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[HELP]DT990 250Ω and DT880 600Ω: Amplifier requirements

Doodski

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@infinityfine the warranty on both JDS Labs and Schiit gear is 2 years parts and labor. Just thought I would mention that for you. :D
 

staticV3

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Hmmm, what would be the difference of listening at a 80dB SPL on the 250Ω DT990 vs 80dB SPL on the 600Ω DT 880?
The difference would be frequency response.
DT 990 Pro 250Ω vs DT 880 Edition 600Ω.png

Which external DACs do you think that could output 2Vrms or higher? is higher better?
The vast majority of external DACs will output 2Vrms or higher.
The least expensive DAC with 2Vrms output is the $40 Ugreen 80583.
And yes, higher is generally better (to a point).
 

twsecrest

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Interesting, I've read quite a lot of reviews, that would imply that Tubes aren't good with the DTs as amplifiers.
I've also read somewhere that the xDuoo MT-602 is good but didn't make my list since I don't see a spec sheet saying a stated metric for mW @300 or @600 ohms. Also, it says it;s a hybrid tube plus Solid State?
Currently using the Xduoo MT-602 to drive my 250-Ohm Beyerdynamic T90 headphones.
 

solderdude

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  • is this the DT880 250Ω being compared to a DT990 250Ω?

Old DT880 vs DT990.
The current DT880's do not differ that much from DT990 any more.
Don't stare blind on the reports that the 600Ω is the one you need and sounds better. The differences are small. DT880-250 (old) vs DT880-600 (current)

dt880-600-vs-dt880-edition.png



  • what would be the minimal output voltage and higher gain metric for the 600ohm DT880 to reach its maximum rated SPL/mw?
DT880, 600Ω: 8V = 114dB SPL peak = 0.1W
DT990, 250Ω: 5V = 115dB SPL peak (122dB in the bass) = 0.1W

  • I'm quite interested on the Schiit Magni Heresy, besides their website, are there other listing that could potentially ship them to Asia? The Amazon listing apparently does not.

Is O.K. for this.

  • Would you have a suggestion of which 2in1 at maximum 250USD that could potentially power the 600Ω DT880's maximum rated SPL/mW rating?

  • Would you have other AMP suggestions?

All the ones I did not mark 'avoid'.

If you want to reach uncomfortable loud levels basically all outputs that are specified above 150mW in 300Ω will do fine.
You'll need at least 15dB gain (with 2V output DAC) or 18dB gain for when driving from a dongle or phone.
You'll probably never reach those levels, the bass distorts audible at these levels.

When you only want to reach comfortable loud levels 40mW in 300Ω is high enough and gain can be 6dB lower.

A piece of toilet paper between the driver and the foam disc can lower the treble peaks (when bothered by it, some people love it)
 
OP
infinityfine

infinityfine

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Old DT880 vs DT990.
The current DT880's do not differ that much from DT990 any more.
Don't stare blind on the reports that the 600Ω is the one you need and sounds better. The differences are small. DT880-250 (old) vs DT880-600 (current)

dt880-600-vs-dt880-edition.png




DT880, 600Ω: 8V = 114dB SPL peak = 0.1W
DT990, 250Ω: 5V = 115dB SPL peak (122dB in the bass) = 0.1W


All the ones I did not mark 'avoid'.

If you want to reach uncomfortable loud levels basically all outputs that are specified above 150mW in 300Ω will do fine.
You'll need at least 15dB gain (with 2V output DAC) or 18dB gain for when driving from a dongle or phone.
You'll probably never reach those levels, the bass distorts audible at these levels.

When you only want to reach comfortable loud levels 40mW in 300Ω is high enough and gain can be 6dB lower.

A piece of toilet paper between the driver and the foam disc can lower the treble peaks (when bothered by it, some people love it)
Ohmygod you are very helpful, one last question and i'd remove myself from this forum,
All the ones I did not mark 'avoid'.
Does this include those I listed under the DT990 lineup?
 

solderdude

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It depends on how loud you want to go and whether or not you plan to add subbass using digital EQ.
If the latter you may want to look for amps with higher gain and at least 300mW rated in 300Ω
 
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infinityfine

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It depends on how loud you want to go and whether or not you plan to add subbass using digital EQ.
If the latter you may want to look for amps with higher gain and at least 300mW rated in 300Ω
Hi man @solderdude , I'm looking right now at the Topping L30 II and DX3 Pro plus.
The reason I'm comparing the two is that I can get them locally and their price are relatively cheaper than say the JDS and Schiit options.
The L30 II costs half the price of the DX3 Pro plus.

1668679044624.png

With their spec sheets above, does this mean that the L30II could power the 600ohm DT880 better than of the DX3 Pro plus?


Also, as I've mentioned before, I want to give you guys who helped me some Steam games(That's if you want it! lol). You can choose all and they're Tradable.
1668679586451.png
 
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solderdude

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With their spec sheets above, does this mean that the L30II could power the 600ohm DT880 better than of the DX3 Pro plus?

