Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › DT990 Pro Impressions Thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

DT990 Pro Impressions Thread - Page 23

post #331 of 549

I also would like to ask this question, though my reading on the forum has given me only a couple of good options, among which it seems that the Schiit Valhalla is apparently quite good: http://schiit.com/products/valhalla as a tube amp, which according to someone was designed partly with the dt990 in mind.  It's $350 in the US, but probably quite a bit more elsewhere.

 

I'm trying to chose between the Lehmann Rinelander, and the Heed Canamp, as well as the Musical Fidelity v-can Mk ii.  They are all solid state, meaning no tubes, and vary in price respectively, about 550, 400, and 150.  Supposedly, none of them are bad, but I'm not sure about how they actually sound with a music streamer ii and the dt990 pros.  (I'm in Israel, which is why some of my products are already considered old, or discontinued.  As far as I know, discontinued, doesn't mean bad, just that for instance in the case of the v-can, they have newer products out now.)

 

I have the Schiit Magni, but I think it's a bit harsh.

 

post #332 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdpark View Post
 

I also would like to ask this question, though my reading on the forum has given me only a couple of good options, among which it seems that the Schiit Valhalla is apparently quite good: http://schiit.com/products/valhalla as a tube amp, which according to someone was designed partly with the dt990 in mind.  It's $350 in the US, but probably quite a bit more elsewhere.

 

I'm trying to chose between the Lehmann Rinelander, and the Heed Canamp, as well as the Musical Fidelity v-can Mk ii.  They are all solid state, meaning no tubes, and vary in price respectively, about 550, 400, and 150.  Supposedly, none of them are bad, but I'm not sure about how they actually sound with a music streamer ii and the dt990 pros.  (I'm in Israel, which is why some of my products are already considered old, or discontinued.  As far as I know, discontinued, doesn't mean bad, just that for instance in the case of the v-can, they have newer products out now.)

 

I have the Schiit Magni, but I think it's a bit harsh.

 

 

On the DT 990 I would suggest looking into tubes or hybrid tube amps over SS amps, it really changes how they sound. The Valhalla is quite likely going to sound better than any of those amps on the DT 990 or most Beyers in general. Beyers and tubes just go together.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ValkyrieXx View Post
 

Just got mine a few days ago. Sounds beautiful even through my e07k amp/dac which that high-end. A mile ahead my old DT770 and I actually prefer my dt990 to the HD650/600/598 I auditioned last week. 

 

Sidenote: Upgrades from the e07k? Any amplifier sound particularly good with the DT990?


In terms of upgrades with the DT 990, I would go tubes. One of the cheaper good options is the Hifiman EF2A. The Schiit Vali and Aune T1 are other possible amps but I haven't heard either.


Edited by kman1211 - 3/4/14 at 10:31am
post #333 of 549
Bravo Audio V2 is a good Tube Amp for the 990s.
post #334 of 549

Sorry guys, I'm definitely unconvinced that tubes are the end all and be all for the dt990s.

 

First of all, tubes introduce harmonic distortion, which is a pity for these extremely low distortion phones.

 

Secondly, there are a number of other things one might want from an amp: namely, soundstage, imaging, rhythm, texture, and microdetail.  

On all those fronts you are not necessarily getting more by going with tubes over solid state, and often, I think, unless you're spending big, big bucks, your going to get less of these things with tubes than with solid state at the same price range.  

 

Also, good amps, like the Lehmann series are known for being able to control bass and lower mids, and for having non-fatiguing highs.  This is not through artificial adjustments to the tone of the headphones, but rather through very difficult to achieve engineering of the dynamics, rhythms, and transients, all of which make the sound more open and less compressed.  

 

A compressed, distorted sound, with imperfect timing is exactly the opposite of what these phones are supposed to be.  

 

You might argue that opposites attract, so that by introducing distortion and "frowning" tonal balance you can counteract the overly detailed and "smiling" tone of the phones, but I think you have to consider all the things people look for in a high-end amp, not just tone.

