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KOSS ESP-950 Thread - Page 12

post #166 of 1529
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilCox View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by dagothur View Post


But if I so desired, I could simply use my NFB as a pre-amp/DAC with it?  That was my original question.

 

You bet.  If the NFB has a line level DAC out, you're all set.
 

 

 

How would that setup look?  Source > USB Dac > Energizer unit >950? Its safe to assume any source can input to the energizer that comes with the 950?
 

 

post #167 of 1529


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by swbf2cheater View Post

 

How would that setup look?  Source > USB Dac > Energizer unit >950? Its safe to assume any source can input to the energizer that comes with the 950?
 

 

 

Exactly. The Koss energizer is the functional equivalent of a Stax SRM-323, only designed to accept the 950.

post #168 of 1529

Awesome, looks like I'll be upgrading my source sometime soon, maybe a Bifrost.  Not sure, but I'll have to stick with my Fiio e10 until I figure out what I want or what I can afford to replace it that is suitable for usage with the 950

post #169 of 1529
Thread Starter 

I think the amp that comes with the 950 is really quite decent.  I think I'd opt for DAC upgrades before I'd start thinking about trying to use the 950 with a Stax amp (unless I already had a Stax amp or an SRD7.)

 

Don't forget that to use the ESP-950's with a Stax amp you have to recable the ESP-950's with a Stax cable, and that cable is about $100.  So there's costs involved.

 

The Koss ESP-950  headphones have a rectangular 6-pin plug.  A Stax amp has a round 5-pin jack.  Electrostatic headphones are quite different than "regular" headphones and you can't just plug an electrostatic headphone into the 1/4" phono jack on a regular headphone amp or into the ~1/8 mini-jack of an iPod.

 

For INPUTS, the Koss amp has line-level input jacks just like a stereo receiver has. Any source that has a line-level output can be used with the Koss amp.  A CD player, a DAC, a phono preamp, a casette deck, an open real deck, an FM tuner....also a computer, an iPod, an Android cell phone, a DVD player, a mic mixer....etc etc

post #170 of 1529

The "cheapy" Koss amp sounds great. I'm a fan of this little plastic box.

For those on a budget, there is no real need to upgrade. It does everything well.

 

The ESP-950 driven with a KGSSHV is really a treat, especially down low. 

(click pic to enlarge)

 

kgsshv65.JPG

post #171 of 1529
Thread Starter 

Yes.

 

$0 spent on upgrading the stock amp = a pretty darn satisfying listening experience.

 

$MUCH spent on upgrading the amp = a pretty darn satisfying listening experience plus extra goodness.

 

The last 5~10-% of sonic improvement costs 75% of the money spent, as is always the case with the high end.

 

If you HAVE the money ready at hand, and you want to see just how much better you can make the sound- then spend the $1000 (or so)  to get that extra smallish increase in sound quality.

 

If you are on a more limited budget, don't sweat it with the ESP-950 and it's stock amp.  That setup is pretty darned satisfying right out of the box.  It certainly lets you enjoy 'the electrostatic experience.'  And, it doesn't sound 'entry level' at all.  DEFINITELY high end sound.  THE ABSOLUTE VERY BEST TOP OF THE LINE?  No.  (What is?)

 

Yes, you CAN improve on it some.  And many with the money will go that route.  I know I have got a Stax cable on my ESP-950's and have tried them with a bunch of amps.  But I have some dough for this kind of thing, and I did it out of curiosity, to experiment and maybe even to learn.  What I learned is that you get a pretty damned good stock amp from the folks at Koss, and yeah you can improve it in the bass a little with other amps, but that Koss amp is excellent value for money.

 

I would even go so far to say that if you can get an ESP-950 package for $500 (which is what a good used set should command) you have got the best bargain in electrostatic headphones right there.  Maybe even the best bargain in high-end headphones PERIOD, but that probably could be argued.

post #172 of 1529

I just posted this on the classifieds:

 

Long shot:  Anyone willing to let me borrow or buy an esp950 to stax (like o2mk1) cable?  I basically just want to try out the esp950 on my kgss!

post #173 of 1529
Thread Starter 

I think there was a guy who made some Koss female socket to Stax male plug dongles, and had a few for sale at one point.  My memory may be faulty, but I'll dig around and see if I can find the post I seem to remember seeing, you can IM them or something.

post #174 of 1529


As has been said, the E/90 is not an energizer/transformer (in the vein of say, the E/10) - it's a full amplifier just for the ESP/950 (in theory it could drive the STAX 'phones as well; I've read about them being driven on 620v bias voltage, and it's at 600v (their default is 580v) so I assume it would work). 

