A Denon AH-D5000 Love Story ( The 9 year review)
Jun 22, 2021 at 5:26 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

Audius

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In the Summer of 2011, I joined the Headfi community. Checking my post history, you can see that I obviously haven't posted in a *very* long time, so please forgive any shortcomings when I talk about my experiences here. -- They are antiquated and irrelevant, solely included for entertainment purposes.

In the Winter of 2012, I owned a pair of Sennheiser HD428 phones that only recently died on me (10 years!!) and a pair of Fischer Audio DBA-02's (the originals with the Japanese TWFK drivers by Knowles, still working) and a pair of a Grado SR-80's (Godspeed).

I chose on a whim to stop into my local pawnshop. I saw a pair of headphones stashed in the glass case with a $200 tag.

I didn't have $200, so I sold two of my fountain pens from my vintage collection -- a Mabie Todd and a lapis blue Parker Duofold Jr via Ebay to cover the cost.

I didn't know this, but I walked out with what would be my penultimate audiophile purchase for the next decade, (and counting). These cans went through dorm rooms, 20 hour videogame sessions, jam sessions, drug induced vibes, addiction, a couple apartments, and given I leave them constantly playing when not in use, close to 70000 hours of use. The pads are still in shape, the connections act a little weird sometimes if I have the cable on the floor, and it's ran off of a HRT Microstreamer almost the entire time (8 of the 9 years).

The reason I am typing this review is the funniest thing happened today. I was digging through my old boxes and found the DBA-02's. I tried them out and naturally they were just as precise and zippy and punchy as I remembered them... but I realized something. The sound was extremely clinical. Awesome for Rock, but was this truly how the artist wanted their music represented? I doubt it.

I've been extremely spoiled to have the D5000's the entire time.
The soundstage is intimate yet expansive, the bass is punchy and thick like a lassi yogurt, the trebles are sharp and acidic, but tamed through a greasy, buttery midtone and sloppy but contained bass. These phones care essentially contained chaos, a vision of a great listening experience that strives to represent things the way the artist wants *you* to view them.
Arguably, my review holds no purpose. I've managed to find something great, and I've gone into the void with it, the intention of being simultaneously lost and together forever in a listening experience and strange friendship that has outlasted many real ones. I take comfort in putting on these guys, and listening to the playlist I've been building the entire time as well. Many things in this playlist I don't listen to anymore, but I refuse to curate it. Music is a journey, and like many things, people's tastes change.

When I originally got into audiophilia, I felt like I was part of a small yet budding community that was very quickly growing, I remember going to RMAF and not seeing crowds, sitting alone in a room with a $25000 record setup at the time was a really, really amazing experience, and I felt like the community had a great grasp of what it meant to have hospitality towards others. This is something I reflect on when I provide my own customers with services in my own industry.

I suppose I should begin the review.

I listen to anything and everything, from "Planets" to Phish to T.S. to Stooges to Garth Brooks, Bill Withers, Tom Petty, Cranberries, Toots and the Maytals.... You get the idea, I listen to anything. I listen to stir, invoke, or calm emotions, but this pair of headphones goes beyond that into what I would describe as religious an experience as holiday prayer. They have seeped into who I am. Within the confines of their cord, They define me as much as I define them, a symbiotic relationship that seems to defy the objects many of us own today. Today now more than ever, products are designed to fail, and these have yet to fail me.

As I sit here listening to "Lean on Me", it seems like the headphones speak to me through Bill's voice at this point. They're inanimate, but they've always been there, a powerful tool to get me through good times and bad. I hate to admit it, but this review has a lot of raw emotion and I just wanted to say thank you to whoever dropped off those Denons that day so I could find them. You probably saved my life a couple times over over the last decade, during Covid-19, and gave me the strength to keep moving forward. Props to the folks who designed these headphones. They have withstood daily, constant use, and the test of time.


I look back on my older posts, and I can only cringe and hope to get around to deleting them. I probably won't. I'm big on keeping mementos to my past behavior and how I've changed since.


I can't be the only person out there who has used a pair of cans this long, but I figure I'd post here and let everyone know how it's been going. It's been going great, and I hope it stays that way forever.

Peace and Love folks, I hope you all find your pair of "Forever cans".

I'm happy to try something new, but I just don't see the point. I love these things. They give me everything I'm looking for, and I find that the other 10% of the magic lays within recording quality.


Have a good week.

- Kyle
 

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Jul 26, 2021 at 11:34 AM Post #4 of 11

Oregonian

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Awesome tribute. I'm still using my Denon LA7000 and MD2000 regularly and will keep them forever I hope. Great headphones................had two D5000's as well over the years.
 
