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HD600 or DT880/600 Ohm or ? for Little Dot MKIII

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

Hi there,


It's birthday time soon, and I'm finally going to step up into some real cans.  Right now my set-up is Apple Airport Express>Little Dot MKIII>Grado SR-60 headphones.  Yes, I know I need a DAC, and that will happen soon enough.  I have done the tape mod to the SR-60's.  The Little Dot was not doing much for my Grados.  That is until I changed the driver tubes to Mullard M8161.  That dramatically changed my sound.  Wow, does metal sound amazing on this setup!  However I am wanting some new cans more suitable for the rest of my music collection.


As for the type of music that I listen to, it is hugely varied.  Acoustic and classical guitar, female vocals, male vocals, metal(all sub-genres), classic rock, folk, celtic, classical, etc.  The only genres that I do not listen to are country and hip-hop.


As for the type of sound that I am wanting with the new cans: Large soundstage and excellent instrument separation.  I'm finding the Grados extremely 2 dimensional, and I am wanting a more spacious sound.  I am also wanting more bass than the Grados. 


Plugged into some $12,000 source/headphone amp rig, I was able to compare my Grados to a few other cans at the local Hi-Fi shop.  I initially compared them to Sennheiser HD595.  My gosh did I enjoy those cans.  Listening to my SR-60's first, then going to the HD595's, the HD595's at first sounded slightly muddy, but that only lasted for about 30 seconds.  The HD595's were not as bright as the SR-60's but they seemed to resolve more detail at the same time.  The mids seemed more forward on the HD595.  The mids had a really nice warmth that I enjoyed over the Grados.  The soundstage was huge on the HD595's.  Instrument separation was excellent.  The bass was way more on the HD595's.  After about 45 minutes of listening, I really loved these cans.  In almost every way I liked them more than my SR-60's.  Just for fun I also tried Grado SR-325's.  This I did not like.  The highs were so cranked up and caused some serious fatique in no time.  The shop did not have any DT880's for me to try out. 


My budget is probably $340 max.  This can get me into the HD600 range.  I was not able to try out the HD600's.  I hear from most reviews that the HD600's are an upgrade over the HD595's.  So, the question is with the Little Dot MKIII, which cans will be the best upgrade for me?  I've read a few times that the DT880/600 ohm are not amazing match with the LD MKIII.  This could be incorrect.  I've heard many times that the HD600 is incredible with the LD MKIII.  Any thoughts?  I really liked the Sennheiser sound.  If anyone out there has both the DT880/600 ohm and the HD600's with the Little Dot MKIII, I'd love to hear how these compare to each other.  Apologies for the long post.  Thank you.



post #2 of 35

i think, considering your reaction to the hd595, that you just may be a fan of the sennheiser sound.

and, from all i've read, the hd600 is a wonderfully balanced headphone, and a step up from the hd595.


i have the dt880, and was not pleased with its treble in stock condition.  so i modded the cans, and love them now.

i don't know if the treble is as spiky as that of the sr325.  i've never heard the 325...






post #3 of 35

The HD600 is a very nice sounding pair of phones. They really do nothing wrong, but that's it. They are a jack of all trades and in the end I personally thought they were quite dull. I had the same with the HD595 which I also sold because I found them too boring. What I liked best about them was their midrange: natural and balanced. What I didn't like was the lack of deep bass and treble energy.

A lot of people probably know that I prefer the DT880s over them. Their dynamic range is bigger; they reach higher and go much lower. What they miss though is a nice slam to the music. The DT880 sounds very polite and flat. It's a love or hate thing. The 600ohm variant is a lot faster in comparison.


Out of the options you give us I think you should opt for the DT880 600ohm. It is imo overall the better pair of phones. The MKIII should have no problem at all with them. I also think you should consider the K701. They give you a HUGE soundstage and might be the sound you're looking for.

post #4 of 35
Thread Starter 

apatN, when you describe missing slam and being polite and flat, are you referring to the non-600 ohm variants of the DT880?  Does the 600ohm version provide the lacking "slam" factor?  Based on what others have said in the past, I'm only interested in the 600 ohm version. 


