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Denon D2000/D5000, MD2000/MD5000 Appreciation Thread! - Page 208

post #3106 of 4044

Early last year Tyll did a review on the Denon lineup and generally came to the conclusion that there was a greater difference between the D2K and D5K than between the D5K and D7K.

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/luscious-denon-ah-d2000-ah-d50000-and-ah-d7000

 

I have not heard the D2K, but I have a coworker that has let me borrow his stock D7K on more than one occasion with the intent on using them to see if I should "upgrade to the D7K from my modded D5K.  I will say that there were some genres and certain songs that I felt sounded better to my ears with the D7K, but overall, I really enjoyed the D5K much better.  Where the D7K was better, it was not by that much, but when the D5K hit it right, it was more drastic of a difference.  I wont call it an improvement, as it was purely my subjective opinion, but I don't like the D7K as much as I like the D5K, although this was comparing a stock D7K to Lawton tuned D5Ks with angled pads.  Since these were loaners, I did not even want to try and change the ear pads on the D7K.

 

That said, I admit that I am not much of a sound stage fan.  I don't want the music coming from behind my nose, but I'm not too particular about having a wide or narrow sound stage or even if the instruments appear to be coming from a specific location. I don't have a lot of experience with live music scenarios that I could use to reliably compare with using headphones.  If this is a major factor in why the D7K is better than the D5K, than it is probably not something I would be too keyed-in on, and would not care too much in my evaluation between the two headphones.

post #3107 of 4044

Just a little something I'm working on..

 

STOCK

 

 

Not so stock..

 

 

I've only done one side so far. That alone has taken me a couple hours. I'm making more volume inside the stock D2K cups to see what differences it can make.

post #3108 of 4044

Interesting.  Appears to be recabled as well?

post #3109 of 4044

Yeah, they're pigtailed to mini XLRs. 

post #3110 of 4044

Fantastic job.

post #3111 of 4044

So after sitting and listening to the results of the mod, the bass isn't as strong, but it reaches farther into the lower Hz. The bass is still strong overall, but it's a little more tamed now. I think it's because they're more closed now. Before they had more sound leak from the crack than they do now, I bet the bass would get more intense again with a small port somewhere. Next, and I didn't expect this and I don't know why this is but... they're brighter? I'm listening to a some dubstep, drum and bass stuff, and the snare and symbols are much more clear now. The sound stage is bigger :D. I wish I had a stock D2K next to this so I could go back and forth and really be able to tell what else is different. OH, and they're heavier. They aren't weighing down my head, but they are noticeably heavier when I hold them in my hand. I have everything tightened down very well and they are very sturdy. I had to replace some of the screws because the stockers weren't long enough. Nbd. They're 2mm screws, I got a bag full of assorted lengths from Radio Shack.

 

So this is what I used; flat head screw driver, longer screws, a large host clamp, and some metal cutting scissors(?), and my beverage of choice. I had to get a huge hose clamp so the little notches the clamp uses to get tightened could be cut off and I would still have enough length of the flat shiny part. I was walking around Lowes for like an hour wandering from section to section trying to find anything that was the same diameter as the D2k cup that I brought with me. I felt like the Lowes Staff thought I was stealing. I kept getting the cup out of my pocket to compare it to stuff, then put it back in my pocket and leave the aisle with nothing in my hands. lmao

 

Anyway, here's what they look like now. They aren't perfect but they do look nice IMO. If I did it again I would cut the clamp a little differently. The housing for the driver that the cup screws onto complicated the job for me a little bit because the forks get in the way. Meh, next time? :wink_face:

 

 

 

 

AND there's still total clearance here so the cups can move freely without rubbing anywhere. (I don't know why my HTC One's camera does that blue tiger crap, but the cups don't look that way in person)

post #3112 of 4044

I made this video before the pictures posted above. This is so you can see that it doesn't rub anywhere and so that you can see what it looks like in action. Like I said, it isn't perfect yet, but the sound is very good. Very good.

