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Beyerdynamic T90 Discussion and Support Thread - Page 113

post #1681 of 4131
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasun View Post


Ah okay, so the actual DACs won't take a direct USB connection.
The V800 I use has a great USB input and performs internal sample rate conversion jitter management. But the Bel Canto RefLink does this task even better, with a much lower jitter output. Like BlakeT I use the AES3 connection between the RefLink to V800. The result is as previously stated. An optics analogy: the V800 is like very good camera lense optics. Combined with the RefLink it performs at the level of very high end glass. Those who have experienced very good medium cost lenses and then optics from the high end (and more costly) will immediately identify with this. At first one doesn't notice the difference. Over time the greater clarity, lower aberrations, flare etc become apparent alternating between lenses.
post #1682 of 4131
Quote:
Originally Posted by atomicbob View Post


The V800 I use has a great USB input and performs internal sample rate conversion jitter management. But the Bel Canto RefLink does this task even better, with a much lower jitter output. Like BlakeT I use the AES3 connection between the RefLink to V800. The result is as previously stated. An optics analogy: the V800 is like very good camera lense optics. Combined with the RefLink it performs at the level of very high end glass. Those who have experienced very good medium cost lenses and then optics from the high end (and more costly) will immediately identify with this. At first one doesn't notice the difference. Over time the greater clarity, lower aberrations, flare etc become apparent alternating between lenses.

 

Bingo!  Very good description and an excellent analogy.  

post #1683 of 4131
And through all this the Crack+T90/T1 produce spectacular results. My other favorite OTL tube amp is a ZDSE which will take the Beyerdynamics and Sennheisers to another level. So why would I bother keeping the Crack? Because it performs so well, gives an alternate aural perspective and more tube rolling opportunities.
post #1684 of 4131
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakeT View Post

Bingo!  Very good description and an excellent analogy.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by atomicbob View Post

The V800 I use has a great USB input and performs internal sample rate conversion jitter management. But the Bel Canto RefLink does this task even better, with a much lower jitter output. Like BlakeT I use the AES3 connection between the RefLink to V800. The result is as previously stated. An optics analogy: the V800 is like very good camera lense optics. Combined with the RefLink it performs at the level of very high end glass. Those who have experienced very good medium cost lenses and then optics from the high end (and more costly) will immediately identify with this. At first one doesn't notice the difference. Over time the greater clarity, lower aberrations, flare etc become apparent alternating between lenses.

Okay, but the Reflink is another $1500 DAC by itself, correct? Or is am I thinking of another Reflink? I have pretty decent glass for my camera, but doesn't have a pre-glass before it. lol

Sorry, my ignorance is getting in the way of your discussion.
post #1685 of 4131
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasun View Post


Okay, but the Reflink is another $1500 DAC by itself, correct? Or is am I thinking of another Reflink? I have pretty decent glass for my camera, but doesn't have a pre-glass before it. lol

Sorry, my ignorance is getting in the way of your discussion.
The Bel Canto RefLink is a USB to S/PDIF / AES3 / Optical converter. It's primary function is to receive data from the computer and send out extremely low jitter audio specific data streams. This low jitter data is received by the DAC of choice for conversion to analog.
Edited by atomicbob - 2/12/14 at 5:23pm
post #1686 of 4131
Guys, I got my replacement T90s in today, and I seem to still have the bass distortion issue. Above about medium volume the bass rattles and sounds garbled. I got a pair of dt 770 250ohm and they work fine even to max volume. I'm using a Modi/Valhalla combo. Any ideas?
post #1687 of 4131

You do not need a $1500 USB to whatever convertor to have world class audio reproduction. Most USB dacs do a superb job and have jitter specs that are just totally a don't care, the ODAC is one in particular.

 

I have mega buck camera lens and the difference to me are IMMEDIATE compared to lesser lens.

 

However this analogy is like comparing apples to oranges....

 

Anyway if you really think spending $1500 on a USB to Optical convertor have at it....I have done many ab listening sessions with these types of convertors and coax vs optical etc...its basically to me a waste of money.

 

But hey its your money....

 

ODAC cost $100....perfect USB Digital to Analog ...end of story.

 

A.

post #1688 of 4131

I bet my HD800 with whatever still is technically superior than T90 with that $1500 convertor. :D

 

Joking aside, I'm sure he didn't buy that convertor for just the T90, and he had it already for a speaker rig or something. That would be like buying $10000 cables for the M50. Point is, spend your money on the component that makes the most difference first, like the headphone or speaker.

post #1689 of 4131

The RefLink DDC was brought into my sound lab as an experiment. In the sound lab we have many converters, including the Benchmark DAC1 (highly regarded by the designer of the ODAC) and an ODAC. I too thought that the DDC would not make any difference. In fact my first A/B was to basically dismiss that there was a difference. But a funny thing happened in those first experiments. I heard a difference. Ok, experimenter's bias or expectation bias possibly. Except I had a preconceived bias to NOT hear a difference. So what happened. Why do I hear a difference.

