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Best audio combination for on line pc gamer and rock in roll listener - Page 4

post #46 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

I've driven both my DT990s with at least three different sources (configurations). 

Yes I could tell them apart in a blind test, the DT990 600-Ohm has a better controlled bass, it's that noticeable.

A used DT990 Pro 250-Ohm headphone that sells for $100 is a fairly old and beat up headphone.

I picked up my (basely used) DT990 600-Ohm for a little over $200 and they were in like new condition.

 

Not really, a new DT990 Pro 250ohm is 140usd on amazon nowadays (prices went down recently). You won't be able to sell a used one for much more than a hundred.

 

I doubt you'd be able to tell them apart in a blind test, but if you feel the bass is better controlled on the 600ohm version, more power to you I guess.

post #47 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
For this particular model, if the frequency response is the same, then the quality is the same. You've been arguing that there is some "magical quality" that can't be seen on a frequency graph - that's what I call hocus pocus pseudo science, and I've yet to see any of you provide any argument to the contrary.

...

As far as amplifiers are concerned, if the same amp can properly drive both headphones, then there will be no difference whatsoever in sound quality/sound signature. Not only does that make sense from a science point of view, I have done the comparison myself and came to the same conclusion.

...

In fact the ONLY way one of them sounds better than the other is if the amplifier is at fault - meaning that it has trouble driving a 600ohm load, and so the 250ohm version will sound better. There is no possibility of the 600ohm version sounding better, it can only sound "just as good" at the most.

To the first point:: THD, damping, impulse response, impedance across the spectrum can all be different. Remember, those FR graphs are made with an amp different from the one the OP or anyone else may be using.

 

This was the design philosophy pushed by the designer of the O2 amp... to make a 'wire with gain' style amp. No amp is perfect or ever will be, and deciding what constitutes 'properly driven' is up to one's own definitions.

 

The 600 ohm could in many cases sound better than the 250 on the same amp, for reasons I have already mentioned, assuming there is enough power overhead.

 

 

PurpleAngel:: I read the thread linked, and it seems to me that many users who have tried different ohm models say they sound different -our 600 ohm model recommendation could make sense at the right price, given that the OP's amp is probably able to drive them well enough to receive the benefits thereof. "The 600Ohm models still retain nearly all the sound signature of their 250Ohm versions, just improved upon and tend to have a more natural and balanced frequency response."

post #48 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodgey4 View Post
 

To the first point:: THD, damping, impulse response, impedance across the spectrum can all be different. Remember, those FR graphs are made with an amp different from the one the OP or anyone else may be using.

 

This was the design philosophy pushed by the designer of the O2 amp... to make a 'wire with gain' style amp. No amp is perfect or ever will be, and deciding what constitutes 'properly driven' is up to one's own definitions.

 

The 600 ohm could in many cases sound better than the 250 on the same amp, for reasons I have already mentioned, assuming there is enough power overhead.

 

 

PurpleAngel:: I read the thread linked, and it seems to me that many users who have tried different ohm models say they sound different -our 600 ohm model recommendation could make sense at the right price, given that the OP's amp is probably able to drive them well enough to receive the benefits thereof. "The 600Ohm models still retain nearly all the sound signature of their 250Ohm versions, just improved upon and tend to have a more natural and balanced frequency response."

 

Once again, you seem to not want to read through the thread, and clearly while you can identify different graphs you don't seem to understand what they mean...

 

THD and impulse response will all be similar, the driver and cup designs are the same. Impedance has no impact on sound quality whatsoever. Damping factor only comes into play if the amp cannot drive a higher impedance version, this means that the only version damping factor could have a "positive influence" in sound quality on is the 250ohm version, as the 600ohm version would sound worse. But that is due to the amp, not the headphones. So the 600ohm version simply cannot "sound better" unless the amp somehow can't drive the 250ohm version but can drive the 600ohm version (which is exactly why your argument makes no sense here).

 

The OP will be using his soundcard to drive the headphones. Thus the 250ohm version is the better choice. If he had an amp capable of driving the 600ohm version, then the 250ohm version, at half the price for the same quality, is once again the better choice. How hard is this to understand? :confused_face_2: 


Edited by elmoe - 5/24/14 at 3:10pm
post #49 of 64

"Impedance has no impact on sound quality whatsoever." When paired with different amps with varying output impedance levels, it could. This is why many headphones when paired with OTL amps have bloated bass, because primary driver resonance usually occurs in this range. Beyerdynamic, Sennheisers, and many others. Also, I've been under the impression that higher damping factor = better, though past an 8:1 or 10:1 ratio I'm not sure if there's really any benefit. I also have in my head that on a good amp, higher impedance headphones results in less THD assuming the power levels required are not forcing an undue stress on the amps circuitry. Perhaps I'm wrong. I can't remember where I've read this.

