you won't make when you come out with your Oakbingheim!
Apr 4, 2018
Oakbing
87
Apr 4, 2018
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Haha I ilke the ring to that name.
Apr 4, 2018
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