Denon D5000 for gaming - UPDATED IMPRESSIONS - with markl mods
Jul 22, 2008 at 8:08 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

renugaid

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Ok so some may recall me making a thread earlier when I first joined head-fi regarding a good all around can that would also excel at gaming. It was taken down to the wire between the DT880 and the D5000. I chose the D5000 for being easier to drive, and also to cure my curiosity about the sealed "open can" killer. Thanks to Gu Sensei who was a wonderful person to do business with and gave me a stellar price on his <6 month old pair.

First things first, the set up and troubleshooting. My impressions here are based off running on what most people would on their PCs, the Realtek Audio integrated soundchip that comes with most decent modern motherboards. Now the major problem I've had with this onboard chip is that if you plug it into the front output jack, you are more than likely to get some interference from the motherboard signals that are within range of your front-out wires. These are not a problem when you are just sitting back and enjoying some music. But as soon as you scroll, or have popups or any other kind of movement on the screen, you hear the motherboard create a soft but generally annoying static sound. I have searched the web and this is a common problem. So I thought ahhh heck I've got myself a $400 pair of headphones and my speakers aren't getting their fair share of attention. So out they went to a friend of mine who is now enjoying them old faithful 5.1s. In doing so I freed up the rear audio jacks. So I went ahead and plugged them in. All was well! No motherboard twitching interference. The volume was slightly too low compared to the front jack but at least the interference was gone.... and then I played some music.
frown.gif
The intro to Modest Mouse's Good News For People Who Love Bad News was plagued with a static that made me want to throw them headphones down!!! (just kidding)
wink.gif
. So knowing that I had never heard such static in that track before, I went and plugged back into the front jack. NO STATIC. At least during music playback. So it was either, the twitching of the motherboard signals from the front jack, or the static plague of the rear jacks. So I went for the front jack. It does have some interference with games however the volume is MUCH louder and running the D5000s unamped out of the Realtek chip, I needed all the volume I could get.

Now to the gaming impressions. I loaded up my faithful Call of Duty 4 - Modern Warfare. Instantly I noticed a difference. In the main menu there is an ambient track playing. I used to game with Grado SR80s. Not known or touted for gaming, yet still 100x better than the headset that came with my PC. There was little bass reverb when I used those. Now with the Denons, I heard a reverb that scared me! And this was all just in the menu screen! Would this be a problem? Read on!

Loading up a game with a few mates and the battle was on. The great sound effects of separate battles going on apart from the situation you are fighting are one of the ambient audio effects that are present in COD4. They sounded distant yet clear and I could pinpoint which side of the battlefield those sounds were coming from. This was great! As soon as a shot was fired in our battlefield I could instantly differentiate it from the ambient gunshots and sounds of war. Not only because it was closer and clearer, but because I could tell exactly where it was coming from, i.e. a distance that I could aim my sniper rifle at. With the Grado's everything was clear yet I could not exactly tell where each sound was coming from. The Denon's are definitely doing their part to aid in competitive gameplay. The choppers being called in for back up obviously must fly into the map from some direction. The D5000s let me know when and where an enemy chopper was going to enter and would allow me to have my anti air missile ready to take it down.

One very outstanding aspect I noticed was the sound of footsteps. This plays a major role in any first person shooter as a footstep heard in any direction means a potential target and a potential threat to you. Footsteps were outstandingly clear. An equipable ability that is part of the game allows you to silence your footsteps to a level that would potentially allow you to bypass enemy aural senses. With the Grados I could not hear my own footsteps with this ability equipped. With the D5000s, I sounded almost too noisy. Each step was crystal clear and it made me cautious about whether or not my opponents are hearing it this loud as well. I had to double check that I had that ability equipped. That is a testament to the detail and clarity of the D5000s.

Now here comes the bad part. Whilst most guns in the game fired with a mid toned gunshot, certain selections of the more powerful guns in the game reverbed with a low frequency sound. The Desert Eagle and Barret 50 cal both had this effect. The bass response on these are soooo deep and powerful that it becomes scary to fire these certain weapons. Pulling out the Desert Eagle handgun I fired a few rounds as I usually do. At the end of the outburst I found myself quite fatigued at the unexpected pounding of my brain. Grenades and Rockets also had this effect yet only if you manage to survive the blast. If you die you are spared feeling the vibration that'll knock your noggin.

