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Upgrade Ideas from Denon AH-D7000

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Currently I've got:

Denon AH-D7000

Audio-GD NFB-12

 

I've been considering upgrading for a while, but I got a nice pair of Sierra-1 speakers so I put it off for a while. I recently moved from a house in Austin, TX to an apartment out in Bellevue, WA and can no longer listen to my speakers at the levels they are meant to be heard at so now I'm strongly considering an upgrade again.

 

I really like the overall sound of the D7000, though I definately feel like they are lacking in the mids, and even a bit in the treble (I think this is likely due to the rolloff of the NFB-12 which I know I need to upgrade, just not sure if I'm gonna do cans or amp/dac first.) The bass is deep, but definately a bit flabby, that said, while I would like tighter bass, I don't want to give up that thick deep bass sound the D7000 deliver.

 

Obviously the top of my list is the LCD-2s, but I'm not sure what else would really be comparable or even worth considering.

 

Some of the other stuff I'm looking at is the HE-5/500/6 headphones, as well as the Beyer T1 and the Ultrasone 8s, but I don't really know how well they would compare.

 

Just looking for advise from people who have gotten to hear the D7000 against some of these.

 

Also, if you have any other headphones that I didn't list, I'm definately open to other ideas. I've not really been following any of the current releases as of late so I'm not sure what new stuff is out there.

 

Thanks

post #2 of 24

Schedule a appointment with either ALO Audio in Portland or Headphone Bar in Vancouver, BC and take a drive and go test some headphones?


Edited by tattare - 9/6/12 at 3:34am
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tattare View Post

Schedule a appoint with either ALO audio in portland or Headphone Bar in Vancouver, BC and take a drive and go test some headphones?

 

A bit more difficult to do since I don't currently have a car, but still good to know, will definately have to check them out when I make it to Vancouver and Portland.

 

I should have also mentioned that I plan on getting rid of the D7000 when I get another pair, I really want a good balanced set of headphones rather than multiple sets that excell in certain areas. My biggest concern with the LCD-2s is the Treble as I keep reading how they are lacking, though I don't really know how that translates to the D7000.

post #4 of 24

Try the open back mod on your denons and see if that takes them to another level for you. You can test the mod out without making it permanent or damaging. Did the same mod on my former Denon 5000s and absolutely loved it.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/464640/denon-ah-d7000-open-back-modification
 

post #5 of 24

Heya,

 

Sounds like you may be someone itching to go HD800 or T1 based on what you said about treble & mids.

 

I don't find D7000 mids or treble lacking at all. But if you want to hear more treble, more sound stage, unrecessed mids, look to those two.

 

Keep your NFB, it's fine.

 

Very best,

post #6 of 24

You can always have your D7k modified.  I had a stock D2k, which also had flabby bass, and had modified it with a kit from Lawton Audio.  It tightens up the bass very nicely and the leather angle pads also change the FR by a little bit (many say it moves the mids forward a bit, I definitely heard a difference but can't really put a finger on all the changes) while making the soundstage a little more coherent.  The downside, of course, is that you can't listen to the results before you do the mod/have the mod done.  I was really reluctant to mod my D2k, but in the end I am really pleased with the results and don't think I will upgrade for a very long time.  Also, these may be the only mods that increase the value of your headphones (as long as you don't mess them up!).

post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

 

Sounds like you may be someone itching to go HD800 or T1 based on what you said about treble & mids.

 

I don't find D7000 mids or treble lacking at all. But if you want to hear more treble, more sound stage, unrecessed mids, look to those two.

 

Keep your NFB, it's fine.

 

Very best,

 

+1 on the HD800 in regard to mids, treble and soundstage over the D7000.

post #8 of 24
I've never hear the D7000 but I have used the D5000 (both stock and lawton modded) quite a bit since my friends own them.
I own both the HD800 and LD2r1
I find the treble rolls off quite a bit earlier on the LCD2 than the HD800 (shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone reading this).
At the same time, the LCD2 offers a bit more weight and emotion with a deeper and slightly more impactful bass.
The HD800 has better soundstaging and clarity.

I'm using the ODAC+O2.
My thoughts on the HD800 might change with a nice tube amp but I don't have one to test that with.

Overall I enjoy the HD800 more.
post #9 of 24

I own a Denon AHD7000 and HD-800. I used to own LE-5, AHD-5000, AHD-2000, AKG K701 and many others. I been to different meets and got to hear some excellent gears too. I love a good mid range to any other frequency range, especially bass. For a person who loves ER-4, K701 and HD-800, I absolutely love AHD-7000 and that may be one headphone I'd never get rid of. I love STAX but they are expensive.

 

I'd strongly suggest going to a meet before you purchase a headphone, especially the likes of HD-800. They may not have excellent synergy with all the DAC/Amp combinations. I had to shell out $1000 + for Lehmann Black Linear Cube so that they can drive my HD-800 well. Also to my ears, the Cardas cable added bit more warmth to the sound as compared to the stock or moon audio Silver Dragon cable.

