I personally have not gotten a chance to hear the 990s but I will agree they have been said to be bright, and the 880's are from experience. I believe at one point this came up a while back about toning it down with an an amp/dac and there are certain ones that will do that, but I cannot recall the names of them. Moderate amounts of research and you can probably find some amps with a darker sound signature. But who knows if its worth it to set that up just for a specific bright pair of headphones, although dark sound can definitely be appealing to some (including me).
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Trying to narrow X-Mas list (DT880 vs. HE400 vs. HD650) - Page 4
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Headfonia had a great review on [T90] headphones.
Always bear in mind two things about Headfonia:
1. It's a store.
2. Mike likes warm and dark sounds.
I apologize if I've made this any harder. They're all different and they're all very good.
Comfort from most to least: DT880, HD650, HE400. HE400 is the least uncomfortable Hifiman, but it's below average.
Sound: HD650, HE400, DT880.
HD650 has an elegant, all-encompassing sound, with the drawback that it's comparatively enclosed-sounding and veiled. I prefer less bass, but I respect the careful thought that went into it.
HE400 is my favorite headphone for jazz. It's solidly good for rock, but didn't stand out.
DT880's treble picks up the beauty in every sort of string instrument, but it's less full-sounding and warm than the other two.
Looks: HD650, DT880, HE400. But who really cares, so long as it's not red.
Edited by Claritas - 12/16/13 at 1:01am
As I said, on the 880's the treble really can be peaky (with classical at least) can't say for the 990's. The harshness remains even on my V200 amp, which is generally considered as being on the warm side (for an SS amp). I seriously doubt anything in the ss world will be able to really bring down their treble.
With a tube amp and the right tubes (which will probably cost a tidy multiple of the headphones) you'll be able to bring it down but better read up as it's a totally different ballgame (and any impact on that treble will not stay limited to the treble). Unless you've decided that these cans will really be end game for you I'd be wary about selecting a DAC/AMP combo with the specific objective of fixing that treble, that might close more doors than it opens. I would rather look for a different headphone. (and I'd never, ever purchase a DAC/AMP without first having heard it with the cans I'm using, especially not a tube amp).
I second the remark made above about the headphone reviewers: they're great guys but you must be aware that they have a very pronounced sound signature preference (not like they make a secret out of it).
I had the DT-990 Pro and it was definitely on the bright side, nothing horrible though. A little big of EQ will go a long way. EQ is much more flexible and precise than trying to buy a dark sounding amp, plus you will probably be able to lower treble more through EQ than by trying to match the amp. You can go as dark as you want with EQ.
Thanks for all the great input. Since I can't listen to these side by side, I've had to settle for content in this forum and reviews. I think I will be ordering the DT990 Pros. They are about $100 cheaper than the Premiums. I am looking forward to seeing what level of refinements they will provide over my Custom One Pros. Thanks for everyone's input!
Right after I posted this, I found the T90s on sale for $470. I wonder if they are that much better.
Edited by seag33k - 12/16/13 at 2:59pm
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