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The Beyerdynamic DT880 Discussion thread - Page 395

post #5911 of 10424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post
 

 

Made me smile a bit too.

 

@ illyria - if you get the chance, try testing yourself.  Here : http://www.head-fi.org/t/655879/setting-up-an-abx-test-simple-guide-to-ripping-tagging-transcoding

 

It's a couple of posts I wrote a while ago on how to set up a blind abx.  All the software is free, and all it takes is time.  Whilst there may be a rare few that can tell the difference between aac256 and lossless - most can't (when blind tested).  If you fail - don't worry - it just means you have normal hearing like the rest of us.

 

When doing the test - make sure you use the same mastering (ie take a CD, rip it to lossless, then copy/convert the same lossless file to aac).  Actually knowing your limitations is real power - plus it lets you store a lot more files on your DAP :) 

Oh very nice read! For a long time  was sending ppl to whatcdPrep to learn how to encode properly [it's were I learned... trial by fire honestly] but your guide is MUCH better! :D very happy to have this to spread to all of our lovely new head fi'rs ^^

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
 

 

I was going to comment but feared setting off the dreaded 'how well can you hear?' debate. But you know, what really makes me smile is when someone offers an MP3-320 download on one of those sites which shall remain nameless--let's say of some film score recorded in the 50s--and someone asks if it can be re-uploaded in flac! Wow, ignorance ahoy! No accounting for the quality of the original; as long as you download in flac it will sound just fine, whereas if you download in MP3-320 it will sound horrible. There really should be a site for Merry Olde Audio Myths, and if there was here's a few I'd like to start with:

 

1. All integrated amps and receivers have 5c op-amps behind their headphone sockets,

 

2. The more you pay for a headphone amp the better it will sound no matter how easily driven your headphones are,

 

3. If a headphone sounds distinctly dull to you, the fix is probably a very expensive silver cable,

 

4. A $300 headphone cannot possibly sound as good as a $1200 one because that would upset the balance of the headphone universe, not to mention contradict all logic.

 

5. Swapping a more expensive op-amp into a HP amp will automatically result in a huge improvement in sound even if you alter nothing else about the circuit.

 

6. If you don't like a popular headphone, it's almost certainly because your source isn't good enough. And if your source is good enough, it's definitely your amp. And if it's not either of those things, you must have tin ears.

 

Of course, such a list is potentially endless.

I thank you for not mentioning the B word <3 it means a lot to me

 

Oh btw, I'm really REALLY liking my DT 880 hm801 Schiit Vali combo :D listening to it again! It push came to shove... I could live with it ^^ happily live with it at that! 

post #5912 of 10424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post
 

You forgot 7. MOAR POWAH! Now, in the case of headphones that actually need the power in order to reach volume, or else in order to give the amp some headroom so it's not going full blast just to make the headphone audible, this isn't exactly a myth. I would say it's an over-applied maxim.

 

I actually have a hypothesis as to why this is such a widespread, universal belief. As we all know, human hearing is not linear. We have a big presence boost around 3 kHz or so, and our response trails off below 100 Hz and above 10 kHz. However, what a lot of people don't know is that the balance of these three rough areas (corresponding to midrange, bass, and treble, respectively) is not constant. It changes with amplitude. At higher amplitudes, we perceive more bass and treble than we do at lower volumes. This is what the "Loudness" function on stereo receivers and integrated amps does--it simulates this phenomenon at lower listening levels.

 

What I think is happening is people find they can't reach satisfactory volume with their current amp, or when they do it can't quite handle the load and produces distortion and/or clipping, so they upgrade. Now all of a sudden they can reach higher volumes cleanly, so they listen in this amplitude range more often than they did before. Of course, the louder you go, the more bass and treble you get; this corresponds neatly to the usual accounts of "fuller sound" (more bass) and "greater detail" (more treble) associated with an amp upgrade. And once you buy into the idea that the amp is what is causing this, it's easy enough to convince yourself that an even more expensive upgrade will add/has added an additional level of improvement.*

 

Paradoxically, this vindicates somewhat the idea that more power can result in perceptively better sound, but I would amend the statement to "enough power", since all you've done is ensured you have usable performance at higher volumes. The amp didn't improve the balance of its own accord; it just let you reach a level at which your own hearing did that.

 

*Note that none of this takes into account intrinsic signature differences between different amps, since that would be a separate issue entirely.