 

"If he had an amp capable of driving the 600ohm version..." I'm assuming you made a simple mistake by assuming the Xonar is with the Xonar line of sound cards (I have a Xonar DGX sitting in a box near me, didn't like it), but is actually indeed a dedicated DAC/amp. So we still agree that "the 250ohm version, at half the price for the [presumably darn near] same quality, is once again the better choice."

 

I don't think our views are all that far off. Unless you are using an amp with strange characteristics like an OTL tube amp, the 250 is a much better value. The only time I would recommend the 600 ohm version to someone would be if they had an amp capable of driving either model and the pricing was the same, or they had an amp with a high output impedance like the Bottlehead Crack. Does this make sense?

 

Please know, I'm just trying to learn and find common ground.

post #50 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodgey4 View Post
 

"Impedance has no impact on sound quality whatsoever." When paired with different amps with varying output impedance levels, it could. This is why many headphones when paired with OTL amps have bloated bass, because primary driver resonance usually occurs in this range. Beyerdynamic, Sennheisers, and many others. Also, I've been under the impression that higher damping factor = better, though past an 8:1 or 10:1 ratio I'm not sure if there's really any benefit. I also have in my head that on a good amp, higher impedance headphones results in less THD assuming the power levels required are not forcing an undue stress on the amps circuitry. Perhaps I'm wrong. I can't remember where I've read this.

 

"If he had an amp capable of driving the 600ohm version..." I'm assuming you made a simple mistake by assuming the Xonar is with the Xonar line of sound cards (I have a Xonar DGX sitting in a box near me, didn't like it), but is actually indeed a dedicated DAC/amp. So we still agree that "the 250ohm version, at half the price for the [presumably darn near] same quality, is once again the better choice."

 

 

I don't think our views are all that far off. Unless you are using an amp with strange characteristics like an OTL tube amp, the 250 is a much better value. The only time I would recommend the 600 ohm version to someone would be if they had an amp capable of driving either model and the pricing was the same, or they had an amp with a high output impedance like the Bottlehead Crack. Does this make sense?

 

Please know, I'm just trying to learn and find common ground.

 

My bad about the Xonar Essence One - it seems it can indeed drive 600ohm headphones. You're technically right, but like you said damping factor past a certain ratio is inaudible, and you'll be hard pressed to find any properly built amp with audible THD regardless of headphone impedance (unless the amp is particularly built that way, in which case it would be the owner's preference). This is why (in this particular case anyway), the FR graph is what is going to tell you whether or not these headphones sound any different (and your ears as well, if you're ready to double blind test them properly). Certainly if we were comparing 2 completely different headphones, the FR graph wouldn't tell the whole story (although if they were similar, you can be sure the two headphones would sound very very close to the same). I don't understand why audiophiles refuse to take FR graphs into account, they show pretty much everything you're hearing, if it's not on the FR graph between 20 and 20kHz (and that's counting large), then it's inaudible. Even when talking about impulse response, while in theory a perfectly flat FR could sound badly because of resonance, in practice if there is resonance it will show on the FR graph. Impulse response graphs are very hard to read correctly because some big differences can be perfectly inaudible, while things you can't see could have an effect on the sound.

 

Even with OTL tube amps (My main headphone amp is an OTL tube amp, and I used it to compare both 600ohm and 250ohm versions), if it is designed properly (and unless it is a cheap ebay amp, they generally are) there is not going to be any audible difference, unless the amp is specifically designed for it. In that case, it's going to be the type of sound you're looking for, and there wouldn't be much point in using headphones that will get rid of that type of sound signature.

 

If in fact you are trying to learn and find common ground then I'm happy to discuss this with you. Your first post in this thread didn't exactly show this though.


Edited by elmoe - 5/25/14 at 2:49am
post #51 of 64

I apologize if we got off on the wrong foot. Your initial comments made it sound to me that you believed that under no circumstance would the two models sound different, because the FR graphs 'tell all', and I beleived that Purple could've noticed a difference for reasons I tried to explain... however negligible they may be. Clearly, we think more alike than not, and I hope you accept a sincere apology on my part.

post #52 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodgey4 View Post
 

I apologize if we got off on the wrong foot. Your initial comments made it sound to me that you believed that under no circumstance would the two models sound different, because the FR graphs 'tell all', and I beleived that Purple could've noticed a difference for reasons I tried to explain... however negligible they may be. Clearly, we think more alike than not, and I hope you accept a sincere apology on my part.

 

What I believe is that under no circumstance can the 600ohm version sound "better" than the 250ohm version, as the only way they can sound different will be due to damping factor, which can only make the 250ohm version sound better, not the 600ohm version. That differences were heard is one thing, but saying the 600ohm had more controlled bass for example, makes no sense. At best it can sound just as good (which is why it is pointless to get the 600ohm version to begin with - just get the cheaper 250ohm version which can be properly driven by more gear, why settle for a headphone that can sound worse for more money?)

