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How hard are the DT880 250 ohms to drive anyway? Puzzling things I've noticed as an owner - Page 2

post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 

It was purchased more as a DAC for use with the E9 but it's not doing a very good job of that in the ease of use category so it might be going back. The mediocre mobile performance didn't help though.

 

Don't get me wrong, it sounded great but it really didn't do much more than the iphone was by itself. Considering that as big as the iphone is it's devoted to doing many different things, it didn't seem right that something of equal size and a larger battery, devoted solely to amplifying sound should not be able to smoke a small integrated iphone op/amp like a ferrari at a go-kart race.
 

post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodhifi View Post


I know the E17 does but I haven't found one on the E7.

At full volume there isn't even a hint of straining and I already suspected gain as a likely culprit, but don't see any way to adjust it.
Weird maybe they only implemented it on the "k" version of the E7
Edited by Kimx2310 - 1/10/13 at 2:59pm
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 

I found an old thread describing exactly the problem I'm seeing.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/501427/please-be-aware-fiio-e7-gain-adjustment-to-use-as-headphone-amplifier

 

In a nutshell, for most line in sources, the gain on the E7 is much too low to the point where it is only amplifying the signal starting at a volume setting of 54........Since it only goes to 60 that explains why I'm really not getting any volume compared to the original source.

 

They said that for inputs with non line in sources that the E7 is quite loud at 22-26 but for line in, especially lower power line in, it doesn't actually amplify until the volume is above 54.

 

It's really too bad there isn't a gain setting because you're either stuck using your Iphone's headphone out with all it's op/amp limitations in order to get enough volume, or you get good quality audio that's not loud enough to be heard over room noises.
 

post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by kman1211 View Post
 

Well I have the DT 990 Pro 250 Ohm, which is the same thing as the DT 880 250 Ohm but with different housing. I found only my HiFiMAN EF2A hybrid tube amp drives them properly. The FiiO E11 I found doesn't even drive them fully, sure they have more than enough volume on the FiiO E11, but they just don't sound right on anything but my tube amp.

Really interested in your opinion as you one of few 250 ohm dt880 users i've seen who seems to give a crap about SQ rather than just volume when it comes to an amp. my macbook air gives too much volume at 50% but I need an amp that will bring bass clarity! Have you tried any other good amps for these cans and, if so, what is the cheapest?

post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noob Meister Jr View Post
 

Really interested in your opinion as you one of few 250 ohm dt880 users i've seen who seems to give a crap about SQ rather than just volume when it comes to an amp. my macbook air gives too much volume at 50% but I need an amp that will bring bass clarity! Have you tried any other good amps for these cans and, if so, what is the cheapest?

 

I have the FiiO Desktop amp (E9 I think) and it's more than I need. It can drive 2 pairs of 250ohm's at the same time to painful level. They have excellent transient response, do not color the sound, and don't add anything to the sound that wasn't already there.

 

The opamp in your macbook air is not loud, it's high gain. There is a difference. A 2 watt clock radio turned up to full volume will 'sound' louder than a 100 watt stereo at 1/4 volume for the same reason. And its also why the macbook sounds like crap. It doesn't have much power to drive headphones but the gain it gives you allows you to listen to quieter source material at a good level. Gain is more of a matching thing than it is a power thing. Think guitar distortion, high gain but it doesn't make the wattage go up and it distorts the input signal.

 

 

I use an Audioengine D1 DAC into the FiiO and I have no complaints on any headphone I've tried with it. Q701, DT990, DT880, Custom One Pro, ETC.

post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noob Meister Jr View Post
 

Really interested in your opinion as you one of few 250 ohm dt880 users i've seen who seems to give a crap about SQ rather than just volume when it comes to an amp. my macbook air gives too much volume at 50% but I need an amp that will bring bass clarity! Have you tried any other good amps for these cans and, if so, what is the cheapest?


