The driver tech has some interesting merits to say the least. For some reason, one that I cannot explain, the ESS Mark 1 somehow manages accurate phase; they actually sound like speakers in regards to imaging and soundstaging. No joke. This coupled with extremely good resolution, dynamics, and separation makes them very revealing of bad mastering, and the treble is the smoothest I've ever heard bar none, neither dynamics nor planars or even stats are even in the same tier as these for treble timbre.
That being said, it has some serious caveats as well. They do not seem to handle high SPLs well, as the louder you turn them the "closer" everything sounds, which can cause things to intersect each other and the speaker-soundstage illusion collapses. Additionally, the way the driver moves prevents it from moving air, at least in the same way as a dynamic or planar would, so it struggles with bass response. In stock form, the drivers are kept really close to the ear to mitigate this, but it doesn't really work and messes up the crazy soundstaging. The driver technically moves air from side to side, which needless to say causes some weird acoustics in both the cups and earpads; because of this I switched them to the most absorbent pads I had (HM5 velours) and used tons of damping on both sides. I also taped the earcups shut, to boost the bass response. The result is a very realistic sounding closed back, that is crazy clean and resolving.
I'll go into further detail later. Working on in-depth posts for each of these six beauties.
Edited by takato14 - 4/17/17 at 11:07am