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*3/10/13* Updated Denon AH-D7000 Open-Back Mods Evaluated by Purrin & Tyll - Page 5

post #61 of 81

Just wanted to bump this up, since I don't think this is getting the attention it deserves! You can "test" the mod in a completely non-permanent/temporary way, and it will sound the exact same as if you had done it permanently. I thought maybe the drilled hole cups vs cups completely off would sound different. Nope. Did a back-to-back comparison, and the size of hole I drilled is all they need. Same thing goes for the velcro under the earpads. As long as they have that room to breath using the height that the pegs give it, they'll sound the same with/without velcro.

 

Perhaps I should start my own detailed thread on the D2000? I'm not sure why this isn't getting more attention, since the Markl mod was extremely popular. I guess the Denon headphones aren't as popular as before?

post #62 of 81

So would this work for the D5000's? I'd be worried about messing them up though lol.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hans030390 View Post

Just wanted to bump this up, since I don't think this is getting the attention it deserves! You can "test" the mod in a completely non-permanent/temporary way, and it will sound the exact same as if you had done it permanently. I thought maybe the drilled hole cups vs cups completely off would sound different. Nope. Did a back-to-back comparison, and the size of hole I drilled is all they need. Same thing goes for the velcro under the earpads. As long as they have that room to breath using the height that the pegs give it, they'll sound the same with/without velcro.

 

Perhaps I should start my own detailed thread on the D2000? I'm not sure why this isn't getting more attention, since the Markl mod was extremely popular. I guess the Denon headphones aren't as popular as before?



 

post #63 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post

So would this work for the D5000's? I'd be worried about messing them up though lol.

 

Yep! You can test it out without it being permanent. Just remove the cups and place the earpads on the frame using the pegs to hold it up instead of locking it in. Very easy to do if you have the tools to handle small screws.

post #64 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by hans030390 View Post

 

Yep! You can test it out without it being permanent. Just remove the cups and place the earpads on the frame using the pegs to hold it up instead of locking it in. Very easy to do if you have the tools to handle small screws.



How much of an improvement would you consider this mod? Can you give some details on what exactly improves. Even give a percentage in sound improvement in your opinion. I know its all subjective but I'm still curious. Thanks.

post #65 of 81

Quote:

Originally Posted by lee730 View Post

How much of an improvement would you consider this mod? Can you give some details on what exactly improves. Even give a percentage in sound improvement in your opinion. I know its all subjective but I'm still curious. Thanks.


I've posted my impressions previously in this thread (one or two pages back?), and I have started my own thread on this as well with that information. Check it out!

post #66 of 81

I tried the mod and I noticed the more open sound and less muffle. Its quite nice actually but I really wouldn't want to cut holes in the cup lol not to mention how I would do this and make it look perfect is another story. I looked at custom wood cups and they go for over $200 a pair, what a joke and a rip. I may just keep the cups on the side somewhere and keep them open like this to reap the benefit. And if I every wanna sell them just put the cups back on lol.

post #67 of 81
Thread Starter 

Sometimes spare cups show up in the FS forum. I purchased an extra set from Lawton Audio for $15 back when I first did the mod. Shoot him an email.

post #68 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmswjm View Post

Sometimes spare cups show up in the FS forum. I purchased an extra set from Lawton Audio for $15 back when I first did the mod. Shoot him an email.



Is he listed here on headfi? Do you have a means that I Could contact him? Thanks.

post #69 of 81
Thread Starter 

Here is a plug for Mark: http://lawtonaudio.com/ y y

 You can contact him there.

 

I had one of his MD5000's (April '08) before the D7000 was released . At that time, it was top tier for sure and still a very good phone today. That was also before he discovered Jena cabling and turning exotic wood cups.


Edited by lmswjm - 9/14/11 at 6:20pm
post #70 of 81

Thank you for the great idea.  This might help me keep my AH-D7000.  I was going to replace it with LCD-2.  I really like the built quality and comfort of my Denon.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmswjm View Post

