Sunday 15 April 2018

That was fast

I've been pondering for some time to get HD6XX. I saw the currently active Massdrop when buying the Fuji keycap, and thought my Denon AH-D2000 workhorse which has been alone since 2010-2011 should get a friend. Actually, what first caught my eyes was the beautiful TH-X00 drop, but that's very similar to my D2000, and then I saw the super-cheap HD6XX drop. VAT + Zoll, and delivery late August this year, blech. Another turn of gear lamenting, weeks of browsing, reading, thinking, contemplating the meaning of life, bidding and losing on used HD650:s on Ebay, in the end I put in an order late Thursday evening for a brand new HD650 on Amazon. Bit of an impulse buy to be honest, but I knew I wanted it one way or another eventually. Premium shipping cost extra but would arrive on Saturday, Standard shipping was free and would arrive on Monday. Of course I chose Standard. I might get the headphones shiny new to experience its entire life cycle and not have pieces of other people on my ears, but for sure I'll save on the shipping, it's only two more days. Got a message at exactly 12:08 today saying they're available at the pickup point which was open only until 13:00. After I recovered from the shock, I hopped on my trusty bike and bee-lined my way there and was out of the pickup point at 12:35. The pickup point is a "delicacy" store in Arheilgen I didn't even know existed, they even sell Scandinavian häxvrål! In the end I bought a bag of blueberry licorice which is even better, I felt funny just going there to pick up my headphones.

It always takes a little while for me to "understand" what I'm experiencing. I've been listening to them since I got home (except when buying food, cooking, visiting the toilet, and other similarly stupid things), but it's first now, at midnight, while listening to Perlman playing Bach's 3rd partita for the violin that I know for sure it was an excellent indulgence. The D2000 is perfect for the heavy hard stuff and when I really want unnerving 20 Hz bass, the HD650 for violins, but I shall keep exploring. There are too many crazy opinions and reviews on the HD6??-series so I won't say any more about it. My opinion outside the sound/listening is that the much cheaper HD6XX (I could have saved almost 100 EUR even after it'd be through customs) delivery is way too long, and it simply looks cheaper, I much prefer the paint-job on the HD650. I don't care about the cable or connector. Who takes headphones like these outside anyhow? Nutters. Oh right, the one thing I noticed immediately is that the HD650 feels much lighter and plasticky compared to the D2000, and clamp a bit harder. They are both comfortable in different ways, the D2000 is overall a bit more comfortable and feels more robust.

Good thing I already had the ODAC + O2 combo, it pushes the HD650 to loud levels _very_ fast. Read about nwavguy again, the Internet is a funny place at times. Hmm, I had my Denon for about 6 years, so that means in another 6 years or so I'll buy a Stax setup and then I'll be set for life :)

I suppose one can see a lack of care in how I wrote this post. I'm really enjoying what I'm hearing right now, I'm still buzzing, but I should go to bed. *Sigh* I'll have to continue listening through my classical music collection tomorrow.

Photos coming up.

EDIT 2018-04-15: No photos yet, but some impressions: The D2000 is much better for environmental and binaural recordings, its relatively flat bass all the way down to 20 Hz really makes a huge difference for powerful sound sources. Higher up, the HD650 works better. The Falcon Heavy Launch video is a perfect example to explain. When the rocket flies off into the big blue, I can feel my tummy and legs shaking, which of course they don't do, but my brain is convinced they're supposed to. The sonic booms sound great too, the HD650 doesn't stand a chance whatsoever with those. However, the HD650 is more comfortable when Destin is talking, when some pipe clanks at 6:43, and the claps at 6:51. I think the "real sound" is somewhere in-between the two presentations, especially for the clank and the claps. Hmm, the D2000 makes me feel like I just woke up and my ears are sensitive, and the HD650 makes me feel like I've been up for a while and my ears have adjusted.

To summarize in other words, for action films, Meshuggah and synth wave, I'll use the D2000. For everything else, the HD650. Good classical recordings are so nice. As a rough guideline for myself. Best thing is, I have both now, I can switch whenever I feel like it ^_^ What really scares me is I started looking at tube amps, and to fight the urge I watched some tear-downs. Must resist.