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Simple amp for DT880 600Ohm ($300-350 ish)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hey Guys,

 

I'll shortly be going off to school and I am looking for a nice amp to pair with my DT880 600ohms.

Based on my reading, good solutions tend to be things like the Darkvoice 336 or Woo Audio 3 etc.

My only issue is that this will be coming to school with me. Due to that I would like to stay away from stuff with large, easy to break tubes.

 

I am more inclined at the moment to possibly go with a little more friendly solid state amp that won't be in any real risk. The easiest thing might the Fiio E7/E9 combo, but I'm curious if there are some other amps like the Meiers (or others) that might give a better outcome.

 

My max is $400 but I would love to keep it down to around $300-350 (lower the better)..

Of course, I am fine buying used if it will drop some amps down into my range.

 

Thanks for the help!

Silver

post #2 of 15
The FiiO E9 is presently $92.

http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-Desktop-Headphone-Amplifier-Dock/dp/B004M172FY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1311820123&sr=8-1
post #3 of 15

Heya,

 

I will second the FiiO E9 at the $100 mark. Ask anyone with Beyers who also have a Matrix M-Stage and have tried the E9 and see if they noticed a difference. People being honest will say they probably couldn't tell a difference, or that the difference was insignificant, barely noticeable. The FiiO E9 at it's price is ridiculously under priced when compared to similar performing solid state amplifiers which is why it's so popular and highly recommended. But it's simply not regarded as a luxury amplifier because it's a budget amp. It just happens to be a budget amp that is actually very good. You'll find a lot of stuff after a certain price range really just becomes luxury, novelty, etc. The quality increase and your ability to actually benefit it greatly drops off a huge plateau. By the way, getting a $300+ amplifier to power your 880's which are just barely that price range isn't really going to do much. I think you won't be able to tell a difference between a $60 amplifier and a $400 amplifier that are solid state with your Beyers. A tube will change sound enough sometimes for you to notice (and there really are no cheap tubes, so going tube is a dedicated push into the world of tube amps).

 

Have you considered splitting your budget up? I found that the amplifier for my headphones didn't do as much for my sound compared to getting a good DAC. Good amps should simply sound the same. But they're all amplifying a signal, so if the signal is poor the outcome will be poor. So I hope you're not just outputting from a laptop port or something.

 

If you're interested in something that will be a great DAC, support anything you want, and be a good amplifier, check out the Matrix Cube DAC. I have one. It powers my DT990 600ohms perfectly fine to high volumes and sounds great as a solid state all in one that has a lot of options and is $270 new, shipped. One of my favorite purchases this year in terms of support my entire collection.

 

Very best,

post #4 of 15

You should give Schiit products like Valhalla (OTL tube amp), Lyr (Hybrid tube amp) some read, it slightly above your budget, but really got a good reviews around here.

post #5 of 15

Matrix M-Stage. 

 

VERY powerful solid state amp that is opamp rollable, has plenty of buffering in it for a near-silent noise floor.

 

It'll drive almost anything these days and the opamp rolling is quite exciting and fun. Since the M-stage has such great clean power, it's also a good receptor for tube preamps as well just in case you want to push tube warmth into a clean power signal for the best possible combination.

 

It's fairly inexpensive and I believe it competes with only amps that are made domestically and cost twice as much. It's also rather compact but if you look at their product page, they really crammed a lot into that case.

 

post #6 of 15

Sound piece of advice. As another DT880 600ohm owner I completely agree.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

 

I will second the FiiO E9 at the $100 mark. Ask anyone with Beyers who also have a Matrix M-Stage and have tried the E9 and see if they noticed a difference. People being honest will say they probably couldn't tell a difference, or that the difference was insignificant, barely noticeable. The FiiO E9 at it's price is ridiculously under priced when compared to similar performing solid state amplifiers which is why it's so popular and highly recommended. But it's simply not regarded as a luxury amplifier because it's a budget amp. It just happens to be a budget amp that is actually very good. You'll find a lot of stuff after a certain price range really just becomes luxury, novelty, etc. The quality increase and your ability to actually benefit it greatly drops off a huge plateau. By the way, getting a $300+ amplifier to power your 880's which are just barely that price range isn't really going to do much. I think you won't be able to tell a difference between a $60 amplifier and a $400 amplifier that are solid state with your Beyers. A tube will change sound enough sometimes for you to notice (and there really are no cheap tubes, so going tube is a dedicated push into the world of tube amps).

