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After a good couple of months with my HD6xx now, I'm still not a huge fan, it's still like I'm listening through a piece of gear, compared to my HD540 Reference (pad upgrades and Mogami cable) which is like stepping through the studio glass and INTO the recording venue, surrounded by living beings. What does improve them is to remove the stock cable and replace it with Mogami cable - I make my own, but they can be bought from Venus Audio on eBay. This cable now takes the HD6xx a couple of steps closer to being IN the studio - if not to the Ref1's standards of openness. The bass is also extended and the mids relax a little. As stock, the midrange and lower treble detail are pretty good, marginally better than the Ref1s, the bass is lacking significantly compared to the latter and the soundstage seems a bit closed and pinched forward. the Ref1s remove all of that. Although they are ultimately they are not quite as transparent, the overall communicative, living organic aliveness and balance, the holistic nature of the Ref1s far outweighs any other headphone I've heard or have here. My goto cans.
So, what to do. I bought some Brainwavz HM5 pads, deliciously comfortable but waaaaay too much bass warmth and treble roll off. Off they came, a big disappointment. I have a new set of Dekoni Elite Velour pads on the way shortly from the latest Massdrop, the graphs certainly look as if they will bring the HD6xx closer into balance. I do NOT find the bass balanced at all as they are stock, the 29 year old Ref1s clean them up, sounding more organically alive and go deeper. I'm hoping the new Dekoni pads will improve things and allow me to really enjoy the HD6xx on their own terms, as there are certainly some albums I really like them on, even as they are.
Highly recommended though are the Mogami cables!
Its kind of "REALLY" hard to believe that changing stock cable to something else would change its sound so drastically.
I've been doing this for over 40 years, I trust my ears implicitly :) The stock cable has the same effect on my Ref1s as well as the HD250 Linear, that doesn't mean I don't enjoy it, just not on the headphones it was made for. On the HD250s plugged into my Corda 2Move portable DAC/amp it sounds good, but not as open and less hifi sounding than the Mogami. For some folks, it means little, for me, a lot.
The only reason to spend more on a cable is for better insulation or longer lasting build quality; they don't do anything for audio.
A Schiit stack (magni 2 / modi 2) does miracles to the 6XX's , though!
I am sure it does, just not sold on the cable part.
I would disagree entirely, that's certainly not my experience. Each to their own though and remember, one person's experience or viewpoint does NOT make a reference point for the rest of the planet and that includes my own perspective, no matter whether I've been doing this for over 40 years or not.
What amp are you using? Also, i agree..stock cables work but are crap build..I have mogami with neutrik jack...maybe its the placebo effect or the beauty of nice cables...but I wouldnt be caught dead with a stock 6x0 cable..haha
I'm using a Schiit stack of Modi Multibit (Mimby) with a Magni 3, connected with the fabulous Slinkylinks pure silver ICs and running the optical out from a Questyle QP1R as a source, it's utterly silent and pure. The electronics are well worth the expense of the high quality ICs if you happen to have them, performance is outstanding. I'm still often shocked at how good they are (ICs AND the Schiit stack as a combo) and it easily runs the 600 ohm HD540 Ref1s.
The HD6xx have some good points, they are a tad more transparent in the mids and treble ........... and that's it. Overall balance is meh compared to the Ref1s, although they are improved with the Mogami cable, which add balance, open out the rather pinched soundstage and slightly forward midrange and lower treble (with the stock cables) and clarify and extend the bass. I'll be very interested to hear what the new Dekoni Elite Velour pads will bring to the picture when they arrive sometime today.
Im using a lafigaro 339 OTL tube and Burson CV1 with bb 1793 dac.. tidal hifi has become my main source via optical or usb...
I have chi-fi cables that seem to do the job.. my buddy loves his mimby and I may have to get one...still trying to figure if I want bimby or another dac....Never thought about changing pads on 6x0...sounds interesting.... I am looking at Zach’s new open cans the zmf autuers for next cans..someone posted a nice 40 min review on you tube last week that may have sealed the deal for me on them... nice thing about the mimby is the loki stacks nice on it....I am on the fence on the loki..supposedly no noise if set on pass thru....tempting to play with...but i probably should skip it...lol...
