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Help with DT880 Setup

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

I am picking up a DT880 this week, still debating about the 250/600 argument.

 

I really want to get the 600, as I am primarily using on desktop and do not use them on the go.

My source is a computer, I just sold my Asus Xense as it seems the STX replaces it.  I have RealTek 898 on board which is suppose to basically be an X-Fi.

 

I listen to music a lot via Pandora primarily, movies, and play a lot of high end pc games.  My biggest interest is awesome sound while gaming as I am usually working while listening to music.

 

I am debating about picking up a Asus STX (which I believe is the newer version of the Xense edition).  If I go the 600 ohm edition, I am not sure if the STX amp is big enough for the DT880. For gaming though, I think the RealTek 898/X-Fi maybe a better option. I can't really get a good answer on this.

 

What I am wondering, if I go the 600 ohm version.   What amp should I get?  F9?  F11?

Is the STX powerful enough to drive the 600 ohm well without an amp?

Would I have better experiencing using the realTek 898 with EAX5 or getting an STX and going Dolby Pro?

I've read a lot of mixed feelings about the 600 ohm, some threads say the difference is amazing.  Other's say it is very minor.

Considering picking up a pair of each of them, and returning the other pair, but I suspect I would need to break them both in before I could really tell the difference.

I also suspect either one will be so much better than what I am using, I'll be happy regardless.

 

I was using a PC350 w/ Asus Xense, but I had problems with the headset and went back to my USB G35, was amazed how much better they sounded in games than my PC350 and ended up getting rid of the Asus & PC350.  I am currently using an Astro A50, but it isn't for me.  It's not bad, but I want better.  I've been looking at the DT880's for a while now, and I want to make the switch.

post #2 of 31

The reason why 600 Ohms headphones exist is because of older amps design, they had high output impedance, and tube based designs still do.

Another reason is to use multiple headphones for monitoring in studios etc. Typically the equipment can provide a lot of gain, but when put in parallel, higher impedances draw lesser current.

 

Get the 250 Ohms version, it'll work alright with the STX, it already has a headphone amp.

post #3 of 31

I have the STX with Beyer DT990 600ohm...no problems at all driving them. Make sure to set the gain correctly within the Xonar Audio Center. I did however make a custom EQ chart for the Xonar Audio Center for more of a custom tweaked EQ. 

post #4 of 31

If you plan to just power the DT880 through the Xonar Essence best go for the 250 Ohm. You will certainly be able to drive them loud enough and will sound good but will be much better through a tube amp. The main weakness from memory was lower mids and upper bass. The lower end of the bass (especially sub-bass) was rather nice.

 

I would not bother with either the F9 or F11 as I would consider them to be on the same level as the Xonar. Certainly found them to amplify the "sound signature" of the DT990.

 

If you have the money though, I would recommend getting a tube amp for around the $300 mark and pair it with the 600 ohm model.

post #5 of 31

Either the 250 Ω or the 600 Ω would work fine, the former would just be a few dB louder. If you do not like the sound of the DT880 (many people complain about recessed mids and peaky treble), in my opinion it is better to get headphones that suit your preferences better in the first place than spend money on a tube amp which would not really fix the problems anyway.

post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 

What tube amp would be recommended that's in the $300 range?

post #7 of 31

Saxi.

If you get the 600-Ohm version, try to find a used pair for a good price.

Otherwise might as well just get the 250-Ohm version.

post #8 of 31
Thread Starter 

I can get a 600 ohm for about $295 shipped, where the 250ohm is $235.  I've seen the 600 for around $250 and didn't get it in time.  I don't mind spending the difference if there is a big difference between them.  I use headphones for 8+ hours a day on my computer while working and/or gaming.  The 600 ohm also will require an amp so the price difference is more significant but I suspect the 250 will require a good amp to really get the best out of them?

post #9 of 31

Honestly getting a 250 Ohm would be far the best value for money. I have personally seen them new as low as $208 and will sound pretty good straight out of the Xonar. You will only need to have the volume up to 1/3 of the way on the Xonar.

