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Help needed to pick an amp for DT 770 80 Ω

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
A couple of months ago i purchased my first set of good headphones, the DT 770 80 Ω. I'm very happy with them and now it's time to get a proper amp and perhaps a DAC for them.

I have around 600$ I can spend and before I'm making any purchases I'm wondering what sort of improvement I'll get by spending that much on either just an amp or an amp and a DAC. Is the improvement worth the money or should I instead get some other headphones and then save up for an amp? I really like the sound of the DT 770 but I've read mixed opinions about amping them, some say they really need to be powered properly while some say it's useless.

If it's worth spending money on an amp, which one should I get? Should I just get an amp or a DAC too? Right now I'm using a Lenovo laptop with FLAC files as my source. As far as the sound I'd like to keep the bassy awesomeness of the DT 770 as it is but maybe boost the recessed mids slightly if possible. It doesn't matter if It's a tube or solid state amp but my understanding is that tubes have a warmer sound and they look freaking awesome which makes them a little more appealing but I'd take a better sounding solid state over a better looking tube any day.

Some additional info; my laptop doesn't have any optical output so I have to rely on USB. I want an AC powered desktop amp, nothing wireless.

Thanks in advance for any replies.
Edited by Exodusx32 - 6/23/12 at 11:44am
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exodusx32 View Post

A couple of months ago i purchased my first set of good headphones, the DT 770 80 Ω. I'm very happy with them and now it's time to get a proper amp and perhaps a DAC for them.

 

I have around 600$ I can spend and before I'm making any purchases I'm wondering what sort of improvement I'll get by spending that much on either just an amp or an amp and a DAC. Is the improvement worth the money or should I instead get some other headphones and then save up for an amp? I really like the sound of the DT 770 but I've read mixed opinions about amping them, some say they really need to be powered properly while some say it's useless.

 

If it's worth spending money on an amp, which one should I get? Should I just get an amp or a DAC too? Right now I'm using a Lenovo laptop with FLAC files as my source. As far as sound signature goes it isn't really that important but if it matters when recommending amps here you go. The bass and the highs are good but a slight boost to the mids would maybe do good for the phones. It doesn't matter if It's a tube or solid state amp but my understanding is that tubes have a warmer sound and they look freaking awesome which makes them a little more appealing but I'd take a better sounding solid state over a better looking tube any day.

 

Thanks in advance for any replies.

Does your laptop come with a digital optical output?

 

Fiio E10 USB DAC headphone amp.  ($80).

Fiio E17 Optical DAC headphone amp. ($150)

 

AC powered stuff

Muse DA20 DAC ($55)

SMSL SD-793 DAC ($65)

SMSL SAP-100 headphone amplifier ($65)

Indeed EH 6922 tube headphone amplifier ($90)

Little Dot 1+ Hybrid headphone amp.  ($150)


Edited by PurpleAngel - 6/23/12 at 10:31am
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
No my laptop doesn't have any optical outputs, just USB. Sorry for not mentioning it in my first post but I'm looking for a desktop amp, not a portable one.
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exodusx32 View Post

No my laptop doesn't have any optical outputs, just USB. Sorry for not mentioning it in my first post but I'm looking for a desktop amp, not a portable one.

Muse DA20 USB DAC, $55, eBay

DAC Destroyer USB DAC, sells on eBay for $50.

and one of the amplifiers in my previous post.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Muse DA20 USB DAC, $55, eBay

DAC Destroyer USB DAC, sells on eBay for $50.

and one of the amplifiers in my previous post.

Do you have personal experience with these amps and DACs paired with the DT 770s? All the items you've mentioned are far beneath my maximum budget and I want to improve as much as possible at once not in small increments so I'm a little worried about buying that cheap items.

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exodusx32 View Post

Do you have personal experience with these amps and DACs paired with the DT 770s? All the items you've mentioned are far beneath my maximum budget and I want to improve as much as possible at once not in small increments so I'm a little worried about buying that cheap items.

I own the DT770 Pro 80-Ohm & Pro 250-Ohm (I prefer the sound of the 250-Ohm).

I do own the DD (DAC Destroyer), it's powered by the USB port, so no need for a power plug.

And it does a nice job, can even power low Ohm (32-Ohm) headphones decently.

and has RCA ports for connecting to an amplifier.

 

I also have the Indeed 6922 tube amp.

But I moved it around a lot from house to apartment, then back to house, etc.

Did not pack it well, finally stopped working, blame myself, not Indeed.

 

I do not think you need to spend a lot (Max $200) for improving the DT770 Pro 80-Ohm.

 

Laptops come with low cost DACs that barely do the job, so $50-$65 for an external DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) is a good investment.

The DT770 Pro 80-Ohm are only 80-Ohm, so does not really need a lot of amp. to make them sound good.

 

I like the low priced ($50-$120) single tube headphone amplifier, sold on eBay, ships from China.

On Amazon, you can get the Muse brand (single tube amp.) for $65.

