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7-Part Review: Audio-Technica ATH-AD2000

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

This is loaner #1 (of 6) of my Loaner Program, for the ATH-AD2000. My favorite headphones, and prohibitively expensive for a lot of people, so in order to help spread the appreciation and information of these generally unknown headphones, 7 people were subjectively selected to review them for the community at large!

This thread is the repository for reviews (and pictures) of the component by each person.

The 7 participants:
1 - lmilhan (NJ)
2 - 003 (IL)
3 - Patrickhat2001 (MN)
4 - seacard (CO)
5 - W.T. (TX)
6 - ldj325 (SoCal)
7 - cotdt (SoCal)

Reviews follow below!


Edited by Asr - 4/25/11 at 10:41pm
post #2 of 33

ATH AD-2000 review #1 - lmilhan

I am excited to announce that I received the ATH-AD2000s in the mail today!

I first want to thank Asr very much for running these loaner programs. What a very cool and kind gesture that I believe the Head-Fi community will benefit greatly from. Let's make him proud, and ensure that all of his Gear makes it back home safe and sound please.

Ok, first thing's first. Some ATH-AD2000 Eye Candy (sorry Dial-up users):






















The ATH AD-2000s hanging out with some new friends!







Let's honor Asr's wishes and hold off on posting in this thread until all 7 of the reviews are in.

Please keep in mind that I do not proclaim to be the world's greatest headphone reviewer (probably very far from it, actually), but I am gonna' give it my best shot! Please be patient with me, and understand that I am doing my best to put into words what it is that I am hearing. And of corse these are all just my opinions, and I am quite confident they will conflict with someone else's opinions soon enough.

Equipment used:
Custom built PC as source.

My audio chain looks like this:
  • EMU-0404 internal sound card ->
  • Blue Jeans digital coax ->
  • Entech Number Cruncher 205.2 ->
  • Blue Jeans interconnect ->
  • Quintete Switchbox ->
  • Blue Jeans interconnect ->
  • RSA Tomahawk ->
  • ATH AD-2000s

Everything is plugged into a Monster PC1000 Power Conditioner/Surge Suppressor. Volex 17604 power cords used throughout my entire rig.

J-River media center used as the music playback interface, output mode: ASIO.

All of my music files are ripped at 192kbps or higher (up to 320kbps) using Exact Audio Copy and LAME encoding. I know there is a huge controversy among the audio geeks with regard to MP3 music files and bitrates. My personal take on this: I can't hear a big enough of a difference between 192kbps and Lossless to justify the space requirement to rip my entire (behemoth sized) music collection in a Lossless format. My rig sounds wonderful to me as long as I keep my music files at 192kbps or better. So there's that.

Other Equipment notes:
I am kind of bummed out that all I have to drive the AD-2000s currently is a RSA Tomahawk. Now that's not to say that the Tomahawk isn't up to the task - quite the contrary actually. The Tomahawk is doing just fine driving the AD-2000s, thank you very much.

The reason I am bummed out is because based on my very early impressions, I can tell that the AD-2000s would probably benefit most from a tube amp. I have a custom MAD Ear+ Purist HD on order, and I was hoping I would have it in my posession in time to review the AD-2000s. It is going to be very close, but seems unlikely that I will receive the MAD Ear+ before my time with the AD-2000s is up. And sadly, the tube amp I had to hold me over until the MAD Ear+ arrived died a few weeks back. So all I have to go on is solid state amplification with the AD-2000s. Oh well, such is life...

Fit and Finish:
Like all of the Audio-Technica products, the fit and finish on the AD-2000s is top notch. They come in a slick black box which is adorned with a very subtle grey pinstriping design. The words "AIR ATH-AD2000, AIR DYNAMIC HEADPHONES" on the front of the box are made of a silverish / prismatic material, that interacts with the light when you move the box around for a cool rainbow effect. The box has a flap (secured with two little velcro dots) that can be opened to reveal the AD-2000s in all their glory. One side of the box also has a clear oval window that allows you to peek inside to see the back of one of the (very) open earcups. The AD-2000s are nestled in velvety feeling, crimson colored holder that is molded to fit the AD-2000s. The black and crimson color scheme pof the packaging looks really sharp.

Pulling the phones out of the box, I made note that they are terminated to an 1/8 inch threaded headphone jack. A 1/4 inch screw-on adaptor is also included. The cord is very long (didn't take a measurement). I seem to recall my ATH-A900s having a very long cord as well. The black, charcoal, gold, silver and gunmetal color scheme of the AD-2000s looks stunning. The back of each earcup is decorated with a golden Audio Technica badge, which is scribed in a prismatic font - the lettering has a rainbow-swirly effect when you move the phones around in the light. The pads are very soft and comfy and made of some sort of fabric-like material. I actually prefer this material over the BeyerDynamic earpad material. As I have come to expect with Audio-Technica circum-aural phones, the earcups are quite large. And boy, are they open - actually I think that the AD-2000s have re-defined what an 'open' headphone desigen is all about. Looking through the screens in on the back of the earcups, you can see all the wiring, driver backs, and driver mounting mechanisms. As a gadet geek, this really appeals to me. Since they are so open, they leak like a sieve. The only phones that I have seen to date that are more open than the AD-2000s are the AKG K1000s.

Comfort:
When I placed them on my head for the initial test-drive, I was surprised to discover that they have a bit of a vice-like grip going on. I don't recall such a clamping force when I owned the A900s. I'm not sure if they will loosen up over time (perhaps an AT expert can comment here) - but as they are right now, the clamping force is a bit much for me. Even though they are circum-aural headphones by design, the clamping force is enough to make the inside of the driver housings touch my ears just enough that discomfort sets in after 2 or 3 hours. I also found that my jaw got a bit sore after 2 or 3 hours. I blame all these comfort issues on the clamping force. If I were the owner of these headphones, I would probably do a little bit of an accelerated break-in excercise by stretching the headband mechanism outward. But since they aren't mine, they of corse stay just the way they are. I am pretty certain that the clamping force will relax naturally over time. As such, I would say that these comfort issues aren't a deal breaker by any means.

The pads are very plush and comfy. The self adjusting mechanism is a great invention, and it works a treat. I don't even realize that the '3D wings' are resting on my head.

Music genres considered:
  • Alternative
  • Acoustic
  • Calssic Rock
  • Electronica
  • Electric Blues
  • Eighties Hair Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Heavy Metal
  • Motown / Oldies
  • Punk /Emo
  • Power Metal
  • Progressive Rock
  • Shredders
  • Pop

For an example of many of the songs I picked as 'reference tracks', Click Here! That list is not all inclusive, but at least you can get an idea of what types of songs I use for reference tracks when auditioning a new pair of headphones.

