Denon D5000 w/ the MarkL Mods and Jenna Re-Cable
Nov 19, 2008 at 2:01 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

mrarroyo

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A while back I took advantage of Mark's generosity and requested he loan me his fully modded Denon D5000. This unit being the one w/ all his internal mods including a Jenna re-cable terminated in a Furutech 1/4" plug.

Luckily for me I have had the opportunity to listen to the D5000 in all three stages:

1. Stock
2. W/ the internal mods
3. W/ the internal mods and the Jenna re-cable.

I listened to the three versions at the Orlando Meet back in August. Although I left very interested in the fully modded D5000 I never took action on purchasing one since I tried to write off my initial impressions to "meet excitement". You will read below how much of an error that was.
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Before we proceed I believe a few pictures are in order.
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I was able to have the unit for a few days prior to the Tampa (Ybor) Meet last Saturday, 11/15/08. This allowed me the time to get to know the D5000 and its abilities or shortcoming. I purposely wrote shortcoming in singular because IMO it only has one, which is really my shortcoming and not that of the headphone. And it is ... drum-roll ... money! as in I do not have it.
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I find the D5000 to fulfill all of my expectations. Not only of the D5000 but what I wanted of the JVC/Victor HP-DX1000. Sadly the DX1000 failed to deliver what I was looking for, mostly because it does not IMO have a balance presentation. This because the DX1000 has to much treble roll off.

But enough of that, lets get back to the real beauty: the MarkL Modded D5000.
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It is without a doubt a superb sounding unit, one which involves you w/ the music, gets your foot tapping and yet it has the ability to relax the user. This last item is a hard thing to achieve, there are a limited number of cans (dynamic) which may be technically superior yet they do not bring an smile to my face as the modded D5000 does. Other cans get too technical, yes they may sound superb but lack the soul to make you want to listen to the music.

The modded D5000 has IMO a very balance presentation. It allows the full spectrum to be presented in a pleasant but detailed and clear manner. It is very easy to place the instruments and vocal reproduction is both natural and w/ excellent timbre. Soundstage is not artificially wide but just right.

I took the MarkL modded D5000 to the Tampa (Ybor) Meet expecting to compare them w/ a Sony R10 out of a SS amp. Yes the R10 retail from $5,000 to $6,000 which is 5 to 6 times what a fully modded from Mark sells for. Well the D5000 compares extremely well w/ the R10. At times the R10 may have had an edge depending on the song/passage, however after listening to them side by side there is no way I would purchase the R10 when I can have the D5000 and save up to $5,000.

I want to make sure the readers do not take my statement that there is much difference. IMO there is hardly any difference, and most of the time they are the same or in some cases the D5000 was more engaging due to its ability to draw the listener in. I felt the R10 at times was to technical and created an artificial barrier and thus failed to engage the listener: me.

BTW, currently I have placed an order for a new D5000 which after about 250 hours of burn-in I plan on sending to MarkL to have it modded. Concurrently I am in discussions w/ a potential buyer of my DX1000. So as you can see I am a convert and do hope to have my very own D5000 shortly.

In closing I would like to thank MarkL for the opportunity to listen to this wonderful can. At the same time I want to kick myself and Mark for having listened to this can in the privacy of my home, because now I have to have it.
 
Nov 19, 2008 at 3:03 AM Post #3 of 22

markl

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Thank you, Miguel, for your impressions of the MD5000 DE. We at Lawton Audio agree with your assessment that the MD5000 DE competes with the legendary Sony MDR-R10.

However, the MD5000 DE, excellent as it is, is not our ultimate headphone. That honor goes to the LA7000. Please check with us for details.

Cheers.
 
Nov 19, 2008 at 4:50 AM Post #4 of 22

markl

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Oops,
One more thing. Those with 400+ posts, good positive feedback, and are willing to write a review, may be next to receive the MD5000 DE, Please contact me for info...
 
