This is my third headphone review on here, and I just want to thank everybody on head-fi for making this website such an engaging and enjoyable community to be a part of. A good part of this review talks about the J$ Pads mod because so many people have asked about it. As always you can read the original review on my blog by clicking here.
JMoney Denon V3 Leather Pads Mod
10ft Blue Dragon V3 Cable Upgrade
Recently I made the decision to use money I had been saving up for a new amp on a cable upgrade for my Pro 900's. So I gave Drew from Moon Audio a call and he recommended the Blue Dragon (copper) V3 cable to me because it fits with the 900's bassy house sound. Now I have never heard anything other than stock headphone cables so I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but goodbye $230 and hello Blue Dragon.
Initial Impression: When I first opened up the packaging and looked at the cable I was a little surprised by it's appearance. I wasn't expecting the fully blue coloring despite it's name, and I was surprised that it was about as thick as the stock cable. The images on the website which I've since learned were images of the Silver Dragon mislead me a bit, but appearance is what I care about least here. The jack that connects to the pro 900 fits snugly and firmly, despite not screwing into place. I actually really prefer this, and even with some tug and pull it doesn't come out easily. This takes away the pain of constantly screwing and unscrewing the cable, while retaining a reliable and firm connection.
Sound Improvements: When I turned on my amp, the first song I played was "Getaway Car" by Audioslave because this was coincidentally the first song I ever heard on my 900's. The only thing is, they no longer sounded like the same headphone. The clarity was suddenly unparalleled to anything I had ever heard before. The best way to describe the change is it sounded as if a veil had been lifted from the pro 900's sound, and I could suddenly hear these headphones for what they really were. I never would have said that the pro 900's sounded muffled or as if they were holding anything back, but in comparison they simply were. The rawness of the music that I was hearing astounded me, and I suddenly understood why everybody says the pro 900 is among the most detailed headphone's they've ever heard.
With this incredible boost in clarity, the pro 900 is suddenly analytical and more demanding of high quality recordings. I've found that sibilance which was never an issue with the pro 900 for me suddenly was making me cringe. I actually switched back to the stock pads from my J$ pads because they added to the extended treble which was a serious issue, and they now don't sound as harsh to me. I guess that the J$ pads and the Blue Dragon cable arn't a good match with the pro 900 because they simply extend the already heightened treble to unbearable levels. This was a huge disappointment to me because the pro 900 is the type of headphone I like to listen to loud, and the J$ and blue dragon combination just didn't let me do that. So for now I'm taking a break from the J$ pads and enjoying the unmasked sound of the Blue Dragon Pro 900 combo.
The treble I've already explained is noticeably peaked with the Blue Dragon, but with this so is upper sparkle and detail. The midrange see's improvement aswell and can no longer be called recessed as it is brought forward and raised a good amount. Vocals sound much more raw and crisp, and snare drums have more of a snap to them. However there is still a gap between the midrange and the treble as I notice peaks in volume as vocals shift registries.
Bass Improvements: Yes that's right, bass get's it's own section here because the changes are that significant. Firstly the Blue Dragon vastly improves on the slam and quality of the already existing mid bass range that the pro 900 has made it's name through. But something more significant takes place in the bass department, something that I had truly wished for would come with the cable upgrade and I was ecstatic to find was delivered. The sub bass, that low end rumble has undergone a full re-examined facelift and is nearly unrecognizable compared with what the stock cable delivars. Wow, if anybody ever critized the pro 900 for lacking in bass extension they have not heard the Blue Dragon combo. This is a bass lovers dream, and I'm in utter disbelief at how powerful and good it sounds. Combine this with the incredible clarity peak that the Blue Dragon delivars and you have a headphone that sets the bar for all basshead equiptment to come. I will admit that with the abundance of sub bass the pro 900 looses out in some of it's flexibility with other genres and it can sound rather muddied. But with the pro 900 I've found that I simply don't want to listen to anything that isn't filled to the brim with bass so this isn't bothering me much. Overall I am loving the sound that the Blue Dragon cable provides me with, and I'm finding it even more engaging and fun than the stock pro 900. The Blue Dragon has literally made me feel like I was listening to hifi audio for the first time again. Of course the price is quite steep for one of these cables, so if you feel that it is worth the money then make sure the pro's outway the con's here. I would certainly be giving this mod a higher score, but taking price into consideration it is a solid improvement that comes within the pricerange of many other mid range headphones.
Design & Comfort
Edited by colmustard - 5/17/11 at 8:15pm