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KOSS ESP-950 Thread - Page 51

post #751 of 1418
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DairyProduce View Post

Anyone compared these to audeze or hifiman orthos?

 

 

See http://www.head-fi.org/t/581491/koss-esp-950-thread/705#post_9274718

post #752 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by milosz View Post

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 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.

I like esp950 very much too, but I also like hd800.
How do you say koss transparency compared to hd800? depth, detail and soundstage, timbre, bass detail?
Edited by RedBull - 4/2/13 at 8:14am
post #753 of 1418
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBull View Post


I like esp950 very much too, but I also like hd800.
How do you say koss transparency compared to hd800? depth, detail and soundstage, timbre, bass detail?

ESP950 offers more transparent sound overall; there is no exaggerated treble as with the HD800

 

Bass on the ESP-950 is quite good- deep and well textured, but does not have the 'impact' of the HD800.  Bass sound like it goes deeper on the ESP950 than the HD800. I prefer the ESP-950 slightly to the HD800, although the HD800 is also a very excellent headphone.  HD800 needs the right amplifier, too, whereas the ESP-950 sounds fine on the E9 and also on Stax amplifiers.

 

As far as soundstage / depth is concerned, I am not one to judge these properties.  To me all headphones have an "in-the-head" soundstage, offering nothing at all like the kind of realistic imaging that speakers can project.  So as far as I'm concerned the soundstage of all headphones is bad.

post #754 of 1418

I love the EPS-950 and I think Milosz generally has about the most direct and accurate take on sound as I have read, but I do have another view to add to the comparison.  There is a big caveat to my view, which is that I am using a very high quality speaker amp driven by an equally high quality preamp to drive the HD800..  My EPS-950 do not gain this advantage, being electrostatic, and not being able to be driven with my setup.

 

I deleted my first response due to the fact that this amplifier disparity makes my comparison unfair to the EPS-950.  However, reading your equipment list showed me that you also have a speaker amp, which is worth more than either headphone.  So I am rewriting my response.

 

With my electronics driving the HD800, the HD800 are more transparent, detailed, transparent, and "direct" sounding than the Koss.  The HD800 are quite amazing sounding in this setup, being extremely clear and real sounding.   

 

Before I started using my speaker setup I used some well know, quite respected headphone amps and there was too much grain and harshness for me to enjoy listening to the HD800.  It's not that my equipment is soft and smooth and soften the HD800.  Rather, they are more state of the art electronics which are extremely clear, very uncolored, but are also much lower in distortion than the headphone amps I tried.  

 

So, a wildcard is your amp.  Perhaps it would be great with HD800 and give you sound like I am getting.

 

You also might gain advantage by using the speaker outputs of your amp and use resistive loading of your own choice, which could be another advantage.   

 

Unfortunately, the HD800 coupled to your amp is an unknown, especially  being driven from the speaker outputs with a resistive network, until you try it.  The Koss, on the other hand, are not an unknown.  They are very, very good with their own amp.  I just don't think anyone would choose them over HD800 in my system.  I"ve listened to them back to back many times and they cannot compete with the admittedly far more expensive system.

post #755 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by milosz View Post

ESP950 offers more transparent sound overall; there is no exaggerated treble as with the HD800

 

Bass on the ESP-950 is quite good- deep and well textured, but does not have the 'impact' of the HD800.  Bass sound like it goes deeper on the ESP950 than the HD800. I prefer the ESP-950 slightly to the HD800, although the HD800 is also a very excellent headphone.  HD800 needs the right amplifier, too, whereas the ESP-950 sounds fine on the E9 and also on Stax amplifiers.

 

As far as soundstage / depth is concerned, I am not one to judge these properties.  To me all headphones have an "in-the-head" soundstage, offering nothing at all like the kind of realistic imaging that speakers can project.  So as far as I'm concerned the soundstage of all headphones is bad.

 

Thanks for your comparison.  I will definitely buy this one day, just that I just ordered HD800, one at a time :)

 

In my opinion, for classical, violin, audiophile vocal, HD800 is unmatched, the sound reflection to the walls, body of the instruments, transparency, liquidness, never heard anything better. 

But for general musics, eg. Linkin Park, HD800 is just sound nasty, I prefer ESP950 over it, anytime.

