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The Beyerdynamic DT880 Discussion thread - Page 377

post #5641 of 10424

Lately I've been so impressed with the DT 880's bass and particularly the sub-bass. I recently got the K712 with its famously increased bass compared to previous AKG K7xx models and it does have good bass and is extended quite well and I started thinking that the K712 had the best bass of any of my 'phones. I was wrong. I hadn't spent enough time going back and forth between it and the DT880 because I was still in the honeymoon phase haha. After eventually coming to terms with the K712's imperfections as well as its strengths, I went back to the DT880 expecting to have to get used to less bass quantity but that hasn't happened at all. The bass, and sub-bass, on the DT880 is every bit as satisfying as the K712's, if not more so. I continue to be surprised by it.

 

For those interested... take a listen to Bjork's song Hyper-Ballad from the album Post and checkout the awesome sub-bass. It sounds clearer and more accurate than I previously remember and is every bit as good as the K712 in that regard if not better.

 

These things continue to impress me. I've realized that good headphones do that. That's one of the perks of this hobby eh? With the right equipment your music never gets old. In fact it sometimes seems like its brand new all over again. :)


Edited by devhen - 12/4/13 at 10:50pm
post #5642 of 10424
Quote:
Originally Posted by devhen View Post
 

Lately I've been so impressed with the DT 880's bass and particularly the sub-bass. I recently got the K712 with its famously increased bass compared to previous AKG K7xx models and it does have good bass and is extended quite well and I started thinking that the K712 had the best bass of any of my 'phones. I was wrong. I hadn't spent enough time going back and forth between it and the DT880 because I was still in the honeymoon phase haha. After eventually coming to terms with the K712's imperfections as well as its strengths, I went back to the DT880 expecting to have to get used to less bass quantity but that hasn't happened at all. The bass, and sub-bass, on the DT880 is every bit as satisfying as the K712's, if not more so. I continue to be surprised by it.

 

For those interested... take a listen to Bjork's song Hyper-Ballad from the album Post and checkout the awesome sub-bass. It sounds clearer and more accurate than I previously remember and is every bit as good as the K712 in that regard if not better.

 

These things continue to impress me. I've realized that good headphones do that. That's one of the perks of this hobby eh? With the right equipment your music never gets old. In fact it sometimes seems like its brand new all over again. :)

just realized you had d-zero...

What do you think of it?

I'm working on a portabe setup with my lg optimus g pro :D

post #5643 of 10424
Quote:

Originally Posted by knightboy140 View Post

 

just realized you had d-zero...

What do you think of it?

I'm working on a portabe setup with my lg optimus g pro :D

 

Its pretty good for the price. Its not enough to power 600 ohm headphones and even with my 250 ohm DT880 Pros there are times where I need to venture into "distortion territory" on high gain and max volume, if I'm listening to something uncompressed and/or recorded particularly quietly. By that I mean the D-Zero has distortion when its on high gain and the volume is above 80% or so. But that's probably pretty common for these type of battery powered amps and for most music it is adequate for 250 ohm Beyers and the like. Yeah the D-Zero pretty good. Its perfect for things like the DT1350 that don't need a ton of amping but benefit from some.

 

There's a new version of the D-Zero that uses an ESS Sabre DAC chip. That one probably sounds even better. I've heard about it and I've seen pictures of it but it's still not listed on iBasso's web site. Hopefully it will be as affordable as the current version is.


Edited by devhen - 12/5/13 at 12:28am
post #5644 of 10424
Quote:
Originally Posted by devhen View Post
 

 

Its pretty good for the price. Its not enough to power 600 ohm headphones and even with my 250 ohm DT880 Pros there are times where I need to venture into "distortion territory" on high gain and max volume, if I'm listening to something uncompressed and/or recorded particularly quietly. By that I mean the D-Zero has distortion when its on high gain and the volume is above 80% or so. But that's probably pretty common for these type of battery powered amps and for most music it is adequate for 250 ohm Beyers and the like. Yeah the D-Zero pretty good. Its perfect for things like the DT1350 that don't need a ton of amping but benefit from some.

