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REVIEW: Lawton Audio LA7000 (formerly "markl Mods") - modded Denon D7000 - Page 2

post #16 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
I think the LA7000 are very musical, involving and enjoyable like my custom IEM; but all of the custom IEM are faster/more detailed, more transparent/open sounding, and isolate better. The LA7000 and custom IEM are all better than a stock or modded D2000/D5000.

I don't want to ruin my 3-way customs review, but I'll say a little something here. The UE11Pro sound signature is similar to an unmodded D7000 but with better speed, detail, openness and extended treble. The JH13Pro sound signature is more similar to the LA7000 in tonal balance, but also faster and more detailed and open, with better bass and mids than the LA7000. And the ES3X are more like an HD800 in tonal balance, detail and speed but seem a little smoother in the highs. These three IEM have a fantastic soundstage but they place the listener at different distances from the performance and have varying degrees of headstage vs soundstage - it's hard to compare those to a full size headphone where the HD800 has the best soundstage, followed by the R10 and then the LA7000.
Whoa, I guess that is exactly what I was looking for

Although I never had experience with any high-end headhphones, I am hoping to hear some of those mentioned headphones, including JH13Pro demo at upcoming local meet. Your reviews and my experience at the meet will definitely help me choosing my next headphone/IEM (although I almost made up my mind at this point). Anyway, thanks for your response!
post #17 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Covenant View Post
Excellent review thanks Larry, I appreciate you shedding some light on these.

One question, did you get a chance to compare the LA7000 to your RS-1? I know its apples to oranges, but I'm contemplating getting a second 'phone at some point down the track to compliment my HD600, predominantly for rock and metal with some slam and fun factor, but hopefully without sacrificing much of the HD600's refinement. Right now I'm thinking either Denon or RS-1, so I'd be interested in your impressions.
That's a tough one. My RS-1 have the APS V3 cable, and I alternate between flats and bowls depending on the music, and the sound changes noticeably with pad changes. I prefer the more level frequency response with flats, but the soundstage of bowls. With bowls on the the RS-1 the mids are not as rich and the highs are sometimes a little too sparkly, while the bass drops off. With the flats the bass perks up, mids get richer, but highs lose their sparkle a little bit, while soundstage suffers the most.

The Denon LA7000 would be closer to a mix of the bowls and flats, but very slightly less open sounding since they are a closed phone. However, unlike with the RS-1, with the LA7000 I don't feel like I am in a dilemma of trying to decide which "pad sound" do I want. And LA7000 soundstage is bigger and not a wall of sound. While the Denon do not have the speed and detail of the RS-1, they have the sound that I would have liked from my HD650 before I sold them. I tend to enjoy the music more with the LA7000 (or HD600), and analyze the music more with the RS-1 (or HD800). That's one of the reasons that I switched to using my HF-2 more than my RS-1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by myk7000 View Post
Great review again! Always a pleasure to read these.

I ordered a d7000 recently because I want to compare it against my HD650 to see which one will take the place as my 1 all-around headphone. I really enjoyed the d2000 but found the hd650 a bit better for me so I guess I'll see whether the d7000 beat them out.

Where do you think the biggest difference came from (between d7000 and la7000)? The change in wood, the better cable, the damping, or the pads? I really don't have enough money to go for the LA7000 but want to get the most out of the stock d7000 which could possibly replace the hd650.
You could certainly do this in stages. I would probably do the re-cable first, and contrary to my previous postings over the past year, the Jenna Labs cable might just be what is helping to both bring out the recessed mids and extend the treble. Previously I was a big fan of the APS V2 cable that is on my D2000, but I have heard how a JL cable can improve midrange detail and definition in other phones like HD600 and HFI-780.

It's easy to stuff the earpads, but even better you should buy the JMoney Audio leather Denon earpads, which I have and am starting my review on. The comfort is improved and they are already stuffed thicker for you.

Then, if the bass is controlled enough for you with just the cable and pads, then I would get the wood cups to enhance the midrange presence even more. But if the bass is not controlled enough then I would do the internal dampening mods before the upgraded wood cups.
post #18 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
The Denon LA7000 would be closer to a mix of the bowls and flats, but very slightly less open sounding since they are a closed phone. However, unlike with the RS-1, with the LA7000 I don't feel like I am in a dilemma of trying to decide which "pad sound" do I want. And LA7000 soundstage is bigger and not a wall of sound. While the Denon do not have the speed and detail of the RS-1, they have the sound that I would have liked from my HD650 before I sold them. I tend to enjoy the music more with the LA7000 (or HD600), and analyze the music more with the RS-1 (or HD800). That's one of the reasons that I switched to using my HF-2 more than my RS-1.
Have you ever tried the Senn 414 pads? I found them to be a midway-point between the bass satisfaction and rich mids of the flats, coupled with some of the bowls' soundstage.

Its the loss of the speed and detail of the RS-1 that makes me second guess the Denons. RS-1 is already a pretty expensive mid-fi headphone, if the LA7000 can't match it (or at least come very close) in terms of refinement, even if it ups the fun factor and possesses more balance, I'll likely end up considering it a waste of money. Especially considering it costs over twice the price of an RS-1.
post #19 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Covenant View Post
Have you ever tried the Senn 414 pads? I found them to be a midway-point between the bass satisfaction and rich mids of the flats, coupled with some of the bowls' soundstage.

