DT880 to Grado. Opinions wanted.
Apr 29, 2004 at 10:38 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 28

myself, aka me

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Hi,

I'm not happy with my DT880. I can't pinpoint what's wrong with them exactly, but it's like they're playing through.. mud instead of air. When I listened to a Sony CD3000 I felt they were playing through something thinner, and it was nice to my ears. However they're US$400.

Perhaps the DT880 isn't energetic enough. Rather than building another amp (I have a META42 and I am not so sure it's powering the DT880 to it's full potential. Well, I know it's not, but, i'm not sure how close it is and i'd rather not pay so much to find out).

So, maybe if I shift to something easier to power and which has more energy like a Grado I would be happier.

I cannot buy a new Grado 'cause they're too expensive here and grado won't let US shops sell overseas, so maybe an Alessandro product is in order. Like US$99 for an MS-1.

Is the difference between them large? As in, general tone differences, then absolute quality.

If you guys say it's silly to do that, would a shift to an SR225 by trade be a better option? I'd rather have a bit of $$ saved from this shift rather than pouring out money money money. I'm saving for a trip to a foreign country at the end of the year where they sell many cool gadgets which I may want to purchase, you see.
wink.gif


So if you can help me spend money then I would appreciate it.
 
Apr 29, 2004 at 10:47 AM Post #2 of 28

bangraman

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None of my METAs powered the DT880 to any real degree of satisfaction, with one (my special, fried-to-a-crisp-and-revived META with a high gain... perhaps I can advocated slightly burned PCB's as an audio tweak?
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) being a bit better. The 'totally maxed out META' of a fellow Head-Fi member was in particular a horrendous mismatch.


That's the thing I can recommend if you want to stick it out with the DT880... put more gain in.


I'd say why not experiment and try the SR225 trade method. I've not owned the 225 in particular but it might be more what you like.
 
Apr 29, 2004 at 12:10 PM Post #3 of 28

cosmopragma

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Quote:

I'm not happy with my DT880. I can't pinpoint what's wrong with them exactly, but it's like they're playing through.. mud instead of air.


You hate them.Sell them.If you are a masochist you could cut into your finger every day instead of crippeling your music enjoyment.
Quote:

Is the difference between them large?


Absolutely.I own DT 880 and Grado SR 325( and listened to other Grados).Any member of the Grado SR family should fix your "mud" problem, the sweet spot in regard to performance is the SR 225, but even a SR 80 doesn't sound cheap.
 
Apr 29, 2004 at 10:39 PM Post #4 of 28

RobertR

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myself said:
Hi,

I'm not happy with my DT880. I can't pinpoint what's wrong with them exactly, but it's like they're playing through.. mud instead of air.


i dont understand what you mean by "mud" do they sound muffled? if anything i thought the grado 225 were a lot more veiled than the 880
the grados cant compare when it comes to detail .
 
Apr 29, 2004 at 11:32 PM Post #5 of 28

Dan the audioman

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I know exactly what you mean when you say they sound muddy. This was my main criticism. They were too warm and smooth for my tastes. There wasn't enough definition between instraments and notes.

I am upgrading to the grado rs-1's. The grado sound is so unbelieveably better, I practically cry every time I listen.

Regards,
Dan
rs1smile.gif
 
Apr 29, 2004 at 11:43 PM Post #6 of 28

bangraman

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Warm and smooth? And you think the RS-1 will be less warm?
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Mud or lack of definition / air has all the aspects of a poorly driven DT880. I think I made a point by laying out the RKV to a felow Head-Fi member who'd only tried them out of a META previously.
 
Apr 30, 2004 at 12:02 AM Post #7 of 28

Dan the audioman

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bangraman
Warm and smooth? And you think the RS-1 will be less warm?
confused.gif



Mud or lack of definition / air has all the aspects of a poorly driven DT880. I think I made a point by laying out the RKV to a felow Head-Fi member who'd only tried them out of a META previously.



True. The rs-1 is still warm sounding but it is so much better suited for rock, which will be their main use. I also find them to pack a much larger punch and drive to the sound than the DT880's.

