Set up for Beyerdynamic DT880
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daice

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Hi.
Yet another newcomer to the forum and hifi equipment.
Read quite a few reviews and got interested in buying the DT880. Maybe it's too much for the 1st hifi gear (maybe I should go with the so famous M50) but anyway.
Guess it's pretty obvious that I do not have any other gear such as amps or dacs and from what I read, those are necessary to make better use of the DT880 potential so I searched some more and though about this setup:
PC-> HTR MS2 -> LD MK3 -> DT880
Which would sum to around US$560 without shipping (would probably go to near $650 with it).
 
I'm still seeing possibilities besides this, even some cheaper setups like the M50+E7 but for now I would like to hear some opinions about this setup I thought about. Do the components characteristics blend well together? Can the MK3 balance well the DT880?
 
Thanks.
 
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MalVeauX

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Heya,
 
I take it you want a neutral headphone with detail and good mids and a nice sound stage? That's the DT880. The M50 is not that at all. Avoid that thing. You'll eventually end up with a headphone like the DT880 regardless and it will be cheaper to avoid starting with entry stuff if you know you'll be willing to move on to the mid-tier already anyhow. Start mid-tier. You'll either love it, or you'll completely get out of hifi in general if you are not satisfied and feel like your money was not well spent (in which case, that stuff will re-sale very nicely it does not lose value if you take care of it much).
 
If you want to make your experience decent without a lot of expense, keep it simple, go FiiO.
 
E7 + E9 + DT880
 
Or, Matrix CUBE + DT880
 
Or, Maverick TubeMagic D1 + DT880
 
Or, Asus STX or Titanium HD + DT880
 
Or, Asus Xonar + DT880
 
If nothing else, buy as much headphone as you can with your money. Spend less on source for now. Get a good headphone first. This will be most appreciable use of your money at first. The HRT MS2 + LDMK3 is a good setup. But it's also limited due to USB to what you can use it with. Plus, I imagine your music is in lossless or minimum 320kbps well compressed formats? It needs to be. So make that a priority if it is not.
 
If budget is in mind and you're using a computer, I would do:
 
Beyer DT880 PRO with Titanium HD (total $360). It covers gaming, movies, and music listening.
 
If you want to be free of the computer potentially, then look at the above Maverick, Matrix & FIIO.
 
I suggested the DT880 PRO because it's virtually the same as the premium and saves you money. Alternatively get the DT990 PRO if you want more bass, or the DT770 PRO if you want isolation/privacy. The DT880 is neutral.

Other headphones to consider (neutral, based on your DT880 choice): AKG K702 &Fishcer Audio FA-002
 
Very best,
 
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daice

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So, I thought about using the combo E7+E9 but since it was almost everyone said that tube amp was the best choice (because it would balance well the sound) for DT880 I discarded this option.
Is the Maverick's pre-amp strong enough to use it as a DAC/Amp combo?
And you said that the USB limits the setup, so I take it that I also shouldn't use the USB for the Maverick?
 
I also thought about other models such as the FA-003 (didn't search for the 002), HD650 and K701/702.
The problem with FA-003 is that I can't seem to find it anywhere to buy. The HD650 is a little out of my budget and K70X had many reviews that pointed some characteristics that didn't attract me, so I ended up with the DT880.
The isolation of the DT770 attracted me but the neutrality of the DT880 is something that I'm also seeking and since I can't have both I'm pending to the sound side.
 
Thanks.
 
 
 
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MalVeauX

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Heya,
 
Tubes don't "balance" sound, they color sound. Any setup that brings more bass to a sound signature, colors it, and makes it "warm". That's more likely what you were reading into. The DT880 is a detailed neutral headphone. I wouldn't worry about synergy at this entry point nearly as much as simply getting sufficient power to the DT880 and a clean signal from a DAC. The differences in synergy are so miniscule, but you'll see them spoken of like night & day around here. Just part of the game. Nothing wrong with not going tube. I have both. I honestly don't notice a huge difference or anything. But hey, that's just me.. someone else of course hears "night and day" differences I bet (and will chime in about it soon, lol).
 
The Maverick can power any headphone you plug in in the entry/mid tier categories. Even the higher ups. It's a good unit.
 
You can use USB, nothing wrong with that, it's just having only USB is more of something I would avoid. It's nice to have a DAC that can take multiple inputs (USB, SPDIFF, Optical, etc). That's all I was meaning to really get across.
 
Fischer Audio FA-003 <-- You can buy any FA gear there.
 
The DT880 is an excellent choice though. I'd stick with it. It covers everything and is pretty good at it all. Not overly bassy or overly analytical. It's just a good mid-level neutral headphone.
 
Very best,
 
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gasmd

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What do you think of the nuforfce hdp at a same price point for the beyer headphones?
 
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daice

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FA003 is actually are out of stock at GB-Audiobase. If you try to purchase it, it'll load a page where you can add you e-mail to be notified when they restock. Thanks for pointing it out though.
 
Searching a little more about the Maverick, found that the limitation of using the USB as source is that it can only send 16-Bit / 48kHz, and not real 24-Bit / 96kHz. Not quite sure what this means exactly in sounding terms, will search more about it but I guess it's safe to assume that I would get a better result if I use the optical or coaxial input (though I don't know if the difference would be perceptible). And regarding this comes another doubt. Considering that my sound card is a crappy onboard that I don't even know the specification, how would I go using the other types of input? Should I use a 3.5mm to coaxial/RCA/optical cable?
And the tube that is included is not used in the headphone output, it's used in the "tube pre out" connection which should be used to connect to an amp.
 
Well, this setup is cheaper than the one I though. Guess I'll end up sticking with the Maverick or the Matrix CUBE (need to do some research on this one too) and in the future, if I really like what I hear, I'll think about buying a amp (maybe the MK3).
 
