Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › what amp can save my PRaTless DT880?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

what amp can save my PRaTless DT880? - Page 2

post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

 

 

This is easy stuff compared to most electrical engineering. Unfortunately, too many folks without the background volunteer misleading information on the Internet and end up needlessly spending another person's money. I understand the fun of tinkering with one's hobby, but many folks just want to listen to decent quality music without breaking the bank.


Of course, I always consider amount of money to be spent and duration of using a product (also life time of a product) before buying something. My knowledge about headphone stuff is more than how it was few months ago. I will refresh/relearn electrical engineering stuff a bit later!

post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubinstein View Post
 


Of course, I always consider amount of money to be spent and duration of using a product (also life time of a product) before buying something. My knowledge about headphone stuff is more than how it was few months ago. I will refresh/relearn electrical engineering stuff a bit later!

If you want to get into the serious stuff, you should be ready for the math (Calculus). I used to design instrumentation, filtering and A/D (Analog to Digital Converters) as well as electronic musical instruments and had the pleasure of using Calculus far too often.

post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

If you want to get into the serious stuff, you should be ready for the math (Calculus). I used to design instrumentation, filtering and A/D (Analog to Digital Converters) as well as electronic musical instruments and had the pleasure of using Calculus far too often.


I studied calculus for four semesters during Bachelors degree. I do not have any problems to refresh that again.

I would like to learn sound terminology and also correlate the technical specification of head phone to the sound quality.

post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubinstein View Post
 


I studied calculus for four semesters during Bachelors degree. I do not have any problems to refresh that again.

I would like to learn sound terminology and also correlate the technical specification of head phone to the sound quality.

That last bit about jargon shouldn't be that bad to unravel and the math for much of the common jargon is not scary at all. Some things like IM or TIM are more abstract and require fancy instrumentation to measure but understanding this is not so bad. Once you truly understand these things you will find many of the posts on Head-Fi a bit humorous or far reaching. Unfortunately such misinformation or excessive recommendations affect people that are trying to find simple solutions for what ails them and many times are pushed into expensive stuff that they do not need.

post #20 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

When dealing with audio you don't need stellar slew rates, it's just that you don't need a lousy amp. inferior slew rates usually result in TIM (Transient Intermodulation Distortion). I'll venture to say ( SR= 2 x pi x freq x Volts) that 5V/uSec should be enough for audio producing 40 volts at 20 kHz. For a 250 Ohm can that should equate to 6.4 Watt at 20 kHz. My ears are ringing and maybe the DT880's would get fried.

I don't remember seeing Slew rate specs on headphone amps. The ancient 741 opamp had a slew rate to .5V/uSec and we've come a long way in the decades since then.


So how good an amp do I need? And will it fix the timing issues I hear? I don't know why the timing might be off as i don't know much about how these things work, but if it hasn't been directly distorted it might be just a function of having poor attack and delay times. Would a poor amp have worse attack and delay for certain frequencies perhaps? 

post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noob Meister Jr View Post
 


So how good an amp do I need? And will it fix the timing issues I hear? I don't know why the timing might be off as i don't know much about how these things work, but if it hasn't been directly distorted it might be just a function of having poor attack and delay times. Would a poor amp have worse attack and delay for certain frequencies perhaps? 

Apple products usually come with decent audio hardware, but I'm guessing the DT880 are a little more demanding then what would normally be plugged into a Mac.

A lot of headphones sold in the world are in the 32-Ohm to 60-Ohm range.

I would never recommend 250-Ohm Beyers headphones to anyone unless they had a decent headphone amplifier to use with them.

post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noob Meister Jr View Post
 


So how good an amp do I need? And will it fix the timing issues I hear? I don't know why the timing might be off as i don't know much about how these things work, but if it hasn't been directly distorted it might be just a function of having poor attack and delay times. Would a poor amp have worse attack and delay for certain frequencies perhaps? 

Poor attack and delay times cannot be fixed, get a good set of cans. Delays as in echo cannot possibly occur in headphones, phase delays can,  Keep in mind that over half the stuff you read is a load of BS, I hate to say it but most people parrot stuff they've read without either understanding it or having experienced it themselves.  Try to find reviews by reputable people that know their stuff, like Tyll Tertsens at InnerFidelity. Buy good cans, otherwise you're just setting your money on fire. Save up what you can and buy the best headphones that you can that fits your desired sound profile.

 

Also keep in mind this is a hobby so people fiddle around rolling tubes and playing with wires because they enjoy it. Most of this is a fun actvity that alters the sound, I say get a set of cans that sounds right instead of fiddling. As an engineer that has sucessfully designed analog hardware that has sold worldwide, I can tell you that most of what I read by laymen experts is quite amusing.

 

In my opinion:

Once you've selected the cans that interest you, do your best to personally listen to them. If you can compare them side by side, that's even better. Bring your own music, that you are familiar with, In store setups, like at Bestbuy, have selected music and electronics that drive them that are designed to trick the basic consumer into parting with their money. A proper establishment has the proper amplification. Otherwise buy from places that have return policies that are without conditions so that you can return what doesn't sound good to you, Beware of stocking and shipping fees, some of which is reasonable.

