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Momentum VS D5000 - FIGHT!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Heya!

 

Just purchased a used set of Denon D5000s (yay!) in the hopes of widening the soundstage for my closed phones work enviro; just wanted to share my first impressions:

 

RIG:

iTunes(ALAC)/Rdio > Magni/Modi stack > phones

 

MEDIA:
PJ Harvey / To Bring You My Love (ALAC)
The Messenger - The Story of Joan of Arc (OST - Eric Serra comp.) (ALAC)
Various rDio streams (Rock/Techno/Jazz/Soul/Punk/Classical, etc.)

 

KEY : + = WIN! :wink:/ - = LOSS :(/ x = SHRUG? :blink:

 

 

DENON D5k

STATUS

  PARAMETER NOTES
+ BASS Full, Deep
x COMFORT Little heavy, comfy cups, no noticeable fatigue
x MIDS A bit muddy, recessed
+ SOUNDSTAGE Wide, live
- TREBLE Less clarity, muffled
- VOCALS Recessed, 'general admission'
x TONE Darker

 

 

 

SENNHEISER MOMENTUM

STATUS PARAMETER NOTES
- BASS Natural
x COMFORT Plush, lighter, 'pinchy' after long sessions
x MIDS Clear, bit shallow, neutral
- SOUNDSTAGE Up front, no real imaging depth
+ TREBLE Natural sparkle
+ VOCALS Present, 'intimate' concert
x TONE Neutral

 

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

 

Tough battle for main work set. I've really become accustomed to the more shallow bass depth of the Momentums, so the D5k's seem a bit much just now. The SoundStage and lower end performance of the D5k is exceptional, as is the mid range and vocal accuracy of the Momentums. I'm sensing dark coloration in the Denons and a more neutral, natural approach with the Momentums. Not to say that the D5k is artificial, it just seems more liberal with the deeper tonal spectrum.

 

The Denons offer a sound akin to a live show, while the momentums seems to have a more studio, controlled vibe. Probably because of the soundstage difference - D5k is wider by quite a bit. Interesting streaming note: on questionable BitRate media (i.e. Rdio) the D5K seems more forgiving (rounder sound, less brittle highs) when the bits break down - the midSpectrum accuracy works against the Momentums here. I do listen to alot of Rdio (just getting around to transporting my ALACs to work this week) and this difference alone may give the D5Ks the edge on this rig.

 

*Sigh - no clear choice. I love them both for different reasons lol!  Probably be A/Bing for a while...

 

 

I decided to listen to the D5ks alone for a day (yesterday) and I can now safely say I will not be returning to the Momentums in this setup (iMac > M/M > phones). All of the music I experienced just seems to have become more full and live with the Denons. Comfort over long sessions also seems better overall, though these are heavier phones. I do miss some of the Momentums sparkle and accuracy from time to time, but I have moved them to standby awaiting another use case in my audiophile life. I have a pair of MDR-1R BTs for my mobile rig, but I may A/B that situation to see if the Momentums might live there instead.

 

To be clear, the Momentums are brilliant, accurate phones. It's just that the Denon D5000 reaches deeper in the spectrum and widens the room enough to win this particular battle.

 

Anyhoo, just my $.02 ;)


Edited by mazzelectra - 9/25/13 at 5:04pm
post #2 of 11

Denon's rock.  My favorite sound signature by far................own 4 of them. 

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Heya,

 

Quick update after using the D5ks exclusively for a coupla days now. Yesterday I went through an A/B/C of Rdio / iTunes Radio / ALAC versions of Robyn : "Body Talk" to test out the different streaming feeds. After listening to the whole album (which is one of my all time FAVES BTW) I realized that the Denon D5k bass power is so formidable that I felt some listening fatigue. Could just be the weather changes as well lol (I'm so sensitive!). I remember really liking this album on my Momentums so this was an interesting revelation concerning the new cans.