 

Anyway, as others on this forum have said, you can equalize the tonal spectrum just a little bit and get a virtually flat response from the phones without introducing distortion or missing out on the 3D spacial imaging that the phones are capable of.    

post #335 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdpark View Post

Sorry guys, I'm definitely unconvinced that tubes are the end all and be all for the dt990s.

First of all, tubes introduce harmonic distortion, which is a pity for these extremely low distortion phones.

Secondly, there are a number of other things one might want from an amp: namely, soundstage, imaging, rhythm, texture, and microdetail.  
On all those fronts you are not necessarily getting more by going with tubes over solid state, and often, I think, unless you're spending big, big bucks, your going to get less of these things with tubes than with solid state at the same price range.  

Also, good amps, like the Lehmann series are known for being able to control bass and lower mids, and for having non-fatiguing highs.  This is not through artificial adjustments to the tone of the headphones, but rather through very difficult to achieve engineering of the dynamics, rhythms, and transients, all of which make the sound more open and less compressed.  

A compressed, distorted sound, with imperfect timing is exactly the opposite of what these phones are supposed to be.  

You might argue that opposites attract, so that by introducing distortion and "frowning" tonal balance you can counteract the overly detailed and "smiling" tone of the phones, but I think you have to consider all the things people look for in a high-end amp, not just tone.

Anyway, as others on this forum have said, you can equalize the tonal spectrum just a little bit and get a virtually flat response from the phones without introducing distortion or missing out on the 3D spacial imaging that the phones are capable of.    

Have you tried a tube amplifier before? Solid state amps have harmonic distortion as well, the higher end you go on both solid state and tubes the less distortion there is in general. I personally always got better imaging and a more 3D soundstage out of tubes and I never felt the microdetail, rhythm, or texture was lacking. If anything tubes have better texture and rhythm to my ears as well as a greater depth and body to the sound to my ears. You don't need to spend big bucks either to get a tube amp that is on-par, it's more about choosing the right amp, there are a lot of mediocre tube and solid state amps out there as well as a few hidden gems that don't cost that much. I do feel it's all about what sounds the best to the listeners ears. To me between equally priced tube and solid state amps, a tube amp usually sounds better and more accurate to my ears for whatever reason. Others will feel differently.

I believe it's all about preference and views and impressions will differ, but I just don't find tubes as distorted and colored as people say they are. The best thing to do is to listen to good examples of both tubes and solid state amps on a variety of headphones and then come up with a conclusion about what you generally prefer or if you like them pretty much the same. Different headphones may sound better on tubes or solid states, it just depends. Beyerdynamics in general were one of those weird cases where basically every Beyerdynamic I tried had the most potential brought out on tube amps.

I view tubes and solid states as roughly equal but different in how they achieve their sound. It's like how dynamics, orhtodynamics, and electrostats headphones are all different. They are different methods of achieving a similar thing. Is one method better than another, not necessarily. It's just another way of doing things and people will have their preferences and biases one way or another. I'm personally biased to tube amplification and dynamic headphones currently. But I do really like solid state amplification and orthodynamic and electrostatic headphones as well. Biases and preferences can change over time.
Edited by kman1211 - 3/5/14 at 2:57am
post #336 of 549

Great response.  I will have to try a good tube amp before I make my choice.  I have also heard some people like, especially the 600 Ohm version of the dt990 with vintage solid state amplifiers.  I'm still waiting for my dt990 pros to come in, but when they do I'm going to definitely compare my Schiit Magni to my vintage Onkyo receiver from 1974.  It sounds very warm, and yet detailed and full of dynamic power, and was created at a time when solid state amps were still competing directly with tube amps for the best sound.