Jul 26, 2021 at 1:10 PM Post #5 of 11

Malevolent

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Great review. Thanks for sharing.

The Denon headphones of old certainly evoke a sense of nostalgia and pride-of-ownership. I'm a happy AH-D2000 user here; I've had this headphone in my stable for a decade now. Back then, I wanted to jump straight to the AH-D7000, but my cash flow was rather restricted in the early days of my Head-Fi journey. Nevertheless, the AH-D2000, and its wood-cupped cousin, the AH-D5000, were certainly amongst the best headphones of their respective tiers. Good times. :)
 
Aug 27, 2021 at 7:13 AM Post #6 of 11

NexusOne

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It seems to be that the 5000 is better than the 5200? Is the 2012 - revision much better than the older ones or not and is it true that the 5000 delivers more bass and is a more fun headphone than the 7000?
 
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Sep 3, 2021 at 7:32 PM Post #7 of 11

alucard177

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Nice post, I still have mine and I use them from time to time. The sound of the D5000 is hard to beat and in my opinion is still up to date and still very hi-fi. I mean I haven't found anything that sounds better than the D5000 except for the TH-900 which is my all time favorite but the difference is not huge or anything like it. I also don't see the point of trying something different cause I love the sound of the Fostex/Foster variants. I'm not really interested in the hifimans, Focals, sennheisers, Mezes and so on. The only headphone (that I've heard) that I think is very close in sound quality and signature is the Philips Fidelio X1.

Anyway I'll leave a recent picture that I took of my beloved D5000 just because.

Thank you for this awesome post.

DSC_0479-2.jpg
 
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Oct 5, 2021 at 8:13 AM Post #8 of 11

Steven31

AKA SonyFan121, Audio Aficionado, Audioholic123, JVC steven, and others
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In the Summer of 2011, I joined the Headfi community. Checking my post history, you can see that I obviously haven't posted in a *very* long time, so please forgive any shortcomings when I talk about my experiences here. -- They are antiquated and irrelevant, solely included for entertainment purposes.

In the Winter of 2012, I owned a pair of Sennheiser HD428 phones that only recently died on me (10 years!!) and a pair of Fischer Audio DBA-02's (the originals with the Japanese TWFK drivers by Knowles, still working) and a pair of a Grado SR-80's (Godspeed).

I chose on a whim to stop into my local pawnshop. I saw a pair of headphones stashed in the glass case with a $200 tag.

I didn't have $200, so I sold two of my fountain pens from my vintage collection -- a Mabie Todd and a lapis blue Parker Duofold Jr via Ebay to cover the cost.

I didn't know this, but I walked out with what would be my penultimate audiophile purchase for the next decade, (and counting). These cans went through dorm rooms, 20 hour videogame sessions, jam sessions, drug induced vibes, addiction, a couple apartments, and given I leave them constantly playing when not in use, close to 70000 hours of use. The pads are still in shape, the connections act a little weird sometimes if I have the cable on the floor, and it's ran off of a HRT Microstreamer almost the entire time (8 of the 9 years).

The reason I am typing this review is the funniest thing happened today. I was digging through my old boxes and found the DBA-02's. I tried them out and naturally they were just as precise and zippy and punchy as I remembered them... but I realized something. The sound was extremely clinical. Awesome for Rock, but was this truly how the artist wanted their music represented? I doubt it.

I've been extremely spoiled to have the D5000's the entire time.
The soundstage is intimate yet expansive, the bass is punchy and thick like a lassi yogurt, the trebles are sharp and acidic, but tamed through a greasy, buttery midtone and sloppy but contained bass. These phones care essentially contained chaos, a vision of a great listening experience that strives to represent things the way the artist wants *you* to view them.
Arguably, my review holds no purpose. I've managed to find something great, and I've gone into the void with it, the intention of being simultaneously lost and together forever in a listening experience and strange friendship that has outlasted many real ones. I take comfort in putting on these guys, and listening to the playlist I've been building the entire time as well. Many things in this playlist I don't listen to anymore, but I refuse to curate it. Music is a journey, and like many things, people's tastes change.

When I originally got into audiophilia, I felt like I was part of a small yet budding community that was very quickly growing, I remember going to RMAF and not seeing crowds, sitting alone in a room with a $25000 record setup at the time was a really, really amazing experience, and I felt like the community had a great grasp of what it meant to have hospitality towards others. This is something I reflect on when I provide my own customers with services in my own industry.

I suppose I should begin the review.