Yet I found my performance to be vastly better due to these. I even managed a 5:1 kill death ratio as the advantage the positional pinpointing this gave me was incredible.

So there you have it! The good and bad of the D5000s for gaming. However I must signify that I did Markl my earpads. I have yet to have Dynamat delivered so I shall perform that when it arrives. I cannot imagine what effect the bass pounding would have using the stock earpads.

I shall post updated impressions when I have fully markl modded the cups.

Thanks for reading and let me know if there are any areas you have questions about.

Cheers!


renugaid


UPDATE:
With the rest of the markl mod (dynamat) in place, the booming vibrating bass in the ambient menu music had been tightened considerably. This also translated to the in game sound effects. ANYONE who would like to use this or the D2000 for gaming, it is highly recommended to get the markl mods done. Not only is there an increase in midrange detail and clarity, but the bass no longer reverberates viciously with low frequency sound effects giving you a cleaner, less fatiguing game experience. The soundstage and positioning also gets a thumbs up from the dynamat as the midrange sound effects are easier to pinpoint.
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 12:40 PM Post #2 of 19

denl82

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Thanks for your impressions! The D5000 sounds like a great headphone, particularly since they went unamped. You're experience with them reflects mine to the dot. I, like you, started out with the sr80. Of course I was happy with the detailing abilities, but the soundstage was something I missed. After having those, I moved on to the dt770's. Talk about TEH BASSSSSSSS!! When I tried Battlefield 2, man was I in for an experience. When cars exploded, my heart would literally jump in fear from the "BAM!" that totally took me off guard from the sheer bass impact. And boy oh boy did the mig-28 with it's 30mm cannon sound DEVASTATING. BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG from all the way on another part of the map.

I've always preferred headphones for gaming over anything else. And when I got into the hi-end league, things just got sweeter. In UT3's Heatray, I can hear the spaceship bringing the Darkwalker long before anyone even knows it's coming. Quite an advantage. And of course COD 4 sounds l33t too
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In fact, I think its battles sound incredibly "life-like"!
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 4:09 PM Post #4 of 19

Akabeth

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Nice impressions.

A bit OT: Lately I've seen quite a few headphone impressions while gaming and the headphones just keep getting... higher up the chain.

At the rate this is going... I don't think it's far fetched to see someone posting about them playing FPS with the R10 or HE-90's...

*OMG What soundstage and clarity!! I can hear them crooks shooting at me before they even pull teh trigger!!! I also played CS1.6 earlier in cs_italy. Guess what the guy singing near the hostage building sounded so real... so natural! I felt like just camping there forever with my glock and listen to teh music.....*

or the PS-1's....
*Holy %^^&! my eardrums just ruptured... and then my ears exploded from the bass! 0mG DUDE it was so worth it nO??!! I swear before I went deaf I remembered how I shot a tactical nuke playing Crysis. The blast... the aftershock... oh It DID sound like a nuclear warhead! No %^&$%^& woNder I'm DEAF!!!!*
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 4:16 PM Post #5 of 19

denl82

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Akabeth /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Nice impressions.

A bit OT: Lately I've seen quite a few headphone impressions while gaming and the headphones just keep getting... higher up the chain.

At the rate this is going... I don't think it's far fetched to see someone posting about them playing FPS with the R10 or HE-90's...

*OMG What soundstage and clarity!! I can hear them crooks shooting at me before they even pull teh trigger!!!*

or the PS-1's....
*Holy %^^&! my eardrums just ruptured... and then my ears exploded from the bass! 0mG DUDE it was so worth it nO??!! I swear before I went deaf I remembered how I shot a tactical nuke playing Crysis. The blast... the aftershock... oh It DID sound like a nuclear warhead! No %^&$%^& woNder I'm DEAF!!!!*



ROFL!
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 4:19 PM Post #6 of 19

Akabeth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by denl82 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
ROFL!


