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What are YOU doing right now? 
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endemoniada_88 wrote:
Having (for various reasons) changed the layout of my study, it would actually be convenient to run wired rather than wireless. So, at some point - when I have the time and energy to go through the whole selection process - I probably will buy a decent wired pair and see how they stack up. I'm not sceptical about wireless, but it's entirely possible that's as much about becoming accustomed to - and developing compensations for - it as it is any guarantee of absolute sound quality!

Which is, in fact, what I've done - went for the Sennheiser HD 558s in the end. Am just getting used to how much louder they are than the wireless HDRs...

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Fri May 09, 2014 10:50 pm
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endemoniada_88 wrote:
Which is, in fact, what I've done - went for the Sennheiser HD 558s in the end. Am just getting used to how much louder they are than the wireless HDRs...

They're a good starting model for the lower mid-fi range, I suppose. In direct comparison, the HD 598 are clearly superior in sound quality, but the design is definitely a matter of taste (and they're considerably more expensive, of course); the 558s are very neutral in that respect. :;): To be fair, though, I've come to the conclusoin that all the Sennheiser models in the mid-fi class are really overpriced. For instance, I had the opportunity to make a direct comparison of the HD 598 and the Beyerdynamic DT-770/880/990, the 770 and 990 being significantly cheaper (and only slightly more expensive than the HD 558), and all of them sound more precise and vivid. Might be a good idea to give them a try at some point - especially the 770 and 990 since you're used to Sennheiser's bass accentuation, which you'd definitely miss in the 880s. One thing that you'll notice at once is how the highs and upper mids seem terribly muffled and vague in the Sennheiser models in direct comparison; personally I've really come to appreciate crystal-clear highs, for they allow you to make out much more detail and give more air and vividity to the music on the whole. But of course, this comes down to taste at the end of the day.

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Sat May 10, 2014 9:57 am
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Taste, indeed! Didn't have any Beyerdynamics to try against, but Sennheisers don't sound particularly bassy to me - it's more that other types sound too shrill. I didn't find a clear superiority to the 598s either, otherwise I'd have bought them (ugly as they are, I can't see them when they're on my ears...) - the price gap is actually quite minimal here in the UK. I did consider the 600/650 series quite seriously, but they weren't delivering enough to make the substantial price hike worth it. I'm of the opinion that the 558s are cheap basically because they've compromised on the rather flimsy plastic shell and frame, not on the audio components. On the plus side, that does actually make them really light and hence comfortable.

Then I got bored, anyway, straining to catch largely infinitestimal nuances between different 'phones and decide whether they were better/worse/truer to the spirit of the recording. Makes little odds, in my opinion - as long as you end up with something that's got a decent frequency range response and is faithful to what's being transmitted, that's fine. There's massively more difference and adjustability between the devices actually driving the speakers than there is between any given pair of speakers...!

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Sat May 10, 2014 12:48 pm
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In my experience, the exact opposite is true, and it's also somewhat logical given the physical background. A lot can happen with a membrane actually vibrating, and I am convinced that the differences between sound transducers are far greater than those between, say, amps or CD-players. Some hi-fi nerds even go so far as to say that there is no such thing as 'amp sound' to begin with. I guess that the truth is somewhere in between, as always.

For instance, I bought a new CD-player shortly after my little headphone odyssey to replace my old one, and it did make an audible difference, mostly because the old one was, well, old. :;): The technology for DACs etc. has improved dramatically over the last two decades, and I've been told on several occasions that these days, sound-wise, there can't possibly be any quality differential between proper modern CD-players unless, of course, you buy total rubbish. Since the headphone jack of my amp causes annoying background noise, I have now gone over to connecting the headphones directly to the new CD-player, and in direct comparison (apart from the background noise), I perceive absolutely zero difference either in tone or precision. If you adjust the output volume to match, sending the signal through the amp doesn't do anything to the signal. Of course, though, I still believe that switching to a better amp someday will bring about another increase in quality. And then there's the factor of built-in EQs and the likes, although, in my experience, they don't do much in the way of adding/amplifying frequencies which your headphone model isn't designed for - it tends to sound unnatural, if anything happens at all. But that probably also depends on the quality of the amp/EQ. The EQs in mobile players can be surprisingly good, and I use mine a lot.

