Below is my current setup, a zen stack with an fx-audio tube pre-amp using a balance modded DT880 600 ohm, with Dekoni choice suede pads iirc.
I’m not necessarily going to upgrade but we are slowly approaching the end of the year and I do kind of want more bass, so I figured I’d explore my options. Let’s keep it in a budget of 1000$/Euros and it would need to be a noticeable upgrade.
As for my listening preference I don’t have much to go on besides this setup but here goes. I like the DT880s and they sound perfectly fine to me on the zen stack, I’m really just missing some oomph. The highs everybody complains about in the beyers did not bother me even on stock, but the dekoni pads were more comfortable, with more bass. Also making the sound overall a bit richer/warmer, though it did come at the cost of some clarity. The tube pre-amp barely adds anything but it changes the sound signature just enough to be more enjoyable, more…real?
I mostly game, but not competitively and the Soundstage and imaging of the DT880 are nice. Also using the redscape audio head tracker for immersion and surround, which it does really well, even if it means sacrificing some bass. Which btw is also nice and crisp, they still make my head rumble. It doesn’t grip me in my belly though. Like it “sounds” good, but I want it to “feel” good.
I should probably also mention that I tried the DT880s on the ifi go blu and while they sounded better on the stack, I found the difference to be rather minor. I also got to compare some hi-res recordings vs mp3 quality on qobuz and I honestly can’t tell if I heard a difference or if I heard one simply because I expected to. They sounded almost identical to me. So I guess I don’t have the most analytical ears, hence why I’m not sure an upgrade is really going to do all that much for me.
I’ve read all sorts of opinions about the DT880 and amps needed to power them. There doesn’t seem to be any real concensus? I’m not hellbent on keeping them, but the most sensible to me seems to be to increase bass on the DT880s. I’m not opposed to trying a different pair of headphones though.
For bass increase, people seem to mention lakepeople a lot, but from what I can tell, it would have to be at least a G111. The Tor Audio balanced amp, though expensive, seems like it might offer a significant change. On the cheaper end, there is the custom cans mod kit that seems to increase bass only, which I could use in conjunction with a cheaper option. (Waiting for feedback on the extent of that in another thread). There is also the newly released IFI IDSD 2 which would replace the entire stack, but I would get me more levels of X base and space, both of which I would appreciate, though I am questioning the whole “5 times stronger” thing.
But maybe a better solution would be to try a different pair of headphones altogether? That keep/improve the imaging/sound stage but add bass, but they cannot be less comfortable. Definitely also can’t be bothered with EQ or tinkering too much with tubes. Some amount of tinkering is fine, but I’m not down with the Linux experience of getting my EXACT custom setup and loosing my sanity along the way. The xDuoo XD05Pro in that sense looks really interesting too, not sure I can get it though, or the AUNE X8 (?)
Anyway, about time I wrap this up, sorry for the wall of text