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The Beyerdynamic DT880 Discussion thread - Page 135

post #2011 of 8388
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

 

Different people - different preferences.  I currently have HD600s, DT880 600ohm, K701 and Grado 325is.  They all get roughly equal head-time, and I appreciate them all for their particular sonic signatures.

 

Personally I found the HD650 was just a little too laid back for my tastes. 

 

Apperently you have all the "seat" that you can get, from the front row, middle row, and the back row

 

Great collection sir brooko beerchug.gif

post #2012 of 8388

My Beyer DT880 600Ohms set of cans are paired with a Decware CSP2+ tube amp.

 

Everone has a unique perspective of the "right" sound.

 

IMHO, a tube amp allows one to tailor the DT880 to his own audio requirements.

 

I often come across comments about the DT880 having no bass or recessed mids or being overly "bright".

From my perspective as a tube roller, that is not exactly correct.

 

For example, just by changing the tubes, I can easily get my DT880 to have either impactful and tight bass ( via Lorenz PCC88) or have boomy bass (via Valvo CCa).

Likewise for the mids, they can be tweaked to be more euphonic and have a lushness akin to a "live" performance (via Amperex USA Pinched Waist 6922).

 

So what is the point I am trying to get across?

The DT880 is a very neutral pair of cans which responds very well to tube rolling.

 

As usual, YMMV. wink_face.gif

 

Oh, before I forget, since this is a DT880 appreciation thread, I do LOVE my DT880 pair of cans!

etysmile.gif

post #2013 of 8388
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Defender View Post

debigpr, if I had to guess I would say that you would bore and be just as dissatisfied with whatever speakers you get, unless your loaded and get the best of the best. Then of course everything else in your chain would need to be better .... it's a vicious cycle. Speaker listening can be amazing, I still use my speakers, but the intimacy and details available through headphone listening just can't be duplicated with speakers. Okay, maybe some very high-end speakers will mine the same amount of detail, but get that wallet way open. You mention having the harsh aspects of recordings revealed, that is the hallmark of any headphone/speaker capable of detail retrieval and resolution, they allow you to hear everything, good or bad. I listen to a great deal of musical genres with both 880s and 650s and I do not at all share your experience with the 880, not even close. I think sibilance is a candidate to be "over-reported". Sibilance is natural to one extent or another with the S sound, some female vocalists really make a big s sound, and if they happeen to be close miked during the recording session voila, you have sibilance at the source and of course any good headphone should reveal that. I am not saying that sibilance isn't sometimes enhanced by the headphone, of course that happens, but the sibilance exists in the recording and solid treble extension will bring this out. Some love the hyper-detail portrayl of treble strong headphones, but it is a double edged sword for sure. Same with bass heavy headphones, great for bass, but other detail is obscured.

 

Sorry for the lecture, but when you post such strong and derogatory comments about the gear people really like they are going to respond, human nature. As I said, I have spent many hours with the 880s and while they aren't perfect, I can agree with very little of what you have said. I will agree that the mids are a tad recessed, but not enough so to be a deficiency, just an area where they could be better. The treble is strong, but not over-bearing or strident, but it does tend toward forward, but that aids in detail and energy so it is a trade off. The better recordings will sound stunning on the 880s, assuming your source is capable, and your source list does seem well regarded, however I have not had the pleasure of hearing any of them myself. You saying the 880 is boomy is very surprising, I can't for the world imagine them as boomy. Just last night I pounded my 880s with plenty of bass, but they never got anywhere near boomy in response. I will say this, the bass was certainly less controlled through my Valhalla than it is with my Auditor, and if I have understood this correctly, a tube amp will rarely be as good as a well designed SS amp at controlling the drivers. I could be misunderstanding that principle, but I thought that was a consensus of the tube amp sound in general, you get the warmth and timbral qualities, but give up some driver control and speed. Anyway, I hope I haven't been harsh, that isn't what I was going for at all, I just felt that I needed to offer another perspective, not saying it is the right perspective at all. I have a lot to learn so I do not pretend I speak the absolute truth. Cheers.

