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JVC DX1000 vs. Denon D7000: a mini-review

post #1 of 141
Thread Starter 
Sorry I’ll have to do this at breakneck speed. Hope it’s not useless to those of you who are flirting with these phones but can’t have both.

I’ve been casually listening to the D7000 since I received it from HeadRoom (from their first batch) in late October. (That’s an audiophile’s “casually”, btw.) I’ve listened mostly to movie soundtracks and concerts on DVD. For this mini-review, I sat down with some of my audiophile-grade CD’s and DVD’s and A-B’d the phones for a couple of hours. This was just a “confirmation” session, as I already was confident that I could rely on my memory of these phones’ sonic traits. So, the review is very rushed – no choice – but the observation is not.

My source is the DAC in the Grace m902. The amp is the RudiStor RPX-33.

To begin with, the D7000 is a significant improvement on the sound of the D5000. There’s nothing subtle about it. The soundstaging is much better, deeper and wider. The highs are sweeter. Not a hint of harshness or aggressiveness. That hint is present in the D5000’s sound, which makes amp’ing these phones a matter of some care. (My Rudi NX-03 is a great match for the D5000 in this regard.) And there’s a little more volume in the mid-bass, which gives the D7000 a little more “bass weight” and better PRaT. It’s slightly better, more realistic, more foot-tapping bass, but not noticeably deeper bass. Now, to put it in perspective, as I see it, the D5000 is one of the best headphones money can buy. Its flaws are minimal. It is much better than the Sennheiser HD650 in every respect, to mention a popular, audiophile-grade model that has been regarded as a reference by many. (Yes, I’ve given the HD650 all the time in the world. It is mediocre when compared to the D5000.) Great job, Denon!

Is it better than my old #1, the DX1000? The D7000 is a little more extended in the highs. The DX1000’s slight treble roll-off – an otherwise subtle characteristic, and a generally welcome one with me – does become apparent when we A-B these phones. The DX1000 is never dull-sounding, never obviously sparkle-shy, but the D7000’s highs are a little better, a tad more natural.

The D7000’s bass is generally better too. It’s a tiny bit tighter, drier and maybe a shade deeper – though the advantage will be insignificant for 99% of what one normally listens to, including organ music and low-frequency effects in soundtracks (but excepting electronica, which I don’t listen to). You’ll have to search high and low for the 1% that reveals the advantage. (I’d have used the Stereophile test CD if I had had the time, but, oh my, that thing is boring and life is brief.)

Now, here’s the clincher: As good as the Denon is, it just can’t match the spectacular soundstaging of the DX1000. The potential for those spooky out-of-head experiences is just greater with the DX1000. Yes, I’ve had some of those heck-the-speakers-are-on type jolts with the D7000, but not as often as with the DX1000. There’s something about the way air moves around voices and instruments, something about the way sounds seem to bounce off the walls and decay that’s so convincing in the way the DX1000 throws its soundstage... It’s a wider, slightly reverberant, life-like, immersive soundstage. It’s the knockout punch for me. It’s why I’d keep the DX1000 if you put a gun to my head and forced me to choose one of them. It’s a photo-finish win for the DX1000, but a definite win.

We’re all curious about the Senn HD800, aren’t we? The well-oiled Sennheiser hype machine has been doing a fantastic job – and I say this with respect for their professionalism. Here’s my request to those who get the chance to audition the new flagship: Please, let us know how it does in the deep bass & PRaT & soundstaging departments. (I already expect it to be excellent SQ-wise elsewhere.) Be as specific as you can. Don’t just tell me it’s much better than the HD650. I’ve known much better than that. And rest assured I hope the HD800 (or the Ultrasone Edition 8, preferably both) proves to be the DX1000 and D7000 killer. I have no allegiances or emotional attachments or financial stake in the matter. I just want the loudest bang for my buck.

post #2 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundinista View Post
We’re all curious about the Senn HD800, aren’t we?
...Here’s my request to those who get the chance to audition the new flagship: Please, let us know how it does in the deep bass & PRaT & soundstaging departments. (I already expect it to be excellent SQ-wise elsewhere.) Be as specific as you can.
Amen to that! This is what will ultimately help me to decide if I want to pony up for a pair of HD800s.