Listening Impressions:

Highs - are 'just right'. Never really sound harsh or overly bright, even on the worst of recordings. Pleasant, airy and smooth. No complaints here. Of corse the highs are competeing with the pronounced midrange of these phones, but they never get overwhelmed by the mids, the way the bass sometimes tends to.

Midrange - Beautiful. By far the most striking thing about the sound of these phones. Mids are very pronounced and forward. Reminds me a lot of why I love the Grado house sound. On decent to amazing recordings, the mids sound wonderful, on bad or thin recordings, the mids tend to sound shouty and sometimes harsh. Because the mids are so pronounced and forward sounding, it is as if the bass / lower frequencies seem to take a back seat. As A result, they sound a bit thin at times, especially with bombastic bass-heavy music such as Metal, Modern Hard Rock, Punk/Emo, etc.

Bass - As mentioned earlier, it doesn't have quite enough 'oomph' for me, especially when listening to Metal. Don't get me wrong, the bass is there, it goes deep, but it just isn't as thick and present as I'd prefer it to be. Now keep in mind, I am very acclimated to the Grado PS-1s which are bass monsters, and I tend to like a bit of coloring in the bass department. So in defense of the A2000s, just about any phone is going to sound a bit thin after the PS-1s. The best way I can describe the bass reproduction of the A2000s is that it is probably very close to neutral.

Soundstage - I would say that these have a 'medium' width soundstage. For a reference, when considering the 'width size' of soundstage, I consider the K1000s to have a 'large' soundstage and the RS-1s to have a 'small' soundstage. The A2000 soundstage is very obvious, and often times dramatic when listening to high quality recordings where songs have a lot of dynamics. On hot recordings (ie: most modern recordings) of loud and dense music with hardly any dynamic range, the soundstage that these phones are capable of throwing never really gets a chance to shine. If the Grado soundstage 'puts you on stage', then I would say that you are sitting about 5th row, center with the A2000s.

Detail - The A2000s are quite detailed and revealing - I can sometimes hear imperfections and detail in recordings that I don't notice as readily with my Grados. The detailed and revealing nature of these phones remind me a bit of the SA-5000s and the K1000s. This can be both a blessing and a curse. With superb recordings, I really appreciate and enjoy all of the details I can hear in the music, but it can sometimes be almost unbearable to listen to badly recorded music.

Other notes and conclusions:
The main beef I had with the AD2000s was when listening to newer (let's say post 2000) Metal of all flavors and some of the Newer Hard Rock recordings. The main problems I had were the lean Bass - the AD2000s just didn't seem capable of giving me that visceral thrill that my Grado phones are capable of. And I really wasn't crazy about how distorted electric guitars sounded. It was almost like there was just too much midrange and not enough low end growl. And it is precisely that low end growl that gives distorted electric guitars the balls that they need. I guess I am just spoiled by the Grado house sound, as I have yet to hear a pair of headphones reproduce an electric distorted guitar the way a pair of Grados can - Especially the RS-1s and PS-1s.

Also as mentioned earlier, I had a bit of a comfort issue - the problem was persistent for the entire 10 days I used the
AD2000s. My ears actually got very, very sore. It does seem kind of strange that a pair of circum-aural phones are designed such that the inside driver housings are able to touch the ears. I am assuming that the clamping pressure will loosen up over time with normal use to where they will be quite comfy. Or perhaps it is possible to stretch the headband out a bit to make them more comfy. I suppose the AD2000 fans will be able to answer these questions.

Considering the types of music I listen to most, I don't really see a spot in my headphone lineup for the AD2000s. But as a Grado fan (favorites being PS-1, RS-1 and MS-2i), and a K1000 fan, I would take the AD2000s any day over the other 'Mid-Fi' phones I have owned, such as:
  • BeyerDynamic DT990
  • BeyerDynamic DT880
  • AKG K701
  • Sennheiser HD5xx
  • Sennheiser HD6xx
  • Sony SA-5000
  • AKG K340
  • Sony CD3000

Who do I think would appreciate these phones?
People who like a detailed, airy and slightly forward sounding presentation with gobs of sweet midrange, a 'medium width' soundstage and uncolored bass that is pretty close to neutral.

Who probably wouldn't appreciate these phones?
Bassheads, Metalheads and Rockers who appreciate some 'oomph' in the lower frequencies.
People who prefer a sucked-out midrange, ala DT770s.
People who prefer a bit of a laid back presentation, or 'veil', ala Sennheiser HD650s.

The Genres of music the AD2000s were absolutely brilliant with were:
  • Acoustic
  • Motown / Oldies
  • Classic Rock
  • Classical
  • Electronica
  • Jazz
  • Big Band
  • High Quality recordings in general

The Genres of music the AD2000s weren't all that hot with were:
  • Heavy Metal
  • Power Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Poor quality, and/or thin sounding recordings in general


I honestly feel like I only got half of the picture in the time I got to audition the A2000s, because I only had a solid state amp available to drive them. I have this gut feeling that the A2000s would benefit most from tube amplification. A nice tube amp that handles low impedence headphones well, with bass heavy tubes rolled in would be just the ticket to thicken them up a bit in the bottom end, while adding a little bit of warmth to the midrange, thereby taking a tiny bit of the edge off for those times where they can get a bit shouty with bad or thin sounding recordings.

As a Grado fan, I can honestly say that I very much appreciate the sound signature of these phones, especially in the midrange area. They ended up being a bit more aggressive than I imagined they would be - but not to the point of being fatiguing. If it weren't for the fact that I primarily listen to Metal, and prefer a thicker bottom end in Bass presentation, the AD2000s would certainly be a contender - assuming the comfort issues would go away over time with normal use.


Thus ends my 10 day audition of the ATH AD-2000s. Once again I want to thank Asr for running such cool and generous loaner programs. What a great asset to the Head-Fi community.


Up next, "003" gets to play with the ATH AD-2000s. I am looking forward to his impressions.

Stay tuned...
post #3 of 33
Soundstage:
The soundstage is not as wide as some headphones I have heard, such as the HD650, but it is complete and does not shift. I remember the HD650 having a 3 blob in the head effect, not at all the case with the AD2000. It totally circles around my head.

Imaging/separation:
The imaging and separation on the AD2000s is very good. I mean, VERY good. front, back, left, right, up down, it is all there.

