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*3/10/13* Updated Denon AH-D7000 Open-Back Mods Evaluated by Purrin & Tyll - Page 4

post #46 of 81

is it worth to  make this mod on stock d2000 cups?

post #47 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuBreed View Post

is it worth to  make this mod on stock d2000 cups?



 

Sorry, I can't tell you first hand since I didn't try it on the 2k's. I think it would be worth giving them a listen with the cups completely off. Then as your listening, you can hold the cups on and take them off and hear the differences. That should open up the soundstage.

 

If you want to see if you can increase the high frequencies and bring out the mids while controlling the bass, then you'll have to space the earpads from the frames, creating open ports. This to me, makes a huge difference.

post #48 of 81

With out cups, D2000 sounds Bassier.. more mid-bass i would say.. and the whole Bass in quantity. The whole signature of Denons seems to turn into Bassier with better soundstage i think, the differences in mids and highs are very small, hard to say at the beggining, The bass line is noticable at first sight.. i Think that Open Back D2000  Are very please to Listen... wow.. i Will cut the stock d2k cups for a swap with my new d5k wooden ones..  One Phones.. Two Sound Signatures.. Really  a great Thing :)

post #49 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuBreed View Post

With out cups, D2000 sounds Bassier.. more mid-bass i would say.. and the whole Bass in quantity. The whole signature of Denons seems to turn into Bassier with better soundstage i think, the differences in mids and highs are very small, hard to say at the beggining, The bass line is noticable at first sight.. i Think that Open Back D2000  Are very please to Listen... wow.. i Will cut the stock d2k cups for a swap with my new d5k wooden ones..  One Phones.. Two Sound Signatures.. Really  a great Thing :)


Sweet.... glad you like the changes thus far . Surprised to hear that the bass increased.

 

I wouldn't expect a change in mids or highs unless the earpads are spaced off of the frames.

 

Good luck modifying the cups...........

 

BTW, can you swap cups between the 2k's and 5k's?

 


 

post #50 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmswjm View Post

BTW, can you swap cups between the 2k's and 5k's?



I hope so :)

post #51 of 81

Does anyone know how this mod would work with say, a pair of 595s? They're already open back, but I'd like to know if I could do the open front mod to make them sound just a bit more "open".

post #52 of 81
Thread Starter 

Here are some comments on the D7000 mods from the NYC Fall 2010 meet:

 

Bill's (lmwsjm) Audio GD system was impressive.  I liked the idea of the modded Denons.  It was a totally different headphone to the Denons I've heard previously, sounding much more light and airy as you would expect.  Great job modding.  I know if it were me the headphones would have been ruined.  Turned them into a totally different headphone though and not at all bassy as the Denons can be.  Most people would probably just by a different headphone if they wanted that kind of sound.  I salute Bill's ingenuity! 

 

Erikzen (meet organizer)

 

I enjoyed the McIntosh CDP (love that vintage gear), full Audio G-d setup including Phoenix 2 box and amp/dac 2 box. Loved the D7000's with the "holey moley" mod, but I got my 7000's as my only closed headphones, and they are going to stay that way, although the mod did remove the known wobble in bass department. 

 

immtbiker 

post #53 of 81
Thread Starter 

Thanks to HeadphoneAddict (Larry) for getting my mod'd D7000's to the Westone Tour and Colorado Meet August 7th 2011 :

 

Also courtesy of Larry via lmswjm was a Denon D7000 modded to be open backed. As luck would have it, someone also brought a stock D7000, so people were able to do a direct comparison. The consensus I believe was that the difference was primarily in the bass. Many people really liked the open back version. 

 

Barleyguy

 

 

I did listen to the "open back / open front D7000's. " and I thought they were WAY better than the stock D7000's.

 

Good mods!! 

 

JazzVinyl

 

 

post #54 of 81

I just tried this with my D2000. You really need to try it with both mods for it to sound good.

 

With just the pads being raised, the sound became overly aggressive and bright.

 

With just the cups off, the soundstage greatly increased. The headphones sounded like they could breathe easily. However, the sound also became quite muddy and "slow".

 

With both, the soundstage is nice and open, the bass is nice and tight (still extends super low and is present, but less emphasized and intrusive), and the mids are much more pronounced. At first, it reminded me of my HD598! But when I went to compare, I found the HD598 to sound veiled and lacking detail in comparison. They sounded slower. Soundstage seemed comparable on both headphones. Wow! Even the beautiful mids on the HD598 sounded less impressive than I remembered. The D2000 with these mods sounds so much more lively and full (it definitely extends lower and hits harder), but still sounds much more accurate and neutral compared to stock.

 

This turns the D2000 into a very natural sounding, yet fun and lively headphone. I do think they are still a bit too bright, but further modding and tweaking could fix that.