... guilty as charged, I did mention to you guys I went with B Word because of all the ppl telling me " that amp won't drive a 600 ohm dt 880, Now it will, but this one sounds better"   blah blah blah... so I said FINE  let's go B and no one will ever tell me I don't have ENOUGH POWA

 

That said, the Vali which has like 1/8'th the power of my B Amp... sounds about 94% as good <3 so I learned that leason the hard way

 

But hey I like to have 6w of power on tap to listen at about 40-60dB <3

post #5913 of 10424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post
 

You forgot 7. MOAR POWAH! Now, in the case of headphones that actually need the power in order to reach volume, or else in order to give the amp some headroom so it's not going full blast just to make the headphone audible, this isn't exactly a myth. I would say it's an over-applied maxim.

 

I actually have a hypothesis as to why this is such a widespread, universal belief. As we all know, human hearing is not linear. We have a big presence boost around 3 kHz or so, and our response trails off below 100 Hz and above 10 kHz. However, what a lot of people don't know is that the balance of these three rough areas (corresponding to midrange, bass, and treble, respectively) is not constant. It changes with amplitude. At higher amplitudes, we perceive more bass and treble than we do at lower volumes. This is what the "Loudness" function on stereo receivers and integrated amps does--it simulates this phenomenon at lower listening levels.

 

What I think is happening is people find they can't reach satisfactory volume with their current amp, or when they do it can't quite handle the load and produces distortion and/or clipping, so they upgrade. Now all of a sudden they can reach higher volumes cleanly, so they listen in this amplitude range more often than they did before. Of course, the louder you go, the more bass and treble you get; this corresponds neatly to the usual accounts of "fuller sound" (more bass) and "greater detail" (more treble) associated with an amp upgrade. And once you buy into the idea that the amp is what is causing this, it's easy enough to convince yourself that an even more expensive upgrade will add/has added an additional level of improvement.*

 

Paradoxically, this vindicates somewhat the idea that more power can result in perceptively better sound, but I would amend the statement to "enough power", since all you've done is ensured you have usable performance at higher volumes. The amp didn't improve the balance of its own accord; it just let you reach a level at which your own hearing did that.

 

*Note that none of this takes into account intrinsic signature differences between different amps, since that would be a separate issue entirely.

... guilty as charged, I did mention to you guys I went with B Word because of all the ppl telling me " that amp won't drive a 600 ohm dt 880, Now it will, but this one sounds better"   blah blah blah... so I said FINE  let's go B and no one will ever tell me I don't have ENOUGH POWA

 

That said, the Vali which has like 1/8'th the power of my B Amp... sounds about 94% as good <3 so I learned that leason the hard way

 

But hey I like to have 6w of power on tap to listen at about 40-60dB <3

 

Glad I passed on the Vali....your words have convinced me of what I thought would happen.  I was thinking, if someone said it was better than a $1600 amp, but what the........

post #5914 of 10424
Quote:
Originally Posted by cute View Post
 

 

Glad I passed on the Vali....your words have convinced me of what I thought would happen.  I was thinking, if someone said it was better than a $1600 amp, but what the........

Oh yea sorry, to be a buzz kill  

post #5915 of 10424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post
 

You forgot 7. MOAR POWAH! Now, in the case of headphones that actually need the power in order to reach volume, or else in order to give the amp some headroom so it's not going full blast just to make the headphone audible, this isn't exactly a myth. I would say it's an over-applied maxim.

 

I actually have a hypothesis as to why this is such a widespread, universal belief. As we all know, human hearing is not linear. We have a big presence boost around 3 kHz or so, and our response trails off below 100 Hz and above 10 kHz. However, what a lot of people don't know is that the balance of these three rough areas (corresponding to midrange, bass, and treble, respectively) is not constant. It changes with amplitude. At higher amplitudes, we perceive more bass and treble than we do at lower volumes. This is what the "Loudness" function on stereo receivers and integrated amps does--it simulates this phenomenon at lower listening levels.

 

What I think is happening is people find they can't reach satisfactory volume with their current amp, or when they do it can't quite handle the load and produces distortion and/or clipping, so they upgrade. Now all of a sudden they can reach higher volumes cleanly, so they listen in this amplitude range more often than they did before. Of course, the louder you go, the more bass and treble you get; this corresponds neatly to the usual accounts of "fuller sound" (more bass) and "greater detail" (more treble) associated with an amp upgrade. And once you buy into the idea that the amp is what is causing this, it's easy enough to convince yourself that an even more expensive upgrade will add/has added an additional level of improvement.*

 

Paradoxically, this vindicates somewhat the idea that more power can result in perceptively better sound, but I would amend the statement to "enough power", since all you've done is ensured you have usable performance at higher volumes. The amp didn't improve the balance of its own accord; it just let you reach a level at which your own hearing did that.