Bass:
The AD2000 has high quality bass. It goes down deep. It is not the hardest hitting bass I have heard, but it perfectly fine for my tastes. The bass is very fast, well articulated and overall there is not anything bad I can really say, other than that if you have a DT770 and are left wanting more, this probably isn't for you. The bass does not in any way, shape or form smear or overpower the midrange. As for the weight. With the AD2000, the music does not ride on the bass. The weight is about neutral for the bass. With the AD2000, the music DOES ride on one of the other two frequency spectrums, which we will get to next

Midrange:
Speaking of the AD2000 mids, lets talk about them. I love them. Need I say more? Wholeheartedly, NO. But I will anyway. The AD2000 "rides" on the midrange The upper, mid and lower midrange are all fantastic. Energetic. Electric guitars have a nice, up front sizzle. Not as much emphasis as a grado, but more than average. I like it. They are airy, let chesty and full. I must say, long ago, I was put off to Audio-Technica based on the nastily back seated mids on the A900, and all of their headphones looked very similar, which grew into a bias that AT had poor mids. Boy, was I wrong. Also, the AD2000 does low volume extremely well. Hardly any loss of detail or dynamics. They even retain deep and moderately impactful bass at low volumes.

Highs:
This is an area that I do not have much experience with, meaning, I am not the best at picking out "good" highs from "bad" highs. The AD2000 has a nice, subtle sparkle on the highs, but at the same time not bright at all. Not rolled off. Not recessed. Just right.







post #4 of 33
First off let me apologize as this review was going to be much more detailed. I had my last day with these phones set aside just for writing this review and for cementing my opinions on the AD2000s. But, unfortunately, someone broke into my car the night before (to steal my $30 XM receiver ) so I spent most of the day dealing with that. Anyway, on to the review.

Backstory--
This is my year of headphones--I’ve made it my goal for this year to try every headphone $500 and below (used) that falls within my criteria--basically those that are not IEMs and also are also open (I prefer open phones for both sonic and lifestyle reasons). So, when Asr announced he was going to let a few of us Head-Fiers borrow his AD2000s I jumped at the opportunity. Before they arrived I was conflicted--on one side I was hopping I would hate them, find them utterly horrible that there would be no reason to purchase them (yet another expensive headphone, see sig) for a more indepth analysis. But, at the same time I was still looking for a new “rock” headphone--something a little more exciting than my Sennheisers and AKGs but more well-rounded than the RS-1, sr325i, DT990 (05) and Proline 25000 phones I purchased recently (told you I’m trying everything). So, I’d say I had little bias before beginning my audition.

So, how did the AD2000s do? Very well, but I don’t think they’re a good match for my rig, in its current state. I’ll explain as I go further in detail with my observations.

Frequency balance
No part of the frequency range comes out as too forward or recessed compared to the others--you won’t find any fatiguing highs here or bass that gets in the way of everything else, etc. Really, the headphone sounds very linear but for many, including myself, this can be a fault. I was left wanting more bass--I really couldn’t get my groove on even though the upfront and exciting nature of these phones should make that easy. They could get my feet tapping but I rarely, if ever, got up and danced. I have no doubt that by mixing and matching upstream components I would be able to get exactly the bass response I desire but since this is my year of headphones, not amps or DACS (DACs are next year ) this option was not available.

Tonal character
I’d classify these headphones as ever so slightly on the thin side, not a surprise given their slightly bass weak sound. But just as they are slightly weak in the bass they are just slightly on the thin sounding side of neutral. As far as tonal character goes I’d say they sound like a Sennheiser and a Sony (of the CD3000/CD780 variety) mated and this is the tonal character that resulted--it leans more toward the thin sounding side but just barely. Going more in depth in my description of the thin sound I’d say it is more like the plasticy-thin sound of the Sony CD3000/CD780/E888 line than metallic-thin such as the Beyer DT880/990 (05 versions).

Texture and detail--
If there’s one headphone that falls into the category of airy the AD2000 is it. Now, many headphones are described in this fashion of being effortless, unrestricted, able to vibrate its drivers on a dime if you’re one for horrible car analogies. Really, I think the best headphones that fit this definition are almost always open headphones and the more open the better. By letting as much sound energy as possible escape out of the back of the phone the designers insure that most of the sound energy doesn’t come back to the ears creating a stuffy, thick sound. Really, in this regard the AD2000s are unparalleled compared to anything except the Sennheiser HD580-650. What? Did I just say the Senns are airy? Well, in some respects they most definitely are, but that’s for another discussion. Anyway, take a look at this picture comparing the openness of the back of the HD600 and the Audio-Techincas.


(As usual please excuse the total lack of photography skills on my part)

That sound energy goes right out the back with as little resistance as possible (although there is obviously a little bit that is bounced back to the ears which helps to increase the soundstage). This very open design along with the absence of any damping material between the drivers and the listener’s ears (there is only a very thin mesh that functions more to protect the drivers than absorb sound waves) creates a very airy sound for the listener.

Now, while I loved the airy/effortless sound of the AD2000s I didn’t find them all that great in the detail department. Many people have described these phones as slightly blurry sounding and I agree; they did seem a little unfocused. For example when I would listen to someone play acoustic guitar I couldn’t follow the fingers as well as will most of my other phones (like the RS-1 with flats which excels at that kind of thing). I’ll talk a little more about detail and what I think caused the blurriness in the next section.

Soundstage--
I must admit, I’m not very picky when it comes to soundstage. I tend to like the larger soundstage of circum-aural phones as opposed to supra-aural or earbud/IEM but unless something is really off (for example the lack of width and horizontal separation on the Proline 25000) I tend to not place much emphasis on this quality. However, there was something in the presentation of the AD2000 that really started to bother me after a while. That something, I believe, was the uncontrolled echo of sound waves within the headphone which caused a smearing of a sound placement within the soundstage. Let me explain further--the drivers of the AD2000 rest right next to your ear (the porous metal plate covering the driver touches your ear). Because of this the presentation it creates a very upfront sound; very akin to the stereotypical Grado sound (right on the stage--or how I like to think of it as--like I am the lead singer). But, like any headphone, AD2000 is more than its drivers and its sound energy bounces around a little bit before escaping though the very open backside of it’s cups. Such a thing is usually good and plays a part of why circumaural phones have a larger soundstage than supraural phones or earbuds/IEMs (the other reason is they tend to place the driver farther away from the ears than other types of headphones). And the cups of the AD2000 are pretty big, take a look at these comparison pic with many other popular full sized phones.



