Amp for DT880's?
Feb 18, 2007 at 6:11 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 32

barshnik

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older guy here, fair amount of HF hearing loss, so I tend to prefer a 'brighter, sound which may explain why I like my ER4-P's. Just ordered DT880's and will of course need an amp for my gen5 iPod.

Music: Split between classical, rock, r&b, blues, big band.

Considering the XM4 on the 'inexpensive' side, and the Hornet on the 'expensive' end of my budget. Yes, I've read the reviews of these here, but looking for personal experience with these and 880's.

Portability a plus. Comments, please?

John F
 
Feb 18, 2007 at 8:47 PM Post #2 of 32

zombieDave

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I have both sets of cans you do, and have a fair amount of experience trying to properly amp them - even with portable amps. Here we go...

My Tomahawk - with the low gain setting - drives my Ety ER4P's perfectly. I almost don't need another headphone rig, at all. But, this place (Head-Fi) has turned me into some kind of freak who is never totally happy with anything I buy! Besides, with the gain setting at high, I was not happy with the way it under-drove my DT-880's. I do not consider this a fault, at all. This amp was designed for IEM's and, IMHO, didn't even need a gain switch because there's no way it can properly power a 300ohm pair of cans! Why Ray tried to satisfy both low & high imp cans, when the Hornet does that just fine, is beyond me.

I had a blast listening to DT-880's on my new Portaphile V2^2 with the gain setting at high last night. Take a look at that amp (same size as a Go-Vibe or others in that famous aluminum Hammond case
wink.gif
). It had enough power to drive the 880's - I have finally found one [a portable, that is] that could do it with authority - but I'm sure Ray's Hornet could, as well. Cesar is in the process of phasing these amps out for a new one, but contact him and see if he's got one lying around you could buy (maxxed-out for $249)
tongue.gif
.

Be forwarned - if the settings on this amp are set for the best SQ, it is a battery-eater!!! I used the money I saved from choosing this over the Hornet to buy a Tekkeon power-pack and, set on 14V makes this amp even more formidable! However, it's also not very portable when used with the Tekkeon
frown.gif
. If you've been lurking here awhile, you'll already know that there are trade-offs with just about, if not all, the decisions you make.

Good luck in your quest! [size=small]zD[/size]
 
Feb 19, 2007 at 12:21 AM Post #3 of 32

Skylab

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The Headphonia is also a good amp for the DT880's, and less $$$ than the RSA amps. Not quite as good, but very close.
 
Feb 19, 2007 at 12:51 AM Post #5 of 32

barshnik

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Skylab /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The Headphonia is also a good amp for the DT880's, and less $$$ than the RSA amps. Not quite as good, but very close.


Yes, after re-reading the 9 amp review, I should give this more consideration with the 880's... Thanks,

John F
 
Feb 24, 2007 at 3:41 PM Post #7 of 32

barshnik

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Received the Hornet from Ray 2 days ago. The 880's were delayed, so won't have them till early next week. So far (still burning in) the Hornet sounds terrific with the 4P's on low gain - I wasn't expecting much difference amped with these 'easy to drive' IEM's, but the difference is noticable to the point were I'm confident I could pick out amp'd / unamp'd blind every time without exception.

Using the ALO bling bling LOD - certainly not the best choice for an already-bright setup, but will do for now.

So far, so good...

John F
 
Feb 24, 2007 at 8:44 PM Post #9 of 32

marcusaudio

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 1Time /img/forum/go_quote.gif
How's the H5's ability to drive the DT880 to quite loud volumes? Thanks


I have the 32 Ohm version of the DT 880, no problem at all to drive to loud volumes. Don't know about the higher impedance versions of the DT 880.

regards,
 
Feb 24, 2007 at 10:29 PM Post #10 of 32

Capt. Z

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I believe, the DT880 are best driven with tubes, such as the Woo3
 
Feb 25, 2007 at 4:34 AM Post #11 of 32

Romanee

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Quote:

Originally Posted by barshnik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
older guy here, fair amount of HF hearing loss, so I tend to prefer a 'brighter, sound which may explain why I like my ER4-P's. Just ordered DT880's and will of course need an amp for my gen5 iPod.