 

No need for an apology, if I didn't want to partake in the discussion I would just move on afterall ;) 

post #53 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
as the only way they can sound different will be due to damping factor, which can only make the 250ohm version sound better, not the 600ohm version

Before we wrap this one up... I still don't understand this point. 600 ohm should always have the higher damping factor I thought, which is usually better? And I won't comment on things such as 'more bass control' until I hear both pairs... but nearly everyone agrees differences are minimal if any, so let's not rehash that.

post #54 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodgey4 View Post
 

Before we wrap this one up... I still don't understand this point. 600 ohm should always have the higher damping factor I thought, which is usually better? And I won't comment on things such as 'more bass control' until I hear both pairs... but nearly everyone agrees differences are minimal if any, so let's not rehash that.

 

Sorry, I seem to have gotten my terms mixed up. Damping factor will indeed work for the higher impedance cans, as they will draw less current from the amp but however, more voltage. I was thinking about voltage swing here, not damping. Lower impedance headphones will be easier to drive with amps that can't deliver high voltage (typically, tubes will be better at voltage, solid state at current, but a portable amp or a soundcard for example will do alot better with lower impedance headphones). I only bother with damping factor when headphone impedance is really low, like my Grados or SA5000s, considering the 8:1 ratio is rarely a problem except as you pointed out, with some OTL tube amps (although that can be remedied by using higher capacitance output caps).

 

Anyway, I'm no engineer so to simplify, you shouldn't pick a pair of headphones based on a high damping factor (high impedance, unless you have an OTL amp that will struggle with lower impedance headphones such as Grados), because the moment you want to use them with pretty much anything portable, you will lack power to turn the volume up. With the DT990 though, 250ohm is plenty enough for the damping factor to be inaudible even with an OTL amp with lower capacitance output caps. I'm no good at math but it should be pretty easy to calculate the output impedance of an output capacitor if you're interested, that should give you a rough idea of how well the dt990 250ohm can be driven even by an OTL amp with lower capacitance output caps. I'm sure you can easily find capacitors values for many of the OTL amps out there, if the output impedance value isn't outright available. Typically, OTL outputs caps don't go under 220uF.

 

Edit: actually I found some very nice graphs to give an example:

 

 

Here is one with 470uF caps:

 

As you can see, damping factor wouldn't really be much of a problem for DT990s 250ohm, even with an OTL amp with low (220uF) capacitance output caps. You would struggle to be down 0.1dB at 20Hz.


Edited by elmoe - 5/25/14 at 4:31pm
post #55 of 64

Hope no-one minds if I throw my 2 pennies in .......

 

I haven't heard the DT990's - so making no claims - just want to clarify a few things.

 

  1. Elmoe - do you have a link that says the housing and drivers on the 250 vs 600 ohm models are the same? I know the Pros are different (housing), and pretty sure the 250 and 600 ohm Premiums both have the same housing.  But if Beyer uses same method as per the differences between both impedance versions of the DT880, then there will be a difference in the drivers. The 600 ohm will have a thinner coil, with more length (winding).  The 250 ohm will have thicker coil, with less length.  That's why the impedance differs.  Probably explains the subtle differences in frequency plotting as well.
     
  2. Purple - when you A/B'd the two models - did you volume match with an SPL meter first?  I ask because I do appreciate making comparisons as objectively as possible.  One of the big eye-openers (owning 250 ohm & 600 ohm DT880s previously) was comparing the two (before I sold the 600's).  Until I got the 250's I was of the (generally accepted) opinion that the 600's had a slightly sweeter, more refined treble.  I was of the same opinion after comparing both.  Then it was suggested that I get a volume meter and repeat the test.  So I just used an iPhone and SPL meter app (setting volume with test tones).  Tried again - this time no difference to my (imperfect) ears - I couldn't have told them apart blind.  If you have both headphones still - it would make an interesting exercise to recheck with volumes matched by other means than by ear.
     
  3. Elmoe/urple - perhaps something that hasn't been considered so far (comparing your 250 vs 600 ohm) - would be the clamping force and condition of pads.  Even the positioning on your head.  All have the ability to change the frequency response - especially clamp and pad condition - and this will be most noticeable in the bass.  Could explain some of the differences anyway - if they are audible. 
     

Anyway - again. just my 2c on what may not have been considered yet.  Unless the OP had an OTL tube amp with a high output impedance (ie 50 ohms plus) where damping might suggest the 600's would be better - my advice now would be always to go with the cans that are a better match across all your audio devices.  The nice thing about my 250 ohm DT880 (vs the 600's I had) is that DAPs like the X5 or Studio V3 have enough voltage to drive them pretty well - so they can be used when I'm away from my desktop ;).

