Updates & More Tips For Denon Mod...
|I tried the dynamat, fibreloft and earpad mods. I think I enjoyed it most with just the dynamat mod, though bass was just a little too present, still.
Gotta be very very sparing with the Fiberloft. I suggest a very thin layer; pull it apart and spread it so it isn't so dense. Dig a bit out in the middle where the butt of the driver goes. At most, before closing it back up, thin, pulled apart Fiberloft should stick out no more
than 1/4" over the lip of the cup. Too much will damp the sound too much. When you rea-attach the ear cup to the headphone assembly, the Fiberloft should not cause any pressure that pushed the cup out so you have to clamp it down to get it to stay. It should fit just easily as if there was no Fiberloft at all.
|Adding foam underearpads seems to take away some of the immediacy from the sound.
Here's another tip I highly recommend. Put no padding under the forward part of the pad. Only put padding on the rear side of the pad, tapering it down as is comes closer to the front, as seen here:
Why? This does a few positive things:
1. Angles the driver like the R10 (and some AudioTechnicas), further closing the gap in the middle of the image. You now have no double image of the singer left and right, they converge into a single, solid image in the middle. Singer also seems to take a step forward in the mix (and doesn't get quite as lost in the mix), closer in perspective to what the R10 delivers.
2. Preserves more of the upper midrange and highs, which are slightly recessed on the D5000.
This may be harder for folks that have used layers of foam, but I highly recommend it.
OK, so I got my Moon Audio Blue Dragon V.3 re-cabled D5000. The V.3 is not yet up on his site, it uses single crystal copper, of obviously hyper-purity. Drew does nice work, and was extremely pleasant to deal with and very prompt.
I do have one nit pick which is that (for me), it would have been nicer if the place where the two cables that go to the ear cups attach together at the base of the Y were a couple of inches lower down, but that's a minor annoyance.
The brand new on the market Furutech plug on this thing is THE BOMB. It will destroy all other plugs. It's insanely well made and heavy, I love it:
I've burned the re-cabled phone in for 125 hours. Did a ridiculous amount of A/B-ing at the end and along the way with my existing stock cable markl-mod-ed phone. So I was essentially able to A/B two identically mod-ed cans, one with the Blue Dragon V.3 the other with a stock cable.
The result? Well, the stock cable is clearly an oustanding performer for a stock cable. Even though it had several dis-advantages in having the 1/4" plug stacked on top of the supplied 1/8" plug and was further attached to my 2m Sonic Horizons Hurricane extension cord, it still managed to sound great. The re-cabled Denon has 17 feet of Blue Dragon, so no extension was necesary.
Even on my very revealing and not exactly inexpensive front end, the differences, I must admit were subtle. The chief differences are as follows:
1. Blue Dragon V.3 is smoother and more solid sounding. Sounds have slightly more body and weight. Stock cable sounds slightly thinner and lighter in weight and leaner in tone.
2. Blue Dragon V.3 has a nice (but subtle) extra warmth to it that I really appreciate. It's a yummy cable, first class tonality.
3. Stock cable has a slight mid-range suck-out centered around where male voices occur that the Blue Dragon helps repair and fill in a bit, but this is still something inherent in the Denon.
4. Stock cable has an extra sparkle to the top end that sticks out a bit, where the Blue Dragon (at 125 hours of burn-in) has yet to fully replicate. OTOH, the Blue Dragon's treble is better integrated with the rest of the sound than the stock cable which has that teeny spike up high like a super-tweeter on a badly integrated speaker. Blue Dragon strips away this teeny tiny layer of extra " sugary sheen" that the stock cable has. Some people might miss this, even if they admit it shouldn't be there. Blue Dragon is more integrated and coherent top-to-bottom, plus is more organic and natural sounding.
5. Blue Dragon is better at separating individual instruments from one another than the stock cord.
In the end, I ended up adding a bit more Dynamat to the final product than was pictured previously. For me, the previous level of Dynamat used still left a bit too much bass bloat. It took some experimenting to find what works best for me, trial and error.
I didn't take pics of the final result, but here is what I settled on:
I added a couple extra strips of Dynamat to the outer edges of the inside of the ear cups. I chose to put the extra damping in the portion that was closer to the back of my neck at the bottom, and close to my temples on the top. These are the spots I was still most conscious of vibrations. The extra strips therefore go here (green lines):
I also put a little extra Dynamat inside on the rear of the driver assembly itself. The Dynamat outlined in red was removed by me as being too much damping, I don't recommend putting any there. The green circles indicate a thin strip of Dynamat that wraps around the outer edges of the butts of the drivers. That is recommended highly:
IMO, this gives you the exact right amount of Dynamat and right amount of bass damping.
After a while, I intend to re-write this whole thing in a more coherent way, so people see the step by step of what I consider the best degree/level/materials/amount of mods.BTW, if you would like to purchase my stock cable Dynamat/Fiberloft mod-ed Denon, check out the classifieds, it's for sale.