So the sound has plenty of space to bounce around and thus create a larger sound stage. That’s all well and good but I think the designers of the AD2000 didn’t take controlling these sound waves into proper account when designing this phone. I say that because many times I’d here a sound (say someone on my right strumming on a guitar) sound like it’s coming from someone standing right next to me but, at the same time here it the same sound seeming like it was coming from about 5-10 feet away! It was as if there was a horizontal smearing of a sounds placement in the soundstage with this headphone. Also, I think this smearing of the sound also played a part in the unfocused sound of this headphone, overall. Now, I wouldn’t say this is a horrible flaw (for example I almost never noticed it with vocals--perhaps due to how the brain interoperates voices as opposed to musical instruments?) but it was an annoyance just the same. And for the record I’ve heard a similar flaw in the CD3000 and it really bugged me with them as well. I believe some additional damping material somewhere in the headphone could have gone a long way towards controlling the reflections and lessening this smearing of the sound. Or, perhaps, I have no idea what I’ve talking about--I have no training in acoustics so take these last two paragraphs with a grain of salt.

Sonic conclusions--
I don’t mean to rant against the AD2000 as I most definitely enjoyed my time with these phones. The smearing thing and slightly blurred sound by themselves didn’t really bother me much but along with the slightly thin tonal character and the absence of enough bass to suit my tastes left me thinking I’d rather pass on these phones instead of getting a pair of my own for more in-depth analysis. For now, anway. Over the next couple of years I intend to work on my upstream components (in 2008 I’m going to be trying out every DAC I can get my hands on, in my price range, as sources are obviously the weakest link in my rig, at the moment). Perhaps once I try out some additional sources and (and amps, in 2009 ) I’ll end up with a rig that just screams to be paired with these phones. But, as of now, I’m going to pass.

Thoughts on comfort--
The weight of these phones is very light, no complaints there. Some other folks have mentioned problems with clamping force but I didn’t have a problem in that regard either. Now, these headphones do fit very tightly (of course you could stretch them out but I wasn’t about to do that with phones I didn’t own) but I found the actual force of their clamp to be so light that I never noticed it. However, one thing that really disturbed me concerning the comfort of these phones was their nature to rest the metal plate that covers the driver to rest directly on your ears. This plate has the texture of a cheese grater and so is very uncomfortable. I mean it’s really bad and really clashes with the otherwise nice comfort provided by the phones (and posh design sense given off by the box design). Now, I did get used to having these metal plates on my ears after a while, so used to it that they no longer caused discomfort. Yet this flaw is still unacceptable given the price of the phones and the audience they are marketed towards (new users auditioning could be immediately put off by this design oversight). One other little thing I noticed about the comfort was that the metal screen on the back of the phones was a little rough feeling--if you drag your finger down the screen it scraps your finder ever so slightly. This is in contrast to the screen on the back of Sennheiser phones which is smooth and never scrapes. Nothing big thing, but it may annoy those who need to constantly place and remove the phone from their head multiple times a day and who tend to touch the back screen when they do so.

That’s about it folks. Thanks again to Asr for his generosity with this and many other loaner programs. It’s people like him that make me proud to be a member of this forum.
post #5 of 33
I had the opportunity and the honor to spend a couple of weeks with Asr's AD2000.

First, the less relevant stuff: the headphone looks great. Even my girlfriend thought they were a cool-looking headphone. Also, they are very comfortable. Much more so than the HD650 (my current favorite). Even during extended listening sessions, they did not bother me in the slightest.

Sound

Bass For me, the low end was sufficient. It did not have the impact of heavy-bass headphones like the PS-1 or the L3000, but given that those are two of my less-favorite headphones, I considered it a good thing. Because I listen mainly to classical and jazz, any bump in the bass sounds unrealistic. Listening to symphonies with low bass lines, the notes had solid articulation and never became muddy or undefined.

Mids The mids are very strong, but a bit too forward for my taste. In many ways, they reminded me of a mix of an RS-1 and an SA5000. They were detailed but a bit on the bright side. I thought they were more fitting for rock/electronic music than for classical or opera, but this in large part depends on how you like your classical presented. I love the Sennheiser presentation that is a little further back. Interestingly, even though I've read that this headphone is the most open and airy headphone ever made short of the K1000, that was not my impression. It was certainly open, but I did not feel it was more airy than the DT880, HD595, or any electrostat.

Treble The high range was very precise and clean, but brighter than what I'm used to. In some ways, it reminded of the SA5000 but less harsh. In many way, it reminded me of the RS-1 but a little less smooth. Overall, I can see how a lot of people will love the treble, but much of it depends on your reference. To me, with my favorite headphones being the HD650, the R-10, and the HE60, it seemed bright and bit too forward. But to somebody coming from and RS-1, SA5000, or the K1000 (again, three headphones that I did not particularly enjoy), the treble may sound just right.

Soundstage You can only expect so much from a headphone. It was not as wide as the HD650 or the K701, but I thought it was wider than many other headphones (Grados, SA5000, etc.). Regardless, this is not as important a criteria for me with headphones, so I am not good at judging it.

Tone Having been a semi-professional trumpet player, and having played in many many different orchestras, one thing that I pay very close attention to is tone of the instruments, especially the trumpet. The AD2000 did a good job reproducing brass instruments, although (yet again) I thought it was on the bright side. There were times when I knew the trumpets had a fuller, darker sound when the AD2000 made them sound sparkly and trebly. Now, this was not as bad as the SA5000, but far short of the R-10.

Other The main problem I had with this headphone isits brightness. Sure, it's not as bright as some other headphones, but I could not listen to it for more than an hour without getting a headache and ear fatigue. Having said that, I feel the same way about most dynamic headphones. The HD650 lets me listen the longest, but none compare to the Omega II or the HE60/90.

Conclusion Overall, this is a terrific headphone. For me, it came well short of the K701 and the HD650, but I would probably take it over any Grado (except the HP1000), or the Sony SA5000. I also liked its presentation over some more expensive headphones, including the K1000. In the end, a darker headphone seems a little more neutral to me, but that's a matter of preference.

Thank you, Asr, for giving me the opportunity to hear it.
post #6 of 33
And now for the Late Reply from W.T.

Sadly i lost my cable for my Nikon D70s, so i bought a card reader to take the photos off the card. This nifty little reader managed to corrupt my card, and i was only able to recover 2 of the photos i took, and they arent even the good ones

In either case, I would love to start my impressions off with a big THANK YOU ASR!

Here are the two pictures i managed to salvage, of the AD2000's in line with my other pairs:




From Left to right:
Dennon D5000's, Audio Technica ATH-W10VTG, Audio Technica AD-1000, and finally the Audio Technica AD-2000.

I will break this up into 4 sections: Look/Feel/Comfort Impressions, Sound Impressions, AD1000 vs. AD2000 impressions, and Overall Conculsions + Impressions.