 

Awesome find! I'm considering permanently modding my cups for this.

post #55 of 81

 

MINI-REVIEW open-backed re-cabled D7000

 

The open re-cabled D7000 do sound very nice.  They sound slightly more open than my LA7000, but the mids are not as lively with vocals and the bass is not as well controlled or tight.  They don't seem to have added colorations or suck-outs in the sound.  I don't have a stock D7000 to compare to, but I seem to recall the stock ones seemed less "airy" in the highs than these.  My APS V2 cabled D2000 were slightly airier in the highs than a stock D7000 that I compared them to, but the stock D7000 had better bass control and fuller mids than those re-cabled D2000.  I'm pretty sure I would take these open D7000 over any modded D2000 I've tried, but I also don't have those anymore to compare directly.

 

With test tones the open D7000 play strong to 40Hz and are only 1-2 db down from there at 31Hz, but at 25Hz and 20Hz they have audible distortion and doubling, and volume is another 4-6dB down.  The distortion and doubling was a bit less with the ZDT amp than with the balanced SR-71b.  When I played Bella Sonus "Enamoured" the song "From a Standstill", the very deepest electronic bass notes in the 20Hz range are almost lost, vs the LA7000 which are strong down there (HE-500 and LCD-2 too). The open D7000 seem fairly flat through the rest of the frequency range that I can hear, with the same small 2.5K bump I hear in my LA7000 but with less of an 8K bump than my LA7000.  The sound doesn't change a lot when I cover the back of the open cups, which isn't surprising considering the design of the driver.  They do seem to offer a little better lateral out of head experience than my LA7000, but neither one has that "closed headphone" coloration that is common with many phones.

 

When I'm not not nitpicking the bass, the open D7000 are still not very far off from the LA7000, or HE-500 for that matter - I described the qualitative differences, but the quantitative differences are not as big as they sound in writing.  With the proper gear they do perform at a high level.  My LA7000 is closer to the level of the HE-500 and HE-5 LE or LCD-2, which are still above the open D7000 and just a little below a properly driven HE-6 and HD800.  But I found the open D7000 to be slightly more enjoyable than my HF-2 with most amps (ZDT amp being the exception).  There is an upper midrange lower treble coloration in the HF-2 that the open D7000 lacked, making them more transparent in that area.  I still think which phone is best will depend on preferences, as well as the source and amp where some gear will have better synergy than others.

 

For those who don't have a strong amp and maybe use a portable amp, I do think the open D7000 would appeal to many people who don't like the difficult to drive HE-5 LE and HE-500 when used on a weaker amp - as the open and re-cabled D7000 is a fun sounding phone that is easier to drive.  The open D7000 will work well with most portable amps or DAC/amps, however I just think the increased looseness and distortion of the bass below 31Hz, and the mid-bass hump holds them back as a "reference phone", although they would be more competitive in the other areas.  The deep bass issues did improve with a very strong amp like my ZDT, but the bass still did not attain the speed and detail of my orthodynamics or HD800 on the same amp.

 

I'm pretty convinced that a lot of the improvement comes from the silver re-cable, which improves the micro-detail and treble; but I think the open backed cups have improved the midrange presence and openness that I felt was lacking in the stock D7000.  For that I'm willing to trade of a little bass detail and articulation.  For movies I actually liked these a little more than my HiFiMan phones, LCD-2, or HF-2. 

post #56 of 81

Quote:

Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

 

The open re-cabled D7000 do sound very nice.  They sound slightly more open than my LA7000, but the mids are not as lively with vocals and the bass is not as well controlled or tight...


Did you do the "mod" where the earpads sit on the frame of the headphones rather than being locked in? I found that with just the cups off, they became very muddy and slow sounding. You really need both for this mod to really shine, and I couldn't tell by your post if you had or not.

post #57 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hans030390 View Post

Quote:


Did you do the "mod" where the earpads sit on the frame of the headphones rather than being locked in? I found that with just the cups off, they became very muddy and slow sounding. You really need both for this mod to really shine, and I couldn't tell by your post if you had or not.


 

   

Hey Hans, congratulations on modifying your headphones. Please keep me posted if you refine the mod further. My father has a pair of D2000's that I might change for him.

 

I am assuming that Larry (HeadphoneAddict) is not subscribed to this thread, so I will take the liberty of replying for him. He auditioned and tested the very headphones I modified in this thread. I do believe that the differences he describes are small when tested critically. I think it is great praise that these phones are relatively quite close to flagship orthodynamics, and properly driven HD800’s. The stock D7000’s are significantly flawed when held to a reference standard. When I originally did these mods, the orthodynamics mentioned did not exist. If they did, I probably would have opted for the HE-6’s with appropriate amplification.

