SA5K to DT880, yes or no?
Mar 24, 2006 at 2:50 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 33

mrdon

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Been reading a great deal of good things about the DT880's. What do you think the move from Sony's SA5K's to the DT880's would be like? Do you recommend it or not?
 
Mar 24, 2006 at 2:57 PM Post #2 of 33

fewtch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mrdon
Been reading a great deal of good things about the DT880's. What do you think the move from Sony's SA5K's to the DT880's would be like? Do you recommend it or not?


With the caveat that I haven't heard the SA5k, I think the DT880 is generally recognized as a more mellow headphone with an "audiophile-ish" frequency balance. DT880 bass is airy rather than slamming, and the headphones probably are more decay-oriented and 'slower' than the SA5k, with less overt treble detail (but probably more soundstage). Depends on what musical genres you like -- the DT880 is not great for guitar rock IMO, while SA5k is supposed to be among the best for that genre. I wonder if the SA5k might not be the better all-rounder with the right supporting gear, but DT880 has a unique relaxed-but-lively sound that's great for classical and jazz in particular.

P.S. the fact that I can help at all with this shows that I read the forums here WAY too much
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. No flames please, I admitted to not hearing the SA5k in the first sentence.
 
Mar 24, 2006 at 3:12 PM Post #4 of 33

kyrie

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I don't think the resolution of the DT880 is in the same league as that of the SA5k. The SA5k doesn't seemed to be well-liked around here, and I understand why that may be the case (it has many faults), but it's still an incredible performer and technically superior to most other headphones in its price class. The DT880 is certainly a incredible bang-for-buck among audiophile-class headphones, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's as good as any audiophile-class headphone. Frankly speaking, moving from the SA5k to the DT880 will be a downgrade. If you're dissatisfied with the SA5k sound, then you might as well look at the K701, which everyone seems to say (hearsay warning) sounds like the DT880 but better, suggesting that it may be in the same approximate class as the SA5k.
 
Mar 24, 2006 at 3:16 PM Post #5 of 33

Veniogenesis

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Well, I think it's a matter of tastes.

I actually upgraded from a DT880 to a SA5K. I preferred the SA5K over the DT880 due to its increased speed, extension, and tighter attack. However note that a DT880 is more "musical" (less dry) than a SA5K. A DT880 using a tube amplifier will sound very sweet while the effect of a SA5K with tubes is less in that regard.

The DT880 has less resolution as kyrie said. Less details, but less revealing. I could actually listen MP3s when I had a DT880.
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Mar 24, 2006 at 3:19 PM Post #6 of 33

fewtch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Veniogenesis
The DT880 has less resolution as kyrie said. Less details, but less revealing. I could actually listen MP3s when I had a DT880.
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You actually make a good point that seems to be rarely considered on head-fi. Those with less-than-stellar gear or recordings may prefer a headphone that's a "downgrade" in an absolute sense, particularly if it has a frequency balance and other qualities that appeal more to a particular person than the higher-end headphone. However, I have to point out that the DT880 is not a "forgiving" headphone in any absolute sense, and ugly recordings are still ugly with it. I found the Senn HD580/600 *much* more forgiving, in fact a great choice for those with average or poor gear/recordings, despite their rep of needing high end supporting gear to shine.
 
Mar 24, 2006 at 3:33 PM Post #7 of 33

Veniogenesis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fewtch
However, I have to point out that the DT880 is not a "forgiving" headphone in any absolute sense, and ugly recordings are still ugly with it. I found the Senn HD580/600 *much* more forgiving, in fact a great choice for those with average or poor gear/recordings, despite their rep of needing high end supporting gear to shine.


Oh ya. Very true. Although the DT880 may be less revealing than the SA5K, it is still considered very unforgiving compared with other headphones such as Senns.
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Mar 24, 2006 at 3:40 PM Post #8 of 33

vpivinylspinner

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I just sold off my 2003 version BeyerDynamic DT-880s last week and happened to come across a pair of Sony MDR SA-5Ks that I got yesterday. I have listened to the Sony set only last night and this morning a bit at the office. While I find the build quality on the Sony to be a bit better (less creaks) and the looks to be better, the comfort is not nearly as good as the Beyer's in my opinion. The sound of the Sony's certainly is something I haven't quite gotten used to. They are hyper-detailed, kind of like the Beyers, but they are also brighter than the Beyers making this detail a bit more forward. I intend to try a tube amp with these in the near future to tame this a bit because the headphones are very good across all frequency ranges, just a little tilted to the top. Overall, if I had to have only the one headphone for all types of music, I would probably choose the Beyer's. However, as a stablemate to the other headphones I have and on the right source and type of music the Sony's are amazing.
 