 

*Note that none of this takes into account intrinsic signature differences between different amps, since that would be a separate issue entirely.

 

Just for arguments sake, if a new amp is able to drive the headphones to a louder volume, which is what a the person wanted, and b via psychoacoustics it convinces the person the sound is better in effect isn't that actually better sound for that person? Not to mention, I have always understood that the control over the drivers and subsequent fine detail gains that higher quality amps provide is a small factor in sound reproduction quality. I have always been of the mind that you should notice a large difference in sound between a Fiio E11 for instance and a Lyr, but the difference between a $1500 and $5000 esoteric amp may be far more marginal. I'm actually posing these thoughts as a question as my technical knowledge and experience with such gear is limited.

post #5916 of 10424

I would say your general point is correct, that since the amp resulted in this difference in balance, it is a significantly better experience. Being unable to play the headphones at sufficient volume, either at all or else without audible performance degradation, is a serious impediment to the overall performance of the system. What I'm arguing is that people might be attributing the improvement they hear in properly amping their headphones solely to the amp, as though there were some intrinsic property of the amp itself that caused the effect. In fact, assuming my hypothesis is correct, a large part of the improvement comes much further down the signal chain, in the listener's own ears.

 

It's largely an issue of semantics, except that it also predicts your other point, that the difference between a $1,500 amp and a $5,000 one shouldn't be tremendous, since the improvement that comes from properly powering the headphones is already sunk--both amps will produce sufficient clean power for the headphone to reach the desired listening amplitude. Any difference in performance, then, will come down to differences in design, and this will probably be a lot more subtle (unless there's some kind of electrical mismatch between the headphone and the amp).

 

The main point I'm getting at with all this is that a lot of people express the belief that the initial level of improvement they get from properly amping (and therefore being able to reach desired volume without noticeable performance loss) will continue to be realized each time they upgrade. I'm sort of throwing out the idea that this initial improvement is something you'll hear with any amp that has the chops to power your cans, and that any additional theoretical improvement from upgrading to an even more expensive amp isn't going to be of the same nature or magnitude.


Edited by Argyris - 12/20/13 at 7:49am
post #5917 of 10424

@Argyris I think you are right and I was just thinking about this yesterday and testing it. My headphones do sound different depending on the volume and higher volume does increase the bass and treble more than the mids. And some headphones seem to vary quite a bit depending on the volume you listen at (for example the DT880 can vary a lot, to my ears, depending on volume). I tend to listen fairly loud if I'm in the mood to "rock out" or when I'm comparing headphones or listening very closely for specific things and I've noticed that how a headphone sounds when really cranking up the volume is important to me because that's when I want it to sound its best and the closest to my desired specifications.

post #5918 of 10424

the only thing I know is I'm sticking with my NFB 10ES2 until I cna afford to get an HE 6, when I can afford the HE 6 then I'll think about an upgrade to my NFB 10ES 2 :3 

post #5919 of 10424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

... guilty as charged, I did mention to you guys I went with B Word because of all the ppl telling me " that amp won't drive a 600 ohm dt 880, Now it will, but this one sounds better"   blah blah blah... so I said FINE  let's go B and no one will ever tell me I don't have ENOUGH POWA

 

That said, the Vali which has like 1/8'th the power of my B Amp... sounds about 94% as good <3 so I learned that leason the hard way

 

But hey I like to have 6w of power on tap to listen at about 40-60dB <3

 



Voltage, man.
Voltage.

Your 600 Ohm DT880 need more voltage.
All things being equal, a balanced output headphone amp will output twice as much Voltage.
For a 32 Ohm headphone, a balanced output amp won't do much for you if you only seek more power.
Balanced output does NOT increase the amount of current available to drive the load, only the voltage.
post #5920 of 10424
Quote:
Originally Posted by devhen View Post
 

@Argyris I think you are right and I was just thinking about this yesterday and testing it. My headphones do sound different depending on the volume and higher volume does increase the bass and treble more than the mids. And some headphones seem to vary quite a bit depending on the volume you listen at (for example the DT880 can vary a lot, to my ears, depending on volume). I tend to listen fairly loud if I'm in the mood to "rock out" or when I'm comparing headphones or listening very closely for specific things and I've noticed that how a headphone sounds when really cranking up the volume is important to me because that's when I want it to sound its best and the closest to my desired specifications.