Music: Split between classical, rock, r&b, blues, big band.

Considering the XM4 on the 'inexpensive' side, and the Hornet on the 'expensive' end of my budget. Yes, I've read the reviews of these here, but looking for personal experience with these and 880's.

Portability a plus. Comments, please?

John F



In context of the HF hearing loss, the Hornet may not have the HF enhancement you'll need. I'd recommend the Ray Samuels Audio Tomahawk or the Portaphile LT1210-1500ufBlackGateNX Maxxed.

The Tomahawk has more HF extension and detail than the Hornet (which has powerful/punchy bass and sweeter/softer HFs), and the Portaphile-LT1210 Maxxed has even higher/more lucid HF extension plus deep bass, though it's bigger than the Tomahawk and its gain (and Class-A) switches are internal rather than the external gain switch on the Tomahawk & Hornet.

The Tomahawk has the master-crafted tiny (beautiful) case, clean/clear sound with wide sound stage and good soundspace depth. The Portaphile Maxxed has the crystalline highs and lovely, layered imaging.

The Tomahawk has astounding battery life with 2 Alkaline AAA batteries, (I got 16 24/7 days from one set) and accordingly doesn't need/have A/C adapter — while the beautiful-sounding Portaphile is power-hungry, getting just 8.5 hours from one iPower 500mAh Lithium-Polymer 9V rechargeable (with Class-A on and Wide Bandwidth off), and about 20 hours from a 1200mAh Ultralife LI disposable 9V (with same settings) and takes an A/C adapter, though no internal charging.
 
Feb 25, 2007 at 4:38 AM Post #12 of 32

Romanee

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Capt. Z /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I believe, the DT880 are best driven with tubes, such as the Woo3


I know this is a not-entirely accurate generalization, but many tube amps — though the 880s sound lush and beautiful with them — will probably not offer the extra HF enhancement the OP requires.

I happen to love the 880 via Audiovalve RKV-MkII (with OPA627 upgrade) + Eddie Current EC/DC which offers highs that are lucid & sweet with remarkable imaging and inner detail, but alas the HF loss issue — and, of course, the preference seems to be towards a portable.
 
Feb 25, 2007 at 8:06 AM Post #13 of 32

grinchy

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I'm using a Little Dot II++ with DT-880 (250ohm).
Great pairing. It is not portable.
Volume output is NOT an issue. Loud loud ears bleeding loud.
I hate to suggest it, but for High Freq boost an equalizer could be employed.
 
Feb 25, 2007 at 5:01 PM Post #14 of 32

MrLA

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i had dt880(06) recabled for awhile. one thing stood out most was it damned difficult to drive these cans to a satisfying level. i had tried driving dt880 from a pimeta to a melos and dynahi-sa, and many amps in between, none really was able to drive the dt880. only x-can v3 with x-psu could do it and ps audio gcha could control dt880.

so to read that you guys paring the dt880 with some portable amps...hmm, it's wierd.
 
Feb 25, 2007 at 5:23 PM Post #15 of 32

cooperpwc

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MrLA /img/forum/go_quote.gif
i had dt880(06) recabled for awhile. one thing stood out most was it damned difficult to drive these cans to a satisfying level. i had tried driving dt880 from a pimeta to a melos and dynahi-sa, and many amps in between, none really was able to drive the dt880. only x-can v3 with x-psu could do it and ps audio gcha could control dt880.

so to read that you guys paring the dt880 with some portable amps...hmm, it's wierd.



Interesting. Maybe it was the recabling? I have researched this exact topic extensively since I have 600 ohm 2005 DT880s on the way. Skylab who owns these exact cans has been a great help. Xenos has tons of gain for them, Headphonia will drive them well too. I'm not sure that there is a huge sensitivity difference from the 600 to the 250 ohm model but it can only favour the 250 ohm in terms of there being enough gain... So more powerful portables with a gain switch should be fine for the OP. (Whether most portables have the oomph (voltage) to drive the DT880s - or any high impedance can - as well as a home amp is probably the bigger issue.)

I don't share the OP's need for extra treble but i just bought an original n_maher built Millet Hybrid on here, sharing the belief that tube power will go nicely with the sound signature of the DT880s. We will see...
 

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