Look/Feel/Comfort Impressions:
First of all i am a die-hard audio technica fan! (check my sig for the AT's i own and have owned!). When these baby's came in the mail i was very excited. The box that it comes in is identical to the one the AD1000's come in. Even the Red (velvet?) contour rack it sit inside the box. Overall - pictures can speak more on looks than i can. My only additions to them are as follows:
  • The pads at the top that touch your head are very soft, silky and smooth. You barely notice the touch and feel.
  • The bands at the top are metalic and stiff and very firm. - Yes the clamping on these headphones was a problem
  • The cups themselves do swivel on the band, but not very much (barely enough, and sometimes not enough, to adjust a fit and angle you desire
  • The cups themselves, while being very open, do not give as much of an open feel as you would expect.
  • The cable is flexible, smooth, light, and does not get in the way at all.
  • These do leak a lot of sound out and sound in (but not as much as other open can phones i have tried) - but this is expected in open cans.
Overall i noticed several complaints about having the driver sitting directly on the ear, the headphones being too stiff and firm and there being a "clamping" feel. Yes - i too experienced this with this new pair. However, Read the AD1000vsAD2000 section for where i will address this as NOT a problem. The look of the headphones is a tech junkie's wet dream. You can look strait into it and ontothe driver and overall i would definatley have to say "they look super cool! *thumbs up*". The pads are very nice, but they will feel even better once you break them in.

Sound Impressions:
Before you berate me for my opinions - remember one thing: These are my ears, not yours and the ultimate judge will have to be you if you ever get the chance to listen to this pair!
I was quite eager to hook up this pair out of the box, but i noticed these definately needed a warm up time. It took 15 minutes before i was finally satisfied with the pair. While these are an open can pair, they still have fairly decent bass but they felt the music sounded quite muffled. Most of the Senn-line headphones i have tried definately have a more "free" feel to the music, but i have always loved how AT line up brought me closer and more personal with the music. Compared to the other pairs i curently own, i must say that the W10's and the Dennons walked away from this pair, but the 2000's were a set-up from the AD1000's. I cant say that this pair shines in any genre of music (much like grado and rock), but rather was very well rounded and sounded great in classical, rap, rock, tehcno, vocals, instrumental, and i even tried a bit of jazz with them!

AD1000 vs. AD2000 impressions:
Of course! How can i do an impression thread without comparing these babys to their younger sibling?
Fist of all, The AD1000's and AD2000's do look slightly different.
The most obvious is the dual in cable on the 2000's and single on the 1000's. 2nd the metal bands at the top are covered on the 1000s (probably to cover the wire that runs from the left and right cups via headband). Also the pads that touch your head attach to the cup look slightly different, but the feel is the same.
Second of all, the AD2000's will change as you break them in!
I noticed concern about the vicelike clamping and the inability to swivel the cups to properly sit them on your ears. My AD1000's no NOT have this problem. The cups swivel twice as much and they are very strechy. I believe in time, the band will losen, and probably let the cups swivel a bit more too. for how tight this pair is out of the box, some streching or breaking in is almost necessary and you will enjoy the fit of them more as you work in the pair.
Third of all, the red inner box the headphones sit on will rub that red velvet substance onto your cup pads as it grows older. My AD1000's if i leave them on the red rack will leave a red particles on the cups (easily cleaned, but a hassle).
Fourth, Sound. Simply put AD2000 > AD1000s. The sound cleaner, clearer, crisper but i do feel both pairs are a bit muffled compared to the Senn line. Although i do believe both pairs will benefit immensly from some upgrades. An upgraded dual in cable on the AD1000's and perhaps somehow opening the pair a bit more will improve the sound.
I am very curious about your impressions ASR with the pair for how they sound before our break in, and how they will sound when you get them back!

Overall Conculsions + Impressions:
These are definately a great sounding pair, and i was quite eager to pick up this pair to see how they compare to my AD1000s! However, i was quite disappointed in both pairs. Although my AD1000's (and probably the AD2000's) will benefit greatly from upgrading and modding the pairs, i do not believe i would get another pair of my own. For quality and price, i would honestly pick a pair of Senn 580/600/650's over these. They imho sound better and are cheaper - more bang and less buck.

Thanks again ASR for this wonderful experience with the AD2000's and i cant wait to read more impressions on them!

Enjoy the tunes!
~Stan
post #7 of 33
This entire thread seems to be widened, so it is hard to read. You might have to click on the post number on the upper right of each post to view them individually.

So I received this beautiful headphone:





Many thanks to Asr for this wonderful opportunity. This is not my first experience with these headphones, however. I borrowed a pair from a friend for a week and listened to it hooked up to my tube amp. I want to note that I really like these headphones so please take my criticisms of these headphones in perspective. My first criticism is that the pads touch your ears, which can be annoying for people with sensitive ears. Now that's get down to business.

Amping:
I can confirm that this pair of AD2000s sound just like my previous pair, except now I've got SS amps like the CKKIII and Beta22. And these AD2000s work better with SS amps. You need really low output impedance to get the soundstage to open up and the treble to be less glaring. On these headphones it is important because they are only 40 ohms, maybe less. Yes they are efficient and sound good on an iPod, but they still need good amping to sound their best. They synergize very well with the Beta22, has nice warmth to it My DAC is the Zapfiltered AD1852 (based on Zhaolu), Zapfiltered CS4398 (based on Zhaolu), and a CD Player with a Burr Brown chip and LM4562 opamps. I've also heard these headphones on the Oritek Zhaolu and my Creative portable MP3 player. I've used various interconnects but with these headphones I prefer the cheap ratshack interconnects because the sound is more tonally balanced.

General Impressions:
Alright, everyone already wrote on their general impressions of the AD2000 so this will be brief. Mainly my review is a shootout between my other cans: my recabled Denon D2000s and the older bassier 120-ohm Sinnheiser HD595s. If you've ever heard the AKG K701s, the AD2000s remind me of those, except the AD2000s have more midbass, sharper transient attack, narrower more forward soundstage (compared to the K701, you can say this for just about any headphone). On my setup though, the soundstage is almost speaker-like. Like the K701s, these are airy open-sounding headphones with some emphasis on upper midrange, but now you've got more bass and a little more fullness.

The AD2000 is very detailed and revealing. With the Beta22 these headphones are ultra-revealing with an uncanny amount of micro-texture. The bass output is pretty decent actually, and does not clip when you boost the bass. It has more impact than the K701 though less than certain other headphones. However, the midbass does not sound full enough for me. Sometimes it does sound a bit thin due to this, so I will have to disagree with 003 that the bass/midbass is neutral. Every studio monitor I've heard has more body and I'm of the school of thought that a good studio monitor will play the music the way the recording engineer meant for it to be heard.