 

The Music is M83-Hurry up, we're dreaming.-Midnight City

Watch in 720p

 

post #3113 of 4044

what a neat mod, tanks for sharing :D Makes me wish I'd gotten a D2k with deeper than stock wood cups :/ 

post #3114 of 4044

I'm keeping them this way until I DIY my own cups with fiberglass or carbon fiber. At that point, I'll just make the cups deeper.

post #3115 of 4044

I have for sale a pair of Denon D-5000 Mahogany wood cups and ear pads they are as new because i had the Denons modded by Lawton audio soon after i bought them .PM me if interested. Thanks.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 95

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 95


Edited by MIKELAP - 12/13/13 at 1:09pm
post #3116 of 4044

YEA second week of decemeber... STILL don't have my D2k... kinda pissed... not sure who to be mad at? 

 

Anyways sent out emails to those resposinsble? Might have it before Juanry... at this point though I'm no tremendously hopeful :/ 

 

Just egar to get it in my hands... 

post #3117 of 4044

(Sorry for the long post. It is my first after many months following this site.)

 

I purchase the Denon AH-D2000 headphones in March 2012, and since then I have been studying posts here and experimenting with modding it. I'm now very satisfied with the sound quality produced by these headphones and undecided whether I should mod it further or invest in other equipment.

 

I usually stream audio from an iMac through an Airport Express to the Naim NAC92-NAP90 preamp-amp, and from these to the Denon headphones using JDSLabs' cMoyBB 2.03 headphone amplifier (there is no headphone output in the Naim combo). Basically, my question at the end of this post is: would I experience greater gains in sound quality from purchasing budget, but state-of-the-art, DAC plus headphone amplifier, or from performing other mods on my Denon? Because I learned a lot from this site, and because there is still a lively debate going on in this thread, I also want to share some of my modding experiences. Those who are not interested can still help me by answering the question at the end of the post.

 

For those who might be thinking of modding their own Denons, my brief advice is to trust the opinions of markl, the originator of this mod, both in his original post and in his company website:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/299627/how-to-build-one-of-the-worlds-finest-dynamic-headphones-markl-denon-ah-d5000-mods
http://www.lawtonaudio.com

 

In my opinion, markl has been very accurate in describing the sound improvements resulting from the various steps of his modding procedure, at least those that I have followed. Yet, I think that there is an important step to improving the Denon's original sound, which was suggested by others, but not endorse by him (see step 4 below).

 

The mods that I did were (1) replacing the original D2000 plastic cups with D5000 wooden cups (purchased from Lawton Audio, with the damping material FatMat applied inside), (2) damping the back of the drivers as well as the front faces of the driver plates (with the same FatMat material, purchased as a kit from Lawton Audio), (3) stuffing the original pads to optimize the distance and angle of the drivers in relation to the ears, and (4) inserting a sheet of perforated felt between the driver plate and the metal frames where these are mounted.

 

For performing step 1, I consulted the following threads:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/502070/how-to-create-a-d2000-woody-on-a-budget-56k-warning
http://www.head-fi.org/t/496457/denon-d2000-d7000-wood-cup-swap

 

My suggestion here is to cut the plastic poles of the D2000 driver units, instead of drilling into the wooden cups. This last procedure, in my opinion, is more complicated than suggested in those threads. The drill bit I used had a long and sharp point, which is useful when drilling into wood, but almost led me cut through the other side of the cup! I realized tiny marks on the external surfaces of the cups only after drilling into them. Luckily, that was not sufficient to create a hole in the varnish. The other problem I encountered with this procedure was that the I whole created was too deep for the original screws to attach, or for any others that I could find. I had, then, to cover the holes with a type of wood putty and switch to the method of cutting the plastic poles. With new screws that could drive into the solidifying wood putty, the problem was solved.

