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Thoughts on ATH-AD2000

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

So I was just roaming through Yodobashi-Camera in Osaka, trying out alot of headphones using my laptop with attached Fiio E10 DAC. dsc05660medium.jpg

 

I listened through the whole Audio-Technica medium-highend open and closed line (That is AD700, AD900, AD1000, AD2000, A2000X, A900x), to some Beyerdynamic open cans (the 990pro was absolutely filthy with yellow brownish cushions; I put it on anyway), to some AKG cans (they didn't have the K70x out though, so I asked for the k550).

 

To my regret the Fiio really didn't really have enough power for the Beyerdynamic or the AKG (which were seriously lacking bass). 

 

I got the AD700 for my Girlfriend some time ago and quite enjoyed the sound so I'm planning to get some open cans for myself. Now I am still quite new to all this but the AD2000 just owned every single other can I listened to (didn't dare to ask for a sennheiser HD800). Just as described in older reviews, the sound is nearer, it has a much improved bass over the lesser Audio Technica and the music just sounds great (I mainly used 24/96 Jazz (hardbop) and classical (chamber music/solo piano) files today). One thing that bothered me with all the open cans from Audio Technica was the percieved build quality. Apart from the AD2000, which uses metal framing, the lower open cans plastic just felt cheap. Sennheiser felt like crap. The AKG cans had the best materials I think, even better than the AD2000. But as I took a look around at some lower-end Sony headphones for about 80 dollar, it seemed they were almost as refined as the AKGs and had a much improved material selection over AD700-1000. Now the AD2000 are about 47.000 Yen when I buy them over the internet. Right now this equals around 600 Dollar. I was initially planning to go for the AD900 since they are comparatively cheap (17.000 Yen=220 dollar) and I didn't want to go highend right away but looking at the materials just makes me feel outright stupid spending that amount on a domestic brand which should be cheaper than in the US or Europe. Also considering the ridiculously weak Euro at the moment it just seems to make more sense to go for something else with better materials. Obviously I want something thats not as hard to drive as the AKG K7x or the Beyerdynamic so the AD series just seeed right. I also quite alot enjoy the airy presentation of the AD-series (thou the 2000 is alot more direct than the other ones). I don't really like the sticky sweatyness of almost anything else but velour cushions so thats another thing for me to consider. I would like to try out the hifiman headphones but in Japan no avail. I'm quite happy with my Sony XBA-3 IEMs and in disregard of what other people say I believe newer technology really makes a difference so maybe I should consider HE-400? Or the HE-500?

 

Any advice would be appreciated since the only two options would be to spend money on either the AD900 or the AD2000. But for 600 dollars I could almost get the HE-500 or the HE-400 with a better amp. 

 

Any advice?

post #2 of 13

Why do you think the AD900's build quality is not good enough? Just asking.

 

The frame looked quite strong, and the headband seems to be the same across AD900 - AD2000.

post #3 of 13

I own the ad900 and have owned the ad2000. You get a bit more bass with the ad2000 in exchange for a lot less comfort and less forward mids (guitars didn't sound as good to me), and didn't like the fit at all. Metal band just makes the clamp tighter. Build quality on the ad900 is fine.

 

A/B'ing, I just prefered the ad900, purely about taste... still haven't found a headphone I like better than the ad900, and I've tried a lot.


Edited by marts30 - 1/8/12 at 6:23am
post #4 of 13

HE-400, HE-500 are not new technology.  Orthodynamic is very old technology.

 

It's just like 3D movies, it's just old tech people giving in to marketing, thinking it's new tech.  I'm not saying Orthodynamics aren't good, it's just not new tech.

 

And personally I think of Head-Fi itself as a marketing machine, Head-Fi definitely promotes certain headphones.  For whatever reason, Head-Fi loves to promote HiFiMan products.  And HiFiMan is certainly taking advantage of it with his obnoxiously high prices.

 

Just as Fischer Audio's founder has said, headphones are one of the few products with a large profit margin.  Meaning people are able to take old technology and sell them to Audiophiles, the most insane consumers IMO out there.  People willing to pay hundreds for copper wire, people willing to pay thousands just because it costs thousands.  

 

If you want a pair of orthodynamics, there are plenty of vintage Yamahas and the current Fostex T50RP for you to try before blowing $500 from some orthodynamic from China.


Edited by mbd2884 - 1/8/12 at 6:50am
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbd2884 View Post

HE-400, HE-500 are not new technology.  Orthodynamic is very old technology.

 

It's just like 3D movies, it's just old tech people giving in to marketing, thinking it's new tech.  I'm not saying Orthodynamics aren't good, it's just not new tech.

 

And personally I think of Head-Fi itself as a marketing machine, Head-Fi definitely promotes certain headphones.  For whatever reason, Head-Fi loves to promote HiFiMan products.  And HiFiMan is certainly taking advantage of it with his obnoxiously high prices.

 

Just as Fischer Audio's founder has said, headphones are one of the few products with a large profit margin.  Meaning people are able to take old technology and sell them to Audiophiles, the most insane consumers IMO out there.  People willing to pay hundreds for copper wire, people willing to pay thousands just because it costs thousands.  

 

If you want a pair of orthodynamics, there are plenty of vintage Yamahas and the current Fostex T50RP for you to try before blowing $500 from some orthodynamic from China.

 

Have you ever heard something from Hifiman? On the contrary their prices are not obnoxiously high when you compare them with the prices of headphones from other companies of similar quality.

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbd2884 View Post

HE-400, HE-500 are not new technology.  Orthodynamic is very old technology.

 

It's just like 3D movies, it's just old tech people giving in to marketing, thinking it's new tech.  I'm not saying Orthodynamics aren't good, it's just not new tech.