That said, the mids and highs of the AD2000s are superb, and I can't really ask for more. The midrange can be really sweet depending on the source and amp used. Cymbals have a nice sparkle.

AD2000 vs. Old-Stock 120ohm Sennheiser HD595:
This was a surprise for me. These two headphones sound extremely similar. At first I had trouble telling the difference, but after some listening with the Beta22 the difference was noticed immediately. The AD2000 has greater treble extension (as well as more treble overall) with more sparkle, and slightly deeper bass. The HD595 does have a slightly wider soundstage, but the AD2000 is more spacious and airy. AD2000 also has sharper transients and every note has sharper edges and sounds more impactful overall. It can sound a little edgy with bad recordings, but I think this is a sign of technical prowess. The AD2000 has slightly more microdetails than the HD595, but the resolution seems to be the same (except treble, where the AD2000 wins). The HD595 has a slightly rounded sound which can be very pleasing to listen to, but under careful listening there is a hint of graniness. Overall, two quite similar headphones. I have trouble telling them apart with most amps, and only with the Beta22 are the differences between these two headphones obvious. The HD595 did surprisingly well for a $120 headphone.

AD2000 vs. Denon D2000:
This turned out to be another comparison of similar headphones, although the D2000 is not as similar to the AD2000 as the HD595 is. First thing I noticed is that the Denons have much more bass, deeper bass, stronger bass, more textured bass, and more bass impact. Actually the AD2000s also had good impact but there is even more impact on the D2000. The D2000s are more full-bodied with more emphasis on the lower midrange, such that male vocals sound deeper and reverberate more. On the other hand, the AD2000s have more upper midrange. The AD2000 has slightly more treble extension, and the treble details are more prominent. The AD2000s seem to have slightly more upper midrange than is neutral, while the Denons seem to have slightly less upper midrange than neutral. This is evident for female vocals: on the AD2000s they are high-pitched while on the D2000s they are deeper-sounding and more throaty but still recognizable as female. As far as vocals are concerned, the difference is not big but I prefer male vocals on the D2000 and female vocals on the AD2000. The D2000s have much more weight to the sound, while the AD2000s are airy and open sounding. After all, the D2000s are closed headphones while the AD2000s are open headphones. Curiously, with the cups removed on the D2000s, it sounds very alike to the AD2000. Both these headphones have fast and sharp transient attack, so there is plenty of micro-detail and both are equally edgy on bad recordings and certain intruments that are supposed to sound edgy. The AD2000s appear more detailed overall due to a more prominent treble but I didn't notice any difference in actual resolution. They both have plenty of space between notes so there is no congestion. During a snare drum passage, both headphones have resolution good enough to hear the reverberation of the drum note from the walls just following the actual note by only a few milliseconds. The AD2000 do sound more crisp and have better treble extension, but it is pretty minor since there is really not a lot to complain about on the D2000's treble performance. Regarding soundstage, both headphones are pretty average in terms of width and size, but the D2000's vocals sound more forward (closer to your ears). Soundstage is also very source and amp dependant, so it is difficult to evaluate.

Amping Revisited:
Unlike in the AD2000 vs HD595 comparison where the better the amp the greater the difference between them, with the Denons I get the opposite effect. They sound very different with my mid-end amps but become similar-sounding on the Beta22. With a mid-end amp, the Denons have too much bass, and the bass is loose and one-note. The AD2000s, on the other hand, have tighter bass on the mid-end amp though less in quantity than the D2000. With the Beta22, the Denons has less bass quantity than on the mid-end amps but is suddenly much much tighter and textured, and the tables turn. The AD2000's bass does deepen on the Beta22 but overall there is less improvement with good amplification relative to the D2000. Warmth and soundstage do improve, though, so a better amp is worth it even with these efficient AD2000s. Why do the Denons have overpowering but bloated bass on mid-fi amps but tight, neutral bass on a high-end amp? It is because it is a closed headphone, which requires better control over the drivers (it has multiple resonances in the impedance curve for the bass region). This means low output impedance. The Beta22's 0.01ohm output impedance seems to have an iron death grip on these Denons.

Conclusion:
It's a 3-way tie!!! HD595 for smoothness, D2000 for body, AD2000 for detail.

Objective Measurements:
Here is my measurement of the unsmoothed frequency response of each of the three headphones, taken AFTER I wrote my subjective impressions so as to not influence them. I used a calibrated condensor microphone specfically designed to measure transducers. I used the nearfield measurement technique, so you can directly compare these results to speaker measurements below 3000Hz, that's when HTRF (head-related transfer function) rears its ugly head. Yes the way I did these measurements make them a nice guide for EQing.

Ignore all frequencies above 4000Hz for the HD595 and 2000Hz for the AD2000 and D2000. Why? Because the higher frequency waves require space/distance to establish themselves, and I measured close to the drivers so that only waves below a certain frequency have been established. The actual response of these headphones above this frequency is much smoother than these graphs indicate, but is difficult to measure so unfortunately we'll never know how the treble response is like except by listening with our ears. The D2000 and AD2000 use 40mm drivers while the HD595 uses smaller 25mm drivers, that is what I used to calculate the cutoff frequencies of 2000Hz and 4000Hz, respectively. Overall, the measurements agree very closely with my subjective impressions.

AD2000:


HD595:


D2000:
I measured with cups removed as "Open Denons" since closed headphones require a load (such as your head). Open Denons have a different bass response from Closed Denons, but above 80Hz should be identical.


I AM THE LAST REVIEWER. NOW EVERYONE CAN POST HERE!
post #8 of 33

AD2000 Impressions

AD2000 Impressions

Actually I was the person before Cotdt to have the AD 2000. I've been remiss in getting my impressions in, but I'll do that now. I just scanned to see who has posted, but I've refrained from reading the reviews so mine is a fresh take.

Caveat #1 Back in February, I had a reactivation of an old hearing injury. While I still think I have relatively “good” hearing, it has left me sensitive to volume levels and especially to the quality of brightness.