Well what I found when it comes to Beyers, they sound their best on tube amps imho. Drastically improves the midrange body and adds more texture to the overall sound which leads to a more immersive and pleasurable listening experience, the bass also has more body making it sound fuller while also having better clarity in the bass. Tubes are not about warmth or distortion, some tube amps do add warmth and distortion but not all do, they add certain characteristics to the sound that can't be replicated. Tubes simply sound more organic is the best way to describe it. I've tried a few amps both tube and ss but almost all have been much more expensive than what I have. The Schiit Vali will probably do well.

post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kman1211 View Post
 


Well what I found when it comes to Beyers, they sound their best on tube amps imho. Drastically improves the midrange body and adds more texture to the overall sound which leads to a more immersive and pleasurable listening experience, the bass also has more body making it sound fuller while also having better clarity in the bass. Tubes are not about warmth or distortion, some tube amps do add warmth and distortion but not all do, they add certain characteristics to the sound that can't be replicated. Tubes simply sound more organic is the best way to describe it. I've tried a few amps both tube and ss but almost all have been much more expensive than what I have. The Schiit Vali will probably do well.


I have to disagree with you there on two points. That it's not about distortion, and that a tube amp sound significantly different from a solid state amp at normal listening levels.

 

Any tube amp 'sound' can be easily done in solid state as well. While there are differences between amplifiers in coloration, harmonics, transient response etc, there is nothing inherent to 'tube' or 'solid state' that defines any characteristic.

 

The exception to that is when a signal is driven to a level where it distorts. Tube amps distort very differently than solid state and that is the only clearly audible difference between the two. Tube amps distort with a pleasant saturation which is why tube guitar amps are so popular. The distortion that results from solid state is unpleasant, full of harsh harmonics and basically becomes a square wave. The level increases, then it hits a brick wall where as tube amps increase level and the distortion starts as mellow overdrive gradually becoming more distorted but never quite hitting the headroom limit anywhere near as quickly.

post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodhifi View Post
 


I have to disagree with you there on two points. That it's not about distortion, and that a tube amp sound significantly different from a solid state amp at normal listening levels.

 

Any tube amp 'sound' can be easily done in solid state as well. While there are differences between amplifiers in coloration, harmonics, transient response etc, there is nothing inherent to 'tube' or 'solid state' that defines any characteristic.

 

The exception to that is when a signal is driven to a level where it distorts. Tube amps distort very differently than solid state and that is the only clearly audible difference between the two. Tube amps distort with a pleasant saturation which is why tube guitar amps are so popular. The distortion that results from solid state is unpleasant, full of harsh harmonics and basically becomes a square wave. The level increases, then it hits a brick wall where as tube amps increase level and the distortion starts as mellow overdrive gradually becoming more distorted but never quite hitting the headroom limit anywhere near as quickly.

 

I personally as I found them to be different given my experience with amps. Maybe it is true, but I've yet to hear a ss amp mimic a tube amp right and I always found them to sound fundamentally different regardless of the listening level. I remember reading that explanation online before but there still seemed to be a lot of debate around it. I'll personally stick with tubes sounding different until or if experience tells me otherwise.


Edited by kman1211 - 12/12/13 at 4:04pm
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kman1211 View Post
 

 

I personally as I found them to be different given my experience with amps. Maybe it is true, but I've yet to hear a ss amp mimic a tube amp right and I always found them to sound fundamentally different regardless of the listening level. I remember reading that explanation online before but there still seemed to be a lot of debate around it. I'll personally stick with tubes sounding different until or if experience tells me otherwise.

Perhaps the output load and impedance?

 

From an engineering standpoint tube amps are preferred in situations where you need headroom such as a microphone pre-amp that you don't want to distort if a singer suddenly belts out a loud note, or in situations where distortion is desired like a guitar effect.

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodhifi View Post
 

Perhaps the output load and impedance?

 

From an engineering standpoint tube amps are preferred in situations where you need headroom such as a microphone pre-amp that you don't want to distort if a singer suddenly belts out a loud note, or in situations where distortion is desired like a guitar effect.