I listen to anything and everything, from "Planets" to Phish to T.S. to Stooges to Garth Brooks, Bill Withers, Tom Petty, Cranberries, Toots and the Maytals.... You get the idea, I listen to anything. I listen to stir, invoke, or calm emotions, but this pair of headphones goes beyond that into what I would describe as religious an experience as holiday prayer. They have seeped into who I am. Within the confines of their cord, They define me as much as I define them, a symbiotic relationship that seems to defy the objects many of us own today. Today now more than ever, products are designed to fail, and these have yet to fail me.

As I sit here listening to "Lean on Me", it seems like the headphones speak to me through Bill's voice at this point. They're inanimate, but they've always been there, a powerful tool to get me through good times and bad. I hate to admit it, but this review has a lot of raw emotion and I just wanted to say thank you to whoever dropped off those Denons that day so I could find them. You probably saved my life a couple times over over the last decade, during Covid-19, and gave me the strength to keep moving forward. Props to the folks who designed these headphones. They have withstood daily, constant use, and the test of time.


I look back on my older posts, and I can only cringe and hope to get around to deleting them. I probably won't. I'm big on keeping mementos to my past behavior and how I've changed since.


I can't be the only person out there who has used a pair of cans this long, but I figure I'd post here and let everyone know how it's been going. It's been going great, and I hope it stays that way forever.

Peace and Love folks, I hope you all find your pair of "Forever cans".

I'm happy to try something new, but I just don't see the point. I love these things. They give me everything I'm looking for, and I find that the other 10% of the magic lays within recording quality.


Have a good week.

- Kyle

I am so glad I came across your post, you have evoked the fond memories I have of my listening experiences and time with the first truly stellar closed back headphones, of which I purchased for (U.S) $900, as an 18 years old student, after I got my first job and pay-check, way back in 2008. This was 6 years before curiosity got the better of me and my true search for my perfect headphone began. In 2008, I did not know that headphones could get so expensive, my inexperienced teenage mind and naivety presumed that headphones did not get any higher in price than $300-$400. I remember browsing online at amazon one day, looking at the electronics section of the website, hoping to treat myself to something nice, and a few pages in, when a picture of it loaded onto the screen..BAM there it was, my jaw dropped in amazement. It was love it first sight. I had never seen wooden headphones before, I didn't know such a thing existed. And the Mahogany cups and gold-colour emblazoned writing on it, really had me excited. But I bought it primarily to see what it sounded like, not just for it's looks. I connected with what you said about "religious experience", I remember very vividly feeling that way about the AH-D5000 with certain songs I listened to with it with my first hifi separates system I owned at the time (Onkyo A-9355 integrated analogue amp and Yamaha CD-S700 CD player). I think the specific bio-cellulose drivers within the AH-D5000 model, where so well engineered and so finely tuned and precise, that there where moments during certain songs when everything just harmonised and reached a climax in a certain way that activated the pleasure system (dopamine) in the brain of the listener. Kudos to the Fostex electricians/engineers for inventing such marvellous drivers. I thought it would be my endgame closed back headphone in the way that the AKG K702 has been my endgame open-back headphone, but it was not to be. I'm still in search of my perfect endgame closed-back headphone. Judging by your review, i'm guessing you probably wouldn't like the other Fostex bio-cellulose headphones, the other one's i've heard are the AH-D2000, TH600, TH-X00 Purpleheart and the Creative Aurvana Live ( a rebrand of the Denon AH-D1001). I did like the TH-X00 Purpleheart but the bass was ultimately too much for me to get any meaningful enjoyment out of listening to it. If the AH-D5000 is like an executive luxury sedan (elegance, comfort and performance) the TH-X00 Purpleheart is like a Bugatti Veyron with just one thing in mind: extreme performance.
 
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Oct 7, 2021 at 8:58 AM Post #9 of 11

Lord Chaos

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I was very pleased with my Denon headphones (AH-D2000, I believe) for 10 years of regular use. I used them for music and recording monitors. I had many hours on them, and then they broke. Just stopped working. I looked for replacements from Denon, but ended up with Audeze. I use things until they don't work any more...
 
Nov 13, 2021 at 1:32 PM Post #11 of 11

Steven31

AKA SonyFan121, Audio Aficionado, Audioholic123, JVC steven, and others
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Denon AH-D5000 was in production from the year 2008 to the year 2013. After which Fostex continued the product linage with the TH600 and TH900 mark 1. I don't think there was an updated version of the AH-D5000 in it's lifetime. I had the TH600 for a short while and to my ears, it wasn't as balanced as the AH-D5000, and not as natural sounding. TH600 was closer in sound signature to the Denon AH-D2000.
 

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