 

 

 

What I'm frustrated by is no matter which headphones I try, which amp or DAC combo I try, it's never "it". I can't put my finger on it, or explain it, but I always feel like I'm not getting what I paid for, I always ask "should it not sound better?". Maybe I'm expecting too much. Maybe my ears have been spoiled. I don't know. I don't think DT880's are bad headphones (now after reading my thread I see that it sounds like I think they completely suck), but to my experience, I honestly cannot place them anywhere near the HD650's. Just my opinion and experience from A-B testing. I just don't find them GREAT in any area apart from bass. What I said boomy bass,  its not the headphones that are at fault here, its the recordings. And because DT880's are so sensitive, its very hard to find recordings that sound truly great. Even recording sounded amazing until on all headphones until now, sound bad on DT880's. They're the complete opposite of HD650's, which make everything sound good. As for sibilance, I do understand in some languages its not a problem, but in my language, in almost every single word there's a sound like "sh" or "ch", and that makes it almost painful sometimes. Also, I really dislike when mids are thin or recessed. When I first got the DT880's, it wasn't such a problem, but the more I listen to them, the more they decide what I'm gonna listen to. I don't like when headphones dictate which music I should listen to, because what I want to listen to at that moment won't sound good.  For example, I wanted to listen to some Katie Melua - Piece by piece, a record that I've heard a million times, and I know every single nuance and detail in it. But it just sounds plain bad on the DT880's. Voice is dull, thin, no texture or weight in the mids, lots of sibilance, the bass lines totally take over the voice, etc.

 

I agree with you that headphones do bring out certain type of intimacy and level of detail speakers in the similar price range cannot match, but, as for the experience itself, for me there's no competition. I was just auditioning some speaker amps last week with some speakers, I think they were Kef Q700 or Q900, not entirely sure, but anyway, they were around 1500$ for a pair.  Honestly, comparing any headphones I've ever heard (the most expensive were LCD2's) to these speakers would be silly, and they're not even scratching the surface of mid-end. Its like watching pictures of some car, and actually sitting inside it. For me, even some 400$ speakers such as B&W 685 far exceed any headphone I've tried in terms of how pleasant and natural it sounds. Of course that a personal preference.


Edited by derbigpr - 8/15/12 at 1:41pm
post #2014 of 8388

Anyway, is there any amplifier, solid state preferably, up to 300-400$ that really pairs well with the DT880's?

post #2015 of 8388
Quote:
Originally Posted by derbigpr View Post

 

 

 

What I'm frustrated by is no matter which headphones I try, which amp or DAC combo I try, it's never "it". I can't put my finger on it, or explain it, but I always feel like I'm not getting what I paid for, I always ask "should it not sound better?". Maybe I'm expecting too much. Maybe my ears have been spoiled. I don't know. I don't think DT880's are bad headphones (now after reading my thread I see that it sounds like I think they completely suck), but to my experience, I honestly cannot place them anywhere near the HD650's. Just my opinion and experience from A-B testing. I just don't find them GREAT in any area apart from bass. What I said boomy bass,  its not the headphones that are at fault here, its the recordings. And because DT880's are so sensitive, its very hard to find recordings that sound truly great. Even recording sounded amazing until on all headphones until now, sound bad on DT880's. They're the complete opposite of HD650's, which make everything sound good. As for sibilance, I do understand in some languages its not a problem, but in my language, in almost every single word there's a sound like "sh" or "ch", and that makes it almost painful sometimes. Also, I really dislike when mids are thin or recessed. When I first got the DT880's, it wasn't such a problem, but the more I listen to them, the more they decide what I'm gonna listen to. I don't like when headphones dictate which music I should listen to, because what I want to listen to at that moment won't sound good.  For example, I wanted to listen to some Katie Melua - Piece by piece, a record that I've heard a million times, and I know every single nuance and detail in it. But it just sounds plain bad on the DT880's. Voice is dull, thin, no texture or weight in the mids, lots of sibilance, the bass lines totally take over the voice, etc.

 

I agree with you that headphones do bring out certain type of intimacy and level of detail speakers in the similar price range cannot match, but, as for the experience itself, for me there's no competition. I was just auditioning some speaker amps last week with some speakers, I think they were Kef Q700 or Q900, not entirely sure, but anyway, they were around 1500$ for a pair.  Honestly, comparing any headphones I've ever heard (the most expensive were LCD2's) to these speakers would be silly, and they're not even scratching the surface of mid-end. Its like watching pictures of some car, and actually sitting inside it. For me, even some 400$ speakers such as B&W 685 far exceed any headphone I've tried in terms of how pleasant and natural it sounds. Of course that a personal preference.

