DT990 Pro

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Donald North, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. Donald North

    Donald North Friend

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    I went on the search for my first pair of serious headphones in 1990. At the time I listened to all the premium models that I could find in the Bay Area including the Grado HP1,Sennheiser HD250 and HD540, Sony MDR-CD3000, AKG K270. Unfortunately I didn’t get to hear the MDR-R10... The two that I liked were the Stax Lambda Pro and beyerdynamic DT990. They sounded the most lifelike to me and also closest to my Celestion SL-12Si speakers. I liked the beyer a tad more and it was lower priced, so I ended up buying a pair with the money I had earned working that winter break doing a temp job, helping move banker boxes at an outdoor storage unit in central California. I still have them in my collection...

    I have been a beyer fan ever since including the DT911, DT931. To sound with proper tonal balance in my opinion, they and the original 600 ohm DT990 need to be powered by an amplifier with higher output impedance. This is why I have the IEC setting with 120 ohm output impedance on my amps. I also like the DT770 Pro 80 ohm. I’m not a big fan of the consumer DT770, DT880, DT990, with the DT880 being the best of those 3, IMO.

    Beyer also makes a Pro variant of the DT990 which physically resembles my originals, and some reviews have said they’re less V-curve than the consumer variant. Here is a review with measurements I remember reading some years ago:

    https://headphones.reviewed.com/content/beyerdynamic-dt-990-pro-headphones-review-715

    Recently I noticed that beyer had released a limited-edition DT990 Pro in all black with straight cable and they are currently available for $160 on Overstock.com. I couldn’t resist...

    07754497-E0BA-4CC6-9289-B84EA5314D91.jpeg

    Just received them this afternoon and upon first listen using my iPhone6 with headphone jack, I’m enjoying them. Lively presentation with good tonal balance from bass to midrange to treble with the beyer “you are there” midrange presence. There is some sibilance but by no means overpowering. Will continue listening from the phone and then switch to a Stratus.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I wonder if we should revisit some of these old Beyers, like the DT880 250 ohm, or DT990 600 ohm, for the loaner program. We should probably provide a 120ohm impedance adapter too.
     
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  3. Donald North

    Donald North Friend

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    If you were to do this, I would suggest DT880 250, DT880 600 (it sounds different from 250), DT990 600 ohm, possibly DT990 32 ohm, and DT990 Pro 250 ohm. I might be able to get these on loan from beyer USA.
     
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  4. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    I've actually been trying to find an older DT880 to compare against my newer (I think? I got these used a few years back) 250 ohm DT880 Premiums, since I recall those being the "golden" standard of Beyers as per that one thread on Changstar a while back. IIRC the modern lines are somewhat inferior to the ones produced in the mid-noughties?

    Rather surprised to hear that the treble on the 990 Pros doesn't sting. Either chalk it up to ears, gear, or production variance? Speaking of, curious to hear how they pair with a Stratus!
     
  5. Donald North

    Donald North Friend

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    The DT990 Pro does have a lively treble with some emphasis in the sibilance range. No where near as exaggerated in the bass and treble as the 250 ohm consumer model.

    Listeninf tinught trough the Stratus on the Low setting, bass has good extension and weight, midrange has plenty of presence, treble still has a sibilance emphasis on some recordings and top end it a little hot. Switching to IEC setting takes away some midrange presence and tones down the treble. Depending on the recording, with some I prefer the Low setting; others I prefer the IEC. So far, very enjoyable for $160.
     
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  6. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    My favorites of the Beyers that I had a chance to try were the 880 pro, which were 250 ohm only, had a coiled cord, and a little more clamp than the premium, which I thought improved the low end response, at least in terms of quality, if not quantity. I only sold them on about 8-9 months ago. Once I had the hd600s though I just found myself really not using them much especially once I sold the V2. They definitely benefitted from the Valhalla2, although I never spent any time with them with something on the order of one of Mr. North's amps or an EC. To my ears though, they favored tube amplification even more than the high-z Senns did. You can pick them up used for $100 or less now I think.
     
  7. capetownwatches

    capetownwatches Rando

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    I have a 2 year old pair of DT990Pro 250 and enjoy them enormously for Rock and Metal.
    Using them paired with NFB11.32 or Benchmark DAC 1 USB mostly, and they sound superb with my LD MKII as well.

    Perhaps my 54 year old ears attenuate the infamous treble spike just enough, but I don't find them sibilant.
    That said, many (most?) Metal recordings leave much to be desired SQ-wise and I find the DT990s are able to cut through dense and compressed material like few others I've heard, and can actually make some recordings way more listenable.