 

The E/90 doesn't need anything but a source - so whatever equates to "source" in your equipment will be fine (line-level, basically). It can accept RCA (and a common complaint I've seen is that the spacing is too narrow for cables to connect - I had no issues with mine though) and 1/8" TRS (there is no switch between them and I've never tried connecting both at once). I guess in theory you could set it's volume dials to 100% (or near it) and control the level with something upstream, never actually tried it though (it should work though).

 

milosz:

 

I remember that too, I think it was ALO, but their website has no mention of it. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dagothur View Post

Has anybody used these with the stock energizer and a regular solid state amp?  If so, how well does that work?  I'm thinking of getting these in the fall since my purchasing my NFB removed the funds for obtaining them this Spring, but I don't want to have to add the expense of a speaker amp.



 

post #175 of 1529

Wilcox already answered my question, but thank you anyways.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


As has been said, the E/90 is not an energizer/transformer (in the vein of say, the E/10) - it's a full amplifier just for the ESP/950 (in theory it could drive the STAX 'phones as well; I've read about them being driven on 620v bias voltage, and it's at 600v (their default is 580v) so I assume it would work). 

 

The E/90 doesn't need anything but a source - so whatever equates to "source" in your equipment will be fine (line-level, basically). It can accept RCA (and a common complaint I've seen is that the spacing is too narrow for cables to connect - I had no issues with mine though) and 1/8" TRS (there is no switch between them and I've never tried connecting both at once). I guess in theory you could set it's volume dials to 100% (or near it) and control the level with something upstream, never actually tried it though (it should work though).

 

milosz:

 

I remember that too, I think it was ALO, but their website has no mention of it. 



 



 

post #176 of 1529

I am guessing this happens a lot, once this foam has rotted out do you guys just remove it completely?

 

IMG_20120406_125508.jpg

post #177 of 1529

Koss has a lifetime no-questions-asked warranty, so you can probably just get it sent in.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Sneis View Post

I am guessing this happens a lot, once this foam has rotted out do you guys just remove it completely?

-snip-



 

post #178 of 1529


On the ESP/10 when the foam rotted, I did remove it. But as was mentioned, I would probably send them in and have them repaired, as removing the foam did change the sound (And has changed the sound on every other headphone I've done it on).

 

Never heard of foam rot on the ESP/950 actually. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Sneis View Post

I am guessing this happens a lot, once this foam has rotted out do you guys just remove it completely?

 

IMG_20120406_125508.jpg



 

post #179 of 1529
Thread Starter 

ESP-950  with Stax SRM-T1  vs  Stax SRD7 A/B, for what it's worth.

 

This is maybe an odd A/B comparison to do, Koss ESP-950 with some Stax driver stuff, but it's what's on my audio shelf at the moment so....

 

My ESP-950's have a Stax cable on them.

 

Driving the ESP-950 from the SRD-7pro using a Tim Rawson clone of the Pass First Watt F3 power JFET amp, well this sounds very good.

 

Switching over to the Stax SRM-T1 tube direct-drive amp also sound excellent.

 

There are slight differences between the two:

 

Stax SRM-T1  slightly better sounding HF transients.  More bite / sparkle, so to speak, but it doesn't sound like the SRM-T1 is brighter than the SRD-7.

 

Stax SRM-T1 tighter bass, seems the bass goes a little lower and is more controlled than the SRD-7. 

 

SRD-7 has more bass headroom; bass runs out of steam on the SRM-T1 if you play things really loud.  Overall, you can play the ESP-950 more loudly on the SRD-7 than the SRM-T1

 

The SRM-T1  sounds a little more refined, overall, but in all fairness they are pretty close, with the SRM-T1 having a little extra goodness as long as you keep the volume to sensible levels.

 

I promise I will A/B the Stax amp (and the SRD-7) with the Koss amp some day soon, which is probably a comparison with more value to the community.

post #180 of 1529

Cool impressions.  Thanks.

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