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Amp Advice For Newbie

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by xix47, May 9, 2014.
  1. XIX47
    I am your typical newbie who does not know much about amps in general. So I have researching, asking questions, etc... on here and other forums for advice. So here is my dilemma:
    I currently have a pair of DT-990s 250 Ohm Pro that I use for gaming/movies. Now I am interested in pairing them with an amp (since the SoundBlaster Z is not strong enough to run them for my standards). I have read that they pair best with tube amps, and a couple of my choices are the Schiit Vali & Schiit Valhalla. I have read that the Vali has some technical issues but the Valhalla receives rave reviews. I emailed Schiit and they stated they will drive the DT-990s very well. Unfortunately, they are quite expensive for me.
    I am also interested in purchasing another pair of headphones for orchestra music and for when I need to hear relaxing sounds (the DT-990s are fun but sometimes I can use a break from their intense sounds). The AKG series of headphones look appealing because their description sounds like what I am looking for in a pair for orchestra music, and their headphones look comfortable for bald/shaved heads (except the Q701). Particularly, the AKG k712 are very interesting to me at the moment. They look to be the most comfortable of the AKGs, which is very important to me, and their SQ is said to be better than the other K7xx and Q7xx series headphones. However, like the Valhalla, they are quite expensive. A representative of Schiit also stated that the Valhalla will not drive these as well as the DT-990s.
    So, in my situation, what would you do with a limited budget: Buy the Valhalla, and save $$$ for several months/sell stuff online until I can afford the AKG k712, or buy a cheaper amp and get the AKG k712 much sooner?
    There are not very many tube amps made in the USA around my price range, and I am not sure if I want to risk buying a cheaper tube amp without great customer service. Buying the Vali may be the best choice but with all the technical issues I have read about it online and its shorter warranty (2 years vs 5 years for other amps), I would be a bit worried if I bought it. I could buy a SS amp but tube amps are recommended for the DT-990s to provide a more warmer sound and reduce the harshness of the sibilance.
    Thank you.
  2. dead99
    the problem I guess with the AKG k712 is that is has a low impedance. because of this you might hear tube buzzing/noise. so you could buy a solid state amp or a headphone with a higher impedance. I would suggest the Sennheiser HD650 / 600 (depends on how much you want to spent) altough I dont know what amp suites the DT 990 (but the HD 650 also fits well with a tube amp but it also works good enough with a lesser amp if you buy it before the amp)
  3. XIX47
    You are correct that the impedance is the issue with the AKG k712, and with other AKG models I am interested in. I do not want to spend more than $400 on a pair of headphones, so the Sennheisers are out of my range. Also, I have previously tested a pair of HD 558s and the foam on the headband was a bit uncomfortable for my head. I am thinking that the thin leather headband of the AKG models would be comfortable for my bald head. The AKG k712 have been said to be very comfortable.
    I will probably have to make a sacrifice on either on the quality of the amplifier or the quality of my second pair of headphones (quality=price). I would prefer to buy my amplifier from a reputable company with excellent customer service.
    Thank you for you response. :)
  4. Lorspeaker
    Maybe another headphone?

    And invest in a Shiite dac n amp :wink:
  5. XIX47
    Hmm, I will check it out though I would prefer open headphones for a few reasons, especially since I use headphones at home with no other sound interferences. I never heard of SoundMagic before.
    The SoundBlaster Z has a DAC so I am not sure if buying a separate external DAC would be an improvement or not. I dunno.
    After some more thought and research,  I think I am going to instead choose a Solid State Amp that may have a warmer sound overall. It seems like the Tube Amps around $100-200 are not going to be as good as SS amps in that price range, and they require more maintenance than SS amps (not to mention the warm-up times of tube amps as well). Schiit is an American company so perhaps the Magni or Asgard 2 will fill my needs.
    Thanks for your reply.
  6. Lorspeaker
    this is the open version :p
  7. XIX47
    That seems to be similar to the DT 880s, the neutral cousin of the DT990. I am not sure that is what I want since but I will do more research on these. Thanks.
    I decided to buy the JDS O2 amp since I think it is best to start with a neutral amp for a novice. I want to hear the DT-990s fully powered as intended by Beyerdynamic.
  8. Soundsgoodtome
    Wrong thread, whoops

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