Learn what to listen for, especially in the music you have. Does the bass extend all the way down and can you discern individual notes (pitches)? Can you accurately hear the clink, clang and shimmer of cymbals, etc. Are voices clear and proper, without annoying silabances? Do percussion instruments and drums snap at you? There's plenty more to listen for my friend. So as I said, "There's plenty to listen for," but I think recognizing this as a matter of habit contributes to the enjoyment of listening to music.

Once you've got the cans sorted out, you have to determine what kind of amplification you need. This is a huge problem when reading all of the BS. There are a few headphones that require special amplification, i.e., some power hungry Planar Magnetics, Electrostatics.

In most cases a good amp has the following attributes:

1) Low steady state distortion, THD, IM

2) Low transient distortion TIMD

3) Flat frequency response

4) Enough power (current and voltage) to drive your cans at their rated impedance and across their impedance curve.

5) Slew Rate, this almost never specified, but if the response is flat to 20 Khz and the transient distortion is low, you are good to go. Chances are you will not be able to make sense of this spec,

For most cans a desktop amp like a Schitt Magni will do a great job and costs a mere $100. Some people get enjoyment fiddleing with tube amps and rolling tubes. IMO this is a hobbyist pleasure designed to alter sound. Since I don't believe in coloring sound, other than some careful bass boost by EQ because with headphones you cannot feel the sound, I would stay far away from exotic expensive amps. I might get flamed on this, however, IMO most of this is BS and if you read the posts you will find conflicting as well as various parroted opinions.

Cables, IMO unless you've got a defective cable or something is wrong with it, stock is just fine. Silver cables have no scientific reason to have any perceptible difference with copper, some people will swear to it, I say that it's just imagination at work.

There is much to learn, technically. There is much to learn as how to listen and what to listen for.

So as I stated, these are my opinions, anyone else is free to have their own, so flaming is not required.


Edited by StanD - 12/23/13 at 5:41am
post #23 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

Poor attack and delay times cannot be fixed, get a good set of cans. Delays as in echo cannot possibly occur in headphones, phase delays can,  Keep in mind that over half the stuff you read is a load of BS, I hate to say it but most people parrot stuff they've read without either understanding it or having experienced it themselves.  Try to find reviews by reputable people that know their stuff, like Tyll Tertsens at InnerFidelity. Buy good cans, otherwise you're just setting your money on fire. Save up what you can and buy the best headphones that you can that fits your desired sound profile.

 

Also keep in mind this is a hobby so people fiddle around rolling tubes and playing with wires because they enjoy it. Most of this is a fun actvity that alters the sound, I say get a set of cans that sounds right instead of fiddling. As an engineer that has sucessfully designed analog hardware that has sold worldwide, I can tell you that most of what I read by laymen experts is quite amusing.

 

In my opinion:

Once you've selected the cans that interest you, do your best to personally listen to them. If you can compare them side by side, that's even better. Bring your own music, that you are familiar with, In store setups, like at Bestbuy, have selected music and electronics that drive them that are designed to trick the basic consumer into parting with their money. A proper establishment has the proper amplification. Otherwise buy from places that have return policies that are without conditions so that you can return what doesn't sound good to you, Beware of stocking and shipping fees, some of which is reasonable.

Learn what to listen for, especially in the music you have. Does the bass extend all the way down and can you discern individual notes (pitches)? Can you accurately hear the clink, clang and shimmer of cymbals, etc. Are voices clear and proper, without annoying silabances? Do percussion instruments and drums snap at you? There's plenty more to listen for my friend. So as I said, "There's plenty to listen for," but I think recognizing this as a matter of habit contributes to the enjoyment of listening to music.

Once you've got the cans sorted out, you have to determine what kind of amplification you need. This is a huge problem when reading all of the BS. There are a few headphones that require special amplification, i.e., some power hungry Planar Magnetics, Electrostatics.

In most cases a good amp has the following attributes:

1) Low steady state distortion, THD, IM

2) Low transient distortion TIMD

3) Flat frequency response

4) Enough power (current and voltage) to drive your cans at their rated impedance and across their impedance curve.

5) Slew Rate, this almost never specified, but if the response is flat to 20 Khz and the transient distortion is low, you are good to go. Chances are you will not be able to make sense of this spec,

For most cans a desktop amp like a Schitt Magni will do a great job and costs a mere $100. Some people get enjoyment fiddleing with tube amps and rolling tubes. IMO this is a hobbyist pleasure designed to alter sound. Since I don't believe in coloring sound, other than some careful bass boost by EQ because with headphones you cannot feel the sound, I would stay far away from exotic expensive amps. I might get flamed on this, however, IMO most of this is BS and if you read the posts you will find conflicting as well as various parroted opinions.

Cables, IMO unless you've got a defective cable or something is wrong with it, stock is just fine. Silver cables have no scientific reason to have any perceptible difference with copper, some people will swear to it, I say that it's just imagination at work.

There is much to learn, technically. There is much to learn as how to listen and what to listen for.

So as I stated, these are my opinions, anyone else is free to have their own, so flaming is not required.


