Sennheiser 580?

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by cribeiro, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Hi!

    Two years ago (maybe more?), I posted here a question about good wireless headphones. Now that I got an entry level hi-end system, I have to match it with some good headphones, the wireless are good, but not at the level of my stereo... It looks like the 580 is the way to go, I have read about it and I went to listen to some headphones (AKG, Beyerdynamics, SEnnheiser). I don't include Grado because I read they are bright, which is exactly the opposite to what I am looking for. I am satisfied with the sound of my Sennheiser wireless, so it makes sense to keep that way, although the AKG were sounding pretty much the same in terms of tonal balance, detail and sound quality.
    I would like to get the 600, but the law of diminishing returns seems quite steep here... Almost twice the price, for just some 1% improvement? No way! I think the 580 will fulfill my expectations.
    Now comes the question... How many versions of the 580 are around? I have not seen quoted in any review the "580 precision", but this is the only one I find in shops... Reviews always refer to "580" or to "580s". Is that "s" simply for the plural, or is it some certain model? Are the "580 precision" the same that were reviewed everywhere, or they released a new version?
    My concerns come also from the fact that the 580 are no longer part of the select "hiend" group in the Sennheiser web site.
    I hope you can help, thank you very much,

    Alberto

    PS: of course, at some point I will add a dedicated amp, but at the moment my dealer told me that the headphone output of the CA Azur 640 is pretty good.
     
  2. rozzar

    rozzar
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    the HD600s are available from www.askdirect.co.uk for £130 ish. They are great sounding cans- like the '580s but not quite so laid back and the treble is slightly more open-sounding. I had the Grado SR80s too and they're not too bright- i think they sound quite nice actually with surprising bass extension but they weren't comfortable enough for me :(

    I now use Sony MDRCD780s and a Rega Ear, btw
     
  3. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    As far as I know, there is only one model of Sennheiser 580. The "s" is certainly just a plural - I have Sennheiser 580 headphones, I have Sennheiser 580s, same thing. I think the "precision" label is entirely optional.

    The difference between 580s and 600s is not huge, but it is quite perceptible. As Rozzar says, you shouldn't pay anywhere near the list price for either model - shop around for a good price on the Internet.

    I suspect that models like the HD580 and HD600 will get more benefit from a high quality headphone amp than cheaper 'phones do, in the same sort of way that high quality loudspeakers get more benefit from low-distortion pre-amps and amps than cheap speakers do. But you should be okay with your current headphone output to begin with. Just don't ever try and power 580s or 600s from a device that is portable or battery powered! That sounds like cr*p. :)
     
  4. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    There was an HD580 "Jubilee" model which featured the HD600 grilles, and is in fact basically the headphone that went on to become the HD600.
     
  5. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Thanks for the answers.
    I knew about the Jubilee, I read a review about them. But it is good that this info is also included, maybe for further reference of other people.
    Nicholas, thanks for your answer. I suspected the "s" was not part of the name, but I was not sure since I am not a native speaker.
    Here in Germany I can get the 580 for 89 euro+8 euro sending costs. That is quite cheap, I think. The 600 are 174 euro +12 euro sending costs (different shops!). That is almost twice the price, for certain improvement. I can live with the 580, I think...
    So, this month I get the extra pay for Christmas, and I could use it well for that... Pity that it will be gone in January for paying the car insurance :-( I need to wait a little while and save some cash... At least I know what to look for, although I am still bothered by that "precision" label... I hope it is just a label, and the headphones will be the same that you (Nic) have.
    Thank you very much for your answers.

    PS: once I will have the headphones, I will save money for a dedicated amp, I guess the earmax. I would like to get some valves, I am very curious about the sound. And no, I won't use the 580 with a discman, don't worry! ;-) I have a nice Azur 640 cd player, I think it will make it justice.
     
  6. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    here is an interesting article I've just found explaining exactly what the differences are.....
    Cheers

    Croc
     
  7. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    In that case I would go for the 580s. 89 euros is a VERY good price for a new pair of them.