Thanks for your D7000 impressions. I will soon be saving up for the D7000s myself. I love the D5000s, so the next logical step for me would be to score a pair of top tier Denon cans - based on what O have been reading here at Head-Fi regarding the D7000s, I seriously doubt that I will be disappointed...
post #3 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundinista View Post
We’re all curious about the Senn HD800, aren’t we? The well-oiled Sennheiser hype machine has been doing a fantastic job – and I say this with respect for their professionalism. Here’s my request to those who get the chance to audition the new flagship: Please, let us know how it does in the deep bass & PRaT & soundstaging departments. (I already expect it to be excellent SQ-wise elsewhere.) Be as specific as you can. Don’t just tell me it’s much better than the HD650. I’ve known much better than that. And rest assured I hope the HD800 (or the Ultrasone Edition 8, preferably both) proves to be the DX1000 and D7000 killer. I have no allegiances or emotional attachments or financial stake in the matter. I just want the loudest bang for my buck.

Well, according to what has been written about the HD800 - the PRAT seems to be amazingly fast - soundstage seems to be dramatically bigger than the HD650, and according to the frequency response measurements the bass goes well below 20Hz with almost no attenuation. I did hear a comment about the K-1000 having more impact in the bass which is a concern of mine.

But it really comes down to how they will sound side by side. The Edition 8 seems to have some serious speed and transparency as well from an early review.

I guess the once empty market of new $1000 + cans is now flooded with competition... should be interesting. Thanks for the impressions.
post #4 of 141
Thread Starter 
Thank you both!

Imilhan, if you like the D5000 – that kind of top-to-bottom neutrality – you’ll get more of the same, only better in the highs (best I’ve ever experienced) and a little more punchy-sounding. They sound like mega-buck full-range speakers -- like, say, a top-of-the-line Dynaudio with DALI tweeters! The most striking difference is the soundstaging. The presentation is much less upfront, which I think is a major factor in the out-of-head experience. Denon has really created a different sound for these phones, a smart move IMO. I bet you’ll want to keep both Denon’s!

Rob, yes, the bass... I’m afraid that’ll be the deal-breaker for me as regards the HD800. Once you’ve experienced the deep bass offered by both the DX1000 and the D7000, there’s no turning back. (Those who’ve praised the HD650 in that regard may not know the state of the art.) To my mind, it’s impossible to overrate the importance of deep bass in our enjoyment of music and movie soundtracks. But many headphiles still have no idea what a “clean” 30Hz sounds like and how much of the drama and scale of the material depend on it, isn’t that right? BTW, some time ago, I reported on a bass shoot-out between the D5000 and the DX1000. I subjectively called it a tie. Skylab measured them and found a 1dB advantage for the D5000. That’s the bar for the HD800 as far as I’m concerned. And there’s ample evidence that some well-known audio writers (for Stereophile, TAS, and others) don’t know where the bar is as regards deep bass in headphones. We’ve been badly misled.

Cheers,
post #5 of 141
I've tried d5000 twice.
I almost bought them but I didn't.
I had a chance to listen my friend's d7000.
They 're so beautiful.I really loved the look.
The setup was ipod (lossless file) + dock +rudistor portable amp+ d7000.
I listened to them about 10 mins. "a bit better than d5000"
The bass had more control but I still didn't want them.
I dont mean d7000 no good but not my cup of tea.

After reading your mini review , I really wanna listen to the d7000 again along with my dx1000 which I just got today.
From my memory, denon's are much more comfortable than dx1000.

But GS1000 are still my #1 headphones.
post #6 of 141
Thanks for the comparison. As a long time owner of DX1000 I have been wondering how the D7000 compared to these. Now I know I don't need them.
My wallet says thanks too. (It doesn't know about the other plans yet. )

I am also wondering if the HD800 can stand up against the DX1000. I'm not sure at all...
post #7 of 141
Nice write up and comparison. I must say that I had no idea what I was missing in bass until the DX1000 arrived. The DX1000 and RS-1 are my two favorite cans. The JVC could be my only can if it was more neutral.
post #8 of 141
I was very excited to try out the JVC in Japan when I went in October. I'm a closed headphone bass loving guy so I thought these would be right up my alley. While I found the soundstage to be unparalleled and the bass deep, it sounded a bit hollow and boomy to me.

I was able to try out the Denon 7000 at another store and I fell in love instantly. The bass hit hard and it was clean. The soundstage was also impressive. I did some A-B with the Denon 5000 they had on hand and I thought the 7000 was a nice step up. My friend, a current 5000 owner, was with me and listened to both and reluctantly agreed.

I can't wait till I get my hands on a 7000!
post #9 of 141
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the discussion!

Some replies:

Freakmax, I wouldn’t call the Denon’s “much more comfortable” than the DX1000, but a little more, yes.

