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The Beyerdynamic DT48 Arrives...

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by adanac061, Apr 8, 2009.
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  1. jpelg
    Interesting comments about amps, particularly as all those mentioned as favs (RP8, ZD, Bijou) are all OTL tube designs, which typically are not optimized for low-impedance cans like the 25-ohm DT48E.
  2. kool bubba ice

    The W5000 seem to be similar technically, minus one W5000 owner who PMed me a nasty message. Another W5000 owner said the DT48 mids 'are amazing.' & he admitedly doesn't like the sound of the DT48. I asked him how was the instrument separation between the two.. He said, neither bettered the other..
    I like the 701, but the DT48 mids are in another league, & 5/6 701 owners said the DT48 is more detailed & resolving.. I know me, Jroth, & Erik feel this way.  I'd love to compare the mids to the R10.. Call me nieve, but I doubt there is any dynamic headphone, at least in production that has a more detailed & resolving mid range, especially the DT48A & NAGRA 50's DT48 5ohm. (Erik has the HP2/K1000.. So I could be wrong. I was only able to audition the K1000 in 07)
    The other W5000 owner has always been bitter after spending 300 on the DT48 based off this thread.. He never liked them & bashed them every chance he got. & trying to convince anyone who was listening that the K271 was the superior headphone. He would usually mock me in a sarcastic tone. & says there is nothing unique about the DT48. They are just your average mid fi headphone on par with the DT770 & AD900.. He was One reason I made my DT48 quotes blog.. Over 2,000 views.. Not bad. He didn't like the positive quotes I used to back my opinions, so he attacked me personally.
    I always came back with facts & quotes, which lead to the nasty PM.
    Does this sound like your average headphone?
    1. Aluminum driver. No foil like other headphones.
    2. diaphragm embossed with compressed air instead of a stamp.
    3. The magnet is even also a ring (just like the Tesla drivers)

    4. All metal design & construction.
    5. Nuts & bolts.
    6. Diaphragm & magnet are not glued together like the majority of headphones. They are in cased in their own metal housing.
    7. No plastic or clips.
    8. Transducers are hand selected & perfectly matched for optimal balance. (The DT48A model only)

    "The heart of the DT48 is a heat formed aluminum membrane to which a hand wound moving coil attached. This assembly is mounted within a housing machined from a solid block of aluminum, which also contains a special high powered magnet assembly held in a machine cut thread. The back cover is also machined from aluminum to such fine tolerances that a perfect hermatic seal is formed. The result of this unprecedented design and construction is a headphone with truly outstanding characteristics"
    Engineering Data

    Beyer project manager Peter Grooff..
    Beyerdynamic data sheet

  3. kool bubba ice

    Erik has a vintage 200 ohm DT48.. But the DT48 in general are a stranger beast.. even the lower ohms demand more power for optimal performance, albeit some can give issues.. As states, the Woo's didn't work well..

  4. Uncle Erik Contributor


    I do have a 200 Ohm, but I also have a 25 Ohm pair that I use quite often.
    The Zana Deux is different from most OTL amps in that it has a low output impedance.  Most commonly used tubes in OTL amps have a high output impedance.  The 6C33C has a low output impedance, so the Zana will drive pretty much anything except the K-1000.  That's why I love having a Zana - it's the only commercially available OTL that will drive low impedance cans.
  5. kool bubba ice

    You really need to try the DT48A.. Shamu feels they better the HD800.. There's no question they are superior to the E in almost every way. E's have a slighter wider ss & a bit more bass response..
    On a side note, I'm temped to buy the DT880/600/DT990/600/K702.. Something to hold me over till I can afford the LCD2/T1 (T1 VS DT48 would be nice) or used HD800.. As much as I love my DT48.. I would like a change once in a while.. There is a DT48 200ohm on Ebay. 1988. Would love to compare to my franken DT48.. So I'm still thinking about sending the owner my offer.. I'm not spending 300.00.. I already have 6 DT48.. For 300 I'd get one of the 3 above.. I love the DT880 for movies & gaming..

