After 25 years!
I tested some stax, beyer, audio technica, the famous jecklin float, the akg k240 monitor
, but I fell for the HD540 Reference.
Back then I feared they would be too fragile.
But I'm more confident now.
Although I have always taken good care of them.
They are a true gem, and they need some care, they are hard to find in good shape and at a reasonable price.
USE AND DESIGN
The foams are hard to find, although those of the HD560
are supposed to fit them too (I've never tried it).
The cables and internal foams can still be found as spare parts.
Mine are from 1989 and nothing (except for the ear cushions) has ever broken, so, yes!!!
They are sturdy
They sound superbly.
That said, be careful, because they are 600-Ohms headphones, so you need quite some power to drive them.
They will sound dull, lifeless and without depth with many basic headphone jacks, so they might disappoint you.
You need to know what you want.
These headphones are fantastic IF you can make the best of them, meaning you have the right gear to amplify them correctly.
In which case they sound pristine, delicate, chiseled.
But also merciless!
It's not a good idea to hear questionable MP3s with them.
It won't be a pleasant experience.
These are headphones that must be earned and they deserve the best.
Not at all the type that will settle for the bare minimum.
Don't buy these headphones to plug them into a smartphone or iThingy.
They really needs more.
One last remark: These are my only headphones I have never modified.