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HELP: Amp suggestion for dt 990 pro

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hello all,
Recently, I've decided upon acquiring a pair of beyerdynamic dt 990 pro 250 ohms to join my 770 pros. Currently, I run all audio either out of my nexus 7 razor or HTC one m7 which are both amped by my e11. While I relalize there are a couple threads that have already asked this question they all got cluttered by others asking different questions and what not, so, can someone please give me a definitive answer on how well my e11 will drive the 990s and should I need to upgrade, what do you suggest (keeping in mind that an upgrade to an amp that costs more than the cans themseleves is unreasonable).
Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by drootb View Post

Hello all,
Recently, I've decided upon acquiring a pair of Beyerdynamic dt 990 pro 250 ohms to join my 770 pros. Currently, I run all audio either out of my nexus 7 razor or HTC one m7 which are both amped by my e11. While I realize there are a couple threads that have already asked this question they all got cluttered by others asking different questions and what not, so, can someone please give me a definitive answer on how well my e11 will drive the 990s and should I need to upgrade, what do you suggest (keeping in mind that an upgrade to an amp that costs more than the cans themselves is unreasonable).
Thanks in advance.

 

The FiiO E11 will drive the DT990 Pro 250-Ohm headphones to a decent volume with the E11's volume knob at around 40%.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

The FiiO E11 will drive the DT990 Pro 250-Ohm headphones to a decent volume with the E11's volume knob at around 40%.
but that's what I have it at when driving the 770s so how can that be possible?
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by drootb View Post


but that's what I have it at when driving the 770s so how can that be possible?

 

I'm guessing it's because the DT770 and DT990 use the same or almost the same diaphragms.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I'm guessing it's because the DT770 and DT990 use the same or almost the same diaphragms.
while that may be true the impedance between the two is more than triple.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by drootb View Post


While that may be true the impedance between the two is more than triple.

 


I'm just guessing, but I would assume the DT770 Pro 80-Ohm is a tweaked DT770 Pro 250-Ohm.

 

I own 7 Beyerdynamic headphones

DT770 Pro 80-Ohm, DT770 Pro 250-Ohm

DT880 Pro 250-Ohm, DT880 Premium 600-Ohm

DT990 Pro 250-ohm, DT990 Premium 600-Ohm

T70 250-Ohm.

And I've plugged several of these headphones into my FiiO E11 (about a year or two ago).

Maybe the FiiO's volume knob was at 50%, with the 250-Ohm headphones.

with the volume knob almost on max, it will drive the 600-Ohm headphones.

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post



I'm just guessing, but I would assume the DT770 Pro 80-Ohm is a tweaked DT770 Pro 250-Ohm.

I own 7 Beyerdynamic headphones
DT770 Pro 80-Ohm, DT770 Pro 250-Ohm
DT880 Pro 250-Ohm, DT880 Premium 600-Ohm
DT990 Pro 250-ohm, DT990 Premium 600-Ohm
T70 250-Ohm.
And I've plugged several of these headphones into my FiiO E11 (about a year or two ago).
Maybe the FiiO's volume knob was at 50%, with the 250-Ohm headphones.
with the volume knob almost on max, it will drive the 600-Ohm headphones.
fantastic. Thank you so much for your help!
post #8 of 15

DT990s can go pretty loud out of a Fiio E11 with modern music (yes, 50% probably). If you usually listen to audiophile recordings with high dynamic range, you could find yourself cranking up the volume (90% or even more depending on the recording)

 

That said, as you might guess, loud just means loud, not necessarily clear or full sounding. In my experience, even my Fiio E07K (or E10) (USB DAC/Amp) fail to show the full potential of DT990s.


By comparison, when plugged into the headphone out of my Yamaha A-S500, they sound noticeably more open and realistic. This is quite a controversial topic, I'm just talking of my own personal experience (and using well recorded music).

 

Talking subjectively, using DT990s with Fiio Amp you get the sound of good headphones, and when you raise the volume you start feeling uncomfortable.

On the other hand, when plugged into the A-S500 and raising the volume, the room is somewhat filled with sound, loud and big but harmless. The overall experience is definitely closer to listening to the same track with nice speakers in a proper room.

 

Comparing the price of a high quality amp with the price of DT990s (Pro version) is not fair, I think. DT990s are great contenders under 400 dollars, that you can find at 150 if you don't mind getting the Pro instead of the Premium version. Price doesn't mean so much this days.

 

You could drive DT990s with a Fiio E11, and they'll sound good and also loud most of the times, but I guess you won't regret buying a better amp in the future to pair with your 990s. (Something like O2 Amp or Schiit Magni should do the trick I guess - I couldn't tried them yet, but I've read good things about them)

 

Best Luck!