 

There's a new version of the D-Zero that uses an ESS Sabre DAC chip. That one probably sounds even better. I've heard about it and I've seen pictures of it but it's still not listed on iBasso's web site. Hopefully it will be as affordable as the current version is.

thanks!

It'll be used to power a pair of ciems with 16ohm impedence so no bigges.

Phone is nice but its just missing a lot of my music

Holiday season coming and long long flights are coming so I need something to have fun with while I'm away from my desktop setup :D

post #5645 of 10424
Quote:

Originally Posted by knightboy140 View Post

 

thanks!

It'll be used to power a pair of ciems with 16ohm impedence so no bigges.

Phone is nice but its just missing a lot of my music

Holiday season coming and long long flights are coming so I need something to have fun with while I'm away from my desktop setup :D

 

Yeah that's the same reason I picked up one prior to my last trip. It will work really well for low impedance 'phones like that because you'll never need the high gain setting which is the only time any kind of distortion comes into play. Keep your eyes peeled though, the Sabre version of the D-Zero might be even better, if you can find one.

post #5646 of 10424

I never quite realized the sub bass potential of the DT880 until I bought the famous E. Power Biggs Four Great Toccatas and Fugues album. Apart from being a fascinating recording in its own right (it was recorded in a cathedral with four separate organs, all controlled from a central console and all playable singly or in any combination), it has some extraordinary deep pedal bass.

 

The DT880 loses just a bit of volume right at the very bottom, but it's still producing sound all the way down in the ~30-35 Hz region, which is excellent, especially considering its vintage. None of the open dynamics of its era were really capable of extension to nearly DC (the electrostats certainly were), but 30 Hz before significant rolloff is still quite an accomplishment. It'll get you virtually the entire range of bass in most music, coming in just shy of the ~27 Hz A0 at the very bottom of a piano keyboard, a note which is rarely heard by itself and which is often only heard in a mix via its overtones. Just now to check, I generated a 32.5 Hz (C1) sine wave in Audacity. Yep, that's what I'm hearing in the E. Power Biggs recording. It's not the 65 Hz (C2) tone above it.

 

There's an entire world of sub bass, though, which lives below this range and is inhabited almost solely in the musical realm by organs. Most large organs have at least one 32' stop which makes it down to ~16 Hz, and there are a few very rare stops (two extant 64' ones in the world) that go an octave deeper, to ~8 Hz. One of these can also produce a resultant 128', which creates an apparent ~4 Hz tone at the very bottom of its range. You'd need an electrostat or ortho to reproduce the fundamental tone of the lowest notes in any of these stops with any authority.

post #5647 of 10424

I've heard of that album a few times but have never listened to it. I'm checking it out now and its definitely pretty cool.

 

Yep sub-bass is best demonstrated and appreciated through large pipe organs. One of the coolest sounding instruments in the world IMO. Its great when you not only hear the instrument but feel it and that dichotomy is most satisfying with pipe organs. Of course it doesn't hurt that they are typically in large, great sounding buildings that give a great sense of space on top of it all.

 

Thanks for the tip. I'm just starting to listen to the E. Power Biggs album now and liking it so far.

post #5648 of 10424

Another great one is Ave Verum on Dr. Chesky's Binaural Sounds Show album. Speaking of uncompressed music, that song is most certainly not compressed at all. Its recorded really quietly but if you've got the amplifier power to crank it up real loud its one of the best sounding tracks I've heard. Awesome choir and you can feel the pipe organ rumbling under you as if you were there. Great track.

post #5649 of 10424
Quote:
Originally Posted by devhen View Post
 

I've heard of that album a few times but have never listened to it. I'm checking it out now and its definitely pretty cool.

 

Yep sub-bass is best demonstrated and appreciated through large pipe organs. One of the coolest sounding instruments in the world IMO. Its great when you not only hear the instrument but feel it and that dichotomy is most satisfying with pipe organs. Of course it doesn't hurt that they are typically in large, great sounding buildings that give a great sense of space on top of it all.

