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Review: Audio-Technica ATH-AD2000 - Page 4

post #46 of 82
What a great review! Thanks, Asr.

Anyone know where to buy the AD2K cheaply IN Japan? I tried them out the other day at Yamada Denki and was slightly entranced, but the price tag was $600+! PriceJapan is much cheaper, haha.
post #47 of 82
I admit to some puzzlement when I read the review.

My experience with the AD2000 has been somewhat divergent from the review. I do think its bass goes deep, but I don't consider bass impact to be strong. The DT990-'05, HD650, RS-1, W5000 and L3000 all have greater bass impact. I think the W5000's and especially the L3000's bass are superior. To me, the AD2000's bass is tight and detailed with decent quantity, but not a quality that is exceptional. I was a bit surprised by how much space was devoted to bass in the review.

To me, the AD2000's midrange, smooth and clear treble, and airyness are its defining characteristics. The forward presentation makes vocals sound upfront and more centered. The admittedly slightly colored midrange makes female vocals exceptionally pleasing to listen to. It's difficult for me to think of better experiences listening to Bliss (UK), Emi Fujita, Patricia Barber, Susan Wong, Utada Hikaru etc. than the AD2000.

Treble quality and extension are very good. One reason I like the AD2000 over the HD650 is because I feel its treble is clearer and more detailed. Switching from the AD2000 to the HD650 can make the HD650 seem a bit muffled in comparison. In contrast to the RS-1, the AD2000's treble reaches the highest ultra-clear highs without any sibilance.

The AD2000 makes up for a smaller soundstage than the K701 with its distinctive airyness. It provides a better sense of air and distance between notes. Notes travel through a more realistic virtual soundstage; the AD2000 comes close to reproducing a sense of sound waves propagating through air before reaching the ears. Despite the relatively smaller soundstage, the AD2000's headstage is large, extending 2 to 3 inches past the earcups.

I haven't had experience with most of the associated gear in the review. I did try the AD2000 with a demo Cayin HA-1A once, and didn't like it. Source was either an Onix CDP or CEC CD3300R, I don't recall. Paired with the HA-1A, the AD2000 seemed to me overly warm, bassy and too full-sounding. It had less of the leaner, airier and more delicate sound I'm used to when paired with the RSA Raptor or AT-HA5000.

My current setup is:

RME 9632 > Chord DAC64 > Acoustic Zen Matrix Reference II > AT-HA5000
or
RME 9632 > Chord DAC64 > Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II > RSA Raptor (2x Tung-Sol 5687 and 1 Mullard CV4003/12AU7WA)
post #48 of 82
Due to the recent interest in this headphone, and the fact that I was blown away by it after the first five seconds, I am resuscitating this useful thread.
post #49 of 82
That's true huh, pretty neat that interest has resurfaced after what you might call a "still period". I think I first saw these headphones in a picture on the internet, and after reading up a bit the design just sounded so cool I had to get them. Mind you this was quite a few years ago before I even got seriously interested, but I just had to pull the trigger. I think I had a similar reaction to the bel canto 2.

Haven't regretted my purchase yet. I actually bought some of that fiberfill and dynamat to have a go at modding these ala markl's denon efforts. Also bought some speaker cloth to redo that white dust covering under the earpads, attached to the driver housing. Maybe I'll take some pictures of my shoddy work. hopefully it won't sound bad. Actually, hopefully it'll sound good before bad...
post #50 of 82
It's funny how sometimes, even with obsessive research, some headphones slip through the cracks. If I hadn't gone to the meet I would never have known what I was missing.
post #51 of 82
Hey guys!

Received my pair today. They sound horrible! I hear sibilance, dirty bass that's out of control, no tonal accuracy and my sr325i's are way more detailed.

PLEASE tell me it's just a matter of burn-in! I'd hate to sell these right away..

Thanks

-K
post #52 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoPants View Post
That's true huh, pretty neat that interest has resurfaced after what you might call a "still period". I think I first saw these headphones in a picture on the internet, and after reading up a bit the design just sounded so cool I had to get them. Mind you this was quite a few years ago before I even got seriously interested, but I just had to pull the trigger. I think I had a similar reaction to the bel canto 2.