    In the interests of accuracy: I actually own HD600s, which I use with a mark IV "Solo" headphone amp (as made by Graham Slee). But my father has a pair of 580s, and they're pretty good.
     
  8. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    cribeiro

    Where is this, is it online? If so please can I have the link. Did you get yours yet, what do you think of them?

    Thanks

    Croc
     
  9. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Hi!

    Wow! I see they are WANTED! So, this almost forces me do decide in favour of the 580... Unfortunately, this came too late :-(
    It was an offer in an e-bay shop, but the auction is finished. Now I can only find them for 115 + sending costs. I guess it is a matter of waiting for a couple of weeks until it appears again.
    Sorry Nic, I remembered you writing about the 580... Indeed you did, but, as you say, it was for your father.
    Crocodile, thanks for the info! Now everything is clear. Sorry that I didn't inform you earlier about the offer.

    One more question... There are new models in the sennheiser family. These are in the price of the 580, but... does it imply they perform at the same level? I mean, I understand that they should be more developed products, but how much of the price is the novelty, and how much the performance? This links with the fact that the 580 are now outside the high-end family in the sennheiser web site. WEll, high end also implies the latest, so that could be the reason, and not pure performance level?
    Thanks. Now I just have to wait until this offer turns up again in ebay.

    PS: I had the chance to listen to all the models labeled as "high end" in the sennheiser web site this weekend... I couldn't do any critical listening, but I could realize how better are the 600 in comparison with the 590... Pity they didn't have the 580...
     
  10. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    Well I already have the 590s and I've just bought some 580s off ebay (£80 with the postage) so I'll be able to make a judgement on this when they arrive. Would have loved the 600s but they seem to be going for quite a bit more.

    Personal opinion aside, how do you guys think I did purely on price. It was my first ebay purchase. I've bid many times but never won. I've often been out bid by crazy amounts. (In fact I've often seen people pay more for second hand than they can buy new, they must just get carried away with the whole bidding thing). Anyway I thought £80 was about right, certainly no great bargain for second hand, but OK I think?

    Looking forward to hearing them at any rate.

    Cheers

    Croc
     
  11. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Not to upset you, but in germany you can get them new for that price... Anyway, they usually do not send abroad.

    If the 580 are any similar to the 600, the 590 will sound more bright than the 580. I compare the 590 with the 600, and the 600 are more neutral. I prefer that, but it is a matter of taste. I think you could listen the 600 longer time, simply.
     
  12. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    It doesn't upset me because as you say it isn't an online offer that I could take advantage of. I certainly could not found it for anything like that price on all my searches. In the UK they seem to be holding a reasonable price still. They are boxed and advertised as in excellent condition, so if they are as described, I think I'd be happy enough, :) if they are not, that would be a different story :mad:
     
  13. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Good! I wish it will be in fine condition.
    Please, let me/us know how the 590 compares to the 580. I could only listen to the 600 and 590, but not the 580. Both cost nearly the same new around here, so I am interested in your views. The question is, did the price of the 580 decrease because the new models perform better, or just because they are "new"?
    Thanks in advance,

    Alberto
     
  14. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    I have restricted the choice to two models: Senn 600 and 580... Finally! I have read quite a lot about headphones, even from people who was not satisfied with the Sennheisers, but what they claim as fault, I do not (I read "rolled off highs" and, after listening to the 600s, I realize the guy likes to have little bells ringing in his head all the time).
    Since the 600 cost twice as much, and I want to buy them soon (for Christmas?), I think I will get the 580. I can't go wrong.
    The next step, which of course will take looonger (months only, hopefully and if I get something back from my tax declaration), is to get a dedicated amp. I always wanted to know what tubes sound like, and following the info in this forum that you gave me one year ago, the earmax is my choice. My only concern is: will it be fast in the bass, detailed and with enough power to drive the 580 up to hurting levels? (no, I don't want to go deaf, but if it can do it up to hurting levels, I will never be disappointed :) )
    Any comments on this?
    I can get, today, the 580 new for 115 euro (about 76 pounds), and the earmax (not the pro...) for 350.
    One more concern... Will that overcome the performance of my stereo in such a way I won't ever listen to it again?? I have Castle Richmond 3i with Azur 640 cd and amp...
     