(Laptops really @#$% for headphone amplification)

 

The fun part of those little tube amps is you can get a digital multi-meter (DT830, $7) and fine tune and balance the voltage.

 

I like to think for around $160 (DD, 6922, DT830) you be very happy with the DT770 Pro 80-Ohm sound.

Beside the best deal (prices) on stuff is Sept. Oct. Nov.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

So you're saying that after around $200 the money doesn't really improve the sound anymore and I would have to buy new headphones(with proper amp and all that stuff) to further improve my setup?

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exodusx32 View Post

So you're saying that after around $200 the money doesn't really improve the sound anymore and I would have to buy new headphones (with proper amp and all that stuff) to further improve my setup?

My two cents and best "guessing".

I like to think you (and everyone else) should not spend more for on a DAC/Amp then you do on your headphones (50/50 is fine).

There are headphones that have better sound then the DT770 Pro 80-Ohm (but the DT770s are a good value).

So I think spending $400 for a DAC/Amp for the DT770 Pro 80-Ohm is not the wisest way to spend cash.

 

The stuff I've recommended should be a good enough improvement over your laptops built in audio.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

My two cents and best "guessing".

I like to think you (and everyone else) should not spend more for on a DAC/Amp then you do on your headphones (50/50 is fine).

There are headphones that have better sound then the DT770 Pro 80-Ohm (but the DT770s are a good value).

So I think spending $400 for a DAC/Amp for the DT770 Pro 80-Ohm is not the wisest way to spend cash.

 

The stuff I've recommended should be a good enough improvement over your laptops built in audio.

Although what you're saying makes sense I'm trying to get the most value out of what I already have. I have my DT 770s and I've got $600 I can spend on improving my setup, from here I can take two routes, either getting an amp/DAC or buying new headphones and buying an amp/DAC. If $400 improves the headphones significantly more than $200 does it seems like the smarter route to take instead of having to start from scratch.

I'm just trying to make sure that I spend my money wisely and don't get small increments which later turn out to cost more money than upgrading much once since I'm not the richest guy in the world smile.gif.

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exodusx32 View Post

Although what you're saying makes sense I'm trying to get the most value out of what I already have. I have my DT 770s and I've got $600 I can spend on improving my setup, from here I can take two routes, either getting an amp/DAC or buying new headphones and buying an amp/DAC. If $400 improves the headphones significantly more than $200 does it seems like the smarter route to take instead of having to start from scratch.

I'm just trying to make sure that I spend my money wisely and don't get small increments which later turn out to cost more money than upgrading much once since I'm not the richest guy in the world smile.gif.

Ok, sounds like your looking to spend $600, so getting a new headphone first seems like a good idea

Should be able to sell (eBay) the DT770 for $125-$140.

 

Does it matter if the headphones are open or closed?

Open is usually preferred unless you need to block noise come in or going out.

DT990 Pro 250-Ohm ($200) are a nice change, lots of bass, treble, sound stage. (open)

Denon AH-D2000 (25-Ohm, $275) well liked closed headphone, everyone seems to like their bass, easy to drive, so amping is cheap.

post #11 of 12
First, if you have $600, invest in a tube amp such as the little dot mk3, and maybe the blue dragon v3 (which I have), or even the silver dragon v3 from moon-audio....that setup will be true audio Nirvana! So, that's my advice...I own the sennheiser hd650's, little dot mk3, and blue dragon v3...and love my setup! So, I'm just sharing what I know....good luck! smily_headphones1.gif
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Ok, sounds like your looking to spend $600, so getting a new headphone first seems like a good idea

Should be able to sell (eBay) the DT770 for $125-$140.

 

Does it matter if the headphones are open or closed?

Open is usually preferred unless you need to block noise come in or going out.

DT990 Pro 250-Ohm ($200) are a nice change, lots of bass, treble, sound stage. (open)

Denon AH-D2000 (25-Ohm, $275) well liked closed headphone, everyone seems to like their bass, easy to drive, so amping is cheap.

That seems like the way to go then. I don't know if I can have open headphones or not. My brother sits 7 feet from me, he's also using headphones so I'm probably not gonna disturb him but he talks with friends on skype every so often which isn't that bad now but might be a problem with open headphones? Gonna have to start researching this stuff again, good luck I've got a whole summer free from school to do it.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderking31 View Post

First, if you have $600, invest in a tube amp such as the little dot mk3, and maybe the blue dragon v3 (which I have), or even the silver dragon v3 from moon-audio....that setup will be true audio Nirvana! So, that's my advice...I own the sennheiser hd650's, little dot mk3, and blue dragon v3...and love my setup! So, I'm just sharing what I know....good luck! smily_headphones1.gif

The HD 650's respond very well to every upgrade better than most headphones which the DT 770's doesn't seem to do. It seems like the extra money I would spend over $200 wouldn't improve them much more. I will though keep this in mind if I ever decide to get HD 650's smile.gif.

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