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View Full Discussion Just received my pair last night, #007954.
I was looking for a replacement for my now super-rare and discontinued Philips SHP9500S, but without going over the (relative) price to performance ratio. After listening to the HD58X for the past day, I can say that these headphones fit the bill quite nicely!
My chain is foobar2000 -> Schiit Eitr -> Schiit Modi Multibit -> Schiit Sys -> Schiit Magni 3 or Vali 2 (w/ Voskhod 6N1P-EV NOS tube) and the sound signature was exactly what I was hoping for. Time to hide away the SHP9500S until the value appreciates!
Thank you Massdrop and Sennheiser!
Wouldn't use of a Modi Multibit as your DAC make use of the Eitr redundant? (It might depend on the revision of the Modi though)
In any case your audio chain seems like overkill for the supposedly easy to drive 58Xs, but with equipment like that I suspect you have some significantly more demanding cans as well :P
The Modi Multibit actually does not include the Gen 5 USB input as featured on the higher end Schiit DACs, and as such requires the Eitr to filter the USB input -> SPDIF into the Modi Multibit.
I agree that it is way more than enough for the HD58x, in no way is any of this necessary in order to enjoy them.
My other sets include the K7XX, K701, HE-400i, M560, M50X, and the Fiio F9 Pro IEMs. So still nothing that really requires all this Schiit.
Thanks for the reply!
Wow, exactly the SAME chain as mine, except that I do not have the Vali 2. Actually very interested in the Vali 2. What is your experience with the Vali2 compared with the Magni 3?
The Magni 3 is extremely good for its price, and has never had any issues with any of my equipment. However, somewhere along the way, curiosity got the best of me and I decided to venture (sort of) into the world of tubes.
I realize that many will say that since the Vali 2 is a hybrid tube amp, it will not give you the full experience of said "tubiness".
I agree with this since I have listened to "real" tube amps costing upwards of $1000 (Cayin HA-1A Mk2. Woo Audio WA7), but to be perfectly clear, for the price of the Vali 2, you will be able to enjoy and hear the benefits of a tube amp vs a solid-state. This will be very easy to test since you already have the Magni 3 and will be able to directly compare them side-by-side.
The next project would be "tube rolling", or basically swapping out the stock tube that the Vali 2 ships with for some other ones (Russian NOS, Chinese, etc.)
This will end up changing the sound significantly depending on the tube (and even the exact same model of tube will have some variance between them) and it is then up to you to experiment and find what sound you are looking for from the Vali 2.
This is not to say that the stock tube that comes with it is in any way bad or 'not good enough', you can use that one forever and be completely content with it.
I have no regrets in trying the Vali 2 (in fact, I'm using it right now as I write this reply), so I would highly recommend it no matter what kind of equipment you have.
Thanks for the reply!
I got a Vali 2 as a gift about a year ago, and the only time I experienced a significant difference was when I accidently used a mono 3.5 to RCA cable. That said I still don't have a DAC (I'll probably pickup a used Modi), so I'm amplifying garbage so to speak.
The HD 6XXs are easier to drive than I was expecting, so I can only assume the 58Xs scale well, but are also very forgiving.
Any tubes in the $25 range you'd recommend for the Vali 2?
A decent DAC will make a huge difference in terms of sound quality, even it is just through a USB port on a computer/laptop. I have heard major differences using even something as small as the AudioQuest Dragonfly Black out of a friend's phone.
That being said, there is also no need to go out and spend hundreds on a DAC for the first time, so anything used like you said would be a great option (I actually sold my first Modi 2 to a newly-acquainted audiophile friend after upgrading to the Modi Multibit). Some modern DAPs can also act as a DAC passthrough, like my Shanling M1.
As for tube recommendations, it is highly dependent on what type of sound you are looking for, as well as what equipment you are pairing it with. For myself, I have used only a few pairings:
Electro-Harmonix 6922EH (Compared to stock tube, wider soundstage, less bass, clearer high end)
JJ E88CC/6922 (Compared to stock tube, smoother high end, richer mid, less bass)
And my current one, the Voskhod 6N1P-EV (Compared to stock tube, wider soundstage, smooth bass/mid, clear and airy high end)
https://tubes-store.com/product_info.php?products_id=99 (Direct from Russia!)
These are probably not even the best pairings I could get with my equipment, but it gets too easy to spend a lot on tubes and I think that if you find one that sounds good to you, stick with it and maybe on occasion, try one or two other ones in rotation.
Most, if not all of these tubes will take a while to 'break-in', so don't judge it immediately upon firing it up the first time.
Have fun and thanks for the reply!
Even if a very small DAC will do, I'm afraid I'd lose something not much larger than a flashdrive. Used Modis seem to depreciate very quickly but I assume they're pretty good.
Thanks for the tube recommendations, I had previously read up in a HeadFi (or something similar) forum about Vali2 tubes, and it quickly devolved into discussing the differences between tubes with crossed swords designed for military applications and the regular spec, or how many different tubes were actually rebranded and made in the same factory in Holland, with little regard for what tubes did what so a list of a few good tubes is very helpful.
The $100 EarStudio ES100 DAC/Amp pairs awesomely with an HD 58X and gives you wireless capability while at it!
I personally have no experience with the Fulla 2, but from a first buyer's perspective, it is very hard to beat at that price point. My first DAC/AMP combo was the Fiio E10K, which is fairly close in specs to the Fulla 2, albeit having a different model of DAC chip.
