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DT-990 Edition 600 Ohm DAC/Amp questions

 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
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DT-990 Edition 600 Ohm DAC/Amp questions

Hello,
I got in to headphones about 10 years ago, owned a Maverick D1 with HD600, 650 and AHD2000, where I liked AHD's the best. It has been a while now and I have sold all my gear many years ago. Just out of the blue I saw the DT 990 600Ohm headphones on Amazon and bought them, since I never owned Beyers or 600 Ohm headphones. I am currently driving them out of a sound card with a headphone amplifier but it is not doing the cans just. I am in the market for a reasonably priced amp or amp/DAC combo. I have seen many threads about the Schiit stack or the NFB but I thought I'd make my own thread to ask some specific questions.

1) DT 990s supposedly have a bright signature, that treble and bass are already detailed and present which I actually like. Should this be a factor in amp/dac selection? If so, which setup compliments the DT990 characteristic better?

2)My cans are the 600Ohm variety, I believe NFB is fine, is Schiit voltage/power output up to snuff to power these cans with some headroom left?

3)Is there any other reason to pick one setup over the other? I have heard that Schiit amp can be used on its own without the DAC which is not an option on the NFB.

Thanks
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 12:50 AM
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Are you sure you don't want to return the 990's and get the 250 ohm 880's?

The DT880 have a similar sound signature (elevated treble) that is not as exaggerated and are easier to drive. Your soundcard would probably be enough, so the investment would be lower.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
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I am pretty sure I want to keep these. Looking to experience 600Ohm headphones through a proper amp/dac combo. I may realize that I am good with 32Ohm headphones and an Iphone, we will see.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 04:10 PM
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600 ohm is just a number... It doesn't say anything about the quality of the sound.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by ToTheSun! View Post
600 ohm is just a number... It doesn't say anything about the quality of the sound.
I kind of expected that. Is there a specific reason why some headphones are so high impedance than? Like during the design process, what would push an engineer to design a 600 ohm headphones?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 11:57 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by andyk5 View Post
I kind of expected that. Is there a specific reason why some headphones are so high impedance than? Like during the design process, what would push an engineer to design a 600 ohm headphones?
Headphones with high input impedance tend to have their sound signature less impacted by amps with high output impedance. Ideally, you want to keep the latter as low as possible, and most high-end units don't have that problem. That's why there are a lot of "audiophile" grade headphones with reasonable input impedance - it's not expected that you'd pair them with poorly engineered systems.

Here's an example of the frequency of a dynamic pair of headphones (HD660S) powered by an amplifier with 0.2 ohm output impedance and another one with 120 ohm output impedance (with their levels matched, of course):



They will sound slightly muddier when paired with the 2nd amplifier.

I'm not sure that's the only design directive for high input impedance headphones, but whatever else someone else will have to chime in (probably higher resistance to noise).

In the case of orthos, though, it has virtually no impact, so they tend to be designed with lower values. They're more versatile that way and can be adequately powered by less powerful units, such as phones or portable players.

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Last edited by ToTheSun!; 04-17-2019 at 12:34 PM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 10:47 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by ToTheSun! View Post
600 ohm is just a number... It doesn't say anything about the quality of the sound.
I always thought beyerdynamics whole impedance scheme was due to voice coil weight. 32 ohms is going to use a heavier gauge wire for the same number of turns. 250 ohms would use a much lighter gauge for the name number of turns, and 600 ohms would be even lighter still.

The lighter the voice coil the less momentum the driver has to fight when changing directions thus lower distortion.

I feel like I read an article on that several years ago.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 11:21 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post
I always thought beyerdynamics whole impedance scheme was due to voice coil weight. 32 ohms is going to use a heavier gauge wire for the same number of turns. 250 ohms would use a much lighter gauge for the name number of turns, and 600 ohms would be even lighter still.

The lighter the voice coil the less momentum the driver has to fight when changing directions thus lower distortion.

I feel like I read an article on that several years ago.
I remember skimming an article about that exact concept, but I have no technical knowledge to say either way. Perhaps that's the entire point and everything else is just a "side effect".

In any case, I don't think the theoretical differences in distortion translate noticeably to a better listening experience, at least from what we've seen from Beyerdynamic in practice. The DT1990, for instance, are superior in every way to the 600 ohm DT990 while having less than half the impedance.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 07:04 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by ToTheSun! View Post
I remember skimming an article about that exact concept, but I have no technical knowledge to say either way. Perhaps that's the entire point and everything else is just a "side effect".

In any case, I don't think the theoretical differences in distortion translate noticeably to a better listening experience, at least from what we've seen from Beyerdynamic in practice. The DT1990, for instance, are superior in every way to the 600 ohm DT990 while having less than half the impedance.
Well I certainly would say that its a diminishing return for sure. Their 32 ohm headphones have always sounded much worse than their higher impedance brothers, so there is at least something to it.

The one thing that could be interesting with the 600 ohm headphones is that their impedance curve could potentially be a LOT more linear which would make it way more compatible with more amplifiers on the market. But thats just pure speculation.
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