Pretty interesting observations.  You note that the 650s make everything sound good.  To my ear they warm over mids and place a slight recessed veil on vocals, especially female vocals.  As for your sensitivity to sibliance, it is the recording.  The Katie Melua piece even in crappy mp3 on you tube is full of sibilance and is so closely miked with a ton of reverb, no headphone that is close to neutral will make that sound good.  And that is not with my Beyer headphones.  As to the lack of weight and dullness, I say take a look at your amp.  If you are using the Onkyo ss amp that you raved about in another thread, perhaps that is adding to the perceived problem.  I know when I had a very hyped Panasonic class D amp the same thing was evident.  Things did not sound right.  Too bright up top and a bit off on the bottom without the nice body to the mids. It was only when I got a really good t- amp that things got great.  Heck even my little Trends t-amp beat it.

 

If you want a pleasant and natural sound from your cans I suggest you try tubes.  Even the mighty Phonitor SS amp I had for some time did not make the beyers or Senns sound as satisfying as a good tube amp with the right tubes.  I use Alison Krauss to gauge female vocals because the recordings are usually good and natural and she is tough to get right on cans.  The Beyers do much better with her voice than my Senn 650s ever did.  

 

As for speakers, I am with you, I think they give me a much more natural illusion of the recordings intent.  Spatial cues are much better, ambiance more natural and even dynamics better, less compressed.  But there is a time and place for good cans and they get awfully good for not a lot of $ compared to speakers where you really have to spend lots to get a diminishing increase in fidelity in my experience.

 

I think source and amp have a big impact on how these upper end cans can sound.  For instance I never heard a Senn 800 and amp pairing I thought was good until I heard them through a very expensive dac and tube amp ($6k+ total).  I know even my humble tube amp and hard to find old tubes is not really allowing my Beyers to sound they way they could with a really great tube amp.  At least I have a great dac to feed the amp so I am close enough for now.

 

Good luck in your quest regardless of the path you take.

post #2016 of 8388
Quote:
Originally Posted by bixby View Post

As to the lack of weight and dullness, I say take a look at your amp.  If you are using the Onkyo ss amp that you raved about in another thread, perhaps that is adding to the perceived problem.  I know when I had a very hyped Panasonic class D amp the same thing was evident.  Things did not sound right.  Too bright up top and a bit off on the bottom without the nice body to the mids. It was only when I got a really good t- amp that things got great.  Heck even my little Trends t-amp beat it.

 

I don't think its the Onkyo that is adding to the problem. I've tried the DT880's with some of the very well regarded amplifiers and DAC's out there, including:

Musical Fidelity M1DAC, Teac UD-H01, Cambridge Audio Dacmagic+, Asus Xonar Essence One, Little Dot Mk5, Little Dot Mk3, Fiio E9, as well as a whole army of integrated speaker amps and receivers ranging from cheapest NAD's to very expensive Marantz models, and the changes between all of those sources were very subtle. Note that the deviced in italic font were all thoroughly compared side by side, and used as DAC's to feed the integrated amps which were then used only as headphone amps as well.   Onkyo ended up being my choice because at that moment it seemed to offer by far the best bang for the buck, plain beating any of the DAC/headamp devices, and its headphone output being as good as any other integrated amp I've tried.

 

But I do have to say that things with DT880's just don't sound right, its not the type of sound I would expect from a mid-high end set of headphones that are so popular.

post #2017 of 8388
Quote:
Originally Posted by derbigpr View Post
whatever I try is not satisfying. Probably I should sell everything and get some speakers.

Looking at your headphone gear, I don't think any speakers are going to satisfy you. Ever.

 

It seems to me you miss the impact and visceral punch that speakers are best at (at least one of the main things), am I right on this? That is the area where headphones frustrate me the most, while possible to attain, it takes a lot of work.

 

HAVING SAID THAT; can someone reccommend an amp that could give that "visceral punch" to my DT990's? I think they are pretty damn good phones, but need serious bass help. It's like they can certainly give out some serious oomph, but you they make you work for it.


