Kenwood KH-K1000 impressions, compared to the Denon D2000.Intro & conclusion
This is not a review. I don’t claim the authority to be able to do that.
These are just my personal impressions.
In order to place my remarks in some kind of perspective, I compared them with the more widely known Denon D2000.
So you don’t have to read all the rest if you don’t want to I will start at the end:
DO I LIKE THESE PHONES?
YES. I LIKE THEM VERY MUCH.
Mainly just because they simply draw me into the music. They grab me, envelop me in music and don’t let me escape. These are probably the most engaging headphones I ever heard.
ARE THEY PERFECT FOR ME?
They definitely have some flaws. But on the other hand: the perfect woman has flaws. If she didn’t she wouldn’t be perfect…
ARE THEY PERFECT FOR YOU?
Could be. If you like bass, a warm presentation and perfect PRAT this could be your ideal set of phones.
WHAT OTHER PHONES CAN I COMPARE THEM TO?
They are in my opinion in the same league as Sennheiser HD650 (single ended), AKG K701, ATH AD2000, Beyer DT880/990, Grodo RS1, AKG K340, PROline750/2500 and D2000.
It is a matter of taste which one you prefer. I personally prefer them to all of the above, with the exception of the HD650.
WHAT ARE THEIR STRONG POINTS:
•PRAT. Pace, rhythm and timing are just perfect.
•Warm engaging sound signature.
•BASS. Bass is big and deep. Equal to bass monsters like the DX1000 or deep cup Darths.
•Very balanced. No forward or recessed mids.
•Good tonality. They have an easy-going, natural timbre.
•Easy to listen to. No fatigue whatsoever, no matter how long I listened to them.
WHAT ARE THEIR WEAK POINTS:
•They are not the pinnacle of refinement. They can sound a bit coarse sometimes.
•Bass can be too big on occasion. You definitely need an amp that can handle that (I prefer my Corda Prehead MKII SE).
•They can sound a bit hollow on some occasions.
MY PERSONAL CONCLUSION:
I love these phones. No matter what they do wrong, they are so engaging that I keep listening to them. They get a lot of head time.General remarksLook & feel:
OK. Not too luxurious.Comfort:
Very comfortable. The pleather pads can cause sweaty ears on hot days, but otherwise these are in the top comfort league. Far more comfortable than the D2000.Used equipment:
Source: FLAC/PC/JOB 48 DAC.
Amps: MF X-can v8 and Corda Prehead MkII SE.Burn-in
for >100 hours with pink noise. Burn-in wave files: white noise, pink noise, frequency sweep, channel mixLow extension
: VERY low.High extension:
slightly rolled off.Detail:
Not the most detailed phones around.Imaging:
Very good. Consistent correct placing of everything.The music
Here I give some specific examples of what I listened to.
I could have given a lot more examples, but they are a good illustration of what I listened to when I came to the above conclusions.Piano solo:
Slightly hollow. Tonally quite good, but the hollowness makes it sound a bit metallic. Detail is good.
Compared to the D2000: the D2000 are colder, flatter even a bit more metallic. The D2000 are also a bit more refined though. Detail in the midrange is better from the D2000.
End result: I prefer the Kenwood, for more natural timbre, but I find neither doing extremely well.Music listened to:
Listz: Funerailles, played by Naum Grubert.Orchestra:
Good, but slightly congested, probably due to lacking detail in the midrange. The orchestra gets an homogenous sound and is full bodied though, which I really appreciate.
Balance is good: no section stands out.
Placing of instruments and soundstage is very good.
The Kenwood gives body to the orchestra in much the same way as the HD650 can.
D2000 gives a bit more detail in the orchestra. They are very close here actually.
The Kenwood is just so much SWEETER.Music listened to:
Beethoven: Fifth piano concerto played by Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and the Wiener Philharmoniker.
Mahler: Symphony no 1, played by Lorin Maazel and the Wiener Philharmoniker.Chamber music:
Again here they give you a feeling of being present. They present a very convincing, warm but still natural sound. A slight hollowness sometimes acts up here though.Music listened to
Albert Roussel: Chamber music.Voices:
Very convincing, even if they miss the last little bit of brilliance and detail.Music listened to:
Berlioz: Les nuits d’ été : Frederica von Stade.
Diana Krall: The girl in the other room.Violin:
Very nice tonality. I really like the sound of these.Music listened to
Vivaldi: La Stravaganza, played by Rachel Podger.Guitar:
very articulate. Beautiful sound. Very natural.
Very clear tone. I can hear a lot of details. The D2000 is clearer and more neutral. More detail at the cost of musicality (compared to the Kenwood).Music listened to:
Bach: Andrei Segovia.Bass
: Electric bass sounds absolutely awesome. Marcus Miller gives the best performance I ever heard on these phones.
Accoustic bass in a jazz trio or quartet: drums, bass, piano and saxophone or trumpet the other instruments have more than enough impact to survive the bass. The result is absolutely great: warm, intimate and compelling. The music grabs you.
Music listened to:
Charles Mingus: Ah Um, Lots more.Organ:
Very impressive. The bass really comes to life here.Music listened to:
Bach: Orgelwerke played by Ton Koopman.
Jimmy Smith: Back at the Chicken Shack.Rock:
Just great as far as I’m concerned. I couldn’t really ask for more. They just rock.Music listened to
Allman Brothers: Shades of two worlds.
The Band: The last Waltz.
David Bowie: Diamond Dogs, Heroes ….
The Who, Pink Floyd DOTM, Lots more.Jazz:
Kind of Blue is a well known reference to a lot of people.
The sound is warm and intimate.
The intro bass on “So What” is a bit hollow, but very impressive none the less.
Trumpet is brilliant, perfect tone and very articulate.
Compared to the D2000: the D2000 are sounding thin and flat in comparison. Rather lifeless. Trumpet I find strident and the whole sound signature a bit fatiguing.Music listened to
Miles Davis: Kind of BlueFusion / Jazz Rock:
Amazingly good. These phones are excellent for this kind of music.
PRAT is perfect. All sound effects are there and all registers from the highest highs to subterranean lows have presence.
D2000: They do really good too in this genre. A bit more analytical, and far less weight, but that is the main difference.Music listened to:
Michael Brecker, Brian Bromberg, Bill Frisell, Pat Metheny,
Lots moreOverall difference between the KH-K1000 and the D2000
KH-K1000 are much warmer, have MUCH more bass, have better PRAT and a more natural presentation. Very engaging.
Less detailed and a bit hollow sometimes.
D2000 are more detailed, more refined, but also less engaging. Strident, almost sibilant highs sometimes. Much lighter in overall presentation.
I like the Kenwood a lot more.
But that's just me.