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Posts by PurpleAngel

 I'm fairly sure the T90 uses the same size ear pads as the DT770, DT880, DT990.Switching over to leather ear pads (from the stock microfiber) on the T90 should change the sound (maybe slightly), for better or worse. You might want to read up and ask on this thread about the effect of leather ear pads on the T90.http://www.head-fi.org/t/607079/beyerdynamic-t90-d
 I consider going with a balanced headphone connection being somewhat more a choice, then a necessity (my two cents).You not fanatical enough of a headphone user to get into balanced connections, yet.
 Not something easy to comment on, but I would think the HE400i would have the slight edge.You might try reading up and asking on this thread, about the HE-400i and comparison to other headphones.http://www.head-fi.org/t/698974/hifiman-he-400i-impressions-and-discussion
 USB makes it very easy to hook up an external DAC/amp.The newer USB that is Asynchronous does help with timing.I really know nothing about the two external DAC/amps you have listed.
 Most of the headphones your looking into are ones I have not listened to, so difficult to compare them.The E11K manual saying for headphones up to 300-Ohm, i would assume is a safe guideline, for FiiO to recommend. You might try reading up and asking on this thread if anyone has tried using the E11K to drive the 600-Ohm Beyers.http://www.head-fi.org/t/429371/the-beyerdynamic-dt880-discussion-thread You might have to set the X1 to line-output and max out the X1 volume...
When you plug the E11K into the FiiO X1 jack, do you set the X1 for line-output and not headphone output, for feeding the best signal to the E11K?   The E11K can drive 600-Ohm Beyer headphones, my older model E11 could decently (near max volume setting) drive my 600-Ohm Beyer headphones and the E11K is more powerful. My two cents is you really want something more powerful, then the E11K, for driving 600-Ohm headphones.   You might check out the 32-Ohm Soundmagic HP200...
 I've never heard any studies that say there is a quality difference with S/PDIF optical output, between motherboards and sound cards (but I'm not the expert). As it seems your motherboard only comes with the newer PCI-E slots and the Essence ST is designed for use in the older PCI slots, you can't use the Essence ST anyway.Might as well sell off the Essence ST.
 You might need to leave the DT770 plugged in over night (for a few nights) with loud music running thru them.See if they improve with use.
 Might be best to read up and ask on this thread about headphone amplifiers for use with the Sennheiser HD650.http://www.head-fi.org/t/197776/sennheiser-hd650-impressions-thread
 I think sound cards are a great value for what they offer, for the price.But if your willing to spend the cash, go for an external DAC/Head amp.One with a S/PDIF (optical) input
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