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WM8740 or ES9018 for Denon AH-D7000?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I've got my eyes on the Audio-GD Compass 2 as a DAC/amp for my AH-D7000 which should be delivered to me early next week. Which DAC chip would synergize best with those particular headphones? I would like to keep the color of the D7000, but would not mind accentuating it. I am concerned that the ES9018 could cool the headphone's warmth and cause it to lose its unique sound signature, but I think I would appreciate the increased detail. The dual WM8740 option on the other hand seems like it would preserve the characteristic sound signature better, but I am wary of exaggerating the color already present in the headphones.

 

Thoughts from anyone who has used these headphones or a DAC with these chips?

post #2 of 4

Hi vsha, I had an Audiolab 8200CD which had that chip, and it was quite good. It might be a little bright, but ultimately that depends on the rest of the DAC more than the chip itself. As you know, I know your D7000 well, and my DAC was the Schiit Gungnir, which I thought paired very well with D7000. The very important analogue output stage will have a lot to do with the sonic characteristics of the DAC so you can't specifically isolate the sound you want/need based on the chip alone.

 

What is your budget for a DAC? That will help people make suggestions for you. I would strongly encourage you to consider using JRiver Media Center set the output mode to WASAPI Event Style and then use a free plugin parametric EQ called EasyQ. EasyQ is simple to use and quite well designed and implemented. The D7000 is fantastic, but for my ear I liked to make a slight cut in the low frequencies. I used a gentle cut at 60hz which I read was the resonant frequency associated with the cabinet for the drivers. I also made gentle cuts at 175hz and 250hz, and finally another gentle cut at 9000KHZ to take a little bit of a high frequency spike down. We all hear differently, and we all have different preferences so experiment with what you like. It is easy to try new settings in EasyQ and JRiver, defeat them listen, enable them and listen. Eventually you will find your sound. Or maybe you will adore the D7000 with no digital sound processing at all, whatever your ears say is good is good.

 

Just remember, the D7000 have a very nice frequency response, fairly flat with no really big spikes or dips so any adjustment you do should be small. EasyQ also makes it very easy to set the notch width (it uses visual handles that you drag to the size you like). In general, you likely want narrow notch settings as this will impact adjacent frequencies the least, which is probably a good thing. I am no expert by any stretch, so hopefully more experienced members can give you their input. Can't wait to hear your impressions of the D7000. I miss my babies already so you take good care of them for me.

post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsha View Post
 

I've got my eyes on the Audio-GD Compass 2 as a DAC/amp for my AH-D7000 which should be delivered to me early next week. Which DAC chip would synergize best with those particular headphones? I would like to keep the color of the D7000, but would not mind accentuating it. I am concerned that the ES9018 could cool the headphone's warmth and cause it to lose its unique sound signature, but I think I would appreciate the increased detail. The dual WM8740 option on the other hand seems like it would preserve the characteristic sound signature better, but I am wary of exaggerating the color already present in the headphones.

 

Thoughts from anyone who has used these headphones or a DAC with these chips?

I have the NFB-15.32.

I'm going to "guess" you more likely to prefer the increased detail, I doubt your going to lose much in the way of the D7000 color.

What are you currently now using to drive the D7000?

post #4 of 4

He doesn't have the D7000s yet, I just sold them to him and they re still in transit!

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