 

I personally preferred the wonderful HE-6 to all other headphones except for STAX. But they do not sound their best with all the amps. You may want to shell a lot more money on AMP than the HE-6 if you are interested in them.

 

Good Luck.

post #10 of 24

I'd try the MarkL mods, they're a huge upgrade from the stock D7000, and seems to fit what you're looking for.

 

I'd also try your denons with a different amp, because of all things, they are not weak in the highs.

post #11 of 24
The usual suspects...

Audez'e LCD-2 or LCD-3
Beyerdynamic Tesla T1
HiFiMAN HE-500
Sennheiser HD800
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amnesia87 View Post
I really like the overall sound of the D7000, though I definately feel like they are lacking in the mids, and even a bit in the treble (I think this is likely due to the rolloff of the NFB-12 which I know I need to upgrade, just not sure if I'm gonna do cans or amp/dac first.) The bass is deep, but definately a bit flabby,

I personally don't recognize any of the problem areas that you are experiencing. You might come to regret disposing of the D7000 after discovering the cans are not the problem but something else downstream.
The only way you would get me to part with my D7000 is from my cold, dead hands.

post #13 of 24
I use my Denons with HeadRoom Ultra Micro Stack. I have never heard Denons sound better through anything else. They are a perfect match. It is not just me. I have heard other recommendations for the HeadRoom amps for Denon too.
post #14 of 24

x3 (or is it x4?) now on the advice given above re HD800 and T1.  I have both, plus the D7000, and can quick switch among them since each has its own amp (and my DAC has multiple outputs, plus the amps have pass-thru).

 

I have spent a lot of time doing this.  My preferences depend on the music genre.

 

And, it really is all about amp/phone affinity.  The HD800 is very picky re the amp it's connected to, as others above have said.  The T1 is more forgiving, but does not sound its best without the right amp.  Lots of advice here at Head-Fi on this.

 

The D7000 is a superb closed phone, but like all closed phones I have ever heard with the exception of the Sony R10, the bass is profound but slightly sloppy, lacking sharp transients, and yes the mids are slighty recessed -- just as you say!   So switch to an open phone!  Like the HD800 and T1 everyone suggests, after going to meets and finding the perfect amp combo.

 

But the gain in SQ will not be that much.  Better soundstage, yes.  But not a huge step, honestly.  Like I said, I have switched between all three on the same test track over and over.  The sound is different, but not always "enough better" as I switch.  Not enough for "Wow!".

 

You want "Wow"?  You want an upgrade that will blow you away?  Save your money for (used) Stax.  A used 007 (any model) driven by a used KGSS or 717 and you have entered a new league.  Except for hard rock, you will be amazed.  Now this is real money -- US$2K or a bit less for the used 007s and maybe US$1.2K for the used KGSS, and you have to keep looking to find them, then pounce,  But the D7000s are superb and enjoyable, so stay with them while you Stax hunt.

 

Since you say your plan to sell the D7000s we can assume you are not a collector.  Then unless you need closed phones for isolation or containment reasons (which does not seem to apply to you), or need very flat frequency response for monitoring and mastering (again, not you), or durable travel phones for DJ work (again, not you), then if the goal is to have one Headphone / AMP combo, the unquestioned pinnacle is 009 + BHSE, which beats everything but the Orpheus by a wide margin, and beats the Orpheus by a small margin (except for hard rock, rap, and maybe some electronica or DnB I have no experience with).  That's where you will end up when you have the money.  So start down that path with used Stax, keeping the D7000s until then.  All this is IMO only.  [If you listen to opera and care more about sound stage than anything else, a case could be made for K1000s ... just thought I better say that.  But I still prefer the hair-stands-up-on-the-back-of-your-neck clarity and transients of Stax ... and yes I have A/B's Quick-Switched these two myself].

 

Or ignore this and go HD800 or T1, as I and others have said. 

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 

How does the Bass of the HD800 and the T1 compare to the D7000?

 

The one thing I love about the D7000's is they are the first headphones I found that could even come close to producing a bass note like the JL 12W3V3s I used to have in my car did.

 

I really want more full mids and perhaps a better soundstage, but I don't want to sacrifice a ton of bass to get there.

 

I also wouldn't mind headphones that didn't make my ears sweat, but that's a secondary concern.

 

I'm also considering just doing Amp/Dac first since it should help the D7000 now, and would make a world of difference with a lot of the better headphones out there. With that I'm more torn about how big to go, balanced/unbalanced, separates or combo, etc. I'm very curious to see the reviews of the new schiit balanced stuff. I guess if I decide to go that way though I'll make a different thread in the appropriate forum.

 

I'm also curious about how well the D7000 take to recabling/balancing. I understand a lot of people like the MarkL mod, but the idea of filling my headphones with dynamat just seems wrong to me somehow.

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