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Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO - Beyer's open-back mastering headphone

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by xero1, Jul 19, 2016.
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  1. jarnauga
    Thank you to both of you for the feedback regarding dynamic range, clarity, musical genre and soundstage; it is really useful.

    I couldn't resist to do a couple of more test before I put them to rest for a while/to play music non stop inside a drawer in my office.

    I bought another disk: Elgar Cello Concerto with Weilerstein/Barenboim. I want to test the lower range further. Again two obvious traits: you are with your nose at barely 15 cm from the cello, I'm not joking. It is VERY loud. But the tone, the drama, it loves drama, the timbre, the clarity are there. And it can go low without a rumble... for a while. What happens is you add more instruments in the lower range, in a busy passage, and it start to fall apart in a instant. It can play clear with the tone colour of a cello, a fabulous skill, while going down in the scale, again fabulous. But at certain point, and I'm starting to think it is frequency dependent, a resonance problem arises when more and more sound is added in the same low frequency: fuzziness, rumble, confusion. Something is not working very well there. Nevertheless the music has a couple of passages where a sudden tutti happens and you can hear the most close render of a thunder in your head: scary, impressive, thrilling, superfun. The narrow venue, the closed small room is there all the time.

    Then the second test: Hahn/Salonen Schoenberg Violin Concerto. Something great happened here that I want to share: openess, clarity, more space around, not too much, but better. Transparency, drama, you can follow the soloist violin doing crazy things and the company of the orchestra strings doing a wonderful job, right and left and around, some air between them even. I enjoyed it a lot. Did you notice something? Strings... Violin. The narrowness of the soundstage is not that much this time, no resonances as well, same clarity, super good tone, lot of emotion. If you play high-mids and treble sounds it works as an open-ish headphone, very very neutral, transparent, fast. No sibilance at all, no pain, no fears of pain, not even close. It is not lean or thin, it can be thick and saturated with tone, if it is in the recording, of course. But it seems if you go down in the scale many things remains, critical good things, neutrality, transparency, drama, emotion, but it started to behave as a closed headphone with no control of the resonances in a certain low frequency range or bad spot. And I'm afraid that won't change with burn in.

    The two level dynamic range was there all the time albeit Hahn violin was a bit better merged with the background team this time and a bit less loud.

    I have more new records to test vocals (Hannigan/ De Leeuw/ Satie: Socrate) and also Bach/Organ (Simon Preston) to test the rumble. But this will be later.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
  2. ScareDe2
    Hey guys,

    Who doesn't like the DT1990 here? I offer you $400 + shipping to Canada. PM me.

    cardeli22 likes this.
  3. Sekka
    I'm not getting on so well with the narrow soundstage of the DT1990 with either set of pads, they sound like a pair of impressive closed headphones to me in this aspect. Songs with a lot going on sound overly cluttered because of the lack of room. Also, the sibilance is very distracting, absurd in some cases, and EQing results on the 9k peak are not satisfactory, too much clarity is lost. I would prefer a headphone with the same level of detail without a 10 DB treble peak, I like bright headphones but these are a bit much for me. Other than these problems, the DT1990 are very impressive, especially in the low range.

    Has anyone compared these to the HD800? I've seen some used pairs going for $6-700. From what I've read they might be a bit thin for my taste, but reportedly responding very well to EQ if so, and I've always had more success EQing up rather than down.
  4. DW75
    Hey Sekka, you should take a look at the Beyerdynamic Amiron Home. It has the sound signature you are looking for. It has an amazing soundstage, and very impressive imaging. Everything is nicely layered in the music. You can hear all kinds of details popping up in recordings that you may have missed before. The treble is nicely detailed, but has no fatiguing elements to its character at all.
  5. DW75
    Be aware that the Amiron Home has a burn in period. It takes about 50-60 hours to reach its final sound.
  6. Sekka
    I have read the same, but in frequency response graphs, it has the same 10+ DB peak as the DT1990. They measure like a DT1990 with more bass and less midrange, which might make it sound less fatiguing but the large peak in the treble is what is causing me problems. I am skeptical to believe the Amiron doesn't have problems with sibilance when it measures nearly the same in that region as the DT1990, which was stated in reviews to have no or very minimal problems with sibilance but I did not find this to be the case at all. I do believe that the soundstage would be improvement just because the Amiron looks to be more a more open headphone, but that still leaves me with the sibilance aspect.

