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KOSS ESP-950 Thread - Page 44

post #646 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by K_19 View Post

Exactly what happened to me very_evil_smiley.gif


I was very happy with the HD800 and LCD-2's and only bought the 950's to get a "taste" of what the stats sounded like. 

Few months later I own the Stax 007 MK1's with a 717 amp on the way...

Koss was hell of a gateway drug for sure... though of course they sound different from Stax.  I sold the 950's in order to fund them, but I really did enjoy them while I had them and may very well get another set as soon as I can afford to. They got more of the forward nature that's different from the 007 which is very fun in its own way.

How'd they compare with the HD 800, out of curiosity? (I've heard a lot about the HD 800 - just curious what changes between the two).

Jand,

Why won't Amazon replace them? Because the price went up? Or because they don't have a stock? Either way - I'd take the refund; it isn't "increasingly hard" to find them, and I think waiting until you can buy them "right" rather than fixing someone else's mistake is a better deal. You aren't "giving away" a one-time deal here. That's how I see it anyways - of course you're a big boy and can do whatever you want, I'm just not keen on the idea of making the mfgr eat something they didn't cause.
post #647 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

How'd they compare with the HD 800, out of curiosity? (I've heard a lot about the HD 800 - just curious what changes between the two).

 

Tonight, the HD800 are a bit too bright for me...so I just switched to the ESP/950 and they are so much warmer/smoother (tonality/physically).  

 

Or by warmer/smoother, do I mean "a bit too much bass bloom"?

 

Nah- just enjoying Cowboy Junkies/Trinity Sessions and not thinking about it too much.  wink_face.gif

 

Guess it depends on the night and the recording...

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post #648 of 1418
I find that the ESP's are just as transparent and fast as the HD800's but it is also much more forward in the mids, as well as more of a thicker midbass. Makes for a fun listen. HD's sound more open and are more extended on both ends I find though.
post #649 of 1418
Thanks for the comparisons guys!
post #650 of 1418
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by K_19 View Post

I find that the ESP's are just as transparent and fast as the HD800's but it is also much more forward in the mids, as well as more of a thicker midbass. Makes for a fun listen. HD's sound more open and are more extended on both ends I find though.

Yes I'd say the ESP950's have  midrange love going on.  It's a gorgeous midrange. There's bass and extended treble too but they have a general  moderate but distinct  midrange emphasis. Not a PEAK or a resonance sounding thing but they are "voiced" with the middle mids and lower mids just being a bit more present. Not the screechy upper mids, or the flubby upper bass, but a kind of slightly warm, slightly "presence forward" sound. And it's done with that super-fast electrostatic sound, so rich in inner detail and transparency...  for $700 bucks including the amp it's a nice deal.  

 

In absolute terms, $700 is a lot to spend on headphones, really; I've paid less than that for a working used CAR....  it's all relative.  Except no way I'm going to let my relatives listen to my ESP-950's! Let 'em buy their own! tongue_smile.gif  

 

But if you're enthusiastic about this hobby, you might find yourself thinking "Hmmm....$1,750  for a pair of Stax SR-007's - that's a pretty good deal!" And then there's at least another $600 for an amp....or another $5,000 for an amp....  so, compared to THAT, the Koss ESP-950 / E90 is a nice deal. 

 

Compared to the HD800's, I love the HD800's but their treble really hurts my ears.  There's a mod, what's it called?  The Anaphylaxis mod?  wink_face.gif  Oh, right, Anaxilus  mod.  I bought the foam and the felt and so on, but haven't gotten around to doing the mod yet.  Suppose to tame that 7~9 kHz spike in the HD800 to some degree. I sure hope so.  I really want to like my HD800's more, beacuse what they do well, they do REALLY well.  

 

You know, it's 10 degrees F here in Chicago right now, that's -12 C.  Pretty cold. But I figure if I wear my Denon AH-D7000's around the house like earmuffs, I can save on heat and use the money for another DAC....  


Edited by milosz - 1/23/13 at 7:02am
post #651 of 1418

I'm really interested in the ESP950 but I'm a little bit afraid it will be a bit TOO mid-forward. I don't mind the brightness of the HD800 and I very much like the neutrality they provide, and I really liked the SR202 and Lambda Pros I've owned in the past. Is there a full-size  dynamic that the ESP950 can be compared to in terms of frequency balance? From reading everyone's impressions it kind of sounds like the AD2000 without as much aggression.

post #652 of 1418

From my own experience, it's somewhat similar in general frequency response to the AD900 (which in turn, has been said to have similarities to the AD2000's that you mentioned) and the ESW10JPN (though not full size) that I had. Of course the ESP950's are better than both of them in most ways.


Edited by K_19 - 1/23/13 at 11:43am
post #653 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by K_19 View Post

From my own experience, it's somewhat similar in general frequency response to the AD900 (which in turn, has been said to have similarities to the AD2000's that you mentioned) and the ESW10JPN (though not full size) that I had. Of course the ESP950's are better than both of them in most ways.