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me x3 View Post

DT990s can go pretty loud out of a Fiio E11 with modern music (yes, 50% probably). If you usually listen to audiophile recordings with high dynamic range, you could find yourself cranking up the volume (90% or even more depending on the recording)

That said, as you might guess, loud just means loud, not necessarily clear or full sounding. In my experience, even my Fiio E07K (or E10) (USB DAC/Amp) fail to show the full potential of DT990s.


By comparison, when plugged into the headphone out of my Yamaha A-S500, they sound noticeably more open and realistic. This is quite a controversial topic, I'm just talking of my own personal experience (and using well recorded music).

Talking subjectively, using DT990s with Fiio Amp you get the sound of good headphones, and when you raise the volume you start feeling uncomfortable.
On the other hand, when plugged into the A-S500 and raising the volume, the room is somewhat filled with sound, loud and big but harmless. The overall experience is definitely closer to listening to the same track with nice speakers in a proper room.

Comparing the price of a high quality amp with the price of DT990s (Pro version) is not fair, I think. DT990s are great contenders under 400 dollars, that you can find at 150 if you don't mind getting the Pro instead of the Premium version. Price doesn't mean so much this days.

You could drive DT990s with a Fiio E11, and they'll sound good and also loud most of the times, but I guess you won't regret buying a better amp in the future to pair with your 990s. (Something like O2 Amp or Schiit Magni should do the trick I guess - I couldn't tried them yet, but I've read good things about them)

Best Luck!
thank you for your input. I definitely planned on upgrading amps eventually, just was hoping I could drive the 990s and the upgrade would be a decision rather than a requisite.
post #10 of 15

The only available amp that I found at a local shop in the small town I live in was Presonus Hp4 for around a 100 bucks. But I am now left wondering whether I even needed that. It sure does provide ear-splitting volumes (and in four channels!) but simply plugging it into my laptop gets loud enough volumes to begin with, and I never wish I had more volume. I just don't understand why I needed this amp. If we don't need any more loudness than we're getting unamped, why would we need an amp?

post #11 of 15
There's a race track where it is forbidden to drive over 100mph. You have to choose a car between the new Corvette ZR1 (racing brakes and 638 bhp engine) and the fictitious Corvette Unamped Edition with standard brakes and powered by a diesel engine with only 90 bhp. Both can go up to 100mph, both can brake from 100mph to 0...
Edited by Me x3 - 9/13/14 at 7:25pm
post #12 of 15
That said, I don't know how good is that Presonus Amp.
post #13 of 15

I have a feeling one would need more than a race-track analogy. The way I see it is in a form of a simple argument:

 

Premise 1: The function of a headphone amp is to amplify the electrical source signal.

 

Premise 2: The laptop I am using provides a signal so powerful that I always have to reduce the volume.

 

Conclusion: If premise no. 1 and 2 are true, the amplifier is redundant, and I don't need one.

 

For this argument to be incorrect, at least one of the premises have to be false. Which one is it?

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorrisL View Post
 

I have a feeling one would need more than a race-track analogy. The way I see it is in a form of a simple argument:

 

Premise 1: The function of a headphone amp is to amplify the electrical source signal.

 

Premise 2: The laptop I am using provides a signal so powerful that I always have to reduce the volume.

 

Conclusion: If premise no. 1 and 2 are true, the amplifier is redundant, and I don't need one.

 

For this argument to be incorrect, at least one of the premises have to be false. Which one is it?

 

For some guys, this would be the first premise:


Premise 1': The function of a headphone amp is to amplify the electrical source signal in a crystal clear way.

 

For some other guys, it would be more general:

 

Premise 1'': The function of a headphone amp is to amplify the electrical source in order to make the headphones (or speakers) sound the way you enjoy your music the most.

 

Premise 2 is probably like saying:
The 90 bhp engine is so powerful that I need to brake before curves.

 

If you want to find scientific support for higher quality amplifiers, you could read a lot of articles, but after all it's quite a controversial topic because things that are not universally determined (like human perception limits) are involved.


It's much more practical to try an amplifier by yourself, and see if you like it better or not.

 

You don't have to buy one, and buying one that is too close to your soundcard won't give you a noticeable difference. Most people tend to agree that you could get better sound quality (and probably musical enjoyment) out of your DT990s if you use a nice amp.

 

If you suppose that 1k + amps sound the same as your laptop, you are wrong acording to the vast majority of people, but this is about perception after all, so if it sounds the same for you, that's what really matter.

 

Best Luck!

post #15 of 15

Thank you for the thoughtful response. So, you can see flaws in both premises. Fair enough. I'll see how much I can learn about that, before I make another conclusion. 

 

You are right; "scientific support for higher quality amplifiers" is exactly what I need to see. I am very curious about this, because besides being a music enthusiast, I am also an electrical engineer with over 10 years of experience at major U.S. companies. To me, the phrase "to amplify the electrical source signal in a crystal clear way" sounds unclear, given what I know about the nature of the audio signal. I want to see the science behind it. And I'll start researching on this right away.

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