Caveat #2 Since late April of this year, my primary headphone has been the Ultrasone Edition 9 (often in balanced mode) and my secondary headphone is the balanced Senn 650. Both these headphones can be used in single-ended mode, which is what I did for all comparisons here. My point is that the Edition 9 in either SE or balanced mode and the Senn 650, in balanced mode only is in what I consider to be the top tier of headphones.
So I have become accustomed to very high quality headphones. I tried to keep this factor out of the equation, but found that I couldn’t. In general I find that the top tier headphones share certain common characteristics such as greater clarity, detail, smoothness (a finer “grain” across the sound spectrum), integration of sound and balance. I don’t experience the same degree of these qualities in the good second tier headphones. So in many ways this is a comparison of excellent top tier headphones against a very good top of the second tier headphones. (As an aside, I don’t mean to present the Edition 9 as the end all, be all headphone. I could compare the R-10 (which I’ve heard but don’t own) to the Edition 9 and probably come up with a lot of Edition 9 deficiencies in comparison. Some of that is going on here, it’s just that the AD2000 is the one falling short in comparison.)

My equipment used was the Singlepower Extreme Platinum tube amp as well as the SS RudiStor NX-33 (in single-ended mode only). As sources I used the Oppo 970HD SACD/CD player (mainly SACDs used) and my Rega P5 with Benz H2 cartridge for vinyl.

I am going to give my overall assessment of the AD2000 first. As I said above, overall it is in what I would consider to be the top of the second tier of headphones that I have heard. It would be a worthy pick out of the other headphones I put in that class notably the single-ended versions of the Senn 650, Senn 600, AKG-701, Ultrasone 750/2500, and the standard Beyer 880/990 (can’t recall if I’ve hear one or both of these and which one). And here is where I might get some flack but I include the Grado RS-2, RS-1 and maybe the GS1000 in this group. The RS-1 would certainly be in to upper end of the group and I haven’t made up my mind on the GS-1000 (if it makes it into the lower rung of the top tier). I haven’t heard the new Denons D2000 and D5000 but I suspect they belong in the second tier as well.

I’ll say just a bit about fit and finish. The look of the AD2000 while not flashy at all appears to be of a quality well-constructed headphone. It’s neither ugly nor overly stylish. But if it was or wasn’t, this makes very little difference to me. On first putting on the AD2000 I liked the fit with its very large ear cups. The Edition 9 ear cups are just a little smaller than I would ideally like so I am particularly aware of this quality. But I found over time that the ear cups were too big and bothered me some on “extended” listening (about 45 min-1hr was the max for me). This may be peculiar to my head, but I found that the lower edge of the ear cups came across my jaw joint in such as was as to slightly irritate my jaw. The good news is due to their unique suspension, there was virtually no pressure at the top of my head from the headband.

First I want to talk about the midrange, which I found to be the best quality of the AD2000. I’m not quite sure how to describe it, but at times the mid-range could be almost magical. On the right songs that especially focus on the mid-range of sound, male vocalists or a female vocalist with a somewhat “deeper” female voice. Mary-Chapin Carpenter, one of my favorites, and Norah Jones on some of her quieter numbers come to mind, as opposed to Joni Mitchell or Joan Baez higher female type voices. But on Joni Mitchell’s Blue, A Case of You (one of my favorite songs), the presentation is almost perfect. A perfect male vocalist and one I used a lot for the detailed comparison between the AD2000, Senn 650, and Edition 9 was the SACD of Elton John, Tumbleweed Connection. I didn’t manage to dig it out, but I suspect that acoustic music, like acoustic guitar, does well on the AD2000. As long as the song emphasized the midrange and was fairly simple (not a lot of complexity of many layers of sound) the mid-range was very transparent, integrated, and flowing. There was a quality to the sound that was “golden” for the lack of a better word. The mid-range was very lively and musical. The sound was on the lean side, but never seemed cold. On the right type of “simple” music a type of fullness would be present in the sense that the music stretched across a very wide soundstage without ever losing it’s togetherness. In the mid-range, with the right music, the AD2000 could rival the Edition 9s and that is no small feat in my book. So a perfect song for this mid-range presentation was Norah Jones Come Away With Me, Shoot the Moon.

If the mid-range is the greatest strength of the AD2000, then the greatest weakness for me (see Caveat #1) was the brightness. These are very bright headphones. The Edition 9s live on the bright side of the street, but the AD2000 was much brighter IME. This colored everything for the AD2000 for me. Often the brightness became mildly irritating within a few minutes of listening. I would notice it with both ears, so it’s not just an issue with the hearing damage. I don’t want to overplay the issue with my right ear, but it is there. If I listen at too loud a volume or its too bright, I’ll get a slight fullness in that ear, often times the next day. This makes me judicious with volume levels, but I can still rock it a bit. But it’s not like I can’t listen to high or bright sounds at all, it’s just that I’ll have the mild symptoms the next day in the right ear if I overexpose. Because I felt obligated as part of this review process, I sometimes made myself “take one for the team.” But I couldn’t go longer than 45min-to 1 hour before the AD2000 would fatigue my hearing. Now if whoever is reading this has a much greater tolerance to bright sounds, then this could really be a great headphone for you.

There is another quality to the sound presentation that ties into the brightness, but it’s different. I call this “high” where the music presentation shifts to overemphasize the highs. So sometimes the music could be rendered a little “peaky.” I’ll give an example. I am listening to Joni Mitchell’s Blue. This beautiful mid-range sound is happening, but then Joni hits a high note and it’s too loud. So I have to turn the volume down (losing the full fidelity of that wonderful midrange) so that I don’t peak out on the highs. I consistently found this frustrating—cause that mid-range is so nice. Another example of this quality was Norah Jones piano on much of Come Away With Me.

There is another characteristic of the AD2000 that had very pervasive effect for me. As soon as the music got complex in some way, with multi-tracked music, often only back up singers coming in, and especially rock, the clarity of the mid-range and highs and separation sound became much less distinct. Maybe because of the clarity otherwise, this smearing of the sound was especially noticeable. I think that this same type of smearing could be heard on the Senn 650 and more so on the Senn 580/600, but as the sound presentation is generally smoother, more laid back, and a bit rolled off in the highs this quality, while present, seems less obvious. Good examples of this could be heard on Tumbleweed Connection. On Country Comforts, when the background vocals (maybe Elton John’s voice just multi-tracked) kick in the sound smears. But a similar song without backing vocals, Where To Now St Peter, and everything is fine. The ability to present these types of passages while maintaining clarity and separation is one of the characteristics of the top tier headphones and the Edition 9s in particular.

As for the bass, there seems to be less emphasis on it due to the shift towards the highs. But I give it the benefit of the doubt as does my system in this area. My system is forgiving if something has less bass, because especially the Extreme Platinum has well, extreme slam on bass. And the RudiStor has always seemed pretty good in this area too. So I think on amps with lesser bass a lack of bass might become apparent, but I was OK with it. And I was forgiving as I know the Senn 650 is noted for having a lot of bass (some think to a fault) and the Edition 9 (now that it is burned in ) may have the best bass of any headphone I’ve ever heard. (A rematch of the burned in Edition 9s and the L-3000 will determine who is the real bass king). So on my system I rate the AD2000 as having adequate bass, being neither killer nor anemic, but nowhere the kind of bass of the Senn 650 or the Edition 9s.