DX3 Pro+ = 7.6V = 96mW in 600Ω (sufficient to play loud without EQ)
L30-II = 13V = 280mW in 600Ω so can play 4.6dB louder than the DX3Pro. 10dB is about twice as loud so 4.6dB is louder but not twice as loud and sufficient to play loud with EQ.
Noise level is not important for these insensitive headphones nor is the difference in distortion.
 
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infinityfine

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DX3 Pro+ = 7.6V = 96mW in 600Ω (sufficient to play loud without EQ)
L30-II = 13V = 280mW in 600Ω so can play 4.6dB louder than the DX3Pro. 10dB is about twice as loud so 4.6dB is louder but not twice as loud and sufficient to play loud with EQ.
Noise level is not important for these insensitive headphones nor is the difference in distortion.
Hi man, so here I am still left without a solid choice for an Amp for the 600 ohm DT880.
I saw this video on youtube of a guy explaining that i dont need more than 100mW output rating @600Ω BUT more on impedance matching where the 600Ω DT880 requires 100Ω of "output impedance"

So I searched and found this Samsom S-Amp that has a rating of 100Ω output impedance but doesnt say anything about xx mW @600Ω rating(was hoping that it would at least output 100mW). Pretty weird because this hardware is around 30usd only on ebay but modern amps costs at least twice.
1669423038143.png
 
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twsecrest

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Hi man, so here I am still left without a solid choice for an Amp for the 600 ohm DT880.
I saw this video on youtube of a guide explaining that i don't need more than 100mW output rating @600Ω BUT more on impedance matching where the 600Ω DT880 requires 100Ω of "output impedance"

So I searched and found this Samsom S-Amp that has a rating of 100Ω output impedance but doesn't say anything about xx mW @600Ω rating(was hoping that it would at least output 100mW). Pretty weird because this hardware is around 30usd only on ebay but modern amps costs at least twice.
Guild lines are that for the best damping control of a 600-Ohm headphone, is a headphone amplifier with an output impedance of 60-Ohms or less.
100-Ohm output impedance is not really an issue, for 600-Ohm headphones.
But that to me would be more in the realm of a OTL tube headphone amplifier, not a solid state head amp.

I do own the DT-800 600-Ohm and DT990 600-Ohm headphones and they did not seem that hard to drive.
I use to use an AV receiver (Yamaha $500 unit) and thought a 600-Ohm headphone is a good match for it's headphone jack.
 

solderdude

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Hi man, so here I am still left without a solid choice for an Amp for the 600 ohm DT880.
I saw this video on youtube of a guy explaining that i dont need more than 100mW output rating @600Ω BUT more on impedance matching where the 600Ω DT880 requires 100Ω of "output impedance"

So I searched and found this Samsom S-Amp that has a rating of 100Ω output impedance but doesnt say anything about xx mW @600Ω rating(was hoping that it would at least output 100mW). Pretty weird because this hardware is around 30usd only on ebay but modern amps costs at least twice.
View attachment 246000

There is no 'impedance matching' for headphones.
Some of the older headphones were specified to be driven from a 120Ω source though
Safe to say a 600Ω headphone can be driven from a 100Ω source.
The headphone amps I designed for Garage 1217 have a select-able output resistance for that reason. 0.2Ω, 33Ω and 120Ω.

Below the difference of the DT880-600 driven from 0.2Ω and 120Ω
r120-1.6db.png

As you can see it makes no difference.
If anything, when you don't need Harman bass, I'd deal with 'mount Beyer'.
 
OP
infinityfine

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There is no 'impedance matching' for headphones.
Some of the older headphones were specified to be driven from a 120Ω source though
Safe to say a 600Ω headphone can be driven from a 100Ω source.
The headphone amps I designed for Garage 1217 have a select-able output resistance for that reason. 0.2Ω, 33Ω and 120Ω.

Below the difference of the DT880-600 driven from 0.2Ω and 120Ω
r120-1.6db.png

As you can see it makes no difference.
If anything, when you don't need Harman bass, I'd deal with 'mount Beyer'.
Does this mean that the 30usd Samsom S-Amp could actually drive the 600Ω DT880s?

Man, you should start a youtube channel. Very informative. Thanks once again!
 

solderdude

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Very likely it can.
However, I would not recommend it with lower imp. headphones.
Probably capable of delivering around 4V in 300ohm headphones and 4.7V in 600ohm and 1.2V in 32ohm.
No measurements or relevant specs found anywhere.

I would not buy such a cheap device, not even for testing as it is too limited in application.

YT channels is not for me.
 
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OP
infinityfine

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Probably capable of delivering around 4V in 300ohm headphones and 4.7V in 600ohm and 1.2V in 32ohm.
Thanks once again. When you say 4.7V in 600ohm, does this equal to 4,700mW?

