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Audio Technica ATH- ES 10 Impressions Thread - Page 55

post #811 of 903

I think I've finally nailed it.

 

I have made my ES10 comparable to my W1000 in pretty much everything except for soundstage width.

 

And those who have listened to my modded W1000 knows it's no slouch.

 

The only downside is that the dampening mod would require a lot of precision, and also some fine-tuning (due to how precise it is), so I'm not sure how I can release it to the public now. And I get the feeling the stock ES10 ear cups would require a bit more tuning, since whatever I've done so far has been tuned specifically for the wood ear cups only.

post #812 of 903

Nice to see that the ES10 is finally getting some love here on head-fi. I've owned them for almost four and a half years now and never even once thought about selling them. I think that says allot.

 

It definitely needs an amp to shine IMO. But for people who want this great headphone to sound even better and open up even more, I would definitely recommend a cable upgrade. The ES10 has very large full sized headphone drivers that are paired with a very thin cable. This I believe leaves the driver not being able to perform to it's fullest potential. The original cable also has a little bit to much resistance. Upgrading this to a thicker lower resistance cable will definitely tighten everything up and widen the soundstage. You'll still have that great sounding bass but it is more airy and tighter which I like for this headphone. Definitely more detail and wider soundstage with details popping out from a sense of direction which makes it very enjoyable to listen to. The cable upgrade is a huge improvement for the ES10. You have some headphones that will benefit a little from cable upgrades and some that it has a huge effect on and almost makes it sound like you're listening to another headphone altogether. With the ES10 leaning towards the latter.

 

I personally used a cable intended for digital audio (AES/EBU) but came highly recommended as a good microphone cable. From what I understand microphone cables make excellent headphone cables as well. And having tried a couple of different mic cables I ended up with a pretty thick cable but it was the best sounding one IMO (I originally wanted a thinner cable).

 

Here are some pictures of the ES10 with the cable upgrade. I went with white shrink tubing and cable sock because I thought it looked really sexy on the ES10 with the titanium earcups :p.

 


Edited by zool - 5/20/14 at 8:04am
post #813 of 903
Anyone in the UK who can do such a cable upgrade ?
post #814 of 903

I highly recommend pairing the ES10 with the O2 amp. Allot of detail and the attack of the bass is very impressive. Very good instrumental separation as well and I'm only using a ipod touch as source, still sounds amazing. Highly recommended as the O2 is really cheap but sounds way above it's price range. Especially with ES10's.. Very good combo.


Edited by zool - 6/12/14 at 2:07pm
post #815 of 903
Quote:
Originally Posted by zool View Post
 

I highly recommend pairing the ES10 with the O2 amp. Allot of detail and the attack of the bass is very impressive. Very good instrumental separation as well and I'm only using a ipod touch as source, still sounds amazing. Highly recommended as the O2 is really cheap but sounds way above it's price range. Especially with ES10's.. Very good combo.


That used to be my combo when I first got my ES10:

Laptop > ODAC + O2 Combo >ES10

Was really an excellent combo and simple sounded wonderful.

 

But I just grew tired of it after a while, found it too dry and boring. The sound was fatiguing and I couldn't listen to it for long hours.

That was how I decided to sell away my O2 and ODAC and upgrade.

Eventually got the Continental v3 and recently, the DX90. I'm really enjoying the sound even more. I'm also now able to listen for long hours (8+ hours a day) without getting tired.


Edited by lbbef - 6/12/14 at 2:33pm
post #816 of 903

Well, I have not heard the ODAC yet so I can not comment on that combo. I have had allot of equipment through the years that has been a bit too analytical and neutral which I have grown bored of. As of now, I would not think that the ES10 and O2 are such a combination. I don't find it to be very fatiguing either, you get allot of detail and bass at low volumes so there is really no need to turn up the volume above comfort level. Maybe it was the ODAC that you didn't like? Did you try the O2 amp with another source?

 

IMO, the over all sound picture is very controlled but still exciting. I think the neutral quality and the exciting coloration of the ES10 compliment each other very well.