The best suggestion would be to get the 250 Ohm for nice and cheap and see if their sound signature interests you. Then later if you want improve upon it get an amp later.

 

I do admit spending the money on a tube amp and 600 ohm version is a big risk if you do not even not know what you are getting into.

 

If you do decide to get an amp a few that get recommended around the $300 price bracket are often:

Darkvoice 336

La Figaro 336C

Little Dot MK III

Audiotailor Jade

 

I have the Audiotailor Jade myself and really like it. However it should be noted that it is fully upgraded and even the tubes are not the originals. They stock tubes aren't bad, just I enjoy the sweeter sound that I can get through the replaced tubes.

post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxi View Post

I can get a 600 ohm for about $295 shipped, where the 250ohm is $235.  I've seen the 600 for around $250 and didn't get it in time.  I don't mind spending the difference if there is a big difference between them.

 

The difference is relatively minor, and might not be worth the $60 extra cost; not everyone agrees on which one is better (if at all), either. But if you want to get the 600 Ω version at all, it is better to buy it now, than to "upgrade" the 250 Ω one later, that is really a waste of money. Your sound card will not have any problems driving either, the 600 Ω model just needs a few dB higher volume; technically, there are actually some (even if minor) advantages of the higher impedance, for example, you are less likely to hear interference when using the front panel.

post #11 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sraitsa View Post

Honestly getting a 250 Ohm would be far the best value for money. I have personally seen them new as low as $208 and will sound pretty good straight out of the Xonar. You will only need to have the volume up to 1/3 of the way on the Xonar.

The best suggestion would be to get the 250 Ohm for nice and cheap and see if their sound signature interests you. Then later if you want improve upon it get an amp later.

 

I do admit spending the money on a tube amp and 600 ohm version is a big risk if you do not even not know what you are getting into.

 

If you do decide to get an amp a few that get recommended around the $300 price bracket are often:

Darkvoice 336

La Figaro 336C

Little Dot MK III

Audiotailor Jade

 

I have the Audiotailor Jade myself and really like it. However it should be noted that it is fully upgraded and even the tubes are not the originals. They stock tubes aren't bad, just I enjoy the sweeter sound that I can get through the replaced tubes.

 

Would the 250ohm benefit much from a tube amp as the 600 ohm does, especially over say the STX built in amp?
Is there a big difference in sound from those amps listed over using a Xonar STX or X-Fi Ti?

 

Can the STX give as much environment as an X-Fi for high end gaming? 

I was shocked how much better the G35 was when I had to go back to it from the Xonar Xense, the Xense was a complete waste of money as after using it for a while then going back to the G35 I was stunned how much better gaming was on the G35 (which is a good consumer headset, but far from anything great in general).  The G35 is just a plugin USB headset too no less but I heard sounds I couldn't hear with the PC350 & Xonar Xense.

 

I have an onboard RealTek 110Db card that has full support for X-Fi and EAX 5 but a dedicated X-Fi Ti would be better..  I am concerned getting the STX based on my experience with the Xense and G35.  I don't mind buying the STX or X-Fi Ti and the DT880, I got a lot of my money back in the end on the Xense and I wear headsets long enough I want something a lot better than what I have now.

 

The A50 is a step up from the PC350 and even G35 but I know I can get a lot better for a $300 headset.

 

 

Right now I am thinking about the STX or X-Fi Ti & DT880 250 ohm Pro.  Possibly with a better amp to take it further if it is worth the additional expense.

post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxi View Post

 

Would the 250ohm benefit much from a tube amp as the 600 ohm does, especially over say the STX built in amp?
Is there a big difference in sound from those amps listed over using a Xonar STX or X-Fi Ti?

 

Can the STX give as much environment as an X-Fi for high end gaming? 