    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
  7. DW75
    I think you should give it a try. The treble on the Amiron is smoother, and less bright than on the DT1990. A friend of mine owns the DT1990, and I got to hear it a couple times. I was able to compare it with my Amiron. In terms of soundstage, the Amiron is wider, and everything is more layered. There is better instrument separation. The Amiron Home has more mid bass, and the headphone has a warmer sound signature. Its warmer presentation also causes a reduction in the brightness of the upper frequencies. This headphone does not sound like other current Beyerdynamic models on the market. They went for a different sound. On the Amiron, all of the detail is present, but it is not fatiguing or harsh, even in the slightest. Everything about the Amiron's presentation is very smooth and lush. I am sure you will be impressed. Allow for 50-60 hours burn in, and you will be happy. Out of the box, the mid bass is a tad too forward. It begins to settle down at 35-40 hours, and continues to calm down up to about 60 hours.
  8. lugnut
    I have not heard the dt 1990, however I do agree with this statement that the Amiron has a fairly wide sound-stage and great imaging.

    Again I have not listened to the dt 1990, but I own the amiron and to my ears is not sibilant or fatiguing at all. I did briefly own a pair of he-560s that I did find problems with in the treble. I would at least try to listen to a pair of amirons before excluding them.
  9. Sekka
    I don't want to exclude them because I do like the DT1990 overall, and if the Amiron fixes the soundstage that alone makes it worth considering. If I can find someone that found the DT1990 to be sibilant but the Amiron to be fine, I would strongly consider getting a pair.
  10. stenog
    I have the the Amiron and used to have the DT 1990 and generally agree with the above posters. But you are right about the Amiron treble. It is a bit bright and by memory the DT 1990 did NOT have a brighter treble. My problem with the 1990 was primarily in the mids and low end where the Amiron is more than a tad warmer. Amiron definitely have a bigger sound stage, warmer mids and more bass quantity and quality. The 1990 is bit faster though, more direct.

    So if your problem with the DT 1990 is in the treble I am not sure the Amiron is for you. But as always, we all hear things differently and it's always best to audition before buying :)
    cardeli22 likes this.
  11. kman1211
    Agree, I wouldn’t say the Amiron has less treble either. I found the treble texture a bit softer but not really the amount. I found the Amiron to have a bit more treble extension than the DT 1990 which not everyone will like and may actually bother some people more than the DT 1990’s, I personally found the Amirons treble less fatiguing and smoother though. The Amiron doesn’t have the crazy treble extension of the T1 though. I’m personally used to and like the Beyer treble, it grew on me over time, yes it has some bite and is not for everyone. Interestingly I found many Beyers on the right system and/or listening volume the treble sharpness just seems to vanish.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
    DavidA and stenog like this.
  12. Cybertox
    For those brave enough, I advise you to listen to Peaches by Stranglers from the Sexy Beast movie soundtrack. The track portrays the insane amount of sibilance the DT 1990 Pro emit in certain recordings, the experience is overly-fatiguing and ear-piercing. I can really enjoy the DT 1990 Pro on some of my tracks, but when you have to cherry pick the tracks for your headphone, you know there is something wrong with it. I must admit I really dislike the brightness of beyerdynamic's mid to higher end line-ups. The DT 1770 are even worse in terms of treble and fatigue.

    The custom One Pro which I also own on the other hand, sound like an entirely different headphone, doesnt even feel like a beyerdynamic cause it doesnt share the same overly bright sound signature.
  13. ScareDe2
    Soundstage is often related to treble. More treble often translate with more soundstage and details. So by this principle the Amiron is unlikely to have less treble than the DT1990 if the soundstage is bigger.

    I contacted Beyerdynamic and asked them the most neutral headphone in their actual line and they answered the DT1990.
    cardeli22 likes this.
  14. Sekka
    I think that earcup size, openness of the headphone, distance of the drivers from your ears, and angle of the drivers are the biggest contributors to soundstage. More treble can make the headphone sound more open, which can improve perceived soundstage, but I don't think it's the biggest factor at all. Detail I definitely agree with you though, most headphones thought to have exceptional detail have boosted treble, which I do like but I think the DT1990 has gone too far hence the sibilance. If you EQ down the peak, there goes a lot of the detail and clarity Beyerdynamic intended it to showcase. If someone finds significantly EQing the treble down to be necessary I think it would be better to just buy a headphone with a similar level of detail that has less boosted treble.
  15. kman1211
    True, that and the driver itself and it's tuning. What are you driving the DT 1990 with? Because for me sibilance was never an issue for me on the DT 1990, same with the Amiron and even the DT 1770. The treble can have bite, but I never found them sibilant. I actually found the HD 650 and HD 660 S more abrasive and fatiguing than any of those headphones.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
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