In terms of receiver outputs for headphones, most of the time they are the same amplifier sections with a bunch of resistors to drop the overall voltage being transferred to the headphone jack.
However, the cause for concern in that case is the output impedance of said headphone jack (often 10+ ohms), in which case certain headphone drivers may have issues in terms of sound quality (when compared to a dedicated headphone amplifier).
As for the 660S, which is the same 150 ohm rating as the 58X, the output impedance should not affect them as much as say a 32 ohm or 16 ohm driver, which is probably why they don't sound too bad in your situation.
Thanks for the reply!
Interesting.. I mean I thought my HD 600s sounded beautiful even with the Fulla 2 + Yamaha Receiver combo. Although I'm sure a JDS EL AMP and EL DAC would beat it any day of the week. The Fulla 2 is a must buy if you're trying to get into the audio game cheap and clean. I've never tried the Fiio E10K. I've always preferred Schiit audio even though their amps are kind of bright. I tested for around 2 weeks a Asgard 2 and Fulla 2 with my HD 660 S and I couldn't hear a difference so I sent it back if that clears anything up. I'm sure if had the HD 600s then though I would have prob kept the Asgard 2. Though, I really only sent it back because I was having ground loop issues when my PC was under an intense load. Everything Schiit just screams quality honestly.
Oh I forgot to mention I've tested the HD 58X against the HD 660 S. The HD 660 S in my opinion is still better... Though I think the value of the HD 660 S def deteriorates in comparison. The HD 58X is nearly just as impressive, but there are still differences between the two in terms of sound in my opinion. I feel like the HD 660 S has more separation with less boomy bass is the best way to describe the differences. If I were you I would def consider taking those pads out in the HD 58X. It clears them up a bit without any loss in quality.. Actually IMO it bumps the clarity up a good bit! (JUST NOTICED YOU DID THIS ALREADY xD) Hope the best for your music listening experience!
Yeah, that ES100 is a great little gadget. It will drive my HD6XX as well when run via balanced 2.5mm cable (Although the amp is maxed out and the depth of audio isn’t anywhere near as great as when they are paired with a desktop setup).
I had a listen to the 660S sometime last year at one of the local shops near me (Headphone Bar in Vancouver, B.C.) and ended up pairing it with the Woo Audio WA7 at the time.
The resulting sound was something I had never experienced before, with the 660S being my first experience with a Sennheiser HD series headphone.
At that point I had resolved to finding a used pair of these somewhere down the road, but I ended up reading about the similarities between the 58X and 660S one night a few weeks ago...needless to say, I had to try it out for myself.
While I agree that there are slight differences between the two, I also never had the exact same source to compare them to each other, as you do. As many other reviewers have concluded, there can only be so much that can be changed within the driver itself, as the housing is very obviously similar (and also with the rest of the HD6** series).
Thanks for the reply!
That EarStudio ES100 has been known to go on sale for $79. It is a ridiculously good DAC/Amp for the price and everything it gives you. It might not be as good for desktop setups, but it's still better than a lot of entry level desktop gear. I rarely use my Audioengine D1 anymore for my desktop speakers anymore. Have you tried using the ES100 plugged in over USB? I've found the sound is much better, especially when used as a preamp for desktop speakers. I couldn't find any mention of the device being better over USB, but the difference is obvious.
My only complaint about the ES100 is is that the interface sucks and it's very clumsy to operate.
What is the cable that you use?
Were you ever able to track your order? I'm trying to track mine and can't fins a tracking number
I got it a few years ago when it was still a concept at one of the crowdfunding sites, and for cheaper than $79 even. I'd buy another one at twice that in a heartbeat if this one ever fails. I like that they continue to upgrade the firmware and offer ever-increasing performance. I find the app on the phone to be quite convenient, but no, I've never used it as a USB-device so I can't comment on that.
Massdrop should have emailed it to you.
Here on MD, I got the Van Damme and Venture Electronics cables, both of which are terminated in 4-pin XLR. To that, plugged in a XLR-to-2.5mm adapter I already had on hand.
Oh that makes sense. Thanks
Try it as a USB device and let me know what you think. If it ever goes on sale at $79 again, I'll probably get a second one because another issue I'm having is that it's too aggressive in trying to reconnect with every device it's paired to. I have one ES100 paired with both my laptop and phone and my laptop sometimes randomly cuts in and breaks my audio stream when I'm using it with my phone and vice versa.
wait.. Schiit is bright??!
In my opinion yes most of their stuff is bright. Talk to other audiophiles and you will get pretty much the same opinion.
I noticed that you removed the foam from inside the grilles, does that make a difference for you?
I pulled the foam on my 6XXs recently and the only thing I really notice is that they feel more physically open because my ears don't touch foam, but don't touch the driver either. The sound changes are very hard to notice, but some higher pitched sounds seem almost painful now, but as with anything is could be all in my head
Removing the outer foam may or may not have a noticeable effect depending on the person; I removed it before firing them up for the first time and have not tried it with them in, so YMMV. According to measurements it should not have any effect on the FR, however the soundstage may 'increase' slightly.
I believe he was referring to the outer foam, but I have tried removing the inner foam as well and have gotten the same results as you.
As the 6XX is measured fairly close to the HD650's, there is a mod called the "Quarter [foam] mod" that entails cutting a quarter (or smaller) sized hole in the foam area right in front of the driver, which will change the response of the upper end slightly depending on your preferences.