 

And personally I think of Head-Fi itself as a marketing machine, Head-Fi definitely promotes certain headphones.  For whatever reason, Head-Fi loves to promote HiFiMan products.  And HiFiMan is certainly taking advantage of it with his obnoxiously high prices.

 

Just as Fischer Audio's founder has said, headphones are one of the few products with a large profit margin.  Meaning people are able to take old technology and sell them to Audiophiles, the most insane consumers IMO out there.  People willing to pay hundreds for copper wire, people willing to pay thousands just because it costs thousands.  

 

If you want a pair of orthodynamics, there are plenty of vintage Yamahas and the current Fostex T50RP for you to try before blowing $500 from some orthodynamic from China.



You are correct in stating the technology actually is about 40 years old or more as planar technology has been around but the Fostex T50RP is no way equal to the HiFiman product as I have heard and owned both. Just not in the same class or league and the new HE400 for 349.00  looks like a winner I have the hE500 here and its a great headphone so those headphones made in China can be a good buy. My D7000 is a Denon a Japanese headphone also made in China. And look where just about everything you own guy is Made in China even my New Balance sneakers are made in China. But your  opinion is way off base regarding products. Some people just dont want to pay for better products and if your comparing Fischer products to an ortho is seriously misleading as no way is it near as good.

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by marts30 View Post

I own the ad900 and have owned the ad2000. You get a bit more bass with the ad2000 in exchange for a lot less comfort and less forward mids (guitars didn't sound as good to me), and didn't like the fit at all. Metal band just makes the clamp tighter. Build quality on the ad900 is fine.

 

A/B'ing, I just prefered the ad900, purely about taste... still haven't found a headphone I like better than the ad900, and I've tried a lot.


 

Hmm strange, first time I've heard the AD900 having more forward mids. 99% of the time, it's the opposite. I have the AD2000, but haven't heard the AD900 - and the mids are even more forward to my ears than the Grado HF2 which I also have. Might be the coloration of the mids that make the sound of the guitars weird (I also find the AD2000 tiring after a long time because of that coloration).

post #8 of 13

AD2000 have quite a polarizing sound sig - if you heard it and thought it beat everything else you heard, guess what it might just be the thing for you. It is also as you said very lenient on the amp requirements and very well built, although it is possible you may have to perform some simple comfort mods on it to listen for long periods of time. I find the bass performance on the AD2ks to be a significant jump over the lower offerings from the AD line, and in general the entire spectrum of sound is very well represented by the 2ks. They happen to be forward, intimate and engaging, but still sound open and airy to my ears. If that sounds like your cup of tea I can think of few cans I will recommend over the AD2k.

 

For what it's worth, I love my AD2ks :)

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

P1030106.JPGP1030107.JPG

 

Well for once I don't like how the build quality seems to be exactly the same throughout the whole AD-Line up to the ad1000. I'd be pissed to own an expensive mid-fi (read:ad1000) can that is built the same way and basically looks the same than the lower end models. It sure feels like cheap China plastic to me. The hinges are made of plastic (execpt the one on the second picture) and I can clearly see the line where they fused the parts together (2nd picture). There is just no high quality material. The cushions seem to be put together uncarelessly (1st pic). Also the hinges have a lot of play to places they shouldn't go. It feels so loose. 

 

Now I absolutely belive you guys claiming that their adx00 took alot of abuse and lasted for years. Hell, I have owned alot of thinkpads that are made of high quality polycarbonate (read: plastic) and lasted a loong time. I just feel that lower end models from other makers (especially Sony) are constructed from higher end materials than these 400 dollar (ad1000) headphones. Now I'm still considering getting the ad2k since they sound most excellent to me but it would hurt me to spend that much extra cash just on an upgrade of build quality. I basically would have to shell out 600$ on the AD2k right now. It just seems I could get something better for that amount of money.

 

Can anyone recommend any open cans that would be alot cheaper to get in Japan than anywhere else? New AD900 go for about 350 € in Europe but here I can have them for as much as 170. So they're not a bad deal. 


Edited by ksvieb - 1/8/12 at 6:44pm
post #10 of 13

I just wanted to chime in that the AD2Ks scaled up more than any headphone I've tried before. Out of a lesser dac/amp, they seemed not a whole lot better than a DT 880 or K702. Once I played them out of a Ref 9/C2-SA, they were transformed into the best sound I have heard from a headphone rig to date-and that includes an HE6 from the same source.So, if you go with the AD2000, don't skimp on the rest of the system! My .02

 

-Daniel

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
post #12 of 13

Sorry to bring up an old thread OP. Did you find what you were looking for? I'm basically in the exact same position as I'm pondering whether to buy a used AD2k or go for a brand new and more recently (and robustly) built HE-400 which also happens to be slightly cheaper. My thought's also mirror yours about the build quality. You'd think as you spend more money headphones would use better materials and look a lot better but that doesn't seem to be the case for the air series.

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi Raleigh,

in the end I bought the AD2000 and I couldn't be happier. Especially when reading the gripes some people had with the HE-400. After using the AD2000 for half a year I can say that I think it's built like a tank. I would have no problem throwing it in a backpack to carry around all day. Something I can not say about the W1000X that I also bought. 

 

In the end your decision will boil down to the sound signature you prefer. I believe the HE-400 is more bassy and has less brilliant mids than the AD2000. You should try and dig through the AD2000 appreciation thread and see what other people write. If I had the choice I would go for audio technica again, as the AD2000 just kicks some serious ass. Getting it used outside of Japan might be a tad expensive so if money is your concern you better get the HE-400 and invest the surplus into a good amp/dac.

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