 

Thanks for the tip. I'm just starting to listen to the E. Power Biggs album now and liking it so far.

 

When he recorded it, Biggs was apparently in poor health and couldn't play everything at once, so it's stitched together from multiple recordings where he did each part separately. There are a few noticeable edits, but for the most part they did a remarkable job of piecing it together so that you'd never know if somebody hadn't told you. Very minimal tape hiss for all those parts stacked on top of one another, at that. Since the action is electrically-controlled (as opposed to a tracker, which Biggs much preferred), and since this recording was made in the 70s when electric actions were still notoriously laggy, the phrasing is a bit choppy in places (it could also be Biggs' physical state that contributed to this). It's a marvelous sounding instrument nonetheless. Or, collection of instruments, as the case may be.

 

The main reason people like this recording, though, is because it's about the closest to surround sound you'll ever get with stereo. Each of the four organs is in a different quadrant of the space, with two in front and two behind. Nothing quite comes from directly behind you, but you can clearly tell where in space each instrument is. It's the only recording I have which projects a reverse soundstage in addition to the usual forward one. The effect is obviously best enjoyed with headphones (though I seem to remember reading that a dipole arrangement can recreate some of the effect on speakers as well).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by devhen View Post
 

Another great one is Ave Verum on Dr. Chesky's Binaural Sounds Show album. Speaking of uncompressed music, that song is most certainly not compressed at all. Its recorded really quietly but if you've got the amplifier power to crank it up real loud its one of the best sounding tracks I've heard. Awesome choir and you can feel the pipe organ rumbling under you as if you were there. Great track.

 

 

I believe I've read about that album somewhere on here. Wasn't it on the front page for a while?

post #5650 of 10424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post

 

I believe I've read about that album somewhere on here. Wasn't it on the front page for a while?

 

Yep, it was.

 

http://www.hdtracks.com/dr-chesky-s-sensational-fantastic-and-simply-amazing-binaural-sound-show-133061

 

BTW its also available via iTunes/Amazon/Google Play in lossy format for less $.

post #5651 of 10424

Wow, some really nice stuff on there. I'm trying out the samples. The recordings themselves are stunningly good sounding. Oddly, though, the binaural effect seems to be rather subtle for me on the musical selections. If I didn't know what I was listening to, I might not have guessed at first that it wasn't just a very good stereo recording. Blame the content, I suppose; a musical performance is probably going to be mostly in front of you. The barbershop thing didn't really work, either. When it was supposed to move to the front it just kind of stayed in the same place. I know it's not exactly calibrated to my hearing or my headphones, so that might be part of it.

 

I'll definitely have to put this one on my radar. The organ pedals in particular are breathtakingly deep and lovely sounding.

 

EDIT: I'm starting to pick up on the effect a little more. It's like the soundstage became impossibly wide but didn't increase any in depth. I wonder if it's because of my hearing imbalance (everything is slightly left of center) that the depth hasn't filled out, or if this is just how everybody hears these recordings.

 

EDIT 2: I'm looking at the cover art now. I'm assuming the foot poised above the scene, as well as the fonts used, are a reference to Monty Python.


Edited by Argyris - 12/5/13 at 2:21am
post #5652 of 10424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post

 

EDIT 2: I'm looking at the cover art now. I'm assuming the foot poised above the scene, as well as the fonts used, are a reference to Monty Python.

 

Haha, yep, I had the same thought.

 

I wasn't as impressed with the binaural aspect of the album as I thought I would be but there are definitely some quality recordings on there and the barber shop stuff seemed pretty accurate as far as the positioning but I didn't notice whether the depth was particularly accurate. All of my cans suffer from limited soundstage depth. Apparently that's pretty common. I wish more companies would use angled drivers or other means of improving depth in more than just their flagships.