  6. shamu144
    And as promised now, a pending review...
    I have spent now some time with the Fostex T50RP, that came back after fixing the buggy mini-jack connection that was driving them mad (actually, it happened to be nothing more than a loose connection). First, I must admit my first motivation to acquire this cheap but apparently very under rated headphones was to get a glimpse of the raved orthodynamic sound. I must confess I am terribly attracted by all the hype and comments concerning the LCD2, and wanted to know more of this sound before making any additional step. I have been listening to them mostly out of the Lavry, and some times hooked to the LD mkIII (gain at 5). They are - in my short experience with them so far - nowhere near as much power hungry as they have been said to be.
    On my impressions, in a sense, I have been strongly impressed and disappointed at the same time.
    Impressed by the fantastic tonal balance and tonal accuracy that those cheap headphones can offer. They can be had for much less than $100 in the US, which is remarkable. They do share a lot in this area with the DT48. Indeed, swapping from the DT48 to the T50RP was a smooth transition, unlike with many other headphones, that sound so way off or colored. Not the T50RP. True timbres and beautiful, uncolored midrange. They do have I feel more extension than the DT48 in the low bass register, the bass is very “electrostatic” like, with little impact, but great definition and control. Highs are similar to those of the DT48E, which for some, might seem a little roll off. I find them however very defined, with good extension and smooth.
    The T50RP are also transparent, much more than what you expect from a headphone at this price point, certainly on par with HD650/K701/DT880 in this regard. You will hear reverb in recordings and lot’s of details, though never harsh or forcing them. They can not compete with the DT48 in pure transparency, because where the T50RP let you hear reverb in the recording, the DT48 will dig much deeper (with proper gear of course), virtually recreating the exact dimension of the acoustic room or space, where you could almost touch the walls, something the T50RP can’t do.
    Smoother… Yes, they are. They kind of remind me the electrostatic sound, but a bit thicker. Very nice, music is flowing effortlessly. But it also reminds me why I got tired of the presentation of the electrostatic sound, missing depth in notes. It is like if a two dimension soundwaves was hitting your ears and missing the third dimension, the depth clue. I am not talking about soundstage at all, but rather the envelop of the notes. The T50RP for me do not present a life like and realistic presentation of the music. This is probably what worries me the most, especially thinking in the LCD2, because I feel it is technology related, more than a special character of these headphones, but of course, I could be wrong.
    Soundstage and imaging with the T50RP are truly its bottleneck. Depending on the recording, the soundstage can be completely split between right and left, with almost no transition in the middle, leaving a blank space you have to fill… Very unnatural. It doesn’t happen with all the music, but when it starts to be congested or crowded, you can spot it pretty easily. On top of that, imaging is nothing remarkable, rather diffuse.
    This explains also why they can’t let you see deeper into the recording, because their spatial presentation is very uncohesive.
    Since they do seem to move less air, they also appear faster than regular dynamic phones. But I don’t think they are that fast, rather artificially fast. It is true that decay and micro dynamic is good, but it is because they only show two dimensions of the sound, and have less to work with. Poor imaging is also I believe an indicator of a rather normal speed response. But essentially, macro dynamic is average. They are not able to convey the natural dynamic range of instruments. You can indeed listen at low volume with them and they are always very enjoyeable, but not realistic. At low volume, you still perceive the lowest sounds in the recording quite easily while the loudest sound seem indeed attenuated, and this dynamic range seem to be constant even when you increase the volume further, meaning that at realistic sound pressure levels, the lowest sounds do sound much louder than in real life. This is another aspect that worries me a lot when thinking about the LCD2, especially since people enjoy them a lot for low level listening. The DT48 only show their true potential when playing at realistic levels IMO and trump every dynamic headphones I have heard so far in this area.
    But I am being very critical for a headphone sooo cheap. What they do well, they do it amanzingly at this price point. For the rest, well, I guess it explains why they don’t cost 3 times as much. I will soon compare them more extensively with my CD900ST which should me a more fair comparison. They are indeed very interesting headphones.
    Did they wake up my interest in the LCD2… The answer is no, until further notice. While soundstage and imaging could easily be improved a lot I imagine, I still have some serious concern with dynamic ability of this headphones and their 2 dimension presentation of the music.
  7. leeperry
    Even if you're not into DIY, you should really fill the inner baffles w/ bluetack....you won't believe how better it'll sound. And the next stop will be to add foam to beef up the bass response...I'd have no problem saying that if your t50rp is stock, you haven't quite heard it yet. Also may wanna beef up the center channel by +4dB to get a realistic headstage.
  8. mobbaddict

    Thanks for the review shamu. What you say about dynamics is very interesting, i don't have the answer but it's something that always bugged me a little with electrostats. Orthos seem to sit somewhere in between, but i'm not convinced they can offer the best of both worlds. It rather sounds like a weird compromise to me (based on my audition of the HE5 LE at least). Looking forward to your comparison with the CD900.