 

In step 2, I followed the complete instructions provided in the following link (including the optional step 7, covering the driver plates entirely):
http://www.lawtonaudio.com/page55.html

 

In step 3, I did not use fiber loft, as markl did, but foam rings instead, as discussed in this thread:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/558782/denon-d2000-d5000-d7000-stock-pad-mod-for-wider-sound-stage

 

What is striking in this step is how much subtle changes can affect the sound! Like many others in the thread above, I noticed increased sibilance, which was (partially) solved only with step 4, below. Overall, in my experience, sonic changes due to pad variation can be summarized as follows. Angling the pads forward positions the music more in front of you, rather than aligned with an imaginary plane crossing your head from left to right, so to say. It also increases the depth and layering of the soundstage. Making the pads thicker, thus more distant from the ears, reduces the volume of the bass and the treble, but increases sibilance as noted above. This change also makes the soundstage less wide yet more coherent, i.e., without the left, center, and right "spots" that people say are common when listening to headphones. It's easy and cheap to experiment with pad changes. I eventually settled with a solution that I believe is close to the distance and angle provided by the Angle Pads, from Lawton Audio. Unfortunately, I do not own them for a comparison. But, considering the distance from where my pads touch the headphones' metal frame to the stitching on their pleather, the back side measures 30mm and the front, 17mm.

 

After these mods, the headphones became substantially better in several ways: bass and treble, more in line with the whole frequency curve; soundstage, more coherent; instruments and voices, better demarcated; sound positioning, more out-of-the-head; and timbre, more realistic. Still, I could not feel completely comfortable while listening to music, because of the added sibilance. I tried placing a piece of foam in front of the drivers, as discussed in this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/450631/a-trick-to-get-less-treble-and-sibilance-on-markl-modded-denons. Doing so reduced the treble and sibilance, which was good; but also reduced clarity and increased the bass, which was bad. For me, better results following this line of thinking were achieved with sheets of two-ply toilet paper or paper towel.

 

So, in step 4 of my mods, inspired by a few other head-fiers, I covered the face of the driver plate with perforated felt. The principle behind this is to reduce the reflections in the higher frequencies that are supposedly caused by the shinny surface of the damping material applied. As far as I know, some people have covered the material inside the cups as well. But I wouldn't dare to fiddle with that part again! In order to cut pieces of felt with the proper dimensions and add all the wholes that are distributed on the driver's plate, I used the following template: http://www.head-fi.org/t/352109/markl-mod-made-easy-d2000-possibly-for-d5000-template

 

Thus far, I think this is the best solution for taming the sibilance in my markl-modded Denon. To my ears, the treble is the only part of the frequency curve that was affected by this mod. I do not have measurement equipment to test this, but I would suppose that it is decreased in some dBs in the areas where the Denons are know to have peaks, around 5-7kHz and 10kHz. I think I can hear more instrumental details in the higher frequencies, which were before smeared and too loud. Moreover, the sibilance has diminished a lot, which means that I can now more fully enjoy the undeniable benefits brought by the markl mod. I continue to dream, however, that the sound produced by these headphones could still be improved in terms of better texture in the bass area, greater soundstage and separation of instruments, and smoother treble with no marked sibilance.

 

So, here comes the question… If I were to improve my budget sound system by spending, say, 400 dollars, what would be the best option?

 

(A) To continue modding my Denon (adding custom wood cups, changing the cable, applying alternatives to the felt, etc.)
(B) To get Schiit's Modi-Magni/Vali combo (or another headphone amp and DAC)
(C) To save the money for a more substantial upgrade
(D) Other (please specify)

 

Thanks in advance!

post #3118 of 4044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belenga View Post
 

(Sorry for the long post. It is my first after many months following this site.)

 

I purchase the Denon AH-D2000 headphones in March 2012, and since then I have been studying posts here and experimenting with modding it. I'm now very satisfied with the sound quality produced by these headphones and undecided whether I should mod it further or invest in other equipment.

 

I usually stream audio from an iMac through an Airport Express to the Naim NAC92-NAP90 preamp-amp, and from these to the Denon headphones using JDSLabs' cMoyBB 2.03 headphone amplifier (there is no headphone output in the Naim combo). Basically, my question at the end of this post is: would I experience greater gains in sound quality from purchasing budget, but state-of-the-art, DAC plus headphone amplifier, or from performing other mods on my Denon? Because I learned a lot from this site, and because there is still a lively debate going on in this thread, I also want to share some of my modding experiences. Those who are not interested can still help me by answering the question at the end of the post.

