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I don't think I'm done yet... Where to go after DT880

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I wrote way too much detail on my experience with all headphones, dacs, and amps. If you're turned off by reading all that which I have to assume most people are (I know I would be), then skip ahead to the next lines.


Over the last number of months I've been assembling myself a rig:


  • DT880 250 ohm
  • DT990 250 ohm
  • AKG K701


They all get amped by my Meier Corda Headfive (With crossfeed. I like the crossfeed!).

For sources I have the LO of my Zen Vision: M and a HeadRoom Micro DAC. I listen to rock, with no files below 192kbps. I've abx'd with foobar and I haven't been able to detect a difference between a 192 and FLAC.

I found my k701 just didnt have the impact of bass or drums that I wanted. They were detailed but balanced wrong for my music.


I then switched over to the DT990. I found the DT990 easily detailed enough, drums were given impact and I had tons of bass. Too much bass. The bass got too boomy on most rock tracks, the mids too recessed, and trebles too pronounced. The biggest problem was the boomy bass.

I then switched over to the DT880. I'm mostly happy with them. They're a little harsh on some highs which I may try equalizing out ala the http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/413900/how-to-equalize-your-headphones-a-tutorial thread. My other grief with them is that they sometimes feel to lack a bit of sub-bass bass texture. The DT990 can far better handle the sub bass, but their mid bass is too boomy for them to work for me. I should say that I'm mostly happy with the drum impact of the DT880 (depends on the recordings unfortunately, but thats just the nature of things).

My most noticeable example of the sub bass that sounds castrated on the DT880 is from Gorrilaz's Clint Eastwood. During the fills (first one at 0:40) they repeat this one super deep bass note three times. The DT880 can play the note, but it misses the texture and rumble that the DT990 manages to produce.

I'm a sucker for textures and impact, but not without detail and balance

I should say that these three headphones really are amazing and far better than any other headphones I've owned and easily worth their price, but I'm nitpicking because I can. I should also note that I can't hear a difference in quality between my ZV:M and my Micro DAC, but I keep the Micro DAC because the headphone-output of my laptop is pure rubbish.

I really wish there was a general rig forum on Head-Fi to ask something as general as I am, but there isn't so I'm here. So my question is... Where do I go from here? I doubt I need a DAC upgrade, it's possible an amp switch can help me, but I think I'm mostly asking for a recommendation of where to go after my 250ohm DT880. I don't want to sacrifice the incredible detail and quality of my DT880, but I need smoother highs and better textured and deeper, but not boomier, bass.

Recommend me what you can,

 Thanks Head-Fi... and my wallet is already gone.

post #2 of 10

Given all the praise for the DT880/600 makes me want to buy one.  Maybe you should consider those since they appear to be an upgrade over the 250 ohm version.

post #3 of 10
Maybe the denon d2000s. I liked them a lot when I had them. The bass is deeper and more impactful, but some would say the bass is boomy, I amongst them, but others say it's perfect, so an audition would be best to decided for you. Other choices I would recommend are the W1000s, you do sacrifice a little, little detail, but the signature is far smoother than the DT990s.
post #4 of 10

I suggest you try out some senn hd600 (or hd580).


I certainly think they would complement the dt880.



I've heard that the dt880's really shine with tubes. You might want to consider getting a OTL amp.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

I guess I can consider trying some 600 ohm DT880 if I find them on the FS forum at a good price, but can I expect them to fix up things like minor treble harshness and lacked sub bass?

I'll have to look into the d2000 and w1000, I know nothing about them.

And, though I don't know, I doubt that a tube amp would really clear up the things I find lacking in the DT880. Unless someone tells me otherwise I guess.

I could check out the HD600, though.

Man I wish I had a way of really trying out these headphones xD

post #6 of 10

I'm currently enjoying my DT880/600s with a Mapletree Super II tube amp. There is no treble harshness to speak of (unless present in the recording -- "Disengage" from Robert Fripp's Exposure nearly blasted me out of my chair) and there is plenty of bass (deeper and more controlled than HD650s but with less shake).


That said, the Corda Headfive is a nice amp -- I doubt it's the source of your problems. I'd suggest springing for the 880/600s -- you can sell your 250s and only be out about $100 in the end.


Oh, and one last thing -- if you thought the DT990s were too boomy, I'd recommend against the D2000s. But hey, we're all different, so who knows?

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Yea, I'm sort of afraid of notoriously bassy headphones after the DT990. They sound great, but were just too coloured on the voom voom voooom sound.

What do you mean by "less shake" than the hd650, though. I think I might like "shake" but it depends on how you mean it.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

considering you can't really get the 600 ohm dt880 for less than 300 dollars, is there a better headphone in the price range?

post #9 of 10

Ultrasone Pro 900 and then you KeeS mod them... Superb dynamics and I have yet to encounter a headphone with better speed. T1 measure quite well too in the speed department but it get a bit plasticky with drums and is a bit on the soft side.

I don´t know if you have an amp the Pro 900 and T1 as well for that matter is both quite source and amp dependant I have noticed.

post #10 of 10
Originally Posted by Zida View Post

considering you can't really get the 600 ohm dt880 for less than 300 dollars, is there a better headphone in the price range?

Right now you can get it for $250 with free shipping from Amazon.


However, you could also get a Sennheiser HD650 for $350, which a lot of people think it better and has better midrange/bass extension/bass impact. 


It seems like a better value to me, since the HD650 recently dropped in price and the DT880 increased in price.

Edited by PointyFox - 8/6/10 at 8:10pm
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