Originally Posted by glangford
Thanks, I always read this thread. Nobody ever has a question that I feel qualified to answer!!
My foray into headphones consists of the Senn 650hd and the cute beyond headphone amp with op amp upgrade so most of the posters questions leave me in the dust.
My next purchase for headphones may be to buy a couple of burson audio discreet op amps which have been fit into a cute beyond headphone amp and give that a whirl. Another option is to dabble in another amp, like the burson audio. The oppo also has balanced outputs so I've toyed with the idea of a headphone amp with balance inputs and recabling the 650s for balanced operations. Any recommendations?
A few recommendations/thoughts:
1. Stay with your 650's as there's no such thing as a "perfect" high end headphone. Different music will sometimes be unbearable with one good headphone and excellent on a different good headphone.
2. Don't spend your time/money on balanced cables for headphone use. I've done it for my home speaker/amps/preamp and it was less than my RCA interconnect cables.
Balanced cables are intended for the pro biz where cables take a beating (foot traffic, carts, etc.) and cable lengths of 100+ feet are common.
3. A better headphone amp... probably yes at some point. I don't have much real experience with headphone amps, so can't advise on that.
4. At best, I'd think futzing around with different op-amps for your Cute Beyond would have limited value. Likely better to just bite the bullet with a better headphone amp.
5. Maybe using that same Canare wire that you bought from e-bay for your headphone extension cable might be the thing to try for rewiring your 650 cable? Gave some thought to it and decided not to go there, so can't advise if it has any merit. markertek is one place (good prices and excellent 800 phone service) to check the number at, and of course google it. Or if you can use one of the connectors, maybe buy another of those extension cables from e-bay?
The one word of caution is that in my own home system experience cables do make a difference, but it tends to be subtle. I hate to say even that in this headphone thread coz the next thing that'll become the topic of discussion and not the main subject which is headphones.
6. Two of the more interesting "recent" posts in this thread were #553 by Nosferatu at http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post21504666
Since I've both the 650 and the 600, I agree with him that the 600 is slightly better, but if I were to do it again I wouldn't bother with spending money on the 600, but I'm not unhappy with having the 600.
Post #571 by Nosferatu gave a ref to http://www.head-fi.org/t/561108/deno...600-comparison
AFAIK the Denon 7000 is over the ear and has very different sound from the Sennheiser 600. That shows up with different recordings in his above review where with one he prefers the 7000 and with another he prefers the 600.
Amazon show Denon 7000 5000 and 2000 as all current, all getting great real user reviews, at about $700 $500 $300 respectively. If you want an alternative headphone to the Sennheiser 650 that you have, maybe one of those is the thing to try? Buy it from a place that has a no hassle return (maybe amazon (?) but not one of their 3rd party dealers).
The one open question is how comfortable they are.
Nosferatu posts in this thread. Odds are he's still reading. Ask him.