Amp synergy with DT 880?
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davebot

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I'm looking for an amp that will bring out the best in my new DT 880 cans. My current amplification is the headphone jack of my NAD 7175PE receiver. The Gilmore V1 is reputed to work well with the DT 880, but I'm told that the V2 and Lite don't mate as well with these 'phones. So I'm looking for suggestions: non-portable, V2 price range or lower, don't require preamp functionality.

Some people have mentioned the Corda amps working well with the DT 880. I'm wondering if this is a synergistic relationship, and also, how well they compare with the Gilmore V2 / DT 880 combo?

I thought the Gilmore V2's discrete (as opposed to the Corda's opamps), class-A operation and killer power supply would make it a no-brainer, but now I'm hearing comments that the V2/DT 880 combo isn't the best match.

Advice?

Thanks,

=davebot=
 
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gpalmer

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I haven't tried the V2 with the DT-880, but I have always heard it's a good match. SACD Lover has tried this combo at length, you might try PM'ing him. I would look at the sources of those folks saying it isn't too good a match up and see if they might have some lower end ones that would lead to the comments I have seen that it's a bright combination. That being said, it seems like a lot of folks really like the PPX3 right now and you might want to give that a look if you're not scared of tubes!
 
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sacd lover

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He did already g.
I didnt have a good answer though. The v2 does not work with the dt 880 like the v1 does. The v2 is to lean in the low end right where the 880 is lean; not a good combo IMO. I had high hopes for the ppx3 and this wasnt a good combo either IMO. The ppx3 revealed the 880's treble peak unmercilessly; definitely not good in my setup. The mpx3 was ok with dark tubes, but only ok. The dt 880 seems to need lots of power and surprisingly did better with solid state for me, despite their high impedence. The gilmore fleshed out the 880's bass and didnt emphasize the 880's treble. The v1 would be my hands down recommendation if he could find one. Some say the corda amps are a good match, and if I remember correctly the ear max pro might have been good; not sure. I am wondering if something like the rudistor might be good or the eddie current hd 300 or hd 25; but I am guessing.
 
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davebot

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gpalmer:

Quote:

I haven't tried the V2 with the DT-880, but I have always heard it's a good match. SACD Lover has tried this combo at length, you might try PM'ing him.


sacd lover:

Quote:

He did already g. I didnt have a good answer though.


sacd, you actually gave a very helpful reply, which you extended in this thread. Thanks!

Your Rx (smooth treble and good bass) seems the perfect complement for the DT 880s. I'm a little squeamish about tubes, though. The solid-state Corda intrigues me.

You mention the difference in character between the Gilmore V1 and V2; do you think one is more accurate than the other, or are they just different?

davebot
 
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sacd lover

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I am not sure about accuracy. I dont know which would be considered more accurate.The v2 doesnt sound bad just a little lean. The v1 sounds powerful with a richer tone and it seems to give the dt 880 just what it needs to sound balanced. The Ohio guys heard the v1 at the meet (acs236/go_vtec). You might pm them for an opinion of the amp. If they are logged in maybe we can get a response here.
 
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sacd lover

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Come on guys, help a head-fier out. Wheres all the dt 880 owners? What amp are you using the dt 880 with thats giving you good results?
 
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saint.panda

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At a meet I had pretty good results with the Corda HA1 MKII and even better with the Prehead (but I guess almost all headphones sound good out of the Prehead
).
The HA1 is slightly on the smooth side and gives the Beyer 880 more body and a sweeter midrange.

Other than that, I would not recommend the Gilmore Lite for the Beyer 880 due to the lack of body and a little bit of harshness in the highs (pretty fatiguing). This might be because of the amp or because of the bad synergy between the Beyer 880 and the Gilmore Lite, I don't know.
 
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The Corda HA-2 is a very good match, too. Seems to be a case for Meier amps.

 
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Sorry I cannot help with a current reco nor have any first hand experience with amps you mentioned. fwiw, though, when I did own dt880's (until 4 months ago), they sounded terrific with the PreHead, MAX, HR-2 and XP-7.

To me, the 880's needed lots of power to sound their best. Wthout it, the bass will be thin, boomy or both, and the trebles will get shrill. With it (lots of clean power) they positively sing.

