had them for 2 days. That's enough time to evaluate them.
These might be a NOS pair. The headphone & cable look pristine.. But the foam covering the drivers literally dissolved when I wore them. I guess 36 yrs will do that. The drivers are protected by a metal casing with several pin prick holes. They are steel heavy, & feel like most good 70's electronics, built to last. They do look like the DT150 but the pads are not as big & cumbersome. The cable is a 6 pin XLR to 1/4 I believe. Easy to plug in. The box is also in good shape considering it's age. These headphones are heavy, & you really need to find the sweet spot to get the most benefit.
Beyerdynamic DT480 Vintage Headphones Beyer DT 480 - eBay (item 120373102145 end time Mar-29-09 12:42:35 PDT)
When I first got the headphones the left channel seemed dead. No sound!! I played with the small wires near the headband, above the left ear cup. I'm getting crackling, then the left channel has sound!! But I notice a huge channel imbalance.. The left side sounds weaker then the right. I played music.. Sounded a bit drab & murky. Ok, was this a 100.00 dud?
I doubt these headphones have been used to any great length. The seller states that he 'found' them, & they work. Like a old car, they needed to get warmed up a bit.. So, I listen for a good 2 hrs on Wed & on Thursday I was listening again, when, again, no sound from the left channel.. Then I heard some drop out & crackling, then boom.. The left driver came to life.. More powerful then before.. They opened up.. Channel imbalance seems to cured, or at least not as severe..
Ok.. If Beyerdynamics & AKG had a love child it would be the DT480's.. They are a hybrid between the DT48 & AKG Sextetts, sharing many of their strengths, but not as good as either DT48/AKG 240 sextett individually.. The overall sound is dark.. No real treble emphasis like the 770/880/990.. I did EQ the treble to brighten up the DT480, and to give them some life.
The musicality is unique. There is like a sheen or gloss around the instruments & singer, but I find it very appealing to my ears. Some frequencies seem to be over extended or inflated.. When watching a movie, sound effects were ultra crisp in a artificial way, but I still liked it. In Blu Ray terms, it's like post processing was added to remove film grain, to get a 'better', sharper picture. Notes tend to be suspended.. I was listening to Fist of Rage by Kid Rock.. In parts of the song there are heavy guitar riffs. The guitar riff seemed to be suspended in air, eye level or slightly above me. Like it was posing for a snap shot, then slowly faded into oblivion. This characteristic was strong in Fist of Rage, not so with other songs I tested.
There also seems to be a slight & subtle reverb effect, reminiscent of DH.. I found it good for chamber music & vocals.. For movies, IE planet Terror, I never heard foot steps & gun shots like this before.. The 480s definitely add their own flavor into the sound. Like the DT48, they are very picky with the source, maybe even more so then the DT48.. Some songs sound closed in, congested & drab. With a good source they show excellent clarity & nice dynamics.
The 480 has the analytical quality of the DT48, & the musicality of the 240 sextett. Detail is very good, on par or better then the DT48. But must A/B the two before I come to my final conclusion. These are closed cans, & the sound stage suffers accordingly.. The size is about average, not extremely accurate or balanced, but fun.. The mid range is very good.. Another good headphone for vocals, which seem to be a Beyer trade mark with their older headphones. Bass is grumpy.. & needs a little push to deliver, can sound half hearted at times.. But again, very source dependant. Bass is not bad per say.. But lacks the texture definition I'm accustomed to..