 

I thought the AD900 was similar to the AD700 and the AD2000 was pretty much a totally different breed as far as full-size ATs go. I don't know about the ESW10JPNs but I had the ESW9a's and those seem to match the ESP950 on description alone. I did have gripes with extension on both ends with the ESW9a so I'm not sure if I'll hear the same thing on the ESP950s (probably not). If the ESP950 matches or exceeds K701/HD650 levels of extension then I'd be happy enough.

 

If your profile is up-to-date, how would you compare it to your AD700 and HD25-1 in terms of tonal balance? I'm more familiar with those headphones.

post #654 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ikarios View Post

 

I thought the AD900 was similar to the AD700 and the AD2000 was pretty much a totally different breed as far as full-size ATs go. I don't know about the ESW10JPNs but I had the ESW9a's and those seem to match the ESP950 on description alone. I did have gripes with extension on both ends with the ESW9a so I'm not sure if I'll hear the same thing on the ESP950s (probably not). If the ESP950 matches or exceeds K701/HD650 levels of extension then I'd be happy enough.

 

If your profile is up-to-date, how would you compare it to your AD700 and HD25-1 in terms of tonal balance? I'm more familiar with those headphones.

 

If there was one area that I wasn't fully happy with the ESP950's, it was the slight lack of extension on both ends. Mind you, at the time I compared them to the HD800's and the LCD-2's; both are stunningly excellent in high end extension and low end extension respectively. I'd say they definitely match the K701/HD650 level high/low end extensions though.

 

Also want to remind you that this was my impression out of the stock E90 amp that came with it. Things may have been different with the better SRM-717 and the SRM-1 MKII Pro amp that I have now (would need an adapter of course), who knows.

 

IMO they're too different in tonal balance to AD700 and HD25's to compare. Completely different from either of those, but if I had to pick which of the two that it was closer to, it would be HD25's, as they are more forward and have better attack than AD700.

 

Found a Goldenears frequency response graph for the ESP950's btw. It pretty much reflects what I hear; a slight upside down U-shaped response but incredibly smooth overall:

 

post #655 of 1418
The ESW9 are "close" - mid-centric but nothing is boosted to the moon. But the 950s are better in pretty much every other way (soundstaging, extension, speed, etc). They don't do anything offensive - but compared to a lot of the super-bright "audiophile" cans (like the 701) they might not be as immediately impressive.
post #656 of 1418

Listening Radiohead's B-sides from the Pablo Honey/The Bends era on these babies right now, and I feel like it's me listening to these songs for the first time.  The details, the cohesiveness of that music is just amazing  Man, makes me reminisce about the younger days.

post #657 of 1418

I've had the 950s for a few weeks now, and one thing that prospective owners should know is that they are not particularly tolerant of garbage in.  Feed them a marginal recording, particularly if you listen with even moderate volume, and they will not be happy, or make you happy.  So if you listen to garage bands at high volume, ESP 950s might not be the right choice for you.

post #658 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

I've had the 950s for a few weeks now, and one thing that prospective owners should know is that they are not particularly tolerant of garbage in.  Feed them a marginal recording, particularly if you listen with even moderate volume, and they will not be happy, or make you happy.  So if you listen to garage bands at high volume, ESP 950s might not be the right choice for you.

In truth, this observation has been made of most electrostatic headphones (e.g., Lambdas) and speakers (e.g., Martin-Logan CLS) at one time or another. I currently listen to Stax SR-507s (love them) and Quad ESL-989s in the main room (love them, too, but they are finicky). I have had a more difficult time tolerating the upper mids and low treble of my AKG-K701, though they do some things very well. In fact, it is that experience that has scared me off of the HD-800. In short, high-resolution transducers are made for high-resolution, well recorded music, usually meaning classical, jazz, vocal, folk, etc. I am a rock lover from Beatles forward (and technically, most of their records were atrocious), but it is the rare hard rock, grunge or metal record that is meant for such high-end devices.

 

Don't blame the messenger.


Edited by jeffreyfranz - 1/26/13 at 12:14am
post #659 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreyfranz View Post


Don't blame the messenger.

 

Agreed.  That's why I'm trying to let people know that if they listen to poorly recorded MP3s on these headphones, they might be disappointed.  You need well-recorded material to appreciate them.  Even discounted, the 950s aren't cheap and if somebody is going to make that large an investment, they need to make sure they have music that will sound good on them. This is consistent with the general theme I've seen often on these boards, that folks need to match their headphones to their music -- and don't blame the headphones if your low-quality recordings sound low quality.

post #660 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

Agreed.  That's why I'm trying to let people know that if they listen to poorly recorded MP3s on these headphones, they might be disappointed.  You need well-recorded material to appreciate them.  Even discounted, the 950s aren't cheap and if somebody is going to make that large an investment, they need to make sure they have music that will sound good on them. This is consistent with the general theme I've seen often on these boards, that folks need to match their headphones to their music -- and don't blame the headphones if your low-quality recordings sound low quality.

beerchug.gif

And I think this probably extends beyond the 950s as well.
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