Extrapolating friom the above (always dangerous) I would suggest checking the HeadRoom, Meier, or Ray Samuels amps in your range. Haven't heard them with the 880's, but based on synergy with the 650's (other high impedance, high power loving cans), you may want to check out the Rudistors as well. I haven't heard any of the Gilmore amps, but people whose opinions I respect have made some good recommendations here for them (at least the V1).

So, maybe a used, original MAX, Corda HA-2, HR Home or MOH while on sale, or XP-7?
 
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I use the system in my sig, a high-end PPA. I've tried 2-3 other amplifiers, one tube based, and didn't really care for it. The DT880 is EXTREMELY accurate on treble, and if the amplifier doesn't provide a transparent upper band, it is immediately obvious. With my setup, I can tell source problems immediately with recognized source material.

FYI, I never get any sibilance on recording that wasn't in the source material. I was concerned when I bought them that they would 'tsshhhht' as many people suggested, but I think they are very articulate without smearing the treble on bright source material. I would love to hear a pair of HD650's to compare, but my current setup sounds so good, I can't think of spending another $400 for something I might not enjoy. Too bad there are no meets around Tulsa, OK as I would love to hear some additional gear.

The thing I like most about the PPA is the transparency. It allows me to focus on source alone as it is the only link in the chain responsible for signal quality because it's like the amp isn't there, aside from adding a few hundred mA of current to power the headphones.

FYI, my musical tastes are basically reflected here. Most of my evaluations are based on results directly from CD: Audioscrobbler
 
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I would strongly recommend the Corda solid state amps as well. I am using the Corda HA-1 MKII and am very pleased with the results, obviously, depending on your budget the HA2 and Prehead will provide incrementally better results. Also, did extensive research on this site and many recommendations for DT880 with Corda. Good Luck!
 
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Thanks, guys. This is really helpful. There's a nice consensus building for the Corda amps.

I've read comments about three different versions of the Corda HA-1 : the original, the "blue" mod, and the Mk II. How do these compare? Through the DT 880?

I'm not sure what to make of the discussion of Gilmore amps. Sounds like I would be interested in the V1, but not the V2. Does the compatibility with the DT 880 have to do with the amp's accuracy, or the amount of raw power available to drive the DT 880--or just the sonic character of the amps?

The Corda's cross-feed feature intrigues me. Do you DT 880 guys use the cross-feed? Do you like the low or the high setting better?

Thanks,

=davebot=
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by davebot
Thanks, guys. This is really helpful. There's a nice consensus building for the Corda amps.

I've read comments about three different versions of the Corda HA-1 : the original, the "blue" mod, and the Mk II. How do these compare? Through the DT 880?

I'm not sure what to make of the discussion of Gilmore amps. Sounds like I would be interested in the V1, but not the V2. Does the compatibility with the DT 880 have to do with the amp's accuracy, or the amount of raw power available to drive the DT 880--or just the sonic character of the amps?

The Corda's cross-feed feature intrigues me. Do you DT 880 guys use the cross-feed? Do you like the low or the high setting better?

Thanks,

=davebot=



For the gilmore v1 question only. I think the v1 has a different sonic character. The v1 and v2 both have plenty of raw power and are seemingly accurate. However,the v1 has better bass and a richer tone vs the v2 IMO. This has the effect of giving a subjectively/ objectively
more balanced and forgiving sound quality with the v1/ dt880 combination. Once the guys post about their impressions of the gilmore v1 from the Ohio mini-meet, check out their take on the v1. Unfortunately we didnt have a dt 880, but they will likely comment on the amps general sound signature vs the corda and perreaux amps we had at the meet.
 
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davebot

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sacd lover, thanks for the comparisons of Gilmore amps. I also found your earlier review of the Gilmore amps helpful.

I get the impression that the Corda amps have a warmer signature. Since Jan Meier speaks favorably of the Beyerdynamic cans, I wonder if he uses them in voicing his amps? There seems to be a synergy there, anyway.

Have you compared the Gilmore with the Rudistor? The Rudistor is way above my budget, but it looks so cool. . .

=davebot=
 
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