Advice on next steps


You all helped me out a few months back, I’ve returned for some advice.

Currently I have a dt880 660ohm, and a Fiio K5 Pro.
I really enjoy the dt880s, they work with 90% of the stuff i listen to, although sometimes I wish they had a little more bass. The K5 Pro is amazing, although it does struggle to power the dt880s.
(Gain and Volume are maxed on certain songs)

I want to take my next step, I have a budget of around $1000, how would you recommend I spend it?

Some of the things I’ve looked at:

  • Buying a bigger amp to power my dt880s.
  • Buying the dt1990s (worried as many complain the trebble can be too much with long listening)
  • Buying something else like HD650s, or LCD 2C
  • Investing in a new dac/amp one that has balanced for future purchases

Any advice is welcomed :slight_smile:

Do you like the Beyer sound from the 880 besides missing some bass? Might make sense to pick up something like the Asgard 3 and run it with your K5 DAC for a little more warmth and low end slam. Maybe even pick up a Topping E30 or Schiit Modius and that’d still leave you with a nice chunk of your budget to pick up a pair of cans to compliment the 880s.

Dealing with the treble on the 1990s isn’t that difficult. The treble peak comes from it’s pads especially the analytical. Balanced while raises the bass really doesn’t help it’s treble peak. You can buy the Dekoni Elite Velour pads for the dt 1990 and it will fix that treble by quite the amount. Pairing that to an amp and dac that are good for brighter cans may also yield results at taming that treble. However, if you aren’t a big fan of analytical headphones you may be better off with the T1 instead though its a little be brighter it has a more laid back and fun approach to its sound as well as responds better to balanced and tube amp setups. Upgrading the dt 880 to one of these two headphones I fully think is a very solid choice. You can find these off and on in mint condition for around $350-$450 instead of their current price tag at $600.

With your budget I would invest in an Asgard 3 + Topping E30 just as a great all rounder setup. Having a balanced is fine there is alternatives but to my knowledge I don’t have much I can recommend personally. I make use of a Liquid Platinum with Nos tubes which is what my T1 stays connected to.

Since you aren’t the biggest fan of the bass I recommend just upgrading it instead while also upgrading your overall setup

This would really depend on what sound signature your looking for, what music you listen to, and gaming or no gaming.

dt880’s are pretty nice paired with a darkvoice (and I would imagine other otl tube amps as well)… the dv brings up the bass from other budget amps ive heard it on and adds warmth and body and space and power really letting the dt880 do it’s thing… I think its at least worth considering especially since it jives with 90% of your music

what is missing in the 10%?

The 880s are my first pair, so I don’t know what I like let (not in a true sense) I do enjoy the 880s tremendously. The sounds stage is great, it could be a tad (a tiny amount) bigger. Imaging is amazing, not that I need it for gaming, but the detail and clarity makes opera and classical music amazing to listen to. The only down side is that the bass is not there.

I’m not looking for anything overly analytical but I do enjoy the detail and being able to separate the music into it’s parts if that makes sense?

I listen to classical, opera, and stuff like this Trauma (Worakls Remix) The latter is the 10% where the added bass would be really appreciated.

I’ve looking into these as well, compared to the 880s how would you describe the T1s?
Would my current setup work with the T1s, or do i need to upgrade?

ah gotcha… what you could do is get a darkvoice (or an Asgard 3 as @Falenkor has mentioned) and a dt770 as well which imo pairs well with either amp… dt770 is a v shape with very nice bass and sub bass and the highs are more apparent that the 880 (not sure if that’s a concern for you)

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Glad your able to chime in on the darkvoice. I have heard great things about that and the dt 880s.

Nah this makes perfect sense. I would definitely tell you that perhaps the dt 1990 isn’t up your alley then. It’s an extremely analytically accurate headphone if theres an error in the music or mix somewhere generally to my experience I can tell with my dt 1990s. So, I am going to have to agree here then with Don about the Darkvoice as a suggestion since it has been said to help the bass from more than one person. I use the liquid platinums tubes and it helps my T1’s bass quite a bit due to the use of Nos tubes. If you want an upgrade due to what you mentioned I would definitely say the next step up is most definitely the T1 for you. Darkvoice would still work fine, I wanna say Bottlehead Crack + Speedball would be good too I hear a lot of great things though this is a DIY tube amp and of course you could always do like I did and grab a liquid platinum which makes the T1 sound gorgeous, just make sure to buy the alternative Balanced cables.

Brighter but only slightly, quite a bit more body to my ears the dt 880 lack pretty bad in this area, more detail, definitely more bass, cleaner, a little more sparkle on the highs, wider soundstage, bass is rounded I bring this up as to my ears the dt 880s bass sounds kind of flat-ish as in comparison to a dt 1990 those have a very planar slam -like sound to them. Overall very relaxed not analytical and well rounded neutral ish V signature. Paired to tubes brings up the bass, depending on amp can recede the treble, changing the pads like I suggested with dt 1990s also dials back the treble. A definite upgrade to the dt 880 imo while providing a better sound, however due to the added bass may not be the greatest for competitives however, you can always equalize this down and it responds just fine and the added treble really makes competitive cue cards pop however due to the lack of accurate analytics it’s not better than a dt 1990 for competitive gaming though I find them amazing. I wouldn’t normally recommend a beyer like a T1 but you already own the DT 880s and don’t have issues with the treble so I don’t think you will have any issues with a T1 or 1990 and if you do it’s definitely fixable.

I suppose another alternative here though, and I have to really stress that I would barily if ever recommend this, you can try the dt 990s. These are a V signature unlike the rest of them very sharp however multiple ways of fixing and dialing this treble back. Very bassy very bright recessed mids. If this is a consideration recommend a definite audition with a return policy. This is a hit or miss headphone. One of my favorites due to how unique this one is but this is probably one of the sharpest headphones I have in collection. I would say the dt 770 as well but not sure if you wanted closed back. more of a relaxed U shape more bass still bright with some sibilance I would recommend the 177x go over this to fix that sibilance for a closed back replace the pads with Brainwavz XL Perforated and it is a incredibly good closed back beyer. The other I can recommend is if you want a “warmer” bassier more relaxed beyer I can point you to my most recent audition 🔶 Beyerdynamic TYGR 300 R This way I don’t fill this page with even more text lol

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You might want to consider a Focal Elex. They have a great W shaped Signature. More bass but very controlled treble. Also very detailed. For a amp i would go with a RNHP. My music improved considerably when i got it. and the E30 is a very nice dac i hear. The LCD 2C is a dark headphone. Not sure if thats something you’d like