Edited by zool - 6/12/14 at 3:44pm
post #817 of 903
Quote:
Originally Posted by zool View Post
 

Nice to see that the ES10 is finally getting some love here on head-fi. I've owned them for almost four and a half years now and never even once thought about selling them. I think that says allot.

 

It definitely needs an amp to shine IMO. But for people who want this great headphone to sound even better and open up even more, I would definitely recommend a cable upgrade. The ES10 has very large full sized headphone drivers that are paired with a very thin cable. This I believe leaves the driver not being able to perform to it's fullest potential. The original cable also has a little bit to much resistance. Upgrading this to a thicker lower resistance cable will definitely tighten everything up and widen the soundstage. You'll still have that great sounding bass but it is more airy and tighter which I like for this headphone. Definitely more detail and wider soundstage with details popping out from a sense of direction which makes it very enjoyable to listen to. The cable upgrade is a huge improvement for the ES10. You have some headphones that will benefit a little from cable upgrades and some that it has a huge effect on and almost makes it sound like you're listening to another headphone altogether. With the ES10 leaning towards the latter.

 

I personally used a cable intended for digital audio (AES/EBU) but came highly recommended as a good microphone cable. From what I understand microphone cables make excellent headphone cables as well. And having tried a couple of different mic cables I ended up with a pretty thick cable but it was the best sounding one IMO (I originally wanted a thinner cable).

 

Here are some pictures of the ES10 with the cable upgrade. I went with white shrink tubing and cable sock because I thought it looked really sexy on the ES10 with the titanium earcups :p.

 

Do you have any pictures of the actual process of swapping the cable? My stock cable stopped working when I accidently stretched it with my leg when kneeling down and getting back up. I thought it would be a perfect time to upgrade the cable... Where did you get that cable and cable housing? Thank you!

post #818 of 903

Nope, sorry. I did not take any pictures of the actual work. But the ES10 is not a difficult headphone to open or work with. 

 

If you have no or little soldering experience I would not recommend you to start with the ES10. It could end up being very expensive for you :). The soldering points for headphones are normally on small PCB's which are connected to the driver. If you use too much heat and destroy the connection points on the PCB your headphone will be broken.

 

As for the replacement cable.. I would recommend a good quality microphone cable with 2 lead wires and double shielding that can be used as ground. There are many brands that are good... Belden, Gotham cable, Mogami to name a few.

 

Cable socks crimp tubing etc could be found at your local electronics dealer (Radioshack)? Cables and plugs too, maybe some music stores might have the cables as well.

Good luck. But be careful! :)

post #819 of 903
Quote:
Originally Posted by zool View Post
 

Nope, sorry. I did not take any pictures of the actual work. But the ES10 is not a difficult headphone to open or work with. 

 

If you have no or little soldering experience I would not recommend you to start with the ES10. It could end up being very expensive for you :). The soldering points for headphones are normally on small PCB's which are connected to the driver. If you use too much heat and destroy the connection points on the PCB your headphone will be broken.

 

As for the replacement cable.. I would recommend a good quality microphone cable with 2 lead wires and double shielding that can be used as ground. There are many brands that are good... Belden, Gotham cable, Mogami to name a few.

 

Cable socks crimp tubing etc could be found at your local electronics dealer (Radioshack)? Cables and plugs too, maybe some music stores might have the cables as well.

Good luck. But be careful! :)

Thank you! what gauge cable did you use and was it balanced or unbalanced? Is it OK to use my interconnect cables (I have some high end ones and even a pure silver one) or should I stick to microphone cables? 

post #820 of 903

Main thing is, you want a low resistance cable. The lower the better IMO. The ones I use are as low as 0.3 Ohm. You don't want a cable that is much more than 0.7-0.8. To me cables that measure above 1 Ohm generally start sounding a little muddy. I think the original ES10 cable was about 1 Ohm. And the Philips Fidelio X1 cable was almost 2 Ohm.. That's really bad for headphones.