I have also read a great review of the ZMF cans, they look beautifully made.
Head-Fi have a great series of graphs from Dekoni, showing the differences between the stock pads and their various models. I chose the Elite Velour pads because of the perceived balance they look like they will bring to the HD6xx over stock. Apparently they are also extremely comfortable too, I'm not a fan of the stock pads. It remains to be seen whether the more extended bass and smoother upper mids and treble that 'appears' in the graph for the EV pads will actually be so. Be great if it is and even if they are just a lot more comfortable and top quality build, I'll be happy enough. The Mogami cable will do the rest.
Amazingly, again, since it's happened to me before a few years ago when I had a set of Senn HD650s, they perform remarkably well straight out of the headphone socket of an integrated amp, this time an old Pioneer. I seem to like them better this way :) It may be the higher impedance that gets them singing, hence the always great reviews of them used with valve amps.
cool, would u let me know what u think of the dekoni pads when u have chance to evaluate them? Marcspence1@yahoo is my email... here is pic of my current rig
Oooooh, I like that! That has to be a nice system with the HD6xx, surely. And yes, certainly I will share my experiences with the new pads. I have no hesitation recommending the Mogami cable though! Venus Audio on eBay sell them beautifully made, I did my own sets of cables though ... for almost all of my headphones - the Senn HD250 Linear 1s, the Senn HD540 Ref1s, HD6xx, Sony MDR-1R, Denon AH-D1000 and coming shortly for the HifiMAN HE400S, now that my 2.5mm connectors have arrived. Mogami cable isn't used as the finest microphone and interconnect cable in studios worldwide for nothing! If there's a frequency imbalance in the system, it won't be the cable. .... let's make that, it most unlikely it will be the cable! Just in case ........ :) That amp of your's is very very nice!
Thanks! i went with yukings 339 because it does well with my planars AND dynamics as does the Burson CV1.... I think i may add your mimby soon, my buddy has the CV1 and he loves his mimby with it.. thats awesome u build ur own cables.. my mogamis were built by
stinky1965. Got them from his ebay store.. i am using the he560 stock cable on my he4xx.
I am saving up for the auteur...or rather putting more gear on hold til I get them.. zack said he would build me auteurs with brushed aluminum trim instead of the black.. I think the silver would show off the beauty of the trim better..i think..lol.. still have tome to decide, plus every few months he showcases a special wood...he is a class act and he responds to us little people..lol
I just love my Mimby, sheer class for a very small price and well worthy of really good cables. I have a brand new
audio-gd R2R-11 ladder DAC/pre in the air and on it's way to me as we write. It's for my lounge system .... mostly, although I am really looking forward to hearing it a h/phone amp as well.
I really like these guys who make beautiful gear AND are so approachable and open. Great stuff!
I have looked at their single ended r2r dac only models but they would require a new rack for my side table rig . The r2r 11 amp/dac is a steal for around 400 range.
i would consider than for a secondary all in one for office or such..let me know ur thoughts when u can... I would love a audio gd dac only...maybe i should email them as see if they have anything in my size parameters? Their website has so much and tricky to find it all!
I will indeed keep you posted on my impressions. They take a long time to run in, these things, even longer than my Mimby, apparently weeks of running in to really come on song in finer details. Still, I'll send you initial impressions as well, I like to keep a record of the process with my gear.
The R2R has arrived, checked it out and plugged it in to warm up, currently running the MacBook Pro USB (with my Kimber USB for now) and the Sennheiser HD250 Linear 1s just to warm it up for a while. Sounding good, warm, reasonable crowd detail on the Xavier Rudd, Good Spirit (Live) album but I'm not expecting too much since it's only been on for 10 minutes and the many parts need a lot of running in. Good bass control on the HD250s - they need it! Vocals are smooth and natural, nicely tuneful and rhythmic and I wouldn't have it any other way - otherwise any gear that can't do great timing and rhythmic coherence does not live in this home! It reminds me of the naturally organic flow of the Schiit Mimby, I use in my bedroom system. That's a really good thing! Loads of power here to drive the 300 ohm HD250 Linears, plenty of volume at 11 o'clock. Will try the Ref1s later, at 600 ohms they may provide more of a challenge ... or not. Also the HD6xx and the new Dekoni Elite Velour pads which arrived with the same courier! Yeehah, it's going to be a good weekend!