 

 

I think this phenomenon is one of the reasons that the DT880 is frequently said to sound good at lower volumes, and probably one of the reasons it's usually not recommended for the kinds of music people usually like to wind up the volume on. The treble has a tendency to get out of control at very high volumes, but it also adds clarity and detail at lower volumes. I've also read from some people who ended up not liking the HD650 that it only really sounded right when the volume was turned up, and that since they weren't a frequent high volume listener that kind of sound just wouldn't work for them. These are of course not givens, and there are plenty of people who like the DT880 cranked up and the HD650 at medium to low volume. After all, since this effect is part of our hearing, we're used to it happening to all sound that we perceive, so it doesn't sound jarring our wrong when it happens with headphones--we just notice that the treble that was articulate and slightly forward has now become sharp and possibly fatiguing, or the mid-bass that had a pleasant bloom now sounds bloated.

 

There's lots of different variables that don't immediately come to mind but might nonetheless shape our listening. I've noticed, for instance, that my perception of upper treble seems to lessen over time during a listening session, even when I'm not listening at high volume. This actually became maddening when I was trying to isolate some tizziness in the SRH440's treble. I would take them off and rest my ears for a while, then put them back on and load up one of my test tracks that exposed the problem. It would be very apparent at first, but after a few minutes it would sort of integrate itself into the sound and disappear. I could continue this cycle indefinitely. The DT880 does not exhibit this tizziness at any stage of listening, so it's something in the SRH440's response. I eventually found it--there's a tall, narrow peak at around 15.5 kHz.

 

And then there are the strange, unexplainable times when I seem to perceive more/less bass or more/less treble than normal. I couldn't say why this happens. When I haven't slept for a while I seem to be more tolerant of treble, which might make sense--I imagine my ears need a rest just like the rest of me, and it might be related to the phenomenon described in the previous paragraph. I wish there were some way to test and study these kinds of things--I suppose the first step would be to figure out how common they are.

post #5921 of 10424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post
 

 

I couldn't say any of this better myself. The main reason I tested was because I wanted to see how small I could get my music files. I was getting tired of lugging around my 60 GB iPod, which I was tied to because the flash-based players (e.g. Sansa Clip) have tiny capacities compared to the old HDD-based behemoths of yesteryear, and at the time I was insisting on uncompressed and lossless files. In addition, the iPod UI was very slow with uncompressed/lossless files because the player had to pre-buffer each file every time I skipped or selected a track. It was noticeably faster (and consumed less battery spinning up the disk) when I switched to compressed files.

 

Currently I'm getting by with a 4 GB Clip Zip with a 16 GB microSD card expansion. There's no way I could fit all my music on there if I didn't use some kind of lossy compression.

 

Illyria, if you're hearing some of your files as sounding poor, assuming they're not old 128 kbps ones from the early days of iTunes (or sourced from elsewhere), it's likely that the DT880 is simply showing you flaws in the mastering that you never picked up on before. They're probably not the most merciless headphones out there, but they certainly won't cover up a bad mix/brickwall job.

 

Also, seconded on the congratulations, Brooko. I'm going to read your review right now. :smile:

 

 

The majority of my iTunes is from a friend who ripped the audio from YouTube.  When I buy music I'm almost strictly buying CDs and usually listen to them in a CD player, last night as my first time ripping them onto my computer.  

 

I probably should have clarified that, however, I was up for 40+ hours and wasn't really thinking.  Sorry for sparking the argument again. :redface: 

post #5922 of 10424

@Argyris: I think you're spot on about getting used to treble and having it integrate itself into the sound and start sounding less troublesome. My brother is a producer and has been using the 880s in his studio for years. When I asked him how he feels about the treble spike his response was "I've just gotten used to it" and I think that sums up the DT880 pretty well for me. Yes there is a treble spike but its harmless enough that over time (particularly if you are using the DT880 exclusively) your brain is able to get used to it and it starts to disappear. Other headphones with too much treble can be too extreme and it never stops being an issue but with the DT880 I seem to have gotten used to the treble spike as my brother has and, as I mentioned earlier, I've stopped needing EQ. When I switch from a different headphone over to the DT880 it becomes apparent once again but then again eventually fades away and becomes essentially unnoticeable with the majority of music.


Edited by devhen - 12/20/13 at 10:28am
post #5923 of 10424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

... guilty as charged, I did mention to you guys I went with B Word because of all the ppl telling me " that amp won't drive a 600 ohm dt 880, Now it will, but this one sounds better"   blah blah blah... so I said FINE  let's go B and no one will ever tell me I don't have ENOUGH POWA

 

That said, the Vali which has like 1/8'th the power of my B Amp... sounds about 94% as good <3 so I learned that leason the hard way

 

But hey I like to have 6w of power on tap to listen at about 40-60dB <3

 



Voltage, man.
Voltage.

