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Just received my pair and I coupled it with a new schiit magni 3 because folks seem to like that amp to power headphones such as these that require power. Only problem is, the 6xx's failed with some very low bass on the first track that I played through them. The high's also seem to get lost a bit in the mid-tones.
My source is vinyl on a pro-ject debut iii with an entry level phono pre-amp and some junky rca cables.
I realize part of the problem could be the cables, but I suspect it's something else. Does anyone think that the darkvoice amp would be better? Should I return the schiit magni 3 and invest in the darkvoice and a better cartridge on my table? Does anyone think the problem could be a defect with the headphones themselves? I'm really kinda struggling here. Any and all feedback would be very much appreciated.
I think your expectations are too high. HD 6XX are open back dynamic headphones and in general, they don't reproduce sub-bass. You can go to rtings.com and compare HD 650(HD 6XX equivalent?) with some other headphone that you know very well. That should reset expectations.
I don't think the amp is the problem.
A DV would look sexier with your vinyl player and does combo-up nicely with the 6xx's! I would also suggest either returning or keep the Magni 3 for other headphones (if money isn't an issue!) and grab something like a Vali 2 for a bit of hybrid tube action! Again, pairs well with the 650's but don't expect too much from the Vali 2 but tube rolling is also an option (sorry for your wallet!).
The Valhalla 2 if you're going down the DV route but want something from Schiit.
From my experience with vinyl is that you could end up spending a lot of money very quickly! :D Also the your phono pre-amp might be the cause as well.
Thanks for your reply, Volly! I think you're right in your suspicion with my phono pre-amp. I got something kinda budget and it just sat on for long periods of time without use. I plugged in my iphone x into the magni 3 and didn't have any of the issues I was getting out of my TT. I'm thinking that I need to get a better phono pre, upgrade my vinyl stylus to something like the ortofon red or blue, and go with something that raises the hi's for these 6xx's like the darkvoice, since the site rtings.com that Moes recommended I check out told me that the highs are a bit lower than they should be on the 6xx's. Alas, I don't have $1560 to spend on some Senn 800's (yet).
If you like bass (like I do), then you stay the hell away from Sennhieser. Sennhieser is like the chamber choirboy. They can hit the highs and make you feel happy with that mid range but their voice hasen’t dropped yet!
Haha love the analogy. Not gonna lie, kinda bummed on the notion that with high end headphones you need to get multiple pairs, just to match to styles of music that you're listening to. Maybe that problem goes away with $$$ though, like for a super high-end pair?
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Your knowledge is going to make an expensive hobby less expensive since I won't have to trial and error as much with your help.
Sounds like you're on the right track mate, yeah, get a decent phono pre-amp and investment in a decent cart/stylus. You're obviously a very romantic music listener as the beautiful warm tones coming from your analogue device has your attention. I'm not sure if a entry-level solid state amp can pass that information across to you convincingly but we'll see!
Do you use speakers or are you strictly using headphones?
Haha...I somewhat agree with you, the 6 series aren't known for it's bass but paired with a powerful amp you can extract a little more down low but it's not like a Denon/Fostex or Planar kinda bass.
For me, Sennheiser nailed the mid-range with that smooth tonal balance, never fatiguing and can cover most (not all!) music genres!
Thanks for the kind words and the vote of confidence, Volly! I'm all about the warmth that analog gives. I'm not on to speakers yet, as we're in an apartment where we share walls, but once I have a single-family dwelling I want to start looking into wood-cabinetry speakers. What is your preferred setup?
I play vinyl out in the lounge room through set of floor standing speakers given down to me from my Dad. Nothing crazy, just some older vintage gear. My main gear is predominantly headphone gear in my computer room. I actually have my DarkVoice hooked up to my CD-Player, I've moved more to Solid-state amp's now but still get me jollies with tubes when I'm listening to CD's. I'm daily driving my 650's and Nighthawks with Hifiman Editon X at the moment.
I live in a low density area so we have detached homes where we are but I still us headphones mainly because of family.
Today, we're very spoiled for choices, perhaps too many choices, can kinda be confusing?! But I think you're on the right track, just keep reading and gain knowledge and you should be safe!
For a preamp, i’m using a pro-next tube box s and it sounds beautiful, nay gorgeous, with speakers (depending what room/environment I am in)
however even my best high end headphones don’t sound great on my vinyl setup. So I don’t have a good answer for you.