 

If you can use IC's or not.. Sure, but it depends on how the cable is constructed. Generally IC's are built with one lead wire and one ground (or + and then - that is common with ground). You need at least 2 lead wires for headphone cable and either copper shielding that can be used as ground or 1-2 more lead wires for ground. Balanced IC's should have at least 3 different wires (+, - and gnd). The reason why microphone wires work well is that they are generally really good quality with low resistance and built with 2-3 lead wires with copper shielding... That works really well for headphones. Some people say that cat5e network wires works really good as headphone cable. In that case you will have to use at least 4 wires and braid them together (litz braid).

 

I would say lead (signal) wires should be some where around 26-24 AWG. But this is debatable and you should try the cable out and see if it sounds good rather than finding some specific thickness if you ask me. I ended up using a rather thick cable for my headphones but it was the best sounding one out of the ones I tried. The reason you don't want to use wires that are too thick is the headphones will be very uncomfortable to use with thick and stiff wires. Also I don't think you would gain much sound wise on a 2m long cable to headphone driver that is thicker than 24 AWG.

 

If you can find stranded OCC pure copper wires like this -> http://www.doublehelixcables.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4&products_id=147.. You could make a really nice headphone wire out of that. Or even silver could probably be really nice too although I don't have so much experience with silver cables. I once made a pair of silver IC's for a friend but I didn't compare them to my copper wires so I really can't comment what I thought about them. He really liked them though. Silver wires are normally pretty expensive compared to copper (which of course makes sense ;).

 

In the end. Do some google research on it. Have a couple of wires ready to try on you're headphones and see which one sounds the best to you. Personal experience is always better than some thing you read on the internet.

 

Hope this helps. Sorry if we got a bit off topic here.


Edited by zool - 6/16/14 at 7:21pm
post #821 of 903

Couple of words about metal music + ES10.
(Summary on impressions on metal for ~40 cans is here http://www.head-fi.org/t/715478/headphones-for-metal-music-ultimate-solution)

 

Audio-technica ATH-ES10
Bullies with a style. The mix of full-size headphone driver with a portable design leads to precisely this result. Cans are not too “balanced” - powerful bass (thanks to the driver), tasty mids (thanks to the driver again), not the most modest highs. Soundstage, alas, is small.

Headphones show their best on these metal subgenres:
Doom: In the middle weight class – one of the titans. ES10 easily let you to forget shortcomings (yes, it's not the most detailed cans, for example) and listen only to the merits (fat, stringy as toffee bass – “must have” for the Doom). Gestalt response of ES10 with Doom is impressive.
Black: Fast and provocative, a kind of small Denon D7000. Well, may be a bit darkish compared to 7000.
Heavy Metal: A simple device with a skillfully tilted balance, charged with drive and charisma is a way ahead of more flat but boring competitors.
Power: Despite the fact that bass is trying to overshadow mids, charisma of ES10 (or call it “colouring” if you dislike them) definitely puts the overall impression of music to the joyful and merry plane, greatly related to the Power.

Overall, probably the best for metal portable headphones of the middle level (that I had opportunity to listen to date). Can with cheerful character and charisma.

post #822 of 903

Anyone know where I can get the Lambskin ES10 Japan replacement earpads? Or any good replacement pad for the ES10 for that matter. Audiocubes doesn't seem to have them for some reason :(.

post #823 of 903

Here's a funny story about the ESW11LTD lambskin pads: I live in Tokyo, but was not able to find any of these pads in Tokyo. On a trip back to the USA I perused ebay and found some listed for sale, so I ordered them (yes, I paid too much, don't ask). I picked them up in my PO Box, only to find that they had been shipped to me from a hotel room…in Tokyo!

 

I just unboxed a new pair of ES10 (backups for a rainy day...my older ES10 with lambskins work great but I forgot to bring them to my office and needed them for some train time to/from the airport). It was great to hear brand new ES10, but again I could realize the difference between the lambskins and ES10 pads, and set about trying to find lambskins for the new ES10. I sent an e-mail to Audio-Technica the other day to inquire about replacement pads for the ESW11LTD, thus far I didn't receive any reply (the message was in English, so they might not respond).

post #824 of 903
I might be tempted to sell or trade my pads. Message me.
post #825 of 903

I was able to buy a pair online, think on ebay a while back, i'm surprised you can't find any esw11 ear pads online. They are a must for the ES10.

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