Question DAC and amp for Beyerdynamics dt 990 Pro (250ohms)

Jun 29, 2019
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I'm looking for a dac and amp that would be suitable for producing/mixing/mastering music, specifically hip-hop, rnb and orchestral music. I know there are plenty of forums out there asking this question, but almost none of them are prefaced with the intended usage of the headphones, which makes things pretty confusing and off-track as I read through the responses. That's my only intended purpose. I may use them for gaming (which is not much on PC), but highly unlikely.

My budget is $500 AUD, and the headphones themselves are $195. So that leaves room for another $305, but I may be able to increase the budget to $600 if needed.

A couple of other things also:

1. I already have an audio interface (M-Audio MobilePre) which is pretty old but nonetheless works without an issue. Would holding onto that while purchasing a DAC be an option?

2. I have an MB with the ALC 1220 SNR amp built in. Some say that that's good enough to drive the headphones...but those are coming from people who are using them for gaming. Would you recommend that I try the headphones with the MB first
 

anort3

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The DT990s aren't terribly difficult to drive and aren't really resolving enough to spend a bunch of money on an amp and DAC for them. What you probably would want is a neutral source.

I don't know what taxes and import fees do to the price but this is the best bang for your buck as far as a neutral amp and DAC goes. I've got a Mayflower O2/ODAC and it was almost double this price. Also the SDAC measures better than my ODAC.

https://drop.com/buy/massdrop-o2-sdac-dac-amp

Also be aware that the 990s are very V shaped with boosted bass and treble and recessed mids. I'd think you'd want a neutral headphone to master music.
 
Jun 29, 2019
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Thanks for the response. and the suggestion. It seems that the shipping and import is under $10 in total. Yeah I won't be using it much for mastering. I have flat response closed headphones that i'll be using. I just needed open back headphones for that spacious feel and there seems to be a lot of hype on this one in particular.

What other open headphones would you personally recommend?
 

anort3

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I personally find the mid-fi Beyerdynamic line ( 770, 880 and especially the 990 ) to be overly bright and 'hot'. The treble can be painful on some songs and that's especially true with electronic music. Some people love them though.

I'm a fan of Sennheisers in general. The absolute neutral reference is the HD600. BUT, being neutral it's also a bit bass lite. Needs an amp.

Massdrop ( Drop now they changed the name ) has a LONG history of collaborating with some of the big names in audio and in some cases making a better product ( for less money ) than the original.

The HD58X Jubilee would be an excellent choice for you. It's got the best bass of the line ( despite the name the 58X is a 6 series ). An amp would be rewarded but isn't as necessary as with the other 6 series phones.

Just check out the reviews.

https://drop.com/buy/massdrop-x-sennheiser-hd-58x-jubilee-headphones

The HD6XX is an HD650 with different paint. This was really where Massdrop ( Drop ) made their audiophile name. This is a legend BUT, it needs an amp. It scales like no other headphone. Meaning it will sound great with that $150 O2/SDAC but it will sound even better with high end equipment. The more power you can give it the better and it loves tube amps.

https://drop.com/buy/massdrop-sennheiser-hd6xx


If you don't want an amp at all then the HD599 is a very good choice. I'd recommend Metal571's reviews in general. He has the best ear of the youtube reviewers and he's completely honest. He's also done the DT990s and the others I mentioned above so I encourage you to check them out as well.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HORNc3QQ9mc
 
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