 

For those who might be thinking of modding their own Denons, my brief advice is to trust the opinions of markl, the originator of this mod, both in his original post and in his company website:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/299627/how-to-build-one-of-the-worlds-finest-dynamic-headphones-markl-denon-ah-d5000-mods
http://www.lawtonaudio.com

 

In my opinion, markl has been very accurate in describing the sound improvements resulting from the various steps of his modding procedure, at least those that I have followed. Yet, I think that there is an important step to improving the Denon's original sound, which was suggested by others, but not endorse by him (see step 4 below).

 

The mods that I did were (1) replacing the original D2000 plastic cups with D5000 wooden cups (purchased from Lawton Audio, with the damping material FatMat applied inside), (2) damping the back of the drivers as well as the front faces of the driver plates (with the same FatMat material, purchased as a kit from Lawton Audio), (3) stuffing the original pads to optimize the distance and angle of the drivers in relation to the ears, and (4) inserting a sheet of perforated felt between the driver plate and the metal frames where these are mounted.

 

For performing step 1, I consulted the following threads:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/502070/how-to-create-a-d2000-woody-on-a-budget-56k-warning
http://www.head-fi.org/t/496457/denon-d2000-d7000-wood-cup-swap

 

My suggestion here is to cut the plastic poles of the D2000 driver units, instead of drilling into the wooden cups. This last procedure, in my opinion, is more complicated than suggested in those threads. The drill bit I used had a long and sharp point, which is useful when drilling into wood, but almost led me cut through the other side of the cup! I realized tiny marks on the external surfaces of the cups only after drilling into them. Luckily, that was not sufficient to create a hole in the varnish. The other problem I encountered with this procedure was that the I whole created was too deep for the original screws to attach, or for any others that I could find. I had, then, to cover the holes with a type of wood putty and switch to the method of cutting the plastic poles. With new screws that could drive into the solidifying wood putty, the problem was solved.

 

In step 2, I followed the complete instructions provided in the following link (including the optional step 7, covering the driver plates entirely):
http://www.lawtonaudio.com/page55.html

 

In step 3, I did not use fiber loft, as markl did, but foam rings instead, as discussed in this thread:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/558782/denon-d2000-d5000-d7000-stock-pad-mod-for-wider-sound-stage

 

What is striking in this step is how much subtle changes can affect the sound! Like many others in the thread above, I noticed increased sibilance, which was (partially) solved only with step 4, below. Overall, in my experience, sonic changes due to pad variation can be summarized as follows. Angling the pads forward positions the music more in front of you, rather than aligned with an imaginary plane crossing your head from left to right, so to say. It also increases the depth and layering of the soundstage. Making the pads thicker, thus more distant from the ears, reduces the volume of the bass and the treble, but increases sibilance as noted above. This change also makes the soundstage less wide yet more coherent, i.e., without the left, center, and right "spots" that people say are common when listening to headphones. It's easy and cheap to experiment with pad changes. I eventually settled with a solution that I believe is close to the distance and angle provided by the Angle Pads, from Lawton Audio. Unfortunately, I do not own them for a comparison. But, considering the distance from where my pads touch the headphones' metal frame to the stitching on their pleather, the back side measures 30mm and the front, 17mm.

 

After these mods, the headphones became substantially better in several ways: bass and treble, more in line with the whole frequency curve; soundstage, more coherent; instruments and voices, better demarcated; sound positioning, more out-of-the-head; and timbre, more realistic. Still, I could not feel completely comfortable while listening to music, because of the added sibilance. I tried placing a piece of foam in front of the drivers, as discussed in this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/450631/a-trick-to-get-less-treble-and-sibilance-on-markl-modded-denons. Doing so reduced the treble and sibilance, which was good; but also reduced clarity and increased the bass, which was bad. For me, better results following this line of thinking were achieved with sheets of two-ply toilet paper or paper towel.