Oh yes, the HD6xx with the new Dekoni Elite Velour pads. Far more comfortable than the stock pads! As I was hoping for, the whole range from the lowest bass to the lower midrange has filled in with more weight and power and the upper mid peak I never like has gone .. so far. I haven't found anything yet to expose it .... maybe The Who Live At Leeds will test it out.
king-wa from audio-gd tells me I will need 500 hours for the R2R to run fully in ... only 497 to go then :)
3 hours in and I can tell it certainly needs a lot more hours to open up and for the bass to relax. Even at this early stage, it is showing many fine points, especially the easy and fluid rhythmic flow, good timing too and I would think that will improve more with time, as did the Schiit Mimby, which the R2R shares that beautiful fluidity with. There is also that slight 'electronic' pressure, if you will, of new electronic parts. It's going to be an excellent weekend!
I love break in periods ;) thanks for update. Sounds like dekoni pads were a hit for u...
I may have to give them a spin :) So much gear and never enough time! i am either critically listening or researching more and listening....lol
Wow, here's one for the books! I found the new Dekoni pads a touch too warm for the R2R, so I went back to the stock pads - with Mogami cable - and the result is quite stunningly good! The best I've ever heard the HD6xx/650s. Yes, they lack lower bass dynamic range (the stock pads), but the overall balance is so good that I can't say I particularly care with most music. Only with this amp though.
F'rinstance, I have been just running the new audio-gd DAC/amp with a large iTunes selection, quite a few of them recordings of artists from the excellent X-Factor TV series of a couple of years ago. Like .. wow! Totally ALIVE! As in sitting in the audience alive. Even Devo whipping it into shape sounds brilliant :) This amp and DAC is simply outrageous! Not even just for the money, simply brilliant on it's own terms. It readily ebbs and flows in SQ depending on the quality .. or lack thereof - of the various tracks. At all times though, it is superbly alive and musical. Along with the Schiit gear, I am gratefully stunned that such quality kit is available for such reachable prices.
This is the only time I've truly enjoyed the HD6xx, so I'm very happy to have found the right amp where they shine AND with the stock pads, despite their limitations. The Dekoni EV pads are beautifully made, extremely comfortable - more so than the stock pads - but the extended bass balance and the removal of the lower treble peak makes them delicious with say, Katie Melua and orchestra, but too warm to be true with this amp (better with a leaner DAC and amp), not that the R2R-11 is a 'warm' amp as in traditional tube terms, it's just not that hyper-detailed etched lean sound, that's for sure! More of a delightful analogue and neutral fluid warmth that sounds like real live people. My kind of kit!
32 hours into the burn in of the R2R-11 and joy of joys I've discovered the best match yet for the HD6xx. Two hours of singing and dancing with the cans on my head tells me all I need to know! So musical and alive it sounds like really excellent analogue in the best possible ways. So natural that I forget about the gear completely, there's only music.
As immersive as the superb Magni 3/Mimby/Senn HD540 Ref1 combo that I have in another room.
Hence, my about my original question about what amp ur using :)
thanks for update. i am glad u didnt give up on the 6x0. are u using any planars?
Yes ... but not for long. I popped the HE400S into the R2R a little while ago and although the sound is very clean and clear, the sheer joy and immersion into the music that I had so much fun with last night, vanished. Instead, a slight 'digititus', like listening to a 90's CD player, came over me and I lost my attention on the music, the 3D soundscape disappeared, they didn't stay on for long. Like the difference between listening to a goodish CD player and coming from a really great analogue system. It's like the excellent sum of the parts didn't gel into a complete whole. Quite a step down in communication and involvement, which returned the instant I went back to the Mogami'd HD6xx. I still find that the best use for the HE400S is direct out of the headphone jack of the QP1R, where it is terrific. Go figure, since the power output difference is huge, but there you go - 40mW compared to several watts of grunt in the R2R.