 

Have you considered splitting your budget up? I found that the amplifier for my headphones didn't do as much for my sound compared to getting a good DAC. Good amps should simply sound the same. But they're all amplifying a signal, so if the signal is poor the outcome will be poor. So I hope you're not just outputting from a laptop port or something.



 

post #7 of 15

The Schiit Valhalla is quite yummy with the DT 880 600ohm cans for sure. I have a nice solid state integrated amp, but I find the Valhalla just has a very natural way with the 880s and I rarely use the solid state ever. The Valhalla is small. I sometimes take it outside on my front porch and listen to it with my iPod (lossless files) and even with the iPod I love the sound. The tubes do not stick up very much and feel quite solid so I wouldn't let that stop you from trying a tube sound.

 

Anyway, DT 880 and Valhalla > fantstic combination IMHO. Cheers.

post #8 of 15

Other options will be those OTLs like Darkvoice 336, Woo Audio WA3, all within the $300 range.  600 ohms is really a nice 'target' for OTL design.

post #9 of 15

Little Dot products werent mentioned yet.

i own Little Dot MK III and it provides great synergy and enough power for voltage-hungry 600 Ohm DT 880

If you are willing to go a bit higher, MK IV or MK IV SE is even better choice.

 

post #10 of 15

Hi, sorry I have to disagree with this. The DT880 600ohm - little dot mkIII synergy is not that great in my opinion. I had both and sold the little dot when I found that the headphone jack of a humble integrated amplifier was much better than the little dot in terms of PRaT, thightness of the bass and dynamics.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Impulsive View Post

Little Dot products werent mentioned yet.

i own Little Dot MK III and it provides great synergy and enough power for voltage-hungry 600 Ohm DT 880

If you are willing to go a bit higher, MK IV or MK IV SE is even better choice.

 



 


Edited by blacknile - 7/31/11 at 1:12pm
post #11 of 15

I can vouch for the Dt880s to be paired with the Valhalla. I don't have much experience since these are my first open headphones and my first amp, but I really do love them. You can't go wrong either way, the Dt 880s are wonderful :D 

post #12 of 15

It might seem like a conflict of interest for me to recommend this as I'm currently interest checking, however I strongly recommend the Little Country 3 amplifier system by Firestone. It's reasonably priced (assuming u can find it used), lets u roll tubes and opamps should you so desire, looks good, and most importantly sounds like absolute butter with Beyers. Ive had the DT990's 250 ohms model for about a year and I've heard a DT880 a Friend had. It ran them on the low gain setting without going past half the range so power wouldn't be a problem. Make sure to check all your options before u make a purchase.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

O wow, I was gone for a bit and never got email notification for all of these replies. Thanks to all those who contribute!!

 

Yea, the E7/E9 combo is looking more of a better choice simply due to the price and size. It won't get in the way which is the good thing and the price/risk of having it at school.

 

Thanks for the input, maybe I will look into the Schiit for a home solution, but I will get the E7/E9 for now.

 

 

post #14 of 15

+1 on the E7/E9. Especially since you'll be going away from home. They sound great on my laptop with the dt880s.

post #15 of 15

You're not going to get the best out of the DT880/600 without going discrete solid-state or OTL tube. For the money I would suggest the Zero DAC/amp, this way you have a fairly decent yet customizable sound through op-amps. D100, M-Stage, Zero; they're all the same.

 
My advice would be to spend $130-ish used on the Zero and buy the OTL tube amp when you're done with school.
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