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Just Dug Out My Old Beyerdynamic DT990's!! Holy Frak!!!

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
I just dug out my Beyerdynamic DT990 (circa 1988) that I had not listened to in quite a while to see how they stack up with some recent headphone purchases and all I could say to myself was Holy Frak!!! The Dt990's still sound wonderful hooked up to my Rega EAR headphone amp. The sonic signature of the Beyers is relatively dark overall but with great balance throughout the entire audio spectrum. The bass is good but slightly rolled off (not as tight and punchy as my Dennon 1001's) the highs are also very good but not as extened as the Denon's. The audio spectrum where the Beyers really shine is in the midrange where they are ever so slightly forward sounding but very smooth and you can hear ever nuiance in the mids. They have a close sonic signature on my amp to the Sennheiser HD485 that I have, the Sennheiser's to my ears have a little better bass response but the Beyer's are much better I believe in the mids and highs. FWIR the Beyer's may have a closer sonic signature to the Sennheiser HD600/650 than to the recent incarnations of Beyerdynamics own DT880/990's. I was going to listen to Beyer's for a few minutes but I ended up listened to the for an hour and a half on different CD's. If you ever have a chance to pick some of these up somewhere for cheap and in good physical shape I would do so. I was going to sell these last year but not any longer. My question is have you ever rediscovered a pair of headphones that you have not really listened to in a few years time?

Source Equipment: Acoustic Research I-Power Line Conditioner/Lightning Spike Protector->Toshiba SD-3960 DVD Player (used as a CD transport)->Acoustic Research Pro II Interconnects->Rega EAR Headphone Amplifier (latest version-silver color)
post #2 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhfactor1 View Post
I just dug out my Beyerdynamic DT990 (circa 1988) that I had not listened to in quite a while to see how they stack up with some recent headphone purchases and all I could say to myself was Holy Frak!!! The Dt990's still sound wonderful hooked up to my Rega EAR headphone amp. The sonic signature of the Beyers is relatively dark overall but with great balance throughout the entire audio spectrum. The bass is good but slightly rolled off (not as tight and punchy as my Dennon 1001's) the highs are also very good but not as extened as the Denon's. The audio spectrum where the Beyers really shine is in the midrange where they are ever so slightly forward sounding but very smooth and you can hear ever nuiance in the mids. They have a close sonic signature on my amp to the Sennheiser HD485 that I have, the Sennheiser's to my ears have a little better bass response but the Beyer's are much better I believe in the mids and highs. FWIR the Beyer's may have a closer sonic signature to the Sennheiser HD600/650 than to the recent incarnations of Beyerdynamics own DT880/990's. I was going to listen to Beyer's for a few minutes but I ended up listened to the for an hour and a half on different CD's. If you ever have a chance to pick some of these up somewhere for cheap and in good physical shape I would do so. I was going to sell these last year but not any longer. My question is have you ever rediscovered a pair of headphones that you have not really listened to in a few years time?

Source Equipment: Acoustic Research I-Power Line Conditioner/Lightning Spike Protector->Toshiba SD-3960 DVD Player (used as a CD transport)->Acoustic Research Pro II Interconnects->Rega EAR Headphone Amplifier (latest version-silver color)
Yes. I was over at an old buddy's house a few weeks ago and I spied a headphone I had sold him in the early 90's in anticipation of buying another set of phones that ended up eluding me (another talk show). He offer to let me play with them again for old times sake, so I brought them home.

They are Beyer DT-990's (smile).
post #3 of 64
Just bought these classics (DT 990 - 600 ohm), replaced the earcushions and the headband (diy leather ), and I was ready to go. Wow, do they sound great. Real bang for the buck, if you can find a pair.
If you guys are using the original earcushions, do yourself a favour, and replace them. It´s a completely different phone after you put the new ones on. The old foam deteriorates, and is no good after 20 years.

post #4 of 64
Thread Starter 
Thanks Calypso for the insight about replacing parts. But my Beyers are in such good shape they do not need to have the earpads replaced as of today. But I may have to pick some earpads up just for future use. I'm also curious about your any one else's SQ impressions of the Beyers. I feel about these headphones about how most head-fiers may feel about their AKG 501's if they have not used them in a while. Am I wrong? Is there anyone else out there that has rediscovered some "lost" headphones? Come on post your replies, I'm waiting to hear your stories.
post #5 of 64
I tried new 990 cushions (well, a couple of years old, but still...) and restuffed the original cushions, and found the re-stuffed old cushions more balanced, albeit less airy. The balance was too much towards treble with the newer cushions.

YMMV obviously.