 

I am surprised that the LA7000’s perform to the level Larry describes for mids and treble. Kudos to Mark Lawton. I would expect them to be superior in bass due to the padded closed design. I never have heard the LA7000’s but did have the MD5000’s. I do definitely disagree with the statement “The sound doesn't change a lot when I cover the back of the open cups”. I can readily hear the soundstage compress when I cover the open cups, but that’s just my opinion.

 

A word of note needs to be mentioned as far as amplification. My Audio-GD Phoenix seems to be a great synergistic match for the D7000’s. After doing this mod, I am no longer willing to change amplification to cater to a different headphone. The Phoenix did not do the same justice to the HD800, HE-6, or LCD-2 IMO. My audiophile listening is limited to acoustic, chamber and baroque music which rarely if ever, goes below 31 Hz. Thus for my application, I can consider these reference headphones. 


 

 

 

post #58 of 81

Well, after doing a lot of A/B comparisons with my temporarily open D2000 and HD598, I've decided to make this mod permanent! I went ahead and drilled some holes in the cups, put some mesh behind it (will later replace with wire mesh), and used velcro to hold the earpads on top of the frame. Thankfully, my father had the drill and piece to make the hole. That took maybe 30 minutes to do (set up, drill, sanding, and clean up). I got the velcro for $3 at Wal-Mart. Cut up 8 small pieces for each cup from and each earpad and simply stuck the earpads on with correct orientation. Cheap, and easy overall!

 

My impressions from above still stand. The open D2000s have great soundstaging and imaging. I couldn't detect any immediate differences between it and my HD598 in that regard! They sound natural and effortless. Yet, at the same time, they still retain their lively, fun nature. At times, they sound more "forward" than the HD598 (as if the sound is closer to you and more full of energy), but still retain that large soundstage! Swapping back and forth, the HD598 sounds more dull in comparison. However, the D2000 seems to at least match, if not beat, the HD598 in overall accuracy and neutrality. 

 

The bass is considerably tighter than the stock D2000. It sounds very balanced with the rest of the spectrum and has almost no hints of muddiness or overshadowing the midrange. It still extends quite deep, though not as deep as stock. Bass-heavy music still sounds good, though! It definitely has more bass and a fuller sound than the HD598, which was my only real complaint with the HD598. Still sounds just as tight as the HD598, though!

 

The midrange is much more forward and balanced than with stock. Going back and forth, I can't say for sure that the HD598 had better mids. Some people might still prefer the HD598's mids, but I thought the open D2000 was at least equal with the HD598 in that regard. Huge step up from stock!

 

The treble is still mostly the same. Stock, the D2000 is sparkly, bright treble that is rarely fatiguing. Open, the treble is about the same...it might be slightly brighter and more aggressive than stock, but I still would say it's not fatiguing. The D2000 sounds noticeably clearer than the HD598, especially with its treble. The HD598 almost sounds veiled in comparison. I can see why people would prefer the HD598 for that, but to me, it literally sounds like someone lifted a veil when I compare the open D2000 to the HD598. If anyone has any ideas on how to make the treble slightly less bright but without losing the clarity and upper extension, let me know.

 

TLDR: This mod seems to fix almost every issue with the D2000. Bass is now balanced and tight while still keeping most of that awesome extension, body, and punch. Mids are brought out and quite beautiful. Treble is still detailed and very clear sounding, though could probably stand to be very slightly less bright. They strongly remind me of the HD598, with a large soundstage, great imaging, and a very natural, balanced sound. However, they have a more lively, exciting sound and generally sound clearer, less veiled, and less dull than the HD598. More bass, more punch, and better/more clarity/treble. Better sound overall!

 

Open D2000

 

Open D2000

post #59 of 81
Thread Starter 

Appears to be a job well done. Looks great. This probably should have a thread all its own. It's possible that more D2000 owners might be willing to put their cans under the knife than D7000 owners due to lower cost and removing the wood-working aspect from the equation.

post #60 of 81
Quote:

Originally Posted by lmswjm View Post

 

... I do definitely disagree with the statement “The sound doesn't change a lot when I cover the back of the open cups”. I can readily hear the soundstage compress when I cover the open cups, but that’s just my opinion.

 

...My audiophile listening is limited to acoustic, chamber and baroque music which rarely if ever, goes below 31 Hz. Thus for my application, I can consider these reference headphones. 

 


I could hear a change when I covered the back, but it wasn't a big change, possibly because I placed my fingers over the openings but didn't try to seal them shut.  It was more of a "reflex dot" kind of change from a little of the back-wave reflecting off my hands.  I'm sure if I sealed the cups the sound would change more.

 

Like I said, the sound was very good, and I would prefer them over a stock D7000 any day.  Indeed for music that doesn't have much content below 30-40 Hz these are pretty close to reference. Even the RS-1 with it's colorations could be called a reference phone.  The HF-2 on the other hand will never be a reference phone.

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