 

I agree that people have to trust their ears, but scientifically speaking, even pretty good tube amps have way more distortion than new solid state amps.  The Valhalla, for instance, has 0.2% THD, whereas most solid states at that price range are offering more like 0.05% or much lower.  The difference being that in the past solid states had to introduce negative feedback to get distortion down, which also affects frequencies.  Today they don't usually do that, from what I understand.

post #337 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdpark View Post

Great response.  I will have to try a good tube amp before I make my choice.  I have also heard some people like, especially the 600 Ohm version of the dt990 with vintage solid state amplifiers.  I'm still waiting for my dt990 pros to come in, but when they do I'm going to definitely compare my Schiit Magni to my vintage Onkyo receiver from 1974.  It sounds very warm, and yet detailed and full of dynamic power, and was created at a time when solid state amps were still competing directly with tube amps for the best sound.

I agree that people have to trust their ears, but scientifically speaking, even pretty good tube amps have way more distortion than new solid state amps.  The Valhalla, for instance, has 0.2% THD, whereas most solid states at that price range are offering more like 0.05% or much lower.  The difference being that in the past solid states had to introduce negative feedback to get distortion down, which also affects frequencies.  Today they don't usually do that, from what I understand.

A lot is about synergy as well. I just got my pair of DT 990 Pros in a few days ago. I hope you enjoy the headphone. I still think tubes and solid states compete for the best sound. There are phenomenal offerings both tube and solid states. That sounds a bit like my amp with NOS tubes on it, the stock tubes have more of a brighter more soundstage oriented sound to it.

The distortion does vary from amp to amp, heck even different tubes can change this. Some have much lower distortion than others. I personally stopped caring about how well something measures as I tend to be disappointed half the time. I just go for what sounds the best and most realistic to my ears.
post #338 of 549

Yes, the synergy issue is essential.  I finally got my dt990s shipped to Israel from the US, which took about 5 weeks, but anyway....

 

They are exactly how I expected them, and all the issues I expected to have are coming up.  They sound terrible plugged into the headphone jack of my Denon CD player: the highs are all tizzy and the lows are just mushy.  Next is my music streamer ii with my schiit magni.  This combo only sounds good/okay if I run it in ASIO.  In WASAPI the highs are very harsh, even with EQing. 

 

However, after spending then about $350 to get the MSII and Magni, my old $80 Fiio E10 has BETTER Synergy!  Of course the DAC on the E10 doesn't accept ASIO, and it also doesn't really play 24bit music as 24bits like the MSII (which sounds amazing in 24/96k as long as in ASIO).  But the mids are nicer, and their's more coherence to the whole picture.  The bass is okay, and I find with the bass boost on the Fiio, it sounds about the same as the Magni, unless you're listening to dub or electronic, in which case, I'm not sure.  All I can say is that the Magni lacks any real dynamic power with these phones, and like others, I just don't find it appealing.  It's listenable, but not great. 

 

The best scenario is with my old Onkyo vintage solid state receiver coming from the Denon CD player.  There I really feel like tapping my toes.  That has high gain, 0.5% THD, and yet really pumps these phones and pushes the music in to an open soundstage, as it should be.  The stupid thing is that if I'm going to be in my living room hooked up to my system, I might as well be listening to my vintage JBL speakers....

 

So, I'm in the dilemma of whether to sink $400-600 into one of three locally available amps: Rega EAR MkII, Heed CanAmp, or Lehmann Rhinelander.  I think the MSII will be okay for the near future as long as I can get a good amp.  But I'm tempted to sell my Schiit and my MSII and just stick with my Fiio E10.  It's that good with the dt990s.  

post #339 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdpark View Post
 

Yes, the synergy issue is essential.  I finally got my dt990s shipped to Israel from the US, which took about 5 weeks, but anyway....

 

They are exactly how I expected them, and all the issues I expected to have are coming up.  They sound terrible plugged into the headphone jack of my Denon CD player: the highs are all tizzy and the lows are just mushy.  Next is my music streamer ii with my schiit magni.  This combo only sounds good/okay if I run it in ASIO.  In WASAPI the highs are very harsh, even with EQing. 

