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KOSS ESP-950 Thread - Page 48

post #706 of 1418

Many thanks to all for the advice - seems like a pair of the 950s would be a better match for me than the Stax combo.  

 

Will keep my eyes out for a 'lightly' used pair of 950s.  

 

The set that was for sale here was sold just a little while back unfortunately!

post #707 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


*sigh*

Amazon, at least historically, was letting the price drop to around $650-$700 (which of course becomes "$500 all the time!" when filtered through forums rolleyes.gif), because Koss doesn't seem to enforce MAPs on their dealers. As interest has renewed in the ESP/950, Amazon has evidently reacted, and the price has started to return closer to MSRP. That doesn't seem to have been noticed by the "groupthink" that is happy to declare them a $500-$600 product, and it creates no end of drama when people feel they're being "ripped off" or "overcharged" because a better deal existed at some point in history.

The simpler answer is that people are mistaken. Amazon will still let the price drop down (it's just how Amazon works with products that don't have enforced MAPs), but Koss has consistently charged MSRP through their storefront for years (excepting their 10-20% holiday sales), and I'm not sure who else actually sells these anymore (I know that at various points in history they've been available from Newegg and J&R). If you want to track the price, you can add them to a "Wish List" on Amazon, and it will show you when the price has reduced, or you can use a price-tracker like CamelCamelCamel.com to keep an eye on them.

Here's the Camel's data for them:
http://camelcamelcamel.com/Koss-160416-ESP-950-Electrostatic-Stereophone/product/B000056ULH

You'll notice that $600 (or less) is a fairly rare and short occurrence, but $650-$700 was pretty bang-on from ~2009 to ~2011. But since 2012 it's become more all-over the place (the highest and lowest recorded prices both exist in 2012, for example). $700-$800 seems to be more in-line these days.

 

Gotcha, I guess I'll look around for a used pair and keep a watch on amazon. In the past day, the price went from $790 to $810 to $999.

 

I'm guessing no one will be able to answer this, but has anyone compared these to hifiman and audeze orthos or the D7000's? I'm still trying to get a grip on the quality of sound these produce. They don't seem to measure as well as the higher end orthos, but the reviews of them usually praise them for their sound quality.

post #708 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taowolf51 View Post

 

Gotcha, I guess I'll look around for a used pair and keep a watch on amazon. In the past day, the price went from $790 to $810 to $999.

 

I'm guessing no one will be able to answer this, but has anyone compared these to hifiman and audeze orthos or the D7000's? I'm still trying to get a grip on the quality of sound these produce. They don't seem to measure as well as the higher end orthos, but the reviews of them usually praise them for their sound quality.

IMO, the 950's reproduce detail and space well beyond any of what you mentioned. Hearing these for a few seconds sold me on estats forever. So much so, that I've ordered a real amp for these to see what their potential is. I've also started liquidating my dynamics in search of the holy grail. I recently sold my TH900 and a stock D7000.

 

They don't do everything perfectly, but what they do right, they do exceptionally well. My impressions are with the E/90 amp out of my preamp which was better than out of my DAC. I compared these directly to the TH900, W3000ANV, and open D7000. I've had the LCD3 and HE6 in the past. If sound stage and detail are high on the priority list, none of what I listed IMO come close to the Koss. They are not bass shy either, which is a bonus. Eventually the price should come down to as low as $597 on Amazon. I got lucky just a few months ago.

post #709 of 1418
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taowolf51 View Post

 

I'm guessing no one will be able to answer this, but has anyone compared these to hifiman and audeze orthos or the D7000's? I'm still trying to get a grip on the quality of sound these produce. They don't seem to measure as well as the higher end orthos, but the reviews of them usually praise them for their sound quality.

 

I have Audeze LCD-2's, HiFiMan HE-6's, and Denon AH-D7000's, as well as Koss ESP-950s, Stax SR-007 Mk1 and Stax Lambda Signature, along with a number of amps, DACs and so on.

 

The LCD-2's have the bass I like best- perfect texture and "slam" as well as extended, flat response. The LCD-2's also have very good mids and treble that is recessed.  Above the midrange, the LCD-2's are not masters of detail.

 

The HE-6's offer more treble detail, and fine bass, but are not the equal of the LCD-2's in bass definition.

 

The AH-D7000's have the most bass, that's all I can say about them.

 

The SR-007's offer the most neutral sound of any headphone I've heard. Nothing is emphasized; detail is present only when there is detail in the signal. With bass-centric tracks, these 'phones don't deliver the bass perfection of the Audeze, but the bass is not lacking. Their mids and treble are beyond reproach.

 

The Lambda Signatures are famous for an upper midrange / low treble 'etch' which IS quite noticeable, but I like listening to them anyway because they offer a lot of detail (sometimes they have a little TOO MUCH emphasis on detail, this is the nature of the 'etch.') Bass is extended and clean, but not as satisfying as the LCD-2's.

 

The Koss ESP-950's have a quite different 'voice' from the Stax, but you can tell from their smoothness and top-to-bottom detail that they are an electrostatic high-end phone.  They have more bass 'slam' than any other electrostatic, but they do not have the 'taut depth' of the LCD-2's.  Compared to the Stax, the Koss tend to be a little warmer and have a bit more midrange 'presence,' but the detail in the mids and treble are definitely electrostatic in character- that is to say, there's an addictive transparency to all electrostatic headphones that I have not heard in any dynamic or planar headphone- ( the Sennheiser HD800 comes closest, but doesn't quite achieve a cigar.)  

