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EDCALEX
4
Mar 17, 2018
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RE: HD 6XX vs HD580 50th Anniversary Jubilee Edition I received my HD 6XX Headphones! I believe I ordered these back in December with an anticipated a ship date of March, so right on time! First, thanks to Massdrop for doing this. My transaction went flawlessly. If you are thinking of ordering from Massdrop do it without hesitation. I've wanted to upgrade to the HD650 for years but found the cost prohibitive. For clarification, this review looks at the Massdrop HD 6XX vs the original '50th Anniversary Edition' of the HD580 Jubilee and NOT the new Massdrop HD58x Jubilee product.
I acquired my HD580 Jubilees' back when they were first released in 1995. For the most part they have sat in a box with under 20 hrs of use and are like new. When I found the Massdrop HD 6XX at such a screaming deal my thought was to get the HD 6XX's and sell the Jubilees' on ebay. Thus, getting what I assumed was a better set of phones that is also not so 'exclusive' as the HD580 Jubilees (much easier to replace a pair of off the shelf HD 650s than #247 of 4000 HD-580 Jubilees' made).
My system consists of an Onkyo DX-7555 CD player w/super clock used as a transport feeding a bel canto 'DAC 1.1 DAC ( R2R PCM1704) for processing, and then into a Musical Fidelity M1 HPA for amplification. While not super esoteric, I feel the combination is pretty musical (the bel canto DAC1.1. is an absolute gem if you find one you wont let it go). My musical taste favors small ensemble jazz recorded on tube gear in the 50's and 60s. Think Getz/Jobim/Coltrain/Holiday/Fitzgerald/Monk/Evens etc. Basically I listen to elevator music. It's my musical Prozac. Moreover, I rather enjoy feeling like I'm living in Woody Allen film but that's another issue altogether. In a nutshell the HD 6XX's arrived in impeccable packaging. I was slightly disappointed in the flat gray/blue color scheme. The Sennheiser silkscreen on the top of the headband is black (not white as shown in pics) and seems to blend in too much to the flat gray/blue. Its just a bit.... flat looking. The finish doesn't vibe quality like the HD580 Jubilees or other HD models but they do seem to be quality made in overall materials and craftsmanship... err I mean, 'craft-person-ship' (don't get EOL for gendercrimes). Overall, you should feel confident that your HD-6XXs are a real pair of HD-650s. In comparison with the 50th anniversary HD 580 Jubliees', if you own a pair don't think about selling them. They really are something special. Unfortunately, mine are already on ebay as I can't justify keeping both. There's an intoxicating airy-ness and delicacy to the sound of instruments and voices when listening to HD 580 Jubliees' that is unfortunately missing from the HD-6XX. Imaging on the Jubliees' is more 2nd row and seems more natural while with the HD-6XX you basically feel like the musicians are in your head. The HD-6XX do have a bit more bass but it to manifests as more of a chesty-ness on male vocals. Good news is that this seems to be dissipating as they break in more.
While I might sound critical of the HD-6XX the sound is most excellent, and I'm keeping them. While I prefer the sound and presentation of the Jubilees' the audio cheapskate in me says HD-6XX are good-enough. And, in the grand scheme of things good-enough, is very good indeed, especially for the $200 price. A used pair of original Jubilees would be two/three times that, and that's if you can pry them off someones head. I also feel the Massdrop HD-6XXs' are resolving enough that I'll be doing some mods to the M1 HPA for better sound quality rather the looking for better headphones. Like they say, "garbage in garbage out" don't neglect whats feeding your headphones.
For my ears the Jubiee's really the the best of the 580/600/650 series that is if you can find a pair. If not, then I recommend buying two pairs of the Massdrop HD-6XX. One set for a backup or for a second system or perhaps to surprise someone special in your life and share your love of music. ~The Massdrop HD-6XX are just a too 'good sound' of a deal.
Mar 17, 2018
DenonFanboy
682
Mar 18, 2018
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Not trying to bust your chops but u don’t make much sense I’m afraid, the jubilees sound better to you then the 6XX but u bought the jubilees new in 1995 with only 20 hours on them total for over 20 years, how much use will worse sounding headphones get? Why did u even bother?
Mar 18, 2018
EDCALEX
4
Mar 19, 2018
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Hi there, You make a good point. Probably not much. I moved around a lot and am not a big headphone user. I listen to music mostly on a 2ch speaker stereo system. I also never had a dedicated headphone amp until recently. I picked up the Jubilees because they were a limited/numbered edition of the HD580s. I really couldn't tell what the sound difference was beforehand until I purchased and listened to the HD-6XX. I like good headphones but given the opportunity I prefer music on a traditional stereo. So, yes, ultimately I think the Jubilees offer a more refined tonal presentation then the HD-6XX but they are both pleasing to listen to and the HD-6XX is definitely the better value at its price point. I wouldn't call the HD-6XX "worse sounding" just different. Perhaps a bit more mid-fi but look at my listening preference, the HD-6XX might sound better then Jubilees for rock or blues perhaps, and given I'm a old fart and cant hear much above 14-16k anyway, my opinion is probably irreverent for most.
Mar 19, 2018
DenonFanboy
682
Mar 19, 2018
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I see, given your gear selection I can see now why the 6XX isn't to your liking. Both your DAC and amp have a warm tilt on top of that the 6XX is warm sounding which doesn't help when u can't hear the highest frequencies, that's why your synergy was better with the Jubilee as it is more neutral. Sorry I wasn't trying to audio shame you in anyway, what u previously said didn't mention anything about your hearing range so I guess I jumped the gun a little. What kind of speakers do you rock?
Mar 19, 2018
EDCALEX
4
Mar 20, 2018
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No worries, "audio shame" that's funny HA! I do like the 6XX! Highly! I use an Aragon 18k in to a Pass Aleph 3 with a pair of REVEL Concerta2 M16s. I've modded the crossover in the M16s but screwed up the voicing. REVEL really did a nice job with these I'm not sure they can be easily improved. I pick up a mint pair of Boston Acoustics CX-9s for $80 and replace the old electrolytic crossover caps with Sonicaps and my god these things sound good. I'm planning to mod the 18k and M1 HPA there are some good diy threads on these.
Mar 20, 2018
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