For excellent recording, HD800 is more detail and layered though.

I just can't wait to listen to movies with HD800, hmm, yummy.

 

Talking about treble exaggeration, T1 is the King!!  wink_face.gif

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Operakid View Post

 

With my electronics driving the HD800, the HD800 are more transparent, detailed, transparent, and "direct" sounding than the Koss.  The HD800 are quite amazing sounding in this setup, being extremely clear and real sounding.   

 

Before I started using my speaker setup I used some well know, quite respected headphone amps and there was too much grain and harshness for me to enjoy listening to the HD800.  It's not that my equipment is soft and smooth and soften the HD800.  Rather, they are more state of the art electronics which are extremely clear, very uncolored, but are also much lower in distortion than the headphone amps I tried.  

 

So, a wildcard is your amp.  Perhaps it would be great with HD800 and give you sound like I am getting.

 

You also might gain advantage by using the speaker outputs of your amp and use resistive loading of your own choice, which could be another advantage.   

 

Unfortunately, the HD800 coupled to your amp is an unknown, especially  being driven from the speaker outputs with a resistive network, until you try it.  The Koss, on the other hand, are not an unknown.  They are very, very good with their own amp.  I just don't think anyone would choose them over HD800 in my system.  I"ve listened to them back to back many times and they cannot compete with the admittedly far more expensive system.

 

What headphone amp you tried sound bad with HD800?  I tried Dark Star, it doesn't sound good with it, maybe Darkstar is more designed for orthos?

I will be driving HD800 with Lehmann BCL.  Should be good?

post #756 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Operakid View Post

I love the EPS-950 and I think Milosz generally has about the most direct and accurate take on sound as I have read, but I do have another view to add to the comparison.  There is a big caveat to my view, which is that I am using a very high quality speaker amp driven by an equally high quality preamp to drive the HD800..  My EPS-950 do not gain this advantage, being electrostatic, and not being able to be driven with my setup.

I deleted my first response due to the fact that this amplifier disparity makes my comparison unfair to the EPS-950.  However, reading your equipment list showed me that you also have a speaker amp, which is worth more than either headphone.  So I am rewriting my response.

With my electronics driving the HD800, the HD800 are more transparent, detailed, transparent, and "direct" sounding than the Koss.  The HD800 are quite amazing sounding in this setup, being extremely clear and real sounding.   

Before I started using my speaker setup I used some well know, quite respected headphone amps and there was too much grain and harshness for me to enjoy listening to the HD800.  It's not that my equipment is soft and smooth and soften the HD800.  Rather, they are more state of the art electronics which are extremely clear, very uncolored, but are also much lower in distortion than the headphone amps I tried.  

So, a wildcard is your amp.  Perhaps it would be great with HD800 and give you sound like I am getting.

You also might gain advantage by using the speaker outputs of your amp and use resistive loading of your own choice, which could be another advantage.   

Unfortunately, the HD800 coupled to your amp is an unknown, especially  being driven from the speaker outputs with a resistive network, until you try it.  The Koss, on the other hand, are not an unknown.  They are very, very good with their own amp.  I just don't think anyone would choose them over HD800 in my system.  I"ve listened to them back to back many times and they cannot compete with the admittedly far more expensive system.

Not sure if you were aware, but you can get a transformer device from Woo Audio that will let you run the ESP/950 off of your speaker amp (and this is how electrostatic headphones used to come from the manufacturer, years and years ago); as I recall it runs $400-$500 plus the adapter (or re-termination) of the 950s (or, maybe if you e-mailed Jack and asked really nice, he'd modify the transformer box with a Koss plug if you had one to send him).

I'm not sure if it would or wouldn't change anything for you - the HD 800 are fairly reactive, and as a result will experience FR changes as Zsource changes; as you said, there's a number of variables at play here.
post #757 of 1418

I've been looking at the Woo Audio WEE. It's most likely where I'm going to be going when I can convince myself to pay that much for just an energizer. It's a shame more companies don't make new energizers.

post #758 of 1418

The WEE is fantastic, I Woodn't have it any other way!

 

Seriously, I would love to hear an ESP-950 out of mine. I have a Lambda Pro, it's the only electrostat I've heard and I love it. But that doesn't stop me from jonesing for an Omega, along with the Koss which seems more realistic.