  15. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    I very much doubt it will ever replace your speakers. I do a lot of headphone listening and really enjoy the rig in my sig below but I also enjoy using the speakers too, theres just something about speakers which I find more relaxing to listen to and bass is also harder hitting. It seems more enjoyable to play speakers loud. They both have their place though and I enjoy both in almost equal measures for different reasons.
     
  16. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    I agree with Paul on this. I have no choice but to use headphones when the little people are tucked up in bed and often, particularly late at night, it can become almost like meditation (trace like). Ironically perhaps, I can only really enjoy headphone listening when I am alone or at least when it is relatively quite. When people are coming and going it distracts me. But without restrictions, ie. when I can listen at preferred volume levels, I always choose speakers.

    Well I now have the 580s and after fairly extensive comparison (until 0130AM this morning :suicide: ) with my 590s. I listened to Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells II, Annie Lennox - Bare, Genesis - The Way We Walk DVD(48 kHz stereo sound track) also some classical and some Celine Dion (always a good tester that voice). Here are my thoughts to add to the perennial Sennheiser debate:

    Firstly I compared them on my Stereo kit which is Arcam Alpha 7SE CD player with Arcam Alpha 7 integrated and Alpha 8p power (I tried both jacks, each has 77 Ohms impedence I'm lead to believe).

    Secondly I compared them on my HC kit which is HK DVD2550 DVD player connected via digital with Yamaha RXV496RDS receiver (Jack has 390 Ohms impedence at 0.47v).

    Overall, somewhat suprisingly maybe, I prefer the HC kit with either headphones. There is more clarity with detail and separation plus a bit more attack.

    With the, stereo only, Arcam set up (whilst great through speakers) is a tad muddled at times with cans. I don't know whether it is due to the impendence level at the jack affecting the sound of the cans or whether it is just that the synergy is not there. But it is actually difficult to distinguish any differences between the two sets of headphones on this set up.

    With the HC set up, both sets are very involving with great levels of midrange detail and fine separation. There are good levels of bass which is tight, not woolly at all. The sound stage and imaging is also about the same for both, although left to right panning did seem a little faster on the 580s. The 580s did edge it on clarity and detail, nothing strayed at all at any point where as the 590s just started to fray a tad on the fullest passages (ie. many instruments/voices etc playing at once) On the other hand the 590s walk it in comfort terms. They are very light and fit perfectly. The 580s are heavier and exert a little more pressure. Also the pads, whilst being soft comfortable velor, are not as optimal in shape.

    Summary - IMO both are good cans, the 590s are not as far behind as many would have you believe. I think there is an over blown myth surrounding the 590s v the 580/600s) They are certainly still in the audiophile category and represent good value since they can be had on line for a little over £80 in the UK against £140 plus for the HD600s (You can't get the 580s over here any more). The only thing I can't confirm is their performance with a dedicated headphone amp. It may be that there is more potential in the 580s with a dedicated headphone amp, then again maybe that is an over blown myth as well, hey Mr Birkett?

    Cheers

    Croc
     
  17. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Wow, Croc, thanks for the nice review. This supports my decision for the 580 and not 590. I don't think the 590 perform much worse than the 600, but they are not my choice exactly for what you said: a bit "in your face", or "a bit bright".
    What about my choice for an amp? Of course I am talking about "far" future, but I like to think about these things a lot (well, it is our hobby, after all :) ). Do you think it will have enough juice to drive the 580 without problems, as I asked before? The pro version of the earmax is really much more expensive...
    Thanks again.
     
