Informal Impressions - DT531
Jul 29, 2004 at 4:57 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

Budley007

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Well, I've been using them for a couple of weeks now. I think the burn-in really helped the bass and detail alot on these cans.

Word to the uninformed - buy a decent amp. These headphones are so pathetically weak without one. I tried using them with my Echo Indigo and it just doesn't cut it. Turning the volumn up almost gets there, but I felt it just needed more power and drive. I went ahead and plugged my SHA-1 in the Indigo and Man! what a difference.

It was as if I had a flat equilizer, then did the classic "smily face" pattern. Another thing I love about the sound is that some of the more dynamic CDs I own, mostly classical, really "air" out without hissing. What I mean is, with my SR225s I can't get away from the high freq "hiss" while listening to classical music at an enjoyable level. I would attribute this to the nominal impedance of 250 ohms as opposed to the SR225s - 32 ohms. Maybe someone else can explain it better, I'm no expert.

When I went with a line level output from my Aardvark 24/96 the sound just got a bit richer or "lusher". I wouldn't call it muddier at all. More accurate would be to say that the SHA-1s tubes made more of an appearance with the Aardvark as a source. The detail was wonderful from both sources.

I still like my SR225s for rock, jazz, techno, etc...but for the lack of "hiss" in the classical silent passages, I would rate the sound of the DT531s better.

For classical music, I'd highly recommend an audition with the DT531s...again, with a decent amp. Soundstage was better than the SR225s. The DT531s do both male and female opera voices very well.

They do a very good job with rock, jazz and techno, but will reveal flaws in the source. Some rock songs I auditioned with these cans really made too much use of treble and became harsh with some of the worst. The fatigue wasn't much of a problem on my Aardvark, but the Echo Indigo couldn't tame the highs enough to keep me happy. I think this is more of a source/amp synergy problem than a DT531 problem. But let's just say, they aren't too forgiving, if at all.

One thing that stood out the most to me about the DT531s is that acoustic guitar sounds absolutely heavenly on these headphones. I found myself hunting for more and more CDs featuring acoustic guitar, just to see if I was hearing things. Nope, it's the cans. I love it.

I didn't want to make this a comparison of my SR225s, so I won't. I love em both.

Echo Indigo > SR225s = my portable rig (does all things well)

Aardvark > Melos SHA-1 > DT531 = home rig. (does all things well - classical, jazz and acoustic guitar are gorgeous!)

Considering the lack of sources and my inexperience with headphones, I rate my opinion and listening abilities informal at best. I wish I had some better sources to make a more accurate interpretation of the sound of the DT531s, but considering my budget and what I'm working with right now, these headphones really keep me involved in the music. I'm keeping them.
 
Jul 29, 2004 at 5:44 AM Post #2 of 8

pbirkett

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Glad to see you like them, although your impressions are somewhat slightly different to mine by the sounds of it. You say you think they are good for classical. Well, I havent tried classical admittedly, but its not a headphone that I really expected to do very well for that genre. I guess they do slightly reveal flaws in the source with the likes of techno, but I have to say to my ears they do so in a manner which I find more forgiving than other cans - but then I find something being slightly too lively a lot more tolerable than something being too dull, which is what other headphones tend to do IMO.

I'll have to try and hunt down some acoustic guitar though. The closest I get to that is "My Immortal" by Evanescence
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but it does sound absolutely excellent.
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Jul 29, 2004 at 6:03 AM Post #3 of 8

Factor

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Besides an increase in the maximum volume level, I do not notice much difference when I compare my 531's amped and unamped. Maybe I just have poor amp synergy. Or maybe the difference is actually much more subtle than a few of you claim. I suspect it's a little bit of both.

What are some less expensive amps (no more than $100-110) that have given you guys good results with the 531's?
 
Jul 29, 2004 at 6:38 AM Post #4 of 8

Budley007

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Yes, purhaps it's just the impedance that made them more listenable to classical as opposed to the SR225s. I really like the better separation when auditioning orchestal recordings. The soundstage wasn't dead center in my head like the SR225s. I don't have any problem with the SR225s, just thought the DT531s shined more with the source/amp setup that I currently use while listening to very dynamic CDs. I really didn't notice a lot of hiss with the SR225s during quiet passages until I started using the DT531s. I prefer to value your opinion of these headphones more, considering your experience. So I'll just say they add to my musical appreciation by rendering classical music in a flavor that I like. Does that make sense?
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Thanks for the reply!
 
Jul 29, 2004 at 6:52 AM Post #5 of 8

pbirkett

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Factor
Besides an increase in the maximum volume level, I do not notice much difference when I compare my 531's amped and unamped. Maybe I just have poor amp synergy. Or maybe the difference is actually much more subtle than a few of you claim. I suspect it's a little bit of both.

What are some less expensive amps (no more than $100-110) that have given you guys good results with the 531's?



I think the DT531 can change fairly dramatically with different amps, but without actually losing their groove (unless its a really bad synergy). I have to say that I find the DT531 better out of the Rega Ear than out of the Perreaux, Musical Fidelity X-can v3 or my Integrated amp. I think they most important thing for the Perreaux is that it has a powerful amp with an iron fisted grip on these cans. If it can provide this, then you are already well on the way to grooveland
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Jul 29, 2004 at 1:13 PM Post #6 of 8

plainsong

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Yeah, it's what I've been saying. They can groove with a decent portable amp, but will pat you on the back and thank you for upgrading.
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I find they're good all-rounder's and that's for classical music as well. For the stuff that's mixed well I prefer the Senns, but a lot of my classical stuff isn't made so well, and with the dt531s I concentrate less on that and more on the music.
 
Aug 1, 2004 at 3:36 PM Post #7 of 8

NetRunner

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Yep. DT531 do improve with an amp. Even X-Can v2.. Maybe I should get a second pair before they are all gone. Mine is getting in a quite bad shape.. *Age thing.. really..*
 
Aug 1, 2004 at 5:58 PM Post #8 of 8

Factor

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Quote:

Originally Posted by pbirkett
...Rega Ear ... Perreaux, Musical Fidelity X-can v3...


Every one of those amps costs at least twice what the headphones do. I say the minor improvement is not worth tripling the cost of the headphone/amp combo. I personally notice almost no difference in the 531's out of my computer's line out versus my Meta. Maybe that's because it isn't the right amp for the job... but even so, I am extremely happy with my 531's, and the things I like about them sonically are the same exact things people like about them when they power them with better equipment. They may get a little bit better with a really costly amp, but they are still really, really fantastic without one. And most importantly, the sonic character doesn't change at all. Only the refinement. And considering they were going for as low as $100 back before they became an instant collectors' item, using them without an amp has got to have a much, MUCH better price/performance ratio.
 

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