BTW, I don’t think I’ve seen this in other threads: My D7000 is quite a bit tighter on my head than my D5000. I think Denon has shortened the headband a little. The pressure is perfect now. Like many, I thought the D5000 was a bit loose on my midsized head. (I’ve now flexed its headband a little and eliminated the problem.) Also, the D7000’s earpads are firmer than the D5000’s. There seems to be better padding there. (I know that, in response to somebody who made a similar claim, Markl has claimed that there’s generally no difference in earpad quality. Not true of my units. But I’m not in a position to generalize.) On the downside, despite being more flexible, which may be a big plus for some, the D7000’s cable seems quite a bit inferior, more flimsy than the D5000’s heavier cable. (Clearly, in view of the spectacular SQ, the requisite electrical properties are all there.) And the D5000’s cable, in turn, looks and feels inferior than the DX1000’s heavier, longer cable.

Freakmax, give the DX1000 some 70 hours and let us know how it compares to your GS1000, okay?

Kees, yes, that’s how I see it myself. The D7000 is definitely not an upgrade over the DX1000. It’s a lateral move, just a different flavor, very much a luxury for a DX1000 owner. Now, as far as luxuries go, it’ a mighty, mighty fine one! (Not as fine as your plans?! )
post #10 of 141
Well things have moved a bit faster than I expected. I scored a pair of brand new D7000s, and I now have them in my possession. As much as I would like to keep both the D5000s and the D7000s, I can't (currently) financially afford to do so.

I will reserve final judgment until the D7000s are burned in for a good while, but I fired them up brand new right out of the box, and I could immediately hear a difference (for the better) when comparing them to my D5000s. So my early impressions are quite favorable thus far.

Will post more once they have a good amount of burn in hours on them.


And I am in the same boat with regard to the HD800s. The bass quality/response and output will be the deal maker or breaker for me. If Sennheiser has managed to make a pair of headphones that can do what the K-1000s already do, but with the added palpable bass similar to what the Denon d5000s or D7000s can do, then I will most definitely be buying the HD800s (heck, maybe even 2 pairs), as they would likely be the ultimate Headphones for my tastes. Otherwise, my D7000s and AKG-K1000s are all I really need to cover all of the bases for my headphone listening preferences.

I have money set aside for the HD800s "just in case" Sennheiser has somehow miraculously made such a pair of Headphones (but I have my doubts). I am going to wait until they officially ship, and several people have spent quality time with them and write up comparative impressions versus other high end phones (or better yet, until I can hear a pair for myself). Who knows, maybe I will utilize one of Head-Fis sponsors, and buy a pair anyway, and take advantage of the 30 day return policy - if they aren't the greatest headphones the world has ever known (which is what a few are currently claiming), then I will just return them for a refund.
post #11 of 141
I'm looking forward to comparing the two in depth! I should be in HR's first run of HD800's.
post #12 of 141
Hmm cool. Skylab had similar review when he reviewed the D5000 and ended up selling them as he loved the DX1000 so much.
post #13 of 141
I have compared the JVC/Victor HP-DX1000 with he Denon D5000. For me it was a no contest, the D5000 is leaps and bounds more enjoyable and fun to listen to. I have had mine MarkL modded w/ a set of V4 Bubinga Cups and it just took it to another level.

My opinion and YMMV.
post #14 of 141
Soundinista, you might as well get HD800, a step up from HD650. I'm thinking of getting one and leave amp upgrade for later.
post #15 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundinista View Post
Thank you all for the discussion!



Freakmax, give the DX1000 some 70 hours and let us know how it compares to your GS1000, okay?


I had about 50 hrs on my DX1000 now.
I still prefer my GS1000 in most genre( Acustic , Classical , Jazz , Folk , ).
Gs1000's are far more comfortable and sound more realistic to me.
More Air , wider sound stage , better treble.

I like my dx1000 with rock ,metal ,and dance.They are more fun to listen than the GS1K.
Bass is more present and more powerful than my GS1K , the mid is more forward but not as forward as the RS1's.

I love 'em both.
I feel no need more headphones now.
But I'm only allowed to have one headphone, I would keep the dx1000 becasue they are more versatile ( Good in every genre )


I also asked my GF 's opinion,she prefered dx1000 over gs1000.
She said dx1000 are the most comfortable headphone she have tried so far and fun to listen to.



Actually ,I would like to give more in-depth impressions but I couldn't.
Sorry for my poor English.
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