  18. mister_d

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    I'm using an HD580/Earmax Pro combination, and while I find the detail and soundstaging to be excellent, I frequently notice sibilance and find the treble to be overwhelmingly harsh, as explained in unnecessary depth in this lonely thread. Perhaps they could be described as 'bright', to be honest I'm not exactly sure what that means as audiophile terminology always seems confusingly subjective to me.

    My integrated amp/speaker setup exhibits the same problem to a lesser extent, so it could be arising from the source, but since I couldn't perceive any difference in treble between my old Marantz CD6000OSE and new Arcam CD93, it seems likely to be the amp or headphones. Either that or my collection contains a large number of poorly mastered recordings.

    I should point out that there's a noticeable increase in depth and clarity with the Earmax over the headphone output on my Arcam Alpha 8R, but the treble characteristics remain largely the same. I'll see whether the Van der Hul D102 MkIII Hybrid interconnects I've just bought on a popular auction site make any difference, if not I might try some different headphones. Of course, it could just be that I turn them up far too loud...
     
  19. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    Ah, the old headphone amp chestnut. I have in my posession here a Headsave Classic, undoubtedly the cheapest headphone amp I've ever had barring the B-Tech 928 (which is really only for people who absolutely must have a cheap pair of headphones). Lets just say that this little amp seems significantly better than using my Rotel RA-01 headphone jack, unlike a lot of amps I've had.

    I now no longer doubt that headphone amps can make a difference, but it depends what your benchmark system is and whether you appreciates the differences. In this case, individual differences add up to make a good difference. Perhaps I should have started a thread in this forum about how good these little amps are for the money, but I will do a review in the coming weeks.

    I have learned its not so much the price tag of the amp, but the design and components used. This is an amp I paid £80 for that sounds better than a £250 X-Can v3 and £280 Perreaux SXH1, and I have no doubt in my mind about this. Its just re-inforced to me that mainstream commercial headphone amps are, on the whole, a rip off.

    :smashin:
     
  20. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    cribeiro I didn't say this. If anything, I agree with mister_d in that it is the 580s that are brighter. I personally don't find them harsh, but they are definately more up front with the detail in the mid to highs and I think to an extent that you don't get one without the other. But they are consistent, they don't loose it at any point, they just have a certain signature. I guess you either like it or not. The 590s are the slightly more laid back of the two. As I said, they only loose their grip very slightly in the fullest passages, but not because they are bright or harsh, but because they loose the separation when just occasionally they get a tad (and only a tad) overwhelmed.

    As for dedicated amps, Paul, if you're saying that I can get a decent one for £80, (or was that a lucky s/h price) then I'd go for it at that price just to put the issue to bed in my own mind once and for all. LMK more, I need something for a headphone set up at work anyway.

    Cheers

    Croc
     
  21. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Hi!
    Sorry, Croc, I got it wrong. I undestood that "fray" was meaning something like that. But then you make me think, because I could compare the tonal balance of the 590 and 600 in a shop, and I found the 590 brighter... So this means the 580 are even more :-(


    Pbirkett, what you say sounds nice... I did a little research, and found that those amps are sold from the States, I found the web site (www.headsave.com). Nice price, if what you say is true... Is it the only possibility, to buy from them? (apart from second hand). The web site didn't give me the feeling of safety if I send them money... I mean, usually you get some registration on line, then ordering on line, then they send you an email confirmation, etc... But here you simply have to send them an email, and do everything by email. Here, in Germany, they must have some legal info about the shop, that you can read... And usually also the physical location of the company, a telefon number, etc.
    Maybe I am too paranoid...
     
  22. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    cribeiro - from what I've read, the 580s will be very close to the 600s, they use exactly the same drivers so if you are happy with the 600s, then you will probably be happy with the 580s

    Paul - I'm also interested in these amps. How do they connect, is it line level direct to source or is it pre out from tape loop?? I've been on the web site but it doesn't say AFAICS. It just says RCA jacks which could be either I think?