Thanks for the help.
 
 
 
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MalVeauX

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Quote:
What do you think of the nuforfce hdp at a same price point for the beyer headphones?

Heya,

It's reviewed well.
 
But I wouldn't both buying a DAC/AMP solution that costs more than the headphone. Especially when entering `the game' I would spend way more on the headphone if you can, and simply get a good entry DAC/AMP that will cover all your headphones into the future, but without losing out on getting good headphones by trying to get more DAC/AMP than is really going to be needed.
 
With your budget, I'd look at $400ish for headphones and $200~250 for DAC/AMP. And then whatever headphone you settle on, if it's cheaper, push remainder into DAC/AMP. That's just me though. I'd even suggest you look at used headphones to get more for your money too even. Especially starting out.
 
Very best,
 
 
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If your onboard has optical out you could get a $30 FiiO D3 as your DAC. It does a good job and paired with an E9 keeps your start-up costs low.
 
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Quote:
Hi.
Yet another newcomer to the forum and hifi equipment.
Read quite a few reviews and got interested in buying the DT880. Maybe it's too much for the 1st hifi gear (maybe I should go with the so famous M50) but anyway.
Guess it's pretty obvious that I do not have any other gear such as amps or dacs and from what I read, those are necessary to make better use of the DT880 potential so I searched some more and though about this setup:
PC-> HTR MS2 -> LD MK3 -> DT880
Which would sum to around US$560 without shipping (would probably go to near $650 with it).
 
I'm still seeing possibilities besides this, even some cheaper setups like the M50+E7 but for now I would like to hear some opinions about this setup I thought about. Do the components characteristics blend well together? Can the MK3 balance well the DT880?
 
Thanks.

That's actually a very good setup.You'll have excelling tube rolling options with the little dot amp..IMO dt880 although quite neutral,you need a tube amp to tame its overall bright character and it also lacks mid range warmth.
 
 
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daice

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Quote:
If your onboard has optical out you could get a $30 FiiO D3 as your DAC. It does a good job and paired with an E9 keeps your start-up costs low.

My onboard does not have optical out so I would need to buy a 3.5mm to optical cable. It's an option though.
 
Quote:
That's actually a very good setup.You'll have excelling tube rolling options with the little dot amp..IMO dt880 although quite neutral,you need a tube amp to tame its overall bright character and it also lacks mid range warmth.
 
Almost everyone said that. But I guess I'll end up sticking with the Maverick TM D1 and, if I like the sound, I'll purchase a tube amp, maybe the MK3 or the Maverick amp. But than it would be in a maybe not so near future. What called my attention in the TM D1 is it's pre-amp, despite not using the tube in it. Guess it's better to ask, does the tube from the Maverick makes it dispensable a tube amp? I mean, if I connect a SS amp to it, will it resemble the sound of a tube amp or not? I mean, I'm not expecting it to deliver what a tube amp would, but I'm expecting it can deliver at least something of what a tube amp would right?
 
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Zombie_X

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What Ohm model of the DT880 are you getting? If the 250Ohm model then the Asus soundcards would be "OK" but not perfect or ideal. Even more so for the 600Ohm models as the Asus cards can't power them good at all. Also the FiiO options for the 600Ohm beyers should not even be considered.
 
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Quote:
What Ohm model of the DT880 are you getting? If the 250Ohm model then the Asus soundcards would be "OK" but not perfect or ideal. Even more so for the 600Ohm models as the Asus cards can't power them good at all. Also the FiiO options for the 600Ohm beyers should not even be considered.

The ASUS soundcards can push them wonderfully if you get the optional LM4592, improves the SNR vastly... without it, the 250ohm version is kind of a stretch lol...
 
Dude great job on the T1, 880, and 990 comparison btw, I saw your vid.
 
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daice

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Quote:
What Ohm model of the DT880 are you getting? If the 250Ohm model then the Asus soundcards would be "OK" but not perfect or ideal. Even more so for the 600Ohm models as the Asus cards can't power them good at all. Also the FiiO options for the 600Ohm beyers should not even be considered.

Thinking about picking the 250ohm model. Maybe the 32ohm, but most likely not. I'm going for the one that the majority points out as the "most balanced", which seems to be the DDT880/250 as far as I could tell.
I'm not really considering buying a sound card nor the FiiO combo (never seriously thought about the first and the latter I discarded in the beginning).
But the problem is that the more I look, more options appears and there always seems to have a better option. I need to learn to control this urge to get what seems to be the best, or else I won't have money even to die...
 
 
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Zombie_X

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The DT880 should quench your audiophile thirst for quite some time. Sadly it didn't for me and I kept upgrading quickly. That's why I am so poor now :frowning2:
 
IMO the best place to start and not break the ban when it comes to amping is the 250Ohm model. It a bit more easier to power than the 600Ohm model and is just a more manageable option.
 
Quote:
Thinking about picking the 250ohm model. Maybe the 32ohm, but most likely not. I'm going for the one that the majority points out as the "most balanced", which seems to be the DDT880/250 as far as I could tell.
I'm not really considering buying a sound card nor the FiiO combo (never seriously thought about the first and the latter I discarded in the beginning).
But the problem is that the more I look, more options appears and there always seems to have a better option. I need to learn to control this urge to get what seems to be the best, or else I won't have money even to die...
 
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In my opinion if you're not going to invest in a good OST tube amp I wouldn't bother with the DT880 at all and instead suggest the DT990 or Audio Technica AD900 as both sound better than weak DT880s. The colored sound of the DT990/AD900 works much better with cheaper amplification and source, get something revealing with a weak DAC and you get an overly bright sound that won't impress.
 
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