With headphones, on the other hand, I did notice considerable differences between different models (even between those that are relatively similar like, say, the DT-770 and DT-990). BUT: For one thing, it does come down to taste, as you say (and if you find other types with a more neutral presentation of highs too shrill, then you should steer clear of Beyerdynamic anyway since they'll probably be ultra-shrill to your ears), and for another, every ear is different anatomically and the whole perception and processing of hearing is highly subjective and individual, not only in terms of preference, bot also with regard to the dynamic range, perceptible frequencies and depth of detail etc. So it may very well be that you really don't perceive that much of a decisive difference between the various (Sennheiser) models.

By the way, I remember reading somewhere that the HD558 and HD598 are actually more or less identical in technical terms, and there's a very simple mod you can apply in order to get the little extra quality of the HD598 (tutorials for this should be easy enough to find online in case it's an option at all). So I'd say that on balance, the HD558 are indeed a solid deal for precisely the reasons you've mentioned. The balancing of frequencies aside (which I find too 'dark' in most Sennheiser models in comparison to others, and this is purely a matter of taste), as I said before, for me personally the HD598 were killed by the considerably lower resolution and ensuing loss of detail. In this respect, the HD600 was the best Sennheiser model I've heard, and from the short time I had to test it, it seemed to be on par with the AKG K612 or the various Beyerdynamic models. So if you didn't perceive an immediately noticeable increase in precision and differentiation between the 598 and 600/650 (haven't heard the latter, BTW), then there's really no point for you to invest in anything more expensive than the HD558. :)

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Sat May 10, 2014 6:31 pm
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I'm not really sure why that would seem logical?

Clearly, any particular acoustic surface response introduces some bias in reproducing the signal being received - but the largest and most significant part of that equation is the signal, not the bias applied to it. Easily demonstrated by any output device that has a bass/treble control: which produces the largest variation - maximum adjustment of the tone against one pair of speakers, or keeping the same tone settings and swapping the speakers for a different pair? That's pretty much the whole point of hi-fi (and later digital equivalents) - that the listener has control over the sound rather than being purely hostage to the unadorned hardware.

I'd take your point that on, say, neutral pass-through settings, a different pair of headphones might sound better on a particular device (such as, typically, hi-fi separates being run without an amplifier - the headphone socket normally contains an integral pre-amp delivering a fixed and unconfigurable signal). In pretty much all other cases, it's a lot easier to adjust the device output to suit the occasion than to try and pick a perfect set of hardware that will never need you to touch the graphic equaliser! Which was my point, really: as long as the equipment is at least good enough, it doesn't matter so much what it is, you can dial it in to suit your listening pleasure... :D

d.mimøsa wrote:
So if you didn't perceive an immediately noticeable increase in precision and differentiation between the 598 and 600/650 (haven't heard the latter, BTW), then there's really no point for you to invest in anything more expensive than the HD558. :)

Yep, that was my conclusion. The 650s were probably a little better, I thought, but that wasn't enough of an immediate "wow" to warrant the extra £200. That went on a record deck, instead :p

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Sat May 10, 2014 11:58 pm
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Preparing to finally buy a stage piano. :cool:

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Tue May 27, 2014 2:04 pm
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A stage piano? Are you going to perform somewhere?


Drop dead tired. Listening to some new bands, drinking beer, preparing to watch the last GOT episode.

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Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:53 pm
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I opted for a stage piano to have maximum flexibility. I bought it alongside a compatible stand and pedal set for home use so it actually looks good, but whenever I want to, I can take it with me. I do hope to get some live action going in the foreseeable future, though, but for that to happen, I'll first need to find other musicians to collaborate with and an appropriate setting where my music would be appreciated... Both of which may prove rather difficult. :/

I will now go to a doctor's appointment and read the owner's manual of my piano (which arrived yesterday, as stated elsewhere) in the waiting room.

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Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:38 pm
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Trying to solve technical issues with my digital piano... Great, this starts perfectly! :angry:

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Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:25 pm
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How was your doctor's appointment?


I?m thinking about going for a run, despite the somewhat late hour. But than again, my usual route runs through a cemetery, which is probably locked right now. Hmmm, I suppose I should start thinking about running somewhere else.

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Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:51 pm
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That is a rather doomy place to run through.

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Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:58 am
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Waiting for my friend to get off work so we can go out for coffee! :D

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Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:50 pm
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Drinking white wine mixed with mineral water after a long day of shopping. Yeah, women's stuff.