 

However, after spending then about $350 to get the MSII and Magni, my old $80 Fiio E10 has BETTER Synergy!  Of course the DAC on the E10 doesn't accept ASIO, and it also doesn't really play 24bit music as 24bits like the MSII (which sounds amazing in 24/96k as long as in ASIO).  But the mids are nicer, and their's more coherence to the whole picture.  The bass is okay, and I find with the bass boost on the Fiio, it sounds about the same as the Magni, unless you're listening to dub or electronic, in which case, I'm not sure.  All I can say is that the Magni lacks any real dynamic power with these phones, and like others, I just don't find it appealing.  It's listenable, but not great. 

 

The best scenario is with my old Onkyo vintage solid state receiver coming from the Denon CD player.  There I really feel like tapping my toes.  That has high gain, 0.5% THD, and yet really pumps these phones and pushes the music in to an open soundstage, as it should be.  The stupid thing is that if I'm going to be in my living room hooked up to my system, I might as well be listening to my vintage JBL speakers....

 

So, I'm in the dilemma of whether to sink $400-600 into one of three locally available amps: Rega EAR MkII, Heed CanAmp, or Lehmann Rhinelander.  I think the MSII will be okay for the near future as long as I can get a good amp.  But I'm tempted to sell my Schiit and my MSII and just stick with my Fiio E10.  It's that good with the dt990s.  


That was my problem with the Magni, the weak dynamics and thin/2D midrange and treble, it's why I got rid of it after getting my EF2A.  My K612, DT 990, and MA900 all had synergy issues with the Magni.

 

The Onkyo reciever is an example why specs, distortion, etc. are not necessarily going to tell you how good or bad something sounds especially with a wide variety of recordings, it's more complicated than that. I found vintage gear and tubes to often impart a more analog sound to it, which is what I personally prefer as it sounds more natural. When audio went digital it sadly took a hit in naturality and soul and because of this it needs to be added back somehow. If you don't have high quality recordings and a great dac or an analog system things won't sound quite right unless you put an analog sounding amp and/or headphone in the mix.


Edited by kman1211 - 3/10/14 at 2:36am
post #340 of 549

EF2A is fun, but the Qinpu A3 for just $10 more puts it to shame.  It is also a tube/SS hybrid like the EF2A.

post #341 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post

EF2A is fun, but the Qinpu A3 for just $10 more puts it to shame.  It is also a tube/SS hybrid like the EF2A.

I haven't heard the Qinpu A3, I am quite satisfied with the EF2A with nos tubes(improves clarity, detail, dynamics, reduces brightness, etc. a good amount). I'm probably going to get the WA3 or maybe the WA6 as my next amp.
post #342 of 549

 You should def check out the garage1217 options. I have a sunrise II and it sounds amazing with the 990s. Mine are 250 ohm. They are great amps that perform well above their price points. 

post #343 of 549

This is the pair I just acquired. How old is it you think?

 

Processed By eBay with ImageMagick, z1.1.0. ||B2

Processed By eBay with ImageMagick, z1.1.0. ||B2

post #344 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by troymadison View Post
 

This is the pair I just acquired. How old is it you think?

 

Processed By eBay with ImageMagick, z1.1.0. ||B2

Processed By eBay with ImageMagick, z1.1.0. ||B2


It's older than 2003. Other than that not sure, it's not as old as the ones with the German Maestro/MB Quart-like headbands and dual entry cables. I would guess somewhere in the 90s. I believe there are two newer models, the 2003 version and the current 2005 version. How does it sound?


Edited by kman1211 - 3/12/14 at 9:52pm
post #345 of 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by kman1211 View Post
 


It's older than 2003. Other than that not sure, it's not as old as the ones with the German Maestro/MB Quart-like headbands and dual entry cables. I would guess somewhere in the 90s. I believe there are two newer models, the 2003 version and the current 2005 version. How does it sound?


Sounds as if the Sennheiser HD650 and Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro had a baby. Like a darker sounding and somewhat veiled version of the DT770 Pro.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › DT990 Pro Impressions Thread