    Cheers

    Croc
     
  23. ipodstudio

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    Croc, you might want to check my post here...the Porta Corda MKII bit..;)
     
  24. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    I've just got mine hooked up to my tape loop. Works fine, but the interconnect makes quite a difference here IMHO. I am not a big believer in cables, but when I had my VDH cable hooked up to it the sound was harsh and a bit thin. I hooked up a Sonic Link cable and the sound gained body and lost its harshness.

    HTHs
     
  25. Leonardo

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    Hello there,
    Advice please.
    Trying to decide about headphones...
    Tried the Sennheiser 595, 600 and Grado RS125.
    At a dealer, and used the Sudgen headmaster amp... Pricey but good sound.
    Anyone tried the 650 yet?
    So far, I fancy the 600's and am toying with a cable upgrade...
    Have still to choose a headphone amp so enjoying the dilemmas!
    Many thanks.
     
  26. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    I could compared the 600 and 650 face to face in a shop, but the conditions were far to ideal... They were plugged to some mid-fi yamaha cd player's headphone output.
    Anyway, I could at least grasp some differences between them, but I couldn't decide it meant better sound from the 650. In any case, I didn't find the 650 worth the extra money at all. That is good news, it means my ears have some limit, and I won't have to spend thousands of euros in hifi, but rather in Music :D And I think I will be anyway close enough to Nirvana.
     
  27. Daneel

    Daneel
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    One thing I love about my 580s is the lack of sibilance or the slightest hint of harshness in the treble which I'm very sensitive to. I cannot fathom how the 580s could be described that way.
     
  28. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Hi...didnt see that post over there in the other part of the forum,otherwise I'd have answered.
    Since you've mentioned that the same problem exists with your amp/speaker setup,it's very likely to be a source/interconnect thing,as I'd noticed using XLO interconnects with my H/phone system,and I would also think it unlikely that the Earmax Pro will be giving problems at higher levels,since I use one of the original Earmax's(non-pro)to pretty high levels with a set of Sennheiser 600's and with no harshness or sibilance.

    There are a number of possibilities in terms of altering the sound,as well as changing or trying different interconnects,and it may also be worth trying some different tubes in the Earmax,with a good set of NOS Mullard or Telefunkens capable of making an enormous difference.
    The output tubes in mine are different to yours obviously,but using a NOS Mullard ECC81 as the input/driver,and old Telefunken ECC86s has added weight and control to the sound,but without adding any harshness etc.

    The interconnects are Nordost,and at risk of getting the old debates going,they really are better.
     
  29. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    Question for Alex - I've just bought the M-audio 2496 card I know you use the same. My intention is to use it in my office PC with a Headsave amp to drive my 580s. I was anticipating using the PC basically as a CDP and I've notice that, with the M-audio, there is no direct connection for the CD drive as there is with the soundblaster live card for example (which I have in my PC at home). Wouldn't it be better to go direct as with the soundblaster as opposed to going via the motherboard and in via the IDE cable (if that's what it does?) when using it as a CDP or am I being naive? Or would I in fact be better doing player back from the HD (although one problem here being memory space as I'd be using WAV i.e. 44.1 Khz at 16 bit files)

    TIA

    Croc
     
  30. mister_d

    mister_d
    Active Member

    Joined:
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    Thanks for the reply, was thinking of opening a new thread in this forum (and still might if it runs any further) until I saw it.

    I'm sure the 580s are capable of very smooth, refined treble and some aspect of my system is holding me back - I'm going to try the valves first, as I'm still quite sceptical about the extent to which cables can radically change tonal characteristics, and I want to spend as little money as possible since I haven't really got any left. We spoke about it on PM a few months back, if it's OK with you I might send another PM just to clarify one or two things.

    I'll stay out of this thread for now, unless my findings cause me to change my opinions of the 580s, which they hopefully will...
     

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