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Battle of the Modded Wood Backs Comparative review of a Modded W1000x and LA D2k

Poll Results: Which headphone[s] should stay?

  • 0% (0)
    LA D2k
  • 40% (2)
  • 60% (3)
5 Total Votes  
post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

So guyz I've finally got both my wood closed backs with me again, and it's time to decide if I'm going to keep them both as I intended to... or if one is indeed better than the other! 


Meet the My Modded Woodies (Click to show)

Audio Technica W1000x with L3000 Pads, 


Mods include inner chamber dampening with Dynamat placed at the deepest part of the cups, this greatly reduces the decay for the entire spectrum, and a balanced Modular Cable installed by Brian at BTG, the total cost of the headphone including the cable, mods and new pads comes in at around $650


The sound signature is dry and intimate, central and upper mids have a beautiful attack to them and are presented with a unique sense of intimacy. While the sound stage is albeit a touch narrow, it's amazingly deep and well separated. 


The W1000x strong point is it's balanced sound and unique sound stage, it's only down fall is the lack of Sub Bass extension.  It also sounds it's best under about 65dbs, when driven to loudly it can become a smidge busy and un focused 



The Denon AH D2000,

Mods include Cocobolo Wood Cups by MartinCustomAudio, a balanced cable by Brian at BTG Audio, Lawton Audio Pads and driver dampening by Mark Lawton. The cups are not dampened. Total cost comes in around $700


The Sound signature is Fun and balanced, the LA D2k has very neutral mids, good sense of attack and decay through out the entire spectrum, it;s most notable feature is it's almost linear bass response, including all the way down to about 30khz. It has a very natural level of decay and attack and bass presence is prominent 


It's worst feature is it's best, it's very neutral and has natural level of decay which often lacks the wow factor or tactility of more aggressive headphones. 



Edited by Mshenay - 5/15/14 at 11:02am
post #2 of 2
Thread Starter 

The Special 7 and The Testing Grounds


Going to be doing everything out of my AudioGD NFB10ES2, with db Level matching between the two. Check out the post on my blog [link in my sig] to get some insight on how I do my reviews. 


Here's my impressions and pick from the first track 


Tales of Symphonia OST Disc 3{Motoi Sakuraba}(2004) -Deepest Woods [FLAC]


LA D2k- The overall sound is pleasant  how ever for me the low tones, around 150 or so hrz are a little too much. They throw the balance of the track off for me, how ever the peaks in upper mids are lovely, as are the horns that play throughout the track. There is how ever still a playful sound to the song, the LA D2k has plenty of speed and the decay doesn't detract from the faster parts of the track! 


dynaW1000x - The overall sound is more balanced, with the central and upper mids slightly forward. It's the beautiful tone of the mids that makes the W1000x so appealing, the treble of the dynaW100x is a smidge grainier than the D2k how ever. Back to the mids, the w1000x has a much stronger leading attack and less decay, and more intimate mids at that. The w1000x also has a much more powerful sense of dynamics, this track runs from about 50-65 dbs in range, a 15db Range from the quiet parts to the loudest, the w1000x has a much more stark difference between those high and low points 


Still I give this track dynaW1000x 



VGM Acapella Volume 3{Smooth McGroove}(2013) -Aquatic Ambiance [FLAC] 


LA D2k- The balance is much better for this track with the LA D2k, and the increased sound stage width helps as well with the ambiance of the track. The smoother top end is also nice as well, for the track, really aids in keep the ambiance of the tune. 


dynaW1000x - This is a much busier track, the dynaW1000x keeps everything well separated, however as this is as vocal track the forward nature of the mids is a little detracting. While I like forward vocals this track is all vocals so the overall balanced is thrown off a little.  Not to  mention Smooth McGrooves albums don't have a tremendous amount of sound stage depth to them... or dynamics at this point


Still I give this track LA D2k




Jazz in the New Harmonic{David Chesky}(2013) -Transcendental Tripping [FLAC] 


This is a binaural track, meaning due to the recording technology used the sound  has been optimized for headphones


LA D2k-  I want to say for this track, the double bass is a bit too much, the sense of depth is also not lacking but... could be better. Still the overall sound is pleasant, how ever the LA D2K has some what prominent upper mids, leading to the trombone of the track stealing some of the sax's thunder, and that smoother top end takes some of the sparkle out of the snap of the high hats as well... 


dynaW1000x - Well the sound stage just evolved when I put the  dynaW1000x, the bass and high hats went back about a few feet, the piano came forward, and the sax came front and center with a very lovely tone. The two brass horns are also on even playing grounds, with both the tone of the sax and trombone being equally pleasant and neither competing or drawing attention away from the other.  


Still I give this track dynaW1000x 



Black Elvis/Lost In Space {Kool Keith}(1999) -I'm Seein' Robots [FLAC] 


LA D2k-  Whoa, this track just got dark! The bass came forward by a large margin, and Keith's voice was pushed back a little, his voice not as "saliva-y" any more... although I have to admit I'm tempted to CRANK THE VOLUME, with the LA D2k... it's as enjoyable with Rap/Hip Hop as the dynaW1000x is.