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Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:38 pm
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Sounds like fun! :p

I just came back from a long and spontaneous walk with a friend who's in town for two days and had nothing better to do this evening. We ended up wandering about some remote outskirts of town, musing about how loathsome most people are and how much we hate the system (yeah, as though we were fourteen again), messed around and even climbed some steel construction on top of a high bridge across the Canal. Hell, the crazy fucker even pissed down on the bridge's road; this act of sheer juvenile insurrection was liberating to behold. Truly a great day for mankind. I should do this kind of thing more often; just live for the moment, be unreasonable and care about nothing. We were also discussing various harmless acts of terrorism that might help stir things up a bit, such as burn the German flags that are still left over from the World Cup, and were both disappointed that nobody had planted a bomb where all the fans were hanging out. Now I'm gonna watch an episode of DS9 and then go to bed (unless some NSA scumbag takes me into custody after I posted this message).

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Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:28 pm
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I locked myself out today. Not an experience I'd like to repeat! I didn't even have a phone, nothing. After a two-hour odyssey and 66 wasted euros, I was back inside...

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Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:45 pm
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haha, it happens to me all the time! I finally decided to hide the key of the flat somewhere in the cellar. As for opening the front door, I'll ring one of my neighbours, next time.

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Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:02 pm
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That's what I did for the front door, too, when the key service guy arrived. The most annoying thing is: I always have a spare key in my wallet. So after closing the door and realising I didn't have my key ring, I thought to myself, "Not to worry, you've got the other one in your wallet", but no! For some unknown reason it wasn't there. As it turned out, it was lying next to the second spare key in the hall. The only reason I can think of why I might have put it there is the fact that my wallet is falling apart: perhaps I was afraid the key might fall out of it, but I really don't remember. So, note to myself: get a new wallet, you lazy sod! The money for the key service really hurts... :(

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Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:39 pm
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I spent £100 a few weeks ago... but not because I locked myself out (I have a secret way to get back in). but because the key wouldn't turn in the lock anymore...

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Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:21 pm
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When you live in a house, I guess you can have a secret way, when living in a flat on the third floor, it's harder!

that's funny because some days ago, I went for a ride with my mountain bike; I had the car keys in the back pocket of my short. First hard bit of the trail: a river I have to cross through its length, so ok, I get down, push the bike for a while, get on again, get down etc... then, the path looks like solid ground again and I manage to ride a few hundreds meters in one go and then realize I don't have the map I had with me anymore. I try in every pocket, and not only I don't find the bloody map, put I don't find the keys either!!!! Fuck! how will I get back? Where have they fallen, when?? Sure thing is: there's a big hole in the pocket, and I hadn't seen it!

I Have to get back down a long steep hill. I get back to the river and look everywhere. I have a spare car key, but in a drawer in my flat, and worse, I had collected all the spare keys of the flat just right some days before because once again, I had locked myself out and had to get back to my parent's to get hold of all the keys they keep just in case...

Imagine, no car, far from home, no key to open the flat and get hold of the other car key, no cell phone either, somewhere lost in the countryside, just cows around, some sheeps and a graveyard midway on the road I had just got down.....

End story: I found the keys in the water and finished the tour (I also fell down and hurt myself quite badly)... But well... that's what can happen when you're so absent-minded that you find yourself locked outside of your home more often that you'd like.

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Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:51 am
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Post Re: What are YOU doing right now?

baphomet wrote:
When you live in a house, I guess you can have a secret way, when living in a flat on the third floor, it's harder!

that's funny because some days ago, I went for a ride with my mountain bike; I had the car keys in the back pocket of my short. First hard bit of the trail: a river I have to cross through its length, so ok, I get down, push the bike for a while, get on again, get down etc... then, the path looks like solid ground again and I manage to ride a few hundreds meters in one go and then realize I don't have the map I had with me anymore. I try in every pocket, and not only I don't find the bloody map, put I don't find the keys either!!!! Fuck! how will I get back? Where have they fallen, when?? Sure thing is: there's a big hole in the pocket, and I hadn't seen it!

I Have to get back down a long steep hill. I get back to the river and look everywhere. I have a spare car key, but in a drawer in my flat, and worse, I had collected all the spare keys of the flat just right some days before because once again, I had locked myself out and had to get back to my parent's to get hold of all the keys they keep just in case...

Imagine, no car, far from home, no key to open the flat and get hold of the other car key, no cell phone either, somewhere lost in the countryside, just cows around, some sheeps and a graveyard midway on the road I had just got down.....

End story: I found the keys in the water and finished the tour (I also fell down and hurt myself quite badly)... But well... that's what can happen when you're so absent-minded that you find yourself locked outside of your home more often that you'd like.


I wouldn't go on a bike ride in the middle of nowhere without my (fully charged) phone... :D

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Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:33 am
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