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Home Audio Setup advice needed - Xonar Card, Tube Amp and Beyer DT 990 / 880 headphones

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello Forum,

 

I'm fairly new to audio, and just recently got interested in this subject. I've been an enthusiastic techy, from building my own computers to photography, 3D and programming, and now audio interests me. I want to improve my audio at home, and with Christmas coming up, I might get headphones as a present from my parents. I would appreciate some advice. 

 

I've looked into the Schiit-Stack (Magni and Modi) DAC and Amp combo, but recently have decided against it a little bit. What I'm looking into right now is:

 

Asus Xonar D2X Soundcard (open box)

 

Feeding to a Little Dot MK II (used)  tube amp

 

and then to either Beyerdynamic DT 990 or 880 (unsure of ohm so far). 

 

What do you think?

 

Any suggestions? I've heard that the Beyers work well with a tube amp, which is why I'm looking into that, and it's looking as if I can get it for a decent price. 

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavePCCH View Post
 

I'm fairly new to audio, and just recently got interested in this subject. I've been an enthusiastic techy, from building my own computers to photography, 3D and programming, and now audio interests me. I want to improve my audio at home, and with Christmas coming up, I might get headphones as a present from my parents. I would appreciate some advice. 

I've looked into the Schiit-Stack (Magni and Modi) DAC and Amp combo, but recently have decided against it a little bit. What I'm looking into right now is:

Asus Xonar D2X Soundcard (open box)

Feeding to a Little Dot MK II (used)  tube amp

and then to either Beyerdynamic DT 990 or 880 (unsure of ohm so far). 

What do you think?

Any suggestions? I've heard that the Beyers work well with a tube amp, which is why I'm looking into that, and it's looking as if I can get it for a decent price. 

As your getting a headphone amplifier, there is no reason for paying the higher prices of the 32-Ohm version(s).

The 250-Ohm versions are the "safe" ones.

The DT990 is full bass and full treble, which slightly over shadows the mids, but the mids are clear.

I like to think of the DT990s as the "movie theater" type sound.

The DT880s are a more balanced sound (slightly bright).

If you went for the 600-Ohm versions (DT880/DT990), buy used, new ones just too much of a mark up, for the slight increase is audio quality.

The DT990 600-Ohm has a more noticeable improvement over the DT990 250-Ohm, then the DT880 600-Ohm has over the DT880 250-Ohm.

I guess for the price, the DT880 Pro 250-Ohm would be the top pick.

When it comes to the DT990s (250 or 600), I think it's better to pay the extra cash for the 600-Ohm, better bass control.

The Premium label it's self does not reflect audio quality, just slightly less grip, it's the numbers (250 or 600) that count.

Technically, if price was not a factor, I think most people (normal and not bassheads) would prefer the DT880 600-Ohm.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply PurpleAngel,

 

Okay, so I'll try to aim for a 600 ohm version, and I think I do not mind the slightly emphasised bass and treble for the 990, but we'll see. There is a 990 600 ohm used for 200 swiss francs (about the same in $) to be had locally. Is that a good deal?

 

As for your first comment about the amplifier, what do you mean exactly?

 

Cheers,

Dave

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavePCCH View Post
 

Okay, so I'll try to aim for a 600 ohm version, and I think I do not mind the slightly emphasised bass and treble for the 990, but we'll see. There is a 990 600 ohm used for 200 swiss francs (about the same in $) to be had locally. Is that a good deal?

As for your first comment about the amplifier, what do you mean exactly?

I believe Beyerdynamics sells the 32-Ohm "Premium" versions of the DT880 and DT990s as something people can plug into their portable audio devices or computer on-board audio and not need an add-on headphone amplifier (which they can do).

But using the 32-Ohm versions with a decent headphone amplifier brings out their best.

Where as with the 250-Ohm and 600-Ohm versions, really requires you to buy a headphone amplifier, for their use.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks again,

 

I've been looking more closely at the DT 770 actually, because of their closed design. Which one would you recommend there? I'm looking into the Pros (80 or 250 ohm) which are available locally at a fair price. Any preference, and again, could I drive the 80 without an amp and would the 80s (with a desktop amp at home) be significantly worse in SQ than the 250s with the same amp at home?

 

Sorry if I'm asking plenty of question :tongue_smile:

 

Cheers

Dave

post #6 of 9
Quote:

Originally Posted by DavePCCH View Post
 

There is a 990 600 ohm used for 200 Swiss francs (about the same in $) to be had locally. Is that a good deal?

I paid $230 for my DT990 600-Ohm (used).

$200 for DT990 Premium 600-Ohm (in good shape) is a good price.

If the ear pads are worn out, the replacement is EDT990 V

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Okay, thanks a lot! I'm also eyeing a dt 770 600 ohm on an online auction. It's in good shape and currently at 120 francs / dollars but rising slightly.

I'm considering them more seriously for their closed design, something I think I'll prefer.

Also, I was thinking I should get a more portable set as well. I'm looking at the hifimam re-400 items, what do you think. I'm not sure if I'll get the home setup first or the IEM's first though. The sound card is in the mail, but nothing on headphones is fixed.

Any feedback / advice?
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavePCCH View Post

Okay, thanks a lot! I'm also eyeing a DT 770 600 ohm on an online auction. It's in good shape and currently at 120 francs / dollars but rising slightly.

I'm considering them more seriously for their closed design, something I think I'll prefer.

Also, I was thinking I should get a more portable set as well. I'm looking at the hifimam re-400 items, what do you think. I'm not sure if I'll get the home setup first or the IEM's first though. The sound card is in the mail, but nothing on headphones is fixed.

Any feedback / advice?

I've heard good things said about the DT770 600-Ohm version..

I know zero about IEMs

post #9 of 9

The RE-400 is a great IEM to start with. You can move from there to work out what you like, since it's so middle-ground neutral.

 

Can't really comment on the DT770, but the DT880 is excellent as well. I'd go with the 250ohm. As far as your amp goes, perhaps you want to start with a neutral solid state like the Objective 2 just to get a benchmark.

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