 

The TH-600 had the best soundstage depth of any headphones I've heard (I haven't heard the HD800 or T1 yet BTW). The way the center image was stretched out realistically in front of me absolutely blew my mind. I knew my cans were lacking in depth but I didn't know what I was missing. Every other headphone I've tried would benefit dramatically from the depth the TH-600's have. I'm not sure how they do it. I know the pads are angled slightly but I don't think the drivers themselves are angled. However they do it, its quite an accomplishment. The K712's I recently picked up were another improvement in soundstage but only width, not depth. They really have no more depth than any of my other 'phones. Its a shame really, something like the K712, with better depth, would have an amazing stage.


Edited by devhen - 12/5/13 at 2:37am
post #5653 of 10424

The M50 I had for a few weeks had angled drivers, and it didn't really work for me. On my head at least, they had a lot of trouble forming a center image, and sound cues would end up coming from weird places (like somewhere around my shoulders, for instance). I'm willing to believe that different makers' implementations of the angled driver concept will yield different (hopefully better) results. I know that people rave about the T1 and HD800 soundstaging, so they must have done something right.

 

One of the things I like about the DT880 is that, while it shares the same fundamentally depth-challenged presentation as a lot of other headphones, somehow it manages to avoid that uncomfortable, center of the head phenomenon. The sound doesn't project forward outside the head, but for me at least it makes it to about the space just behind my forehead. Added to the wide but not ridiculously wide left and right staging (for me it has a soft outer limit just outside the cups, though certain cues can extend out well beyond this), it's a well-rounded presentation for a traditional headphone design. Any wider and it would be too much, I think. There's plenty of space to arrange sonic elements.

 

Stuff does seem to collect a bit on the sides, though. The soundstage could certainly stand to be a bit more coherent. It's almost like there's this triangular object in the center with one of the points facing inward, and if stuff isn't dead center when it hits the point it shoots off to one side or the other. The sides are definitely slightly further away than the center. Crossfeed helps, but it also does weird things to the sound. There actually seem to be five distinct places stuff can end up: centered, center-right, center-left, far right, far left. Very rarely I'll hear something completely right- or left-panned, but that's only with either movie or video sound effects or very early stereo recordings.

post #5654 of 10424

Well said. That's a really accurate description of the DT880's soundstage actually.

 

Despite its slight shortcomings here and there its really hard not to like the DT880 in an overall way. None of its weaknesses are enough to bother me and I can't say that for a lot of cans.

 

I should probably be asleep right now or something normal like that but I can't stop listening to the music! Haha. First world problems, eh?... :)

post #5655 of 10424

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Beyer owes me about a week of sleep. Actually, it's up to two weeks by now. :smile:

 

I quite agree with you. The DT880's flaws are small, and they don't detract from the overall solidness of the package. Of course, if you're not looking for their kind of sound, they're not going to work, but nothing else in their sonic category would, either. For what they are, they cover all the bases. I imagine you'd have to jump into flagship territory to reach noticeably better performance, though I've never heard the T90 so I couldn't say for sure.

 

I had a choice three years ago between them and the K701. The latter was a bit more expensive on Amazon (and quite a bit more expensive from HeadRoom). Since I wanted the return policy from HeadRoom (I didn't know at the time whether or not Amazon would just take something back because I didn't like it), I went with them, meaning that the K701 was just out of reach pricewise. What's more, HR very kindly price-matched a DT880 Premium to a DT880 Pro I'd found elsewhere online for $50 less (silly me, I didn't notice they were different products), so the total was $250. That was more than either the K701 or DT880 sold for on Amazon at the time, but only by about $20 in each case, which, since I had gone with the DT880, wasn't that big a difference. There were times in the beginning when I wondered if the K701 wouldn't have been a better choice (the typical grass is greener thing), but that period passed pretty quickly.

 

It could just be sentimental reasons, but I'm pretty sure that even if I had something like an HD800 or (gasp!) SR-009, I'd probably still keep my DT880 in rotation. I just can't imagine not enjoying their sound, even if I had technically better headphones. They're good enough that after listening for a while they tend to disappear. The comfort helps in that regard.

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