Thanks for the detailed response! there is no way in my country I can get the chance to try out different cans or amps so I may just keep the cans i've got as it is probably hard (/expensive to ship overseas) to resell them anyway. So what amp would you recommend for the 250 ohm DT880? I'm hoping something for around max $200 US because after this i start having to pay import fee, customs duty and goods and services tax, which increases the cost dramatically. 

post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noob Meister Jr View Post
 


Thanks for the detailed response! there is no way in my country I can get the chance to try out different cans or amps so I may just keep the cans i've got as it is probably hard (/expensive to ship overseas) to resell them anyway. So what amp would you recommend for the 250 ohm DT880? I'm hoping something for around max $200 US because after this i start having to pay import fee, customs duty and goods and services tax, which increases the cost dramatically. 

The Schiit Magni desktop amp can deliver 260mW at 300 Ohms and even more at 250 Ohms. That'll put you above 120 db, which is the threshold of pain.

The FiiO E12 portable amp can drive my 300 Ohm HD600's rather loudly and the DT880's are more sensitive. I just did some quick math based upon their minimum output voltage spec and it should crank out at least 100mW which is just under 117 dB and trust me that will be much louder than you will ever listen. If I look at one of their newer specs it should crank out 150mW at 300 Ohms which means more than that at 250 Ohms which would place it above 117 dB. Either of these amps are very reasonably priced and perform well.

 

Model

Impedance

Sensitivity

Power required by

95dB sound pressure

Power required by

105dB sound pressure

Power required by

120dB sound pressure

DT880

250

96

0.79

7.94

251.19

post #25 of 42

A solid state amp would probably help more than a tube amp, but it might just be the case that the DT-880's weren't a good choice. It sounds like you want a drier sounding amp. What amp are you using now?

post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 

A solid state amp would probably help more than a tube amp, but it might just be the case that the DT-880's weren't a good choice. It sounds like you want a drier sounding amp. What amp are you using now?

The OP first stated that he already owns this set of cans. IMO if one needs a tube amp to tame their cans, they should've bought a different set of cans. The reality is almost all properly designed SS amps sound the same if their impedance and drive abilities are proper for the load. There is far too much subjective myth wrapped around this topic. One can't tell the difference between 0.05% THD and 0.001% as our senses aren't that good. IMO IMD and TIMD are easier to distinguish because they are not musically related to the content. I don't remember what the threshold for perception is (it is higher than you might imagine) but if you can sort through the below article your math skills are pretty good. You might want to skip ahead to the section on "Practical Results on the Smallest Detectable Distortion." Perhaps a lot of people are talking out of their ears around here when they think they can hear electrons spinning around the nucleus of atoms.

 

http://www.r-type.org/articles/art-143.htm

post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post

The OP first stated that he already owns this set of cans. IMO if one needs a tube amp to tame their cans, they should've bought a different set of cans. The reality is almost all properly designed SS amps sound the same if their impedance and drive abilities are proper for the load. There is far too much subjective myth wrapped around this topic. One can't tell the difference between 0.05% THD and 0.001% as our senses aren't that good. IMO IMD and TIMD are easier to distinguish because they are not musically related to the content. I don't remember what the threshold for perception is (it is higher than you might imagine) but if you can sort through the below article your math skills are pretty good. You might want to skip ahead to the section on "Practical Results on the Smallest Detectable Distortion." Perhaps a lot of people are talking out of their ears around here when they think they can hear electrons spinning around the nucleus of atoms.

 

http://www.r-type.org/articles/art-143.htm


Maybe the issue is that having impedance and drive abilities appropriate for a load is easier said than done, but the solid state amps I've heard have all sounded different. I'm not quite sure what you're referring to about the sound of spinning electrons... I typically roll my eyes when people claim to hear a specific type of distortion. While I understand the article (math major for the win), I don't see why it should tell me that most solid state amps sound the same. 

post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 


Maybe the issue is that having impedance and drive abilities appropriate for a load is easier said than done, but the solid state amps I've heard have all sounded different. I'm not quite sure what you're referring to about the sound of spinning electrons... I typically roll my eyes when people claim to hear a specific type of distortion. While I understand the article (math major for the win), I don't see why it should tell me that most solid state amps sound the same. 

The point is that most SS amps have a flat FR and distortion levels far below our ability to perceive. Of course a badly designed or poorly manufactured amp will suck. The electron thing was an attempt at mirth not math.

post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post

The point is that most SS amps have a flat FR and distortion levels far below our ability to perceive. Of course a badly designed or poorly manufactured amp will suck. 


These are true statements. The problem for me is that they don't explain why SS amps sound different. In my experience at least. Maybe I'm only hearing my biases, but I'm hearing something. IDK. 

post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 


These are true statements. The problem for me is that they don't explain why SS amps sound different. In my experience at least. Maybe I'm only hearing my biases, but I'm hearing something. IDK. 

Sound memory is a very tricky thing, especially when the time between sample is more than a few seconds, I forget the exact number the experts say but it is short. Egregious things are easy to remember. Other than that we tend to color our remembrances, after all we are just human. :smile:

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › what amp can save my PRaTless DT880?