 

Today I cranked up some Hiromi : "Voice" and was instantly transported - loving the new soundstage of the D5ks :cool: Missing some of the mids (seems muddled compared to the more defined mid-range of the Momentums), but the toms in particular sound as they should (drummers opinion) - almost live.

 

Despite the loss of clarity in the mid section (and some of that high-end sparkle) as well as some perceived bass fatigue, the D5k is still coming through as wonderful experience :wink_face:

 

 

 

BTW - quite impressed with the Rdio feed; very close to the ALAC SQ in the Denons (through an MM stack). Admittedly, higher end phones may start to separate the sources but in this gear setup closer than I thought it would be.  iTunes Radio on the other hand - abysmal! Not sure what's going on behind the scenes there (like Rdio they don't offer up bitrate stats) but for now at least - steer clear! lol

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Heya!

 

So, listening to ALAC version of Streisand - Guilty (one of my top 20 albums all time!) and man - the D5ks sure made a mess of this one :tongue_smile: Seems (to my ears) the overall darkness of the D5ks is battling too hard with the warm, airy mids of this recording. Have to say - quite a disappointing run-through this AM. I'm beginning to find the edges of the experience with the Denons - great with modern, 'full-on' type of recordings and not so much with the more fragile and finely detailed sessions. On a related note, the Hiromi - Voice album I listened to coupla days ago was quite detailed, although I still felt like I wasn't hearing it all (Hiromi's disc is more recent by 30 years - Guilty was released in '80)

 

I'm even considering moving away from closed cans here at work because this is where I do most of my listening...or perhaps upgrading the M/M stack to something more...detail orienting perhaps? /shrug - dunno

 

Anyhoo, might have to bring the Momentums back in to A/B this album in particular and see if it fares any better with this particular source recording. I'm starting to see why peeps have multiple phones at the ready lol:beyersmile:

post #5 of 11

Just get rid of all your phones and get the hifiman planars dude. They are spectacular compared to dynamics at the same price point. Nice pic ;-)

post #6 of 11

As much as I love the Denons, I don't think it's quite appropriate for work environment, these things don't isolate very well. I don't know about you but when I use my Denons, i usually end up turning the volume up to get abit more of the mids/vocals present.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kookoo View Post
 

As much as I love the Denons, I don't think it's quite appropriate for work environment, these things don't isolate very well. I don't know about you but when I use my Denons, i usually end up turning the volume up to get abit more of the mids/vocals present.

Well the Denon D600 isolates.  The early model is sort of a partial open can.  Love them but they are not good at isolation - maybe the only thing they are not good at. 

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogulmaster View Post
 

Just get rid of all your phones and get the hifiman planars dude. They are spectacular compared to dynamics at the same price point. Nice pic ;-)

 

If only my pay cycle was more frequent and/or more abundant *leSigh*. Stop tempting me beyond what I can bear, Head-Fi! :angry_face:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kookoo View Post
 

As much as I love the Denons, I don't think it's quite appropriate for work environment, these things don't isolate very well. I don't know about you but when I use my Denons, i usually end up turning the volume up to get abit more of the mids/vocals present.

 

Interesting point. Since I am fortunate enough to have a closed door individual workspace, I haven't had anyone complain about sound leaks, and I haven't been able to hear it myself because...well, I'm always wearing them lol. I have been inclined to choose closed cans @work just in case; that reign of terror may be overcome by the quest for übersound in the future, however.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonian View Post
 

Well the Denon D600 isolates.  The early model is sort of a partial open can.  Love them but they are not good at isolation - maybe the only thing they are not good at. 

 

I didn't realize these were considered semi-open phones (the D5k). Perhaps that's why the staging is an improvement over the Momentums /shrug. I considered the D600 before I went ahead with the original used D5k transaction, but I really don't like the new industrial design Denon has adopted :confused: It seems like they're conforming to the Beats culture which on one hand makes sense when you consider the mass appeal the Beats crew have accomplished, but personally I have always considered Denon more of an audiophile brand, a la Sennheiser, etc.. Best of both worlds just didn't appeal to me, because I have such an aversion to the form over function approach that Beats champions.

