Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Source for ATH-W2002! (if you are interested)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Source for ATH-W2002! (if you are interested)

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
I heard back from my pal in Singapore, Vincent Chan. He works for audio-technica there, and was wonderful to work with in getting my W2002's. During my purchase he replied promptly to questions, didnt say things he couldnt deliver on, and always followed through. Great guy. He said he would be happy to hear from others who are interested in the W2002. His email address is here (tell him Mark in Santa Fe referred you, please)

vin@audio-technica.com.sg

In my case I sent a bank wire directly to audio-technicas account in Singapore, prior to shipping. Vincent can handle himself, but I'm sure he's not prepared to deal with international COD's and things of that nature; its not a retail store, its just a helpful guy who works for A/T and is willing to assist. Heres what he assisted me with:



Now a couple of you expressed an interest in these headphones, and you'd be buying them blind (deaf?) just like I did, except you have my admittedly non-professional descriptions of the sound quality to go by. On the website I made for the W2002 (see link at the very bottom of my posts) I have a few more pictures and other relevant things, but as of yet there is no extensive review of their sound.

I will try to post something more detailed in the days ahead now that I know Vincent is pleased to help others too, if they are interested in getting this headphone. But I can say right now that the ATH-W2002 is an extremely high quality headphone in every respect. And I do mean every respect! Its expensive, theres no doubt about that, but I feel I got everything I paid for, with more added. I've owned the K1000 and the CD3000, and I currently also have the Grado 325 and the Sony F1. But I would be happy to have none of them and keep the W2002. Like I said in my little first impression review: I would never suggest someone go out and spend $200 on the Sony F1 as a first choice headphone; there are many other headphones that would come before them as a sensible choice for the money. But on the other hand, I would feel comfortable in recommending the W2002's, even though they are roughly 4x the price. The sound is fantastic, of course, but lets be honest here- these headphones are also a work of real craftsmanship and thats also part of what you'd be paying for.

I dont promise that anyone who forked over the bread would be as happy as me with the W2002, but what can I say.. I have bought thousands of dollars of audio gear and thousands of dollars of other misc objects and consumer products. A few of them gnaw at me as being unwise expenses. A few are in the '6-of-one, half-dozen-of-the-other' catagory. And a few are prized possesions. The W2002 is a prized possesion.
post #2 of 55
Thanks for coming through Mark. I just emailed Vincent.
post #3 of 55
Thread Starter 
johnnylexus, for what this may be worth to you:
as good as the W2002 sounds 'as is' I am convinced now (since getting them and listening to them a lot) that music sounds more natural and out of the head if a headphone EQ is applied along the lines of what John Sunier suggests. In fact I think this is because the W2002's are so revealing and have such potential; most studio rock recordings sound like you're trying to listen to a floor speaker designed recording through a headphone. Which is exactly what is going on.

But to be fair, I have some binaural stuff, and it sounds much better without any EQ added. Probably because binaural is meant exclusively for headphones. And its pretty easy to tell what sounds better when listening to nature sounds recorded binaurally because it sounds, well, more natural.

With rock music and the recommended headphone EQ added I find it pretty easy to mentally project most of the sound field out of my head, with the exception sounds panned hard right or hard left. Tonight I had a couple of spooky or goosebump moments because the song seemed so out there instead of inbetween my ears, and that was pretty cool.

Anyway, keep me informed on what you decide to do! And if you ever have a specific W2002 thing you want to know about just ask.
post #4 of 55
those are very sexy....how much should i expect to pay for such headphones?
post #5 of 55
Thread Starter 
Tim the list price is 100,000 yen. What you pay depends on where you get them, and is also usually influenced by what other places are asking for the same thing. In fairness to Vincent thats about as specific as I want to get. Shipping by UPS only comes in one flavor when dealing with Singapore and its costs roughly $65, but on the positive side, if it ships on Monday you have it on Wednesday. There werent any duty charges.

I'm not sure what the exchange rate is at the moment but 100,000 yen is about $775, give or take a few global economies crashing overnight. Your milage may vary.
post #6 of 55
Mark:

I'm not sure what you mean by "EQ that John Sunier" suggests. Is this something you discussed in another thread?
post #7 of 55
M Rael,
is your concern with your Audio Technicas primarily this soundstage issue? That they - although very good - still show the imaging limitations of headphones?

