I am a fairly recent adopter to the audiophile poverty-style… I mean lifestyle… however, I have always been a bargain hunter.
Several years ago I bought a pair of Sennheiser HD430’s in a very used condition for I think $15 at an estate sale. Being that I, at that time, had never owned a standalone amp or anything of the sort, I adapted the 1/4" jack to 3.5mm and plugged into my phone. the sound was barely audible, I assumed they were too old and had lost their touch, but in a stroke of luck, stuck them in a drawer and totally forgot they existed.
Fast-forward to today, moving day. I unearth these precious relics, gasping with ponderous wonderment of what may come to pass. FWIW, I’m usually not this wordy, it’s been a long and weird day.
I introduce them to my Schitt Stack (a modest Modi 2 and Magni 3 bacchanalia) and to my delight, they sound incredible. Softer than my HD6XX’s, maybe a portion brighter, but with a smokey, whiskey-tinged frivolity.
Track 1 - Nai Palm. “Crossfire / So Into You” - Needle Paw. This track is a masterclass in left-right balance, with acoustic guitar and Nai in the middle with ancillary voices panned hard left and right. The timing between the L/R voices isn’t quantized in the slightest, and the layering generates swelling tides of seraphic and earth-born chorales joining union inside the surf.
Track 2 - Aaron Parks. “Adrift” - Find the Way. Maybe the pinnacle of the modern jazz trio. Disguised as a careful Ballad, Aaron Parks’ piano is effortless and heartfelt, there’s no pretension to be found in this track. Parks’ foil is drummer and jazz legend Billy Hart, who treats this ballad like a 5-minute drum solo. Audio quality aside, this is the level of drumming that most can only dream of achieving, it’s bold and daring, but acutely sensitive to the needs of the music. Please listen to this, it’s actually important.
Shit sounds good btw.
I’ll finish writing this post with two hands, I promise.
I’ve ordered a set of replacement earpads, the original pair are ripped just generally beaten up. but am very wary of doing a complex (read: newbie) change and risking damaging the drivers. Are my fears unfounded, or should I seek the assistance of someone more battle-hardened?
Have you found any old gems that have sparked this kind of joy for you?