I was shocked how much better the G35 was when I had to go back to it from the Xonar Xense, the Xense was a complete waste of money as after using it for a while then going back to the G35 I was stunned how much better gaming was on the G35 (which is a good consumer headset, but far from anything great in general).  The G35 is just a plugin USB headset too no less but I heard sounds I couldn't hear with the PC350 & Xonar Xense.

 

I have an onboard RealTek 110Db card that has full support for X-Fi and EAX 5 but a dedicated X-Fi Ti would be better..  I am concerned getting the STX based on my experience with the Xense and G35.  I don't mind buying the STX or X-Fi Ti and the DT880, I got a lot of my money back in the end on the Xense and I wear headsets long enough I want something a lot better than what I have now.

 

The A50 is a step up from the PC350 and even G35 but I know I can get a lot better for a $300 headset.

 

 

Right now I am thinking about the STX or X-Fi Ti & DT880 250 ohm Pro.  Possibly with a better amp to take it further if it is worth the additional expense.

Sometimes the Titanium HD has been selling for $99, at J & R.

Match that with a Schiit Magni (head Amp), $99.

You will have a nice sounding setup.

post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Sometimes the Titanium HD has been selling for $99, at J & R.

Match that with a Schiit Magni (head Amp), $99.

You will have a nice sounding setup.

That's a great price, I see they still offering at that price but out of stock.
 

I use it for long hours every day and always used top of the line "consumer" grade products.  I'm really looking for a big improvement.  The DT880's look like the best option south of $1k, $300 is about where I want to be for headphones.  I'm really torn between the Asus STX & X-Fi, I've read a lot of threads here, and there is really no good answer to it.  I don't know how much of my poor experience with the Xonar Xense was the card and how much was the PC350.

 

Would spending more on an amp ($300 range) be worth the investment, or are we talking minor changes only the best ears would notice.  I am not on a tight budget, I am happy to spend some money to get an awesome setup, but I don't want to inflate the budget for tiny percentages.

 

As always, thanks for your feedback!

post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxi View Post

That's a great price, I see they still offering at that price but out of stock.
 

I use it for long hours every day and always used top of the line "consumer" grade products.  I'm really looking for a big improvement.  The DT880's look like the best option south of $1k, $300 is about where I want to be for headphones.  I'm really torn between the Asus STX & X-Fi, I've read a lot of threads here, and there is really no good answer to it.  I don't know how much of my poor experience with the Xonar Xense was the card and how much was the PC350.

 

Would spending more on an amp ($300 range) be worth the investment, or are we talking minor changes only the best ears would notice.  I am not on a tight budget, I am happy to spend some money to get an awesome setup, but I don't want to inflate the budget for tiny percentages.

 

As always, thanks for your feedback!

As your a gamer, the Titanium HD would be a good choice and get the Schiit Magni for now.

In the future you could easily sell off the Magni, but I think you would be content with the Titanium/Magni setup.

 

Here is few good threads for asking questions about the DT880 250-Ohm vs. DT-880 600-Ohm.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/429371/the-beyerdynamic-dt880-600-ohm-appreciation-discussion-thread

http://www.head-fi.org/t/513393/guide-sonic-differences-between-dt770-dt990-models-more

post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks for everyone's help.

 

I gave this a lot of thought, and I am going the Xonar STX route even though gaming being my primary concern.

I looked at many of the games I play like Dishonored, Borderlands 2 & X-Com don't even use EAX.

Drivers were a big concern for both cards and both are bad.

 

I have a DT880 250 ohm Pro & Xonar STX coming overnight delivery.

I'd like to look at opAmp upgrades for the STX to get a little more from the card and still considering a dedicated headphone amp in the $200-300 price range.

As far as I understand it, the STX has an on-board amp around the quality of the Fiio F7 which is pretty good I hear.  I suspect a dedicated amp would just be a minor improvement unless I go much further than the $300 price range.

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