Haven't regretted my purchase yet. I actually bought some of that fiberfill and dynamat to have a go at modding these ala markl's denon efforts. Also bought some speaker cloth to redo that white dust covering under the earpads, attached to the driver housing. Maybe I'll take some pictures of my shoddy work. hopefully it won't sound bad. Actually, hopefully it'll sound good before bad...
So, did you try the mod? Did it work out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by electropop View Post
Hey guys!

Received my pair today. They sound horrible! I hear sibilance, dirty bass that's out of control, no tonal accuracy and my sr325i's are way more detailed.

PLEASE tell me it's just a matter of burn-in! I'd hate to sell these right away..

Thanks

-K
I do not know if the problem is that they are new, but my pair is nothing like that. My pair does not have a problem with sibilance, the bass is very tight and clean, tonal accuracy is ok to good and they sound more detailed than the RS1 (have not done a detail head to head AD2000vRS1 though).
post #53 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by electropop View Post
Hey guys!

Received my pair today. They sound horrible! I hear sibilance, dirty bass that's out of control, no tonal accuracy and my sr325i's are way more detailed.

PLEASE tell me it's just a matter of burn-in! I'd hate to sell these right away..

Thanks

-K
that's not at all what I've experienced. very odd. :S
post #54 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by electropop View Post
They sound horrible!

sibilance

dirty bass that's out of control

no tonal accuracy

PLEASE tell me it's just a matter of burn-in! I'd hate to sell these right away..
Burn-in? The AD2000 sounds totally different from what you described, straight out of the box. You're describing another headphone! Unless you're so used to the Grados that you actually hear this, but... the AD2000 sibilant? Dirty bass? No way ever. Not even Freddie Mercury sounds sibilant with these cans.
post #55 of 82
They sound more bright than my sr325i's. I'm listening them through my LD I+ with WE408A tubes. After a few hours of burn in, they've calmed down only a bit. The S is still sihhy.. Bass lines are more clear now.. Hmm.. will try changing tubes..

Thanks for input..

-K
post #56 of 82
A correction. It must've been the 408 tubes. Now i'm listening them through my generally bright/cold emu 0202 and even with that they're WAY more what i wanted to hear!! Beginning to see their potential. I already like the balance of the mids being so capturing, the highs calming down and good clear bass control, though not the loudest bass. I hear it to be on the same level as my 325i's. Hmmm.. But the over-ear design (at least for me) really gives them the benefit of proper instrument separation (also gives breathing room between instruments). In this they surpass the grados.. Mmmm..

We'll see soon.. Thank you

-K
post #57 of 82
be careful with tubes and AD2000. They don't like tubey sound too much from what I've experienced. Better go with SS amp to feed it huge amount of current instead.

Unless you have the Zana deux....
post #58 of 82
What have you experienced with these combinations?
The 408s sounded brighter than most SS-amps.. Though the I+ is a hybrid.
Will see..
Can you recommend me a smooth/warmish/dynamic SS-amp for less than 300usd?`

Thanks
post #59 of 82
^ I personally prefer my amps to be as neutral as possible...

perhaps a used Gilmore lite? They're fantastic match with AD2000s. They drive low impedance cans very well and have very,very,very transparent nature - almost like a wire with gain.

One of the best bargains in starter amps, I believe.

Well-built millet hybrid with diamond buffers generally go for 140-170 and they're not bad with AD2ks as well.
post #60 of 82
I hold your words in high respect. Thank you! At the moment I'm jamming with them through my Graham Slee voyager. Nice smooth sound, though lacking little in detail. Better get good transistors behind them
Have you heard them with Little Dot Mk V? It should be a rather nice SS-amp..

Plus, damn the saxophone has never sounded this nice! I'm in love with the vocals and mid-section in general. No matter what the source, it's impossible to veil the vocals anyhow. This was crucial when swapping tubes for instant with the I+ and listening with 325i's... Nice nice...

-K
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