mini review/ JVC HA-D990
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sacd lover

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I have owned these headphones in the past, for four years. I gave my original pair to my brother when the earpads wore out. I recently traded another head-fier for another pair. I have been listening to them at work for the past several weeks, almost every day. They sounded just as good as I remembered.
I have them connected to:
sony sacd player>mit t2interconnects>audio alchemy hpa1.0 amp. Today because I knew I would be posting this, I took notes intermittantly as I listened.
These phones are beautifully balanced. They have a solid powerful bass with excellent extension like the dt770pro. But, they also have slam like my grados, when called for. The midbass is a slight bit warm, but not to much, and I seem to enjoy the richness. Overall I like the bass with this phone better than the770. The mid-range is clear, smooth and has a presence that reminds me of the current grados mids, but not as intense. This is where I didnt like the 770s and thats why I sold mine. Where the 770s want to keep you at a distance, the jvc phones invite you in. The mid-range of this phone reminds me of the older grados like the sr100/200. The highs integrate flawlessly with the mids. The treble is extended and very slightly bright, but the brightness is not harsh, it gives these phones a sense of aliveness thats appealing to me. On good recordings there is a wonderful shimmer and decay to cymbals. The air around vocalists is easy to hear. On bad recordings the tape hiss is heard but not intrusive. This headphone never sounds bad unless the recording is abysmal.
The true strenght of this phone is its coherencey. Nothing is to emphasized, yet all the frequency ranges are fleshed out. The sound is neither to forward nor to laid-back; but it does lean very slightly towards the forward side. Everything appears to be moving at the same speed, and most of the time the rich bass doesnt hold back the pace. This phone will do dynamics, but again, the dynamics are not exaggerated. This headphone is both musical and surprisingly accurate.
There may be some special system synergy going on, But no matter what equipment, the results have always been excellent.
With a tube amp that can exhibit bass control, I guess this phone would be especially lush and involving. More positives? How about a 106db sensitivity and a 65 ohm impedence, although I thought the bass a little to loose, when I tried it on my sony sacd players headphone jack. Comfort is good with thick earpads and a headband that stays locked, atleast on my head. It has a straight, flexible 10 foot cord with a single entry point. I know you get the point, I think this phone is great.
THE D990 WAS STEROPHILE CLASS C in the early 90s. It used to retail for $149 as late as 11/97 in my Audio Directory. I paid $35 to replace the earpads on the used pair I recently purchased. For $16.99 there cant be a better buy that I can fathom. I hope this is helpful. I am familiar with good sound, but I PREFER THE GRADO TYPE UPFRONT SOUND, so be advised.
 
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purk

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SACD,
Great review. Excellent impression. I know it was better than the V6, but I didn't know they were class "C" by Stereophile. Anyway, you can't beat the price for less than 20 dollars. The only thing I hate about this headphone is the 1/4" plug.. emm.... Great buy!

Purk
 
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wallijonn

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i'll be cutting the 1/4" plug and installing mini's
 
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purk

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Wallijon,
I'll do the same..
Need to order nuetrik again! By the way, the cable is LC-OFC (those in CD-1700), maybe many of us can start the DIY cable upgrade for our Senn HD-580/600. The clou red is just too stiff to use (though, it sound great!).

Purk
 
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puppyslugg

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Quote:

...maybe many of us can start the DIY cable upgrade for our Senn HD-580/600.


I would have made a replacement cable for my hd600's, if I had access to the connectors. It's too bad Senn. doesn't sell them.
 
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purk

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Puppy,
Sennheiser didn't sell them. But you can order a stock cable (16 dollars through Sennheiser), and chop off part of the wire (b/f "Y"), then solder the replacement cable to the stock cable. I think JVC'LC-OFC cable should be sufficient to get some improvements.

Purk
 
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wallijonn

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does grado sell their cables, also? i would think that a grado cable on the senn's make more sense. and why don't people just change the senn connectors - what's so magical about them? let me guess - no one wants to make changes to them because they fear they won't be able to resell them? that's like upgrading your tires and you're afraid you won't be able to sell the car.
 
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Steve999

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Now that you mention it, Grado makes an awesome cable adapter to go down from a standard plug to a mini. I used one at Hirsch's. Is that what you're talking about?


Quote:

Originally posted by wallijonn
does grado sell their cables, also? i would think that a grado cable on the senn's make more sense.


 
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puppyslugg

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Hi purk,

The thought of whacking off the connectors of a perfectly good set of cables, is something that doesn't sit well with me. It just seems like such a waste, but I guess it may be the only way.
 
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wallijonn

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Steve, nah. i mean that people are spending hundreds of dollars for clou-blue (whatever) and i was wondering how the senns sound with the grado cable. it's supposed to be OFC and a heavier guage. i just figured that it's the cheap way of replacing those flimsy senn cables. has anyone ever done this? can the senn connector ends be stripped so that they will take the grado cable?
 
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JahJahBinks

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How comfortable is it and does it block a significant amount of ambient noise?
 
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Its comfortable to me, cushy earpads and a headband that stays tight, a one-sided cord that doesnt get in the way. I dont know about large headsizes though. It does block ambient noise, if someone comes up from behind me at my desk I dont know it. No one complains about noise leaking out and I am in tight quarters.
 
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JahJahBinks

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Is it open or closed? If it's closed than I guess it should block some noise nonetheless.
 
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AtEase

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One of the things I like best about the dt770s in comparison to other closed phones I've tried (e.g. my v6) is the fairly wide soundstage, how are the 990 in that regard?


Quote:

The mid-range is clear, smooth and has a presence that reminds me of the current grados mids, but not as intense. This is where I didnt like the 770s and thats why I sold mine. Where the 770s want to keep you at a distance, the jvc phones invite you in.


This is the line that finally caused me to break down and order a pair -- I have the same complaint about the 770s....
 
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