 

Versatility is the key.

post #56 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post
 
  1. Elmoe - do you have a link that says the housing and drivers on the 250 vs 600 ohm models are the same? I know the Pros are different (housing), and pretty sure the 250 and 600 ohm Premiums both have the same housing.  But if Beyer uses same method as per the differences between both impedance versions of the DT880, then there will be a difference in the drivers. The 600 ohm will have a thinner coil, with more length (winding).  The 250 ohm will have thicker coil, with less length.  That's why the impedance differs.  Probably explains the subtle differences in frequency plotting as well.

I believe the coil is separate from the drivers for one... good input on 2 and 3. However, many users claim the same benefits with the 600 ohm over the 250. But, users also make the same claims about silver cables being 'airy', which is endlessly debated, so I'm not sure whether or not we'll really ever clear this all up.

post #57 of 64

Sorry - I should explain further - I consider the driver membrane, coil, magnet etc all as being part of "the driver".

post #58 of 64

Certainly, the coil is different, but the driver design, diaphragm and size are the same - which is what matters as far as the sound signature is concerned.

 

The only differences in housing between premium and pro are cosmetic. I don't have a link, but I opened up both Pros and Premiums before for various recables. Basically the one thing that changes is what you can see: the outer plastic grill. It has no impact on sound quality. Supposedly it has an innovate "bass reflex" system that the 250ohm pros do not have, but I couldn't tell from either my Benchmark DAC-1 headphone out or my OTL MPX3.

 

#3 is very valid, and of course the pad condition and clamping will no doubt have an impact on bass. The pairs I compared were new, so I'm guessing that's the reason why I heard no differences. Like I said earlier, even between two pairs of DT990 Pros there could be slight differences, but to say the 600ohm version is better because of higher impedance is not accurate.

 

jodgey4: Many users and professionals make many claims about many things. In this hobby, the majority opinion is not necessarily right, as a very small amount of that majority actually tests things properly (most just plug in and listen and instantly hear differences). You have to be very careful whose opinion you take into account when buying gear because it's very easy to blow thousands of dollars on something that's not going to make your sound any better. Cables are the most obvious, but there are plenty of other "tweaks" that cost a lot of money and don't really impact sound quality. Audiophiles spend money on the silliest things - digital cables, crystals and stones, cable raisers, power filters etc.


Edited by elmoe - 5/26/14 at 1:56am
post #59 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post

And sorry to say, but that is subjective. There is no way you would be able to tell both apart in a double blind test when properly driven.

As for the worth, 200usd is still a hundred dollars more than a used DT990 250ohm. Why pay double the price for the same thing?
What is your problem dude? You have whined incessantly through this thread. I'm sure a person could tell the difference between the two, the same way few people can tell the difference between the highest quality mp3 and a FLAC file. Just because you can't (i doubt I can either), doesn't make it impossible. I can't get past the Silver Ears challenge on the Philips Golden Ears website but don't see me saying other people can't. My suggestion to you; grab your favorite beer, listen to your favorite song, put on your favorite pair of cans, and relax my friend.

*fixed a typo*
Edited by Byrnie - 5/26/14 at 4:28pm
post #60 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrnie View Post

What is your problem dude? You have whined incessantly through this thread. I'm sure a person could tell the difference between the two, the same way few people can tell the difference between the highest quality mp3 and a FLAC file. Just because you can't (i doubt I can either), doesn't make it impossible. I can't get past the Silver Ears challenge on the Philips Golden Ears but don't see me saying other people can't. My suggestion to you; grab your favorite beer, listen to your favorite song, put on your favorite pair of cans, and relax my friend.

*fixed a typo*

See that's the thing, anyone saying they can tell a difference between the highest quality mp3 and flac is either lying of delusional. It is, in fact, impossible for the human ear. That's just a fact, take it as whining if you want, i'd rather take it as keeping people from wasting their money. There's a good reason noones ever been able to tell a difference in a double blind test. For the record I finished the Philips golden ear thing pretty easily wink.gif

My suggestion for you, stop buying into audiophile hype and save some hard earned cash while you're at it. You're the typical example of the clueless guy who believes others have some kind of supersonic hearing powers. They don't, and by listening to them, you're wasting your money. You think that's whining - fine, it's your money you're throwing away. How is it that guys like you believe audiophiles have some kind of superhuman hearing over the cold, hard, facts that science shows you?? Any of those audiophiles would fail a double blind test (every single one who's attempted it has failed). Does that somehow not register? Or do you need to convince yourself that you haven't wasted your money buying useless crap for big bucks?

Read it again: there is no way the 600ohm version can sound better than the 250ohm, period. This isn't an opinion, it's a fact. I challenge anyone to DBT both headphones and prove me wrong. If you choose to believe otherwise, putting aside the facts of the matter, more power to you. It won't change what's real from what isn't.
Edited by elmoe - 5/26/14 at 5:40pm
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