Hi man, I think this works for me as the DT880 will be my only headphone.
I also have the 7Hz Dioko as my only IEM

Since the S-amp is not in production, I found these which have similar specs of it and is still available @100usd on Aliexpress:
ICON NewAmp

Do you think I'm better off with the Topping L30ii as they have the same price?
My only concern if I go to the L30ii is that it gives ~300mW @600Ω.
I've read somewhere that the DT880 600Ω only has a maximum of 100mW capacity(??) and that more than that will actually damage the drivers losing the headphone's longevity(??)
1673077468252.png


Does this matter at this point? Or do modern amps like the Topping have a mechanism to prevent this?

My questions are heavily influenced by "old headphones like the 600Ω dt880 were used as studio monitoring from a while back (1980s)" and therefore "old studio amplifiers are better suited for them".
Also, someone claimed that 100Ω output impedance amps help produce better Bass response on the 600Ω DT880 that the modern amps fail to do so, but are doing better at mids. would this be true?
 

solderdude

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Thanks once again. When you say 4.7V in 600ohm, does this equal to 4,700mW?

(4.7 x 4/7) / 600 = 37mW
The drivers are rated for 100mW continuous power (electrically)

Most headphone outs, however, are specified at 32 and/or 300ohm only.
(4.7 x 4/7) / 300 = 74mW so when you are looking for an amp that has a spec for 300ohm then it should be able to reach 75mW or more.
(4.7 x 4/7) / 32 = 0.7W so when the amplifier in question is ONLY specified at 32ohm the amplifier should have a rating of 0.7W or higher.

Also, someone claimed that 100Ω output impedance amps help produce better Bass response on the 600Ω DT880 that the modern amps fail to do so, but are doing better at mids. would this be true?

Nonsense, there isn't changing anything (with this particular headphone) when driven by 100ohm output resistance amps.
If it were a 32ohm version there would be changes.
There is no tonal change on higher output resistance amplifiers. This is one of the nicer properties of high impedance headphones.
120ohm, 0.2ohm exact same tonal balance.
r120-1.6db.png


In 1996 the IEC 61938 standard was 120ohm but this was 25 years ago. A lot has changed since then.
The 600ohm Beyers already existed before 1996.
 
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evilted

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I suppose my reply comes much too late to be of any use, but I have the 600 Ohm DT880 and DT990 plugged into a Schiit Modi 3/Magni 3+ stack in my living room. With the gain switch set in the high position, volume is typically set around 12 o'clock maybe going up or down a bit as the mood strikes.

FWIW, I had a pair of 80 Ohm DT990s and I absolutely hated them (both too bright and with disappointing bass) - only pair of headphones I've ever been in a hurry to sell. The 600 Ohm version of the 990 seems like a completely different animal, and I find that I enjoy listening to them nearly as much as any other pair of headphones in my collection (it strikes me as rather strange that I hated the 80 Ohm version so much; I wish I hadn't sold them if only so I could do an A/B comparison).

The 880s sound great too - a bit less bass and more pronounced midrange - I use them more for acoustic singer/songwriter material, rock and folk.

Can't say I've noticed any distortion or lack of dynamism from either set of cans as powered by the Magni 3+, though it's possible another amp might make them shine even more. I'm not very methodical with my acquisitions these days - if I get something and it sounds good, I'm happy. In any case, the little Schiit stack seems to drive the Beyers fine; I have no complaints. (Using a similar stack right (Modi 3/Heresy) to drive the Modhouse Argon MkIIIs I'm listening to now)

For reference my favorite cans at the moment at my Hifiman Aryas (Stealth) (love these!!) and the Edition XSes I just got for my home office, and which I use mostly for electronica/EDM. The former are powered by a Monoprice Monolith THX 887 and the latter is plugged into a Topping A50s, both using Hart Audio (balanced) cables. My source material is pretty much Amazon Music HD exclusively (mostly 16bit or 24bit/44kHz, sometimes 24bit/96kHz). Vinyl and tape are but distant memories of my early experiences with music, and I'm very happy to live in an all digital world now. :)

Hope you ended up with something that works for you!
 
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UD1983

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Hi there,
I have reviewed a number of threads on this and other forums and this one seems to be most informative to my dilemma (kudos @solderdude and @Doodski) so decided to add a post here. All in all, it is still not clear to me whether I will need a DAC or not for my DT990 Pro 600 Ohm that I ordered... Does it make more sense to buy the Amp alone, try out what the sound is like and decide about a DAC later or rather directly buy a combo? Is there a way to figure out the theoretical current output of my laptop port? Thanks for any help and sorry for being a noob.
 

solderdude

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When you already have a DAC or device with an analog output then you might not need a DAC.
A DAC would be needed if you don't have an analog output yet or when you have files that are high resolution than what you have now and like to play those files.

You only need an amp (with high gain and suitable to drive high impedance headphones) when the device you have now has a DAC (analog out) or the outputs you want to use do not have enough output power.

When you have neither a (suitable) DAC nor amplifier that can drive high impedance headphones you can either buy 2 separates or a combi (DAC/Amp) which saves you 1 device and interlink cable.
 

UD1983

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A DAC would be needed if you don't have an analog output yet or when you have files that are high resolution than what you have now and like to play those files.
Thanks man, that's the ultimate message I did not find explicitly stated before!
 
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