Your 600 Ohm DT880 need more voltage.
All things being equal, a balanced output headphone amp will output twice as much Voltage.
For a 32 Ohm headphone, a balanced output amp won't do much for you if you only seek more power.
Balanced output does NOT increase the amount of current available to drive the load, only the voltage.

exactly, so the balanced amp has more Voltage than I know what to DO with. Current wise the Audio GD should meet my needs for a VERY long time. Again the only except would be the HE 6... which would merrit an upgrade depending on how it sounded! 

 

As I said, I wanted to end any power requirements. It should meet Current and voltage requirements for a while, and I've found that it drove my HE 400 very wonderfully out of the balanced out. 

 

Anyways, assuming watts = V*A [or current] assuming the nfb es2 can drive upwards of 6w into 32 ohms, a headphone with low impedance and moderalty high sensitivity should have more than enough current on tap. Not to mention, reviews for the NFb 10ES2 are very positive with a very wide range of headphones. Going back to the HE 6, the NFb 10ES2 can drive them well. Not the best option out there but well, that said I feel validated with my purchase. As far as a Solid State goes, for $600 this one seemed to be the best choice at the price point. Not to mention it included a very nice dac

 

anyways going back to the Vali x DT 880, I listend to some music again today... me gusta! Watching episodes of Breaking Bad now as well... net flix has a 5.1 Dolby Digital option that also sounds super fab with the dt 880 UAC 202 and Val! 

post #5924 of 10424

Now that I've mentioned my brother I feel inclined to give him a small plug. ;) He does a pretty good amount of recording/producing/mixing for other folks but he also has his own musical project called TaughtMe. Check it out, its very good and a lot of you might really like it. Its recorded very well and sounds brilliant. Checkout his latest album here:

 

http://taughtme.bandcamp.com/album/am-i-old

 

And you might enjoy his most recent release, a cover of the Cocteau Twins' song Bluebeard:

 

http://taughtme.bandcamp.com/album/trying-song

 

I also VERY highly recommend that you checkout Jay William Henderson (same last name as us but no relation), specifically his album The Sun Will Burn Our Eyes which was named one of the top 10 best indie roots albums of 2012 by Magnet Magazine. The album was co-recorded and co-produced by my brother and Jay and I'll tell you what I told them: it is one of the best sounding records I have ever heard. I was overwhelmed with joy and pride to realize that Blake and Jay were capable of such a feat because I have sure heard a whole lot of amazing sounding albums over the years. ;) Here it is:

 

http://jaywilliamhenderson.bandcamp.com/

post #5925 of 10424
Quote:
Originally Posted by devhen View Post
 

Now that I've mentioned my brother I feel inclined to give him a small plug. ;) He does a pretty good amount of recording/producing/mixing for other folks but he also has his own musical project called TaughtMe. Check it out, its very good and a lot of you might really like it. Its recorded very well and sounds brilliant. Checkout his latest album here:

 

http://taughtme.bandcamp.com/album/am-i-old

 

And you might enjoy his most recent release, a cover of the Cocteau Twins' song Bluebeard:

 

http://taughtme.bandcamp.com/album/trying-song

 

I also VERY highly recommend that you checkout Jay William Henderson (same last name as us but no relation), specifically his album The Sun Will Burn Our Eyes which was named one of the top 10 best indie roots albums of 2012 by Magnet Magazine. The album was co-recorded and co-produced by my brother and Jay and I'll tell you what I told them: it is one of the best sounding records I have ever heard. I was overwhelmed with joy and pride to realize that Blake and Jay were capable of such a feat because I have sure heard a whole lot of amazing sounding albums over the years. ;) Here it is:

 

http://jaywilliamhenderson.bandcamp.com/

Wow your brother... doesn't suck! I'm impressed :D and best of all... well let's just say I'm happy to purchase it ^^ although he should offer a CD for like $15! I really like Cds

 

also Rock and indie are a genre I enjoy on my W1000x... but from my UAC 202 vali and DT 880 I'm sastisfied :D not sure what the song is streaming at but I'm egar to get the Flac ^^ just as soon as I get my external drive q.q. Running of a derpy laptop atm which is streaming only I don't want to download much to it atm 


Edited by Mshenay - 12/20/13 at 11:02am
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