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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. Hanga
    Thank you for your suggestions.

    Hifiman Sundara - Reviews seem to indicate that they lack bass a bit.

    Focal Elear - Too expensive unfortunately.

    Philips Fidelio X2 - Good option, should be good in bass, but lack a little in detail, from what I have read.
  2. kelly200269
    Yes, the 1990’s are indeed excellent. I have other, supposedly better cans, but the 1990’s are my ‘go to’ set most of the time. Truly excellent!
    Essence STX and cardeli22 like this.
  3. George Taylor
    I know it might be difficult, but I have LCD2s and find them to be a perfect set to switch back and forth to. You "might" be able to find a used pair if you're patient. The X2s are great for the price and very different sound signature wise. It comes down to if you really want something to simply compare to the 1990s, or compliment.
  4. curentatu
    Can someone pls share with me the inner dimensions of the pads on the dt 1990`s ???
  5. jarnauga
    I finally sold them a couple of days ago (at a loss but it is what it is). After trying to make them work for me and my music, I couldn't. I like how well built they are, and they are beautiful. I like many things about their sound (clear, resolution, speed, microdynamics, neutrality of the frequency range), but three things are wrong (again, for my music). And one is a killer.

    1. Soundstage is narrow, side to side, bad for classical. And it depends on sound level/loudness/pressure, not only frequency. I will explain it below. Front to back is another problem I will try to explain.
    2. In your face presentation, no lay back. Bad for classical. They are shouty and loud. But you can tame it with sound pressure/loudness level. But then you have the third problem.
    3. Third one, and this one was the killer for me: not layering, no distance, not music/dynamic range, not macrodynamics or similar. Impossible for classical.

    I can work around the first two but not the third.

    Yes, there are many things that are wonderful, many. But let me explain how they react to sound pressure/loudness/musical softness. Imagine a triangle in front of you. One vortex in your face, the base of the triangle a bit far away in the distance, and it is not a fat base triangle but narrow-ish.. The sounds come from two layers/two distances only: the vortex (in your face) or along the base of the triangle, afar. Sounds in the distance, softer, quieter, has room left to right (not very wide but enough). But at a fixed distance from you and in the same level of softness, the same, fixed again. Sounds from the vortex are in your face, shouty, very loud, with no room for any soundstage at all.

    This is more or less my experience. It was before from the beginning but I was trying and trying. And then I brought the Beyer to my office and tried the new recording (FLAC, 16/44.1) of the Per Nørgård 3rd Symphony (BBC Radio 3, Proms 2018, Recording available for free to download in Simon's page, 5 against 4). Yes, the lady at the end showed a lot of sibilance even in the soft 'mode' (putting down the sound level), and, yes, it was beautiful as well: the chorus, the piano, the harp, the tone, the timbre. But it wasn't as spectacular as this piece is, no space, only either shouty or afar, soft, detailed but without layers or dynamic range. And this music is very very detailed and very very soft! You need to play it loud and let the music raise and fall naturally. And the Beyer couldn't. This lack of dynamics or music range (pianissimo to fortissimo and back) surprised me, a lot, and it was the main point of disappointment for me as it was one of the main traits that a Beyer 770Pro-250 has: you can play very quiet music that suddenly raises without losing any other sound feature (long time owner here). Also there is something related to frequency: the soundstage collapse with frequency as well. This 'mental' triangle in front of you is also frequency related, not only loudness related. And it won't be that bad if the sound can travel from the front to the back smoothly, but it can't. It is only two levels or layers, two loudness settings, that's all. If you put the sound level down it collapses to the distance, if you put the level up most things -sounds- will crush you in your face.

    Something of this is related to the semi-closed nature of the cups, more airy in the top and closed sounding at the bottom (frequency). But it acts as a dynamic compressor, a natural, mechanical dynamic compressor (in a weird way because it can show two layers at the same time, but only two).

    I don't know how it can be useful for mastering/mixing/etc., at least with acoustic/natural timbre/instruments. Yes, a solo will work wonderfully. But against a background of players like in a concerto... And it is a pity, I really tried hard to like it. The nuances, the manipulation of the tempi from the players, emotion and drama, are all there but there are these weird qualities I can't stand.

    Tested with a Linn Akurate source and a Lehmann Audio linear if you have doubts about the capacity of my playback chain.
  6. kelly200269
    I think the 1990’s ‘work’ for classical IMO, but it sounds like you’d be better off with the Senny HD800’s. These should meet your requirements.
    In fact, I would go so far to say that there are no better cans than the HD800’s for classical.
    cardeli22 likes this.
  7. ferraro25
    The DT-1990 with the analytical pads is now my favorite headphone - I do not feel like using anything else for non-portable listening. Outside of it being a little too bright/sibilant (for some recordings), lacking a bit of bass sometimes (the balanced pads sound horrible to me, so that is not a way to fix this), and instruments can blend together on busy passages (but not as bad as the DT-770), it is the closest I've heard to what would be my "ideal" sound. As I said, I might EQ it at some point, but I mostly feel like it is unnecessary since I can deal with the issues I have.
  8. kman1211
    Dynamic range, layering, nuance, and soundstage variability is why I prefer the Amiron Home and T1.2 over the DT 1990 overall. I realized over time the DT 1990 lacks finer detail, it shoves detail more in your face and this is very fun at times, but I grow tired of it over time.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
    stenog likes this.
  9. Sekka
    You're right, I had all of his problems and more with the DT1990, except in a wider variety of genres, and I upgraded to a used HD800 with SDR and I have 0 complaints.
  10. richie60

    Got a new toy today. Pairs very well with my BH CRACK. Still running in, but sounds excellent with this amp. Think my HD 600 is now redundant.
    cardeli22 and Scutey like this.
  11. Scutey
    Great choice!, the 1990 seems to work really well with tube amps, used mine with three and sounded great with all of them, enjoy!.
  12. richie60
    So far I'm really loving them. Haven't been able to take them off my head all afternoon.
    Essence STX and kelly200269 like this.
  13. Scutey
    That was exactly how I was the the first time I tried them and 18 months later I still feel the same way.
    Essence STX, kelly200269 and richie60 like this.
  14. audiobomber
    Hi Richie. I am driving my 1990's with a Magni 3 and am very happy with this combo. Nevertheless, I'm trying to talk a friend into loaning me his Crack so I can have a listen.

    I auditioned the HD 650 during the time I had Amirons and to me they sounded similar, but the Amiron was all around better. I didn't keep either because they were too warm sounding. Hopefully you will report back on the DT 1990 vs. HD 600, as I am considering whether to add the 600's.

    The Pro 1990 with Analytical pads really floats my boat. I am not looking to replace, but add. From my reading, I suspect the HD 600 would have a similar sound? Unfortunately I cannot audition 600's because I am looking at a used pair in a distant town. I would appreciate hearing your opinion (after the beyers are broken in).
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
  15. Mal Waldron
    I bought these headphones in April 2018 and I am enjoying them immensely with all the styles of music I listen to: jazz, electronic, classic progressive rock, 80's pop, ... I almost always use them in a portable way, amplified with a Xduoo X5. Yesterday, I entered Amazon Spain and I saw how much those headphones have been devalued; they can be obtained from only 283 euros (good condition) or 299 euros (very good condition), from Amazon Warehouse (you know, returns of dissatisfied customers).

    How is it possible that those HP does not have the recognition they deserve?!
    kelly200269 likes this.
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