 

I Woold love to compare the ESP-950 with an 007 MK I and a Jade out of my rig.

 

tongue.gif

post #759 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

I Woold love to compare the ESP-950 with an 007 MK I and a Jade out of my rig.

tongue.gif

I think that'd be something a lot of people would read! smily_headphones1.gif


As far as energizers - aren't there a number of historic STAX ones that will do pro bias? I know the final era Koss energizer won't (I don't know what the proper bias is; mine is not a good reference (best I could find out on a scope is 250-300, but bias shouldn't be bouncing around like that, I vaguely remember hearing 450 at some point, but no idea if that's right or not)), not that they're easy to find. redface.gif
post #760 of 1418

I don't know much about vintage Stax amps, or Stax in general for that matter. But I can certainly vouch for their Lambda Pro out of the WEE in my system, which is somewhat unique. It's got a modified WA22 as a balanced preamp, and an Alesis RA150 balanced speaker amp in between.

post #761 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

The WEE is fantastic, I Woodn't have it any other way!

 

Seriously, I would love to hear an ESP-950 out of mine. I have a Lambda Pro, it's the only electrostat I've heard and I love it. But that doesn't stop me from jonesing for an Omega, along with the Koss which seems more realistic.

 

I Woold love to compare the ESP-950 with an 007 MK I and a Jade out of my rig.

 

tongue.gif

 

It looks like a nice bit of kit, and for $300, I'd buy one right now.

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


I think that'd be something a lot of people would read! smily_headphones1.gif


As far as energizers - aren't there a number of historic STAX ones that will do pro bias? I know the final era Koss energizer won't (I don't know what the proper bias is; mine is not a good reference (best I could find out on a scope is 250-300, but bias shouldn't be bouncing around like that, I vaguely remember hearing 450 at some point, but no idea if that's right or not)), not that they're easy to find. redface.gif
 

The bias on the ESP-950's is 600v.

http://www.koss.com/~/media/Files/Koss/Manuals/ESP950.pdf

post #762 of 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taowolf51 View Post


The bias on the ESP-950's is 600v.
http://www.koss.com/~/media/Files/Koss/Manuals/ESP950.pdf

Yep, and I've seen fairly consistently over the years that they'll run on STAX pro (580v), but probably won't run on the older Koss energizers or non-pro STAX stuff, at least not well. redface.gif
post #763 of 1418

The difference in electrostatic force between 580V and 600V is miniscule so Stax Pro bias works just fine.  Some of the Stax bias supplies are actually closer to 600V... 

 

Plenty of old Stax boxes out there that can drive the ESP950's, SRD-7 Pro and Mk2 will do it perfectly.  Personally I'd stay far away from the Wee, it's a badly made POS with the worst bias supply I've ever seen (worse than Rudistor and that says something) and dirt cheap transformers wholly unsuitable for the role.  The SRD-7 transformers may be small but at least they are properly wound for this role. 

 

The Koss ESP10 energizer is indeed not compatible with the ESP950, very different transducers. 

post #764 of 1418

Looking at the average price of a used SRD-7 Pro, I'll definitely be keeping a look out for one.

 

One thing that's odd about my headphones is that the serial number on the amp is only in the 10,000's despite the fact that it looks pretty new and was supposedly bought from Koss only a few months ago.

 

Seems to work fine enough (sometimes doesn't turn on correctly, but that's rare).


Edited by Taowolf51 - 4/4/13 at 11:01am
post #765 of 1418
Quote:

Originally Posted by spritzer View Post

 

Personally I'd stay far away from the Wee, it's a badly made POS with the worst bias supply I've ever seen (worse than Rudistor and that says something) and dirt cheap transformers wholly unsuitable for the role.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post

Well, high fidelity isn't for everybody. 

 

 

Seeing as how I love my WEE, your recently stated opinions make me want to try the MKV! Or a Liquid Lightning, or a Thunderbolt, or a GES/WES... wink.gif

 

The old Stax amps seem to frequently require servicing and many need to be matched to the model of headphone, so those are out for me.

 

Are there any current electrostatic amps/energizers besides Stax and the Headamp Blue Hawaii that you don't hate?

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