Am I right though no...? We head-fi'ers push the limit every day. That's why guys like Patrick82 exist in the first place


> Also, I added a bit more on the first part.... and believe me I will never use my R10 for gaming. It would be stupid to do that.
 
Jul 22, 2008 at 4:27 PM Post #7 of 19

denl82

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Akabeth /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Am I right though no...? We head-fi'ers push the limit every day. That's why guys like Patrick82 exist in the first place


> Also, I added a bit more on the first part.... and believe me I will never use my R10 for gaming. It would be stupid to do that.



Rofl, we do push the limit=] My fellow gamers - always wondering how I've heard them through 3 walls before I shot their butts as soon as they appeared- always ask, "It's those million dollar headphones you own eh?"
biggrin.gif
 
Jul 23, 2008 at 3:47 AM Post #8 of 19

renugaid

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Akabeth /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Nice impressions.

A bit OT: Lately I've seen quite a few headphone impressions while gaming and the headphones just keep getting... higher up the chain.

At the rate this is going... I don't think it's far fetched to see someone posting about them playing FPS with the R10 or HE-90's...

*OMG What soundstage and clarity!! I can hear them crooks shooting at me before they even pull teh trigger!!! I also played CS1.6 earlier in cs_italy. Guess what the guy singing near the hostage building sounded so real... so natural! I felt like just camping there forever with my glock and listen to teh music.....*

or the PS-1's....
*Holy %^^&! my eardrums just ruptured... and then my ears exploded from the bass! 0mG DUDE it was so worth it nO??!! I swear before I went deaf I remembered how I shot a tactical nuke playing Crysis. The blast... the aftershock... oh It DID sound like a nuclear warhead! No %^&$%^& woNder I'm DEAF!!!!*




haha yeh well i figured I was needing a can for sound editing, music and since i game a lot, why not that too?

Instead of buying many sets why not one that'll do me well enough for all of those things?

I do have the old SR80s and I use them more for portable use now.

I don't recommend anybody buy a pair of cans like these just for gaming lol. the 555s and maybe even the 280 pro should be the limit for just gaming.

But someone has to push the boundaries right?! I mean, you see all these emo kids and e-whores on myspace and the like with extreme high res cameras that cost 1-3k all just to take skanky photos of themselves. Why? Simply because its better. lol
 
Jul 30, 2008 at 1:42 PM Post #9 of 19

renugaid

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updated impressions on bottom of first post to include improvements of dynamatting with markl mods.
 
Jul 30, 2008 at 4:33 PM Post #10 of 19

Citizen86

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I've been considering the D2000's for music and gaming... very cool that all you needed was onboard audio to power these... I'm surprised nobody told you that you needed a $600 amp yet to power them
atsmile.gif


I was looking at the AD700's also, since they are half the price of the D2000's, but I dunno... The Denon's sound like a lot more fun with all that bass slam
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Jul 31, 2008 at 11:51 AM Post #13 of 19

renugaid

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Citizen86 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I've been considering the D2000's for music and gaming... very cool that all you needed was onboard audio to power these... I'm surprised nobody told you that you needed a $600 amp yet to power them
atsmile.gif


I was looking at the AD700's also, since they are half the price of the D2000's, but I dunno... The Denon's sound like a lot more fun with all that bass slam
biggrin.gif



They are fairly easy to drive. I do want to amp them with a pico as soon as i can get one but for now the onboard seems ample. I'm sure an amp does wonders for it tho.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 10:02 AM Post #14 of 19

renugaid

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I also noticed that the bass taming varies for every track. Some tracks bass seems to be just as slammy as they were before the mod. They are still tightened but I guess they mustve been recorded distorted as they aren't at all as controlled as other tracks. The mids and lower midrange are definitely blooming tho. As far as gaming and dynamic sounds go, they are crisp, clean and detailed. I don't have a 3d positioning codec for my headphones in terms of gaming and it still tells me exactly where they are with no problems.
 

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