So... +7dbs later and this track sounds pretty freaking DOPE, big THUNDERING bass, and a slight edge on Keith's Voice. The slightly more neutral sound of the D2k takes nicely to LOUD VOLUMES, and who doesn't turn up the volume when listening to some nice hip hop! 


dynaW1000x - The bass is nice for this track, Keith's voice sounds really wonderful, I can hear the saliva inside his mouth and how it changes his voice as he "spits rhymes on the mic" pretty cool. For this track, the balance is nice, the focus is on Keith's vocals above all else. His voice has a great edge to it as well, which contrasts nicely against the deep bass. 


Now for the dynaW1000x at +7dbs... it sounds about the same honestly, well louder of course, but... it lacks the FUN factor of the LA D2k


I'm going to call this one a tie! Still though, from a technical aspect the dynaW1000x has the edge, better balance and more details, on the other side the LA D2k has the dynaW1000x beat on the fun aspect.


Master of Puppets {Metallica }(1986) -Welcome Home (Sanitarium) [FLAC] 



LA D2k-  I find the attacking edge of the bass guitar again, the overall balance and slight aggression of the upper mids over the highs and central\lower mids is nice on the LA D2k for metal! 



dynaW1000x - The lack of sub bass extension really takes away from some of the drive of this metal tune, the guitar work and vocals are nice how ever. 



I'm going to call this one in favor of the LA D2k This was another track, that when turned up... sounded a little better, the LA D2k has a nice fun factor to it that works well with metal! 



Sublime {Sublime}(1996) -Down at the Pawn Shop [FLAC] 



LA D2k-  Once again... the darkness OVER TAKES ME, I never noticed till today that the LA D2k is a smidge warm, the bass tilt and smoother top end play nicely my Audio GD NFB10ES2. Notably though, that BASS, the riffs of the Bass Guitar are showing a little more body... and by body I mean a nicer balanced of decay and attack, with the Kick drum having a much nicer KICK to it on the LA D2k. Still for this tune...  the LA D2k is a little too mellow. 



dynaW1000x - Man, the dynaW1000x is KILLIN this track, the sound stage depth is revealing some very cool details not to mention the combination of vocals, guitar work and bass are really top notch! The overall sound is pretty stellar! This is actually my first time with the dynaW1000x out of my balanced amps, let's just say I'm very impressed with it... the bass in particular is very punchy and quick! 



I'm going to call this one in favor of the dynaW1000x


Anne Gastinel, Francois Frederic Guy  {Beethovan Cello and Piano Sonatas #2, 4 & 5}(2002) - Sonata for Cello & Piano No. 2 in G minor, Op. 5, No. 2 - II. Allegro molto, piu tosto presto [FLAC] 



LA D2k-  The more I listen to the LA D2k  I start to notice it's warmth... the tone of the cello and piano are very lovely, bass is well controlled in the cello. Sound stage and micro details are good, the shift from QUICK LOUD passages to slow quiet passages is good as well... the decay is how ever noticeable and enjoyable. But the natural decay of the LA D2k gives it a more warm sound when compared to the almost hyper aggressive/ intimate sound of the dynaW1000x



dynaW1000x - Now the dynaW1000x in comparison... sounds better and yet worse, the intimate nature of the headphone doesn't work super duper well with this track... as it's mostly mids, so the forward nature of the headphone... closes in the sound stage for this duet... how ever the tone of the mids is wonderful, the dynamic shifts are equally as enjoyable



So we have here another tie... I've switched over to a full symphonic classical piece... something that's not as intimate as the duet already is by nature...



György Ligeti performed by Various Artists - Clear or Cloudy


CD 4 Track 10 


First of all this is an insane piece of classical work, very complex a great range of energy levels and dynamics...


dynaW1000x- yea it's a little unfair, but in my opinion this new track well is my new classical demo. With the dynaW1000x it's divine. The deep sound stage of the headphone does a great job with the some what chaotic nature of this track, sounds from LEFT, then RIGHT, then BELOW YOU. The piece moves very quickly and the dynaW1000x matches it's speed, complex presentation and the tone of the piece as a whole is glorious! 


LA D2k- lacks the edge the dynaW1000x has, taking away from some of the energy of the track, the speed is there, but the smooth top end and some what warmish tone of the headphone keep a nice pace with the tune, but lack the dynamic WOW factor. The tone is pleasant, but not nearly as lovely.


Calling this one in favor of the dynaW1000x 


So in conclusion with a total score of 4 in favor of the dynaW1000x, I'm going to keep them both


The LA D2k-  Has an overall balanced sound, slightly withdrawn but full bodied central and lower mids, with a very powerful and taught Sub and Mid bass, with a smooth top end and slightly aggressive upper mids. The overall tone is very clean, but with a touch of warmth due the some what forward bass and full bodied nature of the mids. The sound stage has great width and average depth and instrument separation.


Where as the dynaW1000x- also has a balanced sound, with much more forward and intimate mids, but an overall drier sound. Bass has good attack, but a little light bodied. The mids tones are more organic or sweet sounding, but also more aggressive with a lot less decay. The sound stage is a touch narrow, but is vastly deep and very well separated.


Both have a special place in my collection and after spending some time with them today with my Audio GD NFB10ES2, I think I might finally be ready to part with the hifiman HM801, and move to something cleaner sounding! As the warmth of the Hm801 isn't the greatest with the LA D2k, while it is lovely with the dynaW1000x how ever, I've only experinced the dynaW1000x se out of my iBasso Pb2, which is simmilar to the amp section of the NFB 10ES2, my point being the balanced out of the Pb2 should impart the tone to the mids I was previously getting from my hm801

Edited by Mshenay - 5/15/14 at 1:55pm
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