What I would like to know is, whether their tonal balance is different when compared to other phones you have used. I am always looking for something that is warmer, with more body, weight and bass extension than what most of the other headphones are able to convey. From what you have said, I know that the W 2002 is very capable when it comes to bass reproduction, it's very extended and impactful. But how would you call their treble response? Is it as smooth and non-fatiguing as I would hope? Has the W 2002 a warmer tonal balance than - say - the CD 3000? Has their reproduction of detail ever been too much of a good thing for you? Or are they just lush, musical and glorious? Is their midrange just as seductive as their looks? Am I falling in love with an inanimate object? Do I need psychotherapy?
post #8 of 55
Thread Starter 
johnnylexus, read this article for details:
http://headwize.com/articles/sunier1_art.htm
post #9 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Tomcat
M Rael,
is your concern with your Audio Technicas primarily this soundstage issue? That they - although very good - still show the imaging limitations of headphones?

By definition, all headphones have imaging limitations compared to floor speakers (binaural is the only exception, and its worth repeating that floor speakers cant do binaural properly.) But equally bothersome are the tonal differences you experience by having full range drivers less than an inch from your ear as opposed to across the room, given the fact that music is not mixed in the studio for speakers sitting on the ear.

What I would like to know is, whether their tonal balance is different when compared to other phones you have used. I am always looking for something that is warmer, with more body, weight and bass extension than what most of the other headphones are able to convey.

I understand. But after owning many headphones I feel strongly against using them as tone controls. A headphone should be able to accurately reproduce the full range of frequencies without adding 'flavoring'. In my opinion, any frequency corrections required because of the peculiarities of headphone listening should be done as part of stand alone hardware- and not by the headphones themselves. So you put the W2002 on your head for the first time and you hear what? Well before anything else, what you hear is music devoid of crosstalk and music with the frequencies mixed for different playback hardware. Thats what you should hear first because thats whats there. With a small EQ change, I now hear music that lingers in an area around my head or even slightly outside my head, at least a good part of the time. And too, the W2002 is totally modern and up to date technology wise. This is a brand new design using all the very latest research and testing audio-technica had available. That was the goal; after all this is the 40th anniversary, flagship model for them.

From what you have said, I know that the W 2002 is very capable when it comes to bass reproduction, it's very extended and impactful. But how would you call their treble response? Is it as smooth and non-fatiguing as I would hope? Has the W 2002 a warmer tonal balance than - say - the CD 3000?

Before buying the W2002, I posted that if it sounded as good as the CD3000 I would be happy. I knew I was paying for the added craftsmanship and exclusiveness of the audio-technica. I got what I wanted. But comparing the sound of the two? To be honest, I am trying to deal with the limits of headphone playback using EQ, and hopefully soon I will have some digital processing hardware to add also. I'm not the person to ask about 'naked' headphone sound. Except when listening to binaural.. I listen to binaural without any EQ or processing. The W2002 has a really great way of portraying space.. I mention this in my initial impression review as 'not knowing what I didnt know' meaning: I thought the other headphones I had were decent until I finally heard the W2002. The sense of space, soundstage, and clairity they throw (without any EQ added) made me change some old opinions. They are better, to my ears, than what I owned before.

Has their reproduction of detail ever been too much of a good thing for you? Or are they just lush, musical and glorious?

I'm content. The ability of the W2002 to fetch low level detail is outstanding (keeping in mind that detail is in some ways related to frequency response curves.) On the Led Zeppelin song 'The Ocean' theres a telephone that rings two times in the studio during the song. Its usually nearly inaudible. With the W2002 the rings, especially the first one, actually has a body.. a kind of weight.. all its own. Amazing.

Is their midrange just as seductive as their looks? Am I falling in love with an inanimate object? Do I need psychotherapy?

Yes. Yes. No.
- would these headphones lie to you??
post #10 of 55
Oh, M Rael,

if you would only refrain from posting all these pornographic images...