I bought a Magni3 just to see what the fuss is about. All it has is power, other than that it's the most flat and lifeless amp I have ever heard. The 6xx does well on tubes, a mate brought over his dark voice and we ran it off my R2R DAC - amazing with Tung Sol 5998 power tubes and RCA preamps. More bass from the Tung Sol than anything else I have heard so far, which includes my own AudioGD NFB1-AMP, Matrix HPA-3B, Cayin HA-1A MK2, and the new Cavali Liquid Platinum
I did seriously look into getting a Crack with Speedball upgrade or the S.E.X. amp kit... But DIY is just not for me. Next amp if I ever upgrade again will be a HA-300B, I've spent some time listening through one with the HE1000v2 and that was an amazing combo.
Yeah...I gotta get off my butt and do some DIY learning but time factors in and buying a unit pre-built is so much easier for my liking! :D
HA-300B looks like a beast mate, arghhhh my wallet has gone in to cardiac arrest!
@jblsurfer - Also, have a look at the Lyr 3, you can add a phono card to it and it's a tube/hybrid with some serious power! Could to do the whole lot for good chunk of money! (Rabbit-hole approaching)
Thought you might be interested to know that I found the source of my original problem! That bass-section that was giving me woes on my pro-ject debut iii looks to have been a loose stylus! The other day I learned how easy they are to pull off of their cart, so I pulled it off, then re-seated it. The next day I played the old troublesome song and the issue was resolved!
I'm now looking to upgrade my stylus from the cheaper Ortofon 5E to the more highly acclaimed Ortofon 20 (since I can't yet afford the 30 or 40, and the other savory carts would require a new counterweight buy, in addition, as well as a protractor for alignment, tools, a deft hand, etc..).
I think that this should help get rid of the muddiness I was mentioning in the bass, and hopefully help to bring some of the vocals out of the mid-tones and back to the forefront, like I hear when listening to digital. I'm excited to see what this diamond-tip stylus is all about, and think that this should suit me fine for a while until I go down "the rabbit hole." I could see myself going for the Pro-Ject Tube Box S Phono PreAmplifier and a new TT with a really good card already installed at some point in the future (exciting).
Nice to know that the HD 6xx's are A-Ok and that a somewhat modest TT stylus upgrade could potentially help to get me into fighting shape with my vinyl setup :D
Good job! Glad you kept investigating, so many parts to make a whole with vinyl! (arghhhh)
The saving grace is the sound, I feel there is still a gulf between digital and analogue. I find digital is so much more convenient that it has become my go to, where if I want to unstrap myself from my chair and fill my house full of warm analogue tunes then I slap on some vinyl.
It gets VERY expensive if you're chasing after that ultimate vinyl experience, just like in HeadFi but if you're a patience person, then there are deals to be had that will get you closer to the goal! Just don't let it consume you...haha! :D - The HD650's will serve you well for sometime to come, they scale amazingly as well!
A good set of reference speakers can reveal a lot about your setup too but I understand your situation. Keep an eye out for Schiit's release of their turn-table soon, should be interesting! :D
The guts of an OM5 and OM20 (30, 40, etc) are all pretty similar. The big changes are at the stylus itself though you do get some better tolerances throughout the part as you move up as well. An OM40 stylus fits an OM5, as do some very nice aftermarket replacements for the OM Supers. Perhaps try that. Worst case, if you still like the OM sound, you have a nice replacement for whatever you get to replace the OM5 cart itself.
edit: Misread that. You’re already doing what I was talking about. Do look at non-Ortofon options though. Some are on par with higher class offerings at lower prices than OE.
Hi Professorpat. Thank you for the reply! When you say to look at non-ortofon options, do you mean non-ortofon stylus’ that perhaps still fit the Ortofon cart? That would be amazing as an option, but if you mean replacing the cart itself, I get nervous at the thought of replacing a cartridge on my pro-ject debut TT because Ive read horror stories of damaging the pencil-thin connector wires. As well, I’m having a hard time finding options that are the same weight so as not to have to purchase additional parts such as weights (for the down-force and anti skip for this particular table).
If non-ortofon stylus’ do fit at a cheaper price point, care to recommend any?
Yeah, if I’m remembering correctly, it was LPGear that had in-house replacements in varying price points for the OM series (as well as the OE parts).
And tonearm wires aren’t bad if you’re reasonably careful. I get not wanting to deal with everything involved though. It’s a fairly complex process. I do recommend a force gauge regardless of whether you’re doing anything further if you don’t already have one. Preset stuff on these tables can usually be improved a bit.
Thanks, ProfessorPat. I'll have a look. And yah, I will eventually want to get into doing my own replacements, but for now my comfort level is pretty low. I'll take your advice on the force gauge. Twisting the weight at the end of the tone arm doesn't see to give the best results. Or, even if it does at first, it seems to lose it's effectiveness after a little bit. Maybe I'm bumping it when manually placing or removing the TT cover, for instance. Cheers.