 

If I had to choose ONE of these headphones, it would be the Koss ESP-950.  With it's better 'slam' and warmth, it is a little closer to an "all round' headphone than the Stax, and it offers a transparency that the dynamic and planar headphones just can't match.

 

If I was an absolute basshead and the number one most important thing I wanted was bass quality/punch/depth, then I'd have to go with the LCD-2.  However, as much as I like the effortless extension and mastery of bass texture offered by the Audeze, I find I can live with the bass from the Koss- which is "only" excellent compared to the "without peer" bass of the LCD-2; in addition to bass that is extended and tuneful, if not quite the equal of the LCD-2, the Koss offers greater mid and treble transparency than the LCD-2.  I'm addicted to that transparency.


Edited by milosz - 3/20/13 at 1:39am
post #710 of 1418

very apt descriptions...


Edited by lmswjm - 3/19/13 at 5:11am
post #711 of 1418
Quote:
If I had to choose ONE of these headphones, it would be the Koss ESP-950.  With it's better 'slam' and warmth, it is a little closer to an "all round' headphone than the Stax, and it offers a transparency that the dynamic and planar headphones just can't match.

Amen.

post #712 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taowolf51 View Post

 

Gotcha, I guess I'll look around for a used pair and keep a watch on amazon. In the past day, the price went from $790 to $810 to $999.

 

I'm guessing no one will be able to answer this, but has anyone compared these to hifiman and audeze orthos or the D7000's? I'm still trying to get a grip on the quality of sound these produce. They don't seem to measure as well as the higher end orthos, but the reviews of them usually praise them for their sound quality.


I own the 950s, the Beyer T1s and the LCD-3s.  For me, the LCD-3s are far and away the best pair of headphones I have.  They provide a much more realistic timber, texture and dimensionality to the sound than my other cans.  They are heavy, however, and if you don't have much neck strength, you might find them uncomfortable, as many do.

 

The T1s have disappointed me, frankly.  I had a demo pair from the Cable Co that convinced me to buy them, but my pair has a harshness that has not gone away in 6 months of light use.  They are reasonably comfortable, but they have some pressure points that bother me after a few hours.

 

The Koss are between the LCDs and the Beyers in their character.  Very pleasant to listen to with well-recorded music, but not forgiving of poorly recorded material.  They do not provide anything close to the realism of the Audezes, but have a nice clean sound and comparatively more hi-freq energy (I think because the LCD's have so much mid-low energy compared to just about everything else).  They are very light and easy to wear for a long time, though build quality and materials are not close to my other cans.  Of course they can be had for about 1/3 the price of the LCD-3s, and that clearly plays a role in what types of materials Koss can put into them (as folks on this thread have indicated, building the electrostatic drivers is apparently expensive, so they have to compromise somewhere to sell them for this cheap).

 

In the end, these HP sound so different from each other that it really comes down to what you like best.  I am very sensitive to treble, so unless my T1s suddenly change their tune I will probably list them for sale here in the next few months.  I'm keeping the LCDs and Koss.

post #713 of 1418
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post


I own the 950s, the Beyer T1s and the LCD-3s.  For me, the LCD-3s are far and away the best pair of headphones I have.  They provide a much more realistic timber, texture and dimensionality to the sound than my other cans.  They are heavy, however, and if you don't have much neck strength, you might find them uncomfortable, as many do.

 

 

-GROAN-  Now you got me  wanting to sell my LCD-2's and try the LCD-3's....  $$$$$  endless spending on this hobby.....

post #714 of 1418
I like esp950. subscribed.
Anyone want to upgrade to stax? biggrin.gif
post #715 of 1418

How's the comfort for the ESP-950's? Those pads look awfully thin, and I hate having my ears touch the baffle. Are there any 3rd party pads?

post #716 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taowolf51 View Post

How's the comfort for the ESP-950's? Those pads look awfully thin, and I hate having my ears touch the baffle. Are there any 3rd party pads?

For me its the most comfortable headphone I used, probably better than even the HD800. The pads are thick, don't worry.

post #717 of 1418

Comfort will vary quite a bit depending on the user's sensitivity to clamp, head shape, etc. just like any other headphones. I for example, found the ESP950 a bit uncomfortable due to total lack of swivel of the cups.  It pressed right against the sensitive part of my jawline with no way to relieve it as there was no swivel mechanism at all.  I tend to be ultra sensitive to those things though (oval pads don't sit well on my face at all... reason why HD600/650 was never comfortable for me either), and most users do find them comfortable.

post #718 of 1418

I always thought of the D7000 as comfortable and for me the 950 surpasses it easily. Much lighter and no clamping.

post #719 of 1418
Thread Starter 

Pair of ESP-950's just went for $505 including shipping on eBay....  did anybody here just get that pair?

 

 

http://www.ebay.com/ctg/Koss-ESP950-Headband-Headphones-Black-/114543443?_tab=1&_trksid=p2047675.l2644

post #720 of 1418

Dammit! I was watching that and forgot to bid!

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