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Beyer Dynamic DT 990 Premium 600 OHM version without an amp...

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Let me start off by saying that I know this is probably a stupid idea. I've been looking at getting a nice set of cans in the low 200 buck range, and the DT 990's struck my eye because of their low price on amazon right now. 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Beyer-Dynamic-Premium-600-Headphones/dp/B0024NK34O/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1293312266&sr=8-5

 

My conundrum is: If I buy these I won't have any money leftover for an amp. 

 

From what I've been able to gleam, the 600 ohm version would have an upper hand on the other two skews (32 and 250 ohm) IF it was amped (As a side note: the 32 ohm version is 40 dollars more than the 600 ohm version). Obviously I'm planning on getting an amp eventually, but I just can't afford it right now. I was just wondering if it would even be worth getting these if it meant not being able to listen to them amped for the next couple of months. I'm going to be running them exclusively off of my laptop. 

 

Thanks for the input!

 

P.S. If you can think of any other headphones within this range, feel free to throw out suggestions. Haven't quite ruled out the grado 250i's or the denon adh2000's yet

post #2 of 26


Please don't get the 600 ohm without an amp. It's 100% not worth it unless you were getting the amp within a week. Not even a portable one would work well.

Just for my own amusement I tried my 600 ohm DT-880 out of an Ipod Touch and it was hilarious. I got such low volume. I'm talking like extremely low. So low it's like taking an HD-555 and putting the volume on this same Ipod to 20%.

 

The 250 ohm one gets a little louder, but barely. Somehow the 32 ohm version seemed just as hard to drive as the 250 ohm version. I don't know why, but the Beyer Dynamic headphones seemed much harder to drive than my old HD-600.

 

I love the D2000 but I honestly can't suggest it without an amp. You could get it and see if you like it, but I hate how it sounds unamped. I even don't like them with a portable amp! I'd probably take an M50 over an unamped D2000.

 

Unamped the only headphone I can suggest between $100-$300 is the Shure SRH-840, M50 or KRK KNS-8400. AKG k240 Studio also isn't that bad as long as you have say an Ipod Touch or something that can drive larger headphones decently. A shuffle or fuze wouldn't work I imagine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acpro View Post

Let me start off by saying that I know this is probably a stupid idea. I've been looking at getting a nice set of cans in the low 200 buck range, and the DT 990's struck my eye because of their low price on amazon right now. 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Beyer-Dynamic-Premium-600-Headphones/dp/B0024NK34O/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1293312266&sr=8-5

 

My conundrum is: If I buy these I won't have any money leftover for an amp. 

 

From what I've been able to gleam, the 600 ohm version would have an upper hand on the other two skews (32 and 250 ohm) IF it was amped (As a side note: the 32 ohm version is 40 dollars more than the 600 ohm version). Obviously I'm planning on getting an amp eventually, but I just can't afford it right now. I was just wondering if it would even be worth getting these if it meant not being able to listen to them amped for the next couple of months. I'm going to be running them exclusively off of my laptop. 

 

Thanks for the input!

 

P.S. If you can think of any other headphones within this range, feel free to throw out suggestions. Haven't quite ruled out the grado 250i's or the denon adh2000's yet


Edited by tdockweiler - 12/25/10 at 9:25pm
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 

ok, great. thanks for the heads up. would it even be possible to buy like a TERRIBLE amp just for the sake of making them audible, or should I just give it up?

post #4 of 26

I would personally just buy them at the low price.  If they don't sound good unamped you don't have to listen to them.  Saving some money now will help you get to the amp purchase in less time.  

post #5 of 26
I would DEFINITELY not use them ampless. They are pathetic without an amp.

I think a cheap E5 will help you enjoy them until you get a real amp. I know that with the E7, I really enjoy the 990s with Bass Boost 1, though the volume isn't near my normal listening level.

I will test them out with the E5 when I get home to see if it will help over no amp.
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post
Please don't get the 600 ohm without an amp. It's 100% not worth it unless you were getting the amp within a week.


Yes because the expiration date on headphones clearly states they're only good for within 7 days of purchase.

