I mean I've had hd800 balanced with this setup for quite some time, and a very very very very very experienced headfier told me that from his listening experience, he told me that the setup I had ain't gonna get much better than that unless you go sr009 along with an amp that actually synergizes with it. And from what I'm hearing, hd800 balanced with my setup isn't 5 times better than dt880 balanced with my setup...
But it's just my opinion, we all know everyone's ears are different :D
Damn. That is a nice price for stats. Since it's almost Black Friday, I'm am very very very very very tempted :D
Honestly, I would only consider these headphones a "step up" from the DT880 if you're looking to add some closed cans to your lineup.
If you want some really neutral closed headphones with great instrument separation for a closed-back, then look no further.
I tested out the Mr. Speakers Alpha Dogs on the new Schiit Vali and ultra high end Cavalli Liquid Glass headphone amps running off a Schiit Bifrost Uber source.
I would say the Alpha Dogs may be the best headphones (closed and open) under $1000. They really don't accentuate anything too much and give a very nice soundstage without sounding closed. If I had $600 I would pre order mine and wait 6-7 weeks just to get a pair.
They REALLY are that good. Dan from Mr. Speakers has really upped the bar and there are more impressions just check out the review at 6moons Audio. I really want something to compliment my DT880s and I felt that the HE-500 wasn't significantly better to justify spending their asking price. If you have an open can already (DT880) and love it, go audition a pair of Alpha Dogs. Really, I can't think of a better headphone to compliment the DT880s that isolates well too if you're in a noisy environment.
Yep even for me the HD800 is well ahead of the T1 in many regards, but the T1 is still my preference for the rock music I use it for. The HD800 is my next purchase most definitely.
I got my T1 secondhand for $750 luckily, but I would have taken the HD800 leap at the time if I was going new - just my preference for my classical and ambient electronic.
DT880 is one of the few A grade values like the HD600, HE-400, Q701 for some people.
I never noticed much of a difference between different amping schemes. The impedance curve is relatively flat, so the balance isn't significantly altered by different damping ratios. Setting that aside, then, it just comes down to the intrinsic signature of the upstream equipment itself--it can either subtly color the sound or do nothing to it at all. Also keep in mind that, being reasonably high in impedance (the 250 ohm or 600 ohm versions, at least), the DT880 doesn't need a whole lot of current to drive it properly. It just needs sufficient voltage to get up to volume. If you're getting the volume you want without having to max out the knob, you're probably okay.
I would say that with your setup you're getting a pretty accurate picture of what the DT880 can do. There might be a bit of unlocked potential, or, more realistically, a bit of latitude in personal preference (e.g. you might feel that a bit of flavor from a different amp pushes the sound just a little more in the direction you like, or that with a better DAC you get a lower noise floor), but for the most part nothing fundamental is going to change. If you're worried about leaving performance on the table before making a decision on which one to sell, I'd say you've got enough to work with to make your decision as it is. No need to spend more money on something you might ultimately end up selling, anyway.
Just enjoy, or, if you find you like your SRH840 better, don't feel too guilty about giving the DT880 up. This hobby is about enjoying the music and having fun, and holding onto something you don't thoroughly enjoy for whatever reason would keep you from doing either.
Interesting! I was using a similar setup at a shop in Toronto about a month or so ago. Except I had a clip zip (rockboxed with the Meier crossfeed app on it turned on). I found it a tad warm for my tastes, but supposedly that is the general nature of the e17? Don't get me wrong. It still sounded great, and I immediately bought a pair of DT880s off a head-fier afterwards. The e17 was still a solid little amp, I thought. I found it a lot more clear than the PA2V2. Though, that is all the head-fi experience I have, really.