Edited by RushNerd - 8/15/12 at 6:37pm
post #2018 of 8388
Quote:
Originally Posted by derbigpr View Post

 

I don't think its the Onkyo that is adding to the problem. I've tried the DT880's with some of the very well regarded amplifiers and DAC's out there, including:

Musical Fidelity M1DAC, Teac UD-H01, Cambridge Audio Dacmagic+, Asus Xonar Essence One, Little Dot Mk5, Little Dot Mk3, Fiio E9, as well as a whole army of integrated speaker amps and receivers ranging from cheapest NAD's to very expensive Marantz models, and the changes between all of those sources were very subtle. Note that the deviced in italic font were all thoroughly compared side by side, and used as DAC's to feed the integrated amps which were then used only as headphone amps as well.   Onkyo ended up being my choice because at that moment it seemed to offer by far the best bang for the buck, plain beating any of the DAC/headamp devices, and its headphone output being as good as any other integrated amp I've tried.

 

But I do have to say that things with DT880's just don't sound right, its not the type of sound I would expect from a mid-high end set of headphones that are so popular.

I understand what you are saying.  But having heard a number of the dacs and amps on your list, I would not classify any of them as high end or capable of bringing out the best from the beyers.  That being said, I am glad you are enjoying the Onkyo at least for now.  Sorry the 880s are not doing it for you.  Yes, they are not perfect by any means but they can be coaxed to sound better than many folks imagine given the right stuff in front of them.  And unfortunately you have to spend a lot to get it.

post #2019 of 8388
Quote:
Originally Posted by derbigpr View Post

Anyway, is there any amplifier, solid state preferably, up to 300-400$ that really pairs well with the DT880's?

 

If you don't mind a little DIY, then I'd recommend that you build an amp with OPA627 or OPA637.

 

If those don't satisfy you, then I don't think any solid state amp will. Honest.

post #2020 of 8388
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by derbigpr View Post

Anyway, is there any amplifier, solid state preferably, up to 300-400$ that really pairs well with the DT880's?

Yeah, the O2 amp. And the O2 DAC.

post #2021 of 8388
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post

Yeah, the O2 amp. And the O2 DAC.

 

i've head that the O2 is not that very good with dt880, but the graham solo does, could you tell me more about the O2 adding the juice on the dt880/600 ohm?
post #2022 of 8388

There's no reason why it wouldn't properly power a 600Ω Beyer.  People love to talk about 'synergy' on head-fi though.  They're just talking about the coloration of the amp and headphone sounding good together.  In the case of Beyers it's usually tube amps rolling off the treble spike and adding bass.  In the case of the Graham Solo, it's probably a warm sounding amp, but I have not heard it.

post #2023 of 8388
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

There's no reason why it wouldn't properly power a 600Ω Beyer.  People love to talk about 'synergy' on head-fi though.  They're just talking about the coloration of the amp and headphone sounding good together.  In the case of Beyers it's usually tube amps rolling off the treble spike and adding bass.  In the case of the Graham Solo, it's probably a warm sounding amp, but I have not heard it.

 

I see, i'm planning to take the graham solo to adding juice on my dt880, anyway thanks for the explanation sir biggrin.gif

post #2024 of 8388

I really enjoyed my 600ohm 880s on the Graham Slee NOVO, it was a really engaging sound so I can only imagine the Solo would be as good, if not somewhat better of a match.

post #2025 of 8388
Quote:
Originally Posted by bixby View Post

I understand what you are saying.  But having heard a number of the dacs and amps on your list, I would not classify any of them as high end or capable of bringing out the best from the beyers.  That being said, I am glad you are enjoying the Onkyo at least for now.  Sorry the 880s are not doing it for you.  Yes, they are not perfect by any means but they can be coaxed to sound better than many folks imagine given the right stuff in front of them.  And unfortunately you have to spend a lot to get it.

 

I would have to concur here based on my experience. Not that my equipment is the best by any stretch, but the Auditor and Audiolab 8200CD combination I use has really taken the 880s up a noticeable notch in sound quality and musical experience bang for the buck. I was considering investing in the T1, but opted to upgrade my amp and source and I'm sure doing so has provided me far more sound quality improvement than had I used my previous amp and source with a T1. Of course, that is speculation as I never did get to try the T1 in that set-up.

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