Its the loss of the speed and detail of the RS-1 that makes me second guess the Denons. RS-1 is already a pretty expensive mid-fi headphone, if the LA7000 can't match it (or at least come very close) in terms of refinement, even if it ups the fun factor and possesses more balance, I'll likely end up considering it a waste of money. Especially considering it costs over twice the price of an RS-1.
I have a new set of HD414 pads that I never got around to quarter modding.

The LA7000 detail and speed is probably as good as the HD650, and falls just a little below the RS-1 but not by a lot. It's more likely that my RS-1 with APS V3 re-cable lets the edge to the details show through, while the stock cable on RS-1 or HF-2 is smoother but slightly less detailed than one with the APS v3. In terms of refinement I think the LA7000 (burned-in) is right up there.

If you want real detail, switch to stats.
post #20 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
The LA7000 detail and speed is probably as good as the HD650, and falls just a little below the RS-1 but not by a lot. It's more like my RS-1 with APS V3 re-cable lets the edge to the details show through, while the stock cable on RS-1 or HF-2 is smoother but slightly less detailed than one with the APS v3. In terms of refinement I think the LA7000 (burned-in) is right up there.

If you want real detail, switch to stats.
Don't even try it, you evil evil man

The more I experiment with cables, the more I lean towards pure copper conductors. Having heard a stock RS-1 with 414 pads out of a Melos and being wow'ed by it, I wonder how one recabled with some Cryoparts wire would sound...

/end derail, sorry folks
post #21 of 65
I would like to thank Larry for such a wonderful and thoughtful review of the LA7000. A great read. Cheers.
post #22 of 65
Very nice review. Thanks for posting this. I would LOVE to be able to compare the LA7000's (especially balanced) to my balanced and recabled Sony CD3000's. Price-wise (and looks wise) , the comparison is apples and oranges, and on paper the comparison would highly favor the L7000's. However, listening to the CD3000's via the 307A is pretty amazing. There was a brightness and slight agressiveness to the pair of Jena Labs balanced LA5000's (MD5000) that I had that exagerated sibilance, and I wonder if the LA7000's have eliminated this coloration.
post #23 of 65
I really appreciate Mark's work...I have a Balanced pair of MD5000's (with balanced Jena) and a nice LA2000 (single-ended) w/ V4 cups (a beautiful She-Oak).

And I have a pair of the LA7000's, balanced with 5.5ft Jena. The wood is a striped Mahogany, they have to be seen to be believed. They are a very good phone and do benefit from being balanced, a smooth midband that integrates very well with the exceeding clean treble. The bass performance, while being authoritative, is powerful and deep and reasonably articulate.

Mark is conscientious and cares about the customer before and after a sale, and that's why (with the phone SQ.) I have been a repeat customer. Just ordered an Adrenaline cable for one of my two HD800's. Good work Larry...and Mark!!
post #24 of 65
I have a pair of LA7000’s on order so I’m very please to see such a positive review. It is very reassuring when, like me, you have little opportunity to hear such items before purchasing.
post #25 of 65
but these are way too expensive. how does one justify this high modification price ? seems like a very good mark up.
post #26 of 65
Wooden cups arent easy to make I guess.

Cable used isnt cheap.

+ man hours to the create everything.
post #27 of 65
YEAH, EVEN THEN.
post #28 of 65
Its the cable that makes up most of the upgrade cost. Thanks for the review. Ill defiantly be having mine made into la7000s
post #29 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4N6 View Post
Very nice review. Thanks for posting this. I would LOVE to be able to compare the LA7000's (especially balanced) to my balanced and recabled Sony CD3000's. Price-wise (and looks wise) , the comparison is apples and oranges, and on paper the comparison would highly favor the L7000's. However, listening to the CD3000's via the 307A is pretty amazing. There was a brightness and slight agressiveness to the pair of Jena Labs balanced LA5000's (MD5000) that I had that exagerated sibilance, and I wonder if the LA7000's have eliminated this coloration.
Yes - that is what I thought about the previous MD5000SE, that there was a brightness and aggressiveness to the upper mids and treble with the "cupped hands" sound, although ones ears would adjust to it with time. I felt the same way about Blutarsky's CD3000, and Naamanf's W5000. But I do honestly feel these LA7000 lack that particular coloration and are much more uncolored and transparent than the previous MD5000DE (stock wood cups + all other mods and JL cable). That was the one thing that convinced me to get the wood cups and stuff the ear pads on my APS cabled D2000 instead of buying the MD5000DE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markl View Post
I would like to thank Larry for such a wonderful and thoughtful review of the LA7000. A great read. Cheers.
I meant every word. I was afraid you'd be offended by my comments about liking the R10 or L3000 more.

Regardless, for 1/3 the cost of an R10 I could be happy with the LA7000. In fact, I am going to take photos of some gear and put a few things up for sale so that I can buy these for myself. I just unpacked them and put them back on my head, and you had me at hello...

Quote:
Originally Posted by oxophone View Post
but these are way too expensive. how does one justify this high modification price ? seems like a very good mark up.
Well, most places are between $250-400 for a nice Denon recable (depending on cable and options), and another $250 for wood cups, and then several hours to dampen the insides and stuff the ear pads. JMoney pre-stuffed leather pads are over $60 if Markl didn't want to spend the 30-60 minutes doing the earpad work.
post #30 of 65
Nice work Larry, as always. Thanks for getting us acquainted to yet another can.
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