    Bottom line is they are not for everyone, as with any other headphone it's horses for courses.
    I find them to be very enjoyable for most genres that require energy and speed.
     
  8. rott

    rott Secretly hates other millenials - Friend

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    I also really enjoyed the DT990 Pro when I used it for a few years, before eventually moving on (and upward). At that time I had compared it to the HD595 and liked the DT990 Pro better for Rock/Metal for the reasons already mentioned in posts above. There was some sibilance but was not too bothersome. Conveniently was not bad straight out of laptop or CD player headphone out.

    I found that the non-Pro DT990 sounded different and kind of blah out of my HeadRoom Desktop amp (which is what I had at the time). Maybe would have been better out of a tube amp. Always heard favorable things about the DT880 but never tried it.
     
  9. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Sounds good from a Stellaris? Well, as long as they come with one, I'm in.
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Every dynamic headphone sounds good from a Stellaris.
     
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  11. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    I also bought a DT990 PRO 250 ohms. I could not stand them.

    However, I do remember hearing a DT990 (dunno what impedance, maybe 600) out of a gen 1 Valhalla, and it seemed it paired well. Maybe it was the music. Who knows. Very possible there is some synergy with the Stellaris.

    In my opinion these are relatively very bright headphones. If one values a lively presentation then one may give them a try. But again, these were definitively not for me.

    BTW, if they were for me, the "limited black edition" stuff would definitively bring sweetness to the deal.
     
  12. Craigo

    Craigo MOT: Mage Audio

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    DT990 Pros get my vote for most comfortable headphones ever. The 990 velour pads are much softer and squishier than the 770 pads. I think this is one of the reasons the 990 IMO is easier to listen to off the shelf than the DT770 Pro. If I remember correctly the lower treble is much stronger in amplitude in the DT770 than the 990, but its been awhile since I've compared the two since my 770s are modded out.

    Upper midrange is dry sounding and the sibilance is strong with this one, but I would pick the DT990 over the Senn HD25 or the M50X, number one for sq and number two because mods.
     
  13. Ptirodaktill

    Ptirodaktill Rando

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    DT 990 can vary a lot between exemplars . Some of them sound unbearably shrill , others are okaysh. 600-ohms seems to sound smoother that 250.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
  14. a44100Hz

    a44100Hz Friend

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    I am really liking the loaner idea because Beyers are the headphones that I get asked about most frequently by friends looking for their first good pair. But I haven’t heard them in so long that I can’t recommend them. I have some nostalgia because the first pair of “good” (by head-fi standards in 2008) headphones was a wood cup modded DT770. I am not confident I would like them again now, but I got a lot of mileage from them in college. Good times.
     
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  15. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    In all honesty, back in the Changstar days several DT990 where measured and my recollection is that they did not exhibit a lot of variability. Even between different impedance types.

    DT990-250 PRO:

    http://www.changstar.com/www.changstar.com/index.php/topic,221.0.html

    DT990-600

    http://www.changstar.com/www.changstar.com/index.php/topic,858.0.html

    As mentioned in the links above, driver matching was superb which may imply very good quality control and process in the manufacturing of the Beyer classic designs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
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  16. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    I'm pretty sure I will not like any unmodded DT770. @Bill-P modified one to sound miles better than the stock ones. But even the expertly modded DT770 had some shortcomings IMO.

    Obviously people may disagree and have different preferences.
     
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  17. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    T1, 770, 990, 1770... Owned them. All fantastic comfort, great build quality, great bass, varying degrees of good mids, but gawd damn that treble... I just can't take it.
     
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  18. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    Maybe put the DT150 on the loaner. No nasty treble on that one, sounds very balanced though comfort is somewhat less then their other series. Cheap too. Some Beyers have trouble with channel imbalance like the DT 250 but that sometimes is due to the cable going through the headband.
    My 150 has a single entry cable as well but i modded it with dual entry and balanced and it was a noticeable upgrade.
    Tyll meaaured it https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/BeyerdynamicDT150250Ohm.pdf
     
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  19. Donald North

    Donald North Friend

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    I suggest revisiting their line with 120 ohm output impedance source/adapter. It won’t cure the DT990 250 ohm consumer exaggerated treble but should help on the T1, 600 ohm 990, etc
     
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  20. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    It would be academic at this point. Very satisfied with my ZMF headphones. Thanks for the suggestion though, someone might benefit from it.

    I'm a believer that EQ or OI can't 'fix' a headphone who's natural characteristics are so vastly different from my personal preference. Tweak it, sure. I still recall listening to Dizzy Gillespie/Miles Davis tracks and having to rip the headphones off my head at certain parts... with EQ applied.
     
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