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Is 250ohm too low for a good amp?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I've searched these forums for many hours and I am getting weary from not finding what i need to know.  Yes I've found a lot threads asking for amps for the DT 990 and threads on various amps, but none have fit what I am looking for.  So for those who want to say, use the search feature, I have.  If you have the time I would appreciate some input, even if you have no direct experience with the gear I am looking at or even if you only want to answer only 1 question - i will take something over nothing.

 

What I own:

  • Beyer DT 990 / 250ohm
  • Fiio E11
  • 1st Gen Ipod Touch
  • Plenty of CDs
  • Some good music I only have in MP3 form
  • A decent PC (onboard sound)

 

What I need to know:

  1. Being that I have only the 250ohm set, would it even be worth it to spend hundreds of dollars on a tube amp? 
  2. In addition to #1, would there be a noticeable improvement compared to the E11? 
  3. I notice a HUGE improvement with the E11 as it allows me to hear various layers in some of the songs I listen to (progressive/house).  In other songs (such as Afro Celt Sound System) I can hear the instruments as if they're right behind me.  Though I find I have to play around with the volume on the iPod and the volume on E11 and use various settings according to the song I am listening to in order to achieve these results.  So with a tube amp, would I achieve these results easier and on more songs?
  4. Any additional purchases, such as cables, extra tubes, etc.?
  5. What should the source input be?  Is the PC ok to house most of the music or should I focus on buying a standalone player of some sort? (e.g. CD)
  6. Is the iPod even ok to use as source with the Valhalla, even if not ideal?
  7. Is the Schiit Valhalla the best amp for the price range I am looking in for the DT 990/250?  (definitely no more than $500)

 

I am thinking of the Schiit Valhaala since it is something I can purchase off of Amazon, search results at this forum showed someone at this forum saying the people at Schiit were using Beyers when designing the Valhalla.  Supposedly the Beyers really take off with tube amps, hence why I am considering a tube amp.  Seems the amps most people were recommending to people were in the $1000+ range.  I am definitely not trying to spend that much.  The Valhalla is very expensive considering i can only use it with headphones.  I just don't know if I can buy a better amp for roughly the same price that would match up with DT 990s better.  Or more importantly, if it is even worth considering since I have the 250ohm set.

 

Thanks for any help you can provide to a newb with no clue how this stuff works, how to hook stuff up or even if he is coming or going. tongue.gif


Edited by Niteblooded - 3/12/12 at 10:47am
post #2 of 3

You need to ask yourself three questions about your E11.

 

1.) Does the E11 drive the headphones loud enough?  Make sure that the amp in use can increase the volume to at least just above average listening levels.  This way I know that it can deliver enough power to the drivers

 

2.)  Does the impedance of the headphones divided by the output impedance of the E11 remain greater than 10?  For example I use my DT990 ( 250 Ohm ) with a Grace m903.  The headphone outs from the Grace are approximately 1.5 Ohms.  250 / 1.5 = approx. 166

This is your damping factor and it is needed to reduce noise and excess oscillation of the driver hence the term damping.  The FiiO measured somewhere between 1 Ohm and .5 Ohms which should be adequate for damping the 250 Ohm DT990.

 

3.)  Do you hear distortion while listening to your headphones through the E11?  Distortion can be caused by many things not only the damping factor and listening for it on tracks you know should not have it is key in determining if your amp is delivering a clean signal to your headphones.  If you think the headphones are causing the E11 to clip the signal then listen for harshness or muddiness in the midrange.  Smooth music will become harsh and busy.

 

Unless you notice something wrong with the sound you are receiving from the E11 it may be best to save your money and wait for that time to come.  If you notice no problems why change it?

 

Perhaps see if there is a way to audition the Schiit Valhaala or another amp and see if you like it.  The Music Hall 25.3 may be another good option if you are not using it as a portable amp.

 

I highly recommend you compare any new amp to what you have and see if there is any improvement regardless of what people say / write here.  If you cannot hear it why does it makes sense to spend $ on it?

post #3 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niteblooded View Post
I've searched these forums for many hours and I am getting weary from not finding what i need to know.  Yes I've found a lot threads asking for amps for the DT 990 and threads on various amps, but none have fit what I am looking for.  So for those who want to say, use the search feature, I have.  If you have the time I would appreciate some input, even if you have no direct experience with the gear I am looking at or even if you only want to answer only 1 question - i will take something over nothing.

What I own:

  • Beyer DT 990 / 250ohm
  • Fiio E11
  • 1st Gen Ipod Touch
  • Plenty of CDs
  • Some good music I only have in MP3 form
  • A decent PC (onboard sound)

What I need to know:

  1. Being that I have only the 250ohm set, would it even be worth it to spend hundreds of dollars on a tube amp? 
  2. In addition to #1, would there be a noticeable improvement compared to the E11? 
  3. I notice a HUGE improvement with the E11 as it allows me to hear various layers in some of the songs I listen to (progressive/house).  In other songs (such as Afro Celt Sound System) I can hear the instruments as if they're right behind me.  Though I find I have to play around with the volume on the iPod and the volume on E11 and use various settings according to the song I am listening to in order to achieve these results.  So with a tube amp, would I achieve these results easier and on more songs?
  4. Any additional purchases, such as cables, extra tubes, etc.?
  5. What should the source input be?  Is the PC ok to house most of the music or should I focus on buying a standalone player of some sort? (e.g. CD)
  6. Is the iPod even ok to use as source with the Valhalla, even if not ideal?
  7. Is the Schiit Valhalla the best amp for the price range I am looking in for the DT 990/250?  (definitely no more than $500)

I am thinking of the Schiit Valhaala since it is something I can purchase off of Amazon, search results at this forum showed someone at this forum saying the people at Schiit were using Beyers when designing the Valhalla.  Supposedly the Beyers really take off with tube amps, hence why I am considering a tube amp.  Seems the amps most people were recommending to people were in the $1000+ range.  I am definitely not trying to spend that much.  The Valhalla is very expensive considering i can only use it with headphones.  I just don't know if I can buy a better amp for roughly the same price that would match up with DT 990s better.  Or more importantly, if it is even worth considering since I have the 250ohm set.

Hello fellow DT990 Pro 250-Ohm owner.

With the iPod touch, get the Fiio L cable, it connects the E11 to the iPods LOD port, hopefully it will give you a slightly cleaner analog audio signal, then plugging it into the iPods headphone port.

One option for trying a tube headphone amplifier, on eBay they sell single tube headphone amplifiers starting at around $50, better ones start at around $80, even slightly better at $120, for $165 get one that looks really cool. Tube amplifiers add "warmth" & "soul" to analog audio sound.

Your PC's CD player should be fine for playing your CD, problem is PCs come with low cost DACs (Digital to Analog Converter), so you want to get an add-on external DAC.

You would connect the DAC to the USB or optical or coaxial on your laptop. You should be able to get a decent DAC for $30 to $60.

Currently using my DT990 Pro 250-Ohm, listening to Beethoven's Fur Elise, with my $70 Muse EH 6922 single tube amp.
 

 

 

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