 

One very important note about listening environments and how mine varies. Most people have at least 35 to 50 dBC (not dBA which throws away most low frequency ambient) of residual noise as a "feature" of their listening space. Mine has less than 27 dBC. There is less potential for masking of differences. The higher the ambient noise the greater the potential for masking. One thing that makes it difficult to assess anything but gross differences at head-fi meets.

 

I am aware of many papers describing jitter such as 1992 Dunn, 1998 Benjamin & Gannon, 2005 Ashihara, Dan Lavry's white paper found on his website, for example. Lots of numbers but not much towards jitter spectrums beyond Ashihara's random jitter spectra. So maybe there is something to having an extremely low jitter digital source.

 

Sorry if the camera lense quality of glass analogy doesn't work for some. It was an attempt to help others visualize what I am hearing. It is hard to discuss without everyone either having opportunity to listen to the same setup, A/B in the same setting or having well defined, common vocabulary. More people are familiar with optics and visualizations than with Dave Moulton's Golden Ears training course.

 

As for where the DDC and DAC fit into the overall picture, Sonido is correct. The electro-acoustic transducer and its performance in the intended room or on the intended head is top on the list. Then the amp that drives said transducer. Then the source and finally refinements. In casual listening I am confident no one would hear the effect the DDC has. But during critical listening I hear a difference. So maybe a session with a colleague's QSC ABX comparator is in order, provided we can synchronize playback. It is very important to have level matched, sample synchronization so as not to be distracted by pops or shifts in timing.

 

For what it's worth, when asked about achieving good sound on a budget I refer to the ODAC and O2. For those wanting to experiment with tubes, the Bottlehead Crack is top on my list as long as high impedance headphones will be used. An ODAC, Crack and HD600 makes for a very good listening experience. But improvements are available, albeit it is chasing the last 5%.

post #1690 of 4131

What exactly do you do when you listen critically? Not trying to be argumentative but for you to really here a difference and a noticeable difference or you wouldn't discern it.....what specific things are you hearing that you don't without this device?

 

Then is the $1500 worth the "differences" your hearing...

 

I would like to see the actual o'scope pix of the differences your hearing, if there are really differences there should be data in the traces to show what frequencies or areas of the audible sound spectrum that is showing up with the device.

 

Anyway.....its a great hobby.

 

A.

post #1691 of 4131
Quote:
Originally Posted by punit View Post

Have you tried the TS 5998 + TS 6SN7 on the DV 336 ? I loved the combo on it.
Ok, wow. I wonder why I've never stumbled upon this combo before. It's a great combo on the T90. I think I might've forgotten about it when I was using the DT880s which has a more laid back mids presentation so I used a Raytheon to push it forward. Loving it. biggrin.gif
post #1692 of 4131
Quote:
Originally Posted by adydula View Post
 

What exactly do you do when you listen critically? Not trying to be argumentative but for you to really here a difference and a noticeable difference or you wouldn't discern it.....what specific things are you hearing that you don't without this device?

 

Then is the $1500 worth the "differences" your hearing...

 

I would like to see the actual o'scope pix of the differences your hearing, if there are really differences there should be data in the traces to show what frequencies or areas of the audible sound spectrum that is showing up with the device.

 

Anyway.....its a great hobby.

 

A.

 

Not argumentative - good questions.

 

Think about the difference between sound production and reproduction.

 

Production - in the studio recording or mixing a project, or in the mastering room making final adjustments to a mix / album. These rooms are sound controlled spaces. HVAC noise has been tamed. Anything with a fan or that makes mechanical noise is in a machine room. Room isolation designed to minimize audibility of distracting sounds outside of the control and live rooms. No one talks unnecessarily or makes any distracting sounds while the person(s) responsible for running the board and outboards listens intently to the monitors making adjustments as needed. No multitasking with any activity not related to the recording / mix / master. No telephones or mobile devices. This is critical listening in the production phase.

 

Reproduction - listening to the recording playback recreationally

   a. maybe casual in conjunction with some other activity

   b. maybe moderately focused but other distractions probably intrude

   c. critical listening - same intent focus as in production with the exception that the room may not be as well controlled as the studio / mastering facility.