Maybe. But the thing about sound is that there are so many factors it can be very hard to know what causes the sound difference and it's very subjective, it could be related to the fundamental design differences they have. I used to think they weren't really different until I actually listened to numerous amps. I just had a chance to listen to a lot of high-end systems. On high-end amps while the gap of how they sound closes a bit, but the tube amps always had more body and texture to their sound some reason.

 

True. I'm just going by a music listening standpoint and by which I found to sound more organic. Is it more accurate? Who knows as both transistors and tubes have distortion and high end amps often have very little to virtually no distortion regardless of whether it's ss or tube. I don't know, but I just go with what sounds more organic and real of the two, so far that has been tubes in my experience.

post #26 of 29

MalVeauX, with a 600 ohm headphone on the e10, did it sound good still? Also, did it burn out quickly? Im afraid of buying the dt-880 with 600 ohms for fear of burning it out. I am waiting to buy a tube amp soon enough. Though I might just buy my final headphones before that point...Your input will be very helpful!


Edited by trick - 1/17/14 at 2:22pm
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodhifi View Post
 

The exception to that is when a signal is driven to a level where it distorts. Tube amps distort very differently than solid state and that is the only clearly audible difference between the two. Tube amps distort with a pleasant saturation which is why tube guitar amps are so popular. The distortion that results from solid state is unpleasant, full of harsh harmonics and basically becomes a square wave. The level increases, then it hits a brick wall where as tube amps increase level and the distortion starts as mellow overdrive gradually becoming more distorted but never quite hitting the headroom limit anywhere near as quickly.

 

You're talking about 2nd harmonic distortion vs 3rd, but wouldn't that only apply when the amps were being over-driven? Surely any decent SS or tube amp would have inaudible distortion within normal limits. Even, say, a full 2% distortion in a tube amp at normal listening level wouldn't be audible (as distortion) if the distortion is even order. Or are you suggesting it's the tube's generally higher distortion that imparts the bloom people seem to love so much? I'm not interested in tube amps for practical reasons, but I am still slightly curious as to what people are hearing and why they love it so much.

post #28 of 29
You know I was wondering about driving the dt990pro, but the iPhone 4S I have seems to drive them well, like surprisingly well. Bass, good mids and treble all are still amazing directly from the iPhone, now of course a amp makes it even better
Curious tho, I've heard off and on again that high ohm headphones can damage the iPhone's amp, is that true? When direct driving them the iPhone does get noticeable warmer.
post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
 

 

You're talking about 2nd harmonic distortion vs 3rd, but wouldn't that only apply when the amps were being over-driven? Surely any decent SS or tube amp would have inaudible distortion within normal limits. Even, say, a full 2% distortion in a tube amp at normal listening level wouldn't be audible (as distortion) if the distortion is even order. Or are you suggesting it's the tube's generally higher distortion that imparts the bloom people seem to love so much? I'm not interested in tube amps for practical reasons, but I am still slightly curious as to what people are hearing and why they love it so much.


I'm not talking about harmonic distortion, I'm talking about clipping and headroom.

 

When you approach the limit with solid state it begins to break up abruptly and the resulting sound (a square wave) is not very pleasant to listen to. It's the sound you hear when you turn a cheap radio up too loud and it sounds like a megaphone.

 

When you approach the limit with tube amps they have more headroom extension meaning they can handle more signal before the start to get nasty. When you use it as a pre-amp for instance with a vocal mic, it's partially acting like a soft limiter/compressor. It will still break up when driven too hard but it does it gradually and at first the effect is pleasing to the ear, like a dirty guitar amp just starting to break up into distortion, that 'bite'.

 

When tube clips it starts squaring up the edges of the wave form gradually, the tops start to get flatter and flatter gradually. A solid state distortion is more like lobbing the head off the waveform and giving it an instant flat top.

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