This is an open-back / open-front modification for the Denon AH-D7000 inspired by the HiFiMan HE-5 orthodynamic headphones.First, a little history behind the motivation that inspired this project: I’ve been into this scene for a good 4 years now with an evolution of my listening actively taking place. It has been a process of undoing years of accustomed colored listening. The infamous graphic equalizer is definitely a great enabler! It’s kind of analogous to getting used to foods that are not over seasoned / salted. It may seem bland at first, but after a while you wonder how you ever tolerated those excesses, and finally appreciate the true essence of the food.My phones chronology / preferences : Ultrasone HFI-700 < HFI-780 < AKG K701 < Sennheiser HD-650 < Ultrasone Edition 9 < D2000 < Markl D5000 < D7000.Also, I have auditioned the Sennheiser HD-800 on my system using the Audio-GD Phoenix, single ended, stock cable, no burn-in. Many will justifiably think that these are not the proper conditions to pass judgment on these phones, and as such, I will not. I will however mention that I believe in the notion that there are basically two kinds of listeners: “Analytical” versus those who “feel” the music. Detail versus palpability. As you probably have guessed, I subscribe to the latter. But, as time goes on, I have moved closer to the analytical side, comprehending that a lot of the palpability (i.e.: bass) is coloration of the music. My latest revelation in my listening can be attributed solely to the HiFiMan HE-5 orthodynamic headphones. Combining them with the EF5 amp may represent the best value on the market today. Before I heard them, my balanced re-cabled D7000’s with JMoney pads had been the most natural, sonically balanced phones that I have experienced. My musical taste is primarily from the baroque era, which is inherently bass light. At live performances, I prefer to sit closer to the basso continuo. I will say that as soon as I plugged the HE-5’s in, I immediately realized that the 7000’s mids sounded like they had been sucked out comparatively, and the highs seemed rolled off due in large part to bloated bass. The comparison reminded me of the reasons why I sold the Ed. 9’s. I relished in the never before heard frequencies for several days. Then I started to miss something. The bass / counterpoint wasn’t felt like I needed it to be. I instinctively wanted to take the wooden cups off of the D7000’s to get that open sound I was loving, but retain the low end that I was missing. Bang, I removed the eight screws to get the cups off, and I knew I was on to something. What else could I do to further open the sound? How about rotating the ear pads off, and then place them back on passively? The pad’s anchors normally fit into keyhole type slots. Incidentally, the eight cup screws are accessed though these same openings. I allowed the pad’s anchors to sit freely on the frame. In effect, this gives you an open space between the pad and frame. This also yields four open ports on each frame that is usually sealed with the anchors. These two reversible steps instantly balanced all of the frequencies. I was amazed. These drivers absolutely require free movement of air on both sides. They were simply stifled. Further comparison with the HE-5’s told me that the 7000’s highs weren’t quite as sharp and quick. Okay, I could live with that. Wait, I could try the stock Denon earpads in place of the JMoney’s for a hoot. My luck was still running hot. The stock pads put the treble response into the same league as the HE-5’s. No joke. The stock pads being thinner, get your ears closer to the drivers. I believe that some would say the HE-5 treble response still would have a slightly sharper edge, but others might prefer the Denon’s this way, possibly thinking that it sounded more natural. The modified Denon’s bass extension and dynamics simply outclass the HE-5’s. No contest. The impact and dynamics give you a 3D presentation. My acid test is the reproduction of percussion. My current favorite tracks are from the Jazz album Jacques Loussier Plays Bach featuring Andre Arpino on drums / percussion. Gavotte in D Major and the Allegro movement from the Concerto in D Minor are my references. The latter track doesn’t really get surreal until you get past the first 6 minutes. Excellent audio quality and miking immerse you in his kit. The dynamic attack and crack of him hitting the drums are addictive. The Denon’s sound is more akin to a real drum kit as the HE-5’s sound like headphones. Jacques Loussier Plays Bach CDThe next step was to make this a more permanent modification. I lucked out and got an extra set of D7000 cups to experiment on. The first thing to do was to blast a good sized hole through each cup. My 54mm self-feed drill bit did the trick. I then used my Dremel to further open things up and finish them with assorted bits. Then I scored the insides of the cups on the vertical surfaces of the screw mounts to act as retentive grooves to secure the grilles(pic#6). I’ve got some metal mesh grilles on order from AllParts, but I couldn’t wait. I went to the hardware store and bought a $5 window screen to experiment with. I used 2 layers of screen per side. I cut 3 ¼” squares and converted them to octagons. The 2nd layers were done the same except a little smaller at 3 1/8”. Luckily the retentive grooves secured the screens without the need for adhesive. The screens are on the flimsy side, but definitely get the job done. I used Velcro to attach the pads back to the frames, placed in between each of the anchor slots. I figured I wouldn’t need the plastic discs with the anchors to provide spacing because of the thickness of the Velcro. Wrong! I gave another comparative listen with the HE-5’s and thought I had dreamed up all of my previous findings. Mids were okay, but bass bloat and treble roll-off were back. I put the discs with anchors back in place. The discs were placed such that the anchors were close the slots, but not occluding them, to provide the necessary support. Apparently the pads had been covering up the slots. The bass control and extended highs were back. I wasn’t dreaming after all. Proper venting of the pads are definitely the most important aspect to this mod. The open-back mods to the cups are not as dramatic, but definitely make a significant difference. If you cover up the openings on the cups with your hands while listening, you can hear the mids get squashed and the soundstage compress.Hey, all of this is my subjective, humble findings. As always, YMMV! Give it a whirl if you can, and post your impressions. PeaceLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL


 

post #71 of 81
You people are nuts chasing unicorns. Theile-Small parameters apply to headphones as well as speakers. The engineers who designed these headphones knew what they were doing. This also applies to any of those marky-mark wacky mods. Yes stiffer is better but not at the expense of specific cabinet volume. These mods make things sound different for sure but not there best.
Just a thought
post #72 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC2Light View Post

You people are nuts chasing unicorns. Theile-Small parameters apply to headphones as well as speakers. The engineers who designed these headphones knew what they were doing. This also applies to any of those marky-mark wacky mods. Yes stiffer is better but not at the expense of specific cabinet volume. These mods make things sound different for sure but not there best.
Just a thought


How would you know that DC2Light? You've never tried the mod for yourself and are just speaking nonsense. I found the mod to significantly improve the Denon 5000s. The manufacturer will not always sell a product based on it sounding its best as is. That is BS. Look at Denons new line of garbage headphones. They spill lies about it being ruler flat and a big improvement over their last generation when according to recent reviews that is not the case.

post #73 of 81
It's evident to me that Denon shortchanged the Fostex drivers in its DX000 line because they are capable of significantly more. These inexpensive mods (can be done for free) provide such dramatic sonic improvements (to me) that I wonder where the limit is for these drivers. Unlike most minor modifications with other headphones, this tweak is not placebo and for the most part can be measured.
 
To my ears, the tonal balance with this mod from stock is far more preferable. Since I listen primarily to rock, alternative, and movies/TV/games, I'm not in the massive camp of audiophiles who love boosted mids and very rolled off highs (HD600/650, any Audeze, most IEMs). The tiny -1.5db dip at 500Hz on the stock D7000 never really bothered me that much (though the big dip at 2KHz did), but with this mod, it is improved anyway, to the point that voices no longer sound even slightly dark.
 
IMO, the stock D7000 is a flawed headphone with many outstanding qualities, but this mod makes it an outstanding headphone with no major flaws. Headstaging, imaging, detail, resolution, tonal balance, timbre, impact, dynamics, extension, air, body/fullness/texture, comfort/ergonomics, value for the money, build quality, and how easy it is to drive are not 10/10 anywhere, but they are all 8 or even 9/10 across the board. I can't think of any headphone at any price (which I've heard) that I can rate equally or higher overall. For example, the Qualia might be 10/10 for detail and resolution, but it falls below 5/10 in some areas (tonal balance, timbre, impact, value, etc.). The OMEGA II has nearly 10/10 staging and imaging but is 5/10 for tonal balance and 2/10 for impact/dynamics, and costs a fortune to drive properly. 
post #74 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by applebook View Post

It's evident to me that Denon shortchanged the Fostex drivers in its DX000 line because they are capable of significantly more. These inexpensive mods (can be done for free) provide such dramatic sonic improvements (to me) that I wonder where the limit is for these drivers. Unlike most minor modifications with other headphones, this tweak is not placebo and for the most part can be measured.
 
To my ears, the tonal balance with this mod from stock is far more preferable. Since I listen primarily to rock, alternative, and movies/TV/games, I'm not in the massive camp of audiophiles who love boosted mids and very rolled off highs (HD600/650, any Audeze, most IEMs). The tiny -1.5db dip at 500Hz on the stock D7000 never really bothered me that much (though the big dip at 2KHz did), but with this mod, it is improved anyway, to the point that voices no longer sound even slightly dark.
 
IMO, the stock D7000 is a flawed headphone with many outstanding qualities, but this mod makes it an outstanding headphone with no major flaws. Headstaging, imaging, detail, resolution, tonal balance, timbre, impact, dynamics, extension, air, body/fullness/texture, comfort/ergonomics, value for the money, build quality, and how easy it is to drive are not 10/10 anywhere, but they are all 8 or even 9/10 across the board. I can't think of any headphone at any price (which I've heard) that I can rate equally or higher overall. For example, the Qualia might be 10/10 for detail and resolution, but it falls below 5/10 in some areas (tonal balance, timbre, impact, value, etc.). The OMEGA II has nearly 10/10 staging and imaging but is 5/10 for tonal balance and 2/10 for impact/dynamics, and costs a fortune to drive properly. 


lol You are making me want to get my Denon 5000s again. I personally think the Denon 5000s benefit the most from this mode of them all. The Denon 5000 doesn't have recessed mids unlike the 2000 and 7000. Plus its bass emphasis is purely on sub bass and it has quite a bit more than the 2000 and 7000. Using this mod made them extremely balanced and very musical. I think they were some of the best headphones and all-arounders money could buy in terms of value to performance, with the mod in place. I am extremely upset that I parted with them.... After getting use to the mod I tried reverting back to stock and was very disappointed at how they sounded in comparison lol.


Edited by lee730 - 1/30/13 at 11:17pm
post #75 of 81
Thread Starter 

*Update of the first post today with a change in the mod and Purrin's and Tyll's 2 cents*


Edited by lmswjm - 3/10/13 at 10:30am
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