 

Speaking of Beats, I am interested to see what Trent does with the brand though - I respect him tremendously as a modern electronic music pioneer and technical interface innovator, so if there was anyone on the planet who could innovate in technical audio sound signatures, he would be a front runner. Not sure if his involvement goes beyond their streaming service proposal, but I certainly hope it does. A proper genius infusion, IMO. :wink_face: 


Edited by mazzelectra - 10/2/13 at 10:37am
post #9 of 11

I think you shouldn't be really comparing these two cans because when an audiophile buys a Momentum, he wants something on the go which has good sound isolation, no sound leak, small, etc. But while Denon claims that Dx000 series are closed, they are really half open. You can't really use them in a workplace or library.

 

Just my 2 cents.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kookoo View Post
 

...I don't know about you but when I use my Denons, i usually end up turning the volume up to get abit more of the mids/vocals present.

 

I forgot to respond to this part - I do that too :wink_face: Varied results, but mostly improves that area of the spectrum.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deaffob View Post
 

I think you shouldn't be really comparing these two cans because when an audiophile buys a Momentum, he wants something on the go which has good sound isolation, no sound leak, small, etc. But while Denon claims that Dx000 series are closed, they are really half open. You can't really use them in a workplace or library.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

A fair inference, Deaffob. I would really classify myself more as an audiophile-student in this dojo, open to new teachings and not necessarily an endGame Master of the subject. That being said, those mentioned above certainly were some of my initial reasons for purchasing the Momentums - as a mobile pair that I would also use in my 'dedicated' office/studio space; I do some of my work 'round town in brew/beer shops, etc. as the deadlines and CPU intensity of projects allow. The SQ of the Momentums was impressive enough and their transportability not-so-much that I just started using them exclusively in the office space, reverting back to my Sony MDR-1R BTs for mobile use (bit more portable, plus - Blutooth'd!).

 

Eventually I just craved more soundstage in a closed can enviro, thus the purchase and comparison with the D5ks. After these A/B sessions, I realize that I have traded mid/treble definition and some vocal accuracy for deeper presence and wider soundstage. Perhaps I can find something that fulfills my every audio desire for this rig one day - 'til then, this is my point in the journey :wink_face: 

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Quick sonic journey update,

 

Mastodon is drilling their sweet thunder through my skull at the moment ( Mastodon - The Hunter ) - massive monster-bliss wave! These D5Ks are riding the lightning for sure (erm, wait...). Previously I had experienced a fantastic Decca Cello+ recording ( Elgar & Carter Cello Concertos - Alisa Weilerstein, Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim ) and though these 2 sonic traversals are essentially different in many ways, they had a similar effect - I felt transported into their world, one of melancholy beauty and the other of unrelenting darkness.

 

Both situations left me delighted; the interplay between the solo and orchestral timbres was thoroughly engaging and the massive wall of force coming from Mastodon was immense, though both still seemed to harbor some restraint as far as space and staging goes - I'm guessing (likely an obvious point to most of the Head-Fi-Pros in residence here) that more open cans may lose some of the dark responsiveness in favor of that wider space. In any case, this sound profile is a great match for these types of music, IMO.

 

These D5Ks are wonderful headphones.

 

I still haven't found a permanent listening home for my Momentums, though I am going to probably keep them around my workspace in the event of some mid-heavy recordings in the queue. Perhaps that's the point of the Momentums - to not find rest in one setup /shrug. Anyhoo, they will also accompany me on a dental appt. soon that will be long enough to warrant some 'phones time (yay? *leSigh - her suggestion, so...). Main choice parameter for that specific use is the isolation (for me and my dentist!).

 

Anyone have a 'zomGthePain!' playlist?

 

:wink_face:

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