May 11, 2009 at 9:37 PM Post #9 of 33

Catharsis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by vpivinylspinner /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I just sold off my 2003 version BeyerDynamic DT-880s last week and happened to come across a pair of Sony MDR SA-5Ks that I got yesterday. I have listened to the Sony set only last night and this morning a bit at the office. While I find the build quality on the Sony to be a bit better (less creaks) and the looks to be better, the comfort is not nearly as good as the Beyer's in my opinion. The sound of the Sony's certainly is something I haven't quite gotten used to. They are hyper-detailed, kind of like the Beyers, but they are also brighter than the Beyers making this detail a bit more forward. I intend to try a tube amp with these in the near future to tame this a bit because the headphones are very good across all frequency ranges, just a little tilted to the top. Overall, if I had to have only the one headphone for all types of music, I would probably choose the Beyer's. However, as a stablemate to the other headphones I have and on the right source and type of music the Sony's are amazing.


I'm starting to get the feeling that brightness is synonymous with forwrardness and sense of speed.

When I think Grado, DT880/990, SA5000 (all bright cans), they are correlated with being forwrad and "fast" to some extent, brighter cans are lumped as faster.

Whereas more laid back cans such as the Senns (high frequency smoothness), are considered slower - though not necessarily true.

Any thoughts on this?
 
May 11, 2009 at 10:52 PM Post #10 of 33

MaZa

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Quote:

I'm starting to get the feeling that brightness is synonymous with forwrardness and sense of speed.

When I think Grado, DT880/990, SA5000 (all bright cans), they are correlated with being forwrad and "fast" to some extent, brighter cans are lumped as faster.

Whereas more laid back cans such as the Senns (high frequency smoothness), are considered slower - though not necessarily true.

Any thoughts on this?


My comment on SA5000s treble, Beyerdynamics have more pronounced higher treble frequencies, but SA5000 has more pronounced lower treble and upper midrange, making it sound more forward and intense (and perhaps fatiguing for some). Actual sibilance hiss is lower compared to Beyers and Grados.

Still, even though SA5000 is relatively bright and definetly very forward headphone, its driver is still incredibly fast and detailed. It is not just an illusion created by brighter sound. I have yet to find a song where some details or instruments get blurred together.
 
May 11, 2009 at 11:52 PM Post #11 of 33

kool bubba ice

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Catharsis /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'm starting to get the feeling that brightness is synonymous with forwrardness and sense of speed.

When I think Grado, DT880/990, SA5000 (all bright cans), they are correlated with being forwrad and "fast" to some extent, brighter cans are lumped as faster.

Whereas more laid back cans such as the Senns (high frequency smoothness), are considered slower - though not necessarily true.

Any thoughts on this?



No, thats not always the case...I have a Ortho that is warm, a bit laidback and fast. My DT48 isn't bright and is fast.. Along with some electro's..
 
May 11, 2009 at 11:56 PM Post #12 of 33

kool bubba ice

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fewtch /img/forum/go_quote.gif
With the caveat that I haven't heard the SA5k, I think the DT880 is generally recognized as a more mellow headphone with an "audiophile-ish" frequency balance. DT880 bass is airy rather than slamming, and the headphones probably are more decay-oriented and 'slower' than the SA5k, with less overt treble detail (but probably more soundstage). Depends on what musical genres you like -- the DT880 is not great for guitar rock IMO, while SA5k is supposed to be among the best for that genre. I wonder if the SA5k might not be the better all-rounder with the right supporting gear, but DT880 has a unique relaxed-but-lively sound that's great for classical and jazz in particular.

P.S. the fact that I can help at all with this shows that I read the forums here WAY too much
tongue.gif
. No flames please, I admitted to not hearing the SA5k in the first sentence.



Actually, the DT880 bass is very authoritive. It makes sure you know it's there. I can't believe some people regard these as bass shy.
 
May 12, 2009 at 3:14 AM Post #15 of 33

pataburd

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For me, the DT880/2003 is the more consistent and versatile performer of the two, and more balanced across the frequencies (although still not as well balanced as other headphones).

I've owned both, but have owned the Beyers for the much longer time (in fact, I currently own them for the second time).

There's something to be said for the SA5000's high frequency speed, excitement and detail, but for me there's more to listen to than just that, particularly with orchestral or acoustic jazz genres. I crave a modicum of credible "warmth," which--IMHO--the Beyers, but not the Sonys, provide.
 

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