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DT990 and Little Dot MK 9 - any thoughts?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi forum,

I'm new here (as a registered user) - so I guess this is the forum where I should ask my first question...

 

For the past two years, I have mainly concentrated on getting back into the world of HiFi at home after a hiatus of about 15 years: I've revived my Revox B285, got a new (old) TD 2001 and a nice pre-amp, etc. etc. Now I'm in the process of upgrading my music experience at work - which is where headphones come into play.

 

I have an ancient DT990 - bought in 1985 or 86 if I remember correctly. With some new earpads, they are now back to their old glory, and I'm very happy with them. At the moment, I'm listening to music at work with the following gear:

 

- MacBook Pro (Retina), with Audirvana plus

- SMSL SAD-25 (a digital Amplifier + USB DAC + Headphone Amp)

 

I'm now considering an upgrade to a "real" headphone amp and have also been toying with the idea of getting a tube amp (simply because I've never experienced tube sound and am curious). One option that I have stumbled across would be the new Little Dot MK 9. (I'd also need to get a decent DAC then, of course. I currently have a USB Thingee at home and would probably use this until I get a second DAC.)

 

Apologies for slightly rambling on, but now the question(s):

 

- I don't know which version of the DT990 I have. I've been told that they made both 250 and 600 ohm versions back in the '80s. Does it matter for my choice? And if yes, how do I find out?

- am I likely to hear a noticeable difference from the SMSL SAD-25 (given the rest of my gear)? I'm mostly interested in an improved soundstage effect. Or put differently: is the LD MK9 + DT990 likely to be a suitable combo?

 

Sebastian

post #2 of 4

I haven't heard the SMSL, but the Little Dot page says that the mk9 outputs the same power into 300 and 600 ohms, with a little more at 120, so the impedance of your DT990s shouldn't really matter as far as the amp goes. But you could find out the impedance by measuring at the headphone jack with a multimeter. 

I used the DT990-250 with a Little Dot mk3, and it was a pleasant shift from my solid state amp. The soundstage became larger and more 3D, and the amp brought out a richness and delicacy that was very pleasant. Like the SMSL, my previous amp was a very entry level type amp (CMOY). Of course the mk3 isn't the mk9, but I think that tubes are worth checking out. 

post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebhoff View Post

I don't know which version of the DT990 I have. I've been told that they made both 250 and 600 ohm versions back in the '80s. Does it matter for my choice? And if yes, how do I find out?

- am I likely to hear a noticeable difference from the SMSL SAD-25 (given the rest of my gear)? I'm mostly interested in an improved sound stage effect. Or put differently: is the LD MK9 + DT990 likely to be a suitable combo?

The impedance of the DT990 should be marked on the headphone jack

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 

I used the DT990-250 with a Little Dot mk3, and it was a pleasant shift from my solid state amp. The soundstage became larger and more 3D, and the amp brought out a richness and delicacy that was very pleasant. Like the SMSL, my previous amp was a very entry level type amp (CMOY). Of course the mk3 isn't the mk9, but I think that tubes are worth checking out. 

 

Thank you for your response - that sounds very promising!

 

And I'll check the headphone jack tomorrow when I get to work - thanks, PurpleAngel!

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