The soundstage could be quite large, especially with more “simple” music. And the separation and clarity, combined with a lively and forward presentation added to that wonderful mid-range. In width of soundstage on the right music, the AD2000 bested the Edition 9 a headphone with a very wide soundstage. (again, especially the Extreme helps this soundstaging.) But there was a dramatic shift in the soundstage, with it contracting significantly into a tight soundstage on more complex music. An example of both soundstages could be found on the album Aqualung, with the faster rockers demonstrating the smaller soundstage. (Aqualung was sitting on a much narrower park bench with the AD2000s than what I am used to with the Edition 9s. )

The presentation, especially of vocals, is very forward. Sometimes the lead singer could be a little too close for comfort. An example of this was the “behind the eyes” vocals on the DVD-A of the Beatles Love, All You Need Is Love.

With the brightness, the “high” characteristic, and the tendency to muddy complex music, I found that my music choices became very limited with the AD2000 if I wanted to listen with the kind of clarity that I am accustomed to. So if I owned these headphones, they couldn’t be my all around headphone, but could be used for specific genres of music only.

In general my experience was that vinyl was a better medium than CD or SACDs as the vinyl mellowed out the brightness and tendency to emphasize the highs. Joni Mitchell still had the peaky quality, but the fatiguing quality was better. Also I think that the brightness and peakiness makes them not as suited to piano music, but better for guitar music. These are not rock’n roll headphones on several accounts IMO (collapsing soundstage, muddy on complex layered sound, and not enough bass). Male ballads are good on these with all else being right, but I’m not sure that includes Michael Bolin types (don’t know for sure as I own no Michael Bolin). I did try them on classical with interesting effect. On vinyl of Brandenburg Concerto, first couple of movements, the violins were emphasized very noticeably and the cellos under presented. It was great for focusing on the violins, and very enjoyable as a variation. But the rest of the orchestra sounded very thin with not much bottom end being represented. Interestingly the Edition 9s had too much bottom end and this took away from the focus on the violins (which were there). And I felt that the Senn 650 got the balance just right. Now I don’t own a quality EQ, but if I did I’d dial down the highs, and maybe bring up the lower end a little and see if this helped in opening up the music choices.

Please remember in reading this that my reference has become two very good top tier headphones, and this makes it hard for me to get away from flaws that are there as well as details and qualities that are missing. Funny, but only in writing this up did I realize that I’d heard something along the lines of the Audio Technica AD2000 before, and that is the Audio Technica L-3000. Well the L-3000 is one of those top tier headphones that I liked a lot. And much of the faults of the AD2000 are remedied in the L-3000.

I want to thank ASR for creating this loaner program, and for allowing me to participate in it.. The AD2000 have been headphones that I nearly bought, unheard, at one point. I am grateful that I got a chance to hear them for an extended time period. It took a lot of trust and generosity on his part to send his approx. $500 headphones off to a group of strangers all around the country. And I want to complement us Head-fiers as when they got to me, 2nd to last person, they were in great shape. And I trust that they have made it back to ASR safely.

Cool, now I get to go read what everyone else had to say!
post #9 of 33
Many thanks to ASR and to all the reviewers who participated here to make this an excellent review thread. This is the definitive source of information for the AD-2000 and was of great help to get an impression of their sound for my purchase. So far, I'm enjoying them a great deal.

cotdt, I have the 50 ohm 595 and to me they sound very different to the AD2000. This leaves me thinking that the 120 ohm and 50 ohm versions must be quite different in sound.
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbonner1 View Post
I wish more vendors would publish this spec so more users could match their headphones properly to the amp, particularly tube amps.

cotdt:Have you considered a headphone coupling device to measure closed headphones or IEM's? Have you used the SIA SMAART tools?
Thanks! Yeah amp makers should publish their specs, like output impedance and slew rate. These two specs have a huge influence on synergy. I've not used SIA SMAART but my tools do something similar. A headphone coupling device would be a good idea, but then others wouldn't be able to reproduce my results without using the same coupling device.

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmind View Post
cotdt, I have the 50 ohm 595 and to me they sound very different to the AD2000. This leaves me thinking that the 120 ohm and 50 ohm versions must be quite different in sound.
they sound very different, it's a different design altogether.
post #11 of 33
Quote:
and slew rate
The high end speaker amp manufacturers used to publish this spec all the time in the 70's and 80's.

I cannot understand why the solid state headphone headphone amp manufacturers do not publish this spec. It would most certainly show the technical advantage of solid state over most tube amps.
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbonner1 View Post
The high end speaker amp manufacturers used to publish this spec all the time in the 70's and 80's.

I cannot understand why the solid state headphone headphone amp manufacturers do not publish this spec. It would most certainly show the technical advantage of solid state over most tube amps.
me too, i wish they published these things. also the transient intermodulation distortion measurement would be useful, but only the larger companies would be able to measure it. instead they get away with publishing useless specs like harmonic distortion which has almost no impact on the sound until >3%.

actually, in the realm of headphone amps, it's the tube amps that have greater slew rate. i think the typical number is around 150 V/us depending on the design.

Edit: nevermind, the more basic tube amps seems to have around 20 V/us slew rate but it is still higher than most SS headphone amps.
post #13 of 33
has anyone recabled these? I talked to alex at apuresound and he says he's recabled 3 pairs to date.
post #14 of 33
i recabled my AD2000 to balanced, the stock cable even though it is 4 wires actually shares its ground wires so it cannot be balanced. i prefer thr AD2K almost across the board to my balanced HD650, but i have modified the fit on the AD2000 to clamp even harder and more parallell to the head, the bass deepens significantly and the mids thicken very slightly with seemingly no sacrifice to the highs. from what i experienced(as well as the W5000) the top section of the pads was putting less pressure on my head than the bottom, this created an open cavity near the headband that lets the low frequency energy escape, by adjusting the cups to provide equal clamping pressure it closes the gap and locks in the air pressure, thus the lowend comes to lfe. like the SQ improvement of a total seal on an IEM(shure yellow foamies).

the next meet i can make i will bring them and hopefully the changes will be obvious.
post #15 of 33
Since this is like the history of these headphones from member to member I feel that I should post here as well. These headphones went to me last before they are to return back to Asr. Pictures speak louder then words...





More pictures HERE

Thanks,
Alex
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