I've checked into K701 reviews as well, but the descriptions didn't seem to line up with what I'd like.  I've heard about this huge soundstage, but that things can feel quite distant as well.  I liked how the HD595 kept a large soundstage, but didn't seem too far away. 

post #5 of 35

Good for you! The 600ohm still has that polite sound but not quite as much as the 03... The 600ohm is much faster in comparison.

post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 

Any others think the DT880/600 ohm will be a better more exciting phone?  I think it is about $60 cheaper for me over the HD600, so that part is enticing.  I really want a good long term investment to use with the Little Dot MKIII. 

post #7 of 35

Wow, the DT880 600 is 60$ cheaper than the HD600? The DT880 would be a no-brainer then. But then I heard both of course. ;-)

post #8 of 35

I was looking the DT880 600s, Senn 600's, and the DT880 250s.  Since the 880 250s were $250 new, that was a no-brainer for me.  Are the 600s better?  I honestly wouldn't know and don't really care.  I was very happy to save a few bucks that I could put towards tube rolling in my amp.  So, I would suggest you add the 800 250s to your shopping list as well.  They are a good deal.

post #9 of 35

i discovered for myself that the 600 ohm cans have their plusses and minuses.


i had the 250 ohm dt880, and was perfectly happy with them. 

and, reading all the hoopla on head-fi praising the 600 ohm version, i just had to upgrade. 


and, they are better in some respects, to my ears.  (resolution, imaging, slightly deeper bass)

but, i found the treble, in stock condition, to be almost unbearable on the 600 ohm.


the 250 ohm version has more polite treble, which i liked quite a bit.


it was quite a lesson to me, anyways.  to pay 50 or 60 bucks more for a headphone that is only 5 or 10% more resolving, but has a treble response that is spiky and aggressive (for my tastes), when i was perfectly happy with the 250 ohm version.


i've now modded (with apatN's helpful tips) the 600 ohmers to my tastes, and am quite happy again.  but, i'm out quite a bit of cash in the deal...


so, no, in short - they're not that much better.

@ hodgjy - enjoy the 250 ohmers, and get out with your wallet in tact. 

and, for god's sake, don't go anywhere near the T1 thread.    hahaha.

post #10 of 35

I would disagree with that the DT880 600ohm isn't substantially better than the DT880 250 ohms tbh. It fixes a lot of the flaws of the 250 ohmers tbh.

post #11 of 35
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post

I would disagree with that the DT880 600ohm isn't substantially better than the DT880 250 ohms tbh. It fixes a lot of the flaws of the 250 ohmers tbh.

I second this.

Unfortunately I don't have a lot of experience with the DT880 05 250 ohm, but I've had the 03 for a long time. The 03 is more polite than the 600ohm by quite a margin. Like I said the 600ohm drivers sound a lot faster and in the end I preferred that. I wholeheartedly recommend you the 600ohmers.

post #12 of 35
Thread Starter 

I'm used to the Grado SR-60 level of highs and attack.  I don't really want much more highs than this though.  Is the DT880/600 ohm going to have even hotter highs than my Grado's?   These 600 ohmers are starting to sound like they may be the ones. 

post #13 of 35

i can't totally disagree, chinesekiwi. 

and i respect yours and apatN's opinions a lot...


but, i can't ignore my personal experience here...


while the 600 ohmers may have more potential, the 250 ohm cans presented a more tasteful and balanced version of the music, to my ears.


while i can appreciate the improvements to imaging and clarity, i was just really taken back by the increase in treble response from the 600 ohmers.


that, to my ears, makes the 250 ohmers the more balanced cans.  they might not have the ultimate potential that the 600 ohmers do, but at least they never made me wince.


now....  sorry to have derailed the thread.

i'm done. 


post #14 of 35

The Beyer DT 880 600 ohms isn't suppose to have a lot treble its suppose to be neutral your amp must be changing its character.

post #15 of 35

mibutenma,  i'm sorry to have such a dissenting opinion.  i really am, actually.

it's not easy to do on this forum. 


but, after putting a hundred hours on the dt880/600, i tried it from every source, and every amp that i could plug it into.

and found it bright, even from my wa6.


i'm simply relaying my personal experience.

maybe i just like a laid back treble. 


i'm no authority.

but, the 250 ohm has less treble.  that's all i'm trying to say. 









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