Thanks for your answers! Do you remeber what solomon had said about his W100s in June:

"The type of sound W100 produces is very different than the exciting and forward sound of GRADO, and is also different than the more analytic sound of AKG or Beyer. It is very "oriental" in a sense. Hard to depict, but kind of yin and yang thing. I mean, if GRADO typically represents yang, the active and positive aspect of things, then W100 is the yin, subtle and introvert, with beauty hidden deeply inside.
The bass is very rich and deep, though not the cleanest, and doesn't have the GRADO type of slam. The entire midrange is soft and mellow, and the high end is incredibly beautiful. It is very forgiving of bad recordings. The best way to appreciate its beauty is to find youself lying in an armchair, completely relaxed and let the flow of music massage your body, from head to toe. It soothes your soul and body. It is that magical."

solomon's review sounds as if the W 100 portrayed music in a relatively romanticized, but ultimately extremely captivating manner. Do you feel this applies to the W 2002 as well? Is it easier to forget about the fact that you are listening to a headphone than with your previous phones? Is it easier to focus just on the music and to forget about the sound? Would you say you enjoyed music more with it? This is what I would be looking for in a headphone. So, forgive my insistence, but I would have to order this thing sound unheard, obviously.

And have some mercy, man, don't post any more pictures of it!
post #11 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Tomcat
solomon's review sounds as if the W 100 portrayed music in a relatively romanticized, but ultimately extremely captivating manner. Do you feel this applies to the W 2002 as well?
I'm starting to feel that my audio vocabulary is simply inadequate. I read solomons review with interest, but know that the W2002 has that DADS bass enhancing feature, and its the only a/t headphone that has it. But ok, I just did a comparison the the W2002 to the Grado 325, so I hope that might help a little here. I did not use any hardware EQ at all for this:

The Grado has a heavy handed upper bass and lower midrange with too much energy there. Also the treble seems rolled off past a certain point, though up to that point it seems pretty well represented. The 325 is easy to listen to on rock because of the upper bass hump and the detailed though not highly extended treble. Its like putting on an old shoe, so to speak. Its hard to imagine being sonically assulted by the 325, but at the same time it sounds like a great rock and roll headphone by design, but rather one dimensional in an ultimate sense. The bass of the 325 is colored by the excess warmth at about 60hz, which then shades or slightly masks sounds above and beneath it. Kickdrums usually show up as energy at about 40-50hz (sometimes a bit lower) and the 325 has adequate energy there, though its a little bit fuzzy sounding.
The ATH-W2002 appears to have more energy in the mid to upper treble than the 325, but not in a way thats in any way bright sounding. Its more a feeling like a light layer of dust was blown off the impression the 325's gave at that frequency range. It gives a cleaner feeling of whats going on musically, though on some treble transients you would register more bite, depending on the recording. It has a dynamic and non veiled presentation, quite unlike the 'old shoe' feeling of the 325. The bass of the W2002 goes lower than the 325, but it requires hearing around the 325's low midrange hump to appreciate it. Initially the 325 sounds lush in the lower midrange but in fact its just excess warmth. Initially the W2002 sounds less lush, in comparison, but thats replaced by a clearer reading of whats happening at 40-60hz than the 325 allows for. The W2002 sounds flat and unbiased, and it goes deeper.
I would say the 325 has a more EQ'd sound to it; while the W2002 sounds more neutral, and more extended.

Is it easier to forget about the fact that you are listening to a headphone than with your previous phones? Is it easier to focus just on the music and to forget about the sound? Would you say you enjoyed music more with it?

Listening to the W2002 flat is quite a pleasure despite all the raving I've done about correcting EQ for headphone listening. I wouldnt describe the sound of the W2002 as romantic.. its not the single-ended triode tube amp of the headphone world. Its marketed as an ideal SACD headphone which doesnt surprise me due to its extended and non colored frequency range. I guess I'd say the W2002 is perfect for me because I'm looking forward to technological advances in electronic processing of 'floor speaker stereo' so it sounds more dimensional through headphones. For that, and for binaural, you want a precise headphone to start with. You dont want a headphone with its own ideas about how things should sound. The Grado 325 fits like an old shoe, but it also was made to sound like that on purpose. I'm not surprised that Alessandro plays around with the basic Grado and makes his own sound out of it. Obviously theres a lot of wiggle room in the Grado sound.