 

Planning ahead is the smartest way to buy. If you know you're definitely going to get an amp eventually, then of course the 600ohm version would be the better buy in the long run. It just won't sound all that great (or loud) for the first while, but don't let that put you off.

post #7 of 26

As long as you promise yourself that you'll set aside $100-$200 to buy a proper amp for it in future, it'll be worth it.

 

My 250-Ohm DT990 were pretty much unusable from a portable player, the volume just couldn't go high enough even with an E5 in the chain.

post #8 of 26

Off my netbook (via the horrid headphone out), the E5 plays them decently loud, but the sound is soooo bad and distorted...ugh. Sounds like a tin can.

 

Off the Sansa Fuze via LOD (or even the headphone out), the E5 drives the DT990/600 to decent volumes and with the bass boost on, it sounds somewhat full, though still a far cry from what the 990s are capable of.

 

If you're willing to spend the $15-20 for the E5, it can tide you over (with low to mid volumes) until you get a powerful desktop amp. For $130 the E9 is a fantastic yet affordable amp that WILL give the 990s all the power they need. However, the synergy between them is debatable as the 990 could use some treble softening, which the E9 won't do, as it's pretty much true to the source. That's subjective though.

 

If you're planning on using these with a portable player, the E9 is all you need (as well as the LOD for whatever player you are using). But if you plan on using it with your computer, you're gonna need either a good soundcard with a line out, or a DAC, which is why people usually buy the E7 and the E9 together, as it has both DAC and AMP covered. That's $200 though...

 

Here's something interesting...I found that when I paired up the K701 I used to have with the E5 (w/bass boost on), I liked it MORE than I did with the E9. It added just enough warmth and low end that I felt was otherwise missing from the overly cold and analytical K701. The E9 obviously fed it the power needed to bring about all the clarity, but I preferred the fun sound the E5 gave the K701.

 

So yes, even with a lowly E5, hard to drive cans can be somewhat enjoyable.


Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 12/26/10 at 5:37am
post #9 of 26

Seriously, what's up with the E5-E9 hype on Headfi? Seems those are all that's being recommended lately

post #10 of 26



I can't speak for the E9 as I haven't heard it yet, but the E5 is a great bang for buck item.  It's not going to really enhance a ton of details in your music, but it's going to add quite a bit for volume and if you really like bass, the bass boost on this amp works very well. 

 

I had the E5 and got the E7 to try it out.  I liked the E5 better and returned the E7. 

 

The E5 is definitely not an amp for picky listeners, but it's a great quick fix for those on a very tight budget. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrainferno View Post

Seriously, what's up with the E5-E9 hype on Headfi? Seems those are all that's being recommended lately

post #11 of 26

The e9 only gets recommended when people ask for a cheap headphone amp that will power hard to drive headphones.  

post #12 of 26

That and the few people who have compared them to more expensive amps have come away with preferring the E9 over the others more times than not.

 

When something deserves to be known, the hype is going to be spread.

 

Here is one example from another Head-fi member... EddieE:

 

 

 

 

Re. the T1 - it was listening to the T1 on the E9 that made me buy it - it sounded tremendous and a lot better than it did than on several other more expensive amplifiers. There are always two issues though - the subjective and the objective. Objectively the E9 can power pretty much anything - as Riku said it can power a K1000 in terms of volume. Whether or not you like it's sound is subjective.

 

It is certainly more impactful and musical in its sound than my Cantate.2, which seems more resolving and refined. The E9 perhaps punches while the Cantate caresses if that metaphor makes any sense. For some people that would swing them towards the Cantate.2, but since I got the E9 that is all I have wanted to listen to because it suits my tastes better for an amp. 

 

So that's what it comes down to - objective - can it power these phones - yes absolutely. Subjective - is it good enough for them - for my tastes absolutely, but others might not agree.

 

Another point to make is that the difference amps make are HUGELY exaggerated on headfi - a lot of people have spent an obscene amount of money on amps they earnestly want to believe are that much better than entry level amps but in reality we are talking about hundreds of pounds per extra percent performance. I think as long as it isn't trash most amps really sound almost the same.

 

I want to make that qualification because when I read back my third paragraph it sounds like I'm describing major differences when in reality they are really quite subtle. I think from now on when it comes to amping and daccing of things - I'm going to be very much budget fi - I've heard enough expensive and enough budget amps now to know that going into the high expense territory is really not worth the money. Save it for headphones.


Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 12/26/10 at 7:54am
post #13 of 26

Good post by EddieE. I'm not saying anything bad about E5_7_9 btw, it just surprised me.

post #14 of 26

 

 

 

I'm gonna go ahead and completely agree with EddieE. An amp is made for one purpose. Amping. It isn't made to completely alter the sound into something else entirely. I feel that as long as a headphone gets the power it needs, practically all amps (neutral in design) will sound pretty close to one another, unless they are coloring the sound with it's own signature. So I do believe it will come down to SYNERGY with whatever headphone it is paired up with. Can the E9 power most headphones to their necessary driving requirements? I have no doubt. Will you like the end result? It's subjective. As has been stated, the E9 is a fairly neutral amp. If a neutral amp works with whatever headphone you have paired up to it, then I fail to see how a much more expensive neutral amp will make or break a headphone compared to the E9. I believe the difference then will be subtle changes in soundstage and impact and refinement, as he has mentioned.

 

For everyone else, that is why tube amps exist. Becuase they can color the sound depending on tubes. But for that, I may as well just make subtle EQ changes and save money. Tube rolling just sounds like expensive EQ changes to me. Which makes me laugh, since so many people here are against EQ-ing to begin with.

 

You wanna spend hundreds or thousands for a marginal gain in subjective performance, go ahead. It's all up to us whether it's worth it or not. As far as amping goes, I will stick with my neutral and affordable amp that provides plenty of power for my headphones and tweak from there.

 

Not trying to say expensive amps are useless. They aren't. They have more features, inputs and the like. But as far as pure performance goes, I'm willing to bet the gain is NOWHERE near the price increase.

 

To me, it makes COMPLETE sense to FIRST start out with a neutral amp that can power most headphones. The E9 does that, and for $130. This is why it's praise is IMHO, well deserved.


Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 12/26/10 at 7:59am
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post


Please don't get the 600 ohm without an amp. It's 100% not worth it unless you were getting the amp within a week. Not even a portable one would work well.

Just for my own amusement I tried my 600 ohm DT-880 out of an Ipod Touch and it was hilarious. I got such low volume. I'm talking like extremely low. So low it's like taking an HD-555 and putting the volume on this same Ipod to 20%.

 

The 250 ohm one gets a little louder, but barely. Somehow the 32 ohm version seemed just as hard to drive as the 250 ohm version. I don't know why, but the Beyer Dynamic headphones seemed much harder to drive than my old HD-600.

 

I love the D2000 but I honestly can't suggest it without an amp. You could get it and see if you like it, but I hate how it sounds unamped. I even don't like them with a portable amp! I'd probably take an M50 over an unamped D2000.

 

Unamped the only headphone I can suggest between $100-$300 is the Shure SRH-840, M50 or KRK KNS-8400. AKG k240 Studio also isn't that bad as long as you have say an Ipod Touch or something that can drive larger headphones decently. A shuffle or fuze wouldn't work I imagine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acpro View Post

Let me start off by saying that I know this is probably a stupid idea. I've been looking at getting a nice set of cans in the low 200 buck range, and the DT 990's struck my eye because of their low price on amazon right now. 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Beyer-Dynamic-Premium-600-Headphones/dp/B0024NK34O/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1293312266&sr=8-5

 

My conundrum is: If I buy these I won't have any money leftover for an amp. 

 

From what I've been able to gleam, the 600 ohm version would have an upper hand on the other two skews (32 and 250 ohm) IF it was amped (As a side note: the 32 ohm version is 40 dollars more than the 600 ohm version). Obviously I'm planning on getting an amp eventually, but I just can't afford it right now. I was just wondering if it would even be worth getting these if it meant not being able to listen to them amped for the next couple of months. I'm going to be running them exclusively off of my laptop. 

 

Thanks for the input!

 

P.S. If you can think of any other headphones within this range, feel free to throw out suggestions. Haven't quite ruled out the grado 250i's or the denon adh2000's yet


Hi! Sorry to hijack the thread!

 

I am contemplating buying a Shure SRH750DJs as an upgrade to my ATHM50s as I need a little more bass. Can they be used with my iphone unamped? You mentioned the Shure SRH840s.

Thanks.

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