  9. Uncle Erik Contributor
    Folks, it's time to go through the rules again.

    First, we do not discuss bans and moderation team decisions publicly. Posts discussing bans are always removed.

    Second, the reasons for bans/discipline are only discussed between the staff and the affected member, as well as privately among the staff.

    Third, bans don't come from out of the blue. It might seem like it because offending posts are removed and discipline is dealt with via PM. I completely understand that it looks arbitrary from the outside. The reasoning is that we don't want public "trials" and shootouts that distract from the purpose of Head-Fi - the discussion of headphones and audio equipment. There's a great deal of behind-the-scenes work to keep the board up, free of spam and without vicious flamewars.

    Fourth, this has *nothing* to do with discussion and promotion of the DT48. Hell, I had a pair before KBI did and I love them. If someone was trying to suppress the DT48, I'd put an end to it. Fast.

    If anyone has questions about the policies here, feel free to contact me. Again, I cannot discuss the specifics of a ban. I would be happy to discuss the policies, though. If you have constructive comments or would like to see policies changed, feel free to contact me. I'll put your ideas out for discussion with the Staff.
  10. BournePerfect
    Gotta love politics lol. Anyway, looking to buy this phone in the near future! Can someone compare/contrast this to my k702 which I love?
  11. shamu144

    Now that is some welcomed endorsement for the DT48 flag on head-fi. Thanks a lot you for your clarification.
  12. shamu144

    Yes, but from my limited reading on the topic, I understand that the major benefit of the mod is to increase the bass response, something I do not want to see happening, we all have different expectations I guess.

    Yes, I don't like generalizing, and I am only basing my electrostatic impressions on the SR303 I had for more than one year. But it is something you can read across those boards often, and there seem to be real differences in presentation of the music between electrostats, orthos and dynamics. I just guess I am more of a dynamic fan [​IMG]
    Now the comparison of the T50RP with the CD900ST will be a tough call. They both excel in different areas. The transition from the T50RP to the CD900ST in not seemless like going from the T50RP to the DT48. It means the CD900ST is somehow colored (still much less than many headphones around), and a little off when it comes to tonal accuracy, with slighlty silky mids and a hint of metallic sounding highs. But the CD900ST still possess a great tonal balance, and above all, a great cohesion of its soundstage (small but excellent imaging and separation), unlike the T50RP. They both share excellent level of transparency, and apparently similar dynamic ability (neither is able to cover a natural dynamic range). Where the T50RP might have an edge, is regarding source and amplification. I believe teh T50RP is more forgiving than the CD900ST, that really need a good source and extremely low noise amplification to shine. Out of my sony discman D33, the T50RP sounds much better than CD900ST. On the Lavry, it is a much closer fight. I guess I will need some time to make my mind.
  13. leeperry

    bluetacking the inner baffles removes the plasticky/cavernous sound, and the only thing I liked about the CD900ST was its chirurgical SS. The low end bass was uber-bloated, its mids boring to death and the comfort inexistent whatsoever.
    PS: I'm listening to a stock pair as I'm typing this...yay, plasticky sounding and no bass whatsoever. Also the SS is blurry as hell. And indeed the phantom center channel is WAY too dim, even stock.
  14. shamu144
    Maybe I shuold give it a try indeed, if it somehow helps soundstage and imaging... Just fear they will be some trade off doing so.
    BTW, look at the CD900ST FR chart response... I see no low end bass uber bloated at all, and can't hear any neither... Rather fast and lean bass response.
    Now, compare to the T50RP (that FR response really look very sweet and very similar to the DT48)

  15. SP Wild
    There is no way one can determine driver speed by looking at frequency response graphs - this is clear evidence of misinformation.
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