 

So, in step 4 of my mods, inspired by a few other head-fiers, I covered the face of the driver plate with perforated felt. The principle behind this is to reduce the reflections in the higher frequencies that are supposedly caused by the shinny surface of the damping material applied. As far as I know, some people have covered the material inside the cups as well. But I wouldn't dare to fiddle with that part again! In order to cut pieces of felt with the proper dimensions and add all the wholes that are distributed on the driver's plate, I used the following template: http://www.head-fi.org/t/352109/markl-mod-made-easy-d2000-possibly-for-d5000-template

 

Thus far, I think this is the best solution for taming the sibilance in my markl-modded Denon. To my ears, the treble is the only part of the frequency curve that was affected by this mod. I do not have measurement equipment to test this, but I would suppose that it is decreased in some dBs in the areas where the Denons are know to have peaks, around 5-7kHz and 10kHz. I think I can hear more instrumental details in the higher frequencies, which were before smeared and too loud. Moreover, the sibilance has diminished a lot, which means that I can now more fully enjoy the undeniable benefits brought by the markl mod. I continue to dream, however, that the sound produced by these headphones could still be improved in terms of better texture in the bass area, greater soundstage and separation of instruments, and smoother treble with no marked sibilance.

 

So, here comes the question… If I were to improve my budget sound system by spending, say, 400 dollars, what would be the best option?

 

(A) To continue modding my Denon (adding custom wood cups, changing the cable, applying alternatives to the felt, etc.)
(B) To get Schiit's Modi-Magni/Vali combo (or another headphone amp and DAC)
(C) To save the money for a more substantial upgrade
(D) Other (please specify)

 

Thanks in advance!

Seeing as you have put a lot of work into your D2k, I would go for a recable from Brian at BTG, he's very inexpensive and does great work I hear [about $150 there] I'd try to buy some Alpha Pads from MR.Speakers, I'm hearing that they are some of the best upgrade wise. Not sure how they affect the treble though... they might tame it slighty. [pads are about $60] and with your remaning $200 get a Modi and a Vali. I own a Schiit vali and it does a great job of ... adding a richness to the treble of my W1000x, the w1000x is a great headphone expect the treble can be a little... not tizzy but not entirely as effortless as a D7k or W5000, so the Vali did a nice job of  adding some rich ness to the treble. All the deatils are there, but it's not as grainy. 

 

How ever a that schiit stack might run you $234 or so with shipping.... I think BRain offers REcables by Foot, so you could opt for a 3ft cable to save a little money on the reCable so you can come in RIGHT at $400

 

I'm in a similar bought yo u though, my D2k is being reterminated with a 4pin XLR and it has a Custom Wood Back [stock depth sadly] and a D7k Cable. I'm going to buy Alpha Pads and the MarkL Mod kit, and after looking at the wood back mods.... I think I'm going to try doing a Partial Mod of the Wood backs. Do the D2k Houseing Mod on my Wood cups, so as to leave some of the wood still exposed... 

 

Also I REALLY think the vali would do nice with the D2k. For the treble it offers as well as the extra GRUNT in Sub bass it brought to my W1000x as well.

 

ALthough I'm getting my D2k terminated for balanced use so I can use with my NFB 10ES2, or rather so I can use my D2k with the RSA Sr71B [or F35 lighting] that I plan to get in the future. If I get a fully balanced Amp for my portable rig, I'd like to have a balanced can to use with it, while my w1000x get's her balanced recable <3

 

Non the less, that's what I would do if I was u with $400 dollars, ALpha Pads, a BTG ReCable and a Schiit Vali/Modi stack 

post #3119 of 4044
Quote:
 Non the less, that's what I would do if I was u with $400 dollars, ALpha Pads, a BTG ReCable and a Schiit Vali/Modi stack 

 

Thanks for the tip, Mshenay. Although, because 400 dollars do not have the same purchasing power when ordering these things from Brazil, I'll probably have to drop the recable.

 

I look forward to hearing your impressions of the Vali with the modded D2000, when it arrives!

post #3120 of 4044

Hey guys quick question for those of you that have both Denon line headphones as well as the Fostex TH600/900. Are the cup dimensions identical in circumference and depth? That is, aside from how the cups attach to the frame, is everything else about the size of the cups between the Fostex line and the old Denon line the same? Could I theoretically attach Fostex TH600/900 cups onto Denon D2k/5k/7k?  

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