This is what I would be looking for in a headphone. So, forgive my insistence, but I would have to order this thing sound unheard, obviously.

Bottom line for me is: if the headphone is easily able to reproduce frequency extremes and is basically flat sounding, then you have the ideal platform to work from if you venture into binaural or the future digital world of virtual sound hardware. I can more easily make my W2002 sound like the 325 with external EQ than the 325 can be made to sound like the W2002. The frequency response of the W2002 has more headroom to work with. But I'm not going to tell you the W2002 makes everything sound like a perfect summer day, because it doesnt. Without EQ added it certainly sounds honest and true to the music, but in many cases being true to the music means listening to wild mixing board settings chosen in the studio because they figured it would sound hot over car radios or boom boxes.

In the end, what? What can I tell you.. dont buy it! Its a hell of a lot of money for something you cant audition first. Besides, I just finished a big faux-painting job and wanted to reward myself with something and I picked the W2002. Unless you have happy-cash lying around I dont know. I think you're as romantic in this headphone quest as the perfect sounding cans you are looking for! I wouldnt say the W2002 imparts a rose colored tint to anything, so forget that part. They are about as romantic as a beautiful chick all by herself in a mens magazine; not without strong and specific potential, but dont bother buying flowers for her. Its not that kind of romance.



p.s. you started it!


post #12 of 55
WOW ..... I can't wait to hear Tomcat's response to that one!
post #13 of 55
Hehe... M Rael, I don't think your audio vocabulary is at all inadequate after reading that last post. They're quite detailed, if not flowery... sounds like a solid-state-ish review, as opposed to the tubey vocabulary of Tomcat.
post #14 of 55
That has been one detailed review, I guess our picture of the W2002 is definitely clearer now. Thanks for your effort, M Rael!

And I am afraid you are right: I am probably as romantic as the sound I am looking for. Not only do I like to buy her flowers, I absolutely insist. I am a fool. BTW, nakedness isn’t anywhere as erotic as a slight veil. We fall in love with the promise, not with its fulfilment.

And I guess dhwilkin is right too: I like tubey vocabulary. And I want as much of my music to sound as close to a perfect summer day as possible. All I am asking for is bliss. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

You are absolutely right about their price being a hell of a lot of money for something I can’t audition first. I guess I’ll just stay infatuated. For the moment. But there is a chance I might propose later. Oh, what sweet torture love can be…
post #15 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Tomcat
We fall in love with the promise, not with its fulfilment.
You're not getting off the hook that easy! As a matter of fact I think you need to be reminded of the 'labor of love.' An example of it is shown in the picture below:

This is a picture of a Japanese craftsperson who happens to be a master in lacquer work. His adult life was probably devoted to achieving near perfection in his work, and who knows.. every now and then- perfection itself. He is working, in this case, on a series of cherry wood headphone enclosures. He isnt in love with the enclosures themselves; but he applies the weight of his knowledge, and indeed his karma, into his work. He'll surely die as a past master of his craft. There will be no mid-life change of career for him. Its a labor of love. Its not as easy or as carefree as buying flowers for a dame.
Objects that have such personal labors of love attached to them are not the same as something careening down an assembly line. Stop and smell the roses. The beauty of nature is deeper than all oceans. Dont pick the roses.

And I guess dhwilkin is right too: I like tubey vocabulary. And I want as much of my music to sound as close to a perfect summer day as possible. All I am asking for is bliss. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Its not to much to ask from me, but then again I'm not in a position to give it to you. You can ask God, but dont expect a quick answer (apparently he's very busy all the time.) You can ask that broad you bought flowers for too, but who knows what she'll tell you.. it might not be a good time for that question.

You are absolutely right about their price being a hell of a lot of money for something I can’t audition first. I guess I’ll just stay infatuated. For the moment. But there is a chance I might propose later. Oh, what sweet torture love can be…

'hark!, what light through yon window bursts?'
And Juliet says, 'hey its Romeo!, you nearly gave me a heart attack' (..according to Mark Knopfler)




New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Source for ATH-W2002! (if you are interested)