Upgrading from HD650: AD2000 or D7000?
Sep 6, 2009 at 1:36 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 63

MikoLayer

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My attempt to get answers by posting quick questions in related threads did not yield a convicing result, hence this thread so I could get some more direct input. I read quite a few threads addressing more less the same issue including this one, only to get all the more confused.

With my PPX3-6CG7 running on 6GU7 tubes, music feels 'just right', not lacking in any particular aspect to my ears. If anything, I could either experiment with a bit more forward (euphorically colored?) mids or better defined, tighter bass. Bass quantity is already plenty here, more of it would only be boomy and overbearing from what I would predict. K701 was not THAT bad in retrospect, just that simply not involving enough to enjoy music; dynamics is there, but not weight and soul to the sound. Last thing I want is another set of analytical and detached sounding phones. Another head-fier mentioned how it is easy to get fatigue from AK701 as users are prone to turning up the volume to get more bass out of it, which I find spot on. They do have a hint of 'metalic' and tinny sound that I could live without. So the long journey of perfecting HD650 sound meets ATs and Denons.



Reasons I want AD2000:
1. AD2000s, called "HD650 done right" by some, are reknowned for their airiness, speed and euphorically colored and forward mids. Bass is sometimes deemed on the leaner side, which I think I should ok with.
2. This would likely be my first AT headphones. AD900 is seen as a noticeable jump in SQ going from AD700, but only at a more than triple of the cost. At this price range, I might as well get me an AD2000 and call it a day.
3. Cheaper than the denons.

Reasons why I am hesitant
1. By going this route, I will have to give up my chance to experience denon sound. With recent spending on amp and cabling upgrade (and potetially an amp on top of that, ouch), I simply cannot afford to get both at the same time. AD700s only costy $88.67 shipped from amazon (what the hell, it was $82 just yesterday I swear
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); if they can serve as a good preview to what AD2000s can is capable of, I could probably stretch my budget a bit and get D7000 AND AD700.
2. Their price have gone up over time, not as a "good deal" at the moment compared to undervalued D7000s. Then again, there is no telling if they will get cheaper or more expensive in the future.
3. Naysayers are not fond of the overt coloration in the mids. Fit and comfort is questionable.

Reasons I want D7000:
1. D7000s are often favorably compared to HD580/600/650, some even go as far to compare it to HD800. Their strength seems to be centered around good and abundant bass.
2. Again, my first denons. Some say it is a notable improvement over D2000/5000 with their flaws addressed, although yet others say the three are mostly similar than different.
3. Being closed cans, they might be more intimate sounding than HD650s

Reasons why I am hesitant
1. Huge FOTY effect still in effect. There's gotta be a good reason for it, but still.
2. I doubt there would be any airiness, being closed phones and all.
3. More expensive.

Other things to consider:

1. Amping: I may upgrade to SP extreme or Woo6 if either phone work better with amping upgrade, as HD650 will most likely benefit from that also. Out of the two, AD2000 is not very amping dependant IIRC.

2. Open vs. closed: Since I live by myself and this is meant to be added to the home rig, isolation is not required at all. My limited experience with closed hi-fi cans in CD3000 tells me I would probably favor airiness and better soundsatge of open cans over intimacy & harder hitting bass of closed ones.

3. Comfort: Perhaps equally as important as feel of the material and headband claming force is weight and its distribution. CD3000 had a very nice leather (pleather?) feel to it, but was too heavy to wear and created a huge strain on my neck and head. This is probably why I much prefer HD580 to K701 in terms of ergonomics.

4. I already have a pair of HD580s (with newer HD600-like silver baffled drivers) as my subs, so I would rather stay away from something that resembles too much of HD580/600.



Ultimately, I realize I am the only judge when it comes to the overall satisfaction of either can. Even then, it is prudent to gather whatever information I can muster before commiting to buy to mimimize the hassle and loss from selling used gear. At this price point, I expect a definite step up and a replacement, not a complement to the Senns. Please share whatever tidbit you might know about these two phones, a comparison to their respective siblings (e.g. AD900 and markl modded D5000) is welcome. Thanks in advance!

Oh, last but not least, I mainly listen to various OSTs containing a good mix of Jpop (most exlusively female vocals), acoustic, newage, electronic and trance. Probably not so much of rock, male vocals or classical there.
 
Sep 6, 2009 at 1:41 AM Post #2 of 63

El_Doug

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It seems you know the answer already - AD2000's all the way!

Their bass is lean in terms of impact, but bass accuracy and extension is top notch - amazingly so for an open can (honestly, the best I had heard until the HD800). Especially based on your musical preferences, I cannot see much of any benefit to the Denons, in your case.


FYI - there is a pair of AD2K's in the FS section right now, for $400


edit: the AD2k's sound nothing like the AD500/700/900 - do not listen to one and expect to know the sound of the other
 
Sep 6, 2009 at 1:51 AM Post #4 of 63

MikoLayer

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Quote:

Originally Posted by atothex /img/forum/go_quote.gif
AD2000 doesn't synergize well with PPX3, imo. "Upgrading" to an Extreme is not the way to go. It'd be great for the HD650, though.


Are AD2000s picky with amps? If so, what amps do they like?
 
Sep 6, 2009 at 1:54 AM Post #5 of 63

MikoLayer

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Quote:

Originally Posted by El_Doug /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It seems you know the answer already - AD2000's all the way!

Their bass is lean in terms of impact, but bass accuracy and extension is top notch - amazingly so for an open can (honestly, the best I had heard until the HD800). Especially based on your musical preferences, I cannot see much of any benefit to the Denons, in your case.