Nov 19, 2008 at 6:43 AM Post #7 of 22

HeadphoneAddict

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You gave away too many teaser posts in my review thread - now no big surprises here.
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My knee jerk reaction to the MD5000DE was ALSO to buy a refurbished D5000 online. But then I canceled the purchase due to a 3 week backorder, and instead ordered the Mahogany cups from Lawton Audio for my APS V2 re-cabled D2000. Along with the wood cups I stuffed my earpads, and now my D2000 are closer to the MD5000DE, but with more bass energy and less bass control due to my not doing a full markl mod yet. At some point I will need to do the rest of the mods to tighten up the bass a little more. I am quite pleased with the bump in midrange detail and presence that I am now hearing with the addition of wood cups and ear-pad mods alone, although it is still a tad below that of the MD5000DE (perhaps due to the cable or the different cups).
 
Nov 19, 2008 at 6:51 AM Post #8 of 22

Vandal

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dmashta /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Why didn't you save some money and get the D2000 instead, assuming you're going for the full mod (cables and custom cups)?


I assume there would be a difference in sound characteristics with stock stuff. So wouldn't this difference persist through fully upgrading them
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Nov 23, 2008 at 2:49 PM Post #10 of 22

mrarroyo

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On Thursday, 11/20 I received a brand new D5000. It has been on continuous burn-in since and currently has about 62 hours. This of course is shy of the 250 hours of burn-in recommended by many.

Anyways, my idea was to listen in how they develop over the burn-in and while I still have on loan the MarkL modded D5000 compare them I hope in about 10 days to ship my D5000 to Mark and have the mods done, will have to wait on the re-cable due to lack of $$$.

Anyways, I have been playing various songs and doing back and back comparisons between the stock D5000 and the MarkL deluxe D5000. I listen at very low levels so the issue of way to much bass thankfully does not show its ugly face much. However there are IMO significant differences, such as:

1. Soundstage and spatial openness. The stock D5000 has an in your face presentation w/ a relative narrow soundstage. The modded D5000 opens the presentation and allows the music to come through uninterrupted w/ plenty of air between the notes. I will use the word "ease" in as how the music flows.

2. Clarity and detail is by far much better on the modded D5000. It is easier to hear where a note starts and ends. This makes instrument placement much easier.

3. Openness - imagine a graph that you are trying to draw on a piece of paper 3" by 5". Now imagine drawing the same graph on a piece of paper 11" by 17". This analogy best describes how open the presentation becomes, when combine w/ the crystal clear notes, air, soundstage it makes for a superb presentation.

I do not know when I will have to forward the MarkL modded cans to the next user/reviewer. If by any chance they re still w/ me by next weekend I will compare the two again. By then the stock unit will have over 225 hours of burn-in.
 
Nov 23, 2008 at 6:44 PM Post #11 of 22

HeadphoneAddict

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Yeah? Go listen the stock D5000 at medium or louder volume levels and see what happens to the bass with them. The detail and openness is not their only problem
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To my ears the bass would start to take over, and almost take on a life of it's own. The stock D7000 that we had at our CO meet on 11/1 (which went to the Chicago meet on 11/8) and my re-cabled D2000 were both much better than D5000 in that regard, but both were still lacking the detail and midrange presence of the MD5000 DE. The re-cabled D2000 had better highs than the D7000, but they both sounded very similar and while better than a stock D5000 there was room for improvement.

Just adding the dampened Mahogany cups and stuffing the earpads of the D2000, even without the rest of the markl dynamat mods to the back of the driver, brought out the space and midrange detail they were missing. With the partial mods the bass is in my D2000 is still much greater than the fully modded Denon, but with noticeably better bass control than with stock cable and cups (just not as controlled as the MD5000 DE).

You could also ask mark to use their exclusive but cheaper silver plated pure copper cable they are now offering, to get that last bit of extension and micro-detail.
 
Nov 23, 2008 at 9:11 PM Post #12 of 22

mrarroyo

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Quote:

Yeah? Go listen the stock D5000 at medium or louder volume levels and see what happens to the bass with them. The detail and openness is not their only problem

To my ears the bass would start to take over, and almost take on a life of it's own...


Yes, I took them off and cranked up the volume to about 11 o'clock and the stock D5000 started vibrating! As far as the re-cable it will have to wait for moola! :)
 

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