I love these things, much prefer them to the 990pros that they are replacing - what's lost in airiness and bass is more than gained in balance, although I've yet to power them with a good powerful amp, which I believe they really need.
post #6 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by lecky View Post
I tried new 990 cushions (well, a couple of years old, but still...) and restuffed the original cushions, and found the re-stuffed old cushions more balanced, albeit less airy. The balance was too much towards treble with the newer cushions.
In my pair the old cushions were totally flat, so I had to get new ones. I do like the open and airy sound from the new ones though .
How did you restuff the original cushions? Did you cut them open, and sew them up again, after restuffing them?
post #7 of 64
Mine were flat as a pancake too! I cut across the gauze on the back at 12 o clock and 6 and stuffed in some stuffing material that my wife had - nothing special, just a synthetic stuffing, looks a bit like cotton wool. Cutting two holes I could stuff it in quarters - a perfect distance to get the stuffing in easily and in a controlled way. I should stitch them at some point, but the stuffing is not going anywhere, the shape of the cushions is not affected and the cuts are hidden, so for now they're fine.

You could cut proper new foam to put in and that would be a more professional solution, but I've no idea if it would sound any better than mine.
post #8 of 64
Well, mine has a kind of net on the back, but I suppose if I make a cut at 12 and 6 o´clock, it would actually work. Thanks for the tip .

post #9 of 64
Yes those are exactly the same as mine.
post #10 of 64
I did the same as Lecky a year ago, but I used foam/sponge instead. Now, Lecky makes me realize that I could have done it quarter by quarter, instead of half by half. Thanks, I'll do it this way next time.

To the OP, these old DT990 had poor earpads even new. This is a weakness I remember when I bought them in the late 80's. I totally agree with Calypso on this one.

A year ago, I brought my old DT990 to the audiophile shop to replace them. I compared them carefully to new DT880, DT990 and HD600. I decided to keep them. Back home, I re stuffed the cushions. The sound and comfort improved. The shopping was over ;-)

Later I bought a pair of D2000 cause I need closed and lower impedance cans. I'm very happy with this tandem. Now, I can wait patiently until the price of the HD800 goes down ;-)
post #11 of 64
I put some pressure on the new earpads for 24 hours. That gets the drivers a few millimeters closer to the ears, and the result is a darker sound and a better bass. Wearing them while you are listening to music will of course get you the same result, but if you are impatient, this is the way to go .



I also made a new headband, that´s way better than the original, and the first one I made. Great sound and Great fit. Now we are seriously in business!!

post #12 of 64
Thread Starter 

Great Pictures

Thanks "Calypso" for the great ideas on the earpads and the headband replacement the pictures are great of your DT990's, seems like you really "love" them to put work into them like this, so they will fit and sound great. Happy Listening.
post #13 of 64
They are totally worth it!!. Mine being the 600 ohm version, does demand some power driving them though. The Chiara / Andante diy kit, and especially the Rudistor NX-03 is doing an excellent job. If you can afford the amplification, the DT990 is an extremely big bang for the buck!!
post #14 of 64
Thread Starter 

Info. Please

Trying to figure out info. on the vintage Beyer DT990 600 (circa 1988) if anyone knows if this was the only model DT990 Beyerdynamic produced from 1985? till they changed the DT990 models in 2005? This seems to be a very long production run in the number of years a particular company produced their premier headphone?
post #15 of 64
Hi, this is from a letter to beyerdynamic in 2006, translated by google:

Quote:
Question to Beyerdynamic: "Can we assume that a DT 990 from the year 1985, a similar sound signature is like a current DT 880, ie the original DT 990 DT 880 today phonetically much closer than is the current DT 990? (.. .) "

Acoustic Department Manager Answer: "(...) you have it absolutely right, today's DT 880 is the former DT 990 phonetically very related. "

Question: "(...) Over the years, the DT 990, the speaker repeatedly modified. So there was first a speaker with the part number 861142 (42 grams), with the introduction of the DT 990 Pro, a speaker with the part number 861143 ( 33 grams) was introduced. Meanwhile, in an exchange in general, a speaker with the part number 5318034 (92 grams) are used.
If the assumption is correct, with each speaker, the phonetic modification observed, ie each a different sound character? (...)"

Answer: "(...) it is clear that our Speakersystems into the continuous improvement process of our products involved. Changes the resulting flow naturally into series production.

The new 990-DT systems are compared to the old systems clearly bass and greater height, and thus a particularly analytical interception, as for example in the studio is needed. "
maybe that helps you.

all replacemant parts are yet available from Beyerdynamics
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