FYI - there is a pair of AD2K's in the FS section right now, for $400


edit: the AD2k's sound nothing like the AD500/700/900 - do not listen to one and expect to know the sound of the other



Got it, no lower tier AT cans it is, then. I have always wanted a pair of AD2000s, but D7000s get so many rave reviews around here hehe
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Sep 6, 2009 at 2:48 AM Post #6 of 63

atothex

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MikoLayer /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Are AD2000s picky with amps? If so, what amps do they like?


Price range? I'd say Eddie Current tubers, but Gilmore amps should be excellent as well. Low output impedance and lots of current is the way to go. OTL SPs aren't ideal; that's not even going into all the build quality issues.

Edit: Woo 6 should be OK in theory.
 
Sep 6, 2009 at 2:56 AM Post #8 of 63

atothex

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MikoLayer /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Ahhh I wish I had kept my Gilmore lite that needed some fixing
frown.gif
Would I be looking at something like KGSS? Wonder how much a decent one costs...



KGSS is for electrostatics, so no.
 
Sep 6, 2009 at 3:12 AM Post #10 of 63

Icarium

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Gilmore Lite has amazing synergy with AD2k and it only scales up with the GS-1 and GS-x...

Atothex has it right. OTL will not synergize well for the most part with low impedance headphones. The AD2k is no exception.
 
Sep 6, 2009 at 3:53 AM Post #11 of 63

Uncle Erik

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Who compared the D7000 to the HD-800? From my impressions, they're nothing alike. The Denons are all bottom heavy. Keep in mind that the rave reviews are from people who enjoy that sort of thing. Are you sure you belong to that group?

I used to own a PPX3 (running 6GU7s, even
smily_headphones1.gif
) and liked it well enough with the HD-650. Thing is, the HD-650 can sound a lot better with the right amp. If you're looking for the HD-650 sound, keep in mind that you can significantly improve on the sound you have now.
 
Sep 6, 2009 at 3:57 AM Post #12 of 63

RushNerd

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Well today at the head-fi meet I got a chance to compare my D2000's side by side with the HD650's out of this wonderous setup:
Picture017.jpg

My first time hearing the HD650's for me, they are a treat. The fit a is a lot different then the D2K's, a lot more snug and a bit clampier.
The CD I used was Juno Reactor's Shango, an extremely well recorded album, this song specifically:
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


Big surprise here, the Denon's absolutely came alive and the low end was enormous and powerful, well controlled though. The HD's seemed to perhaps project the lower frequencies better, but the low end wasn't nearly as involving as the the Denons. I'm sure some would freak out at the comparison, but booth handled the really high frequencies in the song very well, obviously the HD's had an airy quality to them.

Anyway, I defiantly vote Denon for you, the low end is fun as hell and to die for
wink.gif
 
Sep 6, 2009 at 4:31 AM Post #13 of 63

shellylh

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I would put both the HD650's and AD2000's above the D7000 (at least if the HD650's are properly amped). The D2000's just didn't impress me that much. I have the D2000 which I keep mostly for comfort reasons to wear in the office for background music. The D7000 didn't strike me as that much better than the D2000 in the short listen I had with them.

This is what I would do.

1) Either get a good amp for the HD650's

2) Get the AD2000. You don't really need an amp but they will scale with a amp. I actually use the AD2000 with my ipod sometimes when I want to walk around the house. They sound great with the GS-1 so I imagine they will also sound great with the Gilmore lite. The KGSS is an electrostatic amp which will not work with the AD2000 which are dynamic cans.

Edit: I see that you have a decent amp right now (although I have never tried the PPX) so I would go with number (2), get an AD2000 and worry about the amp for it later. Also, I wouldn't get an Extreme in the future because of the reliability (or lack thereof) of SP amps. My old SP Extreme is resting in peace now.
 
Sep 6, 2009 at 4:35 AM Post #14 of 63

MikoLayer

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Who compared the D7000 to the HD-800? From my impressions, they're nothing alike. The Denons are all bottom heavy. Keep in mind that the rave reviews are from people who enjoy that sort of thing. Are you sure you belong to that group?

I used to own a PPX3 (running 6GU7s, even
smily_headphones1.gif
) and liked it well enough with the HD-650. Thing is, the HD-650 can sound a lot better with the right amp. If you're looking for the HD-650 sound, keep in mind that you can significantly improve on the sound you have now.



Sorry I wasn't being clear. Maybe they are like antithesis of each other even, what I meant was some consider them being so good that they belong in that 'tier' or bracket if you know what I mean. As for me, I have no idea, never heard anything that bass heavy anyway
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If anything, I am a bit worried I might get a slight headache from it if bass is too strong for me to handle.

Now you bring up something interesting there! Since I am the OP, I will take a liberty of digressing at will. I intend to hang on to my HD650s till the end, so I am already upgrading some other bits of it (ordered new cables, new DAC, etc). The thing is, I am not looking to spend more than $1k on the new amp
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I have read some other threads, exchanged PMs with some individuals to look for my next amp for HD650. MPX3 is what I had in mind, extreme being another alternative. Care to add some food for thought?
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Sep 6, 2009 at 4:37 AM Post #15 of 63

AtomikPi

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For your needs, I honestly don't see any reason to prefer the D7000. If you're a basshead, then the D7000 are some of the very best phones available - but otherwise they're no better than "OK." Also x2 on El_Doug's comments.

AD2000's work best with SS amps, but output-transformer coupled tube amps can work. Honestly, they sound great straight out of my pico and iphone. Of course they also sound great out of the B22.
 

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