denon ah-d2000: Amp v markl mod
Jul 4, 2008 at 11:32 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 21

Mzisman4

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I have ordered a pair of ah-d2000 and have saved enough money to buy an amp. but in my searches, I came across Markl's mod for the 5000/2000 which has gotten very good reviews. I do not currently have an amp of any kind but am under the impression that an amp is not REALLY needed for this set of cans (it just improves sound quality). I am curious as to which route I should take. I am leaning towards an amp (mostly because of the universal demand for one) but at the same time, I am not planning on changing headphones soon so the mod would not go to waste. i was considering the ibasso boa (approx. $175) and the mod is offered my markl for 160. The prices are relatively close and has sparked my curiosity. If anyone could give their opinons/experiences I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks

edit: source - ipod 30g (reloading music at higher bit-rates now)
 
Jul 4, 2008 at 11:43 PM Post #2 of 21

moonboy403

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An amp is never NEEDED, but an amp will certainly improve the sq of just about any headphone. I can't comment on the markl mod since I never had it. However, to say that the denon doesn't need an amp to sound good is a gross understatement.

D2000's mids will benefit the MOST out of amping. The mids are definitely recessed without an amp. Then, with an amp, you'll see more controlled and defined bass and extended highs. It's a definite improvement .
 
Jul 4, 2008 at 11:50 PM Post #3 of 21

CountChoculaBot

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I feel that the D2000 can do very well unamped.

In my experience, amping tends to produce only subtle (but important) changes. From what I could tell, the soundstage widens, a bit more detail, the treble becomes less harsh (most important for me), and vocals start to sound more natural and smooth. It doesn't tend to be night and day change, but I'd still buy an amp for them if I could.
 
Jul 5, 2008 at 12:42 AM Post #4 of 21

Gradofan2

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Definitely... the Denons benefit most (greatly) from a "good amp, which matches their impedance." If you're not going to invest in an amp that matches their impedance - don't waste your money on either.

They REQUIRE an amp with very low impedance - the X-CANv8 provides a 2 ohm output impedance - it matches them perfectly, and totally transforms their sound (brings it under control). Its a "huge bargain" at $550 - and certainly isn't expensive at that.

Other more expensive amps drive them well also (e.g. Rudistors, etc.)

I have no idea what "inexpensive" amps can do so. But... I wouldn't waste my money on anything that has higher impedance.
 
Jul 5, 2008 at 4:56 AM Post #5 of 21

jmht

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For what it's worth, I plug the D5000's into my mp3 player (clix2) at times, and it sounds pretty decent........better than the ES530s I have. I just rarely do it since I'm usually jogging or biking when I'm with my clix. I can't imagine the 2000 being "harder to drive" than the 5000.

Yeah, they sound great on the XcanV8 at home, but unlike the HD650, it's not too bad unamped. (I can't really bear to listen to my HD650s unamped)
 
May 24, 2009 at 5:54 AM Post #7 of 21

alistaire

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I've got the D2000s and the Boa, and while I like both individually, for me, it's not an ideal pairing. To be fair, I disagree about the D2000 unamped: it's thoroughly listenable, but not really hi-fi to my ears. I haven't really figured out how to properly amp my D2000s, though (due to lack of money for a new amp, mostly), so I really don't have an answer for you; I can only say that the Boa still doesn't expand the soundstage or fill out the bass sufficiently for my tastes (though I'm pretty sure I'm the only person in history not satisfied by the amount of bass from them).

My main reason for getting the D2000s was to get more bass over my previous AKG K242s, but to maintain as much of the soundstage as possible while moving to a closed headphone. I'm convinced that the soundstage can be opened up more with sufficient amping, but I haven't figured out how, yet. It's probably worth reading around here some more before you decide; I'm sure there's lots of threads on this topic.
 
May 24, 2009 at 6:01 AM Post #8 of 21

soidera

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I suggest you should try borrow c2c,audiogd,ef1,or novo from other headfier near you,
try it before buy ( i keep repeat it to myself that words :p )
@allstaire the soundstage is not really improve too in my d3, i prefer pk1 which sometimes has more wider soundstage paired with my d3.
the bass in d2000 are there but lack of punch and so weak, it has much more quantity than my pk1 but lacks power and not very clean, blend with the headstage. The good is that the mid is not recessed anymore, very clean and fun midrange. This is my impression right now with d2000 stock (150hours burn in)
 
May 24, 2009 at 9:47 AM Post #10 of 21

theBigD

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Get the amp. Read the Markl Mod thread. Do the Mod yourself.
 
May 24, 2009 at 10:02 AM Post #11 of 21
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After you've put 300 hours on the D2000's, try just the cup-stuffing part of the mod yourself, which is reversible. Some people don't actually like the result of the mods.

I'd look into a DAC/amp rather than just an amp, as an iPod isn't really that fantastic as a source.
 
May 24, 2009 at 10:22 AM Post #12 of 21

Denaturat

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D2000? Mod before amp, no doubts. IMO the effects of the mod are huge and those of amping minimal to moderate, depending on the amp.
EDIT: That said I agree with suggestions to DIY and spend the money on an amp :)
 
May 24, 2009 at 1:28 PM Post #14 of 21

JJ3810

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Please, before you do anything, swap out the cable on your 2000s. I've replaced mine with Canare (four conductor) and it's improved it as much as I want. I have 5000s as well and these I've done the Markl mod because the bass was exaggerated and I'm happy with that. I bought enough material to do the 2000s at the same time however another member had posted that the Markl mod was not required with the 2000s if you replace the cable so I tried that first and I'm quite pleased. It's easy enough to do and gets rid of that nasty cable that Denon uses at the same time. Run it for awhile with the new cord and I think you'll agree that's all the mod the 2000s need.
 
May 24, 2009 at 1:55 PM Post #15 of 21

mrarroyo

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Mzisman4 it would be a good idea if you listed where you are, at least the country. I say so because someone here may be able to set you up to listen to an amp or two.

Having said so I believe the first thing you should do is to thoroughly burn in your new D2000. IMO they need at least 450 hours to settle, use this time to learn their sound signature including what you like and do not like.

Next I would suggest you read on the MarkL mod, yes it is $160 if he does it, but he also posted how to do the mods and they can be done by you for under $25 in parts. This would free the money for the two other items you will need, a re-cable and an amp.

For a re-cable you can have S2 Audio or Zynsonic do it for under $135. I went w/ Zynsonic silver plated copper cable (Xev) and I am very happy w/ the improvements over the stock cable.

Next would be an amp, which in the case of the Denons the SS would be a better choice (or at the most a hybrid). I personally love the sound of the Graham Slee Novo when paired w/ the Denon. Other options under $400 that I have listened to are the Head Direct EF1, and an used Musical Fidelity X-Can V2.

Good luck.
 

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