 

Think about distractions such as a TV or radio running somewhere nearby, ambient noise from HVAC, refrigerator, dishwasher, laundry equipment, automotive or aircraft noise outside. All potential distractions and maskers for sounds and differences which one wishes to perceive.

 

Simple example: Woo WA3+ with 6DJ8 and 6AS7g has a residual hum that can be heard with the T90 (sensitivity 102 dB/mW) when in a quiet room devoid of ambient noises listed above. Bring up the typical house HVAC and that hum is masked. Use a high impedance headphone with a lower sensitivity and the hum will be masked. Use a 6080wg instead of the 6AS7g and the hum may be low enough to be masked. It never goes away as can be seen using a headphone measurement microphone setup and Real Time Analyzer such as Smaart.

 

So if the usage is such that details may be easily masked or playback sound level must be high enough that hearing damage is risked then maybe such details will never matter. BTW, I find many people crank their respective playback systems dangerously loud far too often. Myself I prefer 78dBC average and assuming 10 dB crest factors then 88 dBC peak for most work and recreation. There are times when it is necessary to put the system to 85, 90, even 95 dBC briefly. Also need to check down at 65 and 70 occasionally to assure major elements aren't being lost in a mix, for instance. The monitor master volume has these levels noted for quick adjustment and the levels monitored with an NIST traceable Sound Level Meter in my sound lab.

 

The differences I hear involve the clarity and purity of piano - upper registers, cymbals, bells, music boxes, chimes, reverb tails, etc. Transient sounds seem a bit better defined in start and stop.

 

Is this worth $1500? To me and what I do, yes. Anyone else, that is up to them to decide. But I would encourage anyone wanting to check out DDC devices to be sure that your listening habits and environment support justifying the investment. Also try to hear one for yourself. Meets are where you may find exotic boxes but are typically too noisy (socialization and networking, both desirable.) Some vendors have a 30 day money back trial arrangement.

 

As for the o'scope, the vertical resolution of the input digitizers are typically 8 bit with some of the better scopes reaching 11 bit. Not going to measure effectively with that. I don't have an AP SYS-2722 or Prism dScope III. Soon, though I will have an LinearX LX500, when Chris finishes first production run. Then I should be able to make some decent measurements, as I am interested in them as well.

 

It is a great hobby - though I make a living in sound production and measurement. Only recently did I start enjoying recreational listening again. Before I would be too listening fatigued from the day's activities. Better reproduction equipment has changed that for me. Probably why I favor tube playback as the bent toward euphonic experience is in contrast to the accuracy of the tools used during the day: DAC1 or V800 -> ADAM S3a monitors or V200 -> HD600 cans.

post #1693 of 4131

Thanks for the thoughtful response.

 

The one thing that caught my eye was your response:

 

"~~The differences I hear involve the clarity and purity of piano - upper registers, cymbals, bells, music boxes, chimes, reverb tails, etc. Transient sounds seem a bit better defined in start and stop."

 

These things are pretty subjective to most people and AB testing in controlled environment most likely would lead most to not be able to discern any real differences IMO.

 

I would like to see the measurments that define clarity and purity....would be neat if there was a way to measure this instead of subjective calls...but again I completey understand

your passion.

 

With all the testing and listening I have done with headphones I really don't see anything that is needed for very very good reproduction other than an amp tlike an O2 or V200 if you want something better built and a simple ODAC.

 

But, I am always willing to see hard evidence of what we might be missing with some real objective data, then I would be able to make a decision based on what I am missing and the cost to get it.

 

If you ever get something that would show us this data I would be very interested!!

 

thanks again

Alex


Edited by adydula - 2/13/14 at 3:40pm
post #1694 of 4131
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrZ-Fi View Post

Guys, I got my replacement T90s in today, and I seem to still have the bass distortion issue. Above about medium volume the bass rattles and sounds garbled. I got a pair of dt 770 250ohm and they work fine even to max volume. I'm using a Modi/Valhalla combo. Any ideas?

Any thoughts?
post #1695 of 4131
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrZ-Fi View Post


Any thoughts?

Your Valhalla is capable of outputting 420mW into 300 ohms at full volume. The dt770 have a sensitivity of 96dB/mW. When turned to max volume on the Valahalla you are getting 122 dB SPL on the peaks. That is pretty LOUD by the way. Now the T90 have a sensitivity of 102 dB/mw which means they reach their maximum volume of 125 dB SPL peak much faster, at 200mW. I would guess that the Valhalla may reach 200mW somewhere around mid volume. That is pretty LOUD by the way. The drivers in the T90 are being overdriven above that volume and will sound terrible. That is my guess.

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