They were not underdriven. I used them with a gilmore v1 with a DACT stepped attenuator. It had no trouble whatsoever powering them, and many fans of the beyers seem to like it a lot with the gilmore amps. Ask RedVision, Iron Dreamer, and there are a few more out there.
 
Apr 30, 2004 at 3:21 AM Post #8 of 28

Snufkin

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I agree with bangraman's amp comments - with lower end amps the DT880 just doesn't impress, it sounds a bit lifeless and a tad blurry.

I wouldn't recommend the Alessandro MS-1 as an "upgrade", I don't even find the MS-2 to be a significantly superior headphone as I love the DT880 for their lush, full sound and the MS-2 tends to thin things out a bit too much for my liking.
The MS-Pro on the other hand is a different matter altogether
rs1smile.gif
 
Apr 30, 2004 at 5:42 AM Post #9 of 28

myself, aka me

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If my DT880 is poorly driven, i'd rather sell to someone who can drive it properly than import an amp. I've listened out of a PPA and it was better but not like that CD3000.

I'm under the impression that Grados are easier to drive than my DT880. If i'm wrong about that correct me please. Maybe i'm mistaking easy to get loud for doesn't require as much power to sound good.

If Grados aren't what I need:
-Something that a META with either OPA627 or OPA2228 and single buffers can drive.

- Alternately something that an amp from the PIMETA schematic with OPA637/627 and single BUF634 can drive. Same gain.

- Open or closed. I don't care.

- It will sound less like it's playing in an atmosphere of mud. Preferably air. Or even a hydrogen atmosphere is fine although I don't want the high end too over the top.

- As cheap as possible. Somewhere in the used DT880 range.

- In case i'm listening quiet and that's the cause.. something that sounds good at a lower SPL. I play in a big band and i'm paranoid about the T word.

Thanks for your help so far, i'm kind of formulating a picture of what I want..
 
Apr 30, 2004 at 10:04 PM Post #10 of 28

myself, aka me

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Note that my DT880 is underamped and the source is not great. I run it from my MD deck to my META. This is not changable.

In that situation, would an MS1 be a better choice? Underdriven but ultimately better headphone versus a lower class headphone that's properly driven.

I'm not really after an upgrade more of a change in character.
 
May 1, 2004 at 1:05 AM Post #11 of 28

Snufkin

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I'd say no.
One of the characteristics you say you're after is greater clarity, the MS-1 to me sounds muffled compared to the DT880 - even when both are running unamped.
 
May 1, 2004 at 3:21 AM Post #12 of 28

stevieo

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i personally find the 880 boring. my portable meta42 powers them but not sufficiently. i have some solid state amps that power them more than sufficiently but still do not do it for me.

however, the fisher 400 & the 880 is a real nice combo that i do enjoy. not the most exciting but enjoyable. the fisher 400 has the power & may lack the detail other amps provide. i think maybe the 880 does not do well with too much detail. it may be very amp specific like the hd600/650. only a handfull of amps can make either of them sound good, imo. to me grados sound pretty much the same (good) to me on most any old amp.
 
May 1, 2004 at 4:42 AM Post #13 of 28

cmk

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I reckon this is a case of impedence mismatch. The DT880s are moderate impedence cans (250ohms), while the Cd3k, Grados and such are all low impedence (30-50ohms). Consequently the Dt880s require more drive to sound good, but when properly driven, sound fantastic.

Given the equipment you are pairing it with, you will probably do better trading the 880 for a SR225/325.

I personally prefer the 325, much more detail and extended in both highs and lows. The 225 seems to have a slight lower mid-bass hump which masks detail.
 
May 1, 2004 at 4:47 AM Post #14 of 28

Dan the audioman

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Quote:

I personally prefer the 325, much more detail and extended in both highs and lows. The 225 seems to have a slight lower mid-bass hump which masks detail.


Ditto.

We who prefer the 325's are of the few.

rs1smile.gif
 
May 1, 2004 at 5:37 AM Post #15 of 28

swalker

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dan the audioman
Ditto.

We who prefer the 325's are of the few.

rs1smile.gif



I preferred the 325's over the DT880's
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DT880 was just...too boring in the midrange for me and I love the sound of the ER4S. I used reversed bowl pads and thought the highs were just fine.
 

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