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So after dealing with customs for an hour i finally got them.First impressions are mixed.I have the Purpleharts and the 6XXs are my first pair open cans.Vocals are definetly better,bass is not as defined or deep as the Purplehearts but i expected that.Overall very different sound.About the soundstage,i thought it will be bigger than the TH-X00s but i don't hear it that way.Things still sound a bit closer,but depends on the track.I drive them with the Magni2U and a Parasound ZDAC v2.Should i get a tube amp or something (Valhalla 2?) and is it worth it?
That is part of the sound signature of the hd650, a lot of the soundstage impressions come from the treble. The hd650 is mostly neutral with boosted bass at 100hz and treble is gradually rolled off. I like the sound because I can listen to it for hours with no treble fatigue, though I have another headphone with better extension on the frequency extremes. I would say before trying a new amp try boosting the upper treble and subbass about 3-5 db with an equalizer and see if that helps. An actual EQ will make a way more noticable difference than an amp will.
I also own 6XX and Purplehearts, and am driving them with a Modi Multibit / Jotunheim combo. I consider them the 2 best "bass heavy" cans in my collection. I too prefer my Purplehearts, so don't think you're alone in this. HOWEVER, X00 PH are over double the price, and at their $200 price point, the 6XX are an amazing value IMO. If your price point is $200, 6XX are a steal. I also own X2 at the same $200 price point (purchased from Massdrop as well), and 6XX is the much better headphone overall! It doesn't quite have the X2 rumble, nor its' super-wide soundstage...but the overall clarity and musicality of 6XX is MUCH better.
For Neutral cans, my 2 best are HD600 and my Stax 2170 combo. HD600 is very good, and worthy of the acclaim over the years. However, my Stax just does everything better (except soundstage width). I think of my Stax as a W-shaped HD600, with roughly a +2dB bump across the board. More forward, more energetic, MUCH deeper bass extension, while still doing well on delicate, detailed passages.
I like to pair a Neutral headphone with a bass-heavy one, and in that fashion all my musical genres are covered. My current long-term pairing is Stax and Purplehearts, and I'm extremely happy with both! I don't see that changing for several years.
TLDR version: for $200 the 6XX is a no-brainer. You can beat them, but you'll spend a lot more than $200 to do it.
I would NOT get an Valhalla, I'm actually in the same boat as you, and own both those cans. You're going to need a somewhat flexible amp since X00 and 6XX are totally different when it comes to what they need to be driven properly. Valhalla 2 is good with the HD650 but I've looked around and it seemed as though not many enjoyed the X00 with the Valhalla since it can be a bit bright, even without the stock tubes. I've been looking into the bottlehead crack or the Audio-gd NFB 11. I would look into those.
Also I completely agree with the vocals and soundstage, although I feel as though the open back offers just a more comfortable way to listen to music. The Purplehearts are going to sound a bit better when you upgrade your amp, but the HD6xx should have an even more incremental increase in quality. When it comes to listening to any rock tracks, I use the 6xx, because I feel as though the acoustics are more spatially separated.
One thing I don't miss about the PH's when I listen to the 6XX is worrying about the sharp highs that can come out of nowhere :S those are scary
Yeah, i can easily listen for a few hours with the 6xx. The Jotunheim looks like a good all rounder, but from reviews i feel it will be more or less the same as the Magni, better of course. I will try to EQ them to see if things will get better. So far i really enjoy them with all genres i listen, but they definetly shine with more acoustic and instrumental stuff.
I also have the X00 PH, totally enjoying every second of music coming out of it.
I'm thinking about getting the 6xx / 650 for wider soundstage, but sounds like it's not much wider than X00 even with open back design?
I have the 6XX, EMU and the He400i (with my own choice of improved pads). 6XX wins overall.
The HD6XX are simply the best deal you can get for $200. Probably the best headphones in the WORLD at that price... Boy, I was so wrong about them before, and almost stepped out of the drop. What a surprise.
I have the EMU Ebony (Fostex x00 variant by Creative/EMU) as well, and still, the HD6XX seems to be the best of the lot, combining both (Hifiman & Fostex) cans' features. That's my previous endgame dethroned.
All this is WITH an amp.
Planars by Hifiman or Biocellulose dynamics by Foster, the Sennheiser stands its ground pretty solid.
Here's